easter!

might as well have been called ‘eater’ this year, because all we did was EAT!

the weekend was off to a great start saturday morning when it was time to dye eggs! i dont’ know if i’ll do this with my kids (jury’ s still out) but it was fun to get in the spirit of celebrating.  also,  for our family get together dan and i were assigned to the easter egg hunt, so i was set on making it super special for our nieces!

i confess. i have never once, in my life, boiled an egg. it’s true! i had to search online how to do it, ha! but i knew i wanted to use real eggs and knew there had to be a way to dye them without store bought chemicals. :)

it’s actually really easy, just time consuming. the basic solution is 1 pint of water per 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. so if you need 3 pints to fill your pan…you add 6 tablespoons of white vinegar, and so on and so forth.

i made three dyes. the first was using 3 tablespoons of turmeric. this one is the easiest because you put the raw eggs IN with your water and vinegar and bring to a boil, and boil for about 30 minutes. it was a gorgeous yellow-gold color! these came out the best.

the other two dyes i made, i used beets (4 cups worth) and red cabbage (also four cups worth). for these, i boiled the eggs and let them cool. same method as with the turmeric, except you leave the eggs out and just boil the veggies. everything must be at room temperature for best results when you get ready to soak the eggs.

  

the blue eggs were done by soaking eggs in the cabbage solution overnight (or for about eight hours). the purple eggs were made with the beet solution, soaking for about 30 minutes. i was pretty happy with how they all turned out!

sunday morning, we started off our day with cinnamon rolls, and then attending services (and working them, ha!) at our church, soma austin. we had a wonderful morning reading from 1st corinthians about the resurrection of Jesus and the gospel.

we realised saturday, that we had no lunch plans for easter, after all! so we sent out a big tweet and ended up with about 14 guests to easter lunch! we had a lot of brisket to share, and it was just enough, with everyone who came. i took a few pictures but none of them came out very well, so here’s a picture of my attempt to make our silverware look like carrots, ha!

we ended our day on a wonderful note, hanging out with my two sisters and their families. i LOVED getting to watch ruby and isabella hunt eggs! they were SO excited!

  
we had a beautiful dinner of potato salad, ham, salmon, goat cheese, tomatoes, bread…etc etc. with the family. amy made these awesome bunny shapes with the napkins. it was so fun!

what did you do for easter?

thanks for reading!

good friday, part 1

bear with me, this might be a little long…but you’ll be fine.

:)

last night in my soma group, we had a really special evening of reflection on what was happening on this day 2000 years ago. larry, our leader, assigned out different scriptures to tell the story of Jesus, from the plot to kill Jesus, leading up to Him praying in the garden. we paused during the reading of the passover (last supper) to take communion together.

i’ll post a second part later, about the trial and crucifying of Christ, for now…here’s the beginning of the easter story.

matthew 26:1-5
When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”

mark 14:3-9
And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

matthew 26:14-16
Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.

luke 22:7-23
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.” They said to him, “Where will you have us prepare it?” He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters and tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished; prepare it there.” And they went and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this.

mark 14:28-31
But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.” And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” But he said emphatically, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same.

And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough the hour has come.The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

luke 22:47-53
While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

things i/we pondered:

1. the contrast between Jesus being anointed with expensive perfume, and then being sold for thirty pieces of silver.

2. that must have taken a lot of faith to walk in to a strangrer’s house and ask for the upper room for passover. what does it look like for us to hear God and follow even the strangest of commands like this? or…what does it even look or feel like to hear God?

we discussed that perhaps we over-think or over-glorify what it means to be ‘called’ to something. as believers we all have the same calling: to love God and love people. His will for every single one of our lives is to be more like Him. we discussed how even when God gave specific commands to people in the bible…well, we see the whole story…they were experiencing it day by day and “God’s calling” to them, probably didn’t seem the way they thought it should (go read jonah, for example…after he gets vomited out of a fish and finally obeys God, sharing His message with the people of ninevah…he has the sass on, and the blinders way up as to what God should do–).

3. when Jesus told peter he would deny Him, what do you think was going on in peter’s mind? i mean peter was referred to as, ‘the rock.’ but he knows that Jesus hasn’t been wrong about things before…

4. those disciples are so sleepy! they fall asleep every time i read this story. :) but really, do you think they knew what was about to happen? or do you think at this point they still thought Jesus would be saving the world by becoming a political power? do you think their understanding is still so narrow? i would have fallen asleep too. i’m just being honest. long day, big feast…the drinking of wine? forget about it. i’d be out.

i think we all recognize we should be ‘awake’ and ‘alert’ and ‘ready’ in our walk with Jesus. but what’s the deeper meaning of how this applies to our lives?

thanks for reading. this incredibly long post. more to come…and more life to celebrate.

reflections.

tonight i enjoyed a great word at church. i’ve been richly blessed by becoming a part of a start-up church here in austin called soma. i really enjoy the authenticity of the group as a whole, and it has just blown me away at every intersection. not that i aimed to be “entertained” or “pleased” in order to be a part of what God is doing…like i said this is a blessing.

i recall an email that my former pastor in lubbock, bobby d., wrote me last fall. i so enjoy keeping in touch with him since leaving lubbock, as i feel that fbc is really my church home. undeniably. i treasure the amazing relationship i’ve built with all of the dagnels. tennis with patti, texting with courtney. it’s good times. but bobby gave me a bit of wisdom, that at the time i had no idea what it would turn into. long story short, he told me how important it was to befriend my pastor, whatever church i ended up going to. i thought about this a TON as i searched out what church was for me.

i remember the first time i met with our pastor, jacob (over breakfast tacos…that is the way of austin, i’ve decided. a delicious way.), he asked me to describe, in my opinion, my idea of the worst church ever. weird question, yes? but that has seriously stuck with me ever since that first conversation.

well, let me back up a moment and tell you about how i even met jacob, and soma, and the whole lot. (the word “lot” sounded very british, consequently sounding “smart” in my head so i decided to go with it. yep.) this past july, God woke me up in the middle of the night. that’s right, i said it. He can do that. because He’s God. this had not happened in a long time. and all i say about that is…that before this, well, i call about last december (2007) until that moment…a time of mourning. don’t ask me to go into detail, unless you have about three hours to listen to something you probably don’t really want to hear.

so it’s july. middle of the night. God told me i was about to come into a new relationship. i didn’t know if this was like a dating/marriage relationship, or a friendship, or my relationship with Christ that was going to be renewed and worked on. He gave me a word about the dating thing. sort of. the only person i told about it was stephanie trook (haha!), but i knew that wasn’t all. sometimes it’s hard for me to talk about relationships with God. partly because sometimes you really do get what you pray for, in full force, and honestly, i’m skeptical, afraid, uninterested in a dating to marriage relationship, because i see so much brokenness around me all the time in this area. relationships and dating are SO hard, and especially since God has given me a specific word…most of the time i flat out don’t believe this is for me. but then again, i heard a similar story the other day of a pastor’s wife, i just met, who thought some of these very same things, made plans to move overseas and then met her now husband. see??? i’m terrified.

anyway. so God actually worked on me in all three of these areas. the very stinking next day, i got a facebook message from this dude named jacob vanhorn. “who is this guy?” i thought. ha. so a couple of breakfast tacos later, i learned that he had fished a couple of people out of a mutual facebook group we were both in, just trying to make contacts of people who might be looking for a church home in austin. i knew from this very first message that this was important. God wanted me to pay attention.

so turns out, jacob is one of those freaking people that God puts in your life that says something to you, from the Lord, EVERY time you encounter each other. jerk. just kidding! but you know, it’s not jacob, it’s who God is WITHIN jacob that gets me at the core. every time. it’s awesome. i don’t know many people like that.

tonight at church, jacob shared his testimony. it reminds me of a parable Jesus once taught (I think it was Jesus? wow, i feel a butchery coming on.) where basically the point was to whomever has sinned a lot, much is forgiven. God is a big God. He can take the tiniest, blackest heart and give it new life. not saying that’s where jacob was, but man…it’s just neat to hear stories like his. in a world where so many people ‘grew up in church’ or ‘is good enough to go to Heaven’ it’s refreshing to hear something crazy like this.

at the end of telling his story, jacob said there was a point where he and his wife were reflecting on all the blessings God had brought him since he became a believer in 1999, at the spry, young age of 28.

this has encouraged me to reflect and think alot about where i came from, and where i’m going. it just became a whirlwind in my head of all these past events, since leading lubbock, that lead me to tonight…sitting here, writing this blog post. how many times do we get to see God’s full plan come to fruition? not many times. and i’m by no means at the end, or am i seeing the whole package, but how cool, to be in a place where i can recognize the work of our amazing Creator.

at the end, jacob also admitted, with all conviction that he is lead astray easily. he said he needs God to hold him close, he doesn’t want to end up where he used to be, because he knows what he’s capable of. i thought of bobby’s email, and i think i’m beginning to undesrtand what bobby meant.

hmm. makes you think.

well. it had been awhile since i emotionally exploded on the blog, so i figured it was time, eh? hahha! i kid, i kid. but really. jacob…i raise my glass, of shiner 99 (you’re welcome), to you. thank you for being God’s hands and feet in a big way. (no, i’m not saying you have big feet.)

CHEERS!

i hope i can be half of the encouragement to jacob and his ministry that they have collectively been to me. i don’t know many who would put up with my goofy emails and questions day in and day out like jacob does. thank you.

there are so many more things i want to say in this post. some of the things written might seem kind of broad. there are so many cool things within cool things, that have happened, too cool for words.

i guess in a way, i’m kind of chronicling one of those moments i’ll look back on a year from now and think, ‘wow look where God has brought me in the past year!’ i’m just feeling very blessed. and joyful. the skeptic in me wants to believe there’s a time of discipline around the corner, but i’m doing my best to put that worry aside, and enjoy Love.

so.

sometime, i’ll tell you about christie, jacob’s bride, and her FIERCE runway walk. mmhmm. i wish i had a picture!

i figure i owe you people at least one more story about kosove, so that is coming up next.

thanks for reading.

rosary’s and prayer books.

Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Common Book of Prayer, p 232

i have been attending an episcopal church, here in austin, since february, and get these beautiful prayers emailed once a week in my e-newsletter and thought i would share.

it’s been pretty different attending ‘high church’. i go to a celtic mass and an ancient prayer service. it is one of my favorite times of the week! doesn’t that sound so mystical? i know! i have really enjoyed this season in my life.

anyway, so a friend and i were recently talking about rosary’s at wine for Jesus, and as i have been reading the purpose of them, they are to help guide the holder through prayer. well, as my friend said, and i agreed, i think a lot of us already use something similar in daily prayer, like charts and prayer journals…weekly prayer calendars.

i love the episcopal prayers we are guided through and the ones in my inbox each wednesday. they are so rich and full of LIFE! have you ever used one before?

what say you, dear reader? what’s the deal with rosary’s and prayer books?

obama + mccain + rick warren…what?

i heard a great interview on all things considered yesterday afternoon, whilst attempting to locate a sprint store repair center, in 5 o’clock traffic.

back in 2006, obama caught my attention while on the tonight show, talking about an AIDS awareness campaign in which he had partnered with his friend, rick warren. you know, purpose driven rick warren.

since then, warren has befriended mccain as well, and has invited them to speak at a forum at his church, saddleback, in california. how cool!

warren says the forum will consist of both candidates answering questions for one hour each, one at a time.

“Since I’m their friend, I’m not going to give them any gotcha questions,” Mr. Warren said, adding that a typical query would be, “What’s the most difficult decision you’ve had to make, and how did you make it?”

read the times article here.

dairy. it’s better than a bolt in the head.

allow me to explain.

i’ve been going through my old blog and have been reminded of some great things that happened during my 8-year-tenure in lubbock, texas.

actually this whole dairy thing took place in my home town of sulphur springs…so what am i even talking about?

so here’s the situation. spring of 2002? 2003? something…three of my buddies: regan, sean, and martha joined me in a roadtrip home to work a disciple now and it was one of the most fun d-nows i’ve ever had the privilege to take part in. the last night we were there, we go to do this really cool communion service..and sean played the guitar for like 3 hours…

anyway, during our off time that saturday, the fabulous four (that’s us!) decided to go for a drive. it was cloudy and borderline about-to-storm in a major way. now, my town used to be the dairy capital of the world. we have many-a-dairy farm lining the outskirts of our city, a dairy museum at one end of our high school parking lot, and cows. lots of cows.

a discussion came about that if we were to be cows or come back in another life as a cow, or whathaveyou, a dairy cow would be our breed of choice.

why?

because dairy: it’s better than a bolt in the head.

i don’t think incense smells very good.

guys. so i’ve been going to this episcopal church and just completely loving it and soaking it up. i’ve been doing some personal research about this “religion” and asking lots of questions. i’ve learned that the episcopal church practices catholic traditions but holds protestant beliefs. it’s sort of a bridge between the two. basically, it’s just got more flare than the baptists. ha.

i listened to a sermon online this week and liked it okay, but tonight i attended my first real service at this church. it was a celtic holy communion service. what beautiful words were spoken to God tonight. i sat in the back and just enjoyed taking in the readings and prayers and beautiful harp music. i stood, i sat, i responded. the reverend called for a time of healing and a time of invitation. and then we all stood around the altar and received the sacraments of communion.

reverend lex taught on doubt and faith. it struck a chord within me since i have been walking this road of doubt lately. he said there’s no humility in certainty. wow. think about that one for a few hours. he challenged us with the question: how do you know what you know? the reverend defined head knowledge and heart knowledge. he talked about the credo (statement of faith) and how your credo (which is latin for ‘the credo’, just kidding, for ‘i believe’) is not what’s in your head but what you are selling out to. what you are committing your life and your being to. it’s how you know the world in your heart.

he talked about a relationship with the trinity. this is the core of my credo and the core of this church’s credo.

love it.

i took lots of notes. and not that this constitutes a good church, but it says to me that God is alive in this place and He is speaking to me here. that is always a good thing.

on a lighter note. here’s a picture of me, that my friend karen took, pointing to a slayed rubber chicken. it looks like i have something in my teeth or that i’m missing one. somethings going on. i kind of think i was chewing a piece of gum… emily-and-chicken.jpg