With Lent approaching, we’re returning to the Lectionary. I cheated ahead a week to Transfiguration Sunday this past week because we won’t have liturgy on the real Transfiguration Sunday.

Before we got to the Transfiguration bit, I disagreed with the majority of believing USAmericans who think God helps Russell Wilson win football games…

The Only Proper Way to Eat a Bagel

Repent of your former ways

Our house is gluten-free. I am not. When I’m out somewhere and eating something that wouldn’t find it’s way into our home, I make the most of it.

Let’s talk bagels, for example. Here’s how you should eat them:

  1. The bagel should be sliced and toasted. This isn’t a donut. It needs some crunch, some crisp, and a doubling of the eating time and pleasure. If the effect of the toasting isn’t visible, it should be toasted some more until it is.
  2. The bagel should have some kind of savory something adhering to the top. It shouldn’t be sweet stuff — again, this isn’t a donut. I want to see onions or garlic on there at the very least. Really, it should an everything bagel or don’t bother.
  3. There should be a good spreadable cream cheese. It should not be light and it should not have any other flavors or specks of stuff in it. Cream cheese.
  4. Go ahead and spread the cream cheese on both halves. It should be evenly divided, but some variance is okay, up to 51-49.

The next steps get super important, so pay attention.

  1. Eat the top first. I used to think I was wise by eating the bottom first, so that the top with all of it’s everything sprinkled goodness was waiting for me. Delayed gratification, I thought. Those around me would admire what a good person I was. I was deluded.
  2. As you eat the top, take care to eat it over your plate, like your mother taught you. As you eat it over your plate, take care to eat it over the bottom portion that’s already smeared with cream cheese.
  3. As you are eating the top, take appropriate delight in noting how the everything bits that are dropping off as you eat are falling on to the bottom where they are being captured by the cream cheese. It used to be, in my former ways, that I would eat the bottom, and then the top, and be left with a plate full of bits of goodness. There was no proper way to eat these, and they were lost to humanity forever.
  4. Once you have finished the top, eat the bottom, again with appropriate delight, as you experience an extra measure of everything goodness with each bite.

You’re welcome.

Enjoyed preaching this series so very much. Unfortunately, this recording didn’t capture the highlight of it, which was hearing people from our church community describe the ways they were exploring how to practice Sabbath in their life.

I don’t know that there are any Sundays where I don’t find joy in preaching, but there’s been an extra serving in these as we’ve considered Sabbath as a practice for those in Austin Mustard Seed.

Throughout 2015, we are going to spend time learning and leaning into each of our core practices in Austin Mustard Seed: sabbath, hospitality, and vocation. We begin with Sabbath, which I kicked off yesterday with a survey of how it was developed in the Old Testament.

I didn’t start the Sermonsmith podcast just so I’d have an excuse to talk to friends, but it sure helps. Time spent with Jim is always well spent, and this conversation just proved to me that it’s the same over Skype as it is in person.

Seven Podcasts I Subscribe To

Six of them I'd recommend to you

alton_browncastAlton Browncast
Alton Brown is known for clever and thoughtful shows on Food Network, and his podcast is clever and thoughtful as well. It is primarily interviews, and most of them with people in a food related profession, but not all. But Alton is clever and thoughful enough that I enjoy listening to him to talk about anything, it seems. This is one of the handful of shows I’ll at least start listening to every episode.

I’ve talked to both David and Katie a few times though I’ve never met either in person. But listening to MPU makes me feel like I’m hanging out with friends who give me new ideas and knowledge at the same time. That’s time well spent.

podcast_methodPodcast Method
This is a new one by fellow Austinite Dan Benjamin. Dan is a regular old podcasting magnate, and he knows a thing or two about how to do it. If you’re thinking about podcasting, start here.

If you’re already a podcast listener you might at least be familiar with Startup. It is an almost real-tme podcasted chronicle of a startup for a new podcasting company. I appreciate the narrative nature of it vulnerability of how the process plays out.

I think the indie nature of podcasting means that we get to hear people talk about real things apart from the agenda or promoting such and such that comes in more mainstream media. This is as true with Mark Maron’s podcast as anywhere. I don’t listen to all, but if he has a guest I’m familiar with I appreciate the keen insight into what makes them tick.

holmesYou Made it Weird
I suppose Pete Holmes’ podcast is in a similar vein to WTF, though the conversations take a little bit different tone. Of most interest to my pastoral self is how Pete likes to explore people’s spiritual views and sometimes at least, how they got to them.

feederJohn’s Personal Podcast
You can’t listen to this one because it’s personal, but I’ll tell you about it so maybe you can have your own. I’ve long had a Mac app called Feeder that makes it easy to generate a podcast feed by dragging a file and pressing publish. It took a wee bit of technical setup, but it’s handy for other audio I find, whether captured recordings of lectures, audiobooks, or whatever else I find.