"Heap on the wood, Kindle the fire;
Cook the meat well, Mix in the spices"
As Autumn wraps around me, and the holidays approach, one of places my mind starts going is, well, food.
After all, it's a season of food. Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas dinner and Christmas baking are just the tip of the iceberg. There's also wonderful, delicious, cold-weather dinners. Soups and stews... more baking than usual, like cornbread and biscuits... and plenty of stick-to-your-ribs comfort food.
The recipes come from two different places. First, they come from my past. Foods I've been cooking for years, or learned from my mother, or sampled at a friend's house. You know ~ the old favorites.
And then there are the new recipes. These might come from magazine articles, or websites, or even off of TV. But my favorite places to find new recipes are from the cookbooks on my very own bookshelves.
I don't have a lot of cookbooks. I think I like them so much that I could easily get out of hand in collecting them, so I don't. Over the years, I have kept them only if they have proven their value, or have sentimental significance to me.
So I take a few days, and sit down with my cookbooks and a mug of cider, tea, or hot chocolate, and I page through and muse. Make a few notes, stick a few post-it notes in there, maybe get my daughter's opinion on some of the recipes. It's a nice rainy afternoon activity.
Except we hardly ever have rainy afternoons, so it generally happens on a sunny afternoon.
And one thing that intrigues me when I pull a cookbook down from the shelf, is where it falls open. Because wherever it falls open, there's going to be a well-loved recipe there. Maybe even a few spills or stains on the page. In some cases, it's a recipe I don't even need anymore, because I've memorized it.
It's fun at my mom's house, too. In a couple of cases, if I go to look for a particular recipe, I know I only have to get the cookbook down, and relax my fingers a little. The book will find the recipe for me.
So.... a challenge: If you just let your Bible fall open, what will it tell about you? Will it fall open to a place where you've got a flattened flower, given to you by a loved one? Or a drawing by your child, that's been nestled in there for ten years?
Cuz those are both possibilities of mine. I've got stuff like that tucked in my Bible. But I put those items in places that are special to me ~ on pages with verses that I love.
Or will your Bible fall open to a place that's been read and re-read? Maybe a small tear in a page, or a corner that's gotten bent, or a smudge of dirt where your thumb rests? I've got a few places like that in my Bible.
Or maybe it's a page that's been heavily highlighted. I use a colored pencil in mine, and it makes a bit of an impression on a page if I push a little too hard. So there are places where the back of the page feels like Braille.
A well-read Bible can have its own personality. Yours as well as His. Which is how it should be. It should say something about you, even while it's telling you all about Him. But mostly what it should say is that you read it. Frequently. It's like they say: If your Bible is falling apart, then your life isn't. So those tears, those smudges, those places where the book falls open because the spine is getting a little stressed... it's all good!
Read the Book, people!
~ "beginning at Moses and all the Prophets,
He expounded to them
in all the Scriptures
the things concerning Himself" ~