Be Not Afraid…

There’s a lot of fear in our world today, most of which revolves around money. The U.S. and world economies have taken a downturn. The USA has a new leader, one whose views are very different from those of our former President. Unemployment rates are rising. People are losing their investments and their homes. In response to these changes, I’ve heard some of the following kinds of statements lately:

  • “America is on the way to a socialist state!”
  • “The banking crisis is the beginning of the collapse of the American economy!”
  • “We’re not far from mass chaos and riots in the streets!”
  • “Get an unregistered gun before all Hell breaks loose!”

As a follower of Christ and believer in the Word of God, I have a very different perspective on the current world events. Here are some scriptures that instruct God’s children on how to react to fearful situations:

Proverbs 3:25: Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.

Psalm 46:1-3: God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

Psalm 33:13-20: From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth — he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.

Jeremiah 17:7-8: But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.

Matthew 10:28-31: Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

These passages need no explanation. What they do need is listening ears. Let us hear what God is telling us through His Word, and do it. Are you a child of the living God? Do not be afraid. Do what is right before God. Pray with thanksgiving, because He has promised to take care of you, and He will do it.

Do you want to know the one true, all-powerful God, and have Him as your strength and shield? He protects and provides for His children, and they have nothing to fear. Even when calamity does occur, they can rest in His unfailing love. He gives peace, hope and joy even when the world offers none of these things. If you want to know God, I invite you to read about how you can know the peace of God, which passes all understanding.

Those who fear God need never be afraid.

Best Pie Ever

I’m originally from Georgia. My brother had a girlfriend in high school whose family really knew how to cook.  A lot of Southerners do, which I’ve since learned is not the case everywhere. She made the most incredible pie, called “Buttermilk Pie”. My mom asked her mom for the recipe, and got the old “It’s a family recipe” reply. That’s another common thing in the South — families often aren’t willing to part with their secret recipes.

I’ve never discovered their exact recipe for Buttermilk Pie, but I’ve found one that’s close enough for me. On top of that, I’m not hoarding it. Here it is:

Buttermilk Pie

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/4 eggs, beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 ounces butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Directions:  

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar and butter. Mix in the buttermilk, vanilla and flour. Pour filling into pie crust.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Don’t let its simplicity fool you.  I make two pies in shallow pans out of this recipe, and I could easily eat them both myself. It’s that good 🙂

Your Playground Ad Here

My wife and I took our kids to a new playground today. It had a colossal jungle gym, all made of wood. I’d say it covered half an acre. I remembered seeing a similar one being built on a Mr. Rogers Neighborhood episode. The whole community got together and everyone pitched in to build it. Pretty cool idea really.

The odd thing about this jungle gym: it’s covered with advertising. There are little metal plates nailed all over it, each engraved with the name of a business which had funded a portion of the structure. “This slide paid for by ABC Hardware.” “Entryway courtesy of J. Banks Investment Group”. There’s a prominently placed billboard with at least a hundred names on it, listing who gave what amount of money, and who was on the committee responsible for building the thing. It’s like one of those signs you see at a national landmark, or in a college auditorium.

Who does this? Who builds a playground in a public park and slaps advertising all over it, then creates a big billboard listing every person who paid for it? Must we now promise notoriety and/or profit to entice people to beautify their communities, or do things for children?

The homeless shelter downtown is having financial problems. Maybe they should print t-shirts that say “This person slept in a bed last night courtesy of ABC Hardware.” Perhaps larger investments might mandate something more nearly permanent, like a tattoo on the person’s arm: “Eat at Joe’s”.

Clear Skin Tips

Here are some tips I keep on file and try to practice.

Substances to intake:

  • Green Tea: rich in antioxidants; reduces skin damage caused by ultraviolet light; helps eliminate cancer-causing free radicals.
  • Salmon: Omega-3 fatty acids help keep out harmful substances and allow nutrients to enter cells; rich in protein, potassium, selenium and vitamin B12.
  • Blueberries: possibly the highest food source of antioxidants; excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin E and riboflavin.
  • Carrots: excellent source of vitamin A (a must for healthy skin); high levels of antioxidants; superior source of fiber, biotin, vitamins K, C and B6, potassium and thiamine.
  • Water: pure, clean water hydrates cells and helps them move toxins out and nutrients in; allows the body to sweat more efficiently, keeping skin clean and clear.

Substances to avoid:

  • Sugar
  • White flour
  • Saturated fats
  • Fried foods
  • All of these trap oil and bacteria beneath the skin, causing acne and other skin ailments.

    This information is a condensation of an article at naturalnews.com.

You’ve got ancestors!

Whoa! I was talking to my dad about our family history this past weekend, and as a result I was finally able to connect my great grandfather with Frampton Dowling, who was probably the first of my ancestors to emigrate from Ireland. Pretty exciting stuff! The crazy part is that I’ve had the documentation for this connection in my files for several years and never noticed it! =S

As a database developer, this has of course inspired me to create my own genealogy software for Mac and Windows, on which task I embarked over the weekend. If you’re into genealogy and have ideas for cool and/or “must-have” features, feel free to leave a comment!

To all those Dowlings out there, if you think you might be a descendent of Frampton Dowling, be sure to check out a book called A Dowling Family of the South, by R.A. Dowling. The book is out of print, but reprints are available at a modest rate from Higginson Book Company in Salem, Massachusetts.