28 September 2009


At my church, I am currently going through a study called “Redeeming Recovery Step Study.” It is the traditional 12-step program broken down, sifted in with Scripture and put back together. But it isn’t just for people with outwardly addictive behaviors- it’s for anyone that has sin in their life and doesn’t know how to deal with it. The sin, no matter how big or small, how out in the open or how hidden it is, affects everyone and needs to be dealt with in order to achieve that life that God purposed us to live.

Community is something that I personally feel is an important aspect of the body of believers that we, in the present age, neglect. Why do I think this? Humans were created to be in community with each other and with God. You can look at Genesis 2 and see this. God made Adam a helper, Eve, because God saw that it wasn’t good that he was alone. Even though Adam lived in perfect harmony with God in Eden, it still wasn’t good, as everything else had been thus far that God had created. Throughout the New Testament, we are constantly commanded to love others, honor others, serve others, and put others above ourselves. The community I believe we are called to live in should be described as real and authentic, and a place where truth can be spoken in love. When this is the case in the body of believers, we don’t have to feel like we have to put on the “every thing’s fine” face every time we go to church- instead, we can admit that we aren’t okay and it’s okay because it is a safe place. We can quit acting like everything in our life is perfect and be encouraged, rebuked, and helped in this community.

Satan tries to keep us from living in this kind of community. He wants to make us believe that we have to keep all of our junk to ourselves. He wants us to believe that no one cares or wants to deal with our junk. He wants us to keep everything in the dark; but God calls us to live in the light, to confess those things so that they can be forgiven. Not confessing them to others keeps us focused on ourselves and not on God, in an endless loop of self condemnation, and undealt with and this is not how we are called, as Christians to live.

25 September 2009

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 3)

Here they are: 7 things you may or may not want to read about on this beautiful Friday afternoon.
1. Apparently, there is something in the water down in the Student Ministry Offices at First Baptist Church (where I work and go to church). Our new Student Minister, Zack, and his wife Autumn are about 3 months pregnant, our Junior High Minister, (also my cousin) Justin, and his wife Amber are almost 5 months pregnant, and the College Ministery, Brady, and his wife Melissa, are just over 1 month pregnant. And NO, I am not pregnant.
2. This has felt like the longest week ever. After getting back late Sunday after an amazing weekend in Galveston, and staying up till 1 am Tuesday working on our budget for Financial Peace University, having the usual Wednesday (which is long because of working and Bible Studies), and being so far behind on homework and trying to catch up that I am so glad that it is Friday today! Sleeeeeeeep!
3. Jim and I continue to love our Nissan Cube! It got us some great gas mileage while driving to Austin/Galveston, made it easy for everyone to find the house we were staying in, and still has that new car smell! We officially have tags for it now, so there is NO turning back!
4. Hopefully, this weekend, sometime, I can type up my September update on 101 in 1001. I've completed about 6 items, so I'm on track, I guess (it's still long way out so hard to tell) with 925 days remaining!
5. This year at the Great State Fair of Texas, they are serving Fried Butter- wow- that's all I have to say about that.
6. Fall is here in North Texas! As are Pumpkin Spice Latte's! This is by far my favorite time of year! I love the colors, the temperature, and getting to where fleece's!
7. I'm apologize that this blog isn't updated more often! I've had to do some prioritizing, and between school, work, and other "adult" stuff, this just gets pushed down the list! After I graduate (MAY 2010) I hope to devote more time to it!

21 September 2009

Fall Minestrone

Fall is definitely in the air! And as I listen to a cold front move into the area, I thought I would share a recipe that Jim made last week that was very, well, Fall-ish (and really good!)

Fall Minestrone (Rachel Ray: 365 No Repeats)
2 tbsp. EVOO
1/4 lb. bacon
4 garlic cloves
3 portobello mushroom caps
2 med. onions chopped
2 med. carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 stems fresh rosemary
8 fresh sage leaves
1 med. zucchini, diced
15 oz. can of cannellini beans, drained
14 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
1 qt. chicken stock or broth
2 cups vegetable stock or broth
1 cup ditalini pasta

Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat and add the EVOO. Add the bacon and brown for two minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms, onions, carrots and celery. Cook for 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the rosemary and sage. Add the zucchini and chopped greens and stir until all the greens wilt, 2-3 minutes.

Add the beans, tomatoes, and stocks. Place a lid on the pot and bring the soup to a boil. Uncover and add the pasta. Cook for 7-8 minutes at a rolling simmer, uncovered, until the pasta is al dente, with a bite to it. Remove the pot from the heat. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

12 September 2009

Officially a One Car Family

So Jim and I made the big jump and are officially a one car family.

We had been experimenting with only having one car since the beginning of July, and it worked great! So, we decided to make the plunge. Which car did we get rid? Obviously it was going to be Jim's because his was a little older and didn't have air conditioning. Even though we had a payment on mine, it got better gas mileage, was newer, and had four doors.

But we didn't choose Jim's. Or mine...

Instead, we are now owners of a Cube Mobile Device.
I know- it's different, but hear me out.

We were going to look and just see if we were in a place to purchase a little bit bigger car because in making the jump to one car, it was going to be the one that lasted us until we began to expand our family, something that would last 5 years or so. We went looking at Toyota Rav 4's and Nissan Rogue's. We quickly learned those were just over our price range. After going back to Nissan to see if they could cut us a deal, our salesman said you should really look at the Cube to which Jim said, "I think those are the ugliest cars ever." Our salesman said they are very roomy and that most are surprised so we should at least give it a shot. And, well it we did, and it was awesome. Jim has at least 6 (or more, I haven't actually measured) of head room ABOVE his head (which never happens in a car) and it gets 28 mpg in the city, it has an iPod and Auxiliary input so it makes listening to the iPod or iPhone (which has the Ranger Radio Broadcast app) a BREEZE! We love it! We test drove it overnight, fell more in love with, got the numbers all together, and bargained away (Jim did this- I said nothing and let him make the deal and he did an excellent job!) and got the car Tuesday! We picked it up Thursday!!

So we own a cube and it's our only car!
And the only thing that I was disappointed in: after spending all that money on a car, they don't give you floormats! Really?

04 September 2009

Seven Quick Takes (Vol. 2)

Seven things that have nothing to do with each other, but that I want to tell you (whether you want to hear/read them or not).

Let me reintroduce myself- my name is Sarah Johnson. I've been MIA for a bit because life in the non-blog world has been slightly overwhelming. I won't bore you with the details, but I will say that today I got this beautiful vase of flowers from my bosses today with some awesome hand written cards (can we say "Words of Affirmation" is my love language) and it completely made all of the teary days of almost misery worth it, knowing that I am appreciated. Thanks!

In an attempt to be more content with my place of residence, I took on a "home improvement" project: re-caulking my tub. It took a weekend (because you have to strip the old caulking, bleach the cracks, let it dry, caulk, let it dry 12 hours, and I added another layer, which then had to set for 24 hours) and I would just like to say that caulking is a LOT harder than it appears. But, I got it finished to a satisfactory level, and we're good to go.

We had dumpster fire #6 this morning- not a bad one, mostly smoking ashes, but a pain in the you know what, nonetheless. The fire department said they put a camera up to try and catch the person doing it (I think it's our neighbor's grandkids who are usually up to no good anyway (for instance, we've randomly found two tennis balls in our driveway) and they're always banging on things and just look like they're trouble makers) but I'm not really sure I can believe the Fire Department at this point.

Current shows I'm DVR'ing- Project Runway & Design Star; Future shows I'm looking forward to DVRing- Biggest Loser and So You Think You Can Dance.

I've been playing a lot of Mario Kart on my Wii in the past week- I'm not sure why. I've just kind of been addicted to it. And Since I completely caught up at work finally, I've just wanted to play Mario Kart.

I am so looking forward to having a three day weekend. I hope I can get a lot done and caught up on my housework.

Jim and I start our first Sunday as small group leaders at our church this Sunday. We are leading a small group of co-ed college students as we go through the book of James. We're really excited but are needing an icebreaker for Sunday. Any ideas?