Last night we had an outreach family concert at church with 3 (of the 6 pictured above) musicians- piano, violin, and clarinet. I have to say that my years growing up with 2 sisters who played the clarinet did not endear me to this instrument (sorry Beth and Hannah!)… but I was pleasantly surprised last night by the beauty of these three instruments together. The musicians were neat believers who shared between songs about the reality of Christ in their lives and in their music. We had been hesitant to invite friends, not knowing who would really be interested in classical music. We were really surprised by the turnout, and that the 2 families who we invited came, as well as numerous adult students from our English classes. There were about 120 or so in attendance, and everyone- kids and adults, loved the concert. It was great to be sitting together in the concert, kids and adults, believers and not-yet-believers, and enjoy listening to beautiful music. We had to wonder if this were in the US how many families would enjoy a classical music outing…
Our friends the Ishidas went with us, as well as Nats. and her family (see Parakeet and Open doors entry). Afterwards, a group of us went out for tonkatsu (deep-fried pork- wonderful!) and really enjoyed the time together.
Sin cake… is what I made for the tea time afterwards. I found the recipe in a magazine, and it intrigued me – called “Hazel Higdon’s Sin Cake.” (If anyone knows Hazel, give her a big kiss for me~!) It is a great recipe- and got rave reviews. I will include it below. I couldn’t help thinking as I had to explain the name of “Sin Cake” to our Japanese friends how appropriate it is. Sin (cake) and all- should be brought to church! It’s where we find out what to do with these yucky areas of our life…its where our friends around us can hear stories from real people about how God has made a difference in our lives. And it’s where we believers can constantly find redemption for the ongoing struggles we are dealing with. So often we segregate church from nonchurch, finding it too challenging to mix the two so we just don’t.
Elton Trueblood compared evangelism to fire. He said that evangelism occurs when Christians are so ignited by their contact with Christ that they in turn set other fires. It is easy to determine when something is aflame. It ignites other material. Any fire that does not spread will eventually go out. A church without evangelism, he said, is a contradiction in terms, just as fire that does not burn is a contradiction.
Keep our church burning, Oh Lord!
Here’s the sin cake recipe:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped nuts
8 Tablespoons butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 pound confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 13×9 pan.
2. To make the first layer: stir ingredients in a blow until resembles coarse crumbs. Lightly pack crumbs over bottom of pan.
3. Second Layer: Beat ingredients at medium until smooth; spread on top of the first layer. Bake until top is set and golden, 35-40 minutes. Let stand several hours or overnight before cutting. Yields 48 squares