Monday, July 25, 2011

American Standard Version "Bible in a Year" Project

I used to read the Bible through every year, back when I had more time for reading paper books!  Of late I've been doing more e-reading.  Most everything I want to read is out of copyright and free on Gutenberg. 
So cool to have a dozen books in a tiny one-hand size gadget.  It's lighter than a book and easier to turn pages, and I can read in bed until I fall asleep, and three minutes later the gadget turns itself off. 

This year I made a Daily Bible Reading file, very simple, just the Bible divided up into 365 chunks.  I've been staying on track so far.  It's a nice feeling to get back to that, I had missed it.

I use the King James version mostly because so many verses are familiar. The wording that sticks in my head is KJV, so it seemed logical to continue to dump more KJV on top of what's already in there to increase the chances of remembering more of it.

My folks were into the Holy Name, saying Yahvah and Yahshua instead of God and Jesus.  I agreed in theory, only it never seemed quite comfortable to me, and I just didn't say it.

Jesus is the English version and English is what we're speaking, here. In English, most of the Ys have morphed into Js, but it's still the same name. And the Holy Name people still use other names for comfort like Peter and John, they don't say Petros and Johannes.  Why not stick with the same language throughout? 

But the name of God-- no argument that our God has a personal name and that it occurs in the Bible six thousand some times. I agree that it wouldn't have been inspired to be written down so many times if God had wanted someone to come along later and censor it for him because they had better taste than he did.

It does say we're supposed to remember the name.  We have to "call on the name of the LORD".  Okay.  And that is--?

At least there are several verses in KJV where Jehovah appears, so that Christians know what the name of their God is even if they're not used to hearing it very often.  You gotta know it before you can call on it.

When I was a child, my mother told me that if there was an emergency, I should call her by her given name.  The problem with that is that in emergencies, we do whatever is ingrained habit.  If the sky was falling I wouldn't have had presence of mind enough to yell anything but "Mom!!!"
That's why I taught my kids from birth upwards to call me Janel.  When the lights go out in Walmart, a lot of kids will yell for their mothers, and mine will be easy to pick out.

A couple weeks ago I was just innocently reading along and something snapped.

Psalm 135:
Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the name of the LORD; praise him, O ye servants of the LORD. Ye that stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God. Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant. For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure. For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.

My brain hit a brick wall! WHAT?  WHAT in all capitals?  WHAT are you talking about?  WHAT is with this substitution?  If it's so important to say over and over, why are we being kept away from WHAT's really there? 

I might have just become a Holy Name person.

I closed the Bible and wouldn't open it again until I got a better version.
Oh, I mean I turned off the reader and deleted the file, until I could get back to my desktop and download a better version  :-)
The solution is right there as a free text file.  It's the American Standard.

Not "New," it's the old, original American Standard, now in the public domain!

Here's the preface to explain the reasoning, and I find this interesting from a historical perspective This was the attitude in America in 1901, before "The Great War" to begin perpetual idiocy, before "The Great Depression" to show 'em who's boss and get their heads focused on Mammon, before the even bigger slaps that were to follow those.


Copied from
"But the American Revisers, after a careful consideration were brought to the unanimous conviction that a Jewish superstition, which regarded the Divine Name as too sacred to be uttered, ought no longer to dominate in the English or any other version of the Old Testament, as it fortunately does not in the numerous versions made by modern missionaries. This Memorial Name, explained in Ex. iii. 14, 15, and emphasized as such over and over in the original text of the Old Testament, designates God as the personal God, as the covenant God, the God of revelation, the Deliverer, the Friend of his people; -- not merely the abstractly "Eternal One" of many French translations, but the ever living Helper of those who are in trouble. This personal name, with its wealth of sacred associations, is now restored to the place in the sacred text to which it has an unquestionable claim."
In 1963 the New American Standard Version came out, with new American values imposed.  Check out their New American reason for putting "LORD" back in the text again, obscuring God's name from New American eyes.  Was it because they discovered it wasn't really meant to be written there?  No. Was it a divine revelation that God doesn't care any more whether we call him by name or not?  Nope!

YHWH (rendered as "Jehovah" in the original ASV) is rendered LORD or GOD in capital letters in the NASB. The committee stated the reason as: "This name has not been pronounced by the Jews because of reverence for the great sacredness of the divine name. Therefore it has been consistently translated LORD..."
And I've never been much of a fan of changing truth to suit special interest groups.

For the rest of us, there's the internet, with the full text to download for free!

I set about portioning up the document again for my daily reading convenience.  I spread the Psalms and Proverbs around a bit, similar to the way the One-Year Bible does.  I didn't do anything so scientific, only broke up the long chapters and added those sections in after each Old Testament portion, ending with Malachi.  In my opinion the very beginning of the Bible (with its summer-movie action sequences) and the New Testament are the funnest parts to read in large chunks, so I mixed the Psalms and Proverbs with the parts in between.

As of yesterday, July 24th, I caught back up with the right date and I'm on track.

So far, I've been enjoying the ASV text very much. 
What a relief it is from that coy small-capitals "LORD"!
Here "Lord" only occurs in the text where it means lord, and it's in regular letters.

Re-reading Psalm 135 is like a breath of fresh air. 

Praise ye Jehovah. Praise ye the name of Jehovah; Praise him, O ye servants of Jehovah, Ye that stand in the house of Jehovah, In the courts of the house of our God. Praise ye Jehovah; for Jehovah is good: Sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant. For Jehovah hath chosen Jacob unto himself, And Israel for his own possession. For I know that Jehovah is great, And that our Lord is above all gods.
Here's my document for download... American Standard Bible Reading Project

Friday, July 8, 2011

Chocolate Coconut Bars

It doesn't get any easier than this and DELICIOUS!!!

It was so easy because we cheated a little on the recipe  :-)
We didn't have any eggs, so we only baked the crust by itself in the oven, then mixed up cream cheese like for frosting, mixed in the coconut and spread it on there, then melted the chocolate in a pan.  It's not easy spreading melted choc chips on top of frosting so it looks a little messy  :-) 

Here's the original recipe:

Chocolate Coconut Bars

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Beat together butter and sugar
Add eggs and vanilla, mix well
Stir in flour and baking powder

Pour into greased 13x9 baking pan
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup flaked coconut

In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and egg until smooth; stir in coconut. Spread over crust.

Bake at 375° for 10-15 minutes or until cream cheese mixture is set.
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts

Immediately sprinkle with chips. Let stand for 5 minutes; spread melted chips over the top. Sprinkle with nuts. Cool completely before cutting.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Karen's latest car scribble

The silly gadget actually saved the jpg file properly this time instead of scrambling it  :-)  

Monday, July 4, 2011

Review of Grain Mills: Country Living, Family and Lehman's Best

(Written in 2004)

I bought a Family Grain Mill first, because I liked the name, the "easy-turning" claim, and it was cheap. It did turn very easily, yes, but the flour was coarse. It made really good bread, but you cannot make cookies or pie crust out of it. The brownies I made fell apart and pie crust was impossible. If I ran the flour through twice or three times, it would start to turn into what I would describe as fine flour. I sent it back, and paid $30 shipping both ways to find out the hard way that "fine flour" is the coarsest kind of flour, just like "large" is the smallest size of clothes dryer. If you want a large dryer, you have to buy a "super-capacity", and if you want fine flour, you have to search the description for modifiers like "powder-fine flour".

Then Lehmans had their Christmas sale on their "Lehman's Best" mill with both iron and stone burrs for less than the price the mill usually is, so I bought one. Drawbacks I noticed right away-- the design of the clamp is so deep that you need at least a 2" lip on your counter or it won't fit.  And the grain hopper is a huge plastic thing that just rests in a receptacle-- one bump of an elbow and you've got five cups of wheat all over the floor!
Then I cranked the handle. Around two times and I knew I had another mistake on my hands. It's nothing a Clydesdale couldn't handle! It's like, *heave*, up one side, *grunt* down the other, *hurg* up this side again, *haul* down the other. I did some experimentation, and discovered that with the stone burrs and the right setting, I could produce what it was fair to say was "fine flour", with only as much effort as the average aerobic workout or shoveling of snow. I'd be in a sweat after five minutes, and take five minutes to rest; go again another five, and just think about what fine arm muscles I was building, and upper-body strength's a thing most women need more of, isn't it? After only forty-five minutes, I'd have five or six cups of flour for bread-- if the kids hadn't distracted me before that time. Forty-five minutes is rather long for Mother to be off the scene, and there's no way any of the kids could do the cranking. The kids had really enjoyed turning the Family Grain Mill, and watching the flour pour out!   They tried to crank this one and were not able to.  I have three year old twin boys, and if one of them would hang his entire weight on that handle it would go down slowly, but he certainly couldn't get it back up the other side. So I had to watch their disappointment as well as my own! Another thing-- the stone burrs weren't solid stone, and they were still shedding little rocks even after I'd put multiple batches of flour through the machine. My husband had just had his first broken tooth, so he wasn't in the mood for finding rocks in his bread. He insisted I use the iron burrs, but with iron burrs it's even harder and the flour is even coarser.  At least the Family Grain Mill had had a steel blade, and made good bread!  I was wishing I had kept it, while the second expensive mistake sat there on the counter. 

Third option, the Country Living Mill.  I'd heard nothing but good things on the internet, so I ordered one. It was quite a bit too much money for me, especially after I'd wasted $60 on the two-way shipping of the previous two mistakes. But I want a hand mill, I've wanted one for a long time. I told my long-suffering husband that I promised to be happy with this one, and it would definitely be the last mill and I would keep it. When it arrived I was almost afraid to set it up. But I did, and it was perfect! With the plates as tight as they arrived, the flour was as soft and fine as baby powder. I couldn't believe it. I loosened them a partial turn, and still the flour was extremely fine and soft, much softer than Lehman's stone burrs, and with the power bar on, it was extremely easy to turn. That handle is so BIG and easy to grab! You don't have to grip the handle hard, which is easier on the wrists. I can push it around by holding the handle lightly.  One of the three-year-olds climbed up on a chair and started cranking, and he was able to do it.

To test the speeds I'd been reading about on the net, I started cranking in a comfortable but steady fashion with one eye on the clock, and got three cups in six minutes, beautiful fine flour too. This means to make six cups for my usual bread recipe, I'll have to stand there for twelve minutes. That is doable.

My daughter stood there flipping through a catalog with one hand, cranking with the other, and pretty soon we made cookies out of the flour. When we came in from outdoors and I paused to clean up the entryway, I said, "Go crank some flour!" and by the time I came to the kitchen, there was enough for the waffles. This is COOL. I made bread and muffins, then needed more flour for putting in the casserole so I hopped over there and turned for one and a half minutes-- fresh flour.

There are two unexpected surprises with having this mill clamped to my counter. #1, that hopper on top is raised from the counter and steady, not wiggly like the other ones, so I've started setting my spiral recipe book on top of it.  That way it's up at a handy level for reading and out of the way of the stuff on the counter, safe from being spilled on. #2, the mill is a visitor-magnet. People who wander into the kitchen usually end up leaning against the counter being in the way, but they can't resist the uniqueness of the hand mill, and end up cranking the handle, making admiring exclamations and making flour for me. So I get a lot of flour I didn't crank, and the idle hands are doing something useful and staying out of the cookie dough.

So I am happy. I LIKE this thing. It's a beautiful mill, country-looking and old-fashioned, yet sturdy and streamlined at the same time. Fine flour. Easy to turn. Gets the job done quick. I'd say it's worth the money I spent for it AND the money I spent on the shipping of the other two-- because in the end, I have a really superior product that is perfect in every way!