Category: Resources (page 1 of 12)

You’re Invited to Sit With Jesus This Advent

It’s 6 a.m. I sit in the dark, looking out the window of Starbucks at the twinkly white lights and a few snowflakes lazily dancing their way to the ground. It’s only the beginning of November, but if I’m not careful my mind can hopscotch right over Thanksgiving and land on thoughts of   goals for  stress about Christmas.

It’s coming. And we want sososososo much for it to be all about Jesus being born in us, meeting us on dark starry nights, overshadowing the chaos of the world with His peace that passes all understanding.

The Christmas our Katy was almost 2 years old, one day she took me by the hand and dragged me over to our manger scene that was set up by the fireplace hearth. (bottom left corner of the picture).

She pulled me down to sit in front of baby Jesus.

“Sit. Stay. Watch.” she commanded.

Ahhh such a precious invitation!

I believe Jesus will meet us anywhere we seek Him (yes, even in line waiting to see “Santa” in the mall), but He’s a gentleman and won’t barge in where He’s not welcome. As we approach the start of Advent, maybe we could respond to His invitation to sit with Him.

In June my friend Heather and I dreamed up a little project and prayed it would help people to meet with Jesus – really meet with Him, instead of reading a devotional with second-hand thoughts about Him. It was a “first effort,” and we’ve been working on creating an even better resource for Advent.

We want to get our new Advent Devotional Cards in your hands to help you press into Jesus this season.

Each card has a verse on one side, like the one above. On the flip side there is a longer reference if you want to read more in context and then a couple of simple invitations of ways to talk to Jesus about the verses. There’s white space if you want to draw or write your thoughts.

Here’s what I promise you:

They are simple.

They will invite you to look at, listen to, talk with Jesus.

They are portable and can be used in a variety of ways:

  • At your desk at work.
  • In the car.
  • Around the dinner table with older kids.
  • As scripture memory cards on your fridge.

“How can I get them?” you ask!

  • At Church. If you live in the Minneapolis area, you can buy these Advent cards at Pathway Bookstore at Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina. This way you can avoid mailing costs!
  • In Person. If you are going to be at an event where I’m speaking, I will bring some with me that you can buy for $17 🙂
  • On Line. If you live elsewhere you can order the cards by clicking on the sidebar for $20 (which includes tax and mailing) and we’ll send them to you asap! For bulk purchases (3 or more), contact us for shipping costs. (you can preorder today)

And if you’d be so kind…. If you receive these as a gift, we would love it if you might post a picture of yourself using them on social media with any (or all!) of these tags:

#adventdevotional

#shareadventdevo

@lauracrosby

@inspired.desire.co

Thanks so much and have a blessed Advent!

Soul Food for Darker Days

It’s here – the darker season. We’ve turned the clocks back. The days are shorter, colder, cloudier.

Halloween is over, but Thanksgiving isn’t here yet.

We don’t have the lovely snow of winter to distract us and the gray days can make us feel a little Eyore-ish.

via GIPHY

Hang in there! You’re gonna be ok.

Music

Last Sunday was All Saints Day, when we as a church remember the “great cloud of witnesses” who have gone before us. At our church we have a time of reflection and prayer as we scroll through pictures of those who have died this past year on the screens. This is a song that our worship leader, Heather Moen sang. It was beautiful and comforting.

Recipe

Ironically, I was set to post a soup recipe, when I re-read this delightful quote in Shauna’s Bread and Wine that is just perfect:

“Soup is cold-weather-dark-sky food. Soup is peasant food – odds and ends, bits and pieces, a way to stretch a piece of meat or a handful of rice… Soup is the wool sweater, not the little black dress. It’s the cardigan with elbow patches, not the pressed shirt and tie.”

This soup recipe isn’t from her, but is a favorite from Martha Stewart.

Pumpkin Mushroom Soup (I know mushrooms aren’t everyone’s jam, but my husband loves them!)

4 TB butter

1 TB (or less) curry powder

1 lb mushrooms sliced

1 lg onion chopped

1/3 cup flour

4 cups chicken broth

2 #1 cans pumpkin

5 TB honey

salt and pepper to taste

Heat butter in lg. pot. Add curry powder and cook 1 min. Add mushrooms & option and sauté.

Stir in flour and cook 3 min.

Sitr in chicken broth and pumpkin

Brind to boil and simmer 20 minutes.

Sitr in honey and simmer 10 minutes more. Add salt and pepper to taste. Can garnish with sour cream.

Makes 10 generous servings.

Movies

I wrote a post awhile ago about wanting to hear/see the better stories…the ones that inspire us to something higher. There are three movies based on true stories that I have loved lately. Take a look:

Victoria and Abdul

Marshall

Goodbye Christopher Robin

And my movie maven friend, Heather, also recommended this one. I read the book and am going to see the movie today:

Same Kind of Different as Me

What have you seen or read lately that has been uplifting? Share in comments?

Have a great weekend!

Soul Food for a Fall Weekend

This has been a week of joy-filled experiences and rich, soul-strengthening conversations with dear friends, here in MN and in D.C.  where we traveled for a World Vision board meeting.

Today I am overwhelmed at the wonder of God and His sustaining presence even when the world is in a bad way. I’ve been doing a study of Job using the First 5 app which I highly recommend. (You can do any of their previous studies too.) Maybe my tiny dose of optimism is partially the result of this verse:

“I know that You can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” Job 42:1-3

And few other things to share this week:

Made me laugh…

A creative idea from my friend Kathy Burleson who leads Community Bible Study leaders…

She filled this to-go cup with tea, hot chocolate, and other goodies for under $2 a piece. Such a fun, visual reminder of the importance of soul care. I don’t want to just look at this as a gimmick, but truly sit at Jesus’ feet before anything else.

A quote I like…

 

What I’m reading…

My friends and I went to hear Brené last week when she was in town at the beginning of her book tour on Braving the Wilderness, and I have been thinking about her words ever since. It was a powerful evening – what an effective communicator! She addresses how “sorted” and divisive our culture has become.  Although some reviewers dislike some of the political overtones, I thought it was particularly timely and convicting.

I feel there are really valuable insights in this book. My only note to those who are considering reading this is that it is not a “Christian” book and I took issue with Brown where she seems to orient everything in reference to self, not God.

“Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world.” Brené Brown

Lastly, one of my go-to Fall recipes…

Carrot Bars

4  eggs well beaten

2 cups sugar

2 ts. soda

2 ts. cinnamon

1 ts. salt

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (I know, I know…and yes, you can try cutting it down, but I can’t guarantee results)

2 1/2 cups flour

3 small (4 1/2 oz. jars of baby food carrots

I spray pam on a jelly roll pan and pour the batter in. Bake @350 for 20-30 minutes.

You can frost with canned frosting, but scratch is easy and so much better:

1/2 cup butter, softened

8 oz. cream cheese

2 ts. vanilla

4 cups powdered sugar

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How do we Change the Story of Racism in America?

I vividly remember the day Martin Luther King Jr. was shot. April 4th, 1968.  Not because I was horrified. Because it interrupted my t.v. program.

My younger brothers and I were watching T.V. in the small den at the back of our suburban house when our program was interrupted by the news. We were ticked! What in the world could be more important than Bozo’s Circus? As we goofed around, loudly moaned and complained about Walter Cronkite, my mother stepped in front of the T.V. With tears running down her face. She spoke to the three of us who were shaken to see our mom so impassioned, her voice raised in anger.

“STOP IT! RIGHT NOW! A great man who has been courageously fighting for everyone in America to be treated with dignity has been shot! This is a terrible day for our country and we need to pay attention!”

I haven’t posted any thoughts on the recent events in Charlottesville, or the angry, divisive rhetoric in our country because frankly, anything I write seems too little, and in my mind, too obvious…too easy. After all, who am I, as a white, privileged American, to think I have  anything helpful to say??

My thought process goes, “Writing something on social media is empty courage. What will it accomplish? It will only be read by those who agree with me. And I can’t possibly have any tiny understanding of the situation.”

Talk is cheap, right?

But then I am reminded by my friend Todd, of the MLK quote, “In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.”

Privilege means we have the freedom NOT to think about this if we don’t want to. But if we turn away,  we participate in the sin of indifference. Privilege when it comes to race, is unearned access and the freedom to ignore what is uncomfortable. I don’t want that to be me.

“The stories we own…we get to write the ending. We as a country need to own the story of white supremacy.” Brené Brown

In order to own this story, we need to start somewhere. Here are a few of my ideas. Please add your own in the comments!

  • Build relationships

This can be a challenge because most of us live in our homogenous bubbles. For John and I it has meant reaching out and building a relationship with a local Imam, Asad Zaman. Recently, when a mosque here in the twin cities was bombed, it was John who our friend reached out to be the voice of a peacemaker to Christians at a subsequent rally.

The question I keep asking myself is “Where can I be involved in a community with people different than me?”

  • Read up – here are a few resources that have been helpful to me.

The Sin of Indifference  – an article by Ruth Hayley Barton

Small Great Things – a novel by Jodi Picoult about an African American nurse and a white supremacist father whose child dies in her care. This book helped me better understand white privilege.

Just Mercy – I’m halfway through this book that is accurately described as “A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.”

  • Choose humility. Listen, and listen more to the oppressed. Listen longer than is comfortable.

 

  • Name it. Yes, there are situations that are a matter of perspective. There are times to agree to disagree, but when anyone, created in the image of God, is abused, is treated with anything less than the utmost respect, is the victim of injustice and hate, it must be named as evil. Unacceptable. Period.

“I want a white nationalist to feel uncomfortable in my church. I want him to feel like ”’Ooh, this is not a place where I can express white supremacy freely. Where I know it’s looked upon as sin and not looked upon as just a political difference.’” – LeCrae

  • Pray

Here’s a place to start.

“To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.”

I know my understanding is woefully limited. I confess I have often avoided the uncomfortable conversations that are necessary for healing. I acknowledge I have benefitted from white privilege in many ways I’m sure I’m ignorant of. I ask forgiveness from my brothers and sisters of other races. I want to do better.

These are just a few of my thoughts. What would you add?

 

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Summer Soul Food

Hey Friends,

I know I’ve been MIA on the blog recently, but I’m guessing you’re out seizing summer joy and don’t mind a little less in your “in box”! As a result, this is a looooong post!

I’ve been prioritizing speaking, prepping a new set of devo cards, and another writing project I only recently have had the courage to call a “manuscript”. Yikes it’s scary to say that, and yet I also feel total peace regarding what happens with it. If God can use it “out there” I trust it will get published. If He has other plans I’m fine with that. I’m thankful for friends and mentors who have been coaching me along in this process!

 

Speaking of needing each other… John and I always do a lot of hosting in the summertime because our back yard provides a great space for gathering folks. We have had a big tent I told you about before, but it’s so old it started to leak when there was rain, and since rain was predicted last week when we were hosting 32, we bought another tent. Here was the problem. It was a LOT more complicated to set up than our previous one (I am so thankful for a husband with infinite patience!).

 

It was super hot with one million percent humidity as we struggled to get it set up. At one point I asked John what time it was, and he said, “No worries, they’re not coming tip 6:30.” Imagine the look on our faces when we had just finished the job and were sweating like pigs and our guests walked around the corner of our house at 6:00!

Anyway, one of the benefits of hosting a lot of potlucks is GOOD RECIPES! My friend Michelle brought this amazing salad and was gracious enough to give me the recipe, so I thought I’d pass it along. It is delightfully different!

Wheat Berry and Fruit Salad

1 Cup wheat berries

Dressing:

3 Tbs olive oil

2 Tbs water

1 ½ Tbs cider vinegar

2 tsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp each salt & pepper

¼ Cup dried cranberries (craisins)

1 large apple cut bite size

1 Cup seedless grapes halved

½ Cup diced cheddar

  1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan.

Add wheat berries; reduce heat, cover and cook for

45-55 minutes until tender. Drain well.

  1. In a large bowl, whisk oil, water, vinegar, mustard, salt

& pepper. Add dried cranberries and warm wheat berries.

Toss to coat. Let stand 10 minutes, tossing occasionally,

for flavors to absorb and wheat berries to cool. (If you want

to make ahead and serve cold, cover and refrigerate up to

1 day).

3. Add remaining ingredients to bowl; toss to mix and coat.

Serves 4   (Can be served on a bed of lettuce.)

I preached at CPC on Jesus and the feeding of the 5,000 a couple weeks ago, and I wish I had thought to use this video! With Jesus everybody’s welcome, nobody’s perfect, and anything can happen!

 

I’ve been reading a lot this summer, but I really hate to review books because I think personal taste, values, your current season of life, and circumstances can skew how you feel about a book.

However, my talented friend Steve Wiens has a new book coming out August 22nd called “Whole”.  

The description of this new book is: “For Christians who lament the brokenness in themselves, their neighbors, and the world around them, Whole offers a rallying cry to pursue wholeness together.”

I think Steve’s strength is in the questions he asks – the 5 questions of restoration he addresses in the first half of the book, and the discussion questions at the end of each chapter make this a read that would be good for group discussion.  Steve models a commitment to self-reflection and vulnerable sharing throughout which will encourage others in your small group.

If you like considering the different meanings behind the original Hebrew text, looking for new connections, you will like this book.  If you like contemporary retelling of ancient stories that highlight the movement from brokenness to wholeness, you will like this book.

If you are into spy novels, I recommend this complicated, intriguing book, ” I am Pilgrim: A Thriller”. It’s excellent, but be forewarned…there is some graphic violence and the pieces don’t start to come together til about page 245. I can’t imagine the time that went into researching this book!

One last thing…I’ve been doing more on Instagram, and recently posted this quote. I have several friends who are in very, very hard places where it seems their thoughts and prayers kept spinning in a circle of despair. Can anyone else relate?

I’ll close with part of a blessing from Suzie Larson:

May you be honest with God about the hurts in your heart. May you discern the difference between grief and self-pity. May you be okay with not always being okay. God will one day wipe away every tear from your eyes, but until then, He wants to help you walk this journey with peace in your heart and assurance in your soul. He is with you.

 

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When Everyone is Looking For You

Yesterday I was shopping, cleaning, cooking – preparing for family who would arrive from out-of-town for a week-long visit. I multi-tasked, prepping everything along with all the regular “stuff” of life like meetings and writing assignments.

Creating time and space to connect with friends or family takes discipline and intentionality, but as we sat with dessert on the patio last night, I thought, how sweet the rewards.

It’s easy to go on “auto-pilot” with relationships, especially with Jesus who is so…polite. He never pushes His way in. Never demands time with us. He waits for us to come to Him.

Last week I introduced some devotional cards a friend and I have created around this theme, “Come”.

This morning, here’s the card I sat with.

If you are a mom of toddlers, or a boss, or a planning an event, I know you can relate to these words!

This verse comes after a very full 24 hours of ministry. Jesus gets up early and goes off alone to pray.

In Mark1 there are three places Jesus uses the word “Come” – each of them very different in context, but each of them speak to me of a reason why it was so important for Him, in the midst of crazy busy, to be alone with His Father. Here are three reasons for us to come to Him too:

  1. Imitate and Model

In Mark 1:17 Jesus calls the disciples, “Come follow me.”

Jesus invited (and invites) people to follow Him, but even He needed to be replenished in order to continue to lead.

People are watching us. They are following us. In 1 Corinthians 11:1 Paul writes, “So imitate me, watch my ways, follow my example, just as I, too, always seek to imitate the Anointed One.”

2. Power up

In Mark 1:25 Jesus defies evil, casting out a demon, saying with confidence, “Be quiet! Come out of him.”

When we spend time with Jesus we are reminded that this same authority that gave Him power, lives in us through His Holy Spirit. We may be weak, but “greater is He who is in [us] than he who is in the world.”

3. Remember

In Mark 1:38 When the disciples find Jesus He says they will all head to some nearby villages for Him to preach because “That is why I have come.”

Time alone with the Lord grounds us and reminds us of our purpose. As I read God’s Word He tells me again who I am and whose I am.

Which of these do you need most this morning?

Do you know a graduate or a friend who might like a month’s worth of cards inviting them to  come away with Jesus?

 

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Soul Food for the Redeemed

Hey Friends,

If you’re new to the blog, I try to take most Fridays to share a hodgepodge of resources that may be encouraging, interesting, beautiful, or funny. This week I’ve been thinking about the word, “redeemed.”

I love the word, the image, the value of God as our Redeemer!

The dictionary defines redeem: “to make (something that is bad, unpleasant, etc.) better or more acceptable” or “to recover ownership of by paying a specified sum”.

 But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1

I had a friend years ago who used to buy her clothes at a resale shop as a tangible reminder that she, like her clothes, had been bought back by Jesus.

And then, there’s this…

Isaiah 53:1-2 describes the joy of the redeemed this way:

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
    the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
    it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
    the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
    the splendor of our God.

And then this picture on Instagram illustrates it.

Recently I received an advance copy of the book, Redeeming Ruth, to review. Meadow Rue Merrill writes with journalistic authenticity and detail of her family’s response to God’s prompting to adopt a young girl with disabilities from Africa.

Counter to our desire to paint everything as “up and to the right” in the Christian life, in spite of their sacrifice, this family suffers and loses. Nevertheless, they trust a good God to redeem their pain in ways they didn’t choose, and may not readily understand. This is a story of obedience and hope.

As I read it, I thought of so many friends living hard stories. I thought of my friend Emily who also adopted kids from Africa, and I gave my copy to her. I asked her to share her thoughts below.

As the mother of an adopted daughter, I resonate with much that Meadow describes in her book. She is honest about the journey towards, in and through adoption- a rare view inside what it truly means to bring a child from a hard place into your home. One strong theme in the book was that redemption comes only through suffering and how Meadow and her family chose to take on much of Ruth’s pain – emotional, physical, mental – so that Ruth could move towards health and wholeness. This is a hidden cost of intentional relationships, not just limited to adoption.

Redeeming Ruth is a great read for anyone who has trusted God with an important piece of life – whether a dream, a hope, a fear or a relationship – and has had that piece get crushed or remade or unearthed in a new way. Trusting God doesn’t mean everything is going to turn out okay. Our hearts may be bruised along the way, but He will be with us.

Redeeming Ruth releases May 1st. 

Soul Food for the Beloved

Before anything else this weekend, ask yourself: What does it mean for me to “live loved”?

What does your life look like when you are living confidently out of your true self – a beloved child of God, regardless of titles, circumstances, losses or gains?

When I was asked that question recently I thought of the total freedom of being unselfconscious (like when I dance along with Ellen and Michelle Obama) I think of the Message paraphrase of Mt. 11:28-30. I feel like I live lightly, freely, in the unforced rhythms of grace.

My friend Kathy has a wonderful blog, and recently she posted this song. Take a listen while you think about YOUR answer to the question.

So we’re at the end of week 2 of the Spring It Up mutiny against March! Personally, I’ve be fortunate to add “Escape to Florida” as an additional prompt, but before I did, the day 3 prompt was: Clean out one drawer, shelf, or closet. Make room for spring!

So, in an effort to force myself to complete this, here is what I did. I dumped all the clothes from 3 drawers in a mountain on my bed so I would HAVE to do something in order to go to sleep that night.

Then I did the Joy? No joy? method of sorting and folding (Remember Emily doing this on Gilmore Girls – a Year in the Life?).

I loved this that I saw on Instagram 🙂

Last Sunday we hosted people for a brunch, which may be my favorite meal. I tried a new blueberry/banana muffin recipe I found on Pinterest, but it wasn’t a keeper. However, I will share with you ONE OF THE BEST SECRETS EVER.

Are you ready?

COSTCO CINNAMON LOAF!! (not online) Scathingly brilliant and soooooo delicious! I have a friend who buys it and re-wraps it in foil so it looks like she baked it. And it freezes GREAT!! Trust me and you’re welcome!

Along with the so-so muffins and delicious cinnamon bread, we had a version of the salad I posted recently, bacon/brown sugar wrapped smokies, and two kinds of quiche.

Years ago when I was growing up, we had a young couple move in next door to us. The woman was beautiful, artsy and classy and loved all things French. Her name was Madeline and my mom and I were in awe of her. She invited us over and made this crab quiche that became a family favorite.

Madeline’s Quiche

1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (I pre- bake about 10 minutes at 400)

Mix and pour into pie crust: 

1/2 cup Hellman’s Mayonnaise

2 TB flour

2 beaten eggs

1 ts. salt

1/2 cup milk or 1/2 and 1/2

8 oz. shredded swiss cheese

7 1/2 oz can of crab (I honestly like the fake crab the best in this, and use more than called for)

Bake for 45-60 minutes at 350 til firm and slightly brown.

(you can make the filling the night before and then pour it in the crust and bake it in the morning)

If you don’t follow thedailyst on Instagram, you should. Have you guys seen this yet??? Just the BEST!!

 

Lastly, I’ve been doing a Bible study on the tongue which made me think of this quote (YIKES!):

Have a delightful weekend!

with joy,

Laura

Soul Food to Spring it Up!

Monday I wrote about an experimental mutiny against the month of March and invited you into our Spring it Up challenge.

I really hope you’ll join in for part or all of the days. You can still print up an attachment of all the prompts and put it on your fridge. Send me pictures and/or post on Instagram or FB with the hashtag #springitup!

Here are my adorable friends Ally and Kit dressing pink on Day 1.

We had our small group on Tuesday night and did 2 of the challenges at once. I encouraged everyone to wear pink, and we brought things that made us think of spring.

I made the recipe that has been our little family’s go-to for spring.

D.C. Spring Ham and Asparagus Sandwiches

Brace yourselves because the directions are a bit complicated.

  1. 6 slices of deli ham (a little thick – 1/8″?? I don’t do math)
  2. 6 slices of swiss cheese
  3. a bunch of asparagus
  4. a package of dry Knorr Hollendaise sauce mix
  5. 2  tubes of Pillsbury crescent rolls

Cook the asparagus to tender crisp.

Open the crescent rolls and pinch together every two triangles to make rectangles.

Layer a slice of ham, a slice of cheese, and 3 stalks of asparagus on each rectangle. Roll up and pinch dough to seal. Put seal side down on cookie sheet.

Bake according to crescent roll instructions.

Mix up hollandaise sauce and drizzle on top of finished sandwiches. Bam! Done!

Heather brought sparkling pink lemonade, Cara brought tulips, Cathy brought a late Valentine gift wrapped springy, and Molly made a wonderful easy salad – berries, goat cheese, spring greens, and raspberry vinaigrette dressing!

This past weekend John preached on stewardship of our bodies, and included an interview with our friend, Lee Blum, who has a powerful story of overcoming an eating disorder and continually wrestling with the question of “How do we live out of our true self, not how the world says we should be or look or act?” 

(If you can’t see the embedded video on your email, click on the title of the post and open in your browser)

Lee Blum Interview (short version) from Christ Presbyterian Church on Vimeo.

Lee has also written two gripping books, A Table in the Darkness,* her memoir, and Brave is the New Beautiful *, in which each chapter is focused on a different characteristic of courage. Lee “weaves reflections from her own journey with inspirational stories from everyday women who chose to take off their masks and live authentically.”  It also has great discussion questions at the end of each chapter. I highly recommend both books and suggest you consider “Brave” for a small group if you’re looking for some honest discussion.

If you’re reading this on email or on your phone and want to comment, just click on the title and then scroll down!

*Some posts on this blog contain Amazon affiliate links – I receive a tiny commission on any purchases you make from links, but I’m not paid to recommend any particular item. I’d never include a link to anything I didn’t own or feel great about endorsing.

Soul Food When There’s No Holiday to Celebrate

Ohmygosh ohmygosh! I don’t know about you, but February and March about kill me every year. Stay tuned cuz I’m working on something that I hope will sparkle the sox off us in March and carry us through. Meanwhile…

Two great books I’ve been reading…Highly recommend them both!

First, Jesus Outside the Lines: A way Forward for Those Who are Tired of Taking Sides by Scott Sauls. I love this fresh look at Jesus who won’t fit into our boxes. Here are some of the chapter titles:

Red State or Blue State?
For the Unborn or for the Poor?
Personal Faith or Institutional Church?
Money Guilt or Money Greed?
Affirmation or Critique?
Accountability or Compassion?
Hypocrite or Work in Progress?
Sexual Freedom or Chastity?
Hope Or Realism?
Self Esteem or God-Esteem?

“I am too conservative for liberals, and too liberal for conservatives.” – Everyone who follows the whole Jesus.

In Holding onto Hope, Nancy Guthrie uses her own personal story of grief as a prompt to look at the life of Job. There is an 8-week Bible study at the end.

This week I met with the leader of a local World Relief office to see how our church can help with sponsoring families, tutoring, providing legal clinics for refugees. I loved this story…

Many of you have probably seen this, but it’s such a day-brightener I just had to include it. 

Lastly, a cozy, soooo easy stew for winter nights, or for sharing with a new mama or someone who just needs a meal! 

4 Hour Beef Stew

In a large baking dish put:

  • 2 lb. stew meat
  • 1 medium onion cut up
  • 1 stalk celery cut
  • 6 carrots cubed

Blend together:

  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 TB sugar
  • 2 Tb. tapioca

Sprinkle this over the meat and veggies. Add 1 can peas and 1 can condensed tomato soup (spread over top)

Cover tightly and bake @250 for 4 hours. Serve over Pillsbury canned refrigerator biscuits.

I pray you have a fabulous weekend with glimpses of God’s everyday graces.

*Some posts on this blog contain Amazon affiliate links – I receive a tiny commission on any purchases you make from links, but I’m not paid to recommend any particular item. I’d never include a link to anything I didn’t own or feel great about endorsing.

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