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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Street Preaching

Something really bugs me every time we go to an Anaheim Ducks game. There are always people out front with signs and bull horns preaching. I've also seen this at most of the races I've run in.

I am a Christian. I love God and Jesus with everything in me. I *hope* I show God's love in everything I do. I am not even close to being perfect. I am, however, honest about my faith. People who know me, know I have a relationship with the Lord and that it comes first in my life.

All that being said, there is something about street preachers that really bothers me. Perhaps its the signs that say " God punishes sin" on one side then "Jesus loves you" on the other. To me this sends a mixed message. You're telling people that God is going to punish them while in the next breath you're telling them that Jesus loves them.

Are there consequences for sin? Yes.
Does Jesus love you? Yes.
Does God want people to be alcoholics, druggies, liars, adulterers, greedy, etc? No.
Does God still love you despite those sins/imperfections? Yes.

I've never been an "in your face" kind of person or Christian so the bull horns and giant signs are a big turn off for me.

I understand their intentions. Especially at sporting events because there are thousands of people in a concentrated area so you can, potentially, reach more people in a short amount of time. I get it. You want to see people come to Christ and serve a mighty God. Do you really feel yelling at them is the right tactic?

The other night Jared and I were waiting in the security line at the Honda Center and one of the street preachers was arguing with people in line. Arguing. Not exactly the way to "win" someone over for the Lord. Neither of us disagreed with what the man was saying but we definitely disagreed with how he was saying it. He wasn't the first one I've seen acting this way. He won't be the last.

You can be passionate. You can be excited and bold and honest. Jesus was a patient teacher. He loved people. He loved through His words, His actions, His life and His death. How many times did Jesus take simple things like a mustard seed and turn it into a story. Jesus sat amongst the people and talked with them. Jesus loved the unlovable. I wish those with the bull horns focused more on the love of God than on the wrath. There is so much negative, anger, hurt, fear in this world. Why make God look like this angry God that just wants to punish people. Have you forgotten that sin breaks God's heart? Have you forgotten that God is merciful and loving? We are His babies. He wants to hold us close and calm our fears. He wants to give us an abundant life. Offer hope to people out in the world, not more fear. Think before you preach.

Monday, May 6, 2013

I Made Salsa!

Have you ever had a recipe looming in the distance? One you've wanted to make but you're just a weeeeeeee bit intimidated by it? No? Ok, I have issues...

We had a salsa contest at work for Cinco De Mayo. I love me some mexican food so I was all in. Here's the recipe I made. I took ideas from a couple recipes I found online and added my own little twists to it. Enjoy! Make it a day ahead so the flavors really jive together. It is WAY easier than it sounds. Don't let the multiple step deter you.

Shannon's Salsa:

8-12 Roma Tomatoes
1 medium white onion
2 Pasilla Peppers
1 Yellow Chile
1 Jalapeno Pepper
4 Cloves Garlic
1/4 C Cilantro
1/4 Apple Cider Vinegar
Juice of 2 limes
2 tsp Ground Cumin
3 tsp Dried Oregano
Ground pepper

1) Preheat the oven to 450
2) Cut off the top of the tomato and slice in half length wise
3) Peel and cut onion into quarters
4) Peel garlic
5) Place tomatoes (cut side down) on a baking sheet (One that has a rim around the edge)
6) Please peppers, onion, garlic on the baking sheet with the tomatoes
7) Roast in oven about 30 minutes or until skins of peppers and tomatoes get some black spots and start to bubble a little.
8) Remove from oven and place another cookie sheet over the vegetables for about 10 minutes.
9) Remove skins from the peppers. Now is a good time to remove the seeds if you don't want hot salsa. The more seeds you have, the hotter it will be.
10) Place tomatoes (with skins) in a food processor and puree them to your desired consistency, pour into a bowl
11) Add Oregano, cumin, onions, cilantro, peppers, garlic to the food processor and puree to desired consistency. Add to the tomatoes and stir together.
12) Add lime juice and vinegar and stir until well combined
13) add salt and pepper to taste (about 1 tsp of each)
14) allow to chill over night.

It has a sweet side to it and a tiny little kick at the end. I don't like really hot salsa so this is perfect for me. I don't think anyone "won" the contest so I will just give myself 1st Place (just kidding... kind of). Enjoy!