culture politics, economy, etc.

Nanny State Peach Milkshakes

Over at The Corner today, Charles C.W. Cooke took issue with British police arresting an English teenager who broadcast insensitive Tweets about the Brit’s failure to medal in men’s synchronized diving.  Apparently, the teenager posted to Tom Daly that Mr. Daly’s father would be disappointed.  Mr. Daly’s father died earlier this year. Mr. Cooke notes:

Britain is now a country in which you can be arrested for writing racist tweets, for criticizing your local government on the Internet, for telling a policeman that his horse is “gay,” for shouting offensive things on a bus, for issuing leaflets condemning homosexuality, for evangelizing for Christianity on the street, for issuing leaflets evangelizing for atheism in an airport, and so on and so forth. And the press, as ever, is silent.

This should come as no surprise.  When the State takes on the role of primary caregiver and nanny to the population, it will act as such, to include parenting basic thoughts and speech.  Even in the United States, if you’re a nanny state totalitarian politician, you see it as a responsibility to punish businesses that do not adhere to your moral code, which code happens to be the current dogma of the secular humanist “intellectuals.”  How long until we start building re-education camps in the West?

Speaking of which, tomorrow August 1st is EAT AT CHICK FIL A DAY! Make sure to order an extra-fatty delicious peach shake, while they last. 

culture Ministry

Billy Graham: ‘My Heart Aches for America’

In a recent prayer letter to his supporters, Billy Graham explained the heavy burden he feels for the United States:

Some years ago, my wife, Ruth, was reading the draft of a book I was writing. When she finished a section describing the terrible downward spiral of our nation’s moral standards and the idolatry of worshiping false gods such as technology and sex, she startled me by exclaiming, “If God doesn’t punish America, He’ll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

She was probably thinking of a passage in Ezekiel where God tells why He brought those cities to ruin. “Now this was the sin of … Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen” (Ezekiel 16:49–50, NIV).

I wonder what Ruth would think of America if she were alive today. In the years since she made that remark, millions of babies have been aborted and our nation seems largely unconcerned. Self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.

Just a few weeks ago in a prominent city in the South, Christian chaplains who serve the police department were ordered to no longer mention the Name of Jesus in prayer. It was reported that during a recent police-sponsored event, the only person allowed to pray was someone who addressed “the being in the room.” Similar scenarios are now commonplace in towns across America. Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone—except God.

Yet the farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control.

My heart aches for America and its deceived people. The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance. …

Read the rest of this excellent letter and what Dr. Graham and his son Franklin are doing in response here.

books culture politics, economy, etc. video

Political Logic of the Nanny State, Illustrated

food & stuff Life! marriage and family

A Pleasurably Way to Pursue a Successful Family

The best things in life are always blessings from God, and so many of God’s best blessings are the simple things in life, the ones we easily overlook and take for granted — blessings like life, love, fellowship, laughter, good food, and interesting conversation.  Some people seem particularly adept at recognizing and enjoying and celebrating such blessings.  One such person is the Triangle’s celebrity chef Elise Johnson, whose persona and culinary expertise (and recipes) are known to many throughout this area through her TV cooking segments “Cooking With Elise”, her blogging at and through her service as Chef Spokesperson for BJ’s Wholesale Club.  Chef Elise recently published the following article and graciously consented to my re-posting it here. Bon appetit!

The Importance of Your Family Table
by Elise Johnson

I have been so happy and honored to welcome so many of you into my home for adult and children’s cooking classes over the years. I have been honored that you have entrusted your children in my care. I hope I have encouraged your family in some way and made a difference in your lives. I have been blessed to meet so many wonderful families over the years.

Many people do not realize (because I have made up for it over the that I did not speak with ease until I was about seventeen years old. A terrible speech impediment (stuttering) caused me great anxiety and made even saying my own name nearly impossible. It was in my grandmother’s kitchen that I found a safe haven. This is one reason why I am so passionate about cooking with family and friends. As many of you know, my mission has always been to inspire families to connect in their kitchens and around their tables. In my own experience, cooking and eating together strengthens and nurtures relationships quicker and stronger than any other way.

Please consider the following:

Family Meals 5 or more times per week spells S-U-C-C-E-S-S.   80% of families value family mealtime, but only 1 in 3 achieve success

S = Safe, secure place to belong

U= Unlikely to smoke, drink, do drugs, and engage in premarital sex.  Psychologists compare the family meal to a vaccination protecting kids from harm.  Children who eat with their families 5 or more days a week also avoid fights, and are less likely to be depressed and contemplate suicide.

C= Courteous and Conversational. The family table is a natural training ground.  Children learn social skills and manners.  Children learn how to have pleasant conversations and how to talk things through.  Children learn a better vocabulary. Learn to behave properly, learn how to not interrupt, take turns, learn how to share, and how be polite. Children learn how to listen.  Children learn how to entertain guests which is a great lesson for life.  Children who are nurtured learn how to care for others.

C= Connected and Committed.  Stronger family ties.  Place to belong – a place of refuge.  Greater sense of identity.  Children learn how to commit and keep a schedule.

E- Eat Better.   Children who eat as family 4 to 5 days per week do better in school; get better grades.  Test higher than children who eat only 1 to 2 times a week.  Eat better.  Eat more fresh fruits , vegetables, grains, protein, iron and fiber; less intake of soft drinks and sugar.  Are less likely to suffer from eating disorders; have better weight control

S= Self Esteem.  Mealtime conversation brings the family together, promotes positive self-esteem in children and starts a lasting and positive relationship with food and family.  Families learn how to share the responsibilities of preparing and cleaning up meals before, during and after the meal.

S= Success in School.  Children who eat 4 to 5 times a week together as a family do much better in school. They receive better grades, achieve higher achievement test scores ; have improved vocabulary and reading skills.

We recently welcomed my literary agent, David, from Oregon to our home. He told our family of his time at a homeschooling convention. The speaker from Focus on the Family asked the hundreds of families present to raise their hands if they cook and eat together at their family table more than three times a week. David was shocked to see only a few hands raise. It is stories like these that made me write my new cookbook, YOU NEVER COOK ALONE. You Never Cook Alone is much more than a cookbook however. This is one review on Amazon:

“”You Never Cook Alone” is not your average, “cookie-cutter” cookbook. Elise Johnson has written a cookbook that is true to its subtitle, “Stirring Memories, Feeding Souls and Building Legacies”. The pages are not only filled with delicious, mouth-watering recipes, cooking tips, and activity suggestions, but they are also overflowing with stories that will warm your heart with joy and laughter, and may even bring a tear to your eye.” You can read the book description and editorial review here.

My family has had the blessing of traveling the country this summer on a book tour. On my tour I have been interviewed by television stations, newspapers and national radio. I always speak about the importance of the family table, how families connect in the kitchen and if spending time in the kitchen and around the table with my family helped me speak, imagine what it can do for other families!

On Sunday, July 15th at 3:00 pm, I will be signing books at Quail Ridge Books & Music. Enjoy a Sunday afternoon book signing and taste samples of the recipes in my book, meet our family and be encouraged! I’d love the opportunity to share my story with you! You Never Cook Alone is also written from a Christian perspective! I have been thrilled to share my faith on national platforms. If you are unable to join our family, you can purchase my book on Amazon. It is also available at some Barnes and Nobles and of course at Quail Ridge Books. Even more important than purchasing my book, please pray for our family and all the people who pick up my book. It is my deepest desire to glorify God in all I do!

Enjoy your summer! May you make many memories in the kitchen and around the table together!

Atheism, agnostic, evolution, etc. humor

Creative Raptors Spotted at the Smithsonian

If there’s one thing the atheist sophisticates know that they know, it’s  there’s simply nothing worthwhile at the Creation Museum.  Just a bunch of rednecks and rubes clinging to their Bibles, and of course, it’s the lair of their arch bogeyman – the Bible apologist par excellence Ken Ham.  Of course, according to this same crowd, the Smithsonian is everything the Creation Museum is not — worldly, sophisticated, and relevant.  While this atheistic dogma is unfounded – the Creation Museum is nothing if not sophisticated, world-class, and full of dogma-challenging formation – the atheist’s prejudice made for some humorous theater this weekend.

Apparently having missed the memo about there being nothing to see at the Creation Museum, the Smithsonian is featuring one of the Creation Museum’s dinosaurs as the centerpiece of a Smithsonian IMAX marketing campaign.  This was recently discovered by a young girl visiting the Smithsonian who pointed out to her father that the Smithsonian’s prominent marketing display of a dinosaurs was none other than one of the raptors from the Creation Museum – museum sleuth and Creation Museum raptor (and Smithsonian specimen):

Ken Ham reported on his blog this weekend:

That phenomenally sculpted dinosaur was designed and built at the Creation Museum by AiG sculptors and designers. We can understand why the Smithsonian … chose this photo of the dinosaur—the dinosaur is so well done. … [W]e would be happy to give permission to the Smithsonian to use this photo if they request it, but I’m sure once the word is out that this photo is of a dinosaur at the Creation Museum—well, I wonder what they will do?  … Now, we are prepared to offer the Smithsonian a license for free, though it would require our copyright notice near the dinosaurs. Regardless, we are not asking the Smithsonian to throw out all their brochures with our dinosaur on them.

I’m not sure what the Smithsonian thinks of this, but the militant atheists are already “sighing” and gnashing their teeth over the implicit recognition of the quality of Creation Museum displays from an institution they respect and hold dear.  I think Ken ought to offer the Smithsonian a KEN HAM signatured copy of the raptor for them to use on all Smithsonian marketing, free of charge.

politics, economy, etc. video

President Reagan July 4, 1986

What a uniting presidential address sounds like …