Thanksgiving Dinner as a Prayer

“Enter His gates with Thanksgiving and His courts with Praise” Ps. 100:4

thanksgiving prayer post

Thanksgiving….we won’t see much of it in stores between the Halloween costumes and Christmas decorations that abound over it, but it is there. Honestly, thanksgiving is something I haven’t been the best at with the Lord, but the truth is I can’t even enter into His gates without Thanksgiving! It is that vital.

Some look at the holidays as a time of ‘forcible association with dysfunctional relatives’, some are just starting a family and focused on creating new traditions under their own roof, some are alone, some will be with friends who are family, some choose not to participate, and somewhere someone will burn a turkey and get Chinese takeout…whatever way it is for you this year, Thanksgiving is approaching, and I hope thankfulness will shine through all the symbols of Thanksgiving…lighting-up a bountiful supply of gratitude.

What goes into a Thanksgiving Meal?

The people

Can’t really have a whole table full of food without people, right?

  • There are the people who bought it and prepared it
  • There are the people who are there to eat it
  • There are the people who grew it or processed it

People are key…and so it is in Heaven.

With God, people are always the point. All people, even crazy Cousin Eddie. We have every reason to be thankful for the people in our lives, because relationship is a provision and gift from heaven. God knew it would be a cold world without people. So, let us stop and think of others. Let’s not complain, tear apart, criticize, judge, push away the very people God places in our lives.

Even Uncle Lewis, who might burn down our Christmas tree with his “old stogie”, is someone to be thankful for.

Thankful for the beautiful hands who prepared our meal, thankful for the family and friends to share it with, thankful for the time with them because we don’t know our ends, thankful for the moment, thankful for the memories, thankful for God being in their image (we are made in the image of God), thankful that there are people out there preparing a meal for the homeless and lost…thankful their bellies will be filled.

thanksgiving prayer post 2

 The Food

(And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. John 6:35)

O, the Turkey, the pie, and mashed potatoes! (Yum!) We are so blessed in this country, we have so much provision. True, no one really wants Aunt Bethany’s cat food jello mold, but we have so many other dishes to enjoy. Special family recipes and all the fixin’s.

So, as we round the table and our waistbands, we can be thankful we have that wonderful meal. Thankful that God provides so beautifully, for all our needs. Thankful, also, for the Spiritual Food we are still allowed to “eat” in this country. We are still a blessed land and there is still healing in this land. America is still blessed.

Give Thanks

Give is a verb, which implies action. We are to give Thanks to God, and should we really find it so hard? It is only hard when we don’t have eyes to see all that we have to be thankful for.

I pray, this year, we all have eyes to see just how much we have to be thankful for. I pray we each give God thanks full heartedly, enthusiastically, and often throughout our coming new year. With that much Thanksgiving going on, we are sure to enter into His Courts. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving and Blessings to you,

Amy

(pictures were found in google images with filter: free to use or share)

Advertisements

The Richness of the Recipe

many chefs recipeThis morning on He’s Alive radio AM Cafe, Melissa Flores read the ingredients to a recipe. In listening to the list I thought of the items I didn’t particularly care for and how I might modify it – then Holy Spirit nudged me with the similarity in how people read the Word of God today.  I thought of how with recipes I change the ingredients to remove what I don’t think will taste good and then blame the recipe when I don’t like the dish.

Some things occurred to me:

 

 

  • The Word of God is beautifully woven to all fit together and as a whole it is sweet like honey, if we would taste and see. But there are those of us who want to skip some ingredients, take some out, and modify it to fit their appetites/tastes…never knowing what the flavor truly was meant to be.
  • It is arrogance to play with the “recipe” of the Word – to think we know more than the Chef (Author) who put it all together with all of its richness and fullness of flavor.
  • It’s arrogance to think we can remove what we don’t want and still enjoy the full flavor (benefits).
  • There are parts of the recipe (Bible) that are sweet, parts that are spicy, parts that are flavorless, parts that are hard to swallow; when combined into the whole they compliment each other, but when modified it doesn’t work.
  • It truly is the arrogance of mankind to presume we can improve on God’s workmanship.
  • It is rebellion, in its worst form, to presume to tear apart the bible – picking and choosing what tastes better to us and willfully reject what we can’t take the taste of

I know I want to experience the fullness of flavor the Bible has to offer, how about you?

How do we do that?

  1. Don’t give up on hard to understand verses or books of the Bible – seek God persistently/consistently and He will help you get it. (The Bible doesn’t open up and yield its treasures to those who aren’t persistent and consistent.)
  2. Pray First: Ask for eyes to see, and a mind to understand as you read.
  3. Know that: God wants us to understand the Bible – He wants to reveal to you hidden treasures therein.

Tip: Journaling your time in the Word is a great way to see just how much you get out of a verse, and also writing it out opens it up further for you.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”   Matthew 7:7-11

Food: The Stomach god Pt.2

I have yet to shake the topic of food, and that food is a god in this country. Scriptures still surface about it, and I still hear Holy Spirit whisper and point to new verses…connecting them. So, it doesn’t surprise me I’m back to another food post.

I went back to Matthew 6:25 the other day and noticed some new things, and after a conversation this morning felt I should go ahead and share what I found.

Matt.6:25, starts a section of scripture sometimes labeled: “Do Not Worry”, depending on the translation you are using. I find a lot of comfort in this section. I keep going back to it, especially in this season of unemployment, to still the whispers of worry and doubt with the Truth of God… He will supply my needs, He does know I have needs, and I am valuable to Him…

Ok, so this is the new stuff I found:
1. I noticed: “Therefore” at the beginning of v.25 – when we see this word we need to ask “what’s it there for?” The reason for what is said next is found prior to “therefore”. Back up a verse or two to see the ‘Why’ of what’s said next.

Ok, so in v.25 Jesus is telling his disciples (You and Me): “Therefore, I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?”

Why did Jesus say that? Go back to: v.24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

• “Take No” in v.25 means: God forbid, deny categorically, deny even the thought of
• “Thought” in v.25 is a verb, which implies action.

Are our actions all about seeking first His Kingdom, or about our life, food, drink or clothes? Seeking after those things have no eternal value. Filling our stomachs only satisfies for a short while, if at all. When it comes to true soul deep satisfaction, only God fills that void.

Thinking on, living for, what we will eat, or what we will drink, or what clothes we will have is to serve the god of mammon, not God. Mammon is: what we put trust in, our treasure. It is what we treasure, what we consider of so much worth that we devote all our time, thought, and energy into it.

Food used to be that in my life! My thoughts were always on food, my cravings dictated what I ate, and I would spend time thinking of food, desiring food, even went out of my way to buy foods I wanted.

2. I noticed that when reading this previously I would read it & look at eating and drinking as the definition of “your life”, probably because to me food was life, but actually they are 3 individual things according to how it’s written, not one thing with two definitions.

Our life is a broad range of things! What we will do, where we will go in life, our safety, our provision, our needs, and our wants…etc.

So, to paraphrase what Jesus was actually saying in the verse according to Greek definitions: “You can’t serve two masters! Mammon is all about what you trust more than me, what you treasure more than me! I say “God Forbid” your life, food and clothes come before Me! I say unto you to deny even the thought of these things, categorically deny that these things are greater than Me! I say unto you, seek Me, not all these things!”  He’s’ pretty serious about this!

In the rest of chpt.6 He makes it clear that He will provide! He’s not asking us stop thinking about food, water, and clothes so we will die naked and hungry! But really that is the fear in our mind, I’ll expose it right now, that if we don’t worry about these things, who will, it’s up to us to meet our needs. That’s a lie!

Matt. 6 goes on to show God’s provision is there for us! He reaffirming the points made above, and affirms that if we: “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” v.33

In v.32 He yet again affirms His understanding of our needs…He knows we need food, He knows that we are but dust and how we are formed to know what our life needs to be maintained – He created us! He knows we need clothes! To worry about having these things is to trust more in ourselves to provide them than His ability to provide them. It is to put these things ahead of Him in our life.

I was mulling that thought over on my walk yesterday and it’s crazy how we live life. Talk about deception, to think that I could provide for myself better than God? To think it’s up to me to provide anything for my life is distorted thinking, because ultimately I have control of Zip, Zero, Natta! And He knows it is a scary thing to think we are not in control of our next breath, or putting food on the table, or paying our mortgages…so He shows us that we can trust Him, and when we put our time and effort into seeking Him first, He is The Power of Provision!

Just like the birds in v.26, or the lilies in v.28, I’m not in control, but to seek Him first is to be in tight with the One who is! And He not only wants us to be confident in His control, but He wants us to know our value to Him! That we are worth so much more than birds and lilies, and we can trust and treasure His Love for us! He died for us; He won’t fail to feed us, or clothe us, or keep a roof over our heads!

He is the Power of Provision, He loves us, He will provide, but we must put Him first!

To dig out more truth for yourself check out: http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Mat&c=6&v=24&t=KJV#24

Food: The Stomach god

Food is king in this country, drive-thru altars are stationed on every corner ready to accept the offerings we are eager to pay, but today I’m calling that god out by shining a light on it. Let’s soak it in God’s Light of Truth and be free from it!!

Matthew 4:4 “But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

“I assure you: You are looking for Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled.” John 6:26

Miracle = G4592: of miracles and wonders by which God authenticates the men sent by him, or by which men prove that the cause they are pleading is God’s

The signs and wonders the crowds in John 6:26 saw were from God, the Kingdom power and authority given to Jesus to authenticate Who He is in God, but they didn’t see past their stomach god to recognize the Kingdom of God!

“For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” Philippians 3:18-20 (NIV)

The Kingdom of God is not about our stomachs. What’s the point? The point is when we live to eat we are living for our flesh, which is to set our minds on earthly things, and is to live as an enemy to the Cross. Pretty strong point there!

Jesus, His Cross, bought our freedom from addiction. He bought a new life for us, a life not about living for our flesh, but living by His Spirit. To put our stomach first is to put Jesus second or even lower on our list.

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Romans 8:5

“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body?” Matthew 15:17

“Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” John 6:27

I’m becoming aware of the people out there who need me/us, and as we turn our thoughts and attention toward Jesus, He directs our steps to be about His business to help them.

There is so much more for us to do in this life! It’s time to push away from the altar of our stomach god, and seek to help the many people who are in need of HIM, who we carry inside us.

“I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.” Job 23:12

Food: Trust In Provision

 “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” Ps. 54:4
Sustains means: “To supply with sustenance, nourish”

Have you ever eaten just because you thought it wouldn’t be available to you later? Eating the last piece of pie even though you’re stuffed, because someone else might eat it first, or hiding the bag of Oreos or chips so no one else will eat them?

Going on a road trip, first thing to pack is snacks! Why? Knowing it will be a while before we can eat seems to trip a switch in us. We seem to lack trust we will have food when we need food.

Check out Exodus 16!
The Israelites coming out of Egypt, walking through the desert, started to complain. They said with their words, what we say with our actions of hording food, they didn’t believe God would provide their food. They said: “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”
Seriously, back in Egypt they were being beaten, and lived in servitude to Pharaoh, but because they could eat all they wanted they were ready to go back! Amazing, but true, and is still playing out in our society today. We’d rather stay captive to food than to step out and see what else life might hold for us to do and to think about.

Ps. 34:10
“The young lions lack food and suffer hunger, but they who seek (inquire of and require) the Lord [by right of their need and on the authority of His Word], none of them shall lack any beneficial thing.”

The bible says we are to trust God to provide. I look at the story of Elijah (1 Kings 17 below) and wonder at his faith to believe ravens, ordinary birds, would bring food for him to eat, but he did trust God. We are to trust God to provide our food as well! Maybe not an actual bird will drop McNuggets in our lap, but when we “inquire of and require the Lord” daily, asking Him for our daily bread, we then trust Him to provide, believing we will not lack any beneficial thing according to His Word!

1Kings 17:2-6
 “Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: 3 “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.” 5 So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.”

“The eyes of all look to you, and you given them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” Ps.145:15-16

still more to come….

Food: Blessed Are The Hungry!

I have been singing a Misty Edwards song in my mind and heart for a while now: “Blessed are the hungry, You said it, I believe it!” “Hunger is an escort to the deeper things of You, and You satisfy”.

I see the hunger she is singing about in two ways:
1. Hunger being passion to seek Jesus  above all else
2. Hunger being actual hunger through fasting

Why are we afraid of hunger when Jesus says: “Blessed are the hungry”?
Most of you probably know fasting is powerful! It is a great way to get serious with the Lord. Fasting gets his attention, because we are giving up something to reach Him. People fast different things, I won’t count the ways, but I would say whatever you choose to fast let it be something costly to you. Don’t consider the judgment of others, only consider Jesus, and choose whatever is hard for you to do without to bring Honor to Him. If it’s easy for you to do, it’s not costly, and not worth bringing before the Lord.

Isaiah 58 is a great chapter to spend some time prayerfully considering.

Colossians 3:2
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Romans 14:17
 17For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Matthew 5:6
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Fasting realigns our attention to Jesus. It realigns His place in our life as #1! Check out the other verses I’ve included here, Jesus tells us that food should not be the focus of our life. We should be focused on Him and His Kingdom, which has to do with Righteousness, Peace, Joy in the Holy Ghost… we are to set our minds on things above! Food is earthly, temporary, unsatisfying, and with food as our hearts focus – we are kept back from the deep things of God!

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6

“O taste and see that the Lord is good!” Ps. 34:8a

Food: When is enough, enough?

 Philippians 4:12
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

Several years ago, I did a biblical weight loss plan called: “Weigh Down”. The main thing about this program is to only eat when hungry and to eat just enough to be satisfied, which is comfortably full. We were to split our ordinary size meals in half and eat only half, and drink lots of water. What I took away from this study was the awareness of what true hunger was, and that much smaller portion sizes were satisfying.

Something to catch is the word: “Satisfied”. I had to learn the difference between too full and satisfied (comfortably full). I find in scripture that anywhere it is mentioned that people were satisfied in what they ate, it was a blessing from God. I’m praying for the blessing of being satisfied.

John 6:51
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

John 4:13-14
“13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

We lack contentment and thankfulness when ‘just enough’ food isn’t enough. We lack gratitude to the Lord for the food He’s provided, as we crave and demand more and more.

I see contentment as a big issue with overeating. Scripture says to: eat till satisfied, but we aren’t satisfied until we’ve over-done-it! Or are we even truly satisfied then, since we keep over-doing-it? Jesus is what will truly satisfy us. Manna is still on the menu folks, and way better for your body!

More on that to come!