Cooking


I love to cook. I started when I was a teenager. My dad only like meat and potatoes. It was boring and bland. Back then there wasn’t many cooking shows to watch. The food network had not started yet. So the pickings were slim. But there was a doctor from England that was a gourmet cook. The only problem with the show was that he was an alcoholic. Everything he cooked had wine in it, as well as himself. He was a good cook and I learned a lot from him. I started cooking at home. My mom was a school teacher and didn’t have time to really cook for us 4 boys. She was thankful that I helped out in the house. My dad at first would complain about the food if he found out that I cooked. Soon we just didn’t tell him. He loved the food. I learned how to make all kinds of things. My wife loves it when she found out I could cook. Unfortunately her mother never taught her anything about the kitchen. She couldn’t boil water. After many years of marriage and children, her skills haven’t gone far beyond that. I got into baking. I love baking cookies and pies, also cheesecakes. I have a killer orange oatmeal, raisin, chocolate chip cookie. I make a vichyssoise, to die for. I have forgotten more recipes than I remember. My sons have grown up and I hardly cook any more. One of the things that I had thought about seriously was a restaurant. But I was already married. My life has had many twist and turns. Some of the turns were good and some well thank God I had a chance to correct my mistakes. I have always wanted my life to be worth something. I tried very hard to make my way in this world. But I never really wanted to be part of this world. My heart doesn’t belong here. I gave my heart to the Lord and am seated together with Him in heavenly places. And this is where I want to go. So I am writing to let you know that you can make into the same heavenly places. All you have to do is ask God to go.
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Contentment


Contentment is being satisfied with who you are and what you have. In today’s world this seems like a tall order. Everybody is pushing to get the latest craze. If it isn’t a new phone, it is a new watch, phone, and a computer put together. Then there is the new car syndrome. If your car isn’t 6 months old or less, you haven’t succeeded. Let us not forget clothes. If you don’t have the latest clothes, you just can’t go out of you house. And if your house is not up to date, Lord have mercy on my soul. There seems to be a driving need to acquire things. We must acquire bigger things or better things or our life isn’t worth living. That idea is a total lie straight out of the pits of hell. It is an idea to make you discontented with your life and everyone and thing in it too. Do you remember when one toy at Christmas was a real blessing? Or do you remember going to get an ice cream cone with your family? I can remember going with my family to get a cold mug of root beer. It was so much fun and I was with my family. Your life is what you make it. If you don’t participate in it, it still goes on without you. That is even sadder than being greedy. Take back your life and be who you are supposed to be. Don’t let everybody else tell you what you are supposed to be. It is for your self-worth and inner peace that you need to do this. Don’t let the world dictate to you what is important to you. Stand up and be yourself. For as God has said that contentment and Godliness is great gain.
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Patchwork Quilt


All my life I have been interested in patchwork quilts. Some have been very simple while some are very complicated. It is taking some material that has been discarded and using it again to make something beautiful and practical. Today we don’t look at old cloth as something of value. But at one time woven fabric was priceless. There was very little of it and the cost was very prohibitive. So people would save old shirts, dresses or pants and reuse them. They would take this mismatched group of fabric and create a very practical and beautiful work of art. It was in the form of a quilt. Usually the quilt was something that the women in a family got together and made. It started as making a quilt for a wedding gift. It would take many man-hours of work to complete a quilt. Depending on the design of the quilt is depending on how long it took to make it. You couldn’t go to the store and buy a quilt. Many people just couldn’t afford to purchase it anyway. So this was a real gift to a couple just starting out. Today they are real works of art, even the ones from 100’s of years ago. And they are very valuable. I have always wanted to do this work. It takes time and patience to complete a quilt. It is the same with God. He takes the old discarded parts of our lives. He sews them back together in a way so that we look and feel like a work of art. Then we become something of beauty and very practical. Or I should say we become functional. Let God create in our lives that beautiful and practical patchwork quilt. Then people will admire and value your life. All you have to do is ask.
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Gauche and Droit


It is French for left and right. The word droit not only means right, but correct, straight, careful, skillful, nimble, able and expect. The word gauche not only means left, but clumsy, awkward, ungainly, left-handed and sinister. That is an unusual meaning of a word. It really isn’t if you knew where the word came from. We use the words gauche and adroit in English as well as French. There are many words that are in both languages at the same time. America is called the melting pot of the world. There is many words from all over the world that are used in American English. But getting back to the two words, gauche and droit. Left and right are used everywhere. Our hands are left and right. Does that mean that our left hand is sinister? Or that our right hand is an expert? Or could we say that our left hand is ungainly or awkward? Or maybe is the right hand that is handsome? How can you tell which is which? Do they look different from the other? The words don’t mean that our hands have any ability one way or the other. They are just hands. But it does speak to which way our heart is going in. You have to go back to the original meaning of the words to understand what they mean. The words come from the bible and are referring to the two thieves that hung on the cross next to Jesus. The thief on the right asked Jesus to be with him when He entered His kingdom. Jesus said today you will be with Me in paradise. The thief on the left just cursed he way into eternity. The thief on the right became righteous and the thief on the left became sinister. Which are you? Will you ask God today and become righteous or will you curse your way into hell?
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Encouragement


To receive a kind word from someone. When people actually speak to us about what we have done or said. This means more than most people think. Our lives are always out there. People look at things we do, even when we don’t see it. Sometimes we don’t want them to see what we are doing. But people are out there. Now they are with cellphones with cameras recording anything and everything. It is just nice to have someone appreciate what we do. Friday after work I was coming home and stopped to get supper from a favorite place. This young woman waited on me. She was efficient and friendly. She didn’t say an awful lot to me. She was working hard at getting it right. So I spoke to her and encourage her. Tears came down her face as I spoke to her. She appreciate someone acknowledging her hard work. My wife and I went to a wedding yesterday. It was a lovely service in a 200 year old church. Afterwards at the reception, I went to the priest and told him how much a appreciated his sermon. He spoke to the young couple’s heart and blessed me also. You never know when someone when someone will do something that will touch your life. When it happens, say something to the person who did it. Everybody is always ready to cuss and fuss at someone for stupid mistakes. Try encouraging someone and see what happens in their life. Being a blessing is what we are supposed to do here on earth. Take time to watch a sunrise or sunset. They are always beautiful and know the God is in heavens there encouraging us.
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Closer than a Brother


How many of you have a brother? How many brothers are close to each other? How many of you have a friend that is as close to you as a brother? Family is family and they are blood kind. But that doesn’t mean that they are close to each other. I have known some families that wouldn’t talk to each other. I know some families that live next to each other all their lives. Mom and her two sisters were very close to each other. We would always have Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter at one of their houses. We continued this until unfortunately mom and her two sisters died. Now that we don’t get together, we miss the fellowship we had with each other. But that didn’t make us close to each other. I love my brothers and their families. But sometimes I just wanted to be alone. When I was a young man and looking for acceptance in my life, I didn’t find it in my family. My family still loves me, but their love is brotherly. It was never like God’s love, wholly committed. I was looking for a girlfriend that would love me wholly. But that didn’t happen. There were several reasons why. At one point in my life, I was totally unlovable. I was so angry and bitter that people steered clear of me. I wanted the peace of knowing that I could love someone with my whole heart and they would reciprocate that love. I searched for a long time, until a friend introduce me to the only person who would. His name is Jesus. He loved me when I was unlovable. And He had never stopped. As much as I have be a pain to Him, He has never stopped loving me. This is what I was looking for all my life. And I am not alone in this for Jesus loves everyone that same. All you have to do is call on His name.
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What is Your Purpose in Life?


Everyone has a purpose. There is no one that doesn’t have a purpose in this life. You may not have found what it is yet. But there is one for you. I learned long time ago that my cat has a purpose. I was full of myself one day and declared that my cat was just a ball of fluff. I was immediately corrected by God telling me that my cat has the life of God in it and has a purpose on this earth. I began to see my cat’s purpose. My cat serves her purpose to the ninth degree. She never stops. She will be who she is until she dies. Now that is dedicated. Her job in life is to bring comfort and consoling me. I have seen my cat sit by my dog who was shaken violently because of the lightning. She stay with my dog until Tootie had stopped shaking. She was performing her purpose in life. How many people do you know that are as selfless and dedicated to God and His work as my cat? It is easy to get lost in this world. To find yourself wanting what the world has. But it is an illusion. It will all disappear in the end. It is just temporary and has little value. What is more permanent? What can I put my hands on and hold on to? When we go on to the other side of life, heaven or hell to be specific, we can’t take anything but ourselves. So what can we have that is permanent? There are several things that you can have and take with you. Let me spell them out. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. These things are permanent in your life, if you accept them. So what is your purpose in life?
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The Mathematical Shape of Time


What does time look like? What shape does it come in? How can you define the shape of time? What are the expressions of time? Time can be compressed. Time can be expanded. Time has sand. Time had seeds. Time has space. Time has a yesterday. Time has a tomorrow. Time can’t stand still. Time has always been used to tell you where you are in the universe. Time waits for no man. Time is relentless. Time continues through forever or infinity. Time can be slowed down. Time can be sped up. Time has consistency. Time is the most important element in our lives. Then can you tell me why you waste most of your time on nothing. There is a limited amount of time given to each of us, no more or no less. Once it has been used it is gone. It vaporizes into the universe. Yet people consistently throw time away. It is more valuable than gold or silver. It is the only thing that will get us from here to there. And when you run out of time, you are gone forever. Again, I will ask you the same questions. Why do you waste the time you have been given? Make no mistake, you were given this time at your birth. You can’t change it or exchange it. You can throw it away. You can end your time on earth, but you only have so much and that is it. There are absolutes in this world and time is one of them. Man can’t do anything about it. The only thing that you can do is make sure you use your time wisely. Because as they say once you are gone, you are gone and your time has ended.
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A Gentler and Simple Life


Anyone who has lived for any length of time has wished for a gentler and simple life. When we were kids, we were always wishing to be adults. Because we could do the things that adults do. We thought that be adult would give us freedom from our parent’s rules and regulations. That drive to freedom modeled our lives into the people we became. Never once thinking of the responsibility that our parents carried. We never saw that burden, because our parents never wanted to show that side of adulthood. So we were starry eyed and wishful about being our own boss. When I grow up I can do what I want. No one is going to tell me what to do. What people never said was that as you get older more responsibility must be carried. When we reached adulthood, we found out that there are more rules and regulations. It comes from everywhere. We begin to carry a larger load. Until one day the load buries us. That gentler and simple seems to evade us although we long for it. I felt that way and was disappointed with everything. I felt that everything was taken from me. Then I reached out to the only person who change anything in my life. I discovered that Jesus was the only person who loved me just because I was me. My parents loved me, my brothers loved me and family and friends loved me. But no one was willing to accept me for me. Jesus helped me to become the person that I was always meant to be. In the process I discovered the gentler and simple life that I always long for. It is there for anyone who is willing to accept that way of life. It is in Jesus’ name.
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Why have all those people come to America?


Over the past 400 years, there have been millions of people who landed on this shore. Why? Why have they risked everything that they have to come to this country? My family immigrated to this country. The only people who hadn’t immigrated are the Native Americans. Wave upon wave of people have come to these shores in search of something. There isn’t a country in this world that hasn’t had their people come to America. People didn’t care if they had money or not. They would work for the dream. There are so many people that came and died before they realized their dreams. Yet it hasn’t stopped anyone from coming. The people 400 year ago saw the same thing as the people today. There is hope for the future. It may be hard now but we will make it in America. In our city, there has been an influx of people from Central and South America. And in our city there has been a boom in lawn maintenance companies. Several years ago, there might have been 5 companies. Now if there isn’t 20 or 30 lawn maintenance companies. And they have equipment, expensive equipment. They have several trucks, multiple riding lawn mowers, gas powered blowers and trailers to put all this equipment on. They are finding a place where they belong and providing for themselves. With hope in their hearts, they are making a difference in their lives and their families. And the rippling effort is that they are effecting their community. Hope is where you start with God.
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