“If we begin with all authority, we end with all nations. If we begin with an invisible and very spiritual authority, then we end with small collections, in every nation, of believers in this invisible and very spiritual authority. But Jesus did not want a small collection of struggling churches in Pakistan; He wants Pakistan itself. He is happy to begin with the small beachhead in an unbelieving nation, but that beachhead must not confuse itself  with the coming occupation” (Heaven Misplaced, p. 82).

When the Son of Man comes in the clouds of heaven, He is presented to the Ancient of Days. Authority was then given to Him — described as dominion, glory, and a kingdom. And lest we interpret this as dominion, glory and a kingdom in some invisible spiritual place, the prophecy goes on to tell us what the result of that establishment would be. The result was that all people, nations and languages would serve Him. When Jesus said that all authority in heaven and earth had been given to Him, this is what He was talking about” (Heaven Misplaced, p. 83).

The Lord’s promises to us are truly staggering, and it is not surprising that we cannot get our minds completely around it. But He delights to give to His people, and one of the greatest gifts that He has given to us is the future . . . What is the future of this world, prior to the Lord’s coming, going to be like? We can’t say, because nothing that good has ever entered into the heart of man. We are slow to believe all that is promised, but the glorious fruition is headed our way nonetheless” (Heaven Misplaced, p. 17).

I asked earlier what the characteristics of His rule would be. The passage from Isaiah 11 should take your breath away. The earth will be as full of the knowledge of God as the Pacific Ocean is wet” (Heaven Misplaced, p. 16)

Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end,on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea!

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

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“At the very heart of the gospel is sacrifice, and there is perhaps no occupation in the world so intrinsically sacrificial as motherhood. Motherhood is a wonderful opportunity to live the gospel. Jim Elliot famously said, “He is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Motherhood provides you with an opportunity to lay down the things that you cannot keep on behalf of the people that you cannot lose. They are eternal souls, they are your children, they are your mission field.” ~Rachel Jankovic

 

“Live the gospel in the things that no one sees. Sacrifice for your children in places that only they will know about. Put their value ahead of yours. Grow them up in the clean air of gospel living. Your testimony to the gospel in the little details of your life is more valuable to them than you can imagine. If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it. Give your life for theirs every day, joyfully. Lay down pettiness. Lay down fussiness. Lay down resentment about the dishes, about the laundry, about how no one knows how hard you work.” ~Rachel Jankovic

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!  Thank you for living the gospel when you thought no one was watching.

 

Giving Thanks

All people that on earth do dwell,
Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.
Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell;
Come ye before Him and rejoice.
The Lord, ye know, is God indeed;
Without our aid He did us make;
We are His folk, He doth us feed,
And for His sheep He doth us take.
O enter then His gates with praise;
Approach with joy His courts unto;
Praise, laud, and bless His Name always,
For it is seemly so to do.
For why? the Lord our God is good;
His mercy is for ever sure;
His truth at all times firmly stood,
And shall from age to age endure.
To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
The God Whom Heaven and earth adore,
From men and from the angel host
Be praise and glory evermore.	

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Butternut Squash and Potatoes Gratin

One of the most delicious dishes I’ve tasted in while is Butternut Squash and Potatoes Gratin.  I just found two variations of this recipe and hope to make one of them for Thanksgiving.

2 cups whipping cream combined with 1/4 cup water
2 plump garlic cloves, minced
3 large BC or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced (you want about even quantities of potato and squash)
Salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper
About 1/3 pound pancetta, chopped, fried crispy-chewy
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
About 5 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 375F. Generously butter a 12-inch oval or oblong baking dish. Pour cream-water mixture in a small pot over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic. Stir and heat until steaming. Set aside.
Layer all of the butternut squash evenly into the baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and lots of pepper. Top with half of the pancetta, green onions, grated Gruyere. Dot with half the butter. Second layer, same as the first, but this time using the potatoes. Pour the warm, garlic-infused cream evenly over the top of the whole casserole. Bake for approximately 1 1/4 hours until bubbly, golden-brown and fork tender. Let rest just a few moments before serving. Enjoy!
or
1 butternut squash (about 2 lb.), peeled
2 Idaho potatoes (about 1-1/4 lb. total), peeled
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 Tbs. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs combined with 2 Tbs. melted butter
Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8-inch (2-qt.) glass or ceramic baking dish. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and fibers. Slice the squash and potatoes about 1/8 inch thick (use a mandoline if you have one). Line the bottom of the baking dish with a layer of squash (overlapping slightly), season lightly with salt and pepper, sprinkle with a little of the Parmigiano, and drizzle with a little of the cream. Cover with a layer of potato slices, season with salt, pepper, Parmigiano, and cream. Repeat with the remaining squash and potatoes until the dish is full, ending with a top layer of squash, seasoned and topped with any remaining cheese and cream. (You may have extra squash.) Press down lightly to distribute the cream and compact the layers. The last layer of squash should be just sitting in the cream, but not covered by it. Cover the dish with foil and bake until the vegetables feel tender when poked with a thin, sharp knife (check the middle layer), about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Combine the walnuts and buttered breadcrumbs. Remove the gratin from the oven, sprinkle with the breadcrumb-nut mixture, and bake until the top is lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Let sit in a warm place for 20 minutes before serving so that liquids will set and tighten the gratin. Cut into 9 squares and serve.