Today’s Psalm- a memorial- 137

Psalm 137

1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.
2 There on the poplars
we hung our harps,
3 for there our captors asked us for songs,
our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

4 How can we sing the songs of the LORD
while in a foreign land?
5 If I forget you, Jerusalem,
may my right hand forget its skill.
6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you,
if I do not consider Jerusalem
my highest joy.

7 Remember, LORD, what the Edomites did
on the day Jerusalem fell.
“Tear it down,” they cried,
“tear it down to its foundations!”
8 Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
happy is the one who repays you
according to what you have done to us.
9 Happy is the one who seizes your infants
and dashes them against the rocks.

Imprecatory psalms are sometimes hard to read-

and harder to digest.  “Happy is the one who seizes your

infants and dashes them against the rocks”? 

There is a whole history lesson that goes with today’s psalm-

but I’m not going there.  This is a psalm of sorrow- of memorial-

of pain- and yes, of anger.

This past week I had a conversation with a lady about her

nephew who is back in jail because of his addiction to drugs.

He is due to be released, but no one in the family is willing to take

him on.  Or should I say, no one is willing to take on him and his


I don’t really understand addiction fully, but what I get- what I KNOW

about it is that it is as tenacious and destructive as a stage 4 cancer- and

more often than not- it ends in death.

Those who live with drug addictions are whirlwinds of trouble-

redemption and relapse,

futile futures and they are dangerous to love.

I’m not saying that they can’t come out of the depths of degradation-

I’m saying that often, they don’t – and if they do- there is no

guarantee they won’t end up back in the same despair.

My friend, Michele, wrote a psalm that I’d like to share with you.


Praise the Lord for being our Creator

Praise Him for making us new

Praise Him  for being our mentor

Ask and it shall be given to you.


Praise the King, the First and the Last,

Praise Him for your future and past.

Praise the One in Heaven above,

Praise Him, Praise Him with all of your love.

Michele was an addict who came to know and love the Lord.

Her voice was loud in His praises, her chuckle filled with the joy

she had in being a part of the family of God.

Her eyes would sparkle as she spoke of His grace and mercy-

and her stories were full of the mystery of His love.

Her life was troubled-

there was so much she had to make amends for- so much she

had to learn-her addiction was costly- it stripped her of her

family, her teeth, her health, her friends.

And she wanted to have a life like those of the believers she knew.

But her life was precarious – even at its best.

And the addiction did not go away- it laid in wait for a moment of

weakness and despair.

And I believe- in the end- it was too strong for her to keep fighting.

But – thinking of Michele and the many others of our loved ones

who are caught in the web of this enemy-

I understand Psalm 137 better.

”Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
happy is the one who repays you
according to what you have done to us.”


Here is a little background to this entry-



This is my son, Luke.

He’s an Episcopalian priest, working in Cold Springs Harbor, NY.

He recently shared this picture with me and it made me smile.

This is what the people called, “The blessing of the Hogs”- I love it.

I love that there is an appropriate blessing for motorcycles.

I love that these people are moved to seek such a blessing.

And I especially love that this is part of my son’s job.

Life is good when your work is doing what you love-

connecting with people and connecting people with God!

And I am so very blessed- that this man is my son.

Blueberry and Almond crumb bars-recipe with a lemon zest


Last Friday, our downstairs upright freezer decided to defrost itself.

We have had a long hot BUSY summer.

And we have neglected to do some things- so the ice in the freezer was

becoming like a living monster-growing and Growing and GROWING!

Until it pushed the door open of it own volition.

Sometime in the wee hours of Friday morning it started to defrost the

freezer, so by the time we got there it was well on its way!

Thankfully- the meat was still rock hard frozen.

The ice cream was a loss.

The bread we could use for toast that morning.

But the bags of blueberries were totally defrosted and I had to

find something to make with them fast.

The good news here is that Frank loves desserts.

He thinks every meal should end in dessert.

But he’s not that fond of fruit pies.

So- I decided to make blueberry bars.

Of course, I started making them without looking for a recipe.

Because I’m that stupid, really.

So I put them into a pan with a cup of sugar, the juice of a lemon,

and  teaspoons of cornstarch and started to cook them down.

Then I started making a crust and after I had mixed up sugar (1 cup)

and flour (3 cups) and a pinch of salt, I grated a cup of butter into a

measuring cup and thought- I should go see how much baking powder

 I should add- and I went to look up a recipe.

The recipe said 1 teaspoon of powder would be sufficient.

But it was really different for the blueberry addition.

It said to use fresh blueberries and mix them with sugar and cornstarch

and lemon juice and then just spread it over the bottom layer of crust.

RATS!  I had already been cooking my thawed berries for about 20 minutes,

and they were bubbly and fragrant and done.  There would be no going back.

So- I adapted my recipe, and added some almonds and lemon zest to the top

layer and baked them up.


Recipe ingredients:

1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup slivered almonds
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups  blueberries ( frozen or fresh)
1/2 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

2. Put frozen/thawed berries in pan – add 1 cup sugar and lemon juice and

cornstarch and cook until bubbly and thick.

(2. Alternative:015

mix blue berries, 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch in bowl- set aside.)

3. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Grate butter into mixture-

and mix together until it resembles oatmeal in texture.


4.  Add egg and lemon zest- and mix together with hands.  Dough will be very


  Now put half of mixture into bottom of 9×13 pan and

press down.  Spoon blueberry mixture over the entire pan.


Add almonds  to mixture in bowl and stir.  Sprinkle over top

of blueberries and bake for 45 minutes to an hour (keeping an eye on

it- you want the top to be beautifully browned.)





Cut into bars when completely cool and separate carefully.

I wrapped mine up in wax paper and plastic for lunches.

I ate one first and decided to freeze the rest- these can be

easily eat by the handful!

Strawberries- a guest post and a quick and easy pastry recipe


Strawberries- a guest post by Robin Loretta Hrubik

( First let me introduce the post.  Robin wrote a small book of memories

for me on my 40th birthday.  She was going to be on a tour of Europe over

the weeks before and after my birthday- so she wrote me a collection of

essays, made up a marvelous treasure hunt for Jordan and me to follow, and

put together a campaign of birthday wishes from almost everyone who knew

me and orchestrated a birthday party at a friend’s home- it was amazing

how very much she was there without actually being there.

This is the entry she wrote about strawberries and our childhood.)

Who doesn’t love them?

Maybe my small patch will produce while I’m in Europe.

Stop over and pick a handful, wipe off the dirt and pop a sun-kissed warm berry

into your mouth and close your eyes to remember…

those delectable teeny-tiny seed covered WILD strawberries that grew

on the bank on the other side of the dirt road.


We were children of the Earth more so in those days.  We  probably had ” chores”

WORK- that four letter word- assignments awaiting us.  But oh, when those

berries were ripe- we Picked!  Such work it was- adults were too impatient to spend

precious time at such a labor-intensive job.  Yet to us it was a gift straight from heaven.

Smell the sweet breeze- the delicate scent of slightly crushed berry mixed with grassy,

earthy aromas and the hot pungent waves of hot tar and auto exhaust. 

We tuned out everything to focus on our worthy task and reward to come.

When we had finally picked” enough”, we would run to the house and prepare our feast.

Between the bank and the house something must have happened to our handfuls of

berries.  I always felt we had more outside and somehow lost Large amounts by the time

we were ready to add the sugar and mash, mash, mash!

Who can forget that tart/sweet full flavor of  those few spoonfuls of wild  berries?

We savored them quickly- by now someone had come upon us and assessed our

childishness (they said stupidness)   and broke into our play/work.

All of a sudden we saw (we were forced to see) the kitchen as it really was-

dirt tracked on the floor,

water splashed and dripping,

berry stems and leaves scattered,

sugar spilt everywhere-

our hands sticky

our faces smeared.

But we had had our adventure, our fun!

They couldn’t take it away!

Thank you, Lord, for not allowing us to be “caught” until we had finished our

moment of “be-ing”.


And thank you Lord, for this book of memories I can still share with my sister,

it helps deal with the loss of her for so many years.

Here is the quick recipe for Almost strawberry pie!


This is quick to put together, but you need some of the ingredients to already

be prepared.  First wash and cut up a pint of strawberries and lightly sugar them

(about 1 TBSP per pint of berries).  Then stir 1/3 cup of strawberry frozen jam- I

use the recipe on the pectin package- into the berries.  This works better than

a glaze and adds sweetness, color and flavor.

Finally, you need several pieces of pastry, sprinkled with sugar , baked ahead and

cut into pie shaped pieces.  I usually do this with any left over pie dough and store

it in the freezer for just this purpose.  Put them all together on a plate, add whipped

cream and you have a little bit of summer delight sitting on the table in front of you!