We love soup! RE-POSTED

Thursday 7 December: Somehow this post came up as a draft (not daft) in my index. Some of you saw it, maybe others did not. In any case, here it is again. New one coming on Saturday.

Featured image: Along M-60, west toward Three Rivers, Michigan, 11-27.

Cornwall Cogitation (North America) #10 Saturday 2 December 2017   “We Love Soup!” shouts Soup Surreal in a glossy postcard, as well as with a cheery welcome in their store.

Soup Surreal is a tiny but amply provisioned café in Stratford, Ontario. They offer a daily rotation from around 40 hot take-out or eat-in soups, as well as take-home frozen soups. Just the thing while doing errands in Stratford a week and a half ago; half a sandwich and a bowl of Carrot Ginger. Yum!

“When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure an Adventure is going to happen.” A.A. Milne, Winnie-the=Pooh. Photo from D and D Café, Tavistock, Ontario. Boots on!.

On the lunch adventure trail

On Thursday we had lunch with Marty’s sister, Doris, at St. James Restaurant in the village of Avilla, Indiana. Broasted chicken, coleslaw and German potato salad, yes! St James is northern Indiana’s oldest restaurant, established in 1878, as their website will tell you: http://www.stjamesavilla.com.

From the 22 November Toronto Star comes a recipe in a feature on “Ways to avoid a sad desk lunch.” It’s for a curried chickpea salad. “Mix some curry powder and fresh lemon juice into mayo. Stir in drained chickpeas, grated carrot, chopped celery and some sliced green onions. Spoon into a container and top with a large handful of arugula. Mix everything together just before eating.” I’d give it a go, even without a desk.

And while I’m at it, the Times Herald of Port Huron, Michigan (21 November) on its front page ran a story of the opening in December of a new steak and seafood restaurant on the Black River downtown, called Blackfish. Intriguing, a future stop.

In the same paper I learned that on 1 December crews would be breaking ground for Detroit’s tallest skyscraper, to be built on the site of the former J.L. Hudson department store. The 68-story, 800-foot-tall tower will have apartments, retail, food, office, and exhibition space.

Again, in the same paper, there’s this telling title: “Only 1 in 10 Americans eating enough fruits or veggies, study finds.” Lay low on French fries, I tell myself.

Topics not directly addressed

Over the course of 121 blogs I’ve largely, but not entirely, avoided addressing my cogitations on the troubles of a wounded world. I read about them, talk about them, pray about them, but have not felt compelled to engage them directly in this blog.

Happily, I see people dressing these wounds in the pulpit, stage, books, art, music, conversation, and, yes, print media.

I’m refreshed and inspired by what Scripture reveals concerning the human condition. I just read Killing Enmity: Violence and the New Testament, by Thomas R. Yoder Neufeld (Baker Academic, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2011).

At the risk of giving away the ripe fruit of a plot that wrestles intensely with the “vexatious issue of violence,” here’s a quote from the conclusion of this searching, challenging book: “In various ways and in a variety of contexts the writers of the New Testament insist that the ministry, teaching, death and resurrection of Jesus, and the deliberate, defiant and creative vulnerability of his followers, are the victory over and not of violence.”

I appreciate the repeated emphasis Yoder Neufeld gives to surprise as the essential element of the good news. And to the focus he gives that “when struggling with the question of violence in the New Testament we wrestle with the full humanity of the community of listeners and wrestlers. (akin to Jacob’s wrestling in the night, Gen. 32, and in the morning, limping, yet affirming, “I have seen God face to face.”

In his discussion of how Revelation is variously read, Yoder Neufeld writes, “Every probe we have taken in our investigation presupposes that God remains the sovereign judge before whom all, including the greatest empires and the powers behind them, are answerable. At the same time, every one of our soundings has also shown that there is a great mystery to the intrusion of God into the affairs of humanity, also in judgement, a mystery residing in the love of a Creator of his creation, in both the persistent and ingenious drive to reconcile, and the equally baffling patience of give it time. No system can accommodate such dynamic sovereignty. . . . The blindness of Christians to their own complicity in the violence of imperial power is not, I would argue, because Revelation is read as John intended but because it is not.”

I hope this very partial glimpse from Killing Enmity does no violence to the whole but may  stir some to seek it out. More than that, let us see more of God actions and God’s care for the world in each others faces.

Sage advice

One more thing to underscore from recent reading. The Globe and Mail on Monday had an insert, Your Guide to Charitable Giving and Estate Planning.

One of the mistakes people make in estate planning is not considering their legacy,  writes Keith Thomson. He differentiates between traditional estate planning with its focus on money and that of planning driven by “life’s most important treasures: relationships and values.”

Thomson asks his audiences to name their great-grandmother. Almost two-thirds cannot come up with their great-grandmother’s first name. What do we know about our great-grandmothers, whom did they love, what were their values and what brought significance to their lives?

The $64,000 question is: How and by whom will we be remembered? That’s legacy.

Thomson quotes another source, Mike Murdock, with the clearest bell ringing I’ve heard in some time. Murdock said, “You will be remembered for two things: the problems you solve or the ones you create.” I say Bravo! but I have to sit back and take that statement to heart.

Doris’ young cat, Snuggles, is developing quite a vocabulary; wondering why I take so long to catch on.

Getting set for Christmas

The placemats at St. James Restaurant feature scenes from old Christmas cards.
Blow a ton of glad tidings angelic trumpeter.
Sing in the spirit of Christmas a message of hope and cheer–and of a present tucked under the tree.

Sunset photos from our travel home on Monday 27 November

Sundown along Michigan 60. Taken travelling about 60mph, Marty driving.
Along M-131, south of Three Rivers, Michigan.
Along M-131.

A walk Friday swishing through Boot Lake County Park in Elkhart County

Friday was such a lovely day for boots on. Year to end of November we’ve walked more than 1400 miles.

Southbound Sandhill Cranes at Boot Lake create quite a stir with flapping wings and trumpeting calls.

Adventures, real and surreal, are happening all around. Enjoy!


Moon from our deck, Friday, hand held shot with point and shoot camera. Super moon appears Sunday.


One thought on “We love soup! RE-POSTED

  1. Hello John,

    Soup Surreal…what a great name! I looked up Avilla, Indiana since I wasn’t familiar with it. I see it is a little southeast of Shipshewana and north of Fort Wayne. Nice that you and Marty had lunch with Doris at the oldest restaurant in northern Indiana. Killing Enmity sounds like a good book!




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