Monday, July 07, 2008

psalm 34 ate cookies

our women's ministry had received a request from the prison ministry for homemade cookies, so lara asked if i wanted to come over and bake while we let the boys play. what a great idea! you mean we get to eat chocolate chip cookie dough and serve God at the same time?! is there a down side here?

this was such a cool service project! i mean aside from getting to eat cookie dough, i really did feel like we were making a difference in the lives of others. as instructed, lara and i prayed over the cookies while we were mixing and scooping and baking. at first we both thought it seemed a little weird... "God, please stir in the hearts of the prisoners who receive these cookies... let them taste and see the goodness of the Lord".

we even named our cookies psalm 34:8 cookies, although on my way home I decided we should have spelled it ps 34 ate cookies - i've got a copyright on that! don't you try to steal it! (psalm 34:8 taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.)

lara came up with lots of other clever prayers that had to do with the mixing and the baking. i tell ya, the Holy Spirit was in that kitchen! =)

and the more we prayed i think our hearts began to change... or mine did at least, which is exactly the purpose of prayer!!! so cool how this ties right in to the book we're both reading right now (celebration of discipline by richard foster).

in his chapter about prayer, foster says that prayer is the central avenue God uses to change us. in real prayer we begin to think God's thoughts after him, to desire what he desires, to love what he loves, to will what he wills. a big part of prayer is listening... something i still have a lot to learn about.

here's my favorite quote from the chapter: "if we genuinely love people, we desire for them far more than it is within our power to give, and that will cause us to pray." foster says that the inner sense of compassion is one of the clearest indications from the Lord that this is a prayer project for you. it's also a good sign that we're praying in His will.

so as we prayed for the cookies and in turn for the prisoners and other men who would get to eat them, my heart became more and more compassionate and i felt honored that God allowed me to serve them in this small way.

i plan on continuing to pray for mike and the other volunteers as they head into the prison on thursday to work with, listen to and minister to this group of men. if you'd like, please join me in praying that the prisoner's hearts would be open and that the volunteers would have the right words to say to them.

this was an awesome service project! the boys entertained each other (for the most part) while lara and i baked. and they even helped with stirring the batter a little! jonah liked using the beaters... and he didn't even make too big of a mess! it was really great as moms to be able to serve the prison ministry in this way without even leaving the house!

lunch time shenanigans...

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