Autumn Gratitude

Consistently, Nature provides gifts, as Autumn breezes blow whispers of change all around us.  The Nandina berries turn to orange, Virginia creeper crawls over rocks in crimson splendor, shades of yellow hint from beneath green, tattered leaves against the rich, blue skies, Red Buds shimmer their golden branches in the sunlight, and owls shatter the silence of darkness, shouting their hoots across the creek beds.  Change is upon us but covers our land with a cloak of beauty.  Our Blessings these Fall mornings are abundant if we are still and watch the metamorphosis unfold.

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TK’s Marinara Spaghetti Squash

This recipe is absolutely delicious, healthy and very filling.  If you are blessed with fresh herbs in your fall garden, the aromas will tempt everyone who enters your home.

INGREDIENTS:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Two sprigs fresh thyme, stripped

Four medium fresh basil leaves, chopped

One spaghetti squash (Slice off ends, cut vertically in standing position, deseed, rub olive oil inside each half, turn upside down on foiled baking sheet and cook 40 minutes at 400 degrees).

1 pound turkey sausage, sliced and cut in half

One yellow onion, chopped

Two cloves garlic, minced

11/2 bottles of Organic Marinara Sauce

1 14-ounce can artichokes, chopped

1 pint Roma or cherry tomatoes, sliced lengthwise

Fresh or shredded Parmesan cheese

Sea salt to taste

Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:                                                                                                                                      *Prepare spaghetti squash and cook in the oven at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.                    *In skillet, brown turkey sausage in olive oil.                                                                            *Add chopped onion and saute 5 minutes.                                                                                        *Add minced garlic and saute approximately 30 seconds

*Pour in Marinara sauce.                                                                                                                    *Add fresh herbs                                                                                                                                    *Add chopped artichokes                                                                                                                    *Add Roma tomatoes                                                                                                                            *Stir in sea salt and pepper to taste                                                                                                  *Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         *String spaghetti, place into bowls and top with marinara sauce mixture.                             *Top with fresh or shredded parmesan cheese.

Enjoy every bite!

 

JOURNEY TO ISRAEL: AUTHENTICATING STORIES THROUGH ARCHEOLOGY & FAITH-DAY #2

We began our tour with Educational Opportunities and Guide Tsippi Segal, on the road from Tel Aviv to Jaffa.  Jaffa was Israel’s natural port during the time of the Old Testament.  According to the story, Peter resided in Jaffa when the other disciples sent for advice on whether or not Cornelius, a Gentile, could join the Jewish Jesus movement. Peter said yes, and history continued to be set (i.e. Acts 10).  Jonah was reported to set sail from Jaffa, as well.

 

We strolled above the ancient port and shoreline of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, amidst the historic structures.  We could see people swimming and surfing in the clear, blue-green waters of the Mediterranean from our lookout at the “Gateway to the East”.

 

I roamed over to the Wishing Bridge, admiring the detailed mosaic sign of welcome.     IMG_0089.jpg

The Gate to the Ancient World

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Tsippi introduced us to a Salt plant, that of course smelled and tasted extremely salty. IMG_0099.jpg

We entered St. Peter’s Church (currently 19th Century-originally 17th Century)  One of the most unique sculptor’s was of the tree.

 

St. Peter’s is an old Franciscan Church, located in Old Jaffa.  The church was built to commemorate the visit and miracle of StPeter in Jaffa.  The New Testament records several of St Peter the Apostle’s deeds,  which took place in Jaffa: the raising of Tabitha, the seamstress; Peter’s stay at the house of Simon the Tanner, and the vision of the sheet let down from heaven.

“Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
The vision of Peter, Acts 10, 15

It was from here that Peter journeyed up the coast to Caesarea, where he told about Jesus as requested by Cornelius.  Cornelius became the first convert from paganism to be welcomed into the Church.

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We proceeded to Emmaus and broke bread outdoors within the ruins of the Byzantine church at Emmaus-Nicopolis, which is adjacent to the monastery of Latrun.  The site lies on the bright green plain of Sheilah on the route leading from the Mediterranean to Jerusalem.  This was our first visit to an old excavation site–very quiet and serene. The light hit the bread placed on the altar at just the moment I took the picture.  This was the place Jesus broke the bread.

The vegetation around Emmaus was very interesting, including blooming almond nut trees and an occasional anemone.  Tsippi told us to look throughout Israel for groups of wildflowers, including the anenones, referred to as “the lillies of the field”.

ISRAEL JOURNEY: STORIES AUTHENTICATED THROUGH ARCHEOLOGY & FAITH-DAY #1

Our ten-day journey through Israel  (February 12-22, 2018) accompanied by Israeli Jewish guide, Tsippi Segal, began with our arrival in the vibrant, modern city of Tel Aviv. Our journey exposed my limited knowledge of this ancient, historical land of Israel, surprising me with its multi-cultural and religiously diverse population, its stone beauty, agricultural opportunities, tels of archeological excavations revealing complex layers of civilizations, rugged and mountainous borders of the Dead Sea, brief moments in time captured at  the Sea of Galilee, visibility of Jordan, Syria, Golan Heights and the Mediterranean Sea from Israeli borders,  and of course, the historical evidence of the story of Christ drawing millions of visitors from all over the world to this land.

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Sunrise over Israel through the window of our El Al Israel 787 aircraft.