Monthly Archives: September 2015

Love Wins

Her skin was almost translucent, like damp tissue paper. The stench made me want to hurl, the odor of digested blood unmistakable, permeating the cramped E.R. room. Her eyes, faded with age were sunken behind smudged glasses. Rings hung loose on her thin, arthritic fingers, knuckles swollen and twisted.

A soul fluttering butterfly-soft on the slippery edge between this world and the next.

I heard she died the next day.

“Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.” (Eccl. 12:7)

And then what?

Is God some fearful Judge who weighs her good deeds against her bad ones and comes up with an arbitrary ruling?  And someday, does the same with you and me?

Heaven.

Hell.

Could a loving God send anyone to hell?

Maybe the bad ones.  I could see that.

And then, I see the stain dripping all over the days of my life, the hellish poison that has infected mankind from Eden’s first forbidden mouthful…selfishness.  Ingratitude. Bitterness. I stumble in the rubble of my own destructive choices.

Apart from God’s grace, aren’t we all capable of untold evil?  Sin, like Ebola, is a death sentence. A mere drop is deadly.

Does He send people to hell?

Or is it we ourselves who resist the cure like it’s a poison, flailing like a two year old in full-on tantrum that we will have our way if it kills us.

It will.

In the midst of the ugly, God shows up. The cross – the senselessly brutal instrument of torture – becomes a victory symbol of God’s unfailing love for the very ones who reject and despise Him. The antidote for hell is within every. single. person’s. grasp.

He offers not rejection, but redemption.  His love beckons, a beacon in the whirling turbulence.

And we choose it, or not.

Jesus Christ came once as a suffering, servant-Messiah, but He is coming as a Warrior-King. His absolute mercy and grace was written for all time on the pages of history in His blood. But a day is coming when He will also write His passion for justice and righteousness in the blood of the unrepentantly evil.

Isn’t this still love?

How can a loving God look the other way when children are bruised and abused, dignity trampled upon, vows broken, callous cruelty runs rampant? Don’t we cry in the darkness of this sin-blighted world for justice and how long, Lord? How can we not?

A day is coming when the Lion of Judah will roar.  Our choices for all of eternity will be made clear.  A life without God remains a life without God.

So, does God send people to hell?  Nope.  I don’t believe so.  But plenty of people are going there, carried in a handbasket of their own choosing.

It’s not love that fails.

God’s perfect love displayed in equal justice and mercy…

That’s the love that wins.

 

The World’s Best Biscuits

I think my sister in law loves me. But, she gave me this recipe, so she may or may not have my best interests at heart.

Seeing as how I tend to slather these babies up with butter and honey and don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-another-one-going-down-my-piehole.

See, they’re undeniably habit forming.

I like ’em hot.  Cold.  With butter.  With sausage gravy.  Alongside some soup. Just plain. The list goes on.

Don’t believe me?  Try ’em.  I double-dog dare you.

Ready for the low-down?

Start with sifting 2 cups of all purpose flour with 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.

Now grab some butter (no margarine, pretty please with a cherry on top. It’s not the same, and you’ll hate yourself if you do.) You need 5 tablespoons of authentic, unsalted butter. You can thank me later.

Now cut the butter up into teeny tiny pieces, either with a pastry cutter (pictured) or two table knives. When it’s all done, the flour-butter mixture will resemble course sand.

Now, for the secret weapon.  (Drumroll, please.)  Grab one cup full of plain yogurt, and dump it into the butter-flour sand stuff.

Stir it around a bit until it’s a rough dough, and then dump it out on your clean counter.

Knead it around a little, but don’t overdo it.

Pat it into a rough 1″ thickness and go hog wild with your biscuit cutter (I use a tomato sauce can with both ends cut out.)

Loveliness.

Now, put ’em on a cookie sheet, and bake them at 375 F for about 12-15 minutes, or until golden and lovely and irresistible.

Butter, inhale, repeat.

 

Searching for what?

From the first flailing breath, to the last reedy sigh, we cry for something lost.  Elusive, we think it hides behind a smile, a great house, or spouse, or kid, or job.  Or things.  Or a dress size.  Or exotic places.  Yet chasing it, we find only a fistful of wind (Ecclesiastes 1:14) and an acrid tang of disillusionment.

The truth is, it was lost long before we entered this world.

Eden.

Can it be found?  What is this longing for, if not to push us to look? Could it be that we long for the Maker of Eden, and our restlessness can be the catapult that launches our souls heavenward?