Five things Friday roundup: Reading with new eyes

Ingredients for a Citrus Chili Oil from the cookbook All Under Heaven by Carolyn Phillips. Photo by Leann Augsburger. Ingredients for a Citrus Chili Oil from the cookbook All Under Heaven by Carolyn Phillips. Photo by Leann Augsburger.

Hot fragrant chili oil plays hide and seek with your tastebuds, and loosens your tongue to speak a word, any word you know, in Chinese, in gratitude.

1. Citrus Chili Oil with Black Beans. ingredients 

The house is fragrant with the crisp odors of this amazing condiment from All Under Heaven, the award-winning cookbook of 35 cuisines of China written by Carolyn Phillips, Leann’s co-adventurer in Taiwan (1976-78). We made it to complete the recipe for sesame noodles, but it transforms fried rice, and accents the flavors of newly imagined combinations. Think of orange, lemon, garlic, chili, sesame, ginger, fermented black beans all in perfect harmony in a drop of oil. If you cannot go to China, please let China come to you.

2. The Harvard Magazine gives credit where credit is due but not requested.

The recognition well deserved goes to Howard Zehr, for going back to the wisdom of his spiritual forebears to create a platform for his ground-breaking work on Restorative Justice. What began as a challenge to the payback forms of retributive justice has become a cross disciplinary movement for redemptive responses that work. Injury felt or evil done do not demand the old retaliatory answers. Changing Lens performed my third cataract surgery, and it peeled the eyes of my soul. Read the article, read Howard, read your world with new eyes.

3. Olly Olly Oxen Free.

Did you shout this to end “Hide and Seek” or “Kick the Can”? Our Bible study at Peace Mennonite Church last Sunday followed the Christian Century article by Timothy Jones on the first and last prayers of the Bible. Adam’s defense, “I was afraid, I was exposed, I hid,” led into a discussion of “Hide and Seek” as a primary model of spiritual game playing, Does God say, “Ready or not, here I come?” This reminded us of the catchphrase for declaring a truce at the end of a stalemate when someone could not be found, “Olly Olly Oxen Free!” Everyone shouts. “All ye, all ye, the game is over.” Can we learn to do this in the church?

4. “There are Known Knowns, things we know we know. There are Known Unknowns, things we do not know. But there are also Unknown Unknowns, what we don’t know we don’t know.”

The thinking of Donald Rumsfeld, the architect of the Iraq war, left us his favorite epigrams to mull over in his memory as we said goodbye to him last week, How do we go about grieving where he led us and the deaths in which we too were complicit? Mercy. Lord have mercy upon us.

5). “The foolish man built his house upon the sand,” children sing.

Jesus’ warning seems so clear in every child’s sandbox. But not to adults who invest millions and multiply them by setting high rise buildings on hundred-foot pilings. “Sand spits are not meant to be developed”, Floridians are saying this week. One man is opined, “As far as I’m concerned, it’s greed. It’s the nature of America.” Every morning the count creeps higher, and prayers of lament and sad tears for devastated families link us to Surfside. This week, a first survivor, a black cat from the ninth floor.

David and Leann Augsburger

David and Leann Augsburger are two semiretired people (CA school psychologist, Fuller Seminary professor) who co-lead a home-based church (Peace Mennonite Church,Claremont, California) and volunteer to welcome, care and connect people in the San Gabriel valley. Read More

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