A passion for pie

Some people dig a fork into the pie but are too lazy to raise it to their mouth. MSG Proverbs 19:24

The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth. ESV

I have read and discarded this verse many times.

I can assure you that if there is pie to be had I AM IN! Lets talk about pie.

1621614705_9d532f2d58I love steak and Guinness pie with chunks of torn beef, chicken and ham pie with creamy sauce, mince pie like your granny used to make, shepherds pie and cottage pie with mashed potato perfectly crisped on top, (who knows the difference?). Oh please don’t forget Melton Mowbray Pork Pies, a delight which fueled my achieving the Four Peaks a few years ago. Pukka Pies with the obligatory mushy peas are another midlands specialty. Scotch pies with their delicious over-sized crust are heavenly and one of many reasons to go visit Scotland this year. To this day pies remain the BEST reason to go to a football match in England. Please somebody invent the Bacon Pie.

….. and now for dessert!

2606707419_53cc00f380Our American cousins get confused when we talk about pies with meat in them… its all about sweetness. Seriously if ever there was a reason for traversing the continental US. You could start with key lime pie in Florida swing by for an Apple Pie in the Big Apple, sidestep and tuck into a Shoofly pie in the burgh, pecan pie from every place imaginable, before getting hot and sweaty with a Mississippi Mud Pie. You’ll find peach pie, mixed berry pie, blueberry pie, plum pie, peanut butter pie, banoffee pie, hot cherry pie, rhubarb pie, a personal favorite apple and raspberry pie and of course pumpkin pie. After that road trip we will be entitled to sing “Who ate all the pies?”

It is unimaginable to me that someone might be sat down, presented with any of these sublime pies, dig their fork in the pie and then fail to taste and enjoy. Right now at the very thought my lips are watering.

If you have read the first post in the Proverb to Prayer series you will remember the challenge to face up to these proverbs to let them speak truth to our lives and to allow them to spark a conversation with God about how he plans on transforming our lives.

Look around you what do you see?

As I write I sit in our kitchen where a few months back I redecorated walls floor and ceiling. I moved a radiator to allow a new sofa and installed a new dishwasher. Yet despite my short lived focus we still have no kickboards under the cupboards and a bare window at one end of the room. Those who know me know I am one of the many men who fail to finish DIY projects.

Rewind a year, what has God said?

Proverbs seriesHow has God spoken through His word or other ways in the last months? What ‘pies’ has God set before you? Have you received and consumed. Have you acted, prayed about and shared this sustenance or did you say that looks nice and leave the word of God intact, untouched?

In what ways has Gods sustenance provided you with faith to act?

Steak & Guinness pie Image: Some rights reserved by yashima

Blueberry pie Image: Some rights reserved by thebittenword.com

Featured Image: Some rights reserved by garryknight

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12 Social Media (G+) Proverbs

These dozen proverbs are written as advice on how to live well in the digital world of Google + and other social media networks.  They are inspired by The Book of Proverbs chapter 18.   Enjoy!

  1. Any friend/follower/circle dude who is interested only in themselves is basically a ball of spit

Loners who care only for themselves spit on the common good. 18:1

  1. If you can’t listen, think and respond, you are basically just slobbering on your keyboard (tablet/phone)

Fools care nothing for thoughtful discourse; all they do is run off at the mouth. 18:2

  1. There are bucket-loads of crap posts but a few finely crafted gems

Many words rush along like rivers in flood, but deep wisdom flows up from artesian springs. 18:4

  1. A dumbass post starts pointess fights, HIT MUTE

The words of a fool start fights; do him a favor and gag him. 18:6

  1. In all seriousness, what you post changes who you are

Fools are undone by their big mouths; their souls are crushed by their words. 18:7

  1. Don’t learn to hit the mute button?  You will end up with a bellyache

Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy; do you really want junk like that in your belly? 18:8

  1. Social media is a co-operative canvas, bad habits and lazy posts are ugly graffiti on top of inspired sketches

Slack habits and sloppy work are as bad as vandalism. 18:9

  1. You look stupid and rude when you comment without reading the post

 Answering before listening is both stupid and rude. 18:13

  1. Read carefully, if you are wise, the daily insight will stick

Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights. 18:15

  1. Be generous with your comments, people will notice

A gift gets attention; it buys the attention of eminent people. 18:16

  1. Kind, friendly comments are as good as fresh fruit on a hot day

Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach; good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest. 18:20

  1. When it comes down to it, life is really about people, wives and husbands, friends and family, boyfriends and girlfriends, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mums and dads, and all those other people you should be loving right now, including those on the other end of the internet connection.

Find a good spouse, you find a good life— and even more: the favor of God!…… Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family. 18:22&24

The Centre

Proverbs chapter 18 is practical wisdom for living life well.  It covers many subjects, marriage, friendship, work and much more.

Tucked away in the middle of this collection of pragmatic guidelines is a real odd ball. It’s simply out of place.  Or is it perfectly placed?  Here is 18:10

God’s name is a place of protection— good people can run there and be safe.

At the centre of life is the name and nature of God; All powerful, all knowing God who is home

Featured Image:  Some rights reserved by andrewrennie

God’s ways are not your ways

still small voice

I regularly have to remind myself the Christian life is not a project to accomplish or a skill to practice.

This is increasingly important as today we are surrounded by headlines like:

Five steps to become an awesome Christian

7 mistakes the unsaved make when cutting grass

12 people who need to like you before you will achieve your God given purpose

Sometime I wonder if we have become like the Pharisees aiming for perfection, creating ‘rules’ to help us along the way.

TAKE ACTION – plan – don’t stop moving – people need to hear your voice today or they will forget you

But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.  Galatians 1:15-17

I am inspired by the fact that one of my heroes, Paul, when called by God did not run to the nearest successful ministry, nor did he seek out a 10 step plan for church planting, he didn’t even head to where he could learn from the experts.

He stopped, he listened, he was prepared for the slow revelation of Jesus Christ.  Prepared also for the possible obscurity that may follow.

The revelation of Jesus Christ is never hurried.  Even in His own teaching Jesus chose parables, stories thrown down before people that worked into their spirit.  I wonder today whether Jesus’ teaching would follow the ‘self-help’ industry standards of today or would he still be asking questions of us, breathing answers to those prepared to sit in the soil long enough to take root.

 

For some reason comments are not working on this post.  If you’d like to comment or just say hi, why not come over and say hi on G+ here

 

Hands up anyone?

Check out Proverbs 18:13

  • If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.
  • It’s stupid and embarrassing to give an answer before you listen.
  • Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish
  • Answering before listening is both stupid and rude.

Hands Up Anyone?I read this Proverb a couple of weeks back and shared it with Harrison (6) over breakfast.  Harrison’s response?  “There are people like that in my class.  They have their hands up before the teacher even asks the question!”  (spoken with more than a hint of ‘how foolish is that’)

I have to hold my hands up and say “Yep that’s me” , I speak before listening.  It is my foolishness and shame to have answers for people long before I listen to them.  Harrison’s words made me think though.  There are sometimes when we really should have our hands up, but they remain at our side.

  • In confession – ‘Yep that was me’
  • In worship – You alone are worthy O Lord
  • In response – Here I am, send me
  • In celebration – Think of when your team scored that last-minute goal

106054-barcelonas-supporters-celebrate-a-goal-by-their-team-in-central-barcel1

Sing, Daughter Zion; shout aloud, Israel!  Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem!  The Lord has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you;never again will you fear any harm. On that day they will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.                                        Zephaniah 3: 14-17

Worth Celebrating?