Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Recipe for Thanks

I am drying bread in my oven today. The whole house smells like bread baking. This is the first step for making my Mom's recipe for Thanksgiving dressing. I am excited that the Thanksgiving cooking sequence has begun!

I think this step is the most important for good dressing. You see, if you don't remove the moisture in the bread, there is no place for the turkey stock, butter and veggie juices to go. You end up with a soggy dressing that sits like a lump in your belly. By drying out the bread, you make room for all the flavorful wet ingredients.

When I remove the slices of bread from the low temp oven, they will rattle on the cookie sheets. They will be raspy and crunchy and ready to receive the juices that help the spices permeate the bread.

Those brittle slices of bread reminded me of a story. (Stick with me, it may not be very appetizing but I think you'll understand my point.) This story is from the old testament about Ezekiel. In chapter 37 we find him in a valley:

The hand of the LORD was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, {there were} very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, {they were} very dry. Ezekiel 37:1-2

God asked Ezekiel if it was possible for those dry bones to live. He left it up to God. God told him to prophesy or preach to the bones. He spoke the words God gave him and he heard a rattling. A miraculous regeneration takes place for the house of Israel--because Ezekiel spoke God's words to the bones.

Have you ever felt like you've been walking in a desert? Do you feel like someone turned up the heat on your life lately? There are a few reasons for this, but the one I want to focus on is this: God has a plan for you.

Sometimes we get drenched in the worries and cares of the world and there is no room for the Holy Spirit to fill us up. So God takes us on a journey and turns up the heat a bit. We are left parched and dry...so much so that our will becomes brittle. But we are not abandoned there. It's when we can say, "Lord not my will but yours!" that God can begin His work.

O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water. Psalms 63:1

It's at this point that we are finally ready. God wants to fill us up with something better--something that will permeate our souls and bring back the spice to our lives. It's a regeneration of our spirit, that comes from the washing of the Word.

If you find yourself in an arid land during your walk with Christ this Thanksgiving, think about that side dish--dressing. Allow God to pour His Word into your life--find a quiet place, grab your Bible off the shelf and check out any of the following passages: Ezekiel 37:1-14, John 4:4-26, Psalm 42:1-5, John 6:32-40 and Revelation 7:13-17. Before you start to read, ask God to speak to you about your life in that passage, then dig.

Be prepared, you are about to experience a new blessing in your walk that will saturate your dry bones. He will pick you up out of that dark valley and quench your thirst. All you have to do is ask, receive and be thankful for it ALL.

Happy Thanksgiving dear ones, and may God speak to your dry bones!

"He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.' " John 7:38

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