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

Sunday, September 30, 2012

an oasis

The weekend... an oasis... amid the wilderness of exodus...

Two of the three... home for a time... both content... seemingly at peace...

A conversation with the third... progress being made... he too... content... and me at peace... after the disconnect...

A sense of reconnect... with all three... seeing signs of Him... a source of joy...

The Rock... He provides... touchstones... of Living Water...

They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;
he made water flow for them from the rock...
Isaiah 48:21

Friday, September 28, 2012

naked and unashamed

A Bible lesson for sixth graders... illumined me...

The teaching... Genesis 2-3... the Creation... the Fall... one rule given... by the One who knows what is best for us...

Of course... the verses that got their attention most... contained the word... naked... each producing an eruption of giggles and guffaws... (at least it was a sign they were listening...)

It caught my attention too... in a new way... one I don't think I really connected before...

Now the man and his wife were both naked,
but they felt no shame.
Genesis 2:25
NLT

Before the Fall... the sin... the rebellion... the man and his wife... felt no shame... but after...

At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
Genesis 3:7
NLT

Not only did they hide from each other... they hid from God...

Naked and unashamed... the metaphor for freedom from sin and guilt...

The rules broken... the ones for our good... send us into hiding... from others... and God...

We... who think rules bind us... bind ourselves with sin... creating our own prisons of guilt... and fear...

Sin... once we have broken the rules... sends us scurrying to cover up... anxiety and fear that others will see who we really are... now rule our lives...

This is what the Lord says --- 
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
"I am the Lord your God, 
who teaches you what is best for you,
who directs you in the way you should go.
If only you had paid attention to my commands,
your peace would have been like a river,
your righteousness like the waves of the sea..."
Isaiah 48:17-18
(my emphasis)

Peace... freedom... found in rules... the ones we break... the ones that offend our sense of self... actually help us to live... as our true selves...

What are you covering up...?
What prison have you created for yourself...?

There is a Way out... and His name is Jesus...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

the Rock

Today... Jesus's words... in the reading through... 

"And blessed is the one who is not offended by me."
Luke 7:23
ESV

...meshed with the journal from the study with sisters...

When we do our own thing in spite of what Jesus has said about it, then we are acting like we know better than Jesus. Choose an area where you disagree with Jesus and try completing this sentence. I know better than Jesus when it comes to ______________ (area of disagreement) and the reasons I believe I know better are____________...  [from the not a fan. Follower's Journal]

An "area of disagreement" with Jesus most likely translates to an "offense"...

offend... in Merriam-Websters... to cause dislike, anger, or vexation...

Jesus's teachings were... and are... confrontational. Here are a few I read through today...


These alone contradict what the world says about blessing... and then He says...


Again... these we believe to be blessings... not woes... but to top it off He adds...


Upside down from the world... from the teachings and expectations of culture... 

...the Most High... he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil...

It gets even more interesting to look at the original language...

offended... the Greek literally meaning... to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall, metaph. to offend...

A study note linked offended with an Old Testament verse... a prophetic message...

And [the Lord] will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel... And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken...
Isaiah 8:14-15
ESV

He will be... a sanctuary... or a stumbling block... blessed is the one who is not offended... He is a precious cornerstone... or a rock of offense... it all depends on if you agree... or disagree... with His Way...

Do you find yourself in a disagreement with the One you call... Lord...?

Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you?
Luke 6:46
ESV

Consider... is it because He has offended you...?

Be ware... you may be headed for a fall...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

unexpected encouragement

God is faithful...

Today... it was made flesh... by a member of His Church...

A question asked that addressed a need... a spiritual need...

A concern that made me see His faithfulness... feel His love... and encouraged my faith...

He sees... He knows... He provides...

In surprising ways... through people you don't expect...

Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Psalm 36:4

Have you seen His faithfulness recently...? not in a general way... but in a personal way...? a way that speaks to your heart... to a place that hardly anyone sees...? a place only He knows...?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

miscellaneous blessings

So far this week...
a quiet day of work...
a son visiting a dad...
sisters in study...
a screech owl waiting out daylight in the garage...



digital cameras...
the miracle of antibiotics...
a sister who loves me...
a far away friend who leaves messages...
a team that grows...
an inspiration for Advent...
a haircut to give...
a porch swept...
a dvd replaced...
rest after last week's struggle...
a blessing to give...

"The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace."
Numbers 6:22

Where have you seen His blessings so far this week...?

Monday, September 24, 2012

an internal battle

Thoughts of James... continue... chapter upon chapter... verses building... bringing insight... seeing it made flesh... in me...


It's hard to resist when he sounds like you...

What about my rights?

I don't have to take that?

They made that mess... let them deal with it...

Well... at least my life isn't as big a wreck as hers...

I deserve to be recognized...

Discerning his voice is the first step to resisting... a battle that may make you feel bipolar... emotions the first evidence of his influence... discontent... envy... selfish ambition...

Don't be deceived... recognize the emotions he stirs... the thoughts he eggs on... resist... rid... replace with Truth...


It begins in you... in me... identify the lie behind the emotion... the deception of the thought that judges... condemns... puts down... 

...we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2Corinthians 10:5

It is our responsibility to resist... and rid... the evil from within...

Father God... help me to recognize... resist... and replace... the thoughts of the enemy... with Your Truth...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

feelings

When everything feels wrong...
remember...
in Christ...
you are right....

Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, 
we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.
Romans 5:1
NLT

Friday, September 21, 2012

James 4: thoughts... part 1

Read James 4

Now remember... James is writing to Believers...

What is the source of wars and fights among you?

He poses this question to those who are to love one another in such a way they reveal the truth of Jesus to the unbelieving world around them... 

Don't they come from the cravings 
that are at war within you?

He quickly identifies the source of disputes among... it's the war within... cravings... desires... unmet wants... unfed flesh... the internal battle... raging... 

Believers are called to love... love one another... love enemies... When we don't the Spirit reminds... convicts... causing an internal war... the desire to be right... slams into what is right...

Jesus said... 


To lay down your life is to battle the flesh... kill the cravings... deny self... take up the cross...

When we recognize and choose to fight the battle within... the wars among us wane... and we become more like the One we follow...

...for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.
Romans 13:8

Which is exactly what He came to do... fulfill the law...

So to fight... war with those among... we exalt ourselves over others... we break the law... leave the cross behind... and rebel against the One we call Lord...

But to do the daily denying... to wisely yield... to serve others with joy... is to love...

Lord... help me to choose You... over me... 
others... over self... for Your glory...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

James 3: thoughts... part 7


Read James 3

And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace
by those who cultivate peace.
James 3:18
HCSB

Words that come to mind on a regular basis... from the exercise of memory...

Righteousness... it's what we seek... what we desire... to be right... to be right with God... to have rightness of thinking, feeling, acting...

It is the wrong... the sin... that raises up crops of fear... death... pride...

To be right... provides peace... confidence... assurance...

Bearing the fruit of righteousness requires work... sowing... and cultivating... 


The seed for righteousness must be sown... planted... in peace... the peace found by trusting in the Lord... He is the only One who knows the way of righteousness... the fertilizer for the planting is trust in Him... without doubt... or fear...

...by those who cultivate peace.

Cultivating requires work... breaking up ground... removing weeds... and rocks... preparing good soil for growth...

To cultivate peace... requires the wisdom from above... the removal of bitter envy... and selfish ambition...

Righteousness farmed with peace... 

Peace with God...

Peace with others...

Peace with self...

The hard lessons of James... finding joy in trials... fighting temptation... accepting God as only good... sin of favoritism... foolishness of faith without works... the deadly tongue... the wisdom from above... Each lesson a hard row to hoe... for one born broken...

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.
Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness
and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Hebrews 12:11

Righteousness... sown in peace... by those who cultivate peace...

What are you planting...?
What kind of environment are you cultivating...?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

unseen hope

Slice by slice... around the core... eating the Granny Smith...

A cut too deep... opens a view into the core... and there I see... a curl of something... Gently... with the point of the knife... I pull... and out it pops... the beginning of an apple tree... an embryonic trunk... twin leaves extricating themselves from their covering... a seed no more... but now a sprout...



From the outside... you would have never known... what was going on in the inside... in the unseen womb... in the heart... of the apple...

Hope for seeds planted... remembering they sprout in the dark... growth unseen...

Reminded... sow more seeds... a message from the Summit...

SOW MORE AND MORE SEEDS

Don't judge too soon... don't let discouragement take root... there is a Gardener who knows... and sees... the matters of the heart... He waters with Living Water... the Spirit hovering... to bring Light to the dark...

Seeds sprout in the dark... little by little... till they burst forth... a long hard struggle... against ground that needs cultivating... working... 

Continue to plant... continue to wait... trusting the work of the One who makes things grow...

Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming.
See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop
and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.
James 5:7

Father God... thank You for the reminder that growth begins unseen... Continue to provide seed to plant... hearts to cultivate... and courage to keep at it...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

heavy-hearted

I heard news today of one who died in unbelief... rejected Life... refused the good news...

Why don't all people believe?

The question haunts... the heart heavy...

Deceived by lies... lured to death...

For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Matthew 7:13-14

Which road are you on?

Monday, September 17, 2012

unbelief

Tell me what you know in a few sentences?

The opening question of a kitchen conversation with the elder-in-law... an unexpected opportunity... I told him about Jesus... the most important thing I know... the only good that I know... the source of all wisdom... knowledge... peace... freedom...

Why don't all people believe?

My answer... sin... rebellion... people would rather believe lies than the truth...

Then the Word came to mind... from my Bible I read what He says about unbelief...

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they were without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Romans 1:18-21 ESV (emphasis added)

As I read God's Word... he looked... he heard... For what can be known about God is plain... he came near... eyeing the Book... pointing... when I finished he asked me to "index" it for him... I did... on an index card... which he stuck in his pocket... along with a desire to believe when he is free of doubts...

I'm amazed... God's Word captures the attention of an elderly atheist... my words... nothing... God's Word... rapt attention... and a desire to possess...

Pray with me... for the elder-in-law... that he might be blessed with enough faith to pray...


And pray for me... that I will speak the Word... that opens eyes... turns darkness to light...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

faithful to encourage

The past week has been a struggle... spiritually... emotionally... physically...

Feeling at a loss... in a place of loss...
the exodus of children...
new beginnings leaving me unsure...
timing off...
under the weather...
weary...

Yet... when I look... past me... I see His encouragement... in ministry... in prayer... in teaching... in receiving...

I feel peace... in the midst of chaos...
clarity through the fog of a head-cold...
opportunities to intercede...
each placed before me... as a blessing...

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

Friday, September 14, 2012

weary of brokenness

Weary of...
hard hearts...
unbelief...
self-sightedness...
discouragement...
complacency...
spiritual darkness...
deceit...

Weary of brokenness...
in the world...
at home...
in family...
in friends...
in me...

Weary of waiting...

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden,
and I will give you rest. ..."
Matthew 11:28
NASB

Thursday, September 13, 2012

real life

You just need to do all you can while you can, because you just never know when you won't be able to do any more.

She said it in reference to her grown daughter... and all her activities and travel...

She... a friend recently widowed... after nearly 63 years of marriage... left at a loss... about life... Living in a nursing home... feeling half dead herself...

But to me... her advice didn't sound quite right... all the activity of the flesh... the things of this world... they aren't really life...

After I left her... a verse came to mind...

The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.
The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
John 6:63

Jesus's words about real life... it's not found in the flesh... in this world... it's found in Him... in the Spirit...

Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. ...
John 6:26

Real life... eternal life... is in Christ Jesus... and the doing we should do is the doing He calls us to... the acts of faith... the dying to self... the loving of neighbors... and enemies...

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Matthew 5:6

This kind of living... real living... happens wherever you are... wherever He has placed you... for however long He has placed you there...

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:3

Lord... continue to remind me that real life is in You... abiding in You for Your glory... by faith... I want to do all I can... for You... as long as I can...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

interference

A spiritual discipline... the noon reminder... from the new study with sisters... has stuck in my mind...

Try repeating this phrase aloud ten times, Lord Jesus, come interfere in my life. ...What comes out of this little exercise for you? ---not a fan. follower's journal (emphasis added)

Try it yourself... how does it feel to invite Jesus to interfere in your life...?

I've had several interferences in my life today...
Some met with peace... and calm...
Another stirred up an ache in my heart... leading to unkind words...
And one caused a disappointment of sorts... a concern that needs to be addressed...

Could each one possibly be Jesus... interfering... with tests and trials... the kind that are to grow and mature... reveal progress or lack of...?

If so... some I passed... some I failed...

Whether I like it or not... I need Jesus to interfere in my life... I need Him to keep me from walking down the path of destruction...

There is a way that seems right to a man,
but in the end it leads to death.
Proverbs 14:12

Lord Jesus... come... interfere in my life...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

wrestling fear

Fear... I recognized it today... in the midst of indecision... me personifying an indecisive man... you know... the one unstable in all his ways...

Having recently recognized lack of faith at the heart of indecision... I remember hearing somewhere that fear is the opposite of faith... only fear of the Lord is compatible with faith...

Staring at an email... contemplating the sending... fearing... to the point of tears... am I pursuing His call... or pursuing my pride...

Fear of disobedience... fear of missing all He wants to do through me because of fear... fear of rejection... fear of embarrassment... fear of not being accepted... fear of being accepted... fear of recognition... fear of failure...

An indecisive woman... unstable... in all her ways...

After the outburst... a decision to trust... send an email by faith... knowing full well... He will open... or close... any door...

So now I wait... fighting off fear... resting in faith...

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:14

Monday, September 10, 2012

failing and frustration

Yes... I failed again...

First morning thoughts... no blog post yesterday...

A changing of habits... can be hard... new starts... can be slow...

New starts... can be rough...

Today... the first day of a new study with sisters... yesterday spent preparing the house to be hospitable...

Emerging from the bedroom... thoughts of failure on my mind... I discover... a window left open... the house filled with the faint smell of smoke... a brush pile burning overnight... seeped in... a frustration when you know guests are coming...

Feeling on the edge... heart filled with anger... toward self... and others... my morning continued...

The reading through... Shadrach.... Meshach... Abednego... standing firm... thrown into the firey furnace... walked out unsinged...

Perusing leader's guide... preparing for morning's study... whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it...

I realize... the failing... the frustration... have become distractions... turning my eyes toward me... Looking at me... turns my eyes away from the Light... where there is no variation... no dark... only grace...

For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light.
Psalm 36:9
NASB
(emphasis added)

Father God... thank You for revealing self-centered thoughts... for turning me back to the Light of Life...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

a slight change in schedule

My sabbath rest for blogging is changing days... from Sunday... to Saturday...

This post... written Friday... will appear on Saturday... (blogger is ingenious that way)... even though I will be resting from writing...

"There are six days when you may work,
but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest..."
Leviticus 23:3

When is your time for rest...?

Friday, September 7, 2012

sacrifice...

Jesus's sacrifice... made the Way... for God to enter our lives...

He tells His followers...

"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me..."
Luke 9:23

Sacrifice... doesn't feel good... in the here and now... it didn't feel good to Jesus...

"Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."
Mark 14:36

As followers... He calls us to lay down our lives to serve Him... and others... out of love... by faith... through obedience... not because it feels good... but because He has a purpose... a plan...

Where there is sacrifice... there is pain...

Jesus's sacrifice... made no sense to the world... and sometimes... the things He calls us to sacrifice... make no sense to us... or to those looking on...

But remember... sacrifice... makes the way... for God... to work... to heal... to redeem... maybe somewhere we can't even see...

Father God... give me the faith to trust You enough to sacrifice... that I might be a way for others... as Jesus was... is... for me...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

James 1: thoughts... part 7

As the exercise of memory continues... James saturates thoughts... connections and understandings grow...

Read James 1

An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways.
James 1:8
HCSB

...indecisive... Merriam and Webster define as... not decisive: inconclusive... marked by or prone to indecision: irresolute... not clearly  marked out: indefinite...

Not a lot of stability with the indecisive... unknowns abundant... boundaries unclear... decisions vacillate...

What makes one... indecisive... unstable...?

Lack of FAITH...

Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
James 1:5-6
(emphasis added)

Do you ever find yourself... indecisive...?

Or do you know an unstable soul... whose Yes... turns to No... or their No... could be a Yes...? They do not say what they mean... or mean what they say... your standing with them... constantly unsure...

According to James... it's all about faith...

Once we choose to follow Christ... things are no longer up to us... many decisions come ready-made... He has a way... and a not the way... in all things...

We find ourselves... indecisive... emotionally tossed about... when we refuse to trust His way... or are ignorant of His way...

Faith is ultimately about trust... and once you trust... indecision... disappears... after all... He is the Rock... not sinking sand...

The faith-full... are stable... and trustworthy... strong...

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
"In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength...
Isaiah 30:15
(emphasis mine)

In Hebrew... the word translated quietness... is not about sitting without a sound... but implies a state without tumult... strife... or a lack of surging... rolling... in a liquid...

While trust... in the Hebrew... has to do with firmness... solidity... confident expectation...

Calm... confident... the elements born of faith... a house built on the Rock...

Wherever there is indecision... emotional... relational... rocking and rolling... it may all come down to faith...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

stirrings

Lots of different messages seem to be stirring... mixing with emotions that don't necessarily match...

Signs of hope... saving me from stumbling over the precipice of discouragement...

Desire to surrender... dampened by a heart that wants to avoid crucifixion...

Longing for loved ones to see the Light... but reluctant to enter the dark that might require...

reminder that in Christ... I have no rights... a follower abandons all... to walk His Way...

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death ---
even death on a cross!
Philippians 2:5-8

He did all... not for what He could have here... but for the joy set before Him... that which is to come!

Father God... I praise You for Your patience... and thank You for the process of sanctification... and Your grace that overflows...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

James 1: thoughts... part 6

This practice of memory... the whole book of James... has made it visible... in ways I wouldn't have thought... continuing the repetition... from chapter one... to my current location... halfway through chapter four... keeps my thoughts in all of it...

Read James 1

...the Dispersion... filled my waking thoughts...

To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion.
Greetings.
James 1:1
HCSB

In Greek... diaspora... Israel's family scattered... my children scattered...

Dispersed... yes... disconnected... no...

The Truth... behind the dispersion... the presence of the Spirit... brings comfort... peace...

In Christ... we are one... just as James and his diaspora... A picture reinforced by communion this week... one bread... one body...

The Spirit... knowing hearts and needs... resides with the diaspora... gives guidance... wisdom... direction... plus interprets my prayers... for loved ones scattered...

Though we are dispersed... separated... in Christ we are one... the Spirit in each... connecting...

For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body...
1Corinthians 12:13

Monday, September 3, 2012

labor day

The day began with a struggle... an opportunity to prove... the good in conflict... revealing hearts... increasing intimacy...

A labor of love... to enter conflict... rather than run... and brood...

A labor... worth the work...

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord, not for men...
Colossians 3:23

Saturday, September 1, 2012

a void to fill

The emptiness of the exodus... continues to echo through house... and heart...

Let me give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for men,
for he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.
Psalm 107:8-9
(my emphasis)