Thursday, August 26, 2010

Things I will not miss in Heaven

Thinking about Heaven and what it will be like is beyond our comprehension. One thing I am certainly not going to miss here on this earth is death. Death does have a sting to those that are left wondering why it happened, or why did it happen today, why did it linger, or why didn't it happen to me? Those are all legitimate questions to ponder about death and sickness. I have a friend who is struggling with cancer, on a constant morphine drip to ease the pain. My wife has a friend who went to sleep last night fine and did not wake up this morning. My Pastor's mom has been in hospice now for 3 weeks going from near death to feeling better and questioning her refusal to take any more chemo. Today is DiDi's birthday. He would have been 77. He was going to bed, made it to the top step and fell over dead.

Death separates us from our friends and loved ones. We know intellectually what has happened, but deep down in our soul it messes with you. Psalm 23 says when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God will be there to comfort and guide. It is interesting to me that it is a shadow. A shadow has no substance, only the absence of light. The valley will eventually run out and be back on high ground or make it to the ocean where there are no more shadows. God also wants us to walk through the valley. He does not want us to run, for running will not take care of your grief. Grief is a timed event in the hearts of men. On the other hand, He does not want you to sit down and wallow in it. That is where His rod comes in to comfort us to get us through today and onto tomorrow.

Now, that first day is bad. The day of the funeral is the worst. The first time you see your loved one in the casket is the absolute worst part. The days will still march on at the same pace as ever. Routines previously established must be modified. Occasions take on new meanings. Places and memories start to take over. The good memories always makes a way to come to the surface and outlast and overshadow the bad memories. Eventually a day turns to 2. 2 days turn to 7. A week becomes a month. Time keeps marching at the rate of 1 second per second.

Heaven on the other hand will see an end to this death we know. There won't be any more sickness, cancer, car wrecks, or old age. Time will stop marching as there will be no need to track a calendar or wristwatch within God's presence. God gives us a glimpse of how great Heaven will be by describing the basest of items in Heaven are made from the greatest treasure of earth, streets made of gold. All of us who have Christ Jesus as our Savior have building plans and a mansion under construction. What we don't know is when we will get to see it. Take heart and be brave. Thank God that he has kept the time of our departure a secret, but has given His chosen a certainty of their final destination.

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Ribs (closing in on perfection)

My recipe was different this weekend. I added a wet sauce to the ribs. I started normally with 3 racks of baby back ribs. I coated them with dry rub (Emeril's Rib Rub) and a hearty dose of paprika. Those went on a cherry wood smoke for 2 hours. My heat got a bit too high and I left them on the smoke a bit too long. The smoke ring was tremendous, almost all the way thru the meat between the ribs. The wood chips I used had been soaking for a week in a bucket. When they dried out, they made some tasty white thick smoke.

At the halfway point (2 hours) I basted the ribs with Sonny's Sweet sauce along with another shaking of rib rub. We found it at Sams this week. It doesn't have any junk in it and tastes real good. (Junk is high fructose corn syrup or MSG). Then I wrapped the ribs in foil and left them alone on top of the fire for 4 hours.

They were falling off the bone and very hard to cut, it was so tender. The wet sauce gave them a good caramel sugar coating of BBQ goodness. Temperature control is important. Too hot too long will put a black burn on the meat that is tough to chew. So keep the temperature in the Ideal setting for all six hours.