Monday, March 30, 2009

Bethany the Baker

Since winter in Minnesota never seems to end, I thought it would be fun to try my hand at baking. I used to bake a lot in college, but haven't done much since. I figure, since I'm related to thefrugalgirl I might have an ounce of baker in me. So, yesterday I made bagels (with two neighbor children under foot!), friendship bread, and started the mixture for cornbread (my oven was too busy to bake it). I like making bagels. They are good, inexpensive, and relatively easy. There are, however, a lot of steps: broiling, boiling, and baking! Whew! And the cornbread mixture was $3 at the store! Way more than the simple ingredients used to make it. I made noodles from scratch during my time of unemployment, but thought it was a lot of work for the small amount when it is so inexpensive at the store. Well, I have to go put the cornbread in the oven. More baking adventures later!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Horrible Man

I haven't written in a long time. I've had a lot to think about and life has been busy, but here we go:

Recounting a news story he was reading off his iphone, my friend told us about the man who entered an Illinois church, shooting and ultimately killing the pastor ( An eight-year-old at the table muttered, shaking her head, "What a horrible man!" While a few at the table nodded in agreement, I was taken aback. Saturday night I had gone to church with my friend and heard a sermon based on Luke 18:9-14 (I will post it later). This passage is a parable about a pharisee (religious leader) and a tax collector (an unfair traitor) coming to the temple to pray. I came away from the sermon learning that we are all equal, we are all sinners. God saw the religious leader and the unfair traitor on the same level. None is greater than the other. I am no better than the horrible man in Illinois. So, I spoke up, "No, he is not a horrible man. He made a bad decision." The eight year old was surprised, "But why would he do that?" "I'm not sure," I replied, "maybe he was mad or hurt, but he is not horrible. He is no different than us." How easy it is to be like the pharisee: earning God's love. The thing is, God's love can't be earned. It is freely given. God loves us as much as He ever will. He will never love us less. He will not love the Horrible Man less. How radical! We can experience less or more of His love in our lives when we allow it, but His love remains constant....for you....for me....for the Horrible Man. But how do we change our thinking to this radical way of ascribing God's infinite worth to everyone we meet? We see it in the Disciples' question in Luke 17:5 where God talks about radical forgiveness. They simply say, "Lord, increase our faith." It is only when we experience God's radical love and forgiveness in our own lives that we can then project it on to others and see them the way God sees them.

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