It’s been 16 days since Katie was born and I’m halfway through my GeLai, a monthlong traditional Chinese practice of postpartum care (more on that next time). One thing that I am looking forward to, after my GeLai and even more as a church planter’s wife, is to attend the soft-launch of the church planting project that my husband and I have been involved in for more than a year now. We’re very excited about starting weekly services next year and we’re doing a preview next month beginning with the Advent theme. Everyone is invited!
It’ll certainly be a milestone for the church planting project and we truly praise God for guiding us all the way. Lord willing, December 2 will be Katie’s first worship service and she will be hearing her Daddy preach then.
I haven’t been blogging for the past months since I’ve been preoccupied with morning sicknesses, layette shopping and birthing classes. Yes, I was busy being pregnant.
But alas, the long wait is finally over and I have given birth to a 7.2 lb baby girl last Wednesday (7 November 2012) at 11:41 in the evening. We named our precious covenant child, Katharina Bryn, after the wife of the German reformer, Martin Luther and of course, after her dad, James Bryner. We fondly call her Katie. We hope that she will one day be a great “brewmistress” like Katie von Bora herself! Ha!
God was indeed gracious to have given me the strength to go through Normal Spontaneous Delivery (NSD) without epidurals. I’m really happy that my mom encouraged me to go au naturale.
I guess that means this blog will turn over a new leaf… again.
by John Newton
I asked the Lord, that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know;
And seek more earnestly His face.
Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust has answered prayer;
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair!
I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining power,
Subdue my sins–and give me rest!
Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry powers of hell
Assault my soul in every part!
Yes more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe!
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds–and laid me low!
“Lord, why is this!” I trembling cried,
“Will you pursue your worm to death?”
“This is the way,” the Lord replied,
“I answer prayer for grace and faith.”
“These inward trials I employ,
From self and pride to set you free;
And break your schemes of earthly joy,
That you may seek your all in Me!”
It has been quite difficult to find resources for children that is both theologically sound and reasonably priced. For one thing, most of the locally published (or imported) materials either assume the Gospel or is moralistic in application. Yes, it’s VBS season again.
For the longest time I’ve been wanting to write a low-cost Reformed curriculum for children. The projected started out well, really. I even made a title and the logo design for the supposed material. But it never really matured after that. I guess taking on Covenant Theology was too ambitious. So James suggested that I should start with basic Biblical Theology (Creation-Fall-Redemption-New Creation). I could not agree more.
I really hope it would be different this time around. The goal is to finish the 5-day curriculum by the end of the year, in time for next summer.
I thought of using ‘The Returning King’ as a title. But it’s so reminiscent of Tolkien’s last book in the The Lord of the Rings series. Any suggestions?
James suddenly had an urge to eat some chocolate last night so we decided to try the microwave brownie recipe that’s been around the Internet for a while. It’s certainly not your top shelf brownie, but it’s a quick fix for all those chocolate cravings!
Here’s my own fudgy concoction…
2 tbsp melted butter or canola oil
3 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp chocolate chips (optional)
- Mix all the ingredients in a mug.
- Top the brownie mixture with chocolate chips (optional).
- Pop the mug in the microwave for 1 to 1.5 minutes over high heat.
If you don’t have any cocoa powder lying around the house, substitute it with 5 tbsp of Ovaltine–the chocolate malt drink–then reduce the sugar to 2 tbsp. It won’t be as fudgy but it’s still good.
But if you want to really spruce it up, add a big dollop of rich vanilla ice cream and you have brownie ala mode!
This recipe can actually fit two medium-sized ramekins.
The following recipe is not your traditional Filipino upo* (gourd or white squash) dish, because I turned it into a Chinese-style noodle soup. I decided to change it when I realized it didn’t look like a Filipino dish! LOL
*Because of my lack of experience in cooking vegetables, I really thought I was cooking patola (loofah).
0.5 kg upo
5 cloves garlic
1 large onion
2 ripe tomatoes
1/8 kg ground beef sirloin
8 pcs beef mushroom balls
1 L water
1 beef broth cube
2 tbsp sesame oil
fresh white noodles
- Prepare ingredients. Roughly chop the garlic and onions. Then carefully slice the ripe tomatoes.
- Sauté onions and garlic. Once the onions have started to caramelize, add the ground beef sirloin and star anise (Read about star anise here). When the beef is ready, add the upo and ripe tomatoes (They give color to the dish).
- When the vegetables have started to cook, add water and bring to a boil. Add the beef broth cubes, mushroom beef balls and sesame oil (Sesame oil adds the Chinese flavor to the soup). Simmer for about 10-20 minutes. You may choose to add black pepper or some chili oil if you wish to make the soup spicy.
- While simmering, cook the noodles in boiling water. Place a portion of the cooked noodles onto a bowl. Pour the soup on the noodles. Garnish with some spring onions. Serve while hot.
I served this to James who was pretty tired after leading three consecutive Bible studies. Although it’s not the Taiwanese Niu Rou Mien (Spicy Beef Noodle Soup) that he loves, he absolutely enjoyed this version.