30 October 2009

Constitution: Twenty-fourth Amendment

Passed by Congress August 27, 1962. Ratified January 23, 1964.

Section 1.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay poll tax or other tax.

Section 2.
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

22 October 2009


So, a few years ago I was challenged by a definition of sacrifice that has had me scratching my head since.

sacrifice: giving up something of great value for something of lesser value

This gives a greater understanding of Christ's sacrifice for us (the righteous for the unrighteous, God for man, the Prince of Glory for sinners), but on another level, it brings up so many questions! With this definition, is it truly possible for us to sacrifice anything for Christ? What we give up is worth so much less than what we gain, that is it truly any kind of sacrifice? Yet, we are clearly told that God delights in our sacrifices. This has been a great puzzlement.

We discussed I Peter 2:1-5 with a small group of folks from church and the confusion began to be cleared away. Drew and I discussed it more as we drove home and I think I've got a much better handle on it.

I think there's a place for the above definition on a horizontal level, and when we think of the Lord sacrificing himself for us, but it falls short when we think vertically in an upward direction.

Horizontally: we must ask ourselves if we're really sacrificing when we want to think we are. If a mother says that she sacrificed her career for her children, isn't she really saying that her career was the more important of the two? If I claim to sacrifice my time in order to educate my children, aren't I really valuing my time above my children? Am I proud of my sacrifices? Hmmm … questions to consider.

Vertically: the sacrifice the Lord demands of us isn't based on any kind of valuation of what's offered (that's because of his grace in receiving our meager, dirty-rag offerings, not because our offerings are so high and valuable). Rather it's based on the fact that, biblically, sacrifices are dedicated totally to the Lord. When we're told to offer ourselves as living sacrifices, Paul isn't implying that we're more important that what we get in return, relationship with the Lord and the opportunity to glorify him; rather that we should wholly devote ourselves to serving and glorifying the Lord. It's about whole-hearted dedication, devotion, and passion for Christ.

And, to loosely paraphrase John Piper, as we serve Christ, we also enjoy him, which brings him the most glory.


19 October 2009

Inspired by Julia

Life is beginning to calm down after a hectic and difficult several months. Not only did I have energy and time to cook tonight, but my back is feeling well enough that I was able to putter around the kitchen tonight, with help from Drew and older kiddoes.

I went to see Julie & Julia with some girlfriends a few weeks ago. I was taken by the Julia storyline and would have relished more of her and less of the more modern story. I'm about half-way through My Life in France and I was also able to pick up Julia's Kitchen Wisdom. I'm inspired! (No, I'm not going to cook my way through her books, but I'll share what I learn!)

I was hoping to make a cheese souflé for dinner, but school took longer than I thought it would and I had a late afternoon chiropractor appointment. I wasn't sure what to do about dinner, when Drew mentioned that we had some porkchops in the freezer. We put them in to soak in a sink of hot water and they were defrosted when we returned home. I poked around in my CIA Cookbook and decided to make a Lyonnaise sauce to go with the chops (it was more a variation of a Lyonnaise sauce - I had no demi-glace, so we substituted beef stock). After sautéing the chops, we added to the pan butter, a finely chopped onion, white wine (a Pinot Gris), some late harvest Riesling vinegar (yes, it's amazing!), and some salt and white pepper. After the onions were cooked and the liquids reduced, I added some store-bought beef stock (have you ever seen pork broth on sale at the grocery store? I figured beef was close enough). This simmered for awhile and reduced even more. It was absolutely heavenly.

We'd stopped and picked up a couple of baguettes (I've not been baking lately because of my back) and I made a white wine and butter reduction and then sautéed some leeks in it; I also added tarragon, parsley, salt, and white pepper. After baking the baguettes for about 10 minutes in a 450˚ oven to crisp up the crust, we sliced the bread and ladled the leek and butter sauce over the top. More heaven!

I don't have measurements for any of this, but it wasn't hard. I was playing with the technique of reducing liquids before using them that Julia mentions in her books.

On tap for later this week: orange roughy filets with a beurre blanc sauce; Hungarian goulash (after I receive my sweet Hungarian paprika from The Spice House); and Julia's boeuf bourguignon; oh, and that cheese souflé, baked in phyllo dough sheets.

16 October 2009

Constitution: Twenty-third Amendment

Passed by Congress June 16, 1960. Ratified March 29, 1961.

Section 1.
The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as Congress may direct:

A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.

Section 2.
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

09 October 2009

Constitution: Twenty-second Amendment

Passed by Congress March 21, 1947. Ratified February 27, 1951.

Section 1.
No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

Section 2.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission to the States by the Congress.

02 October 2009

Constitution: Twenty-first Amendment

Passed by Congress February 20, 1933. Ratified December 5, 1933.

Section 1.
The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2.
The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or Possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

Section 3.
This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.