A Warm Christmas Fire

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Merry Christmas from Bryan at Brokenbelievers.com!

(Sit and enjoy the fire. Have some ‘egg nog.’)

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The people who walk in darkness
    will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
    a light will shine
.”

Isaiah 9:2

“Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life”.  –Corrie Ten Boom

“The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation.”   — J.I. Packer

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The Joy of Cooking, (Christian Edition)

“So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” 

James 2:17

Recipes are good.  I used to sit and read “The Joy of Cooking,” reading it like it was a literary novel.  I was quite fond about the simple way it divided everything up.  You had sections on Meats, and Desserts, and even Drinks.  And every so often it would insert a cooking tip.  Sometimes, I would start to smell that recipe I was thinking about.

I have never told anybody about this odd preference of reading material.  The really funny part is, I’ve read how to poach an egg, but I have never done it.  As a matter of fact, I don’t cook.  Hardly ever.  You see I have saturated myself in reading cookbooks, but that doesn’t make me a cook.  Only cooking makes me a cook.

We keep getting it messed up.  We seem to put the wrong stress on things.  We attribute value to things that we shouldn’t.  I happen to think that “faith” is a verb.  I also think that reading the Bible should activate us, and not to educate us. 

Often, I treat it like a cookbook.  I read and read, voraciously mind you.  But I don’t cook!  I have never put a single recipe to the test.  I have read about terrific “Eggs Benedict” on page 222, or the luscious sounding “Grandmas Tasty Cherry Pie” on page 651. But it’s only filed away somewhere in my mind; I have never moved beyond this point.

Being spiritual isn’t how much you know, but what you do.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this:  we must realize that Scripture is first for our hearts, and not so much for our heads.  Cookbooks are good, but when it all shakes out, are you actually and really, cooking? Or are you just reading?

 

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My Comfort Food

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Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless.
Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. Psalm 10:17

Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me. Psalm 23:4

You will restore me to even greater honor
and comfort me once again. Psalm 71:21

When doubts filled my mind,
your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. Psalm 94:19

Now let your unfailing love comfort me,
just as you promised me, your servant. Psalm 119:76

My eyes are straining to see your promises come true.
When will you comfort me? Psalm 119:82

These are the verses that speak of a Psalms comfort,

  • comfort sought
  • comfort given
  • comfort strengthening

Undoubtedly we have a God who comforts His people. That is his favorite thing to do, it is like the “special of the house.” He cooks up five-star entrees, and these all meet us on a seriously high level.

“Comfort food is traditionally eaten food (which often provides a nostalgic or sentimental feeling to the person eating it), or simply provides the consumer an easy-to-digest meal, soft in consistency, and rich in calories, nutrients, or both. The nostalgic element most comfort food has, may be specific to either the individual or a specific culture. Many comfort foods are flavorful; some may also be easily prepared.” From Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comfort_food.

My comfort foods are Wisconsin based and farm fresh.  Favorites are pan fried blue-gill, 0r perch, and fried potatoes. Honey glazed carrots, and homemade white bread, with real butter and jam. Whole milk straight from our cow, and cream two inches thick from a gallon jug. Very sharp Colby cheese with hot homemade apple pie, with an open lattice crust. And coffee, of course, with cream.

These dishes comfort me on some basic level, and I’m sure you have one or more favorites. Simple, but satisfying dishes made by a loved one. They are far more than mere calories, they provide things greater than you can see. “Mom’s home cooking” plain with no pretense.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good.
    Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” Psalm 34:8

God feeds us comfort food.  A true easiness and calm, imparted by Grace to our hearts. The Holy Spirit has a title on His desk– “The Comforter.” Why is He called that? Because that is what He specializes in and masters. He is our dear sufficiency and satisfaction, freely set on our tables.

Don’t just look– eat up (just like mom insisted we do)!

3 “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6 Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 7 We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.”

–1 Corinthians 1:3-7, NLT

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