On This Black Friday

  Thanksgiving is a week away! The day we celebrate things we are thankful for, how blessed we are to have food in our cabinets, clothes on our backs, warm beds to snuggle into at the end of the day, clean fresh water at the push of a button or twist of a handle.

How sad that the day after we are Thankful, we indulge in a rat race of shoving, hitting, pushing and even biting to grab more “stuff”. 

  You know what I am talking about:

BLACK FRIDAY.

  How sad that employees leave family functions early, to drive to work so people can shop.  How sad that some stores are even thinking about opening on Thanksgiving Day, as yet another day to take your money!

  Black Friday may mean profit for the store, bringing them “back in the black” after a tough year,  but Black Friday seems DARK to me…..

A day celebrating stuff, things, materialism, greedy gimmies and more, more, MORE.

  I hate the Greedy Gimmies, and I know this time of year, commercials are specifically designed to entice children to want it, need it, gotta have it!

   Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful 3 gifts for each child in this home, will be placed under the tree next month; some from garage sales, others great bargains along the way, but I am MORE thankful, that each child will have a chance to adopt a child close to their age through our church Shoe Box project again this year.  That once again we have opportunity to teach them to be blessed by GIVING, not always receiving.

Did you know that we don’t buy gifts for anyone other than our kids?  Dale and I don’t get each other anything. Why? We don’t need a darn thing!  Neither do our parents, or our cousins, or our friends.  We will make goodie platters, or just spend time with them.  They don’t NEED anything either.  This makes November a lot less hectic and saves all of us a ton of money.

  I am not saying you are wrong for planning to go at 2 am Friday morning to shop your Christmas list!  NOT AT ALL!!!!! I am a couponer, and bargain shopper, I LOVE a good deal just like you do.  I am simply asking you to Be Cautious when you go.  (Maybe this would be a great time for you to shop for the family in need you adopted so you can bless their socks off with something extra great….)  

Ask yourself some hard questions this year:

 In a World that is in desperate need of food, clothing, clean water, shelter, the love of Christ Jesus….is it truly necessary to use $800 towards a list of family and friends that really would be fine without your gift?  

  I am asking you to think twice before you snatch that electronic, or Barbie Dream House, or Furby, or the last item off the shelf as you see someone else approaching it.

I am asking you to DEFINE NECESSITY.

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I am asking you to be the hands and feet of Christ, to give to others less fortunate than yourself.

  To limit what you spend on yourselves this year.

Do NOT go in the RED to help stores get into the black.

  I hear of parents that take out $2000 loans every year for Christmas. 

WHY?

  What could your child possibly need worth going into debt for?

  Why do families insist on buying for Aunt Jane and Uncle Bobby and all 15 cousins?
Can’t you draw names and just give something smaller, so you can all help someone other than yourselves?

  I am asking you to DEFINE NECESSITY.  Cut the fat.  Let’s get back to basics.

Lets work harder this year on being the hands and feet of Jesus.

  To use that money you set aside for gifts to help a local charity, buy a ton of groceries for the food bank, to adopt a family in need.  To teach your children selflessness rather than selfishness this Holiday season.  To guide them to look outside themselves, and the greedy little world they are living in.

  I am asking you to look into Compassion International, or to get a catalog from Samaritans Purse for gift ideas that keep on giving.

  Your $25 can help towards giving a milk cow to a starving family of 9.  ONE LESS GIFT for Uncle Frank, Aunt Sue and Cousin Betty, can give a village of 1000, clean drinking water for a lifetime.

We are blind, fat and greedy as a nation, we need to OPEN OUR EYES to the people hurting around us…..

  We need to DEFINE NECESSITY this Black Friday and upcoming Christmas season.

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  It’s a big world out there, and it’s time we start seeing beyond ourselves.

I’ve had it.  I quit Christmas.

Give me CHRISTmas; so that everything may filter through HIM.

  Matthew 25:40  ’I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these….you did for me.’

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German Oktoberfest Pizza

   October always reminds me of this yummy supper, called German Oktoberfest Pizza…..check it out!

  Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival that is held each year in Munich, Germany, running from late September to early October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and the world’s largest fair, with some six million people attending every year, and is an important part of Bavarian culture.

Oktoberfacts

· In 1997, Oktoberfesters consumed more than 5 ½ million liters of beer, about 45,000 liters of wine, and almost 165,000 liters of nonalcoholic beer.

· The local name for Oktoberfest, “Wies’n,” is derived from Theresienwiese, the name of the field on which the festival is held.

· The festival halls in Munich can seat 94,000 people.

· Cincinnati, Ohio, which claims to hold the “largest authentic Oktoberfest” in the U.S., draws about 500,000 people to its celebration.

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc.

  I have never been to Germany, and I don’t like Beer, but I DO like German foods.

  This pizza is going to sound CRAZY to you, just crazy! But I want you to trust me that it is DEEEEE-LICIOUS! 

From the 4 little Ferguson archives, original recipe from Taste of Home magazine….

German Oktoberfest Pizza

{click title to print}

German Oktoberfest Pizza 2

Ingredients

  • 1 whole refrigerated pizza crust {Or better yet, make your own!}
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Garlic salt to taste
  • 1 pound smoked Sausage, cut into 1/4 inch circles
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes {Make sure they are well seasoned for this}
  • 1 cup Sauerkraut, rinsed and well-drained
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Caraway Seeds {A small but mighty ingredient, don’t skip!}
  • Dill seasoning (Pampered Chef is my fav!)

Unroll pizza dough on to a large cookie sheet or Pampered Chef bar pan. Flatten dough and build up edges slightly. Brush with olive oil and season with garlic salt. Bake at 425* for 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sautee sausage in butter until browned. Spread mashed potatoes over the baked crust. Top with sauerkraut, sausage, cheese and caraway seeds. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Enjoy!

~T

German Oktoberfest Pizza txt

Dear Abby,

This is post 2 for today, be sure to head back one post for Bacon & Swiss Salad, a MUST HAVE at all our Family Holiday Functions!

From the archives:

Dear Abby,

Everything in my life is going wrong! What seemed like the ideal dream has become an unending nightmare. Only a few weeks ago everything seemed perfect: I had just graduated from school with honors. My girlfriend and I got engaged the same day my father made me a full partner in his construction business. I was so pumped . . . and definitely in love. Life seemed complete. Even my faith was at an all‑time high.

It all started falling apart one Friday when my fiancée met me after work. She looked like something was wrong . . . but I couldn’t get her to talk about it. So we went to a basketball game that evening, but my head wasn’t in it. My imagination was running wild.

Didn’t she love me anymore? Did she want to call off the wedding? Did she have cancer?

The questions kept coming. I was a nervous wreck. Afterward, we went out for dessert. She didn’t say anything for a long time. Finally, she whispered the words I hadn’t even dared to think:

“I’m pregnant!”

Then she burst into tears. I was stunned.

“You? But we haven’t even . . .”

A wave of nausea hit me as I realized the horrible truth: Since it wasn’t me, it had to be someone else.

“Who was he?” I forced myself to ask.   I couldn’t decide if I really wanted to know.

She looked down, “I can’t tell you,” she said, “You wouldn’t understand. I just want you to know I still love you and want to be your wife!”

If you loved me you wouldn’t be in the condition you’re in,” I snapped.

I couldn’t help seeing the love in that face I’d come to cherish. Abby, I knew I still loved her with my heart, that’s why I hurt so much. How could I continue to love someone who slept around? I was too shocked to say anything the rest of the evening. I paid the bill, took her home, and drove away.

Although I’ve never been very emotional, I cried myself to sleep. I woke up early the next morning angry & full of questions.

How could she do this to me? Didn’t she love me? Hadn’t we promised to save ourselves for each other? Who was he? How long had they been sleeping together? How could they manage to see each other without me even suspecting? Didn’t she believe in the standard God had set for relationships?

I went all week without seeing or calling her. I just couldn’t. My heart ached. My stomach burned. My head pounded nonstop. Then she showed up today just as I was closing shop.

 ”I’ve made arrangements to leave town for a while,” she said. “I think it’s best for you & me & for our families. I’ll be staying at my cousin’s place downstate.”

I must have been frowning because she added, “Don’t worry, my love, I’ll be in good hands.”

She handed me a piece of paper with a phone number where I could reach her & then left. I haven’t heard from her since, and that was 3 months ago.

Abby, what should I do now? I can’t imagine going ahead with the engagement. My trust in her has been destroyed. Still, the thought of walking away leaves me even more confused. The shame and embarrassment of being pregnant and not married in our small town would make her the target of endless harassment.

On the other hand, if I stand by her & pretend that the child is mine, I’d destroy my reputation . . . something I don’t think I’m willing to risk to cover her selfish mistake.

My gut feeling is to break off the engagement & try to forget what happened. I care too much for her to make an ugly scene. Maybe I could tell our friends that it was my idea to break up & she had to get out-of-town to escape the pain of my decision?

Abby, I want to do the right thing. But I just can’t decide. Should I stay with her regardless of what others think? Or should I quietly break off the engagement and try to get on with my life?

Signed,

A Devastated Boyfriend

And then came the reply:

Dear Devastated Boyfriend,

Don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife. What’s conceived in her is from Holy Spirit, Christ is in her. You’ll see. Just open the door of your heart to Mary, you’ll begin to experience the wonder of Christ’s presence firsthand.

Signed,

Abby

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Do you ever really stop to think about Mary as a real person?!  A real teenager with a REAL dilemma on her hands.  This “Dear Abby” letter brought everything home for me, I got it.

We know the last chapter of this story, but poor Mary didn’t.  She feared for her very life, as she could be STONED for her “indiscretion”!  Would you, as her parents, have believed her?  Do you know how HARD that must’ve been for all of them?

As we approach the Christmas season, remember the reason we celebrate, remember a young unwed mother, great with child making a journey to a land not her own, away from her mom and everything familiar.  Remember her FAITH, even though she didn’t know the Happily FOREVER After was to come for all of us.

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Blessed be the name of the Lord,

~T