Hatch Chile

Have you ever visited New Mexico this time of year? From now until early October the chile is harvested, roasted, stored, eaten, made into sauces, etc. Last autumn I thought I posted about the roasting at Wagner’s market in Corrales. Cannot find such a post so I will recap!

During our very first visit to New Mexico in 2004 Dan and Betty took us to Wagner’s Farm to witness roasting and small the deliciousness of roasting chile.

This is how you find the market on Corrales Road.

I wish I could share the fragrance of roasting chile with you. Perhaps you can create your own! This year our local Kroger store was selling New Mexico Hatch chile for $.99 a pound. I have never, ever seen that before! So I bought a bag and decided to work the magic on our grill.

You roast the chile on the grill until they are charred. (Darker than this photo.) This makes for a great fragrance and easy peeling later. But wait, there’s more!!

Remove the chile from the grill and place in a plastic bag. This lets them steam and continue to cook a bit. When they are cool you can process them further. And gadzooks! our kitchen smelled like Wagner’s!!

There is just nothing like the fragrance of roasted chile. Before you place your order at Wagner’s you have to decide how hot you want the chile! Here are 30 seconds of prices and ideas from 2020.

Buy your bushel and let the magic begin! If you watch/listen to at least 1 min 37 seconds you can hear the chiles start to crackle over the flames.

Here are Bob and Dan in Corrales 2020 processing the chile after Betty broke her ankle in Colorado and Molly hurt her back.

After they cool, you MUST put on rubber gloves as the capsacian from the chile can burn your eyes and mucus membranes. You slide off the charred skin and remove the membranes and seeds. Now Betty says to taste them and see how hot they are. If you want them hotter leave some seeds in. I confess, I did not taste mine. If storing them, I lay them out on waxed paper and freeze. That way they are easier to separate later. Or just toss them in whatever you are cooking to add flavor and heat! Cuban Black beans, burritos, tacos, casseroles, toasted English muffins with melted cheddar, you name it!

When we visited New Mexico we double bagged the chile in plastic and packed in a plastic box in our suitcase. They made it home just fine.

So there you have it! Hope you can purchase and enjoy some in your home town!

My Utmost

Shut out every other consideration and keep yourself before God for this one thing only—My Utmost for His Highest. I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and for Him alone.”

OSWALD CHAMBERS

Why is this important? I want my everything to be for God. I want to yield to His will and His Word.

I found a quote in my notes. At the time I did not write down the notation of where it was from. Eventually I found it was by Oswald Chambers in the devotional My Utmost for His Highest, June 11.

He wrote regarding “And I will give you rest,” i.e., ‘I will stay you. Not – I will put you to bed and hold your hand and sing you to sleep; but – I will get you out of bed, out of languor and exhaustion, out of the state of being half dead wile you are awake; I will imbue you with the spirit of life, and you will be stayed by the perfection of vital activity.”

That is the sort of motivation I need. I need it regularly. I need a call to constant infilling with the spirit of life.

You can go to https://utmost.org/ to read the Utmost devotion for each day or sign up for it to be sent to your mailbox. If you want to read the full text the quote above is lifted from go to https://utmost.org/getting-there-1/

Jesus, Grandma Snapp, GBS, Mrs. Cowman, Oswald Chambers, Molly Lin Dutina. The Lord is powerful in His weaving and creating. I praise You, Lord! How majestic are His ways over all generations! How majestic is Your Name!

LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?  
You have made them a little lower than the angels  
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Psalm 8 NIV

God’s Bible School

God’s Bible School (GBS) is a Bible college in Cincinnati founded in 1900. It is of the Wesleyan-Arminian (Methodist) tradition. These facts come from Michelle Ule writing at https://www.michelleule.com/2020/08/11/gods-bible-school. This interests me because my Grandmother was a teacher at this school. I think my mother was especially proud about that! Imagine, my grandmother may have prayed for me to spread spread the Gospel all those years ago!

I went to visit the school about 1979. Emily was in a pre-school class. I loaded baby Jeff into the backpack and went to see the school. I was not aware until I arrived how out of place I was. The women all wore skirts and I was in jeans. None of the women wore their hair braided. I had a ponytail. The baby on my back made it difficult to wear it any other way!

It was nice to tour the grounds. There were Scriptures carved over the doorways. Also some messages in parts of the sidewalk. I loved the fact that my grandmother had been there often.

Recently I recalled that Oswald Chambers had visited the school. That is how I became aware of Michele Ule’s writing. She reports that “GBS and Chambers loved each other. Oswald Chambers was welcomed in 1907, 1908, 1909 and 1910.” She also reports he “returned several times in the years to come to teach at camp meetings.”

I was delighted to read “The first enrolled students (of 72 total the first year) were Charles and Lettie Cowman on their way to the mission field.” You may recall that Mrs. Cowman gathered the devotions for the ever popular “Streams in the Desert.” I have one copy published in 1925. Another is in journaling format.

Tomorrow I will write more about how all of this pulled together for me. Until then, try to read Streams in the Desert. You can read it for free online at https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/desert/

Remember these sayings?

Now and then sayings pop up in my head that I heard often in childhood, but not so much now. Perhaps you also remember hearing, “I just can’t abide him.”

Or, “Why don’t you go out and play tiddlywinks with the sewer lids!”

“Crime in It’ly!”

When our good friends, Dan and Betty Cooksey, visited us recently we toured the sign museum in downtown Cincinnati. This sign reminded me that we no longer call facilities for seniors this:

What phrases or sayings do you remember? I’m fairly certain as soon as I close this entry more will pop into my head!

Hold Still

When Bob was hospitalized and almost died my journal from 2018 reads,

Someone wrote: “I had to accept myself in all my gory glory. Sometimes rage, sadness, and a myriad of other strong emotions will be part of your experience, too.” And so it was with me.

Tired. Too tired to read. Often too tired to even eat. Numb with fatigue of body and emotional shock.

Feel. Express. Accept. Move on. Get up. Do it again. Find a way to cope with the shock.

“You can’t be any other place than where you actually are!”

My spiritual discipline for years has been to read the Word, study and pray. Repeat. When our lives hit this huge crisis and he almost died it was difficult and practically impossible to hold to any discipline. I was upheld by the prayers of the church, but my study time failed completely. And then the Lord would drop a line here or there into my mind and spirit to encourage me. “Show us Your mercy, O Lord,” from the morning prayer suffrages, Book of Common Prayer. And I would go forward with whatever the day held for us. Often I prayed the full armor of God from Ephesians 6 as I drove to the hospital or dressed in the hospital bathroom after spending the night with him.

I began to approach the situation with stillness but no presumption that I in any way knew the ultimate result. Though I was often unconsciously holding my breath, there was a stillness in me. The stillness came with a peace that I recognized as coming from God. Reporting the day’s events and blood work results to prayer partners via email, without forecasting the next step or event or outcome was about my only “productive” output.

The stillness was related to Habakkuk 2:20 NRSV “But the Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him!”

Part of my struggle was yielding to the facts and in stillness letting my wishes die, placing my hope in the plans of the Almighty. I could not see the outcome at all, but I trusted His goodness and His love for both myself and my family. I learned that crucified you must hold perfectly still.

I repeat all of that because the lesson came to mind again this past Sunday. A Pastor was teaching from Galatians 5. He said when we come to verse 19 listing some of the works of the flesh we should only think of ourselves, not others. We should hold still, let God point those things out and help us remove them from our lives. We should hold still.

Crucify my flesh.

Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

Galatians 5:24

The Pastor pointed out that being too busy, busy-ness, is a popular American form of running from God. Perhaps you could try for one week the practice I have adopted lately when I am consumed with busy-ness. Taken from John 3:30 breathing in I pray “Lord, You must increase.” Breathing out I pray “I must decrease.” And I continue to consciously breathe and pray until I am centered in Him again. Yielding more of my life to Christ is never time ill spent. Holding still so He can have His perfect way in me is the highest form of living.

Crucifying my flesh is expected of me. If I truly want Christ to live in me through the power of the Holy Spirit I must be willing to put down my passions and desires and pick up His. Not easy, but neither is that impossible. “I will, with God’s help.”

Focus or Observation?

Focus is defined as the main or central point of something, especially of attention or interest. Over 45 years ago Bob and I were driving around Kentucky. As usual he was taking photos. After he snapped the one below I commented, “Oh I can’t wait to see how that horse comes out!” He responded, “What horse?”

I said, “Why the horse in the barn!”

“I didn’t see any horse,” he said.

“Didn’t you see the galvanized tub hanging out the side of the barn for the horse to drink from?” I asked.

“No. I just took a photo of the barn!”

As we drove on down the road I said, “Well, when you develop and print those photos you will see the horse. I thought it made the picture special.”

Amazing how people can look at the very same thing and see totally different items. Was it focus or observation? Now fifty years into the marriage we continue to focus and observe different things even when we are in the very same setting. I find that continuously amazing!

Grow Accustomed …

Reading through some notes from what I think was a Franciscan retreat many years ago I came across this. Enjoy!

One retreat handout was entitled God – With – Us Paraphrase by Leslie F. Brandt Psalm 139

O God, You know me inside and out,
	through and through.
Everything I do.
	every thought that flits through my mind,
	every step I take
	every plan I make,
	every word I speak,
You know, even before these things happen.

You know my past:
	You know my future.
Your circumventing presence covers my every move.
Your knowledge of me sometimes comforts me,
	sometimes frightens me;
but always it is far beyond my comprehension.

There is no way to escape you, no place to hide.
If I ascend to the heights of joy,
	You are there before me.
If I plunge into the depths of despair,
	You are there to meet me.
I could fly to the other side of the world
	and find You there to lead there to lead the way.
I could walk into the darkest of nights,
	only to find You there
	to lighten its dismal hours.

You were present at my very conception.
You guided the molding of my unformed members
	within the body of my mother.
Nothing about me, from beginning to end,
	was hid from Your eyes.
How frightfully, fantastically wonderful it all is!

May Your all-knowing, everywhere-present Spirit
	continue to search out my feelings and thoughts.
Deliver me
	from that which may hurt or destroy me,
and guide me along the paths of love and truth.

Looking up Leslie F. Brandt online just now, this was likely taken from a book called Psalms Now.

On the back of my paper I wrote “Grow accustomed to encountering the hidden Christ …” and then:

“I am a holy God and Lord of the Broken Things. My greatest victory was through My broken body and spent life. I use imperfect beings perfectly. My love covers, cleanses, fills, renews.” Have no idea if someone spoke this at the retreat or I heard it in my spirit.

“I too shed tears. My tears were not some painless spiritual symbol, but pain-filled, aware feeling tears. And they were born out of my hurt and disappointment, anguish and anger at how things COULD have been. I know tears. And I feel and am aware of yours.” Again, I have no idea if someone spoke this at the retreat or I heard it in my spirit.

“This mornings flood has left fresh ponds where dust was before. On contemplation this puddle is teeming with life. Worms with feathered heads writhe out a dance of life. Bugs I always associated with DIRT scurry along unhindered underwater. Oh voice of many waters, make me this adaptable and joyous I pray.” Fairly certain I wrote this one!

Reading and typing these things out makes me aware how I SO need a spiritual retreat! When I go on retreat I make an effort to still the chatter in my soul, listen for His still small voice, wait for the King of Glory. If nothing else, I am refreshed from stilling that chatter. Usually I am refreshed by the Presence of the Lord in ways I could not create on my own.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;

    I will be exalted among the nations,

    I will be exalted in the earth.”

ISA 46:10

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord

Acts 3:19

Then the Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

1 Kings 19:11-12

“Life Sayings?”

This seemed to show up for a few folks. I am sending it again for those who did not receive it. Hope it strengthens your faith.

When I used to mingle with some folks they would speak of their life verses from the Bible. I have those, but what I want to examine here are sayings or sentences that have influenced my faith life over the years.

How often I am walking outdoors and a feather comes on the breeze. At times it is from a bird on the roof or in a tree. Most times I cannot locate the source of the feather. Can you imagine yourself as that feather?

“‘Held by God … like a feather which has no weight from its own strength and lets itself be carried by the wind” – so wrote the medieval mystic, Hildegard of Bingen. Her image of a feather lightly floating on the wind is more than spiritual poetry; it gives us a way to live. Being like a feather on the wind is particularly necessary in these difficult days that teeter-totter two millennia.”

-Unknown

This one came from my struggles to obey the Lord my God regardless of circumstances.

Constant peaceful yielded joyful obedience to the Almighty.

I have made alphabet-beaded bracelets in so many forms to remind me of this. In the Old Testament the believers were told to take the commandments of God and “Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:8-9 So I have worn them, recited them, shared a few with friends, lost a few bracelets and made a few more. Recently I shipped most of my collection to my friends in Nepal.

One year tired of hearing myself complain about chronic pain I wrote the following and posted it on the bathroom mirror.

I have determined that this day, each time I am drawn up short by pain, I will praise You for I love You better than life – even better than quality of life.”

I so needed to type these out this week, especially about being drawn up short by pain and what reaction I will choose. Chronic pain never takes a vacation, but God is ever-present and loves me. When I was first diagnosed I heard Him say, “I will be with you in this.” What could be better than to have the Lord with you?

Influencer

Can you call to mind people who have impacted your life in simple ways? Do you remember how they showed their faith? What do you recall about them?

When as an adult, I first had an intense experience with the Risen Christ, the priest at the Episcopal church did not know quite what to do with me. He did know who to refer me to though! Mary Dirkse quickly became my spiritual mom. My birth mother had already died. In fact, grief over that loss is what sent me to the Lord, seeking His comfort as I anguished over missing her.

Blessed are those who mourn,

    for they will be comforted.

Matthew 5:4

Mary did simple things for me. She would listen to my woes without correcting me or throwing out trite sayings into my tumult of grief. When I became pregnant with our son I was So Very Nauseous the entire nine months. Mary would fix me an egg, cooked thoroughly, put it on buttered toast and urge me to try to eat. Her fixings always stayed down. After the delivery of my first child I was nervous and frightened about climbing onto the delivery table for another C-Section, wide awake. Mary and others prayed me through the experience. To this day she continues to pray for our son.

When I was eager for more of Jesus, she took me to a Women’s Aglow meeting. I continued going to those monthly meetings for ten years, eventually holding some of the offices to keep the local meeting afloat and operating smoothly. I met many Spirit filled women who inspired me to surrender myself to Jesus.

When Mary moved from Ohio to Wisconsin I was so saddened. After her husband passed she moved to Washington state to be with her children. Mary SHOWED me the love of Jesus. She would play her zither and sing worship songs with me. I was enchanted. Mary simply loved God and was willing to share that love in any way the Lord required.

We often shared the parallels of raising toddlers and teenagers. So much alike, yet so different in size, language and body maintenance.

Who has the Lord sent into your life to influence, guide, encourage and show the ways of Christ? I hope you have someone to nurture as Mary nurtured me. If you are not nurturing anyone, ask God who He might like you to reach out to with His light and love. Yes, she lives very far away now. We do try to email and share cards on occasion.

Mary, if you are reading this, I have no more words except thank you from the bottom of my heart for your inspiration, guidance and continued intercession. You certainly pulled a grieving young woman from the waters of sin and confusion. May the Lord bless you abundantly for the multitude of ways you have served Him during your long and fruitful life. I love you.

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.  Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,  to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Titus 2:3-5

How About Some Poetry Posts?

The other day I was thinking of this poem from 2014. Enjoy!

Pot Bound © 2014 Molly Lin Dutina

Spring rains
	wind	thunder
	fragrant hyacinths
		hillside purple with flowers
	demure trout lilies quickly go to seed.

Forsythia blooms
	lilac buds opening
		pussy willow full blown
		soon to send out leaves
Twisty willow branch from florist
	rooted in the arrangement and sent out one leaf!
	hope to nurture it and plant it outside
February Primrose is pot bound now
	ready to live in the garden

I’m pot bound in homemaker duties
	Lord help me enter
	Your center-down silence
	and glory in praising You
	even in activities of the mundane

Oh fragrant April morning
	gusty hyacinth perfume
	raindrops glisten on garden border fence
Symphony of bird song
	sidewalk littered with night crawlers
Insistent bird cries, “Awake! Spring is here. Now."

I praise You in the work You have given me
in this part of Garden Earth.