Monday, March 30, 2009

The Jews and a Legacy

For my 5th and final Monday's w/ Michael covering Rich Mullins, I would like to share a story that Rich shared at one of his concerts. A guy (I don't remember his name) was asked "Why do you believe in God?" He answered "Because of the Jews." "What do you mean 'Because of the Jews'?" "Well," he replied, "I've never seen a Hittite walking around New York City."

For thousands of years, people have been trying to kill the Jews. We can read of all the different tribes and nations that attempted it in Biblical times (Philistines, Egyptians, etc). More recently, Hitler and the Nazis tried it. Today, Muslims are attempting it. The Jews have been targeted for millenia, yet they survive. Why? Because they are God's chosen people. This gives me one more reason to put my faith in the awesome God we serve.

Totally changing the subject, I would like to close with another quote by Rich Mullins.

"If my life is motivated by an ambition to leave a legacy, what I would probably leave is a legacy of ambition. But, if my life is motivated by the power of God's spirit in me and the awareness of the indwelling Christ, if I allow His presence to guide my motives, that's the only time I think we really leave a great legacy."

Make it a great Monday!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


One week from today-one year ago, Michael and I were anxiously awaiting to fly out of Ft. Wayne, so we could make it the following morning, April 3rd (catch all that?) for the schedualed c-section of our son that was to be born!! Well, behind every adoption is a birth-mother and birth-father. I know that is stating the obvious, but so many people think adoption is 'wonderful thing to do', but quickly forget the person who chose to carry that baby for 9 months, go through the pain of labor, and then do one of the most self-less acts ever-leave the hospital with empty arms. What a gift!

When we adopted Deacon, we agreed to a 'closed adoption', which meant that we would send letters and pictures to his birth-mother, Leslie, updating her on how he was doing-but that was all we were commited to doing.

The day we met Leslie, a year ago this past February, we instantly loved her. I felt such a connection to her. Afterall, this was the person that God had chosen to use, to give us our first child. After Deacon was born, all of our time spent with him in the hospital, was spent in Leslie's room. This was the way that it had to be since she couldn't officially sign the papers yet, (we were just like any other visitor as far as the hospital was concerned). One would think this was awkward, but it wasn't at all. We would have our time with Deacon, and when we were finished I would give him back to Leslie. We felt our love for her growing as we spent time at the hospital, and as the time came to say 'good-bye', it was so heart-wrenching (I'll explain more later)-but as we said 'good-bye', we just didn't feel like it was 'good-bye', but that it was more like 'see you later', because we truly felt like we would see her again someday. We did not know when or how it would all work out. . . .

God has put a stirring in our hearts to make our adoption more open-and through MUCH prayer and thought, we decided to invite Leslie here for Deacon's FIRST birthday! She is flying into Ft. Wayne, one week from today, and will be staying with us through Monday. We are so excited, and of course, so is she! Please pray for her that she can set aside any worries she has about coming and be able to sustain the courage to get on that plane. And pray for us, that we would continue to allow God to use us, in the way He wants to.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Songs (2 of 2)

Here are some more of my favorite Rich Mullins songs.

"If I Stand" - "If I stand, let me stand on the promise, that You will pull me through. And if I can't, let me fall on the grace that first brought me to You. If I sing, let me sing for the joy that has born in me these songs. If I weep, let it be as a man, who is longing for his home."

"While The Nations Rage" - This song begins "Why do the nations rage? Why do they plot and scheme? Their bullets can't stop the prayers we pray in the name of the Prince of Peace. We walk in faith and remember long ago how they killed Him and then on the third day He arose. Well, things may look bad and things may look grim, but all these things must pass except the things that are of Him." And then in the chorus, Rich asks "Where are the nails that pierced His hands? Well, the nails have turned to rust, but behold the Man, He is risen and He reigns in the hearts of the children rising up in His name. Where are the thorns that drew His blood? Well the thorns have turned to dust, but not so the love He has given. No, it remains in the hearts of the children who will love, while the nations rage."

"Alrightokuhhuhamen" - We can read in Genesis that when God commanded something, it happened. God said "Let there be light" and there was light. God said "Let there be land" and there was land. In this song, Rich encourages us to follow God's commands as well. Rich says we need to be "smart enough to say 'yes' to Him." When God tells us to do something, our response should be "Alright, ok, uh-huh, amen."

"Calling Out Your Name" - Nature is a beautiful thing. It reflects God's glory and majesty. "I feel the thunder in the sky. I see the sky about to rain. And I hear the prairies calling out Your name." Jesus says in Luke 19:40 that if His disciples would "hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." I think that if we would ever really stop and pay attention, we would hear the stones calling out His name.

"Here in America" - In this song, Rich expresses his amazement that "the Holy King of Israel loves me here in America." When you think about it, this is a pretty amazing thing. We have no right to be serving the God of Moses and Abraham and David. But God, the King of Israel, has adopted us into His family.

"Creed" - I really enjoy this song. Rich talks about various things he believes in that are fundamental truths to the Christian (God the Father, Jesus Christ His only Begotten Son, the Holy Spirit, the forgiveness of sin, the resurrection, etc.). But then Rich sings "I believe what I believe is what makes me what I am. I did not make it. No, it is making me. It's the very truth of God and not the invention of any man." I had a talk with an atheist in high school who believed the entire Bible was written by a bunch of monks. (But that's a story for another day). But we know it's the truth of God. We know that it was not invented by man. We know that it is making us who we are.

"Let Mercy Lead" - This song was written for a baby boy named Aidan, Beaker's son. Rich is giving Aidan advice to guide him as he grows into a man. "If we can reach beyond the wisdom of this age, into the foolishness of God, that foolishness will save, those who believe." "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men." (I Corinthians 1:25) Sadly, too many people today are blinded by their wisdom.

"Elijah" - This song was one of Rich's favorites. "The Jordan is waiting for me to cross through. My heart is aging, I can tell. So Lord I'm begging for one last favor from You, here's my heart take it where You will." "When I leave I want to go out like Elijah, with a whirlwind to fuel my chariot of fire." That would be the way to go out wouldn't it? To go out like Elijah. You know, in a way, Rich came pretty close.

"Hold Me Jesus" - This is my favorite. "Sometimes my life just don't make sense at all. When the mountains look so big, and my faith just seems so small. So hold me, Jesus, cause I'm shaking like a leaf. You have been King of my glory, won't You be my Prince of Peace? And I wake up in the night and feel the dark. It's so hot inside my soul, I'm sure* there must be blisters on my heart. So hold me, Jesus, cause I'm shaking like a leaf. You have been King of my glory, won't You be my Prince of Peace? Surrender don't come natural to me. I'd rather fight You for something I don't really want than take what You give that I need. And I've beat my head against so many walls, now I'm falling down, falling on my knees. And this Salvation Army band is playing this hymn. And Your grace rings out so deep, it makes my resistance seem so thin. So hold me, Jesus, cause I'm shaking like a leaf. You have been King of my glory, won't You be my Prince of Peace? You have been King of my glory, won't You be my Prince of Peace?"
* - the actual lyrics say "I swear" but since Jesus commands us in Matthew 5:34 to "swear not at all" I change the lyrics to "I'm sure".

Well, I've listed most of my favorite Rich Mullins songs. I know I've left some off (Hope to Carry On, The Love of God, My Deliverer, I See You, etc), but it's late and I'm tired. So which one is your favorite?

Make it a great Monday!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Reinhard Farm Animal Update

Well, it was a sad day at the Reinhard house yesterday.

Max died, and Michael flushed him.

He was alive in the morning, but when we went to check on him in the evening, he was floating, er, actually sinking in his case.

On a more postive note. . . .

Michael won a goat from a farmer down south and picked it up on Saturday. He is 2 weeks old-but he doesn't have a name-yet! We are asking for suggestions, but request no cliche's such as 'Billy Goat Gruff' or 'Billy the Kid'. We'll let you know what we decide!
It's not every day you have two 'kids' in your kitchen sharing a bottle!
Just 'kidding'!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Well, Jessica and I met today for the 4th time to organize the recipes that have come in. Our numbers keep gradually going up, and I can now say that we are up to 830 recipes and the number is still climbing!
We have consistently seen recipes come in today as people scramble to submit their recipes before the deadline.
Everytime we get together, no matter how well we have eaten that day, we find ourselves becoming very hungry as we sit and sort through hundreds of recipes. So of course we decided that every time we got together to work on the DD4 we would try out one of the recipes. Today we tried the Buffalo Chicken Dip, and it was delicious and got us through the afternoon. Thanks,
Carmon for the recipe!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Songs (1 of 2)

Rich Mullins, continued...

Rich wrote most of his songs. In one interview he said, "'Step By Step' Beaker wrote, so it was one of two songs that I recorded that I didn't write." I'm not sure when he said that or if he recorded other songs after that that he didn't write, but the point is, he wrote a lot of songs. His most famous song is "Awesome God", but here are some of his other songs that I really enjoy:

"First Family" - In this song, Rich talks about what it was like growing up on a small farm in Indiana. "Talk about your miracles, talk about your faith. My dad, he could make things grow out of Indiana clay. Mom could make a gourmet meal out of just cornbread and beans. And they worked to give faith hands and feet, and somehow gave it wings."

"Boy Like Me/Man Like You" - We all know the Christmas story. But other than the time Jesus taught in the Temple as a young boy, we don't know much about the next 30 years. Rich compares his childhood to that of Christ's. "You was a boy like I was once, but was You a boy like me? I grew up around Indiana, You grew up around Galilee....Did You wrestle with a dog and lick his nose? Did You play beneath the spray of a water hose? Did You ever make angels in the winter snow?"

"My One Thing" - This song encourages us to get our priorities in order. "Everybody I know says they need just one thing. What they really mean is that they need just one thing more." "Save me from those things that might distract me....I don't want to lose the eternal for the things that are passing." We need to keep Christ as our "one thing."

"Bound to Come Some Trouble" - Life doesn't become a bed of roses when you give your heart to Christ. There are still struggles and bad days. This song admits that troubles and tears are bound to come, "but reach out to Jesus, hold on tight. He's been there before and He knows what it's like. You'll find He's there."

"Where You Are" - This song has a similar theme to the one above. Rich sings of Jonah and Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. "Where you are ain't where you wish that you was. Well your life ain't easy and the road is rough. But where you are is where He promised to be." He also points out that "You'll meet the Lord in the furnace a long time before you meet Him in the sky."

"Growing Young" - We are all prodigal children. We've all run away from our Father. This song talks about that. "When I thought that I was all alone, it was Your voice I heard calling me back home. And I wonder now Lord, what it was that made me wait so long. And what kept You waiting for me all that time? Was Your love stronger than my foolish pride? Will You take me back now, take me back and let me be Your child?"

"Verge of a Miracle" - "You're on the verge of a miracle, just waiting to be believed in. Open your eyes and see. You're on the verge of a miracle." "Someone's waiting to put wings upon your flightless heart."

"Brother's Keeper" - This song encourages us to support our Brothers and Sisters. "My friends ain't the way I wish they were. They are just the way they are." "I will be my brother's keeper, not the one who judges him. I won't despise him for his weakness. I won't regard him for his strength. I won't take away his freedom. I will help him learn to stand."

"We Are Not As Strong As We Think We Are" - "We are frail, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Forged in the fires of human passion, choking on the fumes of selfish rage. And with these our hells and our heavens, so few inches apart, we must be awfully small and not as strong as we think we are." I need to remember that I am simply a pathetic human being, prone to failure. But by God's grace, I can move mountains.

"Screendoor" - This song talks about faith and works. While providing a solid message, "Screendoor" is a little different than your typical Rich Mullins song. But, I'll let Rich show you himself: Notice Rich's outfit: plain white T-shirt, jean shorts and barefeet.

Tune in next week for more of my favorite Rich Mullins songs!

Make it a great Monday!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Meet Max. . .

Meet Max.

He is our pet goldfish.

We won him at STREET FAIR last year!

Our last street fair fish, Andre, lived a record life span (of a STREET FAIR goldfish), until we had to give him away to an undisclosed family member when we moved to town.

Max lives in a little fish bowl that sits on the back of our toilet. He leads a pretty interesting life as you can imagine.

Now, I am afraid we will be farewelling Max very soon.

He has what is called 'tail rot'.

The main symptom of tail rot is exactly what the name suggests; that the tail starts to rot and disintegrate. In severe cases there will be nothing more than stumps left of them.
So. . . .
. . . if anyone has any advice on caring for or what to do with a goldfish with tail rot, we are open to suggestions.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Emotions vs. Spirituality

When I was in the Young Group, I really struggled with the Praise Singing issue. When I first started repenting, I was all for them. Then I went through a period that I wouldn't participate in Praise Singings. Then I started participating again. I didn't really know where I stood on the issue. But something Rich Mullins said really helped me put things into perspective. (I'm typing this by memory, so it may not be word-for-word, but it's pretty close.)

"A lot of times we think something spiritual is happening and it's merely aesthetics. It always bugs me when at the end of a concert, someone will come up to me and say 'Wow, the Spirit really worked!' And I kinda go, 'How would you know that? It was so noisy in here tonight, how could you tell if the Spirit was working?' 'Well, I was really moved.' Well, that's an emotional thing, that's not a spiritual thing. A spiritual thing is making your bed. A spiritual thing is folding your clothes at the end of the day. A spiritual thing is taking cookies to your neighbor that's shut in, or raking their front yard because they're too old to do it. That's spirituality. Getting a warm oozy feeling about God is an emotional thing. And there's nothing wrong with that. I think there is nothing more practical than real spirituality, but nothing more fun than just a good, heartfelt, emotional experience of God. 'Cause I think emotions are good. They're only dangerous when we come away from an experience in which we were emotionally manipulated and we confuse that with being convicted. I think conviction, there's an emotion that accompanies that, but it certainly goes a lot deeper than just coming away going 'Oh, isn't God neat.' Two different worlds."

So what is Rich saying here? First, he says "A lot of times we think something spiritual is happening and it's merely aesthetics." What does aesthetics mean? Aesthetics refers to your surroundings, what's going on around you. So, a lot of times we think something spiritual is happening and it's simply our environment. Whenever I would leave a Praise Singing, I would leave fired up, full of passion and energy, ready to change the world for Christ. Would I get the same feeling if I were singing a cappella out of the Zions Harp? Probably not. Are the songs in the Zions Harp any less spiritual than the songs we sing around the campfire? Certainly not. But the songs in the Zions Harp don't have the tune, the beat, the guitar. So a lot of times, when I was feeling so spiritual, it was really an emotional thing. But like Rich said, "There's nothing wrong with that...there's nothing more fun than just a good, heartfelt, emotional experience of God." But I think that as Christians, we really need to make sure that we don't let our emotions interfere with our convictions. We need to make sure we can tell the difference between emotions and spirituality. Rich has helped me differentiate. Thanks, Rich.

Make it a great Monday!

Friday, March 6, 2009

What you all have been waiting for. . .

. . .And the winner of the new Dutch Delight 4 cookbook is. . .

Shauna Nuenschwander!

You will be one of the first recipients of the DD4!

Stay tuned for more information!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

11 Months ago. . .

Happy 11 month birthday Deacon! We love you and are reminded each and every day just how much of a gift you are!

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Tribute To Rich

As many of you know, Rich Mullins is my favorite musician of all time. I idolize Rich. I think I have all of his CD's (including interviews) and a few books about him. Unfortunately, Rich died before I became a fan of his. Anyway, I have decided that I will dedicate the month of March to Rich...that's right, all 5 Mondays. I will discuss his life, his songs, things I've learned from him, etc. Since this is the first one, I will simply tell you a little about Rich.

Rich was born on Oct. 21, 1955 in Richmond, Indiana. His father grew up back and forth between Kentucky and West Virginia because his father (Rich's grandfather) was a coal miner. One day when his dad was 14, his grandpa came home and announced they were moving. His grandma figured they were heading back to West Virginia, but when they started driving they were going the wrong way. She asked her husband where they were going. He told her they were going to Detroit. "Why in the world are we going to Detroit?" Grandpa answered "Because I don't want my boys to grow up to be coal miners." Well, they got as far as Richmond, Indiana and ran out of gas, so that's where they stayed.

Rich had a real appreciation for his heritage. "What I discovered is, heritage doesn't puff you up with pride. It really humbles you. If you look at the lives of the people you have come from you kind of go, 'If they had married anyone else, if they had moved anywhere else, if their lives had been one iota different, I wouldn't be here.' And so you have, not a big debt, not a crushing debt to pay, but you are part of an ongoing thing. You are not alone in the world. You are part of an ensemble."

Rich was the real deal. He was genuine. All of the money from his concerts and sales of albums went to his church. The church then paid Rich a small salary and gave the rest to charity. Once a church contacted Rich because their van had broken down. He called his financial guy and asked him if they had enough money to buy the church a new van. He didn't know it, but he could have bought that church a whole fleet of vans! Once early in Rich's career before he was too famous, he was invited to a music awards ceremony. There were tons of people there all dressed in their best. As they were going through the buffet line, only a few people recognized one of the waiters as Rich Mullins. He had relieved one of the servers from their duties and was helping in the kitchen. Rich would rather be behind the scenes serving than in the center of the spotlight getting all the attention.

On Sept 19, 1997, Rich and Mitch McVicker were travelling just North of Bloomington, Illinois to a benefit concert in Wichita. The Jeep they were riding in flipped and Rich was ejected. A passing semi swerved to avoid hitting the jeep but hit Rich instead. He was dead at 41.

At the time of his death, Rich had been living on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico teaching music to children. After he died, his agent went down to collect his things. All of his possessions fit inside an 8x10 storage room. His agent said, "In all the years I managed his finances, I noticed this: he never sold anything: he just gave things away. He gave away his vehicles, books, clothes...everything. I have clients who made less than Rich, who have seven-thousand-square-foot homes filled with possessions, and here was this guy who, in his entire life, could fill up only eighty square feet." Rich didn't store up treasures here on earth, but he is now enjoying the treasures he stored up in heaven. I think that today, Rich Mullins is a very wealthy man.

Make it a great Monday!