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Chaos, Social Justice, and Facing Fear in order to Seek God's Face

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.  Isaiah 26:3 A warning in advance-in...

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Monday, April 30, 2012

WAKEUP!!!


She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.

Proverbs 31:20(NKJV)


The strength of friendship is not evidenced in how she treats you when things are good, it's how she treats you when things aren't.
My BFF

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_OgfeaqXxQn0/TK3FebEVLPI/AAAAAAAABOg/RcVBFXHUDBE/s1600/alarm_clock.gif
It’s Monday, and I’m finally back.  I hadn’t run in 10 days and danced yesterday for the first time in months.  Notwithstanding my allergies and my general malaise, I just needed to get moving again, and I did.  I laced up my sneakers, stretched my muscles and ran (some, and walked some).  I haven’t been getting the best from myself, so, my empty pitcher could not pour.  I have learned that the best cure for what ails me is giving love away; getting out of myself, letting the lavishing of love wash over me and opening my heart to receive God’s love.  I have never benefitted from self-pity, and nothing’s changed. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Community…whom do they say that you are? (come join 5 minute Fridays!)


I have some buddies who once a week take up the gauntlet thrown down by the gypsy mama to drop everything and write.  The rules are simple…

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Then we visit the person who linked up before us & encourage them in their comments.
OK, are you ready? Come on and join the fun!

:: Shall two walk together, except they have agreed?

Amos 3:3 (ERV)


 Community…

GO:

Last night, I sat in a room with my neighbors, listening to mayoral candidates debate the issues in our sleepy little town.  I call it Mayberry, for there is so much idyllic about it.  A diverse community rich with cultural, racial and ethnic diversity, a community filled with artists, families, people representing both the 99 and the 1 (percent, a la the Wall Street movement).  Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity.

What is community? It is the gathering of people under some unifying banner, location, skill, passion, belief, that identifies them as separate from others.  I represent so many communities.  What both pleases and humbles me are the common threads I weave in all the communities to which I belong…I am known as a child of the Most High King.  That is who I am.

As you work, as you play, as you choose to associate, or stand apart, whom do people say that you are?

STOP:

Knowing who and Whose I am, wherever I am, however I choose to spend my time, reminds me of my many abundant blessings.  I am reminded that God is good.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Isn’t Love amazing…


How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
Psalms 36:7(NKJV)

On this earth
But you loved me
And I really dared to love you too
Perhaps what I mean to say is
Is that it's amazing that your love was mine
Oh Maker, 
by
 Janelle Monae,
Nathaniel Irvin III, and Charles Joseph II,

photo from Stone Soup Virtual Cookery Schoolhttp://stonesoupvirtualcookeryschool.com 
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5177/5437535368_d2c3361b87_b.jpg

Have you ever really considered the love of God?  We do nothing to deserve it, we consistently fall short of the mark and yet, He is there, without fail or delay, loving us, blessing us, leading us to Him and showing us favor. 

Although Janelle Monae penned these lyrics as part of a futuristic suite about an android and her love for an unseen Maker, the message resonates. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately…the love of my husband, for example.  In my experience, marriage is cyclical.  There are periods of romantic love when you deeply adore your spouse, other periods of amiable companionship, the “hanging buddy” times, along with periods of struggle where you’re handing in there because that’s what you do.  I remember the first time my husband confessed to having “fallen in love” with me again….it felt like our engagement or our honeymoon years, all hearts and flowers, and I confess, I thought he was a little crazy…until it happened to me. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Road dawgs...


Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,
   and the pleasantness of a friend
   springs from their heartfelt advice.
Proverbs 27:9 (NIV)

Saturday night I hung out with two very special girlfriends.  I don’t do it often, and I’d forgotten how much fun it can be.  We went to a local frozen yogurt shop, bought flavors by the ounce, added way too many blend ins (well, not me, but one of my friends), and sat and laughed like silly schoolgirls.  I adore my family, but who doesn’t want to run with their road dawgs?
Picture courtesy of Allrecipes.com from 
whence the inspiration comes 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Together…

 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.
Matthew 19:6 (NKJV)





GO:
We’ve been together a long time.  Next month, my husband and I will celebrate 19 years of marriage.  We celebrated 13 years since the day we met the week after our wedding.  That’s my life, essentially, being together with my beloved.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What God has joined together, according to my father’s teaching (not just daddy, my father was a pastor, biblical scholar, and officiant at my wedding), man cannot separate.  When something has been ordained, you can’t really do your way out of it.  I love my husband.  He’s not perfect, and neither am I, but the notion of not being together with him is something, since our engagement, I’ve never considered. 

Similar to my bridal bouquet...
Marriage is more art than science.  In the United States, it is still the case that one in two marriages ends in divorce.  I do not consider myself lucky, but rather abundantly blessed.  Our marriage is one of my favorite blessings, because from it flows so many others….our children, our blended family, our lives together, the memories we’ve made.

STOP:

Final thought? A happy marriage…just another one of my reminders that God is good.  
 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

He saves me....


As for me, I will call upon God,
And the Lord shall save me.
Evening and morning and at noon
I will pray, and cry aloud,
And He shall hear my voice.
Psalms 55:16-17 (NKJV)

He saves me….

Me finishing my first 5k
It’s not Wednesday, so I am late posting once again.  Tuesday was a rough day, so yesterday was a day of (complete) rest.  It’s not often that rest (not nearly often enough).  I don’t easily accede to a demand for complete respite.  I’m a bit of a hard head, but when you know someone cares, unabashed, you should not argue. 

I am many things to many people.  Woman, wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter, runner, dancer, friend, mentor, professional, and humble servant of the Most High King.  I guess you could say I have a lot on my plate.  I also retreat here, to my feasting table, to write and wonder about the world in which I live, and more thoughtfully, about how I life in it.  Sometimes, I even include a recipe, entitled, "Today's Feast."  By way of introduction, this is my blog, "treat Me To A Feast: Notes from my Abundant Life."  It is my constant reminder that no matter my circumstances, my life is filled with wealth in abundance...health, humor, family, and friends who love me, hearth, home.  When life gets particularly rough, there is comfort for me that in an imperfect world, a perfect God loves us and abides with us through all things.  

Monday, April 16, 2012

As long as there’s You….


Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
Colossians 3:2 (NKJV)


Yesterday I ran the most competitive 5k of my life.  I am training, along with my son, to run a 5k race on Mother’s Day weekend in support of the Interfaith Hospitality Network.  I’m not much of a runner.  It’s something I undertook a couple years ago for the health of my body and my soul.  It is an uninterrupted time of quiet prayer, where I move my body while stilling my mind.  I call it moving meditation. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Send me, Lord… (or, yet another sermon from a walk with the dog)


 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?
Then I said, Here am I! Send me.
Isaiah 6:8 (NKJV)

Thuma mina, thuma mina,
thuma mina, Nkosi yam.
South African traditional funeral hymn, in Zulu
Send me, Lord


Yesterday’s prayer was for guidance.  I really needed it.  In fact, this morning my husband and I lingered over Psalms 143…not so much the “Get ‘em, Lord” parts, as the “I need You” parts.  Well, be careful what you wish for, pray for, desire to enter your life.  Walking the dog this morning, iPod on, I rediscovered a song I apparently never properly heard before…Thuma mina, by Hugh Masekela. 

Based upon a traditional Zulu hymn often sung at funerals, Hugh Masekela makes the song an appeal to God to be useful. 

“I want to be there when the people start to turn it around when they triumph over poverty. 
I wanna be there when the people win the battle against AIDS.  I wanna lend a hand. 
I wanna be there for the alcoholics, I wanna be there for the drug addicts,
I wanna be there for the victims of violence and abuse. 
I wanna lend a hand, Send me.”

Thursday, April 12, 2012

An Earnest Appeal for Guidance and Deliverance…


Teach me to do Your will,
For You are my God
;
Your Spirit is good.
Lead me in the land of uprightness.
Psalms 143:10 (NKJV)

I did not blog on Monday (or Wednesday, as has been my habit).  Battling exhaustion from overdoing on Easter Sunday, pleased but pooped, it was all I could do to get everyone up and out of the house to begin the week.  My husband and daughter battled allergies so severe that neither made it to worship for Resurrection Sunday.  Certainly, feeling the need to compensate, after rising at 5 to stress over whether I’d be able to fit into the suit (not new) that matched my hat (not new)…I’d actually considered getting up around 3 to try the suit on since I wasn't sleeping anyway…I had it bad.  My FB status Easter Sunday was


Dropped off son playing for Easter service at church by 8:30 am. 3 miles run by 9. Into hat, heels, and suit by 10:00. Got my Easter worship ON, home before 1! Dinner is cooking, guests will arrive after 4:00. Wine chilling. I am abundantly blessed.

By God’s Grace, I’m a little better now.  Everyone’s allergies are better, and life is getting back to normal.  Spring Break, for which we have no plans, is on the horizon (Thank You, Lord).  This morning, breaking fast with my husband (a rare weekday treat), this inspired our morning devotion and prayer…

…Remind me that Your plan, Your love for me is my salvation.  Everything else is a figment of my imagination and a function of fear.  Today, Dear God, I recognize that I don’t even know what to pray for, so I will leave the blessing up to You….from Every Day I Pray by Iyanla Vanzant.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Light! (www.thegypsymama.com 5 minute Fridays)


I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)












Light!

GO:
So the light(bulb) finally came on, and it only took all of Lent for us to get it.  40 days ago, my son happened to be walking the dog with me on a morning off from school.  We agreed that our Lenten sacrifice was to learn to better control our emotions….me not losing it so much, and him, developing the strength to meet adversity with quiet strength…time for my little boy to become a man.  We agreed to check in, work to support each other, whatever it took, to prayerfully become better people than we’d been.  

This morning, because there are no accidents, we checked in on how we’d grown, being (or not being) successful in our sacrifice to become better people.  We concluded that while we’d come far, we still had a ways to go….that’s when the light(bulb) came one.  We never fully acknowledged that we weren’t in control.  I challenged him…what did you learn in pre-school? Philippians 4:13….”I can do all things through Christ…” Duh! While we were on the right track, we forgot to put Him first.  We were leaning on our own understanding….and clearly, that wasn’t the right way to lean!

As confirmation, we ran into a friend as we were running pre-Easter grocery errands, and got to confirm our learning….

STOP:
Confirmation….further evidence that God is Good, and that 5 minutes wasn’t enough time to tell this story, but it’ll have to do…

Resurrection Blessings to one and all…He is Risen and worthy to be praised!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A prayer for peace to go with coffee...


Trust in him at all times, you people; 
   pour out your hearts to him,
 
   for God is our refuge.
Psalms 62:8 (NIV)
A Prayer for Peace by Dr. Maya Angelou, as we prepare to celebrate the Resurrection.

Father, Mother, God,
Thank you for your presence
during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.
Thank you for your presence
during the bright and sunny days,
for then we can share that which we have
with those who have less.
And thank you for your presence
during the Holy Days, for then we are able
to celebrate you and our families
and our friends.
For those who have no voice,
we ask you to speak.
For those who feel unworthy,
we ask you to pour your love out
in waterfalls of tenderness.
For those who live in pain,
we ask you to bathe them
in the river of your healing.
For those who are lonely, we ask
you to keep them company.
For those who are depressed,
we ask you to shower upon them
the light of hope.
Dear Creator, You, the borderless
sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the
world that which we need most
—Peace.


Today’s Feast: To go with coffee…

Backstory~a friend offered to host a meeting at her home when we couldn’t find other space. A good southern girl, I could not arrive empty-handed, and the blueberries looked lovely at the grocery yesterday morning.  Everything else I had in the house…

1¾ C flour (I’m use Eagle Mills Ultra Grain)
1 C sugar (I use turbinado)
1 t fleur de sel (any salt you have will do)
10 T butter cold but pliable
1½ t baking powder
¼ t baking soda
½ C buttermilk
1 L egg
1 t vanilla extract
½ C nuts (pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, sliced almonds-I’m way more generous than just a half cup)
¼ C packed brown sugar
¼ t cinnamon
Zest of one lemon
1 C fresh blueberries

Heat oven to 350˚.  Mix flour, sugar and salt together, and then cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  Reserve ¾ C of mix for crumb topping in a separate bowl.  To the first bowl, add remaining dry ingredients (powder, soda), buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract.  Batter will be thick, like grits.  Spread evenly into a pan lined with parchment. 

To the reserved dry mix add nuts, brown sugar, and zest.  Work into a crumble. 

Rinse and toss the berries over the batter, then top with crumb.  Bake 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Wait…


Wait for the LORD; 
   be strong and take heart
 
   and wait for the LORD.
Psalms 27:14(NIV)

I realize this is a common theme of mine.  Today I’m writing about a thing that is among the hardest for me…patience, or waiting.  Consciously, intellectually, I am clear that I CANNOT MOVE God.  I recently read that waiting on God is both a test of submission (ouch), and acknowledgement that His is the better idea.  What hubris, then, to think I (we) could know better. 
www.pliableinhishands.com

In my quest for intentionality, I am going to begin appreciating the “meantime.”  In service yesterday, this song spoke to me….

Wait... with expectation.
Wait...with anticipation.
Wait...I will worship You, Lord, while I wait.William McDowell, from the album Arise

So, while I figure it out, I now have something to do besides just being frustrated.  I will worship.  I will continue to work on living thankfully, breathing and existing in prayer.  While I run.  While I clean.  While I wait.  And, while waiting, I will remember that His is the better idea, which leads me to be thankful that He is there, always, with the right thing, at the right time, in the right place.  Even waiting can be a reminder that God is Good. 

OneWord 2015

OneWord 2015

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