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Monday, 30 November 2009

Menu Plan Monday (Operation "Use Freezer Stash")

Mon: Pasta, Ratatouille, cheese.
Tues: Ham, potato and cabbage.
Wed: Ham and lentil soup.
Thurs: Spaghetti Bolognaise.
Fri: Ham, potato, cabbage plus other veg as yet undetermined.
Sat: Ham and lentil soup from Wed.
Sun: Freezer meal.

From the freezer stash this uses one gammon joint, some frozen veg and two freezer meals (Thurs and Sun) but probably creates two or three freezer meals depending on the size of the soup.

For more details, you can click to view my paper menu plan:

NB. The start of the week is changed from Thursday because when we had a veg box delivery it was on Wednesdays so I used to plan Thursday to Wednesday.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

My Understanding of the Five Points of Calvinism

This post is partly in response to someone asking for an explanation of Calvinism and partly because I have been meaning to write down what I mean when I say that I subscribe to these points so that I can reference it when having online discussions. It is a description of my beliefs/understanding and is not intended to be telling anyone else what they should or should not believe. I have not provided supporting Bible references for the points because I am just describing what I understand them to mean - not trying to argue their case.

Total Depravity
I think this term is open to a lot of misunderstanding as most people would understand "total" depravity to mean the worst and most extreme depravity. Also depravity tends to be used as a description of the worst sins of man. My understanding is that depravity is being used to describe the badness or sinfulness of man. The quantification described by the term "total" is saying that man is sinful rather than perfect (i.e. you can't be partly sinful - you either are or you aren't) rather than quantifying how sinful we are. Clearly everyone is not as sinful as is possible to be but this is not what is meant my total depravity.

The way I understand it, this phrase is making the point that because man is entirely sinful (as opposed to partially sinful), we are unable to earn our salvation. Because of our sin it is impossible for us to be good enough.

Unconditional Election
To me this means that our salvation is not conditional on our actions. We cannot earn our salvation through our works but gain it only through the work of Christ on the cross. (This does not however mean works are wrong - I would consider works to be fruits of faith.)

Limited Atonement
Christ's sacrifice did not pay for everyone's sins. It paid for the since of those who were elected by God to receive the gift of salvation. An opposing view is that Christ died for all but some people choose not to avail themselves of it. Another view is that after we die, those who did not accept Christ's sacrifice will have another opportunity to do so that all will have been atoned for in the end. "Limited atonement" disagrees with both of these ideas.

Irresistible Grace
This is the idea that if God chooses to save you by his grace then you cannot resist it. I find this particularly difficult to explain but I know that I cannot choose not to believe any more than I can choose not to believe in gravity or that the grass is green. I like the way Delirious? put it in one of their songs which says, "I believe I've chosen you believing that you've chosen me."

Perseverance of the Saints (aka "Once Saved, Always Saved")
Pretty much, this means that if someone is saved, then they cannot become "unsaved". If someone makes a profession of faith and appears to be a genuine believer but at a later point in their life becomes apostate, it is reasonable to assume that they were never truly saved in the first place. Of course, someone who is saved will still sin though so just because someone who professes to be a Christian commits a humongous sin does not automatically mean that they must not really be saved. Unfortunately, this particular point has been known to lead people to try to judge whether someone is saved or not which can then lead to people trying to "prove" their salvation through works. Personally, if someone professes to be a Christian and their life so far as I can tell does not clearly contradict that profession, then I will accept them at their word.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

What's in Your Freezer?

Last week I finally got around to doing a stock check of my freezer. I knew I had quite a bit of meat but I was surprised my how much I have - about 17kg (~37lbs) meat and 3kg (~7lbs) fish. I guess I need to do some serious menu planning so that I can get it used up before I get any more.

Here's what I had when I did the stock check:

2 x 1.2kg gammon joints (I think Americans would call it ham but we only call it ham after it is cooked)
4 x 1kg gammon joints
4 X 540g sausages (breakfast sausage?)
400g sausages
750g pork mince (ground pork)
250g liver
2 whole chickens
3 x 850g turkey thigh joints
500g chicken breast
goose breast and sausages in bacon (for Christmas dinner)
1.1kg haddock fillets
400g mackerel fillets
1kg salmon fillets
400g coley
200g prawns
2 x 2 salmon fishcakes
1/2 pkg parsnips
1/4 pkg cauliflower
1/2 pkg sweetcorn
1 pkg spinach
1 chopped celery
250g grated carrot
1 bag of foraged blackberries
2 bags of shop bought frozen fruit
3 bags of cooked apple
Homemade stuff
3 cups duck stock
4 cups mashed potato
pea risotto
2 x prawn pasta
veg soup
3 x veg casserole
bean and corn stew
2 x cheese and leek potato
random risotto
2 x apple crumble
11 cups baked beans
2 half loaves of bread
Random other bits and pieces
2 x pate
1 pizza
1 tub ice cream
1 packet of cheese cut into cubes
7 x 250g butter

Since then, we've used up a few of the pre-homemade meals (to make space for freezing meals I make with all that meat) and I've bought three packets of bacon, four bags of frozen veg, two bags of frozen fruit, six bags of grated cheese (I buy cheap pre-grated cheese and freeze it for use in cooking), 16 blocks of butter and two whole rainbow trout (which were reduced - this is how I have so much meat) all of which have been added to the freezer.

Currently we're still using up the frozen meals but from next Monday I intend to post menu plans of how I'm using up my freezer stash.

What do you have in your freezer?

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

"I wonder what they do teach them at these schools"


A Belated Halloween Update

Since our computer broke the day before Halloween, I never got the chance to update on how it went.

We bought ten of these story bibles and we had eleven trick or treaters who called (aged around 5 to 9 at a guess) so the last one got a Bible colouring book instead as we have a huge stash of them.

Apparently though people don't get taught how to read a calendar these days as six of the trick or treaters called a day early.

They seemed to be well received and hopefully they will read them and God will work in their hearts. The only problem that occurred was when Little Girl got upset because she has a story bible the same as the ones we were giving away and she thought we were giving hers away.

Monday, 23 November 2009

I know she's tall

but does my daughter really look like she should be in school?

This morning we went for a walk in the village and someone made a comment about her not being in school. She's only two and a half! Education (not school) isn't even compulsory for her until September 2012. And if random strangers are making comments now, what is it going to like in a few years time?

Sunday, 22 November 2009

My Web Wanderings (weekly)

  • I've highlighted a few exerpts of this post but do go and read the whole post and leave some words of encouragement.

    tags: Rejoice in the LORD

    • I love my Lord , and his son.
    • I am changed , newborn , born again , alone in hostile territories , my heart breaking by circumstances I could never have foreseen , yet these heartbroken words are just one more way that god forges in me faith.
    • Behind the screen , worlds away from you sets a 28 year old newborn christian.
      With a husband who hates Christianity , with a heart that struggles in it's first christian breaths.
    • They helped me on a struggle to recognize christ. Not just as a person , but as an extension of God. I have to admit now in a near heartbreaking and joy filled recognition.
    • It was the first time in years I had connected with any group. These ladies answered me honestly , and while some helped me willingly , some helped me without doing a thing. Somehow through the companionship of these ladies I felt alive , through bad and good I had someplace to share.

      I was still a pagan , not to be accepted into the christian folds.
      Believe or Leave !!

      I must see to believe , and through these ladies I questioned myself
    • I began a long term relationship with the ladies , and as you can probably see , It changed me
    • Yet I was a PART , and I loved the people there , and I was free to question their beliefs
    • I did not come to the group in a nice manner , but direct and unashamed of who I was , and despite my differences , I was mostly accepted.
    • I went in swinging , pagan amongst a group of Christians and a few atheists as well.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Involuntary hiatus

Just a quick post to say our computer is broken at the moment so I probably won't be posting for a while. I'm currently at the library but I have limited time and there are too many other things which are higher priority at tthe moment.

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