March 26, 2010

Do you Haiku?

The first time I wrote a haiku I was in the 4th grade at First Presbyterian Day School. I'm almost positive that my teacher gave me a colored piece of paper in the shape of a leaf and instructed our entire class to compose a 3 line poem about fall. I've always been fascinated by haikus--simple, and to the point--they are the ancient Japanese version of twitter.

I enjoy the challenge of making thoughts and feelings fit into a concise space. Since I love organization and being neat, haikus are just my style--organized by a certain number of syllables and neatly placed on three lines. Ah, if only life were always that simple! They also don't have to make perfect sense and they can be about any subject. They can be funny, sad, silly, serious or weird.

The snow is now gone
Time to ride my bike around
Look out for that bus!

I would encourage you to write your own haiku--it can be about anything! If you want to share it with the world, post it as a comment!

March 25, 2010

Capitol Church Service

With all of the drama going on lately in Washington, I though I would share an interesting piece of information that my boss told our staff last Monday.

As most of you are aware, the House of Representatives worked through the weekend and passed the Health Care Bill that we have all been hearing about non-stop for the past year late Sunday evening. However, a portion of the weekend that was not televised was a bipartisan church service, held in Statuary Hall, on Sunday morning.

Statuary Hall was where the House of Representatives used to meet when there were fewer Members. It was also the home of the largest gathering of Christians for Sunday church services (starting in 1800 until 1857)—when DC was just beginning to develop. This past week’s service was the first to be held there in 130 years.

The service ended with Peter Marshall (Senate Chaplain) from March 21, 1947:

“O Lord our God, in the midst of the troubles that surround us, when compromises come home to roost and expediencies return to plague us, keep us from adding to the mistakes of the past. Save us from accepting a little of what we know to be wrong in order to a get a little of what we imagine to be right. Help us to stand up for the inalienable rights of mankind and the principals of democratic government consistently and with courage, knowing that Thy power and Thy blessing will be upon us only when we are in the right. May we so speak, and vote, and live, as to merit Thy blessing. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.”

Proverbs 18:17 “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.”

March 18, 2010

Chicken with Sausage and Dried Fruit

I highly recommend this chicken dish! I cut up all the ingredients on Monday night, refrigerated them, and dumped everything in the crock pot before I left for work on Tuesday. I returned home to find the house smelling delicious and chicken that was so tender it could be cut without a knife!
Prep Time: 10 Min Cook Time: 9 Hrs Ready In: 9 Hrs 10 Min

Original Recipe Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

  • 1 (6 inch) smoked turkey sausage link, sliced

  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3/4 cup chopped dried apples

  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries

  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley

  • 2 teaspoons dried chives

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of a slow cooker. They can still be frozen if you have those on hand. Layer the sausage, green pepper, onion, garlic, apples, and cranberries over the chicken. Sprinkle with parsley and chives. Pour the chicken stock over everything, and season with salt and pepper. Cover, and cook on Low for 8 to 9 hours.

Nutritional Information

Amount per Serving Calories: 297 | Total Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 93mg

March 14, 2010

In Christ Alone
Stuart Townend and Keith Getty

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

There have been several artists who have recorded this song, however, if you would like to listen to the Newsboys version, click here!

March 10, 2010

Quote of the Day

No commentary needed:

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“We have to pass the health care bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

–Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the Democrat Health Care Bill.

Click here to watch the video.

March 05, 2010

Fragile X Week

This week was National Fragile X Advocacy Week in DC. Congressman Harper's son, Livingston, has Fragile X. On Wednesday morning, Congressman Harper took a group of 150 people on the House Floor before they began their rounds of lobbying Congress on behalf of raising Fragile X awareness. He gave them an interesting history lesson, encouraged them, and thanked them for their efforts. Many people do not know what Fragile X is, even though is it the most common cause of inherited mental impairment. It can range from learning disabilities to more severe cognitive or intellectual disabilities. To put it in a context that most folks are more familiar with, FXS is the most common known cause of autism or "autistic-like" behaviors.

I had several opportunities to visit with these families and their kids that were in town. They told me wonderful stories, sad stories, and funny stories. All of them were so appreciative of Congressman Harper's efforts to secure appropriations for FXS research and for his involvement in the FXS Caucus. One lady told me, "We knew we needed star power to help Fragile X get the recognition it deserved, but we didn't know exactly what kind of star we needed...until Congressman Harper came along. He has been amazing." These are the moments to step back and be thankful for the ways that the Lord is using Congressman Harper and our office in DC.

Below is an excerpt and video from our latest eNewsletter.

NATIONAL FRAGILE X FOUNDATION ADVOCACY DAY
As many of you may know, my wife, Sidney, and I are blessed with a precious 20-year-old son, Livingston. Early in his life, we noticed that Livingston was not reaching developmental milestones as quickly as the other children his age. After almost two years of occupational therapy, speech therapy and many diagnostic tests, we were finally able to get a correct diagnosis of Fragile X Syndrome.

On Wednesday, over 150 Fragile X advocates, many of them parents of Fragile X children, visited Capitol Hill educating their Members of Congress on the potential for effective treatments, raising awareness for this disorder and sharing their personal stories. Below, you will find a video of a floor speech I delivered on the National Fragile X Foundation Advocacy Day.

To view this video, click here.
(Having trouble? Visit
www.youtube.com/CongressmanHarper)

As the only member of Congress who has a child with Fragile X Syndrome, I understand the challenges that many families face who experience this condition. I am committed to improving the health of children and adults across the country living with this disorder.