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.

Sunday

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Day 24 – look to your week ahead, find opportunities for caring for yourself and others.

My world this week – Spring break continued, driving practice, Grace work, dance, ballet, river sampling, watching The Meg at the library, NIA, Ft. Collins eat, hike, play, youth group, Creativity club, Denver puppet theater co-op, Nature walk co-op, packing food at church, RiNo art photo walk with the library, church, Art of Brunch on Santa Fe.

Dinners this week, it’s use up stuff in the fridge and pantry week (though I do have to pick up a few things)- sloppy joes and chili lime corn, chicken marsala and parmesan couscous, chorizo and hominy skillet, garbanzo bean salad with grilled chicken, chili and corn bread, chipotle crusted pork loin with collard greens, chicken and rice soup

Chicken Marsala

1/4 cup all-purpose flour for coating
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – pounded 1/4 inch thick
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oi
l1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/4 cup cooking sherry

In a shallow dish or bowl, mix together the flour, salt, pepper and oregano. Coat chicken pieces in flour mixture.
In a large skillet, melt butter in oil over medium heat. Place chicken in the pan, and lightly brown. Turn over chicken pieces, and add mushrooms. Pour in wine and sherry. Cover skillet; simmer chicken 10 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink and juices run clear.

Greek Garbanzo Bean Salad

2 (15 ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained
2 cucumbers, halved lengthwise and sliced
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 ounce) can black olives, drained and chopped
1 ounce crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup Italian-style salad dressing
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine the beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, garlic, olives, cheese, salad dressing, lemon juice, garlic salt and pepper. Toss together and refrigerate 2 hours before serving. Serve chilled. I’m adding grilled chicken to this.

46!

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Day 23- I give you permission to celebrate. It may be a tiny celebration, maybe you got the day off of work and you’re spending time with family. Maybe it’s a gorgeous day where you live and you’re spending it outside,. Maybe it’s rainy, snowy or cold and you’re stuck inside, but playing games with your kids. Maybe you’re reading a book, petting your cat or maybe you are working – and for someone without a job, that would be something to celebrate. Maybe someone just smiled at you and you smiled back and that was a start. Whatever your day looks like, find something to celebrate.

I woke up older, but really I wake up older every day.

Brunch was a surprise, I mean I knew what was coming, but not the actual food. David was a chef before he was a musician, and we’ve had his food (dinner at Lumber Baron), so I knew whatever he made would be good. It was weird having people cook food in my kitchen, with my pots and pans and my wonky stove. Kudos though, David made eggs in a basket, sausage, fruit and a roasted red pepper sauce.

David said chefs don’t have to do dishes, so the rest of the band cleaned up.

Then it was time for music. The girls have never heard LAPOMPE live, they loved it. We have great acoustics in our kitchen. Here’s a snippet and here’s another. 

Presents –

Cake – vegan chocolate with chocolate buttercream and toffee bits.

Dinner was Ethiopian food at Megenagna.

That was a very cool birthday!

Hike, Pikes Peak Pickle Shack, Kindness Krewe

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Day 21 – go on a hike with your kids (and dog, if you have one.)

So, we really only drove to Green Mountain Falls for a hike because it’s near the Pickle shack and Grace wanted to get over an hour of driving in (she drove home.) I was hoping the musical swings would still be in town, but they were packed up. Guess when they say a piece of art is there for a limited time – they mean it. Anyway, it was kind of windy and a bit chilly, but our hike was pretty flat. I brought my sling for Jack, but he only rode in it for a few minutes.

Then we went to the Pickle shack and got some peach pie in a jar, peach and jalapeno preserves and pumpkin butter.

Day 22 – do something kind today, we were at the Montbello library making no sew pet shelter blankets.

The many moods of Jack when waiting on Hannah to get her hair cut.

My birthday present to myself came in early!

At the library making blankets for the pet shelter.

Spent some time cleaning up the house as my birthday is tomorrow and LAPOMPE is coming over to make brunch and have a concert.

Happy Spring!

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Day 20 – Happy Spring and learn something new today. We’re going to the DaVinci exhibit and I bet we learn something we didn’t know before.

This was the day our field trip of the DaVinci exhibit got moved to because of the blizzard. I had people who needed a refund, people who showed up with cash – it was crazy. I thought the exhibit was good, but I was surprised at how much we had seen (and learned) at the exhibit back in December and that was just one guy (who had an extreme thirst and knowledge for DaVinci, but still.)

We picked up Bethany at home (she was in for Spring break) and met James in CR (he got jury duty this week) and had dinner at Black Eyed Pea. We haven’t been there in forever. I really wanted the fried green tomatoes, but I could only have 2, they were so salty. I will have to remember to get some and make my own. There was no youth group tonight (Spring break), so we ended up picking up Jack from daycare and watching TV.

Poe-tea

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Day 19 – get a care package or two off to someone. This one is almost ready to go.

I hate to say it, but it took me a few more days to actually get it in the mail, but it did go…just not today.

No one was going to show up for teen poe-tea, so more sushi and candy sushi for us. I think we are going to do theme teas next year, it was fun getting the food together for a Japanese theme,

Poe-tea today – Emily Dickinson ‘Dear March-Come In.” Emily would have loved to be living in the current time, no need for servants to get you food while you become that weird woman who never leaves her house – Grub hub! Bio here. Poems to try – Haiku, treats were mochi, pork steamed buns, sushi and candy sushi.

Dear March – Come in

Dear March – Come in –
How glad I am –
I hoped for you before –
Put down your Hat –
You must have walked –
How out of Breath you are –
Dear March, how are you, and the Rest –
Did you leave Nature well –
Oh March, Come right upstairs with me –
I have so much to tell –

I got your Letter, and the Birds –
The Maples never knew that you were coming –
I declare – how Red their Faces grew –
But March, forgive me –
And all those Hills you left for me to Hue –
There was no Purple suitable –
You took it all with you –

Who knocks? That April –
Lock the Door –
I will not be pursued –
He stayed away a Year to call
When I am occupied –
But trifles look so trivial
As soon as you have come

That blame is just as dear as Praise
And Praise as mere as Blame –

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My ball my sweet ball
it’s so nice to destroy you
my ball my sweet ball.
-Jack

divine espresso
silky ice cream, cold then hot
affogato, sigh.
-L

Sleepytime tea is
mint, sweet tea, so piping hot
it’s time to drink now.
-H

Driving really sucks,
watching for other drivers
trying not to crash.
-G