Small steps in faith

Thursday, October 30, 2008

David Crowder at Cedarville

This is where I'll be tomorrow night..enjoying one of my favorite bands in concert :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pumpkin on a Pumpkin :)

Darrell and Kristen carved our dachshund on our Pumpkin!

House Rules cont.

So these are the notes from Apex service last night.

Matthew 18:15-20

If you have an authentic community...there will be conflict.

Anyone can love the "ideal" church. The challenge is to love the real church.

Joseph McKinney

How do we love when it's hard?
There should NEVER be a house church where someone "checks out" and isn't checked on.
In the USA we love to "go after" people i.e sue,attack,etc.

Principles of Conflict

1 There is good and bad conflict
bad shots,anger,temper. It causes people to go into their shell. There are alot of recovering turtles walking around.
good conflict..Some people love clears the results in unity.
unity is not the same as uniformity
bad conflict results in division..hypocrisy
good conflict results in growth. You go through a battle together.
bad conflict can inflict a deep wound..back stabbing

Jesus reputation is at stake when we engage in conflict.

How to love through discipline

1 Take responsibility. Our lives lived in public impacts those around us.
Too many times we "rubberneck love" We wait for others to handle the situation.
You need to ask yourself
a Am I able to overlook this? Is it minor enough to overlook an offense..or will it create a bitterness or resentment in you The "grrrr factor"

b What are my motives? Is it for unity or is it to show how "spiritual" you are

c Am I prepared to do this gently as it tells us in Galatians 6
We need to restore those in sin gently for them as well as for us.

d Have I taken personal inventory? You need to take the log out of your own eye first

e Am I making this a matter of prayer? Pray for our enemies

2 Engage with them personally. Go one on one to them.

If they don't respond:

3 Involve others strategically..others can provide wisdom

If they don't respond:

4 Communicate it corporately. This is hard. We have a view that we have to "please everyone"

5 Seperate from them redemptively..Don't give up on them. Continue to share the gospel..God's word with them.

If they are restored..CELEBRATE!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Morning Reflection

I read this on a blog and thought about it for quite awhile this morning.
I have a friend going through this now.
The human side of us does not want to forgive. I've been there and still struggle with it.
This is definitely a challenge.

“When we have been wounded by the Church, our temptation is to reject it. But when we reject the Church it becomes very hard for us to keep in touch with the living Christ. When we say, “I love Jesus, but I hate the Church,” we end up losing not only the Church but Jesus too.

The challenge is to forgive the Church.

This challenge is especially great because the Church seldom asks us for forgiveness, at least not officially. But the Church as an often fallible human organization needs our forgiveness, while the Church as the living Christ among us continues to offer us forgiveness.

It is important to think about the Church not as “over there” but as a community of struggling, weak people of whom we are part and in whom we meet our Lord and Redeemer.”

- Henry Nouwen

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fall Colors

These are some of the fall color pictures I took at Cox Arboretum today on my walk.
This past weekend was the "perfect weekend" for fall colors but I think I found some pretty nice ones :)

Next year on "Dancing With The Stars"

Ok..sometimes you have to have guilty pleasures and my sister got me addicted to "Dancing With The Stars". For anyone who watches..I am a Warren Sapp fan...think Cloris Leachman and Susan Lucci need to go and I can't stand Derek Hough even though he'll probably win. Anyway, my husband who knows I am SICK of the political stuff sent me this which I thought was funny :P

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I dream.....

I read this quote on a fellow Apexer's blog and it expressed my sentiments on what a church should be better than I could ever express it.

[I dream of a] church, which does not need huge amounts of money, or rhetoric, control and manipulation, which can do without powerful and charismatic heroes, which is non-religious at heart, which can thrill people to the core, make them lose their tongues out of sheer joy and astonishment, and simply teach us The Way to live. A church which not only has a message, but is the message. Something which spreads like an unstoppable virus, infects whatever it touches, and ultimately covers the earth with the glory and knowledge of God.

Wolfgang Simson

Saturday, October 18, 2008

House Rules

These are my notes from the service tonight.
Worship was awesome. We haven't sung "Come and Listen" for awhile and I love that song.

Ephesians 2: 11-22

Rob started off the service telling house rules that some of his Facebook friends grew up with..the kind that you have to laugh because some of them are absurd and some are the same that we all grew up with.
Apex has had house churches for 2 1/2 yrs now. Some have been great experiences...some have been painful...many with conflicts...messy relationships. This sermon is some of the rules that govern the people with specific application to house church.

If you detach yourself from the cross and it's can't have deep Christ-centered relationships.

In this scripture..the context deals with Paul addresssing a conflict between Jews and Gentiles.
Paul used their conflict to talk about "body life"

What does the cross mean in our day to day relationships?

1 We have a common history
We all were apart from Christ and are now circumcised.
In house churches we all need to share our we got to our relationship with Christ. Age,finance,single,married..none of that should matter.

2 We have a common spirit. It gives us all equal access to the Lord and makes us all family. Some may have known the Lord for a week ..others 10 yrs. There should be a blurring for the line of family. We all should participate and have responsibility in sharing whether it's prayer,content time,meals,kids,etc.

3 We have a common standard. Christ is our standard. There should be an ambiance that something is different here to unbelievers.

4 We have a common purpose..worship. There is no such thing as a solitary follower of Jesus. Deep community is a requirement.

2 questions
a What are the dividing walls that keep you from experiencing deep Christ-centered community? If you have dividing walls..Christ has abolished those.

b Do you see deep Christ-centered community as an option or choice or is it a vital command?
It should be a vital command.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Good article

I read a good article this morning in my 850 Relevant Words email on the new Rob Bell book "God Wants To Save Christians". I've actually just started reading this book. My house church leader, Chris, listened to the sermons Rob did on the same subject at Mars Hill and said they are good.
The very last part of the article was what really hit me as being so true..especially number 4.

You describe the plan of God for the church to be a gift to the world. Many people today would say that the church is anything but. What are some crucial changes that our churches need to make to become a Eucharist that is broken and poured out for the world?

1. Master the art of doubt. Faith needs it to survive.

2. Surrender the compulsive need to constantly remind people that according to your worldview you're going to heaven forever when you die and they're going to burn in hell forever.

3. Celebrate the good and the true and the beautiful wherever and whenever you find it regardless of the label it wears or the person it comes from or the place you found it. All things are yours.

4. Remember that the tax collectors and prostitutes loved to feast with Jesus and the religious establishment gossiped about him and dissected his teachings and questioned his commitment to orthodoxy and eventually had him killed. There's a lesson for us there.

If you want to read the whole article you can go here

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Broken Road

Last night was our last study in "Stepping Up" I have enjoyed having this study and connecting with the women who came. We plan to celebrate finishing by eating out together..we like eating:) I made them little Max and Erma banana creme pies from a recipe I found here

The last video lesson talks about the road traveled to our destination.
Sometimes that road can be broken. It can have detours. As we journey, we need to be aware of the road signs.

Stop....don't go any further in what you are doing

Yield...submit..even when sometimes you don't understand it...that's where faith comes in

Caution....Don't love blindly..discern...and love with boundaries

On that road, let go of the loads God wants to loosen. Many times the burdens we bear are burdens we put on ourself.

Sometimes in that journey, we travel through the Valley of Baca(valley of tears)

Take the next step with the next strength. God provides the strength to get from one place to another...sometimes we have to wait until we have that added strength.

Know with certainty that the destination is worth the trip.

Monday, October 13, 2008 review

For those of you who know me, you know that I buy and read alot of books.
Reading is my way of escaping into another world.
Escaping into Matthew Paul Turner's world was one of the funniest adventures I've had in a long time.

This book is a laugh out loud kind of book. I think part of the reason I enjoyed it is because I can relate to some of the fundamental ways of his church and he told the story with such humor .
This is a book about his experiences growing up in a very fundamental baptist church and school. From asking Jesus into your heart in the hallway to burning Malibu barbies who died of lung cancer to reenact what hell would be details out his experiences and his feelings toward Jesus,the church , and Christianity.

I like how Matthew doesn't blame anyone for his experiences..he just relates it in an honest way. His parents,his minister,his teacher,and various adults in his life had the best of warped as some of their ideas were.
This book shows how often fear is used to try and scare younger Christians into following Jesus instead of focusing on his true message of love.

Matthew ends the book with a chapter updating where he is now in his journey of faith

Don't just take my word. Go to his blog and read some of the other reviews for his book and read some of his other humorous thoughts in his posts.
You can also see his beautiful little baby boy Elias(the baby in the picture above)
To buy the book go here
It's worth every penny and every out loud laugh :^)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Framing Your Worldview

After serving in Frontline(our welcome ministry) this morning, Darrell and I went to First Baptist Church in Franklin so I could visit my friend Kyle,who leads worship. Kyle and I went to Southwest together and built a friendship with conversations in the cafe. I miss Kyle's singing and playing and his amazing positive outlook on life, so I like to visit his church. It's a very small church but they are the warmest people. We also have friends from our house church ,Brad and Beth, who also now go here.
Added bonus....Kyle sang my all time favorite worship song.."Wonderful Maker"
His minister, Vern, has a very quiet and calm speaking voice and I like his down to earth sermons.
These are the notes from this morning.

Framing Your Worldview
What Does It Matter What I Believe?

I. What's a Worldview?
My Worldview is: The beliefs I build my life on.

II. Different Worldviews:
Materialism Luke 12:15
It's the belief: "The one with the most toys wins."

Hedonism Matt. 16:25
It's the belief: "Me First"

Pragmatism Prov. 14:12
It's the belief: "If it works for you that's fine"

Theism Col. 1:16
It's the belief: "God made me for His purpose."

III. What Does It Matter What I Believe?

1. It shapes your life
2. If faulty, it causes all kinds of problems in your life unnecessarily. Prov.29:18
3. Because others need to hear it explained. 1 Peter 3:15

IV How do I make sure my world view is not faulty and false?

Learn what is true Pr. 23:23
Discern what is false 1 John 4:1
Turn from the world to the Word. Rom. 12:2
Concern yourself with God's agenda. Luke 12:31

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Here Am I...Send Me

These are my notes from Apex. They aren't as detailed because we had a speaker who gave a lot of personal stories/examples.
He started an organization called Operation Mobilization 50 yrs ago as a teenager. It's a missionary movement for non missionaries.
We are all called to build kingdoms everywhere. He used scripture from Issiah 6
In this passage, Issiah is broken before God and then experiences God's vision and grace.
Failure can be the back door to success. Don't let failure intimidate you. There is no such thing as no risk Christianity.
Because of Isaaiah's experience with God..he is able to say "Here am I..send me"
It's a prayer of availability...not geography. We all need to say that prayer...God Here am I..send me..whether it's using us in our jobs, house churches,etc. or whether it's in a different continent.

Their organization made several books and DVD's available on discipleship,abortion,AIDS, and evangelism. There were also several booths set up offering many opportunities for mission work locally as well as international.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A picture worth a thousand words

"Churched" by Matthew Paul Turner

Go out and buy this book or go here to order it. I'm almost finished reading it and it's one of the funniest books I've read in awhile.
Check out Matthew Paul Turner's blog to read an excerpt or his wife Jessica's ...she's doing "Churched" contests for a chance at autographed copies.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Discerning and Defeating Idolatry

These are my notes from Rob's sermon this morning.
This is the last of the series on Idolatry.
Phil led worship and he wrote a new song "I am "...soooo good!
We also sang "Lead me to the cross" that song too :^)

Colossians 3:1-10

In western churches, we believe there are specific methods to defeat specific idols..If you have sexual deal with it differently than maybe gambling or drugs.
Most of the time it's the same as the secular world with a "scripture verse" thrown in there.
Idols are all tied to the same heart...we need to have a more complete view of how to deal with it.

A review of the definition of idol:
"Something other than God we set our hearts on and motivates us that masters or rules or that we serve"..Ken Sande

It can be a positive such as your spouse or a negative such as drug addiction but if it takes the focus from's wrong.
The womb of idolatry is the heart.
Idolatry is degrading. It affects our fruits.
We are born with inverted hearts..our glory is toward self
We often substitute for God.
We become our idol and God destroys idols so we are destroyed in the process.
Idolatry can become "normal"'s subtle and works it's way into our lives.

Defeating Idolatry

1 Be continually riveted on the person of Christ.

2 Treat idolatry as an act of war. You must rid yourself of it. It can kill your insides.

3 Remember that your past has no present power. " Since you have been raised with Christ"
"You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived"
We become a new self

4 Get authentically involved with the body of Christ.
It doesn't mean you just show up for church or house church. It means you allow access to speak truth in each others lives.
Latent idolatry...these people only allow people in so far. They don't want to be held accountable. There are things they don't want others to know about them.

5 The battle with idolatry is never without hope

7 healthy foods for anti -aging

I found this article in Yahoo this morning and thought it was worth posting. I'm always looking for ways to stay healthy and these are 7 foods that help..especially with heart disease and "metabolic syndrome". So if you're looking for a reason to eat chocolate (dark is best) here it is!

The Kuna people of the San Blas islands, off the coast of Panama, have a rate of heart disease that is nine times less than that of mainland Panamanians. The reason? The Kuna drink plenty of a beverage made with generous proportions of cocoa, which is unusually rich in flavanols that help preserve the healthy function of blood vessels. Maintaining youthful blood vessels lowers risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and dementia.

Get sweet satisfaction in seconds with delicious chocolate recipes, such as Chocolate & Nut Butter Bites (which include two of the 7 anti-aging super foods!):

Chocolate & Nut Butter Bites

8 1/4-ounce squares of bittersweet chocolate
4 teaspoons almond, cashew or pistachio butter

Top each chocolate square with 1/2 teaspoon nut butter of your choice (almond, cashew, pistachio). Two sandwiches make one serving.

Per serving: 79 calories; 6 g fat (2 g sat, 1 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrate; 1 g protein; 1 g fiber; 12 mg sodium; 20 mg potassium. What you get: Magnesium, copper, chromium. 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving. Exchanges: 1/2 other carbohydrate, 1 fat.

In a landmark study published in 1999, researchers at Tufts University’s Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging fed rats blueberry extract for a period of time that in “rat lives” is equivalent to 10 human years. These rats outperformed rats fed regular chow on tests of balance and coordination when they reached old age. Compounds in blueberries (and other berries) mitigate inflammation and oxidative damage, which are associated with age-related deficits in memory and motor function. Eat more blueberries with healthy blueberry recipes.

Thirty years ago, researchers began to study why the native Inuits of Alaska were remarkably free of heart disease. The reason, scientists now think, is the extraordinary amount of fish they consume. Fish is an abundant source of omega-3 fats, which help prevent cholesterol buildup in arteries and protect against abnormal heart rhythms. Eat some tonight with a healthy fish recipe.

Studies of Seventh-Day Adventists (a religious denomination that emphasizes healthy living and a vegetarian diet) show that those who eat nuts gain, on average, an extra two and a half years. Nuts are rich sources of unsaturated fats, so they offer benefits similar to those associated with olive oil. They’re also concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals, including antioxidants.

Drinking alcohol in moderation protects against heart disease, diabetes and age-related memory loss. Any kind of alcoholic beverage seems to provide such benefits, but red wine has been the focus of much of the research. Red wine contains resveratrol, a compound that likely contributes to its benefits-and, according to animal studies, may activate genes that slow cellular aging.

Olive Oil
Four decades ago, researchers from the Seven Countries Study concluded that the monounsaturated fats in olive oil were largely responsible for the low rates of heart disease and cancer on the Greek island of Crete. Now we know that olive oil also contains polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that may help prevent age-related diseases.

In the 1970s, Soviet Georgia was rumored to have more centenarians per capita than any other country. Reports at the time claimed that the secret of their long lives was yogurt, a food ubiquitous in their diets. While the age-defying powers of yogurt never have been proved directly, yogurt is rich in calcium, which helps stave off osteoporosis and contains “good bacteria” that help maintain gut health and diminish the incidence of age-related intestinal illness.

By Michelle Edelbaum

Saturday, October 04, 2008

JDRF and Oktoberfest 2008

We did the JDRF walk for diabetes (That's why we have matching shirts :) and then went to the Oktoberfest. It was a beautiful morning for our walk at Island Metro Park. Lots of support from lots of families with children with Type 1 diabetes. I always like to see the t shirts and slogans that the different families and companies come up with.

It has been a few years since I've done Oktoberfest but it has the BEST food! The pictures are my brat with sauerkraut and a creme puff that Darrell and I split. They have authentic strudel and cobbler and of course beer(which is why most people go) We did share 1 beer..which wasn't too bad ...I'm not a beer drinker though.
The artisan tents had beautiful things for sale...not like your usual junky stuff at the festivals. I got a sweater from these women from Ecuador that were Indian. They were so sweet and they make the sweaters and scarves themselves.

We went into the Dayton Art Institute (where the Oktoberfest is held) and looked at some of the artwork. There was a display that Dayton students had done for the Holocaust. It was very beautiful and very touching as well.

Happy 20th Birthday Zach..DUDE!!!!!

This was the best picture I could find on my computer of you Zach :^)
Hope you have an awesome birthday!!!
It's not official until 7:01 pm!!!!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Cutting your grass

Some people hate to cut their grass. Darrell isn't one of those people but he found this funny video of David Crowder's drummer.