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Friday, April 29, 2011

Clear Springs Restaurant in New Braunfels, Texas

 We have been hearing about the catfish and onion rings for quite some time. Finally we got to try it for ourselves. This is the original location of this restaurant. It used to be an old cotton gin. The atmosphere is really fun. It's full of antique paraphernalia. You could look around it all day. The catfish and slaw was great. The sweet tea made me feel even more southern than I am. According to everyone at the table, the onion rings are the best in 3 counties! 





Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gomer: There's Only One Way

 We were approached a while back to plant a contemporary service in the church up the street from our house. Seeing Easter coming up, we decided to try a preview service that day. Denbigh ended up preaching two services that day. The first was a sunrise service at 7 a.m. and the next at 11. There were around fifty in attendance. There are generally between 4 and 8 people who attend the local church and about 290 people in the town. The discussion that Denbigh's sermon prompted was amazing. I wish I could blog about all that happened. Ask me about it. Pray for us about when we are supposed to permanently begin a church and the funding to do so. Thank you. I hope your Easter was blessed.

Our neighbor, Eddie smoked chicken, brisket, and sausage for the crew of twenty that came to eat at our house on Sunday. It was a fun afternoon of laughter and friends. 

This Saturday, a group from FBC in Kyle, Texas is coming out to work on Gomer. Please feel free to join them. Comer here to volunteer!  Bring your church. Bring your Bible study group. Bring your neighbor. We love people.







My friend Synda made this cake for my birthday which was on Easter. She had a little trouble with it. I just had to put it on here. I laughed so hard when I saw it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Emily Ann Butterfly Festival in Wimberly, Texas

Somehow, I went to a butterfly festival and did not get a picture of a butterfly. You can hop on over to the Emily Ann website and see one though. It was a fun day as you can see from the pictures. It is a huge event. I really wasn't expecting to see the number of people I did when I arrived. Be prepared to walk a little bit from your parking spot. Once you arrive, you buy tickets to play games and eat food. There is a train, bounce house, outdoor musical toys, live music, bbq, and hot dogs. It is a quaint little festival. There are live butterflies released every 30 minutes for a 6 hour period. You can hold out a piece of watermelon and they will land on it. Check it out. It is in April each year.









Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Talk to me, Abba.

Hold on to grace. Cling to it for yourself and for others. Give it where you don't feel like it. Don't excuse sin, but season your life with kindness toward the unkind. You have been given the ministry of reconciliation. Watch how I reconciled my own enemies to Myself. Give love away. 

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God." -Romans 5:1-2

For more on this segment, see this post.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Charlatan's Boy by Jonathan Rogers

Floyd has the orphan Grady do all sorts of crazy antics to try to scam a few dollars off people. They try to dress Grady up like a swamp creature and sell tickets to see him. Once they even had an Ugliest Boy in the World routine. The money runs out and they need a new gig. That's when they think up a great feechie scare to drum up business.

You can hear an old man on a bayou reading you this story. I may be saying this because I am Southern and it appealed to my roots, but I thought the writing of this tale was masterful. Jonathan wrote in a way that I genuinely felt as though he were speaking to me with the dialect and intonations. I loved Grady right off the bat and couldn't stop reading because I wanted to know what happened to him.

The more amazing part to me is how much is alluded to in the book. My mind is still unpacking it all. I think I will be for some time. It amazes me how clear things about ourselves can become as we see ourselves as characters in a story. I was Grady for a long time. Five stars. A great piece of fiction.It is fun and full of wisdom. I think Andrew Peterson said it best, "It's like CS Lewis meets Mark Twain." This is a great book to facilitate discussion in the family.


The Charlatan's Boy was graciously provided by Waterbrook Publishers for review.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Foodie Friday: True Communion



It's Foodie Friday and I was all set to reveal to you the mystery of my southern chicken fried steak, but it will have to wait. I want to challenge you this next week. Invite someone over for dinner. Have true communion with them.  To Jesus, communion was a meal of love. We have dumbed it down to a half inch cracker and a shot of juice so we can give it to as many people as possible. Let's go back to the root. Eat well, love, and enjoy someone. Here is an interesting post about the whole thing: http://createvisualculture.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/holy-week-practice-eat-good-food-together/

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gomer: Preaching

Between working on a top secret project and preparing for our preview service at the country church up the street, nothing has gotten done at our house this week. We've been plenty busy, but you can't see any of it. I am ready for the top secret project to be done so that we can unveil it to our viewing public. 

I really enjoy the website texasescapes.com. It tells you information about every town in Texas. I have taken my husband to some kooky towns to see some kooky stuff. You should try it. I even found a town for sale once. I digress. I thought you might like to read about our town. It's a thrill a minute. http://www.texasescapes.com/CentralTexasTownsSouth/Fentress-Texas.htm

Denbigh is preparing to preach his first sermon at a little country church up the street where we are feeling led to start a church. I'll let you all know how it goes. I am excited. My birthday is on Easter this year. That made me think it was a perfect time to start a church. After the last few years of hardship in church, I felt like this was God's love note to me. A story of personal resurrection. Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

God Is Not A Prostitute

I get bothered by the Word/Faith movement. I think it distracts people from a loving and life changing relationship with Jesus to a relationship that is about getting things. It distracts the mind and heart from the Creator to the created. It seems like idolatry to me.

I was reading in my notes on Isaiah from Bible Study Fellowship and I came across a line that I read repeatedly. The premise was that the Israelites had taken to worshipping Yahweh in the same way the Canaanites were worshipping their deities. It all clicked. The Pharisees were still doing it when Jesus came. The Canaanites performed rituals to/ for their gods in order to receive something. There was no eternal salvation or tender relationship. This was a relationship of stuff. The Israelites were treating Jehova Jireh like the blocks of wood that the people of Canaan carved into idols. How heartbreaking, how repugnant to be treated like that. 

I got sick at my stomach and thought how wounded God must have been. They treat, we treat God like a prostitute. If I do this or that then I can get so much out of God. If I rub Him just right, He will give me the wants I want. How easily we wound Him and how willingly He has been wounded.

When the Liar comes calling and tells you that you can get more stuff if you have greater faith, tell him to shut up. Jesus said that we achieve much with little faith. Faith is not something we muster up. Faith is a gift from God. Faith is something we ask for. It's not something we turn in to get our God commodity. Jesus Christ is a person who longs to lavish redemptive love and blood on you. He is not something to be bought and sold. His gifts are not something we earn. He is freely given. 

May you ponder what He has already given for you this Easter.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Talk to me, Abba.

My heart wants to pour out blessing on you. When you walk in disobedience, you choose to live under a curse. Live in My blessing. Do what I ask you, not as a way of keeping points, but as a way of delighting in Me. I lay out good things for you. Even the laws and the prophets laid out what is good. Delight in it. Delight in Sabbath. Stop complaining about not having enough rest. Take rest. Delight in rest. The work that needed to be done has been done. Rest in that. Christ did the work. I offered Him when the covenant was broken and I kept My part. As I stood between the dead animals and made a covenant with Abraham, I said that if this covenant be broken may this happen to Me. So, I sent Myself by way of Christ and was broken and bloodied, torn like an animal, so that you might be with Me. Delight in Easter.

For more on this segment, see this post.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Max On Life by Max Lucado

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Max sets out to tackle many of the common questions he has received as a pastor and a writer. He addresses over one hundred and fifty things you might be asking yourself as a Christian or one seeking to know more about Christianity.

I must admit, I went through this book with an eagle eye. When I pulled it our of the package and saw Rick Warren's stamp of approval, I wondered if Max had gone soft on the Gospel. I did not find that to be the case. He handled topics like adultery, financial strife, abuse, purgatory, and the like with sound biblical answers. I would read and read segments because Max answers thing in such a plain, simple way that it almost seems like it's not enough. My synopsis is that most other people are saying too much. There is even a smattering of pages as a gift for writers at the end of the book.I gained insight and solidified things with scripture that he presented. It is a thought provoking read.

This book was graciously given by Thomas Nelson Publishers for review.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Gospel Brunch at Gruene Hall

A New Orleans style gospel brunch with a Texas Twist. I had been wanting to to to the Gospel Brunch at Gruene Hall for four years. The reason that I had never been was that my husband leads worship every Sunday morning and I could never go unless I went alone. I decided to buy a ticket and go even if I had to go by myself. While ordering my ticket, Denbigh got a look at the menu and the next thing I knew he took that Sunday off and bought himself a ticket. 

I must say, it was the best time I have had in quite some time. It was an ragtime gospel fandango. I sang the entire time we were there and enjoyed myself so much I hardly ate. The food was incredible. It was a Texas menu. The roast was exquisite. You simply must do this atleast once in your life. I told Denbigh I plan on going several times a year so that I remember how joyous church is meant to be.

The tickets for the upcoming month go on sale the day after the current brunch. You have to snatch them up within a few days. Apparently they sell out every month. I can see why.

http://www.gruenehall.com/

The event in May: https://tickets.gruenehall.com/Event.asp?EventID=727