Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Grandma With Faith

My Grandma died on Sunday, August 15, 2010.  She was the ideal Grandma... full of patience, love, and faith.  Although we miss her, we are also excited that she is with her Savior and now knows no struggles.  At her memorial service I read a poem she wrote and I hope it inspires you in the same way it inspired me.

Lord, take possession of my every thought
A heart of contentment, sympathy and love
for Thee be wrought.

May I look up, not down,
forward, not back,
out, not in.
You choose work for each of us
with your insight from within,

Your finger beckons me on & up.
You plan each drop that fills my daily cup.
Events of my life are in your hands, I say.
Appoint them in thine own best way.

May grace be given that I may walk therein,
on the path of duty that is shown so plain.
Doing His will as if it were my own,
Yet trusting not in mine, but in your strength alone.

You hold my hand & fears grow still,
I behold your face & yield my will.
To perfect truth & boundless love
Help me abide in the vine of my Father above.

-Kathleen Nelson, 2000

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Explore More: Ephesians, Week 10

August 22-28, 2010; Week 10

KNOW | Personal Study
Read Ephesians 5:21-6:9; Philippians 2; John 13.   Read these three sections of Scripture this week.  Take time to be alone and talk with God and reflect on His Words to us.  Allow the seeds of Scripture to grow within your heart and life.

GROW | Discussion - Option #1
Does a Christian have rights?  Our world espouses the foundational value of personal rights and freedoms.  From Canada's Charter of Rights to the US's Declaration of Independence the world is filled with rights and freedoms.  What about the Christian?  As Christians we are a new person with a new citizenship in the Kingdom of God.  What rights does a Christian have?

GROW | Discussion - Option #2
Do you feel alive when you die?  Christians are called to die daily to our self.  If you tried doing this for just one day chances are you were burned out at the end of the day and were ready for a spa day to reward yourself for the previous day's work.  Do you think it's possible to feel more alive after a day of self-sacrifice?  If so, how or what makes this possible?  Is there room for rest with the lifestyle of a Christian?

SOW | Application
Pick a key relationship in your life and love them out of your reverence for Christ.  The only way we can love someone more and not feel bitter about it at the end of the day is if we love out of reverence for Christ.  Spend time building your relationship with Christ and then see the life, love, and power He gives you to live the life you've always dreamed of.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Chili Goodness" Takes First Place

We had 13 entries in our first ever Chili Cook-off and Janet Williams' "Chili Goodness" took first place.  The judges said it tasted great, contained the right ratio of ingredients, and had just the right amount of kick for all audiences.

My Chili, "Chili Con Carnage" came in second place.  I guess the judges couldn't take the heat :).  All in all it was a great event and I'm already looking forward to next year's competition.  A special thank you to all that entered, helped with set-up, and clean-up.  The Wielenga clan were rockstars!  Thank you for serving so graciously.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Golden Crock Pot

This Sunday we will battle for the Golden Crock Pot. This trophy will be given to the one whose cuisine skills and taste-bud artistry rises above all others. To taste a true Chili is a thing of beauty. The perfect medley of tomato, beef (or meat substitute), beans, and spices... dancing in rhythm and singing in perfect harmony on ones tongue is an experience second only to the divine. Come this Sunday and taste our family's finest Chili.  Only the taste of victory will be sweeter than the taste of our Chili.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Call to Anguish - David Wilkerson

I don't usually share religious/spiritual videos because they tend to be overemotional and disconnected from the current context and relationship with our local Church family, but this video puts words to things that I've been wrestling with deep within.  He's a much better communicator than me and so I thought I'd let his words communicate my heart.  The tone of this video isn't suited for all, but it's message is one us more "mature" Christians need to hear.  My hope and prayer is the the Holy Spirit uses this video and these words to fan into flame the work and ministry of the Spirit in our lives and in our Church.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Explore More: Ephesians, Week 9

KNOW | Personal Study
Read Ephesians 4:17-5:20.   It's been a few weeks, so get back into it.  Make time to read through it slowly and reflect on what is being said.  This passage includes a long list of "what and what not to do's".  Allow the standard of God's Word to line up with your life and pursue God in every area of life.

GROW | Discussion - Option #1
Are you different?  Should Christians be different?  If your neighbours, co-workers, and banker or financial planner, were to discover that you were a Christian would they be surprised?  Paul makes it clear that Christians are to not only be different, but live differently from the world.  Do you do things differently then those around you?  Do you talk, relate, and listen differently?  Do you work differently?  Do you spend differently?  Is your family different?

GROW | Discussion - Option #2
How does real change occur?  How you take off the old self and put on the new self?  What does it take to live a life filled with goodness, righteousness, and holiness?

SOW | Application
Live by the Book.  After reading the above mentioned text it will definitely shed light on your life and expose the areas that filled with darkness.  Pick one thing and work hard at changing that aspect of your life.  Change isn't easy, especially when it's become a habit.  Talk to those who can help you change and move forward together.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chili Cook-off Coming this Sunday!

I love chili and I"m really looking forward to next Sunday (Aug. 15) when we will have our cook-off.  If you didn't get a chance to sign-up, it's okay... you can bring your chli on Sunday.  You'll need to do a few things: 1)  bring a list of all the ingredients used (for allergy reasons); 2) bring your chili in a crockpot with a ladle; and 3) be prepared to fill out a form that will include your chili's name and whether or not it is spicy.

Everyone in attendance will get sample bowls, a ballot, a dinner roll, and beverages.  At the end of the event we'll announce the winners and award prizes.  First place will take home the golden ladle.  Hope to see you there.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wake up, O sleeper!

Usually once or twice a week I wake up to this face beside my bed yellling, "WAAAAAAAAAKE UUUUUUP, DAAAAAAAAAAAAAADYYYYYYYYY!"  This is followed by persistent tapping on my face and pulling on my eyelids.

I tell her that I'm awake and that I'm just resting my eyes, but she doesn't believe it.  She's not content until I'm out of the bed and brushing my teeth.  It's at that point then she'll return to the kitchen and report to her mom that the job has been accomplished.

I've been reading Ephesians again this week and 5:14b jumped off the page: "'Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.'"  Are you awake?  Are you really awake?  Every day we need the light of Christ to shine on us and wake us up!  We'll be talking more about this tomorrow at our Sunday gathering.