Herbs and Spices: Enhancing the Flavour

The rice was plain. The chicken was plain. The vegetables were plain. That was what they were used to. Other than a bit of salt, they didn’t want their meal any other way, because they never had their meal any other way.

That changed when they were invited to taste a meal at their new neighbour’s home. Even before the food arrived they were pleasantly enticed by the smells. The aroma was rich and multi-faceted, it had an effect on their taste buds that they had not experienced before. The connection between smell and taste was more potent than they had known it before.

Then the food came out. They were told it was rice, but it certainly wasn’t plain. Overcoming initial scepticism at this different way of preparing and presenting rice they tried some. Then tried some more, and some more. They were amazed at what they were enjoying, so rich and filling in and of itself. The way the vegetables appeared was so different to what they had eaten before, but the rice had given them the courage to give the new setup a try. The wide eyes and broad smiles of delight were all that was needed to show their full acceptance of the vegetables. Someone mentioned that vegetables had always been something they avoided because it didn’t taste that appealing, but now they had to change their approach – this made vegetables all the more appealing without the use of anything artificial and unhealthy.

As they mixed some of the rice with some of the vegetables, they were all crowing about how gorgeous the smell, the look and the taste of this delicious meal was. That was before the chicken was unveiled.

By the time they had tucked away all that food and discovered how herbs and spices played a crucial role in the experience, they couldn’t hide their excitement and desire to know how they could bring this diversity into the mix of their own concoctions.

They were surprised to discover that which was new to them had been practised for longer than their plain old approach and it was about making the most of all that was given to them to create mouthwatering and belly-filling experiences like these.

That’s how they enhanced the flavour.

(Photos: Unsplash)

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

The Blanket: Comfort from the Cold

As the sun sets and the last embers of its warmth fades, so is ushered in a chill breeze. It goes from a breeze to an unrelenting battering against the body. The shudders makes it clear that this is not welcoming weather.

Yet there is a welcome ally. The blanket.

Wrapped up tight around you, it’s not just the warmth that is offered, there is familiarity in the comfort. Shaped against the contours. Snug and roomy, long and close. It is with you and it is for you. As you wrap yourself up in it, so the external forces are kept at bay.

You find relieving comfort from the cold.

(Photo: Unsplash)

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

A Word On Laughing

God has been so good to me.

In any given moment there is a friend who can say something that will get me laughing. In the childhood days there were competitions between us as siblings to see who could keep a straight face and not laugh at the efforts of the others. Though I loved funny things, it began to take a lot to get me to laugh.

Today I love laughing good and proper and there are some people who can hit the sweet spot of delivering a line that will have me in the guffaws without inhibition. It is a great feeling, especially seeing as though those jokes are coming from a good place. Nothing derogatory, defamatory, degrading or distasteful, just hilarious material clean and simple. Someone said laughter is a good medicine and when saints deliver it, I am certainly the better for the experience.

So this is just to say a massive thank you to the likes of Kevin, Andy, Ritson, Your Majesty as well as my siblings Ruth and David who are very good at letting the laughter flow.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

The Hub

One of the best memories I have in life is of The Hub.

My good friend Andy lived in a place that we loved to refer to as the hub, where God could do business with us because it was a place of transparency, hospitality and honesty that encouraged vulnerability. The occasions I would enjoy just sitting on the sofa at his place as we went from laughter to tears and back again, deepening friendships and being a lot more aware of the issues that prevented people being real.

Being a hub turned out to be not just about a physical location. It was an agreement among brethren. The environment could be created anywhere as long as saints were of the same mind and heart. Not to perpetuate rituals for the sake of it, but to relate to each other and God as time allowed.

This was not an exclusive club for believers that was inaccessible to those who were not as yet believers. The conversation was about life. Points in which people could connect and then get to see a gospel perspective.

I love The Hub and am grateful for the lessons learned from the experience that I have the privilege of practising today.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Acknowledging Good Service

If you don’t get good service, you are often going to do something about it, even if it’s just grumbling to someone else. What happens, however when we benefit from outstanding service?

Authrine and I had the pleasure of her company, recently. It was great spending time with her and hearing how she was doing.

This woman had made a significant contribution to us individually and as a couple. Her greatest contribution has been her example. Never seeking the spotlight and never chasing after positions, she has effortlessly been promoted wherever she has been all because of her incredible heart for service. Sacrificial service, discreet service, the sort that’s done without need for open recognition, but with deep and lasting repercussions of blessings for those in receipt.

There is so much to be learned from her and applied in life about love, faith, practical outworking of spiritual connection and endurance under very trying circumstances.

It’s easy to complain about poor service when we receive it. It should be our delight and joy to acknowledge and celebrate good service when we receive it. Not just celebrate it, but endeavour to let it spur us on to more acts of good service.

(Photo: Unsplash)

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Remarkably Resourceful

It was one of those days.

One friend had the link to help with starting projects. Later on another friend supplied some outlines that I could follow to succeed in the project. Hours elapsed and another friend offered outstanding insight on equipment that could be used to deliver on the project. Then as if that wasn’t enough yer another friend gave some good counsel on how to just take time with everything. Take things in stages. Don’t get in a rush. Just do what I can.

Without all of this, I would not even be able to start, let alone have good guidance on how to progress with the project.

What’s the project?

Well ….

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

A Flowing Conversation

There was this interview that just felt flat.

One of the key reasons why it felt so flat was that as engaging as the subject of the interview was, the person asking the questions sounded so dry, stilted and stale. It was great credit to the person being asked that the answers given were so engaging. Indeed if I only heard the responses it would have come across as far more interesting.

Life, however, is not a monologue. In as much as I live it through my eyes, even those are engaging in something beyond me that I respond to. It’s a riveting conversation because of how I view and hear that which I engage with beyond me.

What particularly makes for a flowing conversation is engaging with people who refuse to see their role as presenting challenges in a dry, stilted and stale way. They see their part in life as using whatever they have been given to stimulate whatever is around them pursuing a better way of living.

I find those kind of people inspirational. They incite me to look to live the same way, even as we know a very good example of someone who lived that way and though he died, he rose again from the dead to offer the way to eternal life experienced by never being dry, stale or stilted. Rather this life would be enriching, engaging and ever flowing.

Like a good flowing conversation.

(This blog is written with special affection for my good friend AJ – The Praying Poet. You keep the conversation flowing my brother. Keep growing and keep flowing.)

(Photo: Unsplash)

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden