Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Adulterous Woman...

The encounter of Jesus and an adulterous woman is recorded in the eighth chapter of John.  Jesus was at the temple where he was sitting and teaching the people who came to him.

And the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the midst, they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act.  Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?"

Well now, isn't that an interesting situation?!  As a woman, I've always wondered what happened to the man that was part of that adulterous act, the very act...but I digress.  Back to the story...

These men weren't really interested in seeking justice or God's will.  They wanted to test Jesus, hoping he would say something so that they would have grounds for accusing him in court.  These men did not see the woman as a person with feelings and a past that had shaped her present world.  They saw her as a pawn for their misled purpose.

Can you imagine Jesus looking each man in the eye after they voiced their challenge, then bending down to write something in the dirt?

But the men kept after him for an answer.  So Jesus stood up and answered them.  It wasn't what they were expecting to hear.

He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.

That's all he said.  Then he bent down and began writing in the dirt again.

Jesus put everyone there on a level playing field - they were all sinners, the men and the woman.  And they'd better be very careful about how they treated other sinners.

One by one, starting with the oldest first, the men all quietly left leaving the woman standing by herself.  That's when Jesus stood and looked at her and she knew he saw her.

Woman, where are they?  Did no one condemn you?

Then she understood that the men who had left were sinners just like her.  I'm sure relief flooded over her and tears of gratitude stung her eyes.

No one, Sir.

Jesus loved her right where she was and told her how to move on from where she was.  She needed to make a decision to live a life of freedom in obedience to God instead of slavery to sin.

Neither do I condemn you; go your way.  From now on, sin no more.

Who do you relate to - the scribes and Pharisees who caught someone sinning?  Do you find yourself all too often pointing out other peoples' sins?  Jesus puts everyone on a level playing field.  We are all sinners and we'd better be very careful about how we treat other sinners.

Or do you feel like you are the one caught in sin?   Jesus doesn't condemn you but offers, instead, truth that leads you to freedom from the slavery of sin.  It's a choice we all have.  What will you choose? Slavery or freedom?  Everything you need to know is in His Word, the Bible.  Pick it up, read it and discover love and freedom.

Chef Robert's Steak and Watermelon Salad
One of the shows I enjoy watching is Restaurant Impossible.  Chef Robert goes in to help failing restaurants.  He deals with personnel issues, personal issues and usually dirty and outdated dining rooms.  The owners are always appreciative because they understand that Robert has helped them refocus to provide a nice atmosphere and tasty food for their customers.  The owners and staff also feel a unity in purpose and everyone is happy and free to do a great job and enjoy their jobs.  The owners also have to make a decision to learn from Chef Robert, to do what he told them because he leaves.  Sounds amazingly like the story of redemption in the Bible...

This steak and salad are amazing!  He served it with street corn.  I forgot to buy corn so I served this recipe with roasted cauliflower sprinkled with shredded Parmesan cheese.  But I will include the recipe for the street corn. 

 Tri-tip steak or other lean steak of your choice

1 cup cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp honey
2 garlic cloves, roasted and mashed (or 2 tsp minced garlic)
1 Tbsp Siracha sauce
1 jalapeno, chopped (opt)

Mix the marinade ingredients.  Put the steak in a plastic bag or flat dish.  Pour the marinade over the steak, making sure both sides are covered.  Close the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate overnight.

Before grilling, remove the steaks from the marinade. Save the marinade and heat in small saucepan.  Grill one side of the steaks.  When steaks are turned, put a spoonful of heated marinade on each steak and finish cooking.  Serve, thinly sliced, over watermelon salad.

Watermelon Salad
2 cups watermelon, diced in 1/2" cubes
2 cups tomato, diced in 1/2" cubes (or halved yellow cherry tomatoes)
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp honey
whole mint leaves (opt)
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion (opt)

Gently mix all ingredients and let sit at room temperature before serving under steak. 

Street Corn

Drizzle small ears of corn with oil, salt and pepper.  Grill until slightly charred.  Drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with Monterrey Jack cheese.  Broil until cheese is melted.  Squeeze fresh lime juice over corn before serving.
Sauce:  Blend mayo, chopped tomato and Sirachi chili sauce.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Woman, you are freed...

And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath
And behold there was a woman who for 18 years 
had had a sickness caused by a spirit
and she was bent double and could not straighten up at all.

And when Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her,
"Woman, you are freed from your sickness."

And He laid His hands upon her 
immediately she was made erect again
began glorifying God.

A synagogue official who was angry because Jesus healed (worked) on the Sabbath confronted Jesus in front of the the multitudeJesus exposed his hypocrisy by pointing out that he untied his oxen and donkeys from the stall and led them away to water them. Jesus exposed the official's sinful heart and his unloving attitude that even his animals were more important than this woman...whom Jesus saw.

And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is,
whom Satan has bound for 18 long years,
should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?

And as He said this, all His opponents were being humiliated;
and the entire multitude was rejoicing
over all the glorious things being done by Him.
Luke 13:12-17

Jesus always sees right to the heart of every person at the moment and states and meets the needs that He sees!  Are you more like the official or the woman who had a need?  Either way, Jesus is who you need!  He sees you!

Mushroom Jambalaya
Serves 4
I've been trying to come up with some meatless meals to save money at the grocery store.  So I came up with the idea to marinate chopped mushrooms in sausage spices overnight, hoping they would be a good substitute for sausage in jambalaya.  It was pretty tasty!

For the mushroom "sausage":

8 oz Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced or diced
1 Tbsp brown sugar
3 tsp dried sage
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

Marinate overnight in fridge.

For the jambalaya:

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 recipe mushroom "sausage"
1 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped bell pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 bay leaf
1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups water

Saute the mushrooms, onion and bell pepper in the oil.  Add the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium heat until the rice is cooked.  Enjoy!