Being a grown up really stinks sometimes. I mean, you spend a lot of childhood thinking that life will be rosy when you are "just a little older". But because we live in a sin-filled world, things are never perfect. There are many blessings, to be certain, but there are lots of tribulations, too. The older I get, the more I love the below hymn...for a variety of reasons. No matter how challenging life can be, I need only remember that "I'm a child of paradise."
God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It
God’s own child, I gladly say it: I am baptized into Christ!
He, because I could not pay it, gave my full redemption price.
Do I need earth’s treasures many? I have one worth more than any
That brought me salvation free, Lasting to eternity!
Sin, disturb my soul no longer: I am baptized into Christ!
I have comfort even stronger: Jesus’ cleansing sacrifice.
Should a guilty conscience seize me, since my baptism did release me
In a dear forgiving flood, sprinkling me with Jesus’ blood?
Satan, hear this proclamation: I am baptized into Christ!
Drop your ugly accusation; I am not so soon enticed.
Now that to the font I’ve traveled, all your might has come unraveled,
And, against your tyranny, God, my Lord, unites with me!
Death, you cannot end my gladness: I am baptized into Christ!
When I die, I leave all sadness to inherit paradise!
Though I lie in dust and ashes faith’s assurance brightly flashes:
Baptism has the strength divine to make life immortal mine.
There is nothing worth comparing to this lifelong comfort sure!
Open-eyed my grave is staring: Even there I’ll sleep secure.
Though my flesh awaits its raising, still my soul continues praising:
I am baptized into Christ; I’m a child of paradise!
Here in the South (and especially at our church), we love to feed people. If you've had a baby, surgery, a death in the family or even if you haven't....we'll feed you.
I have had the opportunity to cook for many families in many different situations. Over the years, I've fed people many different kinds of food, but lately, I've been delivering "breakfast for dinner"...usually, a breakfast casserole, a coffee cake and some fresh fruit.
More often than not, the coffee cake is a version of my sainted mother-in-law's "Steve's Banana Cake". (I sometimes add a cinnamon sugar streusel topping to the recipe you see above.) My mother-in-law made this for us almost every time we'd visit her home, and it's always been a family favorite. Any time I make it for someone, they rave about it. I know what you're thinking, but this is not just simple banana bread, y'all. I don't know what's so special about it -- maybe it's the family history of making it (no, we don't know who Steve is...), or maybe it's the love that's baked into to....but it is very, very special.
I find that when I'm preparing a meal for folks....whether they are celebrating a new baby, mourning the loss of a loved one or recovering from unexpected surgery...the prep and cooking time is time for me to pray for them. To think of all they might be dealing with or dreading or enjoying or experiencing. To ask God to bless them with peace, comfort, patience and understanding.
I love to feed people. But feeding my friends and loved ones is more than filling tummies. It's also a time for me to be in prayer for those that I love. To thank God for the blessings in my life. And to ask God to show us His mercy and continue to shower us with His unfailing love.