Day 137 | Monday, 3 August 2020 – Exercise Group #1
From the Church Mouse
When the dove came to Noah in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf!
Genesis 8:11 NIV
After re-reading some of the last entries from the Church Mouse, it appears that what I’m doing, perhaps, is offering present day parables. That’s OK. I like parables. They are some of my favorite things…. so, here’s another:
Since my parable of the birds was sent to you on Saturday, I’ve been thinking about the birds seen most faithfully at our feeders. They are the gentle, soft-eyed, cooing doves. They are ground feeders, so some seed has to be left on the ground for them. A dove brought Noah an olive branch to let him know that dry land was near. Pretty important, but it was a dove that was chosen for the job, not a hawk. When Jesus was baptized, he saw a dove descending, symbolizing his purity and holiness. A very important job… but done by a dove, not an eagle. We watch doves at our feeders and pigeons on our roofs. Maybe, as we look at our doves and pigeons, we see gentleness and softness in them and think there can be no toughness, no courage, no resolve.
Listen to another side of gentle pigeons. The U.S. Army used trained homing pigeons to carry messages during our two World Wars. The birds’ speed, altitude, and their ability to find their way made them undetectable to the enemy. Resilient birds, pigeons often flew through heavy artillery to reach their destination.
A homing pigeon named Cher Ami, with an injured leg and a gunshot wound in the chest, managed to travel about twenty-five miles to deliver a message that saved 194 men in the World War I Battle of the Argonne.
A “platoon” of pigeons flew across Normandy during World War II to deliver strategic plans to Allied forces, with the messages folded in tiny cases attached to the pigeons’ legs.
Doves and pigeons mingle with people at the Woodlands, yet, they have soared to heights to bring messages of hope and to save lives throughout history. The Holy Spirit is symbolized as a dove. It mingles with humans, delivers hope and salvation, and puts a homing instinct into our hearts.
I am always thankful as I watch my doves, this gentle bird that symbolizes peace, hope and goodness. I’m reminded that even in these uncertain times that there is always an olive branch until we reach our home in heaven.
Now for foodie time:
On May 18th, on day 60 of the Rev.’s messages, after I joined him as the Church Mouse, I listed 10 items that you might want to consider if we find a shortage of meat this fall and winter. One such item is Quark (not the sub-atomic particle). Quark has long been used by dieters as an alternative to more fatty creams and yogurts and a source of healthy protein.
Quark is officially a cheese, thanks to its soft dairy nature. It looks a little bit like yogurt and can be swapped into all sorts of recipes to cut back on fat or calories when replacing things like yogurt or cream. It’s made from milk that has been altered by the addition of lactic acid. This acidification causes the whey in the milk to split from the curd, and then the solids can be gathered up and turned into Quark. Quark is said to have originated as far back as the 14th century in Central Europe. Quark is low in calories and fat and makes a great baking substitute if you’re trying to keep on top of eating s little bit better. Quark is mild and creamy, and neither sweet nor sour. It is healthy thanks to its high ratios of protein. This means it is really filling without being as fattening as ingredients like cream.
Check in on Friday for some recipes!