Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Greatest Gift!

The verdict from the Judge came.

The courtroom was silent, as the Judge spoke.


My heart sank into my chest and panic overcame me as my body began to shake with fear. What was I going to do now? I knew I was guilty and had to pay for my crimes. But somehow I thought, it wouldn't turn out this way. I thought I could get out of it. I thought I had time to undo all the bad I had done. I wanted to change, really I did. But I couldn't erase the things that I had done. 

The police began to escort me out the door. Death was  my punishment.

I knew people died young and old but never thought I would one day die. Not like this. 

I pleaded with the Judge, "Please, another way! I'm sorry! I didn't mean to let it get this far. I can work off my wrong doings and do good things in place of them. Can't I fix what I've done?" 

My plea fell on deaf ears. The verdict was final. 

Then from the back of the courtroom came a voice. A man came forward.

"I will take her place." 

The Judge halted in his steps and looked back at the man. "Her sentence is death, are you sure?"

"Yes, I will take her place."

Before I could stop him, my chains were set free, and this innocent man was taken in my place. How could he? How could the Judge agree to this? Tears streamed from my eyes, as guilt flooded my every being. I deserved to die. I committed the crimes not him. How could he pay such a high price in my place?

That man was my Father.

Why would a Father sacrifice his own life for his daughter? Unconditional love. 
What parent in their right mind wouldn't do anything to save their own child?
As simple as this made up story is to understand- why is it that people today make the story of Jesus coming, his life, burial and resurrection so complicated to accept and believe? Why do we reject such simple truth.

Although this story was made up, it's a very real picture of our sin and the price that we owe-eternal separation from God, an eternity in hell. There will come a day when we will stand before God and give an account of our life.
Hebrews 9:27 - And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

We are all guilty of our sin. There is none righteous no not one. 

But God sent his son, Jesus to this earth for one purpose, to redeem us.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Just like in my story- Jesus, took our place. He tasted death so we don't have to spend an eternity separated from God. On our own it's impossible to erase our sins. No good deed will undo what sin we have already committed. Hell was made for Satan and his angels, but God can not let sin enter into Heaven because Heaven is a perfect place.  

Matthew 25:41 - Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Hope in the Cross of Calvary:
Romans 8:1 - [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

The Bible says in John 3, that God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on Christ is not condemned but he that believeth not is condemned already.

If you've never placed your faith in Jesus Christ, then you fall into the condemned already category. Death- eternal separation from God- is your punishment. But God doesn't want you to die and spend an eternity separated from Him.

God sent his son, Jesus, born of a virgin, to this earth to save us. That's why we celebrate Christmas. We celebrate the birth of Christ because it is a reminder of God's ultimate sacrifice to us- His Son. Jesus willingly left Heaven to be born of a virgin, to be made human, a helpless baby, to die in our place. If that isn't Love then I don't know what is.

What is it that keeps a person from accepting Christ as their Lord and Savior? I believe whole heartedly, that it's pride. Thinking that they don't "need" Jesus because they can make it on their own- pride. 
 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  We must humble ourselves as little children.
Thinking they have time and can do it later- stupidity.  We aren't promised tomorrow. Our life is but a vapor that is here for a little while and then vanisheth away (James 4:14). Think about it. Eternity-is endless time. Our 80 years that we have on this earth compared to even 1,000 years is just a tiny drop in the bucket. Time is precious. Don't wait to make this decision.

Will you accept God's gift of salvation this Christmas? And no matter where you are in the world, you can celebrate Christmas for it's real meaning.

If you want to accept Christ as your Lord and Savior please read on to the verses I have attached below. There's nothing magical about it- it's a simple step of faith and putting your trust in God's hands.
I'm so thankful someone told me about Christ and salvation. It is the single most important decision a person can make. I feel so unworthy that Jesus would take my place on the cross of Calvary. I deserved death not him. But I am justified by the blood of Jesus. Won't you put your faith in Christ today?

To all of you, I wish you a very
Merry Christmas!

Each year my heart is burdened for one or two people God has placed in my life and for their salvation. It is my prayer that just one soul might come to know Him this Christmas season. What a great gift that would be! Don't forget to share God's love to all those around you during the hustle and bustle of Christmas!

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;- Romans 3:23

1. We are all sinners.
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Romans 5:12
 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. I John 1:8
I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am [he], ye shall die in your sins. John 8:24

2. We need a Savior. 
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12 

3. Christ paid the penalty for our sin. 
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Ephesians 2:8

4. We must confess our sins. 
 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9

5. Simply accept God's gift of salvation. Put your faith in the One who loves you the most. Give your life to Christ. I promise you won't regret it. 

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Pray to God and ask Him into your heart. 
If you've never prayed or don't do it often-it's simple. Just talk to God like you would a friend but maybe a little more respectful ;). Tell him from your heart that you accept his free gift of salvation. That you are putting your trust in Him completely and fully.  Confess your sins that you have committed. 
God will forgive you of all your sins, past, present and future. Salvation is a one time gift and decision. God promises his eternal gift of salvation to all who believe. 

If you've just accepted Christ as your Savior, I beg of you to let me know through email or a comment. I would love to rejoice with you and pray for you. jnapranger@yahoo.com is my email address. Isn't God good?! Merry Christmas!! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Letters to Jacob #1

My Sweet Little Boy,

   Well Jacob, Mommy has been slacking in writing you letters. I wrote a few notes to you before you were born but none after! Time sure has flown since that great day that we welcomed you into this world. You are just a couple weeks shy of being 14 months old. And I am loving this stage of your life!

As I watched you sleep during your nap time (we love nap time!) I couldn't help but get lost in thought. I don't know why my thoughts drifted to sentimental mode but they did. My heart just melts when I look at your sweet face and you smile back at me. Watching you sleep so peacefully in your pack n play, made me realize that this stage of life won't last forever. You look so tiny in there and fit just perfectly in your bed. But soon you will outgrow it and get a big boy bed. Part of me looks forward to you growing up but another part of me wants to freeze time and keep you little forever!

One day, Lord willing, you will get married and have your own family.
I know that's how I feel about you getting married too!
I only get to hold you like this once and I don't want to miss any moments. To be honest, I get a little jealous at the thought of another woman taking care of you, but I'm sure she will do a great job and you'll give us lots of grand babies!!! I never knew what a joy having a son would bring me until the Lord blessed us with you. You are so much fun! You must get that from my side of the family. (Kidding- Daddy's side of the family is a lot of fun too!) 

So today you woke us up very early, 8:30am. ;) I always look forward to putting you to bed each night and getting you out of bed every morning. Our night time ritual consists of brushing your teeth with the electric toothbrush, which you love, putting your pi's on and a clean diaper if needed, reading a Bible story and saying our prayers. It's so nice to be able to have a "routine" now that we can put you in your own room and be a family! (Did you know Mommy and Daddy haven't had a home since you were born?! We still don't but we will soon! God has always provided a place for us to live since the day we brought you home!) I love tucking you into bed and then rescuing you in the morning when you want out!

Lately, you've learned to put your hands out and reach for me while frantically squishing your hands. I love that!! :) I'll bend over and you'll wrap your arms around my neck and lay your head on my shoulder and snuggle. You never ever ever snuggled us!! For the first two weeks of your life you did but after that forget it! Daddy and I are enjoying this snuggly stage! :) And now you are walking really well! You always want what we are eating and drinking rather than what's in front of you. You love coffee too! Definitely our son! And you didn't like olives when you tried them last week (that's my boy!) You are growing up too fast!

Today after breakfast, we went in the living room to watch you play with your toys as we snuggled on the couch and drank coffee. You did not like not being invited to snuggle on the couch! You were very jealous of Daddy and pushed his head away from me and tried pulling me away! Haha. We brought you up on the couch to join us and you weren't satisfied until I moved away from Daddy and you had me all to yourself! You gave me lots of kisses and snuggles until Daddy interrupted and tickled you. I wish I could have frozen time at that moment. Everything seemed perfect. We were just us- happy as could be!

We are very privileged to get to raise you and have you for 18 years, Lord willing. I will cherish the moments we have together! I love you with all my heart! I pray daily for you and your future wife. :) May the Lord use you in whatever way He sees fit!

Your Always Young and Beautiful,
Mommy! :)

Hello squishy baby!! :) The moment you stole my heart!
A sleeping newborn! Mama's favorite!
You'll always be my little pumpkin!

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Power of Words

I have been behind in keeping up with the weekly verses on my blog. So I hope to change that! This week I want to meditate on a couple of verses.

This week I will be studying on the power of words. 
Now those of you who know me, know I enjoy a little sarcasm here and there. But I have to be careful to not over-do it at times. (Some people are just easy targets for my sense of humor and usually those are the ones who can be a little sensitive… Great peace have they that love thy law and nothing shall offend them. Now if we all could memorize that one! :)
I would never want to intentionally hurt someone with my words. I want to be known as someone who lifts up and encourages others so Christ can be seen through me. My prayer is that the Lord would bring just one person my way each day to be a blessing and an encouragement to. So here are the verses the Lord gave me today. 

Proverbs 12:25 & 16:24

"Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: 
but a good word maketh it glad.

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones."

As you go about your week this week, let's be mindful to encourage one another. 
This time of year although it is such a happy time of year, it can also be a very difficult time of year for some. For many it means celebrating the holidays without loved ones for the first time. 

Don't forget to look around you as you go about preparing for the holidays. Don't be too busy to notice people and pray for them. And after you've prayed for them let them know it in a card or in conversation. You will be surprised at the blessing you will be to them! 

And this is also a great time of year to bring up Christ in conversation with others and invite them to church. What better way to enjoy the holidays then sharing the good news of Christ?! Let's go tell the world! And be a Light for Christ in all that we say and do. 

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:21

Death and life are in the power of the tongue--think before you speak! What do your words say? Do they lift up others? Do they share the good news of Christ? Are they health to the bones and sweet like honeycomb? 

Have a great week! 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Becoming a Runner

Running was a sport that looked like fun but I could never get started. 

One determined day, I laced up my shoes and headed out the door. Today was the day I would become a runner! But after 30 seconds of running, I was so winded and tired. I thought I was crazy to try to start running and I better head back inside before anyone witnessed my failed attempt at running. 

After I was married, I was determined again! I was working at Starbucks and my awesome manager, Josh was a runner. We also had a lot of regulars who were runners and I wanted to be a part of the elite club! So again, I laced up my shoes and went with my handsome guy out for a run. 

James was being a good motivator and tried to push me to run further and longer than I wanted to. It was good for me! We would run about 1.5 miles. But after a few weeks of running, I would slowly quit. It was too hard! 

Then in February 2012, we received the most exciting news- we were expecting! In my second trimester, I wanted to start some light exercise. I thought I could power walk for a mile. I could do that- it's not running but it's better than walking, right? Yet again, I laced up those tennis shoes, and headed out the door. Little did I know, I was about to run my first of many many miles, a journey of no return! 

There I was power walking in Rogersville, Missouri, (home of my awesome sister, Heather!). But after about a minute of brisk walking, I was bored. This was taking too long. So I decided I would run for a little bit to help speed up the process. I ran for about 30 seconds and then walked. After I caught my breath, I ran again. I did this for the whole mile. And once I finished, I was so excited! I RAN 1 MILE! Haha 

I wanted to work up to the point where I was running the entire mile and not walking. And I did! It took me awhile to work up to it but I did it. I remember being able to keep up with James the next time we ran together, it was a huge accomplishment for me! 

Throughout my entire pregnancy (up to two days before I went into labor) I ran 1-2 miles, five days a week. When I was tired or sore from running, I would make sure to go the next day. This helped stretch my legs and made me feel much better. At this time, I wasn't doing distance so I didn't need to rest days in between. But if you need a day of rest then take it! Don't burn yourself out but don't take the easy road either. :) It's okay to push yourself a little bit at a time! Only you know your body so listen to it! 

Running while pregnant isn't for everyone. I know many women have health conditions that don't allow it but the majority can exercise moderately! They say to never start something new while pregnant. But if it's light moderate exercise it's okay. Don't train for your first marathon or anything crazy like that but one mile a day is safe. Just make sure it's okay with your doctor or midwife. Running for me was great for my pregnancy. It helped with all the aches and pains and with delivery! 

Don't use being pregnant as an excuse to not exercise. Rather use it as a motivation to start! Do it for that sweet growing babe inside of you. Or if God has already blessed you with children, do it for them! You owe it to them and yourself to be healthy! I promise you won't regret it. 

For those of you who are interested in starting your running career, simply start. Every runner started off somewhere. I started pregnant and traveling on deputation! Nobody woke up one day, rolled out of bed and ran a marathon. Okay I'm sure there's someone but he's crazy and I'm sure never did that again. Or if your like my courageous sister in law, Hannah, you sign up for your first marathon after only running for a week and have only five months to train. But she will tell you more on that in a future post! She's awesome!

It takes time to build up to it. Start small and work your way up. Download an app and get started. I've heard a lot of beginners like Couch to 5K for a starting plan. Also download a running app to keep track of your progress. I love the Nike Plus running app. It keeps track of miles, calories burned, and you can write notes about your run (which is great if you're training for a marathon of half marathon.) it tells you your average pace and you can review all your miles in your run to see fastest and slower times. Currently, I've run 1,266 miles since Jacob was born, 211 runs and an average pace of 9:26. 

For those who have already begun your running journey, stay consistent! Consistency is key. Exercising one day a week won't result in much results if any. And challenge yourself! If you've never ran in a race sign up for a 5K! If you only walk 5K's work up to running the entire race. Sign up for a half marathon if you're comfortable running 3 miles. Most training plans are very doable. You'll be surprised what you can accomplish if you try! 

My next running posts will be on How to Stay Motivated and How I got started in Running Distance. I hope to write a running post at least every other week. And also have guest posts from other runners- their best advice and their journey into running. Stay tuned! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fajitas & Bologna

One of the things I looked forward to most about moving to Russia, was finally being able to settle down. Set up home, have friends over, decorate house- you know normal things people do when they don't travel all the time.

Well since we are house sitting, I can't completely settle in and set up home. However, I am able to invite friends over, which is one of my favorite things! Now typically, when I invite friends over I try to make a nice meal for them. I want them to enjoy themselves and the food! And when I'm planning a meal for guest, bologna is usually far far far from my mind!

This past Thursday, we invited one of the missionary families, James and Cassie Dean, and their girls over for dinner.
They actually just left today to head back to the States on furlough. Please pray for them as they travel and raise the additional support they need!
The power had been out all day, but just before they arrived, the power came back on! I had prepared all the food the day before so dinner was on the table in less than an hour. I was so thankful I had prepared ahead of time! We enjoyed our time together and had a nice hot Italian meal!

Then Monday, we invited our friends Matt and Katie Northcutt over. We had a lunch date and fajitas were on the menu. Sunday night was upon me and I wasn't in the cooking mood, but I knew I should go ahead and get everything ready. Then in the morning I could go for a run without worrying about doing a million things. So I did just that! I prepared and baked the apple pie, made salsa and hummus, and chopped up the chicken and veggies. Life was good.

It's Monday morning and what happens? You guessed it, the power went out again! Seriously, what are the odds?!?

Hmmm…what to do…reschedule? risk it?

The important things were done, apple pie, salsa and hummus! Mmmm we could live off of that. So I risked it!

Our guests arrive. Still no power…

2pm I reluctantly decided to go with making sandwiches. I didn't really want to serve my guests bologna when I had made a Mexican feast! Katie was actually pretty excited about eating bologna since she loves it and hadn't had it since the summer. James is the bologna eater in our home, (Gross! haha)  I prefer turkey! (Does anyone really know what's in bologna??) I felt a little bad to serve sandwiches when I had prepared a nice meal, but everyone was flexible and didn't seem to mind. ( I know secretly they were pining for some fajitas!)

5:45pm still no power. So we decided to head to their apartment in the city and make the fajitas for dinner and watch a Christmas movie.

6:02pm we were just about to pile in the car and then the power comes back on! Finally!

We ended up still going to the city and making our fajitas at their apartment and watching a Christmas movie. It was a impromptu progressive dinner and we had a great time!

The power actually just came back on today too after being off for five hours! Ha. My point is sometimes things happen in our lives that are out of our control, like the power going out. What we  do have control over is our reaction and our response to the situation. And even in situations where we do have some control, it's usually best to let go and let God work things out. How do you respond when things don't go according to plan? Are you trusting God in the areas you don't have control over? Or are  you trying to figure out 100 ways how you can fix it? Simply, trust God.

He knows you worked hard to make a nice Mexican feast for your friends, but for now He wants you to eat bologna and be thankful for it!

And be wise with your time, you never know when the power will go out! ;)

31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 ...for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. **

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Homemade Hummus & Salsa

The Christmas season is upon us! And I'm sure for many of you, that means Christmas parties galore! The temptation during the holidays is to eat unhealthy. Most people associate healthy eating with tasting bad but that is not the case here!

Here are two really simple and quick recipes to mix up the night before a party: Basic Garlic Hummus & Simple Salsa. The best part is they take about 10 minutes or less to prepare! 
You want to leave time for the flavors to marinate for a few hours before serving, but it's best overnight.

I've never made either salsa or hummus before so this was my first time. I can only imagine the recipes getting even more tastier the more I experiment.  I love chips and salsa and in recent years have discovered my love for hummus. You can buy salsa here in Siberia, but it's made by Heinz. And it taste like ketchup- yuck!!

I'm having friends over this afternoon for lunch and am making fajitas and I really wanted some hummus and salsa.

Basic Garlic Hummus

1 Can of Garbanzo beans (chick peas) drained and rinsed
2 tsp of fresh cilantro
1 fresh minced garlic clove or 2 tsp of garlic powder
2 tsp of fresh parsley
1/2 tsp of cumin
1 TBSP of olive oil
1 1/2 TBSP of tahini (sesame seed paste- I didn't have this and it can be made without it.) 

Add these to help cream the hummus
*1 TBSP of Sour cream ( I added this to make it a little more creamy. This is optional)
*1 TBSP of water (optional but I recommend. Add more if needed)

Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend. Scrape the sides to help cream hummus. When I blended everything it still tasted pretty bland- so I added the sour cream and a few extra seasonings that I like (Italian). So feel free to add whatever you like to your taste. 

Scrape into a bowl. Add paprika for color and a sprinkle of parsley and cilantro on top for decorations! 

Serve with tortilla chips, pita bread or veggies! 

Add 1/4 C of roasted red peppers
3 TBSP of lemon juice 
1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper  

Simple Salsa

Simple Salsa:
4 ripe tomatoes
1/4 C of cilantro ( I love cilantro!!)
1/3 C or less of finely chopped onion (or less depending on taste)
2 TBSP of finely chopped pepper (jalepeno, but I used green pepper since I didn't have a jalepeno)
1 tsp of minced garlic (or garlic powder)
Bowl two cups of hot water and pour over onion and green pepper. Let cook for about 5 minutes and drain and rinse with cold water. 
Add all ingredients to food processor. And pulse just until blended. Leave it chunky or puree it according to how you want the consistency. I like it chunky but processed a little bit for flavor. 

Again, you can make this as spicy or as mild as you like it. Omit or reduce onion for less of a kick and omit or reduce the jalepeno also. Or add more to make it spicy and throw in some cayenne pepper. I added too much onion to mine but I know for next time! 

Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy these two healthy dips for your holiday parties! 

Up next on the recipe posts will be : Apple Pie, and Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookies ( a fun twist on oatmeal raisin cookies!) 

"O taste and see that the Lord is good!"

Hope you enjoy my recipes as I am learning to cook from scratch here in Russia! 

I also welcome any salsa or hummus recipes that you like or any tricks and tips you would like to share! 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Sip of Humility

As I sit here unwinding from my day, I have in hand a warm cup tea accompanied with an amazing apple pie cookie. (Yes a cookie that taste like apple pie! Recipe to be posted soon!) Life is good! 

** Insert feed baby, feed husband, clean kitchen (for the 91st time today), sweep up mess made by Jacob, start dishwasher (praise the Lord for the dishwasher!) change another dirty diaper, train Jacob on the word "no", get Jacob ready for bed, realize his clothes need washed, throw laundry in the wash, take out clean clothes, hang clean clothes up to dry (dryer still broken), put away dry clothes that are hanging, sit down and get back in the writing zone! **

Okay now as I sit here and unwind from my day, I have an iced coffee in hand and am ready to relax! It's been a full and great day! We had a wonderful service today, and had the teens/kids stay over after service for tea and cookies. Then I went for a run, and visited our neighbor Babavara. Allow me to introduce you to Babavara.
This picture couldn't be more perfect because as you can see Jacob has candy! She just loves spoiling him! And I allow it since we don't normally give him a whole piece of chocolate (let alone 3!). I do have to cut him off after two pieces. Babavara, Grandma Barbara, is our beautiful next door neighbor. She has been widowed now for a little over two years ( I believe). I do my best to go over and visit her at least twice a week. It's a great way for me to learn a few new words each time I go. 

Before my sweet friend, DeeDee Sterling, left me all alone here in Siberia, we visited Babavara. As we entered her house, she welcomed us with her shiny smile and put some tea on. She began pulling things out of the fridge and insisted we eat up! Fruit, bread, chocolate…anything she could find. 

This act of kindness always humbles me. 

  It's customary here in Russia to offer your guests tea and something to eat when they come for a visit. I love this! Not just because I love to eat but because it's a good reminder to not be too busy to stop and take time for people. There have been several times we go to visit people, and it doesn't matter what time of day it is, what they are doing, they stop everything to make you feel welcomed into their home. They offer you tea and whatever they have to be a blessing. A sip of humility!

  I believe it would be pretty safe to say in America, we are a very schedule oriented people. If I were to pop in on a friend unexpectedly, I would probably be offered something to drink while my friend either ran around the house trying to tidy up or continued what she was doing while talking to me. And I would probably be guilty of the same thing. At times, I get so wrapped up in trying to make the house clean, and play hostess that I don't take time to stop and enjoy my company. Sure we have conversations, but as I'm doing the dishes and putting leftovers away, then getting out dessert and making coffee, then the vicious cycle repeats. This reminds me of a little story in the Bible…Mary and Martha. 
Martha & Mary Summed Up: 
Jesus came to Martha's house. Martha welcomed him into her home and immediately began preparing food and playing hostess, like any good woman! Her sister Mary simply sat at the feet of Jesus listening to him. (Lazy Mary!) So Martha got super stressed out and had had enough of doing all the work alone! So she came and whined to Jesus, asking him to make Mary come help her in the kitchen. Jesus calmly said, Silly Martha, Relax! Okay what he really said was, 
"Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41,42
Poor Martha! Martha gets a lot of bad PR (public relations). But Martha was being a good hostess. She was making her guest feel welcomed. If you were a hungry guest at Mary's house, you would still be a hungry guest when you left. So let's be honest, who would you want to host you? I don't know about you but I would want Martha! 
There needs to be a balance! 
But let's not miss the point here. Jesus said one thing is needful, and Mary hath chosen that good part. She realized what was most important and that was spending time with Jesus. 
First and foremost.
May we not be too busy in the ministry and doing things that we miss the most important part, spending time with Jesus. Satan uses busyness to distract us from our relationship with Christ. If Satan can distract us from spending time with Christ, then we go about doing our ministry in our own strength. And then Satan has won!
If it wasn't for people, we wouldn't have a ministry! How silly is it to be cumbered about many things, that we miss ministering the love of Christ to people?! Take time to enjoy your friends and family. Life is too short to be too busy!