Monday, June 21, 2010

Sometimes it's good to laugh at ourselves.

"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.

Seriously, when are we going to learn church isn't about contemporary vs. traditional? It isn't about the method, the music, the performance or entertainment! It IS about The Truth(John 14:6), the message (Romans 10:17), the worship (Psalm 134:2) and our obedience (Heb. 10:25). In church we shouldn't be concerned about us and our tastes or desires, we should be aware of His presence (Matt. 18:20)!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Trinity

Scott loaned me his book Forgotten God by Francis Chan. I'm only on chapter 3, but so far this small book has been great! I just want to quickly share something from the book I'd never seen before and as you read you'll probably think "I can't believe you haven't noticed that!". Actually, I've probably heard it taught and should have remembered. I didn't. ( sigh.)
We've all read Isaiah 9:6, most of us have probably memorized it just from hearing it recited each Christmas.
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be on His shoulders, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
Right there in this verse predicting Christ's birth we see the son referred to as Counselor which is another name for the Holy Spirit (see John 14:26), and as the Father! The trinity revealed in Christ's birth announcement.
Quoting Francis Chan, "This passage, and many others, keeps us from oversimplifying a divine mystery. It is not easily broken down into three main points that just make sense, but it works. And it is beautiful. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are One." Cool.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I Cor. 4:20 (NIV)

"the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power".

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Friendships for Grown Ups ~ Lisa Whelchel

I think that writing a book would be one of the hardest things to do. Not only would you have to be a good writer (which I am not) but you would also have to be willing to be transparent and make yourself vulnerable. After all, your book will in some way reveal a part of your life, your thoughts and emotions. Then when your book is reviewed, you are putting yourself in a position of those qualities that you've shared being criticized.

In her book Friendships for Grown Ups, Lisa Whelchel does just that. She candidly discusses walls that she had built around herself for protection and the lack of ability to build friendships because of those walls. Lisa openly and honestly shares her deep, personal struggles and how God began to break down those walls in her life. She discusses how needy she felt and how she was finally able to begin building deep, lasting relationships.

I did enjoy the book and at times could empathize with Lisa's struggles. I felt that the book offered some good tips,but I will say that at times I was grateful not to be a friend of Lisa's with all of her expectations for friendship and the details of relationships being shared so publicly! My first thought was that the book would be better if it were geared toward teens or young adults. Yet as I've read reviews for her book, I was amazed at how many adults shared how they too could relate with Lisa's experiences and insecurities. One real problem I had with the book is when she shares about having a male "sponsor" that she called daily to talk about her problems. Lisa did end the relationship when she realized where it could lead, but perhaps she could be a bit clearer that a relationship of that type should never be started. This would be a good book for women who struggle with developing friendships.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Monday, June 7, 2010

Peach Enchiladas

Sunday morning I woke up early and made the perfect plate of creamy caramel. Why was I up early before Sunday School to make a plate of caramel? Strange cravings? Nope, accident!
Once a month we take breakfast to our class and I began making a great recipe for peach enchiladas. Failing to read the recipe correctly, I put the sugar mixture on the stove thinking it would help the lumps of sugar dissolve as I searched for the butter in the fridge. Evidently, it took me way too long to find that butter. I turned around to find this wonderfully amber colored liquid in the sauce pan. I quickly added the butter hoping to salvage it. Nope, too late - it didn't work. I poured it into a plate and it developed into the aforementioned caramel! YUM!
Kudos to Mark for coming to the rescue and helping me make the peach enchiladas in time for Sunday School. The verdict? Both the caramel and enchiladas were delicious! Never would have thought cinnamon in caramel would be good.
(Organizing the fridge is now on my to do list...)

Thanks to Mark's cousin, Jessica, for sharing her recipe!

2 packages (8-ounce size) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 cup butter
4 firm ripe peaches, peeled and quartered, or 1 bag of frozen unsweetened peaches, thawed
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 can (12-ounce size) Mountain Dew or Sprite

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Melt butter and add sugar and cinnamon. Mix together and set aside.

Unroll crescent roll dough and separate on the perforations. Place a peach quarter in each triangle. Roll from large end to small. (If desired, after rolling, encase peach with dough by gently stretching and pinching dough together.)

Place rolled dough in a 12x10x2-inch baking pan. Pour or spoon butter mixture over all. Pour Mountain Dew (or Sprite) on top. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Serve as is or with ice cream. (This recipe can be easily halved.)

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell

Before the time that it was decided Clara's debut was to come a year early, the governess spent time teaching what Clara enjoyed most - math, science and literature. Her scholarly activities intrigued her and she dreamed of attending Vassar college. Her somewhat persnickety Aunt came to the rescue when it was discovered that Clara had learned little of what was required to impress those in society. Lessons in posture, etiquette, dancing and clothing began to consume Clara's days and evenings. Clara was expected to restore the family honor by landing the DeVries heir as her beau. Her friend Lizzie was her encourager and lifeline, but when both girls are required to pursue the same young man, they wonder if their friendship will withstand the pressure.
The memories of her deceased mother were few, but one event stuck in Clara's memory. Her mother had been singing the hymn "Just As I Am" as she went through the rigmarole of preparing for an evening at a ball. Her mother hugged her fiercely and said,"Would it not be wonderful if God loved us just as we were, darling girl? Without affectation or pretension?" The young Clara threw her arms around her mother's neck and declared, "I like you just the way you are!" Could Clara find someone who would feel the same about her? Facing her family secrets could be life changing for the young debutant if she could find the courage to do so.

Set in the 1890's in New York City during the Gilded Age, this historical fiction has some well developed characters, my favorite being the Aunt who was unaware of her need for the same unconditional love that Clara was seeking. The book's group discussion guide includes a healthy admonition that even in today's culture you will be expected to behave in ways dictated by society and your social class unless you are willing to make a stand for what you believe in. The references to God and His love were very subtle and sparse but ultimately a reminder that our goal should be to please Him above all else.

Thank you to BethanyHouse for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255