Tag Archives: Provision

A Silly Monday Post

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There is something inherently beautiful about eggs straight from the farm and fresh from the chicken and I get all sorts of wonky when I have an opportunity to obtain some.

It may stem from growing up in Connecticut where we had farm-fresh eggs available to us within a mile or two in every direction.  It felt like a covert operation to drive to a farm, find the table with eggs set upon it, leave a dollar under the rock (it was always a rock), leave a used egg carton if you could, and make off with a carton of this delicious forbidden fruit.

When I was living in Arizona I, quite literally, hunted for the exceptional vessel that would be deemed worthy to hold my eggs.  With their blues, browns, ivories, and whites; they became a patchwork art that changed daily with use.   This berry bowl made the grade.  Is it very weird that padding out to the kitchen after a good night’s sleep and seeing this bowl full of eggs makes me so very happy?

If I know hen-fresh eggs are available somewhere, I’ll go through any sort of hurdle to obtain these beautiful little ovoid shells.  Such yummy goodness!  Surely, when God was leading the Israelite’s into paradise, He was talking about the land of milk and honey and farm-fresh eggs.

May God bless us all with His abundant provision.

Felecia

Feeding 5,000 & Other Miracles

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Feeding 5,000 & Other Miracles

Recently we discussed the miracle of Jesus feeding the 5,000 in a Bible Bite of John 6:12, which if you missed, you can just click HERE and have a nosh.

But let’s not stop there.  I wanted to turn that Bible Bite into a full blown Scripture Snack and look at the next verse too!

So they collected them and filled 12 baskets with the pieces from the five barley loaves that were left over by those who had eaten. ~ John 6:13

What’s so interesting is that along with John, Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record this miracle and each mentions 12 baskets of scraps.  In the Bible, the number 12 usually signifies God’s power and authority.  There were 12 tribes of Israel, 12 disciples, 12,000 of 12 tribes (144,000) to witness in the end times. {Check out biblestudy.org which goes into great detail about the number 12 in the Bible.}

It’s certainly a marvelous display of His divine authority to multiply five barley cakes and two fish from a young boy’s sack lunch!

Loaves and FishesWe don’t know how large the baskets were.  Were they small handmaiden, Sunday-go-to-meetin’ baskets or were they large collecting hay and straw baskets?  Does it matter?  There were over 5,000 people that ate their supper on a mountainside that day provided by a blessed-by-God sack lunch.

Who is this then who can feed over 5,000 with a few choice items?

And does He continue to send us the miracle of multiplication today?  He sure does, and I’m a witness.

Dateline Chandler, Arizona and I was attending a small group going through the ALPHA program.  The hosts are a lovely couple and each Wednesday night as we gathered for group, they would feed us dinner prior to our worship and study.  Eventually the group began to divvy up the responsibility and soon we were each bringing a portion – making it a pot luck meal.  It’s also important to know that the hosts have two sons that were both steeped in ministry in different churches.  So we had a core group of 12 participants plus at any given time we might have up to 4 guests.

One week, close to the end of the program, we had planned a fried chicken dinner.  Two people would each bring a 20-piece bucket of chicken from KFC and the rest of us added the sides and desserts.  On that Wednesday night I arrived with my ‘famous’ potato salad in hand, and walked into the house where an issue was erupting – one of the group members’ car had broken down and two people had forgotten their food.  The main concern was that the person who had broken down was one of the ones that was supposed to bring chicken making our total 20 pieces chicken for 13 people.

We decided as a group that we’d start by everyone having one piece of chicken and load up on sides.  I took a thigh and passed the bucket to the man next to me who loaded his plate with three pieces!  I started to say something but then realized that (1) he hadn’t been in the room when we discussed the one-piece business and (2) the bucket was almost around the table so everyone would get chicken.

After we’d finished eating a couple of the participants had gotten up for seconds and the guy who had been next to me walked back to the table with another piece of chicken!  My mouth watered as I watched him tuck in so I got up hoping that there might be a wing left in the bucket.  I peered in and was surprised to see two pieces of chicken left – a wing and a thigh.  I scooped up the wing and made quick work of it.

We finished dinner and moved into the living room to begin the study.  While we were immersed in Pastor Gumbel’s video message and subsequent discussion, the host’s two sons arrived.  I overheard their Mom tell them that there probably wasn’t much left but they were welcome to whatever was there.  We continued to discuss our study and both sons filled their plates and came in to join us.  I was amazed to see that BOTH had TWO pieces of chicken on their plates!  Driving home that evening I contemplated chicken.

When I took the last wing out of the bucket there was one piece left – a thigh.  I quickly start to think about what everyone ate at dinner.  I know that 4 guys had (at least) 2 pieces each (8), I had 2 pieces (10), the guy next to me had 4 pieces (14), and everyone at the table ate chicken so I figured that the remaining 4 women and 3 children each had one piece (21) and then the boys came home and had 2 pieces each (25).  I was astounded!  I counted up the numbers over and over making sure my math was right.

Arriving at ALPHA the next week I was so enthusiastic to discuss my observations I didn’t even sit down before starting, “Before we get started I have to discuss something about last week’s dinner.”

The group looked expectantly at me and the host blurted out, “The miracle of multiplication!”  Apparently I wasn’t the only one who had caught what God had done.  I smiled and looked at him, his eyes were twinkling.

“We witnessed a miracle, didn’t we?” I asked.  He agreed and we filled the group in on what had happened.  As I laid out what I deduced I was interrupted as several of guys revealed they’d actually had three pieces and a couple of the ladies had two rather than the one I’d concluded.  If all that wasn’t amazing enough … remember the guy who sat next to me stuffing down all that chicken?  He pronounced that he couldn’t believe I’d left that thigh in the bucket and figuring that everyone was done eating, he ate the thigh!  That meant that by the time the host’s sons arrived, there actually was an empty bucket – should have been an empty bucket and yet they pulled out 4 pieces of chicken.  Isn’t God great?  We had such a glorious time of worship that night … pouring out our love to our Father … our amazing Provider.

In hind sight it was silly, really. God providing chicken to some of the best fed people in the world.  He didn’t have to do it, no one in that room was anywhere close to actual need, no one was going to go hungry, and no one was dying of starvation.  But He did it anyway ~ He broke chicken and fed us all until we were full with no scraps left over.

What a blessing!  How astounding that the Creator of the Universe provides for us!

Has He provided for you in some manner?  Let me know!

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*** One other juicy tidbit: this miracle (the feeding of the 5,000) is one of only two miracles that appear in all four Gospels.  The other being Jesus’ own resurrection.

 

She Lied

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She Lied

This is part six of a series on prayer asked and answered however, this post is the finale of the second act which began last Monday and continued Wednesday, if you need to return and catch up.

Over the next few months Lisa and I found each other on Facebook and I got to be a part of her life watching her son flourish and listening to tales from her job.  At some point I started seeing pictures of her and her son with her family, her son playing with his grandfather, trips together to exotic places.  I thought to myself, wait a minute, I thought these were the brutally, abusive grandparents?  There were spa trips with her mom while dad watched her child and professions of love for him on his birthday and father’s day.  The crux of all our prayer and concern was because she was a single mom with no family to turn to.  Now it seemed we had a very happy and well-to-do family that didn’t seem at all to be as she originally painted them.  I’m all for people changing but …

Should I be praising the Lord for a remarkable turnaround?

I started to wonder, could the whole thing have been a lie?  Did she just play us to get situated in a new apartment with money, food, and possessions?  We’d even fed her out of the women’s ministry emergency pantry – had she taken food that could have helped someone truly needy?  I asked God these questions, never receiving a clear answer, and continued to watch her life unfold on Facebook and at church.

Over the course of the following year I discovered that she actually had run from a bad situation in her previous marriage.  The ex-husband had committed adultery and was still attempting to get full custody of their child and other friends had been involved in transporting her to court.  Yet there was still no sign of an abusive relationship with her parents.  Lisa willingly and often put herself and her son in their home and continually posted pictures of her happy family.  I wondered if I should confront her and prayed, asking God that same question.  Still, no answer.

Sometime later we ended up at the same table for a function at church.  She sat next to me and we began to reminisce about when we’d met.  I pulled up my phone and retrieved the original blog post I’d written about her (essentially what you read on Monday and Wednesday of this week) and watched as she silently moved through the blog, reading.  At the end she gave me back my phone.  “That was a different time,” she said quietly, her head down.  I nodded and waited for more, kinda hoping for some inkling of regret or modicum of remorse and got nothing.

You, dear reader, are the first to hear the rest of the story.  Well … except for Paula.  I told her the rest of the story last week and it’s because of her that you’re hearing about it now.  Why?  Because as I was telling her the story I was thinking to myself ‘We may have been sucked into her tale of woe, but God doesn’t get duped.’

Why would God have provided all that He did for a liar and a cheat?

I’d asked Paula if she had an answer to that question and that’s when it hit me – to grow our faith.  The faith of everyone involved in God’s miraculous answer to prayer.

He grew Lisa’s faith by showing her how He works in the real world.  How she may have come out of a hopeless and loveless situation (and she did) but here were people who actually cared about her.  Godly women who didn’t know one iota about her dropped everything over the course of four days and with the help of the Lord, took care of her and her son.  The amount of love she felt had to have been overwhelming.  Other than the fact she was a young Christian, I had no idea where she was in her Christian walk at the time of our meeting.  Now I can see that she might have been having severe issues with her faith as her marriage had broken down.  I do know that she became a stronger woman of faith over the past few years.  Perhaps she had to witness the selfless love of others to get her started on that journey.

The entire situation also strengthened the faith of nine other women (and untold others on our periphery)  who got to be used by God to help the miracle play out.  From the moment that we prayed Ephesians 3:20 in the Spirit on Wednesday night until the last $20 bill came to me on Sunday morning, God continued to amaze and confound and astound.

Could it have been that all along?  That we all needed a big dose of faith-building?

Oh yeah … and I never did miss any of the money I spent on Lisa.  God has a marvelous way of altering what matters in your life.

So, what’s going on in your life where you need to pray the Ephesians 3:20 prayer?  Let me know so I can pray for you!

Have a wonderful weekend!