The Right Seasoning

by admin on April 2, 2014

Hello to my butterfly friends on My Butterfly Testimony!

Today is April 1st, and it rained last night in Southern California. This is no April Fools Day joke!

The rains brought clean air and sunshine. And I am hoping that my new devotions do the same. I am springing forward with my blog and announcing that I will be regularly posting devotions.

I am launching with a double dose of devotions. First, I wrote a devotion called The Right Seasoning for my friend Christy from The Write Season. She has a wonderful blog that is an online community for writers to share their stories with readers. Christy is a butterfly friendship, which she will define in the second devotion that I have for you today.

The second devotion is called Butterfly Friendship, which is a chapter excerpt from a new book I am writing called LifeCycle Devotions. These devotions use the life cycle of a butterfly to help each of us to consider the butterfly and emerge from struggles seeing God’s majesty in life. LifeCycle Devotions is an expansion of my published testimony Consider the Butterfly, Emerging from the Cancer Chrysalis.

LifeCycle Devotions applies to all who have faced a tough time in their life—which is every single one of us, right?!

I hope you enjoy…

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Wooden painted spoon and saltcellar  with salt  isolated on white background

The Right Seasoning

Written by Suzanne Makshanoff

© Suzanne Makshanoff [2014]1.

 

Every spring we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ with a feast. I anticipate this traditional feast and salivate over my favorite dishes. There is a traditional taste to my Russian heritage feast that I love.

But what if that taste was off? What if there wasn’t enough seasoning and it just fell flat on my taste buds? Not enough salt on my cucumber and tomatoes with lemon. Not enough seasoning on my roasted meat. Not enough flavoring in my borscht. Bland. “Pass the salt please,” is a familiar request you would hear if you sat by me.

What if there was too much seasoning, and I couldn’t swallow? Inedible.

Having just the right seasoning is key to enjoying my traditional Russian feast.

Our traditional feasts and fellowship are an important part of our lives. But even more important is sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ: Resurrection. Salvation. Lordship. Eternity.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”  – Colossians 4:6 (NIV)

As you fellowship this spring and rejoice in our Lord’s glorious resurrection, remember to use the right seasoning by sprinkling some salt: the gospel. This season is about traditions that point to Christ.

My favorite chocolate, Lindt dark chocolate with almonds, is even better salted. Or have you tasted Trader Joe’s salted caramels? Yum! Similarly, each of our lives is better with a little salt. Without it, life would be bland:

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” – Matthew 5:13 (NIV)

On the flip side, have you ever tasted something that was way too salty? Perhaps your kids played an April Fools joke on you and switched the sugar with salt? I’ve experienced this, and hot tea with salt is NOT good.

Likewise, some might find words about Christ hard to swallow if they are poured on too strongly. I personally can’t get enough words about Christ, but to some the gospel needs to be sprinkled lightly. Just as different foods need different seasoning, so might different people. One way to ensure just the right amount of seasoning is sharing what you know by experience. I encourage each of you, my butterfly friends, to share your life stories and how God helped you.

Salt with your story and preserve a life.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, help us to celebrate Your resurrection with just the right amount of seasoning—the right amount of truth. You, Lord, are the One we crave. Help our taste buds to salivate for Your words. Let us be salt by helping us share our stories of Your faithfulness and give us the opportunities to do so. Help us to persevere in faith so that we may taste from Your feast that You are preparing for us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

To Consider:

  • Consider sprinkling a bit of spiritual salt the next time someone asks you to “pass the salt.”
  • Have you pickled cucumbers? It is the salt that preserves the cucumbers’ freshness. Consider whose life you might be able to preserve with a little salt.

Seasoned Verses (NIV):

 “Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.” – Leviticus 2:13

“Whatever is set aside from the holy offerings the Israelites present to the Lord I give to you and your sons and daughters as your perpetual share. It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the Lord for both you and your offspring.”           – Numbers 18:19

“Don’t you know that the Lord, the God of Israel, has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt?” – 2 Chronicles 13:5

“‘But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’ When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, ‘Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.’” – Luke 14:13-15

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Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 5.23.36 PM

Butterfly Friendship

Written by Christy Nueman

Inspired by and written for LifeCycle Devotions, © Suzanne Makshanoff [2014]1.

 

Why didn’t I bring my camera? I thought.

I had the chance to capture rare footage. Two butterflies becoming friends. It happened in the whisper of fluttering of wings. I would have missed it had I not glanced over my shoulder. I stood in silent awe. It was more beautiful to behold than a Painted Lady emerging from her chrysalis, I saw His ladies (two sisters-in-Christ) becoming friends in the corner of a busy coffee shop. It was a brand-new butterfly friendship created by the Creator.

A butterfly friendship is the invisible bond that forms within two souls taking flight together for a season or for a lifetime.

These butterfly blessings usually arrive in times of dire need. My butterfly friends fluttered in about a year before my darkest hour. We met after we bravely attended our first Infertility/Adoption Conference. They wept with me when I received the crushing news that I would never conceive a child. We flapped down the dusty back roads of infertility together. During those difficult years, we lightened each other’s heavy loads with sweet gestures of kindness (an email, a card, a little gift). We planned special Girls Days. Some were simple outings like a barefoot stroll on beach. And others were more elaborate affairs like a ladies tea party where we donned fancy hats and wore feather boas. Without fail these gatherings came when we desperately needed to laugh together, to cry together and to pray together. Email prayer requests became our lifeline on the rough days—and we witnessed miraculous answers to our intercessory prayers. The biggest miracle came one autumn. As leaves fell to the ground, God’s gifts fell and filled our empty arms. We all became mothers in the same month (two of through the gift of adoption and one through the gift of a miracle conception). These two butterfly friends still fly right by my side.

The phenomenon of a butterfly friendship forming is almost indiscernible. These unique butterfly friendships can begin simply with a smile-and-hello exchanged when entering a new support group. They take shape through words exchanged in witty texts that bring belly laughs or by passing her a tissue to wipe away tears. They grow by bearing each other’s burdens through bowed heads, clasped hands and hushed prayers. They sweeten when she tells you, “I’m going to be a mom!” They forever deepen sitting silently by her side at a funeral.

It’s the divine friendship that King Solomon illustrates with the brushstrokes of his wise words in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” (NLT)

Do you have a butterfly friend? Perhaps you have grown weary from your long, lonely flight through life. Do you yearn for a companion to wait by your side as you emerge from your chrysalis? Do you need help searching for the sweet nectar of life? Have you lost faith in your ability to soar? Are your prayers missing the wings they need to fly to the heavens above? If you answered, “yes” to any of these questions, why don’t you ask Your Creator to give you a butterfly friend?

Once you ask, begin to seek out these friendships by going to church, a home fellowship, a Bible study or a Christian support group. The Creator loving cares for everything He created. But He takes extra special care of the crowning glory of His creation—and that’s you! And just like He brought Eve to Adam at the beginning of time, you can rest assured that He’ll bring you everything you need, including the gift of a butterfly friend.
And once this blessing has been bestowed to you—then it’s your turn to be a butterfly friend to someone else.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, I know You provide everything I need, including the gift friendship. Bring godly friends to support me during this season of my life. Give me the courage to take the first steps in seeking out these friendships. Open my eyes to others around me that need my support. Help me to lean on You—my ultimate Best Friend. In Jesus’ name, amen.

To Consider:

  • What steps do you need to take to start or strengthen a friendship?
  • Think about a time when you grew weary and God sent people to support you. How did they come alongside you in your time of need?

Transforming Verses:

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”  – Proverbs 17:17

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”  – John 15:13-15

“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.”  – Proverbs 27:9

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Did you enjoy these devotions? If so, please spread the word with your other butterfly friends and join in by subscribing Here. It will ONLY be used to notify you of a new blog post. Also, here is the information on my butterfly friend’s blog:

The Write Season is a Ministry of Words. What is a Ministry of Words? It’s an online community for writers to share their stories with readers. It is a place to glorify God with our words through the seasons of our life.

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1 © Suzanne Makshanoff [2014]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Suzanne Makshanoff and A Butterfly’s Testimony with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

{ 6 comments }

Patricia Efseaff April 2, 2014 at 12:55 am

Hello Dear Daughter Suzanne: You give me joy when I read your writings and make me stop and think. Love you for all the work you do in the name of Jesus.
Mom

admin April 9, 2014 at 2:09 am

Love you too!

Frances Adnoff April 2, 2014 at 5:48 am

Hi Suzanne,
Thank you for sharing your new thoughts about having the Right Seasoning. Everything you say is so very well put and it ministers to the heart. I like the way you keep referring to your Russian heritage in your illustrations. It is so easy to relate to what you say. I pray that your out-reach will touch many hearts as they read what you say about the Grace and Mercy of our Dear Lord.

admin April 9, 2014 at 2:10 am

Thank you!!

Barbra Slevcove April 3, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Loved your blog. Thanks for sharing this wonderful talent that God has given to you. So inspirational!

admin April 9, 2014 at 2:10 am

Thank you!!!

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