Anybody Craving Dehydrated Pork Chops??? (Eat this Book by Eugene Peterson is a Heart-Stopper)

Name some of your favorite foods… Rattle on in your brain if you don’t have a pen and paper. (This is daydreaming at its’ finest…)

My “Fifteen-Favorite-Fabuloso-Foods” List includes:

1- Chocolate

2-Hubster John’s Infamous Grilled Salmon (**recipe at the end of this post**)

3-Stuffed Baked Potatoes (LOADED with bacon, cheese-n-butter)

4-Italian Anything at least 5 out of 7 days a week: Pizza, Pasta, Pizza, Pasta, Pizza…

5- Chocolate

6-Gelato in Italy (Anybody found a good match here in the U.S.?) This pic was taken in Rome. This truly was our very first gelato:  a scoop of chocolate and one of banana.  Mamma Mia… 


7-Honey wings from Mark’s Feed Store

8-Spinach queso from Austin’s


10-Chopped salads of almost anything chopped by anyone besides me

11-Bev Fleece’s Infamous Sausage Appetizer (**recipe at the end of this post**)

12-Our sweet Niece: Taylor Beeler’s Infamous Chicken Buffalo Dip (**recipe at the end of this post**)

13- Chocolate

14 – Paul’s Fruit Market’s White Cheddar Pimiento Cheese spread with wheat thins or nut thins…

15 – Cheddar Box’ infamous Cheese Torte with any type of cracker, or all by itself. Dreadfully delicious.

Ahhh, I digress as I repeat myself….(Please note chocolate’s recurrence.)

Various Chocolate Products

Well, I know we could talk about food all day,

         dream about food 24/7, and

                     partake of food just about anywhere, any time.

I’d like to offer you an interesting twist on eating from a book worth digging in to…It’ll take some effort on your part, but you will be so blessed.

Let’s look at some highlights from Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Readingby Eugene Peterson.


Eugene also happens to be the genius behind The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language among many other excellent books he’s authored.

The Message

You may have noted that the title of this post, about Dehydrated Pork Chops, well, those babies did not make my “list”, but they sure turn up in Eat this Book. You’ll never think about studying or reading the Bible the same after I share this story with you….

Several years ago, Eugene took some teenage boys on a hike thru’ challenging mountainous trails. As we’d suspect, these boys became ravenous from all the exercise.

Eugene revealed the Camp Director had struck gold at an army surplus outlet, or so he thought, paying bargain basement prices for vast amounts of dehydrated food.

Eugene read the directions very carefully:

“Soak pork chops in water for one hour.”

He put the paper-thin, dehydrated pork chops in a bucket. To everyone’s amazement, these chops indeed took on water, transforming right before their eyes into large, fat-n-juicy pork chops.

Pork Chop

Wide-eyed with delight, the starving teenagers patiently waited. Eugene reported, “This was a great conclusion to what had been a strenuous day on the trail.”

The fire was red-hot-ready. They placed the fat-n-juicy chops in a large skillet, directly over the coals. “The minute the heat penetrated the skillet, the chops virtually disappeared. Within seconds, they were left with paper-thin slices of pig, identical to what they’d started with.”

Here comes Eugene’s terrifying two cents’ worth:

“There is a sense in which the Scriptures are the Word of God dehydrated, with all the originating context removed—living voices, city sounds, camels carrying spices from Seba and gold from Ophir snorting down in the bazaar, fragrance from lentil stew simmering in the kitchen—all now reduced to marks on thin onion-skin paper.

jerky beef - homemade dried cured spiced meat

We make an effort at rehydrating them; we take these Scriptures and spend an hour or so in Bible study with friends, or alone in prayerful reading. But five minutes later, on our way to work, plunged into the tasks of the day for which they had seemed to promise sustenance, there’s not much left of them—only ink on india paper.

We find that we are left with the words of the Bible but without the world of the Bible.’s just that without the biblical world—the intertwined stories, the echoing poetry and prayers, Isaiah’s artful thunder and John’s extravagant visions—the words, like those seed words in Jesus’ parable that land on pavement or in gravel or among weeds, haven’t taken root in our lives.”

Take Root

Ouch, o-u-c-h. I recently read the above few paragraphs to my Bible study buddies. We then, in unison, all groaned...

Same case could be made each week as we leave church on Sunday morning:

Did the sermon impact you?

How are you driving out of the parking lot?

How are you treating waitresses at restaurants?

Are you fussing at your spouse, or building him or her up for getting you there in the first place?

Young couple arguing in their living room

Bottom line: Is the Bible taking root in your life?

Confession: Some days I’d answer “yes”, other days, sadly, it wouldn’t be very evident. Eugene warns, “It is the devil’s own work to take what is presently endearing and innocent and perpetuate it into a lifetime of reading marked by devout indifference.” Oh, may it not be so…

So, how do we eat this book???

God’s Word is intended to “get inside us, to deal with our souls.”

The answer? Lectio divina, translated means ‘spiritual reading’:

“Reading that enters our souls as food enters our stomachs,

         Spreads thru’ our blood, and

                   Becomes holiness and love and wisdom.”

abstract human body background neon design

Eat this Book teaches us how to read the Bible via lectio divina. Eugene walks you thru’ various methods which are fascinating.

The book’s title came from Revelation 10:9-10 where John walks up to an angel and says, “Give me the book.” The angel hands it over to him and says, “Here it is; eat it, eat the book.”

Eugene explains this metaphor in beautiful fashion. He says, “Reading is an immense gift, but only if the words are assimilated, taken into the soul—




                 Received in unhurried delight.”

(He even quotes Kentucky’s beloved Wendell Berry!)

As he does with The Message, Eugene wants to “show men and women that the Scriptures are livable

God’s Word is:

Personal address,







                              Directing—but not forcing.

                                         Not coercing…

I wanted to help my friends see the organic connection between the word read and the word lived.”

If you’d prefer learning about lectio divina from reading a novel vs. studying thru’ Eugene’s book, you would enjoy Sensible Shoes: A Story about the Spiritual Journey by Sharon Garlough Brown. She does an excellent job of showing her characters learning and living the concept.

Sensible Shoes

Either choice will enhance your reading the next time you pick up your Bible. Share this with a friend and perhaps challenge each other to learn lectio divina. You will be blessed!

‘Til next time!

As promised, **here are the recipes** from my list above:

John’s Infamous Grilled Salmon (Which we really stole from our friend and neighbor in Naples, Ron Holt)

Grilled Salmon

2 lbs. of fresh salmon, with skin still on, sliced into servings for four


2/3 cup of maple syrup

2 Tablespoons of lemon or lime juice

2 Tablespoons of salad/veg.oil

2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce

1Tablespoon of Dijon mustard

Garlic to taste

Assemble marinade and marinate the salmon pieces in a baggie for an hour before grilling. Cover grilling sheet with aluminum foil. Place salmon pieces, skin down, on foil.  

Grill over hot coals, the direct method,with grill top on and vents open for 14 minutes, no more, no less. Do not flip salmon. Leave as is on grilling sheet. Bring in, sizzling (!!!) to serve. Enjoy!!!

Bev Fleece’s Infamous Sausage Appetizer (This is a very man-friendly appie, as in heavy-n-hearty. And we women have no trouble whatsoever in indulging.  It completely vanishes every single time.)


1 pound of sausage (Here in KY we like Purnell’s Hot Sausage)

1 pkg. of cream cheese

1 pkg. of crescent rolls

1 egg

Sauce for dipping:

Equal parts of honey, apricot preserves and Dijon mustard

Brown sausage in skillet. Drain grease. Put into mixing bowl and blend with the package of cream cheese. Place in frig to cool.

Divide crescent rolls into 4 rectangles. Stretch out as much as possible onto a cookie sheet without tearing.

Divide the sausage mixture into fourths and make a log-shape down the middle of each rectangle. Close up the dough around the sausage and seal. Place seal-side down onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Brush with an egg white so dough will brown nicely.

Bake at 350 for 20 or so minutes until logs are browned.

Mix up dipping sauce.

Let sausage logs cool a bit before slicing. Slice as thin as possible, as if slicing a loaf of bread. Place slices onto serving tray with dip. Dip into sauce & enjoy!

Our Niece, Taylor Beeler’s Infamous Buffalo Chicken Dip


2- 10 ounce cans of chicken

8 oz. cream cheese

8 oz. ranch dressing

2-3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

8 oz. buffalo sauce (Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing sauce)

Mix all ingredients together. Bake @ 350 degrees ‘til bubbly.

Serve with tortilla chips. (Be sure to have a glass of water nearby as this is HOT!)




Filed under Book Reviews, Life Lessons

6 responses to “Anybody Craving Dehydrated Pork Chops??? (Eat this Book by Eugene Peterson is a Heart-Stopper)

  1. Well, yum! Just printed the sausage roll recipe. I totally identify with the “eat His Word” idea – taking in the whole of Scripture. Indeed, the tastes, smells, voice inflections, facial expressions, and body language are often left to our imaginations and can make totally different interpretations of the Word. That’s why I have such a passion for writing about Bible characters, trying to dig into their back-stories and fill out their character. Thanks for the emphasis on dwelling on the Word so that it doesn’t lay there dehydrated.

    • Oh yes, this is your specialty with your creative writing, Joyce!!! You could teach us all a few things on this…This is a concept I must keep reminding myself of….quite the challenge. Have a great week! Hugs, E.

  2. Bonnie Martinell

    Oh Elizabeth – you rocked it once again!! We (I!) DO unwittingly dehydrate His Word and Message ALL the time and then wonder why our souls are so undernourished and famished. Much “food for thought” (sorry – had to!).
    And thanks for yum recipes – there are never too many ways to prepare salmon!
    Blessings, sister!

    • Well hey there…so fun to hear from you my hilarious friend. We must “do lunch” soon to catch up. You’ll have to tell me which Bible study you’re doing in the Fall, etc. Hope your fam is well. I’m off to “shop” for rehearsal dinner invites….here we go!!!!

      Love & miss you, E

  3. Feasted on your blog this morning and am grateful for the delicious-sounding recipes and book recommendations. Neither of these (SENSIBLE SHOES or EAT THIS BOOK) have I read, but intend to remedy the situation right away. You rock!

    • Good Morning, Bon Bon!!! This is the salmon recipe John grilled for us Sunday night…I have “Sensible Shoes” on my Kindle, or I’d loan it to you. You are welcome to “Eat this Book” if you don’t want to buy a copy. Love across town, E.