Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Limes & an Orange Lessons....

Last Friday night I spiced up our date night with my brand new graduation-gift-money purchased grill. To be honest the Bricks have been having withdraws since moving into our shotgun apartment in August, with no access to a grill.

Our entree was grilled marinated chicken, with a side of grilled corn and Boudin. I used one of our friend Shannon's recipes which you can find on her blog. Most weeks, at least one of the meals at the Brickhouse comes from one of her recipes....she posts everything she makes!

Sarah spent the week in New Iberia and I really wanted to grill a fantastic dinner for her and her return to the Big Easy. I purchased all the items for the recipe and spent most of the afternoon prepping the chicken, corn and my new grill. This recipe called for lime and orange juice. On date night I take no shortcuts so I decided we needed freshly squeeze juice. [You know only the best for Mrs. Brick.]

I sliced a couple of limes and prepared to juice them. There was only one problem.....we don't own a juicer. We have 1,000,000 different serving spoons and pretty dishes, but we don't have a juicer. So in my frantic prepping I juiced several limes and a orange manually, a cup of lime and 1/2 cup of orange to be exact!

Do you know how many limes it takes to manually juice enough limes to reach a cup? 9

Yeah I counted each of the 18 halves that I squeezed and strained to get lime juice from. Imagine how long that takes.

Actually it was pretty funny seeing me squirm and twist all over our kitchen. I had lime juice running down my arm and splashing all over. But I would not be denied! And in the end we had a great dinner on our front porch together. Our friend Ramsey even enjoyed one of the chicken breasts.

Two lessons I gained from this experience that I'd like to share:
  • Husbands plan, prep, and go all out for your weekly date night.
Sarah likes to be pursued and dated as my wife. Dating doesn't end after you get married, have children, hit the "mid-life crisis," or retire. Dating no doubt changes, but dating should never end. I can also guarantee you that your wife wants to be pursued, so quit being sissies, men. Go get your bride!
- Husbands today is Thursday.... what are you planning for this week's date night?
The ingredients are simple: some thought, your wife and you. It's not about taking her to the most expensive restaurant, but instead about creating an experience where the two of you can talk, relax and learn something new about each other. Sometimes the most fun date nights happen on a porch, while sipping coffee/tea or in your house.

  • The importance of community can never be understated.
One of my favorite things about New Orleans is the value that most people place on community. For the most part this city is still a place where people know their neighbors. When I got to about the 17th half lime I had a profound thought: Why didn't I call _____ to see if they had a juicer I could borrow? And I named about 4-5 people that live within 2 blocks that I could have called and probably found a stinkin' juicer.
- So can I ask you who you have in your life that knows you and encourages you in this crazy busy life that we all live? The value of close friends has been something that God has continued to teach me over the past few months.

Neil Cole believes that small groups are one of the most effective ways to make & multiply disciples. Some strengths of small groups include:

For me, my Community Group is a source of great encouragement which God uses to grow me as a Christian, husband, pastor and friend. We enjoy meals together, help each other move, pray for one another, celebrate birthdays and discuss Scripture. I hope you will connect to such a group in your city. Trust me, you won't regret the decision. And if you're honest you need it, if not today one day you will, maybe when you're in search of a juicer.

Live the Gospel, Love the City, BE the Church....

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Rising River....

This week the local news has been covered with discussions about the rising Mississippi River and the potential threat which this plays for Southern Louisiana. The worst case is that this flooding could be worse than Kartina. As I have watched the stations and read online, I had two thoughts that I’d like to quickly share.
1. Tons of people live in cities
For us Louisianans there is a system of sp
illways that have been created along the Mississippi River in order to protect Baton Rouge and New Orleans. These are the two biggest cities in LA. Current statics tell us that an enormous amount of growth is happening in cities around the world as the population is moving back into cities.

One of the options that the Louisiana state officials have is to open the Morganza Spillway. In the scenarios I’ve seen, opening this spillway would flood some rural areas in order to not flood the cities. Note the small arrow in the bottom left: "There should be no flooding in the Metro Area [New Orleans]"

What this discussion shows is exactly what I’ve learned in my short run serving in New Orleans....cities are the way in which to influence and change the world.As weird as this may sound God has confirmed my call to be in the city and for the city as a believer, pastor and neighbor. The business world is impacting the cities. The artists are impacting the cities. Young entrepreneurial minds are impacting the cities. Will the body of Christ, the Church, impact the cities with the Gospel? There’s a new book that I’m excited to get and read. I’d recommend you do too.

<-- For the City - Darrin Patrick & Matt Carter

2. God is gracious towards all people
The dilemma to flood one area in order to avert a flood in another area which this rising Mississippi River has caused is a tough decision. In fact it’s one that is above my pay grade. Honestly I’m perfectly fine with that reality. But I do find this interesting, the decision of choosing “the lesser of two evils”....
Instead I’m thankful for the truth that God chose to respond to a crisis in a way that didn’t neglect any person due to any economic, cultural or racial difference/factor. Scripture tells us that Christ died for all people. In the cross we have God diverting the penalty of mine and your sin. Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, standing in my place and consuming the brunt of God’s righteous wrath toward my sin. This was done in order that you and I might have life.

This is our God. The One I serve and commend you to trust in with your life. At Vintage Church we plead with people to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ. If you haven’t, it’s simple....“Repent and Believe in the Gospel” - Jesus (Mark 1:14-15) No special 8 step prayer or anointed oil needed. Turn from your sin (repent) and trust in Jesus Christ through faith (believe).

When you do, come check us out in either Uptown or Metairie on the weekend.
Live the Gospel, Love the City, BE the Church....