Monday, August 31, 2015

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans

Bacon wrapped green beans

Honestly, my husband and I can't be trusted to attend any type of function - especially a wedding. These occasions are just rife with opportunities to take home great ideas. So it was only natural that we came away with the need to duplicate a recipe after attending the nuptials of the daughter of a friend.

Kelly, I'm totally blaming you for this one!

These little bundles of goodness were so darned good and easily duplicated. Bonus: if you're eating low carb, they're totally 'legit'!

Bacon Wrapped Green Beans


Ingredients:
Fresh or frozen, whole green beans
Onion - peeled and sliced into 'petals'
Bacon slices - cut in half
Seasoning to taste - we used Lime Pepper from Tones

Assembly:
Take 6-8 green beans and form a stack
Add one onion petal to top
Wrap a half bacon strip around beans and onion. Secure with toothpick, making sure to spear onion.
Sprinkle with seasoning, to taste

We baked ours in our trusty convection/toaster oven - quickly becoming a favorite kitchen appliance - and baked at convection 350 until the bacon was crisp.

It took a bit of trial and error. Frankly, it took longer than we thought (close to an hour, after incrementally baking some more until we were satisfied with the result). This may have been because our beans were the frozen, whole green beans you can buy at Sam's Club and were still frozen when we assembled.

Can you believe that's all there is to it?

The flavor can be varied according to which type of bacon and seasoning you use. I would prefer maple cured (a little bit of sweetness never hurt anything), but the savory, smoky bacon we used was fabulous as well.

Next time you have friends over for some finger foods or are invited to provide a snacky dish, try this and impress everyone with your creativity.

We won't tell them how simple these are! LOL

Bacon wrapped green beans - oh so easy, oh so tasty!






Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How Clean Are Your Windows?

A recurring tale shared on social media goes something like this:

In a neighborhood, the woman of the household habitually comments to her husband about their neighbors’ state of affairs. As time goes by, she makes derogatory comments about the dirty windows of one neighbor and the less than clean laundry on the clothes line of another. Her critiques of the housekeeping skills of others are consistent fare to her long-suffering mate. One day after washing her own windows she finds out that the dirt she was seeing was her own, not that of her neighbors.

How often does rash judgment concerning others jump into our own minds? Do we clearly see our need to clean up our own lives? Or is the lens through which we see others, covered in grime? Unfortunately, we are often in need of a thorough housecleaning of our own. The reflection of our own shortcomings becomes a shadow on our neighbors.

Clean the Inside as Well as the Outside


In Matthew 23:23-26 we are admonished:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You cleanse the outside of cup and dish,
   but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.
Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup,
   so that the outside also may be clean.”

What we present to others is often not a true reflection of our inner selves. Like the Pharisees, we make certain that our outer image is pristine. The public face we put on is the best of who we hope to be. Contrast this to the inner secrets and grime that is hidden from view. Perhaps we aren’t so squeaky clean after all.

While it isn’t necessary to completely bare our souls for public view, a virtuous habit to form would be to remain aware of our own weaknesses. As Jesus taught us in the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”. In other words, our own judgment will be measured by the same stick with which we judge others.

Present a Purely Clean View to Others


If, as it has been said, our eyes are the windows of the soul, let our lens be transparent and pure. When someone looks into our faces, let the reflection of Christ’s love be there for them to see. As He has loved us, so let us love one another. 

If we all make an effort to honestly present ourselves, the scales will fall off of our eyes and we will be able to clearly see ourselves, as well as others, like God sees us: His creatures, loved by Him – faults and all – yet always trying to do His will. 

clean windows
Meagan's Eyes - purity exemplified!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Developmental Milestones: 10 Amazing Facts About the Unborn

In light of the horrific videos exposing the nefarious deeds of Planned Parenthood and their subsequent denials, I wanted to take you on a brief journey into the amazing world of the unborn.

The meme below, showing the developmental milestones of the unborn, was created earlier this year. But the wonder at God's creation can never be shared too often - especially in relation to His human works of creation.

Genesis 1:26-27 tells us, 

"Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."
As creations in His image, endowed with an immortal soul, we are indeed 'wonderfully made'.

So what would we see if we had a window into the womb and understood the magnificence of God's creation of His people?

Feel free to share this infographic on Facebook by following the link to the Designs by Birgit fan page.

Developmental Milestones by the Numbers


  1.) Unique Individual: On the first day after fertilization, the human embryo is identifiable as a specific individual human being on a molecular level. This flies directly in the face of the 'my body, my choice argument. There are two separate bodies with unique DNA - even at this early stage!

  2.) Brain: At 2 to 3 weeks, a baby’s brain is the first organ to appear. Brain waves don't usually happen in something that isn't alive, do they?

  3.) Heart: At 18 - 21 days a baby’s heart begins to beat. So if death is signalled by a heart that stops beating, how does that square with claiming a beating heart isn't life?

  4.) Kidneys and Other Organs: At only 5 weeks a baby’s kidneys are present and by 8 weeks, all of her organs are in place. From that time on they only need time to become fully developed.

  5.) Pain: As early as her 5th week, baby may be able to feel physical pain. Numerous studies have been done and cited about this. See number 6 and then wonder how it could not be so.

  6.) Sense of Touch: At 6 weeks old, baby will move away if her mouth is touched. If baby moves away, she must be able to feel, right?

  7.) Brain waves: At 6 weeks old a baby’s brain waves can be measured. Another sure fire sign of life, wouldn't you agree?

  8.) Ears: At around 6 weeks  a Baby’s Ear can begin to be seen. So a face is beginning to form and Mom may not even know that baby is in there yet!

  9.) Fingerprints: At 9-10 weeks a baby has fingerprints.  Hmmm, would someone who isn't someone have unique fingerprints?

10.) Sucking and Yawning: At 9 1/2 weeks old an unborn baby can suck her thumb and yawn. Sounds like a human baby to me!

As much as the Culture of Death has tried to hide the humanity of the unborn, modern medicine has trumped their denials with the scientific facts. These developmental milestones of the unborn speak for themselves. 

As the ugly beast that is Planned Parenthood continues to prey on these little ones, may we become their champions and shine the light of truth for all to see. Please be mindful of the fact that it's up to us to share these facts with others. Don't hide the light under a bushel!

Cursed be he that taketh gifts, to slay an innocent person: and all the people shall say: Amen. ~Deut 27:25
 God will rain down judgement in His own time and in His own way. While we aren't privy to His greater plan, we can surely be workers in His vineyard. Let's concentrate of being witnesses of His Word. Let's become one with the children we strive to defend, coming to the Lord for His embrace.

Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me: for the kingdom of heaven is for such. ~Matthew 19:4


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dr. Ben Carson: Pro-life or Confused?

I've had the deepest respect for Dr. Ben Carson for many years. The movie about his life was outstanding. Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story showed him to be a hard working, virtuous man who was a pioneer in pediatric neurosurgery after overcoming enormous obstacles.

Dr. Carson's syndicated columns clearly expressed his morally sound principles as well. This soft-spoken man was both a genius and a spokesman of moral convictions.

Based on this, I was overjoyed to see Dr. Carson listed as a candidate for the Republican presidential nominee for 2016. His respect for life and lack of racial prejudices made him an admirable prospect.

When asked by an NPR reporter why he doesn't talk about race that often, Dr. Carson responded, "Because I'm a neurosurgeon. I operate on the thing that make them who they are - the skin doesn't make them who they are, the hair doesn't make them who they are. And it's time that we move beyond that because our strength lies in unity. We're not the divided States of America, we're the United States of America."

Many of his other views, such as a support for natural marriage, also made him appealing to me and many other Christians.

Dr. Ben Carson - Troubling Disclosures


Unfortunately, some troubling disclosures have come to light in the meantime. Sometimes thorough research of our candidates, can be very enlightening to us and yet be a really bad for them. As heartened as I was by his performance in the first republican debate, I was disturbed by his prior comments on some of the major topics.

The first glimmer of doubt came about when a research group found that Dr. Carson's name had appeared on a medical research paper that used fetal tissue from aborted babies. There was a prompt reply on Dr. Carson's Facebook page that quelled some of my unease but, as I dug deeper, his own words (elsewhere) convicted him.

In his defence of the use of aborted fetal tissue, Dr. Carson had this to say:

"To not use the tissue that is in a tissue bank, regardless of where it comes from, would be foolish. Why would anybody not do that?"
and 
"If it were the only way to do something and there was no other way, there might be an argument. But under these circumstances, there isn't a legitimate argument."

Dr. Carson has also shown a lack of regard for parental rights. His support of mandatory vaccines demonstrates this fact. Below you have the opportunity to hear him discuss his views, beginning at around the 1:57 mark.



As troubling as I find mandatory vaccines to be (perhaps a topic for another day) because they usurp the God-given authority parents have over their children, this last bit of information eliminated Dr. Carson from my list a fitting presidential candidates.

In the video below, Dr. Carson can be heard/seen giving his support for the abortion pill, RU486, as well as admitting rape and incest exceptions to his purported prolife position. He further goes on to say something that sounds as if he's okay with killing an unborn child 'as long as their heart isn't beating' - which would make that child between 18 and 20 days old.


After my article on Catholic Stand, Dr. Ben Carson: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, published, I found an article at Politico with even more incriminating video and quotes from Dr. Carson. He has referred women for abortion and he, as well as his staff, stand by this decision.


Can We Support Dr. Ben Carson?


As I lay out my priorities, when it comes to putting support behind a candidate for any political office, abortion and aborted fetal tissue use rises to the top. Other major issues would certainly include parental rights - especially at a time when they are being threatened from many directions. That Dr. Carson agrees with other important, albeit lesser moral issues, falls to the wayside in light of these revelations. My conscience simply doesn't allow such tradeoffs. 








Thursday, August 13, 2015

Hearts from Aborted Babies Grown in Rats

No, you didn't read this incorrectly. Functioning hearts and kidneys from aborted babies are being transplanted into rats. Mad scientists are loose all over the world. Even though some purport to have humanitarian goals, their methods are morally bankrupt.

The end game, they claim, is to grow viable organs for transplant - from unborn human babies, to animals, and then back to human recipients.

That organ failure is a death knell for many cannot be denied. Heart disease and kidney failure claim tens of thousands of lives each year. Yet, even this sad statistic doesn't excuse experimentation on babies - sometimes without their mothers' knowledge - whose lives have been taken before birth.

We've heard it said, and rightly so, that 'the end doesn't justify the means'. How true! Rationalizing that these babies are unwanted and it would be wasteful to simply throw their little, tortured bodies away, doesn't excuse this morbid experimentation. In fact, it threatens to produce an even more active marketing of their parts.

Deriving something arguably good from an act as heinous as abortion, doesn't justify the abortion. Nor does it justify the lack of respect for the human remains of these littlest victims.

These revelations also beg the question: Are the babies really dead before this procedure is begun? For more information, please read Ganogen’s Aborted Human Fetal Kidneys and Hearts Living in Rats and Some Ethical Questions

It would seem that, whether you consider yourself prolife or pro-abortion (pro-choice), this information would be deeply troubling, to say the least!

Unquestionably, this is not a pleasant subject. Your friends and family might even complain about your sharing of these horrific scientific experiments. Yet, if we Catholic Christians don't speak up, don't share, who will? As we've already observed, the media won't...



Monday, August 10, 2015

Where are the Prolife Heroes?

Gruesome videos have come to light. They prove that the unconscionable acts of Planned Parenthood (PP) go far beyond limits the public perceived – only the straightforward killing of babies by abortion. PP isn’t just killing babies and harvesting their parts; they are birthing intact babies for ‘better’ experimental specimens. Why isn’t the American public more aware? Many, maybe the majority, still don’t know the facts. Perhaps that explains the lack of mass public outrage.

The News Matters


If you are in the prolife trenches you may be asking yourself, how can this be? Regrettably there’s a simple answer: because those who make the news don’t want us to know. That the main stream media tilts drastically to the left is irrefutable, but another heart-rending fact is that they aren’t in the news business alone. Our legislators, church leaders, and celebrity personalities have the power to make news as well.

Yet we don’t see much commentary going on. There are no mainstream press releases or press conferences on the subject. Our legislators and presidential candidates are strangely silent, unless they are asked a direct question. When they do give a pittance, their responses are buried in the hysterical pages of pro-abortion publications, where we hear a screed by delusional pro-abortion activists. They concentrate on reporting imagined threats (by prolifers) to end ‘women’s’ rights.

Animals over Humans


Contrast this media blackout to the killing of Cecil – a single African lion. We’ve all heard, ad nauseam, about Cecil, his mates, and his offspring as well as the male lion who will most likely take his place in the pride. Each story is accompanied by photos of a picture perfect specimen of lionhood, his ferocious, flesh-eating nature carefully concealed. After all, he’s just a big, fuzzy, powerful cat, right?

The puzzlement of the affected African people is also carefully concealed. They ask, “What’s the big deal about one lion? Don’t the Americans know that another lion gone is one less threat to our very lives?” It seems they recognize the twisted sense of primacy.

Don’t misunderstand; I’m not arguing for big game hunting, just wondering at the skewed sense of value – one lion over tens of millions of babies.

The same tactic is used for the animal cruelty infomercials that accost us with pitifully staged pet cats and dogs, accompanied by cloying music – all to raise our shame and tug at our hearts. Again, as a lover and owner of pets, I’m not arguing against the obligation we have for their humane care. I do, however, fail to understand the priorities displayed.

The news cycle and commercials are further filled with diatribes from celebrated actors, the rich and famous, and other adulation seekers. There are murmurings of pity and outrage for myriad causes – all except the demise of our littlest brethren – all for the sake of unethical research, product taste testing, and cosmetics. Their fate is not popular. It doesn’t raise the ire of the masses, nor does it inspire repeated marches on cities and outraged interviews.

Even when an effort is made and a half million people attend the annual March for Life in Washington D. C., the public must make the effort to watch the incredible outpouring of support for the unborn on the Catholic cable channel, EWTN. Not a peep is made from news agencies – only silence.

Where are the Pictures?


A picture is worth 1,000 words. We can all agree to that proven public relations fact. Photos
humanize. They give a tangible subject to visualize with empathy and care. That’s why those who deal in garnering sympathy for Cecil or puppy mill products show us the most poignant photos they can find. The human baby, however, receives no such visual aid. They remain as unknown entities, hidden in the darkness of the womb, who have no way to protect themselves and too few heroes.

Where are the heroes for the babies? If our legislators and candidates are truly prolife, why don’t they use their coverage to expose the evil perpetuated by Planned Parenthood and in scientific laboratories all over our country and the world? Why doesn’t every church, cleric, and lay person publish announcements, write letters, and share truth in their words?

Good Things Have Happened


Some developments have given us hope. Prolife advocates across the country have worked tenaciously to keep the prolife momentum going.


  • Colorado State University has halted doing business with StemExpress, over their use of tissue from aborted fetuses.
  • Indiana governor, Mike Pence, has signed a bill mandating that aborted babies are either buried or cremated.
  • Dr. Stacy Trasancos PhD has also written a powerful piece that gives us insight into the sordid world of fetal experimentation. She exposed that, even before Roe vs. Wade, infant formula companies were already experimenting on living fetuses who were then killed and dissected.

We are the Heroes for the Unborn

As we become painfully aware that the powers that be are distressingly unwilling to take a stand and awaken the public to the truth, it becomes our job. We, the people, are the ones who must take up the gauntlet and battle mightily for the babies. God has given us the ability to inform and persuade. With prayerful consideration we can become the heroes for the unborn by sharing information, praying, and encouraging others to do the same. We must also hold accountable all those who have the public soapbox at their disposal. The power of God’s people lies with their faithful adherence to His Word – His call to go out and do for the least.


"And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: Whom shall I send? and who shall go for us? And I said: Lo, here am I, send me." Isaiah 6:8