Lisse Lives Life

Let's be outspoken, let's be ridiculous, let's solve the world's problems. – Alanis Morissette


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Run Toward The Danger

April 18, 2013 – just a few days after the bombing of the Boston Marathon.

In the midst of the horrific tragedy, broadcasters, Facebookers, and Tweeters repeated with astonishment a theme: “Look at the helpers!” Look at the people who just completed a 26-mile marathon and kept running 2 extra miles to the hospital to donate blood. Look at the people who, while smoke from the explosion permeated the air and no one knew whether it was safe, stayed to aid those injured.

In short – look at the people running toward the danger.

People are amazing! Such courage. Such big hearts. Such resources and a willingness to give.

Let’s expand our vision. Let’s look beyond the danger that is just before us. Rather than limiting ourselves to running toward the danger our physical eyes see, let’s look with our hearts. Turn your eyes upon the nightmare lived by over a million women and girls trapped in sex slavery. Considering the response of the courageous helpers in Boston who ran toward the danger before them, I do not doubt that if any single one of us saw with our physical eyes a woman trapped in sex slavery we would run, we would fight, we would scrap until we saw her set free.

The clever twist in this living nightmare is that it’s hidden from plain sight. The people who facilitate this darkness must know that we will run toward tragedy we can physically see. They endeavor to keep their awful enterprise in the dark. They know that once we see, their time of evil power will end.

SEE IT in your mind’s eye.

SEE IT in documentaries, in the news, in your hometown.

SEE IT in the heroic endeavors of organizations like the A21 Campaign.

Friends, I implore you – SEE IT. Once the light is shed on this evil, its reign will collapse quickly.

SEE IT. Once we see, then we will preach the good news to the poor. Then we will heal the brokenhearted. Then we will announce freedom to the captives. Then we will give sight to the blind. Then we will proclaim liberty to the oppressed.

They’re waiting. In captivity, oppression, and horror most of us cannot imagine, they’re waiting for us to run toward the danger.

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A few of my favorite things…

Oh, hey guys.  My last post was over two months ago.  My apologies.

Right now, a lot is sort of happening in my life.  I’ll keep you posted when things actually happen.

Until then, here are a few of my favorite things these days:

1. Flourless cookies/scones

In my quest to stay away from wheat and gluten-y things, I recently happened upon this fantastic blog:

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/02/20/flourless-oatmeal-raisin-cookies/s

Photo from Chocolate-Covered Katie’s blog. Visit it!!! Still working on making my cookies as pretty as hers.

I hadn’t had an oatmeal raisin cookie in ages, and they’re my favorite.    I made them with cranberries, chocolate chips…

…AND THEN… I tweaked the recipe and made *flourless pumpkin spice cookies* topped with cream cheese frosting to make *flourless pumpkin whoopee pies.*  OMG DELICIOUSNESS.

…AND THEN… I tweaked it again to make savory, herby, cheesy scones.  It was a grand experiment!  They turned out pretty darned good for my first try.  (recipe info , see n. 1)

2. Bible Study at 25th and Skillern

Every week at Bible Study is wonderful, and then the next one is even better.  We wrestle with how to make the promises and truth of the Bible apply in everyday life.

How do we show the love and hope of Christ to people struggling under the burden of pain produced by living life in a fallen world?

How do we reach out with this love to people who have been hurt and turned off to what the Bible says by unfortunate missteps and actions taken by fallible people in the name of God?

How do we connect with the Holy Spirit more and more and more so that our lives look radically different from the world?

How do we develop our confidence in the truths of the Bible, actually taking seriously the words that Jesus spoke?

It’s a lot to work through.  Kevin, Adrienne, Chris, Penni, Mandy, Erika, Joe… I’m so blessed to get to work through all of it with you.  Love, love, love.

Girlzzz at Halloween.

Skillz bros. This is how they usually dress.

Joe and e*RIK*a.

3. Parents + piano

My parents, the great Mike and Glenda Eick, are visiting me in Tulsa this weekend.  My parents are the greatest parents in the world. (disagree if you want, but I won’t apologize for this statement)  As if that weren’t good enough, they are bringing along my piano.  It has been out of my possession for a year and a half.  It’s like reuniting with a good friend.

4. Reuniting with a good friend

My friend Anna is coming to visit in two and a half weeks!!!  In the last 4 years, we’ve only spent a matter of hours together face to face.  We’re going to get 48 whole hours to ourselves this time!  I can’t wait to introduce her to my life in Tulsa.  More on that when she’s actually here…

5. Breaking the rules

I really like my idea about Music Monday, Photo Phriday, etc.  It just hasn’t been practical for me to keep that up, though.  So I will forsake my own rules for now and perhaps one day return to a similar format.  For now, I’ll post whenever I feel like it.  I think this will actually free me up to post more often.

See you soon! xxoo, Lisse

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Note 1: Flourless Pumpkin Spice Cookies: I substituted coconut oil (an excellent anti-inflammatory ingredient) for butter; Stevia-sugar mix (1 tsp. instead of 1 T. of sugar) and added 2 ½ T. of canned pumpkin puree.  Savory Scones: I added ¼ tsp. baking powder, reduced the salt, added a mix of herbs, and ¼ C. of cheddar cheese.


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Perception Filters – What the Doctor Taught Me

If you’ve never watched the latest seasons of “Doctor Who” (famous British sci-fi series) then, well, you should.  (Season 7 premieres this Saturday on BBC America.  Oh, excitment.)

The 11th Doctor. So. Cute.

But also, if you’ve never watched it, then probably you’re unfamiliar with “perception filters.”  Clever aliens on the show use perception filters as blinders to prevent weak-minded humans from perceiving their true identites or hiding places.  They can’t hide from the Doctor though.  No, no.  Because he’s brilliant. 

Relevance?  Getting there.

Regal Italian lady exterior is a perception filter. Remove it, and she becomes…

…this ugly, fishy alien. Ew. Perception filters use benign, even pleasing exteriors to cover up what is destructive.

Relevance: like everyone, various generally positive ideas of things to do or to try float into my mind.  All my life, with alarming frequency, I reject the ideas, almost immediately thinking, “Ugh.  I do NOT feel like doing that.”  More often than not, I have followed the impulse not to do that generally positive thing.  It hadn’t occurred to me to consider why that is my primary reaction, even in response to things that I actually do want to do.  Until now.

A couple examples.  I recently thought about rearranging my living room.  I knew it wouldn’t take long and it would be more organized.  Almost immediately, I thought, “I don’t really feel like doing that.”    But unlike the other times, it was like some sort of screen snapped away and I realized, “Um…yes I do.”  Or how about this?  I thought that I’d like to work on a post for this blog.  Thought: “Nah, I don’t really feel like doing that.”  What?  Yes I do!

That’s when it hit me.

Perception filters!  It’s all a LIE.  I am not truly opposed to these positive ideas.  But the clever enemy of my life most certainly opposes them.  He wants to stealthily convince me to squander my life in maintaining an unsatisfying status quo.  Much like the aliens trying to defeat the Doctor (stay with me here), the enemy disguises his lies using perception filters.  He convinces me that I’m the one who doesn’t want to do something when it’s actually HIM who doesn’t want me to do it.

Ah-ha!  I see you.  You are not as clever as you think.  God has equipped me to stand up against all the strategies and the deceits of the devil. (n.1)  The Apostle Paul also talked about the frustration of inexplicably doing the exact opposite of what you actually want to and how difficult it can be to pull yourself out of the pattern.  (n. 2)

Proof that God will use even the silliest things to grow our faith.

Let’s take this a step further.  Maybe I need to start really paying attention to the things I do not feel like doing.  If this pattern is as entrenched in my life as I’m starting to think it is, then maybe what I don’t want to do will reveal more about what I truly want in life.  Maybe there are perception filters around all the things I actually want to do!  Oh, Doctor . . .

I am not a brilliant Doctor with a TARDIS, a sonic screwdriver, and 900+ years of life experience.  But I can do the Doctor one better (much better): I have the Holy Spirit, who is faithful to reveal important lessons to me at life’s crucial moments.

Certainly I am not the first one to reach this conclusion about the enemy’s wily ways of lying to us to steer us in the wrong directions.

I MAY just be, however, the first one who discovered all this in the context of and thanks to . . . the Doctor.

1. Ephesians 6:11 – Put on God’s whole armor that you may be able successfully to stand up against all the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 

2. Romans 7:15, 18-19  – “For I do not understand my own actions; I am baffled and bewildered.  I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe. . . . I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out.  For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds that I do not desire to do are what I am always doing. “


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M[use]ic Monday | NEW Muse – Madness

Muse’s new album, “The 2nd Law,” is due out in September.  This is very good news.

“Madness” is the second single from the new album after “Survival,” the official song of the London 2012 Olympics.

The blokes from Muse.

When I first heard this single, I was reminded of a story my sister, Jennifer, told me.  It was 1991.  Jen had not been long back from studying abroad in Spain.  She was driving a legit 1960sVW Bug, a pretty sky blue, around the streets of Des Moines when she heard the opening strains of a new song on the radio.  She pulled over to listen, for in her heart, before she heard the first words sung by the iconic voice, she knew…this was a new song by U2.  She heard “Mysterious Ways” for the first time.

Last Friday, driving Route 66 on my way back to Tulsa from doing some legal research in Sapulpa, I heard the opening beats of this song.  “What is this?” I thought, turning up the volume.  Within a few more measures, I knew… “This has to be Muse.”  Indeed.

Have a listen.  It’s gorgeous.


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Photo Phriday (6) | Summery Ratatouille

This week’s Photo Phriday features Ratatouille.  No, not as in the movie.  The real, Frenchy recipe, a traditional summer dish. 

A few weeks ago, Adrienne gave me a few vegetables – an eggplant, a zucchini, and a Japaneze cucumber – fresh from a garden she and our friend Mandy helped plant.  Something I’ve learned about myself in writing this blog: I love an oddly shaped veggie.

image

An eggplant and a zucchini just need a tomato to become the staple indredients of Ratatouille.  As for the Japanese cucmber, it’ll make an appearance later in another recipe.  By the way, turns out a Japanese cucumber tastes just like an American cucumber.

image

Since this was a small batch of vegetables, I just added two vine-ripened tomatoes.  I also threw in clove of chopped garlic and seasoned it all with sea salt, black pepper, a dash of cayenne pepper, and herbes de provence. 

 

My brother Dan and his wife Julie gave me this mini-slow cooker set last Christmas.  One section is the perfect size for a small batch of cookin’.  I set it on high for 10 hours to allow veggies to cook down and the flavors to meld together. 

I suggest serving with crusty bread or over the top of couscous or quinoa.  It’s delicious with some mozzarella melted over top!


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Music Monday | NEW Mumford & Sons – “I Will Wait”

Mumford & Sons  paint a picture in “I Will Wait” of hopes and aspirations I’ve contemplated in my spirit but am often unable to put into words.  They communicate all this musically in a way only they can – a compelling, driving, bluegrassy sort of way.

Blokes from Mumford & Sons

“I’ll kneel down, wait for now; And I’ll kneel down, Know my ground”

This song speaks to the  constant struggle between my earthly striving to push forward to the next thing *versus* my spiritual inclination toward trusting the wisdom of patience, knowing that sometimes the most productive thing I can do is wait.

“So tame my flesh and fix my eyes, A tethered mind free from the lies”

The events – or lack thereof – of my past year drive home the value of waiting.  Difficult as it may be, sometimes just waiting and gleaning the most you can from right where you are can require just as much faith as taking a step toward something new.  It takes faith to trust that God is orchestrating good things during the “down times” when my eyes don’t perceive any movement in my life.  (“We walk by faith, not by sight . . . ” 2 Cor. 5:7)

“And I will wait, I will wait for you”

Strikes me as a rather British-y photo. They’re British, you know.

Take a listen.  Lyrics posted below, with a few of my favorite moments highlighted. The release date of the new album, “Babel,” is the 24th of September.

 

LYRICS:

Well I came home
Like a stone
And I fell heavy into your arms
These days of dust
Which we’ve known
Will blow away with this new sun

And I’ll kneel down
Wait for now
And I’ll kneel down
Know my ground

And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you

So break my step
And relent
You forgave and I won’t forget
Know what we’ve seen
And him with less
Now in some way
Shake the excess

But I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you

So I’ll be bold
As well as strong
And use my head alongside my heart
So tame my flesh
And fix my eyes
A tethered mind free from the lies

But I’ll kneel down
Wait for now
I’ll kneel down
Know my ground

Raise my hands
Paint my spirit gold
And bow my head
Keep my heart slow

Cause I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you