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!

Receive Jeremiah's Menu by Email

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

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

quietly...

Ending the year... quietly...

Listening...

Trusting...

Resting...

"Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!"
Psalm 46:10 ESV

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

it's a battle...

Reminded today... it's a battle...

The daily journey... following Him... happens in the midst of a war...

Then the dragon became furious with the woman
and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring,
on those who keep the commandments of God
and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
Revelation 13:17 ESV

Reminded of the need to... 
remain steadfast... 
keep an eternal perspective...
trust in His love...

May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God
and to the steadfastness of Christ.
2 Thessalonians 3:5 ESV

Monday, December 29, 2014

journeying... into new...

This morning... a reminder regarding this year's word... journey...
"Hitherto hath the Lord helped us." ---1 Samuel 7:12
The word "hitherto" seems like a hand pointing in the direction of the past. ...
But the word also points forward. For when a man gets up to a certain mark and writes "hitherto," he is not yet at the end, there is still a distance to be traversed. More trials, more joys; more temptations, more triumphs; more prayers, more answers; more toils, more strength; more fights, more victories...
"He who hath helped thee hitherto, Will help thee all thy journey through."
---Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening
 Even though this word for the year is replaced... the journey continues...

And I see the string of each word-for-a-year... 
2013... obedience... 

And this is love:
that we walk in obedience to his commands.
2 John 6

2014... journey... 

And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not journey on it;
it will be for those who walk in that Way;
wicked fools will not go about on it.
Isaiah 35:8

2015... new... 

And he who was seated on the throne said,
"Behold, I am making all things new."
Also he said, "Write this down,
for these words are trustworthy and true."
Revelation 21:5 ESV

They connect... speak a single message...

Obedience to Him
is a journey with Him
in which He makes all things new. 

Hitherto... and beyond... He is with us...
calling us to His will...
traveling with us along the way...
transforming us into His image...

"...Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9 ESV

Looking forward... to journeying... into new...

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Journey Readings: Week 52... and His pain...

This last week... in the reading through of The Journey... I hear His pain... over the self-righteous...

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, 
murdering the prophets and stoning those sent to you!
How often would I have gathered your children together
as a mother fowl gathers her brood under her wings,
and you refused!
Matthew 23:37 Amp

Self-righteous... conviction of one's own righteousness... acting on what you think is right... no matter what He says...

A heart-ache He's felt from nearly the beginning...
His people...
rebelling...
wandering...
falling...
choosing their own way... over His...

Adam and Eve...
the Israelites in the desert... and the Promised Land...
the Pharisees and scribes...
legalists of today... 
and those deceived by their own sense of right and wrong...

He said it through Isaiah the prophet...

"In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it. ..."
Isaiah 30:15

Our refusal... to trust... submit... come under His authority... is rejection of Him... His Way...

And I wonder... Am I causing Him pain...? Is there some area of my life... where I choose self-righteousness... over the Righteous One...? 

What about you...?

When we get it wrong...
His heart aches...

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
Isaiah 30:18

Lord Jesus... thank You... for Your grace...
Your rising... on the cross... to show compassion... 
making the Way... for justice... and righteousness...
for all who wait... hope... trust... in You... and Your Way...

Discover more... about His Way... on The Journey...

This week's readings... 
Monday                  Matthew 27:1-44
Tuesday                  Matthew 27:45 - 28:20
Wednesday            Acts 1:1 - 2:13
Thursday                Acts 2:14-47
Friday                    Acts 3:1 - 4:22

Friday, December 26, 2014

a day of love...

Some days...
playing games...
watching TV...
can be a day of love...

Spending time... with those you love...
doing what they want to do...

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

Thursday, December 25, 2014

the joy... of heart preparation...

Finding joy... in preparing a heart for Him...

Worship...


Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.
Psalm 100:2

Communion...


And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it,
and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you;
do this in remembrance of me."
Luke 22:19

Shining light...


In the same way, let your light shine before men,
that they my see your good deeds and praise
your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

Fellowship...


But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus, his Son,
purifies us from all sin.
1John 1:7

Consider Him...


Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:3

A joy available each day... through active preparation... 

Making room for Him... in your heart...

May your Christmas be filled with joy... hope... peace... and love...
and continue throughout the year...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

preparing...

A day spent making final preparations... on this Christmas Eve...

The carol... it says...

Joy to the world, the Lord has come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room...

With tasks almost done...
grumpiness trying to creep in...
it's time... to prepare a heart... for joy...

Switching focus...

I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
Psalm 9:2

I praise You... O Most High... for stooping low...
Prepare my heart... to fully praise... Your Name...

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

birth pangs... do you feel them...?

Only Mary experienced labor pains... the first time He came...

And very few prepared for His coming...
Mary and Joseph... of course...
Zechariah and Elizabeth... they knew...
Simeon and Anna... prophet and prophetess in the temple... they lived in a state of expectancy...
Then there were the Magi... they gathered gifts... and journeyed far...

But other than that... none knew of... prepared for... the imminent arrival of Jesus...

Currently... we're in the midst of our own Advent... waiting for... His second coming... His return...

The time He will come to fix the world... make it new... and fix everything in its place... the time for conversion... will be up...

Today's reading through... brings me to Matthew's record... of Jesus's words... regarding His return...

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars;
see that you are not frightened or troubled,
for this must take place, but the end is not yet.
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, 
and there will be famines and earthquakes in place after place;
All this is but the beginning [the early pains] of the birth pangs
[of the intolerable anguish].
Matthew 24:6-8 Amp

When He comes again... the whole world... will experience  the birth pangs... the labor pains...

The question is... Will you recognize them... for what they are...?

Wars...
Rumors of wars...
Earthquakes...
Famines...

We have a few of those going on in the world today...

But... by faith... are we living with expectancy...? preparing for His return...?

Jesus says... He will return like a thunderstorm...

For just as the lighting flashes from the east and shines and
is seen as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.
...and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven
with power and great glory [in brilliance and splendor].
Matthew 24:27, 30 Amp


No one had seen a storm before... and only Noah prepared...

Eight survived that storm...

How many will survive the next...?

And I wonder... Do I live in expectancy of His return...? in a state of preparation...?
Am I seeking Him...? wholeheartedly...? so I might be... light... in the coming storm...? bring comfort to others... in the midst of pain...?
Will others see...? and understand...? because of my preparation...? my faith...?

The signs are clear... His Word is true... He is coming...

Are you prepared...? for the One who says...?

Sky and earth will pass away,
but my words will not pass away.
But of that [exact] day and hour no one knows,
not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
Matthew 24:35-36 Amp


Related fare...

Monday, December 22, 2014

a desire... for more faith...

This past week's word in the Advent study... faith...

She asked... What comes to your mind when you think about the word faith...?

I say... Being sure of what you hope for... and certain of what you do not see...

And as the week passes... and I think more about faith... I see where I need more... desire more... because I'm really not sure... that what I hope for will come to pass... and I'm uncertain of the reality... of what I do not see...

I'm a contradiction... when it comes to faith...

My natural bent... tends toward pessimism...

To be pessimistic... as a Believer... reveals a lack of faith... and unbelief in His promises...

Pessimism keeps Believers... from preparing with expectancy... thus missing opportunities to witness to others... and receiving blessings...

Two passages read during the week... revealed a need... for more faith...

Isaiah's prophetic words regarding the Messiah bearing the Spirit of the Lord... anointed to bring good news to the poor...
bind up broken hearts...
proclaim liberty to the captives...
releasing those bound...
comforting those who mourn...

And in John's gospel... where he told about John the Baptizer... preparing the way for the Lord... by faith... in a big way... proclaiming His coming... and calling for repentance... from the self-proclaimed sinners... to the self-proclaimed righteous...

My faith... feels small... when I think about bearing the Spirit of the Lord myself...

He made the way for it to be so... and He says it's true... but I feel no power... to bring good news... heal... free... or comfort...

And my preparation... for things unseen... sometimes... my natural bent rules... Nothing looks like it's changing... why do anything... to prepare...

But... there are areas in my life... where I feel His call... and I press past the flesh... and do anyway... even though it seems foolish... unproductive...

Here is one of those places... writing so many days a week... wondering at times... Why...? 

And the call to intercede... through group prayer... it persists... and I know I persevere only because of Him... and the faith He provides...

So some places... I see faith in action... in me... even if it often must overcome... a pessimistic eye...

But one passage He led me to... filled me with desire... for... more... faith...

Also from the mouth of Isaiah... and along the same lines...

Behold, A King will reign in righteousness, 
and princes will rule with justice.
And each one of them shall be like a hiding place from the wind
and a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry place,
like the shade of a great rock in a weary land 
[to those who turn to them].
Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed or dimmed, 
and the ears of those who hear will listen.
And the mind of the rash will understand knowledge 
and have good judgment,
and the tongue of the stammerers will speak readily and plainly.
Isiah 32:1-4 Amp

I understand... by faith I allow Him to reign in my life... and as He does... I become one of the princes... ruling in justice...

To be one who is a hiding place for others...
a shelter in a storm...
a relief from the heat...
and a shade...
is what I desire to be...

Yes... to be one who makes the way for Him... to open eyes... and ears...
makes the way for understanding... and the loosing of tied tongues...
is what I want to be...

To be all His Word... says I am... fuels a desire... for more faith...

And His Words recorded by Matthew... come to mind...

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6:33 ESV

Father God... forgive my lack of faith...
Bless me... with more...

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Journey Readings: Week 51... and hypocrisy...

Hypocrisy... Jesus doesn't tolerate it... in any of creation...

There was a fig tree... leafed out... looking as if it was full of fruit...
Jesus... being hungry... went to the tree... to be filled...
but there was no fruit in its branches...

And He said to it, Never again shall fruit grow on you!
And the fig tree withered up at once.
Matthew 21:19 Amp

Then... there were these teachers of the Law... Pharisees... scribes...
they looked to all... as if they would bear spiritual fruit to fill the people... but their ways... empty... corrupt...

So He told parables... exposing their hearts...

What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He came to the first and said, Son, go and work today in the vineyard.
And he answered, I will not; but afterward he changed his mind and went. Then the man came to the second and said the same [thing]. And he replied, I will [go], sir; but he did not go.
Which of the two did the will of the father? They replied, The first one. Jesus said to them, Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and harlots will get into the kingdom of heaven before you. ...
Matthew 21:28-31 Amp

Jesus has no patience for those who are hypocrites... posers... self-deceptive...

He longs for integrity of heart...
He hung out with... had grace for...sinners... because they knew what they were... they knew their need...
But the religious Jewish elite... put on a big show... and bore no nourishing spiritual fruit... only burdens of tradition... and the laws of men...

Even though the tax collectors... and harlots... said No to God at first... they did what He asked...

But the Pharisees... those who said Yes with their mouths... did not do God's will...

Like the fig tree... it's not how you look... it's what you bear...

No... Jesus has no use... for those who say one thing... and do another...

He bears it now... for a time... but in the end...

The angels will go forth and separate the wicked from the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God) And cast them into the furnace of fire; there will be weeping and wailing and grinding of teeth.
Matthew 13:49-50 Amp

How are you when it comes to hypocrisy...? do you do what you say...? is your life the same in private...? as it is in public...?

Maybe it's time to ask... Am I bearing fruit... for Him...?

There's always something to consider... on this journey... with Him...

This week's readings...
Monday...                 Matthew 23
Tuesday...                 Matthew 24
Wednesday...           Matthew 25
Thursday...               Matthew 26:1-35
Friday...                   Matthew 26:36-75

Friday, December 19, 2014

a wonder of the season... stooping low...

I wonder... at His stooping low...

The Creator... against whom we rebelled...

He came to make us great...

You give me your shield of victory;
you stoop down to make me great.
2Samuel 22:36

His infinite... 
power... 
majesty... 
sovereignty... 
compressed... into a baby boy...


...[He] emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men. 
Philippians 2:7 ESV

And I wonder... at this Love... stooping low... to make the lowly... great...

A morning's devotional... reminds me...
Above all, look up to Jesus Christ your Intercessor, and ask yourself, while He pleads, can your Father deal ungraciously with you? If He remembers even sparrows, will He forget one of the least of His poor children?
---Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening
But this time of year... I say... look down... into the manger where He stooped... making Himself a poor child...

How can the Father deal ungraciously...? When He sent His only Son... to be poor with you...? to be poor for you...?

His crucifixion... became His shield of victory... over sin... and death...

A shield... He offers to us... to you... and me...

And being found in human form,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Philippians 2:8 ESV

A wonder... this stooping low...

Perhaps we should consider... stooping low... for someone this season... laying down our own life... out of love... to lift them up... make them great...?

Father God... don't let me miss an opportunity... to stoop low... 
this season... and reveal the wonder of Your love... to another...


Thursday, December 18, 2014

More...

I ask the question in my waking hours... Who are You today... Lord...?

And He says... More...

An attribute I've never praised Him as before...

I wonder... How...? and... Is there Word...? to support this praise...?

Well... of course there is... because He said...
more... adjective... 1: greater... 2: additional, further...
---Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th Ed.) 
He is more... greater... than all...

I know that the Lord is great,
that our Lord is greater than all gods.
Psalm 135:5

He is the source of more joy...

You have put more joy in my heart than they have
when their grain and wine abound.
Psalm 4:67 ESV

... more blessing... more wondrous deeds... 

Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare to you!
I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.
Psalm 40:4-5 ESV

He gives more... than we...

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things
to those who ask him!
Matthew 7:11 ESV

He can do more than we... with little... 

For there were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each." And they did so... And taking the five loaves and two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of broken pieces.
Luke 8:14-17 ESV

His Word... more refreshing... precious... sweet... 

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
Psalm 19:7-10 ESV

and... His grace abounds... more than our sin...

Now the law came in to increase the trespass,
but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more...
Romans 5:20 ESV

Yes... He is more...
and I hear Him calling me to more...

More trust...
in Him... 
who does more...
than we can ask...
or imagine...

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more
than all we ask or imagine, according to his power
that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church
and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations,
for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:20

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Love came down...

I feel it... in the dark early hours of the morning...

Love... came down...
to share the Gift... of the Holy Spirit...

Love...
Joy...
Peace...
Patience...
Kindness...
Goodness...
Gentleness...
Faithfulness...
Self-control...

Do you see it in Him...? the Gift of Love...? in the midst of the hurry... the hustle and bustle...?

Can you share it with others... this Christmas...?

Let Him shine the light of love... through you... to others...

Remember... the real reason... for all the rush...
celebrating... sharing... the Love... that stooped low...
for you...

Take a moment... ask Him... to fill you up... with the greatest gift...

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow...
1Thessalonians 3:12

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

the blessing of wrestling...

After the commencement address... the question came...

What did you think of the speaker's talk...?

I shared my thoughts... and the one who asked... shared his...

We did not agree...
I could not make him see...
I knew I couldn't...
and the truth that only the Father opens eyes of faith...
weighed heavy...

But... Sunday... He opened my eyes to a new aspect of the conversation... held on Saturday...

During the singing of The First Noel... the chorus...

Born is the King of Israel...

I'm reminded... Israel...translates to... God-wrestler...

Born is the King of God-wrestlers...
and the previous conversation... came into light...
there was a wrestling with God taking place...
the first steps... toward coming under the King...!

And I see... how those who question... messages of truth... enter into the wrestling ring of blessing...

Those who don't consider... don't question... don't wrestle with the ideas of truth that barb at a soul... are hard as the road... where the birds steal what's been sown...

Jacob... he wrestled with God...
he said... I won't let you go till You bless me...
his name was changed... to Israel...
God-wrestler...

In this new light... instead of discouraged... I am encouraged...
recognizing... the blessing... of wrestling... with the King...

Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel 
and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
"I am the first and the last; besides me there is no god. ..."
Isaiah 44:6 ESV


Monday, December 15, 2014

thank-full... for love...

Thank-full... for the many ways... love expresses itself...
giving...
receiving...
mourning...
laughing...
listening...
speaking...
tears of joy...
tears of sadness...
prayer...
hugs...
songs...
joy...
caring...
sharing...
patience...
service...

The last few days...I've seen love... in many forms...
for which I am very... thank-full...

Love is patient and kind;
love does not envy or boast;
it is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way;
it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing,
but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.
1Corinthians 13:4-8 ESV

Where have you seen love today...?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Journey Readings: Week 50... and the One who turns things inside-out...

Jesus... He's the One who turns things inside-out...

The Pharisees... they said... Why do Your disciples break the rules handed down by the elders...? Why don't they wash their hands before they eat...? 

He said to them...

It is not what goes into the mouth of a man
that makes him unclean and defiled, 
but what comes out of the mouth;
this makes a man unclean and defiles [him].
Matthew 15:11 Amp

The OT religion... focused on externals... which led to the establishing of traditions... rules... in excess of the law...

But Jesus... He turns it inside-out... it's not about the outside... but the inside... what comes out of the heart...

For out of the heart come evil thoughts
(reasonings and disputings and designs)
such as murder, adultery, sexual vice,
theft, false witnessing, slander, and irreverent speech.
Matthew 15:19 Amp

And when He tells His disciples... He must suffer... at the hands of the religious authorities... and be killed... Peter takes Him aside... to rebuke Him...

God forbid, Lord! This must never happen to You!
Matthew 16:23 Amp

But Jesus turned away from Peter...

Get behind Me, Satan! You are in My way
[an offense and a hindrance and a snare to Me];
for you are minding what partakes not of the nature
and quality of God, but of men.
Matthew 16:23 Amp

Jesus tells us our human sensibilities... defining right and wrong... are in line with Satan... not with God...!?

He came to turn things... upside-down... and... inside-out...

He came to change our perspective...

Allow Him to change yours...

This week's readings...
Monday                  Matthew 17:14 - 18:35
Tuesday                  Matthew 19:1 - 20:16 
Wednesday             Matthew 20:17 - 21:17
Thursday                 Matthew 21:18 - 22:14
Friday                     Matthew 22:15-46

Friday, December 12, 2014

challenged...

I find myself challenged...
by the One who calls things that are not...
as though they were...

...the God who gives life to the dead
and calls things that are not as though they were.
Romans 4:17

Challenged... to do the same...

Challenged to see... in others... in me...
what He sees...
when it's all said and done...
when it's all restored...

He sees the beginning from the end...
that's how He can call things that are not...
as though they were...

That's how He called... Simon... Peter... a rock...
Simon... fully restored... is a solid rock... therefore He calls Him Peter...
even though he stepped out of the boat... and sank...
when He asked him to pray in the garden... he slept...
followed Jesus... but denied knowing Him... not once... but three times...

He sees... what is... or will be... when it's done...
He names it... calls it... now...

The challenge for me...
to see restored...
hear... what He calls... me... loved ones... difficult ones...
so I can name them too...
speak that truth... into their lives...
help them to see...
and believe...
with... peace...
knowing...
He cannot lie...

Challenged to speak truth... in love...
Challenged to see... what He sees...
Challenged to name... as He names...

...speaking the truth in love,
we are to grow up in every way 
into him who is the head, into Christ...
Ephesians 4:15 ESV

Father God... teach me to see like You... all things restored...
Open my ears to hear... what You call what...
Bless me with trust and peace...
that what You see... will be...
restored...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

be prepared... in season... and out of season...

...be prepared in season and out of season...
2Timothy 4:2

There is no season... where we are not called to be prepared...

...in season... when conditions are favorable...

...out of season... when conditions are unfavorable...

It doesn't matter...
whether you feel like it...
if it's convenient...
or inconvenient...
it's always time...
to be prepared...
doing the work...
of cultivating a heart...
for Him...
His Word...
His presence...

Be prepared... in season... and out of season...
Amen...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

preparing a heart...

Preparation of a heart for Him... requires work...

Sow for yourselves righteousness;
reap steadfast love;
break up your fallow ground,
for it is time to seek the Lord,
that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.
Hosea 10:12 ESV

Sow... righteousness...
reap... love...
break up... hard ground...
it's time...
so He may come...

Sow righteousness... do what's right...

Break up the hard places in your heart... those attitudes... thoughts... emotions... keeping you from doing right...
pride...
resentment...
bitterness...

This is hard work...
painful work...
identifying sin...
acknowledging sin...

Break up your fallow ground,
and sow not among thorns.
Jeremiah 4:4 ESV

Break up... hard hearts...
sow not... among thorns...

Don't we know...? it's foolish to plant among thorns...? briers...?
Do we really need this instruction...?

When it comes to a spiritual planting... Jesus names those thorns...

"... As for what was sown among thorns,
this is the one who hears the word,
but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches
choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. ..."
Matthew 13:22 ESV

Cares... worries... these are thorny places needing removal...

But in addition to worries... riches... choke out growth...
too much stuff...
too much to do...
too many distractions...

How often do we try to plant His Word...? in our brier filled hearts...?

Our world is full of worries... and riches...
both interfering in our relationship with Him...
One says... He doesn't care...
The other... He's not enough...

Planting His Word... is only fruitful... if we take time and energy... to prepare our hearts...

Ask Him... to show you the thorny patches... and hard places... in your heart...

It will be hard... painful... but well worth the work...

Lord... show me... where the thorns grow wild in my heart...
reveal the hard ground... that needs breaking...
bless me... with the strength... and desire... 
to prepare my heart... for more of You...

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

preparation...

Preparation...

The new word for the week... in the Advent Study...
preparation... noun... 1:  the action or process of making something ready for use or service or of getting ready for some occasion, test, or duty 2: a state of being prepared: readiness 3: a preparatory act or measure 4: something that is prepared specifically: a medicinal substance made ready for use
Not one of my favorite words...

Preparation...

A word I associate with work... usually unpleasant...

But when asked...
When and how has preparation been significant in your relationship with God?
---Pamela C. Hawkins, Behold!
I see a place where I truly enjoy preparation...

The ministry He's called me to...
leading prayer...
teaching...
requires preparation...

The preparation... however... is time with Him... in His Word... in His presence...

Preparation is fun... when you do it with someone you love...

Preparation for ministry... leads me deeper into relationship with Him... encourages me to prepare spiritually... to stay connected to Him...

This evening's benediction... spoke to my heart...

A voice cries out in the wilderness:
"Prepare the way for the Lord:
soften your hearts;
heighten your hopes;
forge a way where there seems no way;
for Christ is coming to make all things new.
O people of God, prepare the way of the Lord!"
Amen

Yes... this prep I long to do...
make the way... for Him...
who is coming to make all things new...

Preparation...

A word I'll have to reconsider my feelings about...

Monday, December 8, 2014

a new place of solitude...

With the challenge of hearing Him... amidst all the changes of life...
I've found a new place of solitude...

My car...

Before... with hours a day home alone... the discipline of no TV... no radio... gave me lots of quiet... lots of time to listen...

And before... my car was where I tuned in voices... through the radio... KBJS...

Turning on the car... immediately followed by... turning on the radio...

I noticed this last week... how seldom I turned on the radio...

Instead... I found myself nestling down in the silence...

A new routine... emerging from the new job...

A new place of solitude... found...

Now... the times I do turn the radio on... I don't want words spoken...
I long for praise singing...

The quiet solitude in my car... has helped me reconnect... with Him...

At the end of a long day... last week... 10,000 Reasons filling the space around me... I found myself moved...

Praising Him...


But not nearly enough...

A desire burst from my heart in prayer...

Lord... increase my capacity to praise Your name...
I long to praise You greater... better... more...
If You want to increase anything in me...
stretch out the tent of my heart... to make more room...
give greater ability... to praise Your holy name...

Finding myself very grateful... for a new place of solitude...

My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.
Psalm 145:21 ESV

Where is your favorite place of quiet...? where you can hear only Him...?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Journey Readings: Week 49... and awkwardness...

Recognizing His welcome... and all our awkwardness... in the gospel of Matthew...

...He Himself took [in order to carry away]
our weaknesses and infirmities and
bore away all our diseases.
Matthew 8:17 Amp

For I came not to call and invite [to repentance]
the righteous (those who are upright and
in right standing with God), but sinners
(erring ones and all those not free from sin).
Matthew 9:13 Amp

And Jesus went about all the cities and villages,
teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming 
the good news (the Gospel) of the kingdom and 
curing all kinds of disease and every weakness and infirmity.
Matthew 9:35 Amp

In all our awkwardness we come... 
limping... blind... deaf... dumb... 
to receive His willing... 
grace... mercy... healing... redemption...

Loving what I discover on this journey... 

Care to join...?

This week's readings...
Monday                Matthew 12:33 - 13:17
Tuesday                Matthew 13:18-58
Wednesday           Matthew 14
Thursday               Matthew 15
Friday                   Matthew 16:1 - 17:13

Friday, December 5, 2014

plenty

Waking to a morning squeezed by scarcity... multiple commitments... to-dos... in what looks like a very short time.... He reminds me...

...you are not lacking...
1Corinthians 1:7 ESV

And again...

"Ask, and it shall be given you. ..."
Matthew 7:7 KJV

Twice... in less than ten minutes... two different devotionals... He encourages me... to not look with a dark eye... but with His Light...

He brings light to my eye... with His Word....

He wants me to see His Kingdom as it is...

Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed...
Proverbs 22:9 ESV

On a morning where scarcity wants to squeeze... I choose... to see... plenty...

By His grace... and in His name...
Amen...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

new

A week or so ago... as the end of the year loomed on the calendar... I began to wonder if the discipline of a word-for-the-year would continue...

The past two years... a single word... has been an important part of my relationship with Him...

First... obedience...
then... journey...

I posed the question... Is there another word...? for another year...?

And... Yes... there is a word...

New

So as this year's journey... comes to an end... already... I'm wondering... about the new year...

And he who was seated on the throne said,
"Behold, I am making all things new."
Also he said, "Write this down,
these words are trustworthy and true."
Revelation 21:5 ESV

Maybe you could begin asking Him if He has a word for you for 2015...?

If you receive one... I'd love for you to share it here...
just add a comment to this post... to let us know...

[Click the post title to get to the comment box... scroll down to the bottom of the post... whether you receive by email or view on Jeremiah's Menu...] 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

expectancy...

Expectancy...

The word for the week... from an Advent study started last evening...

Expectancy...

Waiting for something expected...

It affects the way we live... preparations needed...

Expectancy...

Surprised by the realization of daily expectancies...
expecting my husband to return home each evening...
expecting Him to provide words for this place...
expecting the sun to rise and set...

Expectancy...

Some expectations are met... some aren't...

When expectations aren't met we often get upset...
mad...
disturbed...
flustered...

Unmet expectations can ruin our day...

Expectancy...

Expectations aren't always welcome...

Those of us who live in a glass half-empty world... always expect the worst...

Sometimes finding ourselves pleased... when expectations go unrealized...

Whew...

Expectancy...

The exercise in today's devotional... turned expectancy... on its head...
Think about the past year and identify four or five situations where God's grace surprised or encouraged you.
---Pamela C. Hawkins, Behold!
Listing His surprising graces... made me realize... my own expectations... may be less... than what He has in mind...

My own expectations... may even cause me... to miss His grace...

Especially when I settle... or fulfill... an expectation... on my own... unwilling to wait... not knowing what He has in store...

So... my prayer today...

Lord... help me lay down my own expectations...
and replace them with Yours...!
Your ways are always better...
and always worth the wait...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

staying malleable...

She said it Sunday... during the sermon... referring to the potter's work on the wheel...

The clay cannot get too dry or it cannot be fashioned...

I think about Him... in the Scripture being discussed...

But now, O Lord, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
Isaiah 64:8 ESV

He is our Potter... we... all of us... works in His hand...

The thought comes... We must stay filled with Living Water to be malleable in His hands... without the Holy Spirit we cannot be transformed...

Without Jesus... who makes the way for the Spirit... there is no transformation... no real healing... no complete restoration...

"...Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 
'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" ---Jesus
John 7:38 ESV

The rivers of Living Water... flowing from within... keep us moist... workable... in the Potter's hand...

The Holy Spirit... provides the counsel... conviction... and capacity... for change...

Without Him... we are simply stiff-necked... 
breaking...
cracking... 
rather than reshaping... under His hand...

Jesus said it Himself...

"... It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. ..."
John 6:63 ESV

Self-help... will-power... useless... when it comes to lasting change...

Only through trust... obedience... and an abiding life in Him... can the Holy Spirit flow... preparing our hearts... souls... lives... to be transformed... wholly redeemed... in the Father's hands...

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, 
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Do not quench the Spirit. 
Do not despise prophecies, but test everything;
hold fast to what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely,
and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless
at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
1Thessalonians 5:16-24 ESV

Monday, December 1, 2014

1000...

Blogging @ Jeremiah's Menu... a milestone of sorts...

It won't mean much to you...
but today... is significant to me...
this post in particular... the 1000th published...

I've watched the number climb with disbelief...
knowing if it was just me... there would not be so many...

This practice of...
preparing...
presenting...
putting down...
pouring out...
this gift of writing continues...*

For me today...
it is 1000 evidences of ...
His faithfulness...
His presence...
His grace...

It is His... to do with what He wills...

For from him and through him and to him
are all things. To him be glory forever.
Amen.
Romans 11:36 ESV


*Note: these words... preparing... presenting... putting down... pouring out... of gifts... learned from Priscilla Shirer's Gideon... giving credit where credit is due...

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Journey Readings: Week 48... and worldview...

This past week ended Judges... and began Matthew...

An ending with... In those days there was no king... every man did what was right in his own eyes... to a beginning with wise men asking... Where is He Who has been born King of the Jews...?

A day with no king... to the birth of the new King...

Shifting... from seeing things from our own worldview... to seeing things from His Worldview...

How we see... establishes... how we live...

The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is sound,
your entire body will be full of light.
But if your eye is unsound, your whole body will be full of darkness.
If then the very light in you [your conscience] is darkened,
how dense is that darkness!
Matthew 6:22-23 Amp

The eye... the lamp of the body... refers to our worldview... how we perceive the world...

Old Testament scripture bears this out...

Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed,
for he shares his bread with the poor.
Proverbs 22:9 ESV

A bountiful eye... sees no scarcity... God is trustworthy to provide all needs... therefore... there is no need to be stingy... open-handed is the rule of the one with this worldview...

Metaphorically... light... means understanding... knowledge... darkness... implies misunderstanding... ignorance...

Jesus... He is the Light of the world...
He is the source of understanding... knowledge... insight...

...the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
on them a light has dawned.
Matthew 4:16 

He tells His people... You are the light of the world...

If we are to be light... in a dark world... we must learn to see the world as He does...

So He tells us... in regard to life...

But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom
and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right),
and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.
Matthew 6:33 Amp

Turn your eyes... toward His kingdom...!

Change your worldview... see things His Way...

Learn more about His view of things... join The Journey...

This week's readings...
Monday             Matthew 7:1 - 8:13
Tuesday             Matthew 8:14 - 9:17
Wednesday        Matthew 9:18 - 10:15
Thursday            Matthew 10:16 - 11:19
Friday                Matthew 11:20 - 12:32

Friday, November 28, 2014

planting trust...

When I asked if they had any pansies left she said... Yes... but they don't have much color on them right now...

I said... That's OK... grabbed a wagon and headed to the greenhouses she numbered off...

And Yes... she was right... not much color...

Some older plants... had few blooms... I gathered a couple of flats... with the colors I wanted...

Then... I saw flats of new plants... healthy... green... but no blooms... no color...

Looking at the tag... I saw what I wanted... multicolor clear blooms...

So I put back the others... and took four with absolutely no color... except for the tiny pictures...

Back home... in the garden... the words came to mind... planting trust...




Trusting the tag...
trusting the picture...
trusting future growth...
trusting color to come...
I planted...




Wednesday... I planted trust... on top of hope...

And I see how this is like prayer... a planting of hope... and trust...

Taking time... and energy...
Reaching out to the unseen... unheard... with words... requests... questions...
Hoping He hears... responds... works... forgives...
Trusting His presence... sovereignty... love... grace...

Exercising prayer... like planting a garden...
waiting for hope to spring forth...
and trust to prove worthy...

"... have regard to the prayer of  your servant and to his plea, O Lord my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer that your servant prays before you, that your eyes may be open day and night toward this house, the place you have promised to set your name, that you may listen to the prayer that your servant offers...
2 Chronicles 6:19-20 ESV

Thursday, November 27, 2014

giving thanks... for those who've gone before...

I started a book this week... The Pilgrim Chronicles...

Reminded afresh... the pilgrims made the way for freedom... religious... and otherwise...

Because of them... we can freely be... followers of Him...

And I finished a book this week... Unbroken... the story of Louis Zamparini... and World War II...

Reminded afresh... of those who fought for freedom... and His presence... in and through...

Because of their sacrifice... and willingness to fight evil... freedom remains...

Because of those who've gone before... I am thank-full...

A truth of His comes to mind...

For you were called to freedom, brothers.
Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh,
but through love serve one another.
Galatians 5:13 ESV

His freedom... inspires... love... service... sacrifice...

Today... giving thanks... for those who've gone before...
their love... service... sacrifice...
and hoping... I might do the same...

Father God... thank You for all who've gone before... in Your Way...
making the way for me... to know You...
Help me... to follow You... in true freedom...
Thank You... Thank You... Thank You...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

the challenge of... asking to hear...

The challenge of... asking to hear Him more clearly... is an exercise of faith...

In the wee dark hours of this morning... I'm reminded of a quote I read this week...
What God asks of men, said Graham, is faith. His invisibility is the truest test of that faith. To know who sees him, God makes himself unseen.
---Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken, quoting Billy Graham
But... He not only makes Himself unseen... He turns His volume down... and the background noise up...

So perhaps... to know who hears Him... He makes Himself unheard...

Dare you believe He's speaking...? every moment... of every day...? with words of love...? guidance...? direction...? wisdom...?

If you want to hear... you have to listen... by faith...

Willingly... I embrace the challenge... of listening... hearing... His voice which now seems quieter... hidden somewhere behind the noise of life...

Because... I don't want to miss a Word... He has for me... I will stop... listen... wait... and learn to filter... discern... Him... from all the rest...

What about you...? When He seems quiet... silent...? Do you stop listening because you think He's stopped talking...? Or do you believe... He's asking you to exercise your faith...?


And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. ... And behold, there came a voice...
1Kings 19:11-13 ESV

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

when you realize you asked for it...

What do you do... when you realize... your asked for it...?

In the challenge of hearing Him... I realized I asked for it... by praying...

Lord... help me to hear You...
Help me... to stop... listen... wait...
I long for more of You... and less... of... me...

Yes... I prayed this last week... recorded it here...
and now realize... He's blessing me with opportunities...
to stop... listen... wait...

The challenge of hearing Him in the new... is an exercise... a spiritual discipline... to tune into Him more...

So what do you do... when you realize you asked for it...?

Thank Him...

Lord Jesus... Father God... Holy Spirit...
thank You for the challenge... of listening...
in new places... and the blessing... of the challenge...
of answered... prayer...

Monday, November 24, 2014

planting... hope...

Saturday... I did something I don't do very often...
Maybe three... four... times... in the last twenty-five years...
I planted hope...




Every planting... of a seed... a bulb... requires... hope...

Now hope that is seen is not hope.
For who hopes for what he sees?
Romans 8:24 ESV

I see the bulbs...
I see the picture on the box...
But what I see after planting...?




Nothing... but dirt... and... mess...

I think about farmers... as I plant...

What if my whole livelihood... was dependent... on what I buried...?
How much hope... is needed... to plant dead seeds... in hopes of crops...? to support families...?

It's hard enough for me to get it together to plant bulbs... which I love to see in the Spring...

It doesn't happen every year... because... sometimes... it's just not worth the wait... or the what-if's...

What if they don't grow...?
what if this is a waste... of time... energy...?
what if...?

Hope... it's like that...

To live by it...
speak it into someone else's life...
depend on it...
requires... patience...

But if we hope for what we do not see,
we wait for it with patience.
Romans 8:25 ESV

There is no immediate gratification... when it comes to... planting... hope...

I look at the pumpkins... gracing my front door...




...and consider the hope... planted by farmers... who grew these orange globes...

Hope... in dried up seeds...
planted... in the dark...
beneath... the ground...

Bursting into produce... to sell...
and begin the cycle... again...

So I'm inspired... to wait... and hope...
not only on tulip bulbs...
but Him...

And hope does not disappoint us,
because God has poured out his love
into our hearts by the Holy Spirit,
whom he has given us.
Romans 5:5