Pragmatic Compendium

inspiring the pragmatic practice of intimacy with Christ

dear pineapple: you do not intimidate me. anymore.

For my entire life – until this week, pineapples either came in a can, on a buffet or on a plate a restaurant server placed in front of me. “Real” pineapples were impenetrable. I mean, look at it. In my mind, in might as well have been a coconut. Or a big rock.

Then, I watched a devotional video by Lysa Terkherst on youtube. She voiced my same reservations about pineapple, and then casually proceeded to cut one up without any trouble at all. Where’s my “easy” button? So, ever the “good idea stealer” I passed up the container of cut pineapple at Sam’s Club, priced at $6.98 and bought myself a “real” pineapple for $2.98.

I cut off the top and bottom. And I didn’t need a chainsaw or a hedge trimmer, just a knife:

Then, I cut along the core:

Then sliced off the outside:

Took five minutes, tops. That was Wednesday afternoon. By Thursday evening, we were out of pineapple. Same thing happened to the pineapple my dad brought over for lunch on Sunday. Gone by Monday evening.

Ready for a pun? How easy is it to get my family to eat fresh fruit? Easy as PIneapple.


Find more helpful kitchen tips at Kitchen Tip Tuesdays hosted by Tammy’s Recipes! Check out MY past Kitchen Tip Tuesday posts HERE


Find more ideas over at Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Kristen at We Are THAT Family. MY previous Works for Me Wednesday posts are HERE.

Works for Me Wednesday posts prior to February 2009 are archived at Rocks In My Dryer.

August 31, 2010 Posted by | 5 minutes, food, learning curve, what I've learned, youtube | , , , , | 1 Comment

four minutes with God: Jude 1:20-21

a Quote:
“. . . daily prayer and religious readings and churchgoing are necessary parts of the Christian life. We have to be continually reminded of what we believe. Neither this belief nor any other will automatically remain alive in the mind. It must be fed. And as a matter of fact, if you examined a hundred people who had lost their faith in Christianity, I wonder how many of them would turn out to have been reasoned out of it by honest argument? Do not most people simply drift away?”
from Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis

my Prayer:
Lord, I don’t ever want to drift away from you. I don’t want to ever forget you. And yet, as I pray this so sincerely, I also know, without a shadow of a doubt, that in the not too distant future, I will forget you for an entire day. I will, out of the blue, probably with no definitive cause, go through an entire day without devoting even one moment of thought to you. So I pray that you won’t let me forget for two days in a row. Because it could lead to three. And then I’m the prodigal. Again.

Thank you for your Word. Thank you for my propensity to journal. Thank you for teaching me how to abide. Please help me to stop rambling on and on during my prayer times and abide MORE. Thank you for my love of reading. Thank you for the writers who draw me closer to you through their vulnerability and frankness. Thank you for your Holy Spirit, moving in me to bring me back into fellowship with you when I’ve forgotten you again.

Thank you for your stubborn love.

the Word: But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!
Jude 1:20-21 (The Message)


This was dual published on my Pragmatic Communion blog.

August 30, 2010 Posted by | books, christian living, devotions, four minutes with God, pragmatic communion, prayer | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

to highlight or not to highlight, that is the question.

For nearly two years now, I’ve really wanted this book:

It’s The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics. One giant book containing Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, The Problem of Pain, Miracles, A Grief Observed, plus The Abolition of Man. The collection features a detailed index covering all 7 works, as well as “an elegant ribbon marker and beautiful line art in-text and between each volume.” oooo. ahhh.

But it’s been priced at $49.99 and I’ve been too cheap pragmatic to buy it.

But.

PinkGirl came home from play rehearsal with a coupon/fundraiser deal from Borders, making it just over $30! It came in the mail on Thursday. And then I had a decision to make.

Do I mark it up? Do I highlight it? Make it MINE? Or do I leave the $50, coffee table sized book in pristine condition? And why would I leave it unmarked? Am I going to resell it someday? Seriously. It’s a giant C.S. Lewis book, ya know I’m not gonna sell it. But still. I couldn’t decide. I opened it up, perused the table of contents for Mere Christianity, turned to chapter 11, entitled “Faith.”

“That is why daily prayer and religious readings and churchgoing are necessary parts of the Christian life. We have to be continually reminded of what we believe. Neither this belief nor any other will automatically remain alive in the mind. It must be fed. And as a matter of fact, if you examined a hundred people who had lost their faith in Christianity, I wonder how many of them would turn out to have been reasoned out of it by honest argument? Do not most people simply drift away?”

In case you haven’t figured it out. The above text is currently highlighted in MY new, giant book.

Not for resale.

August 30, 2010 Posted by | books, christian living | , , , | 2 Comments

crazy woman singing in the van singing WHAT? “Like Incense”

Beautiful new praise song this week: Like Incense

“May my prayer like incense rise before You, the lifting of my hands as sacrifice
Oh Lord Jesus turn Your eyes upon me, for I know there is mercy in Your sight

Your statutes are my heritage forever, my heart is set on keeping Your decrees
Please still my anxious urge toward rebellion, let Love keep my will upon its knees”


For more beautiful music, check out Then Sings My Soul Saturday every Saturday hosted by Amy at Signs, Miracles and Wonders.

August 28, 2010 Posted by | christian living, music, praise team music, youtube | , , | 1 Comment

four minutes with God: 1 Corinthians 1:10

a Quote:
“Instead, make it your goal to love those who disagree with you. Go for the love, not the win.”

“We don’t always have to agree to get along. Our verse today says, “Let there be real harmony.” In an orchestra, there’s a big difference between unison and harmony. If all the musicians played in unison all the time, the music would get pretty boring. It’s the harmony that creates beauty in music, with different players playing different instruments and different notes, but all under the same direction of one conductor. The goal of each musician is not to play louder than the others or to finish the piece first; the goal is to ‘be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.‘”
from Better Together: What on Earth Are We Here For? Devotional and Journal edited by Rick Warren

my Prayer:
Lord, please help me find harmony with the cranky person I have to work with today. Please bless me with patience and a calm temperament. Please remind me to pause and respond instead of react when he speaks condescendingly and sarcastically. Thank you for the discernment you’ve already given me. Thank you for showing me that source of crankiness has little to do with the work, and more to do with his fear of losing credibility with our mutual client. Please break down our pride – both of us, so that we can work together, bringing the best of both of our capabilities to solve our client’s problem. Regardless of whether he is a Christian, please open his mind and make him receptive to this idea of combining our knowledge openly with the common goal of serving. Please let my freakish love of harmony cross over from my music to my work today.

the Word: I beg of you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to stop arguing among yourselves. Let there be real harmony so that there won’t be splits in the church. I plead with you to be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.
1 Corinthians 1:10 (LB)


This was dual published on my Pragmatic Communion blog.

August 27, 2010 Posted by | books, christian living, devotions, four minutes with God, pragmatic communion, prayer | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Funnies: Jamie Kennedy should never be a lifeguard.

Wait for it. At the 50 second mark.


Need a few more chuckles today? Check out Friday Funnies hosted by Homesteaders Heart!

If you’ve got time to hang out for a few minutes, check out what else makes me laugh: Pragmatic Compendium’s “laugh!” category.

August 27, 2010 Posted by | laugh!, youtube | , | 4 Comments

one minute with God: Proverbs 31:15

a Quote:
“People who think big picture recognize that there are a thousand different efforts to which thy might make a contribution. But they also know that there are only a few of those efforts in which they can make a maximized contribution on the basis of their giftedness.”

“One can drive a car from New York to San Francisco in any of four or five speeds indicated on the gear shift. But the drive is best done in gears meant for speed and fuel economy. To drive the distance in second gear would mean engine wear, fuel waste, and slow speeds. In my life there are things that I must do in second gear. And there are things I can do in overdrive . . . I must find a way to slough off the low-gear activities and embrace the overdrive ones, because they are in the core of my giftedness.”
from the book Guilt Free Living by Robert Jeffress

my Prayer:
Lord, I just I can’t do everything I want to do. I know it’s not even a matter of doing everything I want to do, but just not doing any one of them well. I literally can’t do everything I want to do. As much as I pray for a longer day or that some researcher somewhere would invent a pill that would provide the benefits of sleep, I know that the limitations of a 24 hour day and the fact that my body needs sleep are by your perfect design.

Please help me to identify and remove responsibilities – and even the things I enjoy – that are outside your will for my life. If I don’t have the discernment or courage to remove them myself, Lord, I pray that you will. I freely offer all of them up to you. Please remove the chaf from my life, no matter what the consequences.

Lord, please help me with the responsibilities that remain in my life. Please show me how to delegate tasks that take me so much time to complete that I become inefficient, wasting time I should be devoting to the things I do well. Help me to ignore the pride that stands in the way of asking for help. Help me to remember that even the woman in Proverbs 31 had help.

the Word:
She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.
Proverbs 31:15 (NIV)


This was dual published on my Pragmatic Communion blog.

August 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

one minute with God: 1 Corinthians 14:22

a Quote:
We want to know what extraordinary deed we can perform for God sometime in the future – the ephemeral “will of God” that we seek to discover. But it is not the big things we want to do with such bravura but the little things we do every day that constitute His true will. God wants us to practice daily obedience. Such obedience requires attentiveness to God in our present circumstances”

“. . . spiritual grown does not require replacing daily tasks with more “spiritual” duties; rather, it depends on changing our attitude about our mundane work.”

“Routine engenders fortitude in the face of difficulty, gratitude to God for the ordinary blessings of life, love for people whom we are serving, joy in doing a job well done.”
The Will of God as a Way of Life: How to Make Every Decision with Peace and Confidence by Jerry Sittser

my Prayer:
Lord, thank you for my ordinary life. Thank you for the routines that, when I pay attention, are evidence of overwhelming blessing. Loading the dishwasher full of dirty dishes is evidence that my family is well fed. Paying the electric bill is evidence that our home is a provision safety and comfort. The hours I spend driving my children around is necessary because I HAVE two wonderful children. When I pick up my husband’s dry cleaning it shows we are thoughtful of one another after 20 years of marriage. All these, and many other mundane, routine tasks are in my day because of your blessings. Thank you.

Please, Lord, as I pray for you to allow me to serve you more in a faith based speaking ministry, please let me spend my days faithfully serving you right where I am NOW. I’m where I am today because you want me here. Please don’t let me miss opportunities to serve you today because I’m focused on something in the future, which may not even be your will for my life.

the Word:

But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.
Ephesians 3:17-19 (NIV)


This was dual published on my Pragmatic Communion blog.

August 25, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

four minutes with God: Ephesians 3:17-19

a Quote:
“One of the most important life-changing prayers we can pray for other people is that they will really know God’s love in a powerful, personal way. Paul did not pray that people would love God; he prayed that people would know and have Revelation of God’s awesome love.”

“When someone tells you about a Biblical principle or spiritual truth, that is a piece of information. But when God helps you understand it, it becomes revelation.”
The Power of Simple Prayer by Joyce Meyer

my Prayer:
Lord, I pray for revelation of the depth of your love today. For myself, for my family, for my friends and for that person I will never meet. Please bless me with a deep understanding of your perfect and limitless love. I don’t ever want to take it for granted, not fully comprehending the depth and breadth of your affection for me. Please help me to remember that every blessing – and every trial – is evidence of the fullness of your love for me.

the Word:
. . . so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17-19 (NIV)

. . . And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God
Ephesians 3:17-19 (The Message)

the Lyrics
“How deep, how deep is your love? How strong, how strong is your love?” Healing Is In Your Hands by Christy Nockels


This was dual published on my Pragmatic Communion blog.

August 24, 2010 Posted by | books, christian living, devotions, four minutes with God, music, pragmatic communion, prayer | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

four minutes with God: Philippians 2:15

a Quote:
“Moral authority is the credibility you earn by walking your talk. It is the relationship other people see between what you say and what you do, between what you claim to be and what you are . . . There is an alignment between conviction and action, belief and behavior . . .

Nothing compensates for moral authority. No amount of communication skills, wealth, accomplishment, education, talent or position can make up for a lack of moral authority. We all know plenty of people who have those qualities but who exercise no influence over us whatsoever. Why? Because there is a contradiction between what they claim to be and what we perceive them to be.” Visioneering: God’s Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Vision by Andy Stanley

my Prayer:
Lord, please help me to be blameless today. For even one minute of today. Please help me to represent you well. Please help me to be honorable. Help me to be a woman of my word today, Lord. Please fill me with an awareness of your Holy Spirit and remind me include you in every conversation, every action, every thought. If you are with me every minute, I stand a chance of being blameless. I want to be a credible witness for your grace and glory today. I want to be trustworthy. Please help me.

the Word:
. . . so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe
Philippians 2:15 (NIV)


This was dual published on my Pragmatic Communion blog.

August 23, 2010 Posted by | books, christian living, devotions, four minutes with God, pragmatic communion, prayer | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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