Friday, May 27, 2011

God Shed His Grace on Thee

Memorial Day Reflections by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is an internationally known expert on male-female relationships. Also a dynamic speaker, he was recently invited to speak to the NFL owners and coaches, the PGA players and spouses at The Player’s Championship, and the New York Giants at their new stadium in NJ. But most honoring to him was being invited by the military brass to speak to the troops in Iraq this year. Dr. Eggerichs is also the author of several books, including the national bestseller Love and Respect.

I attended a military school for five years. As a cadet corps, we stood at attention each day at the raising and the lowering of the flag. Often I felt chills as I faced the red, white and blue. I am a patriot. I do not believe other peoples and nations are less than us in terms of intrinsic value but I do believe God shed His grace on this great land and people. We are, in a foundational sense, a nation that has worshipped the God of the Bible. Because of that, for example, we are a nation that has been a first responder to human need around the world. Our Judeo-Christian worldview calls us to serve others. We are a giving nation, and a forgiving nation. What other nation compares?

When I saluted the flag, I felt that deep in my soul. Because I am proud of this nation’s past greatness does not mean I have a demeaning view of other nations. As I often say at the conferences, “Because I am saying something positive about your sons, I am not saying something negative about your daughters.” Because I am saying something wonderful about our country, I am not denouncing other nations.

On this Memorial Day will you permit me to feel chills in the face of the flag? Will you permit me to feel this way because of the giving and forgiving this nation has demonstrated? Will you allow me to shed a tear, many tears, over those brave men and women who sacrificed their blood so that I could live free?

Not long ago I received an email from the Mother of one of our brave soldiers. I’m sure it will move you deeply, as it did me, so I share it today in honor of all our military personnel and their families.

Your conference first hit home to me in regards to my son enlisting in the military. I knew it was his goal when he finished high school, but secretly hoped he would change his mind when the time came. He didn't change his mind, and though I supported his decision, part of me was offended. I thought, "Doesn't he love us? Why does he want to leave us? Doesn't he love his home, his church? Doesn't he care about staying connected to us here? Why does he want to go away?"

Your conference made me realize that it is honor, duty and responsibility that drove him to do what he did. He needed to do that respectable thing as a man, to serve and protect. As military mothers, we need to respect our sons as men. They have chosen to do the honorable thing - to serve.

My son was killed in Iraq 1 year and 3 months after he left our home for boot camp. He knew it could happen, and so did I. I thank the Lord for young men who continue to step up to do the honorable, respectable thing of serving in the military. Abe enlisted in the Marines to protect us no matter what the cost. Thank you for helping me to understand the beautiful heart that God gave to my son.

Maria Simpson, California

Marine Lance Corporal Abraham Simpson, eldest son of Jim and Maria Simpson, formerly of the Fullerton assembly, was killed in action in Fallujah in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, on November 9, 2004. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, CA.

Truly, the respect message enabled Maria to realize her son Abe’s ultimate sacrifice was not in vain but that as a man of honor he did the noble thing. This message of Respect partially explains, redeems and dignifies the loss of her son. His death turns into an act of honor rather than just the loss of a Beloved Son. As with Jesus, it is more than a horrible death but a magnanimous offering. It is less about the vice of those who caused his death and more about his virtue in dying.

When you see the American flag this Memorial Day weekend remind yourself of the grace that God has shed on this great land, and remind yourself of those many men and women who have shed their blood for us.





Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Spring in NYC

Roses on Park Avenue

My husband and I traveled to NYC 3 weeks ago. Here are a few of my favorite photos from our trip which was short but sweet.

One of my favorite things I did while in the Big Apple, while my husband had meetings, was take the Chelsea Market Food Tasting Tour. One of the stops was at Sarabeth's Bakery. Sarabeth is shown in the photo above in her bakery. I had the pleasure of meeting her. She graciously took time out of her baking to sign her cookbook that I purchased. The first recipe I tried when I got home was Mrs. Stein's Chocolate Cake. It is wonderful and a big hit with my kids and their friends in the lunchroom at school as well.
Mrs. Stein's Chocolate Cake


Softened unsalted butter and flour, for the pan

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 ounce (1/2 square) unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 3/4 cups superfine sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten

Confectioners' sugar, for garnish, optional


1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter and flour the inside of a 8 to 10-cup fluted tube pan and tap out the excess flour.

2. Combine the milk and lemon juice in a glass measuring cup. Let stand in a warm place (near the preheating oven) while preparing the rest of the batter; the milk will curdle. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together into a medium bowl.

3. Bring 1/2 inch of water to a simmer in a small saucepan, and turn off the heat. Place the chocolate in a custard cup or ramekin and set in the hot water. Let stand until the chocolate is melted, then remove from the water, being careful not to splash any water into the chocolate, and stir until smooth. Let stand until tepid.

4. Beat the butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in the sugar, then add the vanilla. Beat until the mixture is very light in color and texture, scraping occasionally, about 4 minutes. Gradually beat in the eggs. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Beat in the cooled chocolate. In thirds, alternating with two equal additions of the milk mixture, add the flour mixture, scraping down the bowl and beating until smooth after each addition. Spoon the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

5. Bake until the top of the cake springs back when gently pressed with your finger, and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert and unmold the cake onto the rack and cool completely. Sift a light coating of confectioners’ sugar on top, if using. (The cake can be stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 2 days.)


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Monday, May 2, 2011

There She Stands

St. Patrick's Cathedral NYC

Saks Fifth Avenue

Union Station NYC

Ground Zero

9/11 Memorial Preview Site

This distinctive memorial was donated to the permanent collection of the 9/11 Memorial Museum in memory of the firefighters from Engine 54/Ladder 4/Battalion 9 killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. It is currently on display at the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site in lower Manhattan. See here for more about the ornaments that adorn her and the stories of tribute behind them.

Lady Liberty

USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor

Photo by Michael Appleton/The New York Times

See more 9/11 Photos: Sept. 11 Through the Lens of the New York Fire Department here.

In gratitude and loving memory for their military service to the USA...

Harold A.White
(my grandfather Foley, AL)

Joe P. Cain
(my husband's grandfather Houston, TX)
Thank you to all the brave men and women who have proudly served and who serve today to keep us safe.
See here for more on
the Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden  from the elite ‘Team 6.'

"When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers." Proverbs 21:15

Never Forget,