Knock on wood

Often we look down on the superstition in which we use the phrase, “Knock on wood” – and proceed to do just that: Knock on a table or a door or whatever wood is handy. It didn’t begin as a superstition, though.

In some circles it is believed that the origin of the phrase and practice comes from the wood of the rosary. Rosaries in the old days were made of oak wood and were fingered in time of distress or trouble. Thus, holding on to, touching or rubbing the wooden rosary or its wooden crucifix when danger was near became a common way for Christians to deal with hardships and difficulties.

The practice slipped into common use as “Knock on wood.”

Turkey Leftovers

By way of explanation, I am Canadian, so our Thanksgiving is the second Monday in October. I’m also a Mayflower descendant, so we commemorate the American holiday in November as well. That’s a lot of turkey!

There is a limit to how many times you can take turkey sandwiches to work in your lunchbag, although I certainly do make up a few (with stuffing, of course!) The secret begins in the grocery store, buying a bird that isn’t too, big, yet will be plenty when friends and family join you for dinner.

After the guests go home, I remove most of the meat from the bones, and bring out the slow cooker. Just before bed I cover the bones with water and leave the cooker on “low” overnight. I awaken to a beautiful, rich, golden broth that I can use so many ways!

As for the leftover meat, Dave and I have one meal of turkey/stuffing/cranberries and then I make the rest into a turkey tetrazzini that can be divided into portions and frozen for future enjoyment.

This is my favourite turkey tetrazzini recipe:

  • 1 package (7 ounces) fettuccine, broken into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups cubed cooked turkey
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  •  3 cups broccoli crowns
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Transfer to a large bowl; add the remaining ingredients. Spoon into a greased 2-1/2-qt. casserole. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 40-45 minutes or until heated through.

Back to School

It’s back to school today, for parents and children everywhere. But let’s not forget the teachers too! This is from an unknown author:

After being interviewed by the school administration, the prospective teacher said: “Let me see if I’ve got this right.

“You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning.

“You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self esteem and personal pride.

“You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook, and apply for a job.

“You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, and make sure that they all pass the final exams.

“You also want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents in English, Spanish or any other language, by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card.

“You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps.

“You want me to do all this and then you tell me…I CAN’T PRAY?”

Is It Wrong to Enjoy Luxuries?

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: Proverbs 31:22 (The Message)

She makes her own clothing and dresses in colorful linens and silks.

TODAY’S MESSAGE:

The Proverbs 31 woman had a certain degree of luxury not afforded to those of more modest means. This is not to say that she lived in opulence, but she took the time each day to add special touches to everything she did.

She took care of herself, and she took time for herself, but she was not selfish. In fact, quite the opposite was true—it was partly why she was able to balance the many facets of her life.

It is no coincidence that “gratitude” rhymes with “attitude.” The Proverbs 31 woman was grateful for all that God had given to her.

She chose to dress in fine clothes because her wealth was a gift from God; to hide it would be showing ingratitude. She discovered that her gratitude led to an illusion of abundance, which in turn led her to be more successful. This attitude toward her wealth enabled the Proverbs 31 woman to be generous with those less fortunate.

The Proverbs 31 woman knew that her money could not buy her happiness, but she experienced the one exception: using money to help those less fortunate gave her a feeling of pure joy. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Standing Up to Bullies

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE: 2 TIMOTHY 2: 23-24

Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

TODAY’S MESSAGE:

A couple of days ago, social media was abuzz with the news that Rosanne Barr tweeted a racist remark about Valerie Jarrett, one of Barack Obama’s top advisers.

I won’t repeat the tweet, but I must applaud ABC for immediately cancelling Rosanne’s show, despite the financial ramifications losing their top-rated program. This has not been Rosanne’s first vulgar, crass statement, but it is certainly one that carries consequences. And it reminds me of a growing problem in our society: bullying.

Bullying is not only aimed at children, as Ms Jarrett learned this week. Many women, including Christian wives and mothers, are targets. Notice I say targets instead of victims, because we must to all we can not to validate and enable the bullies.

Most bullies are actually cowards, but some of them are so out of control that they enjoy confrontation. WE ARE MOST LIKE CHRIST WHEN WE SAY NOTHING AT ALL.

Valerie Jarrett handled the situation beautifully and with class when she released this statement: “I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment. I’m fine. I’m worried about all the people out there who don’t have a circle of friends and followers who come right to their defense — the person who’s walking down the street minding their own business, and they see somebody cling to their purse or run across the street, or every black parent I know who has a boy, who has to sit down and have a conversation, ‘the talk,’ as we call it. And as you say, those ordinary examples of racism that happen every single day.”

How easy it would have been for her to retaliate, but instead she handled it like I’m sure the Proverbs 31 woman would have.