Archive for January, 2009

Stewed Onions & Variations

Posted in Recipes with tags , , , , on 2009/01/31 by NY4JB

This is a good pot luck dish as there are no specific quantities so it’s easy to scale up. 

Take a large yellow onion or two, clean and slice into rings – I use a meat slicer but a knife works just fine.

Put in a (crock) pot and add a can of Campbell’s tomato soup and can of water – bring to boil then cook on low until the onions are soft, sort of  like spaghetti.  Keep it hot in the pot and it gets better with age.

Variations

  • Use apple juice instead of water
  • Add black pepper early to give heat and/or just before serving for sweet pepper flavor
  • Add Italian seasoning
  • Add Spicy Corn (https://ke4juh.wordpress.com/2008/12/24/spicy-corn/) or frozen corn
  • Add a Can of Rotell diced tomato and chiles
  • Huevos Rancheros – Serve Stewed Onions (w/all options) over scrambled eggs

Heavenly Father,
We give thanks for the vast variety of foods you have given us to enjoy as we remember your son, Jesus Christ, who died for our sins; by faith in salvation in Jesus’ name we live without condemnation and it is in His name that we pray.
Amen

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Job 2:7-10

Posted in Bible Study with tags , , , , , , on 2009/01/30 by NY4JB

Job 2:7-10 (English Standard Version)
7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8 And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes.

9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” 10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Job has now gone from being the richest in the land, having seven sons and three daughters, livestock and servants, to having his children all die in a freak accident and all his possesions stolen or destroyed.   Now destitute, he is covered in sores and even his wife has turned against him.  This is the reward he is apparently getting for being blameless and upright, as the Lord himself has said, “…there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?”  This just doesn’t seem right but as Job said himself, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?”

Ezekiel 14:20 even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, they would deliver neither son nor daughter. They would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness.

So, what right do I have to complain when things don’t go my way if Job, one of the three men mentioned in the Bible for their high standing with God, is made to suffer? and going forward in history, Jesus the only son of God would suffer being rejected by his own people, beaten and killed.  Job even rebukes his wife as he sits in the ashes.  In Jewish custom one would place ashes on one’s head as a symbol of mourning but Job goes even further by sitting in ashes, yet he has no complaint with God.  Is all of this foreshadowing Christ; the righteous son of God made to suffer because of the sin in the world.

To those who question why there is suffering in the world, the answer is that it’s because there is sin in the world.  Satan does not have to work hard to find weakness in us and exploit it.  Yet we can not blame Satan for our sin, for just as he didn’t force Eve to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he can not force us to sin.  God always provides a means by which we can resist sin.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV) No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

And yet still we sin, setting our course for hell.  If it were not for the salvation offered by Jesus Christ, that is where we would all be going.  So let us not speak as one of the foolish and let us put our faith in Jesus Christ.

Heavenly Father,
Your name is holy beyond human comprehension and we are sinful beyond our own understanding.  You offer us salvation and we can offer you nothing that you haven’t given us in return.  Thank you for giving us your Word that we might hear it, understand and by faith in it be saved.  Please give us the wisdom to understand and faith in Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray.
Amen

Rant…phone-land

Posted in Minutia with tags , , , , on 2009/01/29 by NY4JB

Sometimes you just have to whine…

How many times have you answered somebody when they were actually talking to somebody else on their blue-tooth?  Surely I’m not the only one… And at what point did it become more important to answer your phone than to talk to the person in the room or car with you?  If you comment they act like you are being rude but it is rude to prioritize a phone call over a person who is in your presence.  There are times when I get a call that is important and I will apologize to the person that is with me and either leave the room or ask them to leave so I can take the call but that is rare and we have voice mail for all the trivial calls.

By far the rudest thing is when somebody actually makes a call (or answers one that only rang in their Bluetooth) without even mentioning it.  You could be in the middle of a sentence when you realize they have mentally checked out of your presence and gone to phone-land where they think they are alone and nobody can hear them.  I know its best never to say anything bad about anyone but I have been caught wondering, where I’m not sure if the person I was just talking about is the one now on the other end of the phone and just heard me talking about them.

OK here’s what got me going on this in the first place…

I just saw a then-verses-now style ad showing a boombox verses an iPod and it brought back memories of hanging out with friends while listening to music play on a boombox.  Sure the iPod is great in that it’s not disturbing to others but that fact makes it an antisocial phenomenon and while certain aspects of technology are social, facebook comes to mind, as a culture we are spending less time together.

The Sin of Pride and the Church in hard times

Posted in faith with tags , , , , , , on 2009/01/29 by NY4JB

I just read a very powerful post from Tim Challies (http://www.challies.com/archives/christian-living/on-being-weak.php) that really hits home on many levels.  I am guilty of the sin of pride.  As Tim says,

“I would rather suffer silently than humble myself and allow others to extend help to me…I refuse to give other people the opportunity to minister to me. I withhold a blessing from them…It seems to me that I must be as sinful … in refusing to allow them to bless and minister to me when I have need.”

Tim attributes this to his upbringing but I won’t claim the same.  God has given me gifts and I allow them to go my head.  I have often rushed to get a job done while nobody was around because I didn’t want to have to work with others; they might question the way I’m doing things or even make the job harder but by doing this I am depriving them the chance to use the gifts that God has given them.  I have gotten better at asking for help in some areas and here are a couple of examples of how God accomplished that in my life.

The first was in my professional life when I became a department manager and we would get a special request.  In most cases, it was by far faster and easier for me to just take care of it myself and let the staff do the normal day to day work.  However, that was no longer my job, my job as manager was to train the staff, which meant taking the time to show them how to do the special project.  Even though on the inside I was thinking, ‘I could have had this done already,’ I had to learn to be patient and encouraging, no small feat for somebody as prideful as I am.

The second was when our church was formed; we went from being a ministry inside a mega-church to independent and having our own building.  For the two years we were under the big church I had final say (under the pastor) about our stage layout and everything audio.  I would arrive first and have everything setup before the service, not as big of a job as it sounds as the mixing board had total recall so I just had to put the monitors out and plug the mics and instruments into the right places.  For a while, I even tried doing sound and then running up and playing guitar but I quickly learned that was too much and gave up playing until we got somebody who could baby-sit the board.  The test came when we moved into our own building and we suddenly had volunteers to run the AV department.  Even though I knew I could make it sound better (I have years of experience in professional audio) there were now people who were capable of making it work and wanted the job.  It wasn’t easy but I had to let go and let them use the gifts God had given them.  My pride still cries out, especially when they do things I don’t agree with but it is God’s church not mine and it is His glory and my pride has no place within His kingdom.

Part Two

Matthew 14:16 But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” (ESV)

With the current economic situation this is a chance for the church to live out what Jesus told his disciples.  It is all too common for the old song to be true “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out.”  It doesn’t cost much to make a little extra and share it with your neighbor, maybe we share in the suffering by eating pasta instead of steak so that we can provide a meal to a family that is struggling.   This is said first to myself as I don’t claim to do this nearly as often as I should and it does take planning.  Now, on the flip side…

2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. (ESV)

As I have seen those who are in perpetual need I will mention Tim’s comment (the emphasis is my own), “While it was not generally considered shameful to need or accept charity, it was considered most shameful to request it when it was not absolutely necessary.”  While this is also sin, if in doubt we should give first and let God sort it out in Heaven.

Heavenly Father,
I am grateful for the gifts you have given me but I must confess that I am guilty of pride.  I ask that you help me remember that I have nothing that you haven’t given me and that all these gifts are for your glory alone.  Please help me to share those gifts for your glory with those in need while allowing others to be blessed by using their gifts.  It is in Jesus’ name that I pray.
Amen

Electronic Christianity

Posted in Prayer with tags , , , , , on 2009/01/27 by NY4JB

A while back I posted about using my computer as a prayer notebook – the results are in

  • Distraction – up
  • Quiet time – down
  • Prayerless times – up

A week ago I printed the prayer list and I’m getting back to normal – the electronic list just didn’t work for me.

On another front, I just reloaded The Thomas Nelson Bible Study Library (Libronix), in preparation for a business trip.  I hope that it will allow me to have good reading material and only carry a couple of paper books but I am still going to pack my pocket size NKJV Bible and one other book for times that the laptop is inconvenient.

I don’t think paper books will go away totally but digital distribution is certainly less expensive and more convenient. Once somebody comes up with an electronic reader that is to reading what the mp3 player (ipod if you must) is to music I will think about making the leap. Although, as of today my mp3 player doesn’t see much use – maybe I’m just old but it’s just easier to use CDs in the car – again integration will be the key change their. And how about a reader for the car that reads your digital books to you. The computer generated voices are getting pretty good, or at least bearable and I love books on tape; I mean CD; I mean audio books…

On the other hand, newspapers and magazines are dead to me – The internet gives me magazine articles and the news anytime I want. Why print something that’s good for one day and send out trucks to deliver it, that’s nothing but a waste.

Heavenly Father,
Whatever the medium, from your lips, to the ears of prophets, to scrolls, to the codex, to paper, to digital renderings, we give thanks that you gave us the word, your word. Please don’t let the technology become an idol to us when we should be praising and worshiping you as our God. In Jesus’ name we pray
Amen

Jesus and computer bugs…

Posted in Prayer with tags , , , , , , on 2009/01/26 by NY4JB

This is a great analogy

http://soldierinchrist.blogspot.com/2009/01/jesus-ultimate-protection.html

Speeding Verses Abstinence

Posted in Prayer with tags , , , , , , , , on 2009/01/23 by NY4JB

The abortion debate is in full swing again but a root question for me is can legislation cause morality?  I know the answer is no; people do what they want; for example, they violate traffic laws that are created for everyone’s safety by speeding, not coming to a full stop at every stop sign, failing to signal when changing lanes and the worse, hitting the gas when the light turns yellow.  I’m guilty of a few of these in any given week (if not every day) because I make my own judgment calls as to what I think is safe at the moment and I’m pretty sure everybody else does the same thing.  Most of us don’t have any compelling reason or great urge to break these laws but we do so because we’ve weighed the time savings against the risks and think it’s worth the chance.  Every once in a while somebody loses that bet and gets caught or has a wreck.

Adolescent kids have a very strong urge to have sex and don’t yet have a fully developed sense of judgment, so will having laws make a difference?  Also, Christians don’t seem to stay married any better than the rest of society with those who marry young being most likely to divorce (does somebody know if the stats based on age of marriage are the same for Christians verses non-Christians) so having kids get married at the onset of adolescence is not the answer.

So the debate rages on, but, what if we took on spreading the Gospel with the same energy and passion used in the abortion debate? 

Heavenly Father,
We are a sinful people and you are a merciful God.  You show us mercy everyday and still we go on sinning.  Please give us the wisdom to know which battles to fight and the courage to spread the good news about your son, Jesus Christ, that we may bear good fruit in your kingdom.  We live in a fallen world and our salvation comes only from Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, and it is in his great name that we pray.
Amen