Monday, October 18, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

K - just sat down to plan out the week's menu since I have my order in with the delivery service Peapod and I can edit it until 3pm today.  It will be delivered between 9:30 am and 1 pm tomorrow and I need to be sure that it actually has what I need!!  :)  So I sat down with Bob to plan it out.  Here we go:

Monday - Roasted Tomato Pasta, bread, salad
Tuesday - Helen's Mac and Cheese, salad, cake (Bob's 50th birthday!!)
Wednesday - Boilermaker Tailgate Chili, salad
Thursday - Sauerbraten, Red Cabbage, Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli
Friday - eat out
Saturday - Honey Mustard Chicken, roasted red and purple potatoes, green beans
Sunday - after church - taco soup
               dinner - a nice big dinner salad with chicken, mandarin oranges, blue cheese, craisins and stuff

Now to go add the things I need to my order!

Monday, October 4, 2010

"What's For Dinner??" menu plan

So I sat down to menu plan and I have a plan but my guess is that it's certainly not going to reflect reality beyond, say, Thursday.  But that's OK.  I'm willing to be flexible.  :)

Monday - Taco Soup
Tuesday - Ham, corn casserole, scallopped potatoes, peas
Wednesday - Pasta with a crockpot meat ragu, salad
Thursday - Baked chicken with acorn squash, broccoli
Friday - BBQ Ribs, cole slaw, sliced tomatoes
Saturday - Chicken Pot Pie, salad
Sunday - French dip sandwiches, salad

The reason I'm not sure about the weekend is that we have to see what's going on with "plans & the weather".  I planned the ribs for Friday because I'm out all day between work and homeschool group so that will be quick and easy (the ribs are from the grocery store, precooked and only take about 15 minutes on the grill).  I have the ingredients for the chicken pot pie in the freezer so I can make that quickly and easily.  The French dip sandwiches will find me buying rolls next weekend but the rest of the stuff I have on hand and if we have a change in plans, I can easily bump that to Monday.

I have to say, I love having the menu planned for the week!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Had our first "Outdoor Service" of Island Christian Church

This week the hotel was already booked so we had to find another location to meet.  Bob went and found a local park that had miniature golf, a driving range, go carts, laser tag and batting cages along with a great covered picnic area.  So we had our services there today.  Two days ago, I was sitting here on my living room couch at 9 pm sweating like a pig and needing to go shower before bed and today for our services, we all should have had our winter coats!!  Brrrr!!  But it was wonderful none-the-less and we had a great group of people there.  Today was Bob's first time preaching for the new church and I think he did a great job.  :)  Here are some photos to share:

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Morning Glory Muffins

These are FANTASTIC!!!  Full of good stuff and SO great on a chilly morning.  They should sit for a day after baking to let the flavors fully develop but even right out of the oven, they are wonderful.

Morning Glory Muffins
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 cups flour
4 tsp. cinnamon
4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup raisins, plumped in brandy or apple juice and drained
1 cup coconut, shredded
4 cups shredded carrots
2 cups shredded apples
1 cup chopped pecans
6 eggs
2 cups vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Sift dry ingredients into large bowl (REALLY large bowl).  Stir raisins into flour mixture to coat well.  Add the coconut, carrots, apples and pecans; stir well.   In a separate bowl, combine eggs, oil and vanilla extract then pour into large bowl with other ingredients.  Stir only until combined.

Spoon batter into greased muffin tins and bake at 375 for 20 minutes.  Muffins should "ripen" for 24 hours for maximum blending of flavors.

Makes about 36 regular sized muffins.

Sandy's Pumpkin Muffins

I got this recipe a few years ago from a woman on one of the boards I go on.  It's a family favorite and in honor of the fall finally being here (it's not getting out of the 60s today!) and for our breakfast tomorrow on the way to church, I'm making Sandy's Pumpkin Muffins.  These are great and make a nice large batch (I just got 36 muffins out of the batter PLUS 12 mini-muffins.  Try them - you'll love them!!

3 cups sugar (I used 2.5 cups)
1 cup oil
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. baking soda
2/3 cup milk
1 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (one 15 oz. can) (**not pumpkin pie filling but regular pumpkin**)
Optional:  1 cup chopped nuts or 1 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla well.  In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking soda.  Add to sugar mixture alternately with the milk until well combined.  Fill greased muffin tins 1/2 full with batter and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

Makes 40 muffins

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Ultimate Sacrifice

I knew there would be sacrifices in getting a new church started. There's lots of work, lots of effort involved but I never thought my kids would have to sacrifice so much.

See, we record our services on a small digital recorder. It's been working out great so far but this week, we have to have an outside service since the hotel was already booked for this week. So we realize that if there's ANY wind, it will ruin the recording. This is where the sacrifice comes in.

My husband needs fake fur and he forgot to go to the fabric store (that most likely won't have anything like this anyway). So he called them into the living room where we're sitting. He's asking them to sacrifice one of their stuffed animals.

"Does it need to be a lamb?" my dear son asks.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Halloween - Another proposal on what Christians should do

I know we've all heard the arguments regarding Christians and Halloween.  Here's a blog post that I think has an excellent perspective on Halloween and it's one that maybe we should consider as missionaries in a lost world.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wanna see the world's most scariest job?? I barely made it through the video!

Serioulsy, if you're afraid of heights, watch out!!  But this job is NUTS!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cool!! Another pastor mentioned Island Christian yesterday on his blog!

Check it out!

Roger - I haven't had the pleasure of meeting you yet but I'm sure I will someday.  Thanks for the plug and even more, thanks for the prayers!!!  I'm so exited to see what God's going to do!

4 more days until the birth of Island Christian Church!!!

We had our staff day today at the hotel and it was our first time setting things up.  The PA system that Bob bought sounds GREAT and it wasn't TOO terrible to set up (and it was so easy to break down - Bob and I did it by ourselves in 30 minutes and that was with him figuring out how we wanted to pack it up!!).  Then tonight, we went out for a date and afterwards did an impromptu shopping trip where we got a bunch of stuff that still needed buying:  a new projector, a table for his laptop for worship, a Passport external hard drive so I can back up the church laptop with all the stuff on it (it's backing up now as I type), a custom made first aid kit for the nursery (the premade kits are so useless so I made up my own), guitar stands, music stands and ..... a large storage bin for the nursery (had to think of the one more thing we needed).  So I think we're just about ready for our first Sunday service!!  I'm SOOO excited to see what God will do with this new church.  :)  I'll definitely get pics on Sunday to share!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My goal this fall - ORGANIZE!!!

Well, my ultimate goal this fall is to get organized.  It's tough when you have a family that is like a giant anchor trying to keep you from doing it (not consciously, of course) but I'm going to do what I can.

So, every single day, I plan to do SOMETHING to get my home organized.

Yesterday I felt lousy but while I was watching HGTV for 5 hours, I went through the giant pile of magazines I had.  After that, I cleaned out two shelves of the linen closet in my master bedroom.  I threw out a number of things.

Last week, I cleaned my entire basement.  What a job that was!!  Today I cleaned up the mouse that found my trap yummy.  Bleck on that but it was nice that I could set the trap next to the wall and SEE it when I went downstairs.  I haven't been able to see the walls in about 12 years!

Today - what should I do today?  Hmm - I don't have a ton of time because of homeschooling and ending up doing a LOT of stuff on the church website but ....

Breaking news!  I just got a call from hubby and with the crazy schedule tonight, I don't have to cook a big dinner since my big girls won't be home and he had lunch at 3 so he's not hungry and he has a meeting in 2 hours anyway.  So I don't have to worry about squeezing in food shopping but will do it when I have more time.  :)

OK - Back to organizing - what should I do today??  Hmmm - OK, I'm going to sort socks.  :D  Yeah, I know, exciting life but I have a huge laundry basket overflowing that needs to be dealt with.  So tonight, after the kiddies go to bed, I will sort socks.  Yeah!!

I will admit though - tomorrow I most likely will not do much since I have an all day meeting for the church staff.  I'll be lucky to feed my family.  ;)  OK so I will modify my goal to this:  6 out of 7 days I will organize my home.
We had what was most likely our best trip ever this year.  We had gorgeous weather and instead of always traveling, we chose to go to our favorite spots and stay for a while.  So here's some highlights.  I'll post when I put the whole thing on my blog.  :)

We left on Sunday after church.  We had the boat fully loaded and just needed to take a few things last minute and we were off the dock by 2:30 which is amazing.  We headed to a harbor about 3 hours away and we actually were able to sail which NEVER happens on our first day!!

Hubby happy to sail

Robby enjoying that the boat is heeling - he's standing straight

View of the harbor we're going to the first night

The pretty lighthouse on the way to the harbor

From Port Jefferson, we were going to sail to Fisher's Island off the end of Long Island but the conditions were so good we decided to go straight to Block Island.  While we got there safely, it was not the best of ideas because there's a very rough area at the end of Long Island called the Race and we hit a wall of water there, soaking everyone and everything, and now we had a kind of rough ride to Block.  But we got there OK on Monday and we stayed there until Saturday.  The FIRST time we stayed in one place so long.  It was lovely and we took hikes, went to town, went to the beach and just hung out.  We met friends there and had a BBQ as well.

Hiking on Block Island - Nicole with Lauren behind her

The view when we got to the beach

Bob getting a little work in one morning (this is our cabin (bedroom))

Robby and Joanna playing the same morning in the "salon" (living room/dining room/kitchen)

The sun was too bright when we were going to have dinner so I hung up some of the wet towels to block it.

After Block Island, we went to Watch Hill, RI but it was kind of an icky day.  I didn't feel well so I got no pictures of this day.  We only stayed in Watch Hill one night and then we went to my favorite place:  Mystic Seaport in Mystic, CT.  Have you ever seen the movie Mystic Pizza with Julia Roberts?  It's THAT Mystic.  Yes, we've eaten at Mystic Pizza and I can safely say it's way overrated.  :)

The Charles W. Morgan is the only wooden whaling ship left in the world.  It's been at Mystic Seaport for over 50 years and last year, she was hauled out of the water to do some major restoration.  It's AMAZING just how big that thing is!  It's 17 feet from the keel to the waterline (all the brown part at the bottom). You can still go on the ship even though it's out of the water!

10 years ago, the Amistad was launched.  It is a replica of the famous slave ship Amistad and is back at the Seaport for repairs that were suffered in a storm this year.  The Amistad had been in Cuba in March!!

A group of grown-ups went out to dinner together and the children all went to Friendly's.  When the adults got back to the Seaport, the children were putting on a play that is done a few times each day by the staff of the Seaport.  They knew most of the lines and of course ad-libbed a few too.  My daughter Nicole played "Scurvey Pete" who had a moustache so they decided to make duct tape moustaches.  Here are ALL our "actors" hamming it up.

After Mystic Seaport, we went to our last favorite place:  Hamburg Cove.  Hamburg Cove is off the Connecticut River and is about 8 miles up the river from the Long Island Sound (actually, technically at that point, it's called Fisher's Island Sound).  It's far enough up the river that it's fresh water so swimming is the thing to do.  There's a small marina and yacht club up in the cove a bit where there's a little shop for ice cream.  It's a most glorious place and we stayed here three days before we headed home.

Some pics from our dinghy ride for ice cream:

Sunset in Hamburg Cove - GORGEOUS!!

Our home away from home

So there you have it.  After Hamburg Cove, we came straight home in high winds, a broken engine and lots of clouds.  We were going to stay out until Tuesday but we heard about the icky weather so we came home Sunday instead.  It was a wonderful trip and we have some great memories and made some new friends as well.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Evolution? Even YOU don't think so dear scientist

I saw this on Tim Challies' blog and it's just too good to not share:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pizza Salad

Wow!  Two posts in one day!!  LOL  But I wanted to post what we're having for dinner tonight.  I LOVE this salad!  We first tried it about a month ago and it quickly made it into the rotation because my family ADORES it.  It's great for a night like tonight when we're going to be going out shortly after hubby comes home.

Pizza Salad

Tomato-Basil Dressing:
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves

1 ready to use Italian pizza bread shell crust (about one pound)

3 medium-size tomatoes (about 1 lb.) cored and coarsely chopped
1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
6 cups green leaf lettuce pieces, torn
2 oz. pepperoni

1.  Heat oven to 450 degrees.
2.  Dressing:  Mix tomato, oil and garlic in a small skillet or saucepan.  Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, breaking apart tomato with spoon.  Transfer to blender.
3.  Add vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar and basil.  Pulse to blend.  Set dressing aside.
4.  Place prepared pizza shell on rack in 450 degree oven.  Bake for 6-8 minutes or until shell is crisp and lightly browned.
5.  Salad:  Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, lettuce and pepperoni in large bowl.  Remove pizza shell from oven; slice into bite-sized pieces.  Add pizza pieces to bowl; toss with dressing.

What a pain in the neck!!

Literally.   :)  So last Thursday, I went horseback riding like I normally do.  The horse was distracted but never spooked or anything and it was certainly not a particularly hard ride.  After I was done, I did a few barn chores then came home, showered and was doing some cleaning up when my neck started to hurt.  Being sore after not riding for a few weeks is pretty normal so I didn't think anything of it but by the time I went to bed, the pain was pretty bad.  The next day I went into church to do my work and all day it hurt to turn my head, look up or anything like that and I began to suspect I had a herniated disc.  I didn't sleep well Thursday night and Friday night was the same so Saturday I went off to the doctors.  She suspected a herniated disc as well and gave me a prescription for an X-ray (to rule out anything else), Flexoril, Vicodin and Naproxin Sodium (prescription strength Aleve).  I had the X-ray Monday and all was clear so now she wants me to see a spine specialist and to have an MRI done.  So I did some more research.

What I found is that only 10% of herniated disc patients need surgery and the majority heal on their own in 6 weeks or so.  Most by 12 weeks are fine.  So why was I going to a specialist and having an expensive MRI when we were pretty sure what it was, I was beginning to feel better (only took the meds one day but did some other things that I'll mention in a bit) and I have some medical resources in good friends of mine? I told my husband I think the course I want to take is to take it easy, continue to ice my neck a few times a day, take the anti-inflamatory, no heavy lifting and sleeping with a body pillow and see if that will do the trick.  We have a high deductible insurance plan so we'd have to pay out the cost of all the doctors/tests.  I'd rather save that money for something REALLY important.  I then put in a Facebook message to a friend of mine who is a physical therapist (and professor and author) and asked her what she thought.  She agreed that I could absolutely do what I wanted to do but she did want to see me to be sure that there was no "gap" in the vertebrae and she can do that manually.  She said she'd like to see the disc settle down a bit so there's less inflamation and then she'd see me (should be about a week and a half when I see her).  So that's the plan I'm going to take.  The other thing she told me is to "get my head off my neck" three times a day.  That means lay down so that I can take the pressure of a heavy head off the affected disc.  OK - So I'll lay down 3 times a day with ice on my neck.  I can do that.  :)

So that's where I stand now.  It's not terrible but still not fun.  When it first happened, the shooting pain was intolerable but now it's kind of a dull burning sensation although today I can add a headache into the mix.  NOT fun.  I've been planted on my couch in between doing things I need to do and I can say I'm getting a lot of reading done!  LOL

I hope all is well with everyone else.  I can't believe it's September already - especially since it's in the high 90s here in NY.  But soon enough, the cool weather will hit and we'll be enjoying cider, warm pies, sweaters and fires in the fireplace.  I can't wait!

Monday, August 23, 2010

It's been a while and I promise a post about our vacation but for now...

We've been away on vacation and I'll post about that when I get my pics up but for now, I'm going to post a video from Mark Driscoll.  He's speaking about the books that are recommended for pre-teens and young teens for 'great reading' by Amazon.  This includes the Twilight series.  Very interesting to listen to.

Friday, July 30, 2010

VBS Week aka I'm EXHAUSTED!!!

So this week was VBS week at our church.  My job is to run the refreshment department and we feed the children snacks all week and all of the staff and any parents who wish to stay for some refreshments.  These numbers translate to 420 children, 170 workers and who knows how many parents but I'd number them at least 75 myself.  So, this was a huge job.  Of course I still had my regular work, my horseback riding and my home to take care of so at this point, I'm laying on my living room couch with my feet up nursing a light headache and being ready to go to sleep right about... now!  Hubby and the kids are all up at church for the VBS fair which is where the kids "spend" the tickets they earned during the week on games, rides and fun.  It's been a glorious week but oh so exhausting!!  But we had many decisions for Christ, gathered hundreds of items of school supplies for a local ministry and will be able to help 20 students to be able to pay the $400 it costs for a bus to go to middle/high school from the dumps where they live in Nicaragua where we have a mission work.  Praise God!!  Here are some pictures someone just e-mailed me of our department and some of the food we prepared.  Oh, the last picture was taken today after most of our work was done so the kitchen is pretty quiet and some of us were having our OWN refreshment!

Monday, July 19, 2010

My menu plan for the week in the state I'm in

I'm officially shot.  We had SUCH a busy weekend and I'm finding I have no motivation for today.  So my plan, if I had my wishes today would look like this:

Monday:  Chinese
Tuesday:  Greek
Wednesday:  Mexican
Thursday:  Pizza
Friday:  Burgers/fries
Saturday:  great big salad from the salad bar at the supermarket
Sunday:  whatever hubby wants to cook

LOL.  Well, I'm going to get my wish for Monday. We're planning right now.  My 7 year old had three teeth pulled today (she had an abcess where she had loose teeth and new teeth coming in so the dentist pulled them all) and she'll have vegetable lo mein and egg drop soup.  We're going to have beef with broccoli and lemon chicken along with, of course, rice.  :)  I love my hubby. 

Friday, July 9, 2010

Our church is having twins!!

So, for a number of years, our church has had a vision of planting a new church further out east on Long Island but it just never was the right time. Last year in August, my husband felt called to take on the new church plant and we've been moving forward with a start date of September 12 to have our first services. We'll be about 30 minutes away from our home church and have a good team of about 25 who will be going with us to get the church off the ground. It's exciting to see what God is doing there and I know His hand is in this endeavor.

Shortly after signing the contract with the hotel where the new church will be meeting, we got a call from a small Baptist church in a town on the north shore of Long Island - about 30 minutes away from the home church and 25 minutes or so north of the new church. They were a dying church with only 5 attendees on a Sunday and they wanted to approach us with an offer of giving us their church in it's entirety. The lawyers have met, the deal is done, they had their last church service and the church is now ours. It's an adorable little New England style church and our prayer is that we can also open that church in the fall. I'm still not sure who will be the lead pastor there but I'm guessing we'll find out this Sunday (and I have a sneaking suspicion I know who it is and he'll be awesome out there). 

So God is amazing. We're being faithful in following His call and He's given us a bounty! It's not going to be easy work but I do believe that we're equipped to be able to bring two new churches to an Island that sorely needs the Gospel. We've met with the area churches and we have their blessing on the future. 

I'd like to share with you the new church building. Our plan is to make the Sunday School building (the brick addition on the left) facade match the style of the church. Our missions pastor is formerly a construction guy and he's excited about this new project. I know the church facility is in the most expert of hands.  

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why the teaching of Michael Pearl regarding child raising (and other things too) is grossly in error and dangerous

A number of years ago, I heard about this wonderful parenting book and that  should read it.  I had heard a few things about it online but wanted to read it for myself because I hate when people form an opinion without actually checking into it themselves.  I was fortunate to know someone who was willing to give me the book and so I read To Train Up a Child.  I cried.  I was in shock.  I was angry.  How could a man have such a twisted view of God as to write a book that parents will raise their children with?  Tempting and beating children because they fell to the temptation all because God did the same thing?  I guess he never really read Scripture.   My copy of the book is filled with notes, underlines, arguments from me as if Mr. Pearl could hear through the pages.

Since then, I have spoken to people of how bad their parenting advice is and tat there are much better materials out there to listen to, starting with Scripture.  This morning, I came across an article  that someone posted on Facebook about a family who murdered their 7 year old adopted daughter and seriously injured their 11 year old adopted daughter - all while disciplining their children following teachings of a "Fundamentalist group based in Tennessee".  I knew who it was even before I looked further into it.  Apparently this little girl had such a beating that she died of "muscle tissue breakdown" after a lengthy beating in her parent's bedroom.  What was her offense?  She misspelled a word in her schooling. 

I know there are those who take things to the extreme when following someone's advice but to beat a child to death for misspelling a word?  Unbelievable.  So there is now an uproar about Mr. Pearl's teaching and he has given a response to this uproar.  I'd like for ANYONE to say that this is a godly man responding to a terrible death and explaining the stand that they take.  There is NEVER an excuse to have that sort of response to ANYTHING.  Humble?  Gracious?  Mourning the death of a child?  No.  Instead his pompous, arrogant style flies in the face of that small child who suffered untold pain in the moments (and months) before her death.

If there is any reason to say that the teachings of Michael Pearl are grossly dangerous, I'd say this is it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Supporting our husbands

I've found many times in the past that I need to really be a cheerleader for my husband and I'm finding that I'm in that state again.  I know he has a heart for the Lord and is seeking His will and therefore, whatever he needs to do to listen to Him, I will follow along.  I know that as long as he is seeking God's will and listening for Him, I want to be there with him wherever God takes us.  When we were married 25 years ago, we became one flesh and since then, what affects him affects me and what affects me affects him.  So I find myself cheering for him, encouraging him, challenging him and enabling him to do what he needs to do in ministry and in life despite what that might bring our family.  I know God has great plans for him and we'll do fine no matter what. 

How about you?  Do you find it hard to be a cheerleader and encourager to your husband in his walk and his vocation?  What do you do to try to help him? 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Congregation's Responsibility to a Fallen World

Wow - has it really been a month since I last posted?  I knew it had been a while but not THAT long!  Well, I'll be posting a bit over the next few days about our vacation but I thought I'd post a link to this very great blog post from Mark Dever via Kevin Young.  They are notes from Mark's message at the Sovereign Grace Pastor's Conference and I think there's a lot of good in this:


35 somewhat overlapping statements as a pastor to pastors concerning the topic of the congregation’s responsibility for its wider community
1. We should have more passion for and compassion for God than for people.
2. We should have hearts of compassion for all people because they’re made in God’s image (Prov. 14:31), and because we ourselves have known such undeserved generosity from God (Luke 6:32-36; II Cor. 8:8-9; James 2:13). It is a privilege to be of service to any human being. And it is a joy to reflect something of God’s own character in this, including His concern for justice (Isa. 1:17; Dan. 4:27), and especially to reflect the sacrificial love of Christ. In this sense ministries of compassion and justice which provide to people what they cannot provide for themselves are wonderful signs of the Gospel of Christ giving Himself for us.
3. Suffering is an inevitable part of this fallen world. Poverty, war, famine, death, and other tragic effects of the Fall will not be ended except by the bodily, visible return of Christ, (e.g., Mark 14:7; Jn. 12:8; Rev. 6:1-11). The Heavenly City comes down, it’s not built up, that is, it’s not constructed from the ground up (Heb. 11:10; Rev. 21). It is as one-sided as Creation, the Exodus and the Incarnation, the Cross & Resurrection, and Regeneration of the individual heart.  It is a great salvation-act of God. If human culture can ever be said to be redeemed, it will be God that does it, not us.
4. The Gospel’s main thrust is not the renewal of the fallen structures of this world, but rather the creation of a new community composed of those purchased by the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 5). It is only through the fulfillment the promise of forgiveness of our sins and acceptance with God that all of God’s other promises are fulfilled. We must always be clear in our teaching that the joy of God’s presence is superior to all the goods of this world.
5. No Gospel that tells Scripture’s sweeping narrative that culminates in the coming of the kingdom but neglects to tell individuals how they can be included in that kingdom is any true Gospel.
6. Scripture gives us no hope that society will be broadly and permanently transformed by the preaching of the Gospel. (See Matt. 24:21-22, 29).

7. Individual conversions can have profound effects for good on people, not only in eternity, but in this life, too.
John Wesley observed in 1787 that “I fear, wherever riches have increased . . . the essence of religion, the mind that was in Christ, has decreased in the same proportion. Therefore, I do not see how it is possible, in the nature of things, for any revival of true religion to continue long. For religion must necessarily produce both industry and frugality; and these cannot but produce riches. But as riches increase, so will pride, anger, and love of the world in all its branches. How then is it possible that Methodism, that is, the religion of the heart, though it flourishes now as a green bay tree, should continue in this state? For the Methodists in every place grow diligent and frugal; consequently they increase in goods. Hence, they proportionably increase in pride, in the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the pride of life. So, although the form of religion remains, the spirit is swiftly vanishing away. Is there no way to prevent this? this continual declension of pure religion? We ought not to forbid people to be diligent and frugal; we must exhort all Christians, to gain all they can, and to save all they can: this is, in effect, to grow rich! What way then, I ask again, can we take that our money may not sink us to the nethermost hell? There is one way, and there is no other under heaven. If those who gain all they can, and save all they can, will likewise give all they can, then the more they gain, the more they will grow in grace, and the more treasure they will lay up in heaven,” (Tyerman, vol. III, p. 520).
True or False? While conservative Christians are often said to be more concerned about “saving souls,” religious liberals give a significantly larger proportion of their income to alleviating poverty and meeting the needs of the downtrodden and underprivileged. False. Conservative evangelicals tend to give more to the poor than religious liberals. (See Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion Sept. 1998; also Robert Wuthnow’s Acts of Compassion [1993].) Many individual conversions have resulted in personal reformations and particular social improvements. And we hope will result in good effects in this world.
8. Since the Fall, the trajectory of unredeemed human history—the City of Man—is always in the Bible to judgment (the Flood, Babel, Canaan, Egypt, Jerusalem, Babylon, Rome & then Rev. 19). (Not quite as universal as gravity, but seemingly as inevitable in its overall tendency.)
9. The Heavenly City in Scripture, though clearly having some continuity with our own age and existence (Rev. 21:24), is presented as arriving only after a radical disjunction with our current history, including the judgment of the wicked (e.g., Ps. 102:26; Isaiah 13:10; 34:4; 51:6, 16; 65:17; 66:22; Matt. 5:18; 24:29, 35; I Cor. 7:31; II Peter 3:10-13; I John 2:17; Rev. 6:12-14; 21:1). The material world is to be restored only after something like we experience in death, before we are to be bodily resurrected. This is why Jesus told Pilate “My kingdom is not of this world. . . . But now my kingdom is from another place,” (John 18:36). Christ’s kingdom will come to this place (Acts 1:6-8), though when He comes, He will renew this place (Rom. 8:21).
10. We should have a desire to see non-Christians know the common blessings of God’s kindness in providence (e.g., food, water, family relations, jobs, good government, justice). Actions to this end are appropriate for Christians and for congregations.
11. Temporary institutions are still worthy of sincere Christian attention, thought, energy and action. (Think about marriage, for instance . . . .) Our teaching must not Platonically devalue this world as if we can discern better than Scripture what is of “eternal value.” We’re to do whatever we do “unto the Lord,” (Col. 3:17).
12. We should have a desire to see all people saved.
13. Our priority to unbelievers is the verbal proclamation of the Gospel, which alone can address the greatest part of human suffering caused by the Fall, and which is the fulfillment of the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20), which is, in turn the fulfillment of the Greatest Commandments (Mark 12:29-31; cf. Gal. 6:2) which, in turn, interprets the heart of any cultural mandate (Gen. 1:28). As Tim Keller says, “Evangelism is the most basic and radical ministry possible to a human being,” (“The Gospel and The Poor,” Themelios [33.3; Dec 2008], p. 17).
14. After the Fall, note that the cultural mandate is not uniquely given to the people of God, but to humanity in general (e.g., note the cultural advances in the line of Cain—building a city, raising livestock, music, metal-working [Gen. 4:17, 20-22]).
15. We, as a congregation, are not required to take responsibility for the physical needs in the unbelieving community around us. We do have a responsibility to care for the needs of those within our congregation (Matt. 25:34-40; Acts 6:1-6; Gal. 6:2, 10; James 2:15-16; I John 3:17-19) though even within the church, there were further qualifications (e.g., II Thess. 3:10; I Tim. 5:3-16). Paul’s counsel to Timothy (in I Tim. 5:3-16) about which widows to care for seems to indicate that the list was intended for Christian widows. One qualification seemed to be lack of alternative sources of support. Thus the instruction that family members should care for the needy first, if at all possible, shows the kind of prioritization of allowing for families—even of unbelievers—to provide support so that the church wouldn’t have to do it (I Tim. 5:16). We can extrapolate from this to conclude that support that could be provided from outside the church (for instance, from the state) should be preferred over using church funds, thus freeing church funds to be used elsewhere.
16. We should use historical examples and arguments for taking responsibility for our communities with care. Most people in the European past had established churches (also true many places in America before the 1840’s). Therefore the example of Calvin, the puritans, Edwards, etc. is less directly applicable than may first appear. They were not in modern pluralistic societies with large groups of people calling themselves non-Christians.
17. Many texts which seem to promote the idea of taking responsibility for our community’s physical well-being (e.g., Micah 6:8, Matt. 25, Gal. 6 & I John 3) are about our charity to members of the covenant community, believers, not non-Christian members of the community at large.
18. We are not forbidden from choosing to alleviate physical needs outside our congregation as a witness to the Gospel (e.g., providing computers to local schools, disaster relief, etc.). (contra a wrong idea of the spirituality of the church)
19. We have the freedom to choose particular actions for the welfare of our community as a witness to them directly, or more remotely by cooperating with other congregations and Christians in the formation of denominations, educational institutions, and a great variety of boards, charities and other organizations.
20. We should never mistake social action or mercy ministries (e.g., caring for the poor, soup kitchens, etc.) for evangelism (though it may be a means to it).
21. We should expect our members to be involved in a wide variety of good works (Prov. 19:17; 21:3; Luke 10:25-37; Acts 9:36; Heb. 13:1-3; James 1:27), some of which we may choose to hold up as examples to other members. This can be done without leading the congregation as a whole to own or support those particular ministries (whether by congregationally funding or staffing them). We personally can set an example of care for others. So John Wesley “began the year 1785, by spending five days in walking through London, often ankle deep in sludge and melting snow, to beg 200 pounds, which he employed in purchasing clothing for the poor. He visited the destitute in their own houses, ‘to see with his own eyes what their wants were, and how they might be effectually relieved.’” Wesley was 81 years old! (L. Tyerman, Life and Times of Wesley [Harper & Bros; 1872], III.458).
22. We as pastors must make sure that matters of secondary importance should not absorb our attention and energy to the detriment of our primary charge to preach the Gospel.
23. Our exposition of God’s Word should certainly equip our members by applying Biblical teaching to issues which are (or should be) of current concern, e.g., poverty, gender, racism, justice (cf. Isaiah 1:10-17). This teaching, however, should normally be given without seeming to commit the church to particular policy solutions to problems affecting the wider community. For example, Christian preachers could strenuously advocate the abolition of slavery without spending their sermons laying out how specifically it was to be done. We can speak to ought’s without untangling all the how’s.
24. We should warn our congregations about the dangers of accumulating wealth. Many Christians throughout history have read the Bible as being more suspicious of wealth than we modern American Christians seem to be. Everyone from Augustine to Wesley has written eloquently of the dangerous gravity of wealth, and the worldly pull it can have on our hearts. Such teaching need not cause us to reject careful financial planning, but it should cause us to be more vigilant, more wary and even suspicious of wealth than we tend to be. We should give fresh attention to cautionary passages like Matt. 6:21, Luke 12:34, I Tim. 6:17-19 and James 5:1-6. According to the Bible, wealth can be more spiritually dangerous than poverty.
25. We must carefully prioritize the responsibilities unique to the church. Matters like a concern for education, politics, and mercy ministries for those beyond the church’s membership are proper concerns for Christians to have, but the church itself is not the structure for addressing such concerns. They are the proper concern of Christians in schools, governments, and other structures of society. In fact, if such concerns came to be the focus of the church, they could potentially distract the church from its main and unique responsibility, that of incarnating and proclaiming the gospel. “To the church is committed the task of proclaiming the whole counsel of God and, therefore, the counsel of God as it bears upon the responsibility of all persons and institutions. While the church is not to discharge the functions of other institutions such as the state and the family, nevertheless it is charged to define what the functions of these institutions are . . . . To put the matter bluntly, the church is not to engage in politics. Its members must do so, but only in their capacity as citizens of the state, not as members of the church,” (John Murray, “The Relation of Church and State,” in Collected Writings of John Murray, vol. 1 [Banner of Truth, 1976], 255). We want to protect the practice of evangelism, and the priority of evangelism in the life of the local church. We never want to allow our congregation’s activity in caring for the needs of the community to diminish, or encroach upon the priority of the Gospel.
26. We must beware of dividing the church unnecessarily over non-essential issues in which we involve the congregation (e.g., nuclear disarmament, constitutional amendments, particular art outreaches or ministries in the community).
27. We must be aware of the deadly distraction such good deeds have been to earlier generations. (e.g., the Social Gospel movement; NB ancient examples like Council of Rome in 826 establishing schools at cathedrals was done in a context where the assumption was they were serving the baptized. NOT an example of reaching out to those we take to be unconverted with physical charity.)
28. We must ask ourselves and others whether or not we are more excited by and about the Gospel, or other, secondary issues, and if others perceive this in our ministry.
29. We must be on guard against the preference many of our own members (perhaps especially younger ones, or ones with more theological doubts) may have for doing ministry which is valued by unbelievers. Matt. 5:13-16 and I Peter 2:11-12 that speak of unbelievers seeing our good deeds and praising God must be understood along with promises of persecution for following Christ, (e.g., Matt. 24:9; II Tim. 3:12) and remembering that Christ Himself was finally rejected by the crowds and executed. Certainly popularity in our community is a poor guide to faithfulness in ministry.
30. We must carefully consider the amount of our members’ time, vision, excitement and prayers we are encouraging to be occupied by actions non-Christians might do, when non-Christians will never be giving themselves to evangelizing our community (or beyond).
31. We must beware the popular “share the Gospel, and if necessary use words” mindset. Similarly, the Gospel is, properly speaking, preached, not done (though our actions can certainly affirm it, e.g., John 13:34-35 [even here it is interesting to note that it is our love for one another that is said to point to the Gospel!]). Social ministry done by the church should be self-consciously engaged in with the hope, prayer and design of sharing the Gospel. J. Gresham Machen wrote that “material benefits were never valued in the apostolic age for their own sake, they were never regarded as substitutes for spiritual things. That lesson needs to be learned. Social betterment, though important, is insufficient; it must always be supplemented by God’s unspeakable gift,” (J. Gresham Machen, New Testament, ed., John Cook, pp. 345-346).
32. We must allow some latitude between pastors on differing judgment calls on the particulars of some of these secondary issues (e.g., how to oppose abortion; how much they would cooperate with non-evangelicals in social ministries, etc.)
33. We must be aware of the attraction to join our church certain non-gospel activities may cause (e.g., music, a school, certain community-help programs) and we must redouble our carefulness in only taking in members who understand the Gospel and give evidence of regeneration.
34. In our duties as under-shepherds, we want to protect our flock from the well-meaning writings and teachings of those who emphasize their role of making a difference in the culture. Those individuals may be uniquely gifted and called, but it is not a Biblical model for the local church.
35. We must not be na├»ve in this. We should realize that the priority of evangelism is always one of the most difficult things for the pastor to maintain in his own life and in the congregation’s ministry.


Monday, May 17, 2010


Yep - we're going to do my menu planning live right now.  :)  I have no clue yet what I'm going to do. 

First let me think of what's going on this week.  Tonight is my 17 year old's senior concert so I know we'll need to eat a little early and since I'm horseback riding too, I need something quick.  I think tonight will be our "good salad" which is greens, grilled chicken, craisins, mandarin oranges, walnuts, blue cheese and a homemade dressing made from one part honey to two parts balsamic vinegar.

OK - Tomorrow I think is pretty normal.  I'll be home and I think it's supposed to be cooler and kind of lousy weather so I'll make something that takes a bit longer to make and includes the oven.  I think that will be meatloaf with mashed potatoes and .... green beans?  Since I'm home, I'm also going to be sure I have the ingredients to make up 2 batches of lasagna sauce so I can make lasagnas for our homeschool presentation night.  I won't be able to be there but I will make the lasagnas and someone else can cook them up for me.

Wednesday we have ballet until 6 and then we need to be at church at 7 so again I need something fast.  Hmmmm - we haven't done pizza in a very long time and there's a great pizza place near church that has a deal where you get a large pizza, meatball parmesan hero, large ziti and a dozen garlic knots for $20 which is an amazing deal so we'll do that.  I can have hubby bring it home with him so I will just have a salad ready to go earlier in the day and we're set.

Thursday looks to be a nicer day and since I'll be riding again, I need something quick to prepare.  I think I have a steak in the freezer and think I'll use that to do grilled stead and then I'll pick up the ingredients to make potato salad and we'll have that with frozen corn.

Friday is a very busy day for me.  I'm still not sure how I'm going to work it all out because we have field day, I need to get my work at church done and that evening is our new church's first event.  So I think I'll be sure there is leftovers for the children to eat and then I'll make sandwiches for DH and I to take with us.  I think we need to be at the hotel around 6 or possibly even earlier so there are not a ton of choices for us.

Saturday - At this point, the weekend doesn't look that great weather-wise but of course we can't be sure.  I think I'll make something chicken - Hmmmm - how about chicken enchiladas?  We love those!  I'll do chicken enchiladas and salad.  YUM!

Sunday is usually just DH and I and the two little ones.  Hmmm - IF the weather is nice, I know DH will want to BBQ on the boat so I think I'll pick up boneless chicken thighs.  If it's nice, we can grill those and have it with the leftover potato salad.  If it's not nice, I can cook them in the oven pretty much the same way as on the grill.  So we'll do thighs, potato salad and green salad.  Yeah, that works.

Monday - I try to get to Monday since with me riding on Mondays, there's not much time to shop or anything so if I'm not prepared for Monday, then we don't do well.  I think we'll do a cranberry pork roast to finish out the pork roasts I have in the freezer.  It's a crockpot meal, so nice and easy for me to come home from riding and finish the prep work.  I'll serve it with rice and peas. 

OK - DONE!  :)

Monday - "good salad", rolls
Tuesday - meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans
Wednesday - pizza, hero, ziti, salad
Thursday - steak, potato salad, corn
Friday - kids: leftovers, adults: sandwiches
Saturday - chicken enchiladas, salad
Sunday - chicken thighs, potato salad, green salad
Monday - cranberry pork roast, rice, peas

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Menu plan for this week

MAN was today a work day!  I convinced hubby to get the garage cleaned out so I could get my car in there and after working about 4 hours, no car can fit in there yet.  However, we have 8 bags of trash at the curb, along with a broken table, a broken door and a broken dog gate.  We have a huge box of books for the library, another box of books for the church library, another box of children's books for Freecycle, and about 3 boxes for us to keep.  Then there's the huge section of the garage that's holding all of the other Freecyle stuff that I need to list and then the few things that will need to go into the shed....when we get the shed cleaned out.   Oh - and 5 bikes in various stages of disrepair.  LOL  We need to now go to the shed next week and empty that which will add a ton more trash to the curb, more Freecycle finds - and will give us enough room to put away everything so that we should be able to not just get one but both cars back into the garage for the first time in about 4 years!!  Woo-hoo!!

So hubby and I were just sitting comatose at the kitchen table having a cup of tea and I figured I'd think about dinner this week.  Because of circumstances last week, I had 4 meals that I planned for that we didn't use so I'll recycle them to this week and I just needed to fill in a few more days with leftovers/freezer stuff/take-out because of busy days and we're all planned!  Woo-hoo!!  When I planned last week, it was still only in the 40s/50s during the day and yesterday and today were pushing 90 so these things are not typical summer fare but need to be eaten to use up the ingredients.  Next week will reflect the weather a bit more.  So, this week, we have:

Monday:  Chicken Supreme, rice, broccoli (Chicken Supreme is basically browned chicken breasts put into a casserole pan, mushrooms sauteed with white wine put on top and Monterey Jack cheese over all - very yummy!)

Tuesday:  Beef and pepper stir fry, rice (eat early because of National Day of Prayer worship practice)

Wednesday:  Italian Wedding Soup, homemade bread

Thursday:  Pulled pork sandwiches, leftovers or fend-for-yourself (it's the National Day of Prayer gathering at our church for all of the county evangelical churches and hubby is doing sound and I'm doing the computer/projector so we need to be there early)

Friday:  Three Amigos (a local Mexican restaurant that has a GREAT family meal that consists of 1 lb. beef or chicken grilled with seasonings, 1 lb. grilled peppers and onions, 2 c. pico de gallo, 2 c. beans (refried, black or pinto), 2 c. rice, 1 c. guacamole, 1 c. sour cream, 12 tortillas and chips along with all the homemade salsas you want for just $20 - it easily feeds my hungry family of 6!) (We're doing this because I'll be at church at 9 am and not get home until after 5 because of work/homeschool group)

Saturday:  Coq Au Vin or chicken thighs on the grill (dependent on the weather - both will use the chicken thighs)

Sunday:  Mother's Day - we'll be going to see my ILs so we'll eat there.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Danger of Drifting

This week my hubby had a chance to preach at our church.  While he's been a pastor for a number of years, he's not had the opportunity to preach the sermon too often since we have quite a number of pastors and hubby is usually either leading worship or doing sound.  But this week he was up.  And boy was he good, if I do say so myself.  His parents came and his mother was speechless - "That was my son???"  LOL  The message is just 30 minutes long but filled with glorious truth.  Please listen if you have the chance!  I promise you'll be blessed.

Danger of Drifting

Two contrasts in theology

In reading my blogs and boards today, I came upon two very different theologies.  One was encouraging, instructive and worthy of reading, studying and praising.  The other?  It saddens my heart so much that someone who can claim to be a "reverend" can be so heretical. Judge for yourself:

Friday, April 23, 2010

My son's baptism

I never did get to post about this! My son was baptized a couple of months ago and it just warms my heart to know that my child walks with the Lord. Here is his testimony that was read just before he was baptized:

Name: Robert
Age: 9

How I came to faith in Christ:

A few years ago we saw the movie “Narnia.” After we got home I asked my Dad “Why did Aslan have to die?” He explained why, and then told me how Jesus died on the Cross for our sins. I asked Jesus to forgive my sins and come into my life. Since then I understand more about God through Promise Land [our Sunday School program] and Bible Memory Verses.

Why I am being baptized:

Jesus told us to be baptized because it shows everybody that I’m a follower of Jesus. I want to do what Jesus tells me to do in the Bible.

Here are some photos (edited to add that this is my husband who's baptizing him):

Thursday, April 15, 2010

American College of Pediatrics speak out on teen homosexuality and schools.

I found this amazing:

A news release from the American College of Pediatrics:

The American College of Pediatricians cautions educators about the management of students experiencing same-sex attraction or exhibiting symptoms of gender confusion. These concerns are outlined in a letter and fact sheet sent by College president Thomas Benton, MD, to all 14, 800 school district superintendents in the U.S. Dr. Benton also alerts them to a new Web resource,, which was created by a coalition of health professionals to provide factual information to educators, parents, and students about sexual development.

“As pediatricians, our primary interest is in the health and well-being of children and youth,” Dr. Den Trumbull, Vice President of the College explains. “We are increasingly concerned that in too many instances, misinformation or incorrect assumptions are guiding well-intentioned educators to adopt policies that are actually harmful to those youth dealing with sexual confusion.”

The College reminds school superintendents that it is not uncommon for adolescents to experience transient confusion about their sexual orientation and that most students will ultimately adopt a heterosexual orientation if not otherwise encouraged. For this reason, schools should not seek to develop policy which “affirms” or encourages these non-heterosexual attractions among students who may merely be experimenting or experiencing temporary sexual confusion. Such premature labeling can lead some adolescents to engage in homosexual behaviors that carry serious physical and mental health risks.

There is no scientific evidence that anyone is born gay or transgendered. Therefore, the College further advises that schools should not teach or imply to students that homosexual attraction is innate, always life-long and unchangeable. Research has shown that therapy to restore heterosexual attraction can be effective for many people.

Optimal health and respect for all students can only be achieved within a school by first respecting the rights of students and parents to accurate information and to self-determination. It is the school’s legitimate role to provide a safe environment for respectful self-expression for all students. It is not the school’s role to diagnose or attempt to treat any student’s medical condition, and certainly not the school’s role to “affirm” a student’s perceived personal sexual orientation.

From a letter to all superintendents of schools in the US:

In light of these facts, it is clear that when well-intentioned but misinformed school personnel encourage students to “come
out as gay” and be “affirmed,” 8 there is a serious risk of erroneously labeling students (who may merely be experiencing
transient sexual confusion and/or engaging in sexual experimentation). Premature labeling may then lead some
adolescents into harmful homosexual behaviors that they otherwise would not pursue.

Finally, you can see a Fact Sheet about this subject.

What amazing information to fight the "Homosexuality is normal and genetic and we need to affirm those who feel attracted to their own gender." Praise God!

Cardboard Testimonies

Our church had our annual dinner/business meeting and at the end, we had something called Cardboard Testimonies. What an incredible thing. Knowing these families and individuals and their stories - I cried as the first couple walked out on stage. SIGH

So to share this with you, you can watch it here:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Life .... continued

So how is everyone doing? It's been just a regular old week for us with schooling, "stuff", church, etc. Today (Sunday) I missed church to take my second daughter to the college that she's going to be attending in September for their "Accepted Students Day" and we had a great time. We got some good contacts, some great advice and a lot of pens! LOL Now we're just vegging for a bit before running to the grocery store to get some food and get home before hubby gets home.

It's officially the beginning of the boating season. Set Free, our sailboat, got wet on Monday after being out of the water all winter and hubby is sailing it home as I type this. It was in the next harbor and what a beautiful day to sail home! We put the sails up yesterday so of course he's not using the engine right now since there's a nice light breeze and he's absolutely enjoying himself, I'm sure. Now every spare moment will consist of him saying "Wanna go to the boat??" LOL

One new thing for me is that I was diagnosed with frozen shoulder and started PT last week. The first visit was nice and I felt so much better afterwards. The second visit on Friday?? OUCH!! LOL But no pain, no gain, right? We're working on range of motion so that I don't get to the "frozen" stage. Ick! Don't want that!!

Other than that, not much is going on other than life. Just life. Doing all the normal things I do day in and day out. It's a wonderful life but certainly not too exciting to blog on, you know?? I don't want to bore you poor people!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Worthy is the Lamb

This video was taken on Good Friday at our church.  It was the end of the service and was a beautiful dance that the young women did.  If you see the background on the screen change, that's me!! :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

So the government is encouraging lying???

There's a secular board that I go to that I've been on for years.  Much of the time it's just parenting stuff, woman stuff - that sort of thing but sometimes it gets into other topics.  There are numerous women there who are gay and proud of it and we've had a couple of run-ins as is to be expected.  I try to post with kindness and God's Word but I'm basically a "hateful homophobe".  That's OK if I feel that I've been conducting myself in the right way.

So yesterday, someone posted a link to a site where someone is advocating for gay couples to fill out the census with everything else correct but to put "husband/wife" regarding their partner rather than "unmarried partner" even though they are not legally married.  Apparently the federal government is advocating for the same thing.  They tell those filling out the census to fill it out as they "self identify" themselves, not what the legal standing really is.  So if a gay couple feel that they are married even though they are not, it's quite OK for them to put themselves down as "husband/wife" for the relation of person #2 to person #1.  There were a number of posts basically cheering this on and thinking it was wonderful.   Then I posted.

I posted that I thought it was wrong to lie on the census and that everyone should fill out the form truthfully instead of lying.  Well, you would have thought I just took their firstborn and sacrificed them.  I'm a 'hateful homophobe who needs to keep her opinions to myself.  No one wants to hear about my Christianity and that all gay people are going to hell.'  HUH??  All I said was that I didn't think filling out a form with something that was not true was right.  I was told 'it's too bad because the government says it's how they should fill it out - as they feel like filling it out.'  Again, I said that if you are not married, you should not be filling in the block that says "husband/wife" but should fill it out truthfully.  Now I'm' "holier than thou" and they are sick of hearing my attacks on homosexuals.'  HUH???  Let a white person who was raised by a black couple want to put down "African American" because that's who they more identify with and that would be OK?  I'm sorry but if it's not the truth, it's wrong.  I just don't get it.  I just really don't get it.

Satan is laughing.  He's the father of lies and absolutely loves that people think it's actually honorable to lie.  What a sad state we're in today.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

There is no small job in the kingdom

Today was a farewell luncheon for a great man of our church.  He was always the first you would meet when you walked in the door and often times, he could be found praying with someone who walked into the church with a need.  If you ever needed anything to be done, he was the one to go to and he always did it with a cheerful smile and a happy heart.  Even if it was something as gross as cleaning up vomit from a child, he never complained.  My son would love to come to church on Fridays so he could help him get the sanctuary ready for Sunday's service and he acted like a grandpa to my boy.  I loved to sit and chat with him and knew that he would hold things in confidence if I needed them to be.  This man held the church together so much that one day, a young child walked out of the church telling his mom, "I met the man who owns the church today!"  Well, Tony was that man.  

Tony was our church's custodian/sexton.  He was the man who would do the cleaning as well as any set-up that needed to be done for events, which in a church our size, was at least weekly.  He always remembered what was needed for whatever was going on - so much so that he'd come to me before VBS where I ran the refreshment department and he'd tell me what he had planned to have available for me which was just exactly what I needed.  His heart was such like I've never seen - NEVER complaining about what needed to be done and he did it with joy.  Our senior pastor today said that he could absolutely say without reserve that Tony was as important as any of the pastors in our church and he did as much ministry as any of them.  Tony was involved in the recovery ministry but he also mentored a ton of the young teens who would work part-time for the church doing some of the cleaning and so many of them have grown up to serve the Lord in other ways.

Today was Tony's farewell luncheon as he and his wife plan to move down south.  Much of our staff was there (over 40 people) and there was not a dry eye in the place as we all roasted Tony and Sue and told them of the impact they had on each of us.  While Tony was "just" the custodian, he impacted each of us and so many others in a much bigger way than just cleaning a toilet.  I seriously want to be like Tony when I grow up and pray that I can have a heart to serve others that's even just a fraction of his.  

One neat thing is that our senior pastor gives each new member a verse and writes it on their membership papers.  He prays over each person and God gives him a verse for them.  Today he told Tony he prayed for a verse for him and told him what it was - and he said "I have a feeling that verse is what I gave you when you joined the church, isn't it?"  He keeps no records of that but he knew.  God had shown him the verse again for him.  That verse (passage) is Philippians 1:3-6 "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,  because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.  And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."

Amen.  God bless Tony and Sue and may God continue to bless them as they begin their new lives in Tennessee.  We'll miss you!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Hubby and I just sat down and planned out the week.  I'm so thrilled because this will be a low cost week which we SO can use.   Our plan for this week is:

Monday:  spaghetti with meat sauce, salad and Texas toast
Tuesday:  roasted sticky chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans
Wednesday:  crockpot Swedish meatballs, noodles, broccoli
Thursday:  chicken enchiladas, salad
Friday:  hubby and I eat out, kids have leftovers
Saturday:  meatloaf, mashed potatoes, peas, gravy
Sunday:  pulled pork and roasted veggies (it's our church's annual potluck dinner)

On Friday night, DH and I will go to the yacht club where we keep our sailboat.  We have to spend a minimum of $75 each month in the restaurant and so we try to get two nice date nights a month out of that. We have hubby's parents to thank for allowing us to stay in the club after hubby went into the ministry and it's their Christmas gift each year to pay for the dues.  They're wonderful.  :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Our new church plant has a name!

Our new church plant's name will be Island Christian Church.  It's going to be a second campus of our own church, Northport Baptist Church but it would be silly to have Northport church in another town (although Northport Baptist is actually in East Northport which is weird enough).  Here's the logo - doesn't it look fantastic?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Al Mohler, Jr. on Glen Beck and churches pushing social justice instead of the Gospel.

A great article on this topic.  It seems to be making it all over Facebook and I've stepped on quite a bit of toes discussing it.  I say the church is all about the Gospel.  Others (mostly athiests, universalists or liberal Christians) say that the church is about social justice.  What do you think?

Glenn Beck, Social Justice and the Limits of Public Discourse

Can you say "storm"?

**Update at bottom**
I'm not sure how much of the country heard about it but OH MY WORD!!  Did we have a doozy of a storm this weekend!  The winds hit 70 mph (near hurricane strength) and we had over 4" of rain in just two days.  We were fortunate to have only lost our power for a few minutes but there are many who will take up to 5 days to get it back.  This storm killed 5 people and there are still hundreds of thousands without power.  Just near us, there is a land form called a "neck" which is actually kind of like an island with a long, narrow piece of land going out to it.   The narrow piece of land is called Asharoken and the neck is Eaton's Neck.  Here's a pic of it (hope this works):

View Larger Map

Well, Asharoken was pretty badly damaged over the storm and friends of mine either couldn't get home from church or couldn't get TO church depending on when they tried to leave. The storm undermined the road which is just one lane in either direction so the police have it closed off and are only letting one car go through at a time. Since it's a 30mph, 3 mile long road, that's a long wait if it gets busy! Unfortunately this is a case of man trying to go where God is changing the land and so they keep trying to keep the water away from the road and homes but I don't know that they are ever going to win that game.

So please pray for all of those in the Northeast who have been affected by this storm. So many huge old trees fell and those who died did so from trees falling on them. One man was coming home from synagogue and died on his front lawn. Too sad.

If you want to see some local pics, you can click here

**Update: I got a call from the school district this morning then a call from a friend shortly after - Asharoken is now closed. 40% of the 500 foot sea wall was damaged and now there are phone poles down. This happened in the Nor'easter of '92 and it took days for them to get the road open. I wonder how long it will take this time! So now all of our friends who live on Eaton's Neck cannot get out of their neighborhood. No school, no stores, no anything. Fortunately they are a wonderful community and I know the fire department and the Coast Guard (the only non-resident things out there) will step in to help where needed. In '92, the Coast Guard evacuated anyone with health issues and the fire department hosted dinners each night for the residents. But back then, that was because they had no power and this time they do, thank heavens.