Jan 30, 2008

Do you have a place that you just LOVE to go to, but don't get to all that often for various reasons? Well that place is Postino's Wine Café for us. It is this incredible winecafe that we just love - the wine, ambiance and bruschetta are just incredible.

Needless to say, we went to Postino's last night with some friends, Laura and Phil, and had a great time. After some great conversation, a wonderful glass of Cabernet and some delicious bruschetta we left already talking about when we would be back.

For those of you in the Phoenix area who have yet to visit this great place - please check it out. PostinoWineCafe.com
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Jan 25, 2008

This week I've had to ask myself - "How many times can I sing the most famous song in the world, Amazing Grace, but still have no idea why God's grace is really amazing?" I may be going out on a limb here - but I have a feeling that there are plenty of Christians out there that might find themselves asking the same question every once in awhile. You see - my mouth has been singing this song for probably the last 20+ years of my life - but I think it would be fair to say that my soul has never really quite understood this grace that I've sung about so many times.

With this in mind I started a Kay Arthur study this week that has already begun to shape my understanding of the grace in which I stand. You see - the word grace (used 156 times in the NT alone) in the original Greek language of the NT means "unmerited favor."
With that understanding I've been looking at this amazing grace, trying to understand what it means for my every day life. What does the "unmerited favor" of God really mean to me?

Well the answer is quite simple - EVERYTHING! The only reason why I awake each day with breath and life is because of the great favor of our Lord. Not only that (as if that isn't good enough), the fact that His grace goes beyond how much I do (in a spiritual sense) each day is so incredibly freeing. I can never be too good or too bad for the favor of God - because it is unmerited. That's the distinguishing attribute of God's grace over any other grace - it is beyond merit.

So as I continue my study of this great gift that God has lavished upon us please pray that God would reveal to me just how amazing His grace really is. My prayer is that each time I sing that beloved hymn and grow in my understanding of His grace, that the response would be three fold - it would bring glory to the only One who deserves it, that it would bring peace to my soul and that it would free me up to minister more affectively.
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Jan 14, 2008

Treasures. Scavenger Hunts. Have I caught anyone's attention with those words? I know it catches my attention :)

Recently Alan and I were given a GPS unit for Christmas (thanks Tom & Jane!). It was obviously a great gift for getting around Phoenix and for taking on trips - but it's become a source of great entertainment for us these past few weeks. I can describe our entertainment in one word - GEOCACHING! Our friends introduced us to this great hobby just a couple weeks back and we've been enjoying it ever since. Essentially it is a glorified Scavenger Hunt with your GPS system. It's just too great for words! We've found ourselves getting up on the weekends with one thing in mind - finding a cache! We'll even go out in our PJ's to find the next treasure.

For those of you who have yet to partake in this activity - you are seriously missing out. So, here's what I would suggest - find a friend or call us up and check this new phenomenon out. It's so much fun. Then let us know about your adventures.
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Jan 7, 2008

Alright - I have to be honest. I have never loved anything about rain. I guess maybe if I stay inside all day and get to stay in my PJ's and watch movies all day - then I wouldn't mind it so much. But who actually gets to do that? Instead I have to find my umbrella (which since moving to AZ has become virtually impossible to find), walk out in the cold rain, splash water on my pants and just feel miserable the rest of the day. Not to mention my hair gets extremely frizzy. Rain, ugh!!!

However, today as I sit and stare outside as the rain falls down from the heavens, I'm quickly reminded of the symbolization that rain is for my life. It reminds me of just how great or God, the Creator of this universe, is to me on multiple levels. First, He is my provider and supplier. Like David says in Psalm 147:8, "He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills," He made and causes each drop of rain to fall to this earth to provide for that which He created long ago! How incredible is that!

Not only this, but just as the rain refreshes the grass on this earth, His Spirit refreshes my soul. Just like rain falling to this earth, He indeed rains down the Holy Spirit on me to refresh, replenish and nurture my soul! And I know I need that in my life. I would be nothing without the power of the Spirit of the Lord upon me.

So - just as some parts of this life are rather uncomfortable - I pray that even in my lack of comfort as the rain falls today I might be quickly reminded of the Greatness of our God. Here's to the Creator of the phenomenon rain.
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