Sunday, August 28, 2011

I’ll Be a Donkey’s Owner…

“As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives.  Jesus sent two of them on ahead.  “Go into the village over there, “ he said  “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it.  Untie them and bring them to me.  If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.”  --Matthew 21:1-3 NLT

I’ve seen various representations of this Scripture portion and most seem to portray this mysterious donkey owner as either a lackey or excessively naive.  I like Dr. Joel R Beeke’s description however.

“On the outskirt of the city, Jesus sends two disciples to a nearby village to fetch a female donkey and her colt.  The owner of these animals, although unknown to the disciples, is on close terms with Christ, believing in His mission.  Merely hearing ‘the Lord hath need of them’ (Matt. 21:3 KJV) is enough for the man to permit his animals to be led away.”  Tabletalk, September 2008.

While visiting the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte recently, I caught a glimpse of why Rev. Graham been called “the world’s best-loved evangelist”.  Few people today have had such opportunities to preach the Truth to presidents, kings, and world leaders--not to mention the millions upon millions of “common” men.  If God was still writing the book of Acts, I’ve little doubt Billy Graham’s name would show up frequently.

Which left me wondering….  Would my name appear anywhere?  Likely not, and to tell the truth, I’m not sure I’d want it too.  I can’t say I’m ready to accept all the trials and tribulations of Paul, or endure martyrdom like Peter and James.  I don’t think I’d even like the fame and public life of a preacher like Billy Graham.

But I do long for the day when I hear my Father say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”  So if I was in the Bible, I’d like it to be like that anonymous donkey owner.  Not someone in the limelight, just someone close to Jesus that can be trusted to come through for him when given a task.  And in short…that’s why we keep plodding down this road that we hope will bring us to Papua New Guinea.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Prescription: Popsicles

Our son had surgery last week to remove an extra tooth growing in his upper gum.  If it hadn’t been causing trouble with its neighbors, I might have suggested we leave it in there just in case.  Isaiah might fall in that 30% of children that knock out, fracture or otherwise injure their hard-working chompers.  Always nice to have a spare, right?

Anyway, after the procedure, the surgeon sent him home with a prescription for a pain killer and lots of popsicles.  Fortunately, I was well prepared because our family consumes ice pops like a Ford Excursion guzzles petrol.  <That’s for you, Anthony>  And although, these frozen treats are great on a hot day, the store-bought kind consist mostly of sugar, food dyes and scary ingredients I don’t know how to pronounce.  Granted…I’m talking about the store-bought kind in my price range.

013So we started making our own, and found out that if you have a blender, they’re really fun to make and eat.  You can freeze the pops in special molds, small plastic cups and sticks, or even ice cube trays and toothpicks.  Here are some of our favorite experiments…

“You Can’t Eat Strawberries Without Bananas”

(must say with a Swedish accent)

  • 3 cups chopped strawberries
  • 3 bananas
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons honey or raw agave nectar (to taste)

Blend strawberries and bananas together until smooth.  Add lemon juice and honey and blend for a few more seconds.  Pour into pop molds.


Peaches N’ Cream

  • 3 cups chopped, peeled peaches
  • 1 cup vanilla soy milk

Blend ingredients until smooth and pour into pop molds.


Chocolate Banana

  • 3 bananas
  • 2 cups dark chocolate almond milk

Blend ingredients until smooth and pour into pop molds.


Mango Mint

  • 2 very ripe mangos chopped (or squished)
  • 4 chopped, peeled peaches or nectarines (use that disappointing fruit you bought on sale at the grocery store)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves

Blend ingredients until smooth and pour into pop molds.



  • 2 cups chopped strawberries
  • juice of 2-3 limes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup ice

Blend ingredients until smooth and pour into pop molds.

This last recipe is our family’s favorite and is based on Anni Daulter’s “Pure Sunshine” recipe in her book, Ice Pop Joy.  I just like the lime juice better than the lemon she suggests.  Anni has lots of other great popsicle recipes.  I highly recommend, “Happiness”, “Heavenly”, and “Blackberry Swirl”.  Oh, and “Peanut Butter & Chocolate Classic” and….