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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Still relevant

Mother Theresa Confronts America


Excerpt of Mother Theresa's address at
the United Nations' "International Conference on Population and Development", held in Cairo on Sept 5 -13, 1994

(The Western countries, especially the United States, came to this conference with one of their major goals being to pressure developing countries to liberalize their abortion laws in order to combat overpopulation)
I was surprised in the West to see so many young boys and girls given to drugs. And I tried to find out why. Why is it like that, when those in the West have so many more things than those in the East? And the answer was: 'Because there is no one in the family to receive them.' Our children depend on us for everything - their health, their nutrition, their security, their coming to know and love God. For all of this, they look to us with trust, hope and expectation. But often father and mother are so busy they have no time for their children, or perhaps they are not even married or have given up on their marriage. So their children go to the streets and get involved in drugs or other things. We are talking of love of the child, which is were love and peace must begin. These are the things that break peace.
But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.
By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And, by abortion, that father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. The father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.
Many people are very, very concerned with the children of India, with the children of Africa where quite a few die of hunger, and so on. Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very good. But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today - abortion which brings people to such blindness.
And for this I appeal in India and I appeal everywhere - "Let us bring the child back." The child is God's gift to the family. Each child is created in the special image and likeness of God for greater things - to love and to be loved. In this year of the family we must bring the child back to the center of our care and concern. This is the only way that our world can survive because our children are the only hope for the future. As older people are called to God, only their children can take their places.
But what does God say to us? He says: "Even if a mother could forget her child, I will not forget you. I have carved you in the palm of my hand." We are carved in the palm of His hand; that unborn child has been carved in the hand of God from conception and is called by God to love and to be loved, not only now in this life, but forever. God can never forget us.
I will tell you something beautiful. We are fighting abortion by adoption - by care of the mother and adoption for her baby. We have saved thousands of lives. We have sent word to the clinics, to the hospitals and police stations: "Please don't destroy the child; we will take the child." So we always have someone tell the mothers in trouble: "Come, we will take care of you, we will get a home for your child." And we have a tremendous demand from couples who cannot have a child - but I never give a child to a couple who have done something not to have a child. Jesus said, "Anyone who receives a child in my name, receives me." By adopting a child, these couples receive Jesus but, by aborting a child, a couple refuses to receive Jesus.
Please don't kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child and be loved by the child. From our children's home in Calcutta alone, we have saved over 3000 children from abortion. These children have brought such love and joy to their adopting parents and have grown up so full of love and joy.
I know that couples have to plan their family and for that there is natural family planning. The way to plan the family is natural family planning, not contraception. In destroying the power of giving life, through contraception, a husband or wife is doing something to self. This turns the attention to self and so it destroys the gifts of love in him or her. In loving, the husband and wife must turn the attention to each other as happens in natural family planning, and not to self, as happens in contraception. Once that living love is destroyed by contraception, abortion follows very easily.
I also know that there are great problems in the world - that many spouses do not love each other enough to practice natural family planning. We cannot solve all the problems in the world, but let us never bring in the worst problem of all, and that is to destroy love. And this is what happens when we tell people to practice contraception and abortion.
The poor are very great people. They can teach us so many beautiful things. Once one of them came to thank us for teaching her natural family planning and said: "You people who have practiced chastity, you are the best people to teach us natural family planning because it is nothing more than self-control out of love for each other." And what this poor person said is very true. These poor people maybe have nothing to eat, maybe they have not a home to live in, but they can still be great people when they are spiritually rich.
When I pick up a person from the street, hungry, I give him a plate of rice, a piece of bread. But a person who is shut out, who feels unwanted, unloved, terrified, the person who has been thrown out of society - that spiritual poverty is much harder to overcome. And abortion, which often follows from contraception, brings a people to be spiritually poor, and that is the worst poverty and the most difficult to overcome.
Those who are materially poor can be very wonderful people. One evening we went out and we picked up four people from the street. And one of them was in a most terrible condition. I told the Sisters: "You take care of the other three; I will take care of the one who looks worse." So I did for her all that my love can do. I put her in bed, and there was such a beautiful smile on her face. She took hold of my hand, as she said one word only: "thank you" - and she died.
I could not help but examine my conscience before her. And I asked: "What would I say if I were in her place?" And my answer was very simple. I would have tried to draw a little attention to myself. I would have said: "I am hungry, I am dying, I am cold, I am in pain," or something. But she gave me much more - she gave me her grateful love. And she died with a smile on her face. Then there was the man we picked up from the drain, half eaten by worms and, after we had brought him to the home, he only said, "I have lived like an animal in the street, but I am going to die as an angel, loved and cared for." Then, after we had removed all the worms from his body, all he said, with a big smile, was: "Sister, I am going home to God" - and he died. It was so wonderful to see the greatness of that man who could speak like that without blaming anybody, without comparing anything. Like an angel - this is the greatness of people who are spiritually rich even when they are materially poor.
We are not social workers. We may be doing social work in the eyes of some people, but we must be contemplatives in the heart of the world. For we must bring that presence of God into your family, for the family that prays together, stays together. There is so much hatred, so much misery, and we with our prayer, with our sacrifice, are beginning at home. Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put into what we do.
If we are contemplatives in the heart of the world with all its problems, these problems can never discourage us. We must always remember what God tells us in Scripture: "Even if a mother could forget the child in her womb" - something impossible, but even if she could forget - "I will never forget you."
And so here I am talking with you. I want you to find the poor here, right in your own home first. And begin love there. Be that good news to your own people first. And find out about your next-door neighbors. Do you know who they are?
I had the most extraordinary experience of love of neighbor with a Hindu family. A gentleman came to our house and said: "Mother Teresa, there is a family who have not eaten for so long. Do something." So I took some rice and went there immediately. And I saw the children - their eyes shining with hunger. I don't know if you have ever seen hunger. But I have seen it very often. And the mother of the family took the rice I gave her and went out. When she came back, I asked her: "Where did you go? What did you do?" And she gave me a very simple answer: "They are hungry also." What struck me was that she knew - and who are they? A Muslim family - and she knew. I didn't bring any more rice that evening because I wanted them, Hindus and Muslims, to enjoy the joy of sharing.
But there were those children, radiating joy, sharing the joy and peace with their mother because she had the love to give until it hurts. And you see this is where love begins - at home in the family.
So, as the example of this family shows, God will never forget us and there is something you and I can always do. We can keep the joy of loving Jesus in our hearts, and share that joy with all we come in contact with. Let us make that one point - that no child will be unwanted, unloved, uncared for, or killed and thrown away. And give until it hurts - with a smile.
Because I talk so much of giving with a smile, once a professor from the United States asked me: "Are you married?" And I said: "Yes, and I find it sometimes very difficult to smile at my spouse, Jesus, because He can be very demanding - sometimes." This is really something true. And this is where love comes in - when it is demanding, and yet we can give it with joy.
One of the most demanding things for me is travelling everywhere - and with publicity. I have said to Jesus that if I don't go to heaven for anything else, I will be going to heaven for all the travelling with all the publicity, because it has purified me and sacrificed me and made me really ready to go to heaven.
If we remember that God loves us, and that we can love others as He loves us, then America can become a sign of peace for the world. From here, a sign of care for the weakest of the weak - the unborn child - must go out to the world. If you become a burning light of justice and peace in the world, then really you will be true to what the founders of this country stood for. God bless you!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Prayer update

Hello friends and family!
We have a prayer request regarding Anastasija's adoption. Our home study is completed, but there has been a question about how to address the fact that we do not vaccinate our children for religious reasons.  More information on the morality of vaccines.
There is some concern that the USCIS or any of the Latvian officials could question this, slowing down our process of adoption. Please pray that God works this situation for the good of our family and for His glory.
Also, Anastasija's birthday is coming up soon, so please pray that we can work out a cool way to celebrate it, even though she is far away. Continue to pray for her as she waits and waits for us to get there and bring her home. She has it the hardest by far, she is completely separated from the rest of us, and she does not have the love of a mother and father watching over her. Pray that God keeps close watch and extends His Fatherly hand of protection over her while she is away from our watchful care.

Thank you for your prayers! It makes all the difference.
XO
Joce

Friday, May 25, 2012

Quick! A gluten-free picnic side-dish

Quinoa Salad

1 C quinoa
2 C water
1/2 t salt
1 C salsa
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
2 T olive oil
2 T minced garlic

Cook quinoa according to package directions (quinoa, water, salt). Combine with the rest of the ingredients (salsa, black beans, corn, olive oil, garlic) in a large bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Chill.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Let them eat cake. Really.

Today I am making poke cake for my kiddo's birthdays. I distinctly remember the last time I made it. It was for their birthdays in 2009.

My mom was very sick, but she came anyway. It was to be her second to last visit here, ever.
My parents had come up early to celebrate the kids' birthdays. They planned to leave before the party because my mom tired out easily at that time.
So, it came about time for them to hit the road and we decided to have a mini-party and have the kids open their presents before my parents left. Well, you can't open birthday presents without singing Happy Birthday, and you can't sing Happy Birthday without cake and ice cream. But, the cake and ice cream was for the PARTY. And you can't serve already-been-cut cake at a birthday party, can you?
Oh yes you can and I'm glad I did. Because we got to share that delicious poke cake with my mom for my kiddos' birthday and that was the last birthday she ever celebrated with us.

So, my reason for sharing this story is that there are times when it's best to forget social rules, throw them completely out the window, even, in deference to real life, real people, and real memories. Because I don't really remember who came to the birthday party that year (please don't be offended if you were there, k?) but I will always think of my mom when I serve poke cake.

Need to know how to make a poke cake?


So, make a cake and eat it with people you love. And that's some of the best advice that has ever come out of my mouth, or fingertips, depending on how you look at it.
XO
Joce

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Open Your Mouth

I love how God uses my time in a GMG study- He always directly and specifically confirms and strengthens His call on me to speak out against abortion and human suffering.

Proverbs 31:
8 Open your mouth for the speechless,
In the cause of all who are appointed to die.
9 Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And plead the cause of the poor and needy.

Open my mouth. Sometimes I feel like I should just shut up for a while. Give people a rest. But, is there rest in the abortion clinics? Is there rest for those who are lost in human trafficking? Is there rest for those whose children are dying from starvation?
No. No rest for them. So, I will not rest, and will not give it a rest.

WORLDWIDE
Number of abortions per year: Approximately 42 Million
Number of abortions per day: Approximately 115,000
Where abortions occur:
83% of all abortions are obtained in developing countries and 17% occur in developed countries.
© Copyright 1996-2008, The Alan Guttmacher Institute. (www.agi-usa.org)

UNITED STATES
Number of abortions per year: 1.37 Million (1996); (1.21 million as of 2008)
Number of abortions per day: Approximately 3,700; (3,322 as of 2008)
Who's having abortions (age)?
52% of women obtaining abortions in the U.S. are younger than 25: Women aged 20-24 obtain 32% of all abortions; Teenagers obtain 20% and girls under 15 account for 1.2%.
Who's having abortions (race)?
While white women obtain 60% of all abortions, their abortion rate is well below that of minority women. Black women are more than 3 times as likely as white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are roughly 2 times as likely.
Who's having abortions (marital status)?
64.4% of all abortions are performed on never-married women; Married women account for 18.4% of all abortions and divorced women obtain 9.4%.

Who is suffering from abortion? Women and children, minorities, the poor.

Open your mouth.

XO
Joce

Friday, May 04, 2012

So did you hear that I can't eat dairy?

Well, I have some recipes.

1. Oatmeal Scotchies
3/4 C coconut oil
1 1/2 C brown sugar
1 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
2 C flour
1 1/2 C oats
1/2 C sunflower seeds

Combine oil and sugar. Add powder, soda, cinnamon. Add eggs and vanilla. Add flour. Add oats and sunflower seeds. Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 375, 7 minutes


2. Chocolate Ice Cream
1/2 C chocolate chips
3 cups goat milk, divided
1/2 C sugar
2 T flour
2 T corn starch
1/4 t salt
4 egg yolks
1 t vanilla

In heavy saucepan, combine chips and 1 C milk. Stir until melted and smooth. Stir in remaining 2 cups milk.
In small bowl, combine sugar, flour, corn starch, and salt. Gradually whisk into chocolate milk in pan. Cook on medium low for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn to low. In bowl, beat egg yolks and vanilla. Slowly whisk about half of the hot stuff from the pan into the egg yolks, then transfer back into pan, whisk in slowly. Cook a few minutes, stirring CONSTANTLY, until thick, smooth, and steaming.

Chill and use an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.

3. Toasted Cheese Sandwiches
Take 2 slices of bread. Eat them plain.

About Me

About Me
I love Jesus, my hubby, my 6 kiddos, my farm, good books and good food.