Lately, I have really been into baking bread.  I watched the documentary COOKED on Netflix and the episode on bread really inspired me.  I mean just look at these baguettes I made the other day.  They are gorgeous. 

A photo posted by T.J. Mousetis (@tjmousetis) on

I've never been much of a cook.  I usually go for simple sustenance over complicated decadence.  My go to meal in college was a spoonful of peanut butter -- partly because of my economic status, but mostly because it was quick, easy and delicious!

In the last few weeks I have baked 5 loaves of bread, only 4 however, have been edible, because the first was the consistency of a brick. And through my baking I've started to realize something really awesome.

A year ago I would have never done this.  Two years ago, never.  Three years ago, never.  But now, when June goes down for a nap and I don't have any work or home responsibilities on my plate, I think, I should start a loaf of bread!  I don't use a bread machine because I like to mold and knead the bread with my hands.  I like it for the process as much as for the taste.  It's a hobby that I would have never guessed I would have, not in a million years.  Again, I was the guy that ate peanut butter by the spoonful for the connivence and now the baguettes I just made took 20+ hours, because my bread has to rise baby!

One question people like to ask me is, "What's your favorite Bible verse?" or "What's your favorite walk in love. shirt?" Favorite movie? Food? Memory of June? And so on. 

I have had a hard time answering all of those questions because I don't want to narrow my life down to favorites.  I want to have an open heart and mind to the world around me, so that when something new comes up I can look at it with fresh eyes and see the beauty that God put in it.  People so often have made up their mind on something because of something someone else said.  We are people living our individual lives off customer and user reviews, while never actually reviewing something for ourselves.  I could have very easily watched that documentary and said, "Seems cool, but I don't like to cook."  Because that's what I would have said in the past and I would have missed out on enjoying the process of baking a sweet loaf of bread.

I think there is something very beautiful in trying something new.  And "Yes" to you Debbie Downers out there, there was always the possibility that I would bake a loaf of bread, find no joy in it and move on.  But there is always the other possibility, that I would love it and I do! Too often I see so many turn down the possibility of doing something because they have already pre-determined they don't like it.  High schoolers who say they don't like a certain food without ever trying it, or people saying they don't like Jesus without ever meeting Him.

That could have been me and my life would have been bread-less... How sad that would have been!?  Instead I have loaves on loaves on loaves.

So my encouragement today is to try with all your might to look at something with fresh eyes.  Something that you may have written off previously.  Try something new and throw out your preconceived notions of what you thought it would be like.  I often get so sad when I hear people talk about Jesus because of the bad customer reviews Christians leave in the world.  Don't look at those.  Look at the good ones, the ones of people devoted to giving, serving and loving all, with all they've got.  But instead of doing that, go to the source.  Experience Jesus for yourself and maybe, just maybe, with fresh eyes you might see that He is everything you need.  He is the bread of life.