Tuesday, January 11, 2011


You remember the WWJD? bracelets a few years ago. The t-shirts and other paraphernalia that asked the question; "What would Jesus do?" Well, it's a good question. We live in a different age than when He came to earth. There was no internet, cell phones, landlines, or computers, or many of the things we use on a daily basis now. How would Jesus be interacting and living in today's modern world if He were here in person.

I guess that's the point. He is here in person. In us. In those who have believed in His name and received the Spirit of God that raised Jesus from the dead. By proxy to be sure, but we represent Him. We are Him to the world. Scary in a way, isn't it? Huge responsibility.

Lately I've been hearing a new buzz question; "What did Jesus Do?" - well, that's a good question too. Instead of pondering "WWJD?" with a puzzled face as we contemplate each situation we face, we can actually go back and read the Bible and find out some of what Jesus actually did from eyewitness accounts.One passage says that if everything He did was recorded, the books would fill up the whole world.

But, I think we should ask ourselves a different question; "What Would Jesus Have Me Do?" After all, when faced with a sick person, Jesus would have healed them, When faced with a sin problem, He actually went to the cross and suffered a horrendous death and died for the sin of the whole world in order to offer salvation to each person. I simply can't do that. I am not sinless. I am one who is in need of His redemption.

Because I have received His offer of eternal life, I have the Spirit of God with the power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead living in me. When He asks me to do something,  He will empower me to do it. He has specifically asked me to do many things in his Word. I am a woman, a believer in Jesus Christ, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a neighbor, a friend and much more. All of those relationships have specific principles and mandates that He has laid out in scripture for me. Some of them are very straightforward, but sometimes, I have to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide me to the right thing in a specific situation.

What Jesus would do is one thing, and what He did do is another. But my prayer is; "Jesus, what would you have me do?" Amen.

Monday, January 3, 2011

My 5 Favorite K-cups and Other Thoughts on Coffee

Almost 2 years ago, the sweetest sisters in the world (mine) got together and got me a Keurig Special Edition Brewing System. I have enjoyed the convenience of the brewer, and quality cups of coffee. If you are considering buying a brewer, talk to me first and I will try to point you in the most cost-effective direction.
There are many different companies that make the individual K-cups you use with a Keurig, and though I haven't tried every kind, I have tried quite a few, and below are my five favorites. 
First, you should know what my taste in coffee is. Everyone's is different. My kids say I'm a coffee addict, but I say I'm a coffee connoisseur. The difference being; an addict will take coffee if it's available, no matter what the quality. A connoisseur will only drink it if it's GOOD coffee (connoisseur is really just a synonym for snob). Let me clarify what I mean by good; First of all. It should be fresh. As coffee ages, it changes flavor, and not in a good way (read; "goes stale"). Once you have gotten used to drinking fresh coffee, you just might not go back. (Recently, one of my dear sisters bought me some green coffee beans and taught me how to roast it myself. You can't get any fresher than that, but that's a whole 'nother post!). Coffee in K-cup does have an expiration date, but if it's roasted and sealed fresh, the protection from oxidization helps it stay fresh longer.
Secondly, and this is a matter of my taste. I like it dark roasted, bold flavored, and smooth. I prefer caramel, brown sugar, or nutty notes. So, if that sounds good to you, I have a feeling you will like these K-cups as well.
I don't like flavored coffee for two reasons; a. It doesn't taste good to me. b. I have a theory they gather all the old nasty, poorest quality beans, and add flavor to them, and maybe that's why it doesn't taste good to me.
Another thing; I like to use sucanat in my coffee to sweeten it. Not only does it add a bit of a caramel tone, it adds a few nutrients, and I can use a few nutrients! I like half and half for cream. I'm not trying to advertise for anyone here. I get paid nothing for my opinion.
Here are some of the websites I have found to get good prices on K-cups; Shoffee.com (look at Shofco bulk sales)and coffeecow.com - watch for sales, and do internet searches for the best prices. Amazon sometimes has good prices too. The very best deal you can get is, when you register your brewer's guarantee at Keurig, you can buy two 24 packs, get two 24 packs free, but you want to know what you like before you order that much coffee.
Speaking of advertising, there is one brand of K-cup I will never buy. My sister says it tastes like they gathered up all the leftover beans from the garbage, mixed in a little sawdust, and packed it in a K-cup!
OK, here are the ones I LIKE, in no particular order (I don't like to play favorites!)
Tully's Italian Roast
Coffee People's Black Tiger
Wolfgang Puck's French Roast
Coffee People's Jet Fuel
Emeril's Big Easy Bold (Big Easy Intense)
Yep, they are good cups of coffee. I hope you can find your favorites. Comment and tell me what they are and why. I love to read your thoughts!
In the picture you can see my journal and my study guide for the next Women's LifeGroup study at Seacoast Church, Greensboro. I love that group!
I think I'm a little A.D.D., or maybe it's just the caffeine.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Growing Your FaithThrough Fiction

When I was a child, my mother made the first order of every day to read a portion of God's Word. It was a habit that my parents thought would benefit me for the rest of my life. They believed that God of the Bible is the source of all truth and the that Bible is His specific revelation of Himself and His purposes for human kind. Over the years I have studied and searched for myself, and have come to believe this as well.
However, part of my journey, (a very influential part), was the writing of great thinkers like C. S. Lewis and George MacDonald.
As a side note, the writings of George MacDonald were a great influence in Lewis's personal journey of faith along with the writings of G. K. Chesterton. (His book, "The Everlasting Man" led Lewis to take the final step in becoming a Christian).
Yet, it's not the deep, intellectually challenging writings of these men that have influenced me, but rather their fictional writings. Though my faith was born on the revelation in the Bible, and the testimony of my parents, it grew much on the fictional fantasy writings of these two men (Lewis and Macdonald). "The Chronicles of Narnia" (Lewis) "Lilith", "The Princess and the Goblin" "At the Back of the North Wind" (Macdonald) and others.
As an adult, it seems I have lost the childhood wonder of these imaginary worlds, which I believe in some ways reflect more vividly the realities of the spiritual world than our day to day thought processes in neatly packaged boxes usually allow for.
Perhaps my caution to assure the truth and theological accuracy have stolen some of the wonder. I don't want to compromise truth. Yet I know that I have nearly strangled out my ability to write creatively. Maybe I have given in too easily to the constraints of daily life. I have sought discipline to the death of creativity, and ended up with neither.
Their writing didn't shape my theological or philosophical understanding of life, but I grew in faith and passion because of them.
I love what Chesterton says about his success;

I think I owe my success [as a journalist] to having listened respectfully and rather bashfully to the very best advice, given by all the best journalists who had achieved the best sort of success in journalism; and then going away and doing the exact opposite…I have a notion that the real advice I could give to a young journalist is simply this: to write an article for the Sporting Times and one for the Church Times and put them in the wrong envelopes. . . What is really the matter with almost every paper, is that it is much too full of things suitable to the paper.
G.K. Chesterton
Maybe I'm just a rebel after all!