Category Archives: church

The sunny days before the storm

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The weather was so nice and since James was working from home and Bethany was still here from the weekend (no class today) we had a picnic lunch at Fly’n B – of course we checked out the baby owls, Jack got dirty and Grace saw a muskrat.

James and I took Jack to the patio of Solid Grounds while Hannah was at dance. I did some art, read my book, James read his book and Jack sat.

Tuesday we did some school while Jack slept.

He had fun chasing a squirrel and barking at it.

We left him in the crate and went to St. John’s for some Bach by violin.

Lunch was SAME cafe.

Grace’s stickers came in the mail – cute!

This was the verse on Biblegateway for today –

Hebrew 1:3 Going through a long line of prophets, God has been addressing our ancestors in different ways for centuries. Recently he spoke to us directly through his Son. By his Son, God created the world in the beginning, and it will all belong to the Son at the end. This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God’s nature. He holds everything together by what he says—powerful words! [ The Son Is Higher than Angels ] After he finished the sacrifice for sins, the Son took his honored place high in the heavens right alongside God, far higher than any angel in rank and rule. Did God ever say to an angel, “You’re my Son; today I celebrate you” or “I’m his Father, he’s my Son”? When he presents his honored Son to the world, he says, “All angels must worship him.”

No matter if you read the Bible straight through, in year, one book at a time, just verses at a time – there will be things that pop out when you see them. I must have read these verses before, but when I read them this morning I found a deeper level to them. “The Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God’s nature.” I love that! Since we are made in God’s image and Christ lives in us we too should mirror God and are stamped with His nature. Lofty goals and a good reminder.

 

Weekend

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James and I took Jack to coffee, the weather is getting nicer in the mornings, not too cool to sit on a patio.

We got home, picked up the girls and went to the Springs to eat at Rudy’s BBQ.

It was really good, the brisket was so tender and moist, the cream corn was creamy, the potato salad was good, the coleslaw could have been better, but the meat and jalapeno sausage were spot on Texas style. Dogs can hang out on the patio, so it’s a great lunch spot in good weather.

After lunch we walked around Old Colorado City and got some ice cream.

Jack was not impressed with the queen.

From church – do you get to Heaven by being a good person? There’s more to following Jesus than simply following the rules. It’s devotion that is missing – if there is something dividing your heart, keeping you from full devotion, get rid of it. If it is time, money, material things, unhealthy relationships, whatever is keeping you from following Him, leave it.

Mark 11 17 As he went out into the street, a man came running up, greeted him with great reverence, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to get eternal life?” 18-19 Jesus said, “Why are you calling me good? No one is good, only God. You know the commandments: Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat, honor your father and mother.” 20 He said, “Teacher, I have—from my youth—kept them all!” 21 Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.” 22 The man’s face clouded over. This was the last thing he expected to hear, and he walked off with a heavy heart. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and not about to let go.

After church on Sunday James grilled, then I took the girls to the Arvada kite fest while James took a nap.

Our week – the oxygen machines go bye-bye, Grace work, ballet, worship dance, driving practice, St. John’s music at noon, $1 movies, Main event youth group, TDO Castle Rock, Forensic pathology lecture, leaving for GJ, visiting Bethany, Macbeth, Rifle Fall SP.

Dinners this week – Navy beans and sausage, pasta alfredo with Italian sausage and yellow squash, pomegranate pork chops with couscous and green beans, peanut curry chicken over thai noodles and veggies, pork Tex-Mex soup, (dinners in Grand Junction Fri/Sat), grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato or chicken noodle soup.

The Best Thai Curry-Peanut Sauce (this makes 28 servings – so, a lot – cut it down by 1/2 or 1/3 as needed, also turn the heat higher or lower if you like and serve it over pork, chicken, veggies, etc.)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, and cook until the aroma of the garlic has mellowed, about 1 minute. Add the red curry paste, and stir for 1 minute more. Whisk in the peanut butter, brown sugar, chili powder, cayenne pepper, fish sauce, sesame oil, and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and is smooth.

The audacity of Jesus

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We’ve been going through the life of Jesus leading up to Easter weekend, I haven’t had time to jot down my notes from church and now I have 3 sermons of notes – so here we go.

Faith – When Jesus came to his hometown He was not greeted like a hometown hero. In fact, people were like, ‘Isn’t this Jesus, Mary’s son, a carpenter?’ They had no faith in HIm. They were offended by His claims, He was of low status, He was one of them, He didn’t have the proper credentials. Jesus did fewer miracles in their presence because of this lack of faith. Their pride and unbelief made their faith small and the smaller the faith the less Jesus could do. Faith has value when it’s put into practice, it is more doing and less saying, it means that we shouldn’t assume that we know everything there is to know about God. Part of our belief comes without answers. But, it’s not a blind trust, we have faith because of the things we have seen. So, don’t judge others for their lack of faith, maybe they haven’t seen the things you have or their belief has been shaken.

Mark 6:He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

(OJB)5 And he was not able there to do many nissim (miracles), except on a few cholim (sick people) he laid (his) hands and administered refuah (healing) to them.And he wondered on account of their lack of emunah.

The Hebrew word for faith is emunah – it is faith, it is belief, it is trust. This is from Chabad.org, “….the greatest vitamin you can provide emunah is plain exercise….. emunah grows taller and deeper as you accustom yourself to see all the phenomena of life as manifestations of the Creator’s presence and glory. All the more so is emunah enriched by being tested and withstanding those tests; and by making sacrifices in life for the sake of your emunah.”

Traditions and true worship – A healthy life grows from the inside out. It is what comes out of your heart that defiles you, not what goes in it. The greatest threat to your spiritual well-being is not what is happening around you, but what is happening inside of you; what you allow in and then spew back out. Religious traditions are outward things that we can start to lean on and follow instead of God’s laws and rules. When the act of communion becomes a checklist or outward show instead of a reflection of repentance – the heart of God is broken. When charitable acts are done for show, when tithing is practiced with a clenched fist, when time is spent on things instead of on relationships – these are traditions that can be skewed and end up creating a threat to your heart, your worship and your spirit.

Mark 7 1-4 The Pharisees, along with some religion scholars who had come from Jerusalem, gathered around him. They noticed that some of his disciples weren’t being careful with ritual washings before meals. The Pharisees—Jews in general, in fact—would never eat a meal without going through the motions of a ritual hand-washing, with an especially vigorous scrubbing if they had just come from the market (to say nothing of the scourings they’d give jugs and pots and pans). The Pharisees and religion scholars asked, “Why do your disciples flout the rules, showing up at meals without washing their hands?”

6-8 Jesus answered, “Isaiah was right about frauds like you, hit the bull’s-eye in fact:

These people make a big show of saying the right thing,
    but their heart isn’t in it.
They act like they are worshiping me,
    but they don’t mean it.
They just use me as a cover
    for teaching whatever suits their fancy,
Ditching God’s command
    and taking up the latest fads.”

14-15 Jesus called the crowd together again and said, “Listen now, all of you—take this to heart. It’s not what you swallow that pollutes your life; it’s what you vomit—that’s the real pollution.”

Compassion – it is more than a feeling, it is a feeling that leads to redemptive action. When you see something that breaks your heart, churns your stomach, grates at your soul and you react and act – that is compassion. The action can be brokenness, for God uses the broken more than we know; thankfulness, for reflecting on what we already have can help us to use our resources wisely; and generosity, for we are called to be open handed with what we’ve been given to help others and to show the love of God. No one can multiply blessings like Jesus, but when we come alongside Him to be compassionate, it’s amazing what can be done. One person can’t feed starving children, but an entire church can spend time packing meals that will feed 250 children for a year. When compassion causes action, the blessings will multiply. To have rachmei shomayim (heavenly compassion and mercy) is what Christ wants for us to show others.

Mark 8 1-3 At about this same time he again found himself with a hungry crowd on his hands. He called his disciples together and said, “This crowd is breaking my heart. They have stuck with me for three days, and now they have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they’ll faint along the way—some of them have come a long distance.”

His disciples responded, “What do you expect us to do about it? Buy food out here in the desert?” He asked, “How much bread do you have?” “Seven loaves,” they said. 6-10 So Jesus told the crowd to sit down on the ground. After giving thanks, he took the seven bread loaves, broke them into pieces, and gave them to his disciples so they could hand them out to the crowd. They also had a few fish. He pronounced a blessing over the fish and told his disciples to hand them out as well. The crowd ate its fill. Seven sacks of leftovers were collected. There were well over four thousand at the meal.

Spring break

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Day 25 – take some time to write down your thoughts somewhere, a journal, a blog, a random piece of paper. What are you doing this week, what did you do last week, what made you happy or sad?

Monday Grace had to work, Hannah had dance and ballet and we made some art at Solid Grounds.

Jack might have had an ice cream cone.

Day 26 – Compliment someone today. We went by Fly’n B to check on the owls and Jack got muddy.

Jack also got to go to the dog park.

Day 27 – Spend some time today listening. If you are outside, close your eyes, what do you hear? If someone is talking to you, give them your full attention. Listen before you respond. We drove up to Ft. Collins today for some pizza, some ice cream and a hike. We are definitely going back to the ponds, the Poudre runs right next to it and there is shade and a beach.

Jack knows ice cream is coming.

Jack was a little tired after that…

Day 28 – it’s Thankful Thursday, what are you thankful for? We went sampling this morning, but our spot was blocked due to construction, so we sampled downstream.

Our snakes were sunning when we got home.

Later we went to the library for Creativity club and 2 other families showed up for a bit.

Day 29 – Laugh out loud today. That’s easy to do when you start off at the Denver Puppet Theater for the Brer Rabbit show.

We had lunch, then went to another co-op that was supposed to be a hike, but it turned into nature center play time and a short walk.

Day 30- find some time to volunteer. It snowed overnight, but not enough to stop us from going to church to help pack meals for Feed My Starving Children. Out table packed 18 boxes, as a church we packed over 100,000 meal kits that will feed over 250 kids for a year.

We put Jack in daycamp and drove to check out the newest Littleman spot – Constellation.

Day 31- be a good friend, (not just today.) After church we took Jack to an Art of Brunch. It’s where you walk around the art galleries looking at art and munching on the offerings of each gallery.

Slow week coming up – school, driving practice, work for Grace, ballet, worship dance, jazz at EG, NIA, making art, youth group, Colorado ballet, CU Boulder terrarium making, Springs walkabout, church, kite fest or fairy fest (depending on weather.)

Dinners – chipotle pork (didn’t make it last week), cheesy chicken and pasta, lasagna, chicken quesadillas, Irish shepherd’s pie, grilling stuff, Front Range BBQ?

Irish Shepherd’s Pie

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, diced
2 pounds lean ground beef
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ketchup
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups water, or as needed
1 (12 ounce) package frozen peas and carrots, thawed
2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and halved
1 tablespoon butter
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 pound Irish cheese (such as Dubliner), shredded
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place olive oil and butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in onion and ground beef; brown the meat, breaking it up into small crumbles as it cooks, about 10 minutes.
Stir in flour until incorporated, then mix in salt, black pepper, rosemary, paprika, cinnamon, ketchup, and garlic; cook and stir until garlic is fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in water and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the Dutch oven. Reduce heat to medium-low and bring mixture to a simmer; cook and stir until thick, about 5-6 minutes.
Remove beef mixture from heat and stir in peas and carrots until combined.
Spread beef mixture into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside.
Place potatoes into a large pan of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well and return potatoes to pan.
Mash butter, cayenne pepper, cream cheese, and Irish cheese into the potatoes. Mash until combined and potatoes are smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Whisk together egg yolk and milk in a small bowl; stir into the mashed potato mixture.
Top the beef mixture in the baking dish with the mashed potatoes and spread evenly to cover.
Bake in the preheated oven until the top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling up around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.

Weekend

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Pay no attention to that face, he loved the ride to go get coffee while Grace was taking the SAT.

He was happier later.

Day 9 – go on a date with your spouse. James and I took Jack to Petsmart (so the girls wouldn’t have to watch him again) and we went to Englewood Grand to support them on their 3rd anniversary party. I can’t believe they’ve been around for 3 years now, it’s crazy.

Sunday we went to church –  Jesus is not safe, He’s not base, you don’t get to come to Him and say “It’s all good now, I’m free from worry, hardship and rough paths.” Why? Because when there are storms, your faith deepens. We don’t question when God shows up quickly, no one ever complains about a miracle. But, when we see God as slow, when we pray the same prayer, when we don’t feel like He’s there fast enough with an answer – we wonder, is God good, does He care? Having Jesus in the boat doesn’t mean the storm won’t rage, but it does mean that He will be there with you and in His time the storms in life will abate because He is greater. He is the anchor to hold because Jesus > any storm.

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Day 10 – listen to some good music, like LAPOMPE. 

James grilled for lunch and I started on the mole sauce for dinner. The girls went to the mall, we took a nap, before we knew it it was time to watch Buddy vs. Duff.

Dinners – turkey/chorizo patties with sweet potato masala, pan fried chicken with basil couscous and artichoke salad, pork roast with stuffed potatoes, chicken mole tacos, TNO (TV dinners), Italian sausage with black bean quinoa, leftovers.

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Whisk together the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add water as needed to help make the dough workable, but the dough should be dry and stiff. Roll the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick roll. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes.

The week -school, Dior exhibit, night driving practice, Jack’s b-day party, DMNS DaVinci field trip, youth group, Pi day, swimming, HS skate, TNO, Bethany home on break, church.

 

I had big plans

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for the weekend. But, the weatherman predicted snow. And it was snowing – in the mountains. I ditched Ski-joring in Leadville and actually it’s probably a good thing we did (in hindsight) because somewhere on I-70 between Frisco and Copper Mt. there was a natural avalanche that covered drivers on I-70. No one was hurt, but the videos from dash cams are pretty scary. We did eventually get some snow, Jack was happy.

We went to the pet store and tried to go to a new ice cream place, but they were closed (due to the – at that point – nonexistent snow.) We went to Sonic instead. Jack heard the word ‘ice cream’ and ran out the door and jumped into the car, so we had to get him a scoop. My birthday month thing to do on Saturday was take a nap. I’m tired every day about 2pm, but I hardly ever get to take a nap during that time. So, that was nice. You can see Jack zooming through the amazingly little amount of snow here.

Sunday we all went to church, a feat, usually someone is home watching Jack.

Mark 2:13-14 Then Jesus went again to walk alongside the lake. Again a crowd came to him, and he taught them. Strolling along, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, at his work collecting taxes. Jesus said, “Come along with me.” He came.15-16 Later Jesus and his disciples were at home having supper with a collection of disreputable guests. Unlikely as it seems, more than a few of them had become followers. The religion scholars and Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company and lit into his disciples: “What kind of example is this, acting cozy with the riffraff?” 17 Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting the sin-sick, not the spiritually-fit.”

Are you following a stereotype of Jesus or the real deal? Though it’s your choice, your decision, Jesus doesn’t just sit around waiting on you; He stands ready. Jesus is for: those that feel unworthy of God’s love, for those that don’t believe they need God’s help and for those who want to follow Him.

Today’s birthday month thing – read a book.

Jack scanned the yard for squirrels while I read.

Then he fell asleep.

Later we put Jack in daycare and roamed the mall for a bit, the girls shopped for birthday presents for me (and I assume Jack), James and I went out for drinks and small bites and we went grocery shopping.

We have a really fun week planned, Grace is taking the SAT on Saturday, so that’s part of the reason why.

‘Sup – NIA, school, hanging at Solid Grounds, ballet, dance, driving practice, doc for Hannah, blood draw for me, Cafe 180, MOA Natura Obscura, Fat Tuesday jazz, food and drinks at Englewood Grand, butterfly pavilion, youth group, Zoe Ma Ma’s, Media lab, suncatchers, botanical drawing at CU, hike, Lumber Baron dinner, SAT for Grace, FDGD in Ned, put clocks forward, church.

Dinners this week – (today) leftovers, Greek chicken pitas with garbanzo beans, TV dinners (Mardi Gras date night), beef hominy skillet, Tamale Thursday at Adelitas, Pizza (Lumber Baron date night), Korean BBQ with Asian slaw, beef mole over rice.

Hominy Skillet (I’m cutting this in half except for the hominy)

2 pounds lean ground beef
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1 (29 ounce) can hominy, drained
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chopped tomatoes, undrained
2 cups medium salsa
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cook and stir beef and green bell peppers in a large skillet over medium heat until beef is well browned and reduced to small pieces, about 10 minutes. Drain excess grease.
Stir hominy, tomatoes, salsa, salt, cumin, and pepper into the skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer hominy mixture until flavors combine, 10 to 15 minutes.

Mole Sauce

2 cups chicken broth
2 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
3 dried chipotle chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips
2 tomatoes, cut in half crosswise
5 tomatillos, cut in half crosswise
1 tablespoon lard
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 head garlic, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup chopped peanuts (I’m using cashews)
1/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon dried thyme
3 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
6 whole allspice berries
5 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tsp sesame seeds

Toast guajillo chiles, ancho chiles, and chipotle chiles in a dry pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until warm and aromatic, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the blender with chicken broth.
Heat 2 cups chicken broth in a saucepan until it begins to simmer, about 5 minutes. Pour broth into a blender.
Toast tortilla strips in a dry pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the blender with chicken broth and chiles
Allow the chiles and tortillas to soak, fully submerged, in the chicken broth until softened, about 10 minutes. Blend the mixture until smooth.
Cook tomatoes and tomatillos in a dry skillet on medium-high heat until soft and blackened, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Place tomatoes in the blender with the chile puree.
Melt lard in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, garlic, peanuts, raisins, cumin seeds, thyme, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and allspice berries; cook and stir until onions are soft and golden, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and other whole spices; add onion mixture to the blender with the chile-tomato mixture and blend until smooth.
Pour chile puree into a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in chocolate chicken broth, sugar, and salt. Bring mixture to a simmer; stir until chocolate is melted and sauce is thickened and slightly reduced, 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve over meat, sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Mission

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This is the mission statement for our church. We’ve been going over each word for the past month, I meant to post them separately, but here they are all together with my thoughts.

Glorify – to be the reflection of God, to worship Him, to magnify Him, to be a vessel that is used by His Spirit to light the way to Him. To glorify Him in our beliefs, in our daily lives and in our trials so that others can know by our actions, not just our words, that God is good, loving, kind, merciful, gracious and forgiving.

Psalm 63:3
Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.

Grow – to become mature, to attain wisdom, to take steps to be more like Jesus every day. We don’t want to remain small in faith, we don’t want to stagnate. We want to be fed, to be nourished by God’s Word and to grow in HIm.

Matthew 5:48 “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

Go – taking the love of God, the message of Jesus, and spreading it to everyone. Being a missionary to those closest to us and to those far away.

Matthew 28:19-20 
Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”

In all of these, we realize we are not perfect, we fail, we fall short, but God is good. He restores, He lifts up, He forgives, He makes straight the crooked paths, He lights the way in the dark, He calms the storms, He prevails.