Monthly Archives: June 2013

06/24/13

FAITHfull

I had the most honest, transparent, and enriching conversation with a friend this past week about Faith. We shared life’s struggles, life’s successes, and life’s mysteries with each other, spent some time in prayer, and then she said something that stuck with me- “I know it, I do in both my head and my heart, but it’s hard to live that out. It’s hard to live our what you know.”

And she’s right.

When the hardships come and the waters of life get choppy, it’s hard to live in the constant light of Faith; never doubting, never questioning.

There are 18 inches between your heart and your mind. 18 inches. 18 tiny, seemingly insignificant inches. Those 18 inches can feel more like 18 feet can’t they?

I recently finished a book that touched me so personally that I had to write about it and I find myself talking about it to others probably more than I should… Running for my Life by Lopez Lomong. I think people are starting to think I am getting a cut for advertising it so freely. But, no, just very touched by the story line and by Lopez’s unwavering faith.

Lopez Lomong’s story is truly extraordinary. At the age of 6, he was kidnapped by the Somalian resistance and sent to a boy’s prison camp. With the supernatural help of Jesus, he was able to escape one night and run for his life, barefoot across the rough African terrain all the way to Kimotong, Kenya. There he lived for 10 years in a refugee camp in tents with hundreds of other young men, a.k.a “The Lost Boys” prior to being adopted by a sweet American family in Syracuse, NY.

Reading his story, his enormous faith throughout childhood and young adulthood, his ascent into adulthood and becoming an American citizen, his determination and discipline in running, and him sharing his hopes and dreams for the Sudan were so inspiring that I literally could not put the book down.

As I read, I would literally sit in bed with silent tears streaming down my cheeks. When I would place the book on my bedside table, turn the lights out, and roll over, I would spend a few moments in prayer asking Him for more faith. I asked Him to give me a spirit that is faith-filled. I asked Him to enrich, strengthen, and expand my faith in Him, in others, and in myself.

Don’t we all want and need more faith?

Scripture tells us is that all we need is faith as small as a mustard seed. I love the way it reads in The Message…

“Because you’re not yet taking God seriously,” said Jesus. “The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a mustard seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.” (Matthew 17:20, The Message)

There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.

 

Father, move in me and teach me how to have more faith. Give me faith as big as a mustard seed so that I know, with you, there is nothing I won’t be able to tackle. Continue to mold me each and every day- expand my faith, expand my reach, and expand my belief and love for others. Amen.

 

Have a great week this week with big, big mustard seed style faith!

xoxo

Jamie

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06/21/13

“Fancy” not required

I have learned a lesson about hospitality. To share true and genuine hospitality, you do not have to go out of your way and make it inconvenient or put a burden on yourself. For example, this week we welcomed a new team member and we threw an impromptu Welcome Breakfast. I told them I would bring muffins. And I did.

Beautiful, fruity, bakery-style, delicious muffins… FROM A BOX!

Yep, I just admitted it. I made muffins from a boxed mix and jazzed them up a bit to call it my own.

And the best part? The new team member was touched by our breakfast, felt truly welcomed and accepted by the team, and everyone raved about these easy, not-from-scratch muffins.

See… “fancy” not required.

START with your favorite boxed muffin mix. I have to say, I am not a label or brand-name dropper when it comes to food, but Krusteaz seriously makes some of the best boxed muffin and cake mixes out there! Outstanding and they have come through for me time and time again.

For those nights that don’t have time for “home made”.

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I love the combination of tart cranberries and sweet orange, so my favorite mix is the Cranberry Orange Muffin Mix, with a few adjustments.

I prepare the mix almost exactly like boxed directions suggest (1 cup water), but do 1/4 cup of that 1 cup water measurement with Orange Juice. It bumps up the flavor profile! I also add some orange zest too, about 1/2 an orange will do. The zest adds great flavor, but I also love seeing the little orange flecks in the batter. After all, we eat with our eyes first!

Fold in the drained cranberries provided in the box, scoop evenly into the lined tins, and bake!

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Last step… this is crucial. I top mine with some sanding sugar just for extra effect. It dresses them up a bit and adds a nice crunchy, sweet coating.

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Just a little something extra.

In 12-14 minutes, you have perfect, moist, beautiful muffins to share with a crowd.

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Never forsake showing true and genuine hospitality just because everything isn’t perfect. Let’s just face it. Perfection is overrated anyway.

 

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

— Hebrews 13:2

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