A Cup of Soup

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For years this verse directed much of my life: “Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward” (Matthew 9:41). A cup of water. How we take that for granted! I used to spend hours each week helping get clean water to those who need it most. While water ministry is still dear to my heart, most of that work is done by others who are much better at it than I. Now, however, I’m re-discovering the power of a cup of soup.

When was the last time someone rang your doorbell just to bless you? When was the last time you knocked on a neighbor’s door just to share a blessing? It’s awkward, isn’t it? We live in a scheduled world where busy people value their time and their privacy. (Or at least that’s the excuse I sometimes use when trying to protect my own.) Soup helps. Or muffins. Or … Somehow, it’s just easier to walk across the street and share yourself when you have something in your hands. So today I’d like to share a recipe with you. I call it “scissor soup” because most of the ingredients are simply dumped from a bag (opened with scissors, see?) into a pot. I hope you’ll give it a try. Have some for supper, then package up the rest in disposable containers. (In a pinch, Ziploc bags will work.) Then make your way to someone who could use a little love, and pass along a bit of your soup.

Just in case you need more encouragement, here’s another passage from Matthew, Christ talking in chapter 9. “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?’

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

Scissor Soup

6 cups bouillon, broth, or vegetable juice

1 bag frozen peppers and onions

3 bags frozen veggies of any variety

1 bag chopped cabbage or cole slaw mix

1 bag baby carrots or shredded carrots

1 cup salsa

1 can diced tomatoes

2-3 cans beans, rinsed.

1 can cream of mushroom soup (optional)

1 tsp. chopped garlic or garlic powder (optional)

Simmer until all veggies are tender (at least an hour)

 

Thumper Was Right

Rabbit

In the movie “Bambi,” Thumper shyly but wisely said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nuthin’ at all.” Pretty good advice for a rabbit! Sure, there are times when we need to speak hard words, to stand for what is right and oppose sin or cruelty. But I for one have spoken harsh or negative or unkind words when there was no constructive reason to do so.

The apostle Paul had plenty to say about the subject. Check out these excerpts from First and Second Timothy.

“Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money…

 In the same way, the womenare to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything…

Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father…

 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.”

Then Romans 12:18 (KJV) issues this rather challenging command, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Notice it says “with all men,” not just with other believers.

When I was a teenager, we used to sing “They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love.” We will rarely draw people to the Lord, or encourage those who already know him, by being sharp tongued, critical or gossipy. And so, in the coming weeks, I hope to remember Paul’s words, revisited in the voice of Thumper, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nuthin’ at all.”

What’s your favorite verse about speaking softly, kindly or carefully? Please share it with the rest of us via the comments box, and have a great week!

Photo by Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 3.0. accessed at Wikipedia under fair use. 

‘Sorry, folks, the real Thumper is copyrighted, but you can watch him on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I71cY9Ysy5U