Monday 24 October 2011

God loveth a cheerful giver . . .

We live in such uncertain times these days. Prices of everything are increasing with untold speed, and financial calamity seems to be threatening us with every corner we turn. It can be so very frightening indeed . . . I think one of the greatest adventures we have available to us in this special lifetime of ours though . . . is in learning to trust our Heavenly Father respect to our finances, our time . . . our energy. Giving from our wealth . . . no matter how much or how little we may feel that we have, is not truly a gamble. We may be dealing with the great unknown, but that is only because of our own limited vision. God has promised to meet our needs and as we know . . . God always fulfills His promises to us.

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
~2 Corinthians 9:6-7

You don't have to have untold wealth to be able to give. Giving can be something as simple as merely helping a neighbour or a friend, who has been a little bit under the weather, to fold her laundry, or to watch their children so they can go off and do something special just for themselves. It could be cooking a meal for someone who has been ill, or who is going through a rough time. It could even be as simple as picking up the telephone and giving someone a call just to let them know that somebody cares . . .

Giving freely of the resources I have been given . . . be it financial, my time, or otherwise . . . brings me great joy, and is made even more so because of the trust I have in my Heavenly Father and in Jesus Christ. I figure if Christ can turn water into wine . . . and feed 5,000 with a few loaves and fishes, then He has also the power to meet all of my needs. He's got the goods and the power to do just that and I can name countless times thoughout my lifetime where He has done just that! They have replenished my well of money, time and energy time and time again, their bounteous goodness constantly rains down on me . . .

The more that I learn to trust in them, the more that I give freely of what I have been blessed with . . . the greater the blessings I receive, and the sweeter the joy. It's funny how that goes . . . or maybe it isn't. I don't know exactly how it works, but only that it does work.. Forty years ago I may have had to stop and ask myself before I gave generously of anything I had . . . but time and experience . . . and my faith have taught me not to question my compulsions to give, but only to give . . . and to trust in that higher power, for He has given me a well that truly never runs dry. On that, I can depend. I guess it's all a matter of faith.

Yesterday I decided that I am going to go to both my children's weddings in 2012. I have a bit of savings and I will use it to do just that. Todd won't be able to go, but he is not really bothered overly much, and we just cannot leave the dog with anyone for that long, nor can we afford a kennel (not that we would ever want to put her in one of those). He and Mitzie will stay home and keep the home fires burning. I will be gone approximately a month, but it will be good and it feels in my heart like it is the right thing to do, no matter how out of place I may feel, or how other's may make me feel like I don't belong. It is not about me . . . it is about my children and my love and support for them. I'll also stay over for my mother's 80th Birthday so that she is not alone on that day. I am rather excited about it all now I've made the decision and it has given us all something to look forward to!

Here's a tasty and economical meal for those days when we are really feeling the pinch. Eggs are quite expensive over here these days, especially if you choose to buy free range one, and I do . . . but they still make an economical supper when you compare the price of them to the price of a piece of meat! This is kind of like an upscale version of egg and chips! (Eggs and potatoes I always have, and like the loaves and fishes, I can always expand to feed more!)

*Crispy Fried Potatoes With Eggs*
Serves 2
Printable Recipe

Simply decadent and satisfying, this is one of my favourite suppers. How can one fail to enjoy the crispy edged potatoes doused in the richness of the golden yolk of the egg . . . ahhh . . . heavenly bliss . . . You can leave the egg out and just fry potatoes if you want, doubling the amount and adding an extra spoonful of oil, but I wouldn’t . . . the eggs are what really make this dish!

500g (1 lb. 2 oz) potatoes, peeled and cut into approximately 1 inch chunks
2 TBS olive oil
A large knob of butter (about 20g)
2 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole and smashed
3 sage sprigs
2 eggs

Boil the potato chunks in salted boiling water until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain very well then throw immediately into a 12 inch non-stick skillet that you have been heating the butter, oil, garlic and sage in. (I put this pan on just when the potatoes are about ready and heat it until the butter starts to sizzle) Start them off on high heat and cook until they start to look golden brown, then lower the heat slightly and continue to cook them until they get really crusty, tossing them about carefully from time to time. Be very careful not to mush them, although mushing them a little bit is good as it gives you more crispy edges and bits to enjoy. Try not to let the garlic or the sage burn. If it looks as if they are getting too done, lift them onto the top of the potatoes.

Once you have the potatoes all golden and crispy it’s time to cook the eggs. Move the potatoes over in the pan , making two big spaces for the eggs. Drop another bit of butter into the empty spot and crack in two eggs. Sprinkle a bit of sea salt over all and continue to cook over medium low heat, until the egg whites set and the yolk is as done as you like it. If you like you can pop a lid briefly over top, but try not to leave it there for very long as you don’t want the potato to get soggy. Serve up immediately, trying hard not to break the egg yolks. They go meltingly nice with the crispy potatoes.

In The English Kitchen today, delicious Blue Cheese and Cheddar Stovies!

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