Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present. Luke 22:1-6
The rat! One of the Twelve, Jesus' most trusted inner circle! How dare he? How could he? Let's back up a bit to an incident that happened the previous Friday in Bethany. Mary (of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus) took a jar of expensive perfume, and poured it on Jesus' feet, anointing him.
But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected,"Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages." John 12:4-5
Why, indeed? Read on...
He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put in it. John 12:6
Oh. Gotta love that commentary from Jesus' favorite disciple. And then Jesus responded:
"Leave her alone. Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial." Mark 14:6-8
In John's gospel, this little incident is reported in chronological order, so even before the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, but in each of the others, it's recorded right before Judas heads to the chief priests seeking to betray Jesus. I don't think that's a coincidence or a mistake. It seems that Matthew, Mark, and Luke all felt that the perfume incident was a direct antecedent to, and perhaps even a catalyst for Judas' betrayal.
I feel a little sorry for Judas. He gets a bad rap, but I think he honestly thought he was doing the right thing. He must have thought Jesus was a little crazy after the thing with the perfume--he must have felt like his teacher was losing it, and going to the chief priests, allowing them to take Jesus into custody, probably seemed like a prudent course of action. If Jesus is going insane, Judas must have thought, then it's for his own good that he be taken off the streets before he can hurt himself or others. Of course, it didn't hurt that the religious leaders were willing to pay Judas for his betrayal, given what we know about Judas' money habits.
Then there's this: yes, Judas had free will, we all do. Yes, Judas chose to do an evil thing. It was all Judas. But! God made Judas, created Judas from nothing, and God knew Judas' inmost thoughts, God knew what Judas would do when faced with that situation. Jesus knew that Judas would betray him and placed him in his inner circle anyway, because that was what needed to happen. The son of man needed to be betrayed, so that we all could receive forgiveness for our sins. It needed to happen, and Judas was the one chosen to do the deed. It was Judas' destiny. Now we can get all tied up in a discussion of predestination versus free will, but quite frankly, I don't want to do that right now. The point is, God knows each of us better than we know ourselves, and God placed Judas in that place, at that time, so that the scriptures would be fulfilled. I feel like, in some ways, we owe Judas a debt of gratitude.
Judas was sorry for what he had done. Matthew reports:
When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned [to die], he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. "I have sinned," he said, "for I have betrayed innocent blood."Matthew 27:3-4
Judas had no idea that Jesus was going to die as a direct result of his action. I like to think that God forgave Judas his sin. We know that God uses all circumstances, good and bad, to honor and glorify God, and it is certainly the case here. God used Judas' betrayal, his sin, to redeem the world. Thanks, in part, to Judas, we've been washed in the blood of the lamb, and made clean. We have been set free from the shackles that bind us to this imperfect world, and we are free to live the life of perfect communion that we were made for. Out of the devastation and destruction of our sins, the most beautiful things can happen. Only God has the power to do that.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
This recipe is from http://heavypetal.ca/archives/2007/03/how-to-make-seedballs/, but there are lots of variations out there.
Mix 5 parts dry red clay, 3 parts dry organic compost, 1 part seed, and 1-2 parts water (just enough water to form a mix that will hold together). Pinch off small bits of the mixture and roll into 1/2 inch balls. Let them sit for a few days until they're completely dry. The Heavy Petal gardener used a 16 oz measure and said the recipe made enough for 300 (!) seed balls.
The red clay you can get from a well-stocked craft store or from a pottery supply store--remember, you want the powder, not the pre-mixed stuff. The seeds can be anything you want, although it's a good idea to include only native plants, or at least non-invasive plants, if you're planning to use these to re-plant the world guerrilla-style.
Here's a little more explanation about seed balls: http://heavypetal.ca/archives/2007/03/a-brief-history-of-the-seed-ball/
So, today I want y'all to think about something that our children's timeline Bible says happened on Tuesday of that week, but the other Bibles just say happened sometime between the triumphal entry and the last supper. Jesus was teaching in the temple, and the religious leaders thought he was dangerous and stirring up trouble (true, true), and so they were looking for a way to get rid of him, and they sent a spy to try to trick Jesus. Let me just stop here to say, what a smart man Jesus was. He knew they were trying to trap him, which, really anyone could have seen, but he knew exactly how to transcend the situation, and not get snared in their trap. Amazing.
Anyway, the spy asked Jesus if the Jewish people should pay taxes to Caesar. This is a no-win question because if Jesus said they shouldn't pay taxes, the Roman government would be upset, and accuse Jesus of treason, but if Jesus said they should pay taxes, the Jews would be upset, and not just because they didn't like paying taxes. I'm a little vague on this, but it was something about graven images being against God's law, and, of course, the coins used to pay taxes contained a graven image.
So what did Jesus answer? He asked the spy to show him a coin, and then asked the man whose image and name appeared on the coin. "Caesar," he replied, to which Jesus answered, "well, if this is Caesar's, give it to him, but make sure you give God what belongs to Him." (that's the Step-by-Step Bible wording, you've probably heard it with renders and untos in the past). The religious leaders were "amazed" by Jesus' answer (me too). They were so sure that they had caught him, but there was nothing they could say to that. Stay tuned, though, because those religious leaders just don't give up...
I've thought a lot about the second part of Jesus' answer: "make sure you give God what belongs to Him." It gives me tingles to read that, because the Roman coins were made in Caesar's image, with Caesar's name on them, but we, flawed and imperfect as we are, are made in God's image, and God's name is written on our hearts. Sure, the Caesars of this world can have their money, but God...God demands all of each of us: everything that we are, everything that we do.
Monday, March 29, 2010
*There's that darn "should" again...
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Today is Monday of Holy week, the day that I traditionally think about Jesus going into the temple and overturning tables. I think this actually happened on the same day as the triumphal entry, which we celebrate on Palm Sunday, but today is the day I think about it. I love to think of Jesus that way. So often we view Jesus as kind of a pushover. That's not exactly the right word, but do you understand what I'm trying to say? Jesus was and is perfect. And he was always telling people to love one another and to serve one another, and that the last shall be first, and to turn the other cheek, and you kind of get the idea that he's not going to stick up for himself, and that we shouldn't stick up for ourselves either. But I love that picture of Jesus losing his temper and driving the money changers and dove sellers out of the temple. It reminds me that yes, Jesus is fully divine, and yes, Jesus is perfect, but that Jesus was also fully human. Just like me (except for the part where I'm not anywhere near perfect). Jesus faced the same fears and anxieties and temptations that we all face. If he could triumph over those, that gives me hope that I can, as well.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
1/3 c. quick oats
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
2 t. packed brown sugar
2 shakes from the salt shaker and
2/3 c. water
in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 60-90 seconds (we do ours for 75).
That's it. I also add a bit of skim milk (maybe 2 T.) and about 2 T. chopped walnuts to mine.
Monday, March 22, 2010
So Code-man made a super saturated magnesium sulfate solution, and placed it into two cups. Between the cups, Code-man draped a piece of string. The idea is that the mag sulf solution will move up the string though capillary action, then down to the dip due to gravity. If the water then evaporates before the drop falls, a stalactite will form. If it drips first, a stalagmite will form. Code-man set up three sets in three different temperature environments: room temp, refrigerator, and crock pot on warm with the lid off. We actually ran the experiment in the different temperatures twice, and didn't note any stalactite growth during our data recording period. I was frustrated by the lack of growth, so I set up another experiment. This time, all of the variables were exactly the same, except one: the string drape. I know they were exactly the same, because I draped two strings in the same set of cups, and even then, the difference in string drape was only about 1/8 of an inch. This time, in one hour we had about 1 inch of growth on one of the strings, and about 1/4 inch on the other (as you can see in the picture above, after 2 days, we have a column (a stalactite and a stalagmite that have grown together). It's about 5 inches tall). This, more than anything, convinced me that we were not going to be able to get meaningful data from our three different environments. Even if we did get something to grow, we wouldn't be able to tell if any differences were due to the temperature, or to the drape.
We did, however, make enough observations to draw a few conclusions. We noticed that in the cold environment, crystals started forming in the solution at about 4 hours in--the mag sulf didn't want to stay dissolved. From this, we conclude that if a cave is too cold, stalactites and stalagmites will either form very slowly or not at all, because there will be less rock dissolved in the water. In the hot environment, crystals started forming on the surface of the solution--meaning they were forming as the water evaporated--at about 10 hours in, and in the room temp environment, crystals didn't start forming on the surface until 24 hours in. From this, we conclude that stalactites and stalagmites are likely to form more quickly in a warmer cave, as the water will evaporate more quickly. Exciting stuff, eh?
Thursday, March 18, 2010
The real test comes tomorrow. It's the perfect storm of bad spring break karma...the weather is supposed to turn colder, with rain and maybe even snow, and we're going to be stuck at home all day with no plans and no friends to distract and entertain us. Tomorrow Code-man needs to start growing his stalactites again, now that we know how to do it, and we (I) decided that we needed two full days of not going anywhere to keep an eye on them. What have I done? Maybe we only need one full day of not going anywhere, followed by twice daily measurements for a week...
Then it's the weekend, and back to school on Monday, followed by Hubby's return very late Monday night :-)
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
We spent two hours there, and those boys wore me out...up the slide, down the slide, up the slide, down the slide, through the obstacle course, up the slide, down the slide, through the other obstacle course three times, repeat! With about 15 minutes to go, I corralled all three of 'em in the bouncy basketball court, and laid my weary self down in a corner. Each time a ball bounced my way, I attempted a half-hearted basket, but I think I only made one.
Upon our arrival home, we washed the truck, which of course, necessitated getting out the hose.
I'm not really sure if it looks better now than before we started, but at least we made the effort. Then Code-man decided a little archery was in order. I really thought I had more time before I had to come up with family archery guidelines...
Up next, more fun tomorrow!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Sponge-Bob says "Think Happy." Logo was not thinking happy at the time of this photo.That's three kids we don't know, Bubby, Code-man, and Logo.
Judging from number of times ridden, I would say the Log Chute was our family's favorite ride.They're in there...really.
And, proving, once more, that it is impossible to go to the Mall of America without running into somebody you know, we saw Louie, Alex(andra), and their mom, Andi today.
That's all for now...more fun tomorrow.
Monday, March 15, 2010
That's Derek, Code-man, Logo, and Blake.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
And just in case you're wondering, yes, I bought the product again. Once again, with coupons, and a gift card deal, the new product was less than the older style. P&G, I still love your products, even if I think your packaging slogans need a little tweaking. I'm probably the only nerd who notices these things, anyway.
So I just wanted to share that with you all so that you could bask in my all-powerful bloggy-ness. When I'm famous, you can say you knew me when...
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
It is interesting to me that sometimes mosaic artists take pieces that are, by themselves, beautiful, and break them on purpose, to put them back together in another way. Sometimes I wonder if that's what God does in my life, too. I wonder if God breaks me, through circumstance or hardship, for the purpose of putting me back together in a way that brings glory to God, and brings me into closer relationship with God. I wonder if I am God's beautiful masterpiece.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
This morning, as I was lying in bed, listening to the sounds of little people emerging from sleep, I remembered that we didn't have any sanitizing wipes, and that the children were going to want to do their Saturday morning jobs soon. I thought about what we might have on hand that they could use instead (I mean besides the obvious sponge or rag + cleaning solution), and I thought about our home made baby wipes. I would never, ever let the kids use store-bought baby wipes to clean--they cost way too much per wipe--but the ones I make, for less than one cent each, would be fine.
And that's when it occurred to me: I can make my own sanitizing wipes. Yes I can. It's so obvious, why did I not think of this before? So, I went to the internet to get ideas for what to soak the wipes in, and once again, the choices are obvious: rubbing alcohol, bleach solution, or any cleaning solution. Really. It's that simple. I think I'll use pine-sol, because 1. I don't want to use bleach, 2. we don't have very much rubbing alcohol on hand (and Hubby is probably using up the last of it while I type, trying to take old state park stickers of the 'burban's windshield), and 3. I like the smell of pine-sol (interesting note, I never liked the pine pine-sol scent until we lived in a home made of pine logs--for some reason it just smelled "right" there. Now that we no longer live in a log home, I don't like it quite as much--but I still do like that scent). I'm not quite sure how much I will dilute it at this point.
For those of you who don't know, here's my recipe for home-made baby wipes:
- Cut a roll of Bounty or Viva paper towels in half and remove the cardboard core from one of the halves (we've used a bread knife, electric knife, table saw, and mitre saw to cut--I think Hubby prefers the electric knife).
- Mix 1 T. baby oil, 1 T. baby wash, 1 T. white vinegar (to inhibit mold growth--I think we only have to add this because we use well water), and 1 c. water in a lidded container large enough to hold the half roll of paper towels ( I use Rubbermaid 1.5 qt containers from Wal-mart).
- Put the paper towels into the container, cut side down, replace the lid, and turn upside down until all the liquid absorbs into the towels.
- To dispense the wipes, pull up from the center.
*Rereading this, I realized that many people wouldn't consider pre-made sanitizing wipes to be a splurge or luxury item...just so you know, I do.
Monday, March 1, 2010
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Speaking of wild birds, today Bubby was outside shoveling as I was plodding back and forth between the truck and the house, bringing the groceries in. All of a sudden, I heard a shriek and Bubby ran into the kitchen, yelling that the turkey was chasing him. He told me, "the turkey went faster." He told me I had to come outside to see the turkey, but it was gone by the time I got there. I wonder if it was a pheasant, since we've been seeing a lot more pheasants than turkeys lately. Anyway, up until that bird chased him, Bubby was refusing to eat turkey because, "the turkey comes back outside and I see him," (excuses don't have to make sense when you're 2) but after this little episode, he insisted that a turkey sandwich would be best.