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    • HomeTouch Devotional

      Scripture Reading: Acts 16:9-15


      We need to stop storming heaven for what has already been provided,

      and start using what God has given us. ―Frank Hammond




      ictionary definitions for “slumgullion” describe it as a meat stew, and then mention its etymological origins. It’s possible that slum means “slime” and that gullion was a reference to mud or a cesspool. Mark Twain mentions slumgullion in Roughing It (1872), calling it a “vile drink served at a wayside road station.” According to another source, we’ve been eating some version of stew since the ancient Greeks dumped ingredients into “a stomach-like (paunch) of an animal and cooked it over an open fire.”

       I came across another note in my study of slumgullion that tells of someone who had a friend visiting from the United Kingdom. He mentioned a stew that his mother used to make. In their household it was called “If It’s” stew. That is, “If it’s in the refrigerator, it’s going into the pot.”

      In my home, slumgullion, meat stew, or “If it’s” stew, was called goulash, an outlandish mix of leftovers with some onions and spices thrown in. Sometimes, mother would call it “Hungarian Goulash” as though to give the entrée a touch of elegance. Mother had strong opinions about diet, believing that no food should be left behind.

      This was not just prudence and frugality, it was practical and often necessary.

      There is something holy about preparing and eating our “daily bread.” There’s a simplicity about stew that reminds us to be content and resourceful with what we have. This principle goes beyond just the food for which we give thanks. It applies to the gifts and talents that God has given us. It means to make full use of what we have before asking for more. It means that we will always look for ways to make lemonade out of lemons, a hooked rug out of scraps of cloth, or slumgullion out food scraps.

      In other words, to do the best with what we have.

      —Timothy Merrill

      Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for providing for my daily needs. Thank you for those who help me and work hard to ease my way. Amen.