Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Gospel of John

This year our Bible Study is reading the gospel of John. Our first assignment was to read through the whole book to get a feel for it. I just finished reading and as most of you probably know, John ends with the death and resurrection of Jesus. And I always feel guilty when I read about this. Not for the obvious reasons of feeling guilty about the fact that Jesus had to die for my sin, but guilty because I read it as a historical account. I already know that Jesus died and so its hard for me to read it with fresh eyes and a fresh heart. I read through it and think, "Thanks Jesus" and that's it. And I HATE that.

I remember when I first learned of the horrible death that Jesus died. I was at Young Life camp at Rockbridge Alum Springs in Virginia, and it was the summer between my sophomore and junior year of high school. I grew up in church and was told that Jesus died and that now he is alive, but I never understood why he died or how it happened. I remember the speaker at camp describing his torturous death and explaining that he willingly did that so that we could have a relationship with God. I remember realizing for the first time that I am a sinner and that I deserve death and eternal separation from God but because of Jesus I can be saved from that. And I remember that as soon as I heard that I cried and cried and cried and was so thankful and couldn't give my life to Jesus fast enough. And so now, when I read that account again, I feel guilty that I don't have that same reaction. Now that I have heard the story so much it doesn't hit me anymore. And I wish that it did.

In his book Crazy Love, Francis Chan writes about being totally in love with Jesus. I want that so bad. I know in my head that Jesus loves me, and it's easy to say that I love Jesus, because I do. I choose to love him everyday. But without being able to see, audibly hear and touch him, its so hard to really love him the way I love so many people. I feel like if my dad, or if Derek sacrificially died because they loved me so much, I wouldn't be able to talk about it without tearing up because I know them and I love them so much. I want that kind of relationship with Christ, where I tear up when I think about how much he loves me and what he has done for me.

One of our questions for Bible study this week was what would we like Jesus to change in our life. Usually when I think of this question I think of some sin that I struggle with that I would like to no longer have. For example I would like to be less materialistic, or I really want to be better about not gossipping. But all I really want, is to be totally in love with Jesus, in a way that changes everything. As we read through the story of his life, I don't want it to be just a historical account, so I can tell people, "yeah, Jesus heals" or "Jesus has control over everything" or "remain in Christ and he will remain in you". These are all truths that I know. I just really want the story of his life to become real to me, and I want to fall more in love with him as I find out more about him. I'm sure there are tons of things that I could be convicted of and want to change about myself as I read, but I feel like I've spent the last 10 years of my life getting those kinds of things out of the Bible. I want to enjoy getting to know Jesus the way I enjoyed getting to know Derek when we first met. I want him to reveal himself to me in a way that changes who I am and the way I see him. I want to fall in love.

Monday, September 21, 2009

An Apple a Day

Happy Monday everyone! Actually Monday is almost over, which is fantastic, because in 1 week from tomorrow I leave for Florida! But first, I thought I would share a little bit about my weekend, which involved, as you might have guessed from the title of this post, apples! (I just realized that I have ended every sentence I have written so far with an exclamation point - apparently I'm real excited about everything.)

Every fall I go apple picking at Lynd's fruit farm up in Columbus when I go home for a weekend. This fall, however, Derek has soccer games on Saturdays that he has to be in town for every weekend in September and October, and we also have out of town weddings for 3 of the 4 weekends in October, so a trip up to Columbus is not in the cards for us. This weekend, my parents came down to visit us since we can't go up and visit them. After getting stuck on I-75 (it was closed in NKY) they finally made it in Saturday afternoon. We watched the Cats beat Louisville and then went to Evan's Orchard to pic apples! I was so happy that I got to pick apples this year. And they also had pears there, so we picked lots of pears too! I should also mention that my mom went apple picking in Ohio and brought some apples down here for me because I didn't think I would get to - so now we have TONS of apples. Here is a picture of the orchard:

And here Derek and I are with our apples:

I love love love freshly picked apples, they taste 100 times better than apples you buy at the grocery store. Keeping with the apple theme, my mom and I made Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Cookie Bars. Just the name sounds delicious. The recipe is from and while I didn't take photos of us making it, I will give you the recipe. Its a little involved, but totally worth it. To make is you will need:

3 tblspn melted butter
3 cups golden graham cereal, ground in food processor
1 roll pillsbury sugar cookie dough, divided into 2 equal parts
8 oz softened cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
21 oz can apple pie filling
1.5 oz pacage Nature Valley Oats N Honey Granola Bars (2 count) crushed
9.5 oz Kraft Caramels
1/2 cup half and half

Preheat oven to 350. Combine melted butter and ground cereal into a large bowl; press into an 8x8 inch baking dish lined with foil that's been sprayed with cooking spray. Bak for 10 minutes then remove from oven. Crumble half of the cookie dough over partially baked crust.

Place cream cheese, sugar and vanilla into a mixer, beat until smooth. Pour over crumbled cookie dough layer. Bake for 25 minutes then remove from oven. Top with 3/4 of the applie pie filling. Top with remaining cookie dough, breaking off into little pieces evenly over top. Sprinkle with crushed granola bars and bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool completely then cut into squares. Melt caramels and half and half according to package directions. Drizzle over each bar. Refrigerate leftovers.

Ok, so those are the official copyrighted directions (since they are copyrighted is it ok that I put them on my blog? I'm hoping that since I said where it came from and because only like 10 people read this I'll be ok). When we made them though, we didn't wait for the bars to cool. We had my dad and Derek who kept asking when they would be done - since it takes over an hour to make them - so we just added the carmel while they were still warm and spooned them out of the dish. I think it would be really good with vanilla ice cream. Unfortunatly I don't have a picture of the finished product either - they went fast, but I promise they are worth making!

So all in all, a great, appley weekend. My parents stayed until Sunday, and unfortunately got stuck in I-75 traffic on the way back, closed again! I am always so sad when they leave, I wish I got to see them more often. But I was also happy because I was at my friend Angie's baby shower when they left, and baby showers are very happy occasions. I'm real excited for Angie and Micah to have their first baby, I know they will make great parents! Angie got such cute things for her baby boy, now we are all anxiously awaiting his arrival =)

Hope everyone else had a fun weekend and has a great week! It's rivalry week at LCA, which means soccer, volleyball and football games against Catholic every night of the week for me. Woo hoo!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Waste Not, Want Not

I think that's how the saying goes. I'm not really sure what it means exactly, but I am feeling real guilty about my wastefulness.

Last night, for the first time in I don't know how long, (which may explain why I haven't been great at updating the blog) I had nothing going on after work. Work ended at 5:30 and I had nothing I had to do until I had to be back at 7:30 this morning. So I got home from work, went for a run (which has been even more neglected than the blog) and made dinner for Derek and myself (another thing that hasn't probably happened in a couple of weeks - life has been a little ridiculous). After dinner we took Moose for a walk, and when we got home it was about 8:30 and there was nothing to do. A glorious feeling if you ask me. Now I don't know about you, but I spend much of my life doing what absolutely needs to be done and scheduling myself into oblivion. So I when I do get a few hours where there is nothing that NEEDS to be done and nothing on the schedule, I'm not quite sure what to do. There are lots of things I would like to do, like work on my scrapbook, organize our office, clean out various closets, go through stuff and get rid of what we don't need. But I find myself in the position of actually having time to do these things so infrequently, that when I get it, I am not sure what to do with myself. Last night was such a night. So what did I do?


I know what you are thinking, if you had a free hour with nothing to do that would be on the top of your list of fun ways to occupy your time. But it is something that I have been meaning to do for a while and always put it off. (Don't worry, this isn't the only thing I did with my free time. I spent some quality time with my husband and with Jesus, but I figured I should do one non-fun thing, so this is what I picked.)

While I felt really happy this morning and at lunch today when I went to make myself food and could actually find what I was looking for without having to take a bunch of stuff out and search and wonder what was in various tupperware containers, I also feel really bad about how much food I threw away. A whole large trash bag full of food, just chucked. I know that it wasn't good anymore anyways, but when I think about how much of the world has no food, and how we just don't feel like eating leftovers or eating what we already have, so we go to the grocery and buy more food, and let stuff just go bad, it makes me sick. I have wasted so much food just because I couldn't find it in the back of the fridge or the pantry. It's really ridiculous how much we have and how much we waste without even giving it a second thought.

So my new goal is now that my pantry and fridge are clean and organized and I can actually see what is in there, I am going to plan meals based on using what we have and not letting food go to waste. I am only going to buy what we need. Hopefully I will save some money on groceries and be able to buy extra things to give to people who really need it, and aren't fortunate enough to go pick out whatever they want, and be picky about what they eat.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Caroline Elizabeth

Well, this weekend was a break from showers, and/or weddings, however our friends Shaun and Jade had their baby!!!! They waited to find out whether it would be a boy or girl, so it was extra exciting when we found out that they had a precious baby girl on Friday evening. They named her Caroline Elizabeth and of course we had to go see her as soon as possible, so on Saturday Derek and I headed over to Central Baptist Hospital and here are some photos from our visit with the new parents and their baby girl:

Here's a close up of Caroline:

And of course Derek and I each had to get a picture with her:

(It's a little blurry I'm still figuring out how my camera works.)

Isn't she a beautiful little girl? It always amazes me how tiny they are at first. So precious!