Archive | November, 2017

Chocolate-Covered, Grace-Covered

25 Nov

One of the funniest people I know is Rhonda Rhea—author, humor columnist, TV personality and quirky-wise pastor’s wife. I decided as a change of pace to feature her here, in this “Christmas is coming” fun post.

Enjoy . . . 

I never cease to be amazed—and pretty thrilled—at the new things people come up with to cover with chocolate each year.

We’re relatively in the neighborhood of “National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day.” December 16th. Oh my. That seems like such a great idea.

I highly—yea, emphatically—support chocolate coverings for the food beauty treatments they are.

But some of these people have gone and made it weird.

Chocolate-covered bacon. What?

Eat your bacon. It’s good.

Then eat your chocolate. That’s even better.

There’s an order to these things.

Chocolate-covered beef jerky? Chocolate-covered pickles? Chocolate-covered onions? Chocolate-covered squid?

Come on. Why would any of those ever be a thing?

Just because there’s no law against it, that does not make it okay, people.

In my book, all those ideas are terrible wastes of good chocolate and should be punishable by…well, maybe by making the people who came up with them actually eat them.

All of us in general are pretty good at coming up with bad ideas—everything that’s wrong for us. The curse of sin does that.

How amazing it is that Jesus can change our sin condition. He exchanges our sin for His own righteousness. And then He keeps working on us and in us even after that.

Jesus gives us a new “wanter.”

Paul said in Philippians 2:13, “For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose,” (HCSB).

Jesus has us “covered,” in the best way, when it comes to both the ability to do the work we’re called to do, and then the desire to do it. By His grace, He’s the One at work inside us by the indwelling presence and power of His Holy Spirit. And He’s the One who causes our lives to be sweet. Fruitful.

Covered with His delicious purposes.

I think Joseph was a man who wanted to accomplish the purposes of God in His life. What a kick in the gut it must’ve been for him when he found that the girl he was to marry was pregnant with a child that wasn’t his. Under Jewish law, he had every right to make her humiliation public and have her stoned.

But Matthew 1:19 tells us that Joseph was a “righteous man.”

I picture a heartbroken Joseph tossing and turning, then slipping off into a troubled sleep. But what a wake-up call! It was a stunning message from an angel in a dream.

The angel told Joseph that it was okay to take Mary as his wife and that her baby was conceived by the Holy Spirit. He would be the Savior!

So what did Joseph do? He woke up from his dream and he did exactly what he was told.

I wonder if he ever even stopped to think about what he “wanted” to do. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to find out that God had already tweaked his “wanter.” Joseph wanted to honor God’s plan.

O Lord, by Your Spirit, help us to ever want what You want. Let us respond to You with unhesitating obedience.

No ifs. No maybes. No sugar-coating.

And, dare I say it? Probably not even any chocolate-coating.

 – Recipe for Chocolate Covered Bacon Skewers (and source for photo) is available here.

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Gobble, Gobble, Gobble …

18 Nov

I remember a Thanksgiving Day long ago when my grade school-aged boys were into kids’ joke books. Have you ever heard these silly “turkey jokes”?

Such as:

Q: Which side of the turkey has the most feathers? A. The outside!

Q: Who is never hungry on Thanksgiving? A. The turkey, because he’s already stuffed!

Q: When is turkey soup bad for your health? A. When you’re the turkey.

Q. Where do you find a turkey with no legs? A. Exactly where you left him.

And totally silly . . .

Q: Why don’t you put the turkey near the corn? A: Because he will gobble, gobble, gobble it up!

I’ve had “gobbling” on the brain this week. I fully intend to gobble up some turkey and fixings next Thursday.

But there are some other, beneficial things I can “gobble up” too.

Join me in using the scriptures below to remind you to “gobble” up these godly priorities.

I can…

1. Gobble Up Time with the Lord.

Be still and exalt Him! Psalm 46:10; Psalm 62:1

Draw near to Him and repent of sin. James 4:8

Pray expecting God to answer. Matthew 6:6

Abide in the Lord. Psalm 91:1; John 15:4

2. Gobble Up the Word of God.

Delight in and meditate on scripture. Psalm 1:2

Strengthen your heart against temptation. Psalm 119:9, 11

Handle scripture wisely; study it! 2 Timothy 2:15

3. Gobble Up Resources (books, videos, Podcasts, etc.) with Solid Doctrine.

Don’t forsake solid teaching. Proverbs 4:2

Avoid diverse/strange teachings. Hebrews 13:9a; 2 Timothy 4:3

Hold firm to and teach the “trustworthy” Word & sound doctrine. Titus 1:9; 2:1

4. Gobble Up Memories with Family Members.

Honor parents—show respect and let them tell their stories. Exodus 20:12;

Create a legacy for your children, your “heritage” from God. Psalm 127:3-5

Be wise in parenting. Ephesians 6:1-4; Proverbs 6:20

Pass on your love for the Lord and His ways. Psalm 103:17

5. Gobble Up Inspiring Opportunities with Friends.

Choose friends carefully. Proverbs 13:20

Treasure loving, loyal friends. Proverbs 17:17

Seek Accountability from wise friends. Proverbs 27:5-6; 17

Give thanks for the friend who lifts you up! Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

6. Gobble Up Open Doors to Minister to Others.

Love sacrificially. John 15:12-13

Obey the Lord—His purposes for you. John 15:14-15

Watch your attitudes. Colossians 3:12-14

Embrace God’s way of love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

Practice the “one anothersof scripture: love one another, encourage one another, serve one another, etc.

Don’t take a day for granted. Practice the priorities of scripture and seek the Lord. Enjoy Him!

Gobble up the life He’s given you!

What do you need to gobble up more of this year? Focus on that as you consider ways to express your gratitude this Thanksgiving.

 – Dawn

 – Graphic of turkey, courtesy of Pixabay.

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