It’s Saturday morning and instead of sleeping in as long as I would have liked, a lovely muscle spasm woke me up while it was still dark. On the good side I am now up and awake, sipping at my coffee and getting ready for the day. We need to go to town once we’ve had breakfast since there are groceries to buy to replace the crud we’ve been eating and get us started on the right track for the New Year. Tomorrow I will start clearing out junk and either donating unopened packages to the food bank, or tossing out stuff we won’t be eating. The start to a new year makes it easy to focus on rededicating ourselves to healthier habits and lifestyles. The TRICK is sticking with it. The way I feel right now, it won’t be too difficult for at least awhile.
Verse of the Day
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
Isn’t it incredible that we are called children of God!? But that is exactly what we are! (cf. 1 John 3:1-3) We are God’s children. Our Father created the universe with its billions and billions of planets. Our Father paints a new sunset everyday and chases away the darkness every morning. Our Father not only loves us, but claims us as his own and will bring us to his eternal home. Why? Because we heard his message in Jesus. Because we received his grace offered in his Son. Incredible! Glorious! Grace!
December 31, 2017
In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
Thoughts on the Verse of the Day
“Fast away the old year passes…” But we can be new and fresh and clean (cf. 2 Cor. 4:17). Kingdom people are those who have been born fresh and new through the power of the Spirit and the grace of God (cf. John 3:3-7; Titus 3:3-7; John 1:11). So as we close out the old year, with its good things and bad, achievements and failures, successes and disappointments, let’s approach the New Year as Kingdom people. God’s mercies are new every morning and our lives can be made new everyday by the Holy Spirit who lives in us. Yes, we have been born again. But each sunrise offers us the opportunity to be made new, to live in a fresh new way, as God’s grace rekindles our hopes and the Holy Spirit makes us new as we trust in Jesus our Lord.
Food for Thought
As we look back through 2017, and forward to 2018, it is a good time to assess the good and the bad, and focus on either improving, or expanding on the good and making it even better. Looking back we all have regrets, things we wish we had done differently, but unfortunately none of us has a time machine that allows us to return to any particular moment and fix where things went wrong. All we can do is to be sorry for the hurts we have caused, give it to God and try to focus on treating people better. Even unintentional hurts done to someone else need to be accounted for so we can improve the future. I think that, even more difficult than that, at least for me, is forgiving those who have hurt us – especially if they continue to do so without remorse. For 2018 I am going to do my best to give these feelings, and the people who bring them up, to God and ask Him to bless the situations in which they are involved and turn the negative around for His good and to be in His will throughout. That’s really all we can do, right?
Falling Needles Family Fest Day – This one is pretty cute. The people at www.wellcat.com created it, and it is one likely being celebrated by many across the country without even knowing it! The Christmas trees have been up for weeks and many of them haven’t been watered since a couple of days before Christmas, which means the needles are falling off and gathering in the tree skirt and the carpet. This celebration says to gather the family around and watch the needles fall one by one, and even suggests living it up by dancing barefoot around the tree. I wouldn’t go that far – these needles get sharp
No Interruptions Day – As the old year winds down to the last hours and minutes, it sometimes feels like a hush falls on time. We are all gearing up for the New Year, and are letting go of the old. For just this time of the year, if at no other time, we are in a place where not much is going on, a sort of pause. While we take that pause we can get something we don’t often get – a day of no interruptions. Enjoy it! It doesn’t happen all that often – sometimes not more than once a year.
December 31 –
First Nights – First Nights is a celebration that was started in North America as an artistic and cultural New Year’s Eve event that starts in the afternoon and goes until midnight. Some cities have their events outdoors, but some are hosted indoors by churches and theaters. These events were started as an alternative way of celebrating New Year’s Eve to avoid the emphasis on drinking that is so often the case with parties on this night. Since the first one on December 31st, 1975 the phenomenon has spread across the country, in a variety of cities and venues. I have to laugh because I think hubby and I have been having our own private First Nights celebrations from the 1st year we met – no focus on alcohol OR being out with other people who are drinking and behaving irresponsibly.
Leap Second Time Adjustment Day – Every 4 years we have Leap Year. My daughter was 17 hours late for being a Leap Year baby – and as she was growing up I couldn’t help but think that TECHNICALLY she would only have had a true birthday every 4 years – and what a party we would have held. She’d just raise one eyebrow at me, which was all it would take to let me know that she didn’t think a birthday every 4 years was a good idea at all. We’ve all heard of Leap Year though – because we have that extra day every February. We have it because the year is not exactly 365 days. It’s 365.24 days long, so if we didn’t have the Leap Year adjustment the date of the first day of the seasons would slowly change over time. By making that adjustment our calendars stay accurate. But what I hadn’t heard of, and maybe you haven’t either, is Leap Second! Yep, Leap Second. It’s the same thing as Leap Year, only smaller. We have two Leap Second events every year – one at the end of December and one on the 30th of June. Sometimes a second is added, sometimes one is taken away. It all depends. Whether we have one added or removed is determined on the Earth’s rotation, which does fluctuate over time. The people that make that decision are the International Earth Rotation Service (IERS), who have been in charge of our clocks since 1972.
Make Up Your Mind Day – This is your LAST shot this year! If you’ve been waffling back and forth about a decision, today is the day to resolve it and make up your mind! Clean the slate in advance of the New Year that is just hours away. Do you want to start 2018 with all of this old junk hanging over your head? I didn’t think so, so MAKE UP YOUR MIND!
New Year’s Eve – Tonight we see out the old year, and ring in the new. Some people head for parties and people, and others (like us) opt to stay home and off the roads. This is often thought of as a time to drink and be merry, but let’s face it – it’s just not safe to do that. Others (like us!) take this as a time to eat and be merry. For me, my New Year of healthier eating starts tomorrow, which means that I need to get all of my junk fixes in now while I have the chance. Do any of you do this too? New Year’s Day, in contrast to New Year’s Eve is a day to relax and get a good start on a bright and promising New Year, a new beginning. It is a time to be with family, and to look forward with anticipation. For us it will be a quiet evening of TV and trying to stay awake until the new year. So, what starts off the New Year the right way for you? For many people it is the ball dropping at Times Square in New York City. Did you know that the ball was first dropped in 1908? And though I have absolutely no idea where THIS little bit of New Year’s Trivia came up, but here it is. I’ll leave it to you to test it out. “They” say that a raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top. Hmm . . . interesting. I have no clue how that connects to New Year’s Eve, but whatever floats your . . . um . . . raisin? Shoot, now I may need to buy a bottle of bubbly so I can try it out!
New Year’s Dishonor List – This one is awesome! New Year’s Dishonor List was created by a group of people called the Unicorn Hunters and they sit around all year deciding which words and phrases are dishonorable to the English Language and should be deleted from it completely. Now, personally I feel that such things live their short life spans as fads and eventually fade away, so it would seem that it would be a bit of a waste of a year. However, because there are so many truly annoying words and phrases, I can understand why someone would do this! I couldn’t find the current list for this year quickly, but here are some words and phrases they decided were unworthy in the past. Not sure I agree with all of them, but to each his/her own:
- “partly sunny” — Apparently “partly sunny” does not always mean “the sun is partially covered by clouds”… It can also mean that there is a solar eclipse. Therefore, this phrase is dishonorable to the English language. (?)
- “shower activity” — Rain is not the same thing as a shower. You shouldn’t encourage people to bathe in rain. *cough* Right.
- “turned-up missing” — Something that has “turned-up” can’t be missing…. I guess….
- “colorization” (coloring the classic black-and-white movies) — Why must there be a term like colorization? Why can’t we simply call it “coloring films”? (I, personally, think colorization is a really fun word and is preferable over “coloring films” any day. =D)
This Day in History –
1924 – Edwin Hubble announces the existence of other galactic systems. Yes, the Hubble telescope was later named after him.
Food Celebration of the Day –
December 30 –
National Bicarbonite of Soda Day (Baking Soda) – I guess there are a lot of reasons to celebrate this wonderful substance – it DOES have a LOT of uses. So, what does Baking Soda do? Most people know that you can bake with it, but why? Well, let’s skip the chemistry lesson, and how it is made, and just discuss what it is, and what it does. Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda) is a chemical compound – sodium carbonate, or sodium bicarbonate. When you heat it up it creates carbon dioxide, which is a gas. The gas helps baked goods to rise as they cook. It doesn’t just have its uses in baking though. There are lots more you can do with it. Here are just a few:
- Baking- helps baked goods, like bread, to rise
- Relieve stomach indigestion and heartburn when mixed in water
- Removing odors in the refrigerator, vents, storage areas, and closets
- Removing odor in kitty litter
- It is used in fire extinguishers for grease and oil fires
- It is often used as a cleaning agent
- It can be used as a meat tenderizer
- Put it in water with beans to minimize flatulence from eating beans
- Polish Silverware
- Remove burned food from a pot or a pan
- And, the list goes on, and on, and……
Here are some interesting facts I found on www.foodimentary.com that I thought you might like to read:
- Drinkable carbonated water was first produced in 1767 by J.B. Priestley.
- Jacob Schweppes began producing carbonated water commercially in 1783.
- The first soda pop was marketed in the S. in 1807.
- Carbonation results from releasing pressurized carbon dioxide in liquids.
- Sometimes sodium or potassium salts are added to produce specific tastes.
National Bacon Day – I feel sorry for vegetarians on days like today. No, seriously, I do! They miss out on so much by not eating bacon! So many people love bacon that there are actually several days a year that it is celebrated, and we’ve had it on our table for just about each one. Today won’t be any different – I just have to figure out what I’m going to DO with the bacon! Think about it! You can do so many dishes with bacon! You can make it crispy or chewy, have it cut thick or thin. It can be smoked, fried, baked, boiled or grilled. You can use it for breakfast, lunch or dinner and you can even find it in cocktails and desserts these days! Heck, I saw a friend on Facebook who copied a picture she saw and wrapped her Thanksgiving turkey in bacon and baked it that way! We will definitely be enjoying bacon today, and tomorrow and many tomorrow’s after that. EVERYTHING is better with bacon, right?
National Champagne Day – If that bubbly is from Italy, California or even the South of France, it isn’t technically Champagne. The real deal comes only from France’s Champagne region. (Anyone have any raisins?)
- Kir Royale
- Champagne-Infused Strawberry Soup
- San Diego-Style Champagne Margarita
- Champagne-Poached Salmon With Tarragon & Capers
- Pink Champagne Cake
- Champagne Chicken
- Seared Scallops With Champagne Saffron Sauce
National Vinegar Day – Here are 5 food facts about vinegar that I thought were interesting.
- Vinegar has been used for 10,000 years. It just might be the world’s oldest ingredient.
- The main uses for white distilled vinegar are cooking/food preparation and cleaning/disinfecting.
- The International Vinegar Museum is in Roslyn, South Dakota.
- Consumers in the South buy and use more white distilled vinegar than in any other region of the country.
- Adding vinegar to baking soda produces a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide. This combination is often used to make a do-it-yourself erupting volcano.
I think it’s time to get myself motivated, get some breakfast going and get out the door. May your last weekend of the old year pass peacefully and with all you love safe and sound, and the New Year begin peacefully and with all good things ahead of you. God bless you and I will see you next year!