Dec 10, 2017

A Cold Day in Hell.

1886 Chili

2 lbs cubed beef (stew beef works well, or brisket), 1 inch cubes, not ground (won't stand up)
1.5 cups chopped red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 oz chili powder (Pendery's is best, Bolner's Fiesta and Gebhardt’s are the best grocery store powders, or Adams, or your favorite bulk style… but no Durkee’s or other yankee powder.)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground Comino/Cumin
1 10oz can of RO*TEL Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies (Medium)
16 oz beer (Spaten Optimator is best. WARNING! The use of any Budwieser, Miller, or Coors product can result in severe abdominal cramps and/or diarrhea.)
1 tbsp Black Strap Molasses
1 tsp Masa Harina (corn meal will work)
1 dried Ancho pepper, crushed
1 smoked JalapeƱo (large), chopped

Sear beef until grey. Drain off liquid. Add all ingredients to pot (or Crock Pot) EXCEPT Masa Harina.

Simmer 3 hours.
Skim grease.
Mix Masa Harina into a liquid paste and stir in.
Simmer for 1 hour, or until meat is tender.

Garnish with chopped white onions and grated cheddar cheese if desired.
Serve with saltine crackers, or on a bed of Fritos.  East Coast Liberals may use oyster crackers without penalty.

Serves 4 to 6 people. Adjust ingredients accordingly.


WARNING! The use of any legumes in this recipe can result in intestinal gas, severe abdominal cramps and/or diarrhea.

Nov 28, 2017


In 1984 I hit bottom.

One night just before Thanksgiving, while working in my studio/duplex, I saw myself dancing in a slow, descending circle with the Author of Death himself. I fell to my knees and reached up to the bookshelf in desperation. I took down my previously seldom opened Book of Common Prayer that my grandmother had given me. I opened it ‘blindly’ to the martyred Archbishop Thomas Cranmer's "Prayer of Humble Access" and prayed...

"We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord whose property is always to have mercy. Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen."

The following Sunday, I went up to visit my parents and to make my semi-annual church visit, with them. I sat in the pew and fought back tears. Above the altar at St. Luke's, Denison, Texas, is a stained glass with the awkward quotation from the Gospel of Luke (18:16), "Suffer the little children to come unto me..." Right then and there I asked Jesus to help me. “I’m a child. I’m suffering. I can’t do this by myself, without you. If you’ll have me, I’m yours.” I gave myself to Him as I told Him that I was powerless to do otherwise.

 Waiting my turn, I went up to receive Holy Communion with my folks.

Kneeling, I received the Host ("This is the body of our Lord, Jesus Christ, given for you."), a small wafer of unleavened bread. Then I received the Chalice of wine to my lips ("This is the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, shed for you."). I felt a powerful surge of pure energy enter my body. Time appeared to stand still. The entire Sanctuary was filled with a white light that made the dark stained wood walls appear translucent and milky. What seemed to be several minutes was in reality a few seconds, as the chalice bearer moved on to the next communicate. I had come out of the water and breathed my first new breath.

Nov 11, 2016


This is a picture from The Department of Defense of Joseph Ambrose, an 86-year-old World War I veteran, attends the dedication day parade for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982. He is holding the flag that covered the casket of his son, who was killed in the Korean War.

Jun 14, 2016

Reading the handwriting on the wall.

This past Sunday, I awoke to discover that a horrific attack had taken place in Orlando, Florida. When I read of the deadly carnage at a Gay nightclub, I thought of the homosexual friends/acquaintances I have in that town, of their safety, their fears, and their community. My first thought was that it was a jealous lover's revenge killing gone 'out of control', but then I saw the name of the attacker. "ISIS related," I thought.

I soon saw a Facebook post about the Lieutenant Governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, posting a Biblical passage on Twitter. I read the pictorial tweet, and I initially thought it was in response to the Orlando attack. It was a passage I know well (from Paul's Letter to the Galatians, chapter 6, verse 7), and one that I had just read on Friday morning as appointed by the Consultation on Church Union's Revised Common Lectionary for my daily morning prayer and Bible reading/study.

I know the context of the passage, and I assumed it was a reference to ISIS/ISIL/Radical Islam. The point of the letter is the Galatians turning from unearned salvation through God's Grace, to an attempt to earn salvation via the Law. This is a heresy that Islam is not only guilty of, but one that it is founded upon. The gift of Salvation by Grace, accomplished on the Cross by God in the person of jesus, is not something to throw away. God will not be mocked. By turning away from God's sacrificial atonement, we will reap from what we have sown.

But almost immediately, my Facebook feed was inundated with outrage, angry, hateful posts, accusing Lt. Governor Patrick of justifying the attack. Patrick's office posted an 'apology' for the regular Sunday Morning tweet of his, saying it was automatically posting Sunday morning, and that it was generated on the prior Thursday (well before the attack). His staff apologized for the pain it caused.

The furor didn't die down. Various newspapers ran with it, implying the post was an intentional response to the Orlando shooting, and all but accusing Patrick of lying. Shameful ignorance, or partisan misrepresentation?

Then it struck me. This was a modern-day version of the Old Testament 'Handwriting on the Wall' episode (Chapter 5, the Book of Daniel), and the fall of King Belshazzar. The tweet was not God's handwriting on the wall at a Royal Feast, but it was interpreted as such by the guests of 'The Feast' that our modern libertine culture has set us (and demands we all partake of).

The guests are outraged, for they know all too well that as they sow, so they will reap. Every contrivance to wash away the stain of guilt fails. "Out, damn spot!"

But the guilt remains, and is turned on others in unrighteous anger and vilification.