Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Of Fat Pies and Kind Words

A word of kindness is better than a fat pie.  ~Russian Saying

What comes to mind when you think of a fat pie?  I made an apple pie for Sunday dinner -- what a delicious aroma filled the house! But when I put the rolls in to bake, we began to smell something -- and it wasn't the yeasty smell of Sue's Sunday Dinner Rolls.  When I opened the oven, smoke billowed out.  Lesson learned: Boiled over apple pie is not the cinnamon sweetness of the pie itself.

When we open our mouths to speak, we want our words to taste like juicy apple pie, not the burnt sugary mess in the bottom of my oven.  Every conversation should be filled with kindness.

Tears filled my eyes when I read that 160,000 children miss school each day because they fear what their peers will say about them. Doesn't reading this statistic make your heart just ache?  It reminds me why I tried to instill the virtue of kindness in my daughters on a daily basis.

Solomon knew the importance of kind words.  He said, "Kind words are like honey -- sweet to the soul and healthy for the body." Once we taste the sweetness, we are spoiled for life.  Because, not only can the person receiving the kind words taste the gift of bees, but we, too, can enjoy the sweetness that comes from bestowing the kindness blessing.

Blessing with kind words is not something we put on when we feel like it.  It's a way of life. With practice it becomes who we are.  

I'd like to challenge you to intentionally bless someone with kind words this week -- someone besides family and friends:
  • Pastor
  • Sales clerk
  • Medical personnel
  • Soldier
  • Coffee shop server
  • Policeman
  • Boss
  • A child
  • Harried Mother
By being intentional, you will begin a habit that will change the rest of your life.  Again, it is Solomon who gives us the wisdom of kind words: "Gentle words are a tree of life." As you bless with kindness, you will be growing leaves on your own sheltering tree -- a tree of life.  And that pie?  No comparison, because kind words really are better than a fat pie.

* * * * *

Mini Pecan Pies

Pie crusts

1 lg. egg
1 1/4 cups brown sugar packed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans  

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mold pie crusts to mini muffin tins.  Mix the eggs, brown sugar, butter, vanilla and salt.  Stir in the pecans.  Fill each crust 2/3 full.  Bake 17 minutes.  The shells will be light brown and the filling puffed up.  Cool and remove from pan.  Yield: 30 pies.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Thirsting for Abundant Life

No heart is too dry for His touch. ~Max Lucado

I've been struggling today -- trying to write a blog that usually writes itself.  I started several, put them on the back burner for later because they just don't seem right.  And then God just plops a new book (released August 30th) into my lap and there it was -- my topic.  As with so many of my posts, I write where God is speaking to me.

Mark Hall, lead singer for Casting Crowns, wrote "The Well: Why Are So Many Still Thirsty?"  I'm having a hard time putting this book -- er, Kindle -- down.  Hall asks the question, "Why are so many so close to the Well and still so thirsty?" After telling the powerful story of the Woman at the Well and her encounter with Jesus, the chapters deal with the "wells" we go to -- success, talent, control, favor, religion -- instead of drinking thirstily and consistently in the well of God.  And in doing so, our thirst is never quite quenched.

As believers we do the right things.  We read our Bibles, pray, go to church several times a week.  But in between, instead of finding our identity in the well of God, we dip in other holes.  The first  hole is control.  How many times do we tell God exactly how to work out our "situations?"  Instead of living abundant life, we settle for life.  We fill our bucket from the well of control, leaving no room for the miracle God would like to perform. 

That's as far as I've read -- more than enough for food for thought -- and prayer.  God's well holds so much more than salvation.   It holds abundant life -- the life I thirst for.  If you are thirsty, come to The Well.

Like the woman at the well, I was seeking
For things that could not satisfy;
And then I heard my Savior speaking:
“Draw from My well that never shall run dry.”