Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I knew I liked breakfast...

Anyone who works with me knows that I have developed a great love for breakfast. We have a cafeteria at the hospital where I (with several of my coworkers) make a daily visit for biscuits and gravy and eggs, or a breakfast quesadilla, or a breakfast burrito, or a breakfast sandwich on texas toast (see below). Semi-regularly, I'll throw in a donut for extra sustenance (or if I know it's going to be an especially busy day requiring extra sugar). Washed down with a cup of coffee, I'm ready to tackle the day.

(hospital breakfast sandwich- sausage and cheese with egg mixed with spinach/tomato, along with a pico de gallo/mayo dipping sauce...)

I've also made a point of seeking out local eating establishments that specialize in 'the most important meal of the day.' Some of my favorites around Denver include Toast (smoked salmon Benedict), Sam's #3 (omelets and pumpkin pancakes- the french dip is also amazing for non-breakfast fare), Jelly (peanut butter and sriracha donut bite), and Breakfast on Broadway (I can't remember what I had, but it was good). Check out their menus, or better yet, come to breakfast with me next time you're in Denver!

While those are all good, breakfast connoisseurs around Denver can't speak on this topic without mentioning Snooze. Check out their site and you'll see a picture of a packed restaurant that is only too common, not only on the weekends, but weekdays. It's a popular and trendy place to say the least. But even beyond it's aesthetics, people go there for the grub, and then rave about it on Facebook and in blogs (as I'm about to do).

I made my maiden voyage a week or so ago. It was a Monday morning about 10 a.m., and there was still a 20 minute wait, no thanks to spring breakers. I led the charge into the heated patio, avoiding the cramped breakfast bar. I had a hard choice between the breakfast tacos, sweet potato pancakes, breakfast burrito, and the breakfast pot pie. After taking recommendations from the wait staff, I opted for a staple- the breakfast pot pie, a rendition of biscuits and gravy with puff pastry. And because I'm training for another 1/2 marathon, I subbed a peanut butter cup pancake for hash browns and toast. (the 1/2 marathon had nothing to do with it-who am I kidding. I just have a mouth full of sweet teeth).

Needless to say, the wait was worth it.

Also, needless to say, I didn't eat lunch that day. And I drank several cups of coffee in an effort to fight back the sweet richness of that pancake...

But my motivation for this post isn't really about food, believe it or not.

One of my favorite teaching pastors at Red Rocks Church spoke last week in preparation of Easter, and shared a sermon entitled 'The Last Breakfast.' Being the breakfast aficionado that I am, I was intrigued. Actually, I was a bit annoyed that they interrupted the current sermon series with a random sermon. But I wasn't annoyed after hearing it.

I won't go into too much analysis or personal application at this point. Suffice it to say that I was floored anew by the implications of serving a redemptive and restorative God, who brings hope in the midst of despair, and restores the most undeserving of people to places of influence in order to carry out His purposes.

I've never heard the Last Supper and 'The Last Breakfast' contrasted as Pastor Chad did in this sermon. But it seems to make sense. The cross was the workbench of redemption, and the empty tomb was the evidence that that work was completed. And, as Pastor Chad shared, now that the work is finished, it is left to us to live a life of worship. And that's what Jesus was reminding the disciples of that morning as He served them breakfast on the beach.

I love breakfast even more, especially now that it reminds me of more deeply significant things than biscuits and gravy, or omelets. It's another evidence of new mercies and joy available to us at the start of each new day. Each day that the sun rises is evidence that God's purposes for me and for creation have not run their course yet. While the work is finished, the worship and testimony that we live out daily is still meant to bear fruit and shed light into this world.

And as long as I'm here, I might as well worship well by enjoying 'the best meal of the day.'

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Live Up Contest Entry - 2014


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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ode to a Weekend

Can I say that this weekend was one of my favorites in recent history? I guess it's my blog, so I'll go ahead and say it without waiting for outside approval. I felt like that's something I needed to recognize and communicate- and I guess I'm doing it publicly again, after a long blogging hiatus.

This weekend obviously doesn't compare with a great 10 days spent with family over the holidays, but it stands out among my 'normal' weekends. It felt full and productive.

(For those who don't know my life/work schedule, my weekends consist of Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, a detail that sometimes put me out of the loop of connecting with people like others do on 'more normal' weekends. That will explain part of the reason why my people connections this wkd were so meaningful)

-I had 3 really good coffee appointments with some guys over the last couple days. The conversations were a mix of business and fellowship, and offered an outlet to a side of me that has been longing for deep and meaningful conversation- beyond sports and work and trivial stuff. These appointments represented a level of intentionality in relationship and life-stewardship that I've needed to pursue. I look forward to see the fruit of those conversations manifest itself in days to come.

- I put 10 miles on my Jim-ometer via the treadmill Sunday and today as I continue to prepare my body for another half-marathon in May. It feels good to exercise.  I also burned up my arms and abs with some circuit training exercises yesterday. It feels good to see and feel progress.

- I heard a great sermon Sunday on the biblical and balanced approach to the discussion of homosexuality. I wrestle with how to authentically and sincerely love people and disagree fundamentally with certain viewpoints. I think it was addressed with a balance of grace and truth that I haven't seen communicated well in other forums. Check it out for yourself.
(and if you appreciate that one, here's  another great sermon in the same series on responding to marijuana as Christ-followers from two weeks ago)

-I love movies and I saw a great one today... American Sniper. With zero desire to make any type of political statement, I appreciate the sacrifice and dedication of soldiers who put themselves on the line for their country, families, and freedom. Whether this movie truly depicts the intricate details of Chris Kyle's life, service and death, all I know is that there was dead silence as the credits rolled and video footage of his funeral played in theater.

-I got to sleep in, more than I do on my work days. That's always a good thing. 

I thought today, as I raced around from appointment to appointment, that this was a busy and full weekend for me. There wasn't a ton of down time, something I'm discovering is what introverts like me need to carve into busy schedules.

But I recognize the goodness and life that comes from spending time on meaningful and productive things. (definitely not saying that all movies necessarily or automatically fall in those categories-but some are more inspiring and life-giving to be sure). And sometimes good and productive things, and checking stuff off the list can be as refilling to introverts as disconnecting from the chaos and vegging a bit.

Here's to more great weekends!

If you can't tell, too, I'm processing more and more what it means to be a healthy introvert. After spending years of public ministry and private contemplation wondering why always being with people drained me when some people thrive on it, I'm learning to understand myself and my own needs. Another good thing...

I don't know if introverts are given to blogging regularly, so I'm not sure how often this will happen, but it felt good to process out loud.  Thanks for reading.

(This blog resurgence is, in part, a product of the renewal of my own heart. And with that thought, I've been listening to a iTunes playlist I made, appropriately labeled 'Renewal.' Here's the song I've been digesting and internalizing more than any other on the list. Enjoy)

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