"I know what I know / Could not fill a thimble."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Heb. 12

10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
 12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,”[b] so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

Sometimes I get discouraged and just want to quit the things God has put into my path to help lead or show others.  It's a good reminder that even through hard times (unpleasant and painful) God is training us.  I think He is trying to remind me of my feebleness...that I truly can't do anything without His help.  When I get a a place of weak knees, I find myself depending more on Him to work.  I can do my best and do my best to strengthen my attitude toward it all, but I must always keep in mind that God is the one making the level path for me.  God I need your healing and to truly understand what it means to wake up in the morning with The Cross of Christ as my focus.  

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

1 Tim 4

15: Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

It's easy to get discouraged in doing good work.  There are times where I just feel burned out and that all of my projects are going to crash around me.  Paul reminds those in ministry to "persevere."  Lord my my heart be one of perseverance....one that doesn't give up.  May You open the doors of projects I am to follow you in and shut others that you want me to let go of.  I want to do Your good work, but I do know it can't be done in my strength.  Encourage and help me Persevere!  

Monday, November 29, 2010

1 Thess. 5

9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

A good reminder of God's grace- He doesn't desire us to suffer- even upon His return.  Our hope is that fact that once life ends we live together with him, because he died for us.  
 THEREFORE- Lord help me encourage those around me and to build them up.  Teach me how to be better at that.   

Sunday, November 28, 2010

1 Thess. 2

17 But, brothers and sisters, when we were orphaned by being separated from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. 18 For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way. 19 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? 20 Indeed, you are our glory and joy.

It's been a while, too long, since I have journaled.  Recommit.  But I felt a calling back to God's Word today.  
I was pondering this expression of Paul.  Truly the Thesselonians and all those God intrusted to him, Paul loved.  He had an intense longing to minister to them.  I began wondering if everyone has a passion, and intense longing to minister to certain individuals.  For some, it's the poor....for some it's Africans, for some it's their children.  For others it may be their co-workers.  

I also wonder how everything would change if we would ask the Lord to give us the same hope, the same joy, and the same crown of glory that Paul felt for them, to us, in our context.  How would that change how I minister?  How would that change how I serve?  

God give me that passion the areas you have called me over: Children's Ministry, African Awareness Ministry, Administration, Friendship, Ministry to my family. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

1 Cor. 13

1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

These verses have been said many time in my life...in fact I could probably quote them.  But, what stuck out today was the application to my life now.  God has given me this passion to be active in my "love for Africans.."  What does this mean?  What does it mean to God?  If I truly love the Sudanese, of whom I am trying to speak for (getting the word out about their situation through film and speaking) but I have not "LOVE" it is for nothing.  How can I change my strategy to always have love on the forefront?  
Love is patient: even with inaction 
Love is kind: even toward the enemy
Love does not envy: toward those who perhaps are doing what appears to be better activism
Love does not boast-is not proud: remembering that ALL knowledge and $ and heart behind activism toward the situation in Sudan is GOD GIVEN

Love does not dishonor others: even those in Northern Sudan
Love is not self-seeking: even though I want God to use me to do more in Africa, this is not the launching pad....this is only because I love the Southern Sudanese.

Love is not easily angered: even at inaction 
Love keeps no records of wrongs: a difficult thing to do, which such wrong is taking place- but I think God is saying "know I will hold them accountable.  This is MY war to fight too."

Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth: My our hearts be guarded against false reports.  May we rejoice in the truth of His Word! 

 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  May we protect one another and may be do our best to protect more Southern Sudanese for death by human hands.  May we trust God's hand and may we ALWAYS HOPE and ALWAYS PERSEVER!



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

1 Cor. 7

23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.

I know this verse was written for those who literally are slaves or who have kept slaves...but it really struck me in a different way.

How often do we become slaves (through fear or rejection or need of approval) to human beings and then we are stifled by that fear?  I know I have. 

May God give us the confidence (IN HIM) to not be held slave by fear of human beings.  He has such great work for us to accomplish, if only we will release our fear. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Save Darfur Coalition:

Save Darfur Coalition:

Give just 60 seconds for Sudan

President Obama Listening

On Friday, President Obama will join with other heads of state in a high-level, high-stakes meeting about Sudan. The decisions made at this meeting could mean the difference between violence and peace in Darfur and all Sudan as the country prepares to vote on the secession of Southern Sudan.

Send your message to President Obama right now and urge him to lead the way toward a peaceful, free and fairly-implemented referendum in South Sudan.

Mark 13

  24 “But in those days, following that distress,
   “‘the sun will be darkened,
   and the moon will not give its light;
25 the stars will fall from the sky,
   and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[c]
   26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.
   28 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it[d] is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

Lately God has been doing a good job reminding me of the End of Days. (Which makes me think it may be sooner than later.)  I am always tempted to fear those days.  When the sun will be darkened....and I am not so sure that "Pre-Trib" saving of the church is biblical.  But, I do know that "His words iwll never pass away."  Whether we see the End of Days, whether we see His coming, whether we are Raptured, whether we go through great tribulation, whether we live through people being flogged in the synagogue for their faith....HIS WORDS WILL NEVER PASS AWAY!  This is a good reminder about where our motivation needs to be.  

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Recommit & REST

Hey everyone,
So Bible reading has been minimal this last week.  Don't want to give excuses, but the last week's events have included:
1. Arm surgery to remove a lympoma
2. Trip to the E.R. for my son (which ended up being nothing)
3. Work and other obligations
4. And getting ready to spur our church onto a renewed commitment to Children's Ministry
5.  Getting sucked into the global conversation at the Lausanne Conference, online.

I am a bit worn.  And trying to recoup before it all starts again.  So, I am just going to reflect on rest tonight.  Not feel an obligation to read a Scripture.  I know what the Scriptures say about rest.  God rested when he created the earth.  I thought the other day...do I really think my work (personal/church/This is NOT Africa/Prop 19/etc.) is more important than CREATING THE EARTH?  If not, then why am I not taking a true Sabbath from it all?

It's so hard to rest in todays world.  With constant ads, dirty dishes, blogs to upkeep, facebook to check, profound things to tweet, etc.   Sometimes we just really need to UNPLUG!  I leave for Montana in 9 days and my plan is to unplug from it all, enjoy family, and rest. 

If God said to do it, we probably should listen.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Palm 146

 3 Do not put your trust in princes,
       in mortal men, who cannot save.
 4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
       on that very day their plans come to nothing.
 5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
       whose hope is in the LORD his God,
 6 the Maker of heaven and earth,
       the sea, and everything in them—
       the LORD, who remains faithful forever.
 7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
       and gives food to the hungry.
       The LORD sets prisoners free,
 8 the LORD gives sight to the blind,
       the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
       the LORD loves the righteous.
 9 The LORD watches over the alien
       and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
       but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
 10 The LORD reigns forever,
       your God, O Zion, for all generations.
       Praise the LORD.

A great reminder:  Our hope should not be in men...even princes, even celebrities.  Our hope is in God.  Without His intervention our plans will fail.  Although we have lofty plans and feel that those of influence can help us achieve our plans, often God has other things in mind.  God loves using the humble.  May I humbling REMEMBER that!  Even among times where God seems to be bringing great resource, I need to seek HIM and HIM alone for what HE wants from the events I am planning and the life-plans I have.  May I rely more fully on His hand- for he truly is the one who watches over the alien and the widow.  He sustains those I am fighting for.  He frustrates those I am fighting against.  HIS is the power.  Great is our God and Praise be to the LORD!  

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Nehemiah 2

 1 In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before; 2 so the king asked me, "Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart."
      I was very much afraid, 3 but I said to the king, "May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my fathers are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?"
 4 The king said to me, "What is it you want?"
      Then I prayed to the God of heaven, 5 and I answered the king, "If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it."
 6 Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, "How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?" It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time.

What strikes me about this passage is that Nehemiah had already gained the kings favor by being a faithful and joyful servant.  Because of these things the king was ready to help finance whatever Nehemiah wanted.  How we can learn from this.  Why do we feel like we can just ask people for money?  Those are are endowed with financial resources must first trust and and know our heart.  They must see our joy and only when they have really become our friends will they be likely to finance our dreams.  This is a good reminder for me.  

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Esther 3

 8 Then Haman said to King Xerxes, "There is a certain people dispersed and scattered among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom whose customs are different from those of all other people and who do not obey the king's laws; it is not in the king's best interest to tolerate them. 9 If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will put ten thousand talents [b] of silver into the royal treasury for the men who carry out this business."
 10 So the king took his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11 "Keep the money," the king said to Haman, "and do with the people as you please."
 12 Then on the thirteenth day of the first month the royal secretaries were summoned. They wrote out in the script of each province and in the language of each people all Haman's orders to the king's satraps, the governors of the various provinces and the nobles of the various peoples. These were written in the name of King Xerxes himself and sealed with his own ring. 13 Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king's provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and little children—on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. 14 A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so they would be ready for that day.
 15 Spurred on by the king's command, the couriers went out, and the edict was issued in the citadel of Susa. The king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was bewildered.
It's really crazy to me how it all went down. Without really knowing what he was doing the king fell to an evil man.  It happens so easily....and an entire race was about to be destroyed.  It has always amazed me that things like the Rwandan genocide happened or that Darfur is still happening.  I always remember the quote: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing- Edmond Burke.  
Obviously, in this case, it was a good woman who had to stand up and stop this.  It's a great call that even those who seem to be lowly (a servant-wife to the king) can change history and save thousands of lives.  We must speak up when evil is progressing. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dan. 5

11 There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the time of your father he was found to have insight and intelligence and wisdom like that of the gods. King Nebuchadnezzar your father—your father the king, I say—appointed him chief of the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners. 12 This man Daniel, whom the king called Belteshazzar, was found to have a keen mind and knowledge and understanding, and also the ability to interpret dreams, explain riddles and solve difficult problems. Call for Daniel, and he will tell you what the writing means."

Oh how do I need a Daniel right now in my life!  God is writing on the wall baby!  But not quite sure what he is saying yet....God send me a Daniel to help me discern.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Psalm 110

Psalm 110

Of David. A psalm.
 1 The LORD says to my Lord:
       "Sit at my right hand
       until I make your enemies
       a footstool for your feet."  2 The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion;
       you will rule in the midst of your enemies.
 3 Your troops will be willing
       on your day of battle.
       Arrayed in holy majesty,
       from the womb of the dawn
       you will receive the dew of your youth. [a]
 4 The LORD has sworn
       and will not change his mind:
       "You are a priest forever,
       in the order of Melchizedek."
 5 The Lord is at your right hand;
       he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.
 6 He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead
       and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.
 7 He will drink from a brook beside the way [b] ;
       therefore he will lift up his head.

This is comforting!  Knowing God fights and is fighting our battles.  He has made us priests and ultimately made Christ the ultimate Priest of our lives.  He will crush those who come against us...he will judge the unjust.  I love the end....He will drink from a brook beside the way; therefore he will lift up his head.  Sometimes we just need to sit by a brook and drink from it...this often lifts our head!

When I was a child, we lived by Blue Creek, outside of Billings Montana...when there were 'battles' in my life that were too heavy for me to handle, I would go sit by the brook, beside the way.  I would sit; wait on the Lord; and let Him hear my heart. 

Now, I have San Predro Creek...and I went there today- There are 'battles' in my life that I can not fight anymore...only God can fight them.  Thank you for this reassuring verse that YOU are.  And that my head will be lifted!  Praise God for this encouragement. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rev. 18

  23 Your merchants were the world's great men.
      By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.

Sometimes when I read Scripture I feel convicted that this is talking about our great nation.  The U.S. in so many ways has become great; and in so many ways has led other nations astray.

May God have mercy on the ones he loves.  May a remanent be saved from the destruction that these verses speak of. Lord we commit our lives to you.  May you be great in us and may our nation turn to you.  Amen.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rev. 13

The Beast out of the Earth
 11Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. 12He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. 14Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.  18This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.

The dreaded verses of the 1990's church...everyone knew the "mark" was coming soon....and it still might be.
But I never really listened to the last verse of this chapter and find it interesting.  The apostle is actually saying that those with insight should try to calculate what the number is.  I find this interesting and I suppose a little less skeptical of those believers who spend their life looking for The Beast and his number.

May God help us in these last days.  Give us the wisdom and insight that these verses speak of.

What happens when the Church Admin. isn't in the loop with pop culture

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ezek 18

 16 He does not oppress anyone
       or require a pledge for a loan.
       He does not commit robbery
       but gives his food to the hungry
       and provides clothing for the naked.
 17 He withholds his hand from sin [c]
       and takes no usury or excessive interest.
       He keeps my laws and follows my decrees.
      He will not die for his father's sin; he will surely live. 18 But his father will die for his own sin, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother and did what was wrong among his people.

What a call!  To not oppress anyone....or require even a PLEDGE for a loan.  Giving food to the hungry, provide clothing.  Does not take excessive interest.  May my own life live this...what a challenge, but this is what 'true religion' really is.  

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ezek. 16

 43 " 'Because you did not remember the days of your youth but enraged me with all these things, I will surely bring down on your head what you have done, declares the Sovereign LORD. Did you not add lewdness to all your other detestable practices?

Hope this is easier to read.  This passage just spoke to me as a wake up call to our country.  How we have sinned against the Lord...How we need to desperately turn back to Him.  I feel as if He, even now, is having us "bring down our head" with our economy in 'recession' and so many problems around the world...so many enemies.  May God give us mercy and save those He loves. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ezek. 11

Ok, I have been bad this week and got off the 'reading train'....but I am back on.

 16 "Therefore say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.'
 17 "Therefore say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.'
 18 "They will return to it and remove all its vile images and detestable idols. 19 I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. 20 Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those whose hearts are devoted to their vile images and detestable idols, I will bring down on their own heads what they have done, declares the Sovereign LORD."

What struck me about this passage is how easy it is for God to take away the glory of a country.  In one second they are prospering and the next they are scattered across the wind.  They don't have control of it....it's all in God's control.  Sometimes I feel that way with our nation.  We have turned our back, from God in so many ways.  I just pray God spares His faithful- for those who truly repent- like he did Ninevah.  
God please forgive me for so many sins against you.  Forgive my country for so many sins against you.  Amen. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

1 John 5

16If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. 17All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

18We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. 19We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

Commentary from Jamieson, Faussett & Brown:
17. "Every unrighteousness (even that of believers, compare 1Jo 1:9; 3:4. Every coming short of right) is sin"; (but) not every sin is the sin unto death.
and there is a sin not unto death--in the case of which, therefore, believers may intercede. Death and life stand in correlative opposition (1Jo 5:11-13). The sin unto death must be one tending "towards" (so the Greek), and so resulting in, death. ALFORD makes it to be an appreciable ACT of sin, namely, the denying Jesus to be the Christ, the Son of God (in contrast to confess this truth, 1Jo 5:1, 5), 1Jo 2:19, 22; 4:2, 3; 5:10. Such wilful deniers of Christ are not to be received into one's house, or wished "God speed." Still, I think with BENGEL, not merely the act, but also the state of apostasy accompanying the act, is included--a "state of soul in which faith, love, and hope, in short, the new life, is extinguished. The chief commandment is faith and love. Therefore, the chief sin is that by which faith and love are destroyed. In the former case is life; in the latter, death. As long as it is not evident (see on 1Jo 5:16, on 'see') that it is a sin unto death, it is lawful to pray. But when it is deliberate rejection of grace, and the man puts from him life thereby, how can others procure for him life?" Contrast Jas 5:14-18. Compare Mt 12:31, 32 as to the wilful rejection of Christ, and resistance to the Holy Ghost's plain testimony to Him as the divine Messiah. Jesus, on the cross, pleaded only for those who KNEW NOT what they were doing in crucifying Him, not for those wilfully resisting grace and knowledge. If we pray for the impenitent, it must be with humble reference of the matter to God's will, not with the intercessory request which we should offer for a brother when erring.

My Commentary:
Pretty crazy stuff. The writer doesn't even want you to pray for this person. We are to pray for our enemies, but those who adamantly deny Christ are not to even be prayed for.  This gives me some new perspective in how to pray and what to pray for.  May God give me wisdom in this and to not rush to conclusions about who this truly talks about.  But, by God's grace, may I not waste time (prayer or ministry) on those who already have apposed Him. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

1 John 2

1 John 2

1My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for[a] the sins of the whole world.

Someone asked on facebook the other day "What defines a Christian"? Tough question in today's world.
But man, does 1 John 2 give the answer! Powerful stuff...LIVE LIKE CHRIST DID! That's the definition of a Christian...wow- we all are striving then!

I love this verse about Christ being our advocate before God. After my short Jury duty event, I have a new found respect of our judicial system...and also a fear of it- because there are corrupt Lawyers who only desire to defend the one who is paying them...and I suppose that's their job, but when justice isn't served, that's frustrating.

But, Christ, is the perfect lawyer (ha...I hear a joke coming on.) No seriously, he waits for us to sin, and when God is ready to say "Ok, that's it...time to let this girl seriously face the consequence of her choices" Christ steps in and is our greatest defendant. I imagine him saying, "But Father, remember how I died for her? She is my child...look at me and view her though me." WOW! NOW THAT IS POWER! So thankful to have a full understanding of the cross!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

John 21

12Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." None of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. 13Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

This must have been so crazy. For Jesus to have died; been raised and then for him to randomly appear to the disciples. I am sure they kept thinking "when is he doing to do it again"....and it's interesting to me that he appeared early in the morning. It seems like Jesus was a morning person- Maybe he was just trying to avoid a crowd, but Jesus does decide to do it then- and then he provides breakfast! How cool is that. They were probably hungry and fishing wasn't going great and all of sudden they have a ton of fish, bread and coals to cook them on. Christ knew the importance of meals- of relishing time with friends- around a meal. I think we often forget this and get really busy and forget about hospitality. Some of our greatest blessings have been when we invited people over for dinner. May God continue to give me the grace to do this.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Now THAT'S Macaroni and Cheese

Ah yes...the staple of childhood...Macaroni and Cheese. I grew up on the Kraft Variety and although I still crave that processed cheese goodness, by body has developed some sort of allergy to one of the ingredients in it. (perhaps the sodium thipolphosphate or yellow 5, yellow 6 additives? Who knows.)

Anyways, I have been experimenting...As I cook Jackson's Kraft Macaroni, I have come up with a recipe for a killer cheese sauce- pretty natural and oh so good for grownups. So, mom's out there...give it a try-

One pack of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (1/2 the noodles to the kids; 1/2 to you!)
2 cups of Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese (I really love Tillamuk...although pricier, it's yummy)
3/4 cup of whole milk (you could probably use 2% if that's all you have.)
1 Tbls. of Corn Starch
1 T. of Chopped Dried Onion
2 Tbls. of Parmesan Cheese (Yes the shaker type)
1 T. of Pepper
1 T. of Dry Mustard
Chopped Chives if you have them for a little bit of color.

While boiling noodles for your kids:
1. Warm milk in a pan- add all cheese- grated.- Cook at low/medium until melted. Watch this close and stir regularly. Add Parmesan Cheese & Dried Onion.
2. Add 1 Tbls of Corn Starch to some water and stir...Turn up heat on cheese and add Corn Starch+Water slowly as it thickens. Do not heat too much. And once thick, turn heat to low.
3. Add Pepper and Dry Mustard and Chives.

4. After you drain the noodles, add the amount of butter/margarine that you would to the whole batch (but not the milk). Let butter melt on noodles. Then divvy out 1/2 of the noodles for you and 1/2 for the kids.

5. For the kids- Add 1/2 milk and 1/2 cheese powder that you normally would and serve.

6. For you- stir your desired amount of cheese sauce over your noodles!

Everyone is so happy!
Let me know what you think!

John 20

He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. 8Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.

K. I know it's funny to pick out this verse to journal on, but it struck me that the cloth was folded up. Regardless of who did the folding- Jesus, God or the angels...it's important to God to have the cloth folded up. God does care about order. Now, I know people can become obsessive about it and go super annal about cleaning and organizing, but I would like to think a view of godly organization and cleanliness is healthy. Although it's not biblical this phrase had to originate from something legit- "Cleanliness is next to godliness."
Those of us with the gift of Administration love it!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

John 19

12From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jews kept shouting, "If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar."

13When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge's seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14It was the day of Preparation of Passover Week, about the sixth hour.
"Here is your king," Pilate said to the Jews.

15But they shouted, "Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!"
"Shall I crucify your king?" Pilate asked.
"We have no king but Caesar," the chief priests answered.

16Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

So interesting that on the DAY I GET CALLED FOR JURY DUTY, I read the trial of Jesus. What injustice was done to our Lord...and it was by Jury...it wasn't by a single man's hand. It was in the control of the peoople...we crucified Christ. That is very humbling and makes me weep in my heart for the sin-nature of man...how we crave violence and that people receive punishment, even if they are innocent. God give me grace, humility and strength; wisdom and your heart to know right and wrong.

Monday, August 16, 2010

John 18

I am switching to a new reading schedule, that my church is going to following, starting this fall.

So, No more Corinthians- onto John

8"I told you that I am he," Jesus answered. "If you are looking for me, then let these men go." 9This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: "I have not lost one of those you gave me."[a]

10Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.)

11Jesus commanded Peter, "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?"

Man, to be reppromanded by Jesus for fighting for him must have been devistating. How often do I rush the gun and try to fulfill what I believe "God's will" is, when I should just stand back and watch His will accomplished, without my help. May I have patience and not try to fight the war for Christ, which He is already fighting.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

2 Cor. 12

12The (AC)signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles.

I have always heard that those who don't believe the "outward" gifts (prophecy, wonders, miracles, tongues, etc.) are for today believe that God gave them to the apostles as a sign of their authority. This verse, I am sure they use to confirm that. Paul did come as a sign of a true apostle, performing signs and wonders. But, it does not say that these wonders are limited to the apostles. And why would we limit out great God to only perform miracles among one group of people, in one small span of time? I don't agree with this theology, not only because of the many stories I have heard, the experiences I have been through and Scripture itself.
May God make his wonders more evident to me in this time and age. May they show Him as mighty and may many come to Him because of it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

2 Cor. 11

5For I consider myself (K)not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles.

I have loved this verse since high school. May I learn from Paul's humble spirit. I don't feel well right now, so am not going to write much.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

2 Cor. 10

Back from a week in the Bahamas! Thank you Lord for the incredible blessing of that trip and the beauty that you have created in the ocean and the tropical land. It is so peaceful to bask in the beauty of God's creation.


18For it is not he who (AH)commends himself that is approved, but he (AI)whom the Lord commends.

Always a challenge for me. I want the credit when things go right. I want the credit when a problem is fixed. I want the credit when my work creates fruit. But, this challenging verse puts a stop to all that....it's a reminder that EVERYTHING I have (my talents, my money, my intellect, my bodily function) are all by the grace of God ....it is Him who allows anything to be accomplished though me. May God commend me for my work...and may I boast in Him, always.

Friday, July 30, 2010

2 Cor. 2

10But one whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes (M)in the presence of Christ,

11so that no advantage would be taken of us by (N)Satan, for (O)we are not ignorant of his schemes.

It's interesting to me that Paul is talking about forgiving a brother that has done wrong in the church. He says to forgive him and to show him love. And he adds "that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes." Interesting when you think about it...how bitterness or lack of forgiveness can add fuel to the fire of what Satan wants to accomplish. May God help me truly forgive those who have wronged me and those who have wronged the church. May Satan's schemes NOT be rooted in my heart in any way.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

1 Cor. 16

1Now concerning (A)the collection for (B)the saints, as (C)I directed the churches of (D)Galatia, so do you also.
2On (E)the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that (F)no collections be made when I come.

3When I arrive, (G)whomever you may approve, I will send them with letters to carry your gift to Jerusalem;

I find it interesting that Paul puts the line "as he may prosper" in this verse. Obviously I do not believe in your typical "Prosperity Gospel", but there is something to the fact that if we put God first, in the area of giving/finances, that will will prosper....whether it's spiritual prospering or other prospering; God desires that we prosper when we give. Let us give cheerfully!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

1 Cor. 15

10But by (T)the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I (U)labored even more than all of them, yet (V)not I, but the grace of God with me.

I have always loved this verse. I actually put it in my college essay. (Wow, did I think I had things figured out then.) :) Each year I get older and learn more I know this verse is more and more true. By God's grace, I am what I am. And because I still have a lot of growing to do, I labor hard for Him....not, I, but the grace of God with me. Man, I just love that. It makes his work seem easy and light. (Oh yeah...that's Scripture too.)

Monday, July 26, 2010

1 Cor 14

1(A)Pursue love, yet (B)desire earnestly (C)spiritual gifts, but especially that you may (D)prophesy.

2For one who (E)speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks (F)mysteries.

3But one who prophesies speaks to men for (G)edification and (H)exhortation and consolation.

4One who (I)speaks in a tongue (J)edifies himself; but one who (K)prophesies (L)edifies the church.

5Now I wish that you all (M)spoke in tongues, but (N)even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who (O)speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive (P)edifying.

I really love this. Growing up in the AG where "tongues was IT" I really love what Paul says in relation that gift. As a 'tongues speaker' myself, I can attest to the way that it edifies me....but also not that for many it's scary and weird. But, Paul does wish people to experience the gifts God has for the, whether tongues or not. Let us all continue to seek the Lord for the gifts He has for us.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

1 Cor 10

23(AL)All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable All things are lawful, but not all things (AM)edify.

24Let no one (AN)seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.

25(AO)Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience' sake;


27If (AQ)one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, (AR)eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience' sake.

28But (AS)if anyone says to you, "This is meat sacrificed to idols," do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience' sake;

29I mean not your own conscience, but the other man's; for (AT)why is my freedom judged by another's conscience?

30If I partake with thankfulness, (AU)why am I slandered concerning that for which I (AV)give thanks?

31Whether, then, you eat or drink or (AW)whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

So good....so good! I think it's kind of funny that Paul says..."don't ask" about what is served to you. That all that is from the earth is God's. Anything legal, that we eat or drink is permisable....may not be beneficial. Lord help me to clearly see the difference. Amen.

Monday, July 19, 2010

1 Cor 9

3My defense to those who examine me is this:

4(G)Do we not have a right to eat and drink?

5(H)Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the (I)brothers of the Lord and (J)Cephas?

6Or do only (K)Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working?

7Who at any time serves (L)as a soldier at his own expense? Who (M)plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock?

8I am not speaking these things (N)according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things?

9For it is written in the Law of Moses, "(O)YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING " God is not concerned about (P)oxen, is He?

10Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, (Q)for our sake it was written, because (R)the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops.

11(S)If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?

The best portion of Scripture that explains why Ministers should be paid, allowed breaks and "take along a believing wife". Interesting to wonder whether Paul was married or considered being married. What a hard life that woman had, if so.

Friday, July 16, 2010

1 Cor. 8

1Now concerning A)">(A)things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have B)">(B)knowledge Knowledge C)">(C)makes arrogant, but love D)">(D)edifies.

2E)">(E)If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet F)">(F)known as he ought to know;

3but if anyone loves God, he G)">(G)is known by Him.

I love this first verse...it really puts you in your place...we all have knowledge...but knowledge makes arrogance...isn't that true. Some the the most educated people I know are the most arrogant people I know. For some reason they think their knowledge will save them. Don't get me wrong...I struggle with this too.

But, love edifies. I love that too! Especially after reading "Love is an Orientation". Our greatest combat tool in helping people come to Christ is LOVE! I know it's not rocket science, but it's good enough for God. And if it's good enough for God, it's good enough for me.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Love is an Orientation

Yes...I'm skipping my Bible Reading today...because I have been deep in His Word through reading this book- http://www.christianbook.com/love-orientation-elevating-conversation-with-community/andrew-marin/9780830836260/pd/836260?item_code=WW&netp_id=585403&event=ESRCN&view=details

I ordered this book because (especially after moving 20 minutes from San Francisco) the issue of how to approach the GLBT community has challenged me. I have been to a predominately GLBT restaurant and karaoke bar in the City and both times were actually very memorable and gave me pause. Why do I, as a Christian FEAR having relationship with GLBT people?
Well, primarily it's because I believe that promiscuous sex is not biblical and being a friend to people who think it's ok will somehow lead me, and those I love, astray.

But this book, for the first time, has given me a true understanding of what God's word says on this subject (or doesn't say) and why so many GLBT people are hostile toward the church. Gaining this perspective is going to greatly help me as I navigate through this world. Not only in the issue of dealing with the GLBT community...but also in dealing with anyone in my life, who I am fearful of approaching because they differ in their opinion of what is biblical.

I highly recommend this book for all Christians and non-Christians. It's time to get over our fears and start talking about why we have, for so long, hated the GLBT community through our jokes/ words/ and actions. Forgive us Lord for not truly loving YOUR children.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

1 Cor 6

20For (AK)you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in (AL)your body.

This verse was shoved down our throats as teenagers as a repellent to having sex, doing drugs and drinking. And, I suppose it worked for me....well mostly. But now that I'm married, feel the freedom to enjoy a glass of wine occasionally and eat a pretty healthy diet I have asked the Lord to show me how it applies.

I believe God is challenging us to use our bodies for His work. He has given us hands to serve; feet to go; minds to learn more about Him; hearts to love and eyes to see His glory around us. He has given us mouths to praise, ears to hear His word; and touch to minister comfort.

God help me use my body and all of it's function to honor you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

1 Cor 5

7Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our (N)Passover also has been sacrificed.

8Therefore let us celebrate the feast, (O)not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

9I wrote you in my letter (P)not to associate with immoral people;

10I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with (Q)idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.

11But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called (R)brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or (S)an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one.

12For what have I to do with judging (T)outsiders? (U)Do you not judge those who are within the church?

13But those who are outside, God judges. (V)REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.

I find this section of Scripture difficult...especially when Christ ate with tax collectors and comforted woman who were accused of prostitution and idolatry. Even "drunkard" is listed.

I am reading a book called "Love is an Orientation" which challenges the Christian community to bridge the gap with the GLBT (Gay/Lesbian...) community. I really have to ask the question is it truly OK to continue to "eat with a so-called brother" if they choose to be immoral or covet or party explicitly? How do we reach out to these without allowing the "leaven to affect the whole lump?" My only answer to this is PRAYERFULLY.
May God help me to discern when I need to love and accept a brother/sister in Christ and when I need to draw the line because their actions begin to affect me or the Body of Christ.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pray for Madagascar

Saturday July 10, 2010
All Day

Christian radio programs are regularly aired on national and on a multiplying number of local FM stations in the larger urban centers - but all lack consistent quality, organization or leadership. Avotra, a local ministry, has a radio station in Nosy Be with some ministry to Muslims. HCJB and the Islands Mission have helped to set up a number of the FM stations. Both TWR-Swaziland and FEBA-Seychelles broadcast a total of 9 hours in Malagasy and 7 hours in French weekly. Pray that Christ will use these programs to draw people to Himself.

1 Cor 3

L)I planted, (M)Apollos watered, but (N)God was causing the growth.

7So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.

This is a good thing for all of us to remember, especially those of us in vocational ministry. It's not one of us (or our programs, or small groups, or bible studies, or fellowship times) that cause growth in people...but rather the work of God. I think the best way to be co-labors in God's work is through prayer. It's a challenge to prioritize prayer over planning, scheming and developing. God help me.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

1 Cor 1-2

4(J)I thank [a]my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,

5that in everything you were (K)enriched in Him, in all (L)speech and (M)all knowledge,

6even as (N)the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you,

7so that you are not lacking in any gift, (O)awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,

8(P)who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in (Q)the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9(R)God is faithful, through whom you were (S)called into (T)fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 4(J)I thank [a]my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,

5that in everything you were (K)enriched in Him, in all (L)speech and (M)all knowledge,

6even as (N)the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you,

7so that you are not lacking in any gift, (O)awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,

8(P)who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in (Q)the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9(R)God is faithful, through whom you were (S)called into (T)fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Wow! I find these verses so amazing. What a WORK God has done in US through Christ.
1. We received God's Grace
2. We are enriched in Him, in all (L)speech and (M)all knowledge,
3. We will be confirmed to the end, blameless in (Q)the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
4. We are not lacking in any gift
5. We were (S)called into (T)fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

What an amazing work God has done through what Christ did for us. Without it God would see us as 'unclean' but now we have His grace; without it we are unenriched and lacking knowledge; without it we have no confirmation before God when Christ returns; without it we are lacking spiritual gifts; without it we are not called to be in fellowship with Christ.

Thank God for his calling! I am incredibly grateful for it!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Romans 16

20(AA)The God of peace will soon crush (AB)Satan under your feet (AC)The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

I am struck, in this verse, how Paul says Satan will be crushed under OUR feet (not Christ's feet). It gives me confidence in the battle we rage. Christ in us allows US to crush Satan. We don't need to fear his evil or feel like we are (in any way) defeated by him. Christ in us allows us to soon crush Satan under OUR feet. Praise God.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Romans 15

Self-denial on Behalf of Others
1Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of (A)those without strength and not just please ourselves.

2Each of us is to (B)please his neighbor for his good, to his (C)edification.

3For even (D)Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, "(E)THE REPROACHES OF THOSE WHO REPROACHED YOU FELL ON ME."

How hard is it to not just please ourselves? We can become so self-consumed, daily...there is so much to do; clean house, watch kids, work, volunteer, etc...but if we aren't pleasing our neighbor to his edification, we are not allowing Christ's likeness to manifest itself in us. May God help me to not only please myself, but look for opportunities to please my neighbor.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Romans 14

12So then (T)each one of us will give an account of himself to God.

13Therefore let us not (U)judge one another anymore, but rather determine this--(V)not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother's way.

This chapter is a good one for me because it answers some of the questions about 'grey areas' in the church. Do we drink wine, or not? Do we dance or not? Do we play poker or not? Do we get tattoos or not? Should we do everything possible to have natural childbirth? Should I see that movie? Should I watch that TV show? I tend to be on the more liberal end of a lot of these questions, but I should never judge my brother/sister who feels like these issues are very important to their spiritual walk. This is a good reminder not to get frustrated with my sisters and brothers in Christ, but to remember that I AM GOING TO HAVE TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT TO GOD. What will my testimony say? Will God say, "Well Done" or "You could have done better". I am so thankful for our freedoms in Christ, but am also extremely grateful to those brothers and sisters who choose to abstain as an act of worship. May God bless them in that abstinence. And may God give me the grace to know when it's my place to abstain.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Romans 13

6For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.

7(G)Render to all what is due them: (H)tax to whom tax is due; (I)custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

8Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for (J)he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

Firstly- I always complain about paying California taxes....I could go on and on about how corrupt this state is...and how rediculus it is that I have to pay a much, much higher percentage of state tax than I ever did in Texas or Montana...but this verse challenges me to stop complaining. I choose to live here and therefore should devote myself to the rulers. That doesn't mean I can't be involved in helping change, but to walk around with a attitude of hating rulers is not what God has intended for us.

Also, I am challenged to love my neighbor. This has really become more evident to me in traveling the world and really how every area of the world is a neighbor to us now (because of internet, quick plane flights, etc.) How to I love our friends next door and how do I love my sisters and brothers in Africa...I ask myself this question often and I know I fall short of loving them "as myself." May God help me grow in these two areas.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Romans 12

4For (J)just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function,

5so we, (K)who are many, are (L)one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

6Since we have gifts that (M)differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if (N)prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;

7if (O)service, in his serving; or he who (P)teaches, in his teaching;

8or he who (Q)exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with [a](R)liberality; (S)he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with (T)cheerfulness.

9Let (U)love be without hypocrisy (V)Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.

10Be (W)devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another (X)in honor;

11not lagging behind in diligence, (Y)fervent in spirit, (Z)serving the Lord;

12(AA)rejoicing in hope, (AB)persevering in tribulation, (AC)devoted to prayer,

13(AD)contributing to the needs of the saints, (AE)practicing hospitality.

14(AF)Bless those who persecute [b]you; bless and do not curse.

15(AG)Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

16(AH)Be of the same mind toward one another; (AI)do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly (AJ)Do not be wise in your own estimation.

17(AK)Never pay back evil for evil to anyone (AL)Respect what is right in the sight of all men.

18If possible, (AM)so far as it depends on you, (AN)be at peace with all men.

19(AO)Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "(AP)VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord.


21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

WOW! There is so much here to be challenged by. If every Christian were living out these verses the church would be transformed dramatically. I am challenged to use my giftings to do what God has intended for me. The two areas I feel God has gifted me and is calling me to are 7if (O)service, in his serving; or he who (P)teaches, in his teaching; May God bless the giftings HE HAS PROVIDED...and may I always acknowledge they are from him. Amen!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Romans 11

26and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,

28From the standpoint of the gospel they are (AT)enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for (AU)the sake of the fathers;

29for the gifts and the (AV)calling of God (AW)are irrevocable.

30For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience,

31so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy.

32For (AX)God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

33Oh, the depth of (AY)the riches both of the (AZ)wisdom and knowledge of God! (BA)How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!



36For (BD)from Him and through Him and to Him are all things (BE)To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

So grateful for God's mercy on Israel and us. I am so glad to be part of his family, to be called by him. He does recieve the glory forever.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Starting life journing and sharing with the world- Romans 10

So, I am committing to be better about reading the Word and writing about it. Today is:

Romans 10: 11For the Scripture says, "O)">(O)WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED."

This verse sticks out to me. In my lack of witness, I often think people will disdain Christ or not have a good experience with the church. But, whoever truly believes in Christ will not be disappointed. This is an encouragement for me to be better about sharing my faith.