Friday, June 26, 2009

Brisket Recipe

I promised some people I would post my brisket recipe so here goes: This is designed for a 6 lb brisket. When I cook a box of briskets for a large group I cut my briskets to this size.

Dry Rub:
  • 4 TBS - Coarse Sea Salt
  • 4 TSP - Minced Garlic
  • 4 TSP - Smoked Paprika
  • 2 TSP - Coarse Black Pepper
  • 2 TSP - Chili Powder
  • 1 TSP - Cayenne Pepper

Cooking Procedure
DO NOT TRIM BEEF - We Will Trim Before Serving!
  1. Cover Meat In Dry Rub
  2. Cook Uncovered on Grill for 1 Hour at 350
  3. Wrap in 3 Layers of Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
  4. Roast Wrapped for 6 Hours at 225
  5. Uncover in pan to preserve drippings
  6. Return to Grill at 350 for 45 Minutes - Basting every 10 minutes with drippings
  7. Return to Pan and wrap in towell for 30 minutes before serving

Serving Instructions
  1. Trim Fat
  2. Slice Thin Diagonals
  3. Serve with White Bread and Jalapenos.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Deporting Jesus

While looking for an old friend who was a very influential professor in my life I found a poem by him that had been published a few years ago.

The poem is about the story of an illegal immigrant Manuel Jesus Cordova Soberanes. Though he had successfully hiked his way only a short distance from civilization where there was work for the man who would earn enough as a bricklayer to feed and care for his 7 children back home, Manuel gave all this up refusing to abandon a lost boy in the desert. The boy named Christopher was the victim of a fatal car accident that had cost him his mothers life. Manuel cared for him though they shared no common language and Soberances knowing he would be returned to Mexico with nothing to show for his journey across the desert.

Scott Simpson -Published by New Wineskins 2007

Two days across the desert
only eight hours more
to Tucson and work—
daily bread for four children
back home.

Generational son of brick layers,
Jésus Cordova had journeyed north
from the village of Magdalena de Kino
where in 1688 Jesuit Eusebio Kino
established Mission
Santa Maria Magdalena,
teaching the natives the art
of brick laying, and the words
of a carpenter
spent on outcasts.

Then suddenly, among the screwbean mesquite and
patches of arrow weed, Jésus meets
nine year old Christopher,
miles from any town
and night falling.

November 25th had deposited
a minivan at the bottom of a crumbling cliff
300 feet from the tight curve, misjudged,
the boy’s mother alive, but dying.

On a Thanksgiving night,
Christopher climbed for help
and stumbled upon Jesus
who shared what he had,
his coat, a fire
and the only common word
that bridged the barrier:

Christopher is alive
because Jésus Cordova stayed with him
till dawn on the wrong side,

Jésus, the brick layer America rejected.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Interview With Frank Viola

As anyone who has had a conversation on just about any topic in the last few months knows, I am a HUGE fan of Frank Viola's book "From Eternity to Here." I was honored to see my original blog review of the book appear on The Ooze.

A few weeks ago I received an email from Frank's staff inviting me to participate in a blog circuit today promoting the book. The best part was the opportunity to submit questions regarding the book for response by Frank Viola. In the midst of a project this large (55 Bloggers In All) he was not able to answer all my questions, but I am grateful for the answers he did provide.. If just checking out Frank's answers to my questions wasn't exciting enough to excite you, my reader, I thought I'd sweeten the pot by giving a FREE COPY of the book away at the end of the interview.

1. You note the bride of Christ is removed from his side when the guard pierced Jesus' side (pleura) and blood and water flowed out. Is there a metaphorical significance to blood and water that you see there?
Yes, I believe so. The blood speaks of redemption. The water speaks of life. There are references to blood and water in John’s first epistle and in his Gospel. The Bride is cleaned by the blood; she is made alive and comes into being by the water (God’s life).
2. You note how important it is that Christ destroyed death to prepare the way for his bride. Was this a partial defeat reserved only for his bride or in totality for the restoration of the entire creation?
For the entire cosmos. The earth changed on resurrection day. On that day, the new creation was born. It will be consummated at the Lord’s return when His glorious Person will fill all things.
3. In the chapter on Mary Magdalene you note she was the first person Jesus spoke to an his words were an echo to Adam's "Woman..." Is Mary therefore the first member of the church?
I believe the church was formed on the day of Pentecost when the Spirit was poured out. Mary was certainly the first witness to His resurrection, which says a lot. Especially in how our Lord views women. In that day, a woman’s testimony wouldn’t hold up in a Jewish court of law. So the Lord made a great statement through appearing to Mary first. In the same way, Peter was the first male disciple who laid eyes on the resurrected Christ. Peter had just denied Him a few days earlier … three times in fact.

What a Lord of mercy and compassion!
4. Your chapter on the 2 tabernacles was certainly the high point of the book for me, so I have two questions about that. First, have you considered an entire work on this theme? Secondly, why was Solomon's temple completely skipped in this discussion?
Thanks. It’s my favorite image of God’s house. No plans for a book on that, but I gave an entire message on it that’s on CD. People have said that the spoken message on David’s Tabernacle is more powerful than the discussion of it in the book. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I don’t believe I skip Solomon’s temple, but I don’t treat it in any depth. When trying to capture the whole sweep of the Bible in a single book, you are forced to choose what you want to emphasis and expand. I felt David’s tabernacle was more fitting for this particular book.
I enjoyed the answers to the question, as I hoped you did too. I also hope our winner, Adam Mearse enjoys his free copy of the book I'll be sending over too. Also for those of you who did not win, I'll be giving away another copy on Friday, so if you did not get your name in the first time, be sure to add it between now and Thursday in the comments right here.


Today (June 9th), the following blogs are discussing Frank Viola's new bestselling book “From Eternity to Here” (David C. Cook, 2009). The book just hit the May CBA Bestseller List. Some are posting Q & A with Frank; others are posting full reviews of the book. To read more reviews and order a copy at a 33% discount, go to

Your browser may not support display of this image.

For more resources, such as downloadable audios, the free Discussion Guide, the Facebook Group page, etc. go to the official website:

Enjoy the reviews and the Q and A:


Out of Ur -

Shapevine - (June newsletter)

Brian Eberly - -

Greg Boyd -

Vision Advance -

David Flowers -

Kingdom Grace -

Captain's Blog -

Christine Sine -

Darin Hufford - The Free Believers Network -

Zoecarnate -

Church Planting Novice -

Staying Focused -

Take Your Vitamin Z -

Jeff Goins -

Bunny Trails -

Matt Cleaver -

Jason T. Berggren -

Simple Church -

Emerging from Montana -

Parable Life -

Oikos Australia -

West Coast Witness -

Keith Giles -

Consuming Worship --

Tasha Via -

Andrew Courtright -

ShowMeTheMooneys! -

Leaving Salem, Blog of Ronnie McBrayer -

Jason Coker -

From Knowledge to Wisdom -

Home Brewed Christianity -

Dispossessed -

Dandelion Seeds -

David Brodsky's Blog- "Flip the tape Deck" -

Chaordic Journey -

Renee Martin -

Bob Kuhn -

Living with Freaks:

Real Worship -

Fervent Worship -

Julie Ferwerda Blog - /

What's With Christina?! -

Irreligious Canuck -

This day on the journey -

Live and Move: Thoughts on Authentic Christianity -

Spiritual Journey With God -

Dries Conje - / /

Journey with Others -

On Now to the Third Level -

Christine Moers -

Breaking Point -

Hand to the Plough -

Jon Reid -

Weblight -

D. L. Webster -

Searching for the Whole-Hearted Life -

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

You Deserve Better

It seems that you are on to the possibility that you deserve better, that you deserve to be put back together instead of torn apart. Wrapped in things that are true instead of lies. Shown pictures of hope instead of failure. - TWLOHA

If you have never heard of the organization To Write Love on Her Arms, you need to check them out. Their mission is to speak the truth of wholeness into the pain and brokenness of the secret world of self injury.Today they published a letter in response to the postcard that was in this Sunday's Postsecret.

I loved the above quote from their comments. Each person we meet whether they are struggling with self injury, or self righteousness is a broken vessel in need of being put back together. The historian Philo is often mis-credited with the quote,
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." Though the source to the wisdom is quite questionable, it's truth is not. The people we encounter, those we love, and those we struggle to love; those who love us and those who struggle to love us; those we attempt to ignore and those who attempt to ignore us; those we see as wise and those we see as fools, all of here on this great rock share the reality of pain.

"When you recognize that pain and response to pain is a universal thing, it helps explain so many things about others, just as it explains so much about yourself. It teaches you forbearance. It teaches you a moderation in your responses to other people's behavior. It teaches you a sort of understanding. It essentially tells you what everybody needs. You know what everybody needs? You want to put it in a single word? Everybody needs to be understood. And out of that comes every form of love. If someone truly feels that you understand them, an awful lot of neurotic behavior just disappears. Disappears on your part, disappears on their part. So if you're talking about what motivates this world to continue existing as a community, you've got to talk about love." - Sherwin Nuland

The great theologian Karl Barth was once asked what the greatest theological truth he had learned was and he replied, "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so." That truth is enhanced by the reality that every person I have ever loved, hated, respected, ignored, bandaged, or wounded is anchored by that same God love! It is my goal to live my life this way; to be brought into wholeness by God's healing power to such a point where I love enough to practice what I preach here, to make EVERY encounter of life a season of healing and wholeness, rather than adding to the pain and hurt!

God help me to Love like That!!!!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Shame On You!

Life in our house has been out of sorts for a few weeks now. Our amazing God, is doing a healing work in my wife, and healing gaping wound can at times seem more painful than the resolution to just live with it. I will not go into much detail, since you can read through her telling the story over at

In this process of walking with her in love through this healing, the issue of shame has become a major source of conversation. People exiting the painful prison of abuse must always pass through the barbed gates of shame. Abusive control requires the abuser to hold their victim into the dark cell of worthlessness through the threat of more serious deeper piercing wounds. Shame is a weapon used to further damage an already weakened emotional prey.

Shame has been a part of the human experience since moments after the first bites from the forbidden tree. Adam and Eve, hid from God when his footsteps were heard in the garden. After a poor sacrifice Cain's shame caused him to kill his brother. Jacob's shame caused him to send a wealth of gifts ahead of himself and his family to appease Esau. David sent a trusted warrior to be killed in the front line of battle after his adulterous affair with the man's wife. Shame has caused many a reactions in the people facing it's brutal stare.

Shame unfortunately does not come from merely internal struggles with our enemy. It is often joined by a voice or a crowd of voices promoting their own agenda for another's life. Far to often people deputize themselves into Satan's work joining his voice in accusing others of their perceived wrong. In the middle ages "Priest of the Church" would sentence unruly women into wearing hideous masks inviting public scorn. In the early days of formalized public education under performing students were given a cone headed dunce cap to humiliate them. Humiliation and scorn remain two of the painful implements used to remind the person perceived as out of line of their disgrace.

Although my in-laws weapons of shame have been turned on me, they were as harmless as the burst of air from an Airzooka canon. The stinging spikes of their scorn and humiliation are not so painless for my wife, who was conditioned by their venomous remarks from the time she was a little girl. It is the fragile child in need of her parents acceptance that cowers helpless despite the rational logic of the amazing adult she has grown to become. In a classic formula of abuse she has been systematically indoctrinated with the idea that she is a burden, unworthy of love who should be gracious and compliant to them for their willingness to love in spite of her being undeserving and base. The truth that she is admirable, compassionate, intelligent and good is cloaked from her own vision since the catalogue of instances that illustrate her unworthiness are recounted in performance style each time she attempts to remove the shame mask or set aside their dunce cap.

In one of my favorite gospel stories a woman who is found for some reason in sexual relations with a man who is her not husband is dragged out by a group of religious elitist to be exposed in her shame as a trap for Jesus. Exhibited before the crowd she cowers awaiting the bludgeoning pain of the stones she is about to have hurled at her. Jesus squats down to ground, placing himself level with her he looks into her to see her life, her pain, her circumstances that have brought her to be discovered as she was using and being used by the man ignored by her accusers. Jesus, the incarnate God, looks deep inside, past the shame and guilt and sees the little girl. Jesus, the incarnate God, looks up to peer back inside the accusers who have no shame in the midst of their self righteous piety. "Let You," Jesus replies to them, "Who has never sinned be the first to cast a stone."

"SHAME!!! SHAME!!! SHAME!!!" Jesus says to the professional religionist. It is not the brokenness present in all mankind that the God of the universe shames, it is the lie of self righteousness that assumes one worthy of the authority to sit on the judgement seat of God. Jesus' biting "Shame on You!" is first for the oldest and then continuing down to his peers who view themselves as executioners of proper morality. When they have all dropped their stones and sulked away sullied by having their own nakedness displayed, Jesus positions himself beside her, lifts her into his arms, and steps through the razors of the barbed fence freeing her from their prison of shame. Jesus takes the wounding of the jagged blades as he tenderly tells her, "Neither do I condemn you."

In 1 Corinthians 1:27 Paul teaches that, "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty." It is a reminder of the great reversal of God's upside down kingdom. The boundless love of God speaks NO SHAME into our brokenness, and those who do sit in the judgment seat with their personal verdict and scorn, humiliation, and shame do not speak on his behalf.