Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bona Fide Belief

I get these short devotional segments by Bonhoeffer in my email every day. Today's was especially good, so I thought I'd share. :)
You complain that you cannot believe? No one should be surprised that they cannot come to believe so long as, in deliberate disobedience, they flee or reject some aspect of Jesus’ commandment. You do not want to subject some sinful passion, an enmity, a hope, your life plan, or your reason to Jesus’ commandment? Do not be surprised that you do not receive the Holy Spirit, that you cannot pray, that your prayer for faith remains empty! Instead, go and be reconciled with your sister or brother; let go of the sin which keeps you captive; and you will be able to believe again! If you reject God’s commanding word, you will not receive God’s gracious word. How would you expect to find community while you intentionally withdraw from it at some point? The disobedient cannot believe; only the obedient believe.
While the grace we receive is not by the merit of our works, or even our belief, it must be accompanied by obedience to be proved genuine, and not merely counterfeit. Hard words, but so good! May we not bring shame to the name of Christ by our unbelieving actions, but live in the freedom of obedience to the one who bought us with His blood.

Good things to think on near the end of this stressful, busy, rainy day. It's a busy season, but school's almost out for me!! :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pumpkin Scones Revisited


I posted this recipe for pumpkin scones way back on November 12, 2010, and they're still a family favorite, and perfect for this time of year! You can find the recipe by clicking on this link. They are so good - just the right blend of spices, and lovely fresh out of the oven with a cup of coffee (yes, I love my coffee!) on a Saturday morning!

A couple of tips with this recipe:

As with any biscuit or scone recipe, don't over-mix. You want to still see small chunks of butter in the dough - this is what keeps them light and flaky, rather than tough and flat.

Also, I like to cut down on the sugar content, so I make only the spiced glaze, which seems to be just the perfect amount of sweetness.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Singing in the Rain

November. Many years, just the name of this month makes me want to say, "no." No November, thank you kindly. No cold, dark, wet, grey. No midterms or group project presentations or sprinting to the bus on dark mornings, lugging books like a bedraggled camel while balancing my umbrella and hoping my socks will dry before it's time to come home again.

But if I said no to November, there wouldn't be the joy of watching these last few leaves fall to the ground in bright, crunchy carpets. There wouldn't be the wonder of seeing the sky shine bright blue through thinning branches in the midst of weeks of rain. I wouldn't have had the joy and fun of watching the kids on Wednesday night, building marshmallow and spaghetti towers of babel, and laughing along with them.

The trees on my university campus - so beautiful! Photo credit - Nelson.

Things have been getting busier and busier. I haven't been as disciplined as I should be. My courses aren't as interesting as I thought they'd be. Many dear friends, church family, and family, face serious trials. Sometimes I just feel helpless... helpless... in the face of hurts that only God, and only truly knowing Him, can heal. But there are jewels found amidst suffering. There is forgiveness. There is the incredible joy of eternal life even when flesh wastes away. But still, the wound of life is raw. There is forgiveness rejected despite desperate prayers. There are choices made that tear apart fragile faith. Sometimes life draws my eyes to stray from His goodness.

November. Just another month in this short life. Yet in His perspective, it comes down to being "His possession - to the praise of His glory." (Eph 1:14) In God's economy, it's not about good and bad, but about giving everything to Him. Just spending a couple moments reading scriptures, remembering who I am, who He is - that's what brings it all back to joy - pure joy - because He measures out every circumstance for good.

Sometimes I still wish I could say no to November, but the beauty He will bring is worth it all - for it's no less than His Glory.