Sarah Joy Albrecht

I Made a Meal for Jesus

Mar
19

This week, I came across Andrea’s blog and her encouraging words are really sticking to my heart — especially after our recent Hoki fish (a.k.a. Hokke in Japan) meal that was scrapped on the cutting board.

Her post made me giggle. “Sorry Jesus. Those fish were pretty on the outside but were infested with worms on the inside. Looks like we’re having hot dogs instead! Would you like mustard, ketchup or both?” There’s got to be a parable in there somewhere…

Andrea is a mom of four children, close together, and is soon expecting baby #5 to arrive. I could relate to every word of her post! I appreciated her reminder that Jesus my friend.

Please stop by her blog, The Flourishing Mother, and send her hug in the comments ;)

Thursday, March 19, 2009 – I Made a Meal for Jesus

I made a meal for Jesus.
I think He would eat chicken….maybe? Along with His felafel.
I made it with Love.
Instead of lamenting I am 20 weeks pregnant with my fifth, tired, and why doesn’t anyone ever bring me a meal out of the blue when I need it? Or why isn’t there some magic fairy meal-maker?
I cut up the onion, celery, carrots, carefully.
Thinking how He would enjoy eating it.
Probably sopping it up with yummy, crusty bread. And maybe some wine?
I would use my best china, of course.
It gave me immense pleasure.

So maybe when I am making dinner each night for my family… (and breakfast. and lunch. and snacks. Oh mamas, it never ends, right?)
…I’ll think of serving Him.
And how He would smile. And enjoy it. …and I’d probably cry.
‘Cause He would understand my heart.
And what I put into it.
And why.
And He’s already given me everything I will ever need, so He wouldn’t need to bring me a meal.
‘Cause I feast daily at His table.
And because of that, I am honored to serve Him.

For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve; and to give His life as a ransom for many. ~Matthew 20:28

Jesus is our friend.

John 15:12-15 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”

When my friends and I were reading The Purpose Driven Life together, “Becoming Best Friends with God” was a chapter that really humbled me. Andrea’s posted brought back wonderful memories of PDL discussion in my friends in Laura’s living room.

Here are some excerpts from Chapter 11 of Rick Warren’s book:

“God wants to be your best friend.”
“In Eden, we see God’s ideal relationship with us: Adam and Eve enjoyed an intimate friendship with God. There were no rituals, ceremonies or religion – just a simple loving relationship between God and the people He created. Unhindered by guilt or fear. Adam and Eve delighted in God and we delighted in them. We were made to live in God’s continual presence, but after the Fall, that ideal relationship was lost…”
“Then Jesus changed the situation. When he paid for our sins on the cross, the veil in the temple that symbolized our separation from God was split from top to bottom, indicating that direct access to God was once again available.”
God “planned the universe and orchestrated history, including the details of our lives, so that we could become his friends.” (Acts 17:24-31 from the Sermon on Mars Hill)
“The classic book on learning how to develop a constant conversation with God is Practicing the Presence of God . It was written in the seventeenth century by Brother Lawrence, a humble cook in a French monastery. Brother Lawrence was able to turn even the most commonplace and menial tasks, like preparing meals and washing dishes, into acts of praise and communion with God. The key to friendship with God, he said, is not changing what you do, but changing your attitude toward what you do. What you normally do for yourself you begin doing it for God, whether it is eating, bathing, working, relaxing, or taking out the trash.”

In October of 2007, I wrote the post, “Can I Trust in Jesus” after visualizing Jesus, as our close friend, sacrificing himself on our behalf. Here’s an excerpt:

Imagine you are sitting at home enjoying a delicious meal with an old friend. As you are talking, the familiarity is so great, it is as though he can read your very soul. You love him deeply and never wish to be separated from him. Your friend is kind and good. For as long as you can remember, he has never wronged you – or anyone else, for that matter – in any way.

Suddenly, you hear a loud crash in the adjacent room….

Time to go wash some dishes for Jesus ;)

I’ll leave you with this (of course I recorded it!):

Adults Are People, Too

Mar
18

We need to love our children enough to overcome the embarrassment of our past to teach them how to have a better future.

We must not give children the notion that adults are perfect. We need to teach them that ‘seeking forgiveness’ does not have age limits.

Photo Credit: Horse10735 via Flickr

Parenting for Eternity

Mar
18

The goal of parenting is not to make our children like us, it is to raise up warriors for Christ.

In fact, if we indulge our children in hopes of winning their approval, our strategy will backfire. We won’t end up with children who like us at all — we will end up with children who are too selfish to visit us when we are old.

It is our responsibility to say “no” to them and to teach them what is right. To say no to unhealthy indulgences is to love them.

Parenting must not be rooted in short term self-gratification, but in the purpose of glorifying the eternal God.

Put the weight of eternity behind your parenting.

Photo Credit: BadaBee via Flicker

This Momentary Marriage

Mar
14

John Piper’s book This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence is available for free download in .pdf format here:

http://www.desiringgod.org/Store/Books/802_This_Momentary_Marriage/

(Scroll down to end of book summary for download link)

Enjoy :)

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Moroccan Spiced Salmon

Mar
12

Do you want to eat more fish, but are tired of salmon with lemon and dill? Please try this delicious alternative that may inspire an entire Moroccan themed meal!

The cumin and cinnamon flavor combination is uncommon and unforgettably delicious. The rub is rounded by ginger and all-spice, heated by a pinch of cayenne pepper, sweetened with a tad of sugar, and balanced by a squirt of lime.

Moroccan Spiced Salmon

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder (Can be omitted)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 2 pounds (1-inch thick) boneless, skin-on salmon fillets (or, side-of-salmon)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Directions:

    1. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, cumin, salt, ginger, mustard, nutmeg, cayenne, allspice, and sugar; set aside.
    2. Line a baking sheet with foil, then spray with nonstick cooking spray. Rinse the salmon with cold water and pat dry. Lightly sprinkle the skin with the spice mix, then place the salmon skin-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the remaining spice mix evenly over the salmon. Allow the salmon to come to room temperature, 30 to 40 minutes.
    3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
    4. Sprinkle the salmon with lime juice and roast in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. The salmon will still be rare when removed from the oven, but will continue to cook as it rests. After 15 minutes, wrap the fish tightly with foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

    Serve with couscous, roasted veggies (broccoli drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper is easy!)

    Notes:

  • The salmon is refreshing cold and comforting served hot. We’ve eaten it both ways depending on the weather.
  • Leftovers are great for breakfast!
  • The salmon can be broiled if you do not have an oven for roasting. Broil it on a wire rack (so the spices don’t stick to a pan) skin side up for a few minutes, until the skin is crispy. Then, flip and broil for a few more minutes spiced-meat side up until the meat is tender and flaky. The flavor quality was NOT lost by broiling vs. baking.
  • If you serve the dish on a warm day, consider pairing with a cold side of couscous or rice salad (a wheat-free alternative!). Couscous and Cucumber Salad and my friend Beth’s Summer Rice Salad are great options.
  • Drizzle some Persian Cucumber Yogurt over the fish and cold couscous or rice salad to bind the flavors together on your plate!
  • Couscous with salt, pepper, butter and simple fresh herbs is delicious – but in a pinch, Near East seasoned couscous (even the herbed chicken flavor works, as it’s not too “chickeny”) is a perfectly acceptable time saver. I have found all of their products to be fantastic in quality, consistency and taste. Their website also has an inspiring “Dining With Style” that I’d highly recommend if you are looking for a few easy ideas to brighten your table.
  • 10 Ways to Pastor Adoptive Parents and Those Considering Adoption

    Mar
    05

    I just finished reading this great post at one of my favorite blogs, Desiring God. I thought it was worth sharing. Enjoy!

    by Jason Kovacs

    There are many ways that you can express your pastoral care for those considering adoption and those who have adopted already. As an adoptive father and former pastor, I offer a few thoughts on how to help adoption become a biblically based, heart-led, missional movement in your church and not merely another program on your church’s list.

    1. Develop your own heart for the fatherless.

    God calls Himself a “father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5) and emphasizes throughout Scripture his special care for orphans. In fact, the very heart of the gospel is God’s passion to not only redeem sinners but to adopt them as his very sons and daughters (Ephesians 1:4-5).

    Many adoptive parents and those pursuing adoption feel alone in their churches because it seems like no one understands. By communicating that adoption is fundamentally connected to the gospel and the nature of God you will challenge the view that adoption is a “plan B” if a couple cannot have children biologically.

    2. Do a biblical study on God’s perspective on orphans.

    As you develop your heart for adoption, pass this on to your people in your preaching. You can start by simply looking up all the instances in the Bible to the “fatherless.”

    3. Educate yourself on basic facts about adoption and orphan care.

    Did you know there are roughly 129,000 children waiting to be adopted today in the US and over 132 million orphans worldwide? That is a starting point to stir your heart to pray and cry to God for his justice and grace to be poured out on their behalf.

    Some websites I’ve found helpful in keeping me aware of these issues are…

    Your awareness of these kinds of things will speak volumes to the church you lead. Whether it is through your preaching, teaching, or just regular conversation, your church will begin to hear this and will gain God’s heart and perspective on adoption.

    Your understanding will also touch those who have adopted and who are considering it.

    4. Ask questions.

    Listening is one of the most powerful expressions of your care. Learn to ask the right questions. Here are a few good ones to ask:

      * Why are you considering adoption? Are you both on the same page? If not, where do you differ?
      * Do you both have the faith for adoption?
      * Are you aware of the risks, ups, downs, and unknowns of adoption?
      * Have you talked to other adoptive families about their experience?
      * Have you been praying together about this?
      * Where do you feel called to adopt from?
      * What kind of support do you have in place?
      * Are you aware of the cost of adoption? How will you pay for it? Will you need help?

    5. Remind them that they desire a good and God-magnifying thing.

    Encourage those pursuing adoption with God’s heart for the fatherless. Encourage them with God’s promises to direct their steps (Prov 16:9). Encourage them with God’s faithfulness to provide.

    6. Keep on encouraging them.

    Those who step out in faith to adopt enter a journey filled with many ups and downs. Keep supporting them throughout the process. Ideally, they will have a care group or some close friends that will be able to do this as well.

    7. Provide financial counsel and help.

    The majority of couples adopting are challenged by the high costs. Any ways that you can provide encouragement and help financially will express love in a very tangible way.

    One way you can do this is by establishing a church adoption fund to offer grants and loans to members. You can visit Hope for 100 for an example of what one church in Texas is doing.

    8. Cry with them and celebrate with them.

    The majority of adoptions are filled with great highs and great lows.

    There are often many tears shed due to failed placements and other setbacks. There is also unparalleled joy in being matched with your child and bringing them home.

    Do what you can to enter into their experience. Embody the compassion and empathy of Christ in the hard times and magnify the joy of the Father in the celebration.

    9. Celebrate adoptions publicly in services.

    Give time during worship services not only to teach on God’s heart for orphans, but also to celebrate specific adoptions. You can perhaps do this as part of Sanctity of Life Sunday or in conjunction with another special day such as Mothers’ or Fathers’ Day. Also, November is National Adoption Awareness Month.

    There are many ways you can publicly celebrate adoption during the service such having an adoptive family share their story, honoring adoptive parents in the congregation, or taking a special offering for your church adoption fund. Be creative!

    10. Don’t feel like you have to have all the answers.

    Use the wisdom and experience of the Christian adoption community. There are a growing number of resources available, including many churches that have ministries aimed at promoting and supporting adoption.

    Encourage those in your church who have a passion for adoption to lead the church in caring for the fatherless and supporting adoption. And remember you are not alone! There is a community of others to support you and above all, God, the Father of the fatherless, is with you to provide all that is needed to follow his call to care for the “least of these.”

    * * *

    For more information on the connection between our adoption by God and our adoption of children please visit Together for Adoption. We will be hosting our second national conference on adoption this October in Nashville.

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