Friday, March 15, 2013

Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth vegetation..."

 In Minnesota, we may have depths of slushy snow covering the ground as far as the eye can see, but we are already delighting and marveling at God's faithfulness, new every morning and new every year! The images of broccoli and cabbage below were taken this morning and there are still more germinating as I write.

 Isaiah 61:11 uses the germination of a seed and the vegetation of the earth to illustrate the faithfulness of God and testify to what He will do and how He will be victorious: 
"For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
    and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
    to sprout up before all the nations."

"Faithfulness springs up from the ground,
    and righteousness looks down from the sky." (Psalm 85:11)
“Rain down, you heavens, from above,
And let the skies pour down righteousness;
Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation,
And let righteousness spring up together.
I, the Lord, have created it. (Isaiah 45:8)

 I never cease to be amazed at the sight of a germinating plant. The thought of burying a tiny hard speck in mysterious live dirt and watching it unfurl, thrusting aside it's empty shell and turning sturdy cotyledons towards the light is marvelous!
It is both a beautiful reflection of God's steadfast provision and renewal of the earth through every season and a picture of the regenerating, sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in us. 
"...what you sow is not made alive unless it dies." (1 Cor 15:36)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. (John 12:24-26)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Be Still - The Sabbath of Fellowship

There is a kind of communication in fellowship that holds a special is silence.

Silence is always full of is another language without words.  The pause of contentment in conversation at the end of a good meal, the weighty silence of sorrow in pain and grief, the companionable stillness while surveying with awe some glorious view in creation or the quietness charged with joy in moments of glad communion are things that cannot be replaced with mere words.

We are, in fact, enjoined to silence before our God.  Psalm 46 says “Be still, and know that I am God...” This is not a suggestion or a request.  It is an imperative command...a required service of worship to God by His people.  It follows an admonishment to consider the works the Lord has done; to survey with Him together the pleasure He has made for Himself through commanding all things after the perfect order of His will.  He finishes the command with a declaration of His right to exact such service from men: “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” -Psalm 46:10

Consider: Sunday is a reminder to us to rest and rejoice in the God of our salvation for the wonderful work He has done for us through His Son, Jesus Christ.  He tells us as a Father that it was made to be holy because He rested on the seventh day after speaking the world into being.  We as His children should not always be disappointed in the silence with which our Maker sometimes answers our prayers.  We should rather see it as a special gift of fellowship with the Creator of the universe...a sabbath rest in the accomplishment of His work for us when the glory of His sovereignty is most eloquent.  In times of "silence" we are pressed to rest in His sovereign will and commune with Him by confiding quietly in the promises He has abundantly provided.  It is here in the ceasing of our strivings that the Possessor of all wisdom and knowledge shows us how one Word is yet enough to provide for our every need.

The Christian need not and must not always strive within himself.  We, the children of God should rejoice that He cares for us so much as to desire communion with us in stillness and obey.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Tuesday Kitchen

The Tuesday kitchen has been woefully neglected on the blog, but nobody is famishing here at home in the meantime...for the most part.  :)  This Tuesday we added some guests to the gathering around the table and to the hearty dinner we prepared together I added this finale of homemade chocolate pudding with another fantastic recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe!

The more the merrier!
What beats rich chocolate and light fluffy whipped cream?