Thursday, February 28, 2019

Just Another Day Care Horror Story

How do you like this:

Relatives of a 3-year-old Missouri girl injured at a day care center say they were initially told she was hurt in a fall, but surveillance video shows a woman throwing the girl against a cabinet.

According to the daycare attorney though, teachers and staff at the school are properly trained, and the center works to provide a safe environment. 

You can watch the video here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

A Valentine Chocolate Cake

I'm a bit late with the recipe as the last slices were eaten on Sunday:)

It is my simplified version of the Fudge Layer Cake from a very old Taste of Home magazine. Instead of making a layer cake with filling, I just baked a simple 1 level cake with frosting. I changed some ingredients and their amount, too. I used:

Ab. 1.5c flour (1 cup white + 1/2c flour mixture: spelt, buckwheat, corn) + 1/2c cocoa powder. (Together it makes 2 cups dry ingredients)
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
Ab. 50g softened butter
Ab. 1 1/3 c brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
Ab. 1c water

For frosting I used:

1pkg cream cheese
2 tbsp sugar
100g dark chocolate (75% cacao)
50g butter

To make the cake, cream butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients alternately with water.  Pour into a baking pan and bake at 175*C for +/- 35 min.

For frosting, melt butter and chocolate together and stir into cream cheese, add sugar to taste. Spread over the cake and let it set. Store in the fridge. Enjoy!

Friday, February 22, 2019

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Christianity Is Not About Money

We had a church in the neighbourhood which organised mission trips to Hungary. Yes, you heard it right - to Hungary. They had an explanation as to why Hungary isn't Christian enough compared to this bastion of Western Christianity, the Netherlands. Hungarians apparently don't have government-sponsored nursing homes and thus the family have to take care of their own.

Being Christian is too often linked to a certain level of wealth a society or an individual possesses. You see this attitude when you read arguments pro and contra international adoptions. Too many (no doubt, well-meaning) Westerners place very little value on extended family and culture as opposed to material stuff.

It's not uncommon for Christian mothers to place their infants into someone else's care and go work for a higher mortgage and more vacations, either. In fact, I heard preachers say that while in general, mothers probably ought not to work, it's OK to do it for a big house in a "better" neighbourhood and other luxuries. Materialism and bugman lifestyle trump any commandments and even maternal love.

In the same vein, our governments are more interested in a GDP increase than in preserving morals and values.  There used to be a word for this attitude to life: avarice, and it used to be considered a sin. The love of money is the root of all evil and also seek ye first the kingdom of God come to mind. The same progressive Christianity which gave us the liberal concept of God also brought us prosperity Gospel.

Here is a quote to ponder:

"HOW blessed is he who can extirpate avarice, the root of all evil! he truly need not fear this balance. For avarice is wont to deaden man's senses, and pervert his judgement, so that he counts godliness a source of gain, and money the reward of prudence. But great is the reward of piety, and the gain of sobriety to have enough for use. For what do superfluous riches profit in this world, when you find in them neither a succour in birth nor a defence against death? For without a covering are we born into the world, without provision we depart hence, and in the grave we have no inheritance."

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Liberal Vs Traditional Christianity

Once upon a time there was a certain blogger who created controversy with a post on male preferences in women. Apparently, it was harsh and "unloving" to even suggest that not all women are perfect and that men can (and should) have some standards when it comes to choosing a marriage partner. Even though the blogger in question didn't call anyone by name but wrote an abstract statement, the post was still considered "judgemental" by many and the flame wars around it continued for ages.

Now I'm not planning to comment on the post itself or speculate whether stirring internet controversies is the ideal way to present your message.  I just find it interesting that a lot of Christians appear to be less upset by the sin itself  than by someone calling it out. Yet, Christianity didn't always use to be so milquetoast.

Consider this quote from St. Augustine, for instance:  For watchmen or overseers of the people are appointed in churches, that they may unsparingly rebuke sin

He actually goes further than that and claims that it's a duty of everyone to do the same and that God punishes us for refraining to do so:

For often we wickedly blind ourselves to the occasions of teaching and admonishing them (the evildoers) , sometimes even of reprimanding and chiding them, either because we shrink from the labor or are ashamed to offend them, or because we fear to lose good friendships, lest this should stand in the way of our advancement, or injure us in some worldly matter, which either our covetous disposition desires to obtain, or our weakness shrinks from losing. So that, although the conduct of wicked men is distasteful to the good, and therefore they do not fall with them into that damnation which in the next life awaits such persons, yet, because they spare their damnable sins through fear, therefore, even though their own sins be slight and venial, they are justly scourged with the wicked in this world, though in eternity they quite escape punishment. Justly, when God afflicts them in common with the wicked, do they find this life bitter, through love of whose sweetness they declined to be bitter to these sinners.

Many churches even go so far as to state that "we are all equally bad." There is truth to this statement as we are all born sinners. But, as you have noticed from the quote above, St. Augustine had no trouble making a distinction between "wicked" men  and "good" men (those who repented and gave their life to Christ. ) The modern liberal idea that a church-going Granny is just as wicked as an unrepentant child-murderer because she sometimes engages in gossip is preposterous and ( dare I say? ) offensive to anyone with a functioning brain.

Of course, one should choose his opportunity to speak wisely. Sometimes it's better to hold your peace or wait until a suitable moment before speaking your mind or it will do more harm than good. Augustine agrees:

If any one forbears to reprove and find fault with those who are doing wrong, because he seeks a more seasonable opportunity, or because he fears they may be made worse by his rebuke, or that other weak persons may be disheartened from endeavoring to lead a good and pious life, and may be driven from the faith; this man's omission seems to be occasioned not by covetousness, but by a charitable consideration. 

However,  he then  goes to point out that it's not really charity but fear which often  makes Christians close their eyes to the evil around them:

But what is blame-worthy is, that they who themselves revolt from the conduct of the wicked, and live in quite another fashion, yet spare those faults in other men which they ought to reprehend and wean them from; and spare them because they fear to give offense, lest they should injure their interests in those things which good men may innocently and legitimately use...

They abstain from interference, because they fear that, if it fail of good effect, their own safety or reputation may be damaged or destroyed; not because they see that their preservation and good name are needful, that they may be able to influence those who need their instruction, but rather because they weakly relish the flattery and respect of men, and fear the judgments of the people, and the pain or death of the body; that is to say, their non-intervention is the result of selfishness, and not of love.

The situation presently is little different from what he describes. People fear doxxing and internet mobs coming after them. The consequences for heresy against the dominant religion of liberalism are very real and while they don't include death yet they may very well include the damage of reputation and good name. We aren't all born to be heroes and most of us have families to consider so I perfectly understand the reluctance of many to speak up.

There is one thing though: you don't have to attack those who do in order to virtue signal! The person who never uses his judgement isn't a better or more spiritual Christian, he's just really really unwise. And it's not sinful to have standards. In fact, it's probably sinful not to.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Liberal Vs Traditional Concept Of God

I have been following a discussion about whether a Christian should ever sacrifice his life for Christ/his convictions and teach his children to do the same. Apparently, a lot of modern people, including believers can't even fathom the idea of dying for something as abstract as their faith. They also sincerely can't comprehend why God even would allow a situation to happen where you have to choose between your life and standing for something you sincerely believe in (not necessarily in the religious sense).

The concept of betrayal is foreign to some, either. To behave in a way men like Martin Luther did is insanity and dangerous fanaticism. Why not recant when you life and liberty is at stake, those are mere words and you still can believe the way you like in your heart. If you are forced to deny your parents, just do it already, your old folks will forgive you, after all, they would desire you to be happy.

I think "happiness" is a key word here. Life used to be about honour and duty, now it's all about feeling happy and material stuff.  I've heard people say things like: "God arranged it all so that I could lead a comfy life free of worries." In other words, God is somewhat akin to a fairy Godmother who exists to make your life one big fairy tale. There is a lot of entitlement in this attitude, don't you agree?

It has been a custom in all Christian countries to give a convicted criminal awaiting his execution a possibility to repent of his crime and make things good with God before he dies. Some people confessed of crimes they had committed which nobody knew about on their deathbed. The reason for this was that they dreaded to appear before the Heavenly judge  should they die in their sins. Again, this has become something of a foreign concept. God is love, we are told and that's all there is to it. Forget about judgement, it would be unloving!

In a relatively short time, we went from a society which taught its citizens that it was noble to sacrifice for the common good to the one which promotes egoism (and hedonism) as the highest virtue. Is it really any wonder that it's falling apart in front of our very eyes?

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone and Happy Wedding Anniversary to my husband and I!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Spring Fashions 2019

Just bought some new clothes for the coming season and thought I'd share with you:)

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Muffins On Sunday

As promised, more recipes:

These chocolate muffins make for a really good dessert. I served them with home made chocolate custard. The recipe was adapted from a British cooking magazine BBC Good Food. I used:

1c flour mixture (buckwheat, spelt, white), 1 tbsp cacao powder, 1tsp baking powder, 1/2tsp baking soda, 4tbsp brown sugar, 1 egg, 100ml milk, 2 tbsp olive oil.

In two separate bowls, mix dry and wet ingredients, then add the milk mixture to the flour mixture, stir well. Bake at 170*C for ab. 15 minutes. The original recipe says that it makes 6 but I got 9 muffins out of it, though rather small ones.

The muffin above was the result of my version of a recipe from Recipes for Comfort, a Gooseberry Patch book. They were called blueberry jam muffins, but I had neither blueberry jam nor some other ingredients so I simplified the original recipe considerably.

I used 1 c flour mixture (see above), ab. 1/4 c (somewhat less actually)  brown sugar, 3/4tsp baking powder, ab. 1/4 tsp or less baking soda, a pinch of salt, 1 egg, vanilla extract to taste, ab. 1c of milk and between 1/4 and 1/2 c of strawberry jam. I got 12 smallish muffins out of it.

First mix the dry ingredients, then add egg, milk and vanilla. Spoon batter into the muffin cups and add a bit less than 1 tsp jam on top.  Bake at 200*C for 12- 15 minutes. Enjoy.

P.S. That's the last time I used muffin cup liners, they stick to the muffins and don't come off easily, unfortunately.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Science Fiction Becomes Reality

in Japan. Meet a robot nurse.

I guess there are other ways to deal with the labour shortage besides infinite diversity.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Strangest Conspiracy Of Them All

It has existed for quite some years but I only recently took the trouble to actually research it: the flat earth movement. It sounds so bizarre that I'm really at a loss for words but there is something romantic in the idea of the vast Antarctic ice wall and the great unknown beyond that they are promoting.

As with many other conspiracy theories, I sort of understand why so many Westerners distrust their governments, but the sheer scope of the supposed cover-up means that someone somewhere would open his mouth and speak the truth at that point, wouldn't they?

The strangest thing of all is that tech companies recently took a lot of trouble to censor the flat earthers, I just wonder why. I mean I know they sound crazy but aren't you allowed to believe whatever in the current year? Apparently not that the Earth is flat:)

What do you think? Would you/could you believe such a thing???

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Friday, February 1, 2019

From The Home Front

The last couple of weeks we have been having winter on and off. One day it snows and freezes,

then it all melts and looks nearly like spring again.

I've been quite busy this week, hence the lack of posts. On Wednesday we went to watch an opera, La Traviata, streamed live from the Royal Opera House (London) in our cinema. It was really a great production, with Placido Domingo as Alfredo's father.  The price of the ticket included one free drink of choice and some snacks. We really enjoyed ourselves. Yesterday I spent the better part of the day visiting relatives.

I also invented a new waffle recipe. (they may not look great, but the taste was quite good!). Someone somewhere said that you should eat a warm breakfast every day so that I have been switching between waffles and griddle cakes of all sorts:). These waffles are made with an egg, some milk, rasped potatoes (2 small ones), some cheddar cheese and buckwheat flour (and, of course some baking powder and salt). As far as I know, this particular combination is sorely my own invention.

My inner nerd (under influence from a YouTube discussion) drove me into investigating more about the risk factors for cancer. Here is a list of countries with the lowest and the highest cancer rates in the world. It's noteworthy that several of the countries with least cancer are Islamic and forbid alcohol, whih is probably not surprising since alcohol is a known carcinogen.

It gets especially interesting when you compare two countries which are very similar in some ways like Niger and .Nigeria. Niger is poorer but has a higher life expectancy and much lower cancer rates than Nigeria which is one of big alcohol consumers in the world.

In general, I start thinking that the (modern)  Christians with their heavy emphasis on "forgiveness" and the horror of "legalism" aren't doing that great a job of preventing risky behaviours. Compare, for instance, Namibia's death rates from Aids to those of Niger above and you'll see what I mean. Of course, all developed countries have a much higher life expectancy despite high cancer rates but when you think that in countries like Mauritania there is practically no health care whatsoever, you start thinking that life expectancy of about 70 sounds quite impressive.
(Age 20
Our cat is still missing. We even tried posting an ad on a news site but it didn't help. We started talking about getting a new one and then the neighbour came along and told us that we should fight and that he himself is searching too. All our neighbours loved the cat and they all are of opinion that he is stolen. 

I guess that's all our news by now.  I baked chocolate muffins and will post a recipe soon. See you later!

Oh yes, last but not least: tomorrow is Candlemas so the last Christmas decorations are going out - just in time for Carnival:)