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Today we said goodbye and paid our respects to a dear friend from college. Dal Jones, was one of Steve’s roommates at the infamous “605” house in Glendora. Dal was a great guy, who loved his family and his friends. He always made us laugh, was so very kind and giving to his friends.
Although we lost touch over the years, Facebook bridged a gap as it has for so many. We got to meet his sweet wife today and were so thrilled that he married such a seemingly wonderful person. It will be hard for his two precious kids to grow up not knowing their dad, but we’re confident that all those who knew Dal, will be sure his memory and legacy lives on through His kids.
If you think of it, please pray for Sally, Little Dal and Avery.
“God’s mercy is greater than our sins. There is an awareness of sin that does not lead to God but rather to self-preoccupation. Our temptation si to be so impressed by our sins and failings and so overwhelmed by our lack of generosity that we get stuck in paralysing guilt. It is the guilt that says: “I am too sinful to deserve God’s mercy.” It is the guilt that leads to introspection instead of directing our eyes to God. It is the guilt that has become an idol and therefore a form of pride. Lent is the time to break down this idol and to direct our attention to our loving Lord. The question is: “Are we like Judas, who was so overcome by his sin that he could not believe in God’s mercy and longer and hanged himself, or are we like Peter who returned to his Lord with repentance and cried bitterly for his sins?” The season of Lent, during which winter and spring struggle with each other for dominance, helps us in a special way cry out for God’s mercy.”
Henri Nouwen, Show Me the Way, page 14
We have made religion more about guilt and become better humans. Christ’s death represents a departure from religion and an entrance into grace. Guilt is self-focused, repentance is self-denying.
Today, may your focus be on repentance, turning away from the sins that weigh you down and turning to Jesus and the cross.
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. Lent is becoming one of the most meaningful times of the year for us. I read today in this article that Lent means “spring” and marks the greening of one’s soul. Beautiful, isn’t it?
It’s a time to prepare for Easter. Not just the death of Christ but the day He conquered that death. Lately, it seems the phone calls bearing news of people getting sick, families breaking apart, people dying untimely deaths are endless. These trials and tragedies tend to leave us with a lot of unanswerable questions. But when we look to Jesus and the cross, what we can find is renewed hope. That in death, there can be life. In suffering, there can be hope. In trials, strength is found. In Jesus, grace is there.
Observing Lent for us is a concentrated time of thinking about Jesus. What He lived for, who He died for and what He still longs for. Giving something up or giving stuff away is a practice that helps us tangibly see what we cannot see. Though we can’t see Jesus, we can experience Him through one another. We can experience Him by less of us, giving more space for Him.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to get creative with Lent either personally or as a family, I found this great website. The writers at Modern Sacred Family, have quite a few great ideas for engaging kids in Lent activities. In addition, we have enjoyed Henri Nouwen’s daily readings in Show Me the Way. Each days reading is enough to get your mind and soul fixed on Jesus. What He lived for, who He died for and what He longs for.
I recently came across Sarah Rust Sampedro’s blog, Art and Motherhood. She is an artist who is also a mother and desires to not let either one of these fall by the wayside. Her goal, to post one photograph each day of 2010 has been an interesting venture to keep up with.
Sarah’s photograph from yesterday (2/1/10), really resonated with me. Here she is, fighting through the fog of the shower, telling the story of pushing through the fog of motherhood.
Can you relate?
Okay so it’s Sunday… but when the hubs is out of town all weekend, it leaves little energy for blogging or cooking anything fantastic on Fridays. But today… in an effort to clean out the pantry and fridge before hitting the market, I decided to make home made granola bars. And they look pretty good indeed. These will be great hopefully in the lunch boxes tomorrow and on the table for the Discipleship girls in the morning. I used my favorite chef, Ina Garten’s recipe from her Basics cook book. Instead of the dried fruits listed below, I just used some dried cranberries and blackberries I had on hand. Here it is:
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 12-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper.
Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2 to 3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.
To all those near and far, the Linds wish you all the love, blessings, grace and peace that is available to you this new year.
What do you have in mind for the year?
We plan to make yet another attempt to simplify, in such a chaos-fed world. We hope to read the Word in one year (another attempt), we hope to love and shepherd our kids as best as possible, love each other as best as possible, give to our city and community as best as possible and have as much fun as possible. Read the rest of this entry »