Avocado Chips

I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing better than something crunchy to dip into salsa, hummus, or melted cheese sauce.

Whether following a ketogenic, low carb way of eating, or just looking for something new to try these avocado chips are sure to be a crowd pleaser!

For detailed step by step instructions and to see each step in full, check out the video below.

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 3/4 C shredded parmesan
  • lemon juice
  • salt
  • garlic powder
  • trader joe’s 21 seasoning salute
  • 375 for 20 minutes

21 Seasoning Salute: https://amzn.to/2EfdzHd
Everything But the Bagel Seasoning: https://amzn.to/2V0yFhX

Not an Afterthought

This was originally written by me for the Wellspring Church blog at wellspring.one posted on December 27, 2018.

I started a challenge in the beginning of 2018 to read the entire Bible in a year. I downloaded a helpful app, purchased a new notebook, and started a routine. Well, it’s December 2018 and let’s just say I’m beeeeeeeeehind. Do you know what you have to do when you try to read the entire Bible in a year? You have to actually read it, like all of it. The parts with all the old laws that I don’t understand and then when you get past all that and into the prophets, and battles, and kings, you hit rewind when you get to the book of first Chronicles. It’s literally a history of all the stuff you’ve just read! And, it begins with genealogies. Genealogies are the worst.

But, I’m a big girl with a goal, so I read it. I read all eight chapters of genealogies. It took me until chapter seven to realize the power in the list of names that I was reading. This book would have been read to Israelites after they returned to Jerusalem after being exiled. Who were they now? This book reminded them of their history. With each long list of names I struggled through reading, an Israelite would have heard their family name, would have recognized themselves as a part of God’s plan from the beginning.

I like to imagine that as each family name was read out loud the families in attendance would holler and clap like we do today when we hear our college alma mater or a musician shouts out “How you doin’ New Jersey?”. It probably didn’t happen like that, but hey, who knows?

They were able to connect their identities back to God. God had included them from the start. He had a plan for them. It’s powerful to be reminded that we were always a part of God’s plan.

“God had included them from the start. He had a plan for them.”

When you read the Bible or hear stories from it, do you hear your name? Are you able to see how God has included you from the beginning? Are you the tax collector who takes advantage of his position and robs the weak? Are you the woman or man caught in the act of cheating on your spouse? What about the person who has spent years attacking God and those who believe in him? Are you the person who grew up in a Christian home but when things got uncomfortable you denied even knowing Jesus? What about the person who sees the acts of God right in front of them but continues to doubt and question, are you that person?

These people we read about in our bibles were very real, but they are also very us. Jesus interacted with all kinds of people. Different races, gender, socioeconomic status, and marriage status because he is for ALL people. We, you and I, have been written into the very history of Jesus Christ. We are those people.

Do you know what Jesus did with those people? He showed himself to them, welcomed them in, forgave them, and then used them to build the church, change lives, and spread the message of true love around the world. He offers the very same thing to us.

“We are the movement of his Church. We are not an afterthought.”

Do you recognize yourself as part of God’s plan from the beginning? When questions arise in your mind about your purpose, your identity, your heritage, your history, your legacy, remember that God has already told us the answers. We are children of God, intentionally made and crafted. We are the movement of his Church. We are not an afterthought. We are a part of his family. We are a part of his plan and have been since the beginning. Embrace it, walk confidently because of it and the next time you read a genealogy in the Bible, remember, that’s your name too.

5 Benefits of Keto That Have Zero to Do With Weight Loss

The ketogenic way of eating is popular because it works when looking to drop weight fast, I totally get that. Hey! I’ve been there! BUT there are so many other reasons why the popularity is growing and they have nothing to do with weight loss, but instead, overall health and lifestyle.

 

Watch me explain my fave benefits!

In the latest video I discuss my top 5 favorite benefits of the ketogenic lifestyle and they have zero to do with weight loss. In no particular order I discuss my desire to prevent heart disease and cancer, to improve cognitive function, reduce inflammation, and more. 

The list of benefits goes way beyond five. Have you tried a ketogenic diet? What benefits did you experience?

Creatives: Better Together?

creatives

Right in the middle of church planting, that’s where you find me. Just weeks away from launching a new church in Toms River, New Jersey. Along with everything else I’ve learned and experienced through this time I’ve noticed a lack of resources and conversation when it comes to creative meetings. While there are some amazing resources for the individual creative ( The Creative Pastor and CRTV Church are awesome), I’m referring specifically about Creative Teams and how they work. Whether in a business context or within the church, the idea of Creative Teams has been getting more traction lately. Let’s talk about it.

For our church a Creative Team is made up of individuals who meet as needed to go over BIG PICTURE ideas, not the nitty gritty details. We hear what the Pastor will be preaching on and spend some time thinking about the overall theme, how we can create a series around the major theme, the visual artwork that accompanies it, and one major wow moment that will happen in that series. If someone can’t remember exactly what the Pastor said, but they can remember one “wow” experience, use that to jog their memory.

Who is on the team?

Lead Pastor, Worship & Weekend Experience Leader, Communications Leader (also happens to be our Production Leader), and two church volunteers. One of the church volunteers is a constant team member, the other spot we rotate out each meeting and add someone different. Find people who aren’t afraid to share ideas and who aren’t easily offended when their idea isn’t used.

When does the team meet?

We are trying to be a season ahead of schedule. For example, we met in January to discuss Easter and a sermon series happening in May. Each major holiday gets its own meeting and so does each series. Based on this concept, you only need to meet as many times as your Pastor changes his series. For some churches it could be 5-6 times a year, for others more like 9-10.

Why a Creative Team?

This part can get real personal to each church or organization. Acknowledging that each place is different I will move on to some basic reasons that I think can relate to everyone.

  1. Visuals: Seriously. Each day our communication is done more through pictures and emojis than we probably realize. If a post doesn’t have a picture attached to it, does anyone read it? I don’t know but it’s worth thinking about. We share images to reflect how we are feeling, what we are experiencing, and of course what we’re eating. Taking some time to think about the artwork that may accompany your teaching is time not wasted.
  2. Stories: Stories help us learn and remember. Throughout the Bible we see parables and sharing of stories to help the people listening really understand what Jesus was trying to teach them. When working on a Creative Team you are helping to ultimately create a story with the goal that your church will leave not only remembering what it is they learned, but be able to apply it to their lives and share it with others.
  3. God: He is the ultimate Creator. God created everything…. everything. It’s in His nature to create, to allow new things to bloom and to remove things that are no longer needed. He could have chosen to leave everything one way, never having them change, but He didn’t.
  4. Fun: Church should be fun.

 

Have you tried Creative Teams at your church or organization? How’d it go? Can you do this without a team? Who is on your team? Share in the comments.

Upcoming: How we run Creative Meetings. Games/Brain warm-ups we play. What is a WOW moment? Subscribe to be one of the first notified when new content comes out.

 

Technological Love… Pulling the Emotion out of Dating and Swiping Life Away

I never experienced the online dating life. I missed it. At 21 I became a wife and a mother, so while I experienced a brand new type of life many of my peers have spent years figuring out how to date when the days of actually making real conversation with a person in front of you is a lost art. Alex puts a great perspective on this issue in his new post. Check it out and let me know, how’s it going for you?

No longer active

I’m going to take a brave leap here… This one’s for my “bees” …my “flames”….. My “minglers” …my “harmonizers” the people who have given the online dating world a shot, and just can’t find what they think they’re looking for …. I think I can write to this because recently in my life there are a lot of people who have come out of the woodwork feeling like they are in the same situation I have been in. The truth is… I’m exhausted. I don’t want to date. I don’t care to partake in the meaningless sweet nothings shared back and forth for a few minutes before I’m on to the next one. What I’m trying to say is the arthritis in my tinder finger is really getting to me… That last part was a total joke. Honestly, I will be the first to tell you that lately, the one…

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