Category Archives: Musings

Fresh and seasoned thoughts about the practice of Sabbath.

A Legendary Beast Found in Nederland, Texas. (And Promptly Eaten)

What’s more elusive than Bigfoot?

What’s more dangerous than the Chupacabra?

His Name….

Megahippopotomonstrosastacoidea Robustus. Or in layman’s’ terms, “The Biggest Crawfish I’ve Ever Seen!”


His closest mythical relatives are Leviathan and the Kraken.

I assume by his size that his diet consisted of small alligators, large fish, and Volkswagen Beetles.

And I ate him.

I had reservations about consuming such a glorious beast.

I thought about having him stuffed and placed on the wall in my office. I decided against that since I didn’t want to deal with the hundreds, or even thousands, of people per day who would come by to admire this crawdad and take pictures with him.

I did with him what I had done with his innumerable smaller relatives: I peeled him and I ate him.

Crawfish are best enjoyed when they are hot. Let them get cold and they just don’t taste the same or peel as easily. You have to enjoy them and savor them in the moment.

Some things in life are best enjoyed in the moment.

We had one of those moments at FBC Nederland Sunday night. It was a moment with friends. The crawfish only provided an excuse to get out and get the conversations going.

I think we experienced something Sunday night that the Early Church experienced quite often. In our parking lot, there were people from all walks of life, sitting side by side, sharing life together around tables filled with good food. (The tables were full at the beginning of the night; the people at the end of the night.)

Let’s keep that vision in mind as we gather together, in the name of Christ, for work and worship.

They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude, praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved.
Acts 2:26-47

Congratulations! A Season Ends and A New Season Begins.

There is an excitement in the air today that we only experience once a year. For the students in Nederland, it’s their last day of the school year. It’s time to hang up the backpacks and embrace summer vacation!

Congratulations Teachers for another year of hard work!

Congratulations Parents for bearings with your kids through homework and sports and activities and projects and countless other ventures that go into a school year!

Congratulations Students as you proceed to life’s next level, whatever that may be for you!

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.
NIV Ecclesiastes 3:1

The Quintessential Expression of God’s Kingdom

Joy is the quintessential expression of the kingdom of God!

There is something about the presence of the Lord and his salvation that evokes joy.  Just like giggles from a tickled child, joy springs forth from the life of a person who has been in the presence of God.

You can’t tickle yourself.  Nor can you Joy yourself.  Joy originates with God. The Joy God gives removes anxiety and pain. It alleviates stress and concern.  Joy strengthens us and fortifies us for the work at hand.

Laughing Child LACMA AC1992.152.144
When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
Psalm 126:1-3

A Testimony By Jay Hanson

A Brush with Death

Back in March, my friend Jay Hanson had a brush with death.  I can’t relate his story nearly as well as he can.  That’s why I’m thankful Jay shared with the church Sunday morning about his experience.

There are times we assume God is near us, and  times when we absolutely know He is right there beside us.  If God had not been with Jay, Jay would not be here today.

Click on the image below to hear from Jay himself.  I know you’ll be just as encouraged as I was when I heard him share this for the first time.

Jay hanson Testimony

The One My Soul Loves

A long, long time ago, in a land far, far away…


That’s one of the thoughts that float through my mind when I see this picture.

The other thought is, “Who are those kids?” I say that, but Kristi doesn’t look any different to me than she did the day we married! She’s still the one I love.

I’m going to keep her for another 19 years, if she’ll have me. She stole my heart over 20 years ago. She can keep it. I still have hers, and I’m not giving it back.

I have a verse inscribed on the inside of my wedding band. Song of Solomon 3:4, “I have found the one my soul loves.”

That verse is just as true today as it was the day we said “I Do.”

Lightning, Thunder and Holy Rest

Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore.
Psalm 125:1-2

We woke up to a thunderstorm this morning. It came through our area right about the time my alarm was going off. The thunder and the BEEP BEEP BEEP of my phone’s alarm stirred me from my slumber. But I was not stirred long. There is something soothing about the thunder and the rain.


The storms we sleep through do not woo us to sleep so much entice us to rest. There is a difference between resting and sleeping. Resting can include sleep, but not all sleep is restful. When you go to bed with a head full of worries you might very well have a night full of bad dreams. Whenever I’ve awaken after restless dreams, I feel worse off than when I went to bed.

But when I’ve rested well, I always feel refreshed and renewed. God calls us to enter into Rest that we might be made new. He invites us to rest so we might be made whole and re-energized for the task at hand!

We are able to rest because we rest in his presence.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
Psalm 23:1-3

This is the context of our resting and our security in the 125th psalm. God’s people are surrounded by God’s presence. In God’s presence they “cannot be shaken.”

Heyday Fridays in May: Abbie’s Specialty Foods

Kristi and I had so much fun sharing our last Friday Food Date with you that we’ve decided to do it again. Get your taste buds ready for some Mediterranean food from your own back yard!


Kristi Says:

Last week a dear friend of mine, Jen, sent me an awesome link to “Five under the radar restaurants in Beaumont”.  I have a short attention span, I know, but the first eating spot sounded so perfectly delightful that I didn’t get any farther on the list.  I shouted across the room to Jason, “Hey, I found our next date”.  And boy, had I.

Today we checked out Abbie’s Specialty Foods and Deli.  It’s a Mediterranean joint on Fannett Rd.  And get this: It’s a RV parts store too. I had to see it to believe it.  This was our best lunch yet. I’m already thinking of an excuse to go back, for say a pound of olives or something this country girl finds exotic, like some coconut cooking oil.

I have a long list of things that impressed me about this place.  Jason’s doing the actual food review, so I won’t double dip on how good the food was or how friendly and kind the employees were. I have to tell you that you walk up to the counter and place your order for a sandwich, pizza, or salad and then they invite you to grab some tea or a cold drink.  They don’t watch you or write down what drinks you get.  They also have baklava you can help yourself to.  When you’re leaving, you just tell the cashier what drinks and desserts you had, and he rings you up.  I know I can’t be the only one who immediately thinks, “Wow, I can have four helpings of baklava, and they’d never know”.  I mean, they actually trust you to be honest without the fear of getting slighted by the customers.  I like that.

As we were leaving, I noticed a copy of the ten commandments and a small poster of the 103 Psalm.  We left and drove half a mile to Tyrell Park to finish off a date for the books.  On a bench we read the 103 Psalm that once again reminded of God’s goodness.

Jason’s Take on Abbie’s:

Service

Abbie’s is as simple as it comes. You walk in, grab a drink out of the cooler, take 5 steps over to the counter and place your order, grab a seat and salivate because of the smell of pita bread in the oven. There was a super nice lady who waited on us and gave us recommendations as to what to get. She didn’t even laugh at me when I tried to order my Gyro. I still don’t think I know how to say that right. (Gy-Ro….Hy-Ro….He-Ro?) She was kind, and also from Nederland, which is always a plus to do business with a neighbor. Since it was out first time to dine with them, she walked us through the process. “Just tell them at the counter what you had to drink and how much Baklava you had.”

They are very trusting. I appreciated the service with a smile. Friendly service makes good food taste even better!

Atmosphere

There’s not much going on here, but that’s OK. There are things you can get here that you can’t get anywhere else.

There is a smattering of tables and chairs inside and a couple of tables outside. We were early to avoid the lunch rush. We arrived right at 11:00 AM. That was a good thing, too. By the time we left, folks were starting to come in and get their fix of Greek goodness. Most of the patrons were grabbing their food to go.

The place was clean and the people were friendly. That goes a long way toward making the ambience what it ought to be. I can do without silverware on the table.

Price

Great Prices. That’s all I can say. I actually ordered two meals worth of food for just myself! Kristi and I shared it all of course. Most everything was under $7.

Selection

Abbie’s serves a good variety of Mediterranean dishes. There were things on the menu I’d never heard of before today. I didn’t try any of those things, but I’ll be going back. The market portion of the store is a cultural cornucopia. I picked up some legit Arabian coffee. There were imported items from many part of the world. AND this is the only place in America, that I know of, that sells a Ginger Beer similar to what I’ve enjoyed in Kenya and South Africa.

Tastiness

I think you’ve been waiting long enough for this part. Let me begin with telling you what we had. I ate a Humus Pizza and a Greek Gyro. Kristi had an Agur (a big meaty sandwich dressed with blue cheese).

First, the Humus Pizza blew us away. Kristi would have eaten the whole thing by herself if I hadn’t threatened here with my fork! Only kidding about the fork thing. I’m dead serious about the part where she would have eaten it herself! Don’t even ask me what Humus is. Just trust me that it’s super terrific and your tongue will beg for more.

The Gyro (however you say it) was tasty in its own right. It’s wrapped up in a Pita (a thick, delicious tortilla looking thing) and garnished with tzatziki sauce. It’s a yogurt thing and it’s great. For the record. I let Kristi have a bite and she liked it.

I ate half of Kristi’s Agur. It’s a big sandwich tasty deli meats and strong blue cheese. Come hungry if you order one of these. I’m not usually a fan of the blue cheese, but it worked with the combination of deli meats stacked high in a ciabatta bun.

If you get a chance, try the Ginger Beer. It’s STRONG root beer.

We finish the meal off with a couple of kinds of Baklava.




We’ll be eating here often in the future. We’re getting ourselves ready for our upcoming Bible study trip to Greece in September.

We enjoyed ourselves to the MAX today. After eating we rolled right over into Tyrell Park and strolled around. This was a great. For all of you SETX folks, Abbie’s is a worthy eating place. Stop by and fill up. Take your date over to the park and smell the roses. And if you forget to pray before your meal, remember the 103rd Psalm when you’ve finished:

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Psalm 103:1

Check out these previous Food Post from our May Excursions:

The Wheelehouse
http://godsgirlies.com/?p=7332

Taqueria Gonzalez
http://godsgirlies.com/?p=7363

Bruce’s Seafood Deli

http://pastorburden.com/?p=1260

Memorial Day Dilemma

Happy Memorial Day Weekend to Everyone!

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As I sit here drinking my Seaport coffee and enjoying my apple fritter, I’m struck by one of the most pressing questions a long weekend presents: What am I going to cook?

There are a few criteria I must follow.

1. It has to be cooked outside. Thankfully, it’s shaping up to be a beautiful Memorial Day weekend.

2. It has to be cooked outside on the Big Green Egg. This should be a given.

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It’s a glorious sight!

3. It has to be a meal cooked outside in the Big Green Egg that is worthy of the occasion.

Here’s what I mean: It wouldn’t be fitting make grilled cheese sandwiches for Memorial Day. We are, after all, remembering our soldiers who gave their life in battle.

Regardless of what is cooked, thanks will be given for the freedom we are blessed with.

I hope you will join me this weekend in expressing gratitude to God for those who gave their lives for the cause of freedom. When you see a veteran, thank them for the portion of their life they dedicated to the great country.

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God Bless America