Friday, December 18, 2009

Talking Turkey! Day Five

OK! Here it is! For all you vegans out there - the recipe for Tofu Turkey!

And to balance it all out, here's a video from Idaho, the birthplace of Frozen Turkey Bowling!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Talking Turkey! Day Three (and Four!)

Here are step by step instructions for deep frying your bird.

BUT! Before you fry it up, watch this: Big Bear Fire Department How Not To Fry A Turkey!

Here's an unintentional turkey flame-up. Not a good way to cook it, not a good way to shave.

Want to make something for Christmas that is truly outrageous? Unforgettable? Over the top? Do a turducken - a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken. I know you're just chomping at the bit to get going on it, so here are the instructions - with photos! - for your adventure. (Please save me a serving!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Talking Turkey! Day Two

BAM!  Here's Emeril's recipe for a Brined and Roasted Turkey.

Or, in a pinch you could substitute this one.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Talking Turkey! Day One

Here's an article with practical tips on turkey preparation: Allrecipes Turkey Tips

Here's a video with a tip about thawing a turkey: Turkey Thawing

If you enjoyed these, share the joy!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Star of Bethlehem

Here's an interesting article by Dr. Henry Morris about Bethlehem's star:

Friday, December 11, 2009

Talking Turkey!

Next week, Graceability will feature a different way to cook your Christmas bird every day! Check out the blog starting Monday to find some great tips and funny stuff! Pass it along to your friends!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Next Three Weeks

Hey - Let's wrap up this season! The next three weeks at grace we'll be continuing our efforts at Building a Better Christmas. Here's the run-down:

December 13: Party Planning - How to plan the perfect party. How God planned the perfect party!

December 20: Talking Turkey - How to cook a bird. The bold, honest, turkey-truth about Jesus' birth.

December 27: Packing It Up - Cleaning the mess and putting things away for next year. Making Christmas sustainable (buzz word alert!) year after year.

Don't forget our upcoming Christmas events:

Christmas Caroling
Saturday, December  12
6:00 p.m.
309 Virginia Dr. Essexville
Call Heidi at 989-893-4652

“The Greatest Gifts”
Christmas Program
Saturday, December 19
7:00 p.m.

Christmas Eve by Candlelight
Thursday, December 24
6:00 p.m.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Wrapping Time

When my parents were preparing to be old, they tossed most of the family pictures.

They were downsizing, something they had to do three times--homestead to mobile home, mobile home to assisted living, assisted living to Ron's house. They wanted to rid themselves of the unnecessary. Apparently, old family photos qualified.

As a result, we don't have many Polaroid memories of Christmases past. I wish we did. Photos are a way to wrap up time so you can savor it later.

How do you wrap time? Not only to preserve it, but to maximize it. How do you make sure there is enough time for Christmas? The real deal; not the glitzy, shop-till-you-drop, Hollywood-Christmas-Parade clone. Is there enough time left over for the Mass of Christ?

Building a Better Christmas starts Sunday. Come ready to wrap.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I Want To Live Forever

Grandma B's favorite phrase: "It's no fun getting old, but everybody does it."

That's why they call them "the declining years" instead of "the exciting years." But for those who trust Jesus, a resurrection is always on the horizon. Shouldn't that make a difference?

Stupid question, since the answer is obvious. But does it work?

We'll talk about it this Sunday!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What Couples Need Most

Last night at our Husband's Stimulus Night, Jay Laffoon challenged us to woo our wives.

We were all in. Can't think of anyone in the room who disagreed, or even resisted. Can't believe any husband would. The thing is - we were all there, all paid $5, all sacrificed an evening, because we want to woo our wives. Jay helped us know how to do that better, and motivated us to get it done.

The persistent dilemma, however, is in finding the time and energy to do it. This was especially expressed in the Q&A:

  • We want to spend time with our wives.
  • It doesn't have to lead to sex (not that we'd refuse it!).
  • The busy-ness, distractions, demands, of work, family, money, church, etc. make the time available to spend with our wives disappear.
What to do? Your ideas are welcome, so please comment about what's worked for you or others. In the meantime, here are some of my thoughts:

  • When you're juggling all those balls in your life, and it seems like your future depends on each one of them continuing to circulate in the air, it's the balls that seem optional that get missed and dropped. You've got a job, and the kids, and demands around the house, and other things that demand a place in the priority list. Dating your wife, or even finding some time to talk without distraction, seems like one of the easiest things to lose in the mix.
  • Whatever actions you take to accomplish it, time with your wife needs to be bumped up the priority list. It needs to become as urgent as anything else you do. More important than work, kids, and home repair.
  • Whatever actions you take, you will have to sacrifice something. (Sacrifice, according to Ephesians 5, is the very definition of the love husbands should have for their wives). Jay emphasized that the only relationship that should come before our wives is the one we have with God. So any other competing time-taker in our lives is fair game for the sacrifice. 
  • Jay also spoke of Tozer's description of the Christian life: Magnify God, Mortify Self, Simplify. To simplify means dropping some of the balls we keep trying to juggle. You need to drop a couple of them so that you can pick up the one you've left on the floor - your time with your wife. Don't think that you can keep juggling all of them, or even add a few. 
  • Your wife will see your sacrifice. And maybe that will help her to drop a juggling ball and make more time for the both of you.
  • Remember - Your kids need not only to have parents who stay together without a divorce--they need to have parents who love each other profoundly.
  • So, the question becomes--What are you willing to sacrifice?
Let me know what you're thinking. Women--you can chime in, too. And you can comment even if you weren't at the Marriage Stimulus Night.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Those Scary Flashy Gifts

Next Sunday we're taking a look at those scary flashy spiritual gifts -- the ones that show up most often in "those other churches" where the services go for hours on end, where there always  seem to be bodies laying around on the floor, and where the pastors are called preachers and wear white clothes and white shoes to go with their white hair.

Oh, the stereotypes! Stereotypes are usually earned by history and culture, so we'll talk about some of that.

But seriously - have you ever experienced a scary flashy spiritual gift? Do you actually have one? Can you tell us about it? You can do it anonymously here. Know this: your story may help someone else, so please let us in on your experiences. I'd be grateful if you did.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ministry Muster

We had a productive Muster Sunday! Two "push" ideas have been picked up by people who will run with them this Christmas:
  • Neighborhood Caroling - Heidi Tamez will be working on this one.
  • 25 Days of Random Acts of Grace - Kaila O. has some great ideas and will head it up.
In addition, here are actions that have already been taken based on the Muster:
  • Website Traffic is now being monitored for
  • Jay Laffoon YouTube is up on
Thanks to all who attended the Muster. Thanks to Linda B., Trina S., Ann N., and others who helped with the food. Thanks to Linda B. for watching the kiddos.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Death Sentence

Can a person really die by taking communion "unworthily?"

I Corinthians 11: 27-30

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


To get ready for this Sunday's message, read I Corinthians 11:1-16.

Dress appropriately.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fleeing the Island

Name three things you could do to get off the Evangelical Island.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Gray Areas Master List

Share your gray areas! Got a moral dilemma that hard to figure out? Got a behaviour that you think isn't mentioned in the Bible but needs some direction? Got a friend who needs to know if something they're doing is right or wrong?

Leave a comment on this post with your example of a gray area. Even if you don't have one you're facing, use your imagination and make one up.

We'll be talking about them September 20.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fun in the Gray Zone!

So, the pastor takes $20 out of the offering and on his way home buys lottery tickets and a Slurpie. The Slurpie did not come out of the $20. The next day he learns he's hit the current jackpot, $250,000. Should the church:
  1. Fire the pastor.
  2. Reprimand the pastor and refuse the money.
  3. Reprimand the pastor and give the money away.
  4. Reprimand the pastor and pay off the mortgage.
  5. Pay off the mortgage and give the pastor a raise.
  6. Other:
What'dya think?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Six Reasons to Love Baptisms

Baptizing people has always been on the top of my list for pastoral duties, but doing it in a public lake is even better. Yesterday Grace Christian Fellowship braved rough weather to celebrate a dunking at Haithco Park in Saginaw, and it was great. Here are six reasons baptisms flip my switch:
  1. The excitement of going public. Even grouping up as a church on a public beach causes a scene, and there is a certain thrill in the outing of our faith.
  2. The awkwardness of the moment. Let's face it, the whole experience borders on the odd: a man grabs a person by the neck and arms and offers some ritual words and plunges them backward into the water and pulls them out again and everybody cheers. It's weird, and it's weirder out in the middle of the world. And that makes it specialer. (If I can use "weirder," I can use "specialer").
  3. The display of new faith. Most of the time a baptism happens because somebody has recently given themselves whole hog to Jesus. It is exhilarating.
  4. Joy, joy, and joy.
  5. The visible expression of real grace. Communion is a quiet, usually somber time to reflect on the cost of grace, but baptism punches all the celebration buttons; invite the family, your neighbors, bring out the food, splash in the water, make some noise, and PARTY! It is an earthly reflection of the heavenly party that happens when God redeems one of his own. (See Luke 15)
  6. It's flat-out contagious. Baptism sparkles up the reality of grace in real time, and the bubbles spread around like champaign to tickle spiritual noses all over the place.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Some more info . . .

Want to read more about how something good can "flip" into something divisive and legalistic? Check out my 2005 article in Plain Truth Magazine called "Never Trust a Skinny Person." And here's a place to get more info on Intuitive Eating. (I think this is a good approach, and seems grace-based, although the book and website is not "Christian.").

Do you have examples of other good ministries or efforts that can "flip" into splintering the church? Share them here!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

This Is What We Should Do

Every once in a while I encounter something I think THE CHURCH should be doing. Most of the time, it's not THE CHURCH doing it. When I first watched "Extreme Makeover, Home Edition" I immediately said, as I was crying, "This is what THE CHURCH should be doing!" When heard about Ashton Kutcher, Twitter, and the UN Foundation's Nothing but Net Campagin raising funds for the purchase and distribution of mosquito nets to refugees in Africa, I said, "Why isn't THE CHURCH doing this?"

Today I saw this video. And I asked the question again. What do you think?


Thursday, April 16, 2009

For Your Day

I'm getting on this bandwagon. Hope, grace, encouragement. I needed to watch this today. Maybe you do to.

Catch this YouTube. If you're not weeping in 30 seconds you've got a heart of stone.

Monday, March 9, 2009

What the LT Is Reading

The Leadership Team (Doug, Arnel, Marty, Troy, and Ron) is currently reading a book by Dan Kimball (pastor of Vintage Faith Church) called "They Like Jesus But Not The Church." So far the book has stimulated insightful discussion among the group. If you'd like to read along, get a copy (call Brian and Betty at Living Water to order). We're reading chapters 2-3 for our next meeting.

Here's the Wikipedia stuff for Dan Kimball:
[Gotta love the hair!]

If you pick up the book and read along with us, be sure and tell us about what you're thinking. Use the blog, or email me, or jot a note on the InfoCard (that yellow, cult-like instrument of conspiratorial data-gathering found stuffed in your bulletin every week and collected by a guy codenamed Jerry).

God's Calling - Hide and Seek

Yesterday we began an exploration in the ways God intersects our lives and communicates with us. I'm learning a lot preparing for these Sundays. It's going to be good.

Already I've heard from a few of you, on InfoCards and in person, about your own "messages." I'm interested in reading and hearing your stories, and I may share a few of them. (Keep in mind that I will ALWAYS get your permission before sharing anything).

This blog is a great way to gather accounts of God's intervention in our lives. So if you have a story about how God spoke to you, let's hear it!

Please pray for this series. Lots of people long to hear from God. I'm praying that they will.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


The convention has again proved itself to be the best in the U.S. Check it out:

- Nazareth  - the comedian.
- The Sons of Korah -an Australian group singing only Psalms.
- Shane Claiborne - urban radical.
- Rob Bell - a message aimed directly at pastors! Whew.
- As We Forgive: A must-see movie about Rwanda and forgiveness.
- Bill Hybels - about listening to the whispers of God.
- Great worship.
- Being with Linda for four days--well, just us and 2,000 other pastors and wives.
- Laughing my head off, crying my eyes out, hearing from God. It's all good.

We'll be home early Monday morning. We'll be praying for Pastor Cliff and GCF Sunday - that God would have something to share with all.

Pastor Ron

Monday, February 9, 2009

National Pastors Convention

Linda and I will be leaving the house at 3:00 a.m. tomorrow to head to the National Pastors Convention. We'll be back next Monday morning at around 2:00 a.m. 

We've attended this gathering a few times, and we can say that it's one of the best places for pastors and spouses in the nation. I'll try to post a couple times through the week to tell you what we've been doing.

Please pray for safe travel, for a good convention, for Grandma and the boys at home, and for our cars to work OK until we get back. (Actually, just pray that our cars get healed!)

Pastor Ron

Sunday, February 1, 2009

God is God

I'm very interested in your feedback to today's message. Please make a comment or, if you prefer more privacy, drop me an email.

Someone asked for the lyrics to the Joan Baez song, God is God. I like the words to this song except for one small part -- the bridge. The rest is good. Here's a link. You can even click to hear the song.

Have a great week. And remember, it's OK to jump.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

For Further Study

Well, C-Sunday is over. I want to thank the wise parents who made decisions about today with/for their kids -- Thanks for helping us be careful with God's word.

I'm interested in your input about today's message. As I mentioned this morning, we are prone to avoid subjects that are culturally complicated, and I'll admit to skipping over stuff like this in the past for fear of reprisals. I don't think that's good, and I don't think it's what God wants from us. I think we need to be honest with his word, and let him speak without our filters. (Not always easy). But I also want to know that we're doing it in a fair, honest, and safe way. Please let me know your thoughts.

Here are some scriptures regarding circumcision that you may want to read to look into the matter further. I've linked these scriptures to the online Bible resource I use most, Bible Gateway. (You can also do some study on your own by typing in "circumcision" or "circumcise" in the search box at BG).

Genesis 17 - Abraham given the covenant sign.
Deuteronomy 10 - Moses records God's plan for circumcision.
Jeremiah 4:4 - The circumcision of the heart.
Romans 2 - Paul diminishes physical circumcision.
Colossians 2 - Paul calls what God has done in a believer's heart "circumcision."

These three all say the same thing, with a different slant:

Next Sunday we'll be looking at Joshua 6. Get a jump on everyone else and read ahead!

Pastor Ron

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

"C" Sunday!

This coming Sunday we'll be jumping back into Joshua, and it's chapter 5. Get your Bible and take a look. 

Here's the thing: in order to talk about what's going on here without a lot of euphemisms and double entendres, we're going to approach the passage in a forthright, honest way. Which means we'll have to discuss the "C" word.

That's why we're labeling this Sunday's message "PG13." Our Children's Church program will be temporarily altered to include any age, and parents are encouraged to make the call about having their kids stay for the message or attend Children's Church for the day. Kids will be dismissed mid-service, as usual.

If you have any questions about the service, give me a call.

Grace to you,

Pastor Ron