Unthinking

Much of our culture operates subjectively and are devoid of logic and reason because our government-run education system abandoned the classical education method long ago.

The three stages of a classical education…grammar, logic and rhetoric…have been reduced to the grammar stage alone. This stage is a period when children are naturally inquisitive and are given facts and information. Essentially input, input, input. With the elimination of the logic and rhetoric stages they’re taught what to think but not how to think.

This has brought about our postmodern culture which is driven by subjectivism and pure emotion. In essence, our public schools are creating generations of students who simply cannot think.

It Wasn’t Their Fault

This afternoon my husband and I were very nearly in what would have been a serious head-on collision.

We were on the frontage road, heading to Costco, traveling under the speed limit of 45, when a driver approaching from the opposite direction turned left in front of us. I was behind the wheel.  I slammed on the brakes full-force, so much so that our rear-end fishtailed, our tires screaming.  The pavement was dry, without ice or snow.  The other driver raised his hands, pressing his two middle fingers against the glass and screamed, “It’s your fault!”

He turned left in front of me, but it was my fault. My fault. He was not responsible for his own actions.

I saw the same thing during the press conference following the West Virginia vs. Kansas college basketball game. West Virginia lost a 12-point lead in the last minutes of the game, following the ejection of their coach Bob Huggins.

“Asked what he told his team after the game, West Virginia’s sixth loss in as many visits to Allen Fieldhouse, Huggins said, “It wasn’t their fault.”  This college coach told these young men that they were not responsible. Instead he blamed the referees.

These are just two examples of what I’m seeing more and more. We are raising a global generation to believe that they are never responsible for their own actions. Couple this with a nearly universal sense of entitlement, and I believe we’re on the cusp of collapse.

SCARIER! The Hyperbole of the Left

When I was a kid our local news covered local politics, crime, weather, sports from professional to high school and any number of human interest stories. The most common crime stories involved burglary or break-ins.

But, in the last few years those terms have been changed. What was once called a break-in is now called a home invasion. I never hear the terms burglary, robbery or break-in anymore and I wonder why the media has changed the language.

As with several other pet issues of the Left, it seems that everything must be hyperbolized in order to make our world seem more frightening. For example, there are certain categories of rifles which are black, have a large magazine-well and handguard. These have been named assault rifles, even though they function no differently than their counterparts which have a wooden stock.

But, fear-inducing terms often aid in leading an uninformed, uneducated public into the feverish drive to doooooo something, which essentially means more regulation and less liberty.

We already have laws against robbery, burglary and break-ins, so let’s create a new category…HOME INVASION! Scary.

We already have laws against assault, kidnapping, rape and murder, so let’s create a new category…HATE CRIMES! Scary.

We already have laws regulating gun purchases, so let’s make more and more categories, feeding on fear, to overturn the Second Amendment bit by bit.

As Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Cooking Tip!

For juicy, fork-tender chicken breasts the key is to not overcook them. Here’s my foolproof method:
 
• Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Preheat oven to 350º.
• Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness, approximately 1/2-3/4″ then season them on both sides. I prefer Kosher salt, black pepper and granulated garlic.
• Add a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil to the hot pan. Using both oil and butter will keep the butter from scorching.
• Place breasts into the pan and brown on both sides for 4 minutes.
• Remove from pan and place in ovenproof casserole dish. Put into the 350º oven for 20 minutes. Voilà! Perfect and tender every time.

Ann Voskamp and Plagiarism – Part II

Andy Savage

On 15 January, 2018 Ann Voskamp wrote a post on her blog entitled, “The Church’s Weinstein Moment: Nailing Some Theses for Assault to the Door of the Church”, which addressed the allegations of sexual abuse against High Point Memphis Pastor Andy Savage. Click here to download a PDF of the original, cached post.

In the post, Ms. Voskamp plagiarized material written by Wade Mullen, Director of M.Div. program and professor at Capital Seminary & Graduate School, without citation.

Ms. Voskamp subsequently corrected the post, which has now also been removed.

On 20 January, 2018 she issued a retraction. See below or click here.

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Ann Voskamp and Plagiarism

In Ms. Voskamp’s Instagram post dated 1 November, 2016 she writes,

“…people who love the Cross — are people who will die to things they love. . To carry a cross means you come to an intersection, and you choose Him and never look back. . To become cross-centered, cross-shaped means — Choosing Christ in the midst of everything else — may mean losing everything else. . But gaining everything that lasts forever. . Spiritual formation — is ultimately cruciformation. . And this cultural moment is begging for a new way, a different way, a broken way of living broken and given like bread into a starving world. . Reformation and transformation happens in places where there is cruciformation. . Cruciformation — it’s is a a scientific definition, a term in molecular biology referring to the transformation from lineform DNA to cruciform (cross-shaped) DNA. . And this cultural moment is begging the DNA of all things to transform from a linear worldview, from a flat-line view of the world, to a cross-shaped view of everything. . From flat screens, from flat faith, from flat-line living — to cross-shaped thinking, cross-shaped seeing, cross-shaped choosing, cross-shaped living, to cruciformation. . The way a life transforms is to become cruciform. . #NewBlogPost #LinkInProfile #TheBrokenWay””.

She took the word “cruciformation” and references to DNA from Kevin Sheehan, using his writing almost word-for-word.

Voskamp-Cruciformation

In Ms. Voskamp’s Twitter post dated 3 February, 2017 she writes,

“Esther Generation, live upsidedown kingdom and get into formation to transform the nations by our selfgiving cruciformation #IFGathering2017

She took the phrase “upside down kingdom” from Timothy Keller, who coined the term in 1999.

Tangy & Savory Slow-Cooker Pork

TANGY SAVORY SLOW-COOKER PORK ROAST

1 large yellow onion, sliced thin
2-3 lb boneless pork picnic roast or shoulder
2 cup chicken stock
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1 dash hot pepper sauce
4 pats of butter

•  Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Season the picnic roast liberally with salt, pepper and granulated garlic.  Brown on all sides for 4-5 minutes until nicely browned.

• Place the sliced onion in the bottom of the slow cooker and then add the chicken stock, lemon juice, soy sauce, black pepper, kosher salt, granulated garlic, hot pepper sauce and pats of butter. Mix well.

•  Place the browned roast into the slow-cooker.

• Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or on high for 3 to 4 hours.

• Remove roast from slow-cooker and pour liquid into a medium sauce pan. Make into a gravy using a roux of butter and flour.

The Middle of the Road

I confess that I’ve never been a big fan of “watch blogs”. I think they’re often more gossip than fact. Many of them frequent in hearsay and conjecture rather than truth. They have a standard operating procedure whenever news of alleged sexual abuse makes its way to social media.

First, announce that you believe the victim! Second, the guilt of the pastor and complicity of church leadership is presupposed. Third, skip the trial and proceed immediately to sentencing in the court of public opinion.

However, while they can be rather slipshod in their approach, some watch bloggers have correctly identified a predictable pattern of behavior by church leadership when allegations of sexual abuse are made public. The initial social media response, especially from well-known evangelicals with a platform, is often, “Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law! Stop your malicious gossiping!” These responses sometimes appear “canned” and include deflection and ignoring known facts.

But, what puzzles me most is that these well-known Christian leaders, often authors, conference speakers and pastors with a substantial social media presence, defer to the judgment of manmade courts. In essence, they abdicate their biblical responsibility to the state.

In what other situation would the church do this? Would the church defer to the courts in the case of adultery? Abortion? Of course not. These are considered worthy of church discipline, though not illegal in our nation.

But, when a pastor sexually abuses a child, suddenly church leadership abdicates biblical judgment and authority to the state. “Let justice take it’s course!”

Is this truly indicative of what’s often referred to as the pastoral “good ol’ boys club”? One individual tweeted, “When it’s Matt Lauer, it’s despicable. When it’s a favorite pastor, it’s a mistake.”

It is quite an unpopular opinion to say that you think both sides are wrong. I believe that the watch bloggers are wrong, the leadership who cover up sexual abuse are wrong, and leadership with influence and a platform who provide cover and deflection are wrong. At the end of the day, they all resort to extremes. They overcorrect and land in opposite ditches, missing the truth which is often found somewhere in the middle of the road.

Jules Diner – Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches

24991373_1911752172486038_8943425350652506704_nFew recipes say “diner” quite like that comfort food classic, the hot roast beef sandwich. Melt-in-your-mouth tender roast beef with savory beef gravy and a double-dose of carbs with a thick slice of (horror!) white bread and creamy mashed potatoes.

Not something you’ll have on your menu regularly, but a this homemade version is a real treat.

JULES’ HOT ROAST BEEF SANDWICHES

3-4 lb chuck roast, well-marbled with fat trimmed. I highly recommend Aldi.
Olive oil
1 yellow onion, sliced
House seasoning
6 cups beef broth (I prefer Swanson©)
1 dash cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried parsley

ROUX
1 stick of butter
1/2 to 1 cup flour

SERVE WITH
Thickly sliced “Texas Toast style” white bread
Mashed potatoes

• Preheat oven to 325º -or- prepare a large slow-cooker.

• Pat the roast dry with paper towels and season both sides well with house seasoning.

• Heat a large cast iron Dutch oven (5-7 qt) over medium heat and add 2 tbsp olive oil.

• Sear the roast on both sides for 5-6 minutes and remove from pan.

• Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan along with the sliced onions. Sauté until just tender and slightly caramelized.

• Add the beef broth, cayenne pepper, garlic, bay leaf, basil and parsley to the pan and stir to combine.

• Return the seared roast to the pan, cover and place in the preheated oven for 4-5 hours -or- transfer to the slow-cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

• When the roast is very tender, remove it from the pan and shred. Remove the bay leaf and discard.

Tip: For quick and easy shredding of beef, chicken or pork, place it into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for 20-30 seconds.

• For the gravy: Place the Dutch oven with the liquids over medium heat. If using a slow-cooker, pour the liquid into a large pot. If the liquid has reduced add enough beef broth to make 6-8 cups of liquid. Bring it to a very low boil.

• Slice the butter into pats and melt it in a large microwave-safe mug. Sprinkle in enough flour to make a very thick roux, approximately 1/2 cup or more. Stir well. The roux will be stiff.

• Add the roux to the gently boiling stock and stir vigorously with a whisk or a submersion blender, until the gravy thickens.

• Return shredded beef to the gravy and combine beef and gravy. Taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if needed.

• To serve, diner-style: Place a slice of white bread on a plate and spoon about 1/2 cup of the beef and gravy mixture over top. Place a large spoonful of mashed potatoes on top and top with more beef and gravy.