Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Piping on The Piper's Cove

I made a short video last night - playing my pipes. Tune is "Munster Buttermilk". I think I played it reasonably well.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Christian Research Net

Wanted to call attention to a web site I came across - it's good.

Christian Research Net

Friday, February 1, 2008

Turducken review

Christmas has come and gone and I remembered that I owed my blog a review of the Turducken we had for the Miller family Christmas dinner. We had 15 folks all told.

I got it via Cajun Grocer and went with the cornbread stuffing. Perhaps another time I may get the seafood jambalaya stuffing.

Directions had us defrosting 2 days before the event in the refrigerator. I think it should have been 3 days. We had to do an overnight cold water defrost to speed things up a bit. Worked out O.K.

Preparation and cooking was a snap. Just needed to get it in an appropriate sized pan. The aroma in the house was fantastic after about an hour. The different spices on top of the cooking turkey, chicken and duck let everyone in the house know there was some serious bird in the oven.

It was done when we needed it to be done. Carving up the bird was a little challenge because I didn't know exactly what the layout was under the skin. When I and my brother-in-law got the Turducken out of the cooking pan a portion of it broke off but it was no big deal.

Carving was simple. Other than the legs on the turkey it's essentially boneless. I used an electric knife so I was able to get enough meat on the platter in a short period of time while it was still warm and juicy.

And it tasted wonderful. The cajun spices made themselves known but it wasn't overpowering. It was delicious, and having the same spices interacting with different types of meat made it like a mini buffet.

Got lots of compliments from the family and they were surprised at how good it was.

We will Turducken again in the future.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Anatomy of a dying denomination

OK, so I'm reading through some news recently and I come across the story titled "Archbishop says Nativity 'legend'", and many times one has to really dig in to the story in order to get to the real gist of what was said. Discard the first few paragraphs is a general rule.

Main point of the story is an Anglican Archbishop stating that some of the elements of the popularized portrayal of the Nativity may indeed be legend. Such as: the actual date of Jesus's birth, the visitation of 3 Kings, probably no asses or oxen in the stable.

Christians who are rooted in Scripture don't have a real problem with the contesting of those items: they aren't detailed in the account and are not essential doctrine necessary for salvation. It will come as more of a surprise to folks who are only familiar with the traditional portrayal.

However, it's in the transcript of the interview from which the story gets its genesis (no pun intended) that a truly amazing confession is contained: the Archbishop waffles and does not affirm exactly what his belief is concerning the Virgin Birth. Here's the text (SM is the interviewer, ABC is the Archbishop):


SM The Virgin Mary next door to him?

ABC We know his mother's name was Mary, that's one of the things all the gospels agree about, and the two gospels that tell the story have the story of the virgin birth and that's something I'm committed to as part of what I've inherited.

SM You were a prominent part of a Spectator survey in the current issue which headlined' Do you believe in the virgin birth?' there are some people in this survey who would say they were Christian who don't have a problem if you don't believe in the Virgin birth;' how important it is it to believe in that bit?

ABC I don't want to set it as a kind of hurdle that people have to get over before they, you know, be signed up;, but I think quite a few people that as time goes on, they get a sense, a deeper sense of what the virgin birth is about. I would say that of myself. About thirty years ago I might have said I wasn't too fussed about it - now I see it much more as dovetailing with the rest of what I believe about the story and yes.

SM Christopher Hitchens and many others make the point that isn't the translation for young woman rather than virgin? Does it have to be seen as virgin; might it be a mistranslation?

ABC It is… well, what's happening there one of the gospels quotes a prophecy that a virgin will conceive a child. Now the original Hebrew doesn't have the word virgin, it's just a young woman, but that's the prophecy that's quoted from the Old Testament in support of the story which is, in any case, about a birth without a human father, so it's not that it rests on mistranslation; St Matthew's gone to his Greek version of the bible and said "Oh, 'virgin'; sounds like the story I know," and put it in.


So it sounds like no big deal if you do or don't believe in the Virgin Birth if you're the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams.

To put it in colloquial terms, if you're not Superman, you can't leap tall buildings in a single bound, or be more powerful than a locomotive. Who you are determines what you can do.

And in this case if Jesus had two human parents then He also was under the curse of sin and liable to pay for His own sin debt, making it impossible for Him to pay for the sins of others.

We see the results in this denomination. There is a sitting bishop that is an open homosexual. And that's because at some point is was OK to have a homosexual as a deacon, and priest, and every other office between. It's become a religion and there is no life in religion itself. Life comes from fellowship with the Creator.

That's the result of systematic denial of what Scripture says for whatever reason we may have. To quote Mark Twain: "It ain't the parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand."

Jesus said in John 6:63 - "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life."

What I believe: the account found in Scripture of the birth of Jesus in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, including the multiple references about Mary being a virgin.

What do you believe about the birth of Jesus and why? Why not?

Monday, December 10, 2007

It is done!

After much give and take over the past 2 years, the main course at my house for Christmas dinner with the in-laws will be a Turducken.

There were concerns about the mixing of the different birds (tudkey, duck, chicken), what it would mean to food preparation for the day, the type of stuffings available. I realize that it's not easy giving up or changing anything, let alone what's served for Christmas dinner.

When I learned that we were hosting Christmas at our house this year, I seized the opportunity to Turduckenize the gathering.

I went with a relatively safe choice of cornbread stuffing, although I really wanted to go for broke with a seafood stuffing or jambalaya.

I'll report back with a review.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A bit of piping

Had a chance to help out a friend and do some piping at the same time last night.

Brian McCoy, founder/leader of The Kells and multi-instrumentalist (flute, tinwhistle and uilleann pipes) is looking to either purchase a new set of uilleann pipes or augment his existing set of pipes.

And that's not an easy thing to do. There are probably 40 uilleann pipe makers in the world. Brian is a wise consumer and he wanted to play as many sets by different makers before making a decision.

So, my set, made by Seth Gallagher, was on his list and it was a good time with Brian talking and playing about Irish trad music and pipes.

One thing that surprised us both was the different tones we did and did not get out of our respective pipes when we weren't playing them.

But as the night wore on we got used to how the instrument played and responded. It was nice to hear what my pipes sounded like when I'm not playing them. Brian is an excellent musician, so it was a bit of a treat for me.

Since I wasn't the one contemplating a new set of pipes I got the chance to ask some questions about wants/needs given how his current set sounded.

Aside from the piping, the wants vs. needs is something we all struggle with - some more than others. They have a tendency to get blurred, lose their distinctions and make our lives a mess in the process.

It's especially true in this Christmas season. Kids (and adults) have their Christmas lists made out and fantasizing about getting gift X, Y and Z.

And it gets back to wants vs. needs.

On the first Christmas God gave mankind what mankind needed: A Savior.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Christmas list

This is a place marker to remind me that I need to make out my Christmas list for the Michael Conners Gift Headquarters.