The Muffin Man…I am

Chocolate covered strawberry muffins
via the Muffin Man

That’s right.  I am the MUFFIN MAN.

Every Sunday I have a tradition with my family.  While I am up early preparing and praying over my sermon and Sunday morning at Fellowship, I make muffins.  I try not to make boring muffins.  I try to make really good muffins.  My kids are excited about muffins on Sunday.

Why?  I want my kids to be excited about Sundays.  I try to use this to make this day start special at home before it is special at church.  It is their favorite day of the week and I think it should be.  It is my favorite day of the week.  I love to worship the Lord.  It is a great privilege to honor him through obedience by assembling together with his people for his purposes and his praise.  I want my 3 kids to know this.

So this post is probably the first of many sharing recipes, scriptures, and thoughts of a man trying to leave a legacy.  If muffins leave behind a love and passion for Jesus, then my heart is filled and my prayers answered.

Sunday, July 15 I made chocolate covered strawberry muffins.  (A big hit)

Jiffy brand strawberry muffin mix (follow the instructions)
plus add in a little Hershey’s chocolate syrup.

Cook for 8 minutes.
Remove from oven
use a spoon to make a crater in the top of each muffin.
Add a spoonful of chocolate mini chips to the top of each muffin.

Cut up some fresh strawberries
pour a spoonful of sugar on them
mush them up with a fork

Remove muffins.
Top muffins with strawberry mixture.
drizzle top with chocolate syrup.

Serve with Scripture try to tie into the concept of the muffin.  COVERED was our word.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love COVERS over a multitude of sins.  1 Peter 4:8

Memorize the passage all week worth your kids.  Talk about how it applies.  Teach the concepts of forgiveness and grace.  Make it the conversation of the week.

This recipe is less about muffins and more about faith.

Dads,  are you setting the table in your home for Christ to have his place?

What’s first? Yard Work or House Work

This post actually has nothing to do with the weekly distribution of chores.  It is the response to reading Proverbs 24:27 and being hit hard by a truth I think I (and the majority of our society) needs to remember.

Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready;after that, build your house.  Proverbs 24:27

Do the work that lasts first.  

The outside work pays the bills.  It feeds the family.  It establishes the future.  I know that in our culture it is popular thought to get all you can as soon as you can.  We are learning (through our economic situation, foreclosure rates, and national debt) that this mindset does not work.  

You must always doe the outside work first.  The dirt work.  Get out and till the soil.  Bend over and by the sweat of your brow plant the seed.  Work by the toil of your hand to bring in the harvest.  Then store away what is needed for next year to do that work again…THEN build the house.

Typically the work that lasts is the work we want to do last.

Why?  It’s the hardest and least rewarding of the work.  This is the work that produces not what you want but what you need.  We want the house and cool of the shade and the fireplace for the winter, but we need a sustainable future and food on the table.

This truth is not just about money.  It is a practical principle that applies to almost every facet of life.

Marriage…do the hard work first.  Talk about the difficult stuff.  Be honest when it hurts.  Put the other before yourself. Make meeting their need your first priority over having your own met.  The house building will go much more easily if you live this way.

Church life…do the hard work first.  In church planting (starting) the first question is always “where.”  It should be “who.”  Look around our country and Europe and visit all the fancy buildings where the church prioritized where but forgot all about who.  The buildings are beautiful, the stained glass is priceless, and the building is abandoned.  Go into ALL THE WORLD!

Parenting…do the hard work first.  When you want to sweep that inappropriate behavior under the rug, remember bugs live there.  If you want to avoid a bug infestation, clean the house.  Discipline your children when the infection is small…when the stakes are low…when the future is still far away.  That house will stand strong when the storms of life come.

What outside work have you been avoiding while trying to decorate a house that cannot last?

Gummi Worms

“For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep doing.”  Romans 7:19

What does that have to do with gummy worms?  Well, I just finished a bag.  I did not want to finish the bag but I did want to finish the bag.  I wanted to eat one of the few candies I like, but I did not want to eat them either.

Why?  Because I have lost 15 pounds this Spring and Summer.  I had been exercising really good till I did some traveling.  I want to to do good with my body; treat it like the temple of the Holy Spirit.  I want my health to honor Christ and to have the strength and health to serve him long in life.

BUT…I really like to eat.  I like cookies, cake, and all things fried.  I enjoy exercise, but I like to sleep in too.

So the things I want to do; I don’t do.  The things I don’t want to do; I do.  But, in all reality, everything I do, I want to do.

So the issue here is not just what we want; it is what we want more.

“Blessed are those that hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.”  Matthew 5:6

What are you really hungry for?
What does your soul deeply thirst for?

If you are not sure, look at what you are consuming and what you are doing, and you have it.

If you want your appetite change; change your diet.

Sunday Recap 7.15.12

Well…at least I am trying to blog consistently.

Yesterday was Acts 17.  Paul goes into 3 towns.  He shares the love and grace of Jesus as the Messiah in the synagogues and then in Athens has the opportunity to share with them about the Lord in the meeting of the people of the city.  There he starts with their religious zeal and their temple to the unknown god and then he tells them about the Lord…the maker of the Heavens and the Earth.

So the main point of the sermon on Sunday came less from what Paul said but how Paul went about saying it.  I find Paul’s approach enlightening and fresh.  Paul goes into each place and reasons with people.  (This means what he says makes sense.)

He talked about what they did know about to share with them what the did not know about.  In the synagogues they know there was to be a Messiah.  So, he told them Jesus was the Messiah and proved it from fulfilled prophecies.  But in Athens he told the Greeks about God and how he made the universe and everyone in the world. He started with what they knew.  They knew that all the temples they had all over the city were still not covering their need for God.  So they made one to the unknown god.  They needed to know who He was.  They wanted to know who He was…or at least many of them did.

So he tells them.  He does not rebuke them for how they were living without this knowledge.  There is no condemnation for not knowing Jesus was the Messiah.  He does not rant and rail against all the idols.  He does not yell at people for believing what they believe.  He shares with them the Truth…Jesus.

So here is the main point in the sermon yesterday.

No one will ever believe the the Truth because you belittle what they believe to be true.

I want to ask some Christians where they got any idea this would work.  Where did you see people do this successfully?  Where did you see people (who were honoring the Lord God) do this Biblically?

Arrogance is never the answer.

So whether it is in sharing the truth of Jesus with someone who does not believe in Him or whether it is in discussing a Biblical passage or interpretation with someone who does believe, arrogance does not make your answer right.  Belittling them will never make them understand what you believe to be the most important of all truths in the universe.

So show people some respect.  Treat them with love.  Listen to them like they actually mean something to you.  Speak truth.  Don’t back away from your convictions.  Don’t compromise.  But don’t be a jerk.

Sunday’s Coming

Sunday we will be looking at Acts 16. The story is about Paul and Silas. While in jail God broke off their chains and opened the doors. But they did not leave. Instead they stayed and shared the saving message of Jesus with their jailer. He was saved…he and his whole family.

A few thoughts to ponder…

Does anyone experience salvation without a conversation?

If God answered your prayers what would it inspire?