Monthly Archives: January 2008

I Wonder, Do You Know Him?

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Recently a friend and I were talking about Jesus.

  • Did we know Him? Really know Him?
  • What difference would it make if we really knew Him?

Dr. Lockridge knew Him.

“Dr. Lockridge, a retired Baptist pastor was spotted in the audience at the beginning of a Baptist convention. The organiser of the convention asked him to come up to the stage, and open up in prayer. What followed was [this] stunning description of what God means to Dr. Lockridge.” (Found at Ignite.)

Some say the resulting prayer was almost 7 minutes long.What a prayer life Dr. Lockridge had because he knew more than who Jesus was. He knew Jesus.

Listen to this youtube rendition of the prayer.

Today, I was most encouraged by these descriptors . . .

  • Well, my King is a King of knowledge.
  • He’s the wellspring of wisdom.
  • He’s the pathway of peace.
  • He’s the captain of the conquerors.
  • He’s the leader of the legislatures.
  • He’s the overseer of the overcomers.
  • He’s the governor of governors.
  • He’s the King of kings and He’s the Lord of lords.

Listening and pondering such words helps me focus on my growing knowledge about and relationship with Christ.

In this time of political uncertainty and too many choices,I want and need to know the God of knowledge, wisdom and peace. I yearn to follow and to be led by the captain of the conquerors, the leader of the legislatures, the overseer of the overcomers, and the Lord of lords.

What encourages you from this prayer? What do you want/need to know about Jesus? Please share as I’d love to pray for you.

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Hospitality Goofs and Chicken Tortilla Soup

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Hospitality Homework for last week was to invite someone over for a meal.

Tuesday night my guest showed up along with the torrential rain that has inundated northern California.

Problem – I thought our meal was for Thursday and I was in the midst of writing two papers due for Wednesday. One of the papers was on communication! Good thing my prof didn’t know that in reality I flunked that test.

Afterwards I thought about how I could’ve handled it better. My house was astrew with books, papers and projects. Not much food of the healthy kind was available. But I could’ve taken us to a nearby restaurant, since I needed to eat as well.

On Sunday we finally had a meal together: Chicken Tortilla Soup, oranges, Best Ever Muffins (which weren’t) and water. No salad because the fixings were yuck. Despite all this, we had a tasty meal and fun time.

My guest even asked for the soup recipe; which could be renamed as dump soup. So here it is as given to me by Lori.

Dump the following in a soup pan and heat until warm:

  • 1 can (12.5 oz) chunk chicken breast
  • 1 can (15 oz.) of black beans (pinto beans are NOT a good substitute)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) of kernel corn
  • 2 can s(15 oz. each) of chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa (canned tomatoes with seasoning are NOT a good substitute)

Serve over tortillas and top with shredded cheese, avocado slices, sour cream, and olives.

If you have more time, money and a sensitive palate you could try this version that tastes like it came from Applebee’s. Truth be told, I prefer the one that tastes like it came from Lori’s.

What are some of your hospitality goofs? Favorite dump meals?

P.S. A good dump cake recipe is here. Read the 7th comment for the actual recipe.

4 Week Hospitality Group Format

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Sunday nights I attend a hospitality group with (9-18) adults and scads of kids. This 4 week small group, led by John & Shula, will help us to understand and then to better implement hospiality in our own spheres of influence.

We start out with a potluck dinner and lots of talking.

  • John then leads in a lecture/discussion on some aspect of hospitality.
  • The evening progresses to dessert, coffee, and more talk.
  • Sometimes we have homework assignments to fulfill during the week.
  • When we get to the lecture/discussion portion of the evening, the kiddos and a babysitter go to another room and have some fun more suited to their ages.

I am attending this group for 4 reasons . . .

  1.  To get me back into the entertaining/hospitality mode . . . .  In July of 2006 I felt like hospitality had taken a backseat far too long. Read here for more. Despite some valiant attempts (here, here and here) I didn’t get past the writing stage. John & Shula are great examples of showing hospitality. Nothing like learning this from the “masters.”
  2. To eat a meal with people . . . .  As a single I eat most of my meals alone. The exceptions are my evening seminary classes and when my nieces/sista invite me over.
  3. To get to know others better .. . . You can’t get to know others on Sunday mornings at church  – too much going on.
  4. To observe group communication for a paper I have to write . . . . This observation has made me sensitive to what is working well in this group. And there is plenty.

Eventual Outcome of Group

The typical Dinners for 6 has been suggested. But an even better idea was suggested.

Form a Sunday hospitality group – Couples, singles and families would sign up (maybe once a quarter) to invite others to share the Sunday afternoon meal with them after Church. This could be at a restaurant, park or at the host’s home. Really the ideas are endless.

We are just at the beginning stages of brainstorming and it is exciting. It is also exciting to “work” with John, Shula and their kids in this hospitality experiment at CNC.

 What do you think? Any ideas? Suggestions? What’s worked at your church?

Note: It is Jan. 4, 2010. This group is not currently in operation.

Marriage Challenge for the Ladies

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Diaper Diaries is in week 16 of her 1 Corinthians 7:5 Challenge.

It’s a series of “challenges” designed to help ladies stay aware of an area that is important to their husbands and their marriage.

Diaper Diaries writes, “Yes ladies, I’m talking about sex. Or more accurately, the sad lack of it that is going on in many marriages. When I told a friend I was going to be blogging about sex she responded, “But you have a Christian blog.” This is where we Christians are seriously missing the boat.”

Read more: “So here’s the deal. Every week, I will be posting a challenge on my website to encourage us wives to step it up to improve the sex in our marraiges.”

“It will be tasteful, it will be fun, it will be great for your marriage, it will be pleasing to God.”

So click here for the premise.  And here for week 1.

7 Marriage Resources

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A good marriage takes work. That’s no surprise.

So it makes sense to enter into the marriage with a good base of communication and knowledge about each other. Premarital counseling can be done with a clergyman, another couple, or even with a good book.

Did you know that premarital counseling lasts about 5 years? Then it’s time for a booster shot.

So whether you are laying the foundation or needing a boosterbelow are some ideas for marriage books and websites.

Books

1. Ten Lessons to Transform Your Marriage: America’s Love Lab Experts Share Their Strategies for Strengthening Your Relationship by John M. Gottman, Julie Schwartz Gottman, and Joan Declaire (2007)

This author is recommended by one of my profs who has been a pastor for 10 years and a psychologist for 30 years. John Gottman and his colleagues have researched and come up with efficacious marriage–saving ideas.

2. Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling: A Guide to Brief Therapy by Everett L. Worthington (2005)

This author “attacks” marriage counseling from a different slant – hope. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong, the focus is on restoring hope in the marriage.

3. The DNA of Relationships for Couples by Dr. Greg Smalley & Dr. Robert S. Paul (2006)

This book explains how to break destructive relationship patterns. I especially like adopting the no-losers policy. This book might present its ideas in a way that will click with some couples.

Websites

4. http://www.troubledwith.com/

This website has “creative advice and practical solutions” for issues like abuse & addiction, life pressures, love & sex, parenting children & teens, relationships, and transitions.

5. http://www.family.org/

The Focus on the Family website has information in the form of books, articles and tapes on the following issues from a Christian perspective: Relationships and Marriage, Parenting, Faith, Entertainment, Life Challenges, and Social Issues.

6. http://www.familylife.com/

Articles, tips, and links on the following topics from a Christian perspective: marriage, parenting, singles and life issues.

7. http://www.lifeway.com/lwc/

Articles and books for areas regarding

life (headlines, viewpoints, entertainment, health and wellness, career and finance, online learning)

ministry (adults, students, women, pastor, and discipleship to name a few areas),

and family (marriage, parenting, homeschool, singles, senior adults, and women).

Who Killed Jesus?

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Last week in one of my classes that topic was discussed. The typical answers are the Romans and/or the Jews. It always amazes me when I hear about how people/groups throughout history have been so murderously preoccupied with persecuting the Jews for this act.

But what about God the Father’s place in this magnificent event? Jesus’ part? And how did I contribute to Jesus’ death? Seems like these are the ones who should be held “responsible.”

God the Father. God’s love caused Him to send Jesus to the world to be the atoning sacrifice for sin. That means it was God’s will that Jesus die on the cross. Why? I John 4:14 says, “the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world.”

God the Son, Jesus. John 10:14-20 records that Jesus is the Good Shepherd who came to bring His Sheep into the pen by means of laying down His life for them. And He does this willingly. How does this metaphoric language translate into plain English?

Jesus willingly, knowingly, purposefully, and lovingly allowed Himself to be crucified so that those who belong to Christ (past, present, and future) could be freed from the bonds of death and have eternal life with Him. I once heard a song about how Jesus didn’t need to be nailed to the cross because His love would have kept Him there.

Read these words of Jesus in John 10:18, “No one takes it (my life) from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

Me. Isaiah 53:5-6 gives us some information.

5 But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
the sins of us all.

I killed Christ with my sins. And as a former sinner, what else could I do but sin? Now as a Christian, I have the power, desire, and ability to choose to behave differently, although not perfectly.

After thinking about my part in Jesus’ death and what Jesus gave me anyway, I just have to humbly thank Him in prayer and song.

Here are some songs I’m singing today:

What songs would you add?