Wednesday, March 31, 2010


It's that time of year! Luke is going to be just like me in the allergy department! We've been outside the past few days a lot and this morning he woke up with a RUNNY nose! Time to start the Zyrtec! Actually, I should have started it a while ago. Anyway, today we were talking about why his nose was runny and what allergies are. He's very curious about things and asks all kinds of questions. So, I explained that many things that grow outside: pollen, grass, flowers, weeds can aggrivate your nose/sinuses. He was asking me what I was allergic to and I told him that I had been tested a long time ago and was allergic to pollen, rag weed, dust, dog hair.. to name a few! Well, he decided to tell me what he was allercig to! He named a few things like peaches (evidently the pig on Word World has a peach allergy!), pollen and dog hair. Here is the rest of our conversation:

Luke: Yep, I'm allergic to dog hair like you, Mommy.

Me: Probably so.

Luke: I'm allergic to bark too!

Me: Oh, tree bark?

Luke: No! Dog bark!


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Stone the Builders Rejected

And he began to tell the people this parable: "A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty handed. And he sent yet a third. This one they wounded and cast out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, 'What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.' But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, 'This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.' And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others." When they heard this, they said, "Surely not!" But he looked directly at them and said, "What then is this that is written:
"'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone?'"
Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him."

Luke 20:9-18

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday, Monday.. Time to Weigh In

Well, it's weigh day.. or Friday was anyway! I weighed Friday morning and was surprised to see I had lost 1 lb! Not the three I wanted, but a pound is a pound! So that makes 13 total! It's going slower than I wanted but it's still going! I just have a major problem with sweet stuff and finding time to exercise. I did really well with the exercise in the beginning! Here lately I've been putting it aside to do other things.. and not necessarily bad things. It's not like I'm sitting on the couch eating bon-bons instead of exercising. I'm usually folding laundry, cooking, playing with my babies instead of exercising! Exercising in the morning would be ideal but I just can't do it! It hurts me! I just can't jump out of bed and start exercising! I need some time to get moving.. does that make me old? And to be honest, I need my morning time before the kids wake up to be spent with the Lord! And by the time I read my Bible and pray.. it's almost time for the kids to get up.. so I'm left with the question.. do I shower, or exercise??.. because I don't have time to do both. And I am not getting up at 5:30am to fit it all in! So, I usually take a shower.. and then I exercise later.. and then have to take another shower. In my opinion you ain't exercising if you don't have to take a shower afterwards!

Question for you exercising mommies: When do you exercise?

Alrighty, now for a review:

This recipe isn't exactly low calorie, but it is healthy. I am on a journey to learn more and more about eating healthy. Did you know butter is not bad for you?? Now margarine.. Ew. I've been On the butter bandwagon for a while. But I'm ready to make more changes! It's all about eating real foods.. minimally processed. Now, don't think I've gone all crazy. We still have Cheerios, Cheez Its and granola bars in the pantry. But I'm just trying to slowly change our eating habits. For some thought provoking reading on the subject:

Dr. Uffe Ravnskov: Fat and Cholesterol Are Good For You

High-fructose Corn Syrup's Big Fat Secret

And from a blogger who started a while ago making changes to her families' diet: The Low-Fat Fad is Killing Us.. she has some other great blog post under her Whole Foods Tab.

So, the Chicken, Basil and Spinach Quesadillas. I thought they were really good. Eli liked them too! The Hubs said they were good but I never know what that really means! I used store bought pesto in mine. To make them lower in calories you could easily just skip the pesto and use more spinach. I'll soon be planting my basil plants and I'll have fresh basil that I could throw in with the spinach. (BTW, basil is really easy to grow.) The pesto was really garlicky but I love garlic! Making a non traditional quesadilla also got me thinking about other variations as well. I think I'll be trying different kinds of quesadillas in the future!

Well, time go get busy! Have a great week!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Family Matters

So, with all of the menu and craft postings that I've been doing I didn't have time to tell everyone about the other stuff that has been going on. Last Friday my littlest guy, Eli, started running a fever. It was low grade so I wasn't too concerned... until I saw little spots all over his belly! I, of course, start to think the worse and worry and obsess over it. I called the nurse Friday but our Ped was not in that morning. So, I called the on call nurse and after talking to her felt like we should just wait since he was eating well and playing just like normal. That night we went to my mom's for dinner and Eli played fine. When we got home and were getting the boys ready for bed, I mentioned to the Hubs that I wanted to check Eli's temp before he went to sleep, just to see what it was. When I did it was 103.2. Pretty high but I, thankfully, don't freak out over 103 temps.. I've never dealt with anything higher than about 103.3ish... and this was rectally so you can subtract almost a degree anyway. Not to mention that Eli was playing fine.. I mean he was literally running around the house giggling! He still had about 10-15 little spots on his tummy and upper back. The Hubs and I thought he might have chicken pox since he had been exposed to them about 2 weeks prior. Chicken pox = not a big deal. So... I didn't give him any Tylenol since he was fine. I dressed him loosely and he went right to bed.

Well, at 2 am the Hubs and I was woken up by a blood curdling scream.. I have never, ever heard my baby scream like that. I jumped out of bed and ran to his room and found him on his knees shaking, screaming in his bed. I picked him up and ran back to our bedroom. He was SO HOT! He had stopped screaming but he screamed again when we ran into his room. It was almost like he was hallucinating. I immediately told the Hubs we were going to the ER. I got the Hubs to get a lukewarm wash rag. I took off Eli's pj's, took of my shirt and just held him, skin to skin (the best way to quickly regulate temperature!!). After he was more relaxed I nursed him (yep, still nursing.. and thankful I had a good, comforting way to get some fluids into him!). I could tell that his temp had gone down and he was acting like himself, so I slipped away, while the Hubs distracted him with his cell phone. I called my mom, it was about 2:30am. She suggested we wait until the morning to see the on call pediatrician. By this time Eli was laughing and playing with the Hubs. And after talking about it with Hubs, we both decided we felt comfortable with waiting. So, the Hubs went to the couch and Eli and I went to our bed. I did give Eli some ibuprofen at around 3am and took his temp, which was 101.7... I'm positive that it was much higher an hour before. And honestly I don't even want to know how high it was! Eli slept restlessly and I did not sleep at all. I was too shook up! So, that morning we saw the on call pediatrician around 9:30am. They did blood work and basically ruled it as something viral. He thought it could possibly be chicken pox, like we did at first, but the high temp was not common with chicken pox. Either way he assured me that it wasn't serious and was viral. We were told to treat the fever and call Dr. C if things weren't better in 2-3 days. BTW, it's super hard to diagnose someone who has had the chicken pox vaccine with chicken pox because the case is usually so mild. We were told that they often don't blister and/or don't itch. So, we went home. I was finally starting to feel better... I can't even tell you how panicked I was from him waking up like that! I still occasionally have panic attacks and this just threw me for a loop! It literally made me sick! Anyway, Eli ran a low fever that afternoon but we kept him on tylenol/ibuprofen from about 2pm til the next morning. I kept him home from church that morning and didn't feel like he ran a fever at all. I never checked it Sunday afternoon so if he ran one it was very low. I did give him some med Sunday night for precautionary measures. The entire time he played fine and ate really well!

I started thinking Sunday afternoon about the whole thing and I was just not convinced that he had the chicken pox. All of a sudden I remembered that he had his MMR shot on Wednesday @ his 18mth check up! Hello! So, I started looking things up online (which can be a good thing.. or a very bad thing!) and sure enough rash and fever occur in 5-15% of children who get the vaccine. I found varying information on when they get the rash but basically anywhere from 3 days after the shot(and Friday would have been day three) up to 4 weeks after the shot. And after all of that, I'm almost positive that's what was wrong with him. I just wish I had thought of that before! Monday, he was fever free and his rash was beginning to fade.

I can't tell you how thankful I am for a husband who understands me. My husband is just perfect for me. Yes, he was concerned about Eli but he handles things so much better than I do most of the time. He truly helps me to relax. I'm also so thankful for a mom that I can call at 2:30am!! And, although I totally get my nerves from her (you know I do!), she helped me calm down too!

Most importantly, I'm thankful for a God who put these people in my life! And even better than my husband or mom is a God I can go to any time or place I need! I am so thankful He is always there. I don't know how people make it without Him! I know it is that peace that passes all understanding that ultimately covers me and helps me to rest in Him when I am afraid. The Holy Spirit is such a beautiful and gracious gift from the Father. Praise Him!

Well, I was going to share more about my other little guy, Luke.. but this is long!

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."
Philippians 4:4-9

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Life Cycle of a Butterfly ~ Craft

Last week we did this craft project as we learned about the life cycle of a butterfly from Mama Jen's site (She has so many great ideas!). Luke really had a lot of fun making everything! I was a little worried that our styrofoam egg cartons wouldn't work but they did fine.

We decided to do the paint butterfly instead of the wax crayon butterfly. We're still doing lots of spring activities so we may try that later this week if we have time. Here is Luke making paint dots for his butterfly (sorry the spacing is so weird.. It looks fine then I hit publish and blogger makes it all uneven):

Next, he painted the caterpillar and chrysalis (notice the tie, I quickly suggested he take it off while painting! Ha!):

Gluing tiny eggs onto the leaf:

And here he is explaining to the Hubs what each thing is:

Here is the finished project:

"We will be changed into His likeness." 2 Corinthians

Monday, March 22, 2010

Menu Plan 3/22

Here is my menu for the next two weeks in complete random order (a few reviews at the bottom):

Loaded Baked Potatoes, Broccoli and Cheese

Roast w/ Carrots and Potatoes, Homemade Biscuits

Beef and Black Bean Burritos, Rice

Mini Turkey Bacon Meatloaves (new recipe), Green Beans, Corn on the Cobb

Chicken, Basil and Spinach Quesadillas (new recipe).. I'm still trying to figure out what to serve with these.. hmm?

Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad

Pancakes, Scrambled Eggs, Fruit

BBQ Pork Chops, Pinto Beans, Corn Bread

Braised Bistro Chicken (new recipe), Fresh Veggie

Chicken Pot Pie (moved from last menu)

Well, I finally made the Southwest Chicken and White Bean Soup! It was pretty good, although I think it needed some flavor. Maybe a can of rotel tomatoes?? Extra cumin? The calorie content was super low (134, I think) but I did add extra beans to it per reviews. Adding a can of Mexi tomatoes or extra spices would make it much better. I have a Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe that I like much better. I'll try to find it and post it soon.

The other new recipe I tried was BBQ Meatballs from The Pioneer Woman. These were soo good! And we had more than plenty for dinner two nights in a row. My mom who is not a fan of BBQ sauce even liked them! They were time consuming.... yeah, it took me way more than 15 minutes (as her recipe states) to prepare. I'm just not that fast at making meatballs! I will definitely be making them again! I got rave reviews from the Hubs, and he rarely gets excited about food!

I have three new recipes for the next two weeks, so I'll be sure to share how they turn out!

Visit to see more menu ideas and great recipes!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Weight Update

Well, I weighed in Friday morning and I had not lost or gained. I was hoping for a loss but I think that my little exercise the previous two weeks just caught up with me. I'm glad I didn't gain though! I did get in three days of exercise last week which was a lot better than the two previous weeks. So, hopefully if I stay on track eating and exercising I will have a loss this coming Friday. I am still keeping a food journal on my other blog. I think the biggest thing that I'm learning through this is that I need to consume more fruits and veggies and stay far away from cookies. It would be ideal if I could put down the cookie for a banana... But that often doesn't happen. I need to work on that. Or maybe I just need to start making half batches of cookies when I bake, so that there aren't as many around! The cookies & brownies we had in the house last week were from our home Bible study that we hosted, so this week there won't be any here!

As far as 'watching what I eat', I'm not counting calories anymore. Well, at least not for everything I eat. Occasionally I'll figure up a recipe or look something up online just to make sure I'm not going totally overboard! I'm really just trying to eat generally healthy meals and really watch my portions. I still measure things like cereal (and milk for my cereal), mayo for sandwiches and salad dressing, cheese, ect for salads. Many people think that eating a salad is healthy, and it is... but not if you pile on the cheese, croutons, nuts and fatty dressing. Moderation is key! Speaking of meals, I'm off to make my menu for the next two weeks. It will hopefully be up tomorrow morning! And I have a few recipe reviews too!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

PreK ~ March

We started back this month doing some PreK activities. We've been doing activities since we moved here but it's been more sporadic, less planned. Well, I decided to get on the ball and start planning again! There are so many great resources out there for doing preschool activities at home! There will be links throughout this post with some of them! Of course you all know that we've decided to homeschool the boys and I am still nervous about that! Luke still has a good 2 years before any 'real' school but he LOVES all of the things we've been doing! I encourage you to check the links out even if you don't plan on homeschooling. There are some great ideas on these websites that you can do with your children for different holidays, seasons, ect.

This month we've been focusing on all things about Spring. The first week we talked about the weather, plants, animals and bugs. We're also learning about the letters A, B and C. Our Bible verse for the past two weeks:

"We will be changed into His likeness." 2 Corinthians 3:18

It goes perfect with all of the spring changes we've been talking about and then applying that to the way that God changes our heart to be more like Him when we ask Him to! Totally Tots also has great Scripture printouts with verses for 'hiding God's Word in little hearts'. Here are two of the boys projects from the past weeks:

Spring Things Foam Sticker Collage:

And Eli's Spring Things Sticker Collage:

Next we made a Rainbow Pasta Craft. You can print the Rainbow out here. The craft came from this post over at Totally Tots. We also made rainbow jello with real whipped cream. Luke helped me put the rainbow snack together! We read the story of Noah's Ark and talked about how rainbows help us remember God's promises!

Here is Luke helping to dye the noodles!

Our colors: Red, Orange, Green, Blue and Yellow. The red and orange looked very similar! ;)

He is very meticulous about his gluing!

His finished craft! If we ever do something like that again, we're using bigger pasta! He started getting tired of gluing all the little macaroni, so I helped toward the end!

I wasn't going to let Eli in on this fun.. mainly because of all the gluing but... I was like who cares!! I put glue on his rainbow and let him do whatever he wanted! And he did great!

Also as a part of this month we're going to be doing the letters A, B and C. I saw this A is for Alligator craft on Totally Tots and fell in love with it! All of the alphabet crafts are so cute! The boys also got a set of Scholastic Alphatales books for Christmas from my aunt and I was so excited to see that the A book was about an Alligator named Abby!

After reading the book we made the craft and talked about all kinds of words that start with the letter A. Here is Luke with his finished alligator and his alligator face!

Great job, Luke!
This week we've been talking about all things that start with the letter B! Butterflies, bumblebees, bananas! We did this Bumblebee craft. We talked a little bit about what bumblebees do and that soon we will start to see lots of bees around flying from flower to flower!
Working on his B is for Bumblebee!

Finished product! I'm planning on making an Alphabet Book with all of his letter crafts!

We also worked on letter recognition by tracing the upper and lower case B. I'm not focusing on him getting everything correct when practicing his letters. This is just for fun! Since he still doesn't recognize all of the letters, we're mainly just focusing on recognition.

I know this post is long. This is 2.5 weeks worth of activities. And I didn't include what we did yesterday! Whew, I think from now on I'll just do a weekly craft post instead of waiting like I did!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Family Matters

I'm thinking of titling every 'Family Update' post Family Matters. It will be way easier to just do the same thing over and over and over than to try and think up some different title. I'm just no good with titles. Anyhoo...

I never say that in real life...

Eli had his ENT visit today. Everything looked good... No problems with the ears at all! So.. I'm guessing his sleep issues are teeth related.. and just plain ol' not being a good sleeper related. This too shall pass! On a slightly different note Eli had his 18 mth check up last week and everything there also looked good. He's still tiny.. only 19 lbs 12 oz! Isn't even big enough to be forward facing in his car seat at 18 mths.. not that we would turn him but that is a whole different post! He was 32 inches long, which is like the 47th percentile, perfectly average. His weight was not even on the charts though! The Dr isn't concerned just yet but did advise me to be giving a daily vitamin and maybe trying Pediasure. We have tried it before but Eli just doesn't like it. He's not big on really sweet stuff (he does not get that from me!) and Pediasure is super sweet. So, I'm trying to add olive oil and butter to his foods to bump up his fat and calorie intake. Speaking of that sweet little guy, he got his 2nd hair cut today. It's shorter than the first one so you can definitely tell a difference. I thought it was going to be a horrid experience but he actually loved it! I just buzzed it with the clippers on the longest setting. Here is my sweet baby with his new 'do:

Luke went with us to the ENT. He did not want to go!! But once we bribed him.. er.. I mean gently persuaded him to go he was fine. Before I tell you about the persuasion, I have to tell you how excited he was to see the Ears Nose and Throat Poster hanging up in the exam room. He is completely obsessed with all things about the body. Particularly all things inside the body. The nurse was shocked at how interested in it he was. He just couldn't stop talking about it! He asks me all the time to, "tell me a story about the body'. He is so curious! I just love it! So, the persuasion actually starts on Friday. My mom took me and Eli shopping to get the boys their Easter outfits. Can I just say that it is usually so hard to find dressy boys clothes that don't cost a fortune?? ! So, we went to the mall and had no luck. Then the Hubs and Luke met us at Target. To my surprise, I was able to find both of their Easter outfits! There may be duplicates Easter Sunday because Target's pretty popular and, like I said, it's hard to shop dress clothes for boys. But oh well! Luke's little suit came with a tie and he is SO excited about it! Actually, Sunday morning when we told him it was church day, he said grinning from ear to ear, "So, I get to wear my bow tie (it's just a regular tie.. but he calls it a bow tie!)". Yes, I had to break the news to him that his tie and suit is just for Easter! So, the persuasion was that we would go buy him a tie he could wear to church any time. And that's just what we did! Tonight he modeled it for my mom and dad and said, "Do I look good or what?" Ha! I love him!

Well, I was going to upload a picture of him but blogger is being weird! I have lots of pictures to share of the projects we've been doing this past week though! Coming soon...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Weighing In - 3/15

Quick weigh in post and a little update... I'm so tired!!

So, I weighed in Friday morning, like usual, and lost 1 lb. I'm thankful for the loss but I'm ready for another 3 lb week! I'm hoping that my Twenty One Day Challenge will help me get there! I really need to work hard at getting my exercise in too. I only got in one day last week. I try to not put too much pressure on myself or beat myself up because it is hard to fit it in sometimes. We had a busy week last week, too! Exercise is usually not very high on my priority when compared with my relationship with Jesus, my husband and my kids! The hubs is on spring break this week and if the weather is nice I'm hoping we can go on a few family walks in the afternoons!

We have Eli's tubes check up tomorrow with the ENT. He's been batting at his ears and I'm just curious if this is normal. He's never been one to mess with his ears much, even if his ears were infected. He's also still not sleeping great. Sigh. Another reason why it's hard for me to get up extra early and exercise. I guess I just thought that his bad sleeping habits would be miraculously cured after the tubes. Wrong. We haven't had a horrible night where the Hubs ends up on the couch.. but there have been several nights when I've been up with him two and three times.. totaling 2-3 hours. It's draining. I wonder.. is he hurting?? Are his teeth bothering him.. or his ears??? Or does he just not sleep well? I don't know. I'm just praying that God will help him, whatever it is.

Speaking of sleep.. that's where I'm headed! Praying for a good night!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Link Love

Here are a few links that I wanted to share!

1. Yep, I'm giving myself link love... I've mentioned a few times that I was going to be doing a weight loss challenge for myself soon.. if you want to read about it, go HERE!

2. I recently found this blog, Heavenly Homemakers, and I love it! I highly recommend spending some time just browsing around. There are lots of recipes! I love her emphasis on healthy, real food, eating. I'm sure I'll be sharing more things that I find there but here is a post the author, Laura, wrote on homeschooling titled 'Homeschool Hubbub: Am I Qualified to Teach?' It was such an encouragement to me!

3. I forgot to link up the recipe I'm using for my BBQ meatballs. So, here it is. It's from the Pioneer Woman so I'm sure they will be great! And my menu said we were going to have it with green beans, but I forgot the gb's when I grocery shopped... but my mom gave us some broccoli last night! Isn't it amazing how God provides!? So, I'm thinking broccoli and cheese sauce.. or maybe a broccoli salad.. hmm.

4. This is another recent find: Totally Tots. It's a great (and huge) resource for lots of preschool activities. It was developed by a mom who wasn't really sure what to do with her Tot while she homeschooled her older children. I've gotten great ideas from it and we even did this activity Tuesday afternoon. And I just looked at the post today. CUTE! I cannot tell you how excited this kind of stuff makes me! She also has a few other websites that you can find here. My favorite thing is that she gives tons of ways to incorporate Scripture and Bible stories into learning. Hello! That is what it is all about!

5. And on a more serious note... I read an article on the Desiring God blog entitled, What Happens to Infants Who Die? There you can read the transcript of the video or watch the video, where Piper answers that very question. I share his opinion for the biblical reasons he gives as well as other reasons (here is a blog post by my pastor). It definitely debunks the lie that is so often told (even in my very hometown) that Calvinists believe infants who die go to hell. Oh, there are so many lies told and so many things very misunderstood. But that is for another time and place.

6. Speaking of Calvinist, my pastor has a blog! What a way to segue, right? And I had no idea that his most recent post would be on that very subject! Go read it! Seriously, check it out! Maybe it will debunk some more myths, clear some confusion and give better understanding!

And I'd like to end on a lovely note.

"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends..." 1 Cor. 13:4-8a

Monday, March 8, 2010

Menu 3/8/10

Here's my two week menu:

(For those curious, I make my menus out two weeks at a time. The Hubs gets paid every two weeks, so it just makes sense! Oh yeah, weight update at the bottom.)

Turkey Tenderloin, Peas, Mashed Potatoes

Ham, Mac and Cheese, Steamed Broccoli

BBQ Meatballs (Pioneer Woman), Green Beans, Honey Glazed Carrots

Sloppy Joes on Homemade Buns (my first attempt at buns), Cole Slaw, Fruit

Chicken Pot Pie

Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup (nope I still have not made this soup, but we ARE HAVING IT THIS WEEK! Promise... talking to myself here.), Corn Bread

Baked Spaghetti, Salad

French Toast, Scrambled Eggs, Fruit

Mexican Tortilla Pie, Mexi Rice (also moved over from last week)

Homemade Pizza

So, I weighed Friday morning and to my excitement I lost 3 lbs!! That's 11 total, in about 8 weeks. I was able to get in more exercise last week and I know that is what helped me the most! I'm finally feeling a little more room in my jeans, which is great motivation. Although not enough to keep me from the BAG OF M&M's my mom bought. Not a tiny small bag for the Hubs, who asked for them.. but a HUGE 14 oz bag. Yes, I know, I need to just get some will power... but when it comes to candy I don't have much. Let's keep it to small individual size bags if you want to treat the guys... please. ;)

I mentioned in my last weigh in post about a personal challenge. Well, it's been post phoned to Wednesday. I'll explain in a later post. It's not a big deal.. so don't get excited! I just wanted to do a personal challenge to help me stay focused on my goals.

Have a great week!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Forgotten God

I started reading Forgotten God by Francis Chan a few weeks ago. A group of ladies from my church and community are doing a group study of the book. Sadly, I haven't been able to join them but I wanted to read the book anyway! I miss seeing everyone but with the Hub's school, we just don't have a lot of family time in the evenings. I loved Chan's first book, Crazy Love, and it's turning out that I am going to feel the same about this one.

I like Chan. He writes honestly. He pursues truth. He doesn't water down the gospel. Chan, doesn't claim any theological position (he even admits that he's not sure what he would call himself) but it's pretty clear in his writings where he stands and I like that. He did go to The Master's Seminary (John MacArthur), which gives a little bit of possible info on his doctrine and theology. After reading Crazy Love and listening to a few of Chan's sermons, I've learned he's pretty clear on what he feels about God, Jesus and the gospel. And I'm excited to learn more about the Holy Spirit through his book as well. So, since I've only read the first two chapters and started chapter 3, I'll just leave you with a few quotes & comments that I love (quotes in bold). I'll be doing more posts soon as I continue to read. I wish I would have done this with Crazy Love, but I didn't. Maybe, in the future, when I go through it again I will blog about it.

The first two go together:

"The benchmark of success in church services has become more about attendance than the movement of the Holy Spirit. The 'entertainment' model of church was largely adopted in the 1980s and '90s, and while it alleviated some of our boredom for a couple of hours a week, it filled our churches with self-focused consumers rather than self-sacrificing servants attuned to the Holy Spirit."

"If you combine a charismatic speaker, a talented worship band, and some hit, creative events, people will attend your church. Yet this does not mean that the Holy Spirit of God is actively working and moving in the lives of the people who are coming. It simply means that you have created a space that is appealing enough to draw people in for an hour or two on Sunday. It certainly doesn't mean that people walk out the doors moved to worship and in awe of God. People are more likely to describe the quality of music or the appeal of the sermon than the One who is the reason people gather for 'church' in the first place."

Well, what can you add to that other than it's so true. How often do you hear how good a service is because of the music or the speaker. What about God? Could that be a huge sign that God is missing from our 'worship services'? Most churches have turned to entertainment and emotionalism and that has nothing to do with Jesus! In fact I just read a status the other day about 'church promoting'. I mean that was the literal phrase used. It had absolutely nothing to do with Jesus. Don't get me wrong, I think it's fantastic to love your church and your church family (I love mine!) but I think many, many churches have become solely a place to appease the conscience, entertain the masses and provide a place for socialization.

And my favorite, thus far:

"It's easy to get into 'defensive mode', where you quickly disagree and turn to proof texts and learned arguments to defend what you've always believed. Rather than guarding your perspective, consider taking a fresh look at familiar passages to make sure you haven't missed something. You may end up with the same theology you've always had, but maybe you won't. Don't let your views be determined by a particular denomination or by what you've always been told.... Fear has a way of channeling our thought process. Fear of stepping outside of a certain theological framework causes us to be biased in our interpretation. We work diligently to 'prove' that our presuppositions were correct rather than simply and honestly pursuing truth."

I just love this. And although he's speaking primarily about the Holy Spirit when he talks about 'what you've always believed', this quote can also be used in so many other areas of thought, whether it be about the Holy Spirit, God, Salvation, ect! Often times we derive our theology and doctrine based on what we've been told, not necessarily what the Bible says. Sometimes we've been told the truth but many times not. And whether or not we admit it, our theology and doctrine, what we believe, shape us as Christians. What we believe about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, salvation, man and so on, is so important. And what I think Chan is saying is take a fresh look at Scripture, always read it with open ears and eyes. Don't be skewed by popular trends or denominational teaching. Let the Bible speak for itself. Be careful not to ignore particular parts by just brushing them off. If you don't understand it, seek His answers. The best commentary for the Bible is the Bible itself. Like Chan suggests, be careful about quickly disagreeing with proof texts to learned arguments. Oh, how I can hear myself just a few years ago running my mouth with exactly that, learned arguments... things I had been told. I have eaten a lot of words over the past few years! I praise God for opening my eyes to truth and allowing me to be teachable and I pray He will continue to do that with me in the area of the Holy Spirit. I have lots to learn....

Monday, March 1, 2010

Weigh Day ~ 3/1

Alrighty, after a busy week (ENT visit and tubes for Eli) I only got in one day of exercising. I did okay in the eating department during the week but had some cheating with pizza and Girl Scout cookies this weekend. When I weighed Friday I was back down to the -8 lbs. So, I'm back where I was 2 weeks ago. I'm determined to have a better week and a LOSS this Friday!

So, as far as recipes go, here is one from my 2 Week menu that I posted last week that was a success.

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

1 1/2 cups broccoli, chopped
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups low-fat milk
2 TBSP corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
Dash pepper
1/4 cup Swiss cheese, grated

Place veggies and broth in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook until veggies are tender. In a bowl, mix milk, cornstarch, salt and pepper; add to cooked vegetables. Cook, stirring constantly, until soup is lightly thickened and mixture just begins to boil (you may have to turn the heat up a little bit). Remove from heat. Add cheese and stir until melted.

Makes 4 servings. Each serving is 140 calories, 3 grams fat, 11 grams protein, 20 grams carbs, 270 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.

This was really good and pretty quick. From start to finish it took me about 45 minutes. I doubled the recipe so we could have leftovers. I was going to make bread to go with it but I ended up buying a hearty whole grain Italian loaf. I did shred a little more cheese for on top of the soup. I definitely think the flavor was better with more cheese! And with only 140 calories per serving you can add a little more cheese without going overboard!

I'm doing a personal challenge for myself in the month of March but I'm not sure where I'm going to post the challenge yet. So, I'll save that for later in the day after I've had time to think about it! I've got to get busy!

Have a great week!