Friday, December 21, 2007

Holiday Eating Tips

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffettable knows nothing of the holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-maltscotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going toturn into an eggnog-aholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point ofgravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk, or whole cream & butter. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a holiday party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and NewYear's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do.This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat ofeggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? LaborDay?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with themandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, havesome standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the partyor get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.


What Do You Think?

So for the last couple months, controversy has been swirling about the Golden Compass. Religious groups have been pushing school districts across North America to ban the book not only from reading lists but also from libraries in general. The pope has gotten involved from across the ocean. "Good" Christians are being encouraged to avoid the movie as it apparently pushes atheistic theology that would corrupt the minds of innocent youth and forever push them away from the truth of Christ.

Yes, I am being a little fecicous here. Truthfully, I'm tired of this kind of stuff playing out in the media. I'm tired of Christians pushing for boycott in areas that seem ridiculous. It seems to me that all this does is make Christians look bad...again. Frankly, I'm a little tired of it.

Last night on my way home I was listening to a podcast from Erwin McManus. He was teaching from the story one of the many sinners rejected by the religious leaders of the day and accepted by Jesus. One very poignant statement he made was that sinners of all kinds are safe with Jesus...always. I like that since I (gasp) fall into that category. The other question he asked, though, was this: why, as Christians, are we willing to throw the first stone and cast judgement? He sited examples of church 'stuff' that he's walked through, some of the public issues he's been confronted with as a leader of a large, North American church and just plain dealing with people scenerios that show that, yes, as Christians, people who are supposed to be loving and living in Jesus' example of safety for sinners are often the ones to cast the first proverbial stone.

Fast forward to watching the news. Sure enough, another newscast about the Golden Compass. Sure enough, more Christians saying the same thing. Now, I know this isn't new. In fact, it seems strangely remenicent of the reaction to another work of fantasty...can anyone say "Harry Potter?" My reaction, is the same.

Stop it!

There you have it. That's the shortened version however, given the chance, which I have right now, I might take it a little further.

Have you, dear critic, read the books or are you blindly making assumptions based on what you've heard someone say somewhere along the way and throwing your decision out into the public forum to not "make a difference?" Let me tell you, you certainly are but I'm guessing it's not the difference you were hoping for. I, for one, am more interested in reading the trilogy (yes, there are two more books for critics to get worked up over) than ever before. In fact, I might never have had any interest in either book or movie before all the media hype...and I guess I'm not the only one.

Furthermore, are we, and I lump the Church as a whole here representing all Christians in whatever camp, providing other viable alternatives? Really. We've had Narnia, yes, but realistically, are we providing alternate "acceptable" entertainment of the same quality and caliber to challenge the minds and imaginations of our youth and equally entertain the parents that will walk the journey with them? Here's my suggestion: rather than just complain and beg for censorship, how about we do something better?

Then I have to ask, since when are we giving up the educating of our children to someone else? Why is it that we fear the impact of books and/or movies so much? When the DaVinci code thing was brewing, I was asked by a friend why Christians were so upset and I honestly didn't have an answer. I don't know why. My take on it is that sometimes controversy is good. If we are doing our job teaching at whatever age group and whatever level, why should we be afraid? Aren't questions and controversy, then, just another opportunity to teach and guide, for Truth to be seen? Are we forgetting the inherent power of Truth? Man, this stuff gets me riled up. All these things that we find to cast judgement on, not just the work but the artist behind it in many cases, are fiction, friends, and should be treated as such. While there are truths and themes portrayed, please take heart in the fact that all Truth is God's Truth and the rest will pass away. Really.

I think at the core of it, though, is for me this idea of judgement. We talk alot about love and acceptance, about living the way that Jesus would (the guy who hung out with sinners of all kinds, by the way) and about grace. We even add in stuff about discipline, direction and teaching. I'm forced to ask, how do these situations of judgement and criticism reflect that nature of Christ? We can't expect those who don't believe in Christ to reflect his values and nature. We can't expect them to live by the same belief systems or reflect Him in their creative works. But we can hold that expection for ourselves. At least I think that's fair.

I don't know what Pullman's beliefs are or what sort of subversive message he was trying to portray. I do know that, according to several articles, this is what he said about his work and his "atheistic" views while hanging out with Letterman:

As for the atheism, it doesn’t matter to me whether people believe in God or not, so I’m not promoting anything of that sort. What I do care about is whether people are cruel or whether they’re kind, whether they act for democracy or for tyranny, whether they believe in open-minded enquiry or in shutting the freedom of thought and expression. Good things have been done in the name of religion, and so have bad things; and both good things and bad things have been done with no religion at all. What I care about is the good, wherever it comes from.

What do you think? Perhaps he has a point?

Now that my rant is just about over and my frustration level has lowered a bit, I hope that anyone reading this knows that my hope is not to cast judgement in kind. Instead, I hope to ask questions that encourage us to think about how we're representing the cause of Christ. I know that my opinion isn't the only one out there that matters, although sometimes that realization is a little bit of a hit on the ole' ego (ouch) so to finish it off, I'd like to throw out some comments by a writer for Relevant Magazine. She says:

I hope that all people (including myself) would want to be kind, to act for democracy, to be open-minded, and to feel encouraged to think and express themselves freely. I would of course also want them to love the Lord and develop a deep and long lasting relationship with Him. Christians, however, do not have a monopoly on good values. People do good things everyday. Not all of those people believe in God. Yet I believe that God is good and God is in all good things. I believe God can use people, even if they aren’t Christians, to further His Kingdom.

We should read books and watch movies that show what it means to be good and kind, to be brave and courageous and to love others without judging or condemning them. Therefore, I’d be more inclined to see movies like Harry Potter or The Golden Compass than I would some of the other movies that are released.

I also feel that if you want to encourage anyone’s imagination (especially a child’s), they should be allowed to see films like these regardless of if there is an underlying message or not. Children are not looking for religious or political undertones like adults are. They are looking for great films with a great story and cool special effects.

There is so much programming out there that really isn’t appropriate because of sex, violence, and language, so when a movie like this comes out we should get together and watch it, then discuss it afterwards; people should give it a chance. I, for, one am looking forward to seeing The Golden Compass.

There has been much debate as to whether the media influences culture or whether culture influences the media. I think it is both. This is the information age, and we as a society are constantly being inundated with images and messages—some good and some bad. So when there is good, as Phillip Pullman said, it shouldn’t matter where it comes from. Our God is good, and He has a hand in all things that are good. So when we see or hear messages of love, kindness and freedom, we should embrace them and encourage others to do the same.

Okay, so maybe our views aren't that different...she just says it better.

Now after all that, what do you think? I'm off to see if I can find part of the book online to start reading!

Looking for a gift for a Roughrider Fan?

Then check this out...

REGINA - If you want to celebrate the Saskatchewan Roughriders' Grey Cup win, now there's a special way to do it.
Wiser's unveiled a small batch of whisky on Thursday commemorating the Regina team's victory.
The green-and-gold limited edition, collectable label will only be available on 750 mL bottles of Wiser's Reserve sold in Saskatchewan, and ony 4,000 bottles have been produced.
"Wiser's has been a long-time supporter of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and this is our chance to share in the celebration of the team's recent Grey Cup win," said Roy DaCosta of Corby Distilleries.
"Wiser's Reserve Canadian Whisky is made in small batches in the tradition of a special blend that J.P. Wiser reserved for his close family and friends. It is only fitting then, that we release this limited quantity of Wiser's Reserve in a keepsake bottle to share with our friends and fellow Roughriders fans across the province of Saskatchewan."
The bottles will sell for $26.95.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Welcome to Our World!

Christmas came early to the Tischer two's! Congrats to my dear friends, Neal and Tina, on the arrival of their healthy twins, a bouncing baby girl and boy, Hailey and Colby. Can't wait to meet them!

Monday, December 03, 2007


You'll need the following:

1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
4 large brown eggs
2 cups of dried fruit
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of brown sugar
Lemon juice
1 bottle of rum

Sample the rum to check for quality. Take a large bowl. Check the rum
again. To be sure it's the highest quality, pour one level cup and
drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer, beat one cup of butter in a
large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar and beat again. Make sure
the rum is still OK. Cry another tup. Tune up the mixer. Beat two
leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Mix on
the turner. If the fired druit gets stuck in the beaterers, pry it
goose with a drewscriver. Sample the rum to check for tonsisticity.
Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Who cares? Check the rum.
Now sift the lemon juice and strain the nuts. Add one table. Spoon the
sugar or something. Whatever you can find. Grease the oven. Turn the
cake tin to 350 degrees. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Throw
the bowl out of the window. Check the rum again and go to bed.