The five-minute reflections will be my first few thoughts and a take away from my study, written in the Five-Minute Friday fashion of setting my timer and letting my words flow.  I had dreams of writing lovely 1000 word reflections for you, but isn’t this the curse of New Year’s “resolutions”? We see the perfected version of ourselves and we try to live “as if”.  We alter our diets drastically “as if” we’re used to living without sugar in our morning coffee and butter on our evening rolls.  We alter our activity “as if” we’ve trained for the Boston Marathon all year-long and not just in the quick run around the neighborhood before the 20 degree weather chased use back into the warmth of our house.  We alter our voice levels, hoping this will be there year we stop screaming at the kids, to an unrealistic whisper or assume a creepy Stepford intonation “as if” we’ve always had that peace that surpasses all understanding, and a wrath-wrecking gentle attitude.  Why don’t we tackle our resolutions “as I am”.  “As I am” a former morning person who has learned to stay up way too late and now cusses into the folds of her pillow, I will amble down the stairs and guzzle coffee hoping to wake up enough to enjoy Brian Zahnd’s poignant and wise words.  “As I am” just now waking up, I’ll write from my heart, without worry of perfection or sentence structure, with one goal only: to remember the flavor of grace on my tongue by writing authentic words and sincere prayers.   So for five minutes, I’ll swirl around the wine of the Words of God and let them stain my soul with hope and peace.

So, here we go with today’s Five Minute Reflection.

Today I made: Egg in the Hole from the Pioneer Woman:


(Click the picture for the recipe)

Taste and See, Theophilus

When Brian explains that he called this series, “Dear Theophilus” because Luke uses this phrase as a literary device the same way we’d use, “Dear Friends” on our Christmas newsletters, that stuck with me.  Theophilus means, “God-lover” so Luke was in effect, widening the tent as a Gentile believer to all believers, it’s like he said,  “all people who love God, come and sit and hear the story of Jesus.  Come and learn the way of peace and come and know that salvation is for you.”  I want to be that inclusive.  I want to be that aware of the ways I’ve been excluded to reject cliques and division and invite all who love to come.  I also love that this is the first sermon of Advent. I’ve missed Advent.  It flew right by me and here I am first day of January and I’m like Cindy Lou Who, singing “Where are you Christmas”, but instead, I’m singing “Where are you Advent?”  I wanted the waiting, the yearning, the stillness.  I really, really did.  Now, here I am beginning my month with Jesus and breakfast recipes and opening myself up to “taste and see” and I’m back in the Advent story.  It’s almost like God has redeemed the Advent the busyness has taken.  While I’ll stay in this Advent passage for only a couple more days, I trust that Jesus will meet me and show me that way of peace I needed in the waiting.  And I’m struck too that there’s a waiting, a long-suffering to Zacharias, the old priest whose faithful and loves God, but hasn’t arrived, he hasn’t achieved the hallowed status of “father” and his wife is left barren.  I think about this season of change and how much I love God, but I haven’t arrived, I’m not yet the peacemaker I want to be or the “Student the Word” expected of me after twenty-five years as Christian.  But, maybe, that really doesn’t matter.  Maybe God is crazy enough to honor the small acts of faithfulness with gifts of new life?  Maybe if I stay faithful and get my bum up every morning, make my coffee, fry my eggs, sit with my Jesus, he’ll show up.  Like this morning when I sat on my porch in my leggings and t-shirt, freezing but watching the sun rise over my trash barrels and I remembered how my Bible called Jesus the Dayspring who rises over darkness. The Light shining on the unattractive and the rejected.  Yes, I will taste and see that the Lord is Good, he is bright and warm, he is accepting and aware, of this Lover of God, this Theophilus.  

Still listening to Advent carols,