Pragmatic Compendium

inspiring the pragmatic practice of intimacy with Christ

that’s not the view I expected.

Here’s what I’ve been looking at for years:
(click the photos to zoom in)

A few months ago, while having some quiet time on the back porch, I prayed, “God, I know this is selfish, but if there’s anyway you could clear the pond so the view is prettier, I would really appreciate it.”

Then, earlier this month, out of the blue, God said “no problem.”

Notice the guy in the little bulldozer (or whatever it is) on the left bank of the pond:

He just drives that little powerhouse right through all those weeds, pushing them to the edge of the pond :

A few more passes and we start to see a pond:

Then, after we returned home from visiting family over Thanksgiving, we found they had cleared the entire pond. Here’s the other side:

All that was left was clearing the edges, which they were doing today:

Until this happened:

For a while I couldn’t look away. But then I got bored. They still haven’t fished it out. It was suggested that I take video and send it to the news.

No way. Those guys would immediately know where the camera was located.

And I love those guys. They’re clearing my pond for me. No way would I embarrass them on the news. Just on the internet.

They’re the hands and feet of Jesus, clearing a pond. Because God can do anything, big and small. At the same time.


They brought in enough dirt to completely surround the sunken excavator and are now pumping water out of the little mini-pond they created. It’s looking worse before it looks better:

November 30, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

I’m the ringmaster of the 3 ring circus that I fondly call my home.

The exercise log isn’t looking too good this month. I’m waaaay down on the mileage. As of yesterday, I had only walked 25.5 miles, compared to 34 in October and 62 in September!

This won’t do.

So today, I got on the treadmill with my laptop tray determined to get some work done and log some miles at the same time. Didn’t finish my work, but had to get off the treadmill anyway because the clocks are ticking too fast today!

5.5 miles in 96 minutes! Woo Hoo!

Now sauna, shower, quick lunch, bank run, kid pickup, early dinner, recording tonight.

I find it amusing that tonight is the night I’m going to record “I’m a Mom.” In addition to being in the middle of the making of another squirrel/possibly bird nest in the chimney story, having to rig my van to get me through the next two days before I can arrange being without it long enough to get it fixed, and all the other craziness I don’t have time to type about, I’ll be abandoning my family for four hours on a school night while I stand in a recording studio and sing this:

“I’m the ringmaster of the three ring circus that I fondly call my home. I’m a peacekeeper, part time preacher, coach and chaperone. I’m the head carpooler, the golden ruler and my life’s a marathon. I’m a hard working woman, I’m a mom.”

I hope the homework gets done.

November 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

four minutes with God: Romans 8:37-39

a Quote:
“. . . somehow he [Paul] had the faith to believe that these “things” – surely not good in themselves – could nevertheless be used by God to accomplish good.

Confidence like that can go a long way towards solving discouragement over a ministry that never quite works out in the way we wish.”
Grace Notes: Daily Readings with a Fellow Pilgrim and
Church: Why Bother?
by Philip Yancey

my Prayer:
Lord, help me to see through your eyes. Through your perspective. I struggle with myopic vision every. single. day. Please help me to see objectively and to remember that you can do anything, without limitation.

Please help me to remember that when you ask me to put my weight against a boulder, it doesn’t mean I’ve failed if I don’t move it even one inch. It may be that Your will is for me to hold it steady, which from my point of view feels and looks like inaction. Please help me to be content in my obedience even when you don’t allow me to see the results of that obedience. Please help me to remember that you can take any offering I bring – no matter how flawed or weak or small – and use it to accomplish your purposes.

the Word:
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:37-39 (NIV)

the lyric.
“And this is my prayer in the battle, when triumph is still on it’s way. I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ, so firm on His promise I’ll stand.”
Desert Song
by Hillsong United (Live)

This was dual published on my Pragmatic Communion blog.

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

freezerburn soup.

So, what do you do with meat that’s gotten a little freezer burn because it’s been left in the freezer longer than it should have been? Don’t throw it away!

“Freezerburn Soup” is a favorite in this house. Here’s how it works:

Around the holidays, FirstHusband smokes an abundance of meat in the smoker because he can’t seem to use his smoker unless he completely FILLS his smoker. Then, for days after, we eat all the smoked meat we can eat . . . and freeze all the smoked meat we can’t eat.

Then, just before the holidays the next year, we realize we need to make room for this year’s abundance of meat, so we start pulling out what’s left over from the year before. Often, it’s on the edge (or over the edge) of freezerburn. Rather than throw it out, FirstHusband invented Freezerburn Soup.

He fills the crockpot with the the frozen meat, covers it with vegetable stock (we freeze stock and store it flat in ziplock bags). He turns the crockpot on overnight and we wake to a great smelling kitchen. (And usually a counter of boiled over stock, but today wasn’t too much of a mess.) Then he removes the meat, lets it cool, de-bones it, puts it BACK in the crockpot with whatever veggies he can find.

By FirstHusband: “Add some earthy spices like coriander, sage, parsley sometimes even hickory smoked seasoning. The mix simmers in the crockpot all day making the house smell great.”

. . . and torturing FavoriteSon with the waiting.

That meat you thought was a goner has now been infused with stock for nearly 24 hours and is moist and tender!

Second to last step, a couple hours before serving, he adds wild rice. Then in the last 15 minutes, he adds 6-8 crushed bullion cubes. (I’ve put in a request to go easy on the bullion – the sodium is a little much for me.)

And then, if we’re lucky, we end up with this: half a crockpot of freezerburn soup. Unless we’re really hungry and eat the entire pot.

There’s not really a recipe for this, it turns out different every time because FirstHusband changes the spices each time. He’s also used pasta instead of rice before. I wonder what orzo would do for this soup? hmmm.

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.

November 16, 2010 Posted by | food, recipes | , , , , , | 3 Comments

four minutes with God: Psalm 103:7-12

a Quote:
“Over the years Moses has learned something so sweet and strange and mysterious that only one word can begin to capture it: grace, God’s free, undeserved gift. He has learned that God loves him despite his failures, with a pure, stubborn, everlasting love. After more than a century of life, Moses has given up trying to figure out what God sees in him. Or sees in the rest of the Hebrews for that matter. He just accepts it and gives thanks.”
The Bible Jesus Read
by Philip Yancey

my Prayer:
Lord, thank you for Your grace. Thank you for showing me a small glimpse of Your unconditional love through the blessing of my children. My gratitude overwhelms me and I’m compelled to respond in the only ways I know how: Through praise and service and faithful stewardship of these and all the undeserved gifts you’ve given me.

Thank you for the joy of praise. Please equip me for Your service and illuminate the next step you want me to take. And please Lord, help me to be consistent as I strive to be a good steward; with my finances, the use of my time and talents, the nurturing of my family and most of all, my relationship with You.

the Word:
He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Psalm 103:7-12 (NIV)

the lyric.
“I know You’ve cast my sin as far as the east is from the west, and I stand before You now as though I’ve never sinned”
East to West
by Casting Crowns

This was dual published on my Pragmatic Communion blog.

November 15, 2010 Posted by | books, christian living, devotions, four minutes with God, music, praise team music, prayer, thankfulness, youtube | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

four minutes with God: Proverbs 25:11

a Quote:
“You are a guardian of the human spirit. You have the power to manipulate and coerce if you want to. You can avoid and ignore if you choose. But can also ennoble and inspire. You can lift up and appeal to all that is good and honorable and holy. You can remind fallible and finite people around you that they hold their lives and calling as a sacred trust, that their best efforts matter, that their worst failures will be one day redeemed.”
Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them
by John Ortberg

my Prayer:
Lord, please allow me to deliver messages of truth from you. Please send me to lift up those who are being discouraged and lied to by the enemy. Please use me right where I am to trample those lies. I pray for discernment so that I will be confident in the prompting of your Holy Spirit. Please equip me for this service and bless my intentions by keeping me out of your way. I pray not only for opportunities to deliver your messages, but I pray that I will get the messages right and not contaminate them by my own finite reasoning and self-focused will.

Lord, please bring faith-filled encouragers into my own life when I falter and get confused, sidetracked or paralyzed for fear of taking steps outside your will.

the Word:
The right word spoken at the right time is as beautiful as gold apples in a silver bowl.
Proverbs 25:11 (NCV)

the lyric.
“But the voice of truth tells me a different story. The voice of truth says, “Do not be afraid!” The voice of truth says, “This is for My glory” Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.”
The Voice of Truth
by Casting Crowns

This was dual published on my Pragmatic Communion blog.

November 10, 2010 Posted by | christian living, devotions, four minutes with God, music, pragmatic communion, prayer, youtube | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

courage to be obedient.

Today, I’m praying for the courage to be this obedient to Christ. To step outside my comfort zone and follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit, no matter what anyone thinks. Would I have done this? If I’m honest with myself . . .

November 8, 2010 Posted by | christian living, laugh!, youtube | , | 2 Comments

crazy woman singing in the van singing what? “No Sweeter Name”

For such a simple song, this has been wiping the floor with me all week. Then I watched Kari Jobe sing it. She’s amazing. But I figured out why this song is so challenging for me. She breathes much more often than I do. I’m trying to get through the first two lines on one breath and the third line on one breath. It’s taken me all week, but I think I might finally have it. We’ll find out tomorrow. I’m not going to work at it tomorrow, I’m just going to praise, so it’ll be in God’s hands.

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

November 6, 2010 Posted by | christian living, music, praise team music, youtube | , , | 6 Comments



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