I enjoy good food. Not sure I would put myself in the class of a foodie, but I enjoy cooking and eating a good meal, especially with family and friends.

Bonnie and I find recipes and then try new and fun meals. We appreciate dishes that are a bit unique, help us feel good, and are basic and reasonable to make after a full day. However, achieving that often means we need to plan ahead. When we have not, then we reach for that awesome appliance — the Insta-Pot.

The Insta-Pot is the appliance of the old-time pressure cooker that meets the digital age. It is a miracle machine! Add the ingredients, close the lid, and set the controls. In 20 minutes we have a hot and tasty meal.

I know pressure does not always create good things. Pressure can cause us to freeze up. It can cause us to lash out. It can cause the blood pressure to rise and stomach juices to churn.

In this time of political primaries and polarizing positions on all fronts, it can feel like we are in a constant state of pressure. When pressure is chronic, we begin to reflect our worst selves because we are worn down and weakened. Like in a pressure cooker, there must be a way to vent and let off steam to find a new equilibrium.

When in a place of pressure, find the calm and let a new recipe emerge. Pressure has the potential to reveal opportunities and possibilities. Perhaps it is like a fine massage finding those key pressure points and relieving a deep pain. Or, like being in that moment of a looming deadline in which you finally make a breakthrough and there is an explosion of creativity and best thinking.

When the pressure is on in our nation, neighborhood, local church, and in our general church (and often all at the same time), let us proceed with intention — the intention of reflecting our best selves, our foundational values, our relationship in Christ, and the creative chaos out of which God brought and brings forth life.

So what’s for dinner? Let it be grace in Christ, always.
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