Dec 30, 2006

In the World's eyes...

Is this who we've become? Will these images define us for generations to come?

Dec 29, 2006

Dark of Winter Chili

1886 Chili

2 lbs cubed beef (stew beef works well, or brisket), 1 inch cubes
1.5 cups chopped red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 oz chili powder (Gebhardt’s is best, or Adams, or your favorite bulk style… but no Durkee’s or other yankee powder.)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground Comino
1 10oz can of RO*TEL Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
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 2 – 3 hours 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. 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.

Dec 27, 2006

On the third day of Christmas...

The Ring Cycle

This is the ring that my sister, June Ann Summer, gave me on my 21st birthday. It was made by James Avery Craftsmen in Kerrville Texas, back when they were a small operation that only sold through church bookstores. You can actually see the knife blade cuts that were made in the wax master. I've been told that this ring was James Avery's first product.

I've worn this ring for 35 years, and I have lots of stories to tell about it. It once got crushed while moving a Coke machine, but it saved my finger from being crushed (I had the ring repaired). It played a small part in my conversion from being an Episcopalinist to becoming a Christian, too. While shopping at Gabbert's for knock-down furniture in 1978 (Gabbert's was then sort of like IKEA), the sales clerk saw my ring and asked me if I was a Christian. "Well, I'm trying to be" was my reply. The young man said back to me, "I'll be praying for you." I got mad. How dare this fellow PRESUME to pray for me! Who was he to do that?

Well, it was few years later that I realized who he was. He was a Christian. I clearly showed to him that I wasn't ("I'm trying to be one.") yet a Christian. When I came to believe Jesus, and give him my life, I remembered that young man and his prayers for me.

When my sister turned 21, she died. Her death set in motion a chain of events that brought many, many people into a direct relationship with Jesus Christ... including both of my parents, and ultimately me. That motion continues today.

The ring broke last summer, and I had James Avery repair it again. They informed me that it was worn so thin, and had been so fatigued, it probably couldn't be repaired again. They suggested I consider having it replaced. But while the sentimental value was too high for me to simply replace it, it was also too high to risk losing it.

This is the new James Avery Latin Cross ring I got for Christmas. It now takes the place of the ring my sister gave me. It's almost twice as thick as my old ring, and the Cross cut-out is of a much more delicate design (long gone are the rustic marks of craftsmen at James Avery).

It was a gift from my girls, Linden, Anna, and Catherine, and that's what makes it a suitable substitute. It brought tears to my eyes as I beheld it Christmas morning... tears of joy and sorrow intermingled.

That's what Christmas is about. Joy and sorrow intermingled to ultimately become joy fulfilled.

Dec 21, 2006

Felix Navidad!

The Message

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
John 3:16-18

Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.
Romans 5:6-8

Dec 14, 2006

We are not alone.

Here's a screen shot of the security window that popped up while I was accessing the Dallas Morning New's Religion Blog. Thought I'd share.

A second request to set a cookie came from the Moonie owned Washington Times. The Internets are such a fun place.

Dec 12, 2006

For Jennifer (R.I.P.) and Annie (S.D.G.).

A Very Cellular Song
By Mike Heron

Winter was cold and the clothing was thin
But the gentle shepherd calls the tune
Oh dear mother what shall I do
First please your eyes and then your ears Jenny
Exchanging love tokens say goodnight

Lay down my dear sister
Won't you lay and take your rest
Won't you lay your head upon your saviours breast
And I love you but Jesus loves you the best
And I bid you goodnight, goodnight, goodnight,
And I bid you goodnight, goodnight, goodnight.
One of these mornings bright and early and fine.
Goodnight, goodnight
Not a cricket not a spirit going to shout me on
Goodnight, goodnight
I go walking in the valley of the shadow of death
Goodnight, goodnight
And his rod and his staff shall comfort me
Goodnight, goodnight
Oh John the wine he saw the sign
Goodnight, goodnight
Oh John say I seen a number of signs
Goodnight, goodnight
Tell A for the ark that wonderful boat
Goodnight, goodnight
You know they built it on the land getting water to float
Goodnight, goodnight
Tell B for the beast at the ending of the wood
Goodnight, goodnight
You know it ate all the children when they wouldn't be good
Goodnight, goodnight
I remember quite well, I remember quite well
Goodnight, goodnight
I was walking in Jerusalem just like John
Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight.

Who would lose and who would bruise
Or who would live quite prettily?
And who would love what comes along
And fill the air with joyous song

Who would go and who would come
Or who would simply linger
And who would hide behind your chair
And steal your crystallised ginger

Nebulous nearness cry to me
At this timeless moment
Someone dear to me wants me near, makes me high
I can hear vibrations fly
Through mangoes, pomegranates and planes
All the same
When it reaches me and teaches me
To sigh

Who would mouse and who would lion
Or who would be the tamer
And who would hear directions clear
From the unameable namer

Who would skip and who would plod
Or who would like quite silly
And who would ride backwards on a giraffe
Stopping every so often to laugh

Amoebas are very small

Oh ah ee oo there's absolutely no strife
living the timeless life
I don't need a wife
living the timeless life
If I need a friend I just give a wriggle
Split right down the middle
And when I look there's two of me
Both as handsome as can be
Oh here we go slithering, here we go slithering and squelching on
Oh here we go slithering, here we go slithering and squelching on
Oh ah ee oo there's absolutely no strife
living the timeless life

Black hair brown hair feather and scale
Seed and stamen and all unnamed lives that live
Turn your quivering nerves in my direction
Turn your quivering nerves in my direction
Feel the energy projection of my cells
Wishes you well.

May the long time sun shine upon you
All love surround you
And the pure light within you
Guide you all the way on.

Dec 11, 2006

"Bring out your dead!"

One of my favorite scenes from "Monty Python's Holy Grail" is the scene of a cart being wheeled along medieval streets, while the cart
attendant calls out for the people living along the street to bring out the bodies of those who have died recently. This is an historically correct scene (especially during the Plagues). The joke in the film is that "gramps" isn't dead yet, but his "son" doesn't want to miss collection day. "Not dead yet!" says the old man. "You soon will be" says the young man, bribing the cart attendant to smash the old man's skull.

It takes on even more meaning (the collection of the dead, not the Python skit) when we realize that one of things the Early Christians were known for was removing the dead from the streets, and treating the human remains with great respect. The term "Christian Burial" was meant to draw a distinct difference between what Early Christians did with human remains, and how pagans of the time treated THEIR dead. The Christians appeared to treat dead pagans with the same care they treated their own. God's having taken form as a human in Jesus Christ made all flesh sacred to them.

Which brings me to the travelling museum show from Europe of human bodies that have been skinned and dissected for our "education" (and entertainment). I'm against it, and so are these people (click here).

Bring out your dead, indeed.

Dec 9, 2006

Now is the time.

Now it is time to awake out of sleep,
for the night is far spent and the day is at hand.

Now is our salvation nearer than when we first believed,
for the night is far spent.

Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness
and put on the armour of light,
for the day is at hand.

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ
and make no provision for the flesh,
for the night is far spent and the day is at hand.

Almighty God,
give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life,
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
that on the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

May the Lord, when he comes,
find us watching and waiting.

Dec 7, 2006

A modest new BBQ pit.

I've been toying with the idea of getting serious about barbecue, either as a hobby, or as an activity for "Life After the City of Dallas".

The illustration above (of German origin... like me) is of a concept for an outdoor BBQ pit and restaurant that I could perhaps do on the family property overlooking Lake Texoma. I've been considering the name "June and Harry's", although "BarbarossaBQ" is a late entry.

Those little things are people (customers).