Tag Archives: Church

Favorite Quotes and Smoothies


I have to tell you my favorite kid quote from this week. Over the last week we have been holding special worship services at church. In our kids’ lessons we have been taking a closer look at the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, and self-control). It was a good time! We had a few kids coming back each night and reporting how they were thinking through their day and how they could really show love or kindness towards their siblings. Some of them have really started to think about it!

To wrap up our lessons, we did an activity that has turned into one of my favorites. We made fruit smoothies. Here’s the connection: We really can’t have one characteristic of the Fruit of the Spirit without another. It becomes fairly impossible for us to develop love without developing patience and kindness or self-control. If we are going to pursue life in the Spirit, then all nine of those characteristics will begin to develop. So really, it’s not nine different fruits that are growing- it’s more of a mix, like a really good smoothie!

So we put all our ingredients in- strawberries represented love, pineapple was joy- and mixed it all together. Of course, you have to enjoy life in the Spirit, so we all enjoyed a bit of smoothie! As everyone was slurping down their smoothie, one of the five-year-olds declared very excitedly, “I can taste the Faithfulness!”

Of course, I laughed. It was so unexpected and his face was so excited! It was so funny! But then I started thinking: isn’t that how it should be? We pursue life in the Spirit and watch all the characteristics develop, but at certain points in life, there are characteristics that stand out more than others. My hope is that whoever is around me at that time the characteristic is needed can declare very loudly, “I can taste the Faithfulness!”

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Global


I am often amazed at how connected our world is. It really is amazing. There were a few times this summer that I just sat amazed at this.

One time happened very early this summer. I was planning to be in Wales and England for part of the summer. Some of that time was going to be spent with my friends at their church. They asked me to speak at their church as part of my time there. So there was a day we were on Skype planning the church service. It was crazy. We were thousands of miles apart, but planning a time of worship together. I signed off of Skype and just thought, “Wow. This is amazing.”

Before I left for the UK, my brother introduced me to a wonderful little app called WhatsApp. It’s a fabulous messaging app that allows you to text internationally, without charge, to other WhatsApp users. It’s awesome! The best part of getting WhatsApp was the unexpected text/video from my little goddaughter. Just a video saying hello. Totally awesome!

Then, in another part of the summer, I had a visit from some very good friends from Brazil. I actually call them my family. So as my Brazilian mom and sister sat in my living room, I contemplated how amazing it is that I know them. My Brazilian brother and sister each spent a year living with our family as exchange students. Now we are deeply connected and call one another family. As a matter of fact, my sister and I text back and forth whenever the fancy strikes. Again, she is thousands of miles away, but we are connected. Amazing.

It’s just amazing how we can connect all over the world. One of the awesome things about most of my connections is that we share a deeper connection that goes way beyond what technology can do. It’s our connection because of Jesus. We are part of a bigger family when we have entered into God’s family! That is more amazing to me than just being able to connect with people thousands of miles away… I know that even if I don’t connect with them, we are still family. We still serve, love, and worship the same God. I think that is extremely amazing!

And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
    and they shall reign on the earth.”

Revelation 5:9-10


The Birth of the Church


This week will mark the conclusion of Engage the Word for our congregation. It has been an amazing journey through the scriptures to this point.

Today’s passage describes the beginning of the Church. It’s an amazing passage. I would love to hear what you and your family notice and think about this passage after reading it!

Acts 2:1-47

  • Who are the characters in this passage?
  • What stands out to you about the setting?
  • What do you think it would have been like to be the people in the same place as the disciples?… as the crowd?
  • What stands out to you from Peter’s speech?
  • What do you think about the people’s response and how they behaved after hearing Peter?
  • What does this passage teach you?… about Jesus… about living for Jesus… about the Church….
  • How do you respond to this passage?

New School


Colossians 3:12-17

Off with the old, and on with the new! New life that is. Once we know who Jesus is, who we are without Jesus (the old life), then it’s time to look at new life with Jesus. And life is good.

Now note that no where does it say “life is easy.” No, that is not the deal. But life is good. I mean, just imagine living with people who are consumed with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. People who are quick to forgive and not to judge. That would be good! Well, guess what…. that is the design of the church and it starts with me and you. We are the church! We are the ones to live like this! It starts with me and it starts with you.

So how do we live like this? Well, Paul has some ideas in verses 16 and 17. Do you see them? What impacts you? What are you going to be after to accomplish new life?


Things I Have Learned in Ontario


So I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I’ve been in Ontario for almost four months now and I’ve learned a few things that I thought I would share with you.

  1. Never, under any circumstance ever choose paint colors from a computer screen. The result is so not okay. You know it’s bad when everyone says to you, “Well, if it’s what you want, then it’s good.”
  2. People around here like to cut corners when driving. And it scares me. I’m not sure how many times I have stopped at a stop sign and thought that the car turning left into the  lane next to me was surely going to take off my front bumper. I’ve decided it’s because drivers never really expect someone else to be on the road. And again, it scares me. But then not as much as the day I caught myself cutting the corner during a left-hand turn…
  3. The smell of onions is the smell of money. There is a very large onion growing and shipping industry in Ontario and quite often (in my four months experience) the whole town smells like onions. That smell means either onions are being harvested or moved out of storage because they have been sold- both things meaning money. So next time you enjoy a Bloomin’ Onion at Outback, think of our little town- cause we probably processed it. 
  4. Land line phones are a thing of the present. Just found this really interesting.
  5. TV shows in the mountain time zone are really strange. There is no 11 o’clock news and Jay Leno comes on at 10:30pm. It seems like that would be nice, but it’s not fitting to my late-night mindset.
  6. Getting used to new grocery stores is really, really difficult.
  7. Getting to an airport is not as easy as it used to be. Possible, but it takes a lot more planning- which I may not have actually learned yet…
  8. If you are the person in the store without a giant binder full of coupons, you are the silly one. I had no idea about this couponing phenomenon until coming here. I don’t know how some of these gals do it- get $220 worth of stuff for $8 or use 187462 tubes of toothpaste… 
  9. Genuine relationships transcend geographical locations and develop anywhere.
  10. God is still God. Jesus is the same here as he is in other places. The Holy Spirit really is with you wherever you go. And the church is truly universal.

A Powerful Start


Colossians 1:1-14

Paul opens this letter with an awesome prayer for the church in Colossea. There is deep connection and relationship between them based on their common ground in Christ. Paul desires the absolute best for them because they are part of the kingdom of Christ (verse 13).

It made me think… how much time do I spend praying for those who are part of the kingdom of Christ? And not just “how much time,” but how serious to do I take praying for the “all the saints?” Does my heart burn with thanksgiving because of those who have responded to the gospel of Jesus? Do I take the growth of the saints serious?

I hope so! I think I am learning to pray with Paul, ” that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in allspiritual wisdom and understanding,so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord,fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patiencewith joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified youto share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”


Relationship


1 Corinthians 12:12-30

If any of you know me, you know I talk a lot about being in good relationship with people. I really believe it is all about relationship. And this was incredibly evident to me today.

See, I kind of messed up the teaching schedule in my mind. I completely mixed up the next two weeks which resulted in a moment of panic as I realized there could potentially be a class without a teacher come Sunday. Not what anyone wants. So I began wondering how this was going to pull together. This wouldn’t be that big of a deal to me normally, but in so many ways I am still getting to know people and learning who is comfortable with a quick change or a new plan. So I was feeling at a bit of a loss as I began to just call around. Then- jackpot- someone responded. And they responded very positively! So I can now move through the rest of the week knowing that all the classes are covered!  *for now 🙂

But why do I bring this up? Because I realized something about relationship and the body of Christ. It has got to be impossible to really do ministry- to work with the church- without relationships. Relationships will look different for each of us, but working to be in good and healthy relationship with one another has got to be what we are about.

Just look at 1 Corinthians 12:12-30. We are each essential to the whole and if we do not work at being in good relationship with one another, then how will we be able to really function? It’s out of our relationships that we can do something like find teachers for a Sunday class. The thing that stressed me about trying to find a teacher was the idea that my relationship are so new and few that I was nervous about who I could call. But this is just small stuff compared to the rest of life!

We need each other for the major moments in life. For times when we are suffering, for times when we are rejoicing. It takes all of us, together, in good relationship to be who Christ has called us to be. What do you think? Do you know how important you are to the body of Christ? How do you work on building and maintaining good relationships with others?