He has risen!

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'" Then they remembered his words.

Luke 24:1-8


Three Days

John 19: 38-42

Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus' body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

...to be continued!


(Slowly) Going Green

Spring is slowly, slowly arriving up here in Indiana, so all we've got in our yard is shades of green. No signs of other colors yet-- we did have two daffodils bloom, but the huge storms we've had knocked them right out. Yesterday was the first sunny day we've had in a few days and is apparently the last sunny day for another week, so I snapped a few pictures outside while I had a nice blue backdrop.

You probably noticed they're all close-up pictures. That's because the rest of our yard looks horrendous and is definitely not photo-worthy. The grass has to be at least a foot high thanks to all the storms that keep the grass growing and the lawn mower safely in the shed. :)

As for other things that are slowly going green, I realized the same could be said of Deric and me. (Deep, huh, how it works on two levels?!) I'm certainly no expert on being green, but I try to recycle everything and flip off lights when they're not in use, etc. Small things. I know a lot more can be done and I want to get better at it. If you're like me, the book The Gospel According to the Earth by Dr. Matthew Sleeth is incredibly motivating and will really kick you in the pants. I haven't read the entire book, but what I did read was pretty eye-opening. If I remember correctly (I read it last fall, give me a sec), Sleeth talks about God's command for humans to be stewards of the earth and how caring for the earth is a spiritual act of worship. Its good. Now I'm wondering if the book will be at the library because I really do want to finish reading it and I'm heading there anyways to renew Scrubs...

Anyway, happy Earth Day! Go get your reusable mug and head to Starbucks for a free cup of coffee!


My Very Own Steak 'N' Shake

Chef Deric is at it again. I love love love coming home to dinner ready and waiting for me. This time, Deric made frisco melts a la Steak 'N' Shake, my favorite restaurant. I'd never experienced Steak 'N' Shake until I visited a friend in Ohio a few years ago, and since we've been in Indiana this past year I've gone to Steak 'N' Shake more than a person should in their entire life. Its just so good and so cheap that its hard not to go (until I remind myself that its probably the most unhealthy food you could ever eat). Greasy burgers, greasy fries...delicious.

Back to Deric. He looked up a recipe for frisco melts and its fairly simple so he gave it a go. The burgers turned out pretty well except that we didn't get the right kind of cheese. We had provolone when we should have used Swiss, I believe. But they were still good. No fries to accompany it, however. I need to start cutting back :)


A Psalm

Psalm 145, which I found last night when I flipped open my Bible to initially read Joshua. I just love how every once in a while, God leads you to a seemingly random verse/passage/entire book that is just what you need. This psalm (especially the verses in bold) fits life perfectly right now. (Details later!)

I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your might acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty-- and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works-- and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all;
He has compassion on all He has made.
All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you.
They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might,
so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is trustworthy in all He promises
and faithful in all He does.
The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all He does.
The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him;
He hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord watches over all who love Him,
but all the wicked He will destroy.
My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise His holy name for ever and ever.

God is good. And not just now, but always.



A few days ago, Deric sent me a text saying that he'd ripped a hole in his Carhartts and needed me to sew it before work the next day. I forgot about it when I got home that night and he told me it was no big deal; I could do it tomorrow. I forgot it again the next day and Deric told me he really needed it sewn because it was getting bigger. So that night, I grabbed his Carhartts, shook off all the excess dirt while in our mudroom, and brought them out in the living room to take a look.

At first, I thought no big deal. He'd already gone two more days without me sewing the hole (which is in the crotch, by the way).

But if you look close...

yep, definitely a hole. I felt bad that I forgot two days in a row and let the hole rip halfway down the leg. Well, almost. By this point, I was kinda ticked at myself for waiting until 10pm to take a look, thinking that it'd be a tiny tear that would take five minutes to sew closed. Instead, it took me at least half an hour to wrangle the fabric enough to even get it under the sewing needle. I'm lucky my sewing machine didn't break trying to break through such thick fabric. But I did manage to sew it closed, so all is well. Good thing, huh? I could tell you were really worried ;)


Criss-crossing the Country

Well, we can add two more states to the quickly-growing list of states Deric and I have visited recently. Last weekend we flew to Oklahoma to look at a church, flew home late Sunday night, worked Monday, then drove to West Virginia Monday night. We stayed in WV for two nights and drove home Wednesday. It was an exhausting weekend/week, but we really enjoyed both visits.

The weather in Oklahoma was in the upper 70s and sunny, which felt so good since it was raining and sleeting in Indiana. We had a great time meeting members of the staff and the congregation. The best part of the trip was Saturday night, when the church had a get-together with the 20s & 30s class so we could meet the people that were close to our age. None of the churches we've visited in the past did this, and we were so glad that OK did. Most churches tell us that there are young couples our age in the church, but we'd get to Sunday morning, look around the church, and see maybe one or two people without gray hair. (Slight exaggeration-- maybe three or four...) So it was really nice to actually meet the younger couples, plus they were all really friendly. The senior minister and his wife were great too, as were the elders. All that said, we're praying about it and we know the church is praying about it and we'll see what happens in the next few weeks.

In West Virginia, we were checking out a church camp that needed a Facilities Director. West Virginia was beautiful-- loved the mountains and the views. The camp was beautiful too. It was in a great location: next to a river and tucked away in the mountains, but only ten minutes from the biggest mall in West Virginia. It'd be nice to have plenty of things to do and places to go right nearby, but to come home and feel like you're far away from all the traffic and noise. However, Deric didn't feel like that was the job he needed to be at and the camp felt the same way. We're okay with it. It was an enjoyable and relaxing trip for us and we're glad that both sides came to the same conclusion.

For all five of you who read this blog, Deric and I would both love if you'd pray for us as we continue this process of job searching. We've been talking with a few churches just recently that may lead to more weekend visits, plus we're waiting on decisions from churches we've already visited. As always, we're praying for discernment and patience so that we make the right decision.

On a side note, I've seen a really cute project that may come in handy after all this traveling...

(I don't remember whose blog this is from, but Court- 
I think it may be from a blog you follow. Let me know
 if you find it so I can give credit.)

So far, we've visited Illinois, Washington DC, North Carolina, Michigan, Oklahoma and West Virginia. If we counted non-church-related trips, we could add Jamaica and England. But then I'd have to make a whole world map and that's just too much work when we're traveling every other weekend :)


Read It Before You Eat It: Milk

I haven't kept up with posts from the Read It Before You Eat It book (or any posts, for that matter), and that's because Deric and I have been going nonstop for the past few weeks. We've visited three churches/camps in the last 2 1/2 weeks, all in different states. I'll post more about that over the weekend once I've had some time to breathe.

This book is almost due at the library, so I wanted to post about at least one more food before I returned it. I chose milk because I've heard that milk really isn't good for us because of the way its processed and the way cows are treated, so I was interested to see if conventional milk really is that bad.

The author's tip: Always try to buy the milk with the lowest fat. Fat percentages in milk don't refer to the calories, they refer to the weight of the fat within the milk. So for example, 2% represents 35% of the milk's calories. 1% milk refers to 20%, whole milk (or 4%) is 46% of the calories. And nonfat/skim is of course, 0%.

Here's are the most common options for milk:
Whole milk: Whole milk has about 3.25% (but can be up to 4%) fat. Most of the fat in whole milk is saturated, which should be avoided (or at least limited) in our diets. However, whole milk is beneficial for toddlers because it helps provide the high amount of calories toddlers need while they're growing quickly.
2% milk: More than half of the fat in 2% is saturated. One cup of 2% milk has 120 calories, 45 of which are derived from the fat.
1% milk: The difference in calories between 1% and whole milk is about 50 calories per cup. So, if you drink the recommended amount of three cups of milk (or dairy) each day, you'll save yourself 150 calories.
Skim: Skim milk has no fat. (Unfortunately, it has no taste either. But that's just me.) Skim milk is just as nutritious as whole milk but without the saturated fats that whole milk contains.
Skim milk--protein fortified: Has the same amount of calories as 1% (100 per cup). Protein and calcium are added, but sugar is as well. Protein fortified milk has 4 more grams of sugar per cup than regular milk.

Hormones are present in milk because all cows have hormones naturally that help them produce milk. Some dairy farmers enhance their cows' natural hormones to boost the milk production. The FDA says the hormone enhancement is safe for humans, but some privately-owned groups believe it can have a negative effect on humans and cows. No negative effects have actually been proven.

Organic milk usually makes you think its hormone-free, pesticide-free, and antibiotic-free. However, organic milk is not hormone-free, but it has no added hormones. Both organic and conventional milk are low in pesticides, and antibiotics are never allowed in any milk. Bottom line, choose either skim or low-fat milk, or organic if you worry about possible pesticides or hormones.

Hopefully that was easy enough to understand. I'm not great with numbers and percents and such, but my conclusion from all that is that skim milk is best for you because it has no saturated fat. I'm glad to find out there's no major difference between conventional and organic milk because organic is usually double the price and I just don't want to pay that much. Deric and I usually get 1% milk and we'll probably continue to drink it. I just don't like the taste of skim enough to switch. I'm okay with a few extra grams of fat if it tastes good :)

You'd probably be interested to know that when I was growing up, I wanted to be Ashley Olsen. Nowadays, not so much. I remember asking my mom once if I could choose my last name when I got married because I'd change it to Olsen. Oh, and Courtney wanted to marry someone with the last name Cox. Bet she's glad that never happened ;)