Jay’s Green Salsa

Some time ago, I posted an entry regarding my attempts at creating a salsa recipe (emphasis on “attempts”). Since then, I’ve had some real success, based largely on a contribution via a comment to one of those previous entries. Here’s where I’m at…

1 28 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 tablespoon of granulated garlic
1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1-2 jalapenos
1 1/2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
1 1/2 bunches of cilantro
1 lime (use the juice only)

Cook jalapeno(s) in boiling water until tender (perhaps 2 minutes with a steady boil), then drain. Use 1 small jalapeno with the seeds removed for mild heat, 2 whole jalapenos for intense heat. Add all the ingredients but the cilantro in a food processor and process to smooth consistency. Add cilantro and process to desired consistency.

Note: If you use “no salt added” tomatoes, you may need to add more salt.

The Lord’s Prayer and Redemptive History

I’ve been teaching an adult Sunday School class on the vocation/identity of Jesus and the implications for the church using the Lord’s Prayer as an outline. This morning, as I was reviewing the previous week (“thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven”), I suddenly noticed a pattern that proved very helpful in summarizing the previous week.

The basic premise is that the initial clauses of the prayer line up well with Israel’s history and therefore point all the more strongly to Christ’s fulfillment of Israel’s vocation. I haven’t worked it all out, but here are some initial thoughts.

When Israel is first called as a nation, God calls them as His son (Exodus 4:22-23)… i.e. He is their Father. This is the first reference to the fatherhood of God in redemptive history. The Israelites go into the wilderness, where Moses goes up the mountain and receives the heavenly pattern for the tabernacle (Hebrews 8:5). This tabernacle becomes the dwelling place of God. The Israelites then wind up in the wilderness for some time, during which time they are sustained by the bread of heaven, manna (Deuteronomy 8:3).

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus calls on God as Father, pointing toward his church as the people of the true exodus, the sons of God. At this point it gets interesting, because he immediately prays that “thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven”. This strikes me as a parallel to the pattern of the tabernacle, and gives the entire clause an interesting flavor. Specifically, it moves us toward an incarnational understanding of God’s kingdom being brought to bear on the earth.

Jesus “tabernacled” among us and revealed the Father to us (John 1). He was the ultimate heavenly pattern, revealing the Father (and His will) perfectly. As we pray the Lord’s prayer and call on God as Father, we yearn to see His kingdom brought to bear here on earth. But this is not a desire apart from us, his Church. Called by Christ, in the power of the Spirit, the bringing of the Kingdom to bear on the world is the bringing of us to bear on the world… or more accurately we should say it is the bringing of Jesus to bear through us in the power of the Spirit.

Next up then is the prayer for bread, once again paralleling Israel’s history. Here we find Jesus is the true manna, the Bread of Life. Just as the Church resonates with the Father/Son theme and the Heavenly Pattern transforming the earth, so too we have bread to seek. We see this in all areas of our lives, and certainly the Sermon on the Mount leaps to mind when we juxtapose thoughts of daily needs and the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). But I believe the redemptive-historical parallel between manna and Jesus the Bread of Life also points us very directly toward the Lord’s Supper. Though the Lord’s Prayer doesn’t explicit point to the Supper, and I wouldn’t want to limit its application to Communion, the association is not unwarranted. This very connect-the-dots sort of movement through redemptive history is seen in 1 Corinthians 10.

Now, I’ve only gotten this far… does the pattern continue? We have drawn parallels between Israel, Jesus, and the Church for the first three clauses of the prayer (Father, Kingdom on Earth, Daily Bread). Do the parallels continue through the remainder of the prayer?

Suppertime at the Hornes’

Those of you out there either with small children or those of you who have raised small children will identify with the idea that many kids, though not all, have quite narrow tastes when it comes to food likes. Perhaps this is a regular part of development; I don’t know, I actually haven’t done any formal research on the topic. We here at Casa Horne have delightful children (we think!) yet they have always been “challenged” in this area. I myself was quite the finicky eater as a young child, yet as an adult I enjoy most foods put in front of me.

However, our little fussy eaters were quickly becoming difficult to the point of ill-mannered at the table. Mealtimes around here had turned into something of a battle. There was complaining, “I don’t like this!”, “I can’t swallow the food!”, “I want yogurt instead!”; general whininess, and frustration on the part of the two parents, who desperately yearned for meals to be a time of peaceful family interaction and happiness.

Jay and I finally decided something must be done. I had gotten to the point of rarely cooking foods that I knew would be turned down flat. Though I actually love to cook, I began to strongly dislike my job as the food prep person around here. And the kids certainly weren’t enjoying their meal experiences either. So, a couple of weeks ago we instituted some changes around here. I am happy to say they have been met with huge success. In the last two weeks our children have eaten foods they would never have dared to touch before this. Some of those include: yellow fin tuna, tabouli, fresh tomato, grilled mushrooms, and tomato-basil-mozzarella salad.

So, you ask, what did we do to our children?
Continue reading “Suppertime at the Hornes’”

Regulative Principle of Worship

In debates about the Regulative Principle of Worship (RPW), arguments are often made from the form of worship given in the Old Testament. To summarize the nature of such arguments, one might say that in the Old Testament it was very clear that God was pleased by worship offered in accordance with the rather detailed prescriptions he provided, and very displeased by worship offered in any other way.

Such a view arises from many passages of scripture, but can be summarized by highlighting a couple of key passages. As one example, in Deuteronomy 12:29-32, when commanding the Israelites to not take the form of worship used by the nations being displaced in the Land, the Lord states, “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.” It is important to note that this statement is made explicitly with regard to worship.

Leviticus 10 offers the story of Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, who varied from the regulations of tabernacle worship by bringing fire they themselves had lit in from of the Lord, and were consumed by the Lord’s fire. Such a story reinforces the seriousness of the admonition in Deuteronomy 12.

In all this, I believe we are to order our worship now and always in accordance with the word of God. However, As I have been reading through the Bible these past few weeks I have been startled to find many challenges to a strictly held viewpoint that God was only pleased by worship offered in exact accordance with his prescriptions. So many challenges, in fact, that I am beginning to conclude it is not sustainable apart from significantly more nuance as well as a few caveats thrown in for good measure.
Continue reading “Regulative Principle of Worship”

Five little ducks went out one day…

We have an established pattern in our household (one of those quirky little rituals that spring up in families) that entails me singing Five Little Ducks to my my middle child Jonathan every single night at bedtime. If you’ve ever been one to wonder what those ducklings were up to when they went missing, perhaps I can provide an answer.

IMG_3653_small.jpgThis past Saturday, Tricia was out front working on some flower beds when she started making a commotion near the front door. I walked over to the entryway, at which point she yelled throught the window next to the door that there was a baby bird of some sort at the front door and I was not, under any circumstances, to open the door. Naturally, I opened the door and said, “Really?”

The moment the door opened a tiny duckling sprinted in and made a move to cut between my feet. I quickly put my heels together and it attempted to take up residence in the wedge created by my shoes. Now, this was a tiny duckling, and its parents were nowhere to be found, so we decided to load everyone in the minivan and eat lunch while driving around looking for ducks. The duckling was safely ensconced in a shoebox (so we thought) while we looked.

Long story short: we couldn’t find any duck parents, but we did discover that the little guy could jump. We were actually in the drive-through at Taco Bell when he vaulted out of the shoebox and went racing around in the minivan. Between a shrill scream and my request that she “please hold on… there’s a duck loose in our car”, we believe the Taco Bell lady taking our order may have been a bit scared of us.

IMG_3652_small.jpgAfter fruitlessly looking for ducks, we headed home and fixed up a little habitat for the duckling. I then headed off for a farm feed store to buy food for the little guy while Abigail decided to make it more at home. This involved leaning a book with pictures of ducks up against the side of its container, drawing pictures for it and taping them to the sides, and just generally watching over it for about the next four straight hours.

All in all, the duckling did very well and even went for a nice swim Sunday afternoon in our bathtub. On Sunday at church, my dad had mentioned that he had seen some ducklings of about the right size on his last bikeride, so that evening (while it was still a bit light), he and I took the duck (this time in a box with much higher sides) and went looking for some new parents for it.

Suprisingly, after about 20 minutes of looking around in a park, we found the very ducklings that my dad had originally seen. We released the duckling, and he immediately raised off to be with other ducks (along with the ducklings, there were many adults in the area). The mother duck seemed confused and pecked him a couple times, but the duckling made a real effort to just blend in with her other ducklings and ate with them before following them toward the water.

All in all, I found the whole experience very interesting, and certainly far more pleasant than eating duck feet.

Kind Words for Mama

We spent much of today swimming with a large group of friends at one of the friend’s pool. What fun it was!! Though I applied sunscreen liberally to our children twice during our visit, Abigail still got a bit pink around the shoulders. So, this evening after I bathed the kids, I slathered her with after-sun lotion. As I was applying the lotion she said to me,

“You’re a cool Mommy.”

I had to ask, “Why do you say that?”

“Because you take care of me! That’s why I like you!”

Now, how can I argue with such high praise??

Mowing for Dummies

I don’t as a rule (read “hardly ever”) perform the necessary chore of mowing our yard. In the summertime, we hire a very reasonably priced yard service to mow and edge the yard once every two weeks. Jay fills in on the off week. Given we own about a 1/4 acre of oddly shaped yard on a corner lot, it is a decent-sized job but I didn’t have quite enough respect for the task until today.

Jay has been very sick for the better part of a week now, so he has not had the energy to attend regular work most days, let alone consider the idea of mowing in this heat. Then our faithful mowing service for whatever reason picked this past Tuesday to not show up, for probably the first time ever. So we’re looking at over two week’s growth of grass in our yard and this morning I decided something had to be done. Since my brother is in town I got him to help me start the ornery mower and then I was on my own.

I learned many things during my two hour job; if you are also new to the world of mowing, maybe some of these lessons will be of help to you:

1. A mower may likely run out of gas during a large job. Repeated sputtering, hesitation to start, and ongoing stalling while moving might all be hints that you need to refill that tank.
2. Oil is a good idea, especially if the mower has not been started in over 6 months.
3. If you are not bagging your clippings, the mower will get bogged down in high grass. Take measures to dump out or shake out excess grass which accumulates under the blades. This can also be accomplished by a reverse motion now and again during the mowing process.
4. Drink lots of water. Don’t underestimate the intensity of the mowing workout and its propensity to deprive you of liquids. I think I sweated off about 10 pounds of my body’s water. I certainly felt drained when I was done.
5. It is HARD to start the mower’s engine while the mower is resting on the grass. Move to the sidewalk or driveway to give yourself a better chance of success.
6. WEAR WORK GLOVES when mowing for any extended period of time. I have blisters all over my poor hands.
7. Don’t try to cut the yard to a drastically low height when dealing with tall grass. You will stall repeatedly and become very frustrated. So will your mower.
8. If your husband or some other beloved individual usually takes care of the time-consuming and exhausting (at least in Texas heat!) task of mowing your yard, don’t forget to hug their neck and tell them how much you appreciate it!! And make sure to fix them a cool, refreshing drink when they are finished!

By way of postscript, the children were so good while I completed the mowing job. They stayed indoors, watched their movie, kept themselves out of trouble (yes, yes, I checked on them regularly) and as a special treat, were rewarded with an afternoon of splashing in our wading pool instead of having to take naps. Two and a half hours of hard playing ensured that they were exhausted by the time 7pm rolled around, so while they sleep, Jay and I are enjoying an in house date night! Later!

Baby Makeover

Little Nicolas is almost two and as he’s been sporting a headful of white blonde curls for awhile, we decided it was time for a bigger boy haircut. Today was the day. We went to our usual kid haircut place, complete with Blues Clues videos for watching and firetrucks and other vehicles/animals for children to sit in/upon while being “shorn”. Our “baby” aged incredibly in the space of about 10 minutes but we think he looks very handsome with his new ‘do! Here are the before and after pictures. And thanks very much to the Pecks and Clemmons for helping entertain our other children while they waited!

Guinea Pig Foster Care

Our son Jonathan, is the one among our children whom we consider to be our most “needy” in terms of time, attention, etc. Along with his neediness do come certain sweetnesses though. One of these is his extreme tenderheartedness toward animals. He gravitates toward them, even if he doesn’t know them at all, whereas he cannot often be coaxed to even look at people when he first meets them because he is so shy.

Given Jonathan’s love for animals, I jumped at the announcement his teacher sent out to her students’ families before school ended: she was looking for someone who might want to take the two class guinea pigs home for the summer. We happily agreed to this responsibility and today we brought home Wiglet and Precious. They are sisters, and are absolutely adorable.

My heart goes out to the poor wee animals for I fear that even though they are used to the sights and sounds of two and three years olds, that this transition has been traumatic for them. Being hoisted up and down stairs, in and out of cars, and from room to room as we look for the perfect place to keep them has to be annoying. And then there’s the little curly blonde-headed giant who stands outside their cage, giggling and calling, “Hi Piggies!” (that would be Nicolas). Not to mention the rather dumb-looking hairy creature who peers at them curiously, whimpering nonstop as if to say, “Aw guys, please come out and play with me!” (that would be Sid, and NO! we won’t let them play with him!).

We are excited about our newest guests and look forward to enjoying their company these next couple months. And maybe sometime soon, if we can coax them out of their shyness, we’ll take a photo and post it here for your viewing enjoyment!