Monday, June 27, 2011

Hippies, Cute Kids, and 4th of July Fun...

I'm a hippie.

Well, not really. Yes, my girls' middle names are Spring and Rain, but I like to brush my hair and shave my legs entirely too much to be a real live hippie. But I pretend...on Sundays...from 9-12. :)

Yes, I go to "hippie church". My husband, Russ, runs Gospel Organic ministries. It is basically a non-profit organization geared to reach those who are sort of tired of the same 'ol, same 'ol, and want to do church differently. Another big part of this ministry is to challenge believers to use their noggin and really understand why we believe what we do and be ready to defend that.

Back to church, we meet in a park. No lights, bands, or even bathrooms. We don't want to have to worry about those things in hopes that we can really be a community that simply meets and talks about the Word and life. Normally, it gets pretty deep and I often have to zone out to keep my brain from exploding. But this past Sunday was really challenging in a number of ways.

We discussed the book, Radical, by David Platt. The author is the peacher of a megachurch in Birmingham, AL. In the book, he discusses his visits to underground churches in Asia and I was caught off guard when we were asked these questions:
Would you still do the church thing if ...
-you had to come dressed in all black with your head covered?
-Travel hours to meet with other believers?
-Risk losing your family?
-Risk being tortured?

The list could go on and on. But that is what believers who are part of underground churches in Asia and other countries go through just to hear a piece of the Word and meet with other believers.

A part of me if so thankful that by the grace of God I was born in a country where those situations are not reality for me. But another part is terrified because I'm not so sure I would have the strength to continue if my life was on the line. Let me share a part of the book with you and maybe you can chew on it for a while...

"We are starting to redefine Christianity. We are giving in to the dangerous temptation to take the Jesus of the Bible and twist him into a version of Jesus we are more comfortable with. A nice, middle-class, American Jesus. A Jesus who doesn't mind materialism and who would never call us to give away everything we have. A Jesus who would not expect us to forsake our closest relationships so that he receives all our affection. A Jesus who is fine with nominal devotion that does not infringe on our comforts, because, after all, he loves us just the way we are. A Jesus who wants us to be balanced, who wants us to avoid dangerous extremes, and who for that matter, wants us to avoid danger al-together. A Jesus who brings us comfort and prosperity as we live out our Christian spin on the American dream. But do you and I realize what we are doing at this point? We are molding Jesus into our image..." (pg. 13)

Believe me, there is something that feels so good about putting my girls in smocked dresses and getting all dressed up to hear a 3-point sermon on Sunday mornings. But, I must ask myself, is that more for me? or for Him?

Let me know what you think...

And so your brain won't explode like mine, check out these cuties to lighten the mood...

I know this is the most random concoction of topics on this post, but I'm all about cute desserts and I found these little treats on a baking blog a while back, but I can't remember where. :( Anyway, if you need an easy treat to take to a get-together, these will do the trick:

All you need are candy wafers (I get mine at Hobby Lobby), pretzels, and M & M's.

So simple. Place your pretzels on a baking sheet and put one candy wafer on each one. Stick these treats in a 350 degree oven for 3 minutes. As soon as they come out, place an M&M on top. Let them cool completely and enjoy! You can put them in the fridge if your in a hurry and they will harden quickly. You could make these cute treats for any holiday or theme. And they really are yum!

Here are some additional links for more 4th of July fun!

Love From the Oven

Baker's Royale

Cookies & Cups

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