Monday, 15 November 2010
Acts of Service . . .
"God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom . . . So often, our acts of service consist of simple encouragement or of giving mundane help with mundane tasks, but what glorious consequences can flow from mundane acts and from small but deliberate deeds!" ~Spencer W. Kimbell, "Small Acts of Service".
I was talking to a man the other day, and was blown away by his thoughts on the poor. He was of the impression that the poor in this country were far worse off than the poor of, say, a country like Africa. His attitude was, that the poor in Africa don't know any better and are not surrounded by temptation every day, so therefore, have no knowledge of their circumstances or lack thereof, it is much worse to be poor when you are surrounded by wealth.
I have been thinking about his words throughout this whole week, while I count my many blessings, and I have to say . . . I beg to differ.
I just pray, that I am never so poor in spirit, that I don't recognize the blessings I do have, or see those in the world that are in dire need. Being born or brought up in a country where everyone is lacking the barest of necessities of life does not make it more bearable. Tell that to the mother who holds a starving child in her arms and listens to their pitiful cries and feels the ache in her heart of helplessness.
I don't believe that there are truly any poor people in this country, except by choice. Yes, to be sure, there are those of us that don't have all the things we want or think we need, but it is doubtful that any one of us goes to bed hungry, or cold or wet . . . unless we have made conscious choices that have left us this way.
When I was working fulltime, Todd and I were able to sponsor two small children in African countries . . . one was in Ethopia and the other was in Tanzania. These children came from very poor families. The money we sent each month was enough to pluck them from the pain and need with which their lives began, and set them on the road to what is considered, in their reality, a prosperous future, full of hope for both them and their families. We were lucky enough to receive photographs of these children enjoying the little things and blessings the money we had been able to send was able to procure for them. The warmth it gave our hearts to see these images, faces full of joy at having received what is to many Westerners something we take very much for granted, was beyond description. It broke our hearts to have to give them up when we lost our job at the Manor, and was the loss we felt the keenest next to losing our Jess . . .
But, what of the millions that don't have this opportunity . . . what of the millions that indeed do go to bed each night without food, or shelter, or clean dry clothing, or indeed something so simple as clean water, which is the one thing in life no man can live without. I don't think it makes a difference if your next door neighbour drives a porsch, or if your next door neighbour drives a donkey. If you are poor, to me at any rate, that means you don't have the things in life that are necessary for survival . . . food, shelter, health and hope. Are we, in the Western World so warped by our incredible blessings and relative wealth that we don't even recognize our circumstances when we have it good? It is my prayer, that I would always know how well off I really am, and that I would always be able to give of the extra potato in my pot to the one who truly needs it.
This is one of my favourite ways of serving potatoes. True, I say that all the time. The Potato is my favourite vegetable and I just love serving and eating them . . . in any dish!
*Baked Potato Salad*
Serves 6 - 8
This is one of my favourite potato salads. It uses things I always have in my larder and fridge and is a great way to use up any leftover baked potatoes you might have. I often find myself baking potatoes just so I can make this!
3 large baked potatoes, cold, then peeled and cubed
½ cup sour cream
½ cup good quality mayonnaise
8 slices streaky smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese (I use strong, but it’s up to you)
2 spring onions, sliced and then chopped
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 dash celery salt
1 dash garlic powder
1 dash paprika
1 TBS chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Place the baked potatoes, once cubed, into a large bowl. Mix together with the onion, bacon and cheese (reserve some of each to sprinkle on the top at the end). Stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream and the seasonings. Gently fold into the potato mixture, ensuring that all the potato is coated as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the reserved cheese, bacon and onion on top and garnish with the chopped parsley if using. Serve.
In The English Kitchen today, Salted Caramel Topped Biscuits.