What’s For Dinner……..Again?

Oh the infamous question that plagues us each night?  What’s for dinner?

I was thinking about the story of Jesus and his disciples having to figure out what was for dinner when they only had a couple fish and a few pieces of bread and a whole hillside full of people!  I love the account in the gospel of Mark.  The apostles had been so busy that day and so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat.

People just kept following Jesus everywhere and he realized they were hungry and needed to be fed.  The disciples wanted Jesus to send the people away but He said, “let’s give them something to eat.”

The disciples were beside themselves!  I imagine their question was, “what’s for dinner?”  They were telling Jesus how they didn’t have enough money to buy food for everyone and all they had were a couple loaves of bread and a few fish.  They had no idea what to make for dinner.

But Jesus took that little bit that they had and fed 5000 people according to Mark 6:44.  Jesus used the little to bless the many.

What talent or gift do you have that you think isn’t sufficient or is of little value?  Do you think you have nothing to give to others?  Do you ever find yourself just living the same day over and not looking for ways to bless others?

We have to remember that Jesus took a small amount and used it to reach a lot of people.  Don’t trudge along today thinking you have nothing to offer people.  God gave us all something to offer, and He will use it to bless many.  We can always smile at the clerk at the grocery store.  We can offer to take someone’s cart back to the cart corral; buy coffee for the car behind us at McDonalds; babysit a friend’s children so she can have a night to herself;  take cookies to the local fire department; do a chore that your spouse hates to do;  make your kids their favorite dessert.

Whatever your plans are today, take a minute and find something small and do it with big love.  Your “few loaves of bread” can make a difference to someone in a big way!  Maybe even think about what’s for dinner and then make it and take some to the neighbor!  When I think about it this way, it kinda makes planning dinner not so much of a chore!

Hey, Did You Hear?

Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  Mr. Smith got arrested last night?

Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  Mr. Jones is supposedly having an affair.

Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  Mrs. Anderson’s son was caught cheating.

Boy…… we are sure excited to spread the local “news”, aren’t we?  Asking the next friend you see whether or not they know the juicy gossip.  We’ve got some scoop and we have got to tell someone.

Sometimes we even whisper, like that will make the gossip sting less coming off of our tongue.

Sometimes we preface it with, “now don’t tell anyone but….”

And sometimes we strut around like we are somebody with all the know of the local, very important, life-changing news.

But let me tell you something that maybe you aren’t aware of.  In the book of Isaiah, chapter 40, verses 28-31 there is a little gossip to be spread.  Isaiah was trying to warn the people that Jerusalem and Judah were going to be judged for their wickedness.

These verses are just as relevant today because God’s word never changes.  We are still a wicked society and one day, we also will be judged before God.  Instead of the local gossip, this is the word we should be sharing:

v. 26 – Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.

Isaiah goes on to tell us what God can do.  And in today’s times as we get tired from worry and uncertainty and even from just being bored and getting lazy, these verses can give us some hope as to who God is and how He can help us.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  (vs 29-31).

WOW!  The next time we think about spreading a little hometown gossip, maybe we should catch ourselves and reel it back in to change what we were going to say.

Do you know?  Have you not heard?……There is a God who is here to give us hope.

May you find your hope in God and His words today.

The Beauty in the Breeze

The birds are chirping.
The grass is greening.
The flowers are blooming.
The sun is shining.

The breeze is blowing.

The world is at a standstill.
The virus is spreading.
Panic is increasing.
Social distancing is expanding.

Stay-home orders are extending.

But STOP!

Do you see what I see?

God is letting us know that even though man is at a standstill, He is still continuing to work.  He is still letting trees bud and flowers bloom and the sun shine.  He is continuing to show Himself to the world. He is reminding us not to worry because He is still in control.

In Matthew 6:25-34 Jesus tells us not to worry.  He even uses the birds as the example:  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  (v. 26-27).

I’ve talked with a lot of people who have found many positive things in this time of quarantine.  Things like more family time; eating together at the table instead of in shifts all through the evening; teaching their daughter to ride her bike; appreciating the farm they live on as a gift for opportunity to enjoy life and not just a way to make a living; more time to read the books that have been sitting on the shelf; more time to actually talk to their spouse and dream again; more time for Bible study and quiet time in prayer.

Jesus said not to worry.   I think I’ll give it a try and instead spin around like a little kid outside in the wide open air, stop to smell the flowers and enjoy the beauty of the tulip, and maybe…just maybe get down on that green grass and roll down a hill for pure enjoyment and a little spark of adventure.   How about you?

It Means A Lot To Always Remember…

I had a wise man tell me 25 years ago at a funeral of a friend “it’s not only now those left behind need you but they will also need you 6 months or 2 years from now.”
 
I’ve never forgotten that.
 
It’s natural that after a while, people go back to their everyday lives and may forget about the hurt of those affected by the loss. It’s not intentional. It’s the call of life and human nature.
 
So when a loved one or a friend’s loved one dies, I try to note that date down on my calendar as well as the birthday of the one who passed away so that when those dates roll around, I can send a text or a card to to remind those left behind I am thinking of them.
 
To remind them that their loved one is not forgotten.
 
Today is a day that many around the world remember when my friend, Jesus, died. It’s very cool to see so many people remember this date. I think in the midst of this pandemic more people are remembering Him today.
 
“Why are more people remembering His death during this crisis,” you may ask? Because they are looking for the best part that is yet to come.
 
Sunday.
 
His resurrection.
 
Hope.
 
Not only is it cool that so many people remember His birthday and His death but that they also remember His rebirth from His death…His resurrection.
 
As I go back to what that man told me at the foot of my friend’s casket, I remember that it’s not only now that we need Jesus but months and years and a lifetime from now.
 
It means a lot to always remember.
 
It means eternity with Jesus.