Sunday, March 29, 2009

Moving on Through The Naked Chrisitan, Craig Borlase

Craig suggests we ask ourselves, "are we always surrounded by only Christians?" What is the picture that conjures up in your mind when you hear the phrase, dangerous wilderness. He asks, "Is it called "The World?" He spent a lot of time describing the climate in the "church building". Do we try to spend so much time in the building that there is no time to meet people outside those walls?

As I read his description of some of the processes that should happen within a home congregation I couldn't help but write in the margins of the page -- "The A&M church took such care of our family, that is what I see as church because of their example." Some of the words he used were "recuperating, refueling, repairing, preparing, and engaging" Our family did experience this in our 28 years there. Relationships have been "church" to me. A safe place, a refuge.

I do agree with Craig when he says, "we do ourselves a disservice and God an injustice if we believe that all God wants to do is say things to the people in the Church." Not sure if he is meaning Church as a building or as only believers. But i agree on both accounts. We have got to get out of the four walls to help ourselves grow and to help others reconcile themselves back to God.

Hosea 2:14 "Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her"

Craig reminds us the Bible isn't a story of isolation and separation. It is the story of faithful love of the ultimate good father for His wayward children. He again leaves me with questions to ponder:

Do I, as a child of God reflect this story?
Am I searching out the prodigals and welcoming them back?

Friday, March 27, 2009

What Grabs Your Attention??

There are more than 30 blogs listed in my bookmarks. My situation was: I never got to them all and I had not subscribed to them and so I was not alerted when they posted new topics. It looked and felt unorganized and messy, too much. So I had to ask myself what do I really enjoy in them and do I want to continue to have them listed in my bookmarks?

As I was doing my walk/jog plan I thought about what grabs my attention? It felt good to realize there were actually subjects I am drawn to. Of course a lot of the blogs belong to families we want to keep up with and I'm not really talking about those. I had blogs of people I don't really know on my bookmark list. I had gone there one day and enjoyed an article and bookmarked it. So this the is the list of my favorite subjects:

New Recipes
Financial Tips
Book Reviews
Spiritual Insights/Formation

Here are some sites I enjoy for recipes and a recipe I tried today.

One Hungry Soul
I will be interviewing this writer, Lael, soon. She and I enjoy visits here in Abilene. You will get to meet her!

Hoelzle Family Met this writer in College Station, so many of you may know her also.

Recipe Swap Some of the contributors to this blog are the girls who came to speak at Ladies Day at the A&M church of Christ, 2008, The Coffee Group Notice they changed their website name after visiting Aggieland. Remember our activity "Expresso Your Love".

Zucchini-Pineapple Quick Bread, Cooking Light, June 2008
3 cups of flour
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t cinnamon (i would add more next time)
2 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 zucchini grated (i used my black and decker one touch chopper)
2/3 c canola oil
1/2 c egg substitute
2 t vanilla
20 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
Preheat oven 325. Lightly grease two 9x5 loaf pans.
Combine first 5 ingredients.
Beat eggs with a mixer until foamy. Add sugar, zucchini, oil, egg substitute and vanilla, beat well. Add to flour mixture and fold in pineapple.
Spoon into pans and bake 50 min. or until knife inserted into center comes out clean.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Long Time Friend

When Alison was 2 years old, the Hudgens family moved to College Station. I remember going over to their house for the first time for a meal. It was in the winter and they cooked Potato Soup. We have walked many steps with the Hudgens family, and been encouraged by their presence in our lives. Rachel was their daughter and she was 6 weeks younger than Alison. Kathy Hudgens and I enjoyed helping each other through the parenting years, and now that I'm in Abilene, we talk frequently.

Rachel has married, and she and husband, Sean Landolt, will soon be moving to Canada to serve with the Shelbourne Church of Christ congregation.

Rachel and Sean started their first home in Abilene and we were able to enjoy time with them. They were part of the crew who ate with us on our first Thanksgiving in Abilene. Rachel ask me to read Sacred Marriage with her in the fall, and we both were challenged by Gary Thomas' teaching.

As Rachel and Sean began planning their move, they wanted a good-bye time with friends in Abilene, so they came and stayed with us last week. It was a good time to reflect before starting the details of moving to another country. We know they will be a wonderful addition to their new church community and look forward to all of the adventures God sends them. Blessings to the Landolts.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Questions To Ponder, It's Good for the Soul!

The Naked Christian, a book sent to me by a new friend, Patti Grassie, has me asking myself lots of questions. I pray for a pure heart, and I feel God wants us to keep growing as we are exposed to new thoughts. Some of the book speaks of experiences I have not journeyed, or have I and just haven't recognized it.

The author makes you consider these tough questions. Am I ignoring the poor, sick, oppressed? Am I willing to go the full measure of service set before me? Is recognition and influence more important to me than obedience and sacrifice? How am I with peer pressure? Do I feel I need to keep up the appearance, give off the correct signals? We all have a limp. If I'm afraid of showing it, then I'm presenting myself in too good a light.

"But if His love for His creation can find expression in the spectacular, it can equally be seen in the small and ordinary." pg. 6, The Naked Christian. Daniel and I have been called to serve at the Hope church of Christ. Some would say Hope is the small and ordinary. I like it like that, but as soon as I smile I hear God say, "don't get puffed up." Our humanness creeps out so fast. I can be prideful whether I'm serving at the A&M church of Christ (a congregation so well known) or Hope church of Christ (small and ordinary) All of the glory goes to God, "Glory in his holy name" - I Chronicles 16:10.

Side note here, go to Bible Gateway and put "glory" in and do a word study. Wow, much to learn.

The first chapter ends with the ambition, "I want to live a quiet life. To know God, to love him, to serve and follow," and then asks a question I leave with all of us.

Are we so sure that God only works through people on the stage, in the public eye, and without failings? pg. 22, The Naked Chrisitan, Craig Borlase.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fierce Love

After much recommendation, Daniel and I went to see Slumdog Millionaire. As the movie started I saw the little boys running and fending for themselves. My heart began to hear God say, "there are little ones who live like this, pray for them." My heart was touched. There were many points in which my heart was engaged but the ending scene was the one I will remember. Haley Edmiston went with us and she labeled it as "Fierce Love" and I would agree. Jamal was going to wait for Latika and search for Latika for however long it took. Forever pursuing...When he finally reaches her he kisses the scare first, and his embrace could say, I will protect you. All of these are messages that I believe about God in all of our lives.

Ezekiel 16 - the story of rubbage to royalty
Psalm 18 - God comes down with smoke in his nostrils to deliver us
Song of Solomon 2 - the dove in the cleft of the rock, protected

Our thoughts about a movie may not be the same but there is no denying the Fierce Love God has for His People, US. Enjoy His love today!!

Monday, March 16, 2009


In Oct.(2008) Daniel and I decided to comittment to going to the gym on ACU campus and exercising. It had to be in the morning because of the hours Daniel was available. We went pretty regularly until recently. I have just gotten tired of the same ole routine. I knew I needed the exercise and so I decided to try what I had done in the spring of '08 which was to follow a plan online. The site titled Beginners Running Training Program gives you a eight week plan to run 3 Miles/5K. In looking for it again online I came across another site, The Couch-to-5K-Running Plan. So I have decided to try the second plan and I have totally enjoyed the weather and getting out in my neighborhood. I don't have to get up at 5:30am when Daniel prefers to get up and exercise. I told Daniel I do not want to be a discouragement to him but would like to try something different. I think he may decide to ride his bike with me as I walk/jog. Let me know what you think of the plans. I'm not a runner and so this is something I will be praying about as I experience what is best for my body. Peace.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Catching Up

So much happens in a given week that i lose myself in the activity or even silence. As much as i enjoy music i have enjoyed more silence this semester. There are so many places in the house that I just enjoy sitting and thinking --in one of the great chairs, watching outside, or settling on the front porch. Daniel has only put one rocking chair together so it is only one at a time that we are enjoying our porch at this point. Beth Pope, a friend that comes over to pray and visit about every 3 weeks told me last time she was here she wanted to see another rocking chair out there when she comes next time. I guess that will be a project for Daniel during spring break.

Daniel has totally planned our spring break camping trip to Caprock Canyon State Park. We leave in the morning. He has sent me the packing list and we are both working on it. We have the tent and bikes ready. We have talked about the books we will take and that we want to have a time of walking and praying while relaxing and playing games. What a life!! God has been so faithful in our lives. We feel very blessed. Reminds me of Psalm 124 that we studied this week in my Bible study.

Psalm 124
A Song of Ascents, of David.
1"Had it not been the LORD who was on our side,"
Let Israel now say,
2"Had it not been the LORD who was on our side
When men rose up against us,
3Then they would have swallowed us alive,
When their anger was kindled against us;
4Then the waters would have engulfed us,
The stream would have swept over our soul;
5Then the raging waters would have swept over our soul."
6Blessed be the LORD,
Who has not given us to be torn by their teeth.
7Our soul has escaped as a bird out of the snare of the trapper;
The snare is broken and we have escaped.
8Our help is in the name of the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.

The Message says in the first verse: If God hadn't been for us —all together now, Israel, sing out! I love it, we have much to sing out about!!

Another JOY in my life this past week was seeing Cailyn thru skype of course, paint. Water color actually. A care package came from some families at Fairlane church of Christ, their supporting chruch and in it came paper and water colors. How fun for us to see her paint and say "purple", she tries to trace her hand and of course she gets paint on her hand. Alison just took her shirt off and away she went painting. Grandparents out there, if you are not in the same town as your grandchildren, you better look into skype. It doesn't matter how far away or how close, skype opens a whole new world of communication. It is the BEST!! check it out!!