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Friday, January 15, 2010


January 15, 2010

Is Ignorance Bliss?

Leslie Nease, She Speaks! Graduate

"Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn't worship Him as God or even give Him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused." Romans 1:21-22 (NLT)


A wave of regret swept over me as I looked up the nutrition information on the pumpkin muffin I'd just consumed. It had a whopping 530 calories, 20 fat grams and 80 carbohydrates! Stunned, I wondered why I would ever want to know this information? Why did I look this up? Now I wouldn't be able to eat my pumpkin muffin in good conscience!

Ignorance is bliss. Or is it?

If I didn't know this nutritional information I would eat the muffin thinking that because it contains vegetable, it must be good for me! I mean, honestly - have you tasted one of these? But the truth is, eating a pumpkin muffin every day for the rest of my life might lead to some serious consequences. Heart disease, obesity, lack of energy and diabetes could be in my future. Now that I'm in the know, I can't deny the potential negative affects this could have. I have a responsibility and a decision to make, whether I like it or not.

Similarly, it used to be easier for me to pretend God wasn't real--hell was made up and evil was something I could elude. But when faced with the reality that there is a God who I am accountable to, there is a hell, and evil is present; I knew I had some decisions to make. Instead of living in denial, I accepted that ignorance is not bliss and it was not doing me any favors. So I started to search for truth about God in the pages of His Word.

Scripture is the one place where we can be sure we will find all we need to know about God. However, many folks try to figure out God without the Bible; they want a god on their terms. This reminds me of diets that promise extreme weight loss while eating whatever you want without exercising. We would be in denial if we believed those promises. To lose weight, you have to know the nutritional value of food, work out regularly, and not eat pumpkin muffins every day! It's a conscious decision to daily invest in our health and there are no short cuts.

Denying God's existence is not going to change the fact that He is there either. Ignorance is not bliss - it is ignorance.

God makes Himself known to us through His Word. He says, "I Am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5, NIV). We must make a conscious decision daily to invest in our spiritual health through learning about God through time in the Bible. We must connect and remain with Him. With God's Word lighting our path, we are armed with truth, so we can make informed decisions that will help us grow, not lead us into deception.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Are you colorful?

January 13, 2010

The Colors of Emotion

Susanne Scheppmann

"This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything." 1 John 3:19-20 (NIV)


My feelings scoot across the emotion spectrum. Some days are happy days. Other mornings I don't want to crawl out of bed—I just want to wallow in misery and depression. I sigh and say to my husband, "I have the blues today."

I guess you could say I am a "colorful" person. Maybe you are too. Have you ever found yourself saying something like ...

· I am feeling blue today.

· I am so angry; I'm seeing red.

· I am green with envy.

· I am in black despair.

Often our emotions are not based on reality, but on a temporary perception of reality. The prophet Jeremiah wrote, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9, NIV). I don't always understand why I feel the way I do. My moods could result from weariness, hormones, or an unexpected surprise.

Fortunately, although our hearts are deceitful and trick us into colorful emotions, God is bigger and stronger than our weak hearts. Our key verse states, "This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything (1 John 3:19-20, NIV; emphasis added). This makes me shout aloud, "Hallelujah!"

We still hold some responsibility, however, for our thoughts and emotions. Proverbs 4:23 instructs, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (NIV)." How do we do this? We should �that we�allow t� influe�ce our houghts Listenon that we allow to influence our thoughts. Listening to gossip, rumors and discontent from friends can certainly stir up negative feelings as well.

Instead of infusing ourselves with emotional junk food, we need to nourish our minds with godly influences. For example, read the Bible, chat with godly friends, or listen to praise music. The more joyful and contentment-filled influences we filter our thoughts through each day, the more we'll experience a positive emotional state—in fact, we'll be tickled pink!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Steven's Christmas present

My brother's Christmas present, I got word that he received it on Friday and He said its perfect and he loves it. So I can finally post it here for ya'll to see...

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Cloth Napkins DONE!

Cloth napkins done!

I will be mailing these out shortly, except for you Doreen, since you asked for me to wait. :)

I'M so glad these are done and I can finally use our new pretty napkins!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Tenth Avenue North - Hold my Heart [Lyrics]

Super chick song at the end. This is a long one but its was the best one with the lyrics on it. I love this song sooo much right now! Praising God! Can he hear our broken hearts??? YES HE CAN!


January 5, 2010

The Friendship Project

Whitney Capps

"But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, 'And who is my neighbor?'

Luke:10:29 (NIV)


It was a room full of nearly strangers, barely friends-until that day. I asked the ladies to stand as I read from a list of life experiences. If they had lived through one of the descriptions they stood up. One by one, sobbing women rose to their feet as I read the list. They were family in name only - a family of believers from the same church gathered together for a women's retreat where I was the guest speaker.

Twelve women stood together when I asked if anyone had had a miscarriage. One woman had buried a spouse. Five came from unbelieving homes. One had lived through marital infidelity. Three had escaped relationships where they had faced verbal, physical or sexual abuse. Three ladies had struggled with depression. The list went on and on. By the time I had finished, every woman in the room was standing.

We were knee-deep in one another's junk, and yet I had never felt closer to a group of women. As we closed the session I asked them to share more about their stories at their individual tables. As I surveyed the room, women who had been strangers only minutes before were huddled around one another, embracing, sharing and weeping. God was knitting hearts together. It was a moment I'll never forget.

I am realizing that women of all walks of life crave friendships. And yet so many of us feel that we are lacking meaningful, authentic relationships. How is it that a church full of women with a common thread of faith are not friends? Worse yet, if we aren't friends, can we hope to offer authentic relationships to those who enter the doors of our churches every week?�r the answer is "no, we can't" unless weear the answer is "no, we can't" unless we change and make a few necessary sacrifices.

Recently I've gleaned some life lessons from the story of the Good Samaritan. In Luke 10:30, Jesus paints a not-so-favorable picture of the religious and respectable. I wonder if He would have the same indictment of our churches today? The priest was seemingly too busy to befriend the one in need.

Can I be honest? I am regularly guilty of this sin. Before and after church my husband and I busy ourselves with the work of tending to our children, and doing the business of church. I move past people who are hurting, but I don't stop with my busyness to see their needs. I rarely get off my horse. I am the priest.

The Levite rode past the hurting man too. Perhaps he felt he was too clean to get dirty in the messy business of grace and mercy. Helping the man in need would have made the Levite ceremonially unclean. He wanted to preserve his position and place.

Let me do a little more truth-telling. I don't usually want to get knee-deep in other people's junk. If I don't get into messy relationships I avoid having to deal not only with my own junk, but other's as well. So I don't get off my horse. I am the Levite.

Here is the problem. Real relationships require time and transparency. If we want to move from being casual acquaintances to genuine friends you and I will have to share pain and joy in an authentic, sacrificial way. I believe this, but for right now it's just theory.

I'm curious. What would happen if we covenanted together to get off our high horses and got into one another's junk? I wonder if our churches would explode. I wonder if lives would be forever changed. I wonder if the Church would shed a little bit of its reputation of hypocrisy.

Want to see what would happen? It's not too late to add a New Year's resolution. Let's resolve to change lives through friendship. Let's slow down. Let's share our stories. Let's get knee-deep

Monday, January 04, 2010

last thrus craft, penguins