The wise way to eat a marmot

A couple in Mongolia recently ate raw marmot meat, which is apparently a thing in Mongolia.  It is believed to be a health boost by the locals.  (A marmot is a rodent, sort of like a woodchuck or large squirrel.  I prefer them braised or fricasseed, but that’s just me.)  The couple contracted bubonic plague and died — which I think we can all agree is pretty much the opposite of “a health boost.”

The resulting quarantine held up the lives of 118 locals and tourists for six days.  The danger appears to be over now, so our family vacation to Mongolia is back on.  Get back to packing, girls.

Read More

Rabbits, eggs, and the Lord's day

Rabbits and eggs are in great abundance this time of year.  And anyone who knows anything about the history of Easter knows why.  They are symbols of fertility.  The spring equinox has always been celebrated as the time that the earth is in full recovery from winter.  The earth has come back from the dead, as it were.  The pagans, who saw the earth as an entity to be worshiped, turned the equinox into an opportunity for revelry — and, typically, debauchery.  (Children, if you don’t know what “fertility” and “debauchery” mean, ask your parents.)  The Catholic church incorporated local pagan worship traditions as it spread throughout Europe many centuries ago.  Thus, the celebration of the rebirth of the earth became the celebration of the risen Lord.  (The Greek word in Acts 12:4 rendered “Easter” by the King James Version translators is the same word rendered “Passover” every other time it occurs.)

Personally, I like rabbits.  And I absolutely love eggs. 

Read More

My gift to Jesus

This time of year, most of us have cultural, familial, and guilt-induced obligations to bestow gifts on various ones near and (to one degree or another) dear to us.  For the Hammons family, thankfully, our holiday shopping is just about concluded.  (I deceive.  Apologies.  Tracie’s holiday shopping is just about concluded.)

But I keep hearing talk about Jesus being “the reason for the season.”  I like Kylie’s response to that saying — “That’s ridiculous,” she says.  “Jesus is the reason for everything.”  (They do make you proud, don’t they?) 

Read More