Taste on Tuesday: Lent# 41- Give the Gift

Proud people are concerned with being respectable, with what others think; they work to protect their own image and reputation.

Broken people are concerned with being real; what matters to them is not what others think but what God knows; they are willing to die to their own reputation.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss, ReviveOurHearts.com (used with permission)

We all have a great gift to give. Ready? Here it is–give the gift of:

Not Taking Yourself Too Seriously

Yep. that’s it. Doesn’t cost a thing–except a little pride. We can afford that. That’s the point.

I get a kick out of laughing at myself. It’s contagious–people do laugh (at me.) I can take it. I taught high school. I’m a mother. I’m a redhead (usually.) All these qualify. It’s good for me. It’s biblical: Laughter is good like medicine. (Proverbs 17:22)

Feeling a little ill? Start laughing. If you can’t think of anything funny, look in the mirror. Or look in mine. It’s contagious. I could use a good laugh.

Little Erin gave me her favorite face mask. Worth the look even if it didn’t do wonders for my skin.

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OH, and at the Dollar Store last week, I came across some nice-looking hair color. “Hey,” I thought, “what could it hurt? It’s just a buck…”

(Photos on request.)

Proud people are concerned with being respectable, with what others think; they work to protect their own image and reputation.

Broken people are concerned with being real; what matters to them is not what others think but what God knows; they are willing to die to their own reputation.

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Lent Day#40: Most Like Jesus

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Proud people are unapproachable or defensive when criticized.

Broken people receive criticism with a humble, open spirit.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss, ReviveOurHearts.com (used with permission)

No one likes criticism, especially unwarranted criticism. Especially unasked-for criticism. I know I don’t.  (Don’t criticize me, now.)

Jesus took a lot of flak. Always unwarranted. Never asked-for.

Or not.

Didn’t He ask for it when He left His Father for the Cross? Didn’t He know it was coming when He chose a donkey over a throne? Wasn’t He looking for trouble every time He made wine, healed a hand, chased a herd of violent pigs off a cliff?

Looking for it or not, Jesus took a lot of heat. And He took it like a man–a God-man: humbly.

 Humility casts a fragrant aroma. Rare, in most circles.

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place…” II Corinthians 2:13

Next time I get attacked, I hope people get a whiff of Jesus–how about you?

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“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.  For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?” II Corinthians 2:13-16 NASB

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“…God, who always leads us…” I can afford to be humble; I’m heading to a great parade, led in triumph by a King.

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Lent Day#39: “Not me, Lord…”

Proud people are quick to blame others.

Broken people accept personal responsibility and can see where they are wrong in a situation.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss, ReviveOurHearts.com (used with permission)

Only human to place blame–from the beginning. Eve (“His fault!”) Adam (“Her fault!”)

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Today my computer got in the (blame) game:

WordPress: “It’s a server problem.”

Server: “It’s a modem problem.”

Modem: “It’s a Charter problem.”

Charter: “It’s a server problem.”

I gave up and gave it to God. Mark took it to the Mac store and now it’s working. Can’t remember what or who they blamed (I don’t care.)

We like to weasel out as best we can.

Chalk up another Lent Day prayer:

“Lord,

Help me accept the fact when I’m wrong (which is more than I like to admit–that’s the problem.) I don’t want to be proud. Your Son took all the blame, all for me.  You need broken people to get Your work done. I want to be part of that work. Amen.”

Proud people are quick to blame others.

Broken people accept personal responsibility and can see where they are wrong in a situation.

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Lent Day#38: Worth the Risk

Proud people keep others at arms’ length.

Broken people are willing to risk getting close to others and to take risks of loving intimately.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss, ReviveOurHearts.com (used with permission)

God made us for Himself, and it’s never too crowded. Why is it a risk to love intimately? Because people, good people, can hurt us. The more we get hurt, the longer our arms’ (length.)

Ask anyone with a broken heart –

“I don’t plan to marry again for a very long time.”

“I don’t want to get too close.”

“My best friend up and moved on me.”

“My best friend up and died on me.”

Yep. There’s risk. But God knows we’re better together. He modeled it–a Trinity, after all. They separated for awhile, too. Of course, they get along–the advantage of perfection.

Will I get hurt when I reach out and shorten that arms’ length? Maybe. Jesus got rejected. I’d be in good company.

So glad these gals knew it was worth to risk – to come on retreat, to shorten the arms’ distance. Grateful.

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Mom was a great example of reaching out (and cutting off her arm for the sake of another – stranger or friend.) Loved that about her. Here she is in her own words. Bethany’s last visit with her before she saw Jesus in person:

Mom, in her own words. Not on Facebook? – try here.

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Taste on Tuesday: Rebirthing (Takes Retreating)

O, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is he who finds refuge in Him.

Psalm 34:8

 Just got back from a retreat (Mt. Hermon Spring Women’s Retreat) — nothing like a great group of women with good food, redwood trees, hilarious games and inspiration from God above–oh, and wonderful music bring us to the feet of Jesus.

In her book , Open to God, Joyce Huggut writes — in regards to taking retreats:

“A certain husband, on learning from his wife that she planned to go on retreat for a few days, took his pipe from his mouth and readily agreed: ‘Go my dear. Go, by all means! You’re just about due for a spot of re-birth.’”

I was so ready for that spot and so loved our time together.IMG_0259

And yes, we did cover our faces in green clay for a group masque — best not the post that pic.

FullSizeRenderLots of time to surrender ourselves to His power and His loving whisper. And God-focused takeaways from each session, but the BEST part was laughing and talking. Funny how that is.

Perhaps you’re long overdue for a “spot of rebirth!”

Pray with me:

“Lord God,

I need some rebirth – spirit, mind and soul. Guide me to Yourself. I don’t need trees to make it happen. I do need You.

I’ll be looking for You. Amen.”

PS

Bonnie and her work marketing team had their own rebirthing of mind, body and spirit – actually, I’m not sure about the spirit. Great times had by all. (How come they didn’t have this when I taught 9th Grade HS English??)

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O, taste and see how much God loves you; blessed is the one who finds refreshment of mind, body and soul retreating in Him. Today’s Psalm 34:8

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Lent Day#34: Better To Forget (Altogether)

Proud people are self-conscious.

Broken people are not concerned with self at all.

–Nancy Leigh DeMoss, ReviveOurHearts.com (used with permission)

Child-likeness. That’s what we need. Jesus said, “Become like a little child.”*

When I forget that God’s inside of me– living, breathing, loving –when i forget, nothing works. What can I do to never forget?

It’s not to think of myself less. Rather, as CS Lewis said, “It is better to forget about yourself altogether.” (Mere Christianity)

I’m thinking that’s in the lifetime process category. “Lord, may I be so conscious of You, there’s no room for me.” A scary thought? Hardly. He’s never stopped thinking about you.

Self-consciousness’s a waste of time. God-consiousness is why we’re here. Let Him take care of the details. Easier said than done. Easier when we remember we’re loved.

These kids — Bethany’s students — got snow for recess last week. They love her and vice-versa. Easy to not be concerned with self at all.

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 Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them.  Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.  So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” — Matthew 18:2-4 NLT

 

Proud people are self-conscious.

Broken people are not concerned with self at all.

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Lent Day# 31: Love vs. Knowledge

Another signpost for spiritual maturity: knowing how little we really know.

Proud people feel confident in how much they know.

Broken people are humbled by how very much they have to learn.

                            Nancy Leigh DeMoss, ReviveOurHearts.com (used with permission)

As the King James likes to remind us (God bless that King James) — “Knowledge puffeth up.”

Let’s keep the “th” in the puff —  to remind us of our impertinence.

Here’s Paul:

“Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. I Corinthians 8:1 GOKJV (Good Ol’King James Version)

Still puffy? Try the New Living Translation:

“Now regarding your question about food that has been offered to idols. Yes, we know that ‘we all have knowledge’ about this issue. But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church.

Feeling ignorant? It’s love that matters.

I sure love these gals – humble beauties used by God. BTW, another signpost of spiritual maturity: available to God’s use, relying on His power, wisdom and grace–even with babies in arms, designing a garden, walking a mountain, or meeting for Bible study.

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Proud people feel confident in how much they know.

Broken people are humbled by how very much they have to learn.

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Feast on Friday: The Perfect Crust for Pi Day (or Any Day)

My niece, Hannah threw a Pi Dinner for this last week’s Once-in-a-Century Pi-Day* – so clever – so delicious – so spontaneous – all my favorites! She gave us some fun recipes and a peek into her sweet life as a Lutheran pastor’s wife in chilly Wisconsin (my roots, after all.)

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A fun dinner guest brought this Pi-shaped Chicken Pot Pie! See her great blog, including recipes here. Here’s my favorite part from Hannah’s post. She and Tim have two smallish daughters:

Have I mentioned how much we love our library? They save all their newspapers for our garden, it is an outlet for our daughter during the endless cold winter months, and some of our best friendships were forged there.

The other two pies were for our pi day themed dinner party we hosted with two other families (who we met at the library). To ensure we had a proper spread, each family contributed a savory pie as well as a sweet one.

Isn’t that grand? I love it that they are now friends with library people.

momspie plateI recognize this pie plate — I’m pretty sure I bought it for Mom, and then it got passed to granddaughter, Hannah – obviously, a worthy recipient!

To make any Pi-Day perfect, here’s the famous Moore Family Pie Crust recipe – finally in printable form. And yes, it is easy as pie — actually, it’s the only reason one can say, easy as pie.

Feast on Friday: The Perfect Crust for Pi Day (or any day)
Author: 
Recipe type: Delicious
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
I use my hands to mix the pastry dough - best to remove all rings in advance...
Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. vinegar
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 scant t. salt
  • 4 t. sugar
  • 2 cups shortening or butter
  • Break 1 egg into measuring cup; add water to the ¾ cup mark.
Instructions
  1. Break 1 egg into measuring cup
  2. Add water to the ¾ cup mark
  3. Pour into small bowl
  4. Add 1 T. vinegar and 1 t. baking powder; it will bubble
  5. Stir and set aside
  6. In another large bowl, mix together: 4 cups flour, 2 scant t. salt, 4 t. sugar.
  7. Cut in 2 cups shortening or butter – the newest Pampered Chef shortening pastry cutter works wonders – until the size of peas
  8. Pour egg mixture over dry ingredients and mix thoroughly
  9. Wrap 4-5 balls in plastic wrap to store in freezer or use immediately--that's a lot of pie, but some days call for that.
  10. If your recipe calls for a baked crust, roll out into pie plate and weigh it down with foil and some dry pinto beans (or spring for pie weights the next time you're in a specialty kitchen store.)

 

Here’s Hannah’s Buttermilk Pie. So pretty!

h She comes by her love of frilly aprons naturally.

apronsphoto copy 24 *See here to learn more about Pi Day. I didn’t quite get it, being an English Major and all (we have our gifts…) BUT I was thrilled to learn there is an Pie Day every year that I’ve somehow missed: January 23! Someone please remind me next year. Mark loves a good Apple or Berry Pie. Wouldn’t want to cheat him on that special day.

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Lent Day#29: Wine and Windows

Proud people have a subconscious feeling, “This ministry/church is privileged to have me and my gifts” — they think of what they can do for God.

Broken people’s heart attitude is, “I don’t deserve to have a part in any ministry” –they know that they have nothing to offer God except the life of Jesus flowing through their broken lives.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss, ReviveOurHearts.com (Used with permission.)

I do think of what I could do for God–why else stick around? But if  I think too hard, it’s terrifying. Best leave the bigger stage, the harder job, the scarier risk — to another. (I wonder if that’s how Moses felt?)

The good thing about the Bigger Risk is what we find out about God. He’s always Bigger Still. I don’t figure that out unless I say “Yes” when God says, “Go.”

I love Oswald Chambers– he said we are to be “broken bread and poured out wine in the hands of Christ” – all for the sake of the Kingdom. Pride has nothing to do with it. The more broken, the better the bread and wine.

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The real test of the saint is not preaching the gospel, but washing disciples’ feet, that is, doing the things that do not count in the actual estimate often, but count everything in the estimate of God…[being] one who becomes broken bread and poured out wine in the hands of Jesus Christ for other lives.”

- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (February 25)

Our friend has cancer. She’s started yet another round of treatment. We pray for healing, we offer hope – and DeDe offers to wash her windows. I call that “poured out wine and broken bread in the hands of Jesus.”

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 Broken people . . . know that they have nothing to offer God except the life of Jesus flowing through their broken lives.

linking today at:  http://3dlessons4life.com/

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Tuesday’s Taste & See: Brothers and Sisters

O, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who finds refuge in Him.

Psalm 34:8

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One thing my dad always used to say in his latter years–he had many latter years and he got more sentimental the more latter they became . . . he would say, “What I love about our kids is that they all get along!”

I’d smile and reply, “Well, Dad, that’s usually true – although sometimes we get along better through email…” or “That’s because we don’t live next door to each other…” He’d grin and think I was teasing.

Maybe because now we are all entering — or have entered — our own latter days, he’s right (he usually was.) We do get along. More than get along. This last weekend reunion was proof.

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David had something to say about that in Psalm 133 (The Message) —

How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along!

Amen, brother. It was beautiful and thoroughly wonderful!

David may have meant brothers and sisters in the Lord, but sibs are certainly included. When my girls get feisty with each other, it hurts my heart. I’m sure I’ve hurt God’s when I’ve overstepped my bounds or said an unkind word to a brother or sister.

We taste God’s goodness when we love our brothers and sisters.

O, taste and see how good God is by doing all you can to be at peace with your brother; blessed is the one who finds refuge in loving one another with the love of the Lord. Today’s Psalm 34:8

Of course, it helps to go to the Happiest Place on Earth.

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IMG_1831IMG_1842IMG_1834linking with holley

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