Thursday, June 27, 2013


I was recently talking with someone who is involved in helping multiple people who are in some rough spots. My friend was weary and carrying a heavy load as he felt the weight of the situations he was dealing with. I, too, recently have felt that way in many of the very hard situations in people's lives we've been a part of recently, and continue to be a part of.

As I was talking to him I was encouraging him with advice I was once given. That advice was to remember that the problems in others' lives are really God's problems and not mine. My friend who I had gone to was an associate pastor at another church and I was working with a couple in a very rough marriage. The advice he gave me was to say, "God, You have a problem in this marriage. What would you like me to do?" That advice really helped set me free to remember that it was really God's problem and He wanted their success even more than I, and my job was to be His ready and surrendered vessel available for Him to use and speak through.

As I shared that with my friend I believe God gave me an image to share with him as well, and I thought it might bless others so I decided to write it out. Basically it was of a faucet. Not that it matters, but it was a shiny, nice silver kitchen faucet. (Maybe this image resonated so well with me because our well pump went out last week and we spent time facing the situation of turning on faucets and having no water, and the uncertainty of how that water would come and how long we and our plants, etc., could go without it.) Anyway I felt led to suggest to my friend that he picture himself as a faucet. A faucet is not the water source, it is simply the means of delivering the water. Picture God as the water source, and the people he was involved with as the cup. The job of the faucet is to deliver the water to the cup. The water flows through the faucet and into the cup, and it is the water that revitalizes and refreshes and sustains life. The faucet simply is there, ready for the water to flow through it.

At any rate, that worked for me, and it worked for my friend, so I thought I'd share it with you. Blessings to you all, thanks for reading a being a part of my life. May God overwhelm you this week with a deep awareness of His love for you, presence with you, and of His star-breathing power and glory!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dutch Oven Theology . . .

Cornbread cooking in cast iron pot on
a homemade stand with a homemade lid.
Well, as mentioned in my last blog post, Friday night we indeed made our first attempt at Dutch Oven cooking. We talked and read about pioneer cooking, cast iron cookware, the advent of Dutch Ovens (did you know some historians credit Paul Revere with inventing the flange around a Dutch Oven lid to keep the coals on it?), and more. Then, we gave it a try, making cornbread and a berry cobbler, and finishing it off with some true Cowboy Coffee over the remaining coals (water and grounds in the pot—of course without measuring the grounds—bringing it to a boil and then pouring it through a screen into a mug, knowing you'll still have some thick mud at the bottom!) and it was actually an outstanding tasting cup of coffee! So, here are some pictures for you to share in this slice of our family life. Wish you were here!

Spooning the "crust" over the berries.
So, what about the theology part? Lately I have more and more been craving cooking outdoors. It hasn't even been so much the food itself (though it is wonderful!) but rather the idea of setting aside a few hours when all you can do is focus on the preparation and each other. When you commit to a slow cook BBQ over coals or oak, or a Dutch Oven meal, or things along that line, you are saying that you aren't going to squeeze the meal around the "rest" of your life, but you are going to set the "rest" of your life aside for awhile and be still. You can't rush a meal like that unless you simply turn on a gas grill and crank it up. To start the coals or fire, to wait for them to be ready, to soak some red oak and herbs to put over the coals for a great smoke flavor in the meal, and to put the meal up high enough above the fire that it has to take a long time to cook makes some statement in my spirit about the fact that I am slowing down and just enjoying the moment, my family, Creation around me, and God.
Cobbler just before the coal-covered lid goes on!

I find that things get so busy, and it seems like these last months have been filled with so much pain in so many people's lives, that I have been desperate to drink deeply from God's well, and to simply love and appreciate my family and my friends. God says to be still and know that He is God and unless I force myself to do that it isn't my nature. My nature is rush more, do more, and always assume there is tomorrow. Way too many people lately we know have found that there isn't necessarily tomorrow—and I am finding more and more that I can't live tomorrow on yesterday's closeness with God.

Finished cornbread. Cobbler baking
over and under coals.
So, for me, many times recently, I have found myself crying out for an outdoor cooked meal. I think it is my spirit crying out to slow down, drink deeply of God and the ones I love, and be still—cooking outdoor is simply the vehicle that forces that . . . and, of course, it has great side benefits as well! Not to mention that I am in great company and simply imitating One who went before me on that path . . .
John 21:4-13   Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus . . . When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish that you have just caught."  So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." . . . Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. (ESV)
Happy girls! Great cobbler!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Waiting for a "Magic Moment"

Sometimes I find myself waiting for "magic moments." I know what I believe about God, who He is, what He has done in Creation, what He has done for me, His love, His power, His holiness and majesty . . . Then I realize how timid I can be in talking about Him, or how I talk to others about Him like He's not in the room, or how I talk about Him to others so differently than I do about other people or facts I am confident of.

Sometimes I look at my selfish choices, or the times I don't say something about Him out of fear of another's lack of receiving it, or at the lack of priority things eternal have in my life, or at how matter of fact I am about most things and then how vague and "soft" I am about Him and things of Him, etc., and I long for a "magic moment" when who He is, and how vast and incredible and awe-inspiring He is, and the reality of Heaven and Hell, and the awareness of His love for me and my adoption by Him, break out of my head and explode in my heart and bring my life into alignment with what I believe.

And I wait.

And I wait.

And I wait.

"If what I believe in my head just ruled my heart I would live so differently . . ." I say to myself, and to Mary Ann, way too often. And I continue in my path, maybe now and then making a slight course correction, waiting for the "magic moment."

Recently, however, I am more and more looking at how in the Bible God so often does His work AFTER faith is applied, and not before. He throws out a command or a promise or a "suggestion" and then waits, and after it is received and acted on in faith He then meets it. I am realizing more and more that I must operate from faith, from what I know is true in my head, and then, as I do that more and more, the knowledge will move from my head to my heart. If I wait for the "feeling" to act, or speak, a certain way it may never come, or it may come only for brief moments in worship or something, and I will be basing my life on feelings and not faith.

I started the other day listing multiple reasons I "should" follow God with all of my heart, regardless of how I feel (whether His reality is overwhelming me, or if He feels like a distant theology). I found the list really amazing as it started to develop. I am thinking that in the coming weeks I'll post some of them. Of course, I should live this way, loving and following Him with all of my heart simply because He is God alone and He is worthy, but I did find the list eye opening and I think it might be valuable to some.

And, totally unrelated, tonight we are teaching our girls for homeschool about pioneer cooking and trying out a Dutch Oven for the first time. Maybe I'll post some pictures about it in the next few days since this blog is, after all, not just my "God thoughts" but slices of my life as well . . . and the reality is, He is part of every part of my life, whether I "feel" it or not.


Related Posts with Thumbnails