Merry Christmas and The Minter Kitchen

Merry Christmas Everyone. If you’re like me you’re scrambling to get everything pulled together in the next week or so. I was reminded this morning of that beautiful verse, Colossians 1:17, which says that in Christ all things hold together. Deep breath. And when I take long enough to consider this, I find it to be not only an inexhaustible concept but also a comforting truth.

I am working busily on finishing up a book and then will be diving into writing my next bible study for LifeWay. More news on those shortly, but in the meantime… how about a recipe? The wonderful people at LifeWay have put together something they’re calling The Minter Kitchen. Now, if you actually saw my kitchen you might not be as excited about this monthly posting – all I can promise you is that these are some of my go-to recipes that I often cook and enjoy. And occasionally even serve to others. So check it out, along with some of the other fun things they have going on on the LifeWay Women’s Blog.

Lastly, please share any recipes you’re currently enjoying in the comments section – I’d love to see them and try them. Also, please be sure to check back here for new dates on the calendar – would love to see you on the road. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on the new book and new bible study.

Merry Christmas,



Sharing God’s Mercies In A New Year

Christmas is out the door, with the exception of a few hanger-on pine needles I’ll be finding well into August. It’s time for another year, and like a train on a schedule it doesn’t hold its doors for me to get on board, before its smoke plumes and whistles and gears start cranking. Ready or not.

I begin each New Year with a general sense of contemplation, as I imagine most do.

Whether we buy into resolutions, diets, gym-joining, goal-setting, we are naturally designed for turning seasons and fresh beginnings. It is only right and good that we consider afresh what we long to do, who we long to be this coming year.

Marketing companies may cash in on what this month represents, but its’ newness they did not create.

This is God’s gift of time measurement. Without it we’d have days running into one another unbound by solstices or seasons, the markings that make it possible for us to determine things like, “Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far.” Januaries give us context for what is “far”. They offer us a moment to pause and consider what has happened, and what we long to have happen.

I’ve been doing much of my contemplation this year through the Gospel of Mark. A new friend of mine encouraged me to steep myself in this particular book because Mark writes more about the Kingdom of God than any of the other Gospel writers. Since one of my desires this year is to see a greater coming of Jesus’ Kingdom here on earth – in everyday, real life we’re talking about here – I’m enjoying a book I’ve read many times before, only this time in a different way.

I mused with this new friend who happens to be ministering in a particularly unsettled part of the world. I told her how I struggle to talk about the Gospel in ways the people around me understand, even desire. This is a much bigger conversation than whatever fits into the going length of a blog these days, but her response to me needs little room. In fact, she began with a question: “Kelly, what did Jesus tell the man from Gerasenes, the one He cast the demon out of, to do?” We were eating at a place called Potbelly’s. Just being at a place with this name made me less smart. I couldn’t remember. She smiled and then began to deliver a truth the way Proverbs speaks of a word fitly spoken. “Jesus simply told him” she said, “tell your people about the mercy God has shown you. That was His evangelism strategy.” (Mark 5:19, for precise quotation).

I nearly burst into tears for two reasons I can trace. The first was out of relief. I have so thoroughly complicated the process of sharing my faith, witnessing, evangelizing, however you may name it, that I have missed the ease with which a person speaks about Jesus who has firsthand experienced Him. We should speak of His mercies as naturally as the songbird carols from our windows; I have never once prompted her. If we have a redemptive story to tell we should tell it often to all manner of listeners. Which brings me to my second traceable reason for tears: Sometimes I struggle receiving the mercy God has shown me. If I can’t connect to His personal love then the faith-story I tell others will be forced and awkward, saddled with inaccessible doctrines that may be true, but they won’t be life. The man from Gerasenes had everything he needed to share the fame of Jesus in his community because he’d had a personal encounter with Jesus.

We will talk about Him to the degree we experience Him.

I am still contemplating. Contemplating about what the Lord has done for me, and how He has had mercy upon me. I am examining why I often struggle to receive such goodness, or simply fail to recognize it. The truth is that every Christ-follower has a story of mercy to share, and when we share it with passion, humility, joy and even ease, well then, perhaps more people around us will respond the way the people of the Decapolis responded to the man from Gerasenes.

“and they were all amazed.”



Happy New Year

The Minters attempting a poised family photo.

Poised Family Photo.

I’m about to pluck the ornaments from the Christmas tree and wrap the lights into a quasi-organized ball of tangles. The mantle will be cleared, and my Vietri santa sugar and creamer that my Mom graciously splurged on for me will be put away until next November or so. The shimmering green, silver, and red wrapped Hershey’s Kisses will remain on my dining room table until they’ve been eaten, because I think you can get away with those well into January. It’s when you’re offering them to guests in August that they become a problem.

Gathering up the Christmas decorations and making way for a new year’s reality can be both disheartening and invigorating. Though I’m always sad to see the holiday season come to an end with its family gatherings, rich foods, post-season football games, times of relaxation, and of course its unparalleled focus on Christ’s birth, I am usually ready to begin the year anew. Like most of you, I’m sure you’ve been pondering the experiences that you were ready to see vanish into 2011 and the ones you hope to see dawn in 2012. I hope the following will be of some encouragement to you…

I was reading in I Samuel 25 last week, and was stirred by a phrase in verse 28 that will usher me into the new year. The following words were spoken by Abigail to King David, “…the Lord will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my master, because he fights the Lord’s battles.” I don’t know what battles lie in front of you, but in the spirit of transparency I have wasted precious moments of my life fighting battles that were not the Lord’s. I have spent valuable nights worrying about relationships I wasn’t supposed to be in in the first place. I’ve needlessly toiled over obstacles in my career that weren’t part of God’s plan. I’ve fretted over finances when the Lord had already promised to provide for my needs.

When I read the above words that characterize David’s life, I was inspired to specifically seek God’s direction for this coming year. “Lord, I don’t want to waste valuable time that I can never get back fighting battles that are meaningless.” This year I want to learn more of what it means to fight where it matters. Whether it’s struggling in prayer for those in the Amazon region of Brazil, studying the Scriptures, designating money to the needs God has put on my heart, spending time over coffee with those who could use encouragement, learning a new skill, cooking a new dish… I want to contend where God’s asked me to.

How beautiful that according to John 15, we don’t have to do this alone. Christ is the vine, and we are the branches that naturally grow out of that vine bearing the fruit He authors. I am excited for this coming year; Thankful for what God has done in my life in 2011, and looking forward to the ground He will ask me to fight for. In the meantime, I’m going to cook some kale, cannellini bean, sausage soup for tonight, and watch pieces of the numerous college bowl games. I may even take a nap.

Thank you so much for your incredible support of me over the past few years. I am thankful for each and every one of you, even if we have yet to meet. May God’s favor rest upon you in 2012.