The Sabbath day was both an opportunity for the children of Israel to have some margin that would enhance their enjoyment of their new life and an exercise in showing a heightened respect for Yahweh. But they didn’t appreciate the gift. Israel likely felt about the same as we do about taking a space of time to simply appreciate God. By the time of the New Testament, it got worse. The religious … [Read more...]

One of the most important things you can do is be part of a small group. New groups connect more people than existing groups. Whether they are believers or do not know Christ, new people are more likely to come to a group with other new people as it is easier to get connected and form new relationships. New small groups also matter for personal growth. Discipleship is relational, and small … [Read more...]

“Desperate times call for desperate measures.” Whoever coined that phrase must have been a parent. If they weren’t, surely they had a window into our home during one of those harrowing moments usually striking between the time school lets out and the time heads hit the pillow. If we’re honest, much of our parenting is a reaction to the messes and mistakes our children are making all around us. … [Read more...]

Let's turn up the volume on a couple of 4th of July BBQ sides! Sidle up these dishes next to your perfectly grilled burgers and barbecue chicken for a spread to remember (and enjoy). Watermelon Cucumber Salad Serves 6-8 2 limes, juiced 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar 4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper 1 seedless watermelon, diced (about … [Read more...]

Memorial Day is around this weekend’s corner. And that means cookouts! If you need to take a side dish to an outdoor soirée, try one of these simple salads. Plus they are healthy and delicious. Easy Tomato & Cucumber Salad Serves 4 2 large cucumbers, halved lengthwise, seeded & diced 4 Roma tomatoes, seeded & chopped ½ red onion, chopped Fresh mint leaves, chopped 6 splashes … [Read more...]

This week gives us the first official day of spring. Hallelujah! So here are seven fun things to do with your longer spring days. And not a single one involves cleaning. 1. Plant an herb garden. Parsley, basil, rosemary, mint. Growing your own herbs saves money and adds an essential oomph to home cooked meals. Select a sunny spot with good drainage as close to the kitchen as possible. 2. … [Read more...]

Update: Congrats to Marcia Rhinehart for winning this giveaway! Whether you plan to root for the Seattle Seahawks or the Denver Broncos this weekend, you’re gonna need some party food to fuel all that aggressive cheering. Make this dip to go with your football buffet. You can even assemble it ahead of time and pop it in the oven just before hungry guests arrive. Warm Spinach and Artichoke … [Read more...]

The new year is finally here, which means resolutions might be on your mind. In lieu of a typical goal like losing 10 pounds, how about adding the practice of journaling to your 2014? Here are a few reasons to put pen to paper. Leave it all on the page. When I have lots of thoughts dancing around my head, whether it’s a to-do list or how upset I am by the conversation I had earlier with … [Read more...]

Update: Congrats to Nanette R. for winning this giveaway! I am not a fitness expert. I have never run a marathon (or a half marathon). But I do have friends who go to the gym. And occasionally I go with them. We are the people, possibly like you, who are doing our best. Do we crave Mexican food or eat a piece of office party cake once in a while? Sure. We don’t always get the fitness … [Read more...]

Let’s get cozy, shall we? Today’s temperature finally allowed me to snuggle up in my favorite sweater. And now I’m dreaming of a cozy cool-weather meal. Like this simple soup. Roasted Winter Squash Soup Serves 4 to 6 1 large head of garlic Olive oil 1 to 2 winter squash (butternut and/or acorn squash work well) Salt & pepper 1 tablespoon butter 1 large onion, chopped 1 can … [Read more...]