Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Accept no substitutes!

I like substitutes.

Let's face it...substitute teachers are often "better" than the real thing.  They don't know the rules, they don't know your name, and they give you lots of "busy work" rather than "real" work.  (Sometimes they even show movies!)

Substitute medicines?  You know...generics?  They're typically just as good (or almost as good) as the real thing, but for way less money!  Sometimes they're even made by the same company as the name brand medicines.  It's true.

We even substitute foods!  Can't eat eggs?  Use applesauce in baked goods!  Don't have red wine vinegar?  I understand you can use balsamic vinegar instead.  Don't have graham crackers to dip into your chocolate chip cookie dough dip?  Use a spoon!!

See?  Sometimes substitutes are great.  Sometimes they're even necessary!

Last week, though, we made these for lunch:

Cool, right?  The kids loved that they got to "cook" these themselves.  It was super simple to let them stab their hotdogs with linguine noodles.

I know you're wondering what this has to do with substitutes.  But you see, my sister thought she'd have her boys make these fun hotdog octopi for lunch on the same day.  She wasn't at home when we discussed it, but she told my nephew they'd be having a fun lunch that day.  She got home and discovered that they had NO noodles!  A mutual friend (who didn't know what recipe my sister was making, only that she lacked the spaghetti to do it) suggested she use spaghetti squash as a substitute.

Friends, you can't thread spaghetti squash through a hotdog.  It just won't work!  In fact, I can't think of very many things that are 1) edible 2) hard enough to slide through a hotdog and 3) thin enough that several can go into the same hotdog!  There simply isn't a substitute for the noodles in these hotdog octopi!


I have a feeling this is exactly what God was talking about when he said, "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.  You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments." Exodus 20:4-6, NASB

What?!?  When God said those words he was talking about hotdogs and spaghetti?!?  Not exactly...or at least not for me.

I think God was saying (besides the obvious "don't build statues and worship them"), "Don't let a cheeseburger take my place!  Exercise?  It's a great stress reliever, but don't count on it to cure your troubles!  Don't get so wrapped up in it that you forget to run to me!  The mall is a fun place, but don't rely on your "retail therapy" to fix anything.  It might for a minute, but it can't really comfort you.  Pizza, Baseball, Facebook, Pinterest (ouch!), New Cars, New Clothes, Men, Women, Television...they all have their place.  But they are not more important than me and they can't take my place.  They don't have the qualities I have!  They can't be everything to you the way I can, and they SHOULDN'T be!!"

Accept no substitutes!

Did you know that "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever?"  Hebrews 13:8.  That means He's going to last a lot longer than those french fries you're thinking about putting in your belly to try and soothe yourself.  It means He WAS THERE when whatever it was caused you the pain you're feeling.  He IS THERE now.  And He WILL BE THERE to see you through to the finish line!  No one and nothing else can claim that, and if they (it) try, it's a LIE!  

So there it is.  My sermon of the day.  Put down your computer, your hotdog, your remote control...whatever it is that you are using to comfort you, to heal you, to pacify you...and pick up your Bible.  Put on your reading glasses, grab a pencil and a pad of paper, and allow God to speak to you.  HE can help you.  He can heal you.  HE can fix your damaged wings.  He's the ONLY one that can.

Accept no substitutes!


Linds said...

Good Reminder for today...thanks sweetie!

SAPsMaMa said...

Those hotdog octapi look fun! I'll have to let my kiddo try it!

Share the comment love! Check out my blog, SAPsmaMa Natural Parenting and Green Living at http://sapsmama.com! I"d love to hear what you have to say!

Anonymous said...

I have tears in my eyes, thank you so much for such a heart felt, truth sharing point. It's so encouraging to hear someone else encourage people to turn to Jesus, not things. Merry Jesus season

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