Monday, January 18, 2010

Savoring a Cup of Tea: Colossians 1:9-14

This is a terrific passage to pray through for yourself, your husband, your children, family members, friends, .... It says it all. This is one that Sharon Jaynes, author of Becoming the Woman of His Dreams, recommends praying for your husband. I pray this for my children and myself, too! I certainly need endurance and patience with joy. I'd love my children to be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and understanding. What a delight if our family all walks in a manner worthy of the Lord!

9And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Savoring a Cup of Tea: 1 Corinthians 13

Posted by Betsy

This passage is standard fare at weddings, on Christian Valentine's Day cards, and in collections of Scripture passages. But how many of us really meditate on this passage, pray through it, or seek to apply it to our own families? Paul gives us no qualifiers on this statement of Christian love. There is no "love is patient except when little Johnny is refusing for the 50th time to eat his peas." Or, "love keeps no record of wrongs except when hubby forgets my birthday again." Or "it is not irritable except when you don't get enough sleep the night before." No. Paul writes this beautiful statement of what love is with no qualifiers. Pray through this passage, asking the Lord to enable you to love those within your own home first. (Passage from ESV and copied from

1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part,10but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

No-Frills-Limited-Selection Grocery Stove v. Huge-Giant-Super-Sized-1-City-Block-Mega Grocery Store

A new Kroger recently opened in my part of town. Yippee, right? Our old Kroger was pretty old. 40,000 square feet and certainly ample for our needs, but not for our wants (other Krogers had artisan bread, sushi counters, fresh fish/seafood, and pretty flowers). So, when the new Kroger was being advertised, I was elated: closer to my house, bigger (83,000 square feet), bulk food, organic food, better produce, etc. etc. etc.

Guess what? I shop at Aldi more than ever now. Why? I daresay Carrie would echo the following sentiments, but these thoughts spring from a conversation I had with my sister-in-law, Erin, over Christmas. She is also lugging a toddler through the grocery store, trying to feed her family healthy and economically, and doesn't want to make any more trips to a grocery store than necessary (just like Carrie and me).

Why is the huge-giant-city-block-sized grocery store not my favorite? Why do I shop at places like Aldi, the produce store down the road, and even the Chinese grocery store? Some things to consider:

  1. Smaller store means fewer choices which invariably helps my grocery budget (not as much temptation to buy things not on the list!)
  2. Smaller store means shorter shopping trip (a bonus if you're dragging young children along).
  3. Smaller store means less distraction for kiddos--not as my toys/candy/etc. to induce cries of, "Mommy, can we get that?"
  4. Smaller store means easier kid-management for the kids that are old enough to walk with you. After all, they can only get 1 or 2 aisles away and you can still them even if they're "across the store."
  5. Smaller store means more friendly staff. The same few people work there and you get more personalized attention or at the very least, a friendlier cashier. (In fact, this morning my produce store folks gave me free apples and significantly reduced bell peppers; this happens frequently. Of course, I've been shopping there roughly once a week for 4.5 years and the same folks have worked there the whole time.)
Ironically enough, Sam's is another place I don't mind shopping when I have my kids along. It's actually a similar experience to the others except that I'm doing more walking. The aisles are so industrial that there are few impulse buys targeted to kids (with the exception of the gigantic candy aisle that I avoid). I can get in and out in a predictable amount of time and am not swayed to buy (too many) things that aren't on my list.

If you're dreading grocery store shopping and/or need to find a better solution for your family, consider 1 or 2 trips to smaller stores during the week and a big stocking up trip to a mainstream grocery store 1 or 2 times a month. You might be surprised at how much better things go even though it seems counterintuitive to shop at a store with limited selection.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Savoring a Cup of Tea: Philippians 2: 1-11

Posted by Betsy

Yesterday, I mentioned the need to pray through Scripture. It helps us pray for the things that really matter, for one thing. Another benefit is that we KNOW these things are what God wants. For instance, take the famous Philippians 2 passage about having the same attitude as Christ. Have you prayed through this passage for yourself? Are you looking to the interests of those in your household as you look to your own? Are you seeking to be a bondservant for those in your household? Are you putting others (in your own household) above yourself? Are you considering them more significant than yourself? I really fail in some of these areas--after all, aren't I important, too? Well, this is what the Lord has called us to be like. In this day and age of "me time," get reoriented by praying through Philippians 2: 1-11. Feel free to make pronouns more personal. Feel free to insert specific names in place of generic words such as "others." Here it is, in the ESV, copied from (a terrific resource--you can print off any passage!). I added the italics.

1So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,

6 who, though he was in the form of God,
did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men.
8And being found in human form,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and
bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.