Saturday, October 22, 2022

A Recipe For Change

Bobservations' Column
Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Some 40 years ago, my wife and I, and young sons were invited to a neighborhood Summer Picnic. It was a typical picnic for a large group of older, middle-aged, and young families on our street. Hot dogs and burgers, several varieties of salads (garden, potato, macaroni etc.), baked beans, and then desserts like brownies and ice cream sandwiches. When one thinks of a large summer picnic, these are the foods many think of, and there’s room for meat dish variations like steaks or Italian sausages.

Everyone coming was asked to bring a favorite dish recipe of their own to pass. Our elderly neighbor across the street, Ms. Rice, immediately volunteered to bring the baked beans. It was her favorite dish to bring to such gatherings, and “they were always a hit,” she told everyone.

Picnic tables, lawn chairs, and bar-b-que grills were brought together onto one of the neighborhood’s double-wide driveways on the morning of the picnic. About 1 PM neighbors began to gather together, and the dishes-to-pass began to fill the folding aluminum tables. With the dozen or so families coming, the variety of food was amazing. The aromas from the tables mingled with that which was cooking on the grills. Everything looked and smelled delicious.

Going through the food line, folks were trying a little bit of everything on the food table. And when each person got to the baked bean dish, they would stop, look it over, bring a spoonful up over their plates to savor the aroma of the baked beans. The smell and the taste of the elderly neighbors baked bean dish was different from any other baked beans anyone had ever had. It was just brown beans, but a wide variety of beans cooked together in a savory sauce that made everyone take an extra spoonful. She was right, her bean dish was a hit!

And all the homemakers took home a recipe card for the beans. They became known as “Picnic Beans” for all future picnics, even sharing the recipe at our own family picnics.

Ms. Rice’s Picnic Beans changed the food fare for dozens of normal, average mundane group picnics. One special, unique dish can change the event.
Just one dish can change a picnic. One person can change the heart of a thing.

“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.” - Psalm 34:8 

Today's Audio Message:
Ephesians 2:1-10 - "Recipe For Change" 


Ephesians 2 starts with a reminder of God’s great love for us, that even when we were dead, Christ made us alive in Him. We have been raised and seated with Christ in heaven and all of this comes by His Grace that we receive through faith.

Without God’s action in this world, there would be no hope for the future. Life, as cannot be understood unless one views it in light of God. As believers in Christ, we are to remind people of the true and only hope: salvation in Christ Jesus. That hope is not to be placed in governments, people, programs or systems, but in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving work on the cross.

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