Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Camp Awesome was awesome!

I realized that I didn't say much about the camp in this post so I thought I'd come back to it. We had 24 kids and 16 staff travel together for 4 great days of camp all thanks to our wonderful hosts at The Lords Land (YWAM Mendocino). Most of the kids (minus our staff kids) are from our Kids Club that we do throughout the year. This camp was a colaborative effort between YWAM Modesto, Global Youth Network (9 came down from Canada to create the camp with us) and The Lord's Land. Thanks everybody for a great week! Here's some pics...Facebook readers with have to click "view original post" at the top or GLONK HERE for the slide show...

Camp Awesome!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Spiritual Warfare

“For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy,
Now I will arise,” says the LORD;
“I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.” (Psalm 12)

This is a picture of our friend hearing that there is hope for her to get out of a run down motel infested with vermin, abuse and wickedness. This is a picture of forms being filled out, files opened, information given, friendship offered, smiles and a tangible way out. There are evil people, earthly systems and demonic spirits that oppress the poor. They greedily want to keep them down. Their gain is directly related to keeping the poor in hovels, discouraged and feeling isolated, weak and vulnerable. This picture is of true spiritual warfare.

And there's a much better article about this out there, so if you have time...go here...A 401K Plan You Can Tickle by Brant Hansen

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Who wants to make chili?

I played around with a couple of ideas for my recent chili...first, I thought of a Bacon Chili Cheeseburger themed chili. I still may do this someday but for a competition, I thought it would be better to stay a little more traditional. The last time I tried a novelty chili in a cook off, it was treated as such (Cincinnati Chili...which is awesome). Then I thought I'd do an existing recipe from a chili master - Iron Chef, Bobby Flay. He had one that intrigued me (here) and it's the one I went to the store to do but as I was shopping, it came to me that it would be better to improvise. So, riffing from Bobby Flay's chili, a little bit of Cincinnati, a Hobo's suggestion and a few things that just seemed like they'd taste good, here it is...

Some kind of oil
1 yellow onion (chopped)
4 - 5 cloves of garlic (chopped)
2 lbs of Chuck steak
Some kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 can of tomato puree
1 can of Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilis)
1 cup of beer (I used Moosehead)
2 TBS of Pasilla chili powder
3 TBS of regular chili powder
1 TBS of cumin
2 tsp sage
2 TBS of honey
2 TBS of unsweetened cocoa
Splurt of lemon juice (or lime)
Splurt of red wine vinegar
Splurt of hot sauce (I used Tapatio)
Spurt of Siracha (rooster sauce)
1 can of black beans
1 thing of beef chorizo
1 can of chicken stock

Tenderize the steak by beating the heck out of it and then cut it into little cubes

In a large pot, heat oil and saute garlic and onions until the onions become kinda clear. Then add the steak and cook until brown on all sides. Throw in some salt and pepper.

Add the cans of tomato puree and Rotel. Add the beer (swirl it around in your tomato cans to get all the residual goodness out of there before you pour).

Then add the chili powders, cumin, sage, cocoa, honey and splurts of things...

Add black beans and bring to a boil. Once boiling add the chorizo and stir it till the heat separates it to spread its love all throughout the pot.

Let is simmer for about 20 minutes and remove from heat.

Once it's cooled off, put it in the fridge and wait (chili is ALWAYS better the second day). It will thicken overnight so the next day, warm it up in a slow cooker, incrementally adding chicken broth (not too much...you want it thick) to bring back its former consistency.

This recipe didn't make near enough chili (about half a crock pot full)...more is better so double it if you wanna.

And there you have it folks, it's pretty durn good! Ahh yeah! Special thanks to Bobby Flay, that Greek family in Cincinnati, my hobo friend and really, I want to thank the idea of chili itself. Chili is good. The more ways of having chili, the better the world becomes. Thanks, Chili, for being so good!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Unlikely ministers in unlikely places

We have been pleasantly surprised this past week finding little groups we didn't know about. While visiting some of the boys from our kids club we stumbled upon these church people doing a small, faithful thing in the park. They come to pray with folks, encourage them, share food and clothes...no big promotion (or funding I'm sure), just Christ's community doing it's thing. And the sermon was great too...basically a small scripture reading and the pastor saying something like "so let's all remember that" and a closing prayer. Best sermon ever!

Then we happened upon "Beans and Rice and Jesus Christ" in the Airport district. It was just happy people serving and eating beans and rice...very simple, very cool.

And finally today we stopped to visit our friend James (who we've shared about before) and new friend Stan happened along with perfect words to share about recovery, staying encouraged and hopeful.

Nobody has the entire answer but we all have a part to play. Friendship and compassion win the day!