Archive for June, 2008

Tuesday’s Common Meal

Here’s our common meal for this week, Siestas! We’ll do something fun from the “No Other Gods” workbook for our main dish and I’ll give you one of my old stand-by favorites for dessert.

Main dish: Let’s all make the Sicilian Pizza Crust on p.119 then each of us decide on our own toppings. Perhaps ask each of your group members to bring their favorite topping then throw them on and bake them when they arrive. Let us know if you’ve got some really creative ones. If you’ve got a larger group, you might need at least two. One pizza has NEVER served 6 Moores!!

Dessert: This is the recipe I’ve used for years for the best old fashion pound cake you’ve ever tasted in your life. Your house will smell like Heaven. It is in an old church cookbook posted by a dear woman of God named Bea Brock from First Baptist Church of Victoria, Texas. (Might we call her Aunt Bea? Isn’t that perfect for a pound cake baker?) It may not sound exciting but I promise you, it is a crowd pleaser. FYI: these portions always make a little too much for a standard bundt pan so leave some in the mixing bowl as you see it’s getting too full. You can just eat that part with the beater like Jackson and I do.

5 Flavor Pound Cake:
2 Sticks Butter Softened
1/2 Cup Crisco Shortening
3 Cups Sugar
5 Eggs Well Beaten
3 Cups Flour
1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Cup Milk
1 Tsp. each of vanilla, lemon, almond, coconut and butter flavor extracts.

Combine butter and Crisco. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs; mix flour and baking powder and salt, alternately with milk. Add extracts. Pour into well greased and floured tube pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 and 1/2 hours. Let cool completely before you turn it out of the pan. That means you’ll need to make it about four hours in advance of class to be on the safe side. You can put a glaze on it but it doesn’t need it. You can also throw some fresh strawberries or blueberries on it with whipped cream. You’ll be back at your great grandmother’s house again with the first bite, tasting one of your sweetest childhood memories.

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Video Scripture Memory Update and Deeper Still

Hey, You Darling Siestas! I hope you are well and blessed in the perceptible presence of Jesus Christ. Just a couple of pieces of news this stormy Sunday afternoon in Houston, Texas. I wanted to let you know, lest someone be devastated by the delay, that our much-hailed Grand Prize Scripture Memory Competition Winner will be unveiled on Friday of this week rather than Tuesday. Due to a yet unexplained technical problem, some of the videos arrived in our inbox expired and we wanted to give them time to be resubmitted. After all, this fierce competition has caused an uproar second only to American Idol and the talent just keeps rolling in. Brace yourself.

I love y’all so much.

Grinning so wide that my ears feel all tight.

I just returned from Deeper Still in Atlanta, Georgia where a whopping 19,000 of us raised the roof in praise to the One True God and studied our heads into a migraine. (Not really. Haven’t ever really had a migraine but if you were prone to one, we no doubt gave you one this weekend but, Child, you can’t say you didn’t hear some Scripture.) God gave us a terrific group! One of the best huge groups I’ve ever gotten to be part of. (Don’t worry, Raleigh. You are still in a tier all by yourself but, I’ll be honest, this group got mighty close. Their love for Jesus was large and loud and they hung tight all the way to the last second of a long conference.) You’ll never guess who was sitting on the very front row next to the Governor’s (precious) wife. Our own Siesta, Georgia Jan! I LOVED HER! She’s the one that told that hilarious story recently about her church choir singing a special in a worship service about coming to Jesus with your burdens and, when a woman actually got up and came to the altar, they all thought, “What on earth is she doing? And in the middle of our special?” (My paraphrase but I laughed my head nearly to the floor over that honest appraisal.) Georgia Jan was one of those ultimate kind of people every teacher wants to have in class. Completely engaged and talking back to you constantly.

Guess who else was there? Big Mama and Boomama! (Don’t tell me you haven’t ever checked out their blogs. They are a blast.) I’m not kidding – I was totally starstruck. They were there in an official guest-blog-writer capacity with some of the LifeWay folks so I got to meet them at sound check then have them right behind me next to Amanda and her good buddy Janelle (we missed you so much, Sunni! Next time?). They were all right there where I could pat on all of them. (I’m a patter. I could mother a fence post as my grandmother used to say.) Big and Boo were just as fun as I thought they’d be. Better than that, they obviously have a keen liking for Jesus and His Word and that just says it, doesn’t it? Funny. Godly. Man, I love that.

One of my biggest highlights is that I got to be with both my daughters all weekend. Amanda and Janelle flew up with me then we met up with Melissa once we got there. We got to worship together (Trav and the team were in full throttle gift-mode) and open the “Holy Scripts” (as Melissa calls them with no small reverence) together during the conference. Lis’s Colin even joined us for the last session. He was so cute trying to fold his whole six-foot three-inch self up inconspicuously in a raging sea of capri-pants. Needless to say, the event was our highlight but the girls and I also had a blast together after it was over last night then again this morning. The funniest thing happened after the conference ended at 5:30 PM. Melissa went to so much trouble to make reservations at the ultimate spot to get a taste of beautiful, historical Atlanta, Georgia. We went to their version of the Spindletop (I can’t remember the exact name but most of us who attended the conference were there). It is a restaurant on the 76th floor of a building smack in the middle of downtown. It (the top floor, not the whole building) rotates over the course of an hour to show you a panoramic view of the entire city. Really cool. You can even see tons of landmarks built for the Olympics. (Well, three.) The problem is, the constant motion made Melissa seasick. She could hardly eat a bite of her shrimp and grits. And, boy, were they good. She turned white as a sheet and she and Colin had to go sit in the lobby of the first floor while we finished. I’m laughing my head off because we Moore’s cannot do one single thing without high drama. On our way out of the hotel, Melissa got an expression on her face that made her look about six years-old then she chirped, “Mom, that thing was hauling!” Slight exaggeration but it will make me laugh the rest of my life. She is priceless. Both my girls are. My favorite two people to be with in all the world. And their daddy makes three. We girls sat on my hotel bed last night with room service desserts and laughed until we literally cried. Honestly, I thought my face was going to freeze into a contortion. First thing this morning we got to see Melissa and Colin’s apartment and it is absolutely adorable. And smelled wonderful. You guessed it. Apple Crostata. Warm. Buttery. Apply. With a touch of orange.

Well, my man’s about to get home and I haven’t seen him in four days so I better get off of here. But not before I tell you how much I love working with Priscilla Shirer and Kay Arthur. There is simply no one on earth I respect more than Kay. I have literally never known a soul more devoted to the Word of God than her. And that Priscilla? Sheesh. (If that means anything bad, I don’t know it.) She is something else. One of the most gifted young communicators I’ve ever seen. We have become true friends over the last several years. I cannot express the joy she brings to me and how certain I am of God’s powerful call on her life. Keith and I are coming to love her and Jerry very much. And I don’t even have to tell you how I feel about Travis and the team. He had great new songs this weekend but held on to my favorites. Trav’s Angela was with us on the platform and I LOVE her being there. Talk about a woman who loves God’s Word! I don’t know another woman on God’s green earth I’d rather impact my daughters. I told Trav and Ang today that if we’d never worked together on the road as partners in ministry but had simply attended the same church, the Moores and Cottrells would have been BFF. It’s a fact, Jack.

That’s all for now, Girlfriends! Sure loved having a cup of coffee with you. Stay in God’s Word, young ladies! JESUS IS LIFE. I’ll talk to you soon because it’s almost Bible Study Tuesday! Get the last of your homework done, Girls!

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The Miracle of Divine Revelation

I am not sure how you first came to know Jesus Christ. You may have first heard Him speak to you at an evangelism crusade or perhaps you sensed His immediate comforting presence during a certain extraordinary life experience. I have friends who have witnessed miraculous moments with Jesus Christ and I even have friends who have heard Him speak to them in their dreams. For reasons unknown to me, the Lord has never chosen to communicate with me through these sorts of experiential avenues. And I, in the past, have become a tad envious of those who have experienced God in these phenomenal ways. Please don’t read me wrong, Siestas. I am not questioning if God really does communicate with human beings in these miraculous ways, I ABSOLUTELY believe that He does. I am just saying that I myself have yet to experience Jesus Christ like this.

In brief, I was raised in a Christian home. Yes, I was raised by a woman who I like to call “the- Titus- woman- from-you-know-where” (but I say the word). I heard about Jesus Christ every single day. I was encouraged, if not enforced, to do a “quiet time” at a very early age. And I am so glad that I was but it remained vital for me to actually experience God for myself. So, in High School I began to question if I really “knew” Jesus. It wasn’t that I was living in a bunch of sin at that particular time; it was simply that I did not feel very connected to Him. I didn’t feel in my heart that He communicated with me.

So I called to mind a very basic verse in Matthew that says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matt. 7:7). I certainly hadn’t had any exegetical training at that point, but I figured that what this verse meant was that the Lord would communicate with me if I truly sought His face. So I said to the Lord in my teenage heart, “Okay, Lord, I am going to spend the next few months seeking your face with all of my heart and then if I don’t sense your presence, then I really am done with all of this Christianity.”

So what I had intended to be a few months of seeking God through rigorously reading the Bible has become a lifetime passion for me. Yes, even more than cooking. What I found when I read the biblical text was something other-worldly. To me the biblical text was self-testifying. It simply spoke up for itself. I didn’t have to defend it or try to make it sound true, I simply read it and knew it was truth. This skeptic’s heart began to melt like butter. My mind had never been so stimulated, my heart had never been more encouraged, and my own worldly intentions had never been so thwarted. When I read through the pages of the Bible, the Holy Spirit testified to my spirit that I was a child of God. And even today, dear Siestas, when I distance myself from reading the biblical text, I feel my mind beginning to drift. I feel my heart slowly harden and I feel more prone to depression and despair. And not surprisingly so, I begin to feel more intoxicated by the pleasures of the world around me. It is like John Bunyan said, “This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book”.

One thing that my research of the Book of Esther has taught me is the significance of intentional remembrance. I have purposefully been bringing back to mind my first experiences of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is what I remember most: I came to know Jesus Christ when I took the time to read the actual content of the Bible for myself. This is why I have devoted my life to a shameless study of the biblical text. This is why I work for Living Proof Ministries, because we exist to exalt the power of God through the biblical text. We exist to loudly proclaim that “the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).

I have been reminded afresh of the wonder of the Scriptures. I have found what my Mom said all of those years to be true. I have found that indeed, “there is no other book like it”. When you sit on your couch with your Bible in your lap, you are a witness to a miracle. This miracle is called Divine Revelation. And the miracle of divine revelation is not a “lesser miracle”; it is not merely what the rest of us “get” by default because the Lord doesn’t have to time to appear in another one of our dreams. There is no greater phenomenon than an almighty and holy God speaking to and through humankind. God has chosen to speak to you, dear Siesta, and to reveal to you the mysteries of salvation history: the knowledge of his glorious Son. Take a minute today to behold the miracle of the written word of God…take a minute to read the very best of all books. Behold and then tell of His glory.

I love you, Siestas, and wish sometime soon we could all have an old fashioned “pot-luck” around a massive round table together.

Melissa

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My Daddy’s Work

Hey, Siestas! How are my favorite bloggers doing?? I don’t get to really tarry right now on the blog because I am officially one month out from my Esther manuscript coming due (you won’t waste a prayer on me) and I’ll need every second of it. When I sign a contract, my schedule is nothing but a well planned theory. It never takes into account that sometimes over the course of a project Dad’s die, daughters get married, bodies get viruses, ministries need running (I praise You for the privilege, Lord!), husbands need tending, Christmas needs celebrating, dogs get cancer and might, if it’s a hard year, even need burying. Deep sigh. Anyway, you’ve heard enough about that so I’m not going to go there with you again. Just wanted you to know why some of my times on here have to be briefer right now. I always forget to take life into account when I plan my work schedule. Then again, I wouldn’t be much of a servant to you if I weren’t living life right along with you.

I just had to hop on and tell you something I thought was kinda fun. Yesterday Amanda stopped by the ministry with Jackson. He’s almost two and a half now and at the cutest age imaginable. I’d met AJ out in the parking lot because I love to surprise the boy by popping up at the window next to his car seat. He’s always so glad to see Bibby and makes such a big deal out of it. Man, I’m so drunk on the little guy I can hardly stand it. Anyway, after the half hour it took me to unlatch him from that gosh-awful carseat, we brought him in and he immediately owned the place. Of course he did. He gets to. What I found so delightfully endearing was that, no matter where he went (and he went practically everywhere in the building), he patted things in that particular office and confidently, possessively chirped, “Daddy’s work!” Mind you, Curtis has one office just like the rest of us and it is down on the first floor but to his son who thinks he is the END ALL, the whole building was Daddy’s work. Even Sabrina’s office was Daddy’s work and she directs the whole shebang.

I loved it. So did she.

I just wanted to remind you today that no matter where you go, you can freely pat everything in the room or everything in sight, for crying out loud, every single thing on God’s green earth, and say, “Daddy’s work.” Go right ahead. Be confident. Act possessive for His Name’s sake. Sound a little sassy when you say it because it’s the truth beneath all truths. It’s all Daddy’s work. He owns the place. For “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” Psalm 24:1. He not only owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He owns the thousand hills under the tails of the cattle.

“This is what the Lord says: ‘Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool.’” (Is. 66:1) If it’s on Planet Earth, Darling Thing, it’s under His feet. Don’t sweat it so much. It’s Daddy’s work.

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Breaking Free Taping

Hi ladies! I’ve just been informed that there are 350-375 tickets left to the Breaking Free taping this fall. It will take place in New Orleans at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church on November 10-15, 2008. If you’re interested in attending, please call LifeWay Events Registration at 1-800-254-2022. Because of the limited number of tickets, they are not being offered on the LifeWay web site. I’m copying all the details below. The Jones family is headed to youth camp today, so I’ll see you in a few days!
Love,
Amanda

The video production of Breaking Free Updated Edition with Beth Moore
November 10-15, 2008 at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, LA
Sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources

LifeWay Christian Resources thanks you for participating in a life-changing week at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, Louisiana, November 10-15, 2008. Join us for five evenings and one Saturday morning as part of the audience for the video production of Beth Moore’s updated version of her in-depth Bible study Breaking Free: Making Liberty in Christ a Reality in Life to be released August 2009.

Cost $30 – Includes 11 Bible study sessions with Beth Moore
Franklin Avenue Baptist Church
2515 Franklin Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70117
www.franklinabc.com

SCHEDULE

MONDAY, November 10
4:30-6:30 p.m. Registration/Check-in
6:30 Doors Open
7:30 Praise and Worship
8:00 Introductory Session
9:00 Evening Concludes

TUESDAY, Nov 11—FRIDAY, Nov 14
5:00 p.m. Doors open
6:00 Praise and worship
6:30 Session 1
7:30 Break
8:00 Praise and worship
8:15 Session 2
9:15 Evening concludes

SATURDAY, November 15
7:30 a.m. Doors open
8:30 Praise and worship
9:00 Session 9
10:00 Break
10:30 Praise and worship
11:00 Session 10
12:30 Event concludes

We will do our best to follow this schedule; however, please be patient as we may experience delays at times due to technical needs or required changes with equipment and/or set up.

LIVE TAPING
Doors to the sanctuary will open one hour prior to the beginning of each taping. Since this is a live taping, there will be restrictions on entering or exiting the sanctuary once taping begins for each session. Attendees will be asked to move to new seats between sessions. No photography, audio or video taping of any kind is allowed by the audience. LifeWay employees will be taking photos.

At some point during the week of taping, the chances are great that you will be on camera! Audience members should wear nice casual clothing. Your presence at the live sessions serves as your permission for LifeWay to use your image in the final product. We will try to make this a worshipful and engaging experience, with a minimal number of distractions. However, please come expecting lights and cameras, it will be different from other LifeWay women’s events!

Cancellation Policy: Please return your armband with COMPLETE INFORMATION for refund. MUST BE POSTMARKED 30 days prior to event. If you purchased your armband from a church or individual, see them for your refund. Refunds are credited to the original purchaser. Refunds, less a $10.00 per armband handling fee, are only available when postmarked 30 days before the event date. Please mail armband to Events Registration P.O. Box 24001, Nashville, TN 37202. Emergency related refunds must be postmarked by the Monday following the event. No exceptions. If you have questions about refunds, call Events Registration at 1-800-254-2022.

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Siesta Cookbook

Ladies, our siesta Holly/CrownLaidDown is compiling a cookbook from the recipes we have all shared on the LPM blog. Isn’t that fun? You can find out all the details (cost, how to get one, etc.) on Patty and Kim’s Siesta Fiesta blog, specifically here and here.

The cookbook is going to help raise money for the drilling of a water well through Life Outreach International. Isn’t that awesome? You may recall that my parents have done some mission trips to Africa through LOI. (Read here and here.) In fact, they are at the Life Today studios taping some programs this weekend.

Holly will not publish any of the recipes without getting permission first. If you would like the recipe(s) you’ve posted to be included in the cookbook, please email her directly with your recipe at chrishollysmith@msn.com or simply write “yes” in a comment. She will match your comment to recipes that have been posted. If you do not comment or email Holly, she will not use your recipe.

Holly also needs some pithy family sayings to go along with your recipes, about 32 words or less, including some good advice or just downright funny things your family or your grandma says. You can include these in your comments or emails.

There will be a contest for the cover design in case anyone is interested in participating. Once again, check out Patty and Kim’s Siesta Fiesta blog for details. Surely we have some artists out there! Have a great weekend, everyone!

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A Great Day

After such a dreadful month, this is one of the best days of my life. Huge headlines on p.E1 of the Houston Chronicle this very morning: BIG HAIR IS A BIG HIT AGAIN.If some of you paid off the Chronicle to raise my spirits in this time of grief, THANK YOU. It was worth every dime.

Now, where is my teasing comb? JK. I always know where my teasing comb is.

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If you are waiting on your book

Ladies, LifeWay has graciously provided us with access to the first week of homework for our No Other Gods study. So if you decided to join us at the last minute or if you are waiting for the book you ordered to be delivered, you will still be able to start the study on time. Week 1 will be available indefinitely, but this is the only week that will be made available.

Click here and scroll down to “Samples and Posters.” You will see links to the Intro and Session One. Print it off and you’ll be good to go!

Thank you Pam, Teresa, and the LifeWay Internet team! We appreciate you!

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Siesta Summer Bible Study Introduction

WE INTERRUPT YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING FOR THIS SPECIAL REPORT: NORTH DAKOTA JUST REPORTED IN!!! ALL 50 STATES, GIRL FRIENDS! ALL 50 STATES! YAHOO-JAH!

(Siestas: Remember that your comments to this post are meant to FOLLOW your Tuesday gathering so that you can tell us a little bit about your time together. This will be our format for dialogue on our Tuesday Bible study days. Can’t wait to hear from you!)

Welcome to our first Tuesday Siesta Summer Bible Study! I hope so much you were able to view the video greeting I did for you because it has lots of information about our Siesta Summer Bible Study. Rough as it is, it comes with lots of love! I promised to put your instructions for your gatherings today in writing in case, as usual, I talked too fast for you to follow on video. You have only two assignments for your first meeting:

A. Please share what you perceive to be your biggest challenge toward walking victoriously with God this summer. House full of children? Heavy work load? Difficult season emotionally? Just had your heart broken? Just feel far from God? Whatever it may be, share it with your small group and take some time to pray for one another in your meeting today. Also, intercede accordingly toward your sister’s need for the duration of the study.

B. Turn to Jude 1:24,25 and read your summer Bible study memory verse-segment. (Oh, yes, you can memorize!!! You just have to learn how to make fun associations that make it memorable!) This is our only memory segment all summer so it’s very doable. Spend most of your gathering time thinking of ways as a small group to memorize it. Get creative! You can make up hand motions or actions to go with it – anything fun, clever, or meaningful to make it easier to memorize. If you think you did a really great or funny job with it, here’s what you do! Fine tune it over the next four or five days then video tape it with all your siestas in mind. Save it to your computer then email it to us using the following instructions:

1. Recording should be on a digital camera with a SD card.
2. With the SD card in your computer, go to www.senduit.com.
3. At the senduit web site click browse and select the video file name (note: file
cannot exceed 100MB).
4. Next (at the senduit web site) select the “Expire” option for 1 week.
5. Click “upload.”
6. When the file is finished uploading Senduit will give a location message and the option to email this information.
7. Select the email option and send to blog@lproof.org.

Remember, this will be Jude 1:24-25 (spoken or on power point) on tape with actions that help the viewer memorize it. The video can be no longer than two minutes in length but you probably won’t need nearly that much time anyway. Our LPM staff and I will judge all the entries and choose a Grand Prize Winner. The Grand Prize Winning video will be shown on our blog in two weeks for our second Siesta Bible Study gathering. In addition, the Grand Prize Winning Group (or individual) will receive a care-package that I will prepare personally and send to your location with about ten tons of love. I’m clapping right now like a five-year-old. I love contests!!! Surely we have a few competitors out there! Put that competitive spirit to good use and help your Siestas memorize some Scripture!

Y’all are so fun. Totally jazzed to be in the Word with you this summer. Have a blast with Jesus!

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Happy Birthday, Bethie!

It’s our fearless leader’s birthday! Thank You, Lord, for my mom’s sweet life and for the work you have done and are doing through her. Thank you for the selfless, loving, wise mother she is. I pray you would bless her with abounding joy on this day and in the next year to come. Amen! Happy birthday, Mama!

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