Thursday, December 16, 2010

the one about my heart

I'm sorry I've been a terrible blogger lately. I have about 80 blog posts in my head, but just haven't had the time to catch up. Maybe I will over the two week between family, cooking, cleaning, and catching up on my to-do list that's 100 pages long. Sigh.

So, I'm going to start back with the Deeper Still conference I went to Dec 3 and 4.

Wednesday night, Dec 1 I was at Worship + Study where Chad spent the night focusing on our role in the AIDS Pandenic, as Dec 1 is World AIDS Day. He shared several stories and videos with us, and had us pray throughout the night for different issues. During our last time of personal prayer he asked us to focus on what our role in the AIDS story is. At first I couldn't even pray because I was so frustrated. We had just seen a video about Living Hope. I was frustrated because I want to be on the front lines in Africa fighting AIDS and shepherding people to their Hope and Healer. Sometimes I just get so mad because it's not like I'm ignoring the problem here in all of my American oppulence; I desperately want to be among the sick and dying, but that is just not where God has me right now in life.
For one of the first times ever in my life, I told God I was frustrated. Normally I'm just head over heels in love with God and just rarely ever have a bad thing to say to Him, cause He's awesome. So being honest with God about my frustration with where I'm not was hard for me. I said all that was on my heart and felt silence. I was pretty ok with that; I trust that God hears me and I wasn't looking for any kind of immediate apology from Him or anything. But I told Him. I cried out and gave Him the hurt places in my heart.

Friday night Beth and I arrived a little late for the conference, as per our usual style. We got into our seats right as they were dimming the lights and the worship set was starting. I had been excited about the weekend because I'm a Beth Moore junkie, but I hadn't taken the first second to quiet and prepare my heart for a word from the Lord. He didn't need my preparation, He was ready.
Almost as soon as the music started, the Lord started ministering to my heart. He didn't answer a single question that I had raised on Wednesday night. He didn't provide any answers for where I'm not, but He gave me an overwhelming gratefulness for where I am. I started thinking about the ministry I have with college students right here in this city, and I was overcome with gratitude. My ministry is so full, so rich, so vital, and so alive. Why have I wasted time wanting for something else?

I thought I'd share with you some of the specific things (mainly girls) God called into my mind that I am grateful for:

-the girl who has turned her incredible loss and grief into an opportunity for spiritual growth and maturity, and who is so quick to minister to others. She challenges me.
-the girl who is being so relentlessly pursued by the redeeming love of God. I look into her life and I am reminded by how much our God loves us.
-the girl who is drowning in a pit of sin, but she is reaching her hands and her face up to her Savior, seeking rescue from herself. I am privledged to walk alongside her.
-the opportunity to teach the Word of God.
-the girl who has a sweet relationship with the Lord, and who is always hungry for more. I hope Chloe Belle grows up to be like her.
-the girl who I've seen change from a happy-go-lucky freshman to a junior who is serious about sharing the Gospel and making a difference in the lives of people around her.
-the Godly people I work with
-the opportunity to share the Gospel

I loved that moment that the Lord soothed my heart. I was reminded that thankfulness can radically change your heart. And I was overwhelmed at how absolutely incredible this place is in my life. It's a place of beauty, and I couldn't ask for more.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

the one that's good enough to eat

We were supposed to have communion last Wednesday night at UMin. We didn't and so I have a huge loaf of french bread that's a couple of days old. I made bread pudding tonight. Paula Dean's bread pudding.

It was the best thing I've ever made, and maybe the best thing I've ever eaten.

Here's her recipe.

I made a few changes to the recipe. First, I suggest 4 cups of bread, not three. Mine came out a little runny with 3. I also added a tsp of butter pecan extract with the vanilla. I happen to think that butter pecan extract makes everything better.
I also omitted the pecans because I don't like them, and the brandy because I didn't have any.
Once I made the topping sauce, I poured it on and put the whole thing back in the oven, which was turned off, till we finished dinner. It made for a nice hot dish at the end.

Make it. I promise, its so good you'll pass out.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

the one for world AIDS day...a day late

So sorry I didn't get to post yesterday on World AIDS Day. I certainly spent much time yesterday thinking and praying for AIDS. I read this excellent post that I feel sums up exactly how we should be feeling about AIDS each and every day.

read this amazing post.

give to Living Hope.