Category Archives: Spiritual Hunger

“Grandma” Bratton

Egg in Frying Pan

Unable to go back to sleep this morning, I lay in bed considering what I wanted to eat for breakfast and trying my best to make a mental list of all the things I want to accomplish today. The list never really came together because my thoughts kept drifting back to food, but I wasn’t quite ready to get up and prepare any. On mornings like this, I really wish the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet near my home was still open for business; I would’ve gotten up for that, and I certainly would’ve gotten my money’s worth!

Why am I so hungry? I wondered. I’m not normally much of a breakfast person, but sometimes the desire for a huge country breakfast just hits me. And yet, I just stayed there, snuggled under my blankets instead of taking action.

All of a sudden, my thoughts jumped to “Grandma” Bratton, the matriarchal saint who was like a grandmother to almost everyone in the church I attended years ago. I still think of her sometimes, even though she has long-since passed-away. I’m guessing Grandma Bratton came to mind this morning because thoughts of her and breakfast naturally go together. I never enjoyed this meal with her, but I have never forgotten her steadfast diligence to meet with the Lord each morning, no matter what.

Every day, at 7:00 a.m. sharp, she would stop whatever she was doing to pray. There were many mornings, I’m told, she wasn’t finished cooking breakfast when prayer time came. But rather than finishing-up, Grandma Bratton would turn off her skillet and come back to it later.

Seven O’clock is my morning prayer time, she would say, and I’m not about to let anything get in the way of that. There is just nothing more important in this life than spending time with my Lord early in the day! My body can do without food, but my spirit can’t.

A late breakfast of cold, greasy eggs doesn’t sound very appealing to me, but the hunger this dear saint had for the Lord certainly does. I agree, Grandma, there is nothing more important than spending time with the Lord. And though I often fail at the whole morning thing, I would do well to learn from you —we all would. I know you will never read this, but I want to thank you for your godly example.

And now, having said that, I’m going to go fix some breakfast ̶ finally.

Have a blessed morning everyone!

In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. Psalm 5:3

 

 

“I Just Gotta Eat!”

boy eating

Ah, the simplistic honesty of children. Years ago, when our oldest son was three, we had asked him to pray over the evening meal. He bowed his head and exhaled deeply. Then, with great intensity, he said these exact words: “Dear God, I JUST GOTTA EAT!”

Those words have echoed through my thoughts many times over the years. Seldom in regards to physical food, though. Jesus said, “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). Yet I find that there are times in my life, like now, when it seems the more spiritual food I eat, the hungrier I get.

To be honest, there have been times when I was spiritually hungry because I skipped a few meals. But this isn’t one of those times. I hope that everyone senses what I do. I truly believe we are on the brink of a very special move of God. Our world is in distress and times are getting darker, but the beautiful, sweet presence of God is moving over the face of the earth to bring comfort and joy to all who will receive it.

I also sense a fresh awakening of God’s people. It seems that so many have been drowsy for too long. Content to live on fast food, spiritually speaking, we have become sluggish and unhealthy. All the while, God has offered us a well-balanced banquet and bids us to come eat.

Partaking of spiritual food parallels the physical. The more spiritual manna we partake of, the healthier and stronger we become. In turn, we find ourselves becoming more energetic and active again. Rather than being couch potatoes, we find ourselves being about the Father’s business all the more. And this increased level of activity, creates more hunger in our hearts.

Obviously, I’m not the only one who is getting hungrier. All across this nation, people are crying out to God for more- more of His presence, more of His power. And God is faithfully answering because He never turns away the hungry.

It is truly my heart’s desire that everyone- those who know God and those who do not, will begin to feel such hunger pains that we more fervently seek our heavenly Father and cry out to Him, “Dear God, I JUST GOTTA EAT.”

Too Heavenly Minded?

stairway

Through the years I have heard a few preachers say that we can be “too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good.” Modern translation: Radicals need not apply. When I read my bible, however, I find numerous accounts of “radical” servants of the Most High who turned their worlds upside down with their passion for God and His kingdom.

The first sermons of Jesus recorded in scripture were about the kingdom of Heaven. In fact, everything He taught, every miracle He performed, every body He healed, even His death on the cross, were all about the kingdom of Heaven. Who amongst us would ever think Him to be so heavenly minded as to be of no earthly good? And we are supposed to be imitators of Jesus Christ aren’t we?

No, I don’t think it possible to be too heavenly minded. In regard to God’s instructions, scripture commands that you impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 6:7)
In other words, all the time!

Furthermore, blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. (Psalms 1:2)

Why is he blessed? When a man meditates on God’s word, he acts on God’s word. It is the heavenly minded who does this world the most good –that which lasts for eternity. The more “radical” believers are, the more likely they are to turn this world upside down for the furtherance of God’s kingdom.

So then, can a believer be too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good? Again, I don’t think so. I doubt that is what we should be asking anyway. Perhaps we should be asking the opposite:

Can a person be too earthly minded to be of any heavenly good?

–just a little food for thought.

Paradise Dreaming

hammock

Here it is, the end of January, and I have fresh-washed laundry hanging outside to dry. While the clothes dance in a warmish breeze, I daydream of lounging with my beloved on a Hawaiian island; our hammock swaying lazily in the tropical sun. Oh, how I long to hear my husband speak the same words to me that Jesus spoke to the repentant thief on the cross: “Today you will be with me in Paradise,” speaking of some exotic hideaway, of course.

Even if we could manage such a vacation, however, we wouldn’t really be interested in any of the popular tourist packages; both of us have always been the type to wander off the beaten path and enjoy the solitude and raw beauty of nature. Sometimes, getting to those places takes a little work, but it is always worth it!

Speaking of the road less travelled, I am thankful that the LORD is walking with me on my life’s journey. You will recall His instruction to enter through the narrow gate…. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to [eternal] life, and there are few who find it (Matthew 7:13,14). Had it not been for the LORD’s infinite mercy, I would never have found the narrow road, let alone been able to navigate it.

As you probbly know, dear reader, traversing the narrow path is not always easy. In fact, the path often seems insurmountable with its many obstacles and dangers. But praise be to the LORD, He has promised: To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God Revelation 2:7).

This is the paradise I dream about most. How about you, have you been dreaming of Paradise? Perhaps you will be able, in the near future,  to slip off for a relaxing getaway at some tropical island, perhaps not. But know this for certain, there awaits a reward for those who follow Jesus; and it is far more splendid than any exotic paradise this world has to offer. I leave you now to dream about this for a few moments:

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him (I Corinthians 2:9).

The Arbitrary Song of the Wind Chime

photo: windandweather.com

Although quite windy, the weather was absolutely gorgeous. I had several errands to run that day, but they would just have to wait a little longer. Nothing seemed as important, at that moment, than stopping to enjoy the arbitrary song of the wind chime.

The tune varied from gust to gust, but each was distinctly beautiful. I couldn’t help but think: Sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.¹ My heart swelled with joy as I breathed-in the fresh spring air and watched the trees dance to the song of the wind chime.

Then another pearl from God’s word came to mind: For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.²

It is true; we are living in very disturbing times. However, Scripture says: let all those that put their trust in thee [O LORD] rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield. ³

I don’t know about you, but that makes me want to sing for joy. My voice may not beautiful, and sometimes my songs are nothing more than spontaneous words of praise, but that which is not perfect can be beautiful too, like the arbitrary song of a wind chime.

¹Psalm 96:1
²Isaiah 55:12
³Psalm 5:11,12

A Canardly

A few years ago we adopted our outdoor dog from a rescue shelter.  She’s a mixed-breed, but I was fairly certain of what those breeds were, based on her color and markings. Still, I asked our veterinarian for his opinion. He told me she was a Canardly.  I’ve never heard of such a creature, I told him.  “There’s really no way to tell what she is,” he explained. With these mixed breeds, one  can ‘ardly tell.” I thought that little play on words was cute, and I’ve used it ever since.

Our beautiful Canardly has turned out to be the most loving and loyal dog of all. Plus, she is an incredibly vigilant watchdog.  Obviously, being a Canardly isn’t such a bad thing for a dog.  I don’t recommend it for Christians, though. How can we teach others about Jesus if they can ‘ardly tell that He is the Lord of our lives?

Jesus warned: I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth (Revelation 3:15,16).

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I would rather someone be frustrated by my fervor than confused by my complacency.  After all, if I’m not passionate about my Lord, Jesus Christ, how can I expect others to be?

Today, I leave you with this thought from Charles Spurgeon:

Believe me, brothers and sisters, if you never have sleepless hours, if you never have weeping eyes, if your hearts never swell as if they would burst, you need not anticipate that you will be called zealous; you do not know the beginning of true zeal, for the foundation of Christian zeal lies in the heart. The heart must be heavy with grief and yet must beat high with holy ardour; the heart must be vehement in desire, panting continually for God’s glory, or else we shall never attain to anything like the zeal which God would have us know.