Advent: Learning from our Crockpot

ImageWhen Becky sears a roast on a Saturday night to go into the crockpot, I think, I preach shorter messages.  She prepares a meal that cooks slowly all night long.  When our family gets up Sunday morning, everyone talks about how good it smells and we can hardly wait to get home to eat.  I’ve learned something from our crockpot this Advent.  Please no messages to Becky, to slow cook more often!

This weekend in my message at Woodland and later that evening at another speaking engagement, I made mention of my personal challenge with learning patience.  I spoke of how much I admired, Pastor Rick Sutherland, for his patience.  Afterwards, one of his best friends, said to him, “He’s obviously never been camping with you!”  We laughed.  He assured me had good reason to have been impatient on that particular trip.

Our culture is not much for waiting are we?  Our lives are filled with gadgets that make everything so convenient and fast.  Becky and I used to take pictures with our Nikon 35mm camera of our children.  We’d have to wait until we filled a roll with 36 pictures.  It took awhile, because we had to pay for film and each print at our local camera store.  (We were prudent about the shots we made; unlike with our digital cameras)  After dropping the film off we’d wait a week to get the pics back.  We would decide which photos to have duplicated.  Another week to get those prints; then we’d mail them to family and friends.  They would receive the prints several days later.

Now I take a pic with my iPhone and email it instantly to a group of friends.  Fast!  Free! Convenient!  Excellence!  I love it.  Life as a passionate follower of Christ isn’t about fast and convenient.  However, our salvation is free and well, and excellence is what this live about.

Christ the excellent Son of God.  Our excellent Savior.  The excellent sacrificial lamb!

“God paid a ransom to save you … and the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” (1 Peter 1:18–19, NLT)

Advent is teaching me why patience is such an admirable virtue and one of the attributes that the Holy Spirit will produces in our lives.  “The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,” (Galatians 5:22, NLT)

Doesn’t it make you grateful that the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives?  No straining!  Just live a life filled with the Holy Spirit.  By faith, he produces this kind of fruit in us.

“We show we are servants of God by our pure lives, our understanding, patience, and kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by true love,” (2 Corinthians 6:6, NCV)

Which brings me to what I learned from our crockpot.  My wife, will start a crockpot meal the night before.  She sears a roast with seasonings and I get happy.  All through the night there will be a long, slow process taking place.  In the morning she will add some other ingredients.  The meat, vegetables, seasonings and a cup of good black coffee all go in there.  It won’t be long for there is hearty fragrance throughout our house.  She doesn’t have to call twice when it’s time for dinner.  We have been waiting with a delightful anticipation.  Honestly, we’ve never been disappointed.  I am blessed with a wonderful wife.

The roast is served warm and tender with heaping sides of vegetables that have yielded their flavors to the mix!  The long, slow process of cooking yields a meal fit for a king!

Advent is like that.  It’s a slow pace, like a slow cooker or crockpot, now  preparing for Christmas.  Praying through the Scriptures that reveal why we needed Christ.  The painful process at times when through reading those Scriptures that the Spirit of God has convicted me, and having to slow down and repent prayerfully, tearfully and sometimes having to humble myself and go to others and ask their forgiveness.

My prayer is that I will be warm and tender towards God, his church and lost people as a result of a much slower pace spiritually this Christmas.  I also pray that our congregation, Woodland Church, will yield up the fragrance of our lives blended together in Christ, our sacrificial lamb.  It requires patience.  Many are calling out come on “Let’s Rock around the Christmas Tree!”

There will be plenty of time for Joy to the World, Hark the Herald Angels Sing and even Sleigh Bells.  Now I need to wait and sing…

O Come Emmanuel.

O come desire of nations, bind
All peoples in one heart and mind;
Bid envy, strife, and quarrels cease;
Fill the whole world with heaven’s peace.

Chorus

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

 Peace, Joy and Love to you in Christ!
  1. What Scriptures have you been meditating on this Advent?
  2. Have you joined us the Monday fast during Advent?  What have been your experiences with the fast?
  3. Life this time of year is busy.  Has observing Advent helped you live slower on the inside?
  4. Any books about Advent you’d like to recommend?

5 thoughts on “Advent: Learning from our Crockpot

  1. Hi Pastor, Great Post.  Kathy has done the same for us when she wants to make a roast.  Cooking starts the night before and the smells are there throughout the night.  We wake up to know that we are going to eat good that day.  I have found that the Christmas and New Year  Celebration can be trying and of late, with our situation with Brandon not wanting to bring our Grand-daughter around, causes sadness to try and bring us down. But we do have cause to be joyful. We embrace our Peace in the Lord and strive to have Joy in being with Friends.  Kathy and I will continue to be strengthened by His Presence in everything we do during this Season and in the Coming year.  We went to the Glory of Christmas Celebration at the Northridge Baptist Church Sunday Evening and It was titled,”Simply Jesus”.  I think the Nativity Scene is something to reflect on right now as it was a simple beginning for Christ to enter into the life of humankind and be the way for man to change the direction they were traveling and see through Him a new way to live their lives in line with God”s plan for us.  Luke 2:4-12 shares his entrance into our lives in simple surroundings in Bethlehem but it is GLORY that comes down from Heaven to announce His arrival as the Messiah for the Whole World, whether they want Him or not. This is what Christmas is all about. Not the hustle, bustle, hurry, scurry, get out of my way mental anquish but relax, take it all in stride and let the Peace and Joy of who God is and what He does through us so we can share with others what He has for us. His Love that never fails.  God Bless You and Your Family this Holiday Season.  MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR.     

    LEROY

    ________________________________

  2. Dear LeRoy,

    Advent has been a call to slow down and remember why Christ became Incarnate. I’m grateful that he took our sin and gave us his peace (Shalom.) In the midst of our pain, “there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.” Acts 10:36, NLT.

    I’m praying with Kathy and you. I can’t imagine the pain that you both must feel, especially in this beautiful season. Acts 10:36 will be my prayer for you.

    Love ya both real big!

    Pastor

  3. Good Morning Pastor,
    I have been fasting in the mornings, because I can’t seem to find one whole day. Before Advent and still stronger now, I have been reminded to, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ It’s so hard to settle my heart and mind so that I can just be in His presence. But I know that quiet place is where peace and healing are. I’m getting better, to be sure. I was out of control.
    I am focusing on and memorizing I Corinthians 13:4-8… the ‘Love passage’ because I find that there have been so many times lately that I haven’t acted ‘lovingly’. I realize that when I allow myself to get caught up in being TOO busy, things tend to be all about ME. Not good.
    I will keep that Crock-Pot idea in my mind as a visual reminder and it will help to slow me down. Thank you for all you and Becky do. You have no idea how loved and respected you both are.

    With genuine love, Deb Holbrook

  4. Dear Debra,

    Slowing down to worship, pray, read God’s Word with a listening ear help us all to “be still and know that he is God!”

    The passage of Scripture you are memorizing is a favorite for many. Don’t worry about not fasting the entire day; setting aside a meal or two to seek the Lord puts us in a quiet place to worship and listen.

    Thank you for your kind and genuine note. We love you too!

    Blessings,

    Pastor

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