Thursday, June 23, 2011

Why Beauty? - (Warning: This passage talks a little about sex)

 There are many animals that don't experience color the way we do. A dog, for example, really cannot enjoy the myriad of colors that a beautiful sunset boasts. Other animals don't experience taste the way we do. A pig, for example, could care less if it eats rotten potatoes or filet Mignon. It is not designed to enjoy the subtle tastes and intricate concoctions of fine elegant meals.  Even a female chimpanzee or a gorilla which is supposedly higher on the "evolutionary ladder" cannot partake in the glorious feelings of being in love and enjoying the ecstasy of sex with a partner (husband) that loves you back. The female animal, in general and unfortunately, doesn't get to enjoy sex like us human girls can.

What then is the purpose of beauty? Why can we see color the way we do? It doesn't help us survive, on the contrary because God designed our eye to view such small details (beauty), we are at a disadvantage compared to our invertebrate friends. For more information on the design of the human eye, click here. Why taste delicious food, if it can cause us to be picky eaters, thus reducing our chances for survival? Why take our time to enjoy a crispy and fresh salad if that too, reduces our chances for survival (someone might come and eat it before us)? What is the purpose in enjoying sex for the female? It doesn't help us conceive? Creativity, the imagination, the female orgasm, art, music, poetry, culinary arts, etc. are all unnecessary things for survival.

God placed in us these capabilities and experiences so He could reveal Himself to us. He didn't just sprinkle beauty here and there. He slathered it everywhere! It is everywhere if you truly desire to see it. His fingerprint and design is in the smallest of single cell organisms to the largest galaxies that hover around ours. He hides the beautiful things in plain sight, hoping we discover them. Take saltwater fish. Some of the most beautiful colors known to man are found on saltwater fish, but it wasn't until recently that man has basked in their glorious colors. These fish had been there for thousands of years, waiting to be discovered. God hid that beauty, because beauty discovered is beauty that is enjoyed the most. Just as we relish in our children discovering things on their own, so does our Father when His children discover His creation.

I cut these flowers from one of my beds in front of my house. They smell just lovely! I have brought them inside my home and now my house smells of these lilies and I am just marinating in their scent! I enjoyed the detail and the fine workmanship of my King. These lilies are not a product of rocks that evolved, they are the product of a Creator that specializes in detail and order and precision. He spoke these lilies into existence, but more precious than that, He touched and molded me into mine. He has counted every single hair on my head (Matthew 10:30) and knit me together in my mother's womb (Psalm 139:13). I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 134:14) by a Being that stretches out the skies (Job 26:7).

Although our world in not perfect (due to the fall of man). We can still get a glimpse of the character of our Creator. He is One to be feared and respected (Luke 12:5) and One that I can't help to see everywhere.

I Praise You!

Monday, June 20, 2011

For Left Over Spaghetti

If your family is anything like mine, we always end up with left over spaghetti. Here is a twist to left over spaghetti.

8 oz sliced mushrooms
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp veg. oil
1/8 tsp salt
dash of pepper
5 oz baby spinach
3 oz of cream cheese
1/4 C Parmesan cheese
1/4 C Italian Shredded cheese mix
Left Over Spaghetti

Directions: Heat oil at med-heat and add mushrooms. Saute for a minute or so and add butter, salt and pepper. Saute mushrooms until they are beginning to soften, then add spinach. When the spinach begins to wilt, add cream cheese. Once cream cheese has melted, add both cheeses. Then add the left over spaghetti. The less spaghetti you add, the more sauce you will have.  Top with cheese.


Friday, June 17, 2011

X-Men First Class - Movie Review

No Spoiler!

X-Men First Class is the prequel to the first X-Men movie. This movie gives a lot more information on many X-men and villains including Professor X and Magneto. It tells us the horrible treatment of Magneto (Erik Lehnsherr) in the Nazi concentration camps. It also gives us more information of a younger, girl-crazy Professor X (Charles Xavier). There are a lot of mutants in this X-men movie, but not as many as X-Men Three - The Last Stand.

The movie is about the villain, Sebastian Shaw manipulating the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. in starting a nuclear war. Shaw's ideology, basically, is that through a nuclear war, the humans will destroy each other and produce a huge amount of radiation giving mutants extra power. The X-Men get together to try and stop Shaw and his fellow followers in accomplishing World War III.

I have included a list of the mutants in this movie:
* Professor X (Charles Xavier) - power of telepathy
* Magneto a.k.a. Magnus (Erik Lehnsherr) - power to control and manipulate metal and magnetism
* Beast (Dr. Henry Philip "Hank" McCoy) - power of super-human strength, agility and intelligence
* Havok (Alexander "Alex" Summers) - power to generate powerful plasma blasts
* Azazel - power to teleport and immortality
* Mystique (Raven Darkholme) - power to shapeshift, ages slowly
* Riptide (Janos Quested) - power to spin quickly and project objects, can also produce whirlwinds
* Emma Grace Frost a.k.a. White Queen - power of telepathy, second mutation is power to transfigure into diamond-like figure
* Banshee (Sean Cassidy) - power to produce a sonic-scream, can manipulate his scream to assist in flying
* Darwin (Armando Muñoz) - power to adapt to any environment almost immediately
* Sebastian Hiram Shaw - power to absorb energy and transform it into raw strength
* Angel Salvadore a.k.a. Tempest - power to fly by using her insect like wings, her spit is also acid

The movie, in itself was okay. It was another X-Men movie, so if you like the X-Men, then you will like this movie. It's not corny like many sequels or prequels can be. The effects were also very good especially a flying scene featuring Banshee.

Unlike Thor, this movie did have a lot of cleavage and lots of women walking in very sexy lingerie. The character Emma Frost almost always is in bra and underwear and if she is not wearing that, she is wearing a skin tight leather suit, that shows lots of cleavage. In her diamond form, her breast are augmented considerably. There is also a scene where she is on top of a Russian colonel seducing him wearing only her bra, underwear and pantyhose and he in turn fondles her. There is another scene where Mystique in her human form tries to seduce Erik. He then comes over and kisses her, it is not clear whether they sleep together or not. Erik and Charles Xavier, while recruiting, go into a strip club where a lot of women are dancing half-naked and have a conversation with Angel Salvadore with a lot of sexual innuendos. There are several close up of women's bottoms only wearing underwear. Mystique also has augmented breasts in her mutant form.

The language really isn't bad except for one scene where Wolverine says "F--- Off!" to Erik and Xavier as they try to recruit him.

There are several scenes that involve drinking at bars. There is a bar fight that is pretty graphic and violent.

There is a lot of references to evolution and mutants being the next step in human evolution.

A great talking point in the movie is the line between anger and peace. Xavier constantly tries to help Magneto balance his anger and shows him how anger can suppress the good in us and even erase good and happy memories.

Overall the movie was okay. There are new mutants to see, but the story line does not follow the comic books at all. So any X-men fans will be let down, especially when you see how Xavier becomes crippled.

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some sexual content including brief partial nudity and language.

Running Time: 132 minutes

My Rating: 6 stars out of 10

Stay mutant and proud!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Unicorns in the Bible

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 Answers In Genesis had a very interesting article today about unicorns. I didn't know this, but apparently the word "unicorn" is used several times in the Bible, but in the King James Version. You can read about the article here.

Well this prompted me to look up some verses in the King James and I think I must conclude that the "unicorn" in the Bible isn't referring to an ox or wild ox, but to a rhinoceros.

The word "unicorn" didn't always mean  what we now portray as this magical horse with only one horn. In the first edition of Webster's Dictionary 1828 here are the two descriptions given for a "unicorn":
1. An animal with one horn; the monoceros. The name is often applied to the rhinoceros
2. The sea unicorn is fish of the whale kind, called narwal, remarkable for a horn growing out at his nose.
Notice how there is no mention of a horse or a fantastical being. The word "unicorn" meant just that. An animal with one horn.

So if the Bible says that it is speaking of an animal that has "one horn", there is no reason for us to think it is speaking of an animal with two equal sized horns. Just because we today have a connotation with the word "unicorn" it doesn't mean they did back then. Look at the word "gay". The word "gay" in the 1950's meant happy. The word "gay" in the 1990's and now means "homosexual". And even now I hear teens use the word "gay" to reference something that's "lame" or "silly" with no reference to sexuality. And that is just in a span of 60 years - much less 400 years!

There are two types of rhinoceroses. One with one horn and one with two horns. In Deutoronomy 33:17 the two-horned rhinoceros is the unicorn that the writer (probably Moses) is talking about: His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.(emphasis added). Manasseh and Ephraim were brothers and later where tribal names of the children of Israel. And one of the tribes was much larger than the other! Just like the horns of the two-horned rhinoceros.

I believe a rhinoceros is referred to a unicorn because it has just that, one horn.  An ox or a waterbuffalo on the other hand, have two large horns of equal size.

Look at the verse in Job 39:9-10 which says: Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?
 Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee? This verse speaks about the inability to tame a unicorn. You can tame an ox, but try taming a rhinoceros!

There are other verses in the KJV Bible that could interchangeably use "rhinoceros" or "wild ox" for "unicorn", but this is just an example of just how awesome God's Word is. It is vast and deep. You cannot skim through the Bible and expect it to fill you, it is not fast food!

Answers in Genesis is getting a lot of ridicule for what they stand for - that the earth is young and that God made this beautiful earth in literally 6 days and rested on the 7th and not millions of years. The people at AIG are creating a new theme park called The Ark Encounter. And because of this, some skeptics were asking if the "unicorn" would be included since it's in the Bible. Yes! I do believe the unicorn will be included, but not the ones these people think!

A Unicorn!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Potato Pancakes

 Potatoes are so versatile! You can fry them, bake them, mash them, whip them and even make them into soup! Here is a great recipe when you have left over mashed potatoes.

Recipe: 2 Cups of your favorite mashed potatoes
            1/4 Cup flour
            1/4 Cup cream style corn
             1 Egg
             3 Tbsp shredded onion or green onion
             1 tsp parsley
             1/2 tsp salt
             1/2 tsp minced garlic
             1/8 tsp of pepper
             Vegetable oil to grill

Instructions: In a large bowl mix all the ingredients. On a skillet heat your vegetable oil (like you would a pancake). This recipe yields about 8 medium sized pancakes, I like to make mine smaller just so the kids will try it out. Cook on each side for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown.

If batter is to thick, you can add milk, if it is too runny you can add some flour.

The onion in the pancake is delicious, but may be a bit too strong for picky eaters. If you want to have your kids try this out, it may be best to leave out the onion and add some kernel corn to it instead.

Another substitute that goes deliciously well with this mixture is tuna. Just drain the tuna first and add. Potato and tuna is a wonderful mixture especially for lent.

I topped the pancakes with some canned soup! It was easy, it was cheap and it was yummy!!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

American Mess Cake

 On Veteran's Day I wanted to make a special cake. I wanted the red, white and blue colors of our beautiful flag. I wanted to capture the majesty of the buildings found in Washington D.C. I wanted to encompass the very taste of freedom. Well it was a major fail. My cake looked anything, but majestic or beautiful. Although it was delicious!!!

The Story: I was in a rush! Getting the chicken marinated, the salads, the sides and all that good stuff. And the pressure I put on myself to make it extra special really didn't help. I baked the cake and didn't wait for it to cool. I made the strawberry sauce and didn't wait for that to cool. So I tried frosting my warm cake and ended up with a glaze and a cake that had absorbed all the runny strawberry sauce. I then, in my desperate attempt to make it look pretty, I added the blueberries around the cake and they just slid off the cake like slow rolling tears! Although it wasn't pretty to look at, the cake was gone in less than a day. Mind you we only had 2 adults, 1 kid and a toddler, and I only had ONE PIECE!

I dubbed the cake: THE AMERICAN MESS

Recipe for Cake: Plain white cake mix from a box

Recipe for Frosting: 2 C confectioners sugar
                              1/2 C butter
                              1 tsp vanilla extract
                              1 Tbsp of milk (add a little more if too thick)
Recipe for Strawberry Sauce:
                     1 pound of fresh strawberries (diced, with tops removed)
                     1/4 C of water (less if you want a thicker sauce)
                     1/2 sugar (more if you want a thicker sauce)
                      Boil until strawberries are soften (about 5 minutes) and then mash (keep some texture)
Take the cakes out of the oven and wait until cool enough to handle. Do not completely cool. I used one 9 in. spring form pan, and two 6in. pans for one box. I placed the largest cake on the bottom and slathered some strawberry sauce and put one of the smaller cakes on top of that. I cut off the top of that little cake and slathered a lot more strawberry sauce on top of that little cake. I then put the last little cake on top of that one. And instead of waiting for the cake to cool (I need to work on my patience), I began frosting the cake. Well the frosting just melted on top of the cake and made a type of glaze. Like the kind you find on doughnuts!!! It was so yummy. I covered the cake as well as I could. I tried garnishing with blueberries, but the blueberries wouldn't hold. So after I started crying because of all the mess, I added some more strawberry sauce on top, mostly the chunks of strawberry. When we cut the cake to eat it, we added some more strawberry on top of the slices!
** Make sure you have some king of depth to the cake stand or where you decide to frost the cake, the frosting will spill over if it is completely flat (see pictures)

Yummy chunks of strawberry. The frosting made a delicious glaze.

 This is what the cake looked like after it was "done". Notice the blueberries on top!

Notice all the gooey yumminess that has gathered at the bottom. Be careful!

              THE AMERICAN MESS