Sunday Thoughts by Bob Pickering

Bob and June Pickering

Thought for this Week: Let’s celebrate our independence by obeying the Lord’s commandments.

Independence Day
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves
be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
(Galatians 5:1)

Independence is what makes America great and our many freedoms make this a great place to live. Our constitution is based on our ability to self govern.

This is what James Madison, our 4th President, had to say about America:
“We have staked the whole of all our political Institutions upon the capacity of mankind for Self-Government, the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”

Pray about where we were then and where we are now.

Bob Pickering is the author of thirty one Days of Grace and God is my Spinach. His writing focuses on being a whole person in spirit, mind and body. Bob and June, his wife of more than 40 years, have four children and nine grandchildren.

Tomorrow: Do you believe in angels?

MN Masala: Twin Cities World Market Tour

Jane and Chux

By Jane and Chux: The Twin Cities has a wide variety of excellent specialty and ethnic markets in town.  For this week’s article, we are highlighting some of our favorites.

El Burrito Mercado is one of the best places in town for authentic Mexican food.  We enjoy having Huevos Rancheros there for breakfast, or pork carnitas quesadilla for lunch.  After breakfast or lunch, we shop for groceries.  We have purchased tomatillos, jalapenos, mangos, papaya, tortillas, canned chipotle peppers, and beans at El Burrito.  Occasionally, we indulge in their flan, which is some of the best in town!  They also have a large bakery section with empanadas, cookies and other pastries.


Caspian Bistro & Marketplace is very unassuming.  If driving west along University Avenue just before the TCF Stadium, you just may miss this place!  Their store front just has a neon “open” sign.  But let us assure you, you will not want to miss this place!

Caspian’s is a Persian restaurant and market.  They have the best dates and walnuts in town!  They also have an excellent selection of olives, cheeses, flat breads, baklava, olive oils, beans, legumes, and jarred eggplant and red pepper spreads in addition to many other products. Continue reading

How do you handle a racist teacher?

Cindy Moy

By Cindy Moy: My daughter, JJ, had a substitute teacher that we nicknamed Racist Spanish Sub.

For example, I would ask her how her day went, and she would reply, “Racist Spanish Sub was there. Other than that, it was fine.”

This teacher earned his nickname over time.

The first day he subbed, he went through the attendance list. When he reached an Asian student–there were 3 Asians and 32 Caucasians in the class–he asked the student if she spoke another language at home. He did not ask any of the white students if they spoke other languages. Continue reading

Have you ever taken a leap of faith?

Cindy Moy

By Cindy Moy: I met my new daughter in the hallway of a hotel on the other side of the world.

She was 15-months-old. She had never heard English.  She had never had a bath. She had nothing to her name—not even the clothes on her back.  She was a dirty, smelly baby who would eat nothing but sour cream and onion potato chips.

She was PERFECT. Continue reading

How do you honor a loved one?

Rabbi Locketz

This week we buried our grandmother.  Her name was Annette Locketz…Chanah Bat Menachem Mendel v’Sarah…and she will be missed everyday by each of us.

Grandma was exactly the kind of grandmother a grandmother should be.  She was the matriarch of our family and in so many ways…she was the reason we are as close as we are.  We called her, “Grammannette,” and many of us thought her name was “nette” because her title as gramma swallowed up the “A” in her name.

She died two months shy of her 90th birthday and just three months before her 71st anniversary with my grandfather.  As much as I miss her, I know that my grandfather misses her exponentially more.  We are all sad to have lost her, but are happy she is at peace because her health had deteriorated so much and she was ready to go. Continue reading

Sunday Thoughts by Bob Pickering

Bob and June Pickering

Thought for This Week: We are experiencing the longest days of the year in terms of daylight. It is easy to burn the candle at both ends and become over tired. That has a great sound to it so let’s enjoy the summer season.

The hymn poetry of Brian Wren
How can we name a Love that weakens heart and mind,
In dwelling all we know or think or do or seek or find?
Within our daily world, in every human face,
Love’s echoes sound and God is found, hid in the common place.”
Title: How can we Name a Love, UMC Hymnal # 111, verse 1
Words:  Brian Wren
C 1975 Hope Publishing Company , Carol Stream, IL 60188.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

Bob Pickering is the author of thirty one Days of Grace and God is my Spinach. His writing focuses on being a whole person in spirit, mind and body. Bob and June, his wife of more than 40 years, have four children and nine grandchildren.

Tomorrow: Are you as stubborn as Jonah?

MN Masala: Chux’s Fish Tacos

Jane and Chux

By Jane and Chux: As mentioned in an earlier post, we are working on adding more fish to our diet.

One way is by making fish tacos.  We have used salmon, tilapia, and cod to make fish tacos.

Recently, Chux adapted a Mediterranean baked cod recipe for the foundation of fish tacos.  It worked exceptionally well!

It takes just a few minutes to pull this dish together. Continue reading

Should bloggers pay for followers?

Cindy Moy

Confession #1: I have all of 46 Twitter followers. This subjects me to ridicule when I meet other bloggers, all of whom have hundreds, if not thousands, of followers. They also have hundreds, if not thousands, of Facebook likes on their posts. (I’m on twitter at @socraticproject).

Confession #2: It is a open secret that Twitter and Facebook followers may be purchased, and the majority of bloggers make such purchases so that the unsuspecting public thinks the blogger is more popular than she is in reality.

Such purchases are cheap. Fiverr sells 500 followers for $5. These followers are fake accounts, and add nothing to the conversation, but it makes the blogger look good. Continue reading

What surprises you?

By Cindy Moy: It was in the local paper, in a weekly article about how people keep fit. The profile was of a grown woman whose fitness routine was playing trumpet in a marching band.

A grown woman.
In a marching band.

The article listed an upcoming marching band field competition.
“Want to go watch marching bands?” I asked the kids.
“What’s a marching band?” they responded. Continue reading