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Showing posts from September, 2016

Renee’s Lebanese Kitchen: Baked Kibbeh or Kibbeh in a Tray

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Kibbeh is Lebanon’s national dish: a combination of lean mince meat, cracked wheat, and spices. Traditionally you could hear the sound of the the Lebanese village cook pulverising the meat in a mortar and pestle all day long. Today, the meat grinder or food processor does a pretty good job.

Served with a tossed salad or, better still, tabouli, kibbeh is a real treat - piping hot or cold out of the fridge. It can be served as a ‘football’ but this recipe is kibbeh baked in a tray.
Kibbeh Base
1 1/4 cup fine cracked wheat (also known as burghul - for the gluten intolerant, use corn couscous) 350 grams very lean lamb, finely ground 3 Tablespoons diced onions 2 Tablespoons chopped mint leaves 2 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoons pepper 1/2 teaspoons allspice
Wash cracked wheat and set aside for 45 minutes to drain thoroughly.
The lamb meat must be finely ground until its pulverised. Either do so in your own machine or obtain from a Middle East butcher (in a pinch, you can use extra lean lamb or beef from…

On the Edge Part 03: How Democracy Is Undermined in the West

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We live in a time of populist revolts which, among other things, are the result (or cause) of political instability. There have been ‘shock election results’ in 2015, the unexpected vote for BREXIT in Britain, the rise of Donald Trump in the US and of right-wing parties in Europe.
It is our conviction that the erosion of democracy in the western world is part of the reason for these political shakings. In the previous article, we look at the ingredients of a truly democratic society (which includes but goes much further than elections). Again, they are
1.Regular elections, free and fair; 2.Rule of Law; 3.Universally recognised human rights; 4.Independent, constitutionally-based judiciary; 5.Free and responsible press; 6.Separation of powers; 7.Balance of power; 8.Separation yet equal respect of church and state; 9.Basic moral foundations.
Yet, these important pillars are being attacked across the world. This is especially true of ‘free speech,’ which is being assaulted by political correctness a…

There Was No King in Israel: Why Study the Book of Judges?

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It was the best of times and the worst of times. The children of Israel, liberated from Egyptian bondage and dwelling in the land of promise, should have been enjoying the blessings of God, living under their own vines and fig trees. Instead, they faced cycles of backsliding, carnality, followed by repressive foreign occupation.
When they woke up to their sin, Israel called out to God, who sent them a human deliverer called a ‘judge.’ Once the judge delivered the nation from their oppressors, Israel remained faithful to the LORD as long as the judge lived. Once he or she passed away, then they returned to their old worldly ways.
This pattern, which occurred with nauseating regularity, is the story of the Book of Judges. This book covers a period of over 350 years from the time of Joshua the conqueror until the coming of Samuel, the final judge (who is first mentioned in I Samuel, not Judges).
There are some great stories of deliverance in it, like that of Deborah and Barak, Gideon, Sams…

FROM 'DE FACTO' TO 'DE JURE:’ Part 02

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Finding Legitimacy in an Immoral World
Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.’ --Hebrews 13:4
DE FACTO: Existence without legal or ecclesiastical recognition or sanction.
DE JURE: Existence by right according to law.
Last month we looked at the ever-rising phenomena of de facto relationships, also known as cohabitation. We will explore this topic some more.
Are There Any Benefits to Cohabitation?[i]
Just because something is commonplace and permitted by society does not make it healthy and right. After all, cigarette smoking is legal but it can cost your thousands of dollars a year and have a detrimental effect on your health. Gambling also is legal and look at the trail of trouble and sorrow it leaves. Some claim that a de facto relationship helps prepare a couple for marriage and prevents divorce. Does it? Research suggests otherwise: couples that live in a de facto relationship before marriage are…