Develope a Palate

Develope a Palate
Daily intake of the Word nourishes the Spirit. Jeremiah's Menu is an exercise in recognizing God's Word made flesh in and around me. Eating the Word in a way that supplies the spiritual nutrients needed to grow. The Menu is offered with the hope of inspiring you to taste and see that the Lord is good. Bon Appetite!

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Quote Du Jour

Quote du Jour
Christians may differ on a variety of points, but they have all one spiritual appetite; and if we cannot all feel alike, we can all feed alike on the bread of life sent down from heaven. At the table of fellowship with Jesus we are one bread and one cup. As the loving cup goes round we pledge one another heartily therein. Get nearer to Jesus, and you will find yourself linked more and more in spirit to all who are like yourself, supported by the same heavenly manna. ---Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

Thursday, May 31, 2012

displaced

Today... I sit in the back of my friend's shop... displaced... on a pilgrimage to find a new normal...

God's blessings... can be disruptive...

Life... different... changes... bringing challenges... unforeseen...

Adding an elder to our home... one who needs another... for care... stirs souls...

Sitters hired... no more quiet solitude at home... for a contemplative...

How much can I care for the 91years... and still take care of callings...? How many hours are really needed? How many days could I do it myself... just me and father-in-law? Would days with him... alone...seem more quiet and still... than with help...? Or do I find a place outside home... a new place... one designated to ministry...? where would that be...? what would it look like...?

Feeling my way through... a new journey...

A journey of promise and hope... I know... but the way is new... the terrain unsure... and I'm feeling displaced...

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autmn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
Psalm 84:5-7

Thank You, Lord for the new... thank You for the help... the challenges... the growth You promise through the trials... Thank You for the wandering... the reminder that I am not yet HOME...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

waiting around

All around... broken... discontent... souls stirred...
unhappy about aging...
sarcasm... spewing...
self-indulgence... stealing...
impatience... hardening...

Still praying... longing for saving... to help... to rescue...
but I can't even help myself...

I am not the one who saves...

I am to WAIT... on the One who saves...

Be a WAITER...

Attentive to the One I serve... watching... listening... ready to respond...

I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:11

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

every knee will bow

I heard it in a movie today...

"...In the end you all will bow..."

The words of the villain... subjecting... oppressing... people to his will... through violence... fear...

I thought... Yes... this is true... in the end every knee will bow...

But not through oppression... or violence...

It will be through revelation... truly we will bow... because we know we are subjects... we are His... He... alone... the One to be bowed down before...

It is written:
"'As surely as I live,' says the Lord,
'every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will confess to God.'"
Romans 14:11

Thinking still... on prayer for loved ones... playing near... dangling feet in... pits... I'm amazed at God's grace... His faithfulness...

Why doesn't He come swooping in... NOW... fire falling from sky... wrath in one hand... vengeance in the other... ? Wielding fear... and righteous anger...

Because... He is love... He is patient... not wanting any to perish...

He knows who is still coming... He knows how hardship will work to soften hearts... in those He longs to save... to receive...

Today... I am thankful...

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23
(emphasis mine)


Great is the Lord our God... Great is His faithfulness...
Every knee will bow...

Monday, May 28, 2012

lessons from a mother's prayer

What do you do... when loved ones... seem to be going backward... not forward...

Dangling feet in pits... returning to old ways... rather than returning to the Lord...?

WHAT DO YOU DO???


Lord... what should I do?

Do they have to go deep... into pits... before they cry out to You?

Are my attempts to teach... train... protect... hindrances to their growth... to Your work?

I see them... going... words... warnings... wisdom... don't deter....

Show me how to help...

Show me how to save....

I don't want them to experience the pits I inhabited... for so long... the mistakes... missteps... I made...

Can't they avoid hard lessons learned...?

I hear my own words... I read them here...
I cannot help...
I cannot save...

Only You, Lord... You say...

"I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God. ..."
Ezekiel 11:19-20
(emphasis mine)

Lord... to You I give my loved ones... I do not want to get in Your way... I cannot help... I cannot save... only You...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

re: saturday

recuperating...
resting...
reassuring...
returning...

Thus says the Lord:
"Stand by the roads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls. ..."
Jeremiah 6:16
ESV

Friday, May 25, 2012

lessons from an offspring

A busy day...
a graduation day... the youngest offspring done with high school...

Me... a "do-er"... often too pragmatic... one who gets frustrated at the slow steady pace of the son who graduates today...

Chores to be done... ones he's procrastinated... one he's to do regularly... but avoids till it's time-consuming... on a day when time seems to be in short supply...

"I really need to go," he said... words... with chores unfinished... tick a mom off!

"Your responsibilities here are just as important... yada yada yada..." the reprimand from a mom pressed...

He announces that he's done... "I'm taking a shower..."

"OK"... the do-er in me... expecting him to frantically rush... dress... run out the door...

Minutes pass... a half-hour or more... an hour behind his schedule... me... ready to run out to do my own errands... What is he doing?... desiring to speak final reminders before I leave... before he leaves... there is doing to do...

Finally... I knock on his bedroom door... purse on arm... list in hand... "Are you about ready to go?"

"Almost."

"Can I come in?"

"Yeah..."

Opening the door... the lesson takes shape... no frantic... hurried... son... I see... son sitting... reading... Bible in hand... on the edge of the bed...

Ohhh... that's something I had not found time to do... on a day of do-ing...

I say my piece... rush out the door...

Returning home... still a list of "do"s... but I remember that picture... him... sitting quietly on his bed... Word open... an hour later than he wanted to be...

Therefore I sit... start my reading-through for the day... in the Word...

Then reminded... moved... to share the lesson with you...

Sit... take time... be in the Word... the best thing to do... the only Way... to get things done...

...Mary... sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said.
..."Mary has chosen what is better,
and it will not be taken away from her."
Luke 10:38-42
(my emphasis)

The second lesson... be willing to see... in those you've instructed so long... the lessons they now have to teach you... don't look down on anyone... because they are young...

Maybe... one day... I will graduate too... to a new level of faith...





Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

God is good

A full day...
a good day...
His goodness evident...
in many different ways...

The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
Psalm 145:9

Where have you seen his goodness today?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

more unexpected

In the middle of a full day...
an email... unexpected...
an opportunity... one that stuck with me... to the point of distraction...
surprising... silly...
Something to pursue...

As it is written:
"He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever."
2Corinthians 9:9

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

giving joy

It's true...
I experienced it this afternoon...
writing happy graduation cards... gifts to give...
filled with joy...

...remember the words of the Lord Jesus,
how he himself said,
"It is more blessed to give than to receive."
Acts 20:35
ESV
(emphasis mine)

When was the last time you experienced giving joy?

Monday, May 21, 2012

after a collision

Saturday... an ER visit... sitting with cousin and her daughter... listening to the account of the accident... a car (no brakes?) pulled right out...  cousin slammed brakes... swerved... stopped by barbed wire... air-lifted...

She... assured by highway patrol... it was not your fault... plenty of witnesses... Her response... of course it was not my fault... I was cruising at 70mph... he pulled right out in front of me...

I remember... cousin's account... her confidence of innocence... Sunday morning... after another collision... one of the heart... a colliding of souls... words spoken sharply... a response to my questions... cruising through the morning... when out of nowhere... my heart crushed...

I thought later... how comforting it would be to have the Heart Patrol... Conversation Police... say: ...there were plenty of witnesses... this collision was not your fault...

In doubt... I search my heart for hidden motives... agendas... Am I being controlling... cruising along not thinking as I speak? Or was I blind-sided... out of nowhere... by words with no brakes...?

Wishing for witnesses... ones who speak unbiased truth... I realize... there was a Witness... the One who knows all hearts...

I appeal to Him... reveal my fault... test my heart...

In worship... the sermon... Psalm 11... my attention captured... a reality revealed...

For look, the wicked bend their bows;
they set their arrows against the strings
to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart.
Psalm 11:2
(my emphasis)

There is an enemy... waiting... aiming... in the shadows... to pierce the heart of Believers.... will use anyone as a bow... loved ones... lost or otherwise...

Even I... any Believer... may also be his bow... to pierce the lost... or the loved...

Diligence required... taming of the tongue... more silence... than words... needed...

Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent,
and discerning if he holds his tongue.
Proverbs 17:28

Collisions of the soul... begin with words... reckless... piercing...

Uncertain of my guilt... or innocence... I turn to the Word... the One made flesh... the One in whom I'm free from sin... and condemnation...

The Lord is in his holy temple;
the Lord is on his heavenly throne.
He observes the sons of men;
his eyes examine them.
Psalm 11:4

In Him... I have peace...
In Him... I can love... past the pain...
In Him... I will rise...
Air-lifted... in forgiveness... healing... hope...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

unexpected blessings

A day of unexpected...
     lessons... love others... always...
     reminders... do not let weaknesses... introversion... insecurity... fear... inhibit connecting with others... ever...
     reunions... in an ER... cousins... and cousins' cousins....
     blessings... being one... receiving many...


From the fullness of his grace
we have all received
one blessing after another.
John 1:16

Friday, May 18, 2012

evidence of the impossible

A son singing... who said he never would... singing songs for worship...

A father-in-law staying... surrendering... embracing... moving in with us...

A son winging... to a conference... learning to evangelize...

A daughter fasting... beginning a long walk of obedience... one day at a time...

Me finishing... a seven month discipline... completed...

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2
NASB

Lord... when there are mountains to scale...
and impossibilities seem to prevail... I look to You...
Maker of heaven and earth... my help...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

God's faithful provision

Today... I've seen God's faithfulness... despite myself...

His hand at work... unseen... various and sundry happenings... revealing His work... bringing about what I could not make happen... but what He told me needed to happen...

...if we are faithless, he will remain faithful...
2Timothy 2:13

Is there something God has revealed to you... that you couldn't see how it would be...?

Watch... and see...

"What is impossible with men is possible with God."
Luke 18:27

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

more inside out

...from the inside out... I read it again today, in a waiting room. It caught my attention...

     In particular, when people believed the message, they discovered a strange new energy inside themselves -- a warm, disturbing, personal presence which enabled them to do new things, which put new ideas into their heads, which motivated and energized them to become different people from the inside out.
--- NT Wright, Hebrews for Everyone (emphasis mine)

 ... from the inside out...

The way God works... what He cares most about... the inside...

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. ..."  ---Jesus
Matthew 23:27-28
ESV
Inside... we find motive...

Inside... where we wrestle with God... the Spirit...

Inside... where transformation begins...

I wonder... what am I to look for... in others... in myself...?

Dear Lord... help me to remember... 
You work from the inside out...
help me to remember what I see on the outside...
is not necessarily what's on the inside...
Help me to pay attention to the inside... more than the outside...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

inside out

What I was reminded of in my reading through this morning... I was reminded of again... this evening...

God transforms from the inside out...

The heart is restored... before change is visible... on the outside...

God rebuilt... after the Babylonian exile... from the inside out... the book of Ezra tells the story of the rebuilding of the temple... the heart of Jerusalem... first came the altar and worship... then the laying of the foundation... then completion of the House of God...

Only after the heart of the city was restored... the temple... did Nehemiah return to rebuild the city and its walls... without the right heart... the heart of worship... the building... the city... would have been futile...

This evening... a baccalaureate service... worship began... youth-led praise... hundreds present... my heart stirred to stand... fear tried to keep me seated... the words... the music... reminders of past failures and fears...

God worked a transformation... beginning in my heart...
reminded of the only One I was to fear...
the One who transforms...
the One for whom I'm to stand...


From the inside out...
God stirs a heart of worship... heals the foundation of a broken soul... from there to STAND... in praise... for righteousness... against evil... for good... possible only...
from the inside out...

Monday, May 14, 2012

love lays down

Monday morning... checking email after a weekend away... a request to pray... once a week for a specific mission... the day of the week my choice... morning or night... my choice... I put it aside to consider...

A day with my daughter... her concern for the dogs turned into an unplanned trip to the vet... (rabies shots due anyway...)

Daughter's desire to plan dinners for the week... my input required... recipes to be found... grocery list to be made...

A call from the doctor... follow up on a complication from daughter's oral surgery... still a problem... another unexpected appointment... a trip to town... (we needed to go to the store anyway... all those groceries to buy...)

Hours later... home... groceries put away... dinner begun... another request... Mom... do you have time to watch a show with me...? Yes... of course... my college daughter... (who's hardly home anymore...) of course I have time...

Greater love has no one than this,
that he lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13

My day... not my own... my plans... put aside... laid down... for love...

The request to pray... brought back to mind... Yes... I will lay down my life for a friend...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

the art of seeing

I heard it... a comment about flying... paragliding...

You have to learn the art of seeing the air...

Isn't this the same art required for spiritual growth...?

"...The wind blows wherever it pleases.
You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from
or where it is going.
So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." --Jesus
John 3:8

Learning to live in... and by... the unseen... the art required for discipleship...

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.
2Corinthians 4:18
(my emphasis)

Friday, May 11, 2012

family blessings

Family... what a blessing when... your biological family... is also part of the family of Believers... a bond thicker than blood... the bond of Spirit...

Family... that gets your weirdness... prays for your struggles... shares in the battle... blesses...

Your love has given me great joy and encouragement,
because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.
Philemon 7

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Psalm 119: Shin

Two letters left... 16 verses remain... in the ode to God's Word... Shin (pronounced "sheen")... the twenty-first letter of the Aleph-Bet...

Read Psalm 119:161-168

Shin is for "peace"... shalom...

Great peace have they who love your law,
and nothing can make them stumble.
Psalm 119:165

Peace... shalom...

The general meaning behind the root... is of completion and fulfillment -- of entering into a state of wholeness and unity, a restored relationship.
--Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament

Shalom... everything at peace... health... wealth... relationship... satisfied... content...

Great peace have those who love Your law...

Jesus the fulfillment of the Law...

...nothing can make them stumble...

Jesus... the Word... Prince of Peace... loving Him... brings peace... shalom... to the soul... the spirit... even when chaos... seemingly... reigns...

In the midst of persecution... when falsehood rules... love for God's Word... praise for His law... restores peace...

His promise... the joy of treasure... peace...

The waiting... possible... through obedience... and its peace...

I obey your statutes, for I love them greatly.
Psalm 119:167

To love the Word... to embrace the beauty of God's law... to praise His righteousness... is to know peace... shalom...

Stop stumbling... find great peace... love the law... the Word made flesh...

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

lessons of kings...

In weakness... when the footing is unsure... we call on the Living God for help... but when strength returns... standing firm... our hearts turn... to other gods... dead... lifeless... idols...

I've seen it in my reading through... 2Chronicles... filled with kings who started well... followed God... then once strong... turned away... abandoned faith...

Asa... did what was good and right... but after 36 years... he relied on men instead of God...
Jehoshaphat... walked in the ways of David... God established his kingdom... but he repeatedly allied himself with the wicked...
Joash... did what was right in the eyes of the Lord... but when his priestly counsel died... he abandoned the house of the Lord and served idols...
Amaziah... did what was right... but after a military victory... he set up gods and worshiped them...
Uzziah... sought God... but when he was strong... he grew proud... to his destruction...

King after king... in the uncertain beginning... they sought the Lord... but once established... strength gained... they rejected the way of the Lord... they did what was right in their own eyes...

The failings of kings... echoed... in the account of a friend from a friend... footing regained after crisis... forgetting Who provided... Who made it possible to breathe... now seeking answers... reasonings... far from faith... rejecting Truth...

Strength... makes us proud... perhaps we can avoid a fall...

All Scripture... God-breathed... useful for teaching... pay attention... learn the lessons of kings...

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm,
be careful that you don't fall!
1Corinthians 10:11-12
(emphasis mine)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

practicing... present tense...

I'm approaching the end of a spiritual discipline... one I've been practicing seven months...

The nearer the end... the harder it seems... the past 32 weeks do not give strength... for the remaining nine days...

Today... the day to focus on... the One who is present... I Am That I Am... only in the present... only in the moment... He is the same... yesterday... today... and tomorrow... because He is only... I Am... present tense...

The same way I started... the same way each day... is still the only way to finish... the discipline learned... focus on Him... He alone... the strength... the Way... day... by... day...

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:2-3
(emphasis mine)

Monday, May 7, 2012

good work... bearing...

A day where the previous work... of days... weeks... years... begins to bear...
yesterday's cleaning... a house in order... enjoyed for a day...
a conflict embraced... the beginning of healing... new hope for future...
years of parenting... unexpected honors for son... a man in the making...

Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest
if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9

Saturday, May 5, 2012

facing the battle

The life that feels like a battlefield... the struggle for the vision... a heart that wants to flee...

Fight or flight... my flesh says... RUN...

Predawn pale... filtering through the shades... I choose to trust God...

"I called on your name, O Lord,
from the depths of the pit;
You heard my plea, 'Do not close your ear to my cry for help!'
You came near when I called on you;
you said, 'Do not fear!'
"You have taken up my cause, O Lord;
you have redeemed my life. ..."
Lamentations 3:55-58
ESV

Thank You, Lord, for courage... strength... and a life redeemed...
Thank You for the promise of hope... the grace in which I stand...
the vision for which I fight...

Friday, May 4, 2012

good... and weary...

I hear the Word...


Weary... that's what I am lately...
I hear the same from a loved one...

...tired of trying...
...it's too hard...
...I just keep messing up...


Why would doing good... make one weary...? doing good... shouldn't it energize... encourage...?

Life... feels like a battle...

Treadmill reading... affirms...
 
     As many scholars have noted about [Proverbs 31], the description of this woman as a warrior is just under the surface. Most English translations blunt this, but it can be seen in the word that is translated "noble," which in the original language is normally used of war heroes. But most interesting is the phrase that is translated "lacks nothing of value." This translation does not come close to the Hebrew, which says, "She does not lack plunder." The image is that she is out there battling in daily life, pushing the chaos of a fallen world back, and returning victorious with the plunder of her enemies.
      Today we rarely use martial imagery to describe daily activity, but we can surely see how it applies. A woman rises in the morning to a series of challenges that demand her physical, emotional, intellectual, and relational energies. In this fallen world, those challenges are rarely morally or spiritually neutral. Whether the challenge is cleaning a floor, dealing with a difficult client, or both, modern women need to think of their lives in battle terms.
---Dan Allender & Tremper Longman III, Intimate Allies

In the day to day... rarely is anything morally or spiritually neutral... life requires martial arts... no wonder weary weighs... everything eternally significant...

Where do we find rest... renewal... filling...?


May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,
who loved us and by his grace gave us
eternal encouragement and good hope,
encourage your hearts and strengthen you
in every good deed and word.
2Thessalonians 2:16-17
(emphasis mine)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

what to do when a heart feels hard...

I learned it from Beth Moore... the Psalms of Ascent...

I've practiced it since... a discipline that softens a heart...

Face down on the floor... praising God... the posture of humility... the way to open a heart to grace...

The way I started my day... today... face down... on the laundry room floor...

Humble yourselves before the Lord,
and he will lift you up.
James 4:10

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

still so self-centered...

A call to reschedule an appointment revealed a heart focused on self... no thought to why the appointment needed to be changed... no concern for what caused the disruption in the other's life... only how the change affected me and my plan...

A heart still so far from loving others the way I'm called...

Self-centered... not other-centered...

Let each of you look not only to his own interests,
but also to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:4
ESV

For the whole law is fulfilled in one word:
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Galatians 5:14
ESV

Greater love has no one than this,
that he lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13

Keep on loving each other as brothers.
Hebrews 13:1

Will the Word ever fully live in me...? (There I go again...)
How are you... when it comes to living the Word...?