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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Horn of Africa

I just had myself a good cry reading about Africa. I wonder if the Horn of Africa is God's shofar to call out to the world to save those dying of starvation. We can give up one trip to a drive-thru restaurant and save someone dying of hunger.

Here's the facts:
  • 12.4 million are affected in the region
  • More than 35% of all children in the region are now facing emergency levels of malnutrition
  • Starvation is a real threat in famine-declared areas of Somalia
  • Some 30,000 children have already lost their lives
  • Worst drought in 60 years
  • World Vision has assisted communities in the Horn of Africa for 3 decades. Even now, our teams in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia are responding to this crisis with food, water, blankets and other critical needs for families.
Hunger is stalking 12.4 million across the Horn of Africa, with 35% of all children in the region now facing emergency levels of malnutrition. And starvation is a real threat for children in famine-declared areas of Somalia. As we work together &; blog to tolerate #faminenomore, would you LINK UP to our post and blog about the ONE THING you typically spend $10 on that you could give up this week and use the money you save to help those in the crisis in the Horn of Africa? Instead of spending money on that one thing, text in your $10 donation to "FAMINE" to "20222" and join World Vision in fighting hunger in the Horn of Africa.

Famine no more

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Talk to me, Abba.

The time has come to do an inventory of your heart. Let Me search you and show you the very things that keep you from Myself. It is time to rip from your clutches the things that cripple you in the Spirit. It is time to press on to maturity. Tell Me of everything you feel is toxic. Tell Me what you feel deprived of. What do you think you need to lay hold of? What do you refuse to release? Tell me.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;" -Psalm 139:23

For more on this segment, see this post.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Enemies of the Heart by Andy Stanley

 God has given me a desire to know two things this year. The first is who He is. The second is anything that gets in the way of me experiencing Him in fullness. After much time reflecting on the mind of Christ, God led me to this book. I honestly had a very hard time reading it. It convicted me so heavily that, I would feel nauseous and tearful. I can't tell you the last time that my sin was so blatant to me. I feel like I have been beat about the head with a bat, sucker punched in the gut, and brought to the absolute end of myself. Andy's questions were ones that made me realize that I had sinful areas in the recesses of my heart that God wanted to use for something else. I desperately want my flesh crucified. Aside from the intimacy with my Saviour, I have no greater yearning than to die to myself at this moment. I honestly think that it is going to take months or more to unpack what God revealed to me while reading this. I am undone, friends. I want you to be as well. Any time you might find yourself thinking that this is the perfect book for one of your friends, stop and ask God to show you how these things are manifest in you.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Smack Dab in the Middle of God's Love by Brennan Manning

This is a beautiful book about love, hospitality, and finding joy even when life isn't what you thought it would be. We got into the home of Willie Juan and Ana. The warm smells of sopapilla eminates from the kitchen and there are children strone all about waiting to eat even though the couple has no children of their own. With full bellies of warm food, the children are told how they are in the center of God's love.

As I was reading this book, it took me back to a time of watching Lavar Burton on Reading Rainbow. It gave me that warm feeling of delighting in a good story. The story reminded me of something my grandmother might have taught me over a warm treat in her kitchen. The illustrations were rich and different from many of the children's books we see today. Besides all of these wonderful attributes, "smack dab" is fun to say and I loved reading it to my daughters.

You can read this flip book full screen at ThomasNelson.com.

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

Friday, August 26, 2011

Los Cucos

I may have a little bit of a love affair with the avocado. It exists for my delectation. I am convinced of this. On the advice of our drummer, Aaron, I headed down to Los Cucos to experience the stuffed avocado. We started with warm salsa, green sauce, chips, and jalapeño stuffed shrimp. Then cam our giant entree with the stuffed avocado as the centerpiece. I enjoyed myself. Much of a good dining experience is good company. That, I had. My dear friend, Kristi Berry accompanied me. Yes, I have a friend named Berry. (It was meant to be.) The witty banter did abound. I think that laughter makes food taste better. 

You want to know what I thought about Los Cucos. 

I enjoyed the warm salsa and green sauce.
SHRIMP STUFFED JALAPEÑOS (4 stars)
Whole jalapeño peppers stuffed with shrimp and Monterey Jack cheese, lightly breaded and fried, served with lemon cilantro sauce and sliced avocado.

This may have been my favorite thing. You get two of them  for 7 dollars. They are quite large. The ample melted cheese mingling with the shrimp and jalapeño were nearly perfect. We both really enjoyed it.

CHICKEN STUFFED AVOCADO (3.75 stars)$10
(1) Deep fried avocado stuffed with chicken and cheese and
(1) beef fajita taco, covered with chile con queso, 
rice, beans, cup of tortilla soup

This was a lot of food. I only ate the Stuffed Avocado. I did truly enjoy it though. I, of course, am now pondering how to make this myself. I brought the rest of it home to my husband. He raved about the fajita taco. We went at 11 a.m. so there was no wait and the service was great. 

This was my tale of eating at Los Cucos in San Marcos, Texas. Buon Appetito!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Day of Prayer

I have been home for almost a week. I have been reorganizing the upstairs to pursue excellence in homeschool and mapping out the projects I want to tackle around the house this fall. (If you come help me finish out the dining room, I'll cook you a steak.) 

Yesterday I was afforded a great luxury for a person with two small children. I loaded up in my friend Suzi's car and went to the day of prayer at the headquarters for Bible Study Fellowship International in San Antonio.  As we prayed for six hours, my heart was ripped out, smashed to bits and handed back to me completely unrecognizable. We listened to story after story of people giving their lives to get the Gospel to the nations. We ate lunch with a couple instrumental in getting thousands of Chinese the word of God. I am wrecked for these nations and missionaries. I will never be the same. This has changed and challenged my view on everything I do. May I never return to the mundane. What has your heart been wrecked for lately?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Aaron Shust: This Is What We Believe

I was touched by watching Aaron's video on YouTube. It really gave me a lens to view this project through. Watch it if you are able. There is a richness to what he is lyrically proclaiming in the face of a grave illness that overtook his son. God is glorified and exalted in this project. You can see His goodness in the midst of trial. 

Hope is offered to the listener in the lead single "My Hope is In You." I was touched by this line, “My hope is in You Lord/ 
all the day long/ 
I won’t be shaken by drought or storm/ 
the peace that passes understanding is my song/ and I sing/ 
my hope is in You alone." The gospel is clearly laid out for us throughout the entire project. Christ is seen. Christ is called upon.  Somehow, he made an upbeat, contemporary album very restful and peaceful. It's the kind of music you could listen to all day and not grow weary. It gives rest to the spirit of a person. Check out his new album.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Talk to me, Abba

Recall my Word and listen. Strive towards prayer. Be in battle for your brothers and sisters. Some may be entangled in despair because you refuse to fight. Those you are judging may be in prison because you never think to pray. You cling to propriety and niceties, but I want to free the ones I love. I desire bravery and courage. I need you to grasp the gravity of the situations around you. Exercise denial on behalf of others. The moment is at hand. The epic battle draws near. Do not sit on the sidelines and jeer at those I am trying to save. Fight for them.

"Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints;" -Romans 155:30-31

For more on this segment, read this post.

Monday, August 22, 2011

George Washington Carver by John Perry

George was the son of a slave. He and his mother were kidnapped by raiders when he was very young. His owner, a reluctant slave owner, hired a tracker to find the pair. The tracker was unable to locate George's mother, but found George abandoned and brought him home. The Carver family adopted George and his older brother and raised them as their own sons. When George had acquired all the knowledge he could at home, he set out from place to place to do a very difficult thing at that time. He sought to get an education as a black man. He perseveres to become a professor and leader of the Civil Rights movement. He found nearly 200 uses for the sweet potato and 300 for the peanut. He attributed his success to one thing. Prayer. He simply asked God to unveil the mysteries of His creation.

I must admit to you that I have a bit of a historical crush on George Washington Carver. I have admired his tenacity and the grace with which he faced his problems. He was a gentle man who loved learning. He was a discipler of people in the love of learning and in God's word. He showed that African American men were worthy of equal rights by displaying intelligence with great dignity. I highly recommend learning all you can about him. He is a beacon for all of us as we live in a world with few role models in the faith, especially in science. My only complaint about John Perry's work on the man would be that it was too short.


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

Friday, August 19, 2011

White Wings


If the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, you are in business with this amazing recipe. It can also be handy for friends or family members who talk too much. Give them a plate full. They will be so caught up in the savory flavor that they won't have time to talk. Buon Appetito!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Going Home.

I am not sure what happened to the last three months of my life. It's like I entered into a swirling vortex that stole away the hours. My dependent little newborn is now trying to walk. What happened to the days, months? The love of Christ. We served in a high paced environment day after day and we are different for it. Many people came to know Christ here and the warfare has been intense. We have all seen the face of Christ as we have seen lives transformed. God has been good to us this summer. We arrive at home to prepare our hearts to the hospitality of our home. We are excited to take what we have gleaned from the heart of God and give it to those around us this fall. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Aaron Shust out August 23rd.

I am reviewing this album and will post the review on the release date. I just thought this was a beautiful testimony of God's love. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Talk to me, Abba.

Stay diligent in grace and love. Continue to show grace and love to those around you. Extend it to your family, your husband, your children. I want to reveal Myself in the familiar. Don't get so comfortable that  you miss the opportunities to show Me to those in your home. Extend the love and the things I give to you to those closest to you. You must humbly ask for what you want to be able to give to others.

"If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing." - 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

For more on this segment, see this post.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Erasing Hell by Francis Chan

I must confess something. The morning after I purchased this book, I snuck out of bed at a ridiculously early hour so I could read the entire thing before my family awoke. I was curious about Francis Chan's stance on the whole issue that has been brought to the surface by Rob Bell. I must confess, I have never been a Rob Bell fan. He lost me at the Elvis in Velvet Elvis, if you know what I mean. The man is a brilliant communicator and I am praying that this compassionate book will rebuke his false teaching and adjure him to truth. I am thankful for him in a way. It has caused many to discover truth about hell where we would otherwise like to go on our personal belief systems.

The pairing of these two individuals to author this book is a beautiful picture of how I believe Christ would bring rebuke with hope of restoration. Preston brought rich insight and deep theological study. Francis brought the voice of compassion. The book was very careful to not call a brother a fool and be guilty themselves. As Francis set forth the truth about hell, you could see genuine repentance for not preaching this truth hard enough in the past. He states that we cannot afford to be wrong on this issue. Hell is real. God is just. Scripture clearly supports it. A great read.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Willie G's in Galveston, Texas.

 This Austin food blogger was joyfully eating out in Galveston again. My mom had us going all over The Strand and she had fond memories of the area where the cruise ships dock. No wonder. We headed into Willie G's. It was absolutely not what I expected. The name makes me think of fish and chips, but this eatery was top of the line. We decided to eat out on the patio since we had our blessed children with us. It was exquisite. You can tell because I hardly have any pictures. I ate all of my lobster bisque and then went oops as I stared at the clean bowl. I photographed it anyway. It was quiet at our table. That's the sign of amazing food. This is a wonderful place for a nice dinner. Buon Appetito!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Gomer Takes a Nap

 We have a few days off before the last day of camp and we are taking a sabbath rest. We celebrated our anniversary over Filet Oscar and a chocolate sack. I spent one morning in the same spot for several hours while I read Francis Chan's new book, Erasing Hell. We have been taking our girls on a tour of grandparents houses because they have not seen them since the beginning of summer. All in all we are enjoying some rest. It's back to high energy on Sunday. Keep us in your prayers as we travel, finish out our summer, and begin our fall. Blessings to you.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Love Dare

I have had this book sitting on the shelf in my studio for years. It was given to me as a gift. I honestly thought it would be full of cheesy anectdotal stories and so I never picked it up. I was prompted by the Holy Spirit this summer to work my way through the book for the forty days leading up to our wedding anniversary. My mind has been changed about it. I did the math and I realized that between my husband and my four parents there have been 17 marriages. I really had an awakening as to the miracle that we have been married for the amount of time we have. In our society, marriages fall apart every day. This has led me to truly celebrate the marriages around me. God has been good to us. May we celebrate Him in our covenants with one another.

I used the journaling space for each day to pray for my husband, our marriage, and myself and I chose to give it to him instead of a card for our anniversary. The book led you through all the attributes of love and I was genuinely and life-changingly convicted. Even though I feel like I have a strong, loving marriage, God pointed out several things to me that I needed to work on. The beauty of the whole thing was no thinking about what my husband needed to work on, but just basking in what God designed love to be and meditating on His word. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Talk to me, Abba.

My grace is an ocean for all people. Minister to the broken. Pray for the proud. Restore the weary. Have the eyes of compassion for everyone you meet. Cry out for everyone around you to come to repentance. Wail deep tears for those bound by the lies of the enemy. Ask Me for their freedom instead of judging them for being imprisoned. Give water. Give hope. Give lovingkindness.     

"Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions."
        Proverbs 10:12 

For more on this segment, see this post. 
                                  

Monday, August 08, 2011

Mystically Wired by Ken Wilson

I honestly have no idea how I feel about this book. I was bored. I was interested. I was skeptical. I was encouraged. I felt like the book was written by different people. Sometimes it read as though parts of a science text book had been copied and pasted in. Some parts were interesting and you could feel a genuine interest by the author. Often I had no idea what his opinion was on things because of how he stated something or tried to say something by asking a question. He was trying to "rob bell" his point if you know what I mean. Basically I think he was trying to convince the Christian church at large that the word mystical is okay. 


He did quite a bit of presenting the inner workings of the brain in relation to prayer and told about how our bodies are wired to respond to the stimuli of prayer. It was interesting, but I really only got something out of about 10 pages of the book. Those ten pages were good. I am encouraged to press more deeply into prayer. I was encouraged to spend more time enjoying the Lord in the out of doors, to meditate more on scripture, and to pray at intervals during the day (as we saw Daniel doing). Some of it was a little weird to me and I can't recommend the book as a whole. I am taking the sentences I gleaned and pressing on in prayer.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Easy As Pie

 The Cherry family loves to cook. In fact, I think we may have more fun together in the kitchen than at the table. Laughter abounds in our kitchen.

My dear husband, Denbigh Cherry, is constantly trying to get a guest spot on Terribly Interesting to showcase to the world that he bakes. Here you go. My man bakes. He is quite hilarious and possessive about his creations. I saw him adding brown sugar to his apples and I asked if the recipe called for that. It didn't. I guess he has been watching me too long. I often throw in sugar, butter, or jalapenos into recipes that call for none of the above. 

In this photo journal, you will see that the whole band got in on the process. Well, two of them cooked and two of them hovered around salivating until the pies were done. It was a delectable way to fellowship!

He followed this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa for the most part. He caramelized his apples first in brown sugar and butter.