Monday, August 13, 2007

Real Life & The Next Best Thing

The following is very much a True Story....

Lindsey: This past week, I nearly became roadkill because of Hannah Farver. As I spotted her, standing like a hitchhiker on the airport sidewalk, I was overwhelmed with excitement. I flung open the car door and almost leaped in front of a rapidly moving SUV.

Hannah: The possibility of Lindsey not surviving my first five minutes in California struck me as horrible. I knew, even incapacitated, she would somehow blame me for her death. (She's devious that way.) Thankfully, the screams of her mother and I shocked Lindsey back into her chair before she became a semi-permanent airport landmark. Then, miraculously arriving to her home, safe and sound...

Lindsey: ...we made pie. We did other things too, but we don't have much to show for it, except for this random souvenir:


Note: Actually, in all honesty, the reason we are posting this caricature (which our own mothers think look nothing like us) and not a real photo is because Hannah left her camera at home. Kind of ironic, isn't it?

Hannah: Back to the pie. It was amazing. Here's the recipe:

"The Next Best Thing To Real Life Pie"

1/2 c. margarine, softened
1 c. self-rising flour
2/3 c. dry roasted peanuts
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 c. powdered sugar
1 container of whipped cream (12 oz.), thawed
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
2 3/4 c. milk

First layer: Cut margarine into flour until it looks like coarse meal. (A food processor works great for this step.) Stir in peanuts. Press into 9 x 13 inch pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Cool for another 20 minutes.

Second layer: Combine cream cheese, peanut butter and powdered sugar. Beat until fluffy. Stir in 1 cup of whipped topping. Spread over cooled crust and chill.

Third layer: Combine puddings and milk. Beat until stiff. Spread over second layer.

Fourth layer: Top with remaining whipped topping. Serves 12- 16.

Mid-bite of this incredibly delicious pie, Hannah provided an interesting commentary. "Life is like this pie. The peanut butter layers symbolize seriousness. The whipped cream symbolizes funnyness. Without the combination, life is dull. However, the chocolate layer symbolizes chocolate, because no life is complete without it." It was a not-so-deep-attempt at profundity.

(Disclaimer, as requested by Hannah: We are sane, really!)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Jesus Is Just Alright With Me


"Umm...it's alright." Those words have the power to drive me nearly insane. To hear them spoken of a cherished book or a beautiful dress is almost unbearable. In Sense and Sensibility, Marianne cries out in similar frustration to her mother, “To hear those beautiful lines, which have frequently almost driven me wild, pronounced with such impenetrable calmness—such dreadful indifference!” Marianne strikes upon something I think we have all felt. When a thing we love is not treated with the whole-hearted, passionate adoration we believe it deserves, something within us rebels. We are indignant when a praiseworthy object is left unpraised. Adore it or loathe it, but do not simply tolerate it!

And yet, how often do I apply this very same principle to my personal relationship with God? Realistically, it is of no consequence if someone fails to produce what I deem is the "proper response" to one of my earthly affections. What should I care if my friend gives a favorite movie only three stars? It’s small beans. On the other hand, my opinion of God is an unbendable issue. He’s the only One worthy of total devotion. But with a nod of acknowledgement, I am saying, “Umm…God, You’re alright”; as if He were a choice dessert or hit song. I wade in apathy where I should rightly dance with zeal.


Unlike me, missionary-martyr Jim Elliot cried to God for passion:

“God, I pray Thee, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn for Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. God, deliver me from the dread asbestos of 'other things.' Saturate me with the oil of the Spirit that I may be aflame. Make me thy fuel, Flame of God.”
Nothing lukewarm there. Can I really say that my love is such a consuming fervor that nothing else matters? That I attribute to Him the adoration and praise He so greatly deserves?Sam Storms put it well, when he wrote in his book One Thing: Developing a Passion for the Beauty of God,

“Apathy is impossible in the presence of the Son of God. Ineffable beauty compels a response: either passionate devotion or hatred. Middle-of-the-road,straddle-the-fence, you-do-your-thing-and-I’ll-do-mine indifference dies when Jesus draws near. Love Him or despise Him, but abandon the myth that He can be tolerated. Sing for joy or spit in His face. Apathy simply isn’t an option.”
Dwell on those words. Passionate devotion—or hatred. There is no room for a response less than the extreme. Christ wants all of ourselves: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30) Not part of the time. Not mildly or insipidly. Just as Christ gave us His everything, our everything is demanded in return. It’s radical, fanatic, obsessive, and unreserved. It’s a love that shouts from rooftops, to the God who is never merely “alright.”

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Brain Food

I wonder, how often we are too easily pleased by the approval of mere men...


...rather than delighting in God Himself.

"Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with...ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.

We are far too easily pleased."

-from The Weight of Glory, by C.S. Lewis

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Modeling: Thinking It Through



C.S. Lewis said, "Surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of man he is..." We can't watch our backs enough. Our true identities will always be found out, and chances are, we'll never witness the scope of our influence. Like a stone thrown into the water, casting ripples in every direction, even those who don't know our names are bound to be touched by the impact of our lives. Therefore, I challenge you to consider ways you can be the best role model possible:

  • Be genuine. If you're truly a good role model, you'll set the same example with family as you will in public with friends.
  • Don't be a people pleaser. It's all too easy to be motivated to set a good example by wanting to impress others. However, other people are human too. They're bound to disappoint. Paul wrote, "For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." (Galatians 1:10) We should want to set an example, but only for the glory of God.
  • Be willing to take the back seat. In John 13:1-20, in the act of washing His disciples' feet, Christ proved that leadership requires servanthood. "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.." (John 13:14) If the Son of God did this, how can we do less?

What role models have impacted your life? How have they done so? What characteristics have defined their leadership?

Contributors:

Kristin, Hannah & Lindsey

A blog by three young ladies who have a desire to serve the Lord and encourage other young women around them.

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