Monday, February 29, 2016

Lent 2016, Day 17

From my Loyola Press morning devotional to-day:


This Lent, fast by listening to others;
pray by opening your hearts to them;
and give alms by holding your hands out to them.



O send out your light and your truth;
            let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
            and to your dwelling.
Psalm 43:3


On his trip to Africa in November 2015, Pope Francis spoke to the young people of Kenya, warning them of the evils of tribalism, the temptation to value one’s own cultural prejudices at the expense of others. He called for the young people to be open to all who live within their country. Overcoming tribalism is something “we do with our ear: listening to others; with our heart: being open to others; and with our hands: holding out a hand to others.” (Address to the Young People of Kenya, 27 November 2015).

In the Gospel reading from Luke 4:24‒30, Jesus confronts the same attitudes when speaking to the people of Galilee who saw themselves as superior to others who did not share their faith. Jesus points to the example of the Old Testament prophets Elijah and Elisha in 2 Kings. These prophets lived among the faithful, but when they performed miracles it was for a Gentile widow and a Syrian general. God’s grace is not limited to a chosen few. Jesus’ example enraged the people, and they did their best to throw Jesus off a cliff. “But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way” (Luke 4:30).

Whether it is called tribalism or exceptionalism, the temptation to narrow our focus to claim the grace of God for ourselves and deny it to those who make us uncomfortable is universal. This temptation is especially strong during times of stress and unrest. We are tempted to ask God to extend his mercy to us and to deny it to others. So it is a great Lenten practice to humbly listen to others, open our hearts to them, and hold out our hands to one another.

So Good You are, heavenly Father, so knowing and wise. Thank You again for letting me hear exactly what I need to hear - no more and no less - just like what the Oracle told Neo.
I praise You for Your glory! Hosanna in the highest! 


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Recipe Number Aught Aught: Best Chili Ever

No, really; we both agreed last night this had to be the best batch I've ever made - glory to God! Forgoing all the normal spices and herbs, I used one can of Brooks Mild Chili Beans to provide the 'chili' flavor - along with one of the last jalapenos from the 2015 summer crop.

Here's what and how:

From the meat drawer:
About a pound and a quarter of ground chuck
4 center cut boneless pork chops

From the pantry, one can each of:
Brooks Mild Chili Beans 15.5oz - EXCELLENT SOURCE OF FIBER
Kroger Black Beans
Kroger Diced Tomatoes
Kroger Stewed Tomatoes
Psst Kroger Tomato Sauce (smaller can, maybe 4 oz)
Psst Kroger Mushrooms Pieces and Stems

From the vegetable drawer:
One onion diced
One sweet orange pepper diced
One beautiful dark green jalapeno pepper diced

From the refrigerator door:
12 oz of ice cold Miller Lite 
Big squirt of ketchup
Medium squirt of Dijon mustard
Several dashes of Worcestershire sauce

I browned the ground meat in my favourite Wolfgang Puck Bistro Collection 7 quart Stockpot. Separately I fried the pork chops, seasoned with Kroger Grill Time Hamburger Seasoning, in olive oil and then diced them into tiny chunks. (At this point it must be made perfectly clear that the entire package of four chops did NOT make it into the chili pot.)

I added everything to the pot and brought it to a boil for about 20 minutes. Then turned it down to simmer for about an hour with the lid on but ajar.

The different size tomatoes added to the texture, the lack of alot of spice and herbs gave it a simplicity that allowed the flavors of the meat and vegetables to really come through.
And I did top my second and third bowls with a pinch of Kroger Queso Quesadilla Natural Shredded Cheese ('knock it off, Napoleon, make yourself a dang quesa-dilluh!')
Ummmm-mmm good!

Lent 2016, Day 16

From Dr. Luke's Gospel:

While he was still a long way off,
his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.
He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
His son said to him,
‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;
I no longer deserve to be called your son.’
But his father ordered his servants,
‘Quickly, bring the finest robe and put it on him;
put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Take the fattened calf and slaughter it.
Then let us celebrate with a feast,
because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;
he was lost, and has been found.’

Merciful Father, You are the Merciful Father Jesus told the Pharisees and scribes about; and I am the son. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Lent 2016, Day 15

From Portia Nelson, this is her Autobiography in Five Short Chapters.

 Chapter I
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost ... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.

Chapter II
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter III
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in ... it's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter IV
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V
I walk down another street.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Lent 2016; Day 14

My attitude should be like that of Christ Jesus, Who made Himself NOTHING...

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Lent 2016; Day 13

Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, 'Do it again'; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, 'Do it again' to the sun; and every evening, 'Do it again' to the moon.

It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.

~ G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Lent 2016 Day 12: Recipe #1

From, in my morning devotional:

Happiness Recipe

2 heaping cups patience
1 heart full of love
2 handfuls generosity
Dash of laughter
1 head full of understanding

Sprinkle generously with kindness. Apply plenty of faith and mix well. Spread over a period of a lifetime and serve to those you meet.
Thank You, Lord, for continuing to teach me; grant me that head full of understanding, that heart full of love.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Lent 2016 Day 11

... is my faith like a rock, or like sand that shifts?

.... is my heart like a rock, or like sand that is doubtful?

.... can Jesus continue to build His church on my heart, like a living stone???

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Recipe #187:Boneless Chuck Roast Rub For Grilling

We have done so many pot roasts, stews, chilis and such this past winter, I wanted to try something different. I was mostly prompted by an episode of Diners, Drivethroughs, and Dives the night before, which featured several shops doing sandwiches with shaved meat cooked with a dry rub. Each place built the rub differently, and each had my mouth watering in anticipation.
So yestreday morning I grabbed a bag of Kingsford Mesquite charcoal and a three pound hunk of meat from the nice man at our Chilson Commons Kroger.

For the rub (and these quantities aren't perfectly accurate - i made enough to liberally cover my three pound chunk of beef:

1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
tsp chili powder
tsp ground cumin
tsp paprika
tsp onion powder
tsp garlic powder
tsp ground black pepper
tsp salt
pinches each of the following dried herbs from our garden:
pineapple sage
garden sage
mother of thyme

I whisked it all together and then rubbed this into all sides of the roast, then refrigerated for about four hours in a plastic bag.
Let it come back to room temperature for about an hour before throwing on the grill.

As soon as the grill temp was up to about 200, I started the meat on the indirect side,  letting the direct side get fully hot. Then I seared all sides for a couple minutes - don't forget to grease your grill iron - giving it some good color all over.
I put the meat back on the indirect cook side and let it go, checking the temp every forty minutes or so. I let it get up to 150 in the thickest part, which is close to medium or medium-rare.
I let it rest on a platter covered with foil for probably twenty minutes before slicing.
We had the meat with some potatoes-mushrooms-onions seasoned with my version of Montreal Chicken seasoning which I also did on the grill,  and this meal did not disappoint.

Blessed be God forever!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Lent 2016, Day 10

The wind has been blowing loudly from the south for the past 24 hours; due to the shitty state of our skirting, I have already undertaken two search and rescue missions.
Working on the family tree again to-day; the chuck roast is sitting refrigerated in its groovy rub for a few hours before I pull it out this afternoon for a slow grill.

Father, thank You for the weekend, and it's recuperative value. I join my prayers with those from all over the world asking that You would turn the hearts of those who have left the Church back to You and the fold. Be near, Lord.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Lent 2016, Day 9

Lord, You are my All in All
You are my Strength
You are my Purpose...
Your people are my Business

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Lent 2016 Day 7

Lord, help me to not be reluctant when You call me to move out of myself in service to others.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Lent Day 6, 2016

Lord, I willingly give up my right to hold on to any grudges or un-forgiveness my heart may have held.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Lent 2016 Day 5

From Blessed Teresa of Calcutta:

I used to pray that God would feed the hungry, or do this or that, but now I pray that he will guide me to do whatever I am supposed to do, what I can do.  I used to pray for answers, but now I am praying for strength.  I used to believe that prayer changes things.  Now I know that prayer changes us and we change things.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Baldners from Germany/France

From Oak Grove Cemetery in Manistee, my great-great grandparents Baldner, who came from Germany and settled in Manistee, MI.

2016 Lent Day 4

Grant us the grace to willingly give up our lives
in order to gain Life with You.


Friday, February 12, 2016

2016 Lent Day 3

Preacher to the Papal Household, Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap., writes:

"Lent is not just a time of self-deprivation; it is also a time for correcting one's path, for rectifying one's intentions.  This, perhaps, is the best spiritual exercise that we can do during Lent."

Thursday, February 11, 2016

2016 Lent Day 2

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.
 He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water,
that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither. ...

Psalm 1:1-3

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

2016 Lent Day 1

Heavenly Father~

I praise You on this Ash Wednesday, and I ask that You would grant me the grace to fully and self-lessly respond to Your grace. Fill me with nothing more than the desire to become the person You want me to be.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Why is it Super Bowl 50 and not Super Bowl L?

I don't know, I'm really asking...

On the menu to-day: brats and burgers and chips and dip and potato salad and chicken chef's salad. Firing up the grill at about 4:00.

Pre-noon Super Bowl trivia question: What do Trent Dilfer, Steve young, and Kurt Warner all have in common?

ESPN 2 is showing 'The 85 Bears' 30 For 30 -  a pretty good two hours; I remember that year well.
I remember the 86 Super Bowl party I was at - I won three of the four quarter squares that year. :-)

Started the chicken stock for the chicken kale soup, working on my 2015 herbs right now...

From last year's garden: parsley, sage (garden and pineapple), rosemary, and thyme
For the stock, I boiled four thighs, bay leaves, salt, pepper, dried garden herbs, a chopped up carrot, a chopped up onion, a chopped up celery, and a couple of chicken bullion cubes for about two hours. I removed the chicken to cool and poured everything else through the fine mesh strainer.

I removed the bones and cartilage and skin, then added the chicken to the stock. At that time, I also added chopped up kale, onion, and celery, and shredded carrots. I let this go for one hour more and had two bowls right before the big game. Delish.

16:50 The grill is ready, the meat is seasoned, and I am ready to start the fire.

17:33 The chicken is on the top rack, adding the bratwurst right now

17:46 It's hard to grill when it's cold...

18:11 They just introduced Steve Young, the dogs are in the kitchen, the chicken and brats are on the top rack again, and the burgers are going on.. They just introduced John Elway.

... no blog this year either...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Reminder for me II

Listen: there was once a king sitting on his throne. Around Him stood great and wonderfully beautiful columns ornamented with ivory, bearing the banners of the king with great honour. Then it pleased the king to raise a small feather from the ground, and he commanded it to fly. The feather flew, not because of anything in itself but because the air bore it along. Thus am I, a feather on the breath of God.

   ~ St. Hildegard of Bingen.