The Giant Artichoke


I wish the English language had words to explain this picture but I just can’t seem to find them. Maybe it is words to describe me it is lacking. My wife says the word I am looking for is “Country!” She says she never knew she would end up marrying a California man who was so COUNTRY. I’m not sure what she’s trying to tell me. I think what she’s really means is, “I Love You!”

Last month we took an adventure along the coast and I could not help but returning to a place which held such great childhood memories for me. If you’re ever near Castroville California you have to stop by The Giant Artichoke and pick up a dozen or two of their amazing deep fried artichoke hearts! I have been enjoying them for as many years as I can remember. My family use to stop in every time we drove to Salinas. They are some of the best things on the planet! Tender hearts of artichoke battered and fried to a golden brown perfection, dipped in a home made dipping sauce! It can’t get much better than that. If you get the chance to stop by, make sure you share it with someone you love like I did. Even if you cant talk her in to getting her picture take in front of a giant artichoke with you.

Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?

In the world today we are constantly faced with choices which stretch the boundary of our understanding. Things should be black and white, good and bad, but often times we see them as gray. Where have we gone wrong? When did the definition of “truth” and “ethics” become situational and relative? Is that really what the world has come to? Is that what we as believers have come to?

This morning I was listing to the radio on my way to work and a song by Paula Cole, which I have heard hundreds of times, caught me off guard and started me thinking. The chorus goes like this:

Where is my John Wayne
Where is my prairie son
Where is my happy ending
Where have all the cowboys gone?

So where have all the cowboys gone? Where have those who stand for truth and integrity hidden themselves? I have become increasingly aware of a lack “truth” in the world around me. Some may think this apparent as we live in a progressively secular society but I am not talking about America as a whole, I am talking about the Church! I am talking about parents and grandparents who once held the moral rudders for their families. I am talking about pastors and leaders who have lost their voices and the ability to lead. I am talking about you and me.

Where is John Wayne? What has happened to those who stand for what is right and who are vocal about what is wrong? I miss the days when men were men and stood for truth and righteousness. Godly men and women have settled for less than the truth and handed over the power of their words to men of little moral integrity. Personal responsibility has gone out the window as we have handed our money over to accountants, our children to nannies, and the voice of God to a committee.

It is time that we stand up and take back our voice. Where is John Wayne, where have all the cowboys gone? It is you and I! We need to let our yes be yes and our no be no. We must stand for what is right and not allow what is wrong to go unopposed. When we give our word or agree to something we must honor that agreement even if doing so may not be as profitable to us as other options. I challenge you, stand for what is right and oppose what is wrong. Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Good men and women have stood around for too long and done nothing and it is time for change.