On a side note, I am so relieved to finally have a planner again! I feel so much better putting my dates and tasks in writing. I had an Amy Knapp Family Organizer before, and I tried just using my phone after that. I don't know about you, but I tend to remember things much better if I write them down. I highly recommend these planners!
On to Sunday!
In small group Bible study, Ben read a passage from Leviticus where God gave instructions to His people to take a year Sabbath from working their land every seventh year. We talked about why God would give such instructions: it symbolized how he rested on the seventh day when he created the whole earth, and we also discussed how even today, wise farmers will let sections of their land rest every seven years to prevent using up all the nutrients in the soil. We looked back at the verses in Genesis where God gave his command for man to care for and rule over the earth. Ben shared that he learned from a Bible commentary that the original word used implied not just using up the earth, but actually making use of what we're given. In other words, man is not supposed to simply consume the fruits of the earth, but to make all our resources useful and try to preserve them. We had some discussion on environmental activism, and why Christians are sometimes accused of not caring about conservation. We concluded that generally (of course there are exceptions), that stigma is a false perception; that Christians do care, but Christ and His Gospel are our main cause. So... God taught me through that reading of scripture and class discussion that he really does desire for us to see the earth as a gift to be cared for, not taken advantage of. (So what if I cloth diapered my two kids and I recycle?) I was convicted that I can do much more to care for my God's green earth, and that He wants me to.
Our pastor has been planning a "prayer experiment" that started yesterday. His sermon was on prayer, and revolved around Luke 11:9-10 which says, "Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."
Our church is going to be praying individually and collectively over the next 40 days intensely, without considering any "loopholes" and waiting to see what God's going to do. I am so excited! The thing that spoke to my heart the most in the sermon was the original word that was used for the "asking" and "knocking." It meant shameless asking and shameless knocking! I never thought that I could ask God for something in that way! So we're praying, waiting, and expecting great things from God! I got to share a new song along with our choir yesterday too; it went right along with the prayer theme. It's called "Standing," and it quotes the old hymn "Standing on the Promises" in the bridge. The chorus says "We're gonna see what we're praying for. We believe every single word. Stronger than we've ever been, standing on the promises. We're gonna see the impossible. We release the supernatural. Stronger than we've ever been. We are standing on the promises."
Ben and I relaxed for the remainder of the Sabbath by backpacking in to the backcountry of the National Park, and camping for the night. We had the whole campsite to ourselves, and we had a great time. It is such a privilege to get to enjoy God's creation right in my back yard!
Here are some recipes for last week's meals:
Fish tacos with chipotle cilantro broccoli slaw (recipe coming soon for slaw)