Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Books for Christmas

These are the two books I received for Christmas. I'm enjoying them very much. They may seem contradictory to each other but so what. They are both fun to read and both represent different kinds of creativity and insight. They are both "right" somehow.

Looking for God Knows What by Donald Miller - Stresses the importance of relationship in understanding who God is and What God wants.

James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls by Robert Eisenman - Uses clues from ancient non-canonical documents as well as canonical as a detective to discern the previously hidden role of James in the first century.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Dostoevsky Statue in Wiesbaden Aug 29, 1999

Kiril, Vitaly, and Nikolai

Playhouse in Wiesbaden

Me next to statue of Dostoevsky in this park in Wiesbaden where Dostoevsky came to gamble. I took a picture of my Russian friends next to the statue. But since I can't find it, that photo must have been taken with their camera.

That day, it was a Sunday, we started out just south of Bonn in the town of Bad Honnef. Because they wanted to see every possible thing, we stopped many places along the way to the Frankfurt airport, including this park in Wiesbaden. We had been to a Gravity conference. Vitaly is the most well travelled person I've ever known. He's a well known gravity physicist. I had met Kiril in London about 9 months earlier. It was the first time out of Russia for Nikolai. They were happy to find this statue and they were clearly and justifiably proud.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Good, Evil, Satan, and God

Have been trying to keep up with all that Richard Beck has written on his blog about the theodicy of Satan. Satan and the problem of evil are intimately tied together. I'd like to add that some of the gnostics moved in other directions to handle the problem of evil. In Philip, verse 9 it says:

"The light with the darkness, life with death, the right with the left are brothers one to another. It is not possible for them to be separated from one another."

This seems to indicate that one can't have the good without a bad. Isn't it true that to a certain extent we cannot experience pleasure without having a knowledge of what pain is? Perhaps Philip may be a wild eyed gnostic text but consider also Isa 45:7

"I form the light and create darkness,I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things."

And Lamentations 3:38 "Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?

But our story has a happy ending, for it also says just a few verses earlier (and this squares with Richard's earlier posts about the apocatastasis, the eventual restoration of all things and salvation for all):

31 For men are not cast off
by the Lord forever.

32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Chicken Casserole

1 cup sour cream
1 jar dried beef (also known as "chipped beef". Its paper thin, about 2" diameter.)
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
garlic powder
4 whole boned chicken breasts. (Sometimes we halve the breasts)

Line dish with beef. Wrap chicken breasts with bacon. ( Or you might use 1/2 piece bacon per 1/2 chicken breast as desired.) Mix well the soup and sour cream in a separate container and pour over the chicken. Season with garlic powder. Sometimes I save a few pieces of the thin beef and place on top. Cover and cook 3 hours at 275 F. Take cover off near the end to brown. I plan to take a picture the next time we make it.

To serve, place chicken breast on top of a bed of rice then spoon the mushroom/sour cream sauce over it. I like to season with a copius amount of pepper. It is already salty enough.

I think this has replaced turkey as our Thanksgiving meal.

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