Month

Your search for 09/2013 returned 23 results.


Gruene – A Texas Weekend Trip Idea

On the edge of New Braunfels is a fun little town called Gruene. Locals pronounce it Green. Only a 2.5 hour drive from Houston and 45 minute drive from Austin, this old-town-country, tourist-friendly spot is a great weekend getaway. German farmers settled the area in the 1840s. The area is advertised as being bona fide Texas. My sister-in-law’s maid-of-honor ...

Read More


Becoming Generous … My sermon at Heights Church

Too little guilt, and too much guilt. Overindulgent, and Austere. I go back and forth between these two. There is a space somewhere in the middle that I am searching for. I tend towards the overindulgence side, and so I ask God for conviction, but I also do not want to become legalistic. The key is to love and enjoy God above all things. To thank God for the ...

Read More


What is enough? – My struggle with wanting

Once upon a time, there was a little girl. She was born into a respectable middle-class family in America. As she played with her barbie dolls and ran throughout the house in her princess costume, everyday she could see a bumper sticker sitting on her dad's bookshelf which read, "He who dies with the most toys, wins." Her dad thought it was humorous. That little ...

Read More


My favorite place to study and work

Panera Bread warms my heart. From town to town, it has been my favorite place to study and work. What I love about it: Free coffee refills Free wifi Iced sugar cookies and cinnamon crunch bagels Creamy tomato soup and Black bean soup Outlets to plug in my devices MyPanera membership periodically giving free food items A relaxed atmosphere Pretty ...

Read More


Consolidate email addresses

Juggling multiple email inboxes is unnecessarily complicated. For the past three years I have handled three different email addresses. And now that I’ve created this website and blog, I have yet another matching email address. Enough is enough! WHY I HAVE SO MANY One address is from my high school days (hotmail account). I added another address during college ...

Read More


Idea Camp – Human Care

I spent the weekend at Idea Camp in Austin, Texas. I was not sure what I was getting into by attending this conference-but-not-a-conference event. I just knew there would be a lot of people who work in nonprofits and ministries that do social justice service in the world. I knew by going I would be inspired by them and maybe gain an idea or two. It’s called Idea ...

Read More


What I eat for breakfast

I’m a sucker for breakfast food. I wish I could eat it at every meal. When on vacation, I love finding the best local breakfast restaurant. Breakfast food makes me so happy that I sometimes become one of those people who take pictures of their plate to share with friends and family. (My brothers make fun of me for this.) Why do I love it so? I've thought ...

Read More


I have Financial Peace

I believe Financial Peace University is one of the most important classes a church should offer to its congregation. It’s a nine-week video series taught by financial expert Dave Ramsey. He helps people set a budget, learn how to communicate about money with family, select insurance, investments, and more. Of course, teaching your people the good news about ...

Read More


Religious freedom is important to Baptists?

Baptists care about religious freedom for everyone. I had a conversation with someone who was surprised to hear me say that. This person I was talking to goes to a Baptist church. But that’s something he has never heard. Rather, he grew up in a community where the Christians were more likely to insist on “Putting God back in schools” and “Getting back to ...

Read More


Lessons from a monastery: Part III… life of integrity

The monastic way showed me that a life of integrity flows from a consistency of character. Our “doing” proceeds from our “being.” Our world values achievement. It values a person’s doing. And I want to be valued. So I usually try to do a lot. But if I think about it, the people who ‘do’ best – the ones that I want to emulate – are people who are ...

Read More


Lessons from a monastery: Part II… counter-cultural life

The monastic way gave me living examples that it is possible to live counter-culturally through an abandonment of society’s values and a yearning for the spiritual life. In this world, where ...

Read More


Lessons from a monastery: Part I… one’s life can become a prayer

The monastic way taught me that one’s very life can become a prayer. In most American Christian homes, children are taught to pray by beginning with “Dear Heavenly Father.” Then they talk to God for a few minutes, maybe to ask for something they need and to thank God for something they have. They are told to finish by saying, “In Jesus’ name, Amen.” ...

Read More


Lessons from a monastery: Introduction

The valley is silent, except for my feet, which are crunching the dirt underneath. I walk up the road. Red marbled rock cliffs tower to the right and to the left, just beyond the softly flowing river. At 8,000-foot elevation, the air is thin, but it is clean and crisp. I suck it in, walk, and then ... a bell. The church bell. It clangs in the distance. A call to ...

Read More


Discerning essentials and defining priorities

As a student, you have to do what the teachers say. You read the books they think are important and complete projects they think will benefit you. In my final semester of seminary, though, ...

Read More


Project 333 – A minimalist closest

Could you live with only 33 articles of clothing in your closet for the next three months? I don’t know if I can. But I’m going to try. It’s called Project 333. Keep only thirty-three items in your closet for three months. When the three months are up, pick a new set of 33 items that fit better with the next season, and keep only those. Repeat. Through web ...

Read More


Recipe for Porcupine Meatballs

Porcupine meatballs are a simple, tasty, and filling dish. They are excellent for freezing for later. And they are great if you’ve got a family to feed and you’re on a tight budget. This was a favored dish of my husband when he was growing up. My mother-in-law decided that since I am living near her now I should learn some of her tried-an-true recipes. I’m ...

Read More


Making movies – Video Tape Terror

Hidden talents. It’s a good conversation question: What is your hidden talent? Most people do not know what to say. I make great oatmeal-raisin cookies. Or I can hold my breath under water for a long time. Those are actually pretty cool talents. Maybe I’m the only one who doesn’t know what to say … because very little about me is hidden. I just found out ...

Read More


Nail painting tips – the basics

For a ‘ladies night’ at our church, my friend Paula hosted a nail painting party. She prepared a great spread of fruits and veggies and sweets, and we all created our own pizzas. Then we grabbed nail supplies and she gave us tips. Paula’s parents used to own several nail salons, and when she was a teenager she spent the required 600 hours in school to get ...

Read More


Don’t let pride get in the way: take your neighbor’s trash

People throw away usable things. Homeless people and young "freegans" have figured that out. They go dumpster diving. I've done that before... Nowadays I don't actually find the best supermarket dumpster and go out with friends at night to forage. My husband isn't into that. But last week I did notice a wooden bench on my neighbor's curb to be picked up by the ...

Read More


Dogs are not cheap

The costs of pet ownership add up. The expenses vary widely from person to person, dog to dog, city to city. But in any case, owning an animal is not cheap. My dog has bronchitis. Did you even know dogs could catch that virus? It does not spread between humans and dogs, but it does spread from dog to dog. My husband and I found ourselves feeding him children’s ...

Read More


Guessing someone’s age

The media has distorted people’s perceptions of how old someone looks. That’s what I think. I’m always frustrated to watch shows about high school kids played by actors who are in their mid-20s. College students are portrayed by 30-somethings. Thus, when people meet normal sophomores in high school, they think the teen is in middle school. Or when they see a ...

Read More


Reflections on a birthday … and thinking about babies

Today was my birthday. I’m 27 now. I don’t know at what age people start to feel old. People make a big deal out of 30 … and then 40. Twenty-seven shouldn’t feel old. And I don’t feel old. All I know is that I wasn’t exactly happy to move up one digit. This was the first time in my life that my new age seemed to be worse than my previous one. I liked ...

Read More


Save money: the best deals are off the beaten path

When looking for home décor, refurbished furniture, and antiques, the best deals are found away from the beaten path. Perhaps that’s a no-brainer. But that money-saving tip came alive for me today. My sister-in-law is a photographer, and her clients love her for many reasons, one being that she owns great props for them to use in photos. Through facebook group ...

Read More