Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spicy Sunrise, Done Right!

This is spicy done right!
Cayenne Peppers. Fresh picked, ready to ride.

Today's omelette is called, "The Sunrise" because it's the perfect way to start your day. It's got kick enough to get you moving, and is filled with cheesy beefy herby goodness to keep you eating it.
2 Eggs
Louisiana Hot Sauce (the Brand you will need more than one drop!)
Sliced roast beef
Slice of American Cheese
Fresh oregano
Fresh thyme
Fresh rosemary
Fresh Cayenne peppers.

Here's some of the ingredients ready to go:

Beat the eggs with the hot sauce, you can add a lot of hot sauce to the eggs because the heat will break down the hotness, and leave the flavor. You want to use maybe add a pinch of Tony's (you oughta know what that is :) ) Warm and butter your skillet up, add eggs, wait for them to firm up, add cheese first, then roast beef, then herbs. Finally you can add chopped cayenne to the mix, to your taste for heat. Something like this should be the result:


Mine is cayenne mustached as a tribute to the matador who has conquered the bull, and placed him in the omelette!

Flavor wise, this omelette's strongest characteristic is the flavor of the hot sauce and the heat of the fresh peppers. The flavor of the hot sauce intensifies in the cooking process while the heat from it mellows. I add the cayenne pepper for spice not only because they are spicy, but because the cayenne is the base pepper for Louisiana hot sauce. The 'other' famous hot sauce from Louisiana, Tabasco is made from tabasco peppers. Tabascos are nice peppers, and plenty spicy, but they have a noticeably different taste than the cayennes. Cayennes to me have always had a bell-pepper like crispness to them, mainly because they are a cultivar of Capsicum Annuum as are bell peppers, and tabasco peppers are Capsicum frutescen in heritage. Sometimes the flavor of frutescens variety peppers is described as 'fruity'. Tabascos are less fruity to me than thai's but they have their own character. My dad grows them, perhaps he have input. I like them, especially fresh, or in Asian food, but cayennes are by far, my favorite pepper.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My Post about the Changing Seasons, and Spiritual Applications

My point is simple, "Things Change."

Romans 5:6-6:5
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die, but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. If, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

We are at that time of year called "Easter" by most everyone, "Resurrection Sunday" by the 'hardcore', "Passover" by the Jews, "Earth day" by the pagans, "Birthday" by some cousins of mine. It's a time of year where "Change" is clearly apparent:

Winter's gloom and grey
The Time is greening to Spring
Life begins again

Life begins again, but not in the same way. Sure some things look the same but there are some noticeable differences between this year and last. Last year, I had a different job. I was working as an "Environmental Sanitor," cleaning the corn line in manufacturing. Now I work within a completely different area of the company, doing things that are miles away from doing what I was doing a year ago. By and large, though, life is sort of like a Lorenz Attractor.

I first learned about Lorenz attractors studying chaos theory in high school. Short version: they are pretty pictures created by certain mathematical formulas when those formulas have specific values in key variables. If you look close enough at the pictures generated by the attractors you will see that they follow a similar path, yet that path is never retraced. I would argue that time is much like this, and the attractors in the year are Summer and Winter. Many people think that life is cyclical. I don't blame them. Life appears that way, until you discover Lorenz attractors. Then you realize that things aren't really repeating! I want to talk about differences, between old and new, and between living and dieing. I want to tell you from this passage that I've quoted above that God has brought us to a point where we decide whether to be attracted to death, or whether we will be attracted to life. Our eternal attractors are Adam, man of Death, or Jesus man of Life. Because God gives us the chance to choose life, let's choose it while we can. Unfortunately, this is a decision man has been choosing wrong, even from the beginning.

I am unashamedly an old school, whole Bible believing Christian. Some people would substitute the word "unfortunately", or "unthinkingly", or "foolishly" where I say "unashamedly", but that's not my fault, and I love them anyway. I believe in a literal Adam, and a literal Eve, and I believe that Eve considered the lie, but Adam allowed her to die.

Adam was in the garden with Eve when the Serpent tempted her(Genesis 3:6). He heard the arguments, he saw the source of the lie, he knew where they were, and what they were doing. No excuse for the boy! He sinned first by keeping silent, by watching the sin happen, by not defending his wife. Every man in my family knows that a poison tongue snake in the garden got to get a hoe to the head, especially if it talks! Adam knew that what the serpent was saying was wrong. He didn't defend, he stood by, and by standing by, allowed sin to take root in himself, and his wife. Ever since, we've been suffering from Adam's sin.

When Adam participated in the sin, death came as a result. Sin and death overcome us all. Adam's sin lead to Eve's guilt, Cain's sin lead to Able's death. A little earlier in Romans, Chapter 3, verse 23, we discover that all sin, and fall short of the Glory of God. Because of Adam, my sins lead to my death. Adam brought sin, and sin brought us death. Since Adam, there's been more sin! One man has irrevocably changed the history of the world by sinning. Such still happens today. Recently I read about a mother who drowned herself and three of her small children by driving into a lake. Supposedly, she tried to correct her horrible error, but she was too late. One of her kids escaped. Just one out of four. How can this happen? Why does this happen? When will the suffering stop? Because Adam stood and watched, Death has come into the world. The world is too broken to continue indefinitely, there must be a rescue, and a recovery. Fortunately, just as death was brought into the world through one man, so also, life has been brought into the world through one man.

Ambition is a funny thing. I originally started writing this post Good Friday, hoping to be done in time to publish it Sunday morning, Sunday has come and gone. *SIGH* On that Sunday morning, Christians every where celebrated an amazing event in human history. Jesus Christ rose from the dead! Jesus' bones aren't in the tomb. God chose to bring life back into the world through Jesus his son. "At the right time, Christ died for the ungodly". What marvelous words! I want us to look at three word phrases in that verse snippet that will illuminate the importance of the events of Easter:
1. "Right Time" - some things can only happen when conditions are right. There can be a deep study of the time when Jesus came to this earth, and about how it was the right time when he was born, right time when he grew up, and the right time when he died. I want to focus on the week he died, the passover week, because it will be clearly the strongest symbol to those alive with him at that time. Passover time was significant to the Jews (as it still is today) because it commemorates the time when the Jews came out of bondage in Egypt. From the time of Adam till the time of Christ, the world was held in bondage by sin. The book of Hebrews teaches that the sacrifices offered by the priests under the old covenant could not take away the sins of the people. Those sacrifices could only look forward to the time when they would be taken away. The passover meal was a remembrance of the shedding of blood that happened so that the Israelites could leave Egypt and go to Freedom in the Promised Land. It was and still is a homage to shed blood. In the original Passover (See Exodus 12 a lamb was slain, it's blood applied to the lintel of the door of the Israelite, and the lamb consumed by the members of the house. We have in Jesus, a lamb "without blemish" slain allow God's wrath to pass us by on our way to freedom.

2. "Christ" Christ means 'Anointed One'. You don't just up and anoint people for no reason. He didn't come by accident, he came with a purpose, God anointed him for the work he had to do. The first Gospel sermon was given by God himself in Genesis chapter 3:15 "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

3. "ungodly" Jesus' timing and purpose had to do with reconciling people who are without God to God. Jesus didn't come to feed people, or make the sick better. He wasn't some hippie social do gooder who wanted people to get along. He brought a message: "the Kingdom of God is at hand", and in bringing that message, he died for our sins! All of Jesus' actions, all of the miracles, all of the feedings, all of the travel, all of the dialogue served one purpose, to bring God to the ungodly. Without Jesus, you cannot know God beyond his Authority as creator, and his Role as Judge. When you put on Jesus, taking his sacrifice for your own, you know God as you could otherwise not know him, as a father! Galatians 3:23-4:7 echoes this sentiment. Many of the same words and ideas are presented, Jesus came at the right time, for a purpose, to take the ungodly and make them sons of God! Just as Jesus came at the right time, we also have a right time to become a son or a daughter of God.

The law given to Moses cannot convict me of my sins if I am in Jesus. Praise God it has no hold on me! I have experienced a washing away of sins in my life that Peter calls "an appeal to God for a clean conscience." Notice that God grants the appeal! The giver of the law has given me a clean conscience even though under the law I stand condemned! In Romans 6, Galatians 3 and 1 Peter 3 we see that a time comes when the seasons of our life change, we move from the dead of winter to the green life of summer. We go from being dead in our sins to being alive in the spirit. We go from guilty to having a clean and pure conscience before God.

I want to close today by re-quoting the last four (short) verses in the long passage I quoted in the beginning. I want to quote them again because it highlights the wonderful difference between the condemnation I had under the law, and the wonderful life in Jesus I have now, and because it shows us the time when God moves our equation from winter to summer:

"1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. "


Monday, April 18, 2011

A Shirt, A Tie, A Mowhawk?!?

Alright, so the story of the Mohawk, it does indeed have a purpose.
"The Chillihawk"
Even when I am weird, I have purpose.
I am purpose driven!
Think about this for a minute:
Matthew 11:1-6
1 When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities. 2 Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”
4 And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 6 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
Let's look at what Jesus offers as evidence that he is indeed the Christ: The Blind see, the lame walk, people with horrible skin diseases are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, AND THE GOOD NEWS IS PREACHED TO THE POOR!!!!
Wait a minute!!
Why is it that good news being preached to the poor is listed right next to the dead being raised!?!
Is there something miraculous about the poor receiving some good news? I think so, mainly because bad news is so profitable. Bad news makes big money!!!
Well, we will look at something miraculous today, something involving Good news, it's easy to find if you have a Bible, just remember the following little rhyme: “John Nine, Man Born Blind” Well, maybe that rhymes with a little poetic license, but hey, I bet you won't forget it now!!! ;-)

here is the text:
John 9
1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”6 Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. 8 The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?”9. Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.”10 So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?”11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”
13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”
16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.
17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”
18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”
20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22(His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
24So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.”
25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.”
30 The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”
34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”
37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.”
38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”
40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?”
41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.

This was a long section of scripture, so you may want to just let this story stew in you head and think the whole time: This man was blind, but now he sees!
That's profound...
I promise there is a relationship here to why my picture has a mowhawk.
Ok, first of all,
You see, the hair is an action parable. An action parable is a device that prophets and ministers use to draw attention to a particular point. The prophet Ezekiel was fond of them, and so was Jeremiah. I believe that the text (John Nine, man born blind) is an example of a New Testament Action parable. A prophet named Agabus also did one in the book of Acts.
Today I want to look at an opportunity Jesus took to present some good news to a poor man by using an action parable. In the process, Jesus heals the man, shakes up the pharisees, and gives me a pretty good reason to use my hair as an action parable. In the process we will see that being blind doesn't always mean you'll be blind, seeking truth doesn't always mean we will be accepted by others, and when you find Christ, expect him to rearrange your life a little bit.

Sometimes being blind ain't permanent. Often times there are reasons why we are blind. Yes, it's true. Sometimes bad things happen to you because something good can come out of it. Think about Esther, here she was one lonely little jewish woman in a kingdom of pagans, and she by the grace of God was able to save her own people. Esther 4:14 is the verse to read in that whole book. Also, You don't always understand why you suffer the way you do. People may assume it's because of your sin and unrighteousness, or because of your parent's, or because everyone is against you. That's not the case many times though. You suffer sometimes simply because God is using you to do something better. Besides, sometimes you are given sight. Sight is a wonderful thing! It's a wonderful thing to learn a new subject and who can resist being happy after being given a wonderful new gift! Notice though, that we didn't say that if you are blind you will see. It's only sometimes because sometimes You stay Blind Just like the pharisees. The pharisees were pretty self righteous cats. You can be just like them, it is really easy, all you have to do is pretend that everything is alright and there is nothing wrong with you, or that it's okay to be the way you are, it's how you were made. Then you will be just like them, spiritually blind, spiritually naked, and because spirits are real and you need to spiritually see and spiritually put on Christ, you CAN REALLY go to hell! Seriously folks, having spiritual sight is important. Only some people see because some people need to be accepted by others. Why do you think there is all this social networking jazz?
Unfortunately, seeking truth doesn't always mean we will be accepted by others. Many people, some of them very religious and "Christian sounding" will reject you once you start to see. Families can be even worse. If you want to be accepted by God, you must learn that sometimes you will be rejected: Check this post out about Scott Baio I won't tell you what it's completely about because you need to read it for yourself. I want you to start feeling a little uncomfortable, like, "Why on earth did I ever start reading this junk, it's stupid, and now I feel bad". If you want to know the real lesson of my action parable haircut, you will have to read it all. Then it will make sense, and you will wish for an anti-kudos button. I know I did!
One reason why I am trying to make you feel a little uneasy is because of my third point (how's that for a transition Eli?): When you find Christ with your brand new eyes and your desire for Him and His truth alone, you can expect Him to rearrange your life a little bit. Consider this, you were blind, now you see!!! Remember that I asked you to remember that the important thing about the passage (go read John 9 Just in case you don't remember) is that the man once was blind, now he sees! He once was blind, now he sees! THAT'S IMPORTANT!!! Think about how his life is completely messed up now. He was a beggar, now he can't beg any more because his excuse for being unemployed has been taken from him. He's got to go get a real job for the first time in his life, and all his life all he's known is a life of begging. Great Cats, that's amazingly different than anything you have ever thought about this passage isn't it! He is totally unprepared to live the life of the sighted. Neither are you, especially if you are new to this whole Jesus and Christianity thing. Every day we have to put to death the old man with its desires, and bring to life Christ in us. Otherwise, we'll be naked spiritually speaking, and well, you know, who wants to be naked in front of God? Don't worry! You don't have to accept Christ, you can continue living a life of comfort and ease, totally unaware that death awaits you. Be Proud, go ahead, it suits you. You want to hold your head up, and hurl forth into oblivion. It's the path of least resistance. tell yourself whatever you need to tell yourself. Without humility, you will continue to be just like the pharisees, guilty. I choose to be different. I want to wash the feet of nasty people who haven't bathed in days or weeks because it's harder to be prideful when you look at the world from the ground up.
I hope I've been a little different, and that you haven't quit reading yet.
Conclusion: We've got to be a little different than everyone else. Something must change. We must chafe against the world. It's like wearing a shirt, tie, and mohawk to church, People who see us may find something attractive, yet they always find something off. There is something wrong with us.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Why Dew Yew Move So Slow?"

In the back yard!
Welcome to Polk County. 


Our friend here was spotted climbing the fence in between the front and back yard while the kids were playing in the sandbox.  It walked up the fence and all the way down to the corner, turned around and walked back to the space between the two sheds in my back yard.

The Possum walks down the fence.

After walking down the fence he was in our back yard, so I had the kids get inside for safety.  As you can imagine, this was just the coolest thing ever to them!

Possum on the other hand wanted to duck out.

Possum tries to hide under the ladder.

After a failed attempt at accessing the underside of the shed Possum employed it's stealth ability.  Fortunately years of experience at Possum Hollow have given me superb possum detection abilities.  No matter how still it was, I could spot it.
Possum, bein' still...  Real Still. 

The instant The Possum saw me turn my back, it was around the corner, and under my shed.  They're tricky like that, moving slow, and stealthy, and then with a sudden burst of speed, just when they think you ain't lookin' and BAM! Possum Gone!
Stay Tuned for further developments on twitter, facebook, and this blog!

Monday, April 11, 2011

So I'm Sitting Here...

I am sitting here looking at myself in the reflection of my laptop, wondering exactly how I can complain about being tired. I then realized that I want to complain because of how redicously out of shape I've become. I may not be out of shape compared to you, but I am compared to where I was two years ago, and I didn't think I was in all that great of shape then. I am definately down from my peak performance age of about 27 when I was working landscaping, just married, and i had recently (re)discovered the joys of real off road biking. Non-coincidently this was immediately preceding the birth of my firstborn.

Stress + time = out-of-shapeness. That's my secret formula for the day.
out-of-shapeness + time = inertia. Inertia is my enemy, my oldest foe, my greatest fear, my sure adversary. Inertia wants me dead quicker, and wants me happy while dieing (one day I will do a post entitled "I don't want to die happy" and it will make sense). It's easy to submit to inertia and die. As soon as a course change is needed, there is inertia, as soon as the course change is no longer needed there is inertia. There's inertia when I wake up, and when I lay down...

I've been undergoing several changes over the last few years, changes that seriously impact my identity and relationship with those around me. I got to thinking about these changes critically when I read this tweet from @ArronChambers, a man I know, love and respect:
"prepping my message for tonight @. i'm speaking on ...which is still good for the soul :)"
In my subtle war against inertia, I had been doing more reading in my Bible, and recently re-read one of my favorite books, First John. We all know what 1 John 1:8-10 says:
8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

My confession is this:
I've been lazy. I've let inertia beat me up. I've chosen good things and not God things. I've take the easy way, from mac-n-cheese instead of (better tasting) grilled chicken and salad, to self-centered church instead of Christianity. I believe that the only way a Christian can live and die is under the philosophy of "I'll Be Mellow When I'm Dead."

Inertia's been my enemy a long time, and I've always been fighting it, and I'll even be fighting it when I can't fight it no longer. Until then I am fighting it using the following actions:

  1. I will grow as much of my food as I can. That way I know what I'm getting. When I can't grow my own, I will buy as healthy as I can.
  2. I will read my Bible every day. I believe that change happens best when you change according to the rules of the One who made you.
  3. I will exercise every day. More on this to come later, but after posting this, I am taking my girls on a bike ride. It will be short, I will sweat, and it will probably hurt when I get done. Yet, I will do this.
  4. I will eat a hot pepper. It's cathartic, and I LIKE IT!

My basic strategy is this: "When you are not beating inertia, inertia is beating you" and I accept that I can't win. What I can't accept is that I can't fight.

I love my wife!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Fresh Herbs and Hot Peppers Make Me Smile


"Take the Train to Happy Town!" W00T! W00T!

Above you you see my latest adventures in both omelettes and the absurd. in that bowl are today's featured ingredients, A habenero, a serrano, and a cayenne, it's like some joke wrapped in an eggy blanket.

or a dare.

I love the spicy things, and today's omelette was a little spicy. It was also a little sloppy, and cooked too fast. I put too many mushrooms in it. Too fast, too spicy, too much filling. All about extremes today. Take a look:

I couldn't even get it folded over. Here's the ingredients:

sliced habenero chilli with the seeds removed.
sliced serrano chilli with the seeds removed.
chopped green cayenne with the seeds intact.
sliced bell pepper
sliced mushrooms
swiss cheese
garden fresh sage and rosemary.
garlic (browned in butter before adding eggs.)

I wanted to make a skull and crossbones garnish out of the mushroom and bellpepper, but the overall sloppiness of the omelette takes away from that.
To summarize, last week's omelette was perfect, this week's omelette is spicy. It's a dare.
I can do better.
I can make spicy and perfect.
Do you have a spicy food story? One where you were surprised by spicy?

Lame attempt at Skull-n-bones:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

And Why, Do You Presume, Do I Love The Church?

I find myself being a part of a society that finds it increasingly difficult to understand faith. Faith does strange things when translating itself into action, and all faith leads to action. Here is a brief philosophy that is part of a larger document I created once upon a time. It helps me clarify faith, and kept me focused on what I was doing at the time. I was and still am trying to "Let the Church Be the Church".

The Suffering Church
A philosophy of ministry by
George Brandon Hoyt
“Then the LORD said, "I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt
and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings
Exodus 3:7, English Standard Version1

People have been suffering since sin first was introduced into the world. God has seen the suffering of people, and at various times, has directly intervened in the lives of individuals and groups to alleviate that suffering. Consider Psalm 40:1-3
I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon rock, making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.
The writer of this psalm makes his cry to God, and expects an answer. Our God hears us in our suffering, and answers our pleas for His help. Jesus himself took part in that kind of ministry2. The Church is called to bear with others in their suffering. Even when we catch another in sin, we are called to bear the burden together. Nobody gets out for free3. As a Church we must understand what role we play in helping someone overcome a burden. There are several Biblical principles for understanding the role the church plays in overcoming suffering.

First we must understand what God is calling us to do as a "Church". We are Christians so that we can return to God. Our sin separates our lives from Him, and God cannot, as such tolerate our presence. We are like Isaiah4 and like him we need holy atonement, so we can rightly proclaim the message of God5. Christ said it like this: "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.6" Christ's death brings us life, in that our old lives were crucified with Christ7. This is good news because only Christ can reunite us with God8. This idea that Christ's death alone makes us righteous is at the very core of a theology of grace. Nevertheless, people feel obliged to do good works, saved or not. They should, because ultimately God has made us to do good works, especially if we are believers9. Jesus himself let what he did speak for him when John the Baptist sent some disciples to ask if he was the Christ10. Jesus didn't answer with a simple yes or no, but drew attention to what he was doing to show he is the Christ. As a Church, we must also show that Jesus is Christ by drawing attention to what Jesus
did. It’s not enough to only talk about what he did though, we must also show what Jesus
did. Jesus wants us to follow the golden rule11. We see how this rule is practically
applied in our lives by fast forwarding to the future, where Christ judges the people of the

The Great Throne
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.' "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." Matthew 25:31-46 (Emphasis added).
Whether we like it or not, if we want to share in the kingdom of God, we must take care of the needs of others. Jesus mandates that whatever we do for even the least of Christ’s brothers we do to Him. Sin has real consequences. Notice also who receives help, and where they are when they receive it. The hungry get food, even if they have squandered all their money on drugs. The thirsty get water, even if they are thirsty for beer. The strangers, no matter what our mothers have taught us, are welcomed. The sick people with AIDS are comforted, and drug dealers doing 25-life get regular visits, maybe even cookies! The odd part about this passage is not the service, plenty of people take care of others, the strange thing is that Jesus is every single one of them. Not in some literal sense, but he takes it personally because ultimately we treat others they way we would treat Him. This is the thrust of the golden rule. The Church that Jesus wants to see is a Church that suffers along side of the world because He suffered for it. It is a Church that meets needs because Christ has met our greatest need. The Church, the people, the physical universe needs forgiveness of sin, and relief from the consequences of it. It is important for the church to remember that when people see Christians doing good works for Christ’s sake, God gets the glory, and they will be won12.

1 Emphasis added. All quotes in this appendix are from the English Standard Version, unless otherwise
2 Matthew 4:24
3 Galatians 6:1-5
4 Isaiah 6:1-5
5 Isaiah 6:6-8
6 Luke 5:32
7 Romans 6:6, 7
8 John 14:6, 7, Acts 4:12
9 Ephesians 2:8-10
10 Luke 7:18-23
11 Matthew 7:12
12 Matthew 5:16

Friday, April 1, 2011

Feta! Tomato! Basil! Oh My!

Open face omelette, ready to be folded.

Today's omelette is a delicious endeavor in creating a fresh, clean, crisp taste. I wanted to show what the omelette looked like on the inside because I wanted to prove a point, when you feel good on the inside, you'll be good all around.
that's what I did to this omelette. People, this omelette is all about clean flavor! I am thoroughly convinced you can make this and taste something wonderful. first a recipe:

  • 1/4 of a medium sized tomato, diced

  • 2 cloves sliced garlic

  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

  • 2 Tbsp crumbled feta

  • 2 Tbsp Whole milk or real half and half

  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter

  • 2 eggs

  • celery seed (pinch)

  • rubbed sage (pinch)

  • salt (pinch)

  • Melt butter in cooking pan, hold 3 slices of garlic in reserve, smash the rest, and add to butter, saute. Beat eggs with salt and milk (or 1/2 & 1/2), and add to pan once garlic has browned on both sides. Allow eggs to firm up, add feta, tomatoes, remaining garlic, celery seed and sage. Once cheese is melted, and eggs are mostly firm, add basil, fold, and flip. turn off heat and wait a minute to allow the eggs to glue everything together. Remove, and add basil garnish.

What you get then is a wonderfully flavored and balanced dish. The tomato and feta combine smoothly, and the fresh basil fills your mouth, while the celery seed leaves it feeling clean. The sliced garlic adds a sharp spice, and the sage serves well as a background transitioning the flavors from feta and tomato, to garlic, to basil/celery finish. So far, this omelette has had the cleanest flavor of the three that I've made. y'all come over in a couple of weeks when I have more basil, and maybe even a fresh tomato, and I'll make you it!
I goofed the plating a little bit, wasn't holding the dish close enough, and broke the omelette a little bit, that' ok though, it's why we use a tasty basil sprig garnish! More pics:
Closeup of the omelette, pre-folding:

Ready to Eat! Chipped plate and broken omelette included for Wassassabi: