Tag Archives: sacrifice

Wood and Flame

“Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice.”― Henry Ford

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Something is taking over the mountain!  Wood piles!  Piles of wood are popping up everywhere this time of year.  They line driveways and paths.  They are piled high against houses and sheds.  I see them growing under trees and in meadows.  Everywhere!  Like flowers blooming in Spring the landscape is blossoming into wood piles.  It is a harbinger of warm hearths and winter fires burning the chill away on the Winter days ahead.

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Wood and fire – a cozy relationship unless you are the one being burned.  As the fire turns the log to ash we witness the final contribution of a life that began as just a small seed.  The tree-that-once-was is diminished to black dust.  The tree that weathered and changed with the seasons has sacrificed itself to the fire. Jack Gilbert, an American Poet of the last century says this about the fire and wood relationship: “We think the fire eats the wood.  We are wrong.  The wood reaches out to the flame.  The fire licks at what the wood harbors, and the wood gives itself away.”  Somewhere in what Jack says I hear a message of sacrificial giving.  It is as though in its final burning, the wood has achieved its sacred mission…to offer what it is made of in order for the fire to bring light and warmth in the midst of a dark and cold world.

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Beyond this mountain that I call home there is a dark, chilly world waiting for my contribution – and yours.  Am I  willing to share the talents and treasures that lie within me, collected from seasons of growth and change?  Am I willing to give myself away to that Holy Spirit Transforming Fire of God?  And what warmth and light could this sacrifice of mine bring to another?

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Proverbs 26:20 says, “For lack of wood the fire goes out…”  In the midst of all these piles of wood waiting to be consumed in the cold of winter, may I be mindful of the sacred transforming generosity that resides within each of us.  May I, too, reach out to that Holy Flame to offer the gifts God has harbored in me.
If you would like to more about GraceStone Sanctuary, please visit our web site at gracestonesanctuary.com

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Adora-tion

“As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.”  2 Chronicles 7:1 (ESV)

One Day in December

THIS:  IMG_2842BECAME THIS:

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THEN THIS:

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What’s so special about that?

THIS:

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*note: This is the logo for the Adora line of stoves by GE

The renovations were complete, and though we had lots of unopened boxes and unplaced furniture, our first Thanksgiving in our home was an opportunity to fill the house with guests, fellowship, laughter, and soul-nourishing food.  As friends and family arrived the house came alive, filled with warm conversation and holiday fragrances wafting from the kitchen.  The old stove in the kitchen was doing its work grinding out turkey and casseroles and hot bread for our guests.  I felt confident that day in our decision to wait to replace the kitchen appliances until after getting more settled.  Little didn’t know that a week after cooking that turkey dinner we would have our family and friends replaced by the local firemen.
Transforming fire.  I know it well.  God knows what needs to be burned away in my thoughts, attitudes, and habits to transform me into a disciple that can fully worship Him and live a sacrificial life of mission and ministry.  And from living those experiences, fully connected to God, sharing Christ’s Grace and Hope comes a deep felt Gratitude that brings me into a spirit of Adoration and Praise for the One Who Created Me.  Through the fire of the Holy Spirit, the old is brought to new brilliance and the mundane becomes uniquely beautiful.
“What does that have to do with my old kitchen stove on fire?”, you might be asking.  Here is the rest of the story.  One evening, after Thanksgiving was just a memory, I had prepared dinner in that oven – a roast with potatoes and carrots and onions.  Max and I sat down at the kitchen table to eat.  After saying our prayer of blessing and gratitude,  I  noticed a red glow in the bottom of the oven.  I went to the stove to turn off the oven, thinking I had forgotten to do so.  I reached for the knob but saw it was already off.  I turned it on and off again, but the gas burners in the oven continued to burn hotter and brighter and smoke began swirling around inside.  Not knowing what else to do, I reached for my phone and connected with the fire department.  Max did some quick thinking and pulled the stove away from the wall to reach the gas valve behind the stove.  He turned it and the flames went out.  Just a few minutes later the firemen arrived.  They checked out the stove and the wall, cabinets, and floor that had surrounded it and announced all was well.  After some investigating they told us the fire had started because of a broken gasket inside the stove that it was probably was the result of it sitting for a long time without being used.  Gaskets don’t like that, and like our leaky pipes, the lack of being put to use had allowed them to break down, creating a leak, resulting in the fire.  As they took the stove outside we offered our gratitude to them and to God.  We were thankful that only the stove was lost that night.
So our plan to put off replacing the old appliances began.  We searched online and in stores for a new stove.  We finally found one that had all of what was on our list of “must haves”, ordered it and scheduled delivery.  The day it was installed was like an early Christmas!  New shiny metal gleamed and the spotless stove beckoned me to cook.  As I got out pots and pans and sat them on the burners I realized something very special about my new stove.  The brand we bought was the Adora from GE.  The word was splashed across the control panel, an ever present reminder to cook and bake and create all the meals here at GraceStone Sanctuary with a spirit of adora-tion and praise to God.  So, if you ever have a chance to come and share in table fellowship with us, you will know that the food we have prepared for you contains a story of transformation, reverence, and praise.

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If you would like to know more about GraceStone Sanctuary, please visit our website at gracestonesanctuary.com

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