Saturday, April 28, 2012



I love cucumbers! I especially craved them during my first pregnancy but it's my second child, my little monkey-boy, who loves them about as much as I do. He's a picky eater but loves to fill his plate with cucumber slices and arrange them like a happy face. So we buy cucumbers all the time. But for some reason, today when I picked up cucumbers at the market they reminded me of my Grandpa. There are lots of greenhouses where I grew up and Grandpa would often bring us bags of skinny, irregular shaped cucumbers when he came to visit. They tasted even better than the ones that looked perfect! He didn't like tomatoes even though he lived in Leamington, the Tomato Capital of Canada. The Heinz factory made it's famous ketchup and the tourist information booth looked like a giant tomato but for my Grandpa it was always cucumbers.

Big cucumbers with lots of seeds are always available where we live here in the Dominican Republic. People use them (along with my Grandpa's awful tomatoes) on top of lettuce and cabbage to make a simple green salad they call "ensalada mixta" or "mixed salad." But certain times of the year we can get smaller, skinny ones that, today, reminded me of Grandpa's.

My Grandpa died two years ago and, while he is remembered for much more than cucumbers, it was cucumbers today that reminded me of the blessing he was in my life. I'm so thankful for the time I was able to spend with him.

Thank you, Lord, for my Grandpa and for his home in heaven with you. Thank you that I'll be able to see him again someday!

Marcie Cooper

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fruit of the Spirit: Kindness

Dear friends,

"The fruit of the Spirit is lovejoypeacepatience, KINDNESS..."

Ephesians 4:32 says, "Be KIND..." and 1 Corinthians 13:4 reminds us that love is KIND.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone followed the Bible's instruction to be kind? Everyone would be nice to each other and no one would be mean or hurt others. Bullying would not exist and families would enjoy being together.

I've had people tell me that they were not interested in knowing about Jesus because Christians had been mean to them or to others in the past. If you are a Christian, are you being kind to others? Just a couple days ago I had a talk with my little girl about how we are often the meanest to the people who are the closest to us and who we should love the most. In her case, she was having trouble with a certain little brother. For some people, it is a parent or spouse or friend. As Christians, we should be even more kind because we have the Holy Spirit to help us. If you are not a Christian, I hope that you will find Christians who show kindness to others and that you will come to understand God's kindness especially in sending Jesus to die on the cross to make a way for us to spend eternity with Him.

I hope that my words and actions this week will be kind and that yours will as well.

Marcie Cooper

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fruit of the Spirit: Patience


At bedtime since Easter I have been reading Bible stories to my kids about what happened after Jesus' resurrection. He walked with two men on the road to Emmaus. He appeared to his disciples and then to Thomas. He helped them catch fish and served them breakfast early one morning. He left them with the Great Commission and then he went up in the clouds back to heaven. Two men in white told the disciples that He would return the way He had gone.

Here we are around 2000 years later and Jesus hasn't returned yet. Why? 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that it's because of His patience. He is "not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."

As we wait for His return, we are also told to be patient. Not only patient in circumstances and in waiting for Him, but also to be patient with other people. That's the kind of patience listed in the Fruit of the Spirit. For me, for example, that means being patient with my husband and my kids and the children I work with in AWANA. It isn't always easy, especially when I'm tired, but it's possible with the help of the Holy Spirit. It's possible for you too.

I hope you have a great Sunday and that you show God's patience to those around you!

Marcie Cooper

P.S. Here are links to other Fruit of the Spirit covered so far:

Saturday, April 14, 2012



This week we went to Santo Domingo to renew a couple of passports. Dominicans often just refer to Santo Domingo as "La Capital" which you can probably figure out to mean "The Capital." The word looks the same but is pronounced a differently. The i says "ee" and the emphasis is on the last syllable.

We went to the Canadian Embassy and had to go through security twice and leave our cell phones in a tiny locker before we could get in. All of our papers looked fine so we should get new passports in a couple weeks.

There are lots of sites to see in Santo Domingo since it was one of the first cities established in the New World but we'll have to save that for another time.

Right now we have my parents here visiting for a week and it's like Christmas all over again with all of the special things they brought from "home."  I'm enjoying hearing my Mom read some new bedtime stories to the kids in the other room.  They sure do love their Grandparents!

Have a good night!

Marcie Cooper

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Hello and Happy Easter!

Our family has had a wonderful Easter with some old traditions like colouring Easter eggs,

eating Paska (Grandma's Mennonite Easter Bread),

hunting for chocolate and Resurrection Eggs,

and retelling the Easter story.

We also enjoyed some Easter firsts like our first Sunrise Service and a Pot-luck dinner with lots of missionaries and friends. The kids especially enjoyed the outdoor Easter Egg Hunt!

(Grass is more fun than eggs!)

(A favourite little friend!)

We hope you've enjoyed your Easter too!

Marcie Cooper

Friday, April 6, 2012

GOOD Friday

Good morning this Good Friday morning!

"Why is Good Friday called Good Friday?" was a common question that I was asked as an elementary teacher in Toronto. For most of my students, Easter was just about chocolate, eggs, and the Easter Bunny. There were also some from Muslim families who believed that Jesus was a prophet and did not die on the cross. They didn't celebrate Easter at all. Others were Jehovah's Witnesses who believed that Jesus died but not that He was God. I just met some Jehovah's witnesses yesterday who wanted to invite me to a service celebrating Jesus' death.

Good Friday IS about remembering Jesus' death on the cross. But He IS God, He lived a truly good, perfect life as a man on earth, and He died in our place. Not only that, but he rose again, as we'll celebrate on Sunday. He is good and He is Lord!

Happy Good Friday!

Marcie Cooper

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Date Palm Trees


Just after our Palm Tree Hunt, I found my little monkey boy playing with some Bible cards that another missionary family had given us. When I looked closer, I realized that one of them was all about Palm Trees!

On the back, it talked about how Solomon carved palm branches into the doors of the temple and how the people placed them in Jesus' path as he rode through Jerusalem on the donkey. It shared how people in the Middle East used the branches for ropes and brooms and how they wove palm leaves into baskets. Then it focussed on the palm trees that grew sweet, sticky, dates and described how many still grow along the Nile River and the Red Sea.

I haven't seen date palm trees here but was excited to find imported dates recently and decided to make some date squares. Most peope who tried them had never heard of them so I thought I'd include the recipe here.

Date Squares
1 lb. pitted dates, chopped
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp. orange juice
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
pinch salt
1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour (whole wheat or all-purpose)
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup butter

1. Make the filling first. Cook all filling ingredients except vanilla on low heat until dates are soft and water is absorbed. Stir in vanilla and let cool.

2. Mix all base/topping ingredients except butter. Cut in butter and work it in with fingers until well-mixed.

3. Press half of the oat mixture into a 8" square pan. Cover with cold filling. Pat remaining mixture on top.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

They are crumbly but yummy!
Thanks for joining our Palm Tree Hunt this week. I hope that you've enjoyed it!

Marcie Cooper

P.S. Click on the links to find earlier Palm Tree messages:
       Our Palm Trees
       Red Berry Palm Trees
       Coconut Palm Trees

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Coconut Palm Trees


We've been going on a Palm Tree Hunt this week and after seeing our palm trees in a cluster and then our neighbours' with red seeds we found some of our favourites: coconut palm trees!

They are very tall! Can you see the coconuts?

If you cut away the green outside you will get to the brown shell underneath. They're usually sold once that is done.

We bought this one at the market, cut it open, took sips of the milk, and ate some of the white fruit. Yummy!

Enjoy your day!

Marcie Cooper

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Palm Trees: Part 2


Welcome to Part Two of our Palm Tree Hunt! Yesterday we looked at the palm trees in our yard that grow in a cluster. Click here if you missed it. After leaving our yard, we passed our neighbours' house and saw their palm trees with bright red seeds. Their type does not grow close together like ours do.

We saw another one like it around the corner.

And a little further we saw some more!

These ones didn't have red seeds but were some of my favourites in this beautiful yard:

I think my landscaping-loving Dad would like them!

Come back tomorrow to see another special type of palm tree!

Have a great day!

Marcie Cooper

Monday, April 2, 2012

Our Palm Trees


Since yesterday was Palm Sunday, I took my kids out on a palm tree hunt. We found lots of different palm trees so I decided that this will be Palm Week here at Marcie's Messages.

We started in our own front yard and took pictures of our cluster of palm trees. When we first moved in, it was so overgrown that we could hardly see the house!

We don't have any seeds right now but they will form on the yellow branches.

The seeds are green and then turn brown and fall down. Some start to grow into new trees around the base.

Can you see the lines on the trunks? As the trees grow, the lower branches turn brown and fall off, revealing new sections of trunk as they fall.

We found the same kind of trees a couple of blocks from our house. They had filled in along a fence to form a wall of trees in front of the property. We liked to walk in their shade!

Join us again tomorrow for more of our palm tree hunt adventure.

Have a great day!

Marcie Cooper

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Palm Sunday

Dear Friends,

Palm Sunday holds new meaning for me now that I live in a country filled with palm trees. When I was a little girl in Canada, I often made my own palm branches out paper for Palm Sunday. I remember having real ones in church a few times but I'm not sure where they would have come from. Maybe a local greenhouse called Colosanti's. Now I have a great view of palm trees in my own front yard! My kids like to pick up branches that have fallen off the trees and shout, "Hosanna! Hosanna!" I can picture the children waving them in front and behind Jesus on the donkey saying, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" Unfortunately, many of the people who laid palm branches at Jesus' feet that day did not continue to praise Him as He went to the cross. Hosanna means, "save us now" but they did not wait for the true salvation that Jesus provided. It is my prayer that you and I will praise Him today and continue to follow Him in the days to come.

In Christ,
Marcie Cooper

P.S. Here's my little girl with her "Hosanna" palm branch this afternoon.