Archive for hunger

I can never get ahead…I’m just saying.

Posted in Bible Study, faith, Minutia, Observations, Prayer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2010/10/26 by NY4JB

How many times have we said something like this?  “Every time I get ahead something breaks and I end up behind again.”  As if we are being kept down rather than being provided for.  The Lord tells us that he will provide for us daily yet how many of us trust him?  I’m already thinking of my excuses…

Exodus 16:4-5 (English Standard Version)
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not.  On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.”

Just like when Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream (see Genesis 41) and determines that the Lord is going to provide an exceptional harvest for seven years before seven years of famine.  The Lord provided for the hard time to come so they would be ready.  So maybe if we find we have more than we need there is a reason and when we find we are short it is our own fault and not God’s.  And maybe we should give thanks more and complain less…I’m just saying.

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Pico De Gallo Recipe

Posted in Recipes with tags , , on 2010/07/12 by NY4JB

I haven’t tried this yet but I’m told it is the best Pico and this is the season for fresh veg and potluck picnics

6 pounds diced tomatoes
2 pounds diced onion
5 ounces jalapenos (minced)
3 tablespoons salt
3 ounces cilantro (minced)
2 tablespoons garlic
Optional touch of vinegar

It didn’t come with instructions so I guess you just mix it all together and eat…

Why Worry

Posted in Bible Study, faith, Minutia, Observations, Prayer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2010/06/15 by NY4JB

Matthew 11:25 (ESV)
At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;

Matthew 18:3 (ESV)
and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

I need to remember this when I start thinking of all of the stuff I have to do. As it says in the Dire Straits song, “so why worry now…”

God is my father, he adopted me when I accepted His Son, Jesus, as my personal Lord and Saviour, so I’ve got nothing to worry about.

Heavenly Father,
Thank you.

That Guy…

Posted in Bible Study, faith, Minutia, Observations, Prayer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2010/06/01 by NY4JB

We often let our surroundings dictate our state of mind but that is not what the Bible tells us to do.

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Genesis 39:20-23 (English Standard Version)
20 And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison. 21 But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners who were in the prison. Whatever was done there, he was the one who did it. 23 The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the LORD was with him. And whatever he did, the LORD made it succeed.

Here we see that Joseph, who was wrongfully imprisoned, does not lament this injustice.  Instead he becomes the model prisoner, a trustee of the warden.  This does not change the fact that he is physically in prison but it shows that spiritually he is free despite the injustice of his situation.

Titus 2:9-10 (English Standard Version)
9 Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

Once again in the New Testament we are ordered to “be well-pleasing, not argumentative,” but you may say you are not a slave, in which case it should be even easier to maintain a good state of mind.

Lord, we ask to be made aware of your steadfast love in our lives, so that we may be at peace in all situations and that you help each of us reflect your love to those around us that they may see and believe as well, for Jesus sake we pray.
Amen

The Lilies of the Field

Posted in Prayer with tags , , , , on 2009/03/03 by NY4JB

Matthew 6:27-29 (ESV)
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

When I was younger I quit my job and opened a recording studio figuring it wouldn’t be too hard to make a living since I’d been making extra money recording bands from a rented house I lived in.  I had no business plan; no savings; a lot of debt and while I built the place all my clients went elsewhere…in simple terms it was a ‘money pit.’  I quickly found myself living at the studio since I had to give up the place I was living in to save rent money and gas money to get back and forth from my parents house everyday was out of the question.  I cooked on a hot plate and washed my hair in the bathroom sink.  I went home once a week to do laundry and have a proper shower.  It was not a glamorous life but I did enjoy the work when I could get it.  Since I rarely got enough work to pay the rent after a while I took a job as a stock-boy at a drug/general store down the street just to make sure I would have some regular income.  Now, even with this day job I had far more debt than income but somehow always had what I needed (food and shelter).

Two particular events come to mind.  Late one night a client wanted pizza and gave me money to run and get them a couple of slices before the pizza place closed while they stayed at the studio setting up for their recording session.  While the slices were heating up, the guys behind the counter were getting ready to close up shop.  They had a couple of pizzas left over that would normally just get thrown out.  The one guy suddenly started to act weird and said to the other “it would be a shame just to throw these out.”  At this point I had already ordered and had money in hand to pay for my order so there was no way the guy could have known my situation.  The other guy was just trying to close up shop and knew they usually had to throw out some food at closing.  At this point the first guy looks at me and says you want a free pizza?  He didn’t know it but that pizza fed me for a couple of days.

The thing that was so striking about that night and why I remember it so clearly so many years later is the sudden change in the guy at the pizza place.  When I walked in he was acting just like any other New Yorker working in a pizza place, he took my order and threw the slices in the oven.  Did the Holy Spirit touch him as I stood there waiting?  This was a visible transformation that I still remember twenty years later or maybe it was just good luck.

The other event I remember was when I was working at the store.  The various food vendors would come in and stock their shelves with bread or chips etc. and sometimes a few items would go past the ‘sell-by’ date and they would leave an outdated bag of chips or two in the back for the employees to snack on.  One day there was an entire shopping cart full of bags of Sun Chips.  I asked the guys I worked with and they said that everyone had already taken what they wanted and I could have them all if I wanted just throw out what I don’t want.  Needless to say, I took them all and this was another case of my needs being met during a desperate time in my life.  Of course, the guys I worked with didn’t know my situation since I was embarrassed to admit how broke I was and I never even met the vendor who serviced that product so again was this God providing for me or just good luck?

Heavenly Father,
You are the creator of all and have shown me mercy when I didn’t deserve it.  I have made some bad decisions in my life but you have never let me down, thank you for carrying me through the rough times in my life.  I owe you a debt I can never repay so you sent your son, Jesus, to pay it for me and I am grateful.  Give me the courage and strength to spread the Gospel in Jesus’ name.
Amen

Decaf

Posted in Prayer with tags , , , , , on 2009/02/10 by NY4JB

I am writing from a hotel in a small town in Minnesota tonight. I don’t want to be here; I don’t like to travel very much; especially without my wife; this is a very small town and I prefer civilization. I’m only here because my job requires it; it’s the first time they have asked me to travel since September of 2001 so I can’t really complain about the amount of travel. The hotel room is fine but I have had a head cold and cough for over a week and would prefer to be at home where I have all the comforts of (…wait for it…don’t try to guess…) home. The particular comforts I’m thinking of are hot chocolate and hot tea which are soothing on the throat. I thought hotels usually had tea bags with the little courtesy coffee maker in the rooms but not tonight. So, I’m drinking some watered-down decaf coffee (I don’t like coffee), I know I could go downstairs and get tea, too much effort, “…be content with what you have…”

Hebrews 13:5 (ESV)
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

By the way, I have seen the comment “emphasis is my own” underneath quotes from the Bible and thought I might point out that the Bible in its original form contained no bold or italic typeface; it did not have chapter and verse numbers; and was hand-written.

So, of course the emphasis is my own…or is it? Is it not the Holy Spirit that brought to my mind this phrase? “…be content with what you have…”

The first sip of coffee was terrible but then for a couple of sips I was content with it. Now, I think, I will find the coke machine.

Heavenly Father,
You created the heavens and the earth, and provide everything I truly need. Please, help me to be content to know that you are God and that minor discomforts on earth are not important. Your son, Jesus, was made to suffer and die for my sins, so that I would have eternal life. Yet, I complain when I don’t have my favorite beverage.  Lord, please forgive my ingratitude and allow me to speak boldly about your love for humanity, in Jesus’ name I pray.
Amen

Become Like Children

Posted in Bible Study with tags , , , , , , , on 2009/02/03 by NY4JB

Matthew 18:3 (ESV) and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

I don’t believe it would be wise for me to attempt to address woman with regards to this verse as I am unfamiliar with the workings of relationships among the female gender.  Therefore, I will address it based on three stages males go through.  When Jesus refers to children I believe we should look at how an eight year old boy looks up to men and particularly his father.  To a child at that age his father is the ultimate man; he can do no wrong; the child’s greatest desire is to spend time with him; whatever he is doing the child is interested and wants to be involved.  I have been a witness to this from many angles, starting with being an eight year old and looking up to my own father.  Although, I never had kids of my own I had friends who did and I saw that gleam in the child’s eye, even doing things that would bore an adult the child is happy to tag along just to be part of the event.  It is a shame for a boy to go through this age without a father in the house.

By the age of twelve something begins to happen, what good old dad is doing just doesn’t seem important anymore; at fifteen, sixteen and seventeen, somehow dad becomes an idiot.  My step-son was fifteen when I met my wife; I was cool when I was giving him money to go to the game room but other than that we both knew the deal.  Of course, I knew that someday he would grow out of thinking that I’m an idiot, he didn’t know that yet.  These teenage years are time spent wandering in the wilderness, thinking we know everything and not looking up to anyone, except maybe peers who are in the same phase of life.  We would never bring our problems to our father during this phase; we would rather ask our friends because our father just doesn’t know what it’s like to go through whatever it is that’s going on.

Once again a change is coming, at least for most men, right after they move out on their own, running up into their thirties.  They start to notice that they don’t know everything and dad was right about a few things; maybe he wasn’t an idiot after all.  Once they have kids of their own they will really start to see the pattern and may even ask their father how to handle different situations.

So what is Jesus saying to us?  It seems that so many of us are stuck in the teenage phase when it comes to God; we know everything and think in terms of earthly wisdom.  God’s word is nice but not practical in the real world.  Our hearts are hard, we won’t listen to anybody other than our peers and we wouldn’t even think to bring our problems to God.  It is only by the work of the Holy Spirit softening our hearts that we can even consider listening to our Heavenly Father.  And this is the stage that Jesus is addressing, can we go back to when we were eight only this time look up to God as our Heavenly Father, for He is truly the ultimate father.  Can we admit that we don’t really know much at all and that earthly wisdom has done little for our souls.

If we are to see the kingdom of heaven we must start as a child, knowing that God is our father and holds all the cards.  Avoiding the teenage years, which would be filled with spiritual pride, can we make the jump from child to mature Christian; humble, yet able to help others on their pilgrimage.  Even if we stay as children forever and just adore God we will certainly be in better shape than those who refuse to yield their will.

Heavenly Father,
Your wisdom, patience and mercy are beyond human measure and yet we are a proud, impatient people.  Please, help us to be humble and to adore you as a child adores his human father.  Let the lesson be gentle while you teach us that our pride is misplaced and as a boy grows to be a man, let us grow in spirit to glorify you as our Lord.  As Jesus died on the cross we must die to ourselves that our foolish pride can no longer block us from receiving your wisdom.  And just as Jesus was raised from the dead, let us live again for your glory, for it is in His great name that we pray.
Amen