Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

All my life I have heard speakers and ministers call people to a relationship with Jesus.  One of the ways that ministers often communicate this relationship is by asking individuals if they want Jesus to be the “Lord” of their life.

There are many times where I have run into what I like to call “church” words. “Church” words are words that are often spoken in our churches that are never actually explained, but words that you are supposed to know. In student ministry I see this a lot with teenagers because I think they are way better at being honest when they do not understand something. I have learned that “Lord” is actually one of these “church” words.

I have been calling and leading people to committ to making Jesus the Lord of their life. However, this can be really dangerous if people do not fully understand what that Jesus being the Lord of their life actually looks like. It is like when I committed to helping with a local fundraiser only to learn when I got there that I was going to have be in a dunk tank in low 50 degree weather.

We have to know what we are committing to.

I was really struggling with how I could communicate to teenagers what making Jesus the Lord of their life really meant. We do not live in a country or time where Lords are culturally relevant or common. It seems old school.

Finally God revealed how to explain Jesus being my Lord to me while I was making (of all things) Ramen noodles. Get this…Jesus is the strainer of my life.

Let me explain…

When you are making noodles a few things are essential: noodles, a pot, boiling water, and a strainer. Now without pretending to be Rachel Ray, you simply cook the noodles in the pot of boiling water. When the noodles are ready, you pour the noodles and water out of the pot into the strainer and your noodles are ready to eat.

Now what/who determines what you actually eat in that process? Do you? Yes, by free will you pick out what you want to eat. You put in the necessary work to prepare the food, but the strainer actually determines what you eat. The moment you pour the water and noodles into the strainer, you are no longer in control. You are trusting the strainer to do its job (separate what you need to eat and what you do not need to eat) and you eat what the strainer determines you should eat.

In the same way when you accept Jesus as your Lord, Jesus becomes the strainer in your life. Everything you do should go through Him. He is the one who decides things for you. Every situation that you are in should go through the strainer of Jesus when you accept Him as your savior. When you do that, Jesus (not you) is the one who decides what you do.

How should you parent your child? Put it in the strainer. What boundaries should I have in my dating relationships? Put it in the strainer. How should I treat the guy nobody likes? Put it in the strainer. How should I handle my finances? Put it in the strainer. How do I treat my spouse when we are in a big fight? Put it in the strainer.

Get the point yet? Jesus is a good strainer. When we get serious about dedicating our entire life to Him, our life should look different. That happens by putting our entire life in the strainer of Jesus and let Him determine what is kept and what is taken away. What a beautiful way to live!

After thinking about Lordship this way, I realized that many people have accepted Jesus as their savior, but not their lord. Jesus wants and can handle both jobs.

Is Jesus the strainer of your life?

In two months, I will be 29 years old. I do not consider that to be old. However, there are certain things in this life that I either experience or feel that help me realize that I am definitely not in the “young” category.

Check out this list of things that make me feel old. Feel free to contribute and add on to the list.

THINGS THAT MAKE ME FEEL OLD…

  • Drinking coffee.
  • Making a mortgage payment.
  • How I feel after playing back-to-back basketball games.
  • Seeing confusion on the faces of students when I make a “Wonder Years” reference.
  • Getting really excited when I hear a Guns-N-Roses come on.
  • Saying “I remember watching the original Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in the theater,” every time I see the trailer for the new Robin Hood movie. Then immediately thinking, “Man, Robin Hood: Men in Tights is a great movie.”
  • Having/thinking about retirement, stocks, and investments.
  • Ever using the word “portfolio”.
  • One word: INSURANCE (health, dental, vision, maternity, life, car, house, etc.)
  • Getting up really early.
  • Not being able to eat Taco Bell because of what it does to “my system”.
  • Exchanging business cards.
  • Getting destroyed in the newer video games because I don’t know all of the buttons.
  • Thinking everything on MTV is lame and ridiculous.
  • Having to print out all my Scripture references during a sermon because I can’t read the small font in my Bible.
  • Making a Milli Vanilli or New Kids on the Block joke and getting no response.
  • The only trophy I can ever get now is for fantasy football.
  • In two years, all the 6th graders in student ministry will have born in the 2000s.
  • The fact that I remember Michael Jackson as cool, then creepy, and then cool again.
  • Remembering Mike Tyson as an incredible boxer, not a psycho. And having an incredible video game on NES.
  • Guys & girls that were in my student ministry are now getting married.

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What are some things make you feel old?

Michael Bolton’s passion-filled song lyrics “Tell me how am I supposed to live without you…” have been running through my head the past couple of days.

Heather left Friday for a week-long work trip to Atlanta, leaving me, Gaby, and Kate home alone to fend for ourselves.

For those of you who know my lovely wife, you know that she is a wonderful person. You also know that I am incredibly spoiled by her. With Heather being gone, my life is affected many ways.

Probably the number one way my life is affected with Heather out-of-town is FOOD.

During these times, I go on the “Heather-out-of town” diet.

Because Heather does probably 90% of the cooking in the Cromer house, my diet changes considerably when she is gone. For starters, I eat out a lot more, which is a big deal for me because I do not like to eat out unless their is a relational purpose.

Some of the most entertaining parts of the “Heather-out-of-town” diet is when I attempt to eat at the house. It is like I go into survival mode. I eat weird combinations of food. For dinner Saturday night I ended up having eggs, a scoop of crunchy peanut butter, trail mix, a tangerine, and a pinch of turkey.

It is almost like I step into a time machine where I am magically teleported back to eating things that I ate as a child or in college. The other day I ate a lunchables for lunch. A lunchables! I have not had one of those since I was in elementary school. The “Heather-out-of-town” diet consists of ramen noodles, PBJs, BBQ beef tips, bowls of cereal, toast, microwave Chicken cordon blues, and frozen pizzas.

On the “Heather-out-of-town” diet, food becomes more about survival, not enjoyment. I become very Bear Grylls-like. I focus more on getting necessary proteins and vitamins in my system simply to survive. I think about hunting. I eat random, weird things I find in the back in the pantry. Expiration dates become irrelevant. Like a soldier stranded in enemy territory without a rescue, I even start to ration the food we have throughout the week so I will not have to go to the grocery store.

Bottom line, the “Heather-out-of-town” is not pretty.

Never thought God would remind of one of his timeless truths through breakfast, but he did. That is what I get for putting God in a box.

After my workout this morning, my amazing wife decided to make me breakfast. The menu called for a chocolate peanut butter protein smoothie and an apple. She reached into the refrigerator and picked out what looked to be the freshest, best apple. As she began to cut into the apple, the inside was rotten and a very dark brown.

Heather simply asked, “How can an apple that looks that good be so bad on the inside?”

I replied, “That will preach.”

Nobody wants to eat a rotten apple, no matter how appetizing it may look on the outside. Nobody wants to drive a car with a jacked up engine, no matter how amazing it may look on the outside. Nobody wants to live in a house that is completely destroyed on the inside, even if it is the most beautiful house in the entire neighborhood.

What’s on the inside really matters – to us and to God.

Are you on the outside a reflection of what is on the inside? Does the inside of you match the outside of you? If there is any part of your life that looks like the apple from my breakfast (awesome on the outside, but dead on the inside), let me encourage you not be content with living life like that.

This morning’s apple experience reminded me of Hillsong United‘s song “Inside Out” where it says, “My heart and my soul, Lord I give you control. Consume me from the inside out, Lord. Let justice and praise become my embrace. To love you from the inside out.

That is my prayer today.

A big storm has been slamming the entire state of Oklahoma since yesterday afternoon. In the past 24 hours, it has been a steady flow of freezing rain, ice, sleet, and snow. There is a good chance that Heather and I will be snowed-in our house for the next two days.

With the reality of being snowed-in for 2+ days settling in, the question becomes what to do in this situation without being bored out of my mind.

Here’s my list of things to do while snowed-in…

  • Winter house cleaning – clean the entire house
  • Brush the dogs
  • Give the dogs a bath
  • Finally play my new Xbox 360
  • Watch everything saved on the DVR
  • Read a book
  • Watch LOST season 5 to prepare for next week’s season 6 premiere
  • Cut my hair
  • Creative cooking
  • FacebookTwitter like a mad dog
  • Take a nap
  • P90X workout

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What else should I add to my list? What else is there to do when you are snowed-in?

Yes, I am going to attempt to start blogging. I hope to share a little of my brain with world wide web from time to time. I will try to write from time to time on a variety of subjects…life, faith, family, sports, random, etc. If you know me, then you know that my brain is always going. I think from the time I wake up till the time I go to bed. Let’s see if I can get some of those thoughts out on the world wide web so the entire global civilization with a computer can see them. What a brilliant idea!” – Brian Cromer, March 11, 2008

This is a quote from the first briancromer.com post ever. Nearly 1 year & 9 months, 470 posts, and over 130,000 visitors later, it’s time to take a look back at the year that was. This is briancromer.com’s Top 10 Blog Posts of 2009. Some of you reading this are newer to the blog and may have missed some of the earlier moments. I invite you to click on the links and enjoy some of the moments that you may have missed. Some of you have been around since day one (Heather & Mom). I invite you to take a stroll down memory lane, maybe take a look at the comments that you have posted. Without further adieu, the Top 10…

#10 OFFICIALLY ON TWITTER – August 17, 2009

“I am going on record and saying that I will not EVER use twitter. :)” That sentence was taken from my blog post on April 8, 2009. I put this post on the Top 10 list because I like to poke fun of myself and I am suffering from a bad case of foot in mouth disease. By the way, you can follow me on twitter HERE.

#9 GREATEST PITCHER OF ALL TIME – August 4, 2009

It is no secret that I am a huge New York Yankees fan. 2009 was a great year to be a Yankees fan as they won the 27th World Series in franchise history. On November 5, things were again right in the world. That day I woke up refreshed and something was different. Food tasted better. Air was fresher. Traffic seemed lighter. The sun was brighter. And then I realized that the Yankees won #27. That championship could not have been won without Mariano Rivera, who I argue in this controversial post is the greatest pitcher of all time.

*Also, check out this post explaining New York Yankees HOPE Week, which was a week full of the Yankees reaching out  and serving their community.

#8 DEEP THOUGHTS BY B.DAVID VOS – June 16, 2009

Creating and editing videos is one of my least talked about passions. I often wish I had more time to dedicate towards growing more in this creative outlet. I made quite a few videos this years. These ones from Sulphur Springs Workcamp 2009 are my favorite. Others from this year include TUESDAY MORNING, MESSY OR NOT MESSY, REVOLUTION ANNOUNCEMENTS (didn’t make this one, but hilarious), SHOOT EM UP, and GALLON CHALLENGE ANNOUNCEMENTS.

#7 SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT CHALLENGE – February 18, 2009

This is a story where I got to brag on my incredible wife. This is just a small taste of how amazing she truly is. I seriously am a lucky man and I know it. She is amazing. She is my best friend. She makes me a better person. And she loves God more than she could ever love me.

#6 TOP 10 P90X YOGA POSES – August 13, 2009

One of my most crucial guidelines about my blog is that I never want to take myself too seriously. I know I am a dork, so I embrace that and in the process, you experience a good laugh at my expense. Over the past 5+ months, I have been doing P90X. Part of the P90X workout includes a yoga workout. I quickly learned that Brian Cromer and yoga do not go together. For your enjoyment and laughter, I decided to let Heather take pictures of me during a P90X yoga workout to help give you an idea how hilarious and ridiculous I look doing this workout.

#5 NEW HOUSE TOUR – November 13, 2009

This was the first ever video blog on briancromer.com. I am toying around of doing this more in the future. What did you think? Good stuff? Would you like to see more video blogs?

#4 COWTOWN MARATHON PART 1, PART 2, PART 3, PART 4, & PART 5 – March 2-6, 2009

On Saturday, February 28, 2009, I ran the Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth, Texas. This was marathon #3 for me, but the first marathon since having this blog. Over these 5 posts, I gave a detailed account of the events leading up to the race and the race itself. My goal was to chronicle this out so that I could remember the marathon.

#3 CONFESSIONS OF A BLOGGER – August 24, 2009

Like I said earlier, I have been blogging since March 2008. By no means does 22 months of blogging qualify me as a blogging expert. I do not have this whole blogging thing figured out. However, in the past 22 months I have learned a thing or two about blogging and myself in the process. This post has some blogging tips and things I have learned while blogging.

#2 BIG NEWS – June 15, 2009

2009 was a big year for the Cromer family. If I had to describe this year in one word, that word would be transition. On June 14, 2009, I announced that I was stepping down as youth pastor of the Shannon Oaks Church in Sulphur Springs, Texas and moving to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to be the student pastor at NORTHchurch. It was an incredibly difficult, bittersweet, and exciting decision to make. Making a healthy transition on both ends was a big deal to Heather and I, and God answered those prayers. This post is Heather and I’s letter publicly announcing our decision.

#1 JESUS RUINED MY LIFE – January 15, 2009

No extravagant words for this one. The title speaks for itself. This one simply is my favorite blog post of 2009.

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If you want to go through 222 blog posts from 2009 and make your own top 10 list, that would be sweet. Which ones did I miss? What blog post should have been on the top 10 that wasn’t? What was your favorite blog post of 2009? GYM GUYS? STARS? SOCIAL MEDIA REVOLUTION? PROSPERITY GOSPEL? SPONGES? I’M A LEADER? JOHN 3:16 HOTTEST GOOGLE SEARCH?

McRidiculous

Posted: September 25, 2009 in Culture, Food, Funny, Life, People, Random
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500mcdmap

I recently found THIS WEBSITE where Stephen Von Worley created a map of the USA showing where McDonalds outlets are. Every light on this map is an actual McDonalds restaurant. That’s a lot of Big Macs, McRibs, fries, and McFlurries.

As you can see, they are (almost) everywhere! You’ll have to go to South Dakota to get 100 miles away from a McDonalds.

What sticks out to you when you look at this picture?

Thoughts?

Starbucks Crisis

Posted: September 21, 2009 in Food, Funny, Life, People, Random
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starbucks logo

I’m lost.

Not spiritually, of course. I am secure (and stoked out of my mind) that I am going to heaven. I hope you are going with me. If not, let’s do something about that, ok?

Back on topic…

I’m lost.

Recently, I have been finding myself locked up in confusion not knowing what to order at Starbucks. At one time in my life, the ordering process at Starbucks was automatic. “What can I get started for you?” the kind barista would ask. “Grande caramel frappuccino with no whip cream and extra caramel please,” I would quickly reply with a boyish grin.

Recently, that has all changed. Somewhere along the way, my staple Starbucks drink became too sweet. It was a good run while it lasted, but it became obvious that it is time for a Starbucks drink of choice change.

However, I do not have a clue where to start.

1. I do not understand over half of the Starbucks menu. I am not fluent in the Starbucks lingo. I am not sure the difference between a cappuccino, espresso, or latte. I have no clue what chai is. Ordering shots makes me think that I am sinning. The menu often looks like this to me…

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2. I am not a hardcore drink straight black coffee kind of guy. I like the (as my Dad likes to call them…) “froo froo” drinks. When I go to Starbucks, I pretty much want a liquid dessert.

I need your help.

I am having a Starbucks crisis.

What is your favorite Starbucks drink? Is there a drink you would recommend while I am in this Starbucks exploring stage?

On Friday night, Heather and I had a chance to hang out with two amazing couples from NORTHchurch. We had a great night talking, laughing, swapping stories, and eating pizza at The Wedge Pizzeria. However, the highlight of my night was when Luke & Mackenzie’s English bulldog, Amos, came out wearing his protective eye-wear.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you THE DOGGLES

doggles

urbanspoon logo

Urbanspoon is an online company that provides restaurant information. This company provides information, reviews, suggestions, and menus for restaurants all over the world.

Because of our recent move to Oklahoma City, OK (which is a much bigger city than Sulphur Springs, TX), Heather and I are instituting our “Saturday night Urbanspoon date night”. For a while now, the Urbanspoon iPhone app will determine our Saturday nights.

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Urbanspoon picked EARL’S RIB PALACE. Decent food. Very affordable. Good service.

earls

earls2