Local Church

"Go to the nearest smallest church and commit yourself to being there for 6 months. If it doesn’t work out, find somewhere else. But don’t look for programs, don’t look for entertainment, and don’t look for a great preacher. A Christian congregation is not a glamorous place, not a romantic place. That’s what I always told people. If people were leaving my congregation to go to another place of work, I’d say, “The smallest church, the closest church, and stay there for 6 months.” Sometimes it doesn’t work. Some pastors are just incompetent. And some are flat out bad. So I don’t think that’s the answer to everything, but it’s a better place to start than going to the one with all the programs, the glitz, all that stuff."
Eugene Peterson

See more at: http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2013/09/27/faithful-end-interview-eugene-peterson/#sthash.aZIKrRqe.dpuf



Marriage is about 'two becoming one.'  Two lives becoming a single life.  A common home, a common purpose, a common dream, common finances, common responsibilities, a common reputation… you get the picture!  A single life, with two persons.

So here is whats required:


Firstly, sharing yourself with the other person, and secondly, learning to receive from that other person.  Learning that what motivates you to say and do certain things, is not necessarily what motivates them to say and do those same things.  Understanding and sharing what you are at the core of your personhood with your spouse, and allowing them to share with you as you seek to understand them.


Repenting of sin and offense on your part, over-and-over-and-over-and-over…

Forgiving sin and offense on their part, over-and-over-and-over-and-over...



“The test of character posed by the gentleness of God's approach to us is especially dangerous for those formed by the ideas that dominate our modern world. We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than one who believes. You can be almost as stupid as a cabbage, as long as you doubt. The fashion of the age has identified mental sharpness with a pose, not with genuine intellectual method and character. Only a very hardy individualist or social rebel -- or one desperate for another life -- therefore stands any chance of discovering the substantiality of the spiritual life today. Today it is the skeptics who are the social conformists, though because of powerful intellectual propaganda they continue to enjoy thinking of themselves as wildly individualistic and unbearably bright.”

― Dallas Willard


Chili Recipe Redux

This is my second attempt at writing down a chili recipe (after my first attempt was probably 2 out of 5 stars).  I would personally add more seasoning, but my wife didn't want me to, so I left it the way it is.  It can use a little more salt, but that can be added at the table.

Start by chopping the following (food processor for all but the onions) and sauté over medium heat in the bottom of stock pan in olive oil:

3 large carrots
3 large celery stalks
2 bell peppers
3 large onions
3 large bay leaves

Once they start to get soft add the following:

2 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 beer
24 oz corn (can or frozen)
24 oz pinto beans (can)
24 oz black beans (can)
24 oz red beans (can)

Once the meat is fully cooked add the following:

24 oz tomato puree (can)
24 oz diced tomatoes (can)

Once the chili begins to bubble turn down heat and add the following:

4 medium cloves of garlic (crushed)
1 1/2 oz molasses
5 teaspoons of chili powder
3 teaspoons of cumin
2 teaspoons of paprika
2 teaspoons of oregano
2 teaspoons of black pepper
3 teaspoons of salt

Let simmer over low heat, if the chili is too thin, thicken it with tomato paste, corn starch, or other thickener.