What Creeps Into Your Kitchen

My kitchen has become my “office” this year. A crowded little corner of my kitchen, where my laptop sits, is also a hub for the headlines of the day to seep and creep into my life.

It always starts with searching for a new recipe or checking email. I leave my laptop open as I check the ingredient list, and then, I take a U-turn from cooking into looking.

I usually find myself checking Facebook and blogs, chasing rabbit trails about everything from green smoothie challenges (highly recommend) to world affairs. The day I wrote this blog, the headlines blazed about World Vision, differing views on a very hot topic, and what Jesus did and did not say. If you’re not familiar, I will leave the Googling up to you.

And in that corner of my kitchen, I read the words of leaders, activists, even pastors reminding us that Jesus was about love, service, and protecting the poor and downtrodden. I am not writing to debate the columns of the day, but rather, ask the question that keeps coming to my mind as I read these writings: Can we love God?

I John 5:3 hangs on my fridge right now: “For this is love for God, that we keep his commandments.”

Jesus taught this is how we love God. In Matthew chapter 22, the Pharisees question him, “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment?” Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest commandment.” What is a commandment? Webster’s says it is an important rule given by God that tells people how to behave.

It strikes me that as much as we want to talk about Jesus and his unending love, we need to start talking about whether we love Him in return. If we desire a relationship with Him, we must love in return through actions and knowledge that is obedient to the word of God, the Bible. Jesus says later in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.”

There is talk and speculation about what Jesus did and did not say—then there is knowing what He actually said.

So, the question remains: Can we love God?

Do you wonder about that question? If so, can you find the time to open a Bible and read Jesus’ words? BibleAnd if you read your Bible regularly, can you search His commands and compare those to your actions? “For this is love for God, that we keep his commandments.” I John 5:3 

About the Writer:
Sarah Lary

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A Call to the Table

My husband and I are what you might call “table people.” We love nothing more than to have friends and family gather around our dining room table for hours of good food and fellowship. This has been the practice in the Duncan household for as long as I can remember. I relish cooking delicious food to serve to the people I love and care about. There is something so sacred in sharing the labor of my love with others to enjoy.
A Call to the Table
In our world of constant going, working, tweeting, texting, emailing, you name it, we have lost this beautiful art. Yet this is what I have learned over the years. When I choose to create time and space in the hectic schedule that is my life, I am always a better wife, momma, and friend for it. Sitting at the table, staring into the eyes of those gathered, the conversations begin. The real stuff—fears, struggles, successes, dreams, all the parts of our lives—comes pouring out. We so rarely share our real selves in this “hyper speed, say a quick hello, things are always great” world.

I find most of us, if not all, are craving a place to belong, a community, a scared spot if you will. This is not a new concept or idea. Acts 2:42 says, “they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

At the table, I am able to be known. When Christ spoke the words in Matthew 11:28, ”Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden,” it reminds me that as His Body we are also to share in each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). As believers in Christ, we get to partake in the blessing that is His Body. I can’t think of a more beautiful way to be the tangible hands and feet of Christ than to open our hearts and our homes to one another. The focus is not about a perfectly set table, a James Beard award winning recipe, or being the perfect Martha Stewart hostess. Simply stated, it’s a call to the table where we can share, encourage, edify, and nourish one another.

About the Writer:
Born in Kentucky, growing up in Arkansas, and now living in Texas, has given this southern preacher’s daughter many unique experiences. Whether setting a table for a new friend, preparing a meal for family, or sharing the love of Christ with a wounded soul, Nesli does it with passion and style. Married to her best friend, a mom to three precious girls, and a life long learner of Gods word, Nesli is excited to share her journey.

Not a Mama BUT Still in the Kitchen

Well, I know this month is all about moms in the kitchen and for years I bought into the fact that you needed to have a family in order to cook. Then I found myself single, twenty-seven, and a creator of a food board on Pinterest that was getting full of wishes and no actual food to show for it.

So I started something called “Pinterest Monday.”

I created a board of recipes that I have actually made and enjoyed. Let’s be real—I started a blank board and have been growing it since the start of “Pinterest Mondays.” I think I am up to about eight or ten recipes that I have tried and liked.

So here’s the deal, I set aside Mondays to cook and spend time with the Lord. Living a single life in Dallas, well anywhere really, means it is hard to say ‘no’ to activities. Then somehow your weeknights and weekends get full weeks in advance and you find yourself lost in the shuffle and having eaten out for weeks straight.

Just me?

The best part of this new Monday tradition is that something happens when you are cooking, even if it is just for yourself. There is a joy in finishing a recipe and enjoying that it tastes great! I feel so accomplished and love that what I’ve prepared lasts me a week’s worth of lunches. The plus side to this new tradition is that it saves me money; and, more importantly, my heart finds rest in these moments where I am alone with the Lord. So I spend my Mondays enjoying my kitchen and seeking the Lord through this quiet time!

This week I made a pasta bake and some sausage dip for a Final Four party! Join me in setting aside a quiet night with the Lord if you dare. The verse that is inspiring to me right now is Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

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About the Writer:
Liz–just a girl who spends her days with fifth graders challenging the normal way of teaching, her afternoons with friends laughing and challenging the definition of community to be something much deeper, and her evenings with Dancing with the Stars and Pinterest, challenging the worldly norm of a 27 year old. 

Liz has a personal blog: http://amazeoftheunknown.blogspot.com

Waiting is Never Easy

I don’t necessarily excel in the cleaning department, and you won’t find me in Hobby Lobby picking up materials for the latest Pinterest craft or even at the hardware store for any DIY room makeovers that can be done over the weekend. But what I do love is cooking a meal for my family almost every night of the week.

I find such joy looking through my favorite cookbook and planning out our weekly menu. I enjoy making the grocery list and then venturing off to the store to pick up all my “supplies” for my craft, i.e., cooking! If there was a sixth love language, cooking for other people would be MY love language (in a sense this goes back to service). I enjoy serving others.

Waiting is Never EasyAll three of my children have autism and teaching them to serve others isn’t a concept they grasp. However, when I am in the kitchen cooking a meal, I welcome my kids to pull up a barstool and help. We work on stirring, pouring, listening to directions, and waiting for the timer to sound so that we can see our hard work. I show them how we pray over the food as we prepare it and ask that God would bless those who eat it. Teaching a child to wait isn’t always easy.

Oftentimes we are asked to wait. The Lord works the very same way with us. We must follow the directions, listen to the stirring of our hearts, pour the gospel into others, and wait upon the Lord for greatness—in His time. In Psalm 27:14, we are called to “Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.”

Waiting is never easy. Whether you are waiting for that wonderful meal you’ve spent time preparing or waiting on your child to learn the most basic concepts, be sure you are bringing everything to the Lord. Pray without ceasing. Follow His directions as closely as you would your favorite recipe and then wait on His perfect timing to bring everything together for His glory.

About the Writer:
Tamie is a stay at home wife and mommy of three kids with autism. She is a member of First Baptist Dallas and enjoys spending time hanging out at home with her family. Tamie has a servant’s heart and it passionate about encouraging other woman in their daily walk with the Lord.

Tamie’s personal blog is about her journey rearing three kids with autism and the lessons the Lord is teaching her along the way.

Memories in the Kitchen

May kitchen postThere’s something inviting about the kitchen. It could be a mother’s touch, the delicious aromas of a home cooked meal, a family gathered after a long day of work. Or it could just be that connection often happens around a well-laid table.

Can anyone argue that food brings us together?

In honor of our mothers, mother figures, or just the motherly traits some of us come by honestly, we will share our stories and lessons learned from moments in the kitchen during the month of May.

Grab your coffee, tea, Bible and devo book and share these moments with us every Tuesday morning as one of our ladies shares.

What is your favorite memory in the kitchen?