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Friday, December 30, 2016

Grateful

How do we start thanking God for all his blessings? I'll admit I am rather insecure, but do you ever feel your prayers aren't long enough or good enough? Will it ever be enough?

I imagine the tradition of leaving cookies and milk for Santa began because children wanted to show appreciation for the forthcoming gifts. Since ancient times, farmers planted bulbs in autumn so the beauty of God's spring would manifest itself in gardens with bold colored tulips and daffodils. Symphonies by famous composers give homage to God and His wonderful works. Every grandma baking a cake for others is serving slices of love and parents who spend time teaching children how to ride a bike or swing a bat are naturally sharing gratitude with their family.

Here in California, we have just suffered through a giant drought and right now, we're thankfully up to the fourth inch of rain this month. Speaking of suffering, this has been quite a year, hasn't it? But it's almost over and many of us, just like an overgrown and gnarly rosebush, survived in spite of all the year’s difficulties.Besides praying of course, I choose to write poems of thankfulness. How about you? 
  

Mercy Rain
Eve Gaal
(Previously published at Christian Poets and Writers on Facebook)



To the prayer caught in my throat.
The Heimlich maneuvered gasps of spiritual praise.
Me, the spec of dust imbued with His touch,
part of His plan.
Me, drooling
on bended knees,
head down
pathetically waiting and shaking.
Typical textbook.
He won’t yawn,
He is the Master of My fate.
The spring,
the summer
even winter and orange leaves in fall.
He is the thrill of the beginning and the best ending.
The excitement
both outside and within my soul.
Who am I that He brings me doves and flowers?
Who am I that He soothes my tired nerves
placing roses and endless beauty along my path?
I inhale,
gurgling—embarrassed by spittle as I try to get my words out.
What can my lowly heart do to show my love?
Breathe, I tell myself.
Do not fear.
Grateful tears run down my cheeks
I bow,
feeling His hand pulling me up
moving me towards the window

where the ashen sky  looms with a chance of showers. 



Here's wishing all of you a Happy and Healthy 2017!!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Re-Post of Not So Secret Rum Ball Recipe

 My Secret Rum Ball Recipe

(First published on Dec. 15, 2011 at my previous blog The Desert Rocks)
Easy Holiday Rum Balls
These make a perfect hostess gift and will be
 remembered long after the sugar cookies, date nut bread, even the fudge has been scarfed down and forgotten. I’ve made them for years and often hear people on wobbly legs, leaving with their designated driver saying things like,
“Who made those rum balls? I have to get the recipe.”
Five years have passed and I figured you might want to try these again. After all, it's been a tough year and rum might help numb some of the pain or anxiety but please don't use rum balls as a gateway to the harder stuff like Bourbon Truffles or Brandy eggnog cocktails. Try the rum balls and always use caution when operating machinery.  

1 cup powdered sugar
3 cups crushed vanilla wafers (The best part of this recipe is that
you can use up older cookies or cakes instead of the vanilla wafers)
Typically, I use graham crackers but one year I used
Leftover chocolate cake and oh my goodness they were fantabulous!
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
3 tablespoons Karo syrup
½ cup Bacardi rum and three secret drops of German rum flavoring because regular rum evaporates rather quickly. The rum flavoring I mention is more potent and delicious than the stuff in our local  grocery stores. The Dr. Oetker Rum flavor will take your rum balls to a whole new level. It is available in most European delicatessens.

Chocolate sprinkles for decorating
Powdered sugar for decorating
Anyway, add ingredients to your bowl one at a time, stirring between each addition. Size-wise I roll them into one inch round balls.
Then roll half of the rum balls in powdered sugar and the other half of the balls in the
chocolate sprinkles.  Set them on wax paper and try one. I said one. Then, refrigerate them before you place them into cute little gift boxes or onto serving trays.
Super easy and fun too! 
Have you ever made these?
 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Bleeping Our Way to Heaven

Is it Newton's third law? For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.



A friend of mine recently posted incredible photos involving his jump from a plane. I imagine he had it on his bucket list and wanted everyone to see this amazing, but not surprising achievement. I say not surprising because this is someone who does the inconceivable on a regular basis. In fact, he may even be on one of those waiting lists to ride a rocket into space or he’s currently hiring Sherpas for his hike up K2. Anyway, this post is about a joke he made under his photos about the word he used all the way to the ground. His jump was on a sunny day with favorable conditions and another jumper held onto him with the parachute. In other words, he had a 99% chance of surviving the jump and thank goodness, everything worked out fine. And yet--I can’t really blame him for this but he shouted the word--the f-word—all the way down.

I told this story to another friend of mine who told me that most of the garbled speak on the black boxes they fish out of the ocean or dig out of the ash-filled rubble have nothing but curse words on the tapes. This of course, made me wonder, how I would react, had I jumped from a plane or had landed upside down in a cornfield. When a truck is coming at us, crossing the center divide and it looks like we’re ready to meet our maker, will we use the worst profanity we know how to utter?  Is this subject too morbid to think about or should we address this dire situation before it’s too late?

I pushed my devout friend and wondered how she would react. We both laughed and agreed, that instead of asking the Lord to forgive our sins or perhaps taking those last precious moments to beg for His divine mercy before committing our weary souls to Heaven, we’d be cursing like sailors. So I asked her if she had any ideas about how to deal with our last minute situation, to which she replied, “We need to practice.”

Practice? This left me in a quandary worse than before, when I naively thought my two Chihuahuas would stop fighting some day and peace would reign over the entire world. How do you suppose I should practice? I’ve listened to the clap of thunder hit close by and felt my body shake uncontrollably with fear, while my brain knew I was safe inside a building. Even the logical aspects couldn’t control my severe subconscious response. At least with thunder, there’s the comforting time lapse of one-Mississippi- two Mississippi- three, etc. to reassure us the storm is heading farther away. This doesn’t mean I don’t use expletives but as I age, my response to the thunder controls some of the shaking. Google says that the chance of being hit by lightening in California is 1 in 7,538,382, odds strangely similar to the California lotto. But let’s not digress because this is serious.


 I’m assuming prayer or meditation is part of the “practice” equation but still, isn’t it asking too much of the human brain to stop a normal fear of death during an emotional goodbye? The Bible tells us to “Fear Not,” over three hundred times but our brain synapses can detect danger, which in turn sends impulsive warnings to our vocal chords. Even if we logically and faithfully say we don’t fear death, can we train ourselves not to curse in our final moments? After all, doesn’t it sound like a good idea to be heading to the Pearly Gates without vulgarities flying left and right? Do you have any suggestions?

Friday, December 2, 2016

A Catch-up Post



1.       Sorry, due to circumstances beyond my control, I haven’t been reading or writing many blog posts lately. Don't worry, because the force that's controlling me away from blogging is building character and giving me more material to write about later. I’m very sorry and hope to be back to reading my favorites soon. In case, this takes me longer than expected, please have a great December and Merry Christmas.

2.       My short novella, The Fifth Commandment is now available in Portuguese and Spanish. Plus, right now it's on sale! Oh--- and the most exciting news is that my humble, faith-based novella reached bestseller status in Australia! By the way, I need some reviews for this one!
           The Fifth Commandment
3.       Penniless Hearts has a gorgeous new cover! Have you seen it? This is the third one. What do you think?


4.       I need to update my website: www.evegaal.com (soon).