You remember the story, right? How God kept the Israelites from starving in the desert by sending them free food straight from the sky, every single day? They called it manna which, loosely translated, meant “What is it?”
That’s just cool. And it actually doesn’t sound bad, does it? “The taste of it was like wafers made with honey” – kind of makes me think of Honey Nut Corn Flakes or Rice Krispies with sugar.
It settled on the ground along with the dew every morning. All they had to do was gather it up and prepare it in any one of a number of different ways and they’d have nutritious, filling food. No worries.
In the beginning, the Israelites tried to save some from one day to the next, just in case God didn’t come through. (They were worry warts just like us.) But that didn’t work. If they hoarded it, the manna would get wormy and start to reek overnight. They had to rely on God and scoop it up first thing every day or go hungry.
Theoretically, through this process, not only would they not starve, their faith in God would grow. They would learn to trust Him as their Provider and they would realize that no part of their survival was their own doing.
Of course, if you’ve read the Biblical story, you’ll recall the people got tired of a steady diet of the stuff, especially when that was all they had to eat for forty years. They started griping and complaining and it got ugly. Continue reading Looks like you could use some manna→
When I was a kid growing up in Key West, there was a young guy in our church, Charlie (not his real name). Every time someone greeted him with, “How you doin’, Charlie?” his response was always, “I’m tired.” Maybe he had a legitimate reason to be constantly exhausted, I don’t know. All I can tell you is, to this day the only thing I remember about that guy is he would always say he was tired.
I shake my head at that now, but I have to wonder, how many times do we – all of us – refer to ourselves in ways that are negative and, over time, allow them to become part of our very identity?
“Tired” seems minor compared to some labels we allow. We accept certain traits about ourselves as unchangeable or certain troubles as inevitable and we miss the truth that we often have a choice.
This morning, my pastor made this specific statement: “God is hard at work in your hopeless situation.” And I started thinking, “What in my life seems hopeless? And if God is hard at work, is it really?”
There’s so much water under this bridge between God and me. He and I have been in a relationship for a very long time. And this praying? I’ve been doing it for decades. I still can’t fully explain how it works but I can tell you, it does. And it feeds my soul.
Entire books – complete with spiral-bound study guides – have been written about prayer so plenty of deep theological scrutiny has already been done. I just want to share a few reasons I personally include you in my prayers: Continue reading This Is Why I Pray for You→
Early in my law enforcement career, I was assigned to an office in an economically depressed part of Indiana. I recall going out on one particular raid with fellow agents and police in a rundown housing project. When we barreled through the front door of this dingy apartment, there were small children sleeping on a ragged couch in the living room. The spectacle of a dozen or more police and Federal agents with guns, Continue reading The Humility of Being Replaceable→
I chose to be part of the OneWord365 movement this year – the idea being that instead of making New Year’s resolutions, you prayerfully select a single word and focus on it for a full year, noting how it influences your life each day. I chose “harmony” as my word for 2013. This is my update on how it’s going.
Did you ever buy a new car and suddenly it seems every third car you see on the road is the same make and model as the one you just bought? (Excuse me, when did the whole world decide to buy a Toyota Prius??)
That’s how it is for me with HARMONY.
Everywhere I turn, I’m noticing this word. I see it referenced in the Bible, I come across articles that address it. Even in conversation, harmony comes up regularly.
That tells me this is definitely a concept I need to focus on.
It’s Saturday and, as I mentioned last week, on Saturdays I’d like to share content related to singles. This post originally appeared on SingleMatters; married or single, I hope you find it helpful!
Why is it that once some (not all) people get married, they seem to have all the answers for their single friends? They are now success stories, automatically qualified to share dating advice, suggest possible matches, and impart wisdom, for they have “arrived”.
Some will even happily preach you a sermonette about how to find the partner God has in mind for you. (Which assumes marriage is God’s plan for everyone and that there is such a thing as a soulmate for you out there – a topic worthy of much deeper discussion and that was recently addressed with great eloquence here. But I digress.)
In their enthusiasm, they usually mean well. And to be fair, not all their suggestions are unwelcome. Some may even be helpful.
On Saturdays, I’d like to focus on singles in this blog, since many who are single feel they are leading “workaround” lives. (I was a single parent for 18 years; I get that.) I’ll be sharing content here from SingleMatters, a blog I write with Marie Shepherd, and also sharing insights from other relevant sources and writers. A variation of the post that follows originally appeared on SingleMatters last April.
Have you ever participated in a “Fun Run”? Maybe it was only a few miles, to raise money for a worthy cause. There was no real pressure and you really didn’t give a moment’s thought to actually winning your age bracket.