Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Recipe for Success

I love cookbooks, and recipes in general. When waiting for appointments, I often copy out recipes from magazines in the waiting room, hoping my name isn't called until I finish. Sometimes they make it to the kitchen, but more often they find their way to the garbage or recycle box the next time I clean out my purse. My collection of cookbooks is always evolving; when I find I have too many, I vow not to buy any more, then pull a few to give away. I have a few favourites: "Loony Spoons", "The Best of the Best of Bridge", and my absolute best favourite, "The Purity Cookbook". I bought that little gem the first time hubbie and I went grocery shopping together, just after we were married. It cost, I believe, $2.99 at the A&P store. Its' pages, now falling out, are batter spattered and stained with all kinds of spilled ingredients. Held together with duct tape, (the book, not me :o) I still refer to it for recipes that I made as a newly-wed, nearly 39 years ago. It definitely holds sentimental value, and I won't be giving it away, ever.

I enjoy trying new recipes, though. And if I am feeling confident enough, I will change the ingredients around, just to be creative, or try to improve on the original. Some people claim that they can't cook, but cooking isn't that hard. You can whip up some pretty good dishes, if you have some basic skills, and a good recipe. You just have to follow the directions.

Lately, I have been striving to lose some weight. Now, in addition to cookbooks, my bookshelves have seen a variety of "diet" books come and go. Some were foolish, and unbalanced. Others were sensible, and very do-able. If you just follow the instructions. And after thirty-plus years of "practicing" weight loss, you would think I would have it mastered. After all, the information that I need to be successful has been at my disposal. But it isn't that easy. It's one thing to have the knowledge, still another to put it into practice. That takes discipline, which usually equates to self-denial, in my experience. Oh how I wish that losing weight were as simple as cooking. That I could just follow the directions, and get the desired result.

I find my Christian walk somewhat like that. The Bible is full of instructions. Admonitions, commands, and principles are laid out in Scripture. It`s all there, and I just have to follow the directions to get the desired result. But I don`t always. Because, like dieting, it takes discipline, and self -denial. Not that I look to my performance to earn God`s love or approval. I know that I have that in Christ. But, like every child of God, I would love to see some progress, some victories along the way. My humanity is all too often a stumbling block to success. Like Paul, the thing I want to do, I don`t do, and the thing I don`t want to do, I keep doing. It could cause me to throw in the towel, if it weren`t for the fact that I know my God is working in me, and has promised to finish what He started there. And like Paul, I can say

Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh, the law of sin. (Romans 7:25)


Anonymous said...

Yeah, but Paul went on to Romans 8.

Ike said...

Dear Anon....

The way to Romans chapter 8... is to go through Romans chapter 7.

Anonymous said...

I know, that's why I said Paul went on.

Maureen said...

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." Rom.8:1-4

Praise be to God for the entire letter to the Romans. Absolutely brilliant, incredibly grounding, wonderfully freeing.

At Heart Level said...

Oh me, oh my! Can I ever relate to this, Maureen. Great wonderful His grace!
Michele D

Maureen said...

Thanks Michele. It's an ongoing battle, but yes, we thank Him for His marvelous grace.