Saturday, January 31, 2009

perhaps, sometimes in the silence

This week my heart's cry was to hear God or to hear his voice in some way. It mattered not if it was loud and clear or in a very quiet whisper. All I knew was that I needed to hear from Him. Too often my mind races-it truly does not slow down for a second. Filled with distraction I cannot hear a thing and at times don't even slow down long enough to see if my Father has anything to say. I want to be the woman in the crowd who presses through throngs of people, noises, distractions, thoughts to be near Jesus. I want to touch the hem of his garment, just the threads, in order to be healed, to be made whole again.
It has been a long time since I quieted my soul and meditated on Him, on nothing more than my savior and what He means to me. I wrestle with distractions of every kind. I cry real tears but even that does not bring me close enough to hear his voice.
I have a letter that my cousin wrote me several years ago. In it she encouraged me to press through the crowd, to fight my way into his presence. I remember reading the letter and thinking it was not pertinent to my life at the time. It was pertinent this morning as I lay prostrate on the floor, crying out to God and meeting him in the quiet place. In the secret place, Lord you are there.
I will continue to wrestle with distractions, but desire to spend more time in the silence, and to perhaps soon hear again the voice that has been calling.

Friday, January 23, 2009

All but One DVD to go

As some of you may know it has been a dream of mine to sit and watch the entire set of Nooma DVD's. This week I will cross off item # 70 from my 101 List. It was pure luxury to sit in my pajamas to watch these again. Each DVD features Rob Bell, pastor of an active church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. These short films are only 11 to 12 minutes long but communicate wisdom in a compact, portable, and concise way. They are that powerful.
Check out to see clips. There is one DVD in the set that we do not own entitled, "Tomato. "

Monday, January 19, 2009

Lessons from Rain

Rob Bell shares the story of the time he took his one-year son Trace for a walk through the woods. He carried Trace in a hiking pack on his back and when they set out the weather was perfect, his child was making happy chirps and squawks in his ear. Rob later looks up and he notices that clouds have appeared and then it starts to rain. It always rains, doesn't it? The scriptures say all sorts of things about rain and storms.
When Jesus is teaching about what it means to live like the fullness of life in his kingdom--When Jesus speaks of it, he speaks of two different people, He speaks of a person who builds their house on sand, someone who chooses to reject his teachings, and someone who builds their life, their house on rock, who chooses to build their life, on Jesus' teachings.
And then the metaphor he uses it that of a storm that comes. And the person who rejects his teachings and his truth, essentially the house built on sand just gets destroyed. But the house built on the rock stands. So this idea that when the rains come, it's not they might, they do.
It rains in our lives ...a lot."

What are some of the storms in your life? Is is raining now? I would have to say that yes, at this moment, I feel as though it is raining. And not a quiet gentle rain, but rather the kind of rain that soaks my clothes and just plasters my hair. And when it rains like this, I cry out before God. Rob Bell says that when the drops of rain first began to fall, his little boy was calm but eventually he began shrieking with terror. Trace, from deep in his being starts to yell and cry so loudly, with such passion and terror in his voice. Rob then stops and removes his son from the hiking pack on his back and carries him close to his heart for the rest of the walk.
God says these amazing things like, "When you cry out to me, I listen." "The Psalms speak over and over about crying. About crying out to God."
Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you. Psalm 34:17 (The Message)

O LORD, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you. Psalm 88:1 (NIV)

He even says, "I cannot ignore the cries of someone who is afflicted." If I'm hurting, lost, soaking wet, scared, confused. God says, You cry out and I hear. God even says that when you cry, He is close to the broken-hearted. He's close to those who cry out and admit they're hurting, lost, soaking wet, scared or confused.
I am so thankful that God debunks the idea that somehow I've got to have it all together in order to have a relationship with Him. Instead he says to us, "When you come to me, come to me with all your junk, with all your problems, come to me all screwed up, all messed up. Let me take care of it.
I want to get through the rain with my heavenly father holding me close, hearing my cries. I want to hear his voice whispering in my ear, "I love you daughter. We're gonna make it. Dad knows the way home." When you are going through really hard times and everything seems hopeless, do you still trust that God knows the way and that you're going to make it? I pray we trust even as we cry out in the rain.
"There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place." Deut. 1:31 (NIV).

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Moo-less Chocolate Pie Part 2

Okay. My daughter wants me to leave her food alone but I just can't. I have become intrigued by the concept of her vegetarian year. I now like eating vegetarian 2 days a week.
What I need to say now is this...I will retract my earlier comment about tofu tasting like crap if I can eat this pie on the day after it is refrigerated.
It is most chocolatey after the flavors have had time to marry. I stand corrected.
Up next, a book review or something slightly less offensive.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

If you think it's Butter, but it's Not

Date Log: January 17, 2009. 8:00 pm EST

The time has finally arrived for a Moo-less Chocolate Tofu Pie. Doesn't this pie look delicious?

10:00 EST
Allen weighs in with his comments: The chocolate tofu-y goodness overwhelmed my taste buds and came crashing down upon me. Denine begs to differ: The best part of making and eating this pie was licking the pan that contained melted real chocolate morsels combined with a shot of Kahlua. The chocolate cookie crust was a close second. There was simply no way to cover the nasty aftertaste of silken tofu. Why I ask you, if soybeans are all natural and edamame tastes so good, does tofu have to taste like crap? Crap that even rich velvety cocoa cannot cover.
So my food friends, if it tastes like butter, but it's not, It's Chiffon.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Updates for my 101

Here are a few things that I am slugging away at and others that have changed due to circumstances beyond my control.
  1. #5. Get over my fear of failure and try new things. For me, I shot a handgun yesterday for the first time in my life. I was extremely nervous and afraid in the minutes before I pulled the trigger but I had a great coach standing behind me!
  2. #35. I am no longer seeing color. Greenwood is a great place to experience diversity and I thank God for this. We are all broken people, people in need of redemption and freedom.
  3. #43. I want to give away my books, read them and pass them on to a friend or public library.
  4. #44. I have purchased some organic cosmetics to replace name brand ones. Just a few but it's a start.
  5. #91. This one is not easy to talk about. I am having to love Ashley even though she is no longer in my son's life. It is also a sore subject which will teach me forgiveness and patience.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

5 Pounds of Fleshly Sin...

Pastor Dave suggested a New Year's resolution that really has me thinking. Actually, this same resolution also terrified me. Let me explain. Pastor Dave suggested the life-changing resolution that believers lose 5 pounds of fleshly sin in 2009. How amazing would that be for the congregation at NC? For the kingdom as a whole?
I'll be real here. Losing 5 pounds of body weight is easy for some; not so for me. I'd have to walk or run, cut my carb intake and drink tons of water to reach this goal. But to spiritually lose those extra 5 pounds of sin would entail a much greater sacrifice on my part. I would in essence be laying down the sins that so easily beset me. I ask myself-am I up to this weight loss challenge? If I as an individual focus on this goal, will I not have a greater impact on the kingdom and others? And if we as a body focus on this goal, would we not see greater victories in the spirit? In the lives of each other? I believe wholeheartedly that answer is Yes and Amen. And again back to the real issue at hand; not five pounds of bodily flesh, but the spiritual flesh that is constantly at war in my life as a Christ follower. The flesh that holds me back from being all that God wants me to be.
Would I be willing to lay aside anything that hinders my walk and to let him trim the excess? To allow Him access to areas *(sin) in my life that I cling onto, saying, "Lord, you may work on this area of my life, but NOT THIS ONE, or THAT ONE either."
God help me, as my prayer becomes this: May 2009 be the year I surrender my pride most of all; my anger that rears its ugly head almost daily; my cloak of self-righteousness; my "selfishness" in wanting to be right all of the time; and my fear, doubt and anxiety over issues I cannot control. These are just a few of the areas the Holy Spirit detected in my life. So, I will go under the knife this year as He wills. To God be the glory for the great things He has done and will do.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Tofu Debate Continues

Last month we were officially introduced to the world of tofu. Jordan eats it often as a vegan. Bethany cooked it up approximately 2 times while she was home for Christmas break. Now, last night for the first time in history--I fixed a vegetable stir-fry with tofu as our "meat/protein" substitute. We ate it and I really can't say we suffered any ill effects. It blended right in. It was good. Now my next endeavor is to make a silken Chocolate Moo-Less pie. Heather swears it is delicious and you cannot tell it is tofu (as opposed to yogurt or cream cheese, let's say). My husband believes in Chocolate wholeheartedly, but not chocolate and tofu together. So folks we have ourselves a throw-down. Watch out Bobby Flay.
Updates to follow as the Tofu Debate continues.