Tuesday: Timeless Tips for a Sweet Life

14 Jan

Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of the pieces. ~Judith Viorst
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My friend Chaplain Jim sent a timely post today. He described how a loving and faithful family compares very much to running a bakery and the sweet creations that are produced. “Good baking and a sweet life can’t just be thrown together in a cold, business-like fashion either– it’s love and passion that turns a pastry, a business, a family, a life, into something truly sweet.”

Chaplain Jim is far from home and his sweet family. His inspiring words are poignant and worth sharing with the world. Please take a little time to read what this charming chaplain has discovered…

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De Azucar
I was inspired talking with one of my Soldiers named Daniel yesterday, and he seemed to be inspired too, as excited as he was telling me about his wife’s bake shop back home in FL called De Azucar (“Of Sugar”). We were at a computer, so he quickly pulled up the website, and had me drooling over scrumptuous looking pastries. They looked so good, I could almost taste them, even though they’re thousands of miles away! But what inspired me even more was how Daniel was talking about his wife, his family, and that bake shop that is becoming a family ministry.

He said she’s not making any money on it yet, “But look at all those people she’s blessing already!” he exclaimed, pointing at the picture of the team of ten his wife, Angie, has working for her (and GETTING paid– after only a year of being open!). And he was proud to say that one in the picture is his son, and one his future daughter-in-law. All that sweetness on the shelves and in my friend’s voice as he raved about the shop and his family, got me to thinking– what makes for the “sweet life”?

A lot like any kitchen or bake shop, I’m thinking it starts with keeping clean– a guy doesn’t get to be married 30 years like my friend, and beaming about his family if his family life is polluted with all kinds of messes and dirt that we often bring home! Also like pastries, while it’s got a lot of sweetness to it, it’s not all sugar– the ingredients of a sweet life, as with pastries, includes a large amount of substance that is as boring as plain old flour, with a whole variety of other things thrown in.

But it’s not just ANYTHING thrown in that makes for sweet pastries and a sweet life, but the RIGHT ingredients. Ingredients of love and simplicity and wholesome goodness, just enough electronics and digits to get the word out, but mostly a whole lot of warmth, relationship, prayer, and good chemistry. Good baking and a sweet life can’t just be thrown together in a cold, business-like fashion either– it’s love and passion that turns a pastry, a business, a family, a life, into something truly sweet (you should read some of the reviews of the place!).

What are the ingredients, what is the passion that you’re using to cook up your family’s faith? Daniel was telling me in various ways that this little shop has been bathed in prayer for a long time, and is an answer to prayer that has more blessings to come. How much passionate prayer do you put into the family God has entrusted to you? What are you doing with the “kitchen” of your life to make sure it’s the kind of clean and wholesome place that can cook up a sweet life, rather than infecting everything that comes out of it because of the dirtiness inside? Keeping a kitchen, a bake shop, keeping a life clean is a never-ending discipline– “if you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean” I learned early in my McDonands career. Our lives are the same way– we can never stop cleaning up the messes that are simply a product of living in a broken world. And like Angie and her pastries, are you only using the right INGREDIENTS in your life, or are you filling it with left-overs, with junk, or what will “just do,” or are you using your passions and faith to fill your life with Godly ingredients?

There’s a lot a family can learn about feasting on the Sweet Life from a place like De Azucar and the family it has grown out of. I’m eager to get back in the “kitchen” myself– how about you?
Savoring the Sweet Life– (De Azucar is in Oviedo for your FL folk…)

Rev. Jim

Chaplain (Major) James R. Lewis
371st Sustainment Brigade
Brigade Chaplain
DSN: (318) 430-4106
Cell phone: 9978.7664
NIPR: james.r.lewis1.mil@mail.mil
SIPR: james.r.lewis1@swa.army.smil.mil

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Angie Lopez and her son Daniel Jr.

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A delicious dessert or a delightful life requires devotion and dedication. Thank you Chaplain Jim! You are SWEET!!!

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