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

Prayer Walking Our Nation

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Rosh Hashanah 2015 ushered in a Jubilee year, a fiftieth year in God’s ordained calendar.   This Hebraic year of 5776 is the 700th Jubilee year observed since Joshua led the children of Israel into the Promised Land!  “…. you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land.  And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family.” (Leviticus 25:10)  In Jubilee all slaves were released, debts were cancelled, families and inheritances were restored, and property returned.  2016 will be a year of Jubilee blessing and release!
Historically, Jubilee years birthed the end of 1400 years of Muslim rule over Jerusalem in 1917.   The victory took place on October 31, 1917 – the exact date of the 400-year anniversary of Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg church and started the Reformation.   2017 is the 500-year anniversary of the Reformation.  It is interesting for us in America that Leviticus 25:10 is inscribed on America’s  Liberty Bell. Let it be a mandate from the Lord for us all to speak and decree over our nations God’s blessings, release and restoration!
In this year of Jubilee there is a call to pray all the postal codes in the United States.   I determined to organize prayer-walking teams for the small towns of the region in Colorado where we live.  Shortly thereafter, we were asked to write a short article for the Kneeling Army newsletter.  We pray that this missive will expand the Jubilee call to prayer into Canada and beyond as we join together to see God’s will done on the earth as it is in heaven through our prayers.
Because God has decreed that the church is to display his wisdom to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places; and because of Christ and our faith in him, we come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.  This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.  Where two or three believers are gathered, Christ’s presence, power and authority are promised.  Prayer-walking is simply two or more believers walking with Jesus throughout our cities and declaring His heart for the city and its people aloud.  Prayer-walking is praying on site with insight.
Two fundamentals in prayer-walking are praying the Scriptures and praying with the Spirit of God.  It is easy to know God’s heart through His Word.  The Lord’s heart is for redemption.  His purpose is for the nations of the earth to honor and glorify Him.  He is the Lord of the Harvest and will partner with those who pray His heart.
Pray blessing on the neighborhoods and businesses that you walk through. Praise the Lord and give Him a thank offering for the blessings He is pouring out through your prayers for each city, family, prodigal and nation.  Ask for repentant hearts to turn to God and pray for mercy.  Agree with others on the team.  Report results and impressions of team members at the end of the prayer walk in anticipation of what God is planning or has done for the next prayer walk.

Robbie Burns Supper

My husband Dennis and I love creating special occasions.  Lately his research into genealogy revealed he was 30% Irish and 26% English, Scottish and Welsh which was enough of an excuse to dip into Scottish heritage and celebrate the birthday of the most famous of Scottish poets, Robert Burns.  His birthday falls on January 25th just one month after Christmas and in the midst of a snowy, white month that could use stirring bagpipe music and single-malt scotch to warm the landscape.

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I was commissioned to address the menu which typically includes haggis while Dennis compiled the traditional order of ceremony for the celebration.  Although the name “hagws” or “hagese” was first used in England c. 1430, the dish came to be considered traditionally Scottish, even the national dish, as a result of Burns’ poem “Address to a Haggis” of 1787. Haggis, a sausage-like creation of sheep heart, liver and grains is traditionally served with ruttabega and potatoes boiled and mashed separately, and a glass of Scotch whiskey. Continue reading “Robbie Burns Supper”