Christian growth · Husband · Pastor

Sin’s Grip is Lost

It has been a week of seeing God at work! A young man for whom we have been praying to be saved, opened his heart and received Christ before our morning worship service on Sunday. Then he stood before our congregation to share that he had been saved! I hope I never get over the wonder at seeing a soul trust Christ as their Savior!

Will he have a sin-free, easy life now? Of course not. The Lord even said that we will have tribulation in this world, but we could be of good cheer! Why? He (Jesus) has overcome the world! Though this young man will have obstacles and sin to face and deal with, he can say what is expressed in this song:

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine –

Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

Praise the Lord, we don’t have to sin. Is there a sin that seems to have a grip on you? If you are God’s child, realize that Christ died so that sin would not have a hold on you! Because Christ arose from the grave victorious over death, you and I can have victory of sin by His strength. What a wonderful blessing to be free!

Pastor’s Encouragement: Pray that God will give your pastor a clear, biblical vision of what your church can and should be for His glory, and that he will communicate that vision clearly and confidently to the church.

Husband Encouragement: Does your house flourish in an atmosphere of peace? According to God’s Word, peace is something that must be sought, pursued and focused on. The way you live your life and relate to your husband and family will set the tone for your home.

Likewise, you can encourage your husband to pursue peace. Praise him for his gentle spirit or his ability to diffuse conflict. Lovingly remind him of the power of his words and how much good can come from a wise comment. Thank him for being mindful to protect your family from negative entertainment options.

With love,

Husband · Pastor · Side dish

What’s Cookin’ in the Country?

Last Friday was what I called a “marathon baking” day.  I was getting ready for company, a HUGE Sunday school gathering at our house, and our church’s anniversary dinner.  I was in the kitchen all day and into the early evening getting ready for it all. I loved every minute of it and had a huge feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day!

Because I knew Saturday was going to be a full day, I opted to make things for our Sunday church dinner that could be made ahead of time.  Those three little words can be a girls’ best friend on a busy day!  Here’s what I made:

Gourmet Potatoes
Cranberry Jello Salad

Gourmet Potatoes – This is a dish that has to be assembled the night before.  Doing it two nights before was even better!  The Cranberry jello Salad recipe is an easy to assemble jello salad.  I don’t always have patience time for those recipes where you have to let the jello set up!  This is is a mix and dump recipe.  Then you just put the whipped topping on after it’s all set.  Couldn’t be easier!  If you will need a cranberry salad for Thanksgiving dinner, you really need to add this one to your menu.  I love it – I bet you will too!
I left the whipped topping off this time, and it was just as yummy!
But of course the whipped topping puts it over the top!

Cranberry Salad
1 – 3oz. pkg lemon Jello
1 – 3oz. pkg. dark raspberry Jello
1 20oz. can crushed pineapple
1 can Cranberry sauce (whole berry)
¼ cup chopped (fine) celery
1 cup boiling water

Dissolve Jello in boiling water. Drain pineapple and add water to make 1 cup. Mix all together and pour into a 9 x 13” dish and refrigerate until set.
Topping for Jello
Prepare one pkg. Dream Whip according to directions. Add one 8-oz. pkg cream cheese. Add 3-4 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Beat until smooth. Spread on congealed salad.

Gourmet Potatoes
6 medium potatoes
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 C butter
1 1/2 C sour cream (I used light)
1/3 C chopped onion
1 t. salt

Peel the potatoes. Leave them whole. Cook in boiling water ’til tender. Cool.
Shred potatoes coarsely. In medium-sized saucepan, melt butter and cheese. Stir ’til melted. Remove from heat; blend in sour cream, onions and salt. Fold in potatoes and pour into a 2 qt. casserole dish.
Sprinkle with paprika on top. Refrigerate overnight. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

So that’s what I was cooking this weekend.  How about you?

This is the last week for our encouragement challenge.  Here’s your first assignment:

Pastor’s Encouragement:  Pray for spiritual unity in the church staff and among the spiritual leadership of the church (deacons).  Pray the enemy will not be allowed to create divisions, strife, or misunderstanding among the church leaders.

Husband Encouragement:  If you have children, does your husband discipline them wisely?  Does he show them love and encourage them?  Does he take interest in their activities and dreams?  Does he spend time with them?  Does he take part in developing their character?  Praise him for these important life skills.

If you don’t have children, is your husband positive and encouraging to other people’s children?  Let him know that you have noticed and believe he has what it takes to be a great dad.

With love from my country kitchen,

Husband · Pastor

I’m Back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hello, Dear Readers! I have truly missed being able to connect with you here! It took a little longer to get Internet connections to our newly constructed house, but it was probably a good break. It has given me more time to get settled into our new home as well as participate in a couples retreat, direct a wedding, make a trip to Kentucky and host a couple gatherings – all in the last two weeks! Things have been busy, but very wonderful!

The view from my devotional chair

While we were moving and getting settled, so many people were a blessing to us; they refreshed us.

  • Some brought food and beverages on the day we moved.
  • Some helped me pack before the move.
  • Some helped me unpack after we moved.
  • Many sent cards of congratulations on our new home.
  • Some have come to visit and welcome us!
  • Some have given gracious gifts for our new home.
  • Many have prayed for all the details and let us know how they were praying.
  • Many have rejoiced with us in God’s provision. It’s harder to rejoice than to weep with those that weep. Seeing others’ joy in our blessing is really special.
If someone you know is moving, consider how you could refresh them at this time by looking at the list above and asking the Lord what He would have you do. Moving is a daunting task, so whatever you do for them will be really appreciated! If you can only pack up one cabinet of dishes, it will be one less cabinet they have to pack. If you could only have time to bake them some cookies for the day of their move, it will help fortify them on that exhausting day. The point is, do something. You will be refreshed as you encourage them!

Back to our desire to encourage our pastor and our husband:

Pastor’s Encouragement: Pray that God will protect your pastor’s wife from bitterness when her husband is criticized. Pray that her prayer and devotional life will be consistent, and that she will guard her mind and heart. (As a pastor’s wife, I know how much I need this prayer! Thanks in advance for those that will pray this for me!)

Your Husband: Plant seeds of faithfulness into your husband’s heart by praising his integrity and loyal actions. Write him a note expressing how much it means to you that he has honored his marriage vow.
*Note: If there has been unfaithfulness in your relationship, thank the Lord that your husband is still with you, and thank your husband for it too. Keep building. God can make beauty from ashes!

I can’t wait for the days ahead! I have pictures of our house to show its progress. Though things aren’t decorated yet, I’m pretty well unpacked. I have some devotional thoughts I’ve been thinking about and some great new recipes to share too, so keep tuned! I’m back online! 

What have you been up to since we last met here? I missed you!!!!

Love and hugs,

Husband · Pastor

Freshen Up Friday

Has your marriage reaped any of the fruit from your encouragement?  Keep at it!  You’ll see it come in due time.

This Sunday when you head to church, give your pastor some verbal encouragement.  Tell him you’re praying for him.  Tell him what you’re asking God to do in his life.  Tell him you appreciate him!

Pastor’s Encouragment:  Ask God to protect your pastor’s marriage and keep it strong as a model of Christ’s relationship with the Church.  Pray that your pastor will tenderly cherish and lead his wife, and that she will respect and encourage her husband, submitting to his leadership.  Eph. 5:23-33

Husband’s Encouragement:  Tell your family why you love your husband.  Do you praise your husband to his relatives and yours? Does your husband’s mother know how much you love him? How about your dad? Perhaps you can drop a word of praise into a conversation or letter. Be creative in letting your relatives know that you respect your husband, love him, and support him—in spite of whatever flaws and weaknesses he may have.

Keep working at your marriage every single day!

See you in church!

Be refreshed,

Husband · Pastor

A Peek from My Porch

Yep, someone’s peeking inside our new home, but that’s okay, they were invited, and so are you! So step up to the window, cup your hands around your eyes and look inside!  Today’s activity continues in the area of refreshing our pastor and husband with encouragement!

Your Pastor: Pray for your pastor’s personal walk with God – that his soul and spirit will be nourished and strengthened in his quiet time with God, beyond his sermon preparation. Pray that he will spend more time in the Word of God rather than reading Christian books and articles, or sites on the Internet.

Your Husband: Maybe your husband’s not a handyman, but does he run errands for you? Let you go first? Take care of you when you are sick? Help you make decisions? Praise him for his willingness to serve others. Let him know that you see his unique service as a great strength

Thanks for stopping by today!

With love from my country porch,