Monday, May 23, 2011

Cookie Baking Night 05/23/11

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Emily, Ethan, Carissa. Some Cookie Baking Nights are low key and some are filled with fun activities from start to finish, this one was the latter.

For supper, everyone made their own mini pizza on an English muffin. That was a big hit. For our cookie, we made Peanut Butter Blossoms (the one with the Hershey's kiss in the middle).

We read lesson 47 from Leading Little Ones to God by Marian Schoolland. Tonight's lesson was titled "The Holy Spirit Builds God's Church". Emily read Acts 16:13-15 for us.

We also started a project tonight that we'll be completing during our next Cookie Baking Night. We started making fleece blankets (the kind that you tie together). The kids did a great job with it! You'll see pictured below that they cut their own fringes along the outside edges of the material and then started tying them together. Stayed tuned for the unveiling of the finished blankets in a future Cookie Baking Night post.

As usual, a fun time was had by all.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Evangelism Focus 05/21/11

This weekend, my friends Betsy and Jane were visiting from Wisconsin. They came here specifically to go to the Mall of America and share the gospel, which they did on Friday.

Saturday was a very rainy day, so we spent the morning visiting laundromats in the area with the hopes of sharing the gospel with the people we met there.

We visited three laundromats and had three different conversations centered around the gospel. Please pray for Rob, Jenny, and Kemi as the gospel message does its work in there hearts.

Pictured below (left to right): Jane, Betsy, and myself as we enjoyed lunch together before they headed back home. I praise the Lord for these new friends with such a heart to share the gospel! I enjoyed every minute of my time with them and look forward to more time with them in the future.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Book Club Wednesday 05/18/11

The book club selection for May and June is You Can Still Trust the Communists to be Communists by Fred Schwarz and David Noebel.

This week I read chapters 2 & 3, "The Recruiting of a Communist" and the "The Molding of a Communist." I'm finding this book to be a fascinating read. One thing I find very interesting is that the first 11 chapters are taken straight from the original text, when the the book was first published, in 1960. Other than a few language giveaways (Negro vs. African-American is the most notable thus far), you would likely think the book was written a few years ago at the most. It is eerily applicable to the year 2011.

This phrase stood out to me from chapter 2 ("The Recruiting of a Communist"):

"The first step in making a communist is disenchantment with the Capitalist system." Hmmmm, has anyone heard any rumblings of such disenchantment in our society today? (anyone?).

The chapter goes on to describe the four things Communism utilizes to recruit the young intellectual:
  1. Disenchantment with Capitalism
  2. Materialistic philosophy
  3. Intellectual pride
  4. Unfulfilled religious need
Those of you living and breathing around young people in our society today, do I have your attention?

The author goes on to unpack these ideas in detail. It is fascinating. I recommend reading chapter 2 for more details.

Chapter 3 ("Molding of a Communist") starts with this phrase:

"Communism is the great illustration of the truism that organization will inevitably conquer disorganization and spontaneity."

The author then goes on to explain the history of how the communist movement started. Intriguing. I recommend reading chapter 3. It will help you get a grasp of the philosophy behind Communism.

I hope you're reading along and will weigh in with your comments as we go. I'm interested to hear from you.

Click on this link for information on how to purchase this book.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Workplace Musings 05/17/11

My place of employment has a program where you can send small cards of encouragement or words of thanks to each other calling each other out for behavior that goes above and beyond the norm of daily work flow. I think this is a very good idea. It is a way to show kindness to each other.

Administration rewards this kindness even further by asking employees to turn in the cards once a month. Each month a card is drawn from those collected and a small prize is given to both the receiver and giver of the card. The amount of cards one receives in total is counted and rewarded with a lapel pin once you have reached the milestone of 50 cards received, 75, 100, etc.

I used to hand in the cards simply because we were encouraged to do so by Administration. I even received a couple lapel pins. Then I realized that collecting the cards, turning them in, and adding up my "pins of reward" was doing nothing to cultivate humility in my life. In fact, it was working against this goal.

The Bible has a lot to say on the subject of humility. Here's a small sampling:

Proverbs 27:2
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.

Matthew 23:12
For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Romans 12:3
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

Ephesians 4:2
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

As mentioned in previous "Workplace Musings" posts, it is important to filter all information through the lens of Scripture. This is not a bad program offered by my workplace. I can still participate in it and encourage others with kind words without participating in the part where I turn in the cards. In this case, I can take a stand without much noise. Not all situations at work present that option. I agree with the motto of The Christian Worldview radio program. In all matters of life, "Think Biblically, Live Accordingly". The workplace offers a lot of opportunity to do just that. Be careful not to turn off your brain (and your conscience) when you swipe that time card each day.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Book Club Wednesday 05/11/11

The Blog Book Club selection for the months of May and June is You Can Still Trust the Communists: To be Communists, Socialists, Statists, and Progressives Too by Fred Schwarz and David Noebel. The book You Can Trust The Communists to be Communists by Fred Schwarz was written in 1960. David Noebel set out to update the book but instead left it in Schwarz's original words, added suggestions for further reading, a bibliography, and one new chapter titled "The Heart, Mind, and Soul of Communism" taken from Dr. Schwarz's written papers, as well as three new chapters he wrote himself . He then republished the book in 2010.

I read Chapter one this week. I won't set a schedule on this book but will aim for 2-3 chapters a week, and will report on some highlights from each chapter as the weeks progress. My hope is that you will read this book along with me and weigh in with your comments as we go.

Chapter one was titled "Trust the Communists?" and laid a bit of foundation on Communist practice and glimpse into the mind of a communist. Here's an excerpt from chapter one:

"Communists believe they have a destiny. Their destiny is to create a new world and regenerate mankind. To do this, they must conquer the world, dethrone God, shatter the Capitalist system, and by Communist dictatorship, establish the regenerative environment of Socialism. This new environment will rear the young to perfection."

Stay tuned for the philosophy on how to accomplish this goal in chapter 2 titled "The Recruiting of a Communist".

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cookie Baking Night 05/09/11

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Carissa, Ethan, and Emily. I taught the kids to play Care Bear Dominoes this evening, and they did that while I cleaned up the kitchen from supper. They caught on quick and seemed to have a good time with it. Carrissa dominated the scene with two wins out of four games (she was ready to play several more games if given the chance--I think Care Bear Dominoes is her game).

The cookie this evening was chocolate chocolate chip (a BiG hit with the kids).

We read lesson 46 from Leading Little Ones to Godby Marian Schoolland. It was titled "The Holy Spirit Guided the Disciples". Before we got into the lesson, we had some amazing conversation around the crucifixion of Christ.......a lot of questions from the kids, a lot of thinking going on. Emily read Acts 8:29-39 for us from the Bible.

We ended the evening with several lively rounds of Zingo. usual......a fun time was had by all.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Evangelism Focus 05/06/11

In this evangelism focus post, I'd like to spend a little time reflecting on the evolution (if I may use that word) of evangelism in my life in the last three years or so.

First, I am grateful that God took this undeserving sinner and regenerated her heart. Upon doing so, He planted a desire for evangelism in me that is nothing short of a miracle (shy, quiet people are not inclined to approach total strangers for any reason and certainly not to tell them something they likely don't want to hear).

Secondly, two years ago God allowed me to attend the Ambassador's Academy in California through Living Waters ministry. It changed me. I'm not sure I would be evangelizing at all today were it not for the kick start this training provided (click here to check out their website for more information---I highly recommend it).

Thirdly, because of the Ambassador's Academy training I became aware that there is a network of street evangelists throughout America and Canada who are faithful heralds of the gospel. I have been greatly encouraged by their blogs, websites, and e-mails. Their creativity and faithfulness in spreading the gospel spurs me on to "fight the good fight". Here are my favorite evangelism blogs/websites. I encourage you to click on the links and check them out: The Word Street Journal, Proclaiming the Truth, Fish With Trish, and His Feet on the Street.

I pray God will continue to grow me in this area and that the gospel message will be known in all the land.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Book Club Wednesday 05/04/11--New Book

It's time to start a new book for Book Club Wednesdays. Our selection for May and June will be You Can Still Trust the Communists to be Communists by Fred Schwartz and David Noebel. I chose this book to read this year because I hear so many young people (when I'm talking to them during street evangelism and young people I know--some who are not Christians and some who claim to be) expressing that they think Communism is the ideal government system. I was shocked the first time I heard this idea and deeply saddened every time afterward. So, I chose this book for the May and June choice to read up on the subject coming from a Biblical world view. I hope you will join me. I just received the book from Amazon today, so my plan is to read chapter 1 by next week's post and then set the schedule from there.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Workplace Musings 05/03/11

Recently, at work, I was fighting against some negative feelings about another coworker. I didn’t have much familiarity with this other coworker. I didn’t have a bad experience with this person. But somewhere along the line I had decided I didn’t like them. I recently realized why I had formed this opinion. Another coworker of mine had told me a few things about this person (based on their experience with them)---gossip—and I then came to a conclusion about this person based on the gossip. It reminded me of the power of the tongue and why God warns us against gossip and admonishes us to control our tongue. I was reminded of (and convicted of my sin by) the following verses from the book of James in the Bible.

"So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water." James 3:5-12

Monday, May 2, 2011

Book Excerpt 05/02/11

I am currently reading A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller. I'm toward the end of the book, and the author is now discussing using prayer cards to pray for other people (writing down on a 3x5 card the name of a person and a couple specific requests accompanied by specific verses of Scripture you wish to pray for them). As he was explaining this process, I was struck by this comment he made, and I commend it to you for your consideration.

"I would not have started praying regularly for other men in my life unless I had a prayer card for them. We usually don't pray for things that function like wallpaper in our lives. We only pray when the wallpaper starts peeling."

Cookie Baking Night 06/25/18

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Ethan, Carissa, and Enzo (Allison and Rylar were attending a birthday party els...