Category Archives: Gumbo

Wednesday’s Gumbo: 7 People I’d Love to Meet

I’ve often thought about what it would be like to hang out with some – for lack of a better term – famous people.  You know, instead of reading about them, I’d like to meet them, hang out, and really “pick their brains.”  See what they’re like first-hand.

So, I’ve compiled a list of people who are no longer alive; yet, I’d cherish time spent with them.

Mickey_Mantle1.  Micky Mantle, Ted Williams, and Sandy Koufax. These guys would tell us what it takes to be that good.  They’d probably do it with one story after another.

2.  Wolfgang Mozart. He’d tell us about music.  Not just notes and rhythms, but the inner workingsW_a_mozart of that Muse that affects our emotions so much.  I’m sure he’d rail a bit on that Salieri guy, too!

martin_luther3.  Martin Luther. He’d tell us what it’s like to take a stand for a deep belief. Maybe, he would recount how he felt when he stood before the council when they asked him to renounce his writings and views.  I’m sure he would wrap it up at the local joint as we shared some bratwurst and such.

4.  Abraham Lincoln. He’d tell us how to handle adversity, and how to respond with wisdom and grace.Abraham-Lincoln-1280x1024-2-1

Pope-peter_pprubens5.  Simon Peter.  He’d be a regular guy, just like us, so this would be a good conversation.  He’d tell us about faith and belief and commitment.  And, he’d do it loud and in-your-face, maybe a bit harsh.  But, hey, that’s Peter.

6.  Joe Jackson.  As in, “shoeless.”  He’d tell us what it’s like to play a game because…well…you just love theShoelessJoeJackson game.  Nothing pretentious about him, either.  He’ll entertain us with colloquial verbiage and stories that would make us laugh.  All because it’s fun.

220px-Jonathan_Edwards_engraving7.  Jonathan Edwards.  He probably wouldn’t bother talking to us, because he just simply would rather read or write or study.  We’d have to press him hard to sit down and talk to us, but if he did, he’d tell us to look at creation and see the glory of God in it.  But, he’d also tell us that God is glorified in Christ…his obedience to death on the cross for our salvation.  Because of that, he’d say, we must have deep, deep affections in our faith, the kind of beliefs that are so deep and so believed that it spurs us on to actions…and worship.  And, he’d tell us that the only way we’ll be happy is if our joy is in glorifying God in Christ.  I think Jonathan would close by saying – and I paraphrase – “Take time off to relax, rest, and clear the mind.  And, through all of this, love your family deeply.”

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Wednesday Gumbo: 5 Things You May Want to Know About

humpdayCome on…what day is it?  Come on…

HUMP DAAAAAY, YEAH!!!

And that means it’s time for some gumbo…some o’dis and some o’dat!

1.  Here’s a quote from the video below: “Being a preacher is dangerous, because you have to be perfect.”  Woah!!

superbammer2.  College football season is upon us.  And, no matter how many national championships they have, or how good they are, they still have “Super Bammer”!

3.  The New Confederacy.  That’s what Jesse Jackson calls the Tea Party, those ultra-conservative Americans who just happen to disagree with President Obama and his policies.  Well…I’m conservative, and it’s news to me.  Matter of fact, I’m offended.

4.  In his post yesterday, Russell Moore gives great insight into Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech andmartin-luther-king-jr where he learned to speak so effectively.

5.  Even in our disunity, we can agree…here’s an article about a gay mayor who partners with churches in his community.

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Wednesday’s Gumbo: 5 Things You Need to Know

Duck Dynasty  560

And, it’s back!

That savory, eclectic collection of all things interesting…to me, at least.  It’s Wednesday’s Gumbo…and like that wonderful Cajun creation, this post has 5 things you need to know.

A Bad Case of Chiggers

I recently walked a piece of property to see if it would be a good place to hunt.  It was good to get outside and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation…the rolling hills, the variety of trees and plants, the deer, and even a few hawks.

Problem is, God also created chiggers.  For what reason, I know not.  But, I currently possess 1.72 million red, itching bumps on my body that are driving me absolutely insane.

When I was a kid, my mom put nail polish on each bump in an effort to smother the chigger that had burrowed into my skin.  From the intense burning that accompanied the application of the nail polish, it had to be working, right?

Seems that’s not the case.  Here’s why.

For decades, outdoorsmen have believed chiggers burrow under the skin to feed on blood, and the only way to kill them and treat the rash-like trail of bumps they leave behind is to smother them with nail-polish-type treatments. These axioms just aren’t true.

Like ticks, red bugs hitch a ride from their perch on grasses and bushes onto your clothing when you brush by them as you walk. Then they travel to places on your skin which are moist and warm. Areas around the waist band of pants or tops of socks are two favored resting sites. Once in position, the redbug inserts its mouth parts into the skin which lightly attaches the chigger to your body. The chigger then injects a digestive fluid into the skin which breaks down the cellular tissue. The skin around the bite hardens in reaction to the digestive fluids creating a tube through which the redbug feeds on the liquefied skin tissue.

As soon as you scratch the area where the chigger injected the fluid, the redbug is rubbed off the skin. It’s the presence of the feeding tube and continued itching and swelling left behind by the chigger that causes many people to believe the chigger is still burrowed under the skin.

So, next time I go on a walk-about outdoors, I’ll remember to use bug repellant.  And, a quick shower afterwards would help, too.  But, I’ll stay away from the nail polish!

Cheaters Never Win

arodIn July, we traveled to Ft. Myers, FL, to play in a baseball tournament with my son, Penn.  On the way, we stopped in Tampa for a great meal at the Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City, and then decided to go see the Yankees spring training facility.  It’s also the site where their high A team, the Tampa Yankees play.  We were able to watch the team workout as they prepared for their game that night against the Bradenton Bucs.

After their workout, the team left the field, and we heard rumors that Alex Rodriguez would be coming out for a brief workout.  He was there as part of his rehabilitation from injury.  His workout was quite impressive, especially the batting practice rounds.  Here’s a video I took:

Unless you live under a rock, you know that Rodriguez, or ARod, is currently appealing a suspension from Major League Baseball because of his involvement with Biogenesis, a Miami-based clinic that distributed performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes.  ARod will lose his appeal and the millions of dollars he stands to get from his baseball contracts.  He’ll also lose any place in the baseball Hall of Fame that he might have been honored with in the years to come.

One thing I noticed about ARod as I watched him take batting practice…he was a “man among men.”  After watching the 20-somethings practice earlier, it was clearly evident that ARod was physically larger and stronger.  And, the baseballs he hit that sailed out over the fence gave proof that he was on a different level.  And this, from a 38 year-old athlete that should be in the physical twilight of his career.

The commentary from 17 year-old baseball players watching, whose aspirations are to play baseball in the years ahead, indicated that they clearly noticed the effects of steroids.  Hopefully, the shame that will accompany the use of PED’s in the months to come will be noticed more.

Want to Change Your Life?  Join a Choir

choirI heard this interesting commentary the other day on the radio.  In the interview “Imperfect Harmony: How Singing with Others Changes Your Life,” we hear proof that singing, and singing with others, is a benefit to your health and  life.

Grace Has Come: Songs from the Book of Romans

Sovereign Grace Music recently released a new album, Grace Has Come: Songs from the Book of Romans.  It’s gracehascomedescribed as an “attempt to reflect some of the the glorious eternal truths found in Paul’s letter to the Romans. In the midst of our rebellion, desperation, and longing, grace has come to us in Jesus Christ.”  Bob Kauflin, the director of Sovereign Grace Music, gives insight into the collection of songs, both as a whole and individually, in his blog post here.  I encourage you to listen to these songs and use them for edification and worship.

Champions

griffinMy son, Griffin, had the pleasure of playing for the West Virginia Miners in the Prospect League this summer.  It’s a wood-bat league comprised of players from all levels of college baseball and gives them the opportunity to hone their skills in a variety of settings.  They started in May andminers finished a couple of weeks ago, playing over 60 games.  The bus rides and the grind of playing the game every day can be tough.  Yet, his host family and the entire Miner organization made Griff’s experience a great one he’ll never forget.

Griff’s team did well.  They won the Prospect League Championship.  And, Griff had the game-winning RBI hit in the 11th inning.  It was a fitting finish to a great summer.

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Wednesday Gumbo: baseball, offbeat holidays, and guinea pigs

Duck Dynasty  560It’s time for another pot of gumbo…made with some o’dis and some o’dat!

This week’s gumbo features a little baseball, some

1.  One of the blogs I follow is Bleacher Boy, written by a young man named David.  He’s an avid baseball fan, and gives his insight on everything baseball.  His recent blog post, “Baseball and Jesus Come Back on the Same Day”, pretty much sums up all of life, quite succinctly I might add.  He states,

Baseball and Jesus come back on the same day, coincidence, I think not!

Happy Easter and Opening Day!!!!!

2.  Kevin DeYoung – pastor, author, and theologian – usually writes on all things Church.  He’s well-respected and baseball BWwidely-read.  His post yesterday, “Our National Pastime”,  was one of the best summations I’ve seen explaining why baseball is still America’s favorite sport, and why baseball is a metaphor for life.  He says,

Baseball is unique in the pantheon of professional American sports. It’s the only one where time doesn’t end your game. It’s the only one where offense and defense are totally compartmentalized. And it’s the only sport that actually works on radio. Have you ever tried listening to football on the radio. It’s better than nothing, but you can’t picture the action. You only get updates as the action unfolds. It’s the same with basketball and hockey. There’s a lot of energy, but it’s too much to see in your head. Baseball, on the other hand, is the perfect sport for radio. It’s slow and it’s routine. You can picture a backdoor slider in your head. You know what a sharp single to right looks like. You can see the ball sailing deep into center field in a way you could never see a run up the middle on radio.

stan musial3.  The St. Louis Cardinals will honor the greatest player in the history of their franchise when they sport a patch on their uniform this year.  Kudos to the Cardinals, and to the memory of Stan Musial.

4.  Dr. Gary Habermas, professor at Liberty University, writes in the Washington Post an article titled, “Five Reasons to Believe that Jesus Christ Rose from the Dead.”  And, these are based on facts that are undisputed by even those who are skeptical.

5.  So, here are 19 offbeat holidays and anniversaries you can celebrate in April.  Perhaps Google will use a few of these, since these are about as significant as Cesar Chavez Day that Google celebrated on March 31.  I like Google, but their snub of Easter was an affront to Christians everywhere.

6.  Want a money-making tip?  Start raising guinea pigs.  Looks like there’s a push to replace beef with guinea pigs.  guinea-pig---tanWhile some in the U.S. (immigrants from South America) are clamoring for the delicacy, others say raising guinea pigs is less damaging to our ecosystem.  That’s what is creating the push to put guinea pigs on the menu.  But, before you invest your life savings, let’s remember the emu fad in the ’90’s.  Emus were supposed to be the solution for a variety of ills – except stupidity!

 

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Wednesday Gumbo: Duck Dynasty, Marriage Equality, March Madness and more

Duck Dynasty  560Spring is upon us, and that means we can add some crawfish to the gumbo.  And, maybe a frog leg or two!

Some o’dis, and some o’dat, cher!

1.     I’m a Duck Dynasty fan.  Joe Carter on The Gospel Coalition site gives us 9 Things You Should Know About Duck Dynasty.  

2.     No doubt many of you have filled out your bracket.  I haven’t even said what bracket, yet you still know what I’m NCAA_primaryctalking about.  But, Sam Storms thinks there’s a problem with all this March Madness stuff, and he puts the fault squarely on the greed of the NCAA.

3.     It’s not been publicly announced, but Chris Creamer reports that the Miami Dolphins have a new logo.  Now, if they could get a new team to go with it.

4.     The new moniker for same-sex marriage is “marriage equality.”  Where have I been?  When did this happen? Just think…in our nation, the pursuit of equality is ingrained in our founding documents and in the acquisition of life, liberty and happiness.  Yet, who can be against equality?  It’s a pretty smooth marketing move on the part of the LGBT community to hijack the word ‘equality’ for their cause.

bigstockphoto_Wedding_Couple___864209Here’s an article in the Washington Post about marriage equality titled “America is Ready for Marriage Equality.”  It’s written by the children of Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop of a Christian denomination.

However, Trevin Wax encourages us to read the fine print when it comes to marriage equality – and, his points are well-taken.

Finally, with all of this being such a watershed issue in our society, you’d think the LGBT community makes up a significant percentage of our population.  It doesn’t. Daniel Politi presents Gallup poll results that present the percentage of gay population by state.  This is the first poll that presents enough data to determine each state’s gay population.

5.     In baseball, your uniform says a lot.  Uniforms can be traditional and harken back to the earlier days, or they be trendy, affected by the whims of contemporary culture.  In baseball, the white uni is worn at home, and the away games use the “road grays”.  It’s the opposite in college football – dark jersey at home, and white on the road (unless you’re LSU…then, everyone else has to cater to your desires.) Have you ever wondered what the most popular color is in baseball uniforms?  Here’s an interesting graphic from The Sports Design Blog that shows the predominant colors in the MLB (the NFL and NBA).

mlb_colors_mlb

 

I thought it was an interesting thing to see, so I did a similar graphic for the local high school district 7AAA, in which my son’s baseball team plays.

7AAA colors

 

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Warmed-Over Gumbo: tattoos, DUI’s, and “God Made a Farmer”

Duck Dynasty  560Well, the cook was preoccupied and couldn’t make the usual batch of Wednesday gumbo. So, here it is, warmed up a bit. Besides, gumbo is usually better after all the ingredients have a day or two to get to know each other.

So, here’s some o’dis and some o’dat!

1. Yesterday was the last gasp of any kind of football for a while. It was national signing day – when HS football Auburn-University-tattooathletes sign National Letters of Intent to play for a university. It’s the culmination of much recruiting…when coaches who are paid millions of dollars and whose job depends on winning and losing, tries to beg, plead, and convince 17 & 18 year-old young men to come play for them. Even when a young player “commits” to play for a university’s football program, they “flip” at the last minute. Here’s the story of one young man who committed months ago to one university (and he has the tattoo to prove it).

2. On Tuesday night, Colorado Rockies star Todd Helton, who played for the University of Tennessee, was arrested for DUI. Helton, who has been rock-solid in his playing career both on and off the field, obviously made a poor decision for which he’ll suffer consequences. However, Helton, unlike many athletes, immediately took responsibility for his action, apologized, and asked for forgiveness. That – in and of itself – speaks volumes for who he is. He says,

Last evening I exercised poor judgment and was charged with drinking and driving after driving to a gas station near my house. I am very sorry and embarrassed by my actions. I hold myself to a high standard and take my responsibility as a public figure very seriously. My entire career I have worked to set a positive example for my family and in our community and I fell far short of this standard.

I sincerely ask my family, the Colorado Rockies Organization, Major League Baseball and the community to accept my apology. I make no excuses and accept full responsibility for my actions. I humbly ask your forgiveness.

3. Jeremy Weber presents insight about why Pro Athletes Influence Society More than Pastors. Interesting.

bigstockphoto_Wedding_Couple___8642094. I’ll admit that I’m addicted to Downton Abbey, the PBS Masterpiece Classic that’s in its 3rd season. One thing I’ve noticed is that, in the early 1900’s, courtship and marriage were quite different from today. Here’s one writer’s history of marriage, and Tina Turner was right when she asked, “What’s love got to do with it?”

5. Perhaps you tuned in to the super bowl this past Sunday night and noticed, among all the hype of the game and the halftime show, the commercials. If you were watching, you no doubt remember this commercial.

Rich Lowry gives insightful commentary in his piece titled Paul Harvey’s Triumph about, not only the spectacle that was the super bowl, but mostly about the one commercial that was so anti-super bowl. A summation of the article states, “His ad was everything our celebrity-soaked pop culture is not.”

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Wednesday Gumbo: A-Rod, obscure sports rules, and stupid questions

Duck Dynasty  560The gumbo time is here!  It’s Wednesday, so I’ve put together a little bit of everything for you to enjoy.  Sprinkle on some file, cher!

Some o’dis and some o’dat!

1.     Alex Rodriguez is back.  The New York Yankee’s self-proclaimed superstar has been implicated in a Miami New Times report regarding the use of PED’s – performance enhancing drugs.  Jeff Passan, who writes for Yahoo Sports, condemns Rodriguez in his article Yankee Star Alex Rodriguez joins Lance Armstrong as a Titan of Sports Disgrace, saying

…A-Rod is reduced once again to this: a punch line, a waste, a face on the Mount Rushmore of PEDs alongside Bonds, Clemens and Manny Ramirez. Once upon a time, when Rodriguez was still trying to claim he used PEDs only from 2001-03, he blamed it on being “young and dumb.” Which would make him what now? Old and dumber?

Bleacher Report gives a detail of several MLB players implicated in the report, as well as some involved in the University of Miami baseball program.

2.     MLB’s Milwaukee Brewers held a “Design a YOUniform” contest where the fans had input on a new uniform for BrewersBarrelMan2013.  Apparently, old is new again, because the old Barrelman logo won out.  Definitely news to me.

3.     Looks like the Boy Scouts of America will be changing their policy to include gay participation and membership.  The BSA met with major evangelical groups to inform them of the policy shift, and Southern Baptists have gone on record to oppose the change.

4.     In No Plan B for Religious Freedom, John Kennedy, founder and CEO of Autocam and Autocam Medical, explains the issue he faces as an employer forced to pay for something that compromises his religious beliefs.  This is no political spin…it’s grass-roots reasoning the HHS mandate is flawed.

5.     Did you know that, in football, a team can attempt a non-defended field goal from the spot of a fair catch?  Or that only right-handers are allowed to play polo? In the NBA, a player can be slapped with a non-unsportsmanlike conduct technical foul (which probably should have been used at Riverdale this past Friday night!)  The obscure rules and 18 others are offered here.

superbowl56.     The media craze abounds during the Super Bowl.  And some reporters, in an effort to get some breaking bit of news, ventures, unthinkingly I hope, into the world of stupid questions.  For example:

“How long have you been a black quarterback?” was asked to Doug Williams, the Washington Redskins black QB.

Mental Floss offers the The Stupidest Questions in Super Bowl History.

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