The 4th is over, and I’m wiped out. Thus the day late post. I hope you had a wonderful celebration. Whether it was a madhouse of people, a quiet day, or something in-between, there’s something special about a holiday that hangs in the air. We had a full house, and I loved it. Cooking, eating, babies, grandkids, visiting, family, fireworks, exhaustion. I’m always in awe of God’s blessings after a full day of feasting. My sister brought ribs over this year. Even though she doesn’t eat them, she thought of my husband, Bruce, and he was excited to dress them up with his tried and true dry rub.
It’s Bruce’s recipe that inspired me for this post. It was a stretch, as Pastor Desmond doesn’t cook in my book. But if he did, perhaps this would be his! Here’s the connection. Both Bruce and Desmond are shepherds of the flock. Although Pastor Desmond is fictional, my husband’s honest concern for people was the inspiration for that trait in Pastor Desmond. I don’t have him cooking, but if he did, he might use this recipe while dishing out words of wisdom like my husband! It’s simple but delicious. Rub it on any meat before grilling.
1 tbsp each of pepper, garlic powder, Lawrey’s Seasoning Salt, and brown sugar
½ tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less, as heat desired)
As the ribs are grilling, my husband also splashes a dollop of hot sauce over the meat. I love the heat! I might hint for him to add dry mustard next time. Shhhh.
Pastor Brooks, wouldn’t mind a little suggestion to tweaking his secret recipe. He’s quite the humble man, but no offense to my husband, because he is too. Something else they have in common? They’re both a bit dreamy. Please excuse the stereotype. This is my first novel, so Melanie’s love interest, is a dreamboat, and who doesn’t appreciate a pretty face? But Pastor Desmond Brooks is much more than that. Not just because he’s a pastor, but because he’s a man who desires and seeks God. But it didn’t come easy, and he makes mistakes like all of us, and I hope you’ll be motivated to live life the way he does.
If there’s anything I yearn for in my books, it’s the die-to-self mantra. Although the bible doesn’t specifically mention this phrase, there is no doubt that Jesus exemplified this on earth. It was his divine purpose, for our salvation and God’s glory. In that, he also modeled putting others first. Hard to do in every situation, but so worth it. John Piper says, “Pleasing God directly relates to our pursuit of holiness. It’s one of the things that brings peace to our soul and pleases God.”
Desmond learned this lesson the hard way. He’s a widower with a past tragedy that still inflicts pain, but he’s using that pain to counsel and help others. You’ll see a new struggle where he puts this dying-to-self thing into practice. It’s something I love about him that’s so difficult for all of us. To put another’s desires ahead of our own but trusting God for His perfect will. Here’s an excerpt, as he’s handing over the reins so to speak. I can’t say more for fear of giving things away!
“Listen, if it’s something you’ve thought about lately, maybe God is nudging you in that direction. It doesn’t matter what’s happened in the past. If you want a second chance, God is all about that. That’s all I’m saying. Don’t do it just for fun or for kicks. They need stability. Their world’s been rocked.” ~ Pastor Desmond Brooks
Well, that’s it for cooking, and if you’re ready to move on, let’s do it. Do you like to travel? I have it in my blood. When my father was a little boy, he wrote a poem about traveling the world, and he made his dream come true. Daddy lived in three states, at least five countries, and visited countless other places, and those are just the ones I know of! He loved road trips, and as a family, we went across the US twice, numerous times up the west coast, and visited lots of national parks. I have fond memories of all, the places we lived and visited, but one in particular.
In about two weeks, I’ll be posting another seven days of author intensives. I’m excited to revisit some of the locations from my book. All inspired from a little town in Mississippi where I lived for a short time when I was nine years old. I can’t wait to revisit and take you with me.
As we continue to celebrate our independence all month, it’s also a good reminder as to how Jesus came to set us free from the depths of despair and the bonds of our sin. Oh, happy day! All month, all year, for all eternity.