Since having our Favorite Things Party back in the Winter, I have kept a running tab on my ongoing cycles of obsession…at the top of my list right now is:
*The Gospel Coalition! Okay, this is a post all in itself. I had the BEST weekend soaking in the RICHEST teaching at TGC12.
*Farmer’s Markets! The one here in Winter Park is so fun. They have everything from fresh pineapple mango juice to South Carolina peaches and tomatoes!
*Duck Dynasty! Have you seen this hysterical show? The premise is a precious family of self-proclaimed rednecks who make it big in the duck call business…”Frog in One” and “Sadie’s First Date” are by far my fave episodes.
*Pandora “Shuffle”! Do y’all know about this? Choose your station and it’ll be your personal DJ…who doesn’t want Instrumental Hip Hop, Adele and the Getty’s all in one sitting?
*Seeing our Alumni taking the Gospel to all the corners of the globe! Jill in Argentina, Amy in Africa, Natalie in the Middle East and hundreds like Corrie, rocking it for Jesus in the hospitals, classrooms, businesses and neighborhoods of America! TWITTER: Corrie Strange (@CAStrange1) 5/18/12 7:21 PM “Praying, talking about Jesus and holding hands with my patients and families..that is why I am a nurse. That’s why I have so much joy work..”
*Sau-laying!” Never heard of this fabulous cooking technique? Prob bc it has a more technical name and I am the only goober who calls it this ;)
Regardless, I am loving brushing a 9×13 glass dish with grapeseed oil, pounding out chicken to 1/2 inch thickness, sprinkling with salt, pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning or whatever else is within reach. Cook the chicken for 10 minutes, then take out, flip the chicken and lay 1/2 a bag of spinach in the pan, drizzle some more oil, chop up some sun-dried tomatoes, and throw in 1/2 container of feta. Let it cook for 5-7 more minutes or until chicken is cooked and spinach is wilted nicely…You can add anything, we recently tried mushrooms, fresh tomatoes and pine nuts, served it over ravioli and it was delish! It’s seriously the easiest, yummiest technique…have you ever tried a “Sau-layed” dish? (Sauteing +throwing laying things in a pan)
In normal life your celebrations don’t usually intersect with your sad times and your sad times aren’t typically your times of celebration. When you are sad, you don’t really feel like celebrating anything much. The opposite is also true, when you are celebrating, you don’t want your good spirits dampened by reasons to be sad. We try our best to keep our sadness and our celebration separate. It just makes life less complicated.
But Jesus has called us to be a sadly celebratory community or a celebratory sad community. Now why is this true? It is true because Jesus calls you to a life of uncompromising honesty and a life of unchallenged hope. If you are going to be honest, really honest, then you are going to be sad.
Why, because you cannot be honest without recognizing the horrible legacy of damage that sin has left on each one of us and on the surrounding world. Sin damages us, it damages our relationships, and it damages our environment. There is nothing you will ever examine or experience, this side of eternity, that has not been damaged in some way by sin. The destruction is so widespread it almost leaves you breathless. When you are really honest about how broken the world actually is, you cannot help but be profoundly sad.
Yet, we are not just called to be people of honesty, we are called to be people of hope as well. When you begin to consider how magnificent God’s love really is, when you begin to understand how powerful his grace is, and when you begin to realize that God is right now exercising both his love and his grace so that this world would be fully and completely restored, you can’t help but celebrate. This God who is the ultimate definition of love and wisdom, will not leave us and the surrounding world alone until we and it are fully and completely restored to what we were meant to be in the beginning.
So we should be the saddest and most celebrant community on earth. And we should be sad and celebratory at the very same time. We are sad because we know how bad things actually are and we celebrate because we know that the help that Jesus offers us reaches to the deepest level of our need.
Are you sad at the condition of your world and does your sadness dance with your celebration because you also know how great God’s life-transforming grace actually is? When you take those honest looks at your world, have you remembered that God will not quit or rest until he has made all things new?
May both celebration and sadness dance in your heart to the rhythm of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Paul David Tripp
“Connecting the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life”
Those were my top 10…What are some of your “Favorite Things” these days??