Milk & Honey, and Oatmeal

Oatmeal for breakfast with honey and pecans—the perfect fall breakfast.
When I was a kid, I hated oatmeal. Gummy, gooey, stick-in-your-throat mess. I forced mine down with toast. We ate cornmeal mush, sometimes fried in bacon grease, or boiled rice, with butter, sugar, and milk, but that stuck in my throat too.

Sometimes we had eggs but Mama always made “lace” on the eggs, or the yolk would be broken or hard. When she scrambled eggs, she stirred them in the pan, instead of beating them in a bowl first, and there were always strings of egg white, which made me gag. I was so picky it was a wonder I lived to adulthood.

Now I am trying to go back to God’s natural eating plan. I even thought of making up a diet with fatted calf, fish and bread, milk and honey, olives, figs, grains, vegetables, seeds, and honey cakes. I draw the line at eating locust, though. Sorry, John the Baptist.
I am still picky, but not as spoiled by my mama as I was when I was a child. I eat oatmeal frequently now.  I try to limit processed foods and use olive oil and natural oils for cooking. And I keep fruit and nuts and dark chocolate around for snacking. I sauté fish and I use my electric grill for chicken breasts. I pick out lean meat and cook it in an iron skillet requiring very little extra fat. We eat dark green salads with tomatoes, avocado, and fruit, as well as whole-grain cereals and use whole wheat-bread.
After the flood, God told Noah, “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.” Genesis 9:3. New King James Version.
God has given us good food to bless our bodies.

Meaningful Truth

Why didn’t I pay attention when my uncles and Daddy talked about World War II?  When the men gathered at our house to visit, the ladies were visiting or cooking, and the kids were playing outside or washing dishes and doing chores. Everyone had his or her own interest and mine was either reading or playing the piano. Guns, war, and history meant nothing to me.

I’ll never forget in the mid-1980s when my husband and Dad were talking about WWII and they mentioned the bombing of Nagasaki. I must have looked puzzled when I asked, “Where is Nagasaki?” because they both looked at me astonished. Dad said, “Surely you don’t mean you’ve never heard of the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan?” I said, “I’ve heard of the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan.” And he then told me about the bombing of Nagasaki following the bombing of Hiroshima, ending the war in the Pacific.

The only excuse I have is that no one grabbed my attention in a way that was meaningful to me, so whatever I was supposed to learn went right over my head.

This reminds me of the stories of people who have attended Sunday School and church all their lives and never learned the spiritual truth of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

Perhaps they heard the story of Jesus and considered it a nice story, but never recognized their need of a savior. Many people think that they haven’t done anything so terribly wrong in their life, so there’s nothing from which to be saved. Maybe she has been a very good person, and had given to charities. Perhaps he had always paid his bills and been a friend to all.

However in Romans 3: 23 in The Living Bible, “Yes, all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious ideal yet now God declares us “not guilty” of offending him if we trust in Jesus Christ, who in his kindness freely takes away our sins.”

Yes, everyone is a sinner, but everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved.


No Need for a Battery

I was going through some older stuffed animals in the spare bedroom recently, when I ran across a stuffed bear in nightclothes and a nightcap. As I cuddled him, I remembered that he used to have a heart, which I found in the dresser drawer. I found a 9-volt battery to make it work, then inserted the red heart complete with battery into the hole in his side. When I turned it on and hugged him, the bear’s heart started beating. He came to life with a beating heart; at least as much alive as a stuffed animal can be.

When Jesus hung on the cross, the soldiers pierced Jesus’ beating heart, and the blood flowed out of his body. His heart stopped beating until three days later at the precise moment that the Holy Spirit of God brought the power from heaven to resurrect Jesus Christ from the dead.

“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11 New King James Version.

If I have received Jesus as my Lord and Savior, then that same Spirit does indeed dwell in me. He will make my flesh-and-blood body come to life, by the life of Christ which flows in my veins, going into each little cell to keep me alive until that day that I receive my new immortal body that will live forever.

I know this old body will completely wear out one day, but until then I’m claiming the promise that the Spirit of God will renew my physical body. I depend on God to give me strength to breathe, move, and live every day of my life.

Because I belong to God, one day He will give me an immortal body that will never die, with a heart that will beat forever. No need for a battery.


I have an evening kitchen routine. I do the dishes or at least load the dishwasher, wipe down the counters, and sometimes sweep the floors before shutting off the lights. It is a joy to get up to a clean kitchen every morning.
Developing routines helps us accomplish more without having to think about what we are doing, but routines can be boring.
Some churches have removed rituals and liturgies from their worship, replacing hymns with choruses, pipe organs with guitars, a full choir with a worship team. Other churches hang onto hundred-year-old rituals of worship, which the present-day worshiper cannot relate to.
Rituals and routines are part of Christianity. After all, it was Jesus Himself that said at the last supper, “Do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19.
The problem is rituals can take the place of a vital personal relationship with Jesus. Instead of committing our hearts and lives to Jesus, a ritual allows us to go through a show of commitment. Instead of burying our old selves in water baptism and rising from the water into new life, we just get wet. Instead of singing with our hearts to the Lord, we mumble through unfamiliar and meaningless words to a tune that is too high for the common voice to sing.
The answer to this dilemma is following the Lord in the Christian life with our hearts and not our minds. As we go through each ritual of the church, whether singing, water baptism, commitment, we should keep our focus on Him.
With Jesus Christ as the center of your worship experience, the routines will not become ruts.

Jonah and Las Vegas

Imagine God telling you to go to Las Vegas and walk the streets telling the people, “In forty days, Las Vegas will be overthrown.”

Imagine walking down the sidewalk in front of the MGM Grand Hotel where the golden lion sits guarding the entrance to the great casino, wearing nasty clothes, and smelling like fish guts and seawater, the results of being swallowed by the great fish. You walk through the crowd of well-dressed business people, flashy dressed gamblers, prostitutes, and comfortably-dressed tourists.

“In forty days, Las Vegas will be overthrown.” You don’t tell them to repent. In fact, you would
rather they didn’t.

God sent Jonah to Las Vegas. Well, okay then, Nineveh. The people of Nineveh believed Jonah and God. The king of Nineveh proclaimed a fast and ordered the people to cry out to God, so that God would change His mind and not destroy the city.

Sure enough, it worked. God made a liar out of Jonah. God forgave them. Jonah knew God would do that, because God is kind and compassionate, full of mercy and it made Jonah mad when God didn’t destroy them.

Jonah said, “This is exactly what I thought you’d do, Lord. . . For I knew you were a gracious God, merciful, slow to get angry, and full of kindness; I knew how easily you could cancel your plans for destroying these people.” Jonah 4:2  Living Bible.

In Jonah’s great desire to see the people of Nineveh wiped off the face of the earth, he had forgotten that God had specifically called Israel to be a light, to reveal God to the world. Jonah’s problem was that he was patriotic; he believed God’s mercy and love was exclusive to the country of Israel. Jonah had forgotten that the people of Nineveh were people just like him, in need of God’s mercy and grace.

God loved the people of Nineveh and He loves the people of Las Vegas, too, just like He loved Jonah and He loves us all.