Simply Grace . . . and Cooking

mixing bowlI love to cook. No, really I do . . . or at least that is, when I know what to cook . . . and when I’m not rushed . . . and when no one fusses about what I choose to cook. So basically, five to six times a year—seven tops—I love to cook. Other days, it’s sheer survival.

I’m always on the lookout for new recipes. But before adding a dish to my culinary repertoire, it must pass three tests: it must be simple to make, fast, and considered fabulous by at least three out of four family members—and no, the dog doesn’t count. But finding recipes that pass all three tests is no easy task.

Is it just me, or are today’s recipes a bit . . . well . . . over the top?

I mean, sure, for holidays and special days and sometimes even “just because” days, I can kick it up a notch in the kitchen. But for Tuesday-night-after-practice and Wednesday-night-before-church dinners, is there really a need to zest and grate, whip and purée? Couldn’t we just keep it simple?

And do you ever feel that way about faith?

Jesus did, I think. He took all the laws—hundreds and hundreds of them—and summed them up in two beautifully simple ones:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37–39 NIV).

Simply love . . . simply grace.

Thank You, Jesus.

Now . . . what to fix for dinner?

 

A Super Simple Supper . . .
Place 3 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a slow cooker. Cover with half a bottle of your favorite bbq sauce. (My crowd loves Sweet Baby Ray’s.) Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Shred the chicken, and add more sauce, if desired. Serve with a steamer bag of veggies and your favorite bread. Simply yummy.

Seeking Joy . . . and Finding It.

peace, mountain

Though the mountains be shaken
    and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
    nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
    says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
—Isaiah 54:10 NIV

Unfailing love . . .

promised peace . . .

compassion . . .

This is joy.

 

 photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/35557234@N07/5975314337″>Sunset Watching</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Seeking Joy . . . A New Day

Sunrise

It’s a troubling world we live in.

But then, I suppose, it’s been a troubling world from the moment we stepped from the Garden. The names change, the places and times change, but the struggles? They remain so very much the same.

And those struggles can be . . . overwhelming, weighing down hearts and hope, washing away dreams, and drowning joy. It’s the joy that I’m missing these days; it’s the joy I’m wishing I could see. So . . . I’m seeking.

“Seek and you will find”—that’s the promise of Matthew 7:7, the promise of our Lord who is faithful always, who is good always, and who keeps His promises always.

This seeking . . . it’s a deliberate journey to a different way of thinking, an outright adventure, a holy quest to live life abundantly.

Join me?

Because, yes, it’s a troubling word . . . but it’s also a new day.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.
—Psalm 143:8

Go ahead. Take the challenge. I dare you to think about this life we live in a different way. Seek the joy in this new morning . . . seek the Lord’s unfailing love . . .

How is God showing you His love today?

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/43322816@N08/4381739649″>Photo of the Week – Sunrise at Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge (DE)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Susanna

The-Book-of-Life_472_315_80

Susanna.

As I was reading my Bible this morning, I stumbled across her name in Luke 8:3. Though I‘ve read this verse many times, this is, perhaps, the first time I noticed her name. Susanna is one of several women who helped support Jesus and His disciples. The study notes in my Bible say that nothing else is known about her. But her name is written in His Word. Susanna.

How wonderful!

Her name is written there for everyone to see, for everyone to know that she loved the Lord. What a life she must have lived for Him, for her name to be recorded in His Book.

And then I remember.

My name is also recorded in His Book (Luke 10:20; Revelation 20:15). Not the Bible, no. But the Book of Life. And if you have become His child, your name is written there too.

How wonderful!

“Rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Luke 10:20