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I'm a stay-at-home Dad suffering from Fibromyalgia. I homeschool my daughter and lead worship at my church. I'm also a gamer and a geek and proud of it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Worship Wednesdays: A Heart of Thanksgiving


Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever. -Psalm 136:1



With Thanksgiving just around the corner I thought it would be appropriate to talk a little about giving thanks. Thanksgiving is an important aspect of the heart of the worshiper. One that stems from gratitude for all the blessings God has bestowed upon us. It's cliche but everyday for the believer should be Thanksgiving.

It's easy of course to thank God when things are going well. But what happens when things aren't going well, do we still thank God? I'm not saying we should thank God when are car breaks down or for letting us stub our toe. What i am saying is that even when bad things happen we need to thank God for the blessings He has already given us. We need to thank him even more so during those times.

I can tell you from personal experience that this does not come naturally. The first Thanksgiving after my Dad passed away, it had only been a few months, it was extremely difficult to be truly thankful, but God reminded me over and over again about all the blessing I still had in my life. Remember it is in our weakness, sometimes being mentally too weak to think straight, that God is strong.

I want to encourage you to thank God at ALL times, especially when you feel that you have nothing to be thankful for. In reality we have so much to thank God for, not the least of which is the gift of salvation through His Son. That alone should be enough for us to be thankful, but God didn't stop there and neither should we with our thanksgiving.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Managing Mondays: DIY Cable Organizer

Hello internet, sorry had to take a week off from posting, needed the break, plus we had a hurricane come up the cost. We got through pretty much unscathed but we realize many others were not as fortunate. Our prayers go out to you all in this time of need.

So, this week I'm going to link to last weeks Weekly Download that I uploaded to YouTube in which I presented a DIY project. I basically made a cable organizing system out of a shoe box and toilet paper tubes.

Enjoy!






Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Worship Wednesdays:Lead, Don't Entertain

Scenario:
You just finish up worship on Sunday morning and you're feeling like everything went really well. The band was in sync, the transitions were spot on, and the new song you've been practicing for a month sounded great. To top it off you can sense the presence of God in the sanctuary as you prepare to hear the word. And then it happens. A well meaning saint comes up and begins to tell you that you didn't play enough hymns, the music was too loud, they didn't like the new song, you played too many hymns, the music wasn't loud enough, or one of many other complaints you hear on a weekly basis. How do you feel now? Did they miss the move of God or did you imagine the whole thing?

Being a worship leader is tough sometimes, but I think part of that is because we think that leading worship is just about singing the right songs on Sunday morning, We tend to judge whether or not we are successful by the reaction of the congregation. We treat them as an audience as opposed to those we are meant to lead. As leaders we need to communicate where we are going.

If someone is complaining about a certain aspect of our worship service, we first need to determine if their complaint is legitimate. Let's face it we are human and we make mistakes. If an older saint is complaining that the music is too loud it might be because certain higher end frequency can actually be painful as we grow older. Take time to find the root cause of the complaint. Most times complaints stem from a lack of knowledge about either worship in general or our vision for our worship services.

We treat them as an audience as opposed to those we are meant to lead.

Sometimes people feel worship is just about singing songs and can get fixated on certain styles and genres of music, basically it comes down to preferences. This is a tough area because we all have preferences, even worship leaders. If you are getting a lot of complaints about the style of music from multiple people then maybe you are letting your own preferences dictate the style as opposed to the culture of the church. As leaders we need to keep the culture of our church and our community in mind when selecting songs.

Notice I said both the church and the community. We need to be relevant to the community in which our church is located, otherwise we become an exclusive club for people of similar tastes. Don't get me wrong hymns are great, I make a point to do at least one hymn every Sunday because of the great theology that is expressed within them, but if all we do are sing hymns from 100 to 50 years ago we may have a hard time reaching some of the younger generation. By the same token if your church is located in a community that is predominately retirees, then some of the newer praise music may not appeal to them.

It's ultimately about Jesus.

As leaders we need to teach the people we are leading that worship isn't about our preferences. It isn't about us at all. It's ultimately about Jesus. It's about worshiping Him for who He is and for what He has done for us. The unsaved will respond to our worship but only if it is relevant to them. As a believer I can worship God regardless of the genre of music, as long as that worship is directed at the King of kings.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Managing Mondays: Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Many people have really enjoyed this soup and have asked about the recipe. So, guys this one is for you.

INGREDIENTS:
1 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
1 quart half and half (you can use milk if you want to cut calories)
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
1 cup onion, finely diced
2 minced garlic cloves
1 32 ounce carton of chicken broth (I use organic broth with no msg added)
1 cup carrots, finely shredded (you can purchase shredded carrots in most grocery stores.)
1 cup chicken breasts, cooked and diced (I like to grill mine with a little salt and pepper)
1 package gnocchi, cooked
1 cup of fresh spinach coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Saute the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter and olive oil over medium heat until the onion becomes translucent. Add the flour and make a roux. Let the butter and flour mixture cook until it is golden brown in color (about a minute) before adding 1 quart of half and half.

Cook gnocchi according to package directions.

Into the half and half mixture, add in the carrots and chicken. Once the mixture becomes thick, add the chicken broth. Once the mixture thickens again, add the cooked gnocchi, spinach, and seasoning; simmer until soup is heated through.  Season to taste by adding additional salt before serving.

Note:
It is important to cook the gnocchi ahead of time even if you are making this in a slow cooker. Packaged gnocchi are coated in cornmeal to prevent sticking. Cooking them before hand will rinse the cornmeal off of the gnocchi. If you place the uncooked gnocchi in the soup intending them to cook in the broth the cornmeal will give the soup an unappealing texture.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Worship Wednesdays: The Name of the Lord (Part 4)

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Genesis 17:1

We have already uncovered a few of the names of God in the Old Testament so lets recap;

Elohim - Almighty God 
El Elyon - God Most High
El Roi - God Who Sees

now every time we see El we know it is the shortened form of Elohim. As such the second and third names in the list above can be translated as Almighty God Most High and Almighty God Who Sees respectively. That brings us to the next name we will look at. It is El Shaddai. It is the name for God that appears in Genesis 17. It is translated as God Almighty or literally Almighty God Almighty.

Now that really excites me because in Hebrews when something is repeated it means it is important or needs to emphasized. in this case God is emphasizing His status as the Almighty. He is all-powerful and if we read further into Genesis 17 is going to supply blessings upon Abram. He even changes his name to Abraham. God is also the all-sufficient one, when we are weak, He is strong.

So how should knowing this affect our worship. Well have you ever walked into worship feeling like you have nothing left to give? You are totally exhausted and defeated by life. When we are as weak as weak can be and come before God, He will lift us up. He will give us what we need. He will supply us with all that we need to further His purpose in our lives. If that isn't cause to worship Him, I don't know what is.

One thing to remember is that our worship isn't just the songs we sing it is everything we do. Every moment of our lives should be lived in honor of our God, and He will actually give us the strength to do just that. When we aren't strong enough, He gives us the strength. He never said for us to do things on our own. He wants us to rely on His strength, and in doing so we draw closer to Him, which is the ultimate aim of worship to bring us into relationship with God.

Read Part 5 here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Worship Wednesdays: Preparing the Bride

I've spent the last two days at the Unite Worship Conference in Boston, MA and there are so many things I want to share. I think the place to start is with the things that made the greatest impact on me.

I was privileged to attend a workshop facilitated by Jennie Lee Riddle, for those of you who are unaware of who Jennie is, she wrote Revelation Song. One of the things she mentioned that really made an impact on me was the idea that as song writers and worship leaders it is our job to prepare the bride for the bridegroom.

What this means is we need to give the church, the Bride of Christ, truth she can hold unto in our songs. One of the things she said was that the church didn't need our sentiment, she needs the word of God in order to get through her troubles and trials.

One of the metaphores she used was of a wedding gown designer. A good designer will create a unique gown that fits the bride perfectly not because they want their dress to be noticed but because they want the bride to be beautiful. In writing songs for worship we must never write with the intention of getting famous. Our goal should always be to edify the Bride.

I think this applies to leading our worship services as well. We should never think of what we do as entertainment, or that people are there to watch us perform on a stage. We are there to help the Bride prepare herself for the soon coming Bridegroom. To lead her into the presence of God so her lamp will be full of oil. To impart the truth of God through our song choices so She will be able to hide it in her heart, and will have enough oil to last through the night.

Writing songs for the Bride and leading her in worship are tremendous responsibilities and privileges. We should be both humbled and honored if that is the calling on our lives. Even if you are not a worship leader, if you are a Christian, you are a worshiper, and as such we all must prepare the Bride so she can be presented to her Bridegroom, pure and spotless, on her wedding day.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Worship Wednesdays: The Name of the Lord (Part 3)

This week we turn our eyes to Hagar. You remember her right? Sarai's servant, that she gave to Abram to become his wife? The Bible tells us that when Hagar became pregnant, she despised Sarai. Despised literally means to make light of, to lessen or make insignificant, to put down. Hagar basically rubbed it in, that she was pregnant and Sarai was not. Sarai turns around and treats her harshly and Hagar decides to run away. God comes to her in the wilderness and reassures her that everything will be okay. Hagar then says to the Lord, "You are a God who sees."

That is she calls God, El Roi. God sees all that we go through, nothing is hidden from him. We cannot hide from God. After this God sends Hagar back home to deal with the situation, and God does the same with us. He doesn't want us to run from our troubles. He wants us to face them, and He will be right there with us when we do. God will work all those bad things out for our good. Even when we can't feel his presence, we can know that God is El Roi, the God who Sees.


When we worship in spirit and truth, we can be assured that He is there, even if we can't sense His presence. As true worshipers of the Almighty God (Elohim), God Most High (El Elyon), We can be sure that He is watching over us as the God who Sees (El Roi). Though we are by no means the focus of worship, there are some benefits to the worshiper. There is a comfort that comes from knowing that God always sees and knows what is best for us. As Psalm 9:10 says:

And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

Read Part 4 here.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Managing Mondays:Guacamole Recipe

Winner of the Poll: Guacamole!!!




Ingredients:
2             ripe avocados
1 clove    garlic, grated
1/2 cup   finely chopped onion
2            tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1            jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1            lime
2 tbsp    chopped cilantro
1 tbsp    salt

Directions:

  1. peel and pit the avocados and mash them in a large bowl. Add the juice of half a lime and let sit for 5 min. (I like to use this time to prep my remaining ingredients.)
  2. Add the garlic, onion, tomato, and pepper and mix together.
  3. finally add the cilantro the juice from the remaining half a lime and the salt. stir the mixture together and place in the refrigerator. 
Serve chilled with tortilla chips. I even use it as a spread on sandwiches.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Worship Wednesdays: The Name of the Lord (Part 2)

This week I want to continue looking at the names of God in the Old Testament and talk about how they should influence the way we approach worship. To recap last week we talked about Elohim  which meant the Almighty God and is associated with God being the Creator. This week I want to look at El Elyon.


18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. 19 He blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be God Most High,  








who has delivered your enemies into your hand." He gave him a tenth of all.

The phrase God Most High is repeated three times in the above passage. In Hebrews this is El Elyon. Take a look at verse 19. He is described as the Possessor of heaven and earth. Some translations have this as Creator, but I think Possessor fits nicely here. This shows us God as sovereign, as ruler over all He has created.

Let that sink in for a moment. He is the ruler of EVERYTHING. He can honestly and truly answer why questions with "I said so." It is this name that carries His authority over life. He makes the rules, whether you like it or not. But what about all the bad things that happen to us in life?

2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

Sometimes God uses trials to form something better in our lives, this might be a character trait we are lacking or a way of drawing us closer to Him. God may use wars, famines, floods, and other tragedies to judge nations or to bring people to know Jesus as Savior. More often than not we will never know the reasons behind tragedy and suffering, but we can be sure that God is in control and He knows what He is doing.

He is King of kings and Lord of lords, and we would be wise to remember that He is the focus of our worship. It's not about our personalities, our preferences in music, or our traditions. It's about honoring God and obeying His rules. Ultimately we belong to God our creator, and we worship Him because we were created to worship Him.

Read Part 3 here.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Managing Mondays: Managing Yourself

Some of you may have noticed the sporatic nature of some of the BLOG entries as of late. This is due in part to it being the start of the new school year and also to an increase in church activities, September was a very busy month.

This got me thinking. Am I trying to do too much? Am I overextended? In some ways, yes I am. So, let me say right off the bat that the blog will go on. Though, I think Managing Mondays will be an every other week feature, alternating with the new homeschool focused Teaching Tuesdays. That being said, what are someways that we can avoid future burnout?

1. Set realistic goals. Seriously, the biggest mistake people make when goal setting is setting the bar too high. It's one thing to say you will read your Bible daily, it's another to say you will memorize the entire New Testament by the end of the year.

2. Know your limitations. This goes hand and hand with the first one. This is, honestly, the one I struggle with all the time, especially with having a chronic illness. Sometimes we just want to do more than is physically possible for us to do. I hate to sound cliche but, you really can't be in two places at once.

3. Take time for yourself. As parents, especially homeschooling parents, we tend to place the needs of our children and our children's interests ahead of our own. When was the last time you pursue one of your own interests. We all need to recharge our batteries now and then. Take a sanity break every now and then.

4. Take time with God. Similarly, we need to take time to be alone with God. Make it a priority to read His word and to pray everyday. This can be as simple as a great devotional, or going for a quiet walk where you can talk to Him as you walk. You can even combine it with a sanity break. Tending a flower garden you love lends itself to great conversation with the one who made the flowers bloom.

Remember, we are of no use to our families if we are burnt out and exhausted. Taking time for yourself is definitely a lesson we should not only learn, but also pass on to our children. Just as we want them to be dilligent, we also want them to avoid overextending themselves. Even God took time to rest on the seventh day, how much more do we need to rest?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Worship Wednesdays:The Name of the Lord (Part 1)

"I will sing praise to your name, O Most High." Psalms 9:2a


Scripture admonishes us to sing praises to The Name of The Lord, but many churches today seem to avoid singing "to God," occasionally singing "about God" but mostly focusing on songs "about us." I think this trend leads to many churches being devoid of God's power in their services. There is power when we sing praise to His Name, especially when we realize the significance of His Name.

So, for the next few weeks I'm going to explore the various names of God found throughout the Old Testament, and then talk about how those names should impact our worship.I think the best place to start is at the beginning.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

The name of God here is Elohim. What does it mean though? This word literally means "to fear" or "to reverence". The first part El means "mighty" or "strong". He is the Almighty God. The im ending is very important also as it is a plural ending. 

We would be wise to remember that before the universe began God was already present. He is greater than anything or anyone. He is also found to be the Creator of all there is. That is an awesome thought, that the Creator, the Almighty God, the most powerful being in all the universe, who created the universe and existed outside the universe before it began, chooses to have an intimate relationship with me.

So, next time during your private or corporate worship time remember to sing praises unto His Name. Give praise to the Almighty God as only He is deserving of all our praise.

Read Part 2 Here

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Teaching Tuesdays

So, what is 'Teaching Tuesdays'? Teaching Tuesdays is going to be the heading under which everything related to homeschooling gets placed. It may not make it on the blog every week, but it will quickly highlight that article as relating to homeschooling. These articles will consist of reviews, lesson idea, homeschooling philosophies, etc.,. So, that being said, I need your help. I'm looking for submissions for this new feature. Do you have a favorite curriculum you would like to tell me about, how about a great lesson plan idea, or how about a virtual field trip. If you would like to submit an article for the blog send it to knaptihuved@yahoo.com

So the breakdown of the site is now as follows:

Managing Mondays
Articles dealing with running a household, as a guy many of these things do not come naturally so if I discover some new idea or recipe I figure others may want to know about it too.

Teaching Tuesdays
Articles dealing with homeschooling and education.

Worship Wednesdays
Being a Worship Leader is a great honor and it is also one of my passions.

Fun Fridays
This is where I'll share things of a geeky nature, I'm not just a Homeschooling Dad or a Worship Leader. I'm also a gamer and technophile.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Site Update: New YouTube Bar

So Just added a new feature to the BLOG site. You can now access my VLOGs from my YouTube channel right here on my BLOG page. Just click on one of the thumbnails in the YouTube bar at the top of the site.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Managing Mondays: First Day of School

So, we officially started our school year today. All I can say is "Wow"!

I'm just amazed how much my daughter has retained from our previous years of school. I'm also just a tad proud of her attitude toward school this year. In her own words, "I'm taking school serious this year," and she should. She is starting her 9th grade year so that makes her a High School Student.

I hate to admit that I was a little apprehensive coming into this year, but seeing her attitude toward school this morning gave me some hope for the next 4 years. Maybe we can do this. What am I saying, with God all things are possible, and homeschooling is no exception. speaking of God we have instituted a new tradition this year where we will wait to do our Bible lessons until lunch time. In the past it was the first thing we did, which made sense as we wanted to start the day with God's word. This year though we wanted to find a time when the entire family could do Bible together. Lunchtime makes sense for us as my wife works 2nd shift. That means she isn't home most nights for dinner and she isn't really awake at breakfast time. So we started to day, using our newly purchased copies of Balancing the Sword, and it was some of the best devotional/family time we have had in a while.

I highly recommend taking the time as a family to eat together, pray together, and study God's word together. It doesn't matter when you do it, just do it, and do it often.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fun Fridays: Weekly Download for 9/7/2012

So I actually remembered this week to post this over here, LOL.



I know not everyone is interested in this kind of stuff, so if it doesn't interest you, then you have my permission to move on. LOL.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Worship Wednesdays: Lift Up Your Hands

"Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the lord." Psalm 134:2




I'm still amazed at certain things in the kingdom of God. Take the practice of lifting hands during worship. I still get many questions about the practice and why we do it. Now don't get me wrong it's not the questions that I'm amazed at, it's the answers. I've heard some deep theological thesis given by well meaning Christians that cause non-believers' eyes to glaze over. I've also heard every cliche imaginable.

Ultimately the answer to why we do what we do has to be firmly rooted in scripture.Lifting the hands in worship is no different. So what does the Bible say about lifting the hands. The first reason to lift our hands is in petition. The lifting of hands is a physical expression of someone desperate for God's help.

There are many examples of this practice in scripture:


  • Moses spreads out his hands to the Lord.                                   Exodus 9:33
  • Aaron and Hur lifted Moses' hands in battle.                               Exodus 17:11-13
  • Ezra spread his hands out to God.                                              Ezra 9:5
  • That men everywhere would lift up their hands in prayer.     1 Timothy 2:8
The second reason to lift the hands is to express praise.

  • A wave offering to the Lord                                                       Exodus 29:24
  • All the people lifted up their hands and worshiped.                     Nehemiah 8:6
  • Lift up you hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.               Psalm 134:2
So why do we lift our hands during worship? We lift our hands, because of the example given to us in scripture. I realize some people hesitate to lift their hands due to their background or reserved personality, but it is hard to deny that scripture supports this practice whether in petition or praise.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Managing Mondays: This Year's Homeschool Choices

I get a lot of questions about what curriculum we use in our homeschool. So, I thought I would give a brief run down of our choices and some of the reasons behind those choices.

Let's start with our core subjects:

Language Arts:

LLATL: The Grey Book (8th Grade)

We are returning to the series we love. We took a break from this series last year to focus more on creative writing. So, instead of skipping the 8th grade book we will be picking right up where we left off. There are only 2 High School level books in the series so it will still work out fine in the long run.

I really enjoy this series as the teachers guides are easy to use and they incorporate passages from actual books in all the lessons. The Book Studies this year are particularly interesting as two of the books deal with smuggling Bibles.


Science:
We will be using Apologia's Exploring Creation with Physical Science this year. I love this curriculum as it is written from a creationist view point. The Science is also very sound and the experiments are designed to use common household items to demonstrate the concepts being learned.







History:
Beautiful Feet Books Ancient History is our choice for this year in history. This will be our second time through this wonderful study, having completed The Junior High section of the guide we will now be starting the High School section. This study uses actual literature to teach history and has proven to be a favorite with my daughter, who is an avid reader.







Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Worship Wednesdays: Shout to the Lord



I was rereading my copy of Biblical Foundations for Worship Leadership by Dr. Randy Quackenbush and was once again reminded of Principle #4: Lifting the Voice. Dr Quackenbush makes it a point to take us to one of my favorite verses, Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God,
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10

This verse it seems is taken by many as a guideline for the volume of praise. But lets look at the context of the chapter. The verses preceding this verse talk about natural disasters and nations going of to war, and then God breaks forth telling us to be still. To me it's like God is say, "Hey, chill out, and stop worrying. I got this!" To me this is not a call for God's people to praise him in a soft voice. I've talked about reverence being  of utmost importance when it comes to worship, but a thorough study of scripture shows that the standard volume for praise is loud.

Shout to God with cries of Joy Psalm 47:1b
Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Psalm 66:1

And I could go on and on. Now there are times that call for quiet meditation and even silence, but if Scripture is going to be our guide, then we should "shout for joy" for all that God has done for us.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Managing Mondays:Orchard Chicken Salad

Orchard Chicken Salad

This is one of the few chicken salads my wife will eat. She really doesn't like celery so I tried to think of another way to add some crunch to my chicken salad. I know she likes dried cranberries and apples so I mixed a few into a smaller batch and it was a great hit.


INGREDIENTS:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (grilled and cubed)
2 apples (cored pealed and diced)
1 cup dried cranberries coarsely chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Italian Dressing

DIRECTIONS:

Mix all the ingredients together except the Italian Dressing in a large bowl until well combined. Add Italian Dressing gradually to taste.

This is great both on its own or on a sandwich.




Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Worship Wednesdays:The Joy of the Lord is My Strength

Intellectually I understand that happiness and joy are not the same things. Happiness is conditional, dependent on the situation of the moment. Joy on the other hand is said to transcend circumstances. Like I said I understand this in my head, but I never really experienced it in practice. That is until my Dad got sick.

It was during those months that my Dad was bouncing from Nursing Home to Nursing Home with brief hospital stays in between, that I began to understand what that joy really felt like. I realized that one can only experience the Joy of the Lord when we find ourselves solely dependent on the Lord. 



Our Joy comes from being satisfied in God. Loving God more than anything in the world, and being content in what God has done in our lives, is a great way to cultivate Joy in our lives. And God's Joy will give us comfort and strength in our time of need. It is for this reason that those who trust in God can still "sing for joy" when faced with trials and sorrows.

One needs to remember though that Joy is never at the expense of reverence. Psalm 2:11 commands us to "Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling." Our joy is never an excuse to approach the throne of God with anything other than great reverence and awe.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Managing Mondays: Recycled Organization

So, I was thinking about what to write for today's article when it hit me. I haven't really talked about organization in a while. With that in mind I want to talk about re-purposing existing storage solutions. You know those items that helped you stay organized and for one reason or another are now obsolete. For example, we are currently in the middle of rearranging our living space in order to accommodate an adopted child in our future. To that end my daughter's room has gotten some lovely hand-me-down furniture from her Great Grandmother and her old furniture has headed off into storage, or at least most of it. One item that she had was a grid shelving system that could be reconfigured in numerous ways.


Well as she no longer needs this item, and it will not really fit in the extra bed room, it is going into storage, well at least most of it is. I've been thinking about getting a grid to place on the pantry door in our kitchen to hang our pots and pans on. (They take up far too much space in our cabinets.) When I was taking the shelves apart I thought that these just might work. So laying them flat and reinforcing the connectors with some twist-ties I was able to create a flat grid to place on the door. I used an existing over the door coat rack to hang it in place and then purchased some S-hooks from the hardware section at Walmart and well viola:

It is functional and looks great and the best part is it only cost me around 10 bucks as I already had the coat rack and the twist-ties.

So, have you ever re-purposed your old storage solutions or other items. If so leave a comment and let me know.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Worship Wednesdays: PraiseTools.com REVIEW

I had been looking around for a cost effective solution for distributing our weekly set lists to the members of our worship team. I looked at a lot of free and subscription based solutions and finally found one that did everything I wanted and needed it to do. That solution is PraiseTools.com.


This FREE website offers a great way to store your database of chord charts plus gives you the option of transposing the charts to any key you want (major keys only but if you know the relative major of the minor key it works just fine.) It also tracks the last time a song was played and which songs you play most often.

By entering the members of your team and their e-mails you can then assign which team members will be playing for each individual service and send them an e-mail with a link to the charts for that particular services or event. This way my team becomes responsible for maintaining their own music and updating their books with any missing or changed songs.

The system also allows you to enter the songs CCLI number and can retrieve all the pertinent copyright information for the song. It then populates those fields automatically for you saving time when entering new songs into your database. Of course you can always search through the sites top 100 songs being used by the community and add those songs to your own list. I find that feature amazing as I can see what songs are being used by other churches.

Right now the service is in Beta and is free but there are plans to add a subscription based service with additional functionality in the future. I've been using the system since the alpha release and I have to say that for a Free service it outshines even some of the subscription based sites out there. I just can't say enough about the system and the technical support has been very good about getting back to me on any issues I have encountered. Overall I'd have to give it two big thumbs up.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Managing Mondays: Teaching Character

My Pastor started a new series of lessons on Wednesday night. The first lesson was about "Living with Character." That got me thinking about teaching character to our children. He based his lesson on the Beatitudes, and I thought that would be a great thing to teach to our children. Then it dawned on me, how many of us have actually studied the Beatitudes ourselves. I studied them a long time ago, but truth be told I have seldom looked at them since.

So I have decided that I will start a series of my own on the Beatitudes and how to teach them to our children. I think this is probably one of the most imortant things we can teach our children.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Worship Wednesdays:Serve with Fear and Rejoice with Trembling

The attitude in which we approach God is a direct reflection of our hearts as worshipers. As God initiates His revelation to man, man responds in worship. The proper response is exemplified by the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 6. When overwhelmed by God's presence, He cries "Woe is me." When was the last time you approached God and realized you were undone and unclean. Ultimately we need to remember to be humble when approaching God's throne, for true worshipers are marked by their humility expressed as genuine reverence.

"Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling" Psalm 2:11

The "fear" of the Lord is more accurately referred to as "awe." When a healthy respect for God intersects with our joy over what He has done, we begin to understand what that verse means. Consider the women at the empty tomb in Matthew 28:8-20 They were overcome with both fear and joy at the Resurrection.

This is the proper response when ever we approach God's throne as it is through His mercy we can enter his presence. Humility is directly linked to a heart that is grateful. The converse is also true that a prideful heart cannot appreciate God's mercy. A worshiper should take time to dwell upon this reality on a regular basis.

If we want God to move mightily in our services we need to keep Christ as the center of those services. I firmly believe that in order to do that we need to maintain a sense of awe and reverence in regards to his mighty work Salvation.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Managing Mondays: History Pockets Review

I absolutely love arts and crafts type projects to reinforce what we are learning. Throw that together with my love of history and I just could not get enough of History Pockets. Each workbook in this series comes with full instructions to create a series of pockets made out of construction paper. Each pocket is devoted to one aspect of the historical period or civilization being studied (i.e. while studying Greece there are pockets for History, Politics, Military, etc.) The workbooks contain all the reproducible sheets for all the projects as well as a list of all the additional supplies needed for those projects.



The Workbooks themselves come in two categories based on grade level (1-3 and 4-6) and cover a wide range of historical civilizations and time periods with multiple workbooks devoted to the different stages of American History. The pages are fully reproducible and the workbooks are also available in PDF format so you can print them out as you need them.


I actually used these in conjunction with our primary history curriculum in a similar fashion to a lapbook and the results were amazing. I highly recommend them.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Worship Wednesdays: Keeping the Next Generation

There is a trend among churches that has gone on for a long time. It separates and segregates us by age and/or generation. Why do we tend to relegate our children and youth to second class Christian status? We provide our children with watered down Bible stories that entertain and keep them quiet and out of trouble. Some churches even send the kids out of the sanctuary entirely. I've heard stories from families who have visited other churches where they were actually asked to leave because they didn't want to put their newborn in the nursery. Then there are churches where the children never participate in the "adult" service at all having a Mega Kid's Church or Super Church where everything is high energy and Fun and Games.

Now don't get me wrong I'm not against Children's Church. I think it has its place in educating and discipling our children, but I don't think children should never be a part of the a regular service. They need to see what church is really like, and they need to participate in those services, not just watch. How do we do that though? The answer is actually simpler than you might think.


  1. Have the Kids stay in the sanctuary during the music portion of the Worship Service.
  2. Have children, partnered with and adult, act as greeters and ushers. (Kids can hand out bulletins just as easily as most adults and in some cases even better.)
  3. Have them participate as part of the Worship Team or start a children's or mixed age choir to do special music for the offertory.
Our treatment of Youth is even worse at times in that Youth Groups tend to also be high impact and then we expect our teens to sit and be silent during Sunday Morning Services. Some churches even have separate services for their youth on Sunday mornings. Then when they turn 19 or 20 we expect them to start acting like adults and sit in the regular service. Again we need to engage this generation or we will lose them. A staggering number of teens leave the church soon after entering college, and very few if any come back after college. So how do we solve this problem, the solution is simple.

  1. Youth need to feel connected to the church so get them involved. (the first thing I did when I took over Worship at our church was to invite some of our youth to sing with us on stage.)
  2. let them know they matter and solicit input from them. They're a part of the church as well.
  3. Encourage them to become Junior Members. They need the sense of ownership.
  4. Protect them from people, who may or may not be well intentioned, who try to brush them aside. (for example when I brought the youth up on stage that first Sunday, Some folk question why they were up there, and stated point blank that they shouldn't be allowed on the stage. We did correct those individuals, gently of course, and now people asked where the youth are when they aren't on stage.
Overall if we don't want to lose the next generation we need to give them a reason to stay. After all, and this goes for children, youth, and even adults, God didn't save us to warm a pew. So get the younger generations involved. If you have budding musicians have them play with you on Sunday Morning (especially those trumpet and flute players.) Have the youth work in your sound booth with the presentation software or even the light and sound boards (Both great skills that can go on college applications). Have the children that have outgrown Children's Church become helpers instead. The possibilities are endless but each requires one thing, a little of our time invested in them.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Managing Mondays: Sometimes Something Has to Give

So originally I was thinking that I would write a review of one of my favorite pieces of software. I even carved out sometime in my schedule last week to really do a thorough job. But, as some of you may already know from my VLOGs all week, we had VBS at church last week. I knew VBS would take a lot of my time last week but forgot to factor in how much energy it would take.

As some of you may be aware I suffer from Fibromyalgia Syndrome or FMS. And sometimes when I'm feeling good I forget how easy it is to push myself too far. The problem is that when I start to feel like I may have overdone it, it is already too late, sometimes it's too late before I feel it. What I'm saying is I need to really pace myself to the point of feeling like I'm moving at a snails pace at times.

Needless to say I did not get the review done, I didn't even look at the software all week. So, here I am typing away trying to figure out what to write about today, when it hit me. I'm already saying what needs to be said. Sometimes, something has to give. Sometimes, I just can't do it all, and that's ok. Trying to live, never mind homeschooling and managing a household or trying to publish a blog and operate a YouTube channel, with a chronic illness isn't easy and sometimes you have to accept your limitations. So the laundry didn't get folded or there are some pans in the sink, is that really what's important.

Take my daughter's education. Do we get to do all the academics I have planned out for the year? No. Do I get to mold her character and prepare her for life as a responsible and caring adult? Yes. So we didn't finish her science book (we still get more done than the public school) and we didn't learn much about Algebra, but she did learn the importance of family and responsibility.

So, Will I ever do that review? Maybe, maybe not.

Does it matter? Not really.

In the long run I chose to use what little energy I had last week, serving God by being a blessing to over 50 kids at VBS. I think I made the right choice.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Worship Wednesdays: In the Pursuit of Excellence

You will notice in the title of this article I said excellence not perfection. I think that is the first thing we need to remember when it comes to worship, we should never strive for perfection because we are never going to reach it. If we wait for everything we do to be perfect then we will do nothing. What we need to do is strive for excellence, that means we need to constantly strive to do our best. We should also be actively seeking to improve our talents and abilities in order to achieve even greater excellence. The flip side is that we can handle failures much easier if we know that we offered our best.


 We should never strive for perfection because we are never going to reach it.


As I have mentioned in earlier posts, God expects us to serve him with excellence. The bible is full of references to excellence.



  1. God recognizes excellence in His creation (Gen 1)
    "...and God saw that it was good" (vss. 4, 10, 12, 18, 21 and 25)
    "God saw all that he made, and it was very good" (vs. 31).
    The New Living Translation renders it as "excellent in every way."
  2. David's choir had a standard of excellence (1 Chron. 25:7).
    "All of them trained and skilled in music for the Lord - they numbered 288."
  3. Skill (excellence) is commanded in music offered to the Lord (Ps. 33:3).
    "Sing to him a new song; play skillfully and shout for joy."
  4. There is also a cost in the offerings presented to God (2 Sam. 24:4).
    "I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing."

The Application


If we don't give our people opportunity to grow they won't.


So what does all this mean when it comes to our worship? How do we offer God our very best? Well, I just so happen to have a few suggestions:

  1. Music selected for worship should be excellent music. I know that is very subjective, but let me continue. First of all the lyrics should reflect sound theology and should be creatively constructed (i.e. free of cliché). The music itself should follow actual musical rules and should match the message of the lyrics. Chords and rhythmic patterns should fit with the melody. This leaves a lot of options to choose from, but overall there should be some conscious effort placed on the selection of music for worship.
  2. Artists (i.e. musicians, dancers, actors) should be prepared for the presentations offered to God in corporate worship. Sloppy offerings should never make their way to the house of worship. This means very simply that artists should put in plenty of practice, I know many of us are amateurs and volunteers, but we are all called to serve God with excellence.
  3. Leaders should train those entrusted to them. As a leader we need to give ample opportunities for those we lead to gain additional skills through practice and training. If we don't give our people opportunity to grow they won't.
  4. This is not limited just to the Arts as all service is considered worship unto God. We should strive to give the best we can offer in all areas of ministry.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Managing Mondays: Recipe - American Chop Suey

American Chop Suey


This is by far the most versatile dish we make at our house. Also known simply as Macaroni and Beef, it is a simple mixture of elbow macaroni and ground beef in a tomato sauce. Though rarely added in most classic recipes, I find garlic to be a welcome addition to the flavors of this dish.



Ingredients:
16 oz. dry elbow macaroni
1 tbsp olive oil  
1 clove garlic, grated
1 small onion finely chopped
1/2 cup diced green pepper (optional)
1 lb ground beef
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 26 oz. jar prepared tomato sauce, preferably meat flavored
1 cup water
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
salt and pepper
grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

  1. Prepare pasta according to package direction. While pasta is cooking heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. add garlic, onion and green pepper (optional) to skillet. add a pinch of salt and cook until onions are slightly translucent.
  3. add ground beef to the pan. season with a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. cook until all the beef has been browned. 
  4. add the flour to the pan and cook for an additional 2 minutes in order to completely cook the flour and then add the prepared tomato sauce and water. (I usually add the water to the empty jar in order to get the last of the sauce out.).
  5. finally add the basil, oregano, and parsley and stir to combine. pour the meat sauce over the cooked and drained elbow macaroni and serve with grated Parmesan.



Friday, July 20, 2012

Fun Fridays: The Weekly Download

So It is Friday and time for the Weekly Download, a news show about things that interest me in the world of geekdom.





Also my VLOG still goes up on my YouTube Channel Monday through Friday nights

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Worship Wednesdays: The Heart of the Worshiper

I've said it many times before that what we do for God is all about our motives or our heart. After all David, you know the guy who wrote most of the Psalms, is described as a man after God's own heart. The heart is where it all begins when it comes to worship. So what kind of heart should we have when it comes to worship? Well in his book Biblical Foundations for Worship Leadership Dr Randy Quackenbush describes 7 biblically-based characteristics of a lead worshiper. The following is my take on these 7 characteristics.

  1. Purity
    This goes straight to the heart of the matter, pun not intended. It is our motives in doing what we do that is important here. Are we trying to win God's favor or are we trying to give him the honor and glory that He is due? Are we trying to appease a guilty conscience or are we grateful for His forgiveness and mercy? Are we just giving lip service to the great I AM or are we sincere in our adoration of the creator? The bottom line is we need to check where our heart is when it comes to serving God.
  2. Passion
    We need to be passionate, and I think most people involved in music are. The real issue is to be passionate about the right things and to prioritize those passions. I have to agree with Dr. Quackenbush that our priorities when it comes to passion in ministry should be: 1.) God (get to know Him through reading His Word.) 2.) His Church (Be passionate about facilitating God's people in worshiping and serving Him.) 3.) The Arts (Strive for excellence in the artisitic expressions offered to God both in public and in private.)
  3. Power
    I firmly believe you need the anointing of God on your life in order to effectively minister to people. I once heard a speaker compare the difference between serving God with the anointing and without to the difference between a screwdriver and a power drill. Yeah you can do it, but it will be that much more work to get anything accomplished.
  4. Prayer
    This one should be a no brainer. Seriously we can't do any of this with out God's guidance nor should we try to. We need to sincerely seek God's will for our services and earnestly pray for the moving of His Spirit in our corporate worship gatherings.
  5. Pastor
    This one actually surprised me. I never thought of my leading worship as a pastoral position, but when I really looked into it I realized that is exactly what I am doing each Sunday morning. I'm also in a position to mentor and teach those on my team. If we are leading a ministry in church then we need to mentor and shepherd those under our leadership.
  6. Presentation
    We should be offering our best to God. What this means is we need to take time to hone our musical talents, i.e. practice. God desires excellence, for us to use our talents and abilities in the best way possible for His glory. We should always be striving to be better. There is always room for improvement.
  7. Price
    Serving God should come with a price. If we only serve God when it is convenient or when it takes little to no effort then where is the "sacrifice of praise?" We should never apologize for detailed planning and preparation when it comes to our ministries. Of course if we expect others to be disciplined in service we need to set the example ourselves first.
I did find it telling that out of these 7 "P's" there is one "P" that is missing. "Perfection." God does not require us to be perfect in order for us to serve and especially to lead. The Bible is full of Godly leaders who were far from perfect. What God requires is a willingness to serve and to strive excellence. Remember excellence is not perfection, it is doing the best we can with the gifts God has already given us.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Managing Mondays: Summer School?

Summer School? Really? I thought you homeschooled?

Well Yes, Yes and Yes.

Doing school through the summer is actually a great way to catch up on those items that may have been missed during the school year, or to reinforce areas that your child may be a little weak in. Let me pause here for a moment and mention that I am not advocating sitting our children down at the kitchen table or at a desk with a workbook or textbook. I am saying that just because summer is here that our children should stop learning for 3 months.

I found that this is actually a lot easier to do than it sounds and I hope these suggestions will give you some starting points for your own "Summer School". (BTW just because you don't homeschool doesn't mean you can't use these ideas too.)


  1. Bake/Cook - This one goes without saying. Kids love to bake and cook even simple things like s'mores can be a great opportunity to teach and/or reinforce math concepts. How many graham crackers do we need? How many marshmallows for everyone? Can you divide that chocolate evenly?
  2. Clean your room! - Even simple everyday chores like cleaning can be a great opportunity to learn invaluable skills. younger children can learn grouping or classification (this is basic math and science) and older children can learn to be generous by giving away toys and/or clothing they no longer use that are still in great shape.
  3. Road Trip - Even simple trips to the beach can lead to great science lessons. Simply do a little research ahead of time about the local flora and fauna, or take a book along with you to look things up. This works great for hikes in the woods too, bring along a field guide to birds and you've got a ready made lesson in zoology. Historical sites and museums are also great family trips and some are even free for younger children.
  4. Flash Cards? - sometimes you may need to resort to learning some hardcore facts over the summer. Flashcards if used should be presented as fun not a chore. Also there are many great games that require basic math skills, even basic board games require the adding of dice. Use dice with actual numbers on them with older children so they can't just count the pips. My favorite game that requires math right now is StoneAge. It requires basic multiplication and division for various parts of the game and still remains fun. (My daughter hates math but loves this game!)
  5. Blocks! - Blocks on a rainy day are always fun to learn shapes and motor skills. LEGOs are particularly great for this. They not only teach basic math skills (how many studs long is that piece?) nut also problem solving and creativity. I highly recomend the Creator series as they give instructions for some basic models but also pictures of other models for the kids to figure out on their own, which in turn encourages them to come up with their own creations. Also if there is a LEGO robotics league in your area you could look into getting your children involved in that as well.
So I hope these ideas get you thinking. These are of course just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creative ways to trick, I mean encourage your kids to learn this summer.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fun Fridays: Weekly Download

Weekly geek news now on YouTube. (and no this is not the secret project I've been hinting at in my Vlogs)


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Worship Wednesdays: Idol Worship

The Bible is very clear when it comes to idols. So why do we worship so many of them? You might be saying to yourself, "wait a second, I don't worship idols." And I would have to say that you were a liar. Maybe you don't bow down or burn candles to little statues, but those aren't the only types of idols.

An idol is anything in your life that takes the place of God. It could be money, basically placing our trust in it instead of God. (Ever wonder why our founders put In God We Trust on our money, maybe as a reminder not to put our trust in the money on which it was printed?) It could be our favorite sports team. We know every single stat of every single player right down to their shoe size but can't be bothered to memorize scripture or even remember the topic of the sermon we just heard. we can even make idols out of favorite preachers or even, dare I say it, our favorite worship music.

Let's face it, even the best of us find it easier to "enter into worship" if we hear just the right song. We all have musical preferences, and that's fine, but those preferences shouldn't dictate whether or not we worship God. Maybe I'm just tired of people complaining that we don't sing enough hymns or suggesting we sing such and such a song because they really love it. Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one who thinks that worship isn't about us but about God. 

Each week I spend hours in prayer, seeking God's will for each service that Sunday. I try desperately to get a feel for what it is that God is trying to communicate to His people for that service. I then try to choose songs that will convey that message or theme. During this process I also try to be sensitive to our Church's unique culture as well as maintain the flow of the songs both thematically and musically. (i.e. key signatures and transitions between songs.)  

So I find myself wondering have we turned our worship music into an idol? Are we worshiping the songs we sing whether they be hymns, choruses, or modern worship songs? Or are we looking past the music to the One we are singing to and singing about?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Managing Mondays: Easy Fettuccine Alfredo

This is a go to recipe for my family. Sasha, my growing up way to fast daughter, loves Fettuccine Alfredo and since I need to be careful about what I eat due to the Fibro we found this simple yet tasty recipe.

Fettuccine Alfredo




Ingredients:

8 ounces dried fettuccine
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy cream (light cream or half n half can be substituted)
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use kosher or sea salt)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper (I prefer fresh ground)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (fresh is always better)
  1. Cook pasta according to directions on package
    • Note: when I cook my pasta I bring the water to a rolling boil (the water continues to boil when stirred) I then liberally salt the water before adding the pasta.I then cook until al dente (firm but not hard)
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan melt the butter. Add the cream, salt and pepper. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered for 3 to 5 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese (I like to use a whisk for this.) Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce while still hot. Serve in a warm serving dish and if desired sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese.
I have also added broccoli and sliced grilled chicken to the fettuccine to make a complete meal. Shrimp would also be a good protein to add to this and diced tomatoes would add some nice color.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Worship Wednesdays: God of Wonders


We sang this song recently in one of our worship sets and I started to do some deep thinking about that word, 'Wonders'. I mean what is a wonder? Do we even know what that is anymore, in our high-tech gadget filled world where what we see everyday would be considered science fiction or even magic depending on how far back in the past you wanted to go. Certainly during the times of the Biblical narrative such technological advances would have been seen as great wonders indeed.

But, has all this advancement made us oblivious to the even greater wonders that God has created all around us. A wise man once stated that the more we know, the more we realized how little we know. Yet, the world moves on as though it knows all and is no longer impressed by God's wonders.

Wonder - noun - something strange and surprising; a cause of surprise, astonishment, or admiration; miraculous deed or event; remarkable phenomenon.

Really? Is there really anything in this world that fits that description, and if there is when was the last time we stopped and noticed them.

God truly is a God of Wonders. As Christians we need to start acknowledging that with more than just our words, even if we like the song. We need to start acknowledging it with our thoughts and deeds as well.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Managing Mondays: Beautiful Feet Books Review

When I was in school, one of my favorite things was when we would get to watch a historical movie. Movies and miniseries, like Blue and the Grey and Becket still rank among my favorites of all time. I loved historical fiction such as Killer Angels, and A Farewell to Arms, but when it came to actual history I would tune out. I hated all the momorization, I just couldn’t keep it all straight. I realize now as an adult that my problem wasn’t an inability to memorize fact but rather that the facts had no context. There was no meaning behind the places, people, and dates.

When we decided to homeschool I desperately wanted a history curriculum that told history more as the great story it was. I found that curriculum in Beautiful Feet Books. Each Study Guide gives projects, and assignments around living books. Real literature and stories that take place during the times and places that are being studied. When a people, such as Lewis and Clark are studied, children associate more than just places and dates to the names, but come to appreciate what they accomplished in spite of the hardships they endured. Ancient Egypt comes alive by reading fictional stories that highlight the daily lives of that civilization. And most of all, history is studied more as a flowing stream instead of a list of disjointed and unrelated events.



Beautiful Feet Books Study Guides are also fairly inexpensive and the majority of the books they use can be found in the public library. They do offer discounted bundles of all the materials needed if you want to go that route. Based on the Charlotte Mason Method of notebooking, the curriculum provides a flexible fairly inexpensive quality history education.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Worship Wednesdays: What is Worship (Part 4)

So This is the Forth and Final part of this study on Worship. This time we want to talk about the differences between praise and worship, or is there any difference between the two at all.

So let's start by defining worship again:

worship is defined as reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem.

Now let's define praise:

Webster’s defines praise as to express approval, commendation.

Praise is more concerned with what someone has done, or in our case, what God has done.

Psalm 126 is an great example of praising God for what He has done.

Worship on the other hand focuses more on the worth of the being who is adored. We worship God because of who He is and because of His character. His grace, mercy, omnipotence, omniscience, faithfulness, holiness, etc., are all reasons to worship God.

Now this is not a hard and fast rule as the two are not always so clearly separated. We are often called to praise God for who He is and to worship Him for what He has done, but it is beneficial to remember these to areas of focus when entering into God's presence. God is worthy of worship for who he is and for what he has done.

One more note about praise and worship. You will notice that I haven't mentioned anything about the style or tempo of praise and worship songs. Praise does not mean "fast songs" just as worship does not mean "slow songs" These two terms are not exclusive to music either. It is completely appropriate to want to usher because of who God is and to clean toilets because of what God has done in your life, and vice verse. Remember serving and worshiping are synonymous in the Biblical context.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Managing Mondays: Cranberry Couscous Recipe

Very quick and easy, couscous is a small pasta common in the Mediterranean. This recipe uses fruit juice to cook the pasta instead of water giving it a sweet flavor that pairs nicely with simply seasoned grilled chicken.



Ingredients:

2 cups       white cranberry peach juice
4 tbsp        butter
1/2 tsp       salt
1 1/3 cup   couscous
1/2 cup      dried cranberries
1 tsp          allspice

  1. Bring cranberry juice, butter, and salt to a boil
  2. stir in couscous. Cover and remove from heat for 7 minutes
  3. Add dried cranberries and allspice and fluff with fork
This pairs well with grilled chicken (I season mine with just a little salt and pepper).