Spreading chicken salad on a slice of bread swept me away to a time when I was four.
“Let’s have a tea party,” I’d say to mom.
Mom would bring out little sandwiches on little plates and place them on a little table. Our party was complete with little cups and a little silver tea pot.
Now, decades later I’m making sandwiches and brewing tea–mom’s lunch request. I pour the tea into mugs and arrange four triangular sandwiches on a little plate.
A tea party once more.
The inner chamber, a phrase from Isaiah 26:20, means any place apart. For Edward Wilson, it was the crow’s nest on the ship Terra Nova. He’d often climb to it during his expeditions to Antarctica. He called it his private chapel.
Vesta Mangun’s father, Royal Gibson would slip away to his favorite place of prayer–a secluded oak grove not far from his house. Many miracles and healings occurred throughout his ministry. He knew that power with God came through unwavering faith in His word and in the power of the name of Jesus.
Susanna Wesley, (1669-1742), mother of nineteen children including John and Charles Wesley, would sit down and pull her apron up over her head. Her children knew to be extra quiet during this time so they wouldn’t disturb her time of prayer.
What does this have to do with outreach? Everythng! John 6:44.
We must pray until~
This robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise
To seize the everlasting prize
And shout while passing through the air
Fare well, fare well, sweet hour of prayer.
(Last verse of Sweet Hour of Prayer)
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We called a friend to ask if we could borrow his pressure washer.
“Sure as long as you pay me in some of your homemade bread. Deal?”
Making bread is one of our pastimes. It’s amazing how the ingredients can mix into such warm deliciousness.
Jesus told a parable about bread making, (Matthew 13:33 and Luke 13:21). Although there are other scriptures comparing leaven to sin, (Matthew 15, Mark 8, 1 Corinthians 5 and Galatians 5), Jesus’ allegory to His Kingdom being like leaven hits home–in the kitchen and in the heart.
When yeast is mixed into the dough then left alone, a change will show.
The dough will soon be twice its size thanks to yeast that made it rise.
The kingdom’s like this Jesus said, like the leaven makes our bread.
Word and Spirit both alive begin to work, deep, deep, inside
and change a life bound by sin, setting it free–new life in Him.
And He in us, hope of glory. Heaven’s leaven. Unseen story.
The saying, going the extra mile, originated during the Roman occupation of Israel. Roman soldiers had the right to ask any able-bodied man to carry all their equipment for one mile. After carrying a soldier’s armaments for one mile, the one who fulfilled this obligation could put down his burden and leave the soldier to carry it himself or seek someone else to serve the next mile.
In Matthew 5:41, Jesus addressed this law and surprised his hearers by saying they should accept the opportunity and even go beyond the required duty by carrying a soldier’s load for two miles instead of the required one mile distance. Say what??
Two thousand years before Jesus’ astonishing statement, Jacob sent his son Joseph on a sixty-mile mission to deliver provisions to his ten sons, Joseph’s brothers, shepherding their flocks in Shechem, (Genesis 37:14). As instructed, Joseph arrived in Shechem and heard his brothers had been there and could be in Dothan. At this point, Joseph made a decision–to return home or continue on to Dothan. After all, weren’t these the same brothers who mocked and despised him?
Yet, through his weariness, frustration and perhaps some hidden reluctance, Joseph manned-up and trudged another nine to twelve miles, a day’s journey, through the wilderness to complete his Father’s desire.
Dear Lord, Make me like Joseph–willing to seize the opportunity to serve others, even if it means going an extra nine miles.
Ever hear a crowd erupt into applause? It sounds like a cascading waterfall or the voice of many waters (Revelation 19:6). That’s what John heard when he peered into heaven. So . . . if that’s what heaven is like–perhaps I should rehearse down here.
O clap your hands all ye people, shout unto God with the voice of triumph. Psalm 47:1