Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Video: Gianna Jessen Abortion Survivor (Part 2)

She unashamedly lives for Christ.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

He Leads me through Fear

I've been lazy lately. Do you have those days, those months?  For me it's been months, months of piled up dishes, piled up laundry, piled up prayers that haven't been prayed,  piled up words of encouragment and God's grace that haven't been shared, blogposts that haven't been written, steps of obedience that have't been taken. I reached this peak of emotional crisis, questioning my purpose, my motives, my fears.  I took time to relax and it became a habit. Actually, I didn't take time to relax if I'm honest. The truth is I didn't know what to do, so I just stopped.  The truth is I've been battling anxiety, this general anxiety, and I just stopped.

Fear is paralyzing. I froze and struggled to break through the icy fear that encased me and walk through the spinning world that didn't wait form me.

Yet, God knows what I am made of, dust that so easily drifts with the wind of the world's shifting currents, but He never shifts to turn His back to me. 

I love the encouragement of this line from A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23:
The disappointments, the frustrations, the discouragements, the dilemmas, the dark, difficult days, though they be shadowed valleys, need not be disasters.  They can be road to higher ground in our walk with God.
The dark days break our pride and allow us to dwell in intimacy with our Saviour. When these dark day hit, I stopped, but I am thankful that our Good Shepherd drives us along through the valleys. I am beginning to hear His voice once again.  "Walk this way," he whispers, and He gives me the strength to take each step. Christ, my Shepherd, enables me to keep walking ahead toward the next mountain. He strengthens me through his Word, godly friends, scripture, sermons, radio shows, books, a stranger's smile.

I must keep taking steps forward, trusting that God is concerned with my every step.  My Maker accompanies me; He understands, and He alone lovingly carves out my paths.  This is the truth.  My head will tell me lies, but God doesn't lie. My head says that I need man's approval, that I am worthless, that I should give up. This is a lie. I can step forward with joy and confidence in what God has ahead. This is the truth.

I still have many piles to pick up, but I am learning again that I can trust in God's stability to stand up, walk over to those piles, and get to work. The Christian life is all about standing again.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Cost of Preparing the Table

Last weekend I prepared lunch for my Papa and dad and dinner for some good friends all in the same day. I enjoy cooking for others, but Michael and I have decided not to do this twice in one day thing ever again. (It brought out my cranky side.)

I was busy all day preparing the table for guests, washing dishes, setting the table with clean linens, preparing the appetizer in the crock pot, washing dishes, pounding out chicken and rolling it up with ham and Swiss, icing cookies, and washing dishes. (And nagging the hubs--I'm not proud.)

Preparing the table can take a lot out of a host, but joy comes when the guests arrive. 

In Phillip Kellers's book A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, he states, "It is not always apparent to us what a tremendous personal cost it has been for Christ to prepare the table for His own." He is referring to Psalm 23:5.

As I read this line of the book, I had to stop and think about this some more.  I had just prepared a table; it was a lot of work, but I was happy to do it. I also thought about how when I am the guest, I don't always consider all the personal cost it takes my friends to prepare the table for me.

Christ didn't prepare the table for friends, however. He prepared the table for His enemies.  We were not His fiends until we finally sat down and submitted ourselves to His care. And it is He who had to sit us down. He did all this work while we balked and fussed that we could do it on our own.  We said we didn't need His help.

And what was this work that He did for us? What does it mean that Christ prepared the table?   It was a much larger cost than washing loads of dishes.  The cost for Him was His blood. I may have sweat a little from the heat of my oven, but Christ sweat blood at Gethsemane as he looked at the task before Him.  And blood poured from His head and His hands and His feet and His side when He died on the cross to prepare the table for me. And for you.

Yet He considered it all joy (Hebrews 12:2). He prepared the table with no complaints. Why? Because He had planned this banquet from the beginning. Because He set out to restore a relationship between a wretched people and a holy God. All people are sinners.  We cheat, steal, lie, lust, hate, fornicate. And all these things separate us from God because holiness and unholiness cannot unite. And separation from God is hell and death. But Jesus laid down his life willingly for us so that our lives would be spared.

And one day, all us who trust in His work will have a big banquet feast with Him in heaven, because God now sees us as holy through Christ's work. 

There's a lot to ponder next time we set the dinner table. Do I acknowledge the cost it took Christ to prepare the table for me? Do I acknowledge it more than just in my head but in my actions as well?


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Video: Gianna Jessen Abortion Survivor (Part 1)

I love this lady. She just exudes joy!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Orange Mocha Frappuccino

My aunt recently reminded me that I hadn't shared my orange mocha frappuccino recipe with you like I said I would. I apologize.  

Starbucks made a drink like this years ago but discontinued it after a summer.  It was one of my favorite drinks, so I finally decided to try to replicate it.

Orange Mocha Frappuccino

1/2 cup strong coffee (frozen)
1 cup milk
4 Tb chocolate syrup
1/2 cup ice
1/2 tp orange extract
whip cream for top if desired

First make some strong coffee and poor 1/2 cup in a container to freeze.  I like to freeze the coffee in little jello molds.

 After the coffee is frozen, it will easily pop out of the mold into the blinder. Blend all the ingredients together until the desired texture.


 Top with whip cream and more chocolate syrup and wha-la!

Who needs Starbucks?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Yarn + Nerdiness = Star Wars Hat

My hubby wants me to make this for him:

Image:Storm Trooper Hat.jpg

I don't know.

He asked me if I would walk with him in public if he wore this hat.

I said, "I don't know."

Then I found these today:

Image:C3PO and R2D2.jpg

Maybe I"ll make him R2D2 for his desk at work.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday Video: Pictures of Life

Wow.  Can't argue with that.

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