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Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’


Cookie

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No matter what your sweet treat preference, I have yet to encounter anyone who doesn’t  like cookies. Easily held and easily eaten, they can be enjoyed almost everywhere, you just have to watch out for the crumbs.

Now, I am not a great cookie baker. For the longest time my son thought that cookie dough came premade out of the freezer, and was mildly surprised when he found out, at about age 5, that people actually make cookie dough from scratch.

From the freezer or from scratch, cookie dough is made from a select amount of ingredients that individually wouldn’t really be too attractive if you just threw them together hilly-milly. But, when you put them together correctly and bake them at the right temperature for the right amount of time, you come out with an appealing treat.

The funny thing about cookie recipes, as is the case with any recipe when you really think about it, is that every one is different. You can’t make a chocolate chip cookie the same way you make a ginger snap or shortbread. For every type of cookie there’s a different recipe.

And the different types of cookies can be reserved for different occasions. The commonplace chocolate chip is good anywhere, whereas something like a Russian Tea Cake is thought of mostly in association with special occasions or high tea.

And, this is how God is with each of us isn’t He? The talents He gives us, the ingredients He uses in our lives, how long we’re baked and how long we have to cool down, all make us all a little different from one another. Yet, He uses it all to prepare us to take our part in His plan.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

 Jeremiah 29:11

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Ah coffee, I have loved the rich dark drink since before I ever tasted it.

Growing up in a household with English parents where tea dominated supreme, I was not exposed to coffee until I was about 9-years old. My mom had remarried an American, and not just any old American an American who was raised on a farm in the Mid-West where coffee reigned supreme. I will always remember smelling that wonderful coffee aroma for the first time after our households were combined.

I could hardly wait until I was old enough to actually drink it. Since that time, many, many years ago, I have become an every morning coffee drinker, running through the different phases of coffeedom. Drinking it black; with cream; with flavored creams; then making the coffee with flavored beans and grinding it every morning. We can get caught up in our own coffee rituals can’t we?

I have even gone from grinding the beans in a grinder, to seeing the advent of all-in-one grind and brew coffeemakers which are a wonderful progression in coffeemaking ease.  Even though they are wonderfully easy to make freshly ground brewed coffee in, these coffeemaker’s have to be cleaned which if you’re not careful can be a very messy endeavor.

So, I’m cleaning out the grinding part of my coffee machine, and after so many years of doing this I’ve got it dialed in, or so I think. I take the grinder over to the kitchen sink and carefully clean out every little part of it until it’s cleaner than when I pulled it out of the box. I carefully dry it to reinsert it into the coffeemaker, which is across the kitchen, turn around and stop dead.

There is a trail of ink black tar-like blobs on the kitchen floor leading from the coffeemaker to my feet. And, it’s not a spotty trail, a little blob here, another little blob there, no, these are huge blobs of dark black. They start right next to the coffeemaker, march down the cupboard, make their way across the kitchen before they stop right next to my feet.

They were so black they looked like great gobs of oil. I stood there incredulous because I couldn’t believe that I had walked across the kitchen thinking I was containing any chance of a drip, and somehow this oil slick of a trail ended up following me. I had no idea it was there the whole time I was happily cleaning the grinder and the filter basket. I just turned around and it was there behind me, black as night.

Then I realized this is what we do all the time in our lives, isn’t it? We happily go along our way thinking we have everything contained and thankful that God has helped us clean out all our bits and bits, while there’s a huge trail of black grossness behind us that we are happily oblivious to until God points it out to us.

And what’s the next logical step? We have to deal with it, and, really, we only have two choices, either clean it up with God’s help or ignore it.

The first is a lot of work and usually pretty painful too, while the second, well, the second eventually has us living in the emotional squalor of attitudes and actions not dealt with. Ostriches with our heads in the sand while our world has blown out around us, all because we continually clean out the same parts of our lives while studiously ignoring the oil slick behind us.

Living in emotional squalor of  is not a place where God wants us to be, and because He doesn’t want us to be there we shouldn’t want to be there either. The amazing thing is that He knows what it’s going to take to clean up that trail behind us, all we have to do is go to Him and be willing to deal with it. Not only that, but the reality is that He’s right there with us, holding on to us and helping us to clean up the mess.

“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 1:6

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For those of you who have children, and even those of you that don’t, you have probably figured out by now that kids say weird stuff.

I’m sure most of us are aware of the old Bill Cosby TV show, “Kids Say the Darndest Things”, but I’m not talking about the cute things that some children say. Like at the age of 3 seeing a picture of their mother when she was pregnant with them and blurting out “Mommy ate me!”  No,  I’m talking about the just plain no-other-word-for-it-weird stuff they say.

My son, who is 12-year’s old as some of you already know, has always said weird stuff. It’s not so much the content that’s a little different, it’s the phraseology. I’d like to think that his somewhat archaic way of phrasing things is because of my own job as a wordsmith. But I have to be honest with myself, I deal in the vernacular of the bland, while what rolls out of his mouth seems to come straight out of the Middle Ages.

The other day we were yet again sitting in our big blue beast of a truck, going from here to there, which is where a lot of our conversations take place, when he started on a talking jag.

As we where driving down the same road for what felt like the 10th time that day, he started angling. Now, by angling I mean that he was angling for something, which all children at any age do at some point. Because quite frankly, they always want something.

This time, he was starting his Christmas angling early.  I imagine it was in order to give me time to save up for the one and only gift he will get, but it was when he started to tell me what he wanted from his father that my ears pricked up at his phrasing. Until that point he sounded like a typical pre-teenger. But, then somehow mixed in with the normal teenager wording was a sentence that made him sound like a Catholic monk straight out of the Medieval period.

He was talking about Halo 5, I think that’s the number but not being up on these things it could have been Halo whatever number and I wouldn’t have a clue. We don’t have game systems in our house, on my basic premise that it turns your grey matter to mush, but my son does have them at his father’s house. So, it’s from that source that his games come.

So, I’m asking him about the game, what it’s about, why he wants, etc. etc. etc. when Mr. Medieval steps in.

“I can see it in my eyes,” he says to me when he’s explaining asking his dad for it.

See it in his eyes? That draws a picture doesn’t it? Not see it with his eyes. Not see it in his mind’s eye. Not see it in the future. Not see it in his imagination. No, he could see it in his eyes. He himself could see it in his own eyes, and, I got the feeling that if I could have looked into his eyes at that moment, I would have seen it too.

Now, it all sounds a bit strange, but he phrases things like this more often than not. So, I have had some time to reflect on this phraseology that he uses.

That night I asked him what he meant by ‘seeing it in his eyes’ and he said he see’s it like he hopes it will be, even though he knows it hasn’t happened yet.

And isn’t this what God does with us? He see’s us in His eyes the way we will be.  The way we are in Him.  Not the way we see ourselves. And one of the most amazing things about Him is He has the ability to make that picture a reality.

“Guard me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.”

Psalm 17:8

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