You say you want a resolution?

THE SHARED TABLE is celebrating the New Year with a GIVEAWAY – the first ever! And yes, of course it's a book – but it's not a cookbook; I'm pretty sure you already have plenty of those. Read on to see what it is and how it can be yours!

We're already one week into the year 2011; that's plenty of time to have broken some or all of your New Year's resolutions…so, how are you doing with that?

The etymology of the word "resolution" comes from a word that means to "to loosen, dissolve, untie," which makes sense if you consider that before you initiate new habits, you have to "loosen" the bad ones that have kept you in bondage. What things keep you in bondage? For many people, it's food.

The significance of food in our lives is pretty obvious when you consider New Year's Resolutions; food and our relationship with it generally ranks pretty high on the Top Ten list. What if we decided to think about food in a different way?  What might happen if rather than studying every morsel of food we put in our mouths we studied food itself? Specifically, the spiritual significance of food?

Author Sara Covin Juengst took on that project back in 1992 when she wrote "Breaking Bread, the Spiritual Significance of Food." In the foreward of the book, author Parker J. Palmer notes that the author shows "how food is woven as intricately as faith into the entire fabric of our lives." Of Juengst's work, Walter Brueggemann says, "The book lets us retaste and renotice and reswallow our life from God."

Among others, the author covers topics such as:

  • Stewardship: Food as God's Good Gift
  • Hospitality: Expression of Grace
  • Bonding: Strangers No Longer

In the chapter titled Compassion: The Great Inasmuch, Juengst includes a poem she wrote after coming home from hunger-stricken Africa to affluent America:

I hear these words about “the poor”
and brush them into the corners of my mind.
I cannot think about them now
I am too preoccupied
     with the choice of hors d’oeuvres for my party
     and the color of my new shoes.
I am too anxious
     about the impression I make
     to decide for diminishing
     or to question the givens.
I am too cautious
     to risk the highway
     that leads away from safe places.
Convenience blankets me,
 stifles the clamor of a hungry world.           
 

The fact that I own a copy of this book is pretty amazing; prior to launching THE SHARED TABLE, I read everything I could get my hands on about the connection between food and hospitality – there's not much out there, by the way.

One day after futilely combing through the more than 500,000 used books at Steven's Book Store, I literally stumbled over a pile of books blocking an aisle, glanced down and there on top was the out of print "Breaking Bread."  At $1.95, it was a steal, being that I'd searched for months without finding a copy for less than $100.

Here's my well-loved copy:

This book has become one of my most prized possessions and now I've come up with a way for you to have one of your own. Recently I came across another copy, only this one is just like new, so I've decided to give it away to one of my subscribers as part of The Shared Table's First Giveaway. To enter for a chance to win:

STEP 1: Enter your email in the RSVP box in the upper right hand corner & click submit.  (If you've already subscribed to "The Shared Table", skip this step)

STEP 2: In the comment section, let me know how you plan to share YOUR table in 2011. 

One lucky winner will be chosen Monday night!

THE LAST BITE:

A little Google Search Trivia on the above subjects:

"FOOD" …762,000,000 results. Apparently people are interested in the subject.

"SPIRITUALITY" …40,800,000 results. Hmmm….

"NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS" …43,500,000

Maybe we could start a "RESOLUTION REVOLUTION" by changing the way we think about food. Who's in?

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5 Responses to “You say you want a resolution?”

  1. Johanna says:

    That poem gave me the shivers!! I'll have to check out the book next time you invite me over for dinner ;)

  2. Brian says:

    As a professional cook, I usually try to impress guests with my cooking skills and knowledge when they come to my home for dinner. However, in 2011, I "resolve" to try to make them feel comfortable and wanted instead. 

  3.  A wonderful meal is made better with smiling faces at the table.

  4. April says:

    need to learn how to be a grandma! 1st grand on the way. Grandma is synonymous with Good LOVING food:)

  5. Timothy says:

    Food is such a precious gift from Our Loving Abba Father.  It all began when He provided us with grains and fruits, and then later meats (my favorites!) as well.  Sharing a delicious meal with family and friends can be equally as satisfying as the food itself.  Cooking and preparing food (together) is a gift of love, joy, time, and discipline, and it requires some natural gifting, such as mixing flavors well and timing all the foods to reach the table in an edible form (!! :-) )   But the Ultimate Gift that our Loving and thoughtful Father gave us to enjoy around a Shared Table was perfectly timed and flavored, His Only Son, Yeshua-Jesus, the Bread of Life, that takes away the sin of the world and feeds us with Love and Compassion and Generosity and Joy to give and receive from one another and from Himself.  Man does not live on bread alone, but on every Word that proceeds from the Mouth of Yahweh, but a delicious hot steaming Italian garlic bread coming out of the oven with butter and pesto to slather on top, with a marinated porterhouse steak as a nice "side dish", sure comes close to the satisfaction of Yahweh's Word!!!  :-)  :-)  
    As for 2011, it is my plan, as a single guy who cooks little, to study and learn one dish a week to begin to create delicious meals to share with my wonderful house church family on perhaps a monthly basis….perhaps even in MY apartment….scary stuff…..but with Yahweh and Yeshua, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE!!  And I am one who BELIEVES that I can, "with a little help from my friends".  
    Thank you, Susan and Roger, for many delicious and satisfying meals in your home, both of natural food and spiritual food.  May Yahweh bless you both, and keep you, and make His face to shine upon you, and give you both His Peace.  Hallelujah!!!  Bless Yahweh, o my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name, YHWH.

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