October 28, 2010

Things We Love

We love the fall....I think we've mentioned that before.   We joke that we do everything in the fall.  We met in the fall and started dating the next fall.  Clint's birthday is in the fall.  We got married in the fall.  And now BOTH babies birthday's are in the fall.  It is our favorite time of year!  The cool air and presence of football make us nostalgic every October.

One of our favorite things to do to celebrate is to enjoy these amazing (and healthy!) muffins with a cup of hot coffee.  ENJOY!!

Pumpkin Muffins
1 Cup pumpkin
1/2 cup  ground flax seed
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice)

Mix all ingredients together (batter will be very thick!)
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  
Makes 12 large muffins

October 26, 2010

I Love This Man!

Today is an all day celebration of the greatest man I know!  My hubby!  So here are the top 20 reasons I love Clint Darst.

1) He loves Jesus more than anything in the world, including me.
2) He is committed to bringing truth to whatever situation he is in.
3) He is hardly ever in a bad mood.  And if he is, its often very short lived
4) He is cheezy...and insists that I laugh at his antics (such as his ever present impersonation of a high school baseball coach)
5) He makes me have A LOT more fun than I would allow myself to have
6) He plays little games he makes up with our little girl
7) He humors me and pretends to care about crafts and cooking
8) He can still tear up a football field. 
9) He is SO charming...and still tries to win me with it
10) He frequently reminds me of how we met and how crazy about him I was (true)
11) He refuses to discipline our babies out of anger
12) He leads people in a way that engages their hearts.  He has extremely high character
13) He is SUPER good looking :)
14) Hes not afraid to look silly in front of anyone.
15) He can and will make friends with anyone he wishes (celebrities included)
16) He is an evangelist...about everything he loves.
17) He is one of the most faithful people I have ever met (proof is in the 4 years he waited for me to realize I was in love with him)
18) He makes anyone around him feel loved and enjoyed
19) He loves deeply, no matter what the response
20) And finally...He is SUPER good looking :)

Happy Birthday Clint!!  Love you forever!

October 25, 2010

Ananias of Damascus (Acts 9:10-17, 22:6-16):

9.  Ananias most likely died as a Martyr.

According to tradition, he evangelized in Damascus and then died for his faith in Eleutheropolis. Over the last year the that God has placed on my heart is “Dyin’ to Live.” It represents the longing for authentic satisfying life that I find in my heart and in the culture around me, but it also represents the paradox of the Christian faith. Christ calls His followers to, “deny themselves take up their cross and follow Him.” Paul says in Romans 8:13, “if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.” Then in 2 Corinthians 4:10-12, “always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.”

I pray that you would take the life of Jesus to those who do not have it. Be it here or abroad, take the Light to those in darkness. I pray you value Christ and the lost world more than you value your own life.

October 22, 2010

Ananias of Damascus (Acts 9:10-17, 22:6-16):

Nine Meditations on the Man we Named our First Born Son After

8. Ananias was a man of good reputation

Growing up I had a very close relationship with my mother and father. From time to time when dad needed to teach me something we would have what he called a “daddy talk.” One of the life lessons he taught me in those ‘daddy talks’ was how to be a man of good reputation. He told me over and over, “Clint your reputation walks way out in front of you.” Apparently that was true of Ananias as well. When Paul is sharing his testimony he says that Ananias was “a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there…”  This reminds me of Peter’s exhortation to “keep your conduct among the gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.” (2 Peter 2:12)

I pray that you would be a man that has a reputation of loving God and loving others ‘walking way out in front of you’, for the Glory of the one who walked in your place, died your death and rose for your life.

October 21, 2010

Ananias of Damascus (Acts 9:10-17, 22:6-16):

9 Meditations on the man we named our first born son after

7. Ananias Disappears

Verses 17-19 record Ananias praying for Paul, the scales falling from his eyes, and Paul’s baptism. Then something very interesting happens. The text follows Paul’s ministry from here on out. The only other mention of Ananias of Damascus in the rest of the Bible is in Acts 22 when Paul shares his testimony.  We never hear of him again. So we meet Ananias in verse 10 of chapter 9 and he disappears after verse 18. 8 verses of interactions with Ananias is all we have. He shows up as an ordinary disciple, gets called by God to meet a need in the apostle Paul’s life, responds honestly, obeys Him and then disappears. What is the result of his obedience? People like you and me worship Jesus because Paul ministered to the gentiles. Every tribe, tongue and nation will worship King Jesus because God called Paul to Himself. Paul had a need to be met before he could do that. And this ordinary obedient disciple of Jesus met that need.  He probably baptized Paul.  Praise God for Ananias of Damascus.  This reminds me of my most recent favorite song, ‘Background’ off of Lecrae’s new album ‘Rehab.’  My favorite line in the song Lecrae says, “I end up confessing I’m not that impressive matter of fact I’m who I are, a trail of star dust leading to The Super Star.”  I love that Ananias of Damascus is a ‘background’ type of leader, who so leads to the Super Star through the Apostle Paul, that most of us don’t even know who he is.  Job well done Ananias, you were a trail of stardust!

I pray that you bring glory to God by accomplishing that which He has called you to do, nothing more, nothing less (John 17:4). Who knows, he may call you to meet the needs of the next ‘Paul’ in His kingdom.  I pray that you would view each person you influence as the next possible key kingdom leader and that you would play the background so to make them fall more and more in love with Jesus, the Super Star.

October 20, 2010

Ananias of Damascus (Acts 9:10-17, 22:6-16):

9 Mediations on the man we named our 1st born son after

6. Ananias is Obedient

After being honest with God about his concerns, hearing God tell him again what he was to do and why he was to do it (15-16), Ananias obeys Him and lays his hands on Paul and watches the scales fall from Paul’s eyes.  So he was insecure and afraid, but because of God’s patience and power, Ananias obeyed and was used to minister to the man who would become the most influential redeemed sinner in the Christian faith.  In Acts 22, Paul shares his testimony and says this about Ananias (12), “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law…” Ananias was known for his obedience to God.  The life of obedience always leads to God's glory and the good for others.

I pray that you would be a man who after responding honestly to God, work through your fears and insecurities and are obedient to Him. He is God. He is good and He is in control. As the old hymn says, “Trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”  I pray that God would use you to remove spiritual scales from the eyes of servants of God like the apostle Paul.

October 19, 2010

Ananias of Damascus (Acts 9:10-17, 22:6-16):


9 Mediations on the man we named our 1st born son after

5.Ananias is Honest with God

God tells Ananias in verses 11-12 to go lay hands on Saul of Tarsus and pray for him, that he may regain his sight.  Verse 13-14 is not Ananias’ most glorious moment. As a matter of fact, he seems to think that he needs to remind God of who Saul of Tarsus is.  “’Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.’” So we see here that Ananias is afraid of that which God has called him to do. He responds in what seems to be fear hoping to enlighten God so as to protect him-self.  Oh, how I can identify with Ananias. All too often when God calls me to do something, my first response is hesitation, fear and insecurity. But the reason I highlight this is because of verse 15, “But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.’” The advancement of the Kingdom of God is not predicated upon the initial response of the man/woman God calls, but upon the almighty power, love, mercy, wisdom and patience of The Almighty King of the Kingdom.

We serve a God who is slow to anger and quick to love. When you feel insecure and afraid, you can tell Him. He will be patient and give you what you need to persevere. His Kingdom will advance.

October 18, 2010

Ananias of Damascus (Acts 9:10-17, 22:6-16):

9 Mediations on the man we named our 1st born son after

4. Ananias Responds to God

Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Isaiah, Samuel and…Ananias? If you are familiar with the Christian faith you are familiar with the first 5 heroes that I mentioned. What do they have in common with Ananias of Damascus? Very simple, God spoke to them and their response was either “Here am I” (Abraham, Jacob, Isaiah) or “Here I am” (Moses, Samuel). Acts 9:10b Ananias responds to God, “Here I am, Lord.” I love this. I love the posture of these men being ready to listen to God when He speaks.  It reminds me of standing in the dugout before a little league baseball game…the coach begins to read the lineup card, “leading off playing center field” and then you hear your name called.  You sprint out onto the field ready to give your all and represent your team, thankful that the head coach picked you and sent you.  God addresses these men as The Coach and immediately they present themselves to the God whom they love and follow.  God speaks and out onto the field they go, ready to represent their Coach by playing their position with all they have.

I pray that God calls you and that you respond to His voice, ready to do whatever He calls you to do. I pray that He launches you into Kingdom labor that you have no hope to accomplish, save the grace, mercy and power of He who sends you.

October 17, 2010

Ananias of Damascus (Acts 9:10-17, 22:6-16):

9 Mediations on the man we named our 1st born son after

3. God calls Him by name.

Did you know that there are some 200 billion stars in our galaxy? And our galaxy is 1 of 100 Billion galaxies? That is more than my mind can even grasp. And check this out: Psalm 147:4 says, “He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.”  God determines the exact number of stars in each galaxy and not only that, he names them! I share this because I am blown away with how big and ultimate God is.  The next thing I love about Ananias is that the same Ultimate God that created and named all the stars speaks to Ananias by name (Acts 9:10b), “The Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Ananias.’” There is something powerful to reading Holy Scripture and seeing God call people out by name.  We love that Ananias is one of those men!  This reminds me of a wonderful phrase that a friend and hero (Matty B) introduced to me, “God is Ultimate and Intimate.” He is Ultimate enough to create and name trillions and trillions of stars, yet intimate enough to knit Nias together in Rachel’s womb and number each of his hairs.  Psalm 139:13-14 "For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." Matthew 10:30 "But even the hairs of your head are all numbered." Who knew the stars in the sky and the hairs on your head had something in common, they are numbered by our Creator!

I pray that you would know the glories of the Ultimate God that created everything, yet is the Intimate God who we pray calls you by name.

October 16, 2010

Ananias of Damascus (Acts 9:10-17, 22:6-16)

9 Mediations on the Man We Named Our 1st Born Son After

2. Ananias was a disciple.

Most people who know Acts chapter 9 are familiar with it for The Apostle Paul’s conversion.  Having already met (and being blinded by) Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul is waiting and fasting for 3 days. In verse 10 we meet Ananias for the first time. It reads, “Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias.” Most scholars believe he was one of the 72 disciples we read about in Luke 10. He spent time with Jesus and was sent on mission for Jesus.  I love this. He wasn’t some flashy religious leader, just an ordinary disciple of Jesus. Reminds me of Peter and John in Acts 4:12 before the Council, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” Jesus uses common men because common men are blown away by who Jesus is. Impressive men are preoccupied with being impressive.

I pray you would be a common man who gets blown away by who Jesus is and that people would see your boldness and conclude, 'you must have been with Jesus.'

October 15, 2010

Ananias of Damascus (Acts 9:10-17, 22:6-16):

9 Mediations on the man we named our 1st born son after

  1. Ananias: (νανίας) is the Greek form of Hananiah, which is Hebrew word meaning “Yaweh has dealt graciously” or “The Lord is full of grace.”

God’s grace to Rachel and I is overwhelming. From calling us to Himself, giving us wonderful parents, growing us through the ministry of Campus Outreach, to crossing our paths at East Lincoln High School some 8 years ago. Grace by definition is: the free unmerited favor of God. Rachel and I earned the wrath of almighty God by hating Him and loving darkness (John 3:16-21). By sheer grace we have received the favor and love of God through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus (I Corinthians 15:3-10). God has given us the free gift of faith to trust in and follow Him (Ephesians 2:8-9). He has surrounded us by people and gifts that keep us clinging to the cross (Hebrews 12:1-2).  He gave us a wonderful daughter, Eden two years ago and now he has given us Nias. We are overwhelmed and can fully testify that the meaning of our son’s name is as true and trustworthy as the morning sunrise…Yaweh is full of grace and has dealt with us graciously. 

I pray that The Father would deal graciously with you, draw you unto Himself through Christ very soon, that The Holy Spirit would dwell in you and that you would know the unending Grace of our Lord. I pray that you would become a man like Ananias of Damascus. I love you son!

October 14, 2010

Its a.....


Ananias Clinton Darst

We really believe in naming our babies meaningful names.  This one was a big surprise for us.  One night we were reading Eden the story of Paul's conversion (Acts 9) from the Jesus Storybook Bible.  We ran across this character whom neither one of us had ever noticed before.  Clint joked as he had with many other crazy names, "This could be our son's name." I laughed it off asking, "what do you call him, An, Ana?" Clint studied up on Acts 9 and this mysterious character. He ended up doing all of his beach project leaders teaching from the example Ananias set for us.  Ananias heard from the Lord, questioned his ability to do what God was calling him to (restore the sight of a man who was killing or imprisoning every Christian he came in contact with!), trusted God's promises, and went to fulfill God's call on his life.  And then something very interesting happens, he virtually falls off the planet.  You never again hear of Ananias.  He holds a significant role in the life of the most influential Christian leader, outside of Christ, and then he disappears from the pages of the Bible.  We pray this for our son, that he would fulfill the call God has on his life, meet the needs of those whom God has called Him to minister to and then fade into the background as the Lord's will is finished.  We pray like Ananias He will be used by God to raise up men like the Apostle Paul...So how DO you abbreviate Ananias, what will we call him?..."NIAS"

Clinton is actually Clint's middle name.  It is a family tradition and this one makes at least the 5th straight generation with the first male having Clinton as his middle name.

So with great joy we welcome this child into our home! Please join with us in praying for his salvation!