Bobbie Burns Night

After the holiday season of Thanksgiving and Christmas with friends, family, feasting and presents, January can seem anti-climactic. Last year my husband and I discoveredbobbiburnsii

an antidote to the winter doldrums when we discovered Bobbie Burns Night. The Burns Supper is an institution of Scottish life: a night to celebrate the life and works of the national Bard, Robert Burns born January 25, 1759, which would make him 258 years old today.

My husband ‘s genealogy research on Ancestry.com revealed that his 22nd  great- grandfather  was John Bruce (1276), possibly brother of Robert the Bruce.  His Scottish ties were enhanced when he donated to preserve an  undeveloped landscape in Scotland and received title to one square foot of Scotland with its attendant title of Laird which simply means that he is a landowner in Scotland.  So tonight Laird and Lady Schoonover celebrated Burns Night like all good Scots.

I set the table on the Mighty Man tartan plaid created by Ina Murison from South Africa.  She is married to Piper James McGowan who has played at the Queen’s table and the wedding of Lady Diana Spencer to Prince Charles before moving to South Africa to marry Ina.  Laird Schoonover was their first customer from the United States which has led to a delightful interaction.  On our birthdays we get a bagpipe rendition of Happy Birthday from Piper James on Facebook.  My green depression glass settings with Ruby Cape Cod dishes, Grandma’s silver, candles and a blooming winter geranium complement the tartan plaid table cover with simple grace.

The menu traditionally includes haggis, Scotch whiskey and a rendition of Burns poetry.  I modified the menu since haggis seemed a bit over the top.  Originally, haggis was cooked during sheep butchering in the field.  An impromptu working dinner was made by stuffing the sheep’s stomach with the liver, heart and lungs along with oats, onion and spices and then roasting this impromptu vessel with contents over an open fire.

steven-marr-and-lambWe buy a lamb every Fall from a local 4-H producer, so I save the heart and liver for my Creole Dirty Rice Haggis on Bobbie Burn’s night.

4 slices of bacon fried crisply and set aside.  Saute one medium onion and one cup celery in bacon drippings.  Add chopped liver and heart.  Season with salt and Tony Chechere’s Cajun seasoning.  Cook until  liver and heart are done and add 2 cups of cooked brown rice.  Stir until well integrated and sprinkle crumbled bacon over top.

While I bring the haggis to the table, Laird Schoonover plays Scottish bagpipe music on his ipad.  Then we say the Scottish Selkirk Grace

Some hae meat an canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae let the Lord be thankit.
After grace the Laird plays more bagpipe music as we toast the haggis with Scotch whiskey and enjoy our meal and Scottish shortbread cookies.  The evening ends with my husband reading Burns’ love poetry to me and singing Auld Lang Syne.  I do believe it’s as romantic as Valentine’s Day.
Dennis at Celtic Celebration in Cheyenne, Wyoming sporting a Mighty Man tartan tie, the first purchase in the United States.101_0579
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Day 40: Restoration

restorationRestoration

: the act or process of returning something to its original condition

PRAY: God, I rejoice that your Kingdom has come to earth through your Son. I know we are in an age of “now-and-not-yet”—your Kingdom is here, but it is still to come. Today, I pray that you would make our nation part of your restorative work on earth. I pray that the results of this election would usher America into an age of joyful participation in the ultimate restoration of your Kingdom on earth.

Acts 15:16-18

“Afterward I will return and restore the fallen house of David. I will rebuild its ruins and restore it, so that the rest of humanity might seek the Lord, including the Gentiles— all those I have called to be mine. The Lord has spoken— he who made these things known so long ago.”

 

Day 39: Involvement

involvementInvolvement

: to engage as a participant

: to occupy absorbingly; especially to commit emotionally

PRAY: Jesus, I humbly thank you today for the way you involved yourself in humanity, that you might understand our pains, our sorrows and our sufferings. I pray that you would show me how to become involved in the lives of my neighbors, that I might see them through your eyes of grace because I understand their sorrows and sufferings. May my votes bring relief because of my involvement in the plight of those around me.

Hebrews 5:7-8

“While he lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as he offered up priestly prayers to God. Because he honored God, God answered him. Though he was God’s Son, he learned trusting-obedience by what he suffered, just as we do.”

Day 38: Sensitivity

sensitivitySensitivity

: awareness and understanding of the needs and emotions of others

PRAY: Today, I pray for the leaders we will elect in the coming days. Father God, I pray that the men and women we choose would have sensitive hearts. Make them especially sensitive to you, Lord. May they “press on to know” you so that you will respond and heal our nation. Make them sensitive, also, to the needs of the people they are elected to represent.

Hosea 6:2-3 (NLT)

“In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.”

Day 37 Concern

concernConcern

: marked interest or regard usually arising though a personal tie or relationship

PRAY: Lord, I pray today that you would give me your heart of gracious concern for my neighbors as I approach the election in my nation this November. I pray that you would use my vote to minister your restoration and your compassion to your people and to the lost in America. I pray that you would nudge the hearts of your people to remember, God, that when we respond to you and obey you, you will restore us.

Deuteronomy 30:3-4

“Here’s what will happen. While you’re out among the nations where God has dispersed you and the blessings and curses come in just the way I have set them before you, and you and your children take them seriously and come back to God, your God, and obey him with your whole heart and soul according to everything that I command you today, God, your God, will restore everything you lost; he’ll have compassion on you; he’ll come back and pick up the pieces from all the places where you were scattered. No matter how far away you end up, God, your God, will get you out of there and bring you back to the land your ancestors once possessed.”

Day 36: Support

supportSupport

: to show that you approve of someone or something

: to give help or assistance to someone or something

PRAY: God, I pray that you would show me where your support falls in this election. Direct my support to issues and candidates that have your support. I pray, also, that you would support your Church in America in your grace—make us live in “mutual harmony” and “full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,” that we would demonstrate your love to the world around us through our participation in this election.

Romans 15:5-6

“Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, That together you may [unanimously] with united hearts and one voice, praise and glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).”

Day 35: Awareness

awarenessAwareness

: having or showing realization, perception, or knowledge

PRAY: Your awareness of me, oh God, speaks to me of your overwhelming love for me. You love me even as you search and know me. You are always aware of what I am doing, where I am going and what I am saying. I pray, Lord, that you would make me aware of you—aware of your thoughts, your desires and your will—as I consider the issues and candidates on my ballot this November.

Psalm 139: 1-6

“God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight. You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too— your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful— I can’t take it all in!”