Monday, October 22, 2012

Rick Warren Interview

I posted this in August of 2009. But I think we could benefit from it again.

"You will enjoy the new insights that Rick Warren has, with his wife now having cancer and him having 'wealth' from the book sales. This is an absolutely incredible short interview with Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life author and pastor of Saddleback Church in California" 

In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said:

People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.

One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body but not the end of me.

I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.

We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one.

The reason for this is that God is more interested in your= character than your comfort.

God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.

This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.

I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore.

Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.

No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.
And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.

You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems.

If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness,'which is my problem, my issues, my pain.' But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her.

It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.

You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life.

Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.

It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.

So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no major purchases.

Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.

Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.

Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?

Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do.

That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.
Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.
God's Blessings on you today.

"Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up." Proverbs 12:25

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Experiencing God

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
    and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
 They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
    with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
    or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
    and they never stop producing fruit.
Jeremiah 17:7-8

These are the verses that I claimed for the months of July and August. This year there has been many verses that have been a constant reminder of God's faithfulness in my life as well as my comfort.

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
1 Peter 5:7

And of course...

Delight yourself also in the Lord,

And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

I haven't talked a whole lot about my employment situation. Some, yes. But not too many details. Sometimes the details need to just be between you and the Lord. And this is one of those times. I left my assistant teacher position in April. I took a lesser paying position for six weeks. Then I placed my future in God's hands. (Like it wasn't there already). I prayed all summer and asked God where he wanted me in the fall. I said "what is your will for my life?"

I recently began a study called Experiencing God that is rocking my world. I have been personally experiencing God for eleven years but approaching the Lord in such self-centered ways. I now understand that it is not God's will for my life that I am to be asking about. I need to just ask God what His will is.  

Anyway, I could talk for hours on this new study but I won't. I'll get back to my summer prayer time story.

The summer is always tough because there is very little structure. The only thing I consistently did all summer was take a morning walk and sit on my back porch and pray. But I don't think that I felt the Lord's peace like I should have.

With only about twelve days left of summer, I felt the Lord's direction for my life move me down a path that I would have never in a million years taken my self. I accepted a full time Nanny position for an eight week old boy. (Yes, those are his little feet above.)

I spend about 35 hours a week with little "R" in his home. I have to admit, I feel like a young grandmother. I do things that I would have NEVER done with my own children (for example, hold him while he sleeps). I never rocked my children to sleep. I just didn't want to set any "bad habits". Another thing I do that I never did with my children was watch them sleep. I actually stay in his little nursery while he sleeps and I watch him...stare at him, while he sleeps. Yes, I read. But then I watch him sleep. Breathe. Coo. It's precious.

With my children, when they fell asleep I felt pressured to house clean or sleep myself. But I am not tired. Nor do I have to house clean. 

Daniel said "wow, Mom, you've got it made here."

Tonight, I thought about where I was in March and how much money I was making. Then in April, I took a pay-cut to watch children in my home. Currently I am making twice as less. And that's not a complaint. That's just a statement. It's a realization that money can't buy happiness nor can it buy peace. Two things that I now have that were missing at my day care position.

They were there at one time. But God has allowed changes to occur in order for me to re-align my heart with His. I am experiencing God in an entirely different light. 

And freedom. I think it comes when you realize how to be content with what you have been given. How do you do that, you may ask? Obedience. If you love God, then you will want to obey Him. 

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, 
and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:33

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Crazy Good Glaze

I was looking for a glaze for cooked carrots. I found one but didn't have Rosemary, so my substitute was this little gem of a "spice".

And of course, I share. So give it a try. Amanda and Curtis were practically licking their plates. Actually, Amanda didn't eat the carrots. She just scooped the glaze on top of the boiled potatoes.


1 TB Butter
1 TB Oil
2 TB Honey
Kosher Salt
Citrus & Basil Rub

The recipe that I found on line called for Red Wine Vinegar. I had Acai Pomegranate. Oh, I am so fancy. (Well not really. It expired in March but I am using it anyway.)

Try this and tell me what you decided to use it with. The ideas are unlimited!