Thursday, September 22, 2011


I haven't been too active either following blogs or writing blogs lately as life is pretty hectic right now.  But I thought I would share a link to a story that came out in the Times Picayune on the subject of chili here.  Northshore Vineyard is in the process of putting together a chili cook-off for October 23.  Somehow word of this event made it to the food columnist of the Times Picayune and I got a call last week for an interview on the subject of chili.  READ THE STORY which features some musings on chili and if you scroll down towards the bottom you can find my recipe for Pork Chili Verde.  Or you can cut to the chase for the PORK CHILI VERDE RECIPE HERE

Friday, September 09, 2011

2011 Alpha Promo Video

The following is a promo video for our upcoming Alpha Course at Northshore Vineyard.  If you are in the area we would love for you to be a part.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Reflections on One Long Hot Summer and Romans 8

One of my absolute favorite chapters in the whole Bible is Romans 8.  If I was to be stranded on a desert Island and had to choose one chapter to take with me, it would be Romans 8.  Romans 8 has so many wonderful words on grace, creation, new creation, hope and of course—Jesus!  One of my favorite sections of Romans 8 comes in verse 22-23  

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.

Something about these words of creation groaning and we ourselves groaning in the pains of childbirth seems to speak to me with a much greater punch in the dog days of summer of late August in Louisiana.  The first part of the summer is always hot down here but in July most of the really hot days are alleviated by afternoon showers, which, though making things steamier, provided a pleasant respite from the oppressive heat.  However the last few weeks of August seem to have a way of becoming nearly unbearable.  With the last days of summer comes a low level depression that sets in as people try to avoid being outside for more than a few minutes at a time and find themselves cooped up in homes and offices all day.

There have been several days in the last few weeks when I was bound and determined to do a little reading on the back porch and enjoy the sounds of birds and insects and the beauty of trees in the early hours of morning.  And yet my weak will gave in and retreated to more hospitable climes within just a few minutes.  And yet it is in those moments, sweating under the oppression of summer, that words penned by the Apostle Paul in Romans 8 begin to speak to me with particular clarity… creation is groaning… I am groaning… all of us are groaning.  I find that by the last 2-3 weeks of August I am longing and groaning along with the world of nature around me for the cool of autumn.   I can’t help but wonder if this longing for summer to be over isn’t somehow part of the very narrative of redemption and new creation embedded in the very seasons of our world.  As the opening verses of Psalm 19 declare:

 1 The heavens declare the glory of God;    the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech;    night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words;    no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth,    their words to the ends of the world. 

I am writing these words on that first cool day that has come in 5 months… that day that I have been groaning and waiting for.  And it is every bit as wonderful as I imagined.  Yet I don’t want to simply enjoy this day but rather to let it be a space in which I can remember the bigger narrative, the groaning of creation that will once be liberated by the return of Christ.  I wan to use this day as a springboard to join with creation in praising the King.  So here’s to a beautiful day at the end of a long summer and here’s to the beautiful day of which we still eagerly await when our King Jesus will once and for all set things right.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Our First Family Stop Action Video

What's a family to do when stuck inside for days during a tropical storm?  How's about making a stop action video!  The kids and I put this together over the weekend.  It's our first attempt at stop action video and it involved around 800 individual photos (shot with Nikon D40).  Music: "Mirando" by Ratatat.