“Her Name Was Lolita…”

My son recently adopted a dog who had been rescued from a puppy mill. It is likely that she had been left in her cage for great lengths of time, sitting in her own excrement, filthy and used solely for the gain of another. She had been treated like an object who had now outlived her usefulness; discarded and abandoned; unwanted and unloved. We braced ourselves for severe behavioral problems and extra training. Her foster home wasn’t even sure she was fully potty trained, and said she showed signs of the food anxiety so often exhibited in animals who have been treated inhumanely and have had to fight to be fed.

Even her name seemed to be a sentence to failure. It was Lolita, which means “sexually precocious young girl.” We decided that our first act of love was to change Lolita’s name, therefore cutting off all connections with her past. Her name is now Lola, meaning, “sorrows” or Lolo, meaning “goofball.” My son and I gently trained her to recognize our voices and respond to her new name. We were thrilled when she began to run to find us when we called her.

Our little “goofball”

Within 24 hours of adoption, Lolo surprised us all. From the first full day, her desire to please her new masters drove her to be careful not leave unwanted “packages” in the home. She cuddled and snuggled into our arms whenever we were sitting, and she ran around the house like a kook when one of us came home.

The whole experience has reminded me of when Jesus said that those who have been forgiven much are more grateful than those who believe they are not in need of much forgiveness. And though Lolo’s past wasn’t her fault, she seems to understand the depths of what she has been rescued from, and in response, has become completely and deliriously devoted to her deliverers.

How many of us, upon our rescue by Jesus, had been:

  • Found captured in a cage of our own or other’s making?
  • Left to feel dirty and unlovable?
  • Called names that led us to identify with things we were never meant to believe about ourselves? 
  • Discarded after our abusers deemed us no longer a part of their plan? 

Like Lolo, our desire to live in a way pleasing to God should be rooted in response to His great love and enriched by deep gratitude for the extremes that our Master went to in order to rescue us from sin and separation from Him. When He calls, we should be leaping and jumping in excitement for the adventure that awaits us. When we rest, we should be as closely snuggled in His arms as we can get. We should believe in who He says we are, rather than the who we were when He found us.

We all have a choice. We can either allow our past to cause us to be broken and bitter, or broken and better. We can, like Lolo, choose to respond to the love of our Master and become all that He has called us to become. We can allow God to “rename” us from forgotten to begotten; precocious to precious; trashed to treasured. We can allow God to train us as we follow His lead and learn to recognize His voice. Most significantly, we can, for the love that God has shown us, leave our pasts behind and joyfully experience our adoption in Him.

1John.3. [1] Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:

Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

When Glory Came

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Surprised, frightened, nothing to give but pure adoration, the shepherds stare in wonder.

Why would they be invited here and now?

Simple shepherds…included in the best surprise birthday party….ever.

No one but Angels and shepherds, a humming cow, oohing and mooing

All invited to the birth of a King, the Son of God.

They weren’t searching for deep wisdom, only a savior from oppression,

Quietly, calmly, minding their own business, tending their sheep

When Glory came down on a blue velvet night.

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Waiting…calculating…the kings poured over books.

What did this bright star proclaim to the world?

Men of means…and wisdom seeking to honor a child. An infant.

Riding, rolling on the back of a camel, for one thousand miles.

Just to catch a glimpse of a planet altering arrival. God on Earth.

The stars couldn’t help but sing. Light broke through darkness.

History was being made, and these wiseman, astrologers, magi…they knew it.

When Glory came down on a blue velvet night.

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Pacing….hands wringing…Herod had heard enough!

Murmurings of an insurrection…an overthrowing of power.

Someone to deliver the Jews. Whisperings of prophets and foreseers.

And what about those foreigners? The ones following signs in the sky?

Traveling from the other side of the world to pay this “king” homage?

Not to see him, Herod, king of this land.

He must rid himself of this opposition, no one would bring his

glory down on this blue velvet night.

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Heart pounding, hands sweating, do I approach as simply shepherds?

Looking for a savior, deliverer, mighty to save?

Do I pour over books, desperately searching for meaning, following yonder star?

Prepared with gift in hand, relinquishing my right to rule to an authority higher than I?

The one who asks me to bow not in golden hall, but in an animal odorous cave,

Who lays as Perfection embodied, nestled in straw, not feather ticking.

Or, like Herod, do I resist too proud to experience deliverance and surrender?

When Glory comes down on a blue velvet night,

am I shepherd, or wiseman or king?

Deadly Weeds – Guest Post by Adela Crandell Durkee

Adela is the first blogger to reach out and befriend me.  She has called me her Best Blogging Friend ever since.  She has such a way of making each of her readers feel like  family.  Her wonderful blog Once A Little Girl has the most beautiful memoir posts that I’ve read anywhere.  Not only does she write about her memories, but she always manages to drive home a point.  Please visit her beautiful blog, I promise you won’t be sorry…

I love flowers and flower gardens. I dream of the Chicago Tribune featuring my gardens in their annual Flower Garden of the Year editions. I’m a realistic daydreamer. I put aside thoughts of winning the grand prize, or even second place. I am content with dreaming of one or two resplendent pictures among the beautiful gardens pictured each year. My secret teen-dream was to be Homecoming Queen, Snow Queen, 4-H Queen, or something kinda of queen with a tiara or a silk sash, and maybe a scepter. Perhaps I transplant my teenage dreams to my gardening dreams; a place where I can create beauty.

Yesterday, my first grandchild, Bradaigh, helped me cultivate my creeping cedar, a beautiful evergreen that acts as a ground cover. It fills a teardrop shaped landscape island around two beautiful bur oaks, which my husband rescued from an over-zealous builder planning to backfill the whole area. Cultivating those low-lying cedars is a delight: no bugs; cedar is a natural insect repellant, soft needles that are no longer than a thumbnail. Their clean evergreen scent fills my nostrils. The only problem is that no matter how diligent I am, blades of grass poke up from the cedar sprigs, perseverant against my will. I follow each blade of grass down to its base and pull it out. It’s a time consuming, tedious job, but it’s the only way to make sure I get the grass out by the roots, and the only way to make sure I leave the cedar undisturbed.

“I can see why Jesus told that story about the weeds growing up among the wheat,” I say to my grandson. He grunts. He’s on the way to thirteen, so that’s his main way of communicating this year. Once in a while he’s up for a whole conversation. I take his grunt as encouragement.

“See how these blades of grass just grab hold and keep on coming back? Kind of reminds me of the devil; just looking for a place to grow under the surface. Nobody noticing. Then ka-boom! He rears to the surface, just like he belongs there.”

Bradaigh sighs and shakes his head. I see a shadow of a smile, so I continued shining a light on my thoughts.

“Sometimes, I get a piece of the cedar by mistake. Sometimes, I start thinking the grass is the young cedar and maybe I’m making a mistake.” We continued on in silence. That’s one of the things I appreciate about Bradaigh; he’s content with silence.

“Doesn’t that look good?” I say. “The cedar almost seems…”

“Happy.” Bradaigh says. “I knew you were going to say that, because you and I…” and he stops.

“You and I, what?”

“Oh, never mind.”

“You and I think alike?” I say to him and I can feel my face lighten, and I swear I can almost feel my eyes dilate.

“Yeah.” Bradaigh looks down and away, but I see the smile slide up one side of his face.

“Yeah.” I say back, and I give his shoulder a miniature punch which we both know substitutes for the hug I will give him full on, later when we’re not in the front yard.

All day, every day, I battle grass. I hate grass. Except for the few patches of ornamental grasses: zebra grass and some sort of deep green grass with bright blue flowers, which I love, but forget the name. Everywhere, I’m pulling grass. Today I wonder why so many people spend a fortune on ways to assure a weed-free, vibrant green, ever-growing lawn of horrid grass. I think the story of my struggle with the cedar and the grass could go along side the one that’s already in the Bible.

Grass is like my persistent struggle against pride. For one thing, I’m fooling myself that I can outwit grass. It will always be there, waiting to peak out from between the branches, just like it belongs there. Sometimes, I can be fooled into thinking it’s a character trait, something I was blessed with, a healthy self-esteem, and confidence, something worth cultivating. Grass invades the most delicate and the most hardy of my flowers. It gets in everywhere, just as pride can invade everything that blooms in me, choking out or covering up what is beautiful. Maybe that’s the way it is for people who are plagued by other deadly sins like greed, avarice, sloth, gluttony. We all need to eat, protect ourselves, rest and eat. Perhaps the deadly sins are deemed so because they can take over our lives. Just like my garden, we are in danger of slipping from multi-colored flowers filling the world with perfume and beauty to nothing but a one-dimensional bed of grass. We need an ever-vigilant gardener, who helps us recognize our sins, which can seem so harmless, as if they are a natural part of us, just waiting to take over. Perhaps that’s why some are considered deadly sins. Still, through grace and forgiveness, I am unburdened. I experience life free of self-interest. I am like my weed-free cedar, I feel energized. Fresh. Clear of clutter. And I am happy.

Linking with dear Ann today

Perfect and Complete Rest – Bible Study 2 – Gen. 2:1-2

Icebreaker – What is your ultimate restful activity?

Genesis 2:1-2
1Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

2And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

This Hebrew word for rest is essentially the same as the word seven, and the word complete. So basically, God was saying, it is the seventh day and I have completed my task, there is nothing more to do.

I find this interesting because God has done this twice. He did it the first time, creating everything for man that they needed to be sublimely happy. But, because of their ingratitude they delivered their authority (Gen. 1:28) over to the devil (Gen. 3).

God did this a second time by having Jesus come here on earth.

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:(II Pe. 1:3)

He pronounced, tetelestai It is finished. He provided relationship with the Father through His death on the cross. The Sabbath which came from the law was a type and shadow of the rest that comes from right relationship with Him.

What keeps us from the rest of God?

The Jews even made resting a set of regulations and rules. It became “work” to rest. But our rest is in Christ. God always meant for our rest to be complete in Him, because of the work He’s completed in and for us.

10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: Col. 2:10

6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; Phil. 1:6 NKJV

Remember, the idea of rest is equal with the idea of completion.

Adam and Eve were unable to enter into perfect rest because of their unbelief and disobedience.

What does Hebrews say kept the children of Israel from the rest of God? Unbelief

Hebrews 4:2 (Amp)

2For indeed we have had the glad tidings [Gospel of God] proclaimed to us just as truly as they [the Israelites of old did when the good news of deliverance from bondage came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith (with [c]the leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) by those who heard it; [d]neither were they united in faith with the ones [Joshua and Caleb] who heard (did believe).

Can we enter into perfect rest today?

Hebrews 4:1 (Amp)

1THEREFORE, WHILE the promise of entering His rest still holds and is offered [today], let us be afraid [[a]to distrust it], lest any of you should [b]think he has come too late and has come short of [reaching] it.

They were unwilling to mix the message of deliverance with faith.

What is our message of deliverance?

How do you see people not mixing the Good News with faith?

Even though, through Jesus our rest is complete we still have to receive this rest by faith.

Hebrews 4:4-11

4For in a certain place He has said this about the seventh day: And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.

    5And [they forfeited their part in it, for] in this [passage] He said, They shall not enter My rest.

    6Seeing then that the promise remains over [from past times] for some to enter that rest, and that those who formerly were given the good news about it and the opportunity, failed to appropriate it and did not enter because of disobedience,

    7Again He sets a definite day, [a new] Today, [and gives another opportunity of securing that rest] saying through David after so long a time in the words already quoted, Today, if you would hear His voice and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts.

    8[This mention of a rest was not a reference to their entering into Canaan.] For if Joshua had given them rest, He [God] would not speak afterward about another day.

    9So then, there is still awaiting a full and complete Sabbath-rest reserved for the [true] people of God;

    10For he who has once entered [God’s] rest also has ceased from [the weariness and pain] of human labors, just as God rested from those labors [a]peculiarly His own.

    11Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [into which those in the wilderness fell].

How do we enter this rest? Hebrews 4:7 7Again He sets a definite day, [a new] Today, [and gives another opportunity of securing that rest] saying through David after so long a time in the words already quoted, Today, if you would hear His voice and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts.
1) Today, hear His voice
2) Don’t harden your heart

God’s rest is to cease from the weariness and pain of human labors in order to be right with God.

Have you tried to labor in order to be right with God?

Blogging Neighborhood Bible Study – The Importance of Words – Genesis 1:1-25

I’ve recently started a ladies’ Bible Study in my neighborhood.  So…I thought, “Maybe we should have a blogging neighborhood Bible Study!”  Won’t you join us each Tuesday?

Reading textGenesis 1:1-25

Meditation Verse: Psalm 19:14 May the words from my mouth and the thoughts from my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my defender.

How in the world do I get that verse from reading about the Creation story, you wonder?  I’m glad you’ve asked!  Genesis 1  is full of clues about the importance of words.  After all, it was because of the power of God’s Word that He was able to create everything from nothing.

Hebrews 11:1-3 (MSG) 1-2The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.  3By faith, we see the world called into existence by God’s word, what we see created by what we don’t see.

Psalms 33:6-9 (GNT) 6 The Lord created the heavens by his command,
the sun, moon, and stars by his spoken word.
7 He gathered all the seas into one place;
he shut up the ocean depths in storerooms.

8 Worship the Lord, all the earth!
Honor him, all peoples of the world!
9 When he spoke, the world was created;
at his command everything appeared.

God’s Word is powerful!  Hebrews 4:12 & 13 (Mess) – God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.

Proverbs 18:21 – 21 Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

The question I must ask myself is, “Whose words will I put in my mouth today?  Mine?  The world’s? or God’s?”

The Spoken See-Saw

God spoke His Word.

The world became.

He said.

He saw what He said.

He named it.

And called it good.

Light.  Dark.

Water. Land.

Sun. Moon.

Air. Flora.

Sea creatures.

Land creatures.

By His Word.

Spoken.

He made them.

Made us.

In His image.

Like Him.

Do we dare think we look like Him?

We know we do not think like Him.

His thoughts are higher than ours.

But we can speak like Him.

We can create

with our words.

Or destroy.

Our choice.

We can bring life

or death

by our tongue.

Kind words heal,

Angry words cut.

Patient words encapsule

faith

in the waiting.

We speak.

We see.

What do we see?

Do we see children growing

strong in Him,

with confidence in who He’s made them?

All because of our words of life?

Do we see a man knowing

he is honored

and respected as the high priest

and leader of his home?

Because we’ve chosen His thoughts,

His Words?

May the words of our lips,

and the meditation of our hearts

be acceptable

to You

Our Lord.

What kind of world are you creating with your words today?

Prayer and Practice:  This week ask God to put a watch at the door of your lips (Ps. 141:3) and commit to speak the Word only. Say God’s Words over your life, your family’s life, your home, your health.  Apply your life to God’s Word.   Mark 8:8

 

Linking with lovely Jen at Soli Deo Gloria

 

 

The Chronicles of Narnia – Books That Inspire

We read out loud at the breakfast table, my mother and I.  A chapter of the Bible, and a chapter of a classic.  One of the first classics I remember reading over Malto-Meal, was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, as well as the rest of the Chronicles of Narnia series.

My mom did voices, and I imagined a world of make-believe, with dwarves and fauns, satyrs and minotaurs.  I could almost taste what I thought might be Turkish Delight.  (I tried it a few years ago, and I was completely incorrect in my imaginings.)  I fell in love with Aslan, and wished it were so easy to love Jesus.

Maybe that is what was most important about these books to me.  Aslan made Jesus more real to me.  Isn’t that ironic?  (don’t you think?)  A fantasy made Jesus more real to me.

“At all ages, if [fantasy and myth] is used well by the author and meets the right reader, it has the same power: to generalize while remaining concrete, to present in palpable form not concepts or even experiences but whole classes of experience, and to throw off irrelevancies. But at its best it can do more; it can give us experiences we have never had and thus, instead of ‘commenting on life,’ can add to it.”
C.S. Lewis

And now, the real question.  As for the controversy about the order in which the books should be read. What order did I read the books?  The order in which they were written, of course!

The Bread of Life

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As I continue to fast bread during Lent, I am looking for the significance of bread in Scripture.  The middle eastern understanding of bread is quite different than that of the western mindset.  We have a white doughy substance which can be rolled up between two fingers into a perfect ball.  It gets stuck on the roof of your mouth and tastes something like pasty air.

The bread from the time of Jesus would have been quite a different substance.  First of all, the grain would have been much more whole, so there would be no ball rolling with this bread.  Middle Eastern views on the blessing of food, brings along with it a respect for it.  They would never engage in food fights, or play with their food.

As the son of a Syrian family I was brought up to think of bread as possessing a mystic sacred significance.  I never would step on a piece of bread fallen in the road, but would pick it up, press it to my lips for reverence, and place it in a wall or on some other place where it would not be trodden upon.  What always seemed to me to be one of the noblest traditions of my people was their reverence to the “aish” (bread; literally “the life-giver”).  While breaking bread together we would not rise to salute an arriving guest, whatever the social rank.  Whether spoken or not, our excuse for not rising and engaging in the cordial (Near East) salutation before the meal was ended, was our reverence for the food (hir-metal-‘aish).  We could, however, and always did, invite the newcomer most urgently to partake of the repast…The ‘aish was something more than mere matter.  Inasmuch as it sustained life, it was God’s own life made tangible for his child, man, to feed upon.  The Most High Himself fed our hunger.  Does not the psalmist say, “Thou openest thine hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing.”? (From The Syrian Christ by Abraham Rihbany, published 1916.)

Bread means literally “the life-giver”, so when Jesus proclaimed that He was the Bread of Life, He is saying that He is the life giver.  Even aside from the respect given to the bread used as one of the elements in the Eucharist, in some parts of the world, bread is respected as a life-giver and treated with dignity as something to be truly grateful for.

Give us this day, our daily bread.  Give us today life from heaven.  Just the right portion.  Not too much, or too little.  We are to be given the right amount of life so that we are able to accomplish His will today, reminding one of the Scripture that reads, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

The children of Israel were given bread.  They were given only what they needed for that day.  When they were greedy, the bread became wormy.  The word for that bread, or manna as it was called,  is correctly translated, “What is it?”  When Jesus came, He became the true bread from Heaven.  And we still argue amongst ourselves.  What is it?  Does the bread of Holy Communion become the actual body of Christ? Or is it only a symbol?

One thing is certain.  Long before the Last Supper, bread was a symbol.  A common subject of an object lesson to the people of its time, symbolizing life, fulfillment and provision.

Jesus has given us His life in exchange for our own poor excuse of a life.  He gave us beauty for ashes, and a hope for a good future because of His supreme sacrifice.  He nourishes our soul, just as bread nourishes our bodies.  He brings the necessary nutrients and health to us, but He also satisfies our spirits.  I don’t know any food substance that satisfies hunger quite like bread.  Believe me, in not eating bread for a month now, I can’t tell you how much I miss it.  It satisfies.  Jesus satisfies the soul in a way only He can.  When we hunger and thirst for Him He fills us with food that we may never hunger again.

One reason there was once so much respect for bread is because it was recognized as provision.  It was a major staple in a well stocked home.  If you had bread, life was good.  We have the Bread of Life, and therefore Life is very good.

Some Grown Up “Make-Believe”


“He (Jesus) even told us that we had to be like little children ourselves if we wanted to understand God, and yet the world (and too often the church) taught then, and still teaches, that we have to outgrow our childhood love of story, of imagination, of creativity, of fun, and so we blunder into the grown-up world of literalism.” Madeleine L’Engle

But aren’t children the greatest literalists in the world? I wish I could ask Madeleine that. If you tell a child something, don’t they take you quite literally? One thing about what is literally true to a child, is that the line between reality and make-believe is very ambiguous.

I remember playing “farm” with my two best childhood friends. For some reason, I got it in my head that we might buy my great grandparent’s farm in Nebraska. I’d never even been there, but my mother had told me much about it, and we had a few old black and white photos of a grand farmhouse. My guess is that they had recently passed away and my mother sighed out loud that she wished she could buy that farm because it had so many precious memories for her. From that statement of yearning, I decided that we were very probably buying that farm.

So, I rounded up anyone who would play with me and we pretended we were on my great grandparent’s farm. I still remember the rooms I imagined and the grove of pine trees I “sat” under even though there wasn’t a pine tree in sight.

I suppose in that way, we, as children have given up our “love of story, of imagination, of creativity, of fun” and have blundered “into the grown-up world of literalism.” We think that those times of “make-believe” weren’t real. But what are we really saying when we say “make-believe”? Are we saying that we pretend and imagine to the point where we make ourselves believe something is there when it is not? And if so, isn’t that a type of faith? A kind of calling things that are not as though they were? (Romans 4:17)

Maybe if we imagined and played “make-believe” about the things we have been promised by our Maker, we would be having faith like a child and would see more things happen in our lives.

I am not suggesting that we live in denial. After all, was it denial for me to imagine and “make-believe” that I was on my great grandparent’s farm when I was really standing on the tiny plot of land in front of our Chicago bungalow? Of course not! As soon as my mother called me in to eat, I was in Oak Park, Illinois again. I would gobble down her lovely lunch and run outside to make a mud pie for all the field workers.

So, which was more “real”? You tell me.

 Linking with the lovely Jen:

and Michelle at:

Jesus in the Wilderness – A Garden of Eden Do-over

This week in my Book of Common Prayer reading I’ve been inspired by a thought. I’m not sure why I never thought of it before, because it’s pretty obvious.

I’m sure you’re thinking, “Spit it out!” by now. Adam was given a test of temptation in the Garden of Eden. He had everything necessary to win his battle. He had the audible voice of God reminding him that he and Eve could partake of every tree in the garden except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. There was so much generosity in that statement, and yet the Deceiver used it to confuse man into rebellion.

God intended man to live in peace and harmony with Him forever. But He wanted it to be our choice, not forced. Unfortunately, we chose poorly. The Father responded responsibly. He allowed us to make the choice to turn from Him, so He needed to provide a way for man to make a choice to turn to Him. In order to accomplish this task, He needed another Adam. An Adam who would this time say no to the temptations that the Devil would bring his way.

We know from scripture that Jesus was referred to as the second Adam.  So the time Jesus spent in the Wilderness was kind of a Garden of Eden do-over.  Adam and Eve were tempted with a fruit.

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.  Ge. 3:6

First she was tempted with desire for the fruit.  It looked good.  Jesus was tempted to eat bread after fasting for forty days.  He was hungry.

Next, the story tells us that she saw that the fruit was desirable for gaining wisdom.  She wanted to be like God.  Not a bad endeavor.  After all, aren’t we called to be like Jesus?  The problem here is that God said that she was already like Him.  She and Adam were created in His image.  They were taking the serpent’s word above God’s.  Jesus was also tempted in this way when He was shown the whole world and Satan said he’d give it to Jesus if He would just worship him.  The truth is that all of the world already belonged to the Father, and therefore it belonged to Jesus as well.

Jesus was tempted in all ways, and yet He successfully warded off the enemy by using God’s Word.  He was the second Adam.  He succeeded and brought life again to the human race.  I don’t know why but I never made the connection between Jesus’ wilderness experience and the Garden of Eden before.

From Desert to Dessert

I am fasting bread and dairy products during Lent.  It is true I am killing two birds with one stone, because I am suspicious that I am allergic to one or both of these items.  However, one of the things I’ve been meditating on is that Jesus is the Bread of Life.  When I crave a crusty, cavernous, buttery slice of Italian bread, I remind myself that He is my satisfaction and delight, not a chunk of bread. No easy feat for a bread lover like myself.

I find it interesting that during the first week of Lent the Book of Common Prayer has the saint meditating on this as well.  One of the first Lenten Scriptures I studied was in Deut. 8.

“And He humbled you and allowed you to hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you recognize and personally know that man does not live by bread only, but man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.”

God guides us through desert times where there is no bread in sight.  He feeds us with something that we don’t recognize, and many times don’t care for.  During these times we learn to depend on Him and cling to His Word more than anything.  It is in a time such as this that we taste and see that the Lord is good.  It is in times like these that we go from desert to dessert.  From dry and hungry moments when we cry out,”God, Where are you?” to moments when we hold manna in our hands and question, “What is this?” to at last the moment when we sigh, “Ah, this is sweeter than the honeycomb!”

No matter where you are on this journey towards epiphany, enjoy the ride.  When it’s all over and you look back at your desert experiences, you’ll see His hand the entire way.  The whole time He was only preparing a fabulous dessert to enjoy at the end of the day!

Feast on God’s Word!