Tag Archives: Lent

Tracking food-consumption patterns

Isn’t technology great?

Last night I signed up with LIVESTRONG.com & created my own food diary. If truth be told, I am still working my way around the site, but I DO have my LIVESTRONG profile up & running. I still need to figure out how the fitness-tracking works, but I am confident that I’ll master this site soon. The food diary application also has water-intake tracker. Inasmuch as I dislike drinking water , I’m making an effort to fill my body with more pure water & less diet soda. This is not easy at all.

My goal is all-around HEALTH, I am NOT tying to lose weight. I do want the calories I eat to be of the best types of fuel for my body, so I’m surveying my eating habits.

Today is Day 2 of tracking what I eat & I’ve discovered that I consume far less protein than I’d thought & way too many carbohydrates. :o/ Darn. Although I’ve made a concerted effort to cut down on my sugar consumption, the data I’ve derived thus far from the food-tracking show that the majority of my daily caloric intake still is carb-based.

***Sigh***

Show me a sign, dude….

{Mark 8-11-26}

Today’s Gospel lesson has Jesus frustrated. Apparently the Pharisees are doing what Pharisees do best, which is challenge Our Lord. Today we find them demanding that Jesus show them a ” sign” that He is Who He says He is{ and is the Savior that we modern Christians know Him to be}

They are coming from a huge party where this very man had turned mere water into wine AND provided enough food t feed more tan 5000 people. Most would consider feeding the multitudes a ” sign” that Jesus, son of Mary is no ordinary man But is not enough for these guys–they demand more ” proof” that this is The Christ.

Perhaps these guys felt threatened by Him & their insecurity caused them to demand that He prove himself to them. It has been my experience that people such as the Pharisees act bossy & make unreasonable demands out of feelings of their own unworthiness. These sorts of people ” pick on” others & blame others {especially those who occupy a position of trust or leadership in a community} for their problems in life.

I pray every day fo God to show me ways to be more like Jesus & less lke a Pharisee.

Amen.

Missing Mass= weird

I am deviating from my RCL blogging today to address an issue that is pertinent.

Best Dude & I had a GREAT Feast of St Patrick Weekend. We went to Pensacola all day on Saturday & spent the day walking around downtown. Our priest’s rock & roll band { yes!!} played at a beer join downtown. It was great!

Anyhow, Best Dude had to be at work early on Sunday, so he could not attend Mass. I had a full intention of finding a ride to the later morning Mass for that day, but as the time drew nearer I felt more sleepy. yeah, I missed Mass & anyone who knows me at all knows that I am a regular Mass attendee on Sundays.

Staying at home on Sunday when I ordinarily would have been at Mass left me unsettled. While I do not attend Mass because I feel I * must*, Mass is a huge part of my life-long walk with God. Unlike the Romans, we Anglicans do not set aside special days as ” holy days of Obligation” during which we MUST attend Mass. Yet receiving Eucharist weekly is a huge part of my spirituality.

I missed Mass…and I MISSED Mass.

Gentiles are Welcome here….

{ Mark 24-37}

We read a lot in the Gospels about the relationship between Jews & Gentiles. Apparently the two groups did not like each other much.

Today’s Gospel, once again, has Jesus working against the ” norm” . He is Jewish, yet when the Gentile woman came to Him for healing of her daughter, he looked beyond the cultural difference between ” His” people ” those” Gentiles.

American politics is messed up, in my opinion, because too many people only want to advance the agenda of “their” people Rather than work together to try to accomplish what is best for our great nation as a whole, politics as it is now focuses of divisions & not what unites.

This is an election year, so the media are throwing politics into my face. I am sick of it. Inasmuch as I am a CNN junkie, dring election years I keep the TV news off as much as possible. I. Hate. Politics!

Each election cycle wearies me of bickering between Republicans & Democrats. Even if I did claim an affinity with one of the two major political parties{thanks be to God, I do not!} all the ” us versus them” mentality of American politics is tiresome.

In the time in which Jesus lived, Gentiles & Jews shared nothing in common but the land where they lived. But He taught unity in a diided cultre &we can gleam much from that lesson now.

Amen.

Sing. Sing a Song….

Psalm 95

I love music. As a matter of fact, it is my love of music that helped me first come to know Jesus as our LORD & Savior.

My family is not a churchgoing group. With our dad raised as a Roman Catholic & Mom raised as Jewish, my younger brother & I grew up with no set Sunday routine that included worship. Both our parents had given up their respective faith traditions when they married. In spite of * both* sets of grandparents vehemently against this marriage, Mom & Dad are & have been happily married for 40 years. A-men!

I credit my parents for instilling good values in both my brother & myself–values that I would use as a litmus test for when I sought out a new Christian family with whom to associate back in 2008. But I cannot forget that my walk with God started in the children’s’ choir at small, rural Presbyterian church.

When I was in elementary school my first-grade teacher directed the children’s’ Choir at Tiny Presbyterian Church. Our little choir sang monthly during services & this is when I first got an idea of what it means to worship in a corporate way. Although I’ve always believed in God, my interfaith parents {bless their hearts} did not do a whole lo of religious instrution at home. But I was never told hat I could not atend church Vacation Bible school, Sunday school ect.

Musc is the universal language. Amen.

KNOWLEDGE vs LOVE

Today’s Epistle really spoke to me.

Listen to these words concerning KNOWLEDGE versus LOVE.

Th letter-writer says:

“”Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge,but anyone who loves God is known by Him.” { 1 Corinthians 8:3}

God knows us , & he loves us. It matters not how smart we re intellectually, the ” knowledge” og God’s love is something that even the brightest minds debate.

We don’t need to ” know” about God the way one might ” know” about a science or an art.

Some good people mistakenly use Holy Scripture to defend positions that support their misinformed biases. I try hard not to feel anger towards such people ,but it is hard. Knowing, and by this I mean putting one’s trust in, God means to treat others with the same agape LOVE that God shows humanity.

In this spirit, I’ve tried to remain gentle & listen to extreme right-wing Christians express their views on such matters as the role on women in Church. I am totally aware of some of the Scripture quotations used by such folks who espouse this mindset & I know from where they come. This IS NOT easy. One of my biggest pet peeves re people who harbor bigotry against anything or anyone unfamiliar to them.

I pray for patience.

Going home….

Today’s Gospel has Jesus returning to His hometown. Rather than lauds, he faces harsh judgement & criticism by the people who knew Him when he was young.

Every year, I spend approximately one week up North. While I do anticipate this trip with joy, there is a bit of apprehension that follows me on the plane rides to the Pittsburgh International Airport. I’ve not live in the Greater Pittsburgh area for 13 years & during these past 15 months, Florida has truly become my home.

Here is an example:

While I still passionately follow the Pittsburgh Steelers, Best Dude & I faithfully watch the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team. When the Bolts play against Pittsburgh’s hockey team, its sort of odd to cheer AGAINST a Pittsburgh sports team but I do. Florida is home & besides, I never followed hockey much before Best Dude & I got together.

Am I a Greater Pittsburgher or a Northwest Floridian?

But, I know I AM a member of God’s household.

Amen.

as written before…No Fear. But Believe

Today’s Gospel lesson is a portion of Mark’s account of the teachings of Jesus’ performing healing miracles. In the text, we see some of the leaders telling the father of a woman presumed dead that Jesus did not heal her{ the dead woman}

Again, let us look at what Our Lord tells one of the chief priests at the temple

Jesus says: ” Doi not fear, only believe.’

Christians are not called to rationalize our faith. All we are called to do is to continue to have faith in the miracle of Christ’s conquering death on a cross so that we may have eternal life with Him. No matter what happens to us here on Earth, our task is to know that God’s love is a love that passes all human understanding.

I am a very fact-based person. When things in my life occur that seem to lack any logic, I feel very uncomfortable{ and even angry sometimes}I want my world to fit neatly together according to the laws of cause & effect.

Yet I am reminded every Lent that a life of faith is not based entirely on empirical knowledge. Faith is a ” knowing” without understanding & it has taken me years to even begin to grasp this idea. Honestly, when life throws me something else that challenges my logical mind, I remember that FAITH is not empirical.

Amen.

What has Christ done for YOU lately? Tell Others.

Today’s Gospel is the story of Jesus casting out the demons from a man , transferring said demons into a herd of swine , and then running the herd over a cliff.

As usual, I am transfixed by the words of Our Lord at the end of Mark’s account of this miracle.

Jesus says to the man from whom he had cleansed the demons:
” Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the LORD has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.”

So , this begs the question of today: How do we tell others of what the Lord has done for us? Traditionally, Episcopalians are not good at evangelizing, and I am no exception. Inasmuch as my faith is important to me, I neglect to take opportunities to tell others of how Christ works in MY life. I shy away from telling others what Christ has done for me for fear of being labeled as a ” Jesus-freak”. But are not we Christians ” supposed ” to be passionate about Our Lord?

Yep.

But what is the most effective way to tell others what Christ has done in our lives? how can we bring others to want to know of Christ? How can we show them{ unbelievers, especially} that Jesus of Nazareth is so much more than The History Channel insists He is?

The solution is simple. Spread Christ’s Love by loving others as He loves us. Try not to be deceitful, or to hold grudges against others. Withhold judgement of others who are ” not like us”. Smile at a stranger.

But talk is easy. Maybe the best way to ” tell” others about Christ has done & continues to do for we believers is to DO MORE. The old saying is that”… Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words.”

Amen.

Who will stop the rain?

“And I wonder/still I wonder/ Who will stop the rain?” ~ CCR

Seriously though, today’s Gospel lesson has Jesus & His disciples in the middle of a storm at sea.

Ever since I’ve lived in Northwest Florida, I’ve been acutely aware of the power of moving water. Unless one has been through at least one hurricane, one really has no clue how destructive this otherwise life-giving chemical compound that we know as * water* can become.

I bet those disciples were scared during that storm. They were in an open sailing vessel in the middle of the sea. Wind & rain were everywhere & those waves were huge! And to make matters worse,their rabbi is SLEEPING through this storm.

Pay careful attention to what Jesus says to His disciples after he calms the stormy sea.

He says: “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”

All of us face occasional ” storms” of some sort in life. It is never always”smooth-sailing ” . But we, like the first followers of Our Lord Jesus Christ, ned to remind ourselves that JESUS is the One on Whom we can count on to steer or lives safely through metaphorical and literal stormy weather.

Thanks be to God.