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

Friday, November 30, 2012

James 2: thoughts... part 5

Read James 2

A transition... two sentences... seemingly singular ideas... yet in the memory work... in the reciting... again and again... a connection developed... for me...

For judgment is without mercy to the one who hasn't shown mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?
James 2:13-14
HCSB

The truth that... the one who hasn't shown mercy... does not receive mercy... jumping to... what good is it... to have faith without works... leads to a leap... 

MERCY... A WORK OF FAITH...

A word I've interpreted only as an emotion... a noun... I now see... as a verb... 

Real mercy... works... clothing the naked... feeding the hungry... caring for the sick... holding those who mourn... visiting prisoners... pouring out grace on the lost... treating all as bearers of His image...

A thought that has changed my perception of mercy... it not only feels... it works... by... faith...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

James 4: thoughts... part 7

Having completed the memory work of James... but unsure how to know when thoughts are complete... I've set a goal... 7 thoughts for each chapter... to be completed... hope-fully... before Christmas gets too much closer... so here goes...

Read James 4

James... he hits us with a reality check... 

But who are you to judge your neighbor?... You don't even know what tomorrow will bring --- what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.
James 4:12, 14
HCSB

Who do you think you are...?
You don't know anything about your own life... much less about others'...
Just a puff of hot air... that's what you are... smoke... that evaporates... poof...

A reminder we all need to hear...
Hearts... they reveal the true measure of a person... a place only God sees... He... the ONLY Lawgiver... and Judge... 
Our command... love your neighbor as yourself... the royal law... no judging involved in loving... just humility... consider others better than yourself... 

James... throughout the letter... he tells us... do not show favoritism... do not discriminate... or practice hypocrisy... don't criticize... don't complain about one another... do not judge... 

Instead... offer mercy... grace... follow the Way... of his brother... his Lord... our Savior...

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:13

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

a full day

Prayer...
prep...
fellowship...
teaching... with thanks...
back home... with joy...
and all the ordinary...

A full day with...
family...
friends...
and Help...
recognizing His hand throughout the fullness of the day...

Behold, God is my helper;
the Lord is the upholder of my life. 
...
With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;
I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.
Psalm 54:4, 6
ESV
(my emphasis)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

James 5: thoughts... part 4

Read James 5

Come now, you rich people! Weep and wail over the miseries that are coming on you. Your wealth is ruined and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your silver and gold are corroded...
James 5:1-3
HCSB

The rich... their future holds... ruined wealth... moth-eaten clothes...

Consider this contrast...

During the forty years that I led you through the desert, 
your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet.
Deuteronomy 29:5

Moses... reminding the Israelites of God's provision... as they followed Him... dependent on Him for life... everything took on an eternal nature... their clothes... shoes... did not wear out...

But with the rich... who follow money... material possessions... for security... comfort... everything fails... falls apart... corrodes...

Only by following Him... looking to Him... for daily bread... provision... refuge... will anything last...

"I assure you, most solemnly I tell you,
he who believes in Me 
[adheres to, trusts in, relies on, and has faith in Me]
has (now possesses) eternal life."
John 6:47
Amp

Eternal life begins now... it is not a heavenly future... it is now...

Father God... may I no longer waste time... or energy... investing... pursuing... things that spoil... but pour myself into knowing... following You...

Monday, November 26, 2012

servants... they just obey... that's it...

In this morning's reading through... I was struck by the obedience of the servants... the ones at the wedding... where the wine ran dry...

[Jesus's] mother said to the servants, 
"Do whatever he tells you."
John 2:5
ESV

These servants... who did what He said... obeyed a guest... not their master... quite a risk considering they knew they were serving water... as wine... taking it directly to the master of the feast...

What made them do it...? trust Him...? His mother...?

That's just what's servants do... they obey... and when the master is Him... who is trustworthy in every way...  blessings flow...

The lesson became personal... as later I reviewed a study... for Sunday school... one I was unsure of when I chose it... except that it seemed to be the one He called me to offer...

There was another study... that I was drawn to... one by the same author... but more expensive... longer DVD sessions... too long for a 45 minute class on Sunday mornings...

So... I obeyed... ordered books... committed to the study... hoping it will be well received... hoping it is what we need... as a class...

On the treadmill (one of those holy places in my life)... I watched... and read... and what was revealed... was the heart of the message I felt should be shared next... the one found in the study I preferred... but here... in this study... one that fits... but I didn't know... He knew...

Suddenly... I related to those servants... because I obeyed the leading of the Spirit... without a lot of thought... or question... and here... I'm amazed... to find the wine of the other study... in this one that seemed more like water... praises... cast upward... faith... humbling the doubt... Amen...

Yes... servants obey... that's it... they don't question the Master... they don't worry if it will turn out right...

Servants... they just... obey... 

Listen to Mary... Do whatever He tells you...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

thanks giving... for every blessing...

Blessings of new life...
new challenges...
new journeys...
new joys...

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Ephesians 1:3

Friday, November 23, 2012

a thanks giving... continued...

Today... the elder-in-law... two days old... in Christ...

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!
2Corinthians 5:17

The thanks giving... continues... as the elder remembers... the prayer he prayed...

Yesterday... a time spent with him in prayer...

Today... in prayer and the Word... I suggested we pray a prayer of thanks... he said... Yes... Who is going to pray with us...?

I rounded up more... my two oldest... we joined hands... and began a circle of prayer... each offering thanks... the round came to the elder-in-law... 

God... I thank you for everything we have...
I thank you for prayer... it is a new thing in my life...

A wonderful new thing... Amen... Amen...

The new for me... how to disciple to 92 years...? the one growing old... more child like each day...?

My prayer for him...

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13
ESV

Thursday, November 22, 2012

give thanks... a prayer request concluded

The earlier request for prayer... for my youngest's roommate's brother... the one who received a transplant over a month ago...

This week word came... the official count of the bone marrow... "NO LEUKEMIC CELLS!"

Ray Smith... he is healing... a few final requests...
pray for continued healing of his body...
that he will return home soon...
for his family to prepare the house for his homecoming...
pray for strength... and a good appetite...

Thank you to those who joined me in prayer... please continue to pray as God brings this young man and his family to mind...

And above all... give thanks...

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Psalm 105:1-3
ESV

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

an unbelievable... thanksgiving grace...

92 years... and two days... the time it takes for an unbelieving elder-in-law... to believe...

This afternoon... a conversation... that led to a prayer...

God, I submit my life to Jesus...

Follow up questions... offered to convince me... that he knew what he said... every answer...

Yes...

An amazing grace... one that leaves me stunned... afraid to rejoice... I hope he remembers tomorrow...

My husband... his son... one still unbelieving... says in response to my hope of remembrance... Will it matter...?

A heart surrendered... is a heart surrendered... and God knows... which is which....

"Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God
over one sinner who repents."
Luke 15:10
ESV

Thank You... Lord... for the work... of unbelievable grace... 
You are doing in my family...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

thanksgiving graces... so far this week...

A 92nd birthday... evidence of God's grace... one more year... one more day... to prepare a heart for Him...




A son home for the week... a time to connect...


A daughter who shops... for birthday gifts...


Preparation for Thanksgiving at home... with family... and friends...


I give thanks to my God always for you
because of the grace of God 
that was given you in Christ Jesus...
1Corinthians 1:4
ESV
(my emphasis)

Monday, November 19, 2012

grace strengthens...

It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace...
Hebrews 13:8

Not just receiving... but giving... grace...

Let brotherly love continue. 
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers... 
Remember those in prison... 
and those mistreated...
Hebrews 13:1-3
ESV

The way to strengthen a heart... while we wait... for the Lord... for precious fruit... is to practice grace... pouring out... on others... and self...

The Gospel isn't only what we believe in ---
because the Gospel is ultimately what we. live. out.

Strengthen your heart... with grace... live it... because the Lord's coming is near...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

learning

Learning to rest in redemption...


Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so...
Psalm 107:1-2
ESV

Friday, November 16, 2012

love passed down

A baby sweater passed down... one made for my first-born... by my Mom... aka Granny...

A token of love... shared with my niece... for her first-born... a reminder of Granny... who left us years before...

But yesterday... a great-niece to me... great-granddaughter of Granny... much older than a baby... she chose the sweater... to wear to school...



Love... it draws... wraps... warms... from generation to generation...

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.
1Corinthians 13:13

Thursday, November 15, 2012

finding more reasons...

Why we need to continue to find reasons to rejoice...


death... corruption... decay... reminders of sin... and the longing for freedom from its effects...

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Romans 8:22-23

This is why... we must continue... to seek... find... fresh reasons... to rejoice...




as reminders of hope... 

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away,
our inner self is being renewed day by day.
2Corinthians 4:16
ESV

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

sensing a clearing...

The gray of day and mood... begins to clear... the necessity of seeking... confirmed by a book...

In short, Jesus is redefining everything we thought we knew about connecting to God.
---Timothy Keller, The Prodigal God
(emphasis added)

A line that caught my attention... spoke to me where I am... a desire to know more about Him... 

Timothy Keller... in The Prodigal God... explores the heart of a parable found in Luke... The Prodigal Son... aka The Lost Son... one most are familiar with. A teaching we hear often regarding the Father's love for the lost... which we identify as the younger rebellious son. But Keller... he points out that Jesus directed this story toward the Pharisees... the one's condemning Him for engaging sinners. Keller says... this parable is about two lost brothers... the elder brother as lost as the younger...

Both Wrong; Both Loved
Jesus does not divide the world into the moral "good guys" and the immoral "bad guys." He shows us that everyone is dedicated to a project of self-salvation, to using God and others in order to get power and control for themselves. We are just going about it in different ways. Even though both sons are wrong, however, the father cares for them and invites them both back into his love and feast.                     ---Timothy Keller

I sense... an inclusiveness... one I could have spoken with my mouth... but not lived out in my heart... when it comes to myself...

Too often... a tightness seizes my chest... when simply serving my family... a feeling I don't agree with... and I wonder why I don't have joy... the kind I desire... an ugly resentment... tries to take over... one I wrestle against with thanksgiving... a crazy unseen battle of the heart happens over a sink of dirty dishes left from the night before... seeing this as an infringement on my quiet time with God... but knowing that this... serving with thanks... caring for family... can be quiet time with Him...

Bear with me... I know this sounds insane... but what I sense... is a dual personality... me... both younger and elder brother...

There is a liar... telling me I don't deserve to feast with the Father... I don't deserve His love because I squandered... a judgmental attitude... one that sees only law... and not grace... has continued to haunt my relationship with Him... and my view of others...

This Father... the One who sees ALL as sinners... ALL as loved... ALL as welcomed... this is the One I have not fully received into my heart...

A recent conversation with my oldest... over a well-worn verse used in carols... and holiday songs... and Christmas cards...

Peace on earth... Good will toward men...

A secular paraphrase of Scripture...

"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Luke 2:14

one I've always viewed as exclusive... His favor resting on those who please Him... those who do His will... but my child... she says... His favor rests on all people...

A click... a tumbler of the lock on my heart... it takes a step closer... to truth... to freedom...

Yes... this I knew... He pours out grace on ALL... it is the year of the Lord's favor in which we live... but somehow there has been a disconnect...

No grace for myself... my own internal elder brother mocking me... leaving no room for a God who receives all with a heart for Him even if their understanding is slightly skewed... or a God who graces those with misplaced faith...

The love of the Father stoops down... is inclusive... as He woos... and waits... for those who will come...

A personal prayer for me... over the past several months... has been... that I might truly know and rely on the love He has for me...

I sense a clearing... of the darkness... the clouds... that keep me from living in the joy... and peace... of His love...

Today... I will silence the elder brother in me... he is a liar... and just as lost... as me... the rebel... with a past of seeking love in all the wrong places...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

gray receding...

A day of insights coming into focus...
infringing on the gray...
new understandings forming...
coming clear...

The search for words... to help grasp the clearing... interrupted... by love...

a cup of coffee...
PB&J...
a game of dominoes...
connecting through conversation...

Words will wait...
loving others...
like loving Him...

" 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart 
and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 
This is the first and greatest commandment.
 And the second is like it: 
'Love your neighbor as yourself.' ..."
Matthew 22:37-39

Monday, November 12, 2012

what do you do... when what you think you know... might not be...?

A gray day... morphs into a gray mood...
glimpses of Him... through the eyes of others...
not aligning with what I thought I knew...

One's view of loving God... revealed... explaining actions and words previously confounding...

Another... of a different faith... dealing with loss... seeing God in the journey... confessing His sovereignty...

Unsure... of what to take from the experiences...
unsure what He is teaching...

Praying for clarity... with a heart that simply longs to know more of Him... as He really is... unobstructed from my own biases... prejudices... assumptions...

Clouds and thick darkness surround Him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.
Psalm 97:2

Lord... sweep away the clouds that darken my view of You... correct my thinking... where it is wrong... incomplete... obstructed...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

a gray day

Dark clouds roll in...
filling the sky...
filling a life...





Failures press...
pressure paralyzes...
a future uncertain...

But even amidst the gray...
in Christ...
there is a Word of hope...

"O storm-battered city, troubled and desolate!
I will rebuild you with precious jewels
and make your foundations from lapis and lazuli.
I will make you towers of sparkling rubies,
your gates of shining gems,
and your walls of precious stones.
I will teach all your children,
and they will enjoy great peace. ..."
Isaiah 54:11-13
NLT

Friday, November 9, 2012

James 5: thoughts... part 3

Read James 5

I found it today... in my reading through... an exception to the words of James...

Your "yes" must be "yes," and your "no" must be "no,"
so that you won't fall under judgment.
James 5:12
HCSB

In the case of a "no" to God... there is room... for a change of heart...

Jesus tells a parable... two sons... one father... each son asked to work in the vineyard...
The first said "no"... but later... changed his mind... and went to work...
The second said "yes"... but never made it to the vineyard...

"Which of the two did the will of his father?" 

This morning... as I readied for my day... a thought came to mind... a chore I desired to delay... procrastinate... my answer... I'll do it tomorrow...

The next thing I knew... I was doing what I said "no" to... somewhere along the way... my heart turned "no" into "yes"...

To actually do... God's will... even if you tell Him "No"... is far superior to saying "Yes"... but not following through... 

In this case... a "no" that doesn't mean "no"... will save you from judgment...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

James 4: thoughts... part 6

The daily discipline of memory... nears the end... but thoughts still stir... thoughts yet to be posted... will continue... till this entree of James... is complete...

Read James 4

A transition... one that seems awkward... may offer insight... into the heart of man...

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.
Don't criticize one another, brothers.
James 4:10-11
HCSB

Humble yourself before the Lord... jumping directly to criticizing a brother...? How does one butt up against the other...?

Consider... the source of criticism... doesn't it often come from a heart of insecurity...? jealousy...? pride...?

Doesn't criticizing... make the critic... feel superior... higher... exalted...?

We are not to lift up ourselves... at the expense of others...

The Greek translated as do not criticize... can also be rendered...
do not speak evil...
do not slander...
don't bad mouth...
The original intent clearly goes beyond a constructive critique... these are hurtful... accusing words... condemnation...


Believers... brothers and sisters in Christ... are not to criticize one another... finding fault... in order to feel favored... we are to remember our own failures... be readily self-critical... humble yourself before the Lord... and He will lift you up...

Be completely humble and gentle;
be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit
through the bond of peace. 
Ephesians 4:2-3

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

blessing a blessing

An opportunity to take some time and bless a blessing... a project halfway through... that tender time... when discouragement creeps in... attacks...

And all the wall was joined together to half its height... And [the enemy] plotted together to come and fight against... and to cause confusion... And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection against them day and night. 
ESV
(emphasis mine)

A prayer for protection... perseverance... completion... in His name... for His glory...

Is there someone... or something... you could bless today...?
Someone faced with half-way... someone who could use encouragement... through prayer...?

Father God, thank You for the call to bless... 
for Your desire to protect and encourage...
through the body... through prayer...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

feeling wrong

What do you do... when everything you do... feels wrong...?
Find a reason to rejoice...!




Rejoice in the Lord always.
I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4

Monday, November 5, 2012

lesson in humility... again...

Today... seemed to fall apart... before 8:00 am...
Expectations unmet... several things to do... remained undone...
Tried to die to self... but only got tied up in knots...

What's wrong....? 

The question from my spouse as I readied to back out of the garage...

Nothing... my short reply... teeth gritted... nerves frayed...

I thought later... I should have answered... Me...!

I'm the one that's wrong... the one who continues to see things from the perspective of MY NEEDS... MY PLANS... MY TIMETABLE...!

Having been put off course early by a request from my spouse... led to selfish choices... looking after me... instead of others... frustration compounded with miscalculation of travel time... MY decided ETD an hour off...!

In knots by 7:58 am... repenting by 8:05 am... at peace somewhere around... 8:38 am...

On the road... listening to a message... one saved on my iPod...

Humility is to hold your power in service of others.                                                                      ---John Dickson

My power... as limited as it is... is more often than not used in service of me... not others... today a reminder of that... a day highlighting the hard places in my still so self-centered heart... so far from the character of Christ...

Relinquishing my illusion of control... to the One who IS in control... choosing to rest... trusting that He knew... knows... exactly how things will go... and has something for me to learn...

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility,gentleness and patience.
Colossians 3:12

Lord... thank You... for the reminder that my power is to be used for others... in You... I have already received more than I deserve... I rest in You... and Your sovereignty... in my life... again...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

growing hope... a prayer request continued...

The roommate of my youngest... the one with the brother who received the bone marrow transplant two weeks ago... the one for whom I've asked for prayer... has grafted!

Three days with good cell counts... marked November 1 as the official day of graft taking root... counts steadily increasing... much needed... to help fight the infections that began in the absence of immunity...

With the good news of grafting... there are still concerns... and a long journey ahead...

Please continue to pray for Ray Smith...
healing of fungal infection in his lungs...
healing of a possible infection in his brain...
minimal graft vs host disease...
strength to return...
give thanks for graft... and its continued work... to bring about complete healing...

This string of requests began with a heart for the mom... please remember her... her birthday is Monday... ask Him to bless her in a special way...

Rejoice always,
pray without ceasing...
1Thessalonians 5:16-17
ESV

Friday, November 2, 2012

a link to share

Today... I direct you to another blog...

Growing in Faith at FUMC...

There you will find my post for today...
and a place you may want to visit as you prepare for the upcoming holy-day season... Christmas...

...prepare the way for the Lord...
Isaiah 40:3

Thursday, November 1, 2012

James 5: thoughts... part 2

Thoughts of James continue... along with the work of memory...

Read James 5

A word that saves...

Brothers, do not complain about one another, 
so that you will not be judged...
James 5:9
HCSB

Cleaning a bathroom... mind drifting back through the day... complaints forming... just waiting for someone to ask... my words wound up to tell...

Then James interrupts my thoughts... do not complain about one another... so that you will not be judged...

Well... Amen...

A Word that put the brakes on the talk in my head... and hope-fully... keeps it from escaping my lips... the guard over my mouth at work...

Complaining... it breaks down the body... causes rifts... AND... brings judgment on your own head...

Thank You, Lord, for the words of James... for Your interference in my life... with saving grace...


Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, 
bearing with one another in love.
Ephesians 4:2