30 May 2010

No End to This Glorious Message

"There is no end to this glorious message of the cross, for there is always something new and fresh and entrancing and moving and uplifting that one has never seen before."
-D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

HT: Ray Ortlund

28 May 2010

Like Lemon? Eat This.

Time for another recipe, boys and girls. This was tonight's dinner, accompanied by some sauteed Italian sausage and roasted asparagus. Tangy and fresh, perfect for hot weather. Also simple and quick, which automatically bumps it up a notch.

Creamy Lemon Pasta

8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
4 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup sour cream
zest and juice of 1 large lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Bring large pot of water to boil.
2. Meanwhile, melt butter in frying pan over medium-high heat.
3. Add garlic, onion, and mushrooms to pan. Stir lightly to coat with butter, then reduce heat to medium and let 'em sizzle for a while. Stir every four or five minutes. The mushrooms should get a nice golden brown color and the onions should become translucent.
4. Add spaghetti noodles to boiling water and cook according to package directions.
5. Meanwhile, whisk together sour cream, lemon, salt, and pepper.
6. Remove mushrooms and onions from frying pan when done. Add sour cream mixture to hot pan, but remove pan from heat-- you only want to warm the sauce, not curdle it. Put a lid on the pan and let sauce sit until you've drained the pasta.
7. Speaking of which, drain spaghetti when finished. Shake in colander to remove excess water.
8. Toss together the whole caboodle: pasta, sauce, and vegetables. Serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan.

I'm so glad we have leftovers.

HT: Prudence Pennywise

Like, you know?

A good laugh

From Wondermark: a hilarious comic on the quick-shifting focus of the media. Titled "In Which Paul Catches Up."

24 May 2010

I Want to Be Her.

This woman is beautiful! The smile, the hair, the dress. Resolved: someday in the not-too-distant future, I too shall look effortlessly elegant. Until then, I shall observe and admire.

Oh, and the whole riding-a-bike-in-Milan thing. That's pretty cool too.


I just remembered how much I like sunflowers.

They are easy to grow and boisterously cheerful. They don't put on airs-- sometimes they look beautiful and sometimes they look awkward, but you don't mind the awkward stage because they never promised to be 100% elegant in the first place. The seeds taste great. And of course, sunflowers have that awesome tendency to turn towards the light.

(Were I in a Chestertonian frame of mind, I'd turn this post into an essay on how a Christian's heart ought to follow suit, taking Christ as sunlight. But I'm too sleepy for eloquence. You're welcome.)

Yes, I know. This image is not of sunflowers. But by jiggety, if boisterously cheerful is what you want, they fit the bill. (from Emmelines blogg)

ALSO: Awesome wedding with sunflowers!!! Super classy, yet the joy spills all over the place.

18 May 2010

Who Encouraged You To Expect Any Better?

Richard Baxter:

What keeps us under trouble is either we do not expect what God has promised, or we expect what he did not promise. We are grieved at crosses, losses, wrongs of our enemies, unkind dealings of our friends, sickness, or for contempt and scorn in the world. But who encouraged you to expect any better?

We expect life to be easy. God never said it would be. Thankfully, though, He did promise to be with us.

HT: The Blazing Center

14 May 2010


A recent post by Ray Ortlund, "A dangerous book to all who hold power," got me thinking this morning.

The post was actually a quotation from Eric Metaxas, and the gist of it was as follows: If the Bible is just a collection of fairy tales, why do people fear it so much? If the Bible is on the same level as other books, why doesn't China ban Hans Christian Andersen? Why weren't the translators of Grimm's Fairy Tales imprisoned or executed? Why is Scripture so hated, out of all the other supposedly equal works of fiction? There's something more powerful going on in its pages, and people know it.
Interesting. Then I started to wonder, what is the difference anyway? Of course I know the orthodox answer: duh, it's divinely inspired. But that differentiation only works if you believe in divine inspiration. What about people who don't? They must fear something else-- I suppose they must fear its effects. They see that Scripture transforms and shapes lives in a way unique from all other books.
Then I wondered, why would a government be afraid of Scripture affecting people's lives? Aren't Christians supposed to be all-around good citizens? Bing! Dr. Stewart's lecture on the early disciples in ancient Rome ("now let's kill us some Christians!") surfaced from the sea of memory. Oh, of course. Christians aren't very likely to obey dictators blindly. Their religious fervor far outweighs their dread of persecution, strong as that dread may be. They present a large problem to an emperor trying to take over the world and demanding universal loyalty from his subjects.
Now, I don't usually stop thinking about things until I've brought them to the level of everyday life, i.e. "That's very nice, but what does it have to do with me?" [start rabbit trail] Maybe this reveals self-centeredness, but hopefully it just stems from my desire to be affected by truth. Rather than toss around broad ideas and build mere castles in the air, I'd like to know how my own soul and actions should change in response. Perhaps I succumbed to theoretical-discussion burnout at college. The theories and discussions are still magnifique, but at this point, I'd rather not let them stay theoretical. [end rabbit trail] Whatever the motive, from government this naturally narrows to individuals. Scripture makes individual people uncomfortable too. Non-Christians don't want to hear what it says; Christians are lazy about studying it. The desire to grapple with Scripture and understand its real meaning is sadly rare.
I shame-facedly include myself in the "lazy" camp. But why? Why would I shrink away from the very words of life, the words of my God and Savior?
For much the same reason as a despotic government would fear Scripture: because it demands something of the soul. Those who take the Bible seriously can't walk away unchanged, and because of that transformative tendency, Scripture generates hatred in the world. Non-Christians hate how serious believers refuse to go with the flow, for that wounds their already-screaming consciences. Christians, still sinful even while saved, hate how the Bible keeps yanking them out of darkness and shoving into the light. (It's like when you wake up and flip on the lights. You know it's good to see things, and you know you'll be glad in a minute, but man, it hurts your eyes!)
So this book is not only "dangerous to all who hold power." It is "dangerous to all who are content with sin"-- and at one point or another, that's all of us.
Image: William Tyndale, translator of the Bible into English, being burned at the stake.

08 May 2010

One Hundred Layers

I love lasagna. So do all sane men and women-- it's just the crazies who turn up their nose at ricotta. So if you are sane (or at least putting on a darn good act, which is what I'm doing) you ought to check this out. Apparently, five layers of pasta, cheese, and sauce isn't enough for chef Mark Ladner: at the upscale Italian restaurant Del Posto, lasagna lovers can buy a 100-layer lasagna.
I am not even kidding. Go read the article.
HT: A Cup of Jo

05 May 2010

This is not a paid advertisement.

For the most part, while grocery shopping, I look first for what's on sale. Quality's a big factor too, but I think you can get good quality from a variety of brands. Usually. Here are some brand names I do prefer-- sale or no sale.

If you like tart yogurt you will like siggi's skyr. It's thick Icelandic-style yogurt sweetened with a bit of agave. To increase its appeal, it comes in quirky flavors like grapefruit and pomegranate, and the labels are very pretty. (Yes. I am a sucker for pretty labels.)

There's no substitute for King Arthur's white whole wheat flour. I love this company, period. From the flours to the blog to the customer service, it's one fine establishment.

Sobe Lifewater has zero artificial sweeteners. Thus, zero weird aftertaste. Fuji apple pear, cherimoya punch, and strawberry dragonfruit are my favorites.

I've tried a lot of gum, and Orbit beats them all.

Imported Italian pasta rules: better flavor and texture. Delallo is excellent, but Allegra is another great brand I just discovered (thanks to Ben Beiler's, which is also where I found siggi's . . . yay cheap food).

04 May 2010

If I Could Do It Again

Creating a wedding registry was great. More fun than a box of rocks, and so much happier than your typical wish-list, because you know you're going to get the stuff. (Okay, unless you put down like six different table lamps and a full rainbow of tablecloths and whatever useless doohickey collection Pottery Barn just unveiled. In that case, you probably won't "get the stuff." Our registry was fairly small, however, so we did check just about every item off the list.)

Furthermore, I am quite happy with what we registered for. I think there were only two or three items I'd take off the list if I had a second chance. From what I hear, that's a fortunate conclusion-- apparently a lot of new couples end up piling up tennis ball racks and handy-dandy retractable serving forks in a corner of the basement, realizing that they aren't so useful after all.

Yet with that said, here are some things I'd totally put on the registry, were there a round two. I'm sure there are several non-essentials I could remove from the original list in order to make room for these lovelies.

Awesome dishes from Royal Copenhagen.

Steak knives! Because eating steak (no matter how delicious) gets a little difficult with butter knives.

More Rubbermaid. You can never have enough bins, and plastic beats cardboard for durability and prevention-of-bug-invasions. I've only got two people's worth of belongings to store, but gee whiz, we already take up a lot of room.

Uh, basically everything from Three Potato Four.