Monday, February 15, 2016

Easy Crockpot Ribs Recipe

If you are looking for something super easy to make for dinner, check out this yummy rib recipe:

Ribs (I used 2 packages of boneless pork ribs)
2 quarts apple juice (or enough to cover the ribs in the crockpot)

Place the thawed ribs in the crockpot. Cover generously with apple juice. Set crockpot on medium for 4-6 hours. They will be close to falling apart. Using tongs, take them out of the crockpot and place on a cookie sheet. Preheat oven to 350. Slather those ribs in your favorite BBQ sauce and place them in the oven to crisp up a bit. About 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and enjoy the goodness.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tucker's Dating Advice

Our church is hosting a Parent's Night Out for Valentines. 

Tucker (age 10) has some dating advice for those men who will be taking their lovely ladies out...I thought I'd share ...more for my enjoyment (and memory) than anyone else!

1. Drop the kids off at church.

2. Go out to eat someplace nice. Not McDonalds. 

3. After you eat...if the meal was good...give each other a hug.

4. Then go to someplace like Braums for ice-cream. 

5. If you are not married this is when you have to take your date home. 

6. If you are married, go home, get in your comfy clothes, sit on the couch and watch a romantic movie. You should pop some popcorn too. Try not to fall asleep.

7. Don't forget the still have have to pick them up from the church!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Part of Your Story

There are a few things in my past that I hate to include as part of my story. Things I am not proud of. Things that embarrass me. Things that I know have hurt me and those around me. I am not talking about sneaking and watching Children of the Corn when I was 11 or wearing culottes skiing in high school or even the time I wore my moms dress to school when I was in the 7th grade (she was out of town). While these are all things I would like to forget and certainly weren't among my shining moments, they pale in comparison to other shame-filled parts of my story.

Recently as I was reading the genealogy of Jesus, I noticed that both Tamar and Rahab were mentioned by name as part of Jesus' lineage. Both were harlots, prostitutes. And I wondered about why God would want them included in His Word and especially in the beautiful gospels telling of His precious son's birth.

Was it because He knew there would be those of us who were so spotted that we would need to know that God uses all kinds of people to accomplish His purpose? Was it so we would understand that flawed and imperfect people can be redeemed? Was it so God could prove that no one has done too much or strayed too far to be touched by Jesus? Was it so Jesus could share His story with others who had sinned the same way?

I don't know why...but I am sure glad that God found a way to included these women and that in His Word He didn't hide their names or gloss over their portion of the lineage. It was part of Jesus' story. It challenges me to find a way to share all of my story...not just the parts that are pretty and put together...but the parts where Jesus pulled me out of the trash of this world and let me know life with Him is more...more beautiful, more fulfilling, more adventurous, more peaceful, more honest, more loving....more than I could ever imagine.

Instead of letting Satan tell us we aren't good enough because of our past, let's find ways to bring glory to God by telling others how He saved us from ourselves! Satan and his forces have robbed us of enough..God ordered your story and although those parts that we are ashamed of can drag us down if we focus on ourselves, those same parts can lift our Lord up by sharing with others what a compassionate, long-suffering, faithful God we serve. We don't have to live in shame anymore! We have victory because of what HE has done! Now that's worth sharing!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Flying Birds and Wafers

Can you imagine if God said He was going to supply your nourishment needs by sending flying birds in such abundance every morning that you'd be able to reach out and grab them? And that He'd send wafer like crackers to fall on the ground every morning so that you had enough for food for the day? You might have a hard time believing Him. But that's exactly what He did for the Israelites. He provided for them daily...every single time they needed food or water, He made a way. He used Moses' rod as an instrument to turn bitter waters to sweet and rocks to dessert streams. What an amazing God!

And you'd think after He'd done all that the Israelites would have been in awe...that they'd be overflowing with praise and worship of their God. That they'd be convinced that He was the real deal. Faithful. Loving. Present. Provider. And yet, time after time after time, guess what they did? Yep, they complained.

Complained that Egypt was better. That God has brought them out of enslavement to leave them in the dessert and die. They complained that the food was better, the water was cleaner, pharaoh was a better leader and that the pasture was greener in Egypt. And don't you know Moses and God were tired of hearing it!

I wonder if God ever tires of hearing His children whine and complain. Our houses aren't big enough, our bodies are not pretty enough, our children are not good enough, our bank accounts are not large enough, our cars are not nice enough and the list could go on and on. And yet every single day He provides figurative quail and manna for us...He gives us everything we need.

Complaining goes hand in hand with discontentment. Two ugly sins that influence other areas of our lives. If I'm whiny...I'm giving others around me permission to whine. If I am discontent, nothing will ever truly satisfy...there will not be a house big enough, a car nice enough, a husband smart enough. Because I am looking at others as if they are the problem when really the problem is me. I am not satisfied with God's provision for me. I am not content with the quail and manna He has chosen and provided for me. When I complain, I'm telling God I don't think that He's orchestrated my life correctly...maybe I don't think He knows what He's doing.

But His Word tells me differently. He has provided for my every need. He knows my steps. He desires good things for my life. He has made a way. Every good and perfect gift is from Him. He places value, not in things, but in people. He is sovereign. He knows what He's doing. All I need to do is trust. He's got this. Today, tomorrow and forever.