Yech! They made such a big deal about it, but I still prefer my cat food: The Mom made a "Mixed Pepper Grill" on Saturday, with the new BBQ vegetable cooker that Nanny & Pappy gave them for their anniversary. The recipe was adjusted to use only green peppers, with the spanish onion–and a whole half-head of garlic!! But with the olive oil and "country herbs", "they say" it was delicious! Some of them fit on top of the sausages, but The Dad ate a bunch of them just by themselves.
Now for Craig’s excellent sermon. Remember that we were using the letters of the alphabet to learn our Mission Statement ("We exist to invite ordinary people to encounter Christ and thoughtfully follow Him.") ‘A’ was for "Attract", ‘B’ for "Bring" (to Jesus, not necessarily to church), ‘C’ for "Community", ‘D’ for "Discipleship", and this week ‘E’ is for "Equip". Craig used the letters of the word "Equip" to tell us how to be equipped and equip others; plus he placed each of the letters at one of the points of the cross.
At the top of the cross is the letter ‘E’ for EXAMPLE. Of course, Jesus is our example–and we need to realize that a lot of institutional education is not necessary before we can share Christ. It was said of the disciples, when people were awed about how "well-versed" they were, that they "had been with Jesus". And we may also get to the point where we can say, like Paul, "Imitate me as I imitate Christ". We need each other as examples.
The left arm of the cross is the letter ‘Q’ for QUESTION. Questions are a great teaching tool, that Jesus used, but He also cultivated an atmosphere where anyone could ask questions. We need to help people feel free to ask questions, to speak their doubts–even if the are questions that don’t seem to have an answer. (Alpha does this.)
The right arm of the cross has the letter ‘I’ for IMAGINE. Imagine the possibilities, with a God who can do anything! Remember how Peter wanted to walk on the water like Jesus was doing, and Jesus knew that he would end up beginning to sink–but invited him to "try it". Jesus also sent out the 70 to heal and cast out demons… "you do it". So not only do we need to step outside our comfort zone, but allow others to do so: "let go" some of the jobs that others can do, or allow young people to try something.
At the foot of the cross is ‘P’ for PRAYER. (What better place!) Don’t forget that we are in a spiritual warfare, and as Jesus said, some things come only by prayer and fasting. Prayer requires a certain humility–when we pray, we acknowledge that we cannot do it on our own, and that the credit for EVERYTHING goes to God.
Walk to Rivendell: We have finished the 11th day of travel from Bag End, travelling 19 miles this day, for a total of 336 altogether.