For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him. (Heb 9:24-28)
For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, "SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME;
IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND SACRIFICES FOR SIN YOU HAVE TAKEN NO PLEASURE.
"THEN I SAID, `BEHOLD, I HAVE COME
(IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME)
TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD.' " (Heb 10:1-7)
Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,
"THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM
AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD:
I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART,
AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,"
He then says,
"AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS
I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE."
Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.
Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Heb 10:11-25)
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.
Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; so it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer. Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law; who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, "SEE," He says, "THAT YOU MAKE all things ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN WHICH WAS SHOWN YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN." But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.
For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. For finding fault with them, He says, "BEHOLD, DAYS ARE COMING, SAYS THE LORD, WHEN I WILL EFFECT A NEW COVENANT WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH;
NOT LIKE THE COVENANT WHICH I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS
ON THE DAY WHEN I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND
TO LEAD THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT;
FOR THEY DID NOT CONTINUE IN MY COVENANT,
AND I DID NOT CARE FOR THEM, SAYS THE LORD.
FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL
AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD:
I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS,
AND I WILL WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS.
AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD,
AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
11 "AND THEY SHALL NOT TEACH EVERYONE HIS FELLOW CITIZEN,
AND EVERYONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, `KNOW THE LORD,'
FOR ALL WILL KNOW ME,
FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST OF THEM.
"FOR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES,
AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE."
When He said, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.
... and I am now in possession of her recipe box. Since I'm hosting Christmas Eve dinner this year, I decided to muck around in that box and find some goodies. First thing in the box was the original (the real original, not that silly microwave substitute that the current cereal boxes are sporting) Chex Party Mix.
So I made a BUNCH. 3 batches, to be exact. The house smelled good.
And while the mix was cooking and smelling all good, I decided to continue along memory lane thru the recipe box contents.
Here is my all-time favorite (when I was a teenager) salad dressing (clearly it was Papa's favorite, too). This reminds, I should really make a batch of this. Mmm mmm good!
Have you all heard of Beer Bread? Super simple. Super yummy.
How 'bout some Kahlua? Grammy and her neighbor nearly always had a jar of this stuff brewing under the deck.
Did you need the back instructions for that recipe? Remove bean after 30 days. Strain into dark bottle (if possible) using a very fine strainer. The end.
Oh, look. Here's a recipe I contributed to Grammy's box. She made it for us all the time, but never wrote it down. So I did. Ummm, my chicken scrawl printing hasn't improved much over the years.
Now, I don't know if Grammy just kept lots of recipes, like this one, in her head, or if someone (Mom!!??) raided the box before passing it on to me. But the box is definitely missing some of Grammy's staples: orange rolls, Cherry Pie, Chicken Tortilla Casserole (luckily every white-trash, church compiled recipe book has a copy of this recipe!), and her to-die-for chocolate chip cookies (the Toll House recipe plus oatmeal and cinnamon ... tho, everyone always accused her of not revealing her "secret ingredient" because nobody was ever able to reproduce the sheer excellence of her cookies.)
Wanna "meet" my Grammy? Here she is with my good friend, Darlene, in her much-used, little kitchen. She fed armies from that kitchen. And there was always a friendly pot of coffee ready for anyone who might pop in for a visit. Gosh, I miss her sweet little home on The River.
Isn't she cute?!? Oh. You wanna know what I looked like 18 years ago? Ok. Here I am with Darlene, and our friend Cathy. Gosh, that was a long time ago!
So, I've got lots more wrinkles and age spots now than I did then. I also have a husband and three boys. And you wanna know another of the bonuses of now vs. then? I don't anticipate any more friends asking me to walk down any aisles on their wedding days sporting the latest, greatest bridal attire!
Guess what? I never did have any occasion to wear THAT dress again! And yes, people did suggest that we would/could/should ...
Geesh. How did I digress from Chex Mix to bad bridesmaid dresses? Thus is the bunny trail of my meandering thoughts these days...
And a book I forgot to mention in my last reading post:
The Thanksgiving Visitor by Truman Capote - a beautifully told, poignant, holiday story, perfect for read-aloud. Miss Sook is a character to fall in love with, here described by the protagonist Buddy:
"... a custody battle, that, for involved reasons, had left me stranded in this somewhat eccentric Alabama household. Not that I was unhappy there; indeed, moments of those few years turned out to be the happiest part of an otherwise difficult childhood, mainly because the youngest of the cousins, a woman in her sixties, became my first friend. As she was a child herself (many people thought her less than that, and murmured abut her as though she were the twin of poor nice Lester Tucker, who roamed the streets in a sweet daze), she understood children, and understood me absolutely. Perhaps it was strange for a young boy to have as his best friend an aging spinster, but neither of us had an ordinary outlook or background, and so it was inevitable, in our separate loneliness, that we should come to share a friendship apart..."
For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness; and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself. And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was.
So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, "YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU"; just as He says also in another passage, "YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK." In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 5:1-10) ...
...And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life. For it is attested of Him, "YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK." For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. And inasmuch as it was not without an oath(for they indeed became priests without an oath, but He with an oath through the One who said to Him, "THE LORD HAS SWORN AND WILL NOT CHANGE HIS MIND, `YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER' "); so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.
The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever. (Hebrews 7: 15-28)
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card - excellent characters, intriguing storyline, with ethical questions (not the least of which: do the ends justify the means, and at what cost?) sprinkled throughout. Eldest Dude also just read this and could hardly put it down (school suffered for a couple days). Not a blanket endorsement for younger readers, tho, due to some language, violence, and situations. Only downer for me: the story is wrapped around "video game" and battlefield scenarios. Not my fav. I skimmed a bunch. But still, a really good book.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - a modern classic for good reason. Here are a couple quotes of note:
"Picture it. Nineteenth century man with his horses, dogs, carts, slow motion. Then, in the twentieth century, speed up your camera. Books cut shorter. Condensations. Digests. Tabloids. Everything boils down to the gag, the snap ending... Classics cut to fit fifteen-minute radio shows, then cut again to fill a two minute book column, winding up at last as a ten or twelve line dictionary resume... But many were those whose sole knowledge of Hamlet ... was a one page digest in a book that claimed: now at last you can read all the classics..."
"Clarisse McClellan? We've a record on her family. We've watched them carefully. Heredity and environment are funny things. You can't rid yourselves of all the odd ducks in just a few years. The home environment can undo a lot you try to do at school. That's why we've lowered the kindergarten age year after year until now we're almost snatching them from the cradle..."
"Do you know why books such as this [the Bible] are so important? Because they have quality. And what does the word quality mean? To me it means texture. This book has pores. It has features. This book can go under the microscope. You'd find life under the glass, streaming past in infinite profusion. The more pores, the more truthfully recorded details of life per square inch you can get on a sheet of paper, the more 'literary' you are. That's my definition, anyway. Tell detail. Fresh detail. The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies." The Little French Girl by Anne Douglas Sedgwick - Heidi reviewed this wonderful book AND sent me a copy (and recommended each of the above books)! I'm so grateful. I'm loving this book. For all the reasons Heidi listed in her review. And because it's an almost haunting story. Every page is dripping with a big question, a mystery of sorts. But the unraveling of the story is subtle, mesmerizing, beautiful. This book has been like a tasty dessert to be savored. And so I am (I'm about halfway thru this book, as I type...).
Child of My Heart by Alice McDermott - this is a total "slice of life" type book. Alice McDermott is a skillful writer; each sentence is perfectly crafted. Definitely recommended.
And waiting in my stacks are the following books that I'm looking forward to:
The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith (part of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series)
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (another Heidi recommendation)
Villette By Charlotte Bronte (found at the library book store)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (a Di recommendation)