Saturday, July 22, 2006

Removing Hindrances

Whee - finally something worth blogging about and a minute to do it :) I went to help out at youth camp last week and thought i was going to get to be a counselor. Spend time with teens, play along in their games, help them consider the commitments that they made that week, counsel them, lead them in Bible study, etc. Cool stuff. Then i got there and found out that where they really needed me was helping in the kitchen. It wasn't hard to agree to do it, and i knew that servanthood meant doing even the behind-the-scenes jobs, but it was hard to get used to.

One of the things that helped me get over it was realizing that, without adequate food service, camp would have been a failure. If a meal wasn't provided, the kids would be distracted from the message at the rally last night. If the food hadn't come at all, we would have had to send them all home. The food was comparatively irrelevant, but its absence would have been a hindrance to the Gospel. It had to be taken care of.

I hate those kinds of things. The things that don't really get you any further ahead, they just keep you from falling behind. Like thank-you notes and keeping your office clean and brushing your teeth. You don't get any credit for them and they don't accomplish great things for the kingdom, but not doing them eats away at your credibility and ability to minister.

I'm not sure why God set the world up so that there would be so many tasks that can't be avoided but don't do a lot of good - but they're there, and I guess those of us who have to do them need to realize that the work we are doing is still so important and certainly worthy of our time - no matter how good we are at doing "bigger" things.

A quote i heard during one of the evening rallies also helped: someone had said, among other things about Jesus, that He "beautifies the meager". Meager seemed to describe the way kitchen work looked to me quite well.

Plus, i think God rewarded me - for the next week of camp they asked if i would be head counselor :)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

How to get a spaghetti sauce stain off the outside of a crock-pot

Ok, so this one's not very philosophical, but there are a lot of things that ought to be on the internet, and this blog is my little opportunity to put them there. We had a spaghetti dinner at my church this past week (which by the way went amazingly well and the teens were incredible), and i warmed the sauce in crock-pots. You have to start warming it ahead of time but it worked really well and freed up needed space on the stove top. The only problem was i had to borrow some of the crock-pots and spaghetti sauce got on the sides of them and it sat there long enough that it stained. I was at my wit's end when someone suggested that i use scouring powder (like Comet) that had bleach in it to get the stain off. It took a long time of scrubbing before i noticed it making any difference, but finally the stains started to lighten and now you can barely tell they were there. I was very relieved and thought maybe someone else in desperate need of saving a borrowed crock-pot (or something else non-porous) from a stubborn stain could use the tip. Good luck!