{ Who Am I? }

I was ready for Black Friday this year. I bought the:

Instant Pot DUO80 8 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Saute, Yogurt Maker and Warmer.

instant pot

My tech-savvy son told me the most popular item throughout the cyber weekend zoo was the

DNA Ancestry Test Kit.

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With this kit, you can:

  • “Uncover your ethnic mix” and
  • “Connect with relatives you never knew you had.”   (Is that a positive thing?)

 So, people are curious about themselves and their background.

And the Bible is full of background.

It lists more than a few genealogies.

And the records don’t leave out the unsavory relatives. They inventory the kings, the scoundrels, and the heroes.

If church people today were given the task of writing Jesus’ background, we might be tempted to skip a few people on the list.

It doesn’t look holy to include:

  • Rahab the harlot
  • Tamar the schemer
  • Ruth the foreigner

Yet, there they are.

Jesus’ arrival turned everything upside down.

  • He didn’t come to earth in a golden chariot, he came as a helpless baby.
  • He wasn’t born in a palace, but in an animal barn.
  • He didn’t boldly grab power, he chose to give up his life.

 

The Bible tells me about my background.

It says:

  • I’m made in God’s image — Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image…
  • I’m a sinner by nature —  Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 
  • He chose to redeem me — Ephesians 1:7  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of his grace… 
  • He calls me His child — Galatians 3:26 For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 

So, I don’t think I will purchase the DNA kit. Black Friday is over and besides….

…I already know I’m half Norwegian, a quarter German and a snippet of English, Irish and Scottish.

Deeper than that, I’m a redeemed image-bearer and a child of God.

© Lisa M. Luciano 🙂

Word Prompts:  snippet and zoo

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{ Eye-Opening Encounter }

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I came far-off,

Two-faced,

Half-mast,

Happy-go-lucky,

Eating up sin

Like ice-cream.

Then I had an

In-depth,

Head-on, high-speed

Collision with a

Larger than

Life-Sized

Person who had a

Send-off from Heaven

Just to rescue true-blue sinners

Like me.

No give-and-take here–

I’m empty-handed

Except for my worn-out soul.

Now I have a long-term,

Ready-made

One-way home

In heaven.

This news is so

Red-hot,

Spine-chilling,

Mind-blowing–

I can’t keep it

Hush-hush.

 

© Lisa Luciano 😊

 

Word Prompt of the Day:  One-Way

List of hyphenated compounded words taken from: http://theleomsun.blogspot.com/2014/09/hyphenated-compounds.html

Photo Credit: Greg Rakozy

{ Books in 2017 }

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The following books have had a percussive  impact on my life in the last year:

grieving

What Grieving People Wish You Knew…About What Really Helps and What Really Hurts By Nancy Guthrie

When do we ever take a class on how to help the grieving?  We don’t.  Yet, we can be pretty sure we will encounter grieving friends and family members throughout life. 

My husband and I listened to the audio and we were both very inspired. It’s a touching, gentle primer on the art of friendship to the grieving.  We now consider it an important book for every family member to digest and practice. 

 

love does

Love Does by Bob Goff

This will make you laugh, cry and rejoice that you got your hands on it.  Listen to the audio version, read by the author. 

It’s funny and moving and spiritual in a fresh, exciting way.  Get ready to become “secretly incredible!”

listening photo

The Lost Art of Listening by Michael P. Nichols, Phd.

This is one of the most helpful books I have read this past year.  I have opportunities every day to succeed (and fail) using the ideas I’ve found here. Listening is an unselfish gift you give to your friends and family.  Listening can be hard work.  When you listen with all you’ve got, you will often be rewarded and not bored, even if people drone on.  If you think you’re already a good listener, this book will encourage you; if you know your listening skills need work, this book is a great place to start.

judas do

What Would Judas Do? By John Perritt

I am still finishing this one.  Simple but profound, the book explores how each of us, deep down, can relate to the ultimate traitor. Examine yourself with this book: am I a true believer, or just along for the ride?  It’s humbling, insightful, and suitable for a family devotional read.

magnetic

Why Nobody Wants to be Around Christians Anymore: And How 4 Acts of Love Will Make Your Faith Magnetic by Thom and Joani Schultz

I found myself in this book.  I mean, it was like looking in the mirror when they mentioned unloving Christians.  Ugh. 

But it didn’t stop at that, and the book wasn’t condemning. It prompted me as a follower of the ultimate King of love to want to truly love others.  Not just as a project, or in a surface way. 

If you know me, please be patient with me as I seek, powered by God, to see people and treat people the way Jesus would.

writing tools

Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark

As you see on this blog I am trying to write regularly to learn to write well. It’s slow going.  

This book helped by giving me some unique things to try.  Unlike a dry textbook, the expert author made his tips easy and fun to read.

I read it a few months ago, though, and I feel like I am forgetting already – maybe I should review a chapter every now and then!

My Bible

This is what I read the most — the living, breathing, inspired Word of God.  Its prophecies have been fulfilled, though the gap between the giving and the fulfillment took hundreds of years, and were written by authors who never knew each other.

This book will never be boring and I will never outgrow it.

I see myself in its pages and Jesus is there from start to finish.

Try it 😊

© Lisa M. Luciano

Word Prompt of the Day:  Percussive

Definition of percussive

1: of or relating to percussion; especially: operative or operated by striking

2: having powerful impact

Photo credit: Eugenio Mazzone

{ Turkey Bowl XVIII }

My husband — the Commish — started an annual tradition after we moved out to the country.  Every year, he heads up a football tournament on the weekend after Thanksgiving.

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After a quick massage, the Commish does some pre-game stretching exercises.

It’s called The Turkey Bowl.

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He hosts 10 teams, divided up into two main brackets: The Gold Division and The Top Gun Division.

The tournament support team is busy in the kitchen, where the oven is bursting with muffins, cookies and hot sandwiches.

IMG_20171125_094939When the first vehicle turns into our long driveway, someone gives a shout.

The young, the old, the underdogs and the superstars arrive around 9:00 a.m. through sleet, snow or sunshine.

Clad in tights-under-shorts, the brave warriors place their snack offerings in the spacious garage and head out to the field.

The Commmish has it all planned as written on the huge white board.

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At 11:30 they break and The Commish will give his annual speech and designate someone to give a blessing on the tournament.

Turkey Bowl XVIII has begun.

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The Commish is 58 years old.

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(c) Lisa M. Luciano

Word Prompt of the Day: underdog

{ Drone Rescue }

Mo got his drone yesterday!  Coming from China, it was hard to track in the mail.  The suspense has been palpable here for a few weeks.

When the mailman handed it over, Mo was…thrilled.  I want to be thrilled with him.  But I don’t want it flying much around the house.

He wanted to fly it outside where I could watch from my cozy indoor spot. It makes me cry to think about it, because thirteen-year-olds are seldom so jubilant.

I watched and cheered along with other family members.

Then it got stuck in a tree!  We all mourned together.  Gino climbed very high to get it.  My emotions bounced from drone enthusiasm to shock, to hopefulness and then fear as big brother scaled the tree.

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Drone Rescue

When it was all over, Mo smiled again as he steered his drone into a flip.

(This is an important drone move.)

I kept watching, but felt like I needed a nap after all the commotion.  After all, I’m still getting over two Thanksgivings and the busy weekend isn’t over yet…

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Lishi L-6056 Drone Pilot

 

© Lisa M. Luciano 😊

{ Last-Minute-Lisa? }

I like shopping early on Thanksgiving Day.

I am among kindred spirits—those carefree souls who waited until the last hour to secure stuffing and napkins.

I just did two rare things: bought a newspaper and greeted the produce guy.

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Cozy Caribou Coffee.  Wish I could stay awhile, but I have an appointment with a turkey.

A crooked and sleepy line of shoppers is pleased that Caribou Coffee is open for limited holiday hours. We stumble in and answer the appropriate question of the day for 10 cents off our orders:

Q: What’s the name of the ship that brought the Pilgrims to America?

One bed-headed shopper boldly strolls in wearing his pajama pants. My favorite cashier Stephenie dressed herself up pretty for Thanksgiving.

To the world, I might look like last-minute-Lisa.

But I promise–my turkey is baking in the oven at home.

© Lisa M. Luciano 😊IMG_20171123_073734

{ Don’t Be Afraid of the Turkey: He’s Just a Big Chicken. }

Some people shy away from roasting a Thanksgiving turkey.

If I can do it, I know you can.

Cooking a turkey is like roasting a big chicken.

It’s easier than constructing a casserole or other putsy dishes that require lots of steps.  With turkeys, you just rinse, season and cook.

Wash and season.

Rinse the turkey and take out anything from the cavity.  (I’m not into gizzards, necks and stuff – but maybe you are.)

I’m seasoning the turkey today and will cook it tomorrow. I use garlic, salt, pepper (in that order!) Add parsley and oregano and other seasonings you like.  I cut up a few large onions and place in the cavity of the turkey. Thanks to my mother-in-law, I had a sage and rosemary plant in the garden last summer.  I froze some leaves, which I’m plastering around the bird.

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Place in cooker

You can cook a turkey in a special bag, an electric roaster or a large foil pan – (disposable foil pans make cleanup easy.)

I use Grandma Pat’s large vintage roaster.

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Roast it.

Turkeys cook well at approximately 20 minutes per pound; I cook mine at 325 degrees.

Once you have purchased your turkey, check the weight:

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My approximate 14 pounder will need 4.5 hours or so to cook.  No problem.  While he’s roasting, I’ll get my other work done.

Mercifully, most turkeys have a little pop-up device that tells you when the meat is fully cooked.

This guy will sit all dressed up in the refrigerator until tomorrow morning.

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Before and….
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After.

© Lisa M. Luciano 😊

 

 

{ A FULL Schedule }

simon-maage-351417
Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. –William Arthur Ward
  • Wednesday: Family Thanksgiving #1
  • Thursday: Family Thanksgiving #2 + family birthday
  • Friday: Family birthday
  • Saturday: Big football “Turkey Bowl” tournament XVIII
  • Sunday: On duty in the church kitchen. Drive home, hopefully eat tryptophan-rich leftovers, and collapse in a stupor.

 

Photo credit:

 Simon Maage

{ A Lifetime Nest }

As I mentioned a few days ago, my husband and I were asked to give a little talk / devotional at a family bridal shower.

The purpose: to pass along some marriage wisdom to the bride and groom.

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When I discussed this with my husband, he said, “Us?  Why?” and….”Let’s borrow someone else’s story.”

Haha. Sigh.

I’d like to say that is humility, but really it’s just the fact that we are still learning and struggling sometimes to just love each other they way we should.

But, powered by God’s grace, we are making progress. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

You can plan a gorgeous wedding with all of the trendy colors, Pinterest ideas, and delectable treats.  You can rake in gift cards, checks, and gorgeous baubles to decorate your new nest.

However, building a successful marriage goes far past the dreamy wedding; it takes a lifetime.

It’s the day-in, day-out dying to myself that wins victories. It’s the consistent obedience to the Author of marriage and the regular forgiving and asking forgiveness that establishes trust.

We have been married for 27.5 years.  At least we can look back and see that God has done some refining — in ourselves and as a couple.

And maybe that is worth passing along to a pair of fresh little lovebirds.

 

Word Prompt of the Day:  NEST

(Also helpful: Angela’s post today about Priscilla, a godly wife.)

Photo credit: Virgil Cayasa

{ Sludgy Sin Pools }

sludge

S ludgy sin pools lurk – trying to

L ure me into leaving the God I love —

U nthinkable! Why choose sludge puddles over the

D eliciously clear, sparkling, flowing, living water that

G race supplies and God gives to His children

E very day through His Word?

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Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink…” John 7:37

Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let that goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

from the hymn: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

 

Daily Word Prompt: SLUDGE