Basic Ingredients

Have you found a new recipe that you thought sounded good or seen a picture in a magazine and thought you’d give it a whirl? What about those epic Pinterest fails? I have had more of my fair share of those. I would share pictures but I am too embarrassed at most of them.

Why am I asking this? Well, life choices are just like trying new recipes. We all have our “basic ingredients” in our hip pocket and use them all the time. I always told my students that these are in their knowledge bubble- every experience had, every book read, movie seen, class taken, degree earned, and I can go on and on. All of these experiences shape us. For most people, these are our “flour, sugar, butter, milk, and salt” You get the idea.

When our recipe call for something out of the ordinary like capers or fish sauce, you have to make an intentional trip to the grocery store for that item. Maybe (like me) you skip it or google what to substitute for it.

We try to do this in life too. We take shortcuts or try to skip vital steps in our “recipe”. When Harvest Coffee was born, I didn’t know how to write a business plan or run a business for that matter. I took inventory of the skills I had and started to do my homework. Those areas that I didn’t know what to do, I asked God for wisdom and to lead me to the right people and/or resources to teach me. The door was opened for the “new ingredient”. It was hard work. I had lots of skeptics that thought I had lost my mind. ONLY with God’s help did anything happen.

Don’t get me wrong- I made plenty of mistakes (and I still will) trying to figure it out all by myself or by skipping steps. I eventually had to go back and redo those steps in order to have a positive outcome.

Honestly, I often rely only on myself and try to do things MY way. I forget to stop and ask the One who wrote the recipe for my life for help. I think that if I work hard enough at something, I will be successful. Do you see what’s wrong with that? Look at that sentence. “I” is in there WAY too much. God needs to be the FIRST step in everything I do. I fail miserably at this over and over. So many times, I do it all by myself until I hit a roadblock and THEN I ask for help. Why!?! Why do I make this mistake over and over?

I am human. I am a sinner. I fall short. BUT I have a Savior that even though He came to Earth to live as a human, He lived a perfect life and NEVER fell short. Words cannot express how thankful I am for this. Jesus died for ME! He died for you! On the cross, He paid for all of the stupid, hurtful, faithless acts I have done and will ever do.

The story does not stop there because I serve a RISEN Savior! Jesus, not only died a horrible death for me, but He rose from the dead just like the prophecies said He would! Our redemption was accomplished! Jesus has already fought the battle for us. We do not have to offer a sacrifice or pay penance. Jesus is enough! Only by the blood of Jesus can our salvation be secured. We can not buy it or do enough good to outdo all of the bad we do. Going to church does not cut it either. Volunteering at a charity? Helping old ladies across the street? Nope, nope, and nope.

Believe. Be changed. That’s it.

BELIEVE that we are sinners and nothing we DO can get us into Heaven.  BELIEVE that Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, died on the cross for our sins. BELIEVE that He rose from the dead and is now in Heaven waiting for us. If you believe this, YOU WILL BE CHANGED!

That doesn’t mean you will magically have it all together. It doesn’t mean that life will be perfect or easy. We still live in a messed up world and we are still sinners. But IF you believe, you are now a sinner who has been redeemed by Jesus in this messed up world. My recipe for life flops over and over until I remember to give my Savior all the ingredients. This is not our home! I encourage you to have HOPE! Today- BELIEVE! BE CHANGED! You will be so glad you did.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)