A Bowl of Beans

My husband loves to hunt and we eat the meat he harvests. I make spaghetti, meat loaf, chili, and chicken-fried steak from the meat he brings in. My dear hubby is a pretty good cook, too. His deer jerky is popular with all the family and friends.

Genesis 25:27-28 NKJV says, “Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. And Isaac (their dad) loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.”

Jacob was the cook and Esau was the hunter. Jacob cooked a stew and when Esau came in from the fields, all worn out from a day of hunting, he begged Jacob for some red bean stew and bread. Jacob started bargaining with him. “I’ll sell it to you for your birthright.” Esau said, “I am about to die anyway, so what good is it to me if I am dead?” And they shook on it.

Later, Isaac who was 180 years old called Esau to him and said, “I’m hungry for venison, so go hunting out in the north forty acres. And make me some good deer stew, such as I love, so I can bless you before I die.”

While Esau was gone  hunting, Rebekah, their mother, put together a scheme to get Isaac to give Jacob the birthright blessing instead of Esau. They would cook him a lamb stew and disguise Jacob as Esau, so that Isaac would give Jacob the birthright blessing which was a double portion and the blessing of being in the lineage of the Messiah. So Jacob became the ancestor of Jesus Christ the Messiah.

The day Esau bargained with Jacob, he was hungry but not near death. He was just like his father, “I am hungry for some good stew, such as I love.” Esau was probably like some of us–it wouldn’t have hurt him to do without a few meals. He loved eating just a little too much. He put his earthly needs above his spiritual needs.

Esau gave up his spiritual birthright for an earthly bowl of beans.

Giving Thanks in Advance

“Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people.” Luke 9:16 NIV

Evidently Jesus always thanked God for his food. He thanked God for these small amounts of food just before the miracle of multiplication took place. What did Jesus do that we would not have done? He looked up to heaven and saw something in the spirit that indicated what he was supposed to do to meet that need. He saw God feeding the thousands of people with the small amount of food.

Jesus had a precedence. God fed the children of Israel in the wilderness with something not natural, but supernatural—manna. The word ‘manna’ means ‘What is it?’ It was something that they had never seen, something that didn’t come from this earth.

God also fed the little woman of Zarephath in I Kings 17. In this case, he used the prophet Elijah to instruct her so God could multiply what she did have to last to feed her, her son, and Elijah until the drought was over.

So knowing the nature of God, Jesus just thanked God in advance for doing it. If God did it once, He will do it again. If God had ever fed people supernaturally He could and would do it again.

Can you find the answer to your problem in the Bible? Are you short on cash for example? Jesus told the disciples to open the fish’s mouth and find money. If God did that once, He will do it again, maybe not in a fish’s mouth, but somehow somewhere God will get the money to you.

Are you racked in pain and need a miracle just to live? If God did it once, He will do it again. Jesus touched the withered hand and it became like new. He touched blinded eyes, opened deaf ears.

Let’s thank God in advance for what He is going to do.

Resist Fear

 

As I was walking up to the post office the other day, a shadow on the sidewalk over my head caused me to duck my head. Fear rose in my heart as I thought a bird was attacking me. Imagine my surprise and delight when a beautiful Monarch butterfly passed within inches of my face. Then I had to laugh aloud to myself.

That made me think of the many times when fear tried to grab me. When I had to go back for a second mammogram and then for a biopsy, under anesthetic.  When I heard a news report of a carjacking and murder within a mile of my daughter’s home in Oklahoma City. When I failed a test at work and worried I might lose my job.

The person who lives in fear of germs with incessant hand-washing catches the flu, while another doesn’t. The mother who overprotects her child sees that child break a leg. The overly cautious driver gets in an accident.

It is typical of all of us to dwell on the bad things that we are facing as if by thinking about the bad things we can make them disappear. We talk and think about our predicament, until it becomes giant, magnified by our own minds.

When fear attaches itself to your heart and you begin to accept that fear, it opens the door for  those things you fear to happen. Job said, “For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me.” Job 3:25 NKJV.

Resisting the fear closes the door, but just resisting is not enough. You alone are not a match for the enemy.  “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:7-8

When you submit to God, then you have the power to resist the devil and he will have to flee.

Writing on the Wall

When Mom was 94 years old, I set up a computer in her home home so she could see and talk to my sister 45 miles away. The first time she and my sister talked, my sister reached out her arms to hug Mom through the computer monitor and blew air kisses that Mom reached out to receive.

When Mom was growing up in the 1920s, there was only one telephone in the Kelso, Oklahoma, rural community and it was hanging on the wall at the store. Yet here she was at age 94, seeing and talking with her daughter on the computer.

I put a program on that computer to access it remotely. One evening I started a word document and typed in large letters, “Hello, Mother, How are you tonight? I love you, Lavon.”

Mom immediately picked up the phone and called me. “Did you make my computer write those words?”

It reminded me of the Bible story of Daniel and the writing on the wall.
A thousand lords and ladies in Babylon were drinking from the golden cups which had been dedicated to God, but taken from the temple of God by Belshazzar’s father Nebuchadnezzar when he defeated Judah.

Suddenly the fingers of a man’s hand appeared writing on the wall at the King Belshazzar’s party. When he saw it, he was frozen with fear. He called for the wise men to interpret the writing but no one could. Someone suggested they call Daniel, “a man in whom is the Spirit of the Holy God.”

Daniel read the words, “MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting. PERES: Your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” Daniel 5:25-28. That night Belshazzar’s kingdom was overthrown and he died.

Is the finger of God writing on the wall of our nation? Has our country been “weighed in the balance and found wanting?” Our future might not be very different from Babylon’s future.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV.

It is time to call on God in the name of Jesus Christ, so that He will hear and heal our land. God is our only hope.

The Way to a Man’s Heart

When we were kids in the 1950s, Mama had lots of ideas to keep us busy. We loved to make popcorn, shaking the popcorn in a heavy club aluminum  saucepan with real butter.  In that same saucepan, we made old-fashioned cocoa fudge, and divinity from scratch. We made sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies, and cookies cut out in different shapes.
Mom had a cookbook we loved to read through. I don’t remember the actual name of it, but it had the words on the front, “the way to a man’s heart.” Years later I found that cookbook with the cover ruined by the flood of 1999, but you could still read the words, “the way to a man’s heart.”
Mama sure knew the way to a man’s heart. Her bachelor brothers came to supper many nights, where we ate brown beans, fried potatoes, and cornbread.  In the summer, it was always accompanied by sliced home-grown tomatoes, fried okra, and maybe some green beans in with the brown beans. Dad usually wanted a yellow cake instead of cornbread with his brown beans.

Mama made the best chicken and dumplings, but sometimes she made chicken and noodles, with egg noodles made from scratch. She made the best fried chicken with white gravy, which I never ate, because white gravy gagged me.  There were many things I had to eat that I didn’t like, but she never made me eat gravy. (As an adult I learned to like chicken gravy—my own.)
In all her 25 years of cooking at the school cafeteria, she earned the love and admiration of all the kids who ate with her, not just the young men.  Mama really learned “the way to a man’s heart” which is apparently good cooking, but much more. She put love into her cooking and everyone who ate with her felt that love.
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16 New King James Version
God knows the way to a man’s or woman’s heart—His love.

DNA Everywhere

DNA EVERYWHERE

For some crazy reason lately, any time I have a fever, in a few days the skin starts peeling on my hands. Then it takes two weeks for it to all peel off, and look good again. Sometimes I catch myself mindlessly peeling the skin off my hands, while I’m doing something else, like sitting at my desk. The skin drops on the floor leaving behind my dna, just like at a crime scene.

Dna is everywhere. Everywhere you go, you are leaving part of your dna behind. When you cough or sneeze, particles of your dna spray all over things. Whatever you touch has your dna on it.

Jesus was born in a physical flesh and blood body on this earth to a virgin named Mary. He had a mixture of Mary’s dna and God’s. Mary provided the earthly dna to make up Jesus’ body, but God’s life flowed in His veins.

Everywhere Jesus went He touched people and healed them. He touched them and cast demons out, and gave them peace. He touched the little children and laid His hands on their sweet heads, blessing them. He spoke the words He heard His Father God say, and taught the people on the seashores and mountains. Jesus broke bread and the fish with His hands and fed the multitudes. He broke bread and poured wine for the Last Supper with His disciples the night before He was crucified.

Everywhere Jesus went, He spread His DNA and then in one final grand display of His love, He spilled His blood and poured out His DNA for the sins of the world.

“Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, . . . but with the precious blood of Christ.” I Peter 1:18-19 NKJV.

Everywhere you go now that you are born again, you are leaving your spiritual dna behind too, just like Jesus did. Use your hands to touch people to pray for their healing, bless the little children, and show the love of Jesus everywhere you go.