Roasted Groundhog with Carmelized Onion and Rosemary & Olive Oil Peasant Potatoes

credit to IMDB

Today is Groundhog Day.  Which to most people means nothing really.  So what.  Puxatawny Phil ‘enlightened’ us with his prediction that we will have an extended winter.  Great.  Yeah, whatever.  For some people, the Bill Murray movie ‘Groundhog Day’ comes to mind.  If you were lost in some time chasm and never saw it–you should.  It has very a good message behind the hyjinks.  [spoiler alert] The basic plot of the movie is that Bill Murray’s character must repeat February 2nd over and over and again until he is thankful and his character has been refined.  He tries to give up many times, but finds that giving up is just not an option.

In real life, we too must be refined, although repeating the same day with exact events is quite rare 🙂 Sometimes it’s hard not to wish you could have a ‘do-over’ [remember those?].

The Refiner‘s Fire

Have you heard the story of the Refiner’s Fire?  We did a while back.  The story is an example of how the Lord works with us, and how valuable we are to him.  There are many verses in the bible that refer to this process, but the most well known is Zechariah 13:9.  Anyway, the story goes like this-

The story is told about a man who was puzzled when he read about the refiner’s fire in his bible. He wondered what God meant by it, as he had no awareness of the process.  Time went on, and one day, he met a silversmith. So the man asked the silversmith what the refiner’s fire was.  He was invited to come and watch the process if he wanted a better understanding.  The man accepted, and went to the workshop.  The silversmith held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.  The silversmith told the man that he had to sit paying close attention at all times.  In fact, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.  The man thought carefully about this and the scriptures he had read. Then he asked the silversmith, “How do you know when the silver is fully refined?”  “Oh, that’s easy — when I see my image in it.”

(Original source unknown. If you know the original source, I will gladly add the credit!

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The Skeleton In My Closet

Do you have a skeleton in your closet?

I grew up in a very legalistic, very condemning church, that taught that God was waiting for you to sin so that he could punish you.  We were taught that even if we were doing everything right, we’d get to heaven, and find out that we didn’t ask God to forgive us for some sin [even telling a lie when you were a kid], and we would not be able to enter into the kingdom.   It has taken all these years to get over that.  Even this week, as I struggled to make a decision on a direction to take, I was suddenly almost crippled with fear at making the wrong choice, even though both directions would show faith.  I asked God to tell me what to do, and quoted the saying, “If you err, err on the side of caution.” –Thinking if I didn’t know for sure, but took a step in faith, he’d show me what the next step was.  He answered, “Err on the side of faith”.  I questioned this.  If we are acting on faith, can we still make mistakes?  Yes!  Peter did, he lopped off the soldier’s ear because he believed, and acted, without waiting on God.  So did Abraham.  He didn’t wait on God, he had a child with his wife’s servant.

Well, I can’t tell you what a difference that has made for me.   I feel that I am finally free to just embrace the love that the Lord has shown me, and accept the grace that He willingly offers.  Free.  Me?  REALLY!