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Chicken pot pie is much like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, only much better. As a child, it seems like my mother always had them available in the freezer - I believe the brand was either Gordon's or Swanson. This past Monday we picked one up at Costco. I finished it off last night when I got home.

Not only was it tasty and satisfying (both nights), it also brought back memories of my mother's famous "home cooking". "Gordon's in the freezer" is a great example of it ... and a clear illustration of how much she enjoyed cooking. Oh, we were well fed and ate healthy meals every day (she made breakfast for us every morning at 7:00 a.m.), but let's just say Monica never felt any pressure to compete with my mother's cooking.

One year, early in our married years, Monica asked me what kind of cake I wanted for my birthday. I told her that my favorite cake was a lemon cake made from an old family recipe. When she asked my mother for the recipe, she found out it was a box cake to which she added a little lemon juice and sugar!

Monica's mom - as you might guess - made nearly everything from scratch, and had a feast on the table every Sunday right at noon ... about 20 minutes after they got home from church!

However, something that both homes had in common ... and something that continues in our home today ... were prayers connected to every meal, and reading every day from Portals of Prayer. More essential than PB+J, and more substantive than chicken pot pie, prayers and Portals frame our life in the gracious presence of our Lord Jesus. Our world would be in much better shape if every person living in every mansion, home, apartment, condo or wherever would fold these simple ingredients into their daily lives.

"Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." (Romans 10.17) You will find this passage on the bottom of almost every email I send. These words remind me that it does not take a lot, just a 'constant little' for God to be at work in us, growing faith and making us strong. I believe much of who I am today - and the faith that I have - come from my father reading Portals of Prayer to us every morning during that 7:00 a.m. breakfast.

A great prayer is found in Psalm 107: "Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!" (Psalm 107.1) If you have extra time, the entire psalm is worth reading. It speaks of the faithfulness of God in the midst of all of life's circumstances, and then ends with "Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord." (Psalm 107..43)

Less than one minute connected to every meal, PLUS seven minutes folded into every day equals a life built upon a rock (see Matthew 24-27). What is the result? "How happy is the one who does not walk in the advice of the wicked or stand in the pathway with sinners or sit in the company of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the Lord's instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams that bears its fruit in it season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." (Psalm 1.1-3)

This is the kind of "chicken pot pie" that provides real, lasting strength and nourishment.

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