Friday, June 28, 2013

Church Musings (Christ First)

Do you love Jesus? Listen to this sermon, and you'll love Him more. (Christ First, Bible Baptist Church, Phil Harrell, June 23, 2013).

Monday, June 17, 2013

Cookie Baking Night 06/17/13

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Ethan, Carissa, Emily, and Kylie (Kylie lives further away from us than the rest of the kids, so she isn't able to attend Cookie Baking Night very often. However, she was staying with Emily for the week, so she joined us tonight. It was good to have her along).

And as you may see from the photos below, energy abounded.

We made Ritz cracker cookies (I have no idea what these cookies are named, but I'm sure you've all seen them on Christmas cookie platters for years). We spread peaut peanut butter between two crackers and then dipped them in almond bark (chocolate and white). The children enjoyed this project, and the cookie was quite tasty. 

We also read from God's Names by Sally Michael. Tonight we learned the name Adonai meaning Lord. We also did some review of all the names we've learned so far. We are learning a lot about God's character through His names. 

We finished the night off with a couple games and called it an evening.

As usual, a fun time was had by all. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Evangelism Musings

They're back!

About five years ago, I spent some time writing a gospel tract that I could hand out to people. I wanted something that contained a small portion of my story, an awareness of sin and what that means in regards to our status before God, and the good news of the gospel message. I also knew that if the tract contained the message in the way that I presented it in person then I would likely be able to answer questions that arise from it (instead of defending or explaining phrases that I might not normally use but are part of an otherwise very clear gospel tract). 

I set out to write the tract. I read it. I re-read it. I edited it. I cut parts out of it. I added things to it. I asked my Pastor to read it. He edited it. He suggested cutting things out of it. He suggested adding things to it. I asked my good friend, Kim, to read it. She edited it. She suggested cutting things out of it ... I think you get the picture. I went through that same editing process with my husband, Greg. I took the wise counsel I received from these trusted parties and edited accordingly. Finally, I (we, actually) arrived at the completed product. Kim helped me come up with a title line for the tract (I wanted "An American Christian Story"--Kim said "No Way!" and that, along with her facial expression and body language that seemed to imply the very idea repulsed her, compelled me to reconsider the idea. We decided on "If I Knew Then What I Know Now"). Greg questioned me for my ideas on how I would like it to look and then desinged the cover for me (Greg is a talented graphic designer by trade and hobby, so I knew I'd be happy with what he arranged for me). The logo on the front cover came from half of a logo Kim had designed for us when we did a little public speaking to women's groups a few years back. After Greg designed the cover, he sent it to a printer. They are printed in lots of 500. We are on our third printing, which means we have now handed out 1,000 of my little gospel tract booklets. To God be the glory! This time we doubled the order and had 1,000 printed. I was scraping the bottom of the barrell with what I have left, so I was happy to see that third order come in. 

Click here to read the contents of this gospel tract (it's the very first post I ever put on my blog). 

I would urge all Christians to consider writing out your own gospel tract. If not for the benefit of knowing and taking part of what is written in it then for the experience of articulating the gospel in a way that can be understood by anyone. You will definitely grow in Christ through the experience (and I wouldn't be surprised if you hand a few more gospel tracts than you do now as a result). 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Katrina's Musings (God's Sovereignty)

"All of the past, I believe, is part of God's story of each child of His--a mystery of love and sovereignty, written before the foundation of the world, never a hindrance to the task He has designed for us, but rather the preparation suited to our particular personality's need."

Elisabeth Elliot (Keep A Quiet Heart/A Small Section of the Visible Course)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Katrina's Musings (book quote)

Your heart is where you do your thinking, processing, assessing.

Psalm 15:1-2 says:
LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? 
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness, 
And speaks the truth in his heart.

The thoughts that we say to ourselves we say in our hearts. The heart is where we do our thinking, talking, sorting, and interpreting of everything that life is throwing at us. We do what we do because we want what we want, and we want what we want because we think what we think. Our actions stem from what we're feeding our hearts. So the heart is our control center. 

And that means that when we sin, it's never random. It might seem random when you can't see the heart, but there is no random sin. There are no random outburts of anger, no random flights of fear, no random flood of tears. It's not random. You were already thinking something in your heart long before you felt something and acted on it. 

Gospel Treason: Betraying the Gospel with Hidden Idols by Brad Bigney (chapter 9)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Katrina's Musings (depression)

If you know a Christian who deals with depression on an ongoing basis (or situational), I would recommend this resource to them: Depression: The Way Up When You Are Down by Edward Welch. It's a small (28-paged) Biblically-based booklet about depression. I've yet to read a better booklet on the subject than this one.

The opening line was this:

"It is technically called depression, but it can't be captured by a word. You feel numb, yet your head hurts; empty, yet inside there are screams; fatigue, yet fears abound. Things that were once pleasures now barely hold your attention. Your brain feels like it is in a fog. You feel weighted down ..."

It had my attention from sentence one, because anyone who has experienced depression (of a clinical, ongoing type or situtational in nature) could identify with what was being said.

This little booklet contains theology and practical steps to maneuver through depression. I highly recommend keeping a copy on hand, reading it, and offering it as a resource when the opportunity presents itself.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Katrina's Musings (Book Quote)

"You can't exclude God from your thinking and priorities and do well. You'll need the alcohol industry, or the pharmaceutical industry, or the sporting industry, or the entertainment industry to sustain you once you've abandoned God as your first love."

Gospel Treason: Betraying the Gospel With Hidden Idols by Brad Bigney (chapter 7)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Cookie Baking Night 06/03/13

Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Ethan and Carissa (and special guest: Diana, their mom).

We always have supper together on Cookie Baking Night but I don't usually post about it. Tonight I thought I'd share the idea, as it might interest others. We made our own French bread pizzas. I toasted the bread on one side beforehand, and then each person put on their own toppings, and I baked them in the oven for about five minutes. It was definitely a hit.

Our cookie tonight was the "hamburger cookie". 

To make these we use mint patties (candy), green-colored coconut (to resemble lettuce), Nilla wafers (buns), yellow frosting (mustard) and red frosting (ketchup). 

Then we topped them off with sesame seeds. Always a winner, this recipe. 

We also read from God's Names by Sally Michael. Tonight's lesson was the name Jehovah-El Emeth, meaning The Lord God of Truth. We talked about the difference between truth and lies. We also learned that "God is not a man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind...... (Numbers 23:19). Carissa read from Genesis 3:1-7 for us. We are learning much about the character of God through His names. 

Tonight was full of projects, and the time went quickly. As usual, a fun time was had by all. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Katrina's Musings (Gospel Meditations/Missions--Reflections)

Yesterday ended my daily posts from Gospel Meditations for Missions. Our women's ministry at church was reading through that book during the month of May as part of a missions-focused emphasis for the month (we all started on different days and ended on different days) with the idea of having conversation around what we were reading during times we gathered together as a congregation or in smaller groups. I was posting a "quote a day" on the blog from the devotional book each day during that time. I highly recommend the "Gospel Meditations" booklets if you have a chance to go through one of them. The focus of each is (as it implies) Gospel centered. Well worth the time spent on it and very thought provoking.

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...