What Does God Like About You?

(Friends, this blog is twice as long as usual. Stay with me.  The subject matter is so important!   And don’t forget to look for the recipes at the end of the blog!)

The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Psalm 37:23 NLT

Every detail of their lives! He delights in every detail of the godly person’s life! Not just  godly areas of their lives, not just when they are reading their Bibles, not just when they are in church or helping someone out. He delights in them  when they are eating, sleeping, at work, piddling at a hobby, working out, sipping their morning coffee. But there is one caveat, the word godly person. He delights in everything a godly person does. .What is a godly person? Jesus said that the entire law hinges on loving God then your neighbor as yourself.  And Micah 6:8 puts it quite succinctly. “This is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

Let’s take a broader look at the godly person in Isaiah 58 to see some things God does and doesn’t like in a person.

Verse 1.  God Gets Your Attention

Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Shout aloud! Don’t be timid.Tell my people Israel of their sins! 

This verse merely tells us that God wants Isaiah to use all means possible at that time, his voice, to get us ready to listen to Isaiah tell us how we are getting it right and wrong.

Verse 2.  God Tells You What He Sees

They act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about me.They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God.They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me.

God wants us to stop pretending. To stop going to church acting like we are eager to learn during the Bible study and the sermon. To stop asking him for things when we really just want the things and not him. Stop pretending we want to be close to God.

  Verses 3-5.  Why Won’t He Answer My  Prayers

We have fasted before you!’ they say. ‘Why aren’t you impressed? We have been very hard on ourselves, and you don’t even notice it!’ “I will tell you why!” I respond.“It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers. What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me. You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the LORD?

Have you ever known anyone who deprives herself from food while in prayer for something? Man, right here God slams the person who acts holy but still is in a spat with another person. If that person is an employer and doesn’t pay fair wages or allow for sick days, for example, God doesn’t want to hear from her. God even seems to scoff at the person who believes God is happy with them.  “Do you really think this will please the Lord?  He outright mocks the one who bows her head in prayer but is only going through the motions.                             

Verses 6-7.   Because You Are Not Godly. Here Is How a Godly Person Looks.

 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

Are some of these things even possible to do? How can we free someone from prison?  There are organizations that work to free innocent prisoners that take donations. So let’s not let this one stump us. Maybe we don’t have anyone working for us, not even someone who cleans our home.  But if you do, are you overly critical with her work? How about donating your money and/or your time to a homeless ministry? That covers sharing food, clothing and shelter. This last one may be the most difficult. We need to stop hiding from our relatives who need our help. . .again.

We have just looked at what God requires of us before he will hear our prayers. Ouch!

Verses 8-9.     What Happens When You Do Become Godly                                                                                                            

“Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the LORD will answer.‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.

Then. you will pray and God will say, “I’m here and listening!” WOW! He also guarantees your protection.

Verses 10-12   Say It Again

Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.

Isaiah sums up what God wants from us: feeding the hungry and helping anyone who is in trouble. Not only will he listen to our prayers, He will guide us continually! He offers us his restoring companionship.

Verses   13-14   Now You Can Rest!

“Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don’t pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the LORD’s holy day. Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day, and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly.Then the LORD will be your delight. I will give you great honor and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob. I, the LORD, have spoken!”

Take one day a week to enjoy it and to delight in the rest we are getting. We shouldn’t use it to satisfy ourselves by catching up on our work or gossiping. Honor it. We ought to guard our rest time! Not only will God delight in us. We will delight in him!

I didn’t say much in this blog. I mostly let the Scriptures speak for themselves. It’s my favorite chapter in the Bible; it keeps me on my toes!                                                 Back to my title. Examine your life to see whether you are living a live close to God. If you are,  when you ask yourself what does God like about me, you can say, “Every little detail, not just the pretty parts, but every little detail!  Tell me something you do that God delights in. A hobby?  How you care for your family? How you cook lasagna?  Your smile or your laugh? What detail of your life does God delight in? Tell me in the comments below.

http://woundedjoy.com/?p=523

http://woundedjoy.com/?p=118  Look here to see last week’s recipe at the bottom of that post

Today’s recipe is the main dish     Turkey

Let a whole stick of butter come to room temperature and mix in fresh chopped thyme, rosemary, and garlic powder. Slide your hand between the skin and the meat gently working your way to make a pocket on each side of the breast. Rub half  the butter mixture between the skin and the breast. On the outside of the skin rub with paprika, salt and pepper.

Stuff with fresh marjoram, thyme, rosemary onion, a quartered lemon-pierced to release the juice, and the remainder of the herb butter.  If you are using a flat pan instead of a rack, make a rack by placing a bed of celery, carrots and onions in your flat roasting pan and place the turkey on top. Leave in the frig overnight. Before cooking pour a can of chicken or turkey broth into the pan. Turn the turkey upside down and bake according to the wrapper instructions depending on the weight of the turkey.

Yep this is our favorite turkey! So moist and delicious!


   

 

Wounded Joy

Hey friends, if you usually read the weekly blog posts in the emails without clicking through to the website, would you, please, click through this time and read from the blog?  Thanks!

Last week after publishing my blog post, I wasn’t as pleased with it as I thought I would be. I felt kind of disappointed. I think it was because I may have left some of my readers whom I love not feeling so great. A blog about joy that leaves you feeling disappointed is lacking something. Oh, I believe everything I wrote. And, Isaiah 58 does keep me on my toes. However, my rendition of it was lacking in encouragement. Therefore I want to write on joy again this week,  especially about wounded joy. This time I won’t think so much about crafting words as I will about encouraging hearts.

I dare say God delights in the details of your life more than you do. For me, the details of my life can be pretty tiring and confusing. It’s hard for me to see how anyone, much less God, could take joy in me right now. I have an elderly mother who doesn’t live as close as I’d like. Care giving is not so easy from a distance. She doesn’t realize her powers of reasoning are not as sharp as they used to be therefore she rejects what care I do give. My joy is tired. I know some of you feel the same way for different reasons and I’m afraid last week’s post may not have left you feeling as encouraged as I would have wanted. Likely it was because my own joy was dragging.

I believe with all my heart that God does, indeed, delight in even the unseen corners of my heart because he loves me and I know that.

He loves you deeply too and while you may not be giving to or volunteering at a homeless ministry right now, you need to know that God loved you before you were born.  Before you had a name, he knew it and knew it would fit you well. His love for you never wavers. not even when your child’s rebellion is on your heart every minute of the day, not even when you lost your job. Unwavering. He never tires of loving you. So open your heart to love and you’ll be amazed how joy comes in not long after. Love and joy. They go together, you know. The more you love him, the more joy takes root in your heart even during those moments of elder care or  when your heart aches for your child. Joy will push up like a daisy through the asphalt.

Today’s recipe is my Thanksgiving favorite. It is a spoonable dressing. No cutting squares rather spoonfuls of deliciousness! You may call it Stuffing. I say dressing because I don’t stuff it into the turkey. Though call it what you may, it will taste just as good! And you can make it up to 2 days before Thanksgiving to save time on the big day!

Sausage and Apple Dressing

1 pound mild bulk breakfast sausage

4 tablespoons butter

1 and 1/2 cups mild onions chopped

2 Granny Smith apples cored and chopped

1 cup chopped celery with leaves

1 tablespoon poultry seasoning

1 cup craisins

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves (optional)

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

6 cups boxed croutons (about 2 bags croutons)

about 2 cans chicken stock (2-3 cups)

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Saute the sausage in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, crumbling coarsely with the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Using a spoon, transfer the sausage and drippings to a large paper towel double lined bowl. Melt the butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, apples, celery, and poultry seasoning to the skillet  and saute until the onions  are soft, about 6-8 minutes.  Mix in the craisins and rosemary. Remove the grease soaked paper towels. Add the mixture to the sausage, then mix in the croutons and parsley. Next add the chicken stock a little at a time until the dressing is very moist. BE SURE NOT TO OVERDO IT; it should not be mushy. Season with salt and pepper. Place into a casserole dish. (The dressing can be made to this point 2 days before Thanksgiving, refrigerated.)

Bake in a 9 by 13 in. or a 14 in. oval baking dish and place uncovered, in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until the top is crispy and the center piping hot. Remove and serve immediately.

last week’s turkey recipe

sweet potato casserole recipe