Rhyming Sermon Notes: 2022 August

The following are my rhyming sermon notes from the month of August 2022 (scroll down just a bit). Our family has been using these as part of our weekly sermon review after church, and it has been a fun blessing.

A few weeks ago, Pastor Dean asked me what I think is an excellent question, that got me thinking. He basically asked if I was able to benefit from the sermon and to focus on the Word and allowing it to speak into my life, or if I was so focused on the words for rhyming that I may miss actually thinking about it and being changed by it. Excellent question!

It really made me think, and here is the conclusion that I came up with.

  • When I am taking notes, I am mostly focused on the content. I am thinking about what the sermon and the scripture passages say and mean, so that I can catch that meaning (and attempt at exact quotes) in rhyme.
  • While a point may jump out to me as having special application to my life, I don’t usually have time to really dwell on it much at that time, but do make sure to include it in my notes for later.
  • Then after church I type my notes. While typing, I focus on typing and pay very little attention to what is actually being said. I then skim through one time to find and fix obvious typos, etc. (Basically the things the computer highlights as possible errors).
  • I then usually go to lunch with my family and come back to it later in the day.
  • Then come several important steps.
    • I read it again out loud checking for rhythm and rhyme, at that time I am paying attention to the words and also fix typos and rhythm and rhyme that doesn’t quite work.
    • I then read it again, this time usually quite smoothly since many issues have been worked out. This time I really pay attention to the words and meaning.
    • I then read through it yet again, this time really dwelling on the meaning. What was God speaking to me during the sermon and what is he saying now? This time is primarily for processing and allowing the Word to convict, encourage, instruct me by the power of the Holy Spirit. I may find and fix an occasional error, but the focus is on meditating on the Word of God.
    • Note: The typing is the slowest and most boring part of the whole routine. The poem itself is written during the sermon. I just use a few minutes to clean it up a bit.
    • Then finally, I read it with my family at our Sermon Review, pointing out what God was teaching me, etc.

So as I thought about if my note taking is distracting from processing the sermon, it does do that a little bit at the time, but in reality, if I only heard it once, no matter how much I was focusing, it would soon be pushed out by conversations, etc. after church. With having time to take notes and then read them over and over and think through them deeply, I get so much more out of the sermon than I would have (and was getting) before.

This actually reminds me of the way that I was taught to study the Bible with Homiletics (discussed in another post). First focus on the Content, then the Meaning, what God meant by it, then finally, after dwelling on the content and meaning, the Application in my life. I am grateful for a church that teaches with this perspective. We need to know what the Word says first, before we can apply it. It is so easy, and so common, to jump directly to Application, without first really understanding what the Word is saying.

It is a joy to take notes each time and I start to look forward to it as the time approaches. I am more alert and involved with the sermons than ever before. I am also grateful that it is less exhausting now than it was at the beginning. When I first started doing this, I would be wearing down by the end of the sermon with fully processing the whole time. I am still fully engaged, but it is becoming easier and less tiring to do this during the sermon.

I say all this not to focus on what I do, but as an encouragement. “The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” As we try new ways to study the Word, we may find that God is speaking to us more than we had ever been listening. Try something new for a few weeks, you may find a way God was going to use to help you live in the Word and be made more like Christ by it.

With that said, the sermons from the month of August 2022 (with a link to sermons during a Family Camp we went to one week)…


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Wednesday, 2022-08-03
Nathaniel Lauer
Psalm 127 (Series: Psalms)

Psalm 127, a song of ascents, and a wisdom Psalm.
Though of authorship, there is debate, it says “a Psalm of Solomon.”

Apart from God we all will see the vanity of man’s toil.
Build the house and guard the city and still it will fall and spoil.

Rise up early, stay up late, to work for our own pleasure
Instead we eat a sorrowful bite, and have a painful measure.

The Lord, to his beloved gives, the sleep of rest in him.
He keeps us safe and gives us peace and cleanses us from sin.

The reward of man’s gift from God, children the fruit of the womb.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior young, keeping one from shame and doom.

Blessed truly is the man, with a quiver full.
Happy is he and in the gate he shall not be shamed or fooled.

The enemies IN the city are, not only from outside.
We can speak with our enemies, no need to fight or to run and hide.

Man’s toil will all pass away. Our bodies to dust will go.
God’s blessings are all here to stay. That his blessings to the world might show


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Sunday, 2022-08-07
Sunday School – Chris Pierre
Colossians 1:9-12 (Series: Prayers of Paul)

From Ephesus in Turkey, the Colossian church did come
Epaphras brought the gospel, of truth and life in the Son.

What is the context of the prayer? What is the “it” in verse nine?
The “it” of “faith” produced by the gospel, come from God, divine.

Do you have a question of Scripture? To the Scripture go.
God gives us words to understand, that him we’ll love and know.

This prayer is a plural prayer, not from Paul alone.
From the heart of Paul and Timothy, that the Colossians Christ may atone.

We also must pray plural prayers, our words alone he does not hear.
We must pray in the beloved son, God then holds our prayers dear.

The Spirit helps in our weaknesses, how to pray we do not know.
But in the power of the Spirit; he leads in which way to go.

As we pray with other believers, encourage and challenge on the way,
God confirms his purposes, as we praise him day by day.

This prayer is perpetual, their prayers they did not cease.
Our prayers are a necessity, to give life and hope and peace.

What do we value as a necessity? We know by what we do.
If prayer is a necessity, we continue and see it through.

This prayer, it is personal, he prays for them by name.
True love is always personal, because people are not the same.

So now we have the context, an important part to know.
Now we go to the content, as we hear this prayer’s flow.

The prayer has four parts, that we may learn to pray.
Let’s’ continue on, to what they do and say.

Pray that they may be filled, with the knowledge of his will.
Transformed in their mind, that with his word, God would fill.

The gospel is the root, that causes life to sprout.
And the gospel is the tree, that grows and lets fruit out.

Knowing the Word of God, is not the final place to be.
We pray that it would change us, that the fruit of the Spirit we would see.

We pray to be fully fortified, in a place of strength.
To rest in the God of power alone, with no limits in depth or length.

God has the power to save us, by nothing we can do.
Then to live and grow by this same power, that in his strength we grew.

The true believer has new life, the old self put away.
By his power, and his alone, do we grow day by day.

We’re not just saved from wrath, as important as that may be.
We live and have our life in him, that life in him we see!

The prayer ends with rejoicing, in the knowledge of the Lord.
In the certainty of our Savior, can we stand, in the promises in his Word.

Joy leads to thanksgiving, to the Father we give thanks.
We are eternally grateful to be in his Family’s ranks.

Jesus came to save us, at the Father’s plan.
The Father he so loved us that sin and death he sent his son to ban.

We have joy in our position, that God has qualified
to be adopted by him for ever, by his will, not because we tried.

Is that inheritance in heaven, reserved in heaven for you?
Do the Scriptures give confirmation, or conviction, which is true?


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Sunday, 2022-08-07
Pastor Dean Good
1 Peter 3:18-22 (focus on vs. 22)

Christ is our example, of suffering to glory.
God has exalted him, and showed how he works out the story.

Of this exaltation, the history, significance and ministry we did see.
We now look at the expectation of exaltation for you and me.

When we see Christ in glory, sitting at the Father’s right hand.
We have hope for the future, that the enemies of sin and death are banned.

His enemies as his footstool, his reign o’er all the earth.
All wickness destroyed, his righteousness bringing new birth.

Our hope is in Christ alone, not the governments of men.
He’s coming back to rule! Amen and Amen!

What is the basis of this expectation? How do we know it’s true?
The prophecies given over time, of his reign and peace, he’ll do.

David wanted to build a house for God, God said it would be his son.
His descendent would build the eternal house, he will be the one.

This promise, not just for Solomon, but looking further on,
Looking at the Messiah, after David is long gone.

David’s righteous branch, the Lord our righteousness
Will rule in Jerusalem, the promise, we are blessed.

The certainty of this expectation, by God was written there,
Spoke of death and resurrection, this certain hope God did share.

This dead and raised Messiah, will return to rule and reign.
he will reign and judge the wicked, the world won’t be the same.

On that day the Lord will deliver his chosen Israel.
He’ll claim what he has purchased, the glory will be surreal.

In Zechariah 14, we hear of the Messiah coming to fight.
Returning to the Mount of Olives, his enemies will take flight.

There will be no more “religion”, no more idolatry.
The king will sit enthroned and reign eternally.

The temple in Ezekiel, the Lord will come to fill.
From there he will reign forever, and then all will be well.

The antichrist will mimic, until Christ does destroy.
Jerusalem still the focus of politics today, until Christ will rule and reign and give his people joy.

Have you been humbled before the Savior? To stand beside the cross?
We will see his glory, when he comes to heal all loss.


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Wednesday, 2022-08-10
Pastor Dean Good
Psalm 126 (Series: Psalms)

“Turn again our captivity”, repeated then and again,
could be to “restore our fortunes, like done for Job back then.

First interpret the context, the principles to know,
then see the application, how we are to grow.

Looking in Deuteronomy, keep the law, be blessed.
Refuse to follow the Lord, in captivity be stressed.

The Lord says the curse will come, they certainly will disobey,
but their hearts will change to follow the Lord, and the Lord will blessings say.

Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, soul, might.
This is the call for everyone, to love and not to fight.

When you turn and follow the Lord, the Lord will turn and bless.
This turning comes when they follow the Lord, and forever in the land will rest.

They entered the land and followed Baal, and worshiped other gods.
The anger of God was kindled, and by enemies sent discipline rods.

God raised up judges to save them, to “turn their captivity.”
Then they would follow God for a while, and during that time be free.

The land was the gift of the promise, given by God to them.
Though the land was taken captive, the Messiah would return again.

Returning to Psalm 126, the author first looks back,
then in verses four through six, looks at what they now lack.

The people would have sweet dreams, with joy to sing and laugh,
When the people had been delivered, rescued from God’s wrath.

When God does save the people, the surrounding nations will see.
Though they are a small, weak people, God’s people they will be.

We saw this happen in Daniel, when Nebuchadnezzar was proud.
He saw God’s power displayed, and turned and worshiped out loud.

When we reflect on God’s actions, even with troubles still near,
We rejoice in praise and worship, and reflect in holy fear.

Verses one to three looking back, then a prayer here in verse four,
verses five and six a principle, that we may praise him more.

When we ask God to turn our captivity, what are we to do?
We are to trust the Savior, and sow in faith that’s true.

We may not see the hope, the plan God has in store,
but we can trust our God, and humbly follow the Lord.

Sow in tears, in dark dark days, when God seems far away,
but trust the Lord, see what he’s done, and walk joyfully by faith each day.


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Sunday, 2022-08-14
Sunday School – Daniel Pierre
1 Thessalonians 3:10-13 (Series: Prayers of Paul)

This prayer of Paul is personal, to the people in the Church.
It looks like an ideal family photo, but to get there they went through the lurch.

The church was going through tribulation, and he wanted them to remember love.
So that in their difficulties, they could cling to God above.

Hebrew writers often put the main idea in the center of the book.
So that they could discuss it before hand, and then after take another look.

The church in Thessalonica was young, Gentile, and struggling.
Paul, Timothy and Silas wrote to help them persevere through all things.

On the first missionary Journey, they went through these areas first.
Paul now writes to them, to see if they are doing better or doing worse.

When writing to Gentile believers, the goal wasn’t to keep the law.
The goal was to love and follow God, to encourage one and all.

From Philippi to Thessalonica, Paul had been forced to go.
The church there, then was planted, Paul now writes to help them grow.

After the church was planted, Paul and Timothy again forced to leave.
Off to Berea, then to Corinth, both of which the gospel did receive.

The church in Thessalonica, attacked from without and from within,
Paul writes to strengthen the church, help them not fall into sin.

Timothy and Silas give Paul a great report.
He then writes to the Thessalonians, with gladness his hope did not fall short.

The content of the prayer, the object of the request:
That we may see your face, be there in person as your guest.

Paul elsewhere in the scripture, writes to express his love and desire to see.
Paul longs to have time with them, an encouragement to be.

Hearing they are doing well, causes Paul to have joy deep.
He writes to them with pleasure, though in prison he does sleep.

As we live our Christian lives, fellowship have we,
with God our Father above, and other believers that we see.

While distance relationships and tools, all may have their part.
Fellowship is meant to be in person, as we live heart to heart.

Paul’s prayer echoes the high priestly prayer, for heavenly unity.
As believers through all eternity, have this love when him we see.

But now we live in a sinful world, with sin and struggle in our hearts.
But this more limited fellowship we have, and this is a great start.

If we say that we really want something, our efforts they will show.
As we seek in sincerity, our efforts let others know.

Paul longed to be with them, so had sent Timothy.
Paul was so glad to hear from them when Timothy he again did see.

This supernatural love is from God and not from us.
What does this love in my heart cause me to do? If it’s real it will show, it must.

The goal of this request, to build them in their faith.
This service is infinite, good even when they see God’s face.

In Second Peter chapter one, Peter lists benefits of mature faith.
Partakers of divine nature, faith eternal, forever stayeth.

The granter of the prayer, the Father and Jesus Christ.
He is all the omni’s, he is holy and and he is right.

Jesus now at the Father’s right hand praying there for us.
He now empowers our prayers, to pray in him we must.

How does God answer the prayer? Bring Paul and friends to them.
He directed them before, and he’ll do it again.

God is sovereign over details, his plans will always stand.
We need not fear or doubt or on our own control demand.

Bright lights, earthquakes, dreams and many other ways,
Paul knew that God’s throne is established, we can trust him all our days.

The outcome of the prayer: faith, and hope, and love.
These the gifts of God, they come from God above.

May God increase their love, for God and other men.
This love comes with sacrifice and service. Provide this Lord, Amen.

This love shows to believers and to those who are not.
We can give them common grace, and the gospel lest they rot.

True love is to direct a man to God’s word and also to his hope.
This should be for all men, whether they repent or if they say “nope.”

Paul prays that “without blame”, we could be and live.
This is only through Jesus Christ, when justification he does give.

The continuing growth, sanctification it is called,
This is continuing from God, his work is never stalled.

This work that God is doing, it brings us certain hope.
This is not the dreaming of the world, that can be “yes” or “nope.”

God’s story doesn’t change, we need not fret and worry.
The path we do not know, but we know the end of the story.

Jumping to the end, how did God answer this prayer?
Paul did see them again, approximately four years later.

Even four centuries later, we see evidence that they were there.
And even now today, they set an example of Christian love and care.

Sinners we may be, but work in us God can do.
To pray, encourage, help, are just a few things for me and you.


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Sunday, 2022-08-14
Pastor Dean Good
1 Peter 4:1-3

First Peter four: one and two, the focus of the book.
to live like our suffering Savior, knowing that on us he does look.

This world is not our home, not our lasting hope.
We are to live as aliens, this vision is our scope.

Submitting to authorities, not popular then or now.
But called to trust God and suffer, and he will show us how.

Suffering for righteousness, the theme of the rest of the letter.
Following Christ’s example, for who has done it better.

Follow Christ in his purpose, for to this we were called.
He willingly came to suffer, to gain a higher call.

To die for sins, to bring us, to reconcile to God.
Though Satan tried to tempt him, he took God’s wrath and rod.

Through the things he suffered, he learned obedience.
We too are to arm ourselves with this purpose, not to flee to great distance.

If you expect life’s fun and easy, when difficulties come,
this will leave you lost, bewildered, and true faith you may just shun.

If you want to grow in purpose, ask the Lord to start
to help you see the truth as he opens up your heart.

When walking through this life, our faith will face the test.
Will we take comfort in the world, or suffer for what is best?

To walk firmly in this world, we must have dedication.
To have Christ’s attitude in suffering, without modification.

We have been called to suffer, following in his steps.
Though the Lord was perfect, he took it and was blessed.

He looked to future glory, for the joy that was to come.
We’re called to anticipate the glory, at the coming of this Son.

He suffered resolutely, knowing what the future held.
Set his face to Jerusalem, though he faced the power of hell.

The prophecies of Isaiah, written well before he came.
Wrote of the suffering servant, it’s amazingly the same.

Set his face like flint to follow, no matter what may come.
It’s not just forgiveness we are given, the cost we must well sum.

The significance of imitating his purpose, is to cease from sin.
This does not mean suffering equals sanctification, but to repent and follow him.

The willingness to suffer as Christ we follow now,
To suffer loss and die, as Jesus shows us how.

The result of imitating his purpose, to live all of our days.
for the will of God, forever and always.

A change in motivation, from the lusts of the flesh
to the will of God, our motivations all made fresh.

If you want to follow your lusts, just do what you want to do.
To eat or watch or enjoy, do it all for you.

But to follow God, obey him, deny yourself today.
Not living for yourself, but following him all the way.

To know the will of God, and walk it day by day.
Present your body a living sacrifice, in what you do, and think, and say.

Knowing the Word of God, doesn’t mean we know his will.
Only when we obey it, will he with this knowledge fill.

John Bunyan saw the truth that he must be dead to ALL
to live upon his God or else he’ll certainly fall.

If we’ll truly follow Christ, then dead we must fully be,
We must be dead to self and world, that the Savior we will see.

Dead to job, provision, and everything we know.
Trusting God alone, that then his blessings flow.

Looking back at life, we see the time we wasted.
This life of lusts and pleasure, the emptiness we’ve tasted.

We can work really hard, to make great sacrifice,
to live for our lusts, this all seems really nice.

This, the way of a fool, passing onto death.
Drinking, sex and sensuality it fills our every breath.

As we look back at our lives, we see the grace of God.
He paid for all our folly, his own blood by him shod.

He suffered death for us, do we suffer death for him?
As we turn and live for God, he purifies from sin.

When we are low and humble, we need not fear the fall.
When we have little, it sets us free, to live for him our all.


We were at a Christian, Homeschool family camp on Wednesday, 2022-08-17
Click here for my notes from that camp


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Sunday, 2022-08-21
Sunday School – Dave Howard
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (Series: Prayers of Paul)

We continue with the prayers of Paul in second Thessalonians one: eleven and twelve.
Similar to Colossians one: nine to 12, but instead of tribulation, in peace they did dwell.

Colossians talked of peace, of not being influenced by the world.
Thessalonians speaks of struggle, either way walk worthy in the Lord.

Walk worth, Powerful Faith, In the power of Christ
Not for himself, that their suffering may cease, though this would be quite nice.

Seek the Lord, submit to his will, as hard as that may be.
The church loved each other, gave support, overcame and hope could see.

From first to second Thessalonians, their love it deeper grew.
They were a prime example of living under persecution, too.

An evidence of God’s just judgment, Christians persecuted they will be.
Their end is sure, judgment will come the evil will surely see.

“I never knew you”, Christ will say to those who faithless lived.
“Welcome”, “Enter into rest” to them this hope he gived.

The bookends of the prayer, the glorification of Christ
in his return and in you, praise God with all your might.

The Lord’s prayer starts and ends, “Hallowed be thy name”
“Your will be done on earth and heaven” in both it is the same.

Job was not about Job, but about the glory of God.
All our lives from start to end, God’s praise is our job.

Paul doesn’t pray for pain to end, to petition government.
He prays they would walk worthy, to the world be sent.

Paul prays that they would be, in submission to the king.
Worthy of the kingdom, in persecution sing.

When our own standard we create, better we will seem.
But God’s standard, “Did I know you?” helps us to see that we’re unclean.

We’re called to follow him, submit fully to his way.
How is he leading you? Follow day by day.

Revelation three verse four, garments still all clean.
Walking worthy in the Lord, holy to be seen.

What are your desires? Through the internet connected?
Reality is quite different, often angry and dejected.

Romans fifteen: fourteen pursue goodness in your life.
Galatians five: twenty-two, the Spirit brings goodness, and not strife.

Do not quench the Spirit, delight in His Word.
Convicts of sin, guides in His way, we need to act, His Word not only heard.

Faith should active be, not simply in our thoughts.
“Work” and “Labor”, not simply “wait”, follow as we’re taught.

“Glory to Christ” our ultimate goal.
By his power, change our mind and soul.

First Samuel two: thirty, honor me, I’ll honor you.
Trust and follow the Lord our God and see what he will do.

This little light of mine.
I’m going to let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine.


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Sunday, 2022-08-21
Pastor Dean Good
1 Peter 4:1-6 – Follow Christ in His Rejection

When the Lord our hearts do follow, our lust will start to fall away.
When this happens the world will hate us, rejected, suffering day by day.

Christ was rejected, we know we will be too.
John fifteen: sixteen sayeth, go bear fruit. From the world, I chose you.

We annoy the world, they will hate us. They will turn, and hate, reject.
The world’s rejection of the believer is quite natural. This rejection we should expect.

The world’s confused by how we live and we’re confused by their lives to.
We’re aliens to them. In like manner, they are aliens to me and you.

Vanity fair, want what you want, say what you say, do what you will do.
Pilgrims come, looking, speaking strange, not wanting what they offered, but seeking only what is true.

The world’s rejection of the believer is revealing, their depravity clearly shown.
Surprised we don’t run with them to folly, their sinful pursuits all may know.

It’s a mad dash, work, work, go, go.
a stampede of pleasure seekers, seeking their own will to flow.

Believers seek the will of God, not our own desires and pursuits.
Baalam sought to be wealthy, by a donkey received his fruits.

An excess of excess of sins they have galore.
They do not see the judgment that is surely for them in store.

Drunkenness, sex, no self control, the world’s committed to their lusts.
Self-justified but not godly, they want us to join, confirm their trusts.

God says don’t be filled with wine, but filled with the Spirit be.
Drunkenness it fully controls them, Filled with the Spirit, controlled by thee.

All I think, say, do, desire, filled overflowing with the Spirit’s power.
Am I thus filled with the Spirit? Growing in his fruit hour by hour.

We a joyful, holy Christian, the world confused and annoyed.
Reveals their sin, their pride, their folly. This condemns, does not bring joy.

This light of truth and condemnation, they call us “holier than thou.”
If we just act and go, run with them, they’ll accept us, love us now.

Don’t be surprised at the world’s rejection, the fiery ordeal must surely come.
When you suffer as a Christian, continue to fellowship, continue to run.


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Wednesday, 2022-08-24
Pastor Dean Good (no sound on recording)
Psalm 129 (Series: Psalms)

Psalm 129 a Psalm of affliction, suffering and pain.
Satan afflicts the children of God, by God’s will and for our gain.

The first part a declaration, a prayer the second part.
Victory for the persecuted, and curses for the persecuting hard of heart.

Promises in Moses and the prophets, before the time of Psalms.
Promises to bless and establish, when God the nation calms.

In Jeremiah 28, God the nation would save.
God rescued then and rescues now, may his presence we crave.

Jacob, his brother and uncle, later the Philistines and more.
God’s people always afflicted, many a time must endure.

God always saw them through it, over and over again.
From the Jews of old to Hitler and more, God over Satan does reign.

God delivers from the work of Satan, but allows his people go through.
To help us turn, depend on him, to know and trust he is true.

No matter how deep the trials, the child of God not destroyed.
God will always take us through, his presence forever enjoyed.

In verse five, begins a transition, from facts to a prayer to God.
A prayer that evil plans will fail, frustrated and judged with a rod.

Enemies like the grass on a rooftop, dry and blow away.
Their lives are fruitless, going nowhere. It’s harder to follow than say.

Prayer of a curse on persecutors, those who stand for sin.
Trusting God to protect us, to destroy evil, that we will win.

The surrounding trials are short, passing in the night.
The judgment and reward, eternal, in or out of his light.

Pray for other believers, that they would stand steadfast.
To be counted as his children to be counted as those who will last.

All for our Lord God’s glory, for his purpose and his name.
Live for him by his power, the One who overcame.


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Sunday, 2022-08-28
Sunday School – Jonathan Underhill
2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 (Series: Prayers of Paul)

The passage has two parts: spread of the gospel and perseverance of the saints.
The Thessalonians an encouragement. to Paul and Timothy their impact relates.

Verses one and two, Paul asking for prayer.
Three through five Paul prayed for them, out of his deep care.

Paul here discontent, at the speed the gospel spread.
Are we content, not pushing on, a faith without works is dead.

The Gospel to Thessalonica, Paul in the synagogue proclaimed.
A large number to faith and followed, proclaimed Jesus’ name.

Paul is now in Corinth, things are moving slow.
Paul wants the gospel to go forth, then the church to grow.

The color in the water, faster than on paper spread. [Visual illustration]
Paul is finding this in Corinth, slow though the word was read.

God promises to Paul, to press on, to not give up.
Though the work was slow, God would raise, many people up.

Not only was acceptance slow, their rejection it was fierce.
God again did promise, He would work, the attacks not grow worse.

In 16,000 people groups, the Christians very few.
With only 5 or 1 percent, what would God have us do?

Nothing can stop the Word of God, the Jews wanted Paul out.
But God said stay and preach, the Gospel you should shout.

What hinders the spread of the gospel? Barriers people raise:
Government stops and slows, hindrance and not praise.

Christians go other ways, business, teach, and give.
The gospel will go forth, in what we preach and how we live.

Culture blocks understanding, Language blocks the words.
Our selfish hearts block our going, and finances from being heard.

The magistrate said no preaching, but Paul preached anyway.
He didn’t just want hearing, but for faith to grow, spread, stay.

When a life is changed, people take notice. The change an impact will make.
We become a slave to all, to all resistance break.

Live only for the gospel, not selfish desires, pursuits
Give all go the distance, and God will bring the fruits.

Wicked men stand up opposed, the gospel is a threat.
Non-religious just don’t want it, religious try to benefit.

Paul spoke against religious men, the gospel they rejected.
They acted as religious, but faithless, faith dissected.

Religious claim authority, only they can know.
The people are bewitched, and willingly follow.

Colossians two verse four, the wrong gospel, not to share.
Debates generally push away, but humility shows you care.

Trusting in the Lord’s strength, and not our words and skill,
depends not on our own strength, but on the Lord’s to thrill.

Satan comes like a light, his followers to deceive.
The people of the darkness look good, but come to make us grieve.

God is always faithful, His people he does guard.
The Love of God and steadfastness, carries us when life is hard.

Jesus doesn’t pray, that from the world we’d go,
but that we from the evil one, be protected and grow.

Even when the world’s against us, and often seems to win,
God gives the strength to win victorious, and keeps us from all sin.

Persecutions we endure, they do not go away.
This happened to Lord Jesus too, he was strengthened to obey.

Paul didn’t use big, strong muscles, but knew the Word of God.
He was “bubble” wrapped in God’s power, led, protected by his royal rod.

Unbelievers can not follow, God they cannot please or obey.
But God through the Holy Spirit, works to keep and form us day by day.

We have opportunity to know, be changed and follow God.
This only by his work, as His Spirit does lead and prod.

How did Jesus follow, through suffering, defeat, and death?
He knew that God would lift him up, give glory, life, and breath.

Prayer is the propellant, to the gospel spread.
Don’t give up get overwhelmed, trust God and have no dread.


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Sunday, 2022-08-28
Pastor Dean Good
1 Peter 4:1-6 – Follow Christ in His Rejection, Part 2

God created us to be social, not to live alone.
We want to be accepted by those around us, by family and friends be known

But when we live for the Savior, to do the will of God,
we will receive his rejection, our lives to the world seem odd.

Last week looked at the world’s rejection, of the people of God.
This rejection is natural as they run to death, and revealing as with pursuit of self and pleasure are shod.

The world’s rejection of God’s people is verbal, blaspheming what is strange.
They revile God, and all his ways, his people they try to change.

Verbal abuse of believers, by those who the gospel reject.
Many words Paul does use, to describe this abuse and inspect.

Most Christians in history, have not for their faith died.
But all Christians at some level, by verbal abuse are tried.

Some may curse you out, some falsely accuse.
Say you are wicked, but see you are right, when they do abuse.

Say “You’re not moral” when they sin, true values they will twist.
From history past this has not changed, we still have the same list:

Legalist, immoral, foolish, socially deranged,
biased, hater, condemning others, ideas wrong and strange.

The gospel is an offense to the world, condemnation brings.
Sin, death, hell, eternity, right and wrong and things.

Superstitious, blind; foolish and confused.
No one wants to be seen this way, to be daily abused.

Nothing new under the sun, the same both then and now.
Mocking, hating, sarcasm, thinking we will bow.

Look on with condescension, turn Jesus, teacher, into God.
Look with mocking pity, Christians misled and odd.

This leads to persecution, seen in the book of Acts.
Steven mocked and slandered, publicly attacked.

Steven pointed to God, spoke boldly of the truth.
Hatred intensified, stoned while Saul stood aloof.

Leaders, teachers, parents; tease don’t understand.
Those closest to us, in the church; against us they may band.

This rejection not just of Christians, the rejection is of Christ.
Blaspheming man and God, a rejection of truth and light.

How should we respond to abuse? What should we do?
Five ways to respond, the Word will walk us through.

Do not be surprised, when the world rejects the way.
We share what God has done, they reject what we say.

Second, keep a good conscience, don’t respond in a sinful way.
That even when they slander, live for God each day.

Third, do not respond in kind, repeating as they speak.
But giving a blessing instead, be strong while they are weak.

Bless and do not curse, do not say foolish things.
Pray for them, that they’d be saved, with grace let your words ring.

Fourth, commit yourself to the Lord, trusting his power and way.
The truth will always win in the end, He’s the Lord at the end of the day.

Trust yourself to a faithful creator, in doing what is right.
He will give you grace and strength, to live by his great might.

Fifth, be ready to give an answer, for the hope that is in you.
With gentleness and reverence, sharing what is true.

In Ephesians two: one to ten, I was dead in sin.
But Jesus died for me and rose, giving life again.

When filled with the hope in his Word, in the Spirit walk.
These attacks don’t bother at all, we can obey and talk.


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Wednesday, 2022-08-31
Jonathan Underhill

Psalm 130 (Series: Psalms)

The Psalmist in the world is struggling with life. The pain deeper, deeper does go.
Jonah felt similar, drowning in life, down where life is so low.

What brings us down? Sorrow and sin, melancholy situation so low.
Other will be there, and can surely relate, as up to Jerusalem they go.

Without hope in God, we have no hope at all, no matter how high or how low.
God is the one who hears, provides, protects, In our struggle his power does show.

In the depth and despair, we cry out to the Lord. Our confidence in him alone.
If we refuse to submit, to his will and his way, his righteous recourse will be shown.

“I, even I, will wipe out your sins.” Justice is not within us.
God gives the pardon, only he sets us free, only in him is our trust.

Do you have the pardon, the freedom in him? To rest and trust in his way?
Only in this do we rest and we wait, writing expectantly for his bright coming day.

The watchman is waiting, knowing when the sun will rise. He’s expectant and soon will go home.
We too should be watchful, looking for him, looking to the eternal home.

Morning is coming, we know this is true, though the timing is hidden from us.
Waiting for his coming, not hoping it’s true, but knowing as in his Word we trust.

With eager expectation do you wait? Do you long? For the Lord to come back, you believe.
Some say they believe, but the going gets hard and the path to Christ they do leave.

He himself, he will do it, in Christ God has come, to cover our sorrow and shame.
God comes to destroy, not only the sin, but the source of all sin by his name.

If you would like to receive these rhyming sermons and other posts in the future, you can enter your email to subscribe to our blog! It would be great to connect with you.

Rhyming Sermon Notes: 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 & 1 Peter 3:18-22

This month I tried taking notes during sermons, Sunday School, etc. as rhymes. I wasn’t sure how it would go. I found it to be a wonderful way to push me to pay close attention and process the text, as well as a fun review with my family. With requiring full attention and thought for the entire message, it did get a bit tiring, but it was also very fulfilling and fun.

So far I have posted each message as a separate post. Today, I am posting both Sunday School and the main sermon as one post. In the future, my plan is to post all of the messages at the end of the month as one post, instead of sending a flood of notifications each time I post. :o)

While I pray these will be a blessing, I am happy to do them for my own study and growth and as a review for my family, even if no one is reading.

To God be the glory!!!


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Sunday, 2022-07-31
Sunday School – Kevin Williamson
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (Series: Prayers of Paul)

The Thessalonians thought the rapture they missed,
with trials and persecutions they were now living stressed.

Paul writes to encourage, to strengthen, remind
that this tribulation was promised. They’re not left behind.

For Christians to suffer, to struggle, to bleed
is normal in life, to be expected, received.

In the struggles of life, we’re to live for the Lord.
Lives to point to the Savior, whom we trust and adore.

Now may the God of peace, sanctify, preserve and not blame
He will crush Satan and keep you from shame.

This “peace” is not worldly, not based on the times.
It’s based on the knowledge of His peace in our lives.

To be at peace with God, that relationship there
helps to comfort, relieve and remind He does care.

God Himself is the actor, only He can.
His power is shared with no spirit or man.

Justification by faith, before Christ to be right.
Sanctified, Holy, then Glorified by His might.

Jesus lived, Jesus died, Jesus prayed in the night,
That we’ll be sanctified by God’s power and might.

Set apart for his purpose, for his Glory to live.
Instant and Progressive, both are his gifts to give.

To live without blame, sexually pure,
being like Christ, in the world we endure.

Our likeness, desires, and fellowship should not be
based in the world, we need to come out, holy and free.

Justification is instant in Christ,
not on our works or our good lives.

Sanctification, by which we do grow,
this is progressive, as our Savior we know.

Our spirit, soul, body, preserved, complete,
As he is the head, we the hands and the feet.

Part of our sanctification is to be preserved.
This sure salvation, all from him, not deserved.

In the world we face dangers, deceived and attacked.
Jesus prays for preservation that nothing would be lacked.

Eternal salvation, God completes what he starts.
God quickens our spirit, forms and quickens our hearts.

The saints perseverance, perseverance in Him.
God keeps us in him, even when we do sin.

This is not an excuse or a reason to fall.
It just lets us know his power over all.

The Church should be holy, presented without blame
when Jesus returns! Praise his holy name!

If his people keep sinning, then what does this mean?
“Perfected sanctification” for those he redeemed.

In Jude we’re reminded that through him we can stand
in the presence of his glory, with great joy raise our hands.

God’s faithfulness, lasting, it will not pass away.
His purposes standing, we can trust him each day.

If possible to lose our salvation we would.
Praise God he is Peace, He is faithful and good.


Grace Church of North Olmsted – Sunday, 2022-07-31
Pastor Dean Good
1 Peter 3:18-22 (focus on vs. 22)

The proud be brought low, exalted the humble,
Jesus death on the cross, over this do not stumble.

We as his children, called to suffer as he,
And then receive glory, when his face we see!

Jesus at the right hand of the Father above
exalted in power, glory, and love.

Jesus’ exaltation, how did it come to be?
Step one, the honorable burial, shown in Isaiah 53.

“Assigned a grave with wicked men he will be.”
“Yet buried in a rich man’s tomb, decay did not see.”

Step two, the resurrection, Christ’s work all fulfilled
Fulfilled the prophecy, completed all God willed.

Step three, when all authority on heaven and on earth
was given to the Savior, of inestimable worth.

We can rest in God’s power, his will is always done.
as the world turns deep to sin, the victory is won.

Step four is Christ’s ascension, to heaven he did go.
In this same, glorious way he will come, this we know.

Seated at the right hand of God, is where he is today,
and to this glorious God, we know we can boldly pray.

The significance of Christ’s Exaltation, what could this mystery be?
He now lives in God’s presence, praying for you and me.

Christ in the Holy of Holies, as a man overcame sin and death.
He overcame the devil, and by this we’ve been blessed.

Freed of the slavery of the fear of death,
Christ overcame, sat down, and gave us new life and breath.

He’s raised us up with him, sitting at God’s right hand
the place of power, joy and victory, this place does command.

His exaltation is our victory, he the victory won.
Gave his life, suffered and died, now exalted, God’s own Son.

The ministry of Jesus, is now to intercede.
He does call us brothers, we do call him Lord,
only in his death and life can we be truly freed.

He is the mediator, standing between God and man,
unique as Melchizedek, eternal he does stand.

Christ is now our advocate, mediator and high priest.
He stands for our cleansing, removing sin, for us, the least.

He pleads on our behalf, with the power of his blood.
it’s not that we are holy, or that we’re bad or good.

He is the only advocate, our hope in him alone.
Only by his holiness, his sacrifice did us atone.

If we walk in the light, as he is in the light
we fellowship with each other, and by his blood are then made right.

If we say we have no sin, truly we are blind
but if we humbly confess our sins, from sin he does unbind.

(Pastor Dean then read large sections of the following hymn, by Charles Wesley (1742), before continuing the sermon.)

1 Arise, my soul, arise, shake off your guilty fears;
the bleeding Sacrifice in my behalf appears.
Before the throne my Surety stands, before the throne my Surety stands;
my name is written on his hands, my name is written on his hands.

2 He ever lives above, for me to intercede,
his all-redeeming love, his precious blood to plead.
His blood atoned for ev’ry race, his blood atoned for ev’ry race,
and sprinkles now the throne of grace, and sprinkles now the throne of grace.

3 Five bleeding wounds he bears, received on Calvary;
they pour effectual prayers, they strongly plead for me.
“Forgive him, O forgive,” they cry, “forgive him, O forgive,” they cry,
“nor let that ransomed sinner die, nor let that ransomed sinner die!”

4 My God is reconciled; his pard’ning voice I hear.
He owns me for his child, I can no longer fear.
with confidence I now draw nigh, with confidence I now draw nigh,
and “Father, Abba, Father!” cry, and “Father, Abba, Father!” cry.

Daily on our knees, draw near with a pure heart,
we come by the blood of Christ, our power and our start.

Good things we should do, to him be glorified,
but these things do not save us, only in his blood we hide.

“What then shall we say? If God is for us, who against?”
Christ Jesus is the one who died, his intercession is immense.

Every trial, every blessing, in all that comes we can trust,
That God is always for us, and his blessings are the best.

What do you need to live for him? His blessings do provide.
Provision for and freely given, as we are by his side.

Purchased at the cross, and now at God’s right hand
he intercedes for our provision, he leads us through dark land.

As Christ is our shepherd, in his presence we will be
Glory, glory! Hallelujah! His glorious face we’ll see!

Prayer is the means by which the benefit received.
The evidence of Christ’s intercession is that we intercede.

Christ teaches us how to pray, that we may pray, confess.
It is in our prayers, to be like him, in this we are blessed.

The Spirit helps our weakness, we do not know how to pray.
The Holy Spirit intercedes for us, and teaches what to say.

This is how we do receive, all that he has to give.
Not just the words, but a change of heart, that shows in Him we live.

Rock of ages, I hide in thee, in the tempests of life
I flee to my refuge, when dealing with all strife.

Where do you go when dealing with the pains of life?
That is your idol, if anything but Christ.

Teach us day by day that Christ our Rock and Refuge be,
that now and at the end of life, our precious Lord we’ll see!

Highlights of Psalm 37 in light of today’s world

Have you noticed that the world seems to be changing at an increasing speed, where wrong is proudly celebrated as right, right is violently opposed, systems and powers are roaring for control while at the same time shaking and breaking? 

Does all of this cause you to worry?

Today is July 7th. In keeping with our Psalms reading plan (that I don’t always keep, but come back to when not studying other things), today’s Psalms were Psalm 7, 37, 67, 97 and 127. My wife asked me to read Psalm 37 in light of our recent conversations about homesteading as a way to raise food and animals to the glory of God, as a means to connect with others, and share education.

This Psalm is perfect for the world we live in. Rather than my talking about it, I’m going to post the whole Psalm below with my highlights.

Key for Highlights

  • Commands not to worry, etc.
  • Commands to trust the Lord, etc.
  • God’s judgment of the wicked
  • Blessing of the Land
  • Blessings (other than land)

Psalm 37 (NKJV)

Of David.
1 Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.

3 Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.

12 The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them;
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.

14 The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright.
15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.

16 Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked;
17 for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.

18 The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care, and their inheritance will endure forever.
19 In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.

20 But the wicked will perish: Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field, they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.

21 The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously;
22 those the Lord blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be destroyed.

23 The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.
26 They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing.

27 Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever.
28 For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones.
Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed; the offspring of the wicked will perish.
29 The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.

30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just.
31 The law of their God is in their hearts; their feet do not slip.

32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, intent on putting them to death;
33 but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked or let them be condemned when brought to trial.

34 Hope in the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.

35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,
36 but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found.

37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace.
38 But all sinners will be destroyed; there will be no future for the wicked.

39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.

Our hope is truly, and only, in the Lord. Any hope that we place in our own efforts is a passing vanity.

His promises continually return to “the land”. As we return to the land we have wonderful opportunities to see God’s provision, how he is the one who sends the rains and makes things grow. The land gives a unique opportunity to experience our dependence on God and his provision.

It is now July 9th and several verses jumped out that relate to the above:

Psalm 9:15-16 (and all of Psalm 9)

15 The nations have sunk down in the pit which they made;
In the net which they hid, their own foot is caught.
16 The Lord is known by the judgment He executes;
The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.

Psalm 39:4-7

4 “Lord, make me to know my end,
And what is the measure of my days,
That I may know how frail I am.
5 Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths,
And my age is as nothing before You;
Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. (Selah)
6 Surely every man walks about like a shadow;
Surely they busy themselves in vain;
He heaps up riches,
And does not know who will gather them.
7 “And now, Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in You.
Our hope is in the Lord. 

As Solomon summarized in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14:

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
14 For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.

And in 1 Corinthians 10:31 Paul states, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Make Your Own Kombucha

Our more focused health journey started with healthy cooking and the importance of quality fruits and vegetables and convenient, inexpensive ways to get and grow them. This had great health benefits, but some continuing digestive issues opened our eyes to the world of fermenting, which has been tremendously helpful. It is amazing how much power God put into the things we eat and drink and the world around us… much of which has been lost to the modern mind. 

As we pursue the path to healthy living, may we grow in our awe of the God of creation! As the song goes, “All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful, The Lord God made them all.”

MATERIALS:

  • SCOBY 
    • This is the key ingredient of kombucha. Making Kombucha creates more SCOBYs, so you only need one to get started.
    • If you live near us, let us know and we may have a SCOBY for you. :o)
  • Black Tea (bags or loose leaf – I use loose leaf and have a filter to get it out later)
    • Not flavored tea, which has other flavors, oils, etc. which could damage the SCOBY
    • Preferably organic
  • Green Tea (Gunshot – to have caffeine)
    • This is optional to mix 50/50 with the black tea
  • Organic Pure Cane Sugar
    • Costco has this
  • one gallon glass jar
    • I recommend having two (or more) to help with the process and to alternate start weeks.
    • This could be any large glass jar with a wide mouth.
  • Smaller bottles for 2nd fermentation
    • Need to have:
      • airtight seal
      • strong enough for some pressure build up if you plan to allow for carbonation
    • Old Kombucha bottles should work
  • Optional Items
    • Heating Mat – If you will be making Kombucha in cool weather (lower than around 80F)
      • I like the mats that wrap around the jar more than those that are underneath.
      • Some heating mats have adjustable temperature.
      • The temperature can also be adjusted by putting chopsticks/pencils between the mat and the jar. (Add more chopsticks as needed.)
      • You can also store the Kombucha in a warmer cabinet, etc. as long as the temp is between 76-85 (warmer is better).
    • Thermometer (There are choices for this)
      • Temperature Strips – These are nice to check the temperature at a glance
        • Note: A heating pad should come with a temperature strip
      • Temperature Gun – This is nice if you want to be able to check many things, not just a Kombucha jar. 
        • Hint: Put some masking tape on the jar to shoot with the temperature gun.
  • Materials that you may already have

DIRECTIONS: 

Notes before starting:

  • Making kombucha is really quite simple. 
    • I highly recommend the video “How To Make Kombucha – First & Second Fermentation” from DaddyKirbs Farm to see the whole process.
    • My directions below have a lot of details and comments (to answer questions that may come up from the video), but it’s really quite simple.
    • Basically: Make sweet black tea > Let it cool > Add the starter tea & SCOBY > Cover and put in a dark spot > Wait 7-21 days > Bottle and drink!  (It’s also fun to watch the SCOBY grow. :o)
    • The first two times, I was figuring out what to do so it took more thought and time, but since then it is quick.
  • Let me know of any questions and comments and I can then use those to clarify these directions.

Directions:

  • First Ferment
    • Prepare 1 gallon of tea
      • Boil 1 gallon of water (remove from heat)
        • Let it boil for a few minutes to off gas chlorine (if you have chlorine in your water).
        • If you have purified water, you can boil 3+ cups of water to make tea, and then mix with cool water later to quickly cool the tea.
      • Add 2 Tbsp (6 tsp) loose leaf tea (black and/or green) (or equivalent tea bags)
        • Steep for 10-15 minutes
        • Note: The SCOBY eats the caffeine from the tea. The tea needs to be black tea, Gunshot Green tea, or a mix of the two.
      • Remove tea (run through a sterilized filter if using loose leaf)
      • Stir in 1 cup Organic Pure Cane Sugar
    • Cool the sweet tea to 75-85 F
      • If you boiled 1 gallon of water, let it sit for a few hours.
      • If you boiled 3+ cups of water to make the tea,
        • Fill glass jar ⅓ full of cool filtered or boiled/cooled water
        • Add tea
        • Top off with cool water, leaving room for the starter tea and SCOBY (apx 3-4 in)
    • Add starter tea and SCOBY
      • Note: pH should be below 4.5, BUT I don’t check our pH. I simply use more than the minimum amount of starter tea as mentioned below. The pH will drop as it ferments.
        • If the pH is too high, some people add distilled white vinegar (some say to never add white vinegar)
          • I have never added white vinegar.
          • You could also add more of your recently finished batch of kombucha.
        • Most commercial SCOBYs come with ~2 cups of starter tea and most directions recommend setting 2 cups aside from the previous ferment. I prefer to set 3-4 cups aside to make sure that the acidity is low enough.
          • The benefit is that the pH is low enough and I don’t need to think about it.
          • The negative is that we have less of each batch to drink (but still have plenty).
    • Set aside for fermentation
      • Secure cloth over jar
        • I like a coffee filter or solid knit, non-shedding cloth.
          • Personally, I just use a coffee filter.
      • Place in warm area (75-85F)
        • Notes:
          • Cold = mold
          • Try not to shake the jar, etc. while fermenting
          • Dark locations are best
          • If they SCOBY floats, it will get larger. If it sinks, it will form a new SCOBY on the surface. (It’s fun to watch form and is not mold.)
      • Ferment to taste
        • usually around 7-21 days
          • shorter = sweeter, longer = more vinegary
        • Taste by inserting a clean straw under the SCOBY. Plug the end of the straw and pull it out.
          • Can also push the SCOBY down with a clear punch spoon and scoop some out to taste.

  • Second Fermentation
    • Optional, to add flavor and/or carbonation
      • To only add flavor (not carbonation), do the second ferment in an open top bottle with a cloth on top (like the first ferment)
      • To only add carbonation (not flavor), follow the steps of the second ferment, but don’t add flavor.
    • First, prepare to start a new batch for first ferment
      • With clean hands or tongs, take out the SCOBY and put it in a bowl
        • You may want to wipe or rinse the yeast off to reduce alcohol production.
      • Put some of the finished kombucha that just finished fermenting in the bowl.
        • Many recommend 2+ cups of starter tea. I prefer to use 3+ cups to make sure the acidity is low enough in the new batch.
        • Scoop from the top to avoid the yeast to reduce alcohol production.
      • If you won’t be starting a new batch in the next few minutes, put a cloth over the SCOBY bowl.
    • Pour the Kombucha into smaller bottles for 2nd ferment and serving.
      • The bottles need to be strong enough to stand the pressure of carbonizing.
      • Optional: Add flavoring to smaller bottles
        • Flavoring can be: Pure juice, fruit pieces, ginger pieces, etc.
      • Pour the rest of the finished Kombucha (that wasn’t set aside as starter tea) through a filter into the smaller bottles.
        • Leave space at the top for expansion.
        • Use a funnel.
        • The filter removes any big pieces of SCOBY and yeast
    • Optional: Prepare to carbonate
      • If you want to add carbonation, seal the bottle.
      • If you don’t want to carbonate, leave the bottle open with a cloth on top (as with the first fermentation)
    • Store in a warm, dark place (as with the 1st fermentation) for 1-3 days.

  • Start a new first fermentation
    • Rinse the now empty fermentation jar 
      • water only, no soap
      • I rinse with tap water, then put in boiled water to sanitize.
    • With the SCOBY and needed starter tea aside
    • Follow the directions for the 1st fermentation.

As you make kombucha, you will start to have extra SCOBYs. These can be used for many things, including sharing with a friend to spread the joy!

I hope that you enjoy the process and benefits of making your own Kombucha. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to Contact Us.

A Love Letter to My Boys

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;

   his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning;

   great is your faithfulness.” — Lamentations 3:22-23

Dear E. & I.,

I am so delighted to call you both my sons! What a privilege to be your mom! No matter what happens in the future, I wanted to make sure you know Baba(爸爸 means “daddy”in Chinese) and I love you so very much! We do what can to prepare for the worst but have total peace to know God is trustworthy and His plans are far better and sovereign.

I am not sure whether or when you will actually read this letter, but simply pausing to think about what I most want to share with you helps me gain perspective on life. How I choose to live today matters to God’s eternal plan. Knowing God’s desire gives me great pprov1717assion and caution in my walk with the Lord. His mercy is new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). As you both can testify, I made a lot of mistakes and didn’t do everything right. If you fail or are in a difficult situation, don’t allow the enemy to trick you into believing lies. Resist the temptations by the power of the Spirit through reading and applying God’s Word! Allow His Word and the trials to exam your hearts as He has done to mine numerous times. He is ALWAYS faithful! We pray that you two are there for each other for good and bad times! It’s always fun to watch you two play together happily or reconcile peacefully.

Initially, Baba and I set up this blog out of a desire to give you a spiritual legacy when we are gone, or at least help to get our mindset fixed on the Kingdom above as we raise you. But you might even be gone before us if it is the Lord’s will. This legacy is not from us and not just for you! “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17) What a perfect Father we have! Our heart and mind are so empowered by the Heavenly legacy from our Father above, to all nations, all families! We definitely pray for God’s protection over you physically and spiritually. It saddens and scares me tremendously to think about losing you, both or either, for whatever reason. However, it grieves me even more when thinking about any chance of not seeing you, or my relatives and friends in Heaven. Continue reading

Called to go, Willing to stay: A Blessing Counting Journal (13)


10. Cultural blessing (a)


But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:7-8

What is culture

I am so excited today I get to start my final section of this blessing counting journey which I started last October in 2015. If I had to choose one area I am most passionate about, this is it! Cambridge English Dictionary defines “Culture” as “the way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time”. In other words, it is practising what we believe in our daily living. This “particular group of people” and “time” vary in our lifetime. My life has been enriched tremendously as we often adjust from one culture to the other. However, without some overachieving life principles, I often experienced anxiety, distress, fear or other negative feelings when the initial excitement from the new culture fades. That was when the 3rd Culture Living mindset occurred to us.


When cultures clash, by default we tend to resort to where our flesh feels most comfortable and natural. We redefine our terms of “culture” as life unfolds, as different cultures come our way through different groups of people. Our beliefs are questioned or shaken during those clashes. A lot of times, we choose to walk away from those differences to avoid conflicts. People naturally connect with others who are like them. Then a “culture” forms. This explains why even in an immigrant country like America, we can easily locate areas for different ethnic groups, China town, Ukrainian village, German street, Little Italy, etc.. This also explains why, as inclusive or open as social media claims to be, people still flock into their own particular groups. We are made to have connections with each other.  Life is to be shared. Sharing is good!

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Snapshot in China: People gathered around to watch the man practicing calligraphy.

Continue reading

Called to go, Willing to stay: A Blessing Counting Journal (12)

  1. Parental blessing (b)

Let the Little Children Come! (Matthew 19:14)

Okay, back to the times of house repair. I am grateful God has allowed me to see more of His preparations from years ago for the heart work for His eternal glory. The trip to China confirmed His unchanging love and perfect timing in everything and every season in our life. Since I didn’t have a set time or place to study God’s Word during the house construction, I did my Bible study whenever I could, in front of the kids. It was not my favorite way of studying the Bible. But the Lord not only knows my season in life but orchestrates it. He always provided what I needed to hear and met me where I was. It could be just one verse, one hymn or a radio program, which was sufficient for my day.

My four year old then could see my genuine need to spend time with the Lord. Not only did he learn to have some quiet time together with me, but he also wanted to read his own children’s Bible and took notes like I did. Whenever I think about this, my heart is warmed by God’s grace. Our kids don’t need us to put them first but they do need to see Who (the Ultimate higher authority) we are under and worshipping. God used my children to challenge me to worship Him at all times and see life as an adventure with my Lord.

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It takes creativity and open mind to grow life in the midst of house repair. 🙂

Continue reading

Called to go, Willing to stay: A Blessing Counting Journal (11)

  1. Parental blessing (a)

    For the Lord is good;    
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100:5 

Thank you, Father!

In October, 2015, I started this blessing counting journal around the one year house-owning anniversary. The Lord put ten specific areas of blessings on my heart to record. By the time I am meditating on #9, the “parental blessing”, we are already back from our one-month trip to China over the Christmas break! Once again, I am grateful for the beautiful timing. I am reminded that no matter how much our hearts are stirred due to our current circumstances (good or bad), it all shall pass. It seems like ages ago when we were rebuilding the house, now that life has much more settled down. However, the heart lessons are still as fresh as yesterday. Interestingly, time in China in many ways resembled our time with all the construction going on around the house: lots of new things everyday, no set schedule, no set place for everything, great need for flexibility and wisdom in parenting, more time with our parents (or grandparents for the boys).


When we are pushed out of our comfort zone in parenting, we are more likely to fall back to our flesh, and idolize circumstances we used to live in. We need to be more reliant on our Heavenly Father in choice-making, attitude-setting, and following His teaching from His Word and leading in the Spirit. As a mom of two active boys, I fail so many times and feel inadequate, but I am even more blessed to grow along with them by the grace of my Father above.

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Yeah, we had the floor done before the baby started crawling!

Continue reading

Called to go, Willing to stay: A Blessing Counting Journal (10)

  1. Marital blessing (b)

if you seek it like silver

   and search for it as for hidden treasures,

then you will understand the fear of the Lord

   and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:4-5

Marital blessing counting continued (Read previous post here)– Here are some more highlights from the digging :


With our totally different backgrounds and upbringings, we actually do speak different heart languages along with its own set of non-verbal communication cues, which many times actually carries more weight than the spoken ones. I am still working on the nuances of facial expressions, gestures, idioms, tones, etc.. of the English language and making it another heart language of mine. However, it takes constant effort and intentionality. We think in our own cultural mindsets naturally. Mix in the differences between manhood and womanhood, we still have a ton to learn.


The intensity of the work on the house revealed many pitfalls in our communication patterns. How I responded to the differences brought more heart issues into my attention. For example, some of the house-related decisions needed to be made quickly. Not all of our discussions ended up with a happy ending, but that’s okay. Our God is merciful and we had many opportunities to practice forgiveness and reconciliation. It took spiritual discipline to carry the glorious cross daily through our daily communication. God is always faithful in bringing us back on track, as we commit ourselves first to Him and His will by the power of the Spirit.

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Upstairs bathroom floor. Look down and you will see the kitchen. 🙂

God is love! God is beautiful! Praise God for working through my heart attitudes in embracing differences and hence celebrating God’s purpose for our marriage. This blog came to birth as we came together in our “holely” kitchen (yeah, we literally could see through the upstairs bathroom from our kitchen then), in seeking the “oneness” according to God’s blueprint (Read “why this site” here). We started the countdown to our ten-year anniversary on this site. We threw ideas back and forth for a name that could catch both of our hearts, which was a big step in forming our family mission statement. We came to know not only with our heads but with our hearts that: it is His plan, before the creation of the world, to put us two totally different individuals together as a couple, now as  parents as well, for His glorious purposes. Continue reading

Called to go, Willing to stay: A Blessing Counting Journal (9)

8. Marital blessing (a)

and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh.” Mark 10:8


Married or single, it is all for the glory of God! He sanctifies in singleness and in marriage. I am so thankful God has protected my heart for the one I am happily married to now. It was a totally unexpected gift for me to marry my best friend from across the ocean (read our story here). Each year the Lord has brought us closer as a couple, as one! The process can be challenging but it is always so rewarding for His eternal purposes and for our good.  


When people heard about bits and pieces of our love story, they always wanted to know more. We love each other and I absolutely adore my husband. Six years of friendship before our marriage laid a good foundation for our married life. He is my hero, my rock and my joy in this life. I wish I could say we lived happily ever after the wedding day back in 2006. However, no matter how much we tried to be ready before marriage, when two VERY different and sinful people live together for an extended period of time, clashes are doomed to happen. In fear of conflict and/or my lack of language abilities, we hardly fought or argued early in our marriage. Everything seemed perfect from the outside.

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A little glimpse of the kind of city life I knew


I didn’t grow up from a Christian family and had no clue about how a Christian wife should live in real life. I was overwhelmed at times when I felt like marrying my best friend could also be the most lonely journey. I set my hopes and expectations high. I felt the  pressure to witness for Christ as many new believers and non-believers were watching how a cross-cultural marriage would turn out. I expected my mate to experience the joys and sorrows the same way or even the same time as I did. My heart was growing tender to my beloved. My desires were intimate. My needs were not openly expressed. For all the reasons above and many more I can’t think of now, I started to notice myself telling our love story with less passion but more rote. I knew something was going wrong in terms of my ideally passionate relationship with my husband, even with my Lord! I let life just happen instead of earnestly seeking and investing into that oneness with God and with my husband. No one, but Jesus, can bring me true joy and contentment. The moment I set my happiness on a human being, I was setting myself up for heartaches and disappointment. Ultimately, marriage is a powerful God-ordained sanctification tool. Continue reading