Mennonite Hunger Games

latetoeverypartyNot Mennonite? Me either. This kind of makes me sad I’m not.

This is my daughters latest post on her latetoeveryparty blog. I changed the title. Dad’s privilege. Click on her blog to comment or follow.

Mennonite Hunger Games

“About Mennonites: The Book for Outsiders” is coming along nicely. Many people have been sending me their idea’s and insights about their Mennonite heritage.

 One thing I have NOT received is recipes. So out of complete frustration and ignorance, I took liberty and drew some assumptions as to why.

 You know what they say about assumptions…

  Among Mennonite circles any birthday, Christmas,  Easter, engagement or new baby is an excuse for a family gathering. Family gatherings are an excuse to eat.  Forget the reason why the family is gathering, all the focus is on the FOOD. The exception to this is 1 time out of the year when it’s Oma’s birthday. All your thoughts should be on Oma.

 ….And on Jesus Christmas and Easter time….of course…

 Here’s a tiny piece of the chapter rough draft so far.

 The most competitive place in all of Mennonite society (possibly the world) is a Mennonite kitchen. Mennonite women are lovely. However, they are extremely competitive. At an event like a family gathering, these women are all forced into one room where rivals are formed and cut-throat cooking insues. Some Mennonites might not indorse war but with Manno-women, all bets are off in the kitchen.

 The Mennonite Hunger Games. Sort of.

 “How is this possible?” you might ask. “A group of people known for taking  a serious and personally ethical stance for centuries! What would make them willing to put all of that aside?”


 Mennonite women DO NOT share recipes; they carry them into battle. (Weapons usually needed around Christmas, Easter and Birthdays.)

 If you ask Aunt Anna how she made her Schmauntfatt, she’ll innocently smile and sweetly offer,

 “Oh just take a lump of this and smidgen of that, Nah Yo!?”

 Fantastic, another detailed Manno-recipe to add to your collection.

 Don’t trust her.

 Aunt Anna will not give you her full recipe. Everyone loves it. It was passed down by her mother on her death bed, who got it from her mother on her death bed, who got it from her mother right before hopping the last horse and buggy out of Russia. How dare you ask a close family relative for her Schmauntfatt recipe. How. Dare. You.

 Yes, you said your vows and married her favorite nephew.
Of course, Aunt Anna might be the children’s god-mother.
Yes, you gave Aunt Anna one of your kidneys.

 Who cares? The only woman getting their hands on Aunt Anna’s Schmauntfatt recipe is the one who sits beside her during her last few moments on earth.

Other things I’ve included for the outsider about food:

  • The Manno-Food Conspiracy
  • My views on Mennonite Cookbooks
  • The show “Wipeout” Holdeman Style
  • If Oma is sacred, the kitchen is holy ground.

Did sprint steal their rotting-flesh-zombie commercial from God?


Have you seen the Sprint TV Ad, where the guy claims to be “undead?” The girl responds, “Like a zombie.”

“Whoa,” he says, “Let’s not go putting labels on people.”

Then his ear drops off.

Here it is:

It’s right out of Zechariah.

Here it is: Zechariah 14:12 (NLT) And the LORD will send a plague on all the nations that fought against Jerusalem. Their people will become like walking corpses, their flesh rotting away. Their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.

Now that’s not a verse you will find on the First Baptist church marque.

Why not stick the reference on the bottom of your next birthday card and see if anyone looks it up?

Am I reading this wrong, or does the LORD send a zombie plague on a bunch of people who fought against Jerusalem? Is the coming zombie apocalypse something sent from God to stop the bad guys?

This passage in Zechariah is all about the coming of the Messiah to reign on the earth – something that hasn’t happened yet. As a Christian I interpret it as his Second Coming. So, we may yet see zombies. Maybe the lesson is, “Don’t mess with Jerusalem, or your ear may fall off and your eyes rot out.”

If that is true, it would mean that Jesus loves His followers enough to return to rescue all those who believe in Him, that He keeps His promises, and that He is powerful enough to defeat entire modern-day armies with a simple plague.

But who cares? We want zombies. And it sounds like here we have them. But what I want to know is. . .

Did Sprint steal their rotting-flesh-zombie commercial from God?

Was it a Dream, or Not?

Dry-bones1-680x382Have you ever had a dream so real, that when it was over you weren’t sure it was over?

I used to have a reoccurring nightmare in grade school. I was running away from something or someone – zombies? – and trying to get back to the safety of my classroom. And, I kept falling. I’d be outrunning the dark evil pursuing me, and then fall and it would get closer. Every time I fell it would get closer and then right when I fell for the last time and the evil was leaning over me, I’d wake up, breathing heavily, and unsure if I was in my bed or dead.

We have an old recording of “The Christmas Carol” we listen to each Christmas. In it, the narrator paraphrases from Dickens, “Marley’s Ghost bothered Scrooge exceedingly. Every time he resolved within himself, after mature inquiry, that it was all a dream, his mind flew back again, like a strong spring released, to its first position, and presented the same problem to be worked through all over again, “Was it a dream or not?”

Ezekiel had a dream like that. A nightmare of waking up on Zombie breeding grounds. Even when he writes about it, it reads as if he still doesn’t know if it was real or not.

Here’s how he starts. . . Eze 37:1 (NLT) “The LORD took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the LORD to a valley filled with bones.”

Now that’s fairly weird – dream or not. Ezekiel was a pastor about 570 years before Jesus was born. God brings Ezekiel to this valley, and they walk through the old bones – human bones we find out later – which were scattered all over the valley. Then God asked Ezekiel a simple question.

“Can these bones live again?”

Was God was playing with Ezekiel? Of course dead decomposed dried out bones won’t live again. But then, God was there, and He seems to enjoy doing the impossible. Ezekiel wisely passed the buck.

He answered, “Well, God, only you know if they can live.”

That’s when things got weird.

God told Ezekiel to “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! 6 I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’”

I’d love to see that – at the theater. But Ezekiel was right in the middle of the bone valley. Which makes me wonder – where did these bones come from? Was this an ancient battle scene? A mass, shallow graveyard? Who were these bones from? Were they pre-Nazi Philistines, or giant Goliath relatives, or unlucky slow-runners drowned in the valley from the aftermath of a Tsunami?

Not that it matters.

Anyway, Ezekiel was stuck there in the middle of the bones when he heard “a rattling noise all across the valley.” The bones got up and started attaching themselves together. In time an entire skeleton army surrounded him. Then muscles, veins, tendons, and bloody innards started attaching themselves to the bones. Finally they got covered in skin. Even zombies don’t want their innards falling out.

Thankfully, “they still had no breath in them.”

But not for long.

God then told Ezekiel to 9 “Speak a prophetic message and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.’”

At this point Ezekiel may have wanted to stay silent. But God was bigger. . .10 “So I spoke the message as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army.”

I’m guessing this bothered Ezekiel exceedingly. He had to be wondering, “is it a dream, or not?”

It’s either a zombie nightmare or a zombie reality.

God went on to tell Ezekiel that these bones represented the nation of Israel. God said that the nation looked dead because it was dying in exile. The bones coming to life were a picture of how God would bring the nation back to life. This happened in 539 BC when God brought the nation out of captivity and back to their land – and again in 1948.

But who cares about God watching after His people, keeping His word, redeeming us, protecting us, and never giving up on us? We didn’t read this far for life-changing, sin-removing, problem-solving, eternal hope.

We want zombies.

Was it a dream, or not?