Lenten Fast 2020- Day 6

Hello Friends!

As many of you know I am on a Daniel Fast for this years lenten season. This fast is a way to deepen your relationship with Jesus through prayer, meditation, reading, and listening for his voice. Instead of eating the foods your body craves, sugar, bread, caffeine, animal based foods, etc, you forgo these pleasures in order to dedicate your body, soul, and spirit to a higher calling.

I thought this would a difficult task, but God has helped me every step of the way. When I suffered headaches from caffeine withdrawal I went to Him, instead of coffee for my relief. When I wanted to snack all night while watching tv I went to Him for strength, and grabbed a banana or an apple instead of donuts and potato chips.

On this the sixth day of the Daniel Fast I can honestly say I have no craving for coffee or sugar. I’m enjoying the flavors of the food itself. It’s like for the first time I’m actually tasting the foods because I’m not covering up their flavors with meat, sugars, artificial sweeteners, and such. The flavor of the strawberry reigns all by itself. It’s the same with blueberries, tomatoes, broccoli, cucumbers, cabbage, carrots, beans, wheat, oats, nuts…

Through the Daniel Fast I’m tasting each grain, vegetable, nut, and fruits God given flavor, and I’m loving it! Since I’ve cut out sugar it’s amazing just how sweet the bananas, oranges, and apples have become!

I’m constituently looking for new ways to experience these flavors. The following recipe is an example of this endeavor.

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll continue to join me on this journey.

Fasting Banana Oatmeal

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup of Old-fashioned Oats
  • 1 cup of Water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 pat of Earth Balance butter
  • 1 Banana
  • Chopped pecans (optional)
  • Cinnamon (optional)
  • Silk coconut milk

Directions:

  • Mix oats, water, and salt in a microwavable safe bowl and cook in microwave for 2-2 ½ minutes. 
  • Stir inEarth Balance butter until melted.
  • Stir in one sliced banana.  
  • Add pecans and cinnamon if using.
  • Pour in coconut milk to your desired consistency.

***

Notes: This recipe is transient in nature. Feel free to add or substitute ingredients to suite your taste. If I were not fasting I would add brown sugar and substitute regular milk for the coconut milk.

Lenten Fast 2020

I’m on the fifth day of my Daniel Fast and I have 16 more days to go. 

The Daniel Fast is a 21 day fast that mirrors the one done by the prophet Daniel while he was held captive in Babylon (Daniel 1:12; 10:3). It is a partial fast in that some foods are consumed and some are restricted.  There are three types of fasting, an absolute fast, a normal fast, and a partial fast.  The absolute Fast allows no food and no water, and the normal fast allows water but no food.  On the Daniel fast animal products are not allowed including dairy products, eggs, sugar (even honey), artificial sweeteners, and caffeine of any kind.  It is totally plant based.  

It is not meant to be a weight loss plan but rather a way to get closer to God through prayers and meditation.  It is a way to deepen your relationship with Christ…a way to pray for his presence and to be attentive to His voice.  In the Bible God’s voice is defined as still and small, and so it is necessary to quiet the mind in order to hear.  

In my five days of fasting I have deepened my relationship to Jesus, not by praying for hours upon hours, but by just becoming aware of his presence.  I find myself having an ongoing conversation with him throughout my whole day.  In doing this I have discovered peace.

Losing weight is a benefit of the Daniel plan, as I have already lost 4 pounds.  

The crazy thing is I haven’t been hungry!  Going into this I thought I would be, and thought I would die without coffee, but this hasn’t been the case.  The first day I experienced headaches, but after that I truly haven’t missed my coffee.  Instead of coffee I have ginger tea and hot cups of Cranberry Juice…it is delicious. 

On a typical day my meals resemble something like this:

  • Breakfast- oatmeal or grits, fruit/nuts, hot tea with no caffeine or hot cranberry juice.
  • Lunch-hot V8 juice, tossed salad with oil and vinegar, fruit.
  • Dinner-brown rice and beans, steamed cabbage (or another vegetable)
  • Snack-skinny-pop popcorn, fruit/nuts, fruit smoothies 

This morning for breakfast I had Banana Coconut Oatmeal.  It’s my own recipe and it was so delicious I want to share, but alas work duties call so I must say goodbye for now.

I’ll post the recipe this evening.

Friends, thank you for reading my reflections and I hope you will travel this journey with me.

Litmus Test for True Christianity

I’m astounded with those who think they have the “scoop” on God’s word.  Many of whom believe God’s word is cut and dry…black and white with no grays in between.  Most are raised in Christian homes and have been taught the scriptures as a child.  Sunday school classes, Sunday morning services, and Wednesday prayer meetings were the staples of their life.  They were spoon fed not only the word but also the perceived meaning of the word, and the sad thing is is that many have never questioned what they’ve been taught. 

As a small girl I sat on the second pew from the pastor and like a sponge soaked up all the words that fell from his voice.  Sunday after Sunday, week after week, and year after year I was fed the truths of God’s word in accordance with an Independent Fundamental Baptist point of view.

Sitting here typing I can look back and see the wide-eyed girl sitting on the pew…so small my feet barely passing the edge of the pew.  I literally believed it was God’s word I was hearing and of this I should never doubt.

But I did doubt, and guilt became a part of my life at an early age.  

My inner struggle went something like this…. if I have this doubt, how then can I have faith, and if I have no faith how then can I be a child of God, and if not a child of God…how then could I ever be “saved”?  This inner battle possessed me my whole childhood, into my teens, and well into my 20’s and 30’s.  For the most part I kept this secret…never to be told, after all if I admitted to doubt then I was virtually admitting I had little to no faith.    

I’m saddened for the little girl who silently lived in fear day after day.  Sometimes I take her in my arms and hold her until her trembling subsides.  Now, as a 54-year-old, I realize this doubt was not the monster I thought it to be.  My doubt should have been the stepping stone to an even greater faith.  

I believe it is wise and healthy to question your beliefs.  First of all are they really your beliefs or are they your mother and father’s beliefs.  Perhaps it goes even deeper maybe they’re the pastor’s beliefs and maybe mom and dad just took his words at face value…. Even deeper:  maybe it’s the churches fodder handed down from generation to generation, century after century from organized religion?  

As a Christian I want my beliefs to be just that…mine.  I want my faith to be given to me from God himself.  I don’t want to blindly believe something because that’s what mama, daddy, and the preacher said. 

Jesus himself admonishes us to “…search the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life.”  The Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes and the religious elite felt confident they had the scoop on God’s word.  Why?  They felt this way because they followed the word to a tee.  They like many Christians today, took God’s word literal and failed to see the nuances of grays woven there-in.  They were always questioning Jesus because Jesus refused to take a literal approach to the law established in the old testament.  They were so busy trying not to break the rules that they missed the whole premise of Christianity which is to love the Lord God with all your heart, and to love those around you (everyone) as you love yourself.  Jesus says that the whole law of Moses rests upon these two principals.  Loving God is the greatest commandment and the second greatest is loving your neighbor, and, my friend, for the most part you cannot pick and choose your neighbor. 

You can have neighbors you like and neighbors you dislike…neighbors who believe as you or those who believe differently, neighbors who believe that “this and that” is a sin and neighbors who believe it is not.  This whole idea of loving the sinner and hating the sin is bull malarkey.  Their “sin” is none of your business, it is between them and God.  Your job as a Christian is to love them…period.  

How can I love them?  You love them by treating them the way you want to be treated, and by letting God take care of the rest.  

Our relationship with our God is no one’s business, and when “well-meaning” Christians make it theirs it’s time to shut them down or as Barny Fife says, “Nip it!  Nip it in the bud!”  Jesus says, “Judge not least ye be judged,” and “He that is without sin cast the first stone.”  

Christianity is alive and vibrant.  

Christianity is “your” personal relationship with God.  

Christianity is defined by what you do rather than what you don’t do.  

Christianity is love because God is love.  

As Christians God asks us to feed his sheep.  Three times by a campfire Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?”  Three times Peter said, “Lord, you know I love you,” and three times Jesus replies, “Feed my sheep.”  

Jesus was saying to Peter… If you truly love me then you will take care of my people.  You will take care of those who cannot take care of themselves.  You will be like the Good Samaritan and cast aside your opinion, in order to lift up the down trodden.

Friends, love is not always a feeling.  It’s wonderful when it is, because it makes loving others easy.  But, the love God calls us to goes way beyond a feeling.  The love God calls us to is active.  Jesus wanted Peter to realize that true love is more than words, for if you love only with words then the object of your love is never really touched…never changed.  True love reaches out, and true love changes lives.   

Christian, are you truly Christian?  

If so then take care of his sheep…the stranger, the hungry, the homeless, the unloved, the immigrant, the addict, the dirty, the poor,  the sick, the refugee, the naked, the prisoner,…the least of these…

Jesus’ litmus for true Christianity:  

[Jesus replied] “For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’”

Happy New Beginnings!

  

Genesis contains the biblical version of this World’s birth, so how fitting it is to read Genesis on New Year’s day! Genesis 1:1 opens with“In the beginning God…”  The author of this book, Moses, did the best he could, with the knowledge he had, to write the creation story.  In my opinion, Moses gives us an “overview” of creation’s story and not a detailed account.

As I ponder this first day of the new year, I thank God for new beginnings, and today can be one of those beginnings.  Today is a day where most of us make new-year resolutions, whether we want to admit it or not.  We may not verbally express it but the conversations in our mind go something like this… 

“Perhaps I should…

  • make the most of that gym membership
  •  drink more water and less sodas
  • give up those cigarettes
  • start saving money for the future
  • start paying off my debts
  • eat healthier
  • move more and eat less
  • read more

The list is endless and as diverse as there are people in the world.  

Here’s the thing…I don’t like to tag any of these goals as resolutions.  Resolute is final…complete…without mistake going forward.  Resolute is unreasonable.  We will make mistakes and we will backslide into old habits, and we should go into the new year with this knowledge.  If we do, failure will not come as a shock, but rather as a new beginning. 

We are given a new beginning multiple times every day, and with these new beginnings we can live our life with purpose and hope.  

With new beginnings we will never give up.  

Happy New Beginnings, Friends!  

***

Honest #FOWC

The Most Precious Gift

Giving to others from your abundance is good; however, giving away something you cherish is better…even Christlike.  Jesus gave up his riches to become a homeless man, and in the end, he gave us the best gift ever given…himself.  

Maybe on this Christmas Eve we should honor him by giving our most precious gift…ourselves.

***

Rivers of Water

I was on my way home from the hospital and my first born was lying in an incubator at Pitt Memorial. The last thing I wanted to do was leave her, but circumstances prevailed, and it became something unavoidable. As I lay in bed that night my heart and mind, extremely distressed, I could not sleep. I kept thinking of all the things that could go wrong, and thinking that my 3-pound 10 ounce little-one wouldn’t make it through the night. This night was dark and terrifying and I was afraid. But then my mind remembered the stars…those little dots of light sprinkled throughout the blackened sky. I realized these same stars were also watching over my baby, and that their creator was also her creator. Through prayer I placed my baby girl in God’s hands and I slept.

Prayer and meditation can bring us to peace within the storm. For the Christian it’s the fuel that keeps us going. I often neglect this spiritual sustenance and find myself running on empty, however, the stars of that night, thirty-two years ago, reminded me of a power ready for the taking. This power source is not some old grey-bearded deity somewhere beyond our universe. No, this power source is the God within us, the Holy Spirit who has taken up abode within our souls. 

A necessary element to prayer and meditation is time. Without this element meditation of course is fruitless in our lives. Thankfully with our busy lives’ meditation can occur in small increments of time…a few moments with your morning coffee, seconds waiting at the red light, the minutes between the next meeting, quiet moments before you drift off to sleep. All of these snippets can become moments of mindfulness…moments of tapping into the power source within.

I love the picture painted in Psalms 1:3 which likens the one who meditates as a tree planted by the water…

“…we shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth fruit in [its] season…” 

We are the tree, meditation the roots, and the rivers of waters the Holy Spirit within us. 

Prayer: Lord, throughout this holiday season let our minds habitually visit the babe in a manger…the very one who bled and died, rose again, and now takes his abode within our hearts. Amen. 

***

Settled Within

The Ultimate Misfit


One Christmas morning I was up before the birds and all in the house was quiet as a mouse. I was sad, rejected, a misfit because there were certain relationships within my family strained and almost nonexistent. My children and I were were separated by many American miles. As I sat in the silence of that Christmas morn I read God’s word from John 1:11… and this is what God said, “He came to his own and his own received him not.” As I finished that verse I felt Jesus whisper to my heart, “I know how you feel.” Jesus, I realized was the ultimate misfit and I knew I would never be alone.

***

His voice when you least expect it.

I’ll Vote for Mickey Mouse

Friends, an innocent man does not hide.  An innocent man does not shun the opportunity to present his case to the powers that be.  An innocent man does not ignore subpoenas ordered by America’s Justice system.  An innocent man does not take his case to the Supreme Court in order to keep his tax returns private.  My question is this:  What the hell is he trying to hide?  

I admonish you to take a moment to contemplate this:  

What if Hillary Clinton, like Trump, had refused to testify? I think the Republicans would have spontaneously combusted!  (Instead she was grilled for 11 hours straight in the Benghazi case against her) (like the end result or not…she did her duty and showed up)

In the past I thought such blatant double standards rare, however, not in today’s America.  In today’s America it is acceptable for our Commander and Chief to ignore the Judicial system.  In today’s America it appears our sitting President is above the law of the land.  I fear that in tomorrow’s America democracy will be a thing of the past. 

The evidence is overwhelming and non-disputable that Trump used his power as president to coerce a foreign country to do his bidding for his personal political gain.  Let’s take a quick look at the evidence:

(The following from New York Times)

Witnesses who have provided
evidence in the inquiry

Fiona Hill/Former Trump adviser on Russia

Dr. Hill quoted John Bolton, the national security adviser at the time, as saying, “I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up,” referring to a back channel of Ukraine policy that sought to exchange a White House meeting for investigations sought by Mr. Trump. She also sharply denounced a “fictional narrative” embraced by President Trump and others that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.

David Holmes/Political counselor to the United States Embassy in Ukraine

Mr. Holmes provided details about an unusual call he overheard between Mr. Trump and Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, in which Mr. Trump asked Mr. Sondland if the Ukrainian president planned “to do the investigation.”

Laura K. Cooper/Deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia

Ms. Cooper revealed during her public testimony that Ukrainian officials may have been aware that security aid had been cut off as early as July 25, the day Mr. Trump pressed Ukraine’s president during a phone call to investigate Democrats.

David Hale/Under secretary of state for political affairs

Mr. Hale publicly answered questions on Nov. 20 about the hold on security aid and the ouster of Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine who was targeted in a smear campaign by Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer.

Gordon D. Sondland/Ambassador to the E.U.

Mr. Sondland testified publicly that there had been a clear “quid pro quo” at the highest levels of Mr. Trump’s government linking a White House meeting for the president of Ukraine to investigations that Mr. Trump wanted. He also amended his initial testimony to say that he had “presumed” the release of foreign aid was also tied to the investigations, and that he had communicated that to Ukrainian officials.

Timothy Morrison/Former Trump adviser on Russia

Mr. Morrison testified that Mr. Sondland had told him that the military aid for Ukraine would not be released until the country committed to investigating Mr. Trump’s political rivals. He also said that while he did not think the president’s July 25 call with the Ukrainian president was inherently wrong or illegal, he had been concerned about its political implications.

Kurt D. Volker/Former special envoy to Ukraine

Mr. Volker testified before congressional investigators and provided text messages revealing that Mr. Trump’s envoys had made clear to the Ukrainian president that he would need to agree to Mr. Trump’s requests for investigations before visiting the Oval Office. He has said that he did not know that the investigations were focused in part on the Bidens.

Jennifer Williams/Foreign Service officer

Ms. Williams, who serves as a national security aide to Vice President Mike Pence, testified behind closed doors and in an open hearing. Ms. Williams was among officials who listened in on a July 25 telephone call between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.

Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman/National Security Council official

Colonel Vindman told impeachment investigators that he had tried and failed to restore key details that the White House had removed from a transcript of the call between Mr. Trump and the Ukrainian president. He also testified that he was not aware of any security official who supported the freeze on aid to Ukraine.

Mark Sandy/White House budget official

Mr. Sandy, who signed a legal document directing the freeze of aid to Ukraine, appeared before congressional investigatorson Nov. 16.

Marie L. Yovanovitch/Former ambassador to Ukraine

Ms. Yovanovitch testified that she felt “threatened” by Mr. Trump and that he had personally directed her removal based on “false claims.” During her public testimony, Mr. Trump railed against her on Twitter.

George P. Kent/Deputy assistant secretary of state

Mr. Kent, who oversees U.S. policy toward Ukraine at the State Department, appeared before impeachment investigators against the White House’s wishes, telling them that Mr. Trump’s inner circle had cut him out of Ukraine policymaking. In his public hearing, he denounced a “campaign to smear” American officials working in Ukraine.

William B. Taylor Jr./Top American diplomat in Ukraine

Mr. Taylor told impeachment investigators that Mr. Trump had withheld foreign aid and had refused to hold a White House meeting with Ukraine’s leader until he publicly announced that his country would investigate Mr. Trump’s political rivals. In his public testimony, Mr. Taylor provided new information about a phone call between Mr. Sondland and Mr. Trump that was overheard by one of his aides.

Catherine M. Croft/Foreign Service officer

Ms. Croft, who worked on the National Security Council, said that she had received multiple calls from Robert Livingston, a lobbyist and former Republican congressman, who told her that Ms. Yovanovitch should be fired.

Christopher J. Anderson/Foreign Service officer

Mr. Anderson, who served as an adviser to Kurt D. Volker, the former United States special envoy to Ukraine, helped fill in details about Mr. Volker’s earlier testimony.

Philip T. Reeker/Acting assistant secretary of state

Mr. Reeker, who serves at the State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, told House investigators on Oct. 26 that he had tried to rally top State Department leadersbehind Ms. Yovanovitch as she faced a smear campaign orchestrated by Mr. Trump’s political allies.

Michael McKinley/Former adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Mr. McKinley told congressional investigators that he had resigned because he was upset that the Trump administration had wrestled Ukraine policy away from career diplomats. He also told investigators that he had urged Mr. Pompeo to come to the defense of Ms. Yovanovitch.

Joseph Maguire/Acting director of national intelligence

Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, shared the whistle-blower’s complaint with Congress weeks after he was mandated to provide it. In testimony on Sept. 26, he defended the whistle-blower’s actions, as well as his own handling of the case.

***

I am flabbergasted at the support this evil man has from Republicans and evangelical Christians. I use to wonder how in the hell so many Germans stood by and let Hitler commit the horrible atrocities done to “the least of these.” I wonder no more, for I see it unfolding right before my eyes here in America.

My guess is that this whole Impeachment process will end just as everything else…Trump stinking high to heaven but once again exonerated. 

Friends, I fear the only way to be rid of this monster is for him to be voted out of office. 

This is a call to ALL democrats please VOTE!  

History has proven when there are large turnouts to vote democrats win.  You may say, “I don’t really like anyone running against Trump so I’ll just stay home this go around.”  If you do this Trump will win!  Mickey Mouse would be a better president than Trump!  We must band together and vote.  

Please Vote!

***

The next steps in the Impeachment process:  

(compliments of BBC news)

FOWC- Rare

Yes, I am in a Relationship

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…”  Hebrews 12:2

Growing up I was so afraid of hell, that I actually wished I’d never been born. Daily, I was tormented with the thought of the rapture, and being left behind.  

I knew God’s promises but for some reason they didn’t apply to me.  It was none of God’s fault but all of mine.  I knew and believed what God said about salvation, and about his promise of eternal life. 

And yet, I felt sure I would, somehow and some way, mess up my part of receiving His free gift.  What if I believed too hard thus turning my faith into work?  For God says, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith…NOT by works…” 

So, what if I put my trust in my faith instead of Jesus?

What would happen then?

Would I be saved?

I was religiously taught the Roman’s Road to Salvation.  This step by step process is found in the book of Romans (of course).  This Road begins with chapter 3 and verse 10 and continues as follows:  Romans 3:23, Romans 5:12, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8, Romans 10:9-10, and Romans 10:13.  After each step has been faithfully taken, the sinner, saved by grace, is taken to I John 5:13 to seal the deal. 

I was so afraid I’d screw up one of the steps, and if I did would I be condemned to hell?  

I’m not saying the Roman’s Road is wrong, and if you have come know Christ through this path, I say a hearty Amen!   But for people like myself there is a danger in teaching the Roman’s Road. 

For us salvation does not equate to, “take these steps and get a ‘Get out of Hell Free’ card.”

For those like me there is no wrong or right way to salvation.  We come to know Christ through many paths, and for us salvation is a relationship, and any faith that we have is given to us by Christ.  Therefore, in essence, our salvation depends upon nothing we do but all in what Christ has done.  

So, the question could be asked… “At what point does salvation actually occur?”

To that I say, “I don’t know, and not knowing is okay.”  

I don’t have to know if I’ve dotted all my I’s or crossed all my T’s because I have nothing to do with my salvation…it belongs to God.  

And in that I rest. 

receive love. give love. repeat. 

***

Indulge yourself in Peace.

In Search of Mahanaim

…for they said, “The people are hungry, weary, and thirsty in the wilderness.” II Samuel 17:29

Half Marathon

King David and his followers ran for their lives into the wilderness. Absalom, his son, was hot on the trail, and would settle for nothing less than the head of his father on a stick. Absalom had set himself up as king and sought to kill David, God’s appointed king, in order to seal the deal. David, warned of Absalom’s pursuit, “…arose and all the people with him and passed over [the river] Jordan. By daybreak, not one was left who had crossed.”

Exhausted, hungry, and thirsty he and his trove finally came to rest at Mahanaim, a place approximately 10 miles east of the river Jordan, and incidentally the same place where Jacob had wrestled with God for his blessing. The residents of Manhanaim learned of David’s plight and they sent beds, basins, wheat, barley, parched grains, honey, sheep, and cheese. God provided provision in the wilderness.  Mahanaim became a place of blessing for David and his followers.  Previously before King David’s rule Mahanaim was known as a sanctuary city where fugitives could flee to and find safety.  After King Saul’s death his son, Ishbosheth, found sanctuary in Mahanaim.  The Song of Solomon speaks of “the Dance of Mahanaim” which portrays two camps in opposition coming together to find reconciliation, harmony, and joy.   It’s safe to say that Biblical history portrays the city of Mahanaim as a place of safety, blessing, sustenance, reconciliation, harmony, and joy.  

A few years back I attempted to run a half marathon (13.1 miles) in Gloucester

Massachusetts. Gloucester, one of New England’s quiet, little fishing towns, is simply beautiful.  If you’ve ever seen the movie A Perfect Storm with George Clooney you’ve witnessed a little of the ambience Gloucester. When I signed up for the race my thought process went something like this…

“Oh, what a beautiful little place…with so much to see I bet race will be fast and maybe even a little easy.” Nothing could have been farther from the truth.

Sure, it started out that way, but by mile five I couldn’t give a rat’s ass for the scenery. The beauty was still all around me but I couldn’t enjoy what was right before my eyes because I was so exhausted and filled with doubt. 

I was hot, tired, sweaty, breathless, and my legs ached from all the hills I’d conquered. 

The hills…”Damn,” I thought, “I freaking forgot to check out the hill situation before committing to this race!” I chided myself, but chalked it up as a rookie mistake and made a mental note to not repeat it in future races.

As tired as I was, I pressed on to mile 8, and it was at that point I physically and mentally broke. I literally stopped. I couldn’t take another step and, in my heart, and mind I was defeated. I felt I had failed and I began to cry. Not knowing what else to do I pulled my phone from its pocket and called Corinne, my wife, who was waiting for me at the finish line.

“I can’t do it…I just can’t…please come and get me,” I cried into the phone.

Of course, she agreed to my request, but rather than jumping in the car and coming to my rescue she offered a suggestion instead… “Why don’t you go a little further and then if you want me to come and get you I will,” She added, “I know you can do it…I have faith in you.” In that moment her belief in me became the provision I needed in my wilderness. Her faith was my gateway to Mahanaim, a place where I could get sustenance to put one foot in front of the other until I crossed the finish line.

As we walk through this day may we be diligent to look for God’s provision in the wilderness. Maybe it’ll come from a friend, or perhaps a stranger…a warm smile…a kind word…a song…a cool breeze, the melody of wind-chimes…the love and loyalty of our fur babies…a walk in the woods or the beach… The possibilities are endless, but like all of God’s gifts they do us no good unless we receive them. 

Go out into your world and receive the Mahanaims God has for you, and then become the Mahanaim to those around you. 

receive love.  give love.  repeat.

Prayer:  Lord, open my eyes to your blessings and make me a blessing for all who cross my path.  Amen.