inspired by toads

This evening I will be making Toad in the Hole for our tea. That is not a particularly ambitious meal, I admit, but I will be making it from scratch, not just getting a pre-made one out of the freezer and reheating it. Even so, I realise that this is perhaps not the sort of earth-shattering revelation that regular bloggists here are used to. [pauses for ironic laughter]

The reason I am going to make Toad in the Hole tonight is that I was listening to a podcast from Simon Mayo’s show on Radio 2 last week, which included making Toad in the Hole. It sounded good, the team loved eating it and it seemed easy. I was inspired. You can find the recipe here – scroll down beyond the confession…

On reflection what interests me is how that item could inspire me. It was a combination of the witty banter between the team, recollections of having enjoyed Toad in the Hole in the past, and the response on the radio from those who were eating what had been cooked that gave me the inspiration.

On Sunday evening at our church we heard from different people about what God has been doing in their lives. I was inspired by that too. I was inspired by the people themselves, and by what they shared, but mostly by realising how God was at work in their lives. He was speaking to them, through them and transforming them. He was revealing gifts that he had placed within people and drawing them out of them – giving confidence and encouragement in the process. He was using people to bless and inspire young people as they led them at summer camps, and transforming young people as they became believers themselves. He was changing people who were not expecting to be changed, showing them how they can find fulfilment, forgiveness and new life in him. He was using people’s gifts and skills to help transform whole communities.

There were two common threads. One was how God was using ordinary people like us in his plans to change lives and transform communities. The second was God’s grace – he does it because he loves us, not because we deserve it.

If that doesn’t inspire you in your own walk with Jesus, I don’t know what will. Even Toad in the Hole pales into insignificance!

Be blessed, be a blessing, be encouraged, be inspired!

Questions to ponder (including one about toads for possibly my most tenuous link ever):

Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?

Have you ever seen a toad on a toadstool?

How can there be self-help “groups”?

How do you get off a nonstop flight?

How do you write zero in Roman numerals?

If a jogger runs at the speed of sound, can he still hear his MP3 player?

If athletes get athlete’s foot, do astronauts get mistletoe?

(think about it)

(say it out loud)

(Yes, missile-toe!)

If space is a vacuum, who changes the bags?

If swimming is good for your shape, then why do the whales look the way they do?

If tin whistles are made out of tin, what do they make fog horns out of?

Why do they call it ‘chili’ if it’s hot?

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