Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Snare of Compare & The Things We Don't Want

Today I listened to a sermon by Carolyn Mahaney called "The Snare of Compare: What to Do with Those Things I Can't Do Anything About" (or something like that).

It was excellent, and I needed to hear it!

She read through and discussed John 21:15-22.

In this passage, Jesus says to Peter when Peter compares himself with John, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” (v.22). Wow! What a rebuke! Jesus had just told Peter he was going to die by crucifixion. Instead of sympathy when Peter wonders whether John will experience such a violent fate, Jesus gives Peter a rebuke!

This quote by C.S. Lewis from The Horse and His Boy says it well:
“Child,' said the Lion, 'I am telling you your story, not hers. No one is told any story but their own.”

These are good words for us! There are those times we find ourselves asking God things like this:

"Why is her hair always perfect-looking and mine is always so hard to deal with?"

"Why was she able to get pregnant without even trying when I've struggled with infertility for 10 years?"

"Why would you give me a husband who doesn't seem to take initiative in leading his family? Her husband seems like such a good leader..."

"Why are her kids such well-behaved young men who love the Lord? I'm trying my best to raise my sons in the Lord, and they still just don't want to follow Him!"

"Why should I still be single at 37 when she just married at age 21?"

In times like these, Carolyn reminds us that:
"The Lord would rebuke us in the same way He did Peter. He would say to us, 'What is that to you? What I have assigned to her is not your concern.' This is the most loving thing He could say to us. Truly! The Lord will not allow us to live with hearts that are enslaved to comparison, because He loves us! He doesn't want our hearts trapped by the snare of comparison. He wants to set our hearts free! That's why He seeks to free you and me from our fixation with others."

And Jesus gives us a better way—"You follow me," He says.

Instead of looking at others, let's follow the One who is sovereign and will provide all that we need for what He calls us to!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sharing Slow Cooker Recipes!

Last night we enjoyed some wonderful beef stroganoff that had been cooking in the slow cooker all day. This was my first slow cooker cooking experience! It turned out GREAT!

Here's the recipe:

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

  • 1 lb cubed beef stew meat
  • 1 10.75-oz can condensed golden mushroom soup
  • 1/2 c chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 c water
  • 4 oz cream cheese


  1. In a slow cooker, combine the meat, soup, onion, Worcestershire sauce and water.
  2. Cook on Low setting for 8 hours, or on High setting for about 5 hours. Stir in cream cheese just before serving.


Your turn! I'm trying to learn more slow cooker recipes. Please share a comment with a link to your favorite recipe!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Behold the Lamb of God

Well, folks, yesterday was the day. The day to commence the listening of Christmas music. 

I always start the Christmas season each year with a listen to Andrew Peterson's album, Behold the Lamb of God. Take a listen here if you haven't heard it!

This album is a powerfully painted musical/lyrical portrait of the whole story of scripture, starting with the Old Testament and continuing on to share the story of how God became man in order to rescue His Beloved. 

I can never get enough. 

It embodies this idea: 
‎"No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne—everything—to rescue the ones he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life! It takes the whole Bible to tell this story. And at the center of the story, there is a baby. Every story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in the puzzle—the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture." -Sally Lloyd-Jones (from The Jesus Storybook Bible)

An original piece of art I made for Christmas a few years ago

Friday, November 9, 2012

Look Directly Forward.

Lately I've been reading Proverbs. Which God is good to have given me the idea for, since lately I've also needed wisdom. Today, as I was reading, on verse in particular stuck out to me. I needed to be reminded:

Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.
Proverbs 4:25

Oh, how I need His strength to do this!

Look directly forward... not at "you're not enough."

Look directly forward... not at "of course you're enough—you don't need God."

Look directly forward... not at the to-do list.

Look directly forward... not at the shifting sand.

Look directly forward... not at the lies.

Look directly forward... at the God who is there.

Look directly forward... at the God who created the universe.

Look directly forward... at Jesus Christ (!), crucified on my behalf (!!), risen (!!!), and seated on His throne (!!!!).

Look directly forward... at "no more condemnation."

Look directly forward... at the God who promises to provide.

Look directly forward... at the God who promises to "never leave you or forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)

Look directly forward... at the God who keeps all of His promises.




Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven's joys, O bright Heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all!

And so, what have we to fear?