Brownie Crumbs (Book Review)

Just when you think, “How can something so sad happen to a person?” there comes another of her experiences that makes you chuckle.  It isn’t irreverence.  It isn’t comic relief.  It’s just the way life has been served.

Christy Cabe has sorted through what she has been served so far in Brownie Crumbs and Other Morsels: Savoring Life Through Heartache, Joy, and the Moments in Between.  The memoir goes on sale April 25 on Amazon in paperback and electronic form.

After a contented early childhood across from a brick church where her father was pastor, Christy suddenly lost her mother from undetected heart arrhythmia.  At eleven, she says she had to “make myself pull shirts over my swirling head and down over my broken heart.”  Then she came to the point of eating the last brownie in the pan her mom had made just before she died.

She held it in her hand “as if it were made of glass and could shatter with the slightest motion,” and reveals that that one moment represents the way she lives.  Whether celebrating or mourning, she’s been able to find value in the crumbs.

With references to Scripture which helped along the way, she reminisces of junior high and high school after her dad’s remarriage.  Then on to college, courtship, marriage, and a family of her own.  These are well-told, animated stories: playing on the basketball team, giggling at the airport with other girls bound for a missions trip, making payments on her two-door Dodge at the bank drive-through window.  It’s glimpse of a family grounded in their faith in God, and parents teaching their kids in the way they should go.

She separates the morsels (sometimes ruefully) with mature insight.  A few of them:

  • “When change rocks your world, when death stings, live anyway.  God offers strength and hope for the living.”
  • “Tomorrow’s peace can’t be bottled today.  It won’t stay fresh.”
  • “God loves me even when I don’t feel it or understand.  And His love is enough.”

She and her husband were whacked with a terrible blow, their two year-old son’s diagnosis with leukemia.  As they slowly made their way through the tests and spinal taps and medicines, she discovered more truths she could share.  Going back to church in a regular routine was very important — facing people, facing fears.  And two more children, daughters, joined their family.

Cabe’s style appears effortless.  She is a gifted writer who knows how to identify with readers and build a detailed story with the occasional surprise ending.  Observations made at a young age have morphed into tools for writing this 200-page book.

Also a Bible curriculum writer and editor, she concludes with jumping off points for reader discussion.  Though this is her first book, it easily passes for one in the middle of a successful author’s collection.  It will offer encouragement to individuals, clubs and study groups, and we wait eagerly for the next one.

For information on speaking engagements and book signings, visit http://www.christycabe.com, where the author’s blog, Ten Blue Eyes, dishes out more life tales and insight.

 

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Guest Author: Resurrection People

Thank you to my friend, Sara R. Ward, for allowing me to reprint her beautiful words here.  Be sure to visit her blog at http://www.poetsandsaints.com for more insight and inspiration.

 

Resurrection People

 

We used to live in the garden.

Eden–where all things grew new

and beautiful and true,

like the One who is Truth and Beauty.

 

But we believed the lie,

and took that bite.

Kicked out from Eden,

we live in darkness and night,

saying, “Let’s eat and drink for tomorrow we die.”

 

Death?

No.  This wasn’t how it was supposed to be,

not pain and sickness and suffering,

and the ugly voices in our heads,

the ones that say we aren’t good enough.

We’re mistake makers,

mess creators,

imitators,

liars and fakers,

instead of believing we are

Gospel proclaimers.

Resurrection people

who live in the hope of eternity.

People of light,

who shine in the darkness of night.

“We’re Easter people living in a Good Friday world.”

 

We look back at the garden and wish

that children weren’t abused,

and murderers weren’t excused,

and death didn’t have to be daily news.

 

When did we stop believing in hope?

When did we start listening to the naysayers,

rather than the Good News proclaimers?

When did we start believing the serpent’s lies,

when he replied, “Did God really say?”

Don’t you understand?

When you believe the serpent,

you lose your way.

 

When the serpent said perish,

God said life.

When the serpent said dishonor,

God said glory.

When the serpent said weakness,

God said power.

 

Like seeds planted in the black earth,

growing into something with life,

so Jesus is our firstfruit

and in Him, we are made new.

Glimpses of Eden’s virtues:

raising a dead seed into a plant,

raising a dead Lazarus into a man

raising Jesus to be our lamb–

to die for us and then to rise again,

if there’s no hope of that,

then there’s no hope for us.

What is the point of the Bible if

there is no resurrection?

 

You want proof?

Then I have questions too:

When God laid the earth’s foundation,

where were you?

Or how about when morning stars sang

and the angels proclaimed,

you weren’t there either, were you?

And yet, don’t you wonder

when you look at the stars,

or hold a baby in your arms,

or see a picture of the earth from afar,

who made all this wonderfulness?

 

Don’t let the lie

blind you in the fight.

The life of redemption, and beauty, and all that will be made right,

a gift of grace from the Father of lights.

O people of faith

you have to believe in what you can’t see.

That in the dark night,

redemption will come.

That in the funeral dirges,

we will sing songs from the grave.

 

For we will not all sleep,

but will be changed

in the twinkling of an eye,

at the last trumpet’s cry.

 

This isn’t a fairy tale,

this is the Good News!

Death has been destroyed,

the serpent’s head crushed.

 

So we proclaim:

O, death, where, is your victory?

O, death, where is your sting?

 

For he took the sting out of death,

and gave us victory when he died.

 

The resurrection people

live in the hope of eternity

because we won.

This song from the grave

is our victory chorus, saying:

It is finished.

It is done.

 


“We’re Easter people living in a Good Friday world” is a quote by Anne Lamott

 

The (empty!) Garden Tomb, Jerusalem

 

No One Can Steal Me

John 10:27, Romans 8:29

God has a firm hold on us
Before we were born it was thus
It is His plan.

He knew we’d sin, daughters and sons
And created grace to provide for the ones
Who fell.

Who does that mean?
Well, all who have seen
Trials and temptations.

“I fell!” you say.
“Well,” He replies, “I’m ready
For that.”

“Obey me — get on track
I forgive, so ask to come back
To My Ways.”

Obey?  Do we have to?
But we find it’s what we want to do
We’re free.

I want to please Him.

I say, “No one can steal me away”

No one holds me except God.

 

photo: coastline of the Salt Sea, Israel

Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

If I Could

Proverbs 3: 3-4

2/4 time

G C
If I could go back to change things in my past
G D G
I’d identify… the ones I put last
G C
‘Cause knowing and earning aren’t ends in themselves:
G D G
Wisdom, God’s wisdom, is worth all the world’s wealth.

C G
If I could just talk to the younger me
A D
I’d hold a conversation and we would agree that
G C
Our Father says in everything, truth is the way
G D G
And mercy, His mercy, governs all that we say.

G C
I’d try to find favor, and a good name in His Sight
G D G
Instead of gloom, and heartache in the dark of the night.
G C
And then, appreciation… in the eyes of men
G D G
Sure that I’d never make the same mistakes again.

C G
If I could I’d go back to stop the wreck;
A D
Bind His mercy and love on a chain around my neck.
G C
For always I’d carve them on my aching heart
G D G
Far better than a stone from which they could depart.

G C
I’d try to find favor and a good name in His Sight
G D G
Instead of gloom, and heartache in the dark of the night.
G C
And then, appreciation… in the eyes of men
G D G
Sure that I’d never make the same mistakes again.

C G
As it is I must live from this day on
A D
Knowing the future is from experience drawn
G C
If I put into action what’s in God’s Word
G D G
Truth and mercy, love and kindness will be all that is heard.

G D G
Truth and mercy, love and kindness, will be all that is heard.

 

Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

 

 

 

God Is

What comes first is that God is
We have to begin from there
We belong to him; we are His
Amazingly, all in His care.

I wish each one would acknowledge it —
The world could be content
Knowing the Father has a plan,
Not questioning what He meant.

I will not say, “What if God isn’t?”
I cannot entertain
It makes no sense at all to think so small
Because without God, you just can’t explain.

The evidence is seen in Scripture
Oh, that more people would read it
When you take time to study His Word
You see more and more reasons to heed it.

That’s not saying it isn’t hard
To bear things in life that are grim
But the One who made us loves us and
We will be in Heaven with Him.

We’re on earth to learn to worship
And praise the Trinity
The Son, the Spirit, the Father —
There is no one greater than He.

First of all, God is.

 

Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

 

Photo: Looking out at Jerusalem from the top of the city wall.

Trying Jesus

Luke 22, 23

Futile case

Spurred by men

To try the Son of God

Again

Finding guilt

In Him they tried

And would not stop

Until He died

To make the point

Of God blasphemed

The men against His own Son

Screamed

Over, over

And over, they said

He’s an imposter

We want Him dead

How many?  Seven?

Seven times

Led to the judgement

Of no crimes

The leaders should have

Called Him Lord

But they betrayed

Called for the sword

That soldiers bring Him

To their court

Then priests and scribes

Came up short

They could not trick Him

Into saying

He was God.

They were playing

A game

He did not answer who He was

They would, though,

Because

Innocence

Highest Sacrifice

Must give Himself

To pay our price.

 

Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

 

Image result for house of caiaphas high priest

http://www.biblewalks.com The House of Caiaphas, the high priest, in Jerusalem.

Losing Wait

Job was a patient man

The most that ever lived

I wonder if we can

Come close.

 

We think we have it bad

Waiting, contemplating

What might turn out to be sad

What may never happen.

 

But during the wait?

We become stronger

Forgetting our imagined fate

Turning thoughts toward Him.

 

Lose the wait?

Instead seek eternalness

Think in the higher state

Where God is.

 

Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

 

The Western Wall, Jerusalem

 

 

 

Test of Faith

“Simon,” said Christ twice, emphasizing

“Satan asked to sift you like wheat,”

He prayed the disciples’ faith would not fail

After washing their dust-covered feet.

 

The ruler should serve his subjects

Waiters greater than their lead

Reward would come at a later time

The plant, after the seed.

 

The twelve would judge the twelve

Tribes from each of their thrones

Like the prophet Ezekiel had seen,

A nation resurrected of bones.

 

But Simon was sorely tested

In the hour when need was the most

He denied he knew the Son of God

Leader of Heavenly Hosts.

 

Once, twice, and again!

How could he do it?  Why?

Simon Peter refused to believe

He would ever His King deny.

 

Why, he’d trail his Master to prison

Or to death if it were required

And not then, but much later in time

The vow finally transpired.

 

Faith tested.  Not conquered.  Intact

Jesus explained it must be so

He gave them a visible, audible sign

Distinct: a rooster’s crow.

 

Before leaving the room Jesus told them

They would from then on provide

Supply, protect their brothers

After He suffered and died.

 

The Scriptures foretold a new age

Messianic predictions fulfilled

After Jesus poured out “His life unto death”

His precious, holy king’s blood spilled.

 

And the lessons, for us, abounding

This pattern of self-centeredness

Should change, and our faith will be strengthened

In lives which God promised to bless.

 

Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

 

Photo: The Church of All Nations at the Garden of Gethsemane

e

When Darkness Reigns

img_15861
“This is your hour,” the Master said

To His betrayer, who would see Him dead

The others, enraged, tried to fight back

Then Jesus healed the results of attack.

 

He did not desire to be taken this way

But gave in to his Father’s will as he prayed

In the Garden.  An angel helped Him be strong

That He could endure to right the great wrong

 

Of sin.  Though darkness’s prince reigned that hour

He’d never maintain it, never devour

Believers in Christ, never crush them again

They’d never experience one moment when

 

Satan was the winner.  And he will not be

Because Christ sacrificed so we could be free

It was his cup, He told them, in pain

His death was our life — His agony our gain.

 

It won’t be forever, this darkness we see

The hour will pass and eternity

Will blot out all memories of past suffering.

Death, not the victor, finally void of its sting.

 

Poem Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

 

Luke 22:39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

Luke 22:45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” 47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. 52 hen Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? 53 Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.”

Photo: The Garden of Gethsemane, Jerusalem.

Bear the Load

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Romans 15: 1-7

In Christ, we’re free
But cautious should be
Toward others.

.

Judging seems the easy part
However, freedom from the heart
Nurtures sisters and brothers.

 

God gave parameters for what not to enter in:

Sin.

All else may be disputed.

 

We agree to disagree
And leave to those in authority
To approve or refute it.

 

So appease the weak
Not pleasing yourself as you speak
Not tearing down, but building others up.

 

Jesus takes brunt for us
Of words that are an affront to us
They fall on Him.  That is His cup.

 

Let’s help bear the load
For those who walk the road
After the One heaven-sent.

 

Scripture cites endurance.
We need no other assurance
Than our Creator’s encouragement.

 

He passes hope to us.  In a voice of one
Praise the Father,
Spirit,                                                                                                                             Son.

 

Copyright 2017 margaretportergriffin

Photo: Church of the Beatitudes, Galilee