Category Archives: Chocolate

Is chocolate filling my God-shaped hole?

Biscoff Gourmet

WARNING: Like any good chocolate–which contains 60% cocoa–this post contains 60% tongue-in-cheek humor, and has been produced from a place they may be associated with nutz nuts.

So, about Chocolate…
Recently, I’ve asked myself the questions, “Can I see God past my love of chocolate?” and “Am I stuffing chocolate into the so-called “God-shaped void” of my heart?”

It’s. not. so. simple.

First, we have to answer the questions: What is “the heart”? And does this heart “place” have a vacuum (missing spot, hole, etc)?

Okay. No. Let’s talk about the phrasing first.
This “God-shaped hole” phrase could be more viable, in the first place, if God were like a product, and would act predictably as such. If God were a pill, or a tool, or a consumable, then selling him as “the thing that fills us” would work a whole lot better. God could be like sliced bread, or an Apple product.

Don’t get me wrong, God actually is sold this way by folks each day. He’s promised as the only thing to be the perfect fit, the best boyfriend ever, or the one who (like a class president with a Mexican heritage), will “make your wildest dreams come true.”

But how about the brass tacks?
Like Snickers, does God satisfy?

Snickers Purchased Feb. 2005 in Atlanta, GA, USA

Image via Wikipedia

Well, to be honest, I’d have to say “yes”, “no”, and “sometimes”.
Optimally, yes, God does. God has the potential to, but I haven’t seen anyone able to really take him up on all his selling features, and be “satisfied” too consistently–especially during God’s silent times, or terribly rough periods of life. Personally, losing my dad made me feel particularly not satisfied by God. For a long time. This most likely has to do with spiritual immaturity, but I’ve lived long enough to see it as a typical human response.

Though God’s perfect, the reality of the situation brings to bear the bigger question, and probably more important question: What relationship DOES satisfy us? Or, is satisfaction even the point? I’m going to buck the popular belief and say, “No. It is not the point. The situation probably cannon come to resolution this way.”
How do you see it? Maybe I can be better enlightened.

Now, back to the first point: “What is the heart?” The common, and I will add contemporary, understanding of the heart has to do primarily with our emotions, affections, feelings, or loyalties. Do you agree? But, if we consider this meaning was not AT ALL a Biblical understanding of the word “heart,” a whole bunch of things can do a 180º, like K.I.T. in Knight Rider.

Heart, in Hebrew terms, was synonymous with the word “mind”, or the decision center of a person. “Heart” was considered fully tied to the choice of will. So, our phrase, “follow your heart” is a modern day example of the opposite connotation of one’s “heart” in the Bible. With the Greek language, the same understanding remains for the Hebrew understanding: The “heart” is we think of as “the mind”. All those verses, like “The heart is deceitful above all things, who can trust it…” Well, that is speaking about the mind, not that thing that “falls in love” or gets sentimental. WE are deceitful partial by nature and partially by a choice of will. That the blunt accuracy version of the topic.

With this in mind (unfortunate pun #1. Ugh sorry), is there even a “hole” to fill? Do any heart-type voids have more to do with desire, or something of a more fleeting variety? Weigh in on this, if you will. (Pardon unfortunate pun #2.)

In conclusion, can I come to the answer for “‘what chocolate is filling for me”?
No. Unless you allow “empty calories” or “once loose fitting jeans” for answers.

One more question:

Milk or Dark chocolate?

Chocolate

Wilbur Chocolate Company

Image via Wikipedia

What you see here is a cup of “Turbo” and the Dark Chocolate Crepe (filled with mascapone cheese, fresh strawberries & dark chocolate truffle ganache. Served with more strawberries, fresh cream & chocolate drizzle) from Cafe Chocolate in Lititz. I only wish I had more than my poor quality camera phone to capture it.

WHAT AN EXPERIENCE. If church were like this place, well, we’d all go a lot more, and be heavier. Heavier, but probably happier too. Jolly. We’d be jolly.

Their signature beverage is the Turbo. Made with West African %60 chocolate cocoa, frothed with organic milk, and infused with a shot of smooth Espresso. Image a rich, creamy, chocolaty goodness that sort of shoots you into euphoria, on a Japanese magnet propelled train.
Pleasurable? Yes. Think of your best worship experience with God…and then add fudge.
Okay, don’t do that. I think I went over the line there, plus, it’s like comparing apples with oranges, or chocolate bars with communion wafers.

It’s the kind of drink that can make you cry or sing (or in my case, both). Since God made chocolate, it was eventually a worship moment for me.
And thank goodness for smelling salts!

Lititz, Pa is also the home of Wilbur Chocolate, a very superior confectioner, and the now famous yearly Chocolate Walk. With Hershey Chocolate close by, this whole area of Lancaster County is sort of a Mecca for chocolate lovers. Also Sturgis pretzels is there in Lititz; and they boast America’s first commercial pretzel. You can make your own pretzel on their tour, and eat in fresh out of the oven.

Oh happy day! 🙂

HAVE YOU BEEN TO LITITZ?
What is your favorite chocolate goodie?

Nothing says Crucifixion like pastry!

Being Crucified with Christ has never been so Sweet!

Yes, this is “Something Christians Like” in Jon Acuff style… you can’t make stuff like this up.
Besides the Lamb cake, (Lamb of God or maybe spring lamb… the jury is still out. See previous post.) my sis also brought over a Crucifix Pastry. She said a local Catholic-owned bakery in Mt. Lebanon (PA) makes super, delicious products, including religious themed items.

(To be honest, I found it a bit dry. This was remedied by dunking it in good coffee, and soothing myself with chocolate.)

I can’t help but wonder, if Jesus Christ had died by stoning, would it have looked like a pile of stones? Or, if the electric chair had been around…. oh never mind.

What do you think about religious baked goods?
1. No way-Not for me!
2. Not sure.
3. Delicious!
4. Other ___________ (explain)

Speaking in Frystown, Camp Swatara

Really excited to post that I’ll be the speaker, at chapel time in the morning- May 30th, on Memorial Wkd.  at Camp Swatara. This is a wonderful camp for families.

May 29, Saturday a.m.  Kid’s Carnival

May 29, Saturday p.m.  Dreamakers-Family Show

And again July 25th.

benefit car show

Come on out and visit. It’s beautiful at Camp Swatara. Plus, I’ll be building my famous Lasagna Campfire Formation. I’ll bring the marshmallows, you bring the chocolate bars.

2nd Prize- guess riddle 1st to win

 

ipod-retractable wall charger + candies

 

iPOD-CHARGER

retails: $19.99

This goodie is a great for travel, office, or to have as a spare in another spot in your home. The retractable cord makes it very portable, and keeps wires at a complete minimum. This prize makes a thoughtful gift for an iPod user, too. (For a U.S. electrical outlet, candy included.)

The first to correctly answer this riddle wins this prize of February Freebie Month. (Which is how I am celebrating my birthday-like a hobbit.) If you choose, this  gift may be sent to a friend, if you win. 

RIDDLE:

What is often bought by the yard, but worn by the foot?

 

answer


below

 

(carpet: Answered by DEB! Congrats.)


February is Freebie Month-Chocolate Kickoff

(UPDATE 2/5: Lisa Minnich! Congratulations. Chip guessing is YOUR talent. You were the closest with your guess of 68. The answer is 79. It seems the jar was more round then many of you determined.)

 

First treat of February. Guess the # of chocolate chips 1st to win.

 

Hi Everyone,

I love chocolate, so my first giveaway is just that. Twixels is a lot like Twix, this is, if Twix were fortunate enough to be born in New England and go to private school were they wear matching V-neck sweaters with shield patches. (Notice the Triple Chocolate…obviously the preppy type.) The King Size Reese’s speaks for itself. Enjoy the vintage Reese’s commercial below, too. Hey kids, in the 1980’s, teens walked around snacking straight out of peanut butter jars-all the time!


I’m sending out both of these to the FIRST visitor who guesses most closely  to the correct number of chocolate chips in the glass jar. Please, don’t reply on Facebook, just here, in the “leave a comment” section. Happy February! (Note: If you win, this prize may also be sent to a friend.)

Magi Star Gazing: (Jan & Feb) (Party Kit)

January Epiphanies cont.

Many of us don’t brave the cold in January and February to see the constellations.

In January, many people throughout the world celebrate the Visitation of the Magi, who followed a bright star to find the Christ Child. This extends the Christmas Season celebration.

Perhaps we could be more mindful of our surroundings, our place in the universe, and other January Epiphanies if we bundled up at least once during January or February, grabbed a blanket and some hot chocolate, coffee, or Irish coffee, and went out for 10-15 minutes of thoughtful star gazing on a clear night.

That is my challenge to you. But, why not make it a group venture, family activity, or a party? Maybe exchange home made presents or goodies, inexpensive but thoughtful gifts, or white elephant surprises, to Magi it up a bit. If you’d like to include related Scripture readings for your time, try Isaiah 60:3 and Matthew 2:1-12.

Below is a fantastic recipe for slow cooker hot chocolate, plus an image of a star map for January and February–for the Northern Hemisphere, (it’s most accurate during 9-10p.m. Eastern Standard Time.) For Southern Hemisphere, click here. Face in the proper direction, and find the star patterns from the map. Show or teach them to your friends, family, children, or youth group.

And please remember: If it’s cold, dress in layers, a hat, gloves, and warm coat.

Please ~ Let me know how it goes, okay?

Hot Chocolate Ingredients

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 6 cups milk, (or 4 cups milk and 2 cups half and half)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (12 ounce) package milk chocolate chips
  • Garnish:
  • Whipped cream 
  • (other options) Cinnamon, Coconut flakes, Sprinkles, marshmallows, marshmallow fluff, Candy canes

Directions

  1. Stir together the whipping cream, milk, vanilla, and chocolate chips in a slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and chocolate chips are melted. Stir again before serving. Garnish with whipped cream or other  garnish, as desired.

If you try this recipe, use this map, or have a good time star gazing soon, I’d LOVE to hear about it. Who says the holidays are over?

Nah!

(Click here for another January Northern Hemisphere sky map resource)

Star Map for Northern Hemisphere (Jan & Feb)