October 15, 2011

The Day I said Goodbye

Today marks one year since my paternal grandfather passed away.  In remembrance of that anniversary, I am re-posting the poem I wrote at the time of his death.

The mound was fresh with new turned dirt
The flowers not even wilted yet.
His family gathered round his body hid,
Eyes raised heavenward in prayer.
A tear begins to steal down my cheek
A single tear drips down.
And then we weep, silently at first.

It is too hard to bid adieu to the one we love,
To say "good-bye", or walk on.
And so we sob aloud, unhindered,
The feelings flow from our torn hearts
Rent by this loss so fresh.

But now it is time to walk away,
To move on in life without you.

The day I said good-bye to you,
Was certainly not the last day
I cried for you.
Copyright 2010 - Abigail C. Kautt

October 12, 2011

Fancy smanchy burgers!

The following is a long excerpt from my journal describing our time out at Square Burger, a fancy burger joint in Downtown in late August. 
Let me tell you what we girls did together, to celebrate Phoebe's birthday: There is a restaurant here in Downtown McK. called the Square Burger.  They specialize in locally grown foods: meats, veggies, etc., so Phoebe really wanted to go there for her birthday, but we were busy the entire weekend, and then we had something planned for Monday, so we just pushed it to Thursday, and said "maybe."

We had several errands to run prior to going to eat....  We parked near the Local Yocal.  While we were there, we told Matt & Heather (the owners) that were going to the Square Burger.  They asked why, and I told them it was to celebrate Phoebe's birthday (little thinking that Matt & Heather are Phoebe's employers; and the meat supplier for Square Burger). :P  We only were there for a couple of minutes and then walked over to the Square Burger.

We had the nicest, most helpful waiter - Albert.  [The restaurant] has a really great atmosphere.  Located in an Art Deco building with its original 18 foot ceiling, original windows and ceiling tiles create an aura of old-world-ness.  Since the building is located on the corner of the square, it makes for an interesting floor plan.  More of a rectangle, this place has the longest, bluest bar I have ever laid eyes on.  The place was pretty much dead when we got there, except for a lone customer trying some grub and beer.

Our booth faced E-W with a view of Virginia St., the passing traffic, shop fronts, people strolling.  The nice thing about being street-side, especially for a people-watcher like myself, is just that, you can more easily observe who goes past, what they are doing; and muse.  We did happen to recognize a couple (we know) as they drove past!

When we had finally decided upon what to order, and had ordered it, we waited several minutes before it was brought - probably 15-20 minutes.  As we sipped on our water and root beer, we enjoyed each other.  Chatting about everyday things, laughing.

Albert appeared, bring with him two of our three heaping plates of food, following with the third shortly.  Not only was the food simply amazing in appearance (they get 5 stars for presentation) it was mouth wateringly delicious.  From the tender juiciness of the medium cooked patty, to the freshness of the purple onion, tomato and lettuce.  My burger contained mushrooms, a kind of Swiss cheese and Avacado slices!  And I got a side of onion rings and something I'd never had before, but was surprised at how good it was - a fried pickle.

Believe me, it was yum!
So I totally recommend you dropping in to the Square Burger if you are ever in McKinney.  It is well worth your time and moolah... yeah, they are a bit pricey.  At least for me, poor student that I am. ;)
Their entrees run from $8.50 on up.  They have a 4 oz burger which is $2.00 less than their 7 oz. burger (which I ordered).  Ask about that option if you have a smaller stomach ~ their helpings are rather large! 

Their desserts are reasonable, especially if you consider that they are all made from scratch in store.  We enjoyed their ice cream sandwiches, and also their cinnamon fritters - or little balls of heaven, as Albert called them.

October 10, 2011

Bach Cello Suite No. 1 - Prelude

And as if the music wasn't beautiful enough, just look at the setting for this spectacular rendition of Bach's famous Cello Suite No. 1 Prelude.  Played on the Mandolin, instead of the Cello. :)

October 9, 2011

Yes & Amen

Tonight during Sunday evening bible study and worship, we did a brief study of Amen in the Scriptures.  You know how when you read the bible, maybe only a few things stick in your mind.  Well, for me one of "those things" has been the verse which bears the phrase "yes and amen." 

I knew it was in the New Testament.  I knew it was in one of the Pauline epistles.  I was pretty sure it was in either I or II Corinthians. 

20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
2 Corinthian 1:20  NKJV

Another verse in our study of God's Wonderful Works that really stood out to me was in the context of the whole redemption/adoption passage located in Galatians 3-4.

3 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Galatians 3:13-14 

The first verse (2 Cor. 1:20) the Lord has recently been laying upon my heart.  What an amazing promise!  It reminds me of the verses in II Timothy where Paul reminds us of God's unchanging character:

11 This is a faithful saying:

      For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
       12 If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him.
      If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.
       13 If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
      He cannot deny Himself.
 II Timothy 2:11-13

Isn't it amazing how completely un-related topics can be so related and reassuring and faith building?  We serve an awesome God!

October 7, 2011

Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

It seems weird to write that title.

So final.

Steve Jobs died on Wednesday at the ripe age of 55.  That’s really young.  In the prime of life, middle-age.

In his 2005 Stanford commencement speech, Jobs spoke of death:

Its hard to believe that he is gone.  Apple will never be the same – the tech world is missing a bright star tonight.

Mr. Jobs – you were a giant of a man and will be missed!

You can read an interesting take on his life and death here.

October 5, 2011

Dear ______

I am sad tonight.

Not really sure why I am feeling this way.  Could be that I heard about another friend who just got married. Blast!  I have told myself and really do believe, that I am beyond caring about relationships and those kinds of things.  Mostly because I am not interested in anyone, no one is interested in me, and I am by NO means ready to marry.

Could just be that I am beyond words tired.

I have been running around like a mad person for the last several weeks.


That's really what I need.  What my body now demands.  My brain is tired.  My eyes are foggy with sleep coming on.

There have been so many emotions running through me.  Life is good.  I am blessed, there is nothing for me to complain about.

By any stretch of the imagination I am a "lucky" girl.  Right now I have everything I need, and "want" - not that I really want anything. 

And truly I do have everything that I "need".  But even if I didn't, and the only "thing" I really need is Jesus - nothing else matters!

All I, all you need is Jesus.  He is, He must be, our All.  Our stay.  We must lean on Him when we are walking through life in order to stay on the Straight path, the path of Life.

So my life is in good hands.

Thankful my life is not in my hands.  These imperfect, selfish hands.

Jesus, take my life and let it be fully Yours.  Controlled by Your will, convicted of sin by Your Spirit, commanded by Your Word. 

October 4, 2011

When governments kill their own...

This is the result.

Absurdity. Lots of stuttering, and little to no evidence.

I usually don't side with the biased media, but Jake Tapper did an excellent job trying to pin down Obama spokesman, Jay Carney on the subject of "targeted killing" - in this case, American-born Islamic cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki.

You can read more about this travesty here, here and here.

October 3, 2011

The subject of Christianity and martyrdom seems more and more intertwined these days, as violence against Christians worldwide increases.

Jesus the Christ, predicted this would happen:
20Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
John 15:20 ESV
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:10-12 NKJV
Persecution, martyrdom, expulsion, criticism; these are all supporting evidence of the validity of Christ’s Resurrection and saving power.

Who would die in support of something that did not transform their life?  Well, there have been many who died in the cause of a cult group (think Jonestown, David Koresh, FLDS, etc.).  People do give their lives for a lie.  But many more give their lives, for the sake of the Gospel of Peace and it’s king – Jesus Christ.

Beginning with St. Stephen, the Proto-Martyr, or first martyr.  He gave his life shortly after Jesus’ Ascension, during the rampage carried out by Saul (later the Apostle Paul), which caused the Christians to be dispersed from Jerusalem (see Acts 8:1-4).

As I have been reading through the Gospel of John, I have been discovering the Person of Christ more in-depth.  Today I finished the book, reading chapters 20-21.  In the end of chapter 21, we read Christ’s prediction of Peter’s martyrdom.
18 Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”
John 21:18-19a NKJV
According to church tradition, Peter was crucified upside down, because he considered himself unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Risen Lord and Christ – Jesus.

From Foxe’s Book of Christian Heroes and Martyrs of the World, we read the following account of his death:
This great apostle and martyr was born at Bethsaida, in Galilee.  He was the son of Jona, a fisherman, which employment St. Peter himself followed…. He was called at the same time as his brother, Andrew, to be an apostle.  Though ever eager and zealous in the service of Christ, St. Peter yet had the weakness to deny his Master after his seizure in the garden, though he at first defended him with his sword; but the sincerity of his repentance atoned for his denial.
… After performing various miracles, St. Peter went to Rome; St. Paul being there also at this time.  In the year 64, the emperor Nero (as it was believed) caused the great city to be set on fire, and looked on with enjoyment at the destruction of which he was himself the cause.  Yet the wicked emperor accused the Christians of having kindled the fire which had laid in ashes the greater portion of Rome, and he ordered hundreds of them to be killed in various cruel ways.
…  Having been nine months in prison, Peter was brought out for execution, and after being scourged, he was crucified with his head downwards.   It is related that he himself chose this painful posture because he did not think he was worthy to suffer in the same manner as the Lord.”
Foxe’s, p. 31-33
Next time, I want to take a closer look at the life of “doubting Thomas” who was used in a mighty way in the country of India.

October 2, 2011

What a gorgeous rendition of one of my favorite hymns!  I just *love* how it is performed. :)