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Let Your Sunshine In

Life's Journeys

Beef Stew

stew-1-of-1Ahh, the stew pot. If there’s a more enduring or endearing symbol of hearth and home, I don’t know what it is! The memories of all the senses being jarred awake by the wonderful aroma coming from the kitchen. I wonder what that wonderful smell could be, it makes my mouth water.

What if I were to ask you to define the word “stew”. You might say, “A dish composed of chunks of meat and vegetables, cooked and served together in a flavorful and potentially thickened liquid.” And you know what? You’d be right on all three counts.

The secret to a great stew is like great music, it’s a commingling of all the ingredients to create a wonderful fulfilling culinary harmony to the taste buds. The ingredients are key to any stew. There is a hierarchy in which the ingredients should be incorporated.

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Just like in a Christian home. There is a hierarchy in which to live. God has commanded us to have Him first in our lives. Matthew 6:33 King James Version (KJV) “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” As, this relates back to the stew; I feel God is the liquid with all the spices and onion, celery, and garlic to flavor the liquid. Without this liquid you wouldn’t have a stew.
The second most important ingredient is the beef. The cut of meat that you want is usually the cheaper cut, because it doesn’t have much fat. But stew meat has more connective tissue; which breaks down over long cooking time. The best part of this cut of meat is what makes a stew shine!

What is the second most important member in the Christian family? Well the Bible says it is the man of the house, the husband and father. 1 Corinthians 11:3 (New International Version) 3: But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man and the head of Christ is God. This is proof of the status of where God wants the man in his home. This does not mean master as in a master-slave relationship, nor does it mean a relationship like a general to a private in the army. It is more like a partnership where one is the leader, guide, and director. Now ponder this: Can you think of any decision that a husband should make WITHOUT consulting or considering his wife and her wishes? HMMM!! Nope, I cannot! 1 Peter 3:7 New International Version (NIV) 7: Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. Also, Ephesians 5:28-31New International Version (NIV) 28: In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29: After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—30: for we are members of his body.31: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” Just like a cheap cut of beef; man will break down and be redefined through Christ as his guide.

Now to add my favorite vegetable! Carrots!! Oh, how I the love beauty of the bright orange colored skin, the crunchy texture, and the sweet minty aromatic taste. It is a well-known fact that carrots improve vision; maybe that is why mothers have eyes in the back of their head! You know the old saying, “What big eyes you have!” “The better to see you with!”

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Like a carrot a wife and mother provides nutrition to the family. You can always find fruit and veggies for a quick snack in the refrigerator. She is the caretaker; whom will always be there when the family is sick or to give a hug when in need. But, never under estimate her bright and cheery heart, for a mother will protect her children like a mother bear.
God also, has words to the wife and mother to follow as well; such as, in Proverbs 31:10-11 (NIV) 10: A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. 11: Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 1 Peter 3:1-2 (NIV) 1: Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2: when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Titus 2:3-5 (NIV) 3: Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4: Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5: to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

What would a beef stew be without potatoes? Surely it would be a miss without potatoes! I consider potatoes a comfort food. It is an important food staple in my home. It is the number one vegetable crop in the world; and potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber.

Like potatoes are to stew; my children are the same in my home, they bring me so much comfort. I was blessed by the miracle of the birth of each one of my children. Psalm 127:3 (ESV) Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward. As a mother’s work is never done; I am surrounded by the dirt and scattered clothing of my family, I am comforted as only a mother can be. Because it is late and my children are all safe and snuggled in their warm beds asleep. I pray I teach them well. Proverbs 22:6 (ESV) Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Ephesians 6:4 (ESV) Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Proverbs 15: 20 (NIV) 20: A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish man despises his mother.
So, this is my beef Stew. What I your Beef Stew like?
Proverbs 2:1-9 (NIV)

Moral Benefits of Wisdom
1: My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,
2: turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—
3: indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,
4: and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5: then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
6: For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7: He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
8: for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones.
9: Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path.

cc: Nita Lopez, 1/2014