Monday, December 20, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
In regards to miracles in our lives, she says, "...most of us are probably caught in the prevalent cycle of unbelief. In other words, we believe little because we've seen little, and we've seen little because we believe little." Do we really expect the Lord to perform miracles anymore? She contends we should, He does and will! And I agree!
I have to share an excerpt from the study (it is long, but powerful):
No one in my church in Houston, Texas will ever forget Duane Miller's miracle. In 1990 Duane was the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Brenham, Texas. One Sunday morning he came down with flu-like symptoms and lost his voice. He apologetically made his way through the sermon and assumed that his malady would quickly pass like any other case of laryngitis. It didn't. Duane's condition worsened until he ended up at the Baylor College of Medicine in the hands of knowledgeable but baffled specialists. Five months had passed since Duane croaked his way through his last sermon. He was horrified when the specialist knew nothing to prescribe but an additional six months of absolute silence. Any Holy Spirit-invaded speaker, preacher, or teacher knows that's nearly a fate worse than death. Six months later, Duane's voice showed absolutely no improvement. Devastated, Duane resigned his pastorate and returned deeply wounded in soul and wallet to our home church in Houston.
Before Duane took the pastorate in Brenham, he had taught a class of several hundred people at our church called the Catacombs. On his return the members of the class lovingly embraced Duane and formed a tight knot of support around him. God used this precious class to be the bedrock while life tossed Duane and his wife, Joylene. In addition to his inability to speak above a whisper, he began to have trouble focusing his eyes. At one point the medical facts began adding up to multiple sclerosis, but the tests continued to come back negative. Finally, the doctors told Duane that he'd never get better. On the contrary, they told him that within two years he'd lose his voice completely.
Early the next year the teacher of the Catacombs Class resigned, and the the director insisted that God told her Duane was to take the position. Duane was not among the very few people who believed her. Reluctantly, but with the encouragement of our faith-filled pastor, Duane took the position. Class members rigged an ultrasensitive microphone that would pick up the slightest whisper. A mighty fine teacher indeed is the one people would rather strain to hear than miss. Duane knew that using his voice enough to teach a weekly class could very well hasten what appeared inevitable. Others, however, refused to accept that diagnosis. Read Duane's words for yourself from his wonderful book Out of the Silence: "Looking back, I see that though I was emotionally demolished, physically decimated, and spiritually devastated, God knit a family around me who just would not give up: my precious mom, who never stopped telling me I was going to be healed, despite my protests; my wonderful in-laws; my daughter Jodi. They all approached the Throne Room at different times and from different perspectives, but each one of them heard the same voice and the same message: Duane's condition will not be permanent; his voice will be restored."
Like many to whom the malady is a 24-hour reality, Duane did not hold the same hopes as those who surrounded him. "Both Joylene and I knew God could heal. We also continued to hope that He would yet heal me. But after almost three years of unanswered prayer, I had become a pragmatist. I felt that it was time to learn to deal with life as it was instead of wasting any more time trying to make it what it could not be. It was just too exhausting to maintain a spirit of expectation."
On his knees Duane surrendered to God's will, whether or not it meant healing. His condition went from bad to worse. One Sunday morning at our church he rasped his way through part of a lesson on the Psalms with the help of his sensitized microphone. He read the words of Psalms 103:1-5 and reminded his class never to forget the benefits of God.
Duane then began to talk about the second benefit: God heals all my diseases. He writes, "It pains me that such a precious truth has been dragged through the mire and muck of controversy and theologicial haranguing, but I also understand why it has happened. Like many other pastors, I have been dismayed and embarrassed at the showmanship that oftens accompanies a "healing ministry." The circus atmosphere, the proven charlatans, the glorification of the minister: we should rightly recoil when confronted with such distortion.
On the other hand, some conservative evangelicals have developed a systematic theology of dispensations that has left absolutely no room for the miraculous ... The argument goes like this: When the scriptures were completed, that which is "perfect" came. Therefore we no longer have any need for miracles, ... because we have all we need contained in the completed Bible.
You know what this theology reminds me of? It's like putting an eternal God in a time box and telling Him to stay there and behave Himself."
Duane taught his class that morning that God is neither a genie in a bottle nor an apathetic bystander. Like me, he doesn't want to be forced to take a stand at one extreme or the other. He just wants to let God be God. Continue reading the testimony of that particular Sunday morning lesson: "Ironically and prophetically, I asked the class, 'What happens when we put God in a box and say He doesn't heal anymore?' I paused for maximum effect. 'He kicks all the walls down.' " As Duane says, right about that moment "God was putting on His boots."
By this time the pain in Duane's throat was excruciating. He continued the lesson with the mention of the next benefit: He redeems my life from the pit. He started to refer to his own ordeal, but the moment the word pit slipped from his mouth, whatever seemed to have choked him for more than three years suddenly released. Before the ears of his loving class and prayer warriors, God performed a miracle!
You can actually hear the miracle happening here: Duane's miracle Look at the lower left corned and click on "The Moment."
B E L I E V E G O D
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats (courtesy of Alicia Silverstone's recipe)
1 box brown rice krispies
1-3/4 c brown rice syrup
3/4 c all natural peanut butter
1/2 c dark chocolate chips
Heat rice syrup with 1 pinch of salt in saucepan over low heat.
When rice syrup liquefies, add peanut butter and stir until well combined and heated through.
Pour this mixture over the entire box of rice krispies which you have poured into a large bowl.
Stir everything together. Mix in chocolate chips.
Press down into a baking dish.
Let cool 1 hour before cutting.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Black Bean Croquettes with Fresh Salsa
Friday, June 11, 2010
I think one of the big problems of Christianity in this country is the focus on "duty" versus love of the Lord and love of people. Duty is more easily accomplished...we can always check the things off the list...
#1Go to Church, CHECK
#2 Read your bible, CHECK
#3 Be baptized, CHECK
#4 On and on
But to love those we find hard to love, that's a whole other story. To forgive those people who have broken our hearts..."Really, God, do we need to do that?" To love God with ALL OUR HEARTS...now that's serious. Yet, it's what our hearts come alive.
And today, my heart is feeling alive...specifically after reading a letter from our Compassion International child. She's only 5, so it's actually a letter written by her mother...but she said Bridian hugs the last picture we sent to her of our family, and says, "If Bella were here, I would hug her all the time!" As I read the letter, tears come to my eyes as I realize that this is exactly how we should be investing the money the Lord gives us. It makes eating out seem like such a waste, to think that the cost of one meal could sponsor a child each month. Life is about priorities, and it humbles me to think of how we can waste our money each month.
If you're interested in learning about sponsoring a child, check out Compassion International.
It'll change your life.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Yea...so onto the next challenge...hmmm....
Sunday, May 16, 2010
This week, I've really pondered God's all-encompassing, powerful, and eternal love for us. As I watched different journeys take place in the lives around me...Jason losing his grandpa, some friends being blessed with a newly adopted son, and a cousin graduating from college. God is ever-present in all the details of our lives.
Friday, May 14, 2010
So I have to say this isn't a huge stretch for me, but I would love to start making our own bread. I'm inspired by my wonderful friend, Amy...she is amazing!... mills her wheat to make homemade bread, makes homemade yogurt (also on my list), has a bountiful garden, all while taking care of her sweet family and living an inspired life!
Now I'm on the hunt to find a good whole wheat bread recipe. I have to say I felt inspired after making a homemade pizza dough...there's nothing like making dough. It makes you feel like a real woman. :) Ok, I admit too, it was super-easy with the use of my lovely food processor. Check out www.eatingwell.com for some wonderful recipes. We are always impressed with the ease and tastiness of their recipes...and my hubby gives them 2 thumbs up.
~Wise words from my previous Pastor Shane Bishop
Friday, May 7, 2010
However, I will admit that there are days I just don't feel challenged. Oh yes, I am challenged, in different ways. But previously I was challenged by my career. One of the things I loved about engineering was the challenge. It never felt like you mastered your job...there was always something new. (Of course, the same is true for raising a child.) What I find though is I feel like my brain is a little stagnant. I want to grow it again, so I've decided to put myself in "school" again. I absolutely love architecture...I even ponder going back to school for it someday. In the meantime, I'm going to utilize the wonderful library (we pay for it, we need to use it!) and I'm going to focus on learning again. Heck, to make myself disciplined, I hope to give myself assignments!
Of course, there are so many other things I'd love to be more educated on: Photography, cooking, healthy living, running... the list goes on....
Oh and I must not forget, and this should really be the first priority...spiritual challenges. I need to ponder that...Bella, let's go for another drive...
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I was baptized as a baby in the Catholic church, sprinkled, not dunked. And for most of my life, I have not thought about it again. Then, enter my husband, Mr. Church of Christ, where baptism is a huge area of emphasis. We have had many a debate of this subject...him selling conservatism vs me selling liberalism (in Christianity terms anyway). I have been haunted by the seemingly forced nature of baptism in many of those churches. To the point that you can believe and live your life for God but if you are not baptized, say hello to your little friend, Mr. Devil. I have always brought up the thief on the cross next to Jesus. Jesus didn't halt the crucifixion, and say, "Hold the phone...I gotta go dunk this guy, or else he's screwed." (Ok, so I know Jesus wouldn't talk that way, but you get my point.)
However, it was a few months ago, where I realized that for me, I wanted to be baptized as an adult. I was reading Forgotten God by Francis Chan. It focuses on the Holy Spirit and how de-emphasized it is in the current culture. And then it hit me, that I want to make sure that I have made myself a complete vessel for the Holy Spirit to work in as He would. And for me, it meant I needed to obey that longing that has been in my heart for awhile and be baptized. I had a wonderful conversation with a pastor from our church and I was so lovingly blessed with the Lord leading me to Romans 6. (On a side note, you know when you read scripture, and you think, "That has no meaning in my life" and then you come back to it someday and think, "Holy Cow! Did the Lord just write that in there? I mean it never meant anything before!!!" That was Romans 6 for me!) There has been an area of sin in my life that has been so hard to let go of. I keep asking God why I can't just turn from it. It doesn't help that it's practically a part of my everyday life...everyday. And then there's Romans highlighting the importance of baptism. And I know it is unequivacably the right thing for me to do. So Thursday, I seek to embark on the next destination of my journey.
Monday, April 19, 2010
"Don't let your worship decline to the performance of mere duty. Don't let the childlike awe and wonder be choked out by unbiblical views of virtue. Don't let the scenery and poetry and music of your relationship with God shrivel up and die. You have capacities for joy that you can scarely imagine. They were made for the enjoyment of God. He can awaken them no matter how long they have lain asleep. Pray for His quickening power. Open your eyes to His glory. It is all around you. "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork." (Psalm 19:1)"
Do not be afraid to truly feel the joy of this amazing life...God is all around us and we are here to enjoy Him and to enjoy Him forever. Live and love extravagantly, without apologies, knowing this joy comes from the Lord alone.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Jason has recently discovered the Zac Brown Band and played this song for me the other day, he told me it made him think of me. It is pretty cool to think there just is "something" about your loved one that you adore and you can't quite describe. I feel exactly the same about him. I'm blessed and loved and hope he feels as loved as I do. (Please pardon the beginning of this video, tis a little racey for my blog!)
Thursday, April 15, 2010
#1 I'm so thankful the Lord in all His goodness and grace protects us from harmful people. I love the saying, "Rejection is God's protection."
#2 I'm learning what it's like to not just believe in Christ, but to treasure Him above all else. Convicting, refining...good stuff for me.
#3 Time is precious, I need to start dinner and I'm just creeping back into the water of blogging, so I've got wet toes....gotta run!