"I am the vine; you are the branches." — John 15:5

Thursday, February 27, 2020

“Heart and Soul”

Jeremiah 29:11 “‘For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” For some of us, the list makers and strategic thinkers, the invitation ‘to observe a holy Lent’ requires a plan.  In order to make changes in our lives that require discipline, strategies need to be put in place. The task is to discern if our plans are indeed consistent with God’s plans for us!

Choosing to improve our spiritual wholeness may well include making a private confession and fasting with intentional prayer once a week. Our response to God’s invitation encompasses exploring the scriptures and devotional literature, giving an additional thank offering and committing to every Sunday worship with the faith community.  The effort to improve our physical health may involve a lighter, more nutritious meal plan, the rejection of various ‘junk’ foods or substances and the incorporation of exercise, however gentle, into daily routine.  Relationships with others, even with the wider community, can be improved with honesty, mindfulness of the ‘other’ and communication.  Our intimacy with God may well deepen as we aim for all of the above. 

Discipline, which looks different for each person, calls us, over and above our apathy, the busy-ness of life, our lame excuses and sinful desires, to embrace the ‘programme’, trusting in our Lord for strength and courage.  With confidence we can respond “I will, with God’s help.”

Culinary Musings:  Lent can be a time to lessen our consumption of meat and explore international vegetarian cuisine.  Fresh produce is expensive, especially at this time of year.  Frozen vegetables can be used, not just steamed or stir-fried, but as ingredients in other dishes.  The other night, for example, I was making a chick pea Korma, an Indian dish with the added richness of coconut milk, but who can afford fresh cauliflower? I removed the frozen pieces from a package of mixed vegetables and with one diced potato, a carrot, onion and ½  cup of chick peas seasoned with curry, a wonderful heart-warming dinner was enjoyed!