Personal Growth
Comments 4

Buttermilk, Vinegar, and Chocolate Syrup

Linda and I had been married only three months when she asked me to go to the store and buy some buttermilk, vinegar, and chocolate syrup. I was a rookie at this marriage thing, but I had heard about the strange cravings that pregnant women develop. Nothing much more strange than that: buttermilk, vinegar, chocolate syrup. UNLESS you are cooking a Red Velvet Cake for your husband’s birthday!


As Shannon spoke this past Sunday about the Bride of Christ—AKA, the church— I thought about how the church is made up of buttermilk people, vinegar people, and chocolate syrup people—people that don’t naturally go together.  UNLESS the Groom (Jesus) is blending all of us together so that He can watch His Bride come down the aisle “in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27 ESV).

The church is Jesus’ creation. And He knows how to blend buttermilk, vinegar, and chocolate syrup into a masterpiece “that in every way…will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive” (Titus 2:10 NIV).

So, when I am tempted to say, “I am just sour buttermilk” or “I am just caustic vinegar; I’ll never be chocolate syrup” I need to take a timeout.  I need to remind myself that I may be buttermilk, I may be vinegar, but I am not just buttermilk or vinegar. I am the Bride of Christ, and He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20 NIV)

Join me each morning as we release ourselves to the Holy Spirit who can bring order out of chaos, light out of darkness (Genesis 1:2 ff) and a beautiful Bride out of the likes of you and me.

Share in the comments a time when you witnessed God using the most unlikely group of people to accomplish amazing ministry.

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I am a Carrollton native and graduate of Carrollton High and Atlanta Christian College. After 46 years, Linda, the love of my life, and I moved back to Carrollton to join the Southern Hills Christian Church team where my son Shannon is lead pastor. I have two sons, Shannon and Brandon, one daughter, Kristen Ebensberger, and 11 grandchildren.


  1. Shannon Lovelady says

    I’ll never forget a little over 4 years ago now when God used 4 very different families to adopt 5 amazing kids from Nicaragua. People said it was impossible…it had never been done. But God parted the Red Sea, and He used an unlikely group of families to accomplish His will and His purpose.

    • Dale Lovelady says

      I am so glad that y’all listened to God. That is one big trophy that you will pull out often when you need to remember that the “impossible is possible with God.” >

  2. We weren’t anything special. We didn’t have any training. We often acted a fool. But God used our small group of high school friends at a junior high week of camp. The Children’s Pastor asked us to be sponsors that week and help with the morning show. Each morning we did what we did best: dressed up like dorks and unashamedly acted ourselves. The students developed a strong bond with us and because of that we were able to show them Jesus. It was one of the most fun and rewarding weeks of my high school career.

    • Dale Lovelady says

      That is so neat, Nicole. God has uniquely wired each of us and He does amazing things with us when we operate according to His wiring diagram–just like He did with you at camp. Thank you for being true to your wiring at SoHills.

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