Sunday, February 03, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Tea

This is Superbowl Sunday in the United States.  Which means a great deal of the population will watch grown men running into each other to stop another from tackling the quarterback to prevent a small pigskin (do they still use pigskin?) from crossing a line or flying between two poles... while eating buffalo wings... and waiting for the new commercials.

To be honest, unless the Chicago Bears are in it, I don't pay a lot of attention. Although football is my favorite sport to watch on TV with my husband.  Except I also like to watch skiing.  Neither of which I'd want to actually DO mind you.

As my family knows... my idea of a ski trip has always been being curled up next to a fireplace... sipping hot chocolate and discussing Schaeffer with Sven.  But I digress...

Did you know there is a shortage of chicken wings, caused by the drought and the fact each chicken only provides two appendages?   Due to the shortage, the price of chicken wings has risen steeply.

Now, I enjoy chicken wings, myself.  Albeit not the hot wings my son and his friends can scarf down by the dozen but a bowl full of tangy Asian wings... yum.  But when a shortage of the appetizers makes the national news, that is something else.

I remember when chicken wings were the least wanted part of the chicken at the dinner table, with the possible exception of the neck (which I use for stock, anyway).  Chicken wings were cheap, one could purchase a huge package of them for making soup... which I did quite often.

I still can't wrap my thinking around the price I see on the package these days, when a package of wings can cost as much (or more) than a whole chicken. Not to mention the cost of the wings if they have already been prepared and all one must do is pop them in a 400 degree oven.

What does any of this have to do with Sunday Tea?

Well, this has been part of my pondering this week.  I've been thinking of how our Culture can assign a value to an object or a person.  

Like chicken wings...

If my mother were alive and walked into a grocery store today, she'd think people were crazy spending so much money on a piece of chicken with so little meat... one would think they would at least use chicken legs... buffalo chicken legs... has a ring to it.

In the long run, the price of chicken wings has little to do with my life.  However, the value Culture has placed on other aspects of life... or taken away... has a great affect on all of us.

Some of the changes are just silly.  For instance, I was watching a cooking show recently when the chef answered a letter from a viewer who scolded him on using salt in his cooking.  She never used salt for everyone knows how bad it is for you!  

This came in the same week I had been reading in An Everlasting Meal about the importance of salt to our cooking.  Remember... salt was once held in so much value by the Culture that soldiers were paid in salt, thus the term... "worth his salt".   Jesus valued salt, he reminded us we are to be the "salt of the earth".

Salt has become an enemy because of its' misuse by the food industry where excess cheap sodium is added to the extreme for flavor.  Think of the difference between Campbell's chicken noodle from Mother's homemade chicken soup.

When the Culture cannot differentiate between normal and excess... we are in trouble.  What is the result?  A government now deciding how large a drink can be sold at McDonald's and what our children can eat while at school.

Have you ever read a women's magazine from the mid-1960s and prior years?  The value of homemaking was very prevalent in those magazines.   Even if a wife had no children at home, no one ever thought twice of her enjoying making a home for her husband.

By the time I graduated from high school, young women were told they could "bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan" and thus began the Culture's value on women who worked long hours at the office.  It took awhile for us to realize we were still expected to clean the house and make dinner, thus it was also the beginning of women who were always exhausted!

Now, some differences in Culture have been good for if one reads a Dicken's novel... one sees how the poor were treated, including children.  The movie Amazing Grace showed us the process of changing a Culture which accepted slavery.

I will always be thankful to those who took part in the Civil Rights Movement, thus changing the Culture for good.  I remember reading Condoleezza Rice's autobiography A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family, and Me and being appalled that such discrimination occurred in this country.  She shows so well how she was taught not to hate in spite of living in the most segregated city in America.

Have you ever watched a newscast about a stamp selling for a million dollars and you stop to think of the fact it is just a sliver of paper with a little glue?  But Culture has assigned a high value upon it.

All this to ask myself... what do I value?  

I am constantly having to remind myself that Culture's approval is not necessarily Truth.  For a matter of fact, I have been known (and my daughter does the same) to purchase a book because it has bad reviews on Amazon... we just look to see who is giving the bad reviews.  ;)

We live in a Culture today in which those of us who hold to Biblical Values find ourselves constantly swimming upstream.  The Media makes every attempt to make us feel silly, out of touch, stupid, uninformed, and ignorant.  They understand if one hears the same thing over and over they may believe it.

Now more than ever we must make a decision to embrace what Schaeffer called "true Truth".  As we watch the news or listen to well known talk shows, we must be aware that the Culture in which we live has greatly shifted from Biblical Truth.   Oprah alone has redefined truth to many people who were not anchored in what is Truth.

Over the years... a little at a time... a comedy here and a drama there and a documentary thrown in... morning talk shows and books read by college students... have changed Culture.

The increased price in chicken wings is but a small inconvenience in the overall scope of life and death and everything that comes in between.  I'm willing to let the formerly unappreciated poultry pieces have their season of glory.  They are a wonderful canvas for delicious sauces of all kinds, after all.

But on more important matters like how the media wants to teach my children what is Truth and what is of Value and what is Wisdom and Whom we are to follow... I plan to be Salt as He commanded.  Tell that to the food police!

We all need to ask how we can affect the Culture for Him.  

From the high school or college student to the Grammie who has time to pray for those in power as well as her family... we all can do something each day!

I remember a well known woman who worked in a Christian organization being asked why she works so hard when it seems impossible to stop the downfall of society.  She said that we may not stop it but at least we can work hard to slow it down.  That's something to ponder...


suzanne said...

oh how i look forward to "sunday afternoon tea"! and brenda, you never disappoint or fail to bring important truths to light. if there's one thing we women should continue to fight against in the Culture, it is the de-value of our roles in the family. thanks for saying it so beautifully!!

becka said...

Thank you for your post today, Brenda. Your writings are always a blessing to me. I remember when we were first married (in the 70's) chicken wings were 19 cents a pound. I would often buy them for making soup to help stretch our $23 a week food budget. :)

MistyK said...

I love this! You're exactly right. Now, off to find some drumsticks for the festivities of the game--er, I mean, commercials! :-)

Echoes From the Hill said...

Among your many thought provoking blog entries, I think this may be one of the best!

My Cottage Diary said...

This was wonderful Brenda! Have a blessed week! Bess

Thoughts for the day said...

I have never understood why people like chicken wings, there is nothing on them and they are not worth the time it takes to cook them. Now give me small homemade chicken nuggets or chicken legs fried crunchy, that is yummy.
I am not excited about the game will go with hubby to see it at his sisters house but really it doesn't matter who wins. Give me a good basketball game and I will join the guys... and cheer.

Anonymous said...

How about the prices of skirt steak going up because people started loving fajitas? Or London broil which used to be thought of as tough and low priced...Silly isn't it... Next neck bones will go up???

Oh how relevant your post was today! What was wrong and really was, years ago is now considered normal. Even if one does not believe in the Biblical 10 commandments I do not see why they can't be used as a basis for life. But oh no! They are In The Bible. So a no no. I say Yes Yes!! People take what is said to them over and over in the media as truth. THINK For YOURSELVES! PLEASE!!! Your post was wonderfully written. I know you did it with prayer. Sarah

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...


Oh, I could hug you! Brilliant are so right about how culture assigns value - and how culture has changed over the years.


Heather L. said...

Thanks for your comment and prayers for Laura! Don't worry about getting around to email. I know exactly the feeling and pressure. When we get around to writing, we will get around to it! Hoping for a little time to borough (is that the right word?) at home this week with the snow....

Front Porch Grace said...

"We live in a Culture today in which those of us who hold to Biblical Values find ourselves constantly swimming upstream. The Media makes every attempt to make us feel silly, out of touch, stupid, uninformed, and ignorant. They understand if one hears the same thing over and over they may believe it."

Yes. Thus we should be vigilant to make certain our minds, and our children's minds, are being renewed daily in the Word. Feeding daily on the Bread of Life strengthens us to know and recognize truth and confront culture instead of conforming to culture.

Worthy thoughts, Brenda.

In His Grace,

Anonymous said...

Nice ponderings,Brenda. All we can do is try to change things for the better in our own little corners of the world.
Elizabeth in VA

Lynn said...

Thank you for the post. As I watched Downton Abbey last night -- I confess I also purchased the third season DVD and have watched the whole thing -- I was thinking along these same lines and watching the worldview coming through of the author. Slipping in a little here, a little there. Making that which is evil look good and that which is good look evil. All of the changing values after the war. Very interesting watching it from the author's perspective of today.

Eve said...

This is such a great post! We need God's wisdom AND good old common sense to cut through what our culture has become. Thank you for an excellent reality check.

Bonnie said...

Brilliant, Brenda, just brilliant. So full of truth and wisdom. One of your very best!

Vee said...

Balance is so difficult to achieve. On the one hand we want to hold onto the values we know to be true and on the other, there are some changes that need to be made. Thus it has ever been. You have a wonderful way with an analogy. (I myself am not surprised about the value of chicken wings as, apart from the crispy skin of a baked chicken, they are my favorite. That one little chunk of meat is absolutely delicious. =D (Does anyone know about the "oysters" on the chicken's back? Let's not tell or someone will start selling them for a fortune.)

If you know how to hold back the flood, do tell more. Since November, I've been biding time and I know that that doesn't fit in well with "the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it."