January 16, 2011
I Corinthians 13:4-8
“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails…”
I popped on over to Facebook yesterday to see what had been going on over the past few days with my friends and family. Some had been enjoying the leftovers of a rarely occurring snow storm. Another had been surprised by her boyfriend with a trip to NYC. One was reveling in his newly purchased Microsoft Kinect, while still another was lamenting her toddler’s tantrum-filled week. I read through these updates with some interest, but one update in particular gave me pause.
“What is love?” (or, to be more accurate, “…wat is lovee?? to u??) was the gist of the post belonging to my niece. She is approaching that age when friends begin to pair off and be “in love” for the first time. She had been hearing these friends talk about loving each other, and was wondering what this love stuff was all about. Remember that time? Oh, I am so glad that I don’t have to live through it again. 🙂
This update was one I felt compelled to respond to, almost as if I had been given a chance to go back and give my own younger self some sage advice that might have made a difference in the way I perceived life and love. And so I responded:
“Hmmmm… I think sometimes what people call Love is just not love at all, but just a feeling they have. Love is not a feeling. Love is a choice you make each and every day to put the wants and needs of others above your own, even if it means going without, or not getting what you want. It is a choice to care for others before you care for yourself. It is a choice to give without expecting anything in return. That’s what love is, in my humble opinion. 🙂 (check out 1 Corinthians chapter 13, verses 4-8 for a better explanation of what love is.)””
I realized as I was writing my response to her question that I was reciting I Corinthians 13:4-8 in my head. That really is the best answer to that question. It tells you what Love is, and what Love is not. And the best part is, it applies to any type of relationship. Mother/daughter, friend/friend, brother/sister, husband/wife. Real Love looks the same in any situation.
November 14, 2010
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
When I was little, my parents would close the door to our room after putting us to bed. The room would get so dark, especially in the winter time. But, while my sister and I were in our beds trying to go to sleep for the night, my parents were still up and moving around the house. The lights would still be on in the kitchen and in the hall, and some of that light would creep in under the crack at the bottom of our bedroom door.
Now, if I had gotten up and turned on our bedroom lights, I would not have noticed that little bit of light peeking in under the door. But, since it was the only light shining in a completely darkened room, it seemed so bright that it always drew my attention as I was trying to fall asleep.
I have heard people say things like, “I just don’t think I’m ready to go on a mission trip,” or “I’m not as strong in my walk as so-and-so, so I don’t think I’d do a good job at that.” I feel like my “light” is brighter at some times and dims a little at other times. But, no matter how strong of a glow that light casts, in darkness it is very noticeable.
October 31, 2010
Psalm 35: 8
Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
I love to cook. I try to prepare just about every meal we eat from scratch, because those home-cooked meals, more often than not, just taste better. Yesterday, I tried out a new soup recipe. It simmered over a low heat for a few hours, and it had the whole house smelling absolutely wonderful! I was really looking forward to finally sitting down over a big steaming bowl and enjoying supper.
When supper time came, I ladled out a bowl full and grabbed a spoon. I dipped the spoon into the bowl, raised the contents to my lips, and… wow, what a let-down. The soup was ok, fair, passable, definitely edible, but not good. Up until that very moment, I had looked at the soup, smelled the aroma, even heard it bubbling in the pot, but until I actually tasted it, experienced it, I really couldn’t tell if it was good or not. And I didn’t have to eat the whole bowl to determine it’s quality, one taste was enough.
I can listen to a sermon in church every Sunday. I can dutifully give my tithe and offering. I can try to always do the right thing. But it’s not until I experience God, and get past all the peripherals, that I can know how truly good He is. And, like my soup, one taste is all it takes to determine His quality. Fortunately, the Bible has already assured me that God is good (thankfully, much better than my soup!). And once I have tasted how good He is, I can’t resist another helping!
October 24, 2010
Genesis 1: 1, 26-27
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
In the beginning, God created. “Created” is the first verb we see in the Bible. It is the first action by God – the first thing that we know he did. The first book of Genesis is full God’s creative genius at work. Light, dark, water, land, all the stars and planets, vegetation and animals, and finally, people. He spent the whole first week of our history making stuff. And when He made us, He made us in His image.
It’s this last part that I got to thinking about this week. I was asked the question, “Why do you craft?” The only answer I could come up with at first was, “Because I have to.” But, it’s not just about crafting, it’s being creative in general. I am happiest when I am working on some sort of creative endeavor. After taking a look at this first glimpse we have of God, and His wonderful creativity, and then learning that we are made in His image, is it any wonder that I have this innate desire to be creative?
October 17, 2010
Proverbs 31: 13-15 (NIV)
“13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.”
Adam overslept this morning, so we are heading out to the late service today. I, on the other hand, got up and got ready for the early service. I was, therefore, left with a few extra hours on hand that I hadn’t planned on. I went into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee, and wound up also making a pot of grits, a side of gravy, and two loaves of zucchini bread. So, I’m feeling a little P31 this morning.
Proverbs 31:10-31 speaks to “A Wife of Noble Character”. I’m not saying that I’m there yet, but it’s always somewhere in the back of my mind – a goal that I will always be striving to attain.
And on that topic of zucchini bread, here’s a little recipe for you. This is a vegan version of the zucchini bread recipe that was printed in the 1996 Newberry Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church’s cookbook. The original recipe belonged to Mrs. Frances Goethe, but it has been altered to comply with a vegan diet by me.
Vegan Zucchini Bread
3 Tbsp Flax Meal
9 Tbsp water
1 c. canola oil
2 c. sugar
2 c. grated unpeeled zucchini (about one large)
3 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c. white flour
1 1/2 c. wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. nuts, chopped
In a medium bowl, whisk together flax meal and water and set aside to let stand for at least 2 minutes. In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Add nuts. To the flax meal, add oil, sugar, zucchini, and vanilla. Mix lightly, but well. Add this mixture to the sifted ingredients, and mix until just blended. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour in 2 greased and floured loaf pans.
*The original recipe just called for 3 cups of plain flour, so you can certainly use that if you don’t have any whole wheat.
* I used walnuts because that’s what I had on hand. I’m a big fan of using whatever you have on hand!
*I think if I make this recipe again, I’ll go for one loaf with a longer bake time. These two loaves just seem a little short to me.
And, in an effort to maintain honesty, and full disclosure with you…
…here is how the first loaf ended up when I tried to turn it out from the loaf pan too soon.
Oh well, like I said. P31, still a work in progress. 🙂
October 10, 2010
Here’s a little scripture snippet to mull over.
Psalm 139: 7-10
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
How wonderful it is to know that no matter where I am, physically or spiritually, God is there. He is there in the good times and in the not-so-good times, guiding me and holding me fast. What a relief!
It’s back to treasuries! That’s right, after a long hiatus from treasury curation, I have decided to try my hand at it once more. This time, in honor of my fellow teamies, I have a fabulous collection of fall goodies brought to you entirely by TeamCAC. Enjoy!
And, if you haven’t already, today is your LAST CHANCE to enter my giveaway! Check out this post for details!