Sunday, October 25, 2009

"We all got to serve somebody"--Bob Dylan

2:36 p.m. Today's project was to shred, chop, dice, season and cook the meat and toppings for 30+ people at our Home Fellowship this evening. Planning with our hostess Evangelina, who is making salsa, and Suzanne, who is bringing rice, makes the task a little less daunting, and I get to enjoy another sister's cooking along with my own! Steve and I did the bulk of the shopping Friday at Smart & Final, and picked up a few last minute items after church today at a nearby supermarket.

Let the fun begin! I fixed Steve his lunch, heated up a Lean Cuisine for myself, made a cup of coffee, and set to work, truly in my element. Whether it's a meal for two, as it is increasingly these days, for the family, or for a crowd, I love to cook! All went well, even though I had to no chili powder for the meat. But not to worry; I made it up from the spices chili powder contains--cumin, red pepper and paprika. Added some garlic powder, Ro-tel, Herdez salsa taqueria, and some enchilada seasoning I had in the pantry and soon 6 lbs of 80% lean hamburger was simmering away in the cast iron Dutch oven I had cleaned and re-seasoned this morning. (Undoubtedly a contributing factor to our being late to church).

As the meat is staying warm in the crockpot--thanks, Joanna, for the idea!-- and the toppings are in containers in the fridge until we leave at 4:30, I have time to reflect on Pastor Sammy's outstanding message this morning--who or what are we serving? What is our passion in life? Or I would ask myself, what gets me out of bed in the morning? I have a to-do list like everyone else, especially on Mondays, a husband who needs my attention, and a slew of hobbies and interests that I thoroughly enjoy--gardening, reading, the home arts, writing, "social networking," cooking, baking, running a small business. I love to serve others in any way I can.

Honestly, though, what gets me up each morning is the thought, "Another fantastic day with the Lord!" Sometimes I say it out loud to spur myself on. Downstairs I go to put on the coffee and get my Bible. Right now I am reading Proverbs, absorbing God's exhortations and promises. Journalling, prayer, and doing a daily segment of our women's Bible study workbook round out my morning.

But Jesus is too wonderful to keep to myself! How can I reach others with His love? One way is to post scripture seven days a week on Facebook. Not all of my friends or family members are believers, but every one of them could become one--I look for witnessing opportunities in cyberspace as well as in real life. God has provided incredible resources for us to reach the world without even leaving our homes. Let's go for it.

A Christian who wants to have Christ as the center of his or her life will not neglect prayer, either, confessing sin, accepting forgiveness, and taking opportunity to praise our Lord for all He is and does, in the past, right now, and for all eternity. What a privilege prayer is! How delightful that God answers Steve's and my agreement in prayer, and each of our prayers individually!

Pastor Sammy reminded us that Jesus came to give us abundant life, and that he does! "Abundant Life" doesn't always mean "Happy Life," or "Carefree Life," because we live in frail temporary bodies on a deteriorating planet, under a curse. Sorrow and strain interrupt our enjoyments. But if we serve the Lord, and others, our life will be joyful, so overflowing with the Holy Spirit that we'll be contagious and have a chance to witness to others.

As we serve our Christian friends at Home Fellowship tonight, we may not be evangelizing, but we will be serving up encouragement, comfort and enjoyment, and receiving a big dose of it back from the Lord. We've heard many times that we can't outgive God--it's impossible!

Psalm 116:12-13 asks, "What shall I give unto the Lord, for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the Name of the Lord." Never-ending blessings are ours if we call upon our God!

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