Friday, April 22, 2011

good friday reflections

“The highest act of love is the giving of the best gift, and, if necessary, at the greatest cost, to the least deserving. That’s what God did. At the loss of His Son’s life to the totally undeserving, God gave the best gift – the display of the glory of Christ who is the image of God.”
John Piper

"The Cross was the manifestation of Divine love without reserve or limit."
Sir Robert Anderson

"No one [Jesus] ever deserved suffering less, yet received so one has ever had a greater right to retaliate, but used it one has ever borne so much injustice with so little vengeance."
John Piper

"The devil has convinced so many people that they are worthless. Each of us needs to stop and remember the cross—at the cross we will discover our true value— for it is here that we discover the price God was willing to pay for us, the depth of His love, and how much we are worth to Him."
Roy Lessin

"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
Jesus Christ - John 11:25&26

"We cannot worship the suffering God today and ignore him tomorrow. We cannot eat and drink the body and blood of the passionate and compassionate God today, and then refuse to live passionately and compassionately tomorrow. If we say or sing, as we so often do, 'Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit', we thereby commit ourselves, in love, to the work of making his love known to the world that still stands so sorely in need of it. This is not the god the world wants. This is the God the world needs."
N.T. Wright

"He died not for men, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, He would have done no less."
C.S. Lewis

"In the bonds of Death He lay Who for our offence was slain; But the Lord is risen to-day, Christ hath brought us life again, Wherefore let us all rejoice, Singing loud, with cheerful voice, Hallelujah!"
Martin Luther

"When we learn to read the story of Jesus and see it as the story of the love of God, doing for us what we could not do for ourselves--that insight produces, again and again, a sense of astonished gratitude which is very near the heart of authentic Christian experience."
N.T. Wright

"The point is not that the resurrection is the price paid for our sins. The point point is that the resurrection proves the death of Jesus is an all-sufficient price. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then his death was a failure, God did not vindicate his sin-bearing achievement, and we are still in our sins."
John Piper commenting on 1 Corinthians 15:17

"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)

"The resurrection completes the inauguration of God's kingdom. . . . It is the decisive event demonstrating thet God's kingdom really has been launched on earth as it is in heaven. The message of Easter is that God's new world has been unveiled in Jesus Christ and that you're now invited to belong to it."
N.T. Wright

Thursday, April 21, 2011

better late than never?

So last month, I celebrated the birthdays of two very important people in my life: my dear old Dad and my dear friend (for ~20 years now) Cryssie. I could just let it be and move forward with the blog, but it wouldn't be right so here's the brief recap.

Crystal's birthday was an all day (and all night for that matter) extravaganza that started and ended with wine. We met at Meagan's house and our driver (AKA Bryan) drove us to three different wineries. Moderation was the order of the day and I had the strategy down for the most part.

After our grand tour of Grapevine, we headed back to Meagan and Bryan's for food, of course. The spread was extensive and I think we grazed for about a solid four hours. We also spent some time outside by the fire pit and by the end of the night, most of us received back adjustments, free of charge, from Dr. Freeland. It was such a fun day (and night) to have the fab-4 all together. It felt like high school all over again and I loved every minute of our time.

The very next weekend, we celebrated the life of Mr. Charles Michael, AKA the pops. He requested a very specific cake, and since I don't disappoint, I delivered on a coconut cake with a lemon curd filling and 7-minute icing. It was definitely touch and go there for a while, but it turned out pretty good (if I do say so myself).

But we didn't just eat cake. We also had some delicious barbeque and opened presents.

Cheers to blessed years for both of the birthday peeps!

in memoriam of smith randle.

This past Saturday, a group of Kori and Jon's friends and family participated in a 5K walk to support March of Dimes and to honor the life of sweet Smith Randle.

The walk was held at White Rock Lake and it couldn't have been a more perfect day. The sun was shining. The temperature was perfect and the wind had actually died down to something less than the tornadic levels we've been experiencing on almost a daily basis.

Three of the girls in my community group joined me in supporting the cause. I am overwhelmed at their love and support for friends of mine they had never met. It was such an example of what it means to be a Christ-follower who show compassion even to strangers. If any of you are reading, thank you for showing me Christ through your actions.

Once we made it to the actual race location, there were so many people there, but we found our group right when we walked up. The event was huge and even had Kelly Clarkson as a celebrity sponsor (Go Kelly).

I'll be the first to say this was my kind of "race." We were dancing, taking pictures, chatting with others on the team, all the while raising money that will be put towards preventing pre-term deaths. All along the way were banners and signs detailing the progress March of Dimes has made and all that their funds/research have accomplished. Amidst all the heartbreaking "in memory of" signs, that was so encouraging because it means that there might be one less sign next year.

Oh, and who's that I spy in the white cap? Well that's none other than Kelly Clarkson. We became fast friends and are having dinner next week.

Before we knew it, we were crossing the finish line and cracking up because we (of maybe it was just me) were already sore. All the walking worked up a huge appetite and we devoured a late brunch promptly after our intense race.

I was so happy I got to be a part of Team Smith Randle to honor his brief but purposeful life. Selfishly, I wish we could have enjoyed his life here on this earth, but I know He is safe, free of suffering, in the presence of Jesus Christ who conquered death so that we might live.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

by reader request.

To my one reader out there, Emily, this one's for you! I promised you a recipe for sugar cookies and I'm a girl of my word. I've used this a couple times (modified from and seem to have success in terms of the cookies keeping their shape upon baking and the dough not being too sticky. Obviously, you can 1/2 the recipe of your not baking for a family of 15 as this will produce a fair amount of cookies.

Simple Sugar Cookies

1 C (1/2 lb.) butter, at room temperature
2 C sugar
2 eggs
1 T milk
1 t vanilla
5 C all-purpose flour
4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

1. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until smooth and light. Beat in eggs, milk, and vanilla until well blended, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.

2. In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir or beat into butter mixture until blended. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill until firm, at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days.

3. Unwrap dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll dough out, a portion at a time, to about 3/8 inch thick. Cut with a 3- or 4-inch round cutter and place cookies slightly apart on buttered or cooking parchment-lined 12- by 15-inch baking sheets.

4. Bake cookies in a 350° oven until edges are golden, 10 to 14 minutes; cool completely before icing.

I just make my icing with powdered sugar, dash of milk and a touch of vanilla. In terms of colors, the sky's the limit. Give it a try and make some Easter cookies. Who doesn't want to eat delicious eggs, baby chicks and cookie form, of course.

my daily prayer.

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

-Saint Francis