Thursday, December 23, 2010


OK, so I've always wanted to see what the big deal was about Wassail. As most of you know, I'm a history major and lover, so to see 16th - 18th century England obsessed with Wassail, I'm curious as to what it tastes like. Why is this drink in so many songs? Why did the English have such a connection to it?

Yes, I've had the modern American stuff we call wassail, but it's really just a mulled cidar. I've always harbored some doubts that the stuff in church lady's crock pot was the stuff of song and dance! From what I've read Wassail is more of a "hearty" drink. The name itself means "Good Health."

Finally, I've found it: A professional chef's research into a 16th century Lambswool Wassail: It looks stout, hearty, and...interesting! I'm pretty sure it's more ancient than I thought. It's a basically a spiced beer; however, I'm confident it has a pagan religous origin. Apples and eggs were very important to the British Isles' pagan religions, and Wassail has always been related to Christmas...or Winter Solstice, an important holiday for most pre-Christian religions.

Overall, it's been a fun little research project, and now I'm trying to decide if I take the next step! Should I make it...and more importantly, should I serve it! Lol!

See what you think...would you drink it if I make it!?!

Wassail by Alton Brown
6 small Fuji apples, cored
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
72 ounces ale
750 ml Madeira
10 whole cloves
10 whole allspice berries
1 cinnamon stick, 2-inches long
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 large eggs, separated

Don't try this without looking up the Foodnetwork show on how to do it (Part 1, Part 2)! Apparently, it takes a few special twists to get it to come out right.

Seriously, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


OK, so I spent too much time playing while I was designing the front of the bulletin cover...

But here is John 1:1-18, our Advent and Christmas Eve texts, in Wordle form! Click here if you want to Wordle!

Wordle: John 1:1-18

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Here are some great links to check out!!!

  1. If you've ever put yourself out there, you'll know this already. But, it never hurts for all of us to be reminded: You will be misunderstood. It's OK...Keep at it!!!!
  2. Interesting parable about ascetic theology from author Steve Taylor.
  3. Cathy Escobar's great blog has a good post about single parents.
  4. Andrew Conard lists some non-negotiables for church staffs. What do you think? What would you add? Subtract?
  5. Is Yoga compatible with following Jesus? Interesting thoughts by my least favorite attention...lover, Mark Driscoll, but I found myself unable to disagree with what he was saying.
  6. Apparently, the founder of the Tea Party movement isn't a fan of the United Methodist Church...and apparently, I'm not a big fan of him either after reading some of his other tirades!?!
  7. If you haven't seen the new translation app called "Word Lens" you're missing out on Star Trek being made real today! It instantly translates any words/signs/etc. you point at...check it out!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Silent Night

I'm a huge fan of Six Pence None the Richer. It seems they get what Christian music should be about, which is probably why they have had a rocky relationship with the industry. The following video is their rendetion of Silent Night. It is amazing. I love the angel smiling at 2:46. It made my day, and I hope it makes yours.

Btw, we're singing Silent Night to this to close out worship on Sunday...come join us if you can!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Peace on Earth

One of U2's great songs (aren't they all!?!) is Peace on Earth.

It asks the obvious question: How can we read and sing "Peace on Earth" when so much of our news, our politics, and our lives are full of anything but peace?

If the Christ Child came to bring peace or to announce peace, where is it? Did God fail to deliver? Is God lying? Is God even there?

Something that I have learned is that the greatest gifts I've received are the gifts that I must do. For example, the greatest gift I received from my parents is how to love and be loved. This love is not something that is just given fails to be what they taught if I only receive. The love they taught is a love that gives. What they gave me was giving. What they gave me was a giving of myself. The gift they gave was a gift I give.

I think the gift of the Christ Child is peace and goodwill; however, that peace isn't something that magically appears. It's not something that just happens.

The Peace of the Christ Child only happens when the birth of Jesus happens in our hearts and lives...when WE become peace and goodwill...when our lives and our selves offer peace.

Where is peace? It comes from the heart that receives the Christ Child. Do we want peace? We must live it! Do we want goodwill to all? Then we must live it!

"Heaven on earth...we need it now..."

May God be with the fathers and mothers who weep this Christmas for the sons and daughters lost to our insane violence. Amen.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Caution! Choices ahead!

As I was walking out of the local elementary school today, I got to the steps. I had a choice to make. If I took the right side of the railing, I would have a small bit of ice on every step. If I took the left side of the railing, I would have a lot of ice on the very first step, but hardly any on the others.

Once choice had small dangers all along, while the other had a big danger right up front...but with relative safety after that.

For some reason it struck me as the way of life (maybe it was the fact I was looking for something to blog on...who knows). We're constantly faced with choices. Some good, some bad. Some choices are neither good nor bad; rather, it's a weighing of decisions, small factors, who I am, who those in the decisions are, who gets impacted by my decision, and can I afford to lose the cost in light of the potential gain.

If you're curious, I took the bad first step. Bold, gutsy, full of danger...OK, so it was just a step, but then again, perhaps it was more than that...