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LIVING HOPE- Hope of Glory: 10/03/17

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By , October 4, 2017 2:48 pm

We began our third lesson in the series LIVING HOPE with praise and worship singing  I Have a Hope by Tommy Walker, Standing on the Promises by Selah and King of My Heart by Bethel.

Kathy continued the study on Living Hope with a break down of the many places we can have a doorway to hope through the truth of our Surety, Purity, Security, Maturity, and Authority of Christ in us.

THINK AGAIN-Cultivating the Mind of Christ; More on Paying Attention-01/31/17

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By , January 31, 2017 1:57 pm

We began today’s lesson with praise and worship singing; I Belong To God by Big Daddy Weave, Trust and Obey by Big Daddy Weave and Yes and Amen by Housefires.

Kathy continued her lesson on paying attention and the warning to not drift because of immaturity, insecurity, and impurity; the need for correction and focusing on our deep convictions as a means of cultivating the mind of Christ.

A New Semester of THINK AGAIN: Cultivating the Mind of Christ

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By , January 16, 2017 8:49 pm

colorful whispy

A new semester of DDD begins next Tuesday, January 24th. Please make plans to be come and learn more about thinking like Jesus! Feel free to pass along the information below to anyone who might benefit from coming to class or listening online.


God wants to transform us by changing the way we think. As we partner with Him in that process, we can view life through His unrivaled perspective and wisdom because we have the mind of Christ! By studying and cultivating the mindsets that we see in Jesus’ earthly life, we will learn to:

  • Access the mind of Christ through His Word and His Spirit
  • Experience peace and joy more and more consistently no matter our circumstances
  • Identify and clarify any distorted mindsets we may have and replace them with the truth about God, ourselves, and our issues
  • Have greater authenticity in our relationships
  • Become more focused and purposeful in our pursuits

Tuesday mornings beginning January 24th at Covenant Presbyterian, Room 104:

10:00 – 11:15             Worship and the Word

11:15 – 12:00             Mentoring groups (optional)

Listen online anytime at

Can’t come on Tuesday mornings? Contact Kathy Girardeau by reply email about additional times for mentoring groups.

How Relationships Work: Negotiating Differences, Part 2- 03/17/15

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By , March 18, 2015 2:45 pm

We praised God singing “God of the Impossible” by Sara Reeves and “Just As I Am” by Travis Cottrell.

Kathy reviewed last weeks lesson about reconciling relationships and the importance of forgiveness.

We continued learning about negotiating differences, especially in regards to long standing relationships that are not reconciled.  She talked about the fact that out of our hollow places of pain can flow rivers of living water and guarding against the devastating affects of bitterness.

How Relationships Work: Negotiating Differences – 3/10/15

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By , March 11, 2015 3:09 pm

This week we sang “Jesus Paid It All” by Kristian Stanfill and “Live Your Love” by the Katinas.

Kathy began with a review, reminding us that God’s ministry to us and for us is reconciliation.  He reconciled us to Himself through Jesus and now calls us to reconcile with others.  A heart that is for reconciliation has experienced God’s grace and forgiveness for itself, is wise and wily in response to others, desires connection, and is open to newness in relationship.

This week’s lesson focused on negotiating differences in relationships.  We looked at what God’s word says about handling offenses, whether we have sinned or have been sinned against.  We learned how to stay within Biblical boundaries when negotiating differences by 1) going to our brother in private with the goal of reconciliation, 2) going quickly but choosing our time wisely, 3) keeping our comments current,  4) not judging or accusing, 5) admitting and taking responsibility for our wrongs, and 6) speaking the truth in love.

Kathy reminded us that God is the secure foundation for all of our other relationships.

How Relationships Work: Reconciling Differences-03/03/15

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By , March 5, 2015 1:21 pm

Today we began with praising God singing: “Christ Be All Aroud Me” by Michael W. Smith & “Amazing Grace/My Chains Are Gone” by Chris Tomlin.

Kathy continued our series on relationships with a review of  what are some stumbling blocks to Godly relationships and then began teaching about the process of reconciliation.

Fresh Vision

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By , January 8, 2015 3:56 am

Happy New Year! I hope you will plan to share 2015 with us at Divine Design Discipleship. Our teaching series “How Relationships Grow” will resume on Tuesdays, beginning January 27th. We offer a morning session at 10 a.m., an evening session at 7 p.m., or you can follow us online under the Resources tab of this website.


God spoke: “Lights! Come out! Shine in Heaven’s sky! Separate Day from Night. Mark seasons and days and years.

Genesis 1:14 MSG

Poised at the beginning of 2015, we face the choice of sameness or newness. We can either join God in the new things He wants to do in our lives or lapse into default ways of approaching life. For me, there is no contest—I want to know and experience the Lord’s vision for this new year.

Living by vision requires some effort, but it motivates me to hear the wisdom and the warning found in Proverbs 29:18 KJV, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

And it is exactly what Jesus did! We see Him presenting His vision statement at the beginning of His public ministry in Luke 4:14-21:

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

By letting God shape His earthly life with the Scriptures, Jesus reveals to us the powerful possibility of fresh vision for our own lives. We, too, can receive God’s vision when we embark on anything new or for anything in our lives in need of newness.
To generate a vision statement, I start by reviewing my spiritual journal from recent months. There I almost always find some themes to consider, truths that God has spoken repeatedly through quiet times, sermons, music, life experiences and many other creative ways. Vision emerges as I take time to prayerfully consider how the principles apply to my daily life circumstances.

My vision statement is simply a compilation of the biblical truths that I believe God wants to integrate into my life in the coming year. At some point, the days and weeks will begin to look a lot like they did last year. I need a guide to get me back on track, to remind me how today is new and full of timely opportunities for abundant life.

When I read vision statements from past years, I see the unique ways God fulfilled what He promised. When I read my vision statement for 2015, I have hope that He will do it again!

If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.
Proverbs 29:18 MSG

Maybe your vision for this year will be as basic as beginning to keep a daily or weekly journal of personal words and insights you receive from Scripture. Or if you want to craft your own vision statement, here are some instructions:

1. Pray, asking God to speak to you through His Word: Ps 119:17-18 AMP– Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live; and I will observe Your word [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying it]. Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law.

2. Wait expectantly for God to address the issues you bring to Him: Ps 130:5-6– I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.

3. Receive the Scriptures you study as God’s personal counsel to you: Is 50:4– The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.

4. Write a daily or weekly record of insights the Holy Spirit gives as you meditate on His Word to you: Hab 2:2 GNT–Write down clearly on tablets what I reveal to you, so that it can be read at a glance.

5. Review your journal often to help you identify themes that are repetitive and principles that have deeply impacted you. These will be the target truths you’ll consider for your vision statement. Be sure to include the following:

• Verses and insights from your quiet times
• Bible study notes or handouts, sermons, books, or songs
• Lyrics to songs that have been significant in your journey
• Mental images or real life analogies you’ve applied (ex: object, example, experience)

6. Complete your Vision Statement by making a list of the truths that you believe God wants to integrate into your life in the coming year. Stay flexible, being willing to add or edit as the year progresses.

7. Pray these principles back to God, asking Him to make them your experience this year. Share a copy with a prayer partner so that they can pray for you, too. And don’t forget to stash copies in your car, purse, gym bag, or recipe holder for quick reference when you need to pray on the run!

© Divine Design Discipleship 2015. All rights reserved.

Important Dates for DDD

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By , November 10, 2014 7:43 pm

Please take note of the remaining class meeting times for the rest of the fall semester. We WILL be holding both morning and evening sessions on Veteran’s Day, Tuesday, November 11th.

The last class for the evening session: Tuesday, 11/11 at 7 p.m.
The last class for the morning session: Tuesday, 11/18 at 10 a.m.

We will resume our How Relationships Work series in mid-January, exact dates to be announced.

Be sure to use the holidays to meditate on the rich principles and Scriptures we’ve studied and to apply them! Let one of our leadership team know if we can serve you in any way.

Feast For A Summer Day

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By , July 1, 2014 10:06 pm

Each man will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.

Isaiah 32:2 NIV

Hot summertime is the perfect time to stop and feast. Most of us can find reasons to celebrate in summer: school’s out, the water’s warm, reunions and holidays abound. But I’ve also noticed that summer can be awkward middle ground, sandwiched there between what has been and what is coming next. I’ve found myself antsy and impatient, as uncomfortable as a wet bathing suit in an air-conditioned room, wondering, “How long until we get there?”
So I invited some of my prayer partners over for lunch last week because the Bible tells us to keep the feast “until He comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:26) Not one of us around that table is without an “until He comes” place—where we’re waiting on God to come and provide or restore or heal or to answer that special prayer. How wonderful to have people who care about those situations and who are willing to wait with us until the moment when our faith becomes sight.
We didn’t really do anything “spiritual” — we talked and laughed and told stories and caught up on life. But we did do something supernatural. We obeyed God’s call to come together and feast. What we experienced had little to do with what we ate and everything to do with the connection that happened. We gathered as the family of God, feasting on love that never fails and laughter that is such good medicine (1 Corinthians 13:8, Proverbs 17:22)! No wonder we came away refreshed and fueled–better equipped to face the heat and drought and weariness of our circumstances.
Everyone asked for the recipes for this gluten free summertime feast. Chicken salad was the entrée, and I added a hearty black and wild rice salad for our vegetarian friends. Fresh fruit, vine-ripened tomato slices, deviled eggs, and gluten free crackers completed the menu. Cookies and coffee were offered for dessert. I hope you will enjoy these recipes for your next light lunch, beach trip, or tailgate.
chicken salad
4 bone-in chicken breasts, cooked
¾ cup pecans
½ cup celery, chopped fine
½ cup scallion, chopped
½ cup dried cranberries
¾ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Cook chicken breasts in seasoned water until done, about 30 minutes. Leave them in the broth to cool (at least 1 hour and up to overnight). Remove chicken from the bone, shredding with your fingers, and then chop finely with a knife. Toast pecans for about 8 minutes in the oven or 1 to 2 minutes in the microwave. Let the nuts cool slightly and chop coarsely. Mix mayonnaise with the remaining ingredients, whisking to blend well.
Combine all ingredients and adjust seasonings to your liking. (This ratio of dressing to chicken does not yield a very creamy style of chicken salad. Good for my family, but you may prefer more mayonnaise.) Serves 12. This recipe is definitely better the 2nd day!
Recipe adapted from one shared by Karyn Badeaux. She gave a lovely birthday lunch for our friend Debbie Brazeal and much of my inspiration for this party came from her!
rice salad
1½ cup black rice
½ cup wild rice
Kosher salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons honey
½ cup scallions, chopped
½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup apple, chopped
1 cup pistachios, toasted
Cook black rice and wild rice in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 35-40 minutes; drain and rinse, shaking off as much water as possible. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet and let cool.
Whisk vinegar, honey, and remaining ¼ cup oil in a large bowl. Add black rice and wild rice, scallions, apples, bell pepper, and pistachios; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. (This recipe must sit overnight to let it absorb the dressing. If serving the same day, use only part of the dressing mixture before serving. Save the remainder and add before storing.)
Adapted from Bon Appétit, January 2014

A Homecoming Feast

By , June 17, 2014 3:57 pm

When they stepped ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there with fish on it and some bread. Then Jesus said to them…”Come and eat.”

John 21:9-12 GNT

The scene where Jesus cooks breakfast for His friends is possibly my favorite glimpse of Him in Scripture. He is the risen Lord, having defeated sin and death, and still He reaches out to those He loves with such humanity and simplicity. He chooses to minister to them over a meal! This is my ministry in this season, too; He’s teaching me what it means to feast.
My son recently moved home to Birmingham for his fourth year of med school. I had been anticipating (with some angst) Jackson’s relentless appetite, his ever-changing schedule, and my own heavy workload as a pharmacist. “Lord, what am I going to cook and when?” I cried out as I tried to generate a menu. The Holy Spirit reminded me to “seek first His kingdom” and trust the promise that He will help me.
So I put down my grocery list and pulled out my list of verses on the theme of “feast.” My eyes nearly popped out of my head when they landed on this passage:

We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time!

…Your father has ordered a feast—barbequed beef!

—because he has (his son) home safe and sound.

Luke 15:24, 27 MSG


Perfect—so personal and so helpful! “Thank You, Lord! Barbequed beef brisket will be my first offering,” I said. I had been hankering for some street tacos, so I made the brisket in the slow cooker and served it with tortillas and a yummy chili sauce. God not only provided the vision, but He also gave me a friend who helped me develop the recipe I share below.
My heart feasted as we ate those tacos together as a family. It was a celebration of the start of this special year, when—like the family in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son–my grown son will be home again. I was also celebrating the dawning of a new understanding of all that Jesus meant when He said, “Feed My sheep.”
Barbequed Beef Brisket
“Crock Pot Queen” is one of the many pseudonyms I have for multi-talented Dana Smith. (She is also the administrator for this website.) Her technique for pre-cooking the brisket yielded incredibly succulent shredded beef, not a bit stringy like other recipes I’ve tried. Blame her and thank her for the extra step—it is not difficult, just requires a little planning ahead. Also, Dana uses prepared barbeque sauce instead of the homemade chili sauce when she is serving a Southern barbeque dinner.
Brisket Ingredients:
1 beef brisket (3 to 4 lb.)
2 teaspoons salt
1 medium onion, sliced
1 bunch cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
¼ cup beef broth
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
Salt and pepper to taste
Tortillas, warmed, for serving (we like the small corn tortillas)
Assorted taco toppings (cilantro, jack cheese, guacamole, or your favorite salsas—the mango salsa from Whole Foods produce section was fantastic here!)
Sauce Ingredients:
1 poblano pepper
2 jalapeno peppers
2 serrano peppers
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 can (7.5 oz.) chipotles in adobo sauce
½ onion, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 ¾ cups beef broth
Precook the beef: Cut brisket into 3-inch chunks. Rub the pieces evenly with salt. Place sliced onion and meat in a greased slow cooker, then top with cilantro and ¼ cup beef broth. (Mine is the older 2-quart size, so you may want to adjust quantities accordingly.) Cook over night on the low setting. Take the meat out of the pot in the morning. Drain and bring to room temperature or refrigerate to complete the recipe later.
Prepare the sauce: Stem, seed, and chop the peppers. Transfer them to a blender. Add garlic, three chipotles, 1 to 2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce, onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, honey, vinegar, 1 tablespoon salt, and the oregano to the blender; puree until smooth. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat; add the chili sauce and cook, stirring until thick and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Pour in the broth and reduce until slightly thickened. (If this is more than you want to try, look in the Hispanic section of your grocery store and try a bottled sauce instead.)
Complete the recipe: Season the meat all over with salt and pepper and transfer to slow cooker. Add the bay leaves and cinnamon stick, and then pour in the sauce. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours. (Alternatively, cook the meat in a large Dutch oven, covered, for 1½ hours at 350 degrees; uncover and cook 30 minutes more.) Discard bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Shred the beef with 2 forks; season with salt and pepper. Serve the shredded beef in tortillas along with the toppings.
Crock Pot Queen, Dana Smith
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