A “cookbook” full of happy “recipes.” Bon Appetit!
Joys of Jesus Cookbook
Overview of this cookbook: We share our food and faith with family, friends and Jesus. Begin each meal with a blessing of thanks to God, our Provider of all that is good. Ponder especially His gifts of food and relationships we enjoy presently.
History of this food: Unleavened bread is used in Jesus’ Last Supper (a Passover celebration) because the Israelites were called to quickly leave their old, enslaved life behind. Grape juice (or wine) is a powerful symbol of the sweetness of God as well as the crushing of His chosen to be used for His purposes.
Fill up: We also feast upon the “food” from our Father – His Words from Scripture and Spirit Indwelling.
Biblically: Jesus calls us to remember Him regularly with Communion. The bread symbolizes His broken body and the grape juice (or wine) symbolizes His shed blood on the cross.
Miraculous Blessings Bread
Multiplying loaves of Bread-of-Life
Dried dates sweet with Savior’s love for despised “tax collectors and sinners”
Paralytic walks dried plums
Samaritan woman restored to community sesame seeds
Restored sight raisins
Madman returned to sanity sunflower seeds
Dried apricots of pardon for guilty adulteress
Lepers cleansed currants
Lazarus resurrection to new life lemon zest
History of this food: Rich breads, particularly with a variety of dried fruits, nuts and seeds added, have been a staple of mankind’s diet for thousands of years.
Fill up: Try fasting to augment prayer vigils and focus completely on our true “bread,” Jesus and His Word.
Biblically: Jesus called Himself the “Bread of Life,” since He is sufficient to give us what we need to live. He wants us to prioritize a relationship with Him at all times, whether we are grieving, laughing, despairing or complacent. (See the details of all these miracles in the Bible Books of Matthew and John.)
Heavenly Nature-Hike Hash
Magnify each moment sweet potato sunrise
Mercies-new-every-morning mustard meadow
Jesus’ Spirit mountain of mystery meatloaf
Applause babbling brook broth
Evergreens of eternal splendor sausages
Snow drift, less-is-enough, onions
Mirror lake self-reflection milk
Dew-laden Scripture grass greens
God’s wisdom lookout peak pilaf
Abundant gifts waterfall wine
Patience cauliflower clouds
History of this food: “Hash” is a term used to describe leftovers combined into a new dinner. Just like a proper hash, God uses every event in our lives to bring us to bring us into conformance with His Will.
Fill up: God’s creation can draw us closer to Him, as well as give us rest and beauty. Try bringing along a sketch book or journal to capture His glory and listen to what He reveals.
Biblically: From Genesis to Revelation, nature as “the garden” is a powerful vision of God’s intent for our stewarding of His planet and appreciation of the Earth’s riches He has given all of us.
Feisty Fireworks Frosties
Epiphanies ice cream
Exuberant praise dancing dipped cones
Fly Jesus’ banner bravely banana
Bursts of Truth butterscotch
Caramel comfort rocketing hope
Poppers passionate prayers pineapple sauce
Parade of faithful heroes’ hot fudge
Grateful spinners granola
Psalm singing sparkler sprinkles
Triumphant triple cherry bombs
History of this food: Ice cream, brought from China to the West by Marco Polo, is inextricably connected in America to celebrations and good times. The addition of fruit flavors, toppings and even crushed candies and nuts has added further revel to its many tastes.
Fill up: Fireworks are linked to America’s Fourth of July, celebrating our independence. Let it also be a reminder of worship due Jesus for His deliverance from our bondage to sin.
Biblically: King David called for national celebration as he pranced naked and joyously unashamed before God’s Ark of the Covenant when it was moved into the then capital city of Israel. (See 2 Samuel 6:14-22) May we be as thankful and unembarrassed to be fully committed to God and His ways.
Hold-me-tight Hershey hugs of warmth
Dark kindness kisses of cocoa
Wonder-filled Lindt laughter
Milky Ghirardelli gazes of adoration
Cadbury repartee of respect
Semi-sweet three-strand cords of support
Seven times seventy expressions of Nestle forgiveness
Tender Toblerone sighs too deep for words
White chocolate peppermint partnership dreams
History of this food: Chocolate, a well-known mood-booster, releases the same endorphins in our bodies as falling in love. It is the go-to gift for Valentine’s Day or a proclamation of love between sweethearts.
Fill up: Strive to treat everyone we meet to a “chocolate zap” of compassion and appreciation.
Biblically: None loves like Jesus. He invested patiently in His disciples, teaching and interceding with healing and miracles for all who came to Him. They all expected Him to overthrow their oppressive Roman rulers, but He came for a much greater sacrificial love: taking upon Himself all sin and therefore allowing us direct access to a relationship and eternity with God.
Imperfect Parenting Berry Pudding
Quality time cranberries
Consequences for mistakes marionberries
Learning to share and give blackberries
Age-appropriate responsibilities raspberries
Strong lessons infused by godly example strawberries
Letting go as they grow gooseberries
Consistent discipline butter
Rich cream of observing and discovering your child’s calling
Encourage the positives sugar
History of this food: Berries are eaten world-wide and important to human diet since before the start of agriculture. When made into preserves or dried, they can be stored and used in the winter when other foods are scarce.
Fill up: Thankfully, with God’s grace, we don’t have to parent perfectly to raise the next generation up with God. Going without may actually teach more valuable lessons to children than spoiling them with abundance.
Biblically: Hannah was an outstanding mother to Samuel, renowned prophet and priest. After a long season of barrenness, God gave her a precious son, whom she dedicated to God’s service. (See 1 Samuel 1:2-2:21)
Repentant heart romaine
No-boasting humility hummus
Turning from temptation tuna
Daily dedication to help others diced celery
Carrot of carrying your cross
Obedience to God’s Will avocado
Trust in His promises tomatoes
Enduring persecution red potato
Care-for-yourself cottage cheese
Moderation Dijon dressing of denial
History of this food: Salads, though prone to having a short storage life, are perhaps the most common diet food. Low in fats and sugars (except for certain dressings) they are lean-builders, equated with self-controlled eating habits.
Fill up: In addition to working hard for the Lord and resisting ungodly temptations, we should take care of our bodies (temples of God) with enough sleep, good nutrition, grooming and time to de-stress.
Biblically: Joseph, Jacob’s favorite son, shows amazing discipline in the Bible. Despite suffering slavery by his brothers’ hands, being falsely accused of rape and bearing imprisonment for years, he never lost faith in His God. Ultimately, Joseph rose to second in command in Egypt and saved thousands from starvation, including his brothers who had wronged him. (See Genesis 37:3 for the beginning of Joseph’s trials and perseverance.)
New Perspective Nuts
Blessed-thoughts-words-deeds brazil nuts
Revenge-is-His hickory nuts
History of this food: Nuts are a high-protein and high fiber snack. They give lasting energy and store easily. Since the time of early hunter-gatherers, nuts and roots have been an important dietary component.
Fill up: Tap into God’s inexhaustible source of energy when you are pushed to your limit. Pray and reach for some Scriptural “nuts.”
Biblically: Job accepted a new perspective on God after horrendous trauma and loss. When God finally revealed His superior wisdom and power to Job, Job accepted his lot in life with no more questions asked. God then restored Job’s wealth and health to greater levels than before his sufferings. (See Book of Job)
Life Well-Lived Lamb
Sacrificial roast lamb leadership
Gravy from a loving heart like God’s
Gethsemane olive oil of transformational tears
Sabbath rests sage
Join God’s rosemary redemptive work
Generous with time, treasure and talents turmeric
Meditations on God’s Word garlic
Prioritizing rapport with Jesus mint jelly
Interruptible and moldable for God’s purposes parsley
Salt of spreading God’s joy and peace
History of this food: Lamb was not only an important food in Biblical times, but the unblemished lambs were used as sacrifices to God to pay for the sins of the Israelites.
Fill up: Don’t shy away from sacrifice for others. Imitate Jesus, the “Lamb of God.”
Biblically: Excluding Jesus’ unreachable example of a life perfectly obedient to God, Moses shines next in line. He was fully dedicated in mind and heart, successfully carrying out his heavy responsibility to lead God’s chosen to the Promised Land. (See Book of Exodus for Moses’ numerous exploits for God.)
Everlasting Friendship Fondue
Swiss sentiments which touch the heart
Blue cheese tears of silently shared grief
Smiles of Colby compatibility
Encouraging provolone words
Gentle gouda understanding
Challenge to stretch mozzarella
Staying in touch regularly stilton
Prayers for protection parmesan
Sharing each other’s excitement and interests pepper jack
Enjoying our differences camembert
Authentic honesty Havarti
Frequent Muenster humor
History of this food: Another staple of the ancient diet was cheese. It keeps and travels well, and is available year-round. Earliest cheeses were produced from sheep and goat milk, as well as cows and buffaloes.
Fill up: My melted cheese fondue is a reminder to take any shape God requires of us to fulfill His purposes with our submitted lives.
Biblically: Apostle Paul, who brought the gospel to the non-Jewish world, boasted of becoming “all things to all people” for the sake of saving people for Christ. He suffered the hardships of hunger, shipwreck, attack by animals and humans, imprisonment and ultimately death to serve Jesus. But Paul counted it all gain to serve Jesus. (See Book of Acts starting chapter 9.)