God is My Bowl of Cream of Wheat

Full Fur Lined Slippers   After experiencing my first dry, HOT Nevada summer, I am definitely enjoying this week’s burst of cooler, fall weather – yay!  How about you?  Waking up to a brisk 49 degrees (and after pulling out my warm, fur lined slippers), I find myself longing for a bowl of hot, satisfying Cream of Wheat! Mmmmm…Rich and creamy, made with milk and a touch of pure maple syrup for just a hint of sweetness, topped with dried cranberries and cinnamon toasted walnuts or pecans – oh yes! Just what my tummy is hungering for. 

Cream of Wheat for Blog 2

Mmmmm…that was SO good! Soothed me right up!

     As I was eating, I got to thinking this: my rich, delicious, soothing bowl of cream of wheat does for my tummy and body, just what my relationship with God does for my soul and my life. Oooooh yeeeeeaah!  Here’s how:

The thick, hot cream of wheat itself serves as my breakfast foundation; it’s the soothing, nutrient rich filler that lines my tummy and satisfies my hunger.  Just like my relationship with God.  Believing in God, allowing myself to love Him, and having deep faith, fills me up with goodness, satisfies my hunger for belonging and self-worthiness, soothes my battered soul and creates the rich foundation for everything in my life.

Maple Syrup 2The little touch of pure maple syrup serves as the wholesome little bit of sweetness I need to not crave delicious and tempting super fats like fried donuts and pies in the morning!!  This is like prayer – my conversations with God.  Talking with God fills me up with sweet love from my Maker, satisfying my craving for acceptance and love and all the very tempting but bad-for-me things in this world.  After imbibing in a little prayer time, I feel loved and renewed and good about myself, and relieved of the need to go out and seek the wrong kind of acceptance socially.Cranberries 1 comp

The cranberries lend a little bit of tartness just to liven things up. They get my orneriness and backbone going, just like God’s Word or Scripture does.  When I need a little strength and courage to do what needs to be done, I can always go to the Book and find that encouragement and backbone, and even a little direction for my day to day living.  Plus, cranberries are loaded with anti-oxidants and help improve immune function.  Scripture is also loaded with anti-oxidants for life, and applying God’s words to my life definitely improves my immunity to temptation. (smile smile)

Cinnamon compThe cinnamon adds a little spice for variety and flavor.  Just like my Christian service and ministry work.  I love the sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy flavor of cinnamon, and I love the sweet feelings and spicy variety I find in helping/doing nice things for others.  People and physical work can be great fun, but they can also be quite spicy!  But like cinnamon, mission work is full of variety and adds so much robust flavor to my life!Pecans

And, finally, the nuts give a little shot of protein, a little “meat” to cling to my tummy, which helps the rich cream of wheat fill me up, making me feel that much more satisfied and content.  This is just how I feel when I visit (fellowship) with other believers, whether socially or in church.  They back up and affirm my faith, helping to enrich and shore up my confidence and satisfaction in serving God.  And when I might falter, they are there to help carry me through the empty spots. These friends are God’s little helpers in making my life rich, happy, full and satisfying.

So there, you have it – God is my bowl of cream of wheat 

Yum!

Are You a Light Stand or a Bucket?

This morning I read something that really resonated with me.  The last few months (or maybe year!) I have been sort of hiding out at home, not participating in much outside social activity, and for whatever reason, feeling pretty apathetic.  I know – doesn’t sound too smart, but how many of you feel, or have felt this way too?

            Well, if you’re in this same pit I am right now, what I read this morning was a good kick start for me today – maybe it will be for you too.  And for those of you who don’t really need a good kick start, let’s call it a nice affirmation, or inspired reminder of what life is really all about – or should be.

Salt13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth.

(God-flavors: love, kindness, mercy, justice, compassion, caring, sharing, to name a few)

If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

(Garbage: unfriendly, unhappy, afraid, paranoid, selfish, worried, LONELY.  Oh no – is this where I’ve been lately!!)

14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.Light

(God-colors: TRUTH, peace, joy, love, happiness, openness, transparency, light!)

God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.  (Matthew 5:13-16 MSG)

         This was my directive this morning; to get out and be productive, to do something – to help my fellow man.  It’s not just a nice idea, a feel-good sort of thing to do in my spare time – no, it’s also a directive from God! 

            We are to be purposeful in our lives, not just sit idly under the bucket of our homes, being complacent, playing games and spending hours on end perusing social media (this has been me lately ).  Instead, we are to be purposeful, good salt, helping one another, especially the sick, the poor, the needy.  We should go out, with our warming, life-giving light shining, doing good things, seeking justice, spreading our tasty (God) flavoring to all those around us.  Yes, we should let our lights shine like a bright city on a hill that cannot be hidden!Salt and Light

            So, this, then, is our purpose in life.  Whatever our personality – bold or timid, bubbly or serious, gregarious or quiet, there is a way we can be salty and light-bearing.  If this wasn’t so, God wouldn’t have directed it.  He has already equipped us with what we need – we just need to use it.  If we just open our eyes to what is going on around us, we will see an unsalted, dim life or place that can use exactly what flavoring we each have to give. 

Be purposeful!

I choose the light stand, which do you choose?