Mercy and a Call to Reality

A gripping quote from Tim Keller’s book, Ministries of Mercy, The Call of the Jericho Road:

“For decades evangelicals have avoided the radical nature of the teaching of the parable of the Good Samaritan.  At most, we have heard it telling us to prepare a fruit basket for the needy each Christmas, or to give money to relief agencies when there is a famine or earthquake in a distant nation.  But it is time to listen more closely, because the world, which never was “safe” to live in, is becoming even less so. We are finally beginning to wonder why there are suddenly hundreds of thousands “stripped and lying half dead” in the streets of our own cities.

Only a small number of people in the history of the world have lived in relatively “safe” conditions.  War, injustice, oppression, famine, natural disaster, family breakdown, disease, mental illness, physical disability, racism, crime, scarcity of resources, class struggle– these “social problems” are the results of our alienation from God. They bring deep misery and violence to the lives of most humanity. The majority of people who read this book, however, probably belong to the relatively small group of folk who, through God’s kindness, lead an existence generally free from these forces.

This comparative comfort can isolate us in a fictitious world where suffering is difficult to find. But this isolation is fragile, for suffering surrounds us– even in the suburbs! We need an accurate view of the world in which we live. Perhaps we need to see that, instead of living on islands of ease, we are all living on the Jericho Road.”

Big-Mini Banana Flaxseed Muffins

Kate and I are muffin freaks. It’s the only recipe I have let her help me with so far and we had so much fun today making these.

This recipe is adapted from the New Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book.

Big-Mini Banana Flaxseed Muffins

1 3/4 cups white whole-wheat flour

2-3 tbsp ground golden flax seed

1/3 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 beaten egg

1/2 cup soymilk or 2% milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup cooking oil

3/4 cup mashed (really mashed) ripe bananas

1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts (optional)

Streusel Topping:

3 tbsp flour

3 tbsp brown sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp rolled oats

2 tbsp butter

*Combine all dry ingredients and cut in butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs.


*Preheat oven to 400 F and liberally grease one mini-muffin pan with cooking spray.

1. Combine all dry ingredients together (except nuts) and whisk around to incorporate.

2. Combine all wet ingredients in the order listed including mashed banana.

3. Add wet ingredient mixture to dry ingredient mixture along with the nuts and fold/stir until just combined.  Batter should be lumpy and thick.

4. Drop heaping spoonfuls of batter into mini-muffin slots–fill to the top! Sprinkle and pat in streusel topping over batter. If you don’t have enough batter to fill all mini-muffin slots, put a tbsp of water in each empty slot to keep pan from burning as well as keep muffins moist.

5.  Bake at 400 F for 12-15 minutes or until tops of muffins are nicely rounded and golden brown.  Insert a toothpick and it should come out clean. Let them cool in pan and then enjoy!!

*You can freeze the muffins in a ziploc bag for up to a month.

*Buy flax seed from the bulk-bin section of your local Health Food Market or in the health food section at your local grocery store. SO much cheaper than buying it pre-packaged. Keep a cheap electric coffee grinder in your kitchen–not for coffee–for your flax seed and spices! Wipe grinder with a damp paper towel after grinding anything potent (like cumin).  You don’t want your banana muffins tasting like cumin.

*BTW — flax seed is so GOOD FOR YOU! It’s chalk-full of Omega-3’s, Lignans and Fiber.  It is best absorbed by your body when it is ground.  Want to know more about this ultra-nutritious seed? Go here.

Besides making yummy smoothies, this recipe is a great way to use up your frozen bananas!  <— Click on the link for helpful ways to freeze ripe bananas.

Listen to this.

Two bands that are worthy of your ears:

Bon Iver   


The Kin 






The Waiting

The Waiting

I am anticipating so many things this year. It’s not a passive anticipatory posture, but an active, seeking of the Lord and what He is up to in me. I’m like this little man, who with child-like eagerness, waits for great things to come, even if he isn’t fully cognizant of this yet. His desires are budding forth from where they have been created in him by the One who desires good things for all of us.