Let There Be Purpose In Suffering

In the last couple of months I have determined to memorize the book of James. I haven’t gotten too far, but what I have memorized has been a great help to me.

James 1:1-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing.”

I have heard a lot of people say they don’t want to meditate, teach, or pray about trials because they fear that God will test them by sending a trial. I really believe that we are going to be facing trials regardless. It doesn’t matter if I try to ignore the subject or not, God is clear that the trials will come. So, I figured I should be getting my heart ready for trials instead of waiting till it was too late. The command is very clear that we should be prepared for the trial by counting it a joy that the Lord is producing in us character. The character is steadfastness and it will help us be perfect and complete lacking in nothing. God has purpose in our suffering. Trials are being used to accomplish many things.

Right now I am praying this passage for a guy in our youth group. A guy that has become very dear to Derick and me. I just heard this morning that last night while walking home he was attacked by four guys with metal pipes. Thank the Lord they don’t think he has suffered any brain damage or spinal damage, but his suffering is severe. He has a broken nose and shattered eye socket. My prayer is that God would use this in his life as well as his dad’s life to produce steadfastness. I hope you will pray with me that God would be glorified in this situation and that we all will “count it all joy”.

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Back from the Holidays

Hi Readers! I trust you all had a wonderful Christmas. This Christmas was not our typical routine of celebration, but it was still a great time.

My mother-in-law has been suffering from severe stomach pain for the last couple of months. A few weeks before Christmas the doctor’s were convinced they had solved the problem and told her that she should be operated on immediately. However, during the operation, they realized they were wrong. They couldn’t find anything wrong and so the operation was pointless. It has been/and still is a long road of recovery but my mother-in-law was back home the week of Christmas.

Then, it was my father-in-laws turn. He went into the hospital the week of Christmas with an infection. He had his own operation and was home in about a day. It was a discouraging time, and it definitely didn’t seem to be “the most wonderful time of the year.” However, it gave Derick and I a new perspective. It was a reminder that we need to enjoy our time with family while we can.

For obvious reasons, Derick preached for his dad on Christmas and it was one of the best I have heard from him, not that I’m biased. I linked the sermon below and hope you have a chance to listen. It was a great sermon to remind us of the reason for celebration on Christmas and every other day of the year.

The Lion of Judah

White Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Craisin Cookies

These cookies are so good for the holidays and so easy to make. I hope you enjoy them. There are a couple of ways to make them more fancy, but who wants more to do around the holidays? But if you are looking to make them look a little more fancy check out the alternatives below.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Combine oats, flour, salt, and baking soda; stir into butter mixture one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in preheated oven, or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

If you would like to make the cookies a little more fancy only put half the amount of white chocolate chunks in the cookie batter and save the other half. Once cookies are cooled you can melt the remaining white chocolate and drizzle chocolate over cookies. Or you can dip the cookies in remaining white chocolate. I love this recipe and I’m not even a white chocolate fan.