Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Gospel Coalition

I had the opportunity to go to Chicago with Matt a few weeks ago for the Gospel Coalition Conference.  It was a wonderful experience in so many ways - I had the chance to get away with Matt, I took off my mommy hat and put on my seminary hat for a bit, I got to sleep in (!!!!!!), we had the chance to visit with old and new friends, and we ate some amazing food!

This post may seem like a long list of notes...and it is.  My journal oftentimes gets found and used as a coloring book, so I decided that if I didn't get my notes summarized online, they might be covered in crayons and unreadable.  So, this next part may bore you.  Or, you might actually enjoy trying to follow my thoughts.  If you find yourself in the first category, you can just look at the pictures :)

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Studying the Scriptures & Finding Jesus - John 5:31 (R. Albert Mohler)
- The Old Testament is not someone else’s book, it should not be read in its own terms, and it does not preach another deity
- We do such disservice to the point of the Old Testament when we primarily moralize it
- Intellectual deists are not the same as Christians

Getting Out - Exodus 14 (Tim Keller)
- Our bondage has layers: objective law, subjective law, sin nature, idols
- We need to cross over by grace, and that involves a change of status
- We are not saved by the quality of our faith, but the object of our faith
- We have a mediator in Jesus

From a Foreigner to King Jesus - Ruth (Alistair Begg)
- Begg painted a beautiful picture of the story of Ruth, foreshadowing the ultimate kinsman redeemer, Jesus

Not According to Our Sins - Psalm 25 (James MacDonald)
- Jesus embodies my trust, exemplifies my trust, and enables my trust

The Righteous Branch - Jeremiah 23:1-8 (Conrad Mbewe)
- How can our leadership be relevant to God’s story?
- Where there is failure in leadership, God moves in
- Ultimate leader is Jesus

Youth - Ecclesiates 11:7-12:14 (Matt Chandler)
- There is a way to remember that redeems our rejoicing – Remember who God is, remember what He’s done, remember His commands

Getting Excited About Melchizedek - Psalm 110 (Don Carson)
- I took notes, but they made no sense to me when I reviewed them...I don't think I was ready for Carson so early in the morning :)

Signs of Grace in Inner City Church Planting (Eric Mason)
- God used cities to reach nations and to usher new Christians into maturity(Acts 14:21-23)
- Leadership needs to come within the community to create sustainability.  This may take many years to cultivate!

The Feminist Mistake (Mary Kassian)
- We are now living in the post-feminist movement and feeling the waves of it now
- Many things have been and need to be redefined based on womanhood being redefined (manhood, family, etc.)
- The distinction between male and female is so important because it tells a story of the Gospel, revealing truths in the Trinity
- Biblical manhood/womanhood is bigger than us and all about God
- Biblical manhood/womanhood needs to be taught because it won’t be caught in our culture
- Regard womanhood as a primary discipleship issue
- Teach principles, not specific patterns of application
- Do not lose focus on displaying the Gospel and putting Christ on display

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Happy and full after dinner at Morton' steak I've ever had!

Our delish dessert.  I had a picture of my half eaten steak, but thought this might look a little more appetizing than my messy plate.

The orginal Morton's chef...isn't he just the cutest chef???

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tornado Destruction

Matt drove his truck yesterday and let me snap some pictures of the tornado aftermath that hit Raleigh on Saturday.  These pictures were from a neighborhood about a mile away from our house.  Most of the major damage seemed to be caused by fallen trees.  This wasn't the worst of it, as many homes and business in North Raleigh and surrounding towns were completely leveled to the ground.  Please be praying for North Carolina!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Book Review: Blind Hope (Meeder & Sacher)

Let me start out by saying that I am a huge fan of dog books in general.  I started out as a young girl, reading James Herriot books, and over the years have added books such as The Art of Racing in the Rain, to my list of all time favorites.  Therefore, I was excited to read Blind Hope, by Kim Meeder and Laurie Sacher.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed with the way the story was told.  The book is narrated by Meeder, the owner/operator of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch.  She tells the story, mainly through dialogue, of Sacher, a staff worker at the ranch.  Laurie, in turn, tells the story of her blind dog, Mia, and the lessons she learned from her.  Don’t get me wrong, the story is good, and the lessons learned, admirable, but the relaying of stories from one person to another and finally to the reader allows the plot to become rather lackluster.  As the reader, I found it somewhat monotonous to overhear a conversation that someone had with someone else about their life.  I would have found it much more interesting if Sacher just wrote her own book.
Aside from the storytelling aspect, the book is sweet.  Themes of brokenness, trust, and hope run through, all pointing Sacher back to her relationship with God.   Some of the lessons seem rather cheesy, but I chalk it up to the writing, not to the actual story.
In the end, I would probably skip this book if you are an avid reader of dog/animal books.  There are many more out there better written.  However, if this is your first go around with a canine story, I think it is a sweet, simple read to add to your library.

(Waterbrook Multomah Publishers/Blogging for Books provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

An Update from Jackson

This is Jackson.  I've snuck on the computer while my family is out to give you an update.  Since my last post, things have gotten worse.

First off, I've developed strange habits.  One of my new-found comforts is to trap myself in the office.  At first, my family thought I kept getting trapped accidentally, but I've been caught nudging the door shut with my nose.  And if they are home, I just sit there and wait for them to discover that I am stuck.  I like to be rescued.  If they are not home, I try to dig myself out and create masterpieces like this:

Mommy and Daddy were none too happy about my attempt to get out.  Mommy covered the hole up with duct tape until they decide to replace the carpet.  She said it looked classy...

...but I think she was being sarcastic.  Another habit that I've developed is to eat...ummm...stuff that I'm not supposed to eat.  Non-edible things.  Yes, I admit, I've been doing that.  I don't know why I do it, as it certainly does not taste good, but Mommy diagnosed me with a form of OCD and I trust her because she is a therapist.

Oh, if you thought I moved on from my old habits, you are wrong.  I still gnaw on the master bedroom door frame and leave pools of drool (Hey, I rhymed!) that stain the carpet every Wednesday night when Mommy and Daddy have people over for their weekly Bible study.

While they learn about Jesus, I remind them of total depravity and the effects of the fall.  Hey, someone has to do it.

Lastly, I've been getting comments lately on my weight gain by friends, family, and the veterinarian.  I am self-conscious and feel rather embarrassed when Mommy calls me Triangle Butt.

I guess looking at this picture, I can see it in my hips and thighs.  And stomach.  And pretty much my entire torso.  It probably doesn't help that I'm eating extra non-edible "snacks" throughout the day.  How does that work anyway?  Can I still gain weight from eating non-food?  Am I thinking too hard?

Please, someone save me before they take more picture of me like this:
They claim they still love me immensely, but sometimes I wonder...

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Hummels

A beautiful script on the floor...done with lights!

Elizabeth and her daddy, dancing while waiting for their turn at the rehearsal.  Makes my heart melt.
Gorgeous decor in the ballroom.  I felt like Cinderella :)

Congrats, Alex & Elizabeth!

Almond-Crusted Tilapia

We've been trying to eat more fish lately, so I've been searching online for non-fishy-tasting recipes :)  Yesterday I made Almond-Crusted Tilapia from and it was delicious!  The pairing of sweet almonds and salty parmesan cheese worked wonderfully in this dish.
1 egg
1/2 t. lemon pepper
1/2 t. garlic pepper
1/2 c. ground almonds
1 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
4 (6 oz.) tilapia fillets
2 T. all-purpose flour for dusting
3 T. butter
Salt to taste
Lemon wedges

Beat the egg with the lemon pepper and garlic pepper until blended; set aside.
Stir together ground almonds with 1/2 c. of Parmesan cheese in a shallow dish until combined; set aside.  I didn't have grated Parmesan, so I substituted shredded Parmesan.
Dust the tilapia fillets with flour, and shake off excess.  Dip the tilapia in egg, then press into the almond mixture.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook tilapia in melted butter until golden brown on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side.  Reduce heat to medium, and season with salt if desired.  Sprinkle the tilapia with the remaining 1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, cover, and continue to cook until the Parmesan cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the tilapia to a serving dish, and garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.


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