whatever you do, work at it with all your heart… (Colossians 3)

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“Whatever you do work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for people.” (Colossians 3:23)

IMG_1419Today we’re celebrating Rebekah’s birthday. The official day is Saturday, but we will be driving all day so I proposed a quiet celebration at home, with absolutely-whatever-in-the-world-Rebekah-wants-me-to-cook on the menu for dinner.

So we found two amazing recipes in “Cooking New American,” bringing the Maul-Hall culinary focus back across the Atlantic after the lengthy but satisfying European sojourn. I’ll be serving Linguine with Asparagus, Gourmet Mushrooms & Cream, along with Grilled Coffee-Brined Chicken Breasts, and buttermilk drop-biscuits. Everything will be from scratch, with fresh ingredients.

IMG_1388WHY GO TO THE TROUBLE? I’ve been asked the question several times before, and the paragraph about tonight’s dinner has likely set it up again: “Why go to all that trouble, composing complex meals, making your own pasta, investing all that time?”

Well, this is Rebekah’s birthday, and I intend to do anything and everything I can to put love into action, to create something special that is genuine a gift of my very best. Also, preparing amazing food is an act of service; it is one of the ways I live into my understanding of what it means to be a husband.

Additionally, the Colossians scripture offers a compelling commentary on what it means to live faith out loud. Listen: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for people” (Colossians 3:23). In a sense, then, the way I love Rebekah reflects on how I love God; likewise, the way I prepare food for my family is an act of worship inasmuch as I do it “with all my heart as working for the Lord.”

IMG_1389BIRTHDAY! The Colossians passage is also a timely reference when talking about Rebekah and this joyful celebration of the day she was born. Since that blessed moment in rural Georgia, when her parents gratefully dedicated their third child to God, Rebekah’s life has been an exercise in – and a demonstration of – “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord.

Rebekah has been pretty-much unstoppable ever since! And – at a time when many people begin to slip into a lower gear, or even neutral, to coast toward retirement – she has kicked it up a notch to engage this amazing Wake Forest Presbyterian Church community with her whole heart, with “all her heart as working for the Lord.”

IMG_1398So for me, giving everything I have to make our celebration the best is more than a one-off gift for Rebekah’s birthday, it’s a commitment of spirit, and a testimony to the spiritual principle of “first fruits.”

He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruitsof all he created. – James 1:18

So, you want the good foodie pictures to go with today’s story? Well, I have to cook first! I’ll either delay posting, or try to add some slides later tonight.

IMG_1364I’ve got to tell you, this life we have together is one celebration after another!



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