Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Book Review: Black

Black by Ted Dekker is the first novel in the Circle Trilogy.
Black (Books of History Chronicles: The Circle, #1)
In this story we follow Thomas Hunter.  Thomas is one day walking home from work in Denver and is suddenly being chased and shot at.  In the midst of all this he is grazed by a bullet and is knocked unconscious.  When he wakes up he is no longer in Denver.  He is somewhere completely different.  Thomas has stumbled into a different reality.  A reality that can effect what happens in the other reality.  When he sleeps in one, he is awake in the other and vice versa.  Both realities need help and Thomas is the one who can provide it.  In one there is the threat of airborne virus that could take out the entire world in a matter of three weeks, and in the other is the spread of evil.  In the alternate reality good and evil are more prevalent and visual.

I really enjoyed this book.  It can be quite a page turner.  It's a mix of suspense, sci-fi and fantasy and has a Christian touch to the subject matter.  There is also a little love in the mix too.

Now I soon get to start on the next book, Red, as soon as the library lets me know that it is available!

Friday, February 17, 2012

What's for Dinner?- Pork Chops, Couscous and Broccoli

So tonight for dinner I made pork chops, broccoli and Parmesan couscous.  I would have to say that this dinner was a hit.

The pork chop was pan seared and only seasoned with Season All at Michael's request.  The couscous came from a box, but was good anyway and the kids gobbled it up.  The broccoli was the best broccoli that I've ever had.  The kids actually ate it and Michael enjoyed it.  I personally don't like broccoli that much but I received in my Bountiful Basket this week and I didn't want it to go to waste.  I found this recipe on Pinterest.  It's not very hard to make but does take a little effort, but it's worth it.  It is delicious.

All in all, dinner tonight was good, and now I know how I will cook my broccoli if I receive it again instead of letting it go bad in the fridge before throwing it away like I have in the past.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Spray Painted Sign

I've had this idea for a sign that I wanted to make for Michael's office for awhile.  I wanted it to be bright and kid friendly but I also only wanted to use materials that I had on hand to make it so I didn't have to venture to the store.

So I found an old frame in the garage and use a staple gun to tightly attache fabric to the frame.  After that since I do not have a cricut machine or a vinyl cutter I made a cut all the letters by hand and used spray adhesive to hold the letters to the sign.

This is what it looked like before I started painting it.  The words are part of the lyrics from Michael's favorite worship song Did you feel the Mountains Tremble? 

As for paint all I had on hand were yellow and orange spray paint.  I wasn't too patient when adding the paint and the spray adhesive didn't hold like I thought it would making it difficult to do more than one coat of paint. so in the end this is what it ended up looking like.

Now, it's not bright like I wanted or how I pictured it in my head, and it won't be hanging in Michael's office but I still like the way it turned out.  For a first time go around I am ok with how it looks.  I kind of dig that darkness of it and will be finding a place to hang it in my home where I can appreciate it.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Song of Songs

Oh, Solomon, how in your youth you were full of hope, desire and love.  It’s too bad that when you were an old man you thought it all was so meaningless...

Way back when, when Solomon was a young man, before all his marriages and girlfriends.  Back before all his decisions were made for political reasons, Solomon wrote Song of Songs.  This is said to be the greatest of all the 1005 songs that he wrote over his life.  This song is a conversation between him and the woman that he desires.

The song supports monogamy and being with only one person though we know that this is not how Solomon lived his own life.

I guess you may have to be in romantic mood to read and enjoy Song of Songs, but as I read through verse 7:10 stuck out to me, it says:
“I belong to my lover and his desire is for me.”

It’s more than just being to desired by the way you look, but belonging to someone who desires your whole being.  It’s beautiful.  When you marry someone, you belong to them and you are not your own.  To be desired after you are already theirs is a great joy to have.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Parable of the Lost Son

I've been very blessed that Michael and I have started a new way of doing a daily devotional together.  We've tried many different ways like reading a devotional book, or reading out loud together.  These things last for a week or a few days but then usually fall to the wayside as life gets in the way.  But now we found a way to do some Bible studying together that really works for us and we have kept it going every single day since January 1st.  What we do is we pick a book of the Bible and each day on our own we read a chapter of the current book we are on.  We right down our thoughts and questions in a notebook and each night we come together with what we have read and discuss it.  Some nights it leads to long discussions and other nights are simply an over view of what we read that night.

We are currently going through Luke with a plan to follow it up with Acts.  About a week ago we read through chapter 15 which contains The Parable of the Lost Sheep, the Parable of the Lost Coin and the Parable of the Lost Son.  Now I've read through these many times and have always gotten the gist of what they were about but never really dove deeply into these parables before.  All three parables have the same principle to it, when the lost are returned to God there is a celebration in heaven when people return to God.  This is a wonderful thing and it hit me that God celebrated me.  What a concept?!  God celebrated me!  This thought brings me such incredible joy.  God has so many people that love him, but when I can to him he celebrated my coming into his family.

But I always had a problem with the parable of the Lost Son.  If you need a refresher here it is.  This Parable is found in Luke 15: 11-32

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
   13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
   17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
   “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
   21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
   22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
   25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
   28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
   31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

Now, in the past when I have read through this I have identified not with the lost son, but instead with the older son.  My thought was, why are you celebrating this stupid kid who ran off, took your stuff and did awful things and not the son who stayed with you, took care of your things and loved you?  This bitterness affected the way I viewed my life as well.  There were times that I would think to myself, how can they love God, call themselves a Christian with how they behave?  I was judging where I had no right, but this is not what we are talking about now.

This last time that I read it through, after the son returns and the father holds a celebration for him and the older son questions the father saying "I've done everything you've ever asked of me but you never gave me the things you are giving him who wasted your resources and ran off!  Why?"  But the fathers response is what really hit me, "'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.'"  His celebration of the lost son has nothing to do with his love for the other.  He always belonged to the father, he had his love, care and protection.  The father does not love him less because of his celebration of the other, he is just showing his happiness of the return of the lost, because he could not reach him before.

When we have family members that we have not seen or heard of in a long time to we not become excited to see them and celebrate?  Some celebrate with hugs and kisses and tears and others celebrate this with parties and big family get togethers.  But those who are always around, the big celebration isn't needed because they were always there.  They receive a daily celebration of love because they are present to get it.  I get the love from God because I am daily blessed to be in his presence.  I get to have his love, grace and mercy each and every single day.  There are many out there who do not have this covering because they choose to remain lost, but when they come to God they will receive the celebration to say "welcome to the family" and get the love they have been missing out on because they just wouldn't come home.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I would have to say that Ecclesiastes is whinier than Job.  How is this possible when you remember all that Job had gone through, but Solomon really takes the cake.

Everything is meaningless!  That is his cry through the entire book.  The world is in a constant cycle of the same thing over and over.  Nothing is new, our problems are still the same problems that we have had since the very beginning of sin.

Solomon had everything, riches and wisdom.  He followed his worldly desires and was not happy.  He was only content in the years that he followed God.

Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 states:

Be happy, young man, while you are young,
and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart and what ever your eyes see,
but know that for all these things
God will bring judgement.
So then, banish anxiety from your heart
and cast off troubles of your body,
for youth and vigor are meaningless.

God wants us to be happy, but if we let ourselves go crazy in the ways of the world we have to face the judgement and consequences that come with the territory.  We must remember God and he will take care of our worries and troubles.  We must serve him and be with him our whole lives.  Maybe if we do that we can that it will be meaningful.