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Archive for April, 2013

 

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You would think being married to a worship pastor would automatically imply that I am someone who has always loved worshipping through music (I believe our lives are worship to the Lord and there are many ways to worship but here I am specifically talking about worship through music). Granted when I met hubby he was doing youth ministry but music has always been a part of his ministry as well. It wasn’t until a few years ago that he moved into a full-time worship pastor position. Anyway, worship (through music) has actually been an area of growth for me over the years. I used to want the worship to hurry up and get over with so I could just listen to the sermon.

Here’s my story.

I grew up in a mainline denominational church in small towns in the Dakotas. We sang hymns which were usually accompanied by the organ. My parents did listen to some contemporary Christian music for that time on the radio and in the car but as far as I knew, worship consisted of singing hymns and was basically expressionless. I liked the hymns and didn’t really mind them. I think I did even think about what I was singing…some of the time. But I really had no concept of what it meant to worship God or to have the expression of worship the bible talks about.

This began to change when I went on a mission trip at age 16. It was the first time I heard songs being sung that were not the hymns I was used to singing. The words seemed much more personal, almost like a prayer to God. This was also the first time I saw people use expressions (mostly raising their hands) while worshipping. And these people happened to be my age which had a huge impact on me. The trip completely changed my life and afterwards I said when I was on my own some day I would never be in a church that sang only hymns. And because of how radically my life was changed and the newfound zeal I had, I took my new expressions of worship back with me in the mainline church. I must have looked really weird being the only one slipping my hand up singing hymns but I didn’t care. I had met the Lord in a very real way on that mission trip and had finally come to know the God I had heard so much about. Once you experience Him, really experience Him, you want to worship Him!

Well, while I did have some freedom in the expression of worship, I was not comfortable with other expressions of worship like dancing or waving flags or speaking in tongues or any of those things. I thought that was for the weird charismatics. I then went to a very conservative college and although there was some freedom in worship during our chapels, most people did not use any expressions of worship. Somewhere during my time there I became even more uncomfortable with charismatics. And then I met my now husband. But I didn’t really know he was a charismatic. Ha, ha!

I remember when we were dating or first married he took me to one of the churches he grew up in (much like our church now) and I was UNCOMFORTABLE! I told him there was no way I would attend that church and he being the lover of the whole body of Christ willingly found a church we both liked which happened to be a more contemporary mainline church. And then we moved and accepted the position at our now church. At that time there were different expressions of worship (but not like there is now) and I was ok with it.

Almost seven years later and I have become one of those people. You could probably even label me a charismatic. Ok, yes you could! If I didn’t have babies to hold and watch, I would be the one up front twirling about and dancing my heart out for Jesus. I might even wave a flag while I dance or you would maybe even see me with one of the really big flags waving it throughout the sanctuary. I would most likely have my hands raised or clapping or occasionally you might see me on my knees. So how did I become one of those people?

I grew in relationship with Jesus and I became free of the holds of religion.

I am not against religion but I think for many of us who grew up in the church, especially mainline churches we were taught religion. We were taught how to be a “good” person and to do the right things so that we could go to heaven. We were hardly taught that being saved is so much more than going to heaven. Salvation is for right now. Here on earth. Salvation is about being saved from our life of sin and our separation from God. Jesus paid the way for us to live an abundant life, experiencing heaven on earth. Salvation is about a relationship with the God of all creation. It is about God wanting to know…me…and you. And when you start to experience this truth, The Truth, the desire to worship Him grows even stronger.

As I got to know Jesus, my Redeemer, more I started gaining freedom in areas of my life I had struggled in for a long time. Mainly perfectionism. I realized I no longer had to work for God because God had worked on my behalf once and for all on the cross. What He did on the cross was enough. Period. Enough for every shortcoming. Every flaw. Every struggle. Every sin. Every bad mistake. Who wouldn’t dance over this?

I also learned more about the early church and how it differed a lot from church as most of us know it. The early church had many expressions of worship! It wasn’t until Constantine came in and made church much more institutionalized that our services became more like we see in mainline churches today.

I also believe their can be spiritual forces or bondage that keep us stuck in religion and keep us from having a relationship with Jesus. This can also affect (or is it effect…I never know) our freedom in worship.

I do want to say that I don’t think someone has to raise their hands or dance or wave flags in order to be free to worship but I know for myself it wouldn’t be true to say “that’s just not me.” For me I was trapped in religious bondage and I have found that being one of those people is actually quite wonderful!

So….be careful before you look and possibly judge those people. In most cases they aren’t weird at all. They are normal people too. They have just found a freedom to worship a God that freed them! Instead ask them their story. Ask them about their relationship with Jesus and why they dance or why they wave a flag. You might find their story to be quite encouraging!

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Gifts and More

Most of you know that the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp had a huge impact on me. I have been finding myself thinking of lists of gifts in my head and wishing I still kept my own list (I’m terrible at starting one and then eventually neglecting it). Still I know the book impacted how I see things and that is really what is most important. Here is a little glimpse at some of the gifts I have been experiencing:

Praying over younger son as he sleeps in my lap in the quiet of the night
Finding new blogs and resources
A message about empowering women to be all that God created them to be
Cloth diapers drying in the sun
Reading testimonies and thinking of God’s faithfulness to “find” us
Little girl in a jean dress

…………………………………..Isn’t God good?…………………………………..

One of the new blogs I found has a free menu planning template. The blog is called The Nourishing Home. I loved reading her journey to eating a more traditional, real, whole foods diet. She shares her family’s menu every two weeks on her blog.

There’s a little glimpse into my life today. Happy Tuesday!

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This is my second attempt at writing this because younger boy lost my first one.

Today is a rainy day so I am hoping to keep the boys from hurting each other or their sister. Little girl was really crabby yesterday so I didn’t get much done and it seemed like today was going to be the same but thankfully she fell asleep. While she sleeps I thought I would write a quick post to tell you what I am making today.

In an effort to try to eat more fermented/cultured foods, I made this recipe for pickled garlic. I really like garlic so it sounds good but we’ll see how it turns out. It has to sit for 3 days in order to ferment.

I also have this recipe for home made artisan bread rising on the counter right now.

I am not sure if mine will turn out as pretty as hers but hopefully it will taste yummy!

But before you think I am having a perfectly home made, healthy day I want you to know I have already given in to younger boy having jelly beans. 🙂

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

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We were at the zoo last week when my oldest saw a teenager (or maybe he was a preteen) with his mom. He had his coat tied around his waist so he wouldn’t have to carry it. My son immediately wanted to take his coat out of the stroller and tie it around his waist.

Young man, do you have any idea how much influence you have on my little boy? Do you have any idea that just your presence and the fact that you were wearing your coat a certain way made my son want to do the same? My little boy sees you. He does look up to you!

And I just want you and all young people to know, I believe in you. I believe you have it in you to be the good influence God has created you to be. I bless you to be a generation that influences those around you for the better! People have all sorts of opinions about people your age today but I say you’ve got what it takes!

Will you keep in mind the influence you have on little people as you make choices each day on how you are going to live your life? But don’t do it just because little ones are watching. Do it because you were destined for greatness! Show this mama and everyone else how you have it in you to influence this world for the better!

Young people, I believe in you!

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“Oldest Son” wearing his coat tied around his waist at home after we came home from the zoo.

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Hobby or Calling?

imagesCATCQF25When I shared with my mom what I have been learning recently, she said, “maybe this is part of your calling…” I’m not sure yet but I know I haven’t felt this excited in a long time!

So what have I been learning? I have been listening to an online health conference called Healthy Life Summit by Village Green Network. The conference featured 35 health experts speaking on healthy living both for our bodies and our world. I chose the free option so each day I was emailed a list of speakers and I usually listened to two or three talks a day (it was a great thing to do while I was nursing little girl). Here are the speakers I listened to:

Diane Sanfilippo, author of New York Times bestseller Practical Paleo –  The 21-Day Sugar Detox
Julia Ross, author of The Mood Cure and The Diet Cure – Healing the Mind and Body with Food
Kelly the Kitchen Kop – Transitioning Your Family from Junk Food to Real Food
Jenny McGruther, Nourished Kitchen – Techniques for Making Real Food Easy & Affordable
Donna Gates, author of The Body Ecology Diet – Conquering Systemic Infection: Essential to Good Health
Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of The Magnesium Miracle – Why You Need Magnesium
Sally Fallon Morell, author of Nourishing Traditions – Feeding and Caring for Babies and Children
Emily Bartlett, LAc, of HolisticSquid.com – Treating Eczema from the Inside Out
Robyn O’Brien, author of The Unhealthy Truth and founder of Allergykids.com – Generation RX
Genevieve Pazdan, of MamaNatural.com – Cloth Diapers Made Easy
Mary Cordaro, MaryCordaro.com – Nesting Reframed: Creating Healthy Homes
Heather Dessinger, Mommypotamus – Homemade Beauty Products Safe Enough to Eat
Joel Salatin, Polyface Farms – Folks, This Ain’t Normal!

I think I can sum up the conference in three statements:
1. The health and wellness of Americans is getting worse.
2. What we are told is healthy (the standard American diet) needs to be seriously questioned.
3. Changing the way we eat and live is possible (no matter what our budget is).

Most of the speakers talked about conditions that can be healed and/or significantly helped through nutrition and removing items from our diet or home. Things like depression, behavioral issues, eczema, diabetes, migraines, insomnia, allergies, ADHD, autism, high blood pressure and many others.

And I found that almost every speaker recommended a similar diet. Many referenced the Weston A. Price Foundation. Weston A. Price was a dentist in the early 1900s. He traveled to different people groups around the world that only ate their traditional diets (the foods they have been eating for many generations). He wanted to see if diet made a difference in the health of their teeth. He found that the people had wonderful beautiful teeth in addition to healthy bodies. The WAP foundation was established to share the similarities he found in the diets of the different people groups.

The following is a list of the foods that almost every speaker recommended:
1. Real, whole foods (foods that have only 1 ingredient) – organic if possible
2. Limited sugar and only using certain types of sugar
3. Fermented/Cultured Foods – Yogurt, Sauerkraut, fermented vegetables/fruit
4. Healthy Fats – Butter (grass fed), Coconut oil
5. Cod Liver Oil
6. Bone Broths (homemade)
7. Grass Fed/Pastured Meats/Dairy

Foods to avoid:
1. Processed Foods (things that have a lot of ingredients, many you can’t pronounce)
2. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
This list seems simple but processed foods covers A LOT!

It can seem very overwhelming at first and believe me I was very overwhelmed when I first started my journey to eating better. I have found (and most of the speakers agreed) to start with just one thing and build from there. I am still in the process and I have not arrived nor has my little family arrived at following the diet I desire us to have. But I am ok with that. I know we are in process to eating better and finding what works for us and I am at peace with that. Many of the speakers mentioned the 80/20 rule. If we eat what our bodies need 80% of the time, our bodies can handle having some of the foods we should try to avoid.

There were two of the speakers that made comments that really resonated with me. One said she “felt guided” to this way of living, as if “doors just naturally opened for her” in all that she discovered. Another said that she has always been someone hungry for the truth. I can’t really explain why I am so drawn to a holistic way of living and so I do wonder if this is part of how God has made me. It does feel like I have been guided by the Lord in my journey to discovering all of this. But I am being prayerful about any further steps as to how God would like to use me. Right now I am looking at this way of living for me and for my family but maybe some day God will use me to help others too. Either way I feel like a wealth of knowledge has just been shared with me and to me it just makes sense.

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