Sunday, September 20, 2009

somebody's baby

this hit home.

strength & song

a little study on the Lord as our strength. Caroline and i are teaching children's church this month and it's been about the Israelites. We've taught them how good God is to them despite their ignorance, disobedience, and "whining" all the time. i had the kids practice whining and it was so annoying.... but that's what the Lord hears from me all the time and is still so patient and gracious. i pray i can be like that towards those around me and that i will thank God for being so kind to protect me no matter how i am to Him.

Exodus 15:2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him.

2 Samuel 22:33 God arms me with strength. His perfect way sets me free.

Psalms 22:19 But you, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.

Psalms 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

Psalms 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalms 118:14 The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.

Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the LORD GOD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.

Habakkuk 3:19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

old bagels into bread pudding!

friends of mine were about to throw away 15 stale bagels from bruegger's.... i hate waste, so i was brainstorming what could be done with them:
- croutons?
- feed the birds outside?
- give them to my neighbors?
- feed the geese at UNCC?
- feed the cats at UNCC?
- feed the college students at UNCC? :)

although it was a tough decision, none of these quite made the cut as soon as i thought of BREAD PUDDING!

you should know, i've never made bread pudding, but after perusing recipes, i decided that stale bagels just might work. and if they don't, then i don't have much to lose.

so, i just put it in the oven and will hopefully present a picture of it in about 30 minutes when it comes out-- only if it's a success!

here's the recipe i used

my end result is yummier than it looks!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

unfailing love

i sent this out in an email a couple weeks ago and was thinking about it once again, so i figured i'd share it with the world:

"Overcoming the Insecurity of Feeling Unloved" (taken from the Bible & Beth Moore)

Prov 19:22- "What a man desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar."

The Lord is suggesting that we are lying if we're saying that our greatest need is anything besides unfailing love. Prov 19:22 implies a deep craving for unfailing love: a love
that is unconditional, unwavering, radical, demonstrative, broader than the horizon, deeper than the sea. And it would be nice if that love were healthy, liberating rather than suffocating, and whole.

Since the only way to have eternal life is to receive Him, God created us with a cavernous need that we would seek to fill until we found Him.

Searching for perfect, unfailing love in anyone else is not only fruitless, it is miserably disappointing and destructive. I am convinced that our hearts are not healthy until they have been satisfied by the only completely healthy love that exists: the love of God, Himself.

Oswald Chambers: "No love of the natural heart is safe unless the human heart has been satisfied by God first."

We are not wrong to think we desperately need to be loved. We do. But we are wrong to think we can make anyone love us the way we need to be loved. Throughout life we will lose people who really loved us to death or changing circumstances. As dear and as rick as their love was, it was not unfailing. It moved. It died. It changed. It left wonderful memories... but it left a hole.

Psalm 143:8 "Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,/ for I have put my trust in You./ Show me the way I should go,/ for to you I lift up my soul."

Jesus Christ is the only One who is never overwhelmed by the depth and length of our need.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

why i live where i live

This is what makes caring for the body a Christian work, that through its health and comfort we may be able to work, to acquire, and lay by funds with which to aid those who are in need, that in this way the strong member may serve the weaker, and we may be sons of God, each caring for and working for the other, bearing one another’s burdens and so fulfilling the law of Christ [Galatians 6:2]. This is a truly Christian life. Here faith is truly active through love.

(Martin Luther)

How did Jesus love? "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." (Jn 1:14) Jesus relocated. He became one of us. He didn't commute back and forth to heaven. Similarly, the most effective messenger of the gospel to the poor will also live among the poor that God has called the person to. A key phrase to understand relocation is incarnational ministry.


There's a contemporary model or urban ministry that best explains why I live where I live:

"the three R's"

1. Relocation: living among the people... "Living out the gospel means bettering the quality of other people's lives spiritually, physically, socially, and emotionally as one betters one's own. Living out the gospel means sharing in the suffering and pain of others."

"By relocating, a person will understand most clearly the real problems facing the poor; and then he or she may begin to look for real solutions."

2. Reconciliation: people to people & people to God...

3. Redistribution: of resources

Step 1 is my short-term explanation, and steps 2 & 3 are long-term goals. to read more about this, click here.

I cannot help but sing praises to my Lord for giving me the privilege to live among my neighbors. It has already grown my faith in ways I never could have imagined. And the Lord sure knew what He was doing putting me & my roomie Caroline together.... I couldn't ask for a better person to live here with. I am learning to much from her-- about urban ministry, loving neighbors, loving my friends, loving my enemies, praying for those who persecute me, and being free to be myself... to name a few.

Friday, September 04, 2009

emily & ryan's wedding invitation

i had the privilege to help design my good friend emily's wedding invitation. for my first wedding invitation, i think it turned out pretty nicely and she really liked it- so that's definitely the most important thing! the wedding is "country carnival" themed, and i'll post pictures of the wedding/reception in late october!

also, picture a red border on the very outside of this (she attached the invite to a deep red piece of paper).