Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nacho Taco Salad

The perfect potluck dish--one of those guilty pleasures that we all love, but there's no excuse in making a batch for just you or your family . . . thanks for the recipe, Kristin!

Note: Make this in your biggest mixing bowl. My 7-8 quart one was barely large enough. (Maybe that's why the recipe recommends halving it . . . but who wants to use 1/2 lb of hamburger, or worse--1/2 a packet of taco seasoning?)

Nacho Taco Salad
1 lb. hamburger, browned, drained and mixed with
1 packet taco seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

1 bunch green onions, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
3-4 diced tomatoes
3/4 to one whole bottle of Henri's Tas-Tee dressing

mix all ingredients well. Then mix with

1 12-17 oz. bag smashed Original Doritos

Refrigerate overnight before serving

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Japanese history and archaeology

Interestingfrom a number of angles.

Preschooler declaration of the week

Bronwyn (age 3 1/2): "I'm going to be a Tooth Fairy when I grow up. And I'm going to live with Tinkerbell!"

turkish coffee

I'd be having one of these mornings if my wonderful husband hadn't already made the coffee for me when I got up. For someone who never drinks it himself, he's learned to brew a pretty mean pot over the years.

They say that towards the end of his life Voltaire didn't bother to grind or brew his coffee, but just ate coffee beans straight up.

But if you're actually interested: How to make Turkish Coffee

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mother Goose and Grimm goes post-modern

Sure, in "Pearls Before Swine" the characters are not only aware that they are comic strip characters, they can bully their artist and kidnap characters from other strips. "Mother Goose and Grimm" chooses to take a more Star Trek-y type approach. Now I'm just waiting for Grimm to stumble through a rip in reality caused by a boiler explosion and land in "Blondie." Except, wait--in the Blondie universe, all comic strips exist in one giant shared reality (witness the character party that Blondie and Dagwood had for their 75th).

Except, wait again: There's Grimm, right in the front row of the 75th anniversary party. The two strips already occupy the same reality . . . hmm. Maybe I'm getting a little too hung up on continuity. Maybe.

Friday, November 6, 2009

how apropos

Our middle daughter lost her first tooth last night. The going rate around here is $1 per tooth. Plus gum, occasionally. Gum especially for those cases when the absent-minded tooth fairy doesn't show up the first night and needs to make sure that Guido doesn't take it out of an elbow.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

maybe there's more to all those images of the great tapestry of history . . .

We glorify God by working out our own salvation. God has twisted together his glory and our good. What an encouragement is this to the service of God, to think, while I am hearing and praying, I am glorifying God; while I am furthering my own glory in heaven, I am increasing God’s glory. --Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (Philipians 2: 12-13)

One of those theological paradoxes that my mind persists in trying to untangle is that of our free agency and God's sovereignty. God is sovereign, and only he accomplishes our salvation--but somehow what we do and think and say matters in there too. It is not by works that we are saved, but Paul clearly tells us to work out our salvation, and James tells us that our works are the evidence of our faith. One word in that Watson quote this morning gave me what I think may be a useful mental image. "Twisted." As in thread, or rope.

Our actions are not, in and of themselves, enough . . . for much of anything, really. Not to accomplish those things which can only be accomplished by the work of the Spirit. But if the Spirit is the one spinning into being those things which the Father wills, perhaps our actions are one of the strands being spun. Twisted. Even as we work, we are being worked upon, and our works are being included in the work of God . . .

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I find myself agreeing with Rat

American literature would not be a poorer thing for the absence of Walt Whitman . . .

being like Christ

Theological confession: I'm guilty of the NT's idolatry of self. Of identity. Which is to say, I read all those New Testament passages about being transformed into the likeness of Christ and think, "but I'm not sure that I want to become Jesus. I really like being myself." Yes, I know that a proper theological understanding doesn't mean the abrogation of the self, but its fulfillment--God doesn't strip us of who he made us to be, rather, through Christ, he transforms us into who he intended us to be all along. But still--in the image of the Son. Shouldn't be scary, but it is. I don't want to be turned into something other than what I am . . . but it didn't occur to me until this week to look at it from the flip side.

Christ became sin for us. "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God." Jesus Christ--the second person of the Trinity--let himself be transformed into--not us, just the worst parts of us. Our sin. Holy God inverted himself into that . . . and in so doing, actually exemplified the true character of who he is. By becoming sin, he became saviour. By becoming the sacrifice, by accepting death, he became life and redemption.

And all so that we could become the righteousness of God. Our transformation into the likeness of Christ is nothing less than the perfect inversion of Christ's initial transformation into us. He who was born into the likeness of men. Perhaps it is only through our transformation that we become that which we truly are? Perhaps that is one of the ways that we actually become like Christ?