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1/17/13 5:32 P

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Wonderful analogy

Nancy in So-Central PA

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1/17/13 1:57 P

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Sweet and Sour Chicken
Anabel Gillham

Betty, my sis, is a gourmet cook. As I look back on our growing-up days, I can see that I was much more willing to dust and mop and clean out drawers than to spend time in the kitchen. Maybe that’s why she’s a gourmet cook and I’m still dusting and mopping and cleaning out drawers!

She has a recipe for sweet and sour chicken that is out of this world — simply delicious. The night she prepared it for Bill and me I asked for the recipe and copied it on the spot. When I got home, I very promptly and neatly placed it in its proper category in my recipe box — and then just as promptly forgot it.

I had tasted it. I knew it was wonderful. I had the instructions so I could try my hand at turning out something just as wonderful. But I knew the simple secret lay in doing it. I was going to have to get out my recipe, probably call Bet to be sure I copied everything just right, and then undertake the project. And I’d be so pleased, and so would everyone else who put their feet under the table — hopefully!

This is the way I sometimes handle spiritual “dishes” that I’ve tasted. I know they’re wonderful, good, profitable, and possible — and that it’s all in the doing.

I came across the following study analysis somewhere. It applies here.

We will retain 5 to 10 percent of what we hear.We will retain 30 percent of what we read.We will retain 50 percent of what we hear and read.We will retain 90 percent of what we hear, read, and do.

I bet that somewhere between the 50 and 90 percent we could place “writing it down.” Doing, of course, is the most effective learning process. Writing down the method of accomplishment, the success or failure of the procedure, etc., will increase our understanding, give fingertip access to notes, and record our perception, appropriation, and commitment levels.

So let’s add that to our analysis: We will retain 75 percent of what we hear, read and write.

* * *

Well, after years of eating sweet and sour chicken at the local Chinese restaurant, I finally tried my hand at the dish. Did I have to talk myself into this gourmet endeavor? Yes. I had all kinds of excuses as to why I couldn’t do it. Time consuming? Yes — all afternoon to put it together. Concentrated effort? Yes. Worth it all? Yes. No one really praises me for the clean-drawer routine, but the praise was hot and heavy that night at the supper table.

And so it goes with the seminar I attend, the sermon or tape I hear, the book I read. I know that the truth I’ve tasted is wonderful, good, profitable, and possible…

But does it take discipline? Yes.

And does it take time? Yes.

Is there work involved? Yes.

And is it worth the effort? Yes.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15


There is nothing we can do to make God love us more; there is nothing we can do to make God love us less. -- Philip Yancey

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