Much & Link Love – Final 2010

Well, here we are, last week of 2010. How has your 2010 been? Everything you wanted it to be and more? Not quite what you expected? Heartache? Disappointment? Unexpected joys? Tears? Laughter? All of the above? 2010 was different for me, grand, but very tough in some areas. 2011…who knows what it will bring, but that’s for another post.

1. When will I ever stop trying to measure up to some people’s expectations of me?
2. I love seeing old, and dear, friends.
3. Hit the ground, running!
4. I love hearing people’s heartbeats for their city: like these people who love the Bull Street City.
5. Country music helps me make it through long drives on 95!
6. There are dear friends in my life, these are the friends that you don’t have to see every day or talk to every day, but your life would be no where near the same without them, they are ones you call out to if you need ANYTHING!!! Two such couples are Brad and Lindsay Weldy and Clarissa and Bob Bacon. Love them! God is so gracious to me.
7. The sunrise was beautiful this morning.
8. I had a white boxing day, though I had a 70 degree Florida Christmas. Thankful for the break.
9. This week: reading Radical and Death by Love.

1. Love Mark Hall and this song makes more sense now that I know it is a poem.
2. Most of you may not know who Danny Franks is, but you need to know him and his sense of humor.
3. I will need this every Thursday in 2011.
4. Do you never ask God for more patience? If you don’t, then you don’t need to read this. For the rest of us, check this out by Resurgence.
5. For all you crafty people out there, what to do with all those Christmas cards?

I hope everyone enjoyed a very Merry Christmas, the snow, the sun (depending on what part of the world you live in), and will have a very Happy New Year later this week. I know God is good to me (Psalm 84:11) and that is why I anticipate the new year!

much love – kd

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Sara Foster’s Jamaican Black Bean Soup

I love black beans. I love soup. I love all things Foster’s Market. So…this would be a perfect recipe, right. You are right – very yummy. The lime juice definitely makes this a winner for me. We served it today for lunch. My Dad makes great yellow rice and paired quite well with the soup. Not that it’s cold down here in Lakeland or anything, but soup is good anytime!

1 lb dry black beans (rinsed over night, drained)
1/4 cup evoo
1 red onion, diced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
4 ribs celery, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
8 garlic cloves, chopped
1 granny smith apple, chopped
1 T basil, dried
8 cups red-sodium chicken broth
4 bay leaves,
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
juice of 3 limes

Cook black beans for about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, saute onion in the evoo for about 10 minutes. Then add the rest of the veggies for about 10 minutes. Then add the broth and seasonings.
Add to black beans and simmer about 75 minutes, or until done to your liking. Add juice and serve!
You can probably use canned beans and make this a lot quicker.

Enjoy!

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Triple Layer Brownies

My Mom does make some great things when she follows recipes. She knows I am kidding when I say this, but she also knows its partly true…her lack of following directions when she bakes – kinda whatever she wants to put in there is what goes.
Well, let me tell you – these were in the fridge when I got home, and they were so good…so here is her recipe!

2 brownie mixes (1 supreme, 1 regular)
mix according to directions – so you’ll need eggs, oil, and water)
4 cups mini marshmallows
1 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 T butter
1 cup peanut butter, creamy
2 cups rice krispies.

Brownies mixes to package, spread in 10×15 pan (sprayed and foiled) and bake according to directions, or about 15 minutes at 350.
While hot, sprinkle marshmallows on top (1 whole bag). Return to over for 3 minutes.
Take a knife, dipped in water, and spread out the marshmallows. Let cool.
Mix the pb and chocolate chips and butter, over low heat, till melted. Stir. Take off heat and add in rice krispies.
Spread over brownies.
Chill, cut, and serve at room temp.

Enjoy!

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Death by Love: Driscoll – Chapter 1

I took advantage of a free PDF given to blog world by Mark Driscoll for his book Death By Love and read it over lunch at Jersey Mike’s. Good sub: so much better chapter. This book, unlike any recent book in my memory, rocked my world – exactly where I needed it rocked.
The first chaper of Mark’s book is describing a lady’s torment of sin in her past and how she kept living in the daily reminder of that sin even though she now is a believer in Christ. The rest of it – his response to her with truths of freedom and gospel. Here we go. No matter what habitual sin or remembrance of habitual sin you face: Jesus is Bigger. He is Conqueror.
We are to “live a life of repentant holiness by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (38) I often think when I’m doing well in certain areas, that its just that – me. I need to remember that even my good works are filthy rags. I am nothing, Christ in me, is everything.
‘Because you belong to Jesus, you have all authority to rebuke and reject these evil influences in your life.” (40) Again, I think I am reminded in this chapter just how often I try to live the Christian life in my own power. But, throughout the NT we see that we can’t do anything without the power of Christ. Matthew, Acts, Colossians come to mind immediately where it says that Jesus has all authority. I need to walk daily in that authority – not my own. I need to preach this authoritative gospel in my life. (ok, side not, will write blog on authoritative gospel soon). This is a daily active priority. This isn’t just when I’m struggling or doing well. It is minute by minute!
Driscoll quotes Thomas Brooks (a puritan writer): “Our Enemy will bait our hook with anything that we find desirable. This means that He will gladly give us sex, money, power, pleasure, fame, fortune, and relationships. Satan’s goal is for us to take the bait without seeing the hook, and once the hook is in our mouth he then reels us in to take us captive. His gifts are often very good things offered for sinful uses.” (43) I think this is why some sin can have a stronger hold than others. If you have more questions about that, email me. I’d love to talk about it.
“On the cross, Jesus died in your place for your sins. Practically, this means that every single sin you have committed or will ever commit was forgiven, and every sin that was committed or ever will be committed against you was cleansed in full without exception.” (43) This is such a difficult concept and TRUTH to grasp when I sin every day. The gospel isn’t about me, its about Jesus. This promise wasn’t made by a powerless man, but by an all-powerful God.
Colossians 2:13-15 will be going on an index card and hanging in my car, on my mirror, on my fridge, wherever I will see it – on my laptop cover…
“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the ruler and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in Him.”
“Jesus stepped forward and declared that He already paid the penalty for your sins on the cross, canceled any right Satan had to hold you captive, and defeated your Enemy along with his servants and their works and effects in your life.” (45) Do you hear the glorious gospel and hope-giving Truth in that sentence?
Because of this I (we) can:
Colossians 1:10-14 “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. he has delivered you from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
“Either way,you disbelieve in the finished work of Jesus on the cross for your sin, and you will be compelled toward either despair or religion but not toward Jesus. In these seasons, you will find an anchor for your soul by meditating on Romans 8:1.” (50)
Way to combat: “Jesus is your shield. The psalms often speak of God as our shield, remaining under Jesus Christ is your only place of safety. Therefore, the key is to walk continually and closely with Jesus, and if you should stray fro under his shield, return quickly to repentance.” (51).
Pray offensively. This is crucial. I have a weak prayer life, by all accounts.

Cant wait to finish the book.

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Much & Link Love: Christmas Week

Two weeks left in the year. You know when you are celebrating Christmas, the year is almost gone. I leave tomorrow to head to the home state of Florida, by way of Georgia.
1. Tim Tebow had a great first quarter of his first NFL debut yesterday. Unfortunately, he plays for a really bad team. Maybe him and Urban can hook back up in then NFL and all will be right with the world. Then maybe Danny and Steve can hook back up in the NFL and the two pairs can play against each other in the Super Bowl and then we’d really know who is the better pair. That’s about all I have to say about the NFL this week – except the Colts did win – yay!
2. I had a very relaxful weekend and I loved it!
3. I’m so glad Ben and Brittany Salmon are in my life. Just sayin’.
4. The three ladies who work in our kid’s min here at Providence are a blessing to me. When I ask questions, need help, or even just witnessing their ministry to the kids and parents that come through these doors.
5. Successful writing day at Bou on Saturday afternoon. Knocked out what I needed to do and engaged two new people that I had never talked to before.
6. Get to hang out with some great college girls today and tomorrow and then friends tomorrow through Sunday – and family of course. Then, I’ll be ready for some down time next week.
7. I’m not satisfied. Never should I be satisfied. I’m more satisfied with some things at the end of this year, less satisfied with others.
8. Have you been thinking of New Years Resolutions (or goals)? I personally like goals better than resolutions? Don’t know why…both can be unattained.

1. My fave female author writes on the Incarnation - perfect for the week of Christmas.
2. Danny hits on the the somewhat stupid tradition of writing Christmas letters.
3. If you are like me and like to read some of a book before you buy it – here is your chance. Mark Driscoll gives you chapter 1 of Death by Love if you haven’t read it.
4. You know Christmas couldn’t come and go without John Piper saying something about Santa?
5. Think I’ll be making these for the first Gathering of the year in 2011.
6. I’m surprised Vogue hasn’t gotten some slack for this because it might resemble the Virgin Mary?
7. Let’s continue to pray for Liam Neeson’s salvation. Even though he isn’t saved, I do love him as Aslan.
8. I love this Simple Advent Calendar.
9. Do you think Dr. Mohler would eat these?

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Book Review: Living in God’s Two Kingdoms

I was really excited when I saw this book on the new release list. I had been in recent conversations with friends about how they were personally engaging the culture, and I attend a church that seeks to “engage the city”, and used to attend a church (before I moved) that modeled engaging the city and culture very well. I was intrigued to see what David VanDrunen had to say about Living in God’s Two Kingdomws (btw, the cover design is really cool).
VanDrunen does a good job at laying out the outline of his book, telling you exactly where he is heading. He engages some of the opposing views and arguments that basically are the foundation of this new “area of theological discussion” (Neo-Calvinism, Emerging Churches, but this is not exhaustive).
I personally do not fully agree with either side. I think one side takes it too far, and one side doesn’t go far enough. Finally, though, the author basically states three ways that Christians are to engage the culture, how a Christian should live successfully as sojourners in this land we call “culture” .
1. “Christians should pursue cultural activities not with a spirit of triumph and conquest over their neighbors but with a spirit of love and service toward them.” (p 124). Wow – I think this is probably the toughest one of his three and I wholeheartedly agree. Even our redeemed status doesn’t make us perfect yet, and I personally often struggle with motive.
2. “The New Testament calls us to critical engagement with human culture.” (p 126) I almost wish his whole book would camp out on this point. This is where I try to engage the culture. I learned this well from a friend and professor at SEBTS, and I love reading through secular books, watching movies, and looking at art with this critical mind at work.
3. “The New Testament calls us to engage in cultural activities with a deep sense of detachment from this world and of longing for our true home in the world to come.” (p 126) This is probably the hardest for me to deal with on a personal level. As I get more into style, design, photography, clothing, I tend to step back into a materialistic mindset which the Lord has saved me from, but Satan likes to wedge his foot in my mind.
While the author does a good job at bringing in cultural examples and has a personable writing style (unlike some theological books on differing subjects), I think VanDrunen could have made this a shorter book and made his argument more simple for the non-theological to grasp.
A word for all Christians: you can’t engage the world by separating yourself from it. Home-schooling families who only allow their children to be friends with other Christians, people who will never go to movies, read secular books, watch television, own ipods, allow their teenagers on social networks…this is no way to engage the culture. Read more on VanDrunen’s point #2.
Wherever you land in this discussion: one thing is for sure: We are to be shining lights in a crooked and depraved generation (Philippians 2)

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Cold Hands Warm Heart: Girl of Norway

Behold, the power of the internet. And blogs. And girls. And designers. And fun gifts. And Christmas. I decided to participate in the Cold Hands Warm Heart Blog Christmas Swap this year as a way to get to know other people. Tine, a wonderful lady from Norway, was my swap partner. She got my package on her birthday (added blessing) and I got her gift today…when she got a promotion at work (happy Friday to both of us).
One thing I’ve learned about Tine is how caring her is – you can tell in her blogs and in her chats on facebook. What a blessing that is! I do hope I get to meet her one day. She is coming to America in 2012. Or, maybe I need to take a little jaunt across the pond.
The best part of her little package she sent my way was the care and family thoughtfulness she put in it. The mittens (my first ever pair of them) were: “My Father’s family is from a place called Trysil. Its known for its big downhill skiing facilities. In the 1930s the community collected patterns from the local woman.” She hand knitted some ornaments with a pattern from Norwegian design duo Arne & Carlos. She is a beautiful knitter (something I am not good at). I appreciate others’ talents. Especially when they bless me with their gifts.
Tine and I have matching hair clips now, and I love pearl! :) And I have been looking for little hair accessories since they are all the rage now. The last fun thing in my little package is something I know Tine really loves, too. So everytime I use it I will think of her. She loves the work of Lisbeth Dahl, a designer. Look at the beautiful work and you will love it, too.
Tine – you are a blessing to me. I loved the personal-ness of this package (and am amazed at your packing ability). Everytime I look at these gifts, I will think of you. Glad we are now friends.

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