Last week, Caleb interrupted Justin Bieber's Latin melody on the radio for a declaration: "I have a really good daddy." I cleared my throat to get out the words, "You sure do Caleb. You sure do." Caleb has a really good daddy, so tonight we celebrate with all the meats the Brazilian steakhouse can skewer.
My dad loved to tell jokes. My brother Matt and I heard the same jokes over and over and over on road trips and social gatherings. All. The. Time. We would just look at each other and roll our eyes. But the truth is my father never told an off color joke, and his humor brought joy to everyone around him.
I think he'd want me to start his funeral message with a joke to break the ice, but I'm very sad, really nervous, and thinking my attempt at humor today will not land.
I can remember the carb loaded plate of pasta and the cheap hotel wine I was enjoying in Nashville in 2015 when I first opened my Bible to look up the word bread. I went straight to John 6 with my spiritual hunger and tears streamed down my face as I read Jesus' words about himself as the Living Bread.
That moment was the catalyst for this whole I.love.carbs bible study. So the build up to this lesson is a tad intimidating because how can I fit into one blog post the work the Holy Spirit has done in my heart to heal me of spiritual hunger?? How?? The best way is to offer up the verses that have been so life changing for me. This is Jesus speaking to the same crowd that had just had their bellies filled with the 5 loaves of bread and two fish...
My 3 year old son, Caleb, is really good at sharing food. Which is proof that kids can break free from the bad habits of their parents. You see I don't like sharing food, especially dessert because my desserts are always carb full and I.love.carbs.
When our food supply is limited we create strategies to conserve don't we? Here's the thing about the one true living God: his food supply is unlimited. He radicalized bread sharing in the passages we are going to look at today...
The low-carb-diet-craze has trained us to give bread the side-eye of distrust. Bread baskets and chip bowls are now associated, for many, as a tempting indulgence. I reject this crazy. And I'm fully aware of my GF friends who simply cannot enjoy many gluten rich carbs that bring me such joy. This is a result of the fall. And I grieve with you. Our bodies are broken in many ways, and I for one am still mad at Eve for her rebellion in the garden as it relates to food and more specifically the messed up way we try to control our diets...
After an intense workout, I used to reward my efforts with a visit to the Village Baking Co. in Dallas to get a ham and cheese croissant. It’s by far the best French patisserie to cancel out the torture of up downs. Once again proving I.love.carbs. I’ll admit it, the fact that my gym and this bakery were so close in vicinity created great temptation on my part. But after awhile, purchasing a warm, buttery croissant in my Lululemon just started to feel right. Croissant temptation is tricky. Does one neglect the graceful provisions of God through the croissant or resist the temptation to indulge? Although I'm weak in the knees for carbs, the reaction of the Savior of the world in His moment of great temptation is so different...
Angel food cake is gross and thus feels like a negligent way to use the terms "angel food," especially in light of my study on the word "bread" and "manna" in the Bible. Moses said manna was food for the angels, bread from heaven, sacred bread, bread worthy of the tabernacle (where God's people would encounter and commune with him), the bread of testimony, the bread of presence. So excuse me, Angle food cake, when I scoff at your inferiority.
Spiritual hunger can feel like we are in the wilderness and hangry with God, but thankfully God has a track record of making food for hungry wilderness wanderers like us.
This section of our I.love.carbs bible study should have been the easiest for me to digest after months of study and contemplation, and yet it was the hardest. Turns out God highlighted so many savory truths about himself through my study on manna. I've been joking that I could have written all 16 lessons of this study on manna alone because its presence in the scriptures is so critically important to our spiritual diets. The Apostle Paul repurposes the concept of Old Testament manna in the New Testament giving the physical bread a spiritual application to our lives in 1 Corinthians 10:3-4. So today we are going to talk about why you and I might end up in a spiritual wilderness and a very common reaction to our hunger in a spiritual wilderness.
The last time I blogged, I left us with this question: Lord, what do you need to remove in my life so that I can savor your presence? Because God's richest provisions of his presence will always involve the removal of sin in our lives. If you are hungry for more of God, a healthy step to feasting on His presence is a fast from sin.
Maybe you're hungry for more of God or suffering with spiritual hanger, or maybe you're so famished it's hard to imagine a reality when you feel satisfied again in God. I'm certain that by the power of the Holy Spirit, your study of the Feast of Unleavened Bread might be the spiritual appetizer you need to feast again on God's abiding presence. Thirty times bread is mentioned in the book of Exodus (depending on the translation you are reading) and most of them refer to the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
The Genesis narratives read like the most dramatic scenarios reality TV has to offer. It's a good reminder that our crazy has never needed a script. We are wonderfully practiced at making a mess of our lives. So today, our focus will be on the relationship famine & bread have in the Old Testament through one of our faith fathers, Joseph.
My carb-loving self smiles every time I open up this binder I'm using to compile my study of the 300+ times the word "bread" is used in the Bible. It's a reminder that even when I'm out of Hawaiian rolls, my soul can feast on God's word.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. In my beginning of this study I created a list and printed a concordance search results. After looking up all the verses in the Old Testament that include the word "bread," I noticed several patterns. Today I'll share one.
In a season of great spiritual hunger, I started to follow the breadcrumb trail through the sacred scriptures to find the most satisfying bread for our soul: Jesus. Spiritual starvation birthed this study, not some happy overflow of the heart. I needed more of God because 14 months ago I was starving spiritually. And I didn't need a Lean Cuisine, I needed comfort food. I needed to FEAST.
This led to an obsession with the 300+ times “bread” is mentioned in the holy scriptures, and you’re reading the results. Turns out my carb-loving diet is an asset for my spiritual life...
Every generation of Christ followers insists their needs are the greatest while forgetting all of our needs are met richly in Christ. We cannot forget that the gospel points us to embrace the most vulnerable and most of us refuse to see the unchurched, dechurched and overchurched as vulnerable. But what else do you call a child of God without spiritual parents?
Reading is at the heart of my weekly Sabbath practice. Sometimes it's InStyle magazine and other times it's serious theology books, but reading is my jam. Christmas is one month away people. Got any readers you need to gift this Christmas? Here's a list of the books I've read so far in 2016 plus a special shout out to my favorites. Click on the link titles to put the book in your Amazon cart.
I met a Polished attendee for coffee a few days ago and shared that I am trying to re-order my whole life around the concept of grace (getting something we don't deserve). I told her all my chips are in. It doesn't matter what I'm doing for a living, what role or title I hold, where I spend my hours. Whatever I am doing will be a total pouring out of the love I am absorbing from the one true God.
God is with us like he was with Joseph. God is with us when we face sibling hate, human trafficking, wrongful accusations, wrongful imprisonment, unsolicited sexual advances, temptations, dream interpreting, famine, and even when we have to forgive our enemies. God is with us.
I wonder what you're facing now. Because I've got loved ones fighting incurable pain, debilitating debt, infertility, hatred, betrayal, loneliness, and divorce. The kinds of texts I get send me to my physical knees because the challenges are too great, too many. And then I remember God is with my friends. He is with me now. Right now...