Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Pursuit of God, chapter 5

O God and Father, I repent of my sinful preoccupation with visible things. The world has been too much with me. You have been here and I did not know it. I have been blind to your presence. Open my eyes that I may behold You in and around me. Amen. 

The Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer, page 67 (adaptation)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cooking Baking Night 10/29/12

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Emily, Ethan, and Carissa. Tonight was filled with activity (our busiest Cookie Baking Night yet), and I captured a few of those activities in pictures.

A week ago, Dad-Larry gave me a baking pumpkin that one of his coworkers had given him. I thought baking it with the Cookie Baking Gang would be a fun activity. At the beginning of our time together, I asked the kids if they knew where pumpkin pie came from or how it was made. They had no idea. Emily guessed that it might come from the "guts" of the pumpkin. I thought I would at least get a few guesses that involved "it comes from a can", but nothing. I explained that it comes from a pumpkin. They marveled at this concept.  So, here's what we did with our lovely baking pumpkin.

                                  First, we cut it in half.

Then we scraped out the seeds and stringy membranes, the "guts" as the children called it (much like carving a pumpkin). This process took quite awhile. 

Then we cut up the pumpkin and placed it in two 9 x 13 pans with about a cup of water each. We covered it with aluminum foil and placed it in the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour.

Not pictured here, but we also cleaned the pumpkin seeds and baked them. To the seeds we added: 3 Tbls melted butter, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp allspice, and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. We baked them in a 300 degree oven for about 25 minutes. They were quite tasty.

Ahhh, the fruit (literally) of our labors: a bowl full of pumpkin that we will use next time to make pumpkin bars and pumpkin pie. 

The kids also helped me prepare my Halloween treats for Wednesday evening. In my evangelism efforts this year, I decided to use our church business card that has a good gospel message on the back of it (I also have optical illusion tracts and "Why Christianity?" DVDs for the older trick-or-treaters). The kids taped the business cards to the back of the candy I had purchased (I like to go big). As we prepared the candy, we talked about the importance of sharing the gospel with other people (even trick-or-treaters), and we talked about why we do that (so others can know about Jesus). It was a good conversation around Halloween candy.

As usual, a fun time was had by all.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Katrina's Musings (Pursuit of God, chapter 4)

O God, quicken to life every power within me that I may lay hold on eternal things. Open my eyes that I may see; give me actual spiritual perception; enable me to taste You and know that You are good. Make heaven more real to me than any earthly thing has ever been. Amen.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mentoring Musings (Think)

This post is specifically aimed toward the young people. If I would give one piece of advice for how to live life it would be this: Think.

Think as you proceed through life. Think about your decisions before you make them. Think about how this piece connects to that one. Think deeply about God. Ponder who He is and why you are here. 

You may assume it would be hard to get through life without thinking, but that's not true. A remarkable amount of life can be lived without thinking, simply doing. An even larger amount of life can be lived without thinking deeply about God. 

I spent my late teens all the way through my twenties making decisions without thinking. I simply acted and then reacted OR (even more dangerously) I reacted and then acted. I followed rules, made friends, worked at what I did but thought very little about what I was doing and thought even less about God (even though I called myself a Christian). 

In my early thirties I began thinking about life, about the decisions I had made, about the complete absence of consulting God in anything that I did. On paper and in theory I would have said that God controlled my decisions and my life. One day I started thinking and wondering if that was really true. I knew it wasn't. The more I really thought about life the more depressed I became, deeply depressed. At that point, it was too hard to think about it. The reality of my thoughtless existence to that point was crushing. It was only the mercy of God and forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ that cleared my guilty conscience and opened my mind to thought again. I couldn't stop thinking after that. I wanted to think deeply about God, ponder who He is and why He put me here on earth. 

Young person, don't waste your youth (or twenties and thirties) on frivolous activity. If you believe in God, know why you believe. Do you possess your own faith or that of your parents?

Think my young friends, and think deeply. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Katrina's Musings (The Pusuit of God, Chapter 3)

Lord, how excellent are Your ways, and how devious and dark are the ways of man. Show us how to die, that we may rise again to newness of life. Rend the veil of our self-life from the top down as You did rend the  veil of the Temple. We would draw near in full assurance of faith. We would dwell with You in daily experience here on earth so that we may be accustomed to the glory when we enter Your heaven to dwell with You there. Amen

Prayer from the Pursuit of God (A.W. Tozer), end of chapter 3 (adaptation)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Katrina's Musings (A Night With a Niece and Nephew)

Tonight is an off Cookie Baking Night, but I thought this would be a good opportunity to share a few pictures of our time spent with a couple future Cookie Baking Night members. Last week, we had the opportunity to spend the evening with our niece, Allison (2) and our nephew Rylar (10 months) in our home. It was fun to spend time with them in this ever-changing season of their little lives.

Hmmm, I think we could have two future "readers" on our hands. 

I guess throwing the ball down the stairs, watching it bounce, retrieving it, and doing it all over again is the most fun game ever!

As you can see, a fun time was had by all. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Katrina's Musings (Pursuit of God, chapter 2)

Father, I want to know You, but my cowardly heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from You the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living cells, so that You may enter and dwell there without a rival. Then shall You make the place of Your feet glorious. Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for You will be the light of it, and there will be no night there. Amen

Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer, page 30 (adaptation)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Katrina's Musings (Worldview)

Last month our adult Christian Education class at church finished up a series on apologetics. One of the classes near the end of the series focused on apologetics and worldview. It was very thought provoking and caused one to think about how things of the world influence how we think (even as Christians) far more than we realize. I think the minutes spent on how books and movies influence how we think is time well spent. I encourage you to listen to the audio recording and ponder the information today. When the class gets to the discussion part, it can be a little difficult to hear the audience (you may need to turn up the audio at that point), but I think it is well worth the effort. Click here to listen to the Bible Baptist Church podcast for the CE hour titled: Apologetics: Building a Christian Worldview from Sunday, September 23. Enjoy!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cookie Baking Night 10/15/12

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. 
In attendance this evening: Ethan, Carissa, and Emily. 
We made our fall classic: Mrs. Goodrich's Pumpkin Patch Brownies. 

I think the kids would say that the best part is putting the vine around the pumpkins. (There always seems to be way more vine than pumpkin).

As a project tonight we made "piggy bank jars". In the upcoming months, the Cookie Baking gang will be offered an opportunity to work around my house to earn money for their trip to Florida next spring.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Katrina's Musings (Pursuit of God, chapter 1) 10/11/12

Oh God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. Oh God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, "Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away." Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.

--prayer from the pages of Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer, page 20

Friday, October 5, 2012

Katrina's Musings (Blog Changes)

Hmmm. Some of you may have noticed that though I had chosen two books for my book club for 2012, I haven't done a post on either of them yet. I was intending to read through A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael (I am halfway through that book) and Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer a few chapters at a time and post as I go. But it is clear to me now that 2012 is not the year of scheduled reading for me. I'm going to discontinue the book club feature for now (so I've removed it from my header page). As I read books, I'll comment on them and post noteworthy excerpts but, for now, it will be of more of a sporadic nature.

I've also decided to title most of my posts with the Musings heading (Katrina's Musings, Workplace Musings, etc.) since that is what they are. I plan to do more posts about life in general as I seek to live it out biblically and bring you along for the ride.

Since I'm posting general blog information at the moment, I'd like to take this time to bring your attention to my favorite links and blogs (particularly evangelism blogs) found on the right hand side of this blog. I hope you take some time to check them out.

I would also encourage you to use the Labels section of this blog (right hand side). Click on a word (subject) that interests you and it will link you to all the blog posts on this site pertaining to that subject. A handy feature. I use it all the time (even on my own blog).

See you on the blog pages.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hallowed Be His Name

On her radio program Revive Our Hearts, Nancy Leigh Demoss has been working through a series on the Lord's prayer. She has been taking the verses, breaking them down phrase by phrase, and teaching on them. I thought what she had to say on "hallowing the name of God" was worth repeating here.

"The opposite of hallowing (reverencing) God's name is profaning it. What does it mean to profane His name? To treat it as something common. We're not just talking about His name. We're saying that His name represents His character, His attributes, all that He is. To treat God as common or ordinary is to profane His name. To disregard Him, to disrespect Him, or [to do what some people do and that is] overtly trample on His character. But we can profane God's name by going through hours of the day without even thinking about Him. We're treating Him as if He were common or ordinary, not Other or Transcendent and special, to use His name or to refer in any way to God with a lack of reverence or respect or in any way that would reflect negatively on His character. 

One of the things that God has been convicting me about in this study is that my response to pressure gives the world a view of God. When I whine, when I let myself be overwhelmed by my circumstances rather than filled with a vision and a view of God, I am profaning the name of God.........God is jealous for His name, God is jealous for His character, and He considers it a serious offense for us to cheapen it in anyway or to allow anything to dim His glory. When my complaining or murmuring or bickering or resenting or sinning in anyway dims the glory of God, I have caused His name to be profaned rather than hallowed. And God takes that seriously........God's children are concerned for the reputation of their Father's name to be upheld." ---- Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Matthew 6:9

The part about "how we respond to pressure reflects on the character of God" struck a chord with me. I am in a new job position at my workplace and often feel a tremendous amount of pressure as I learn how to do the job. I have spent hours thinking about how I am responding to the pressure around me and does it look any different than the response the world has to pressure (Am I getting short and rude with those around me? Do I lean on something else--chocolate, caffeine--to get me through the day? Do I justify my behavior with the pressure of my circumstances? Do I give in to the temptation to be dishonest in order to complete the tasks in front of me?). So, Nancy's teaching on this passage has been tremendously helpful to me. There is no better way to examine what you are doing than under the light of God's Word. It simply cannot be argued with.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Cookie Baking Night 10/01/12

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Ethan and Carissa.

The schedule has been a little tight lately with the new job, so tonight it was KFC for supper and Pumpkin Pie Bars from a box mix for the "cookie". (And no complaints on either from the crowd present).

We had two mixes, so Ethan and Carissa were each in charge of their own. Ethan read the recipes out loud, and they each followed the directions and did all the work themselves. They did a great job (and that ended up being quite a tasty little mix).

Fall is upon us, so we took some time to enjoy the beautiful weather and went for a walk in the neighborhood.

We also read lessons 77 (Why We Go To Church) and 78 (How We Worship God in Church) from Leading Little Ones to God by Marian Schoolland. Ethan read the passages from the Bible for us. We're just about finished with this book (5 lessons left), a pretty big accomplishment considering we read from it only once every two weeks. It has been a great book for our Cookie Baking Night time. Great discussion has taken place around these lessons, and a Biblical theology has emerged from the time spent.

As usual, a fun time was had by all.

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...