Go Tell it on the Mountain

Welcome  It is no secret that I love mountains!  I even have three photos here today from some of my mountain travels.  Some people close to me might even consider me a little bit obsessed.  Ya think?  I have found this passion growing as I approach my 40th birthday.  I have this fear of being too old to enjoy the mountains once I’m finally able to move there, IF I even get to fulfill this dream!  It’s a sort of a continual conversation between me, my husband, and God.  Anyway, I’m going to talk a bit more about the mountains today, sort of an extension from last week’s post My 2018 Word of the Year.  I’m glad you’re able to join me today.

Looking Glass Rock, Blue Ridge Mountains
I took this background photo last Spring on a hike in North Carolina, facing Looking Glass Rock and surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Food For Thought  You’ve heard me talk about mountains before, and no doubt this will not be the last time I talk about them either.  It’s a craving, I am not even kidding!  Having said that, I spend a lot of time looking at others’ pictures on Facebook groups I belong to and looking up all things Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains on Pinterest.  It’s the closest I can get right now while I’m “stuck” in the Midwest.  While I’m working at home during the day, I even listen to songs that I call my “homesick music,” like Smoky Mountain Rain, Rocky Top, and of course, Go Tell it on the Mountain.  Whenever this song comes on and my husband’s around, I try to tell him that I’m being given a command…I’m supposed to take my story, these words, and go tell it on the mountain.  I’m only slightly joking, here!

A great view of the valley near Cosby, Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains, my inspiration for all things mountain!

I’ve always understood this song to be a commandment, not so much about geography, but about our actions of spreading the gospel.  I think the idea is to simply GO TELL IT…go tell the good news…everywhere.  I never really thought about it much as a Christmas song until I looked it up on YouTube.  It always seems to be performed on Christmas specials and as part of a collection of carols.  I can see this, as it gives a wonderful description of the birth of Jesus Christ, and we sing these songs at Christmas.  But I’ve always felt that some songs are just too glorious to save for a short holiday period.  Joy to the World is one of them.  If we have SO MUCH JOY for this event, Jesus Christ is born, why do we only sing about it for a couple months out of the year?  I feel the same way about Go Tell It on the Mountain.  We aren’t supposed to just save our evangelism for Christmas, but spread the gospel all year long and in lots of places.

The other idea I’ve had about this song is the idea of telling things from on high allows for projection of the words.  If you are going to go on up on a mountain to tell something, you are not just going to whisper it or quietly suggest it, you are going to yell it out, letting the words ring and echo off the hills and valleys below.  When someone says they want to yell it from the mountain tops, it likely means they want EVERYONE to hear it.  Look at Isaiah 52:7 in today’s scriptures.  Isn’t that what we want to do with the good news of Jesus and the divine word of God?  We want to proclaim it so EVERYONE can hear it, not just those close around us.  That’s what I’m trying to do with faith-family-food.  This is no time to be timid, but to be BOLD!  I want LOTS of people to hear about God answering our prayers, our faith being rewarded, finding joy in Jesus, and working to make God-inspired choices in a very challenging world.  For the time being I’ll be telling it from my suburban middle-class neighborhood in the Midwest, but maybe some day soon, I’ll get to go tell it on the mountain, literally!

Today’s Prayer  My Dear Heavenly Father, I pray the words I’m telling are honest and true and inspired by You.  I pray that I never give up telling of Your wisdom, grace, love, and miracles for all to hear.  I pray that the people that hear or read these words may find encouragement, inspiration, or comfort.  I pray that I give all the glory to You for Your good works.  I pray that I persevere and not give up on any talents You may have instilled in me for telling Your words.  I ask for blessings on this blog and website, on me as the author and owner, and on the readers that accept these words into their hearts and minds.  In Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.

Psalm 95:4
A pretty inspiring photo I took at Crystal Reservoir driving up to the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado.

Today’s Scriptures  There are many verses in the Bible that reference mountains.  Mountain and valley imagery are often used to represent the successes and obstacles we deal with on a daily basis in this imperfect life.  I often look to verses talking about mountains as words of encouragement, like God’s reminding me to keep on climbing, it will get better!  Granted, when you read these verses, there is a context preceding the verse that gives significance to the word mountain .  Some “mountain verses” are actually about destruction and collapse.  Here are a few of my favorite mountain verses:

Psalm 90:2  “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.”

Psalm 95:3-5  “For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods.  In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.  The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.”

Isaiah 52:7  How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

Nahum 1:15  “Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace!  Celebrate your festivals, O Judah, and fulfill your vows.  No more will the wicked invade you; they will be completely destroyed.”

Matthew 14:23  “After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.  When evening came, he was there alone.”

Today’s Recipe  I’ve shared several times now that I work at making diabetic-friendly desserts and snacks that meets my husband’s nutritional needs, as well as lowering the amount of sugar my daughter and I consume.  One of the easiest ways to make sugar-free desserts is to use sugar-free pudding and gelatin mixes as the base ingredient.  You probably also remember that I love chocolate, so I’ve always been fond of the traditional “Mountain High Chocolate Pie,” full of luscious chocolate mousse in a chocolatey crust.  My “better for you” version uses sugar-free pudding mix and Cool Whip and chocolate graham crackers instead of Oreo cookies.  It’s not sugar free, but the sugar and carb content is reduced.  Fat and calorie contents are lowered as well, but still coming in at 370 calories for 1/8 of the pie, be sure to keep portions in check.

Better for You Moutain High Chocolate Pie
Lower in sugar and fat, but still rich in flavor and silky texture.

 

Better-For-You Mountain High Chocolate Pie (8 servings)

  • 1 sleeve chocolate graham crackers (9 crackers)
  • 6 TBS butter, melted
  • 2 TBS Sucralose sweetener (like Splenda)
  • 2 1-oz pkgs sugar-free instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 2 cartons sugar-free Cool Whip, thawed
  • dark chocolate shavings, for garnish, if desired

Crush graham crackers into fine crumbs, combine with melted butter and sweetener; press into round 8-inch pie pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before filling.  In large bowl, whisk together pudding mixes and milk; fold in 1 1/2 tubs of the Cool Whip topping until the mixture becomes thicker and a uniform light brown color appears throughout.  Pour this mixture into cooled chocolate crust, mounding higher in the middle of the dish.  Add remaining Cool Whip to the top of the mousse filling.  Garnish with dark chocolate shavings or curls, if desired.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.