Super Bowl Sunday: A (really) rambling post today!
I got this in an email. I thought it was pretty funny. I don't have anything specific in mind to post about this morning. I just felt like posting something. Maybe by the end of the post, there will be a meaningful thought expressed.
I've been so busy the last few days. We went to a concert at Danny's school Thursday night. It was so much fun. (I love going to Covenant for any reason. I never go there without someone telling me how much they love and appreciate my son.) I worked Friday. And I spent most of yesterday shopping and cooking ahead for today's football game. They say the Super Bowl is second only to Thanksgiving for food. And whether we have someone over or it's just a party for John and me, I always like to make a variety of fun foods to munch on. Today we are being joined by another couple. I have rearranged the furniture so that all seats have a good view of the TV. And I will remove everything from the coffee table so I can cover it with munchies!
I have a recipe for Chili's Southwestern Egg Rolls, which I love. Whenever I make them, I multiply the recipe by five or six times and freeze bags of them. I think I rolled about three dozen of them yesterday. Now all I have to do is take them out of the freezer, brush them with olive oil and pop them in the oven. I'm sure they'd be even better fried, but they're plenty good the healthier way. I also took some homemade chili out of the freezer for chili dogs. I'll make a big batch of guacamole and some queso dip (another Chili's Restaurant recipe). John is going to pick up some wings before kick off. I have half a fresh banana cake I made earlier in the week. And I'm about to bake some peanut butter cookies. I certainly won't be avoiding bad carbs today!
Since finishing Yancey's book on Prayer, I have been trying to finish a book I have also been reading but not posting about. John got a copy of Eric Clapton's autobiography for Christmas. And I love autobiographies. So I have been reading it in between the books I normally read. I love gaining insight into other people's lives; especially those who are very different from my own. It absolutely blows my mind how someone with so much talent and opportunity could choose an existence of lying on a couch 24 hours a day doing Heroin. But that is a part of Clapton's story. In hindsight, he can't believe it either. After he got off Heroin, he became an alcoholic. I can't relate to addiction, having never suffered from it. But this is how Clapton describes himself as he is about to relapse after treatment the first time:
"My selective memory of what drinking was like told me that standing at the bar in a pub on a summer's evening with a long, tall glass of lager and lime was heaven, and I chose not to remember the nights on which I had sat with a bottle of vodka, a gram of coke, and a shotgun, contemplating suicide. Suddenly I was at the bar ordering a beer..."
He talks about going back into treatment for the second time and, nearing the end of his stay, he writes, "The noise in my head was deafening, and drinking was in my thoughts all the time...I was absolutely terrified, in complete despair...my legs gave way and I fell to my knees...I knew that on my own I wasn't going to make it, so I asked for help, and, getting down on my knees, I surrendered. Within a few days I realized that something had happened for me...From that day until this, I have never failed to pray in the morning, on my knees, asking for help, and at night, to express gratitude for my life and, most of all, for my sobriety. I choose to kneel because I feel I need to humble myself when I pray..."
From that day forward, he says he has never seriously thought of taking a drink or a drug; even when his four-year-old son fell out a window and died.
When I started reading this book, I had no idea that there was a testimony in it. I like some of Eric Clapton's music, but I have never followed his life or career with any great interest. I just enjoy reading biographies. My mind can't even imagine living the way many people lived through the sixties and seventies. But it certainly demonstrates the futility of living for self, which only leads to excess and self-destruction.
I don't know what Clapton believes about God other than what he discusses in his book. He hasn't elaborated further than his prayers at this point. And I haven't quite finished the book. He says he grew up around religion, which I'm sure was the Christian faith. I hope his faith is centered on Jesus Christ now.
I read Danny's blog this morning about Communion. I didn't grow up with this Christian observance. I was taught it was a meaningless ritual and that the commandment Jesus gave about doing this in rememberance of him was symbolic of eating The Word and drinking The Spirit. When I left my former church and started visiting other churches, I realized I had a fear of receiving Communion because I had been taught it was wrong. I even wondered if God would be upset with me for participating in this observance. This was just one of the fears that came to the surface; fears I never realized were so deep inside me as a result of the indoctrination of my past.
I have come to love the observance of Communion. It is definitely not a meaningless ritual for me or anyone I know personally. It's a deeply moving observance of Christ's death on my behalf that always stirs my heart. It takes me back to the cross. And I no longer fear that God is mad at me for observing Communion with the bread and the cup. It's now hard for me to believe that I ever worried about that. It is a real lesson to me in how a mind can be controlled and manipulated.
For Eric Clapton, the controlling force was addiction. For me, the controlling force was something very different. My chains are not the same as his, but I still know the miracle of broken chains. When I sing the song, "My chains are gone! I've been set free! My God, My Savior has ransomed me!" I know I sing it with as much amazement and gratitude as the worst addict who has been freed from a life in the gutter.
What do you know? I didn't think I had any meaningful thoughts this morning. This is one of the reasons I love to write. No matter where I start, I almost always end up in thankfulness. And I have so much to be thankful for. Most of all, I am so thankful for the cross. I will never cease to be amazed at God's love for us.
Thank you for a great post! I too read Dannys post about communion and it also caused me to reflect on the way we were taught against communion. As I received communion today the band was singing "Thank You For The Cross" I was overwhelmed with thankfulness.I cannot believe I ever looked down on such a beautiful way to remember the sacrifice Christ made upon the cross for me.
Another song that came to my mind while reading your post is, "Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance - I just want to praise you. I just want to praise you. You broke the chains now I can lift my hands. I'm going to praise you. I'm going to praise you!" That song has a very deep meaning for me and it's always difficult not to move out in the aisle when we sing it in church. :)
I never struggled with communion like you (and others I know) have. It's always been one of the most moving forms of worship for me.
By the way, HEY RACHEL! I miss you girl!!!