Stay on the Path of Hope

People have problems and problems have people.

LD


Human life has not been on the easiest path since Genesis 3 happened, but it is not left desolate. It’s is true that there is much hurt in our world, but there is hope also. In fact, unlike pain which can be limited and passing, hope is permanent, living, and forever present.
Hope gets impaired at times, but living hope is unbroken, its inseparable to the righteous path.

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.

Proverbs 4:18

The passage does not say that the path of the righteous has not got holes, or steep uphills and scary slopes, just that his/her path shines with light that gets better and better with each step. The righteous is the man and woman who have been redeemed by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. This means they are made anew. They are light and brought to light because of this new relationship with God through Christ.
The righteous may face the same, I would say at times even worse, challenging situations than other people do, still, they seem to be brighter, hopeful, encouraging, enduring and I would dare to say better by it.

I speak with tenderness from personal experience about this and I back that even strongly with stories from the Bible and friends whom I have journeyed with through the valley of pain.

The path I am talking about here is not easy, it’s not happy all the way. The path requires patience and trust. And although at times the light in the path feels more like is deeming and extinguishing rather brightening with each step, Jesus Christ has promised that the light of hope stays switched on constantly.

The last 19 months have been dark and have felt ‘hopeless’ for many. Covid 19 restrictions have numbed a part of us that will require patience, time and grace to heal. We may feel tempted to leave the path, hurry in it or exit it for a change. Still…

We can’t hurry to heal.

LD

We like to think all is well now and that normality has kicked off, still, let’s continue to stay in the lighten path. The love of God heals like nothing else does. He is the way, so, we linger in that righteous path, we ask for help, we receive help and have the forbearance to heal.
As the restrictions of Covid ease off, we must stop and enjoy the smiles that have been muzzled off for longer than the mind can bear it. As we learn to take more steps to normality, let’s not run them. Our hearts need the living hope to revive us again, to breathe in us again, to rebuild us.

Be patient in the path. Stay in the path.

Get in the path.

How to get on the path?

By surrendering to Jesus, to His love to His salvation, to His Hope. He came more than two millennia ago to show the way, to be the way. He came to our world when darkness covered the earth and brought light and the only hope for humanity. Since then, no matter how dark our world gets, or how much pain knocks us down, we have hope. Jesus is our light and hope.

Let us lean on His love.

Fake it till you make it… Really?

“Vision and lies walk close with each other in Silicon Valley.”

It has been known as the place where you can ‘make it’ the place where your dreams and your wildest inventions can take shape and change the world. Young and old flock to the famous district in California carrying a brighter future on their minds and a desire to succeed in their hearts.

One of those people who wanted to make a difference and became for a while the first young female ‘billionaire’ was Elisabeth Holmes. The Stanford dropout whose fear of needles motivated her ‘invention’ to create a technology that used very little blood to perform many tests has been recently in the news. She has been called to testify among other things, of fakery. Her company was selling technology that did not do what was promised to do. She is not the only one. Apparently, it’s the culture in Silicon Valley. Inventors sell their dreams to investors as though they are in their last step ready for the market, rather than in reality being just a concept.
I can understand a little bit why the inventors do that, although I don’t agree when that involves people’s health and wellbeing. The culture of ‘fake it until you make it’ sadly has seeped its way into the church.

There is a popular culture nowadays in our churches to hear sermons from the pulpit with the idea of declaring truths from the Bible even if we don’t ‘feel’ like they are true for us.
“Fake it until you make it” might have worked in Silicon Valley many times, but if we are unsure of our faith, that fakery will not work when we walk in the ‘Death Valleys’ of life.

Believers don’t have to do that. If we are sons and daughters of God, we have been adopted in his family by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, because of that, our faith is based on truth, not fake statements.
It’s true that our feelings perhaps might not grasp this truth straight away, still, our declaration of faith is based on that truth, not fakery.
Salvation, redemption, righteousness, freedom, and right standing with God are all the work of God through the Holy Spirit by the Son, not ours. Because of his work, we don’t have to fake it.
When we understand that, we have nothing to fear or fake, we stand on a rock-solid truth that makes us fearless and assured even if our feelings might not align right away. We’re are not faking anything, we are standing on that truth.

Fakery occurs when we are unsure and doubtful, truth, on the other hand, is based on assurance and evidence.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Hebrews 11:1 KJV

In the heavenly courts, that which will matter is the truth, only that will set us free. Fake it until you make it might work here for a while, but if it’s the truth that makes all the difference, why then, we not start and live out the truth right now?

Planning the Pudding

When I know that friends are coming over, the first thing that comes to my mind is cooking the pudding. I am a strong believer that if you make a delicious pudding, all other mistakes or shortcomings with other courses are forgiven. 

Depending on the time I have got I may choose to do a simple and easy dessert or a more impressive and ‘centre of the table‘  alike one. 

When I say simple, I never for a minute mean a compromise on the taste. I like to make a simple chocolate moose for example. Just five ingredients, but with the advantage of being made one night before and individual glass pots for each guest decorated with dark chocolate shavings and nuts make this dessert luxurious yet light. 

If it’s winter, crumbles are my easy to do and favourites to eat pudding. I can mix whatever fruit is in the market for the base and as a topping, I do a killer ‘no flour and low sugar’ crumble. I mix almond, hazelnut and coconut flour with a couple of spoonfuls of brown demerara sugar and butter or coconut oil in a food mixer and spread evenly on the fruit. The hot crumble is just heaven served with crème anglaise  ( custard ) and a good scoop of ice cream. 

If I have time and if I feel patient, then a layered cake might be in place. Perhaps a big tiramisu in a trifle glass dish might help the guests forget of any disasters with the main dish. I like to do baklava sometimes, this tooth aching sweet dessert will linger in all your friends’ mouths and minds well after the meal has finished. 

These desserts are perfect as a crowd pleaser and you can get enough pieces for seconds or even third helpings.  

When your visiting guests are close friends then the knowledge of their favourite pudding is an advantage of making the evening even more special. Preparing their favourite pie definitely enlarges their love tank. The saying that ‘ the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach is not true only for your better half, your friends appreciate and flourish through your kitchen also.  

This idea of planning an event with the end result in mind is something I do generally in life. Everyday choices and decisions and actions are usually driven by ‘how the end will look.’ 

I would lie to you if I did not mention here that although we are talking about food, faith in Jesus helps make this a close reality. 

Jesus taught that food is important for the body but more important than that it is the soul. Our bodies eventually get old (no matter how well we feed them) and perish, but the soul lives forever. If we live our lives and think about that truth, if we rest that issue of the soul in peace, then whatever life dishes to us in the middle,  the ‘glorious gâteau’ will be all we remember and joy in.