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Why can't all followers of Jesus just come together around scripture?

Maybe it's because we, who live in a first world country, lack desperation for literal daily bread that we might not quite get the spiritual message Jesus conveyed when comparing bread to the word of God during His temptation. 


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The Daily Hustle

(Our daughter and family are missionaries to Cambodia.  My hubby and I live there half of the year, giving help to them as we are able.  Recently my missionary son-in-law was diagnosed with stage four cancer.  They are back in the states and our trips to Cambodia are on hold for now.)

My hubby and I  spend time every morning in our Cambodian town walking on the riverside across the street from our house, for exercise and prayer.  The daily hustle for food and shelter play out before us as we make our way down the street.  The Holy Spirit teaches us a spiritual lesson while we walk by life being lived along the river.

Maybe it's because we, the privileged, lack desperation for literal daily bread that we might not quite get the spiritual message Jesus conveyed when comparing bread to the word of God during His temptation. 

In His famous prayer, Jesus tells us to,”Give us this day our daily bread,” and we recite it solemnly with no real idea what it might really mean to work every single day for just enough money to be able to stop by the open air market on the way home, and then to start all over the next day because what you had the day before is in the stomach of your children.

On our walk, we watch the local iceman stop by the same roadside shop everyday and saw off a hunk of ice for the drink shop lady’s cooler because she does not have a refrigerator.  Pennies change hands and off he goes to his next customer.  Her drinks also sell for pennies.  They are both providers…hard workers.  There are no sick days for these people, no steady income, no government assistance.

They need daily bread.

Maybe it's because we, the privileged, lack desperation for literal daily bread that we might not quite get the spiritual message Jesus conveyed when comparing bread to the word of God during His temptation. 

As we make the loop around the end of the riverside, we notice several women standing knee deep in the river washing the daily catch of shrimp.  They are not the ones who caught the shrimp, their job is to clean it…for pennies.  Soon a man on a motorcycle arrives to stack three huge baskets of clean shrimp on the back of his moto and take the fresh shrimp to the town market for sale…for pennies.  We will see this same routine repeat again the next day.  There are no weekends off if they want to eat.

They need daily bread.

And then there are the custodians of the riverside, sweeping and picking up trash every day.  One of their jobs is to scrape out the weeds that grow between the bricks… by hand.  Their toddlers play nearby.  There is no day care for those who work for pennies.

They need daily bread.  If they don’t eat they will get sick and die.

Maybe it's because we, the privileged, lack desperation for literal daily bread that we might not quite get the spiritual message Jesus conveyed when comparing bread to the word of God during His temptation. 

Maybe it’s because we in first world countries lack desperation for literal daily bread that we might not quite get the spiritual message about bread Jesus conveyed when quoting part of Deuteronomy 8:3 during His temptation.  “…man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”  Shouldn’t we hunger for His words when the belly of our soul is empty?  Shouldn’t we pursue it as if famished, never resting until full?  Shouldn’t we feed it to our spiritually starving children? Won’t they just get sick and die without it?

Father, give us zeal in pursuing daily spiritual bread as steadily as these Cambodian people pursue real bread.  Holy Spirit, remind us of the words of Jesus in John 6:25,  “…I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again…”  Nourish our souls Lord Jesus.

Maybe it's because we, the privileged, lack desperation for literal daily bread that we might not quite get the spiritual message Jesus conveyed when comparing bread to the word of God during His temptation. 

Blessings, Alice

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Cultural sin...vile but packaged as pure. Poetry is a way for me to express what I am helpless to verbalize. I cry out for the world y'all.


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A Poetic Comment on Cultural Sin

Society in general tends to beautify sin.

Normalize sin.

Cultural sin...vile but packaged as pure. Poetry is a way for me to express what I am helpless to verbalize. I cry out for the world y'all.

In reality sin is dark, crude, and filthy.

Steaming excrement.

The masses cry to turn off the light,

when truth tries to penetrate.

A brutal confrontation with one’s own darkness

in comparison to our Savior’s purity

is the beginning of everything.

Of everything!

Stand before the inner darkness oh soul,

vomit from the stench,

then purposely,

painfully,

let Jesus burn the evil within

to oblivion

until all that is left

is light.

Cultural sin...vile but packaged as pure.  Poetry is a way for me to express what I am helpless to verbalize.  I cry out for the world y'all.

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Picture:  +  Taken at sunset at my family’s ranch in Montana.

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Don't discount modern day parables. Jesus used lost sheep and coins to relate to His time in history, who says He can't update His repertoire using your life?


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The Parable of the Lost Passports

If you don’t travel outside of the country then you cannot possibly know just how disconcerting misplacing a passport is, especially if you already have bought the plane tickets.  I was reading through my 2015 journal and was reminded that about a year ago I lost our passports.  So what does one do when in a situation like this?

Don't discount modern day parables.   Jesus used lost sheep and coins to relate to His time in history,  who says He can't update His repertoire using your life?

Spend five hours tearing the house apart from top to bottom.

FIVE hours.

And they were there all along.  I had even unknowingly held them in my hand.   It was as if God had blinded me so I could gain insights from this struggle.  A personal parable.  A spiritual lesson.  Here is what I learned:

  1.  My husband was not the same man I married.  In our early years my husband tended to see the glass as half empty.  This same man partnered with me in the passport search and did not complain once.  And when the allusive passports were found, he laughed with me.  A spiritual  change in a husband is cause for celebration.
  2. If you pray for something, God might take you on a five hour “journey” to find it.  Yes, I found the passport, but I also found my prayer list that had been missing for a while too.  I always felt like I was forgetting to pray for certain people and would repeatedly ask God to help me find it.  Was this passport trek an answer to my prayer about the list?  I’ll bet God was laughing along with us that day.
  3. Figuratively, I learned that seeking a lost soul is hard work.  And maybe the lost are right there under your nose…right where you least expect them to be.
  4. By all means the most profound lesson I learned was that God is the one who brings the lost, not me.  I just have to be actively searching, so that when a soul’s heart is opened by Jesus, I am there to speak life to them.  see Acts 16:1

Don't discount modern day parables. Jesus used lost sheep and coins to relate to His time in history, who says He can't update His repertoire using your life?

 

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I have always been sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that My husband and I were the key to heaven for my children, even though some who have wayward children may disagree. The most galvanizing moment in my life as a young mother was when an elder's wife argued with me about the possibilities of success in raising my children to see heaven. This led me on a frantic Bible journey which convinced me even further that it is possible to obtain what I desired.


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3 Assurances That you CAN Raise Your Children to see Heaven

I have always been sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that My husband and I were the key to heaven for my children, even though some who have wayward children may disagree.  The most galvanizing moment in my life as a young mother was when an elder’s wife argued with me about the possibilities of success in raising my children to see heaven.  I guess she thought I was arrogant when I expressed my belief that Jesus centered parenting produces Jesus lovers.  She boldly told me it was impossible to be so sure, that some, even after good parenting will turn away and be lost.

No.

Unacceptable.

This led me on a frantic Bible journey which convinced me even further that it is possible to obtain what I desired.  But it’s hard y’all.  This task of raising children is thwarted at every hand by the devil and His minions.  And let me say this, even though your child dallies in a certain sin for a season doesn’t mean they are lost forever.  I believe they will always return to the fold.  Look at the last part of this scripture:  Bring up a child by teaching him the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn away from it. Proverbs 22:6 NLT

But, I didn’t want my children to waste their lives away from God and then come back to Him when they were older.  My goal was to have strong, steadfast, faithful children so they could in turn raise strong, steadfast, faithful children.  Our strategy was to parent with this goal in mind.  So if you are having doubts about your ability to save your own children, be encouraged with these thoughts from scripture.

I have always been sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that My husband and I were the key to heaven for my children, even though some who have wayward children may disagree. The most galvanizing moment in my life as a young mother was when an elder's wife argued with me about the possibilities of success in raising my children to see heaven. This led me on a frantic Bible journey which convinced me even further that it is possible to obtain what I desired.

1.  Children are Good Soil

Matthew 13:3-8

But, good soil has to be cultivated, fertilized, watered, nurtured.  If the soil is not cared for, or left on its own then it becomes dry and hard.  If the rocks are not plucked out carefully, then roots will not take hold.  If not diligent, then thorns will pop up.  A parent must constantly working the soil of the child.  But happily, this good soil will produce an abundant crop.  This is a promise.

 

I have always been sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that My husband and I were the key to heaven for my children, even though some who have wayward children may disagree. The most galvanizing moment in my life as a young mother was when an elder's wife argued with me about the possibilities of success in raising my children to see heaven. This led me on a frantic Bible journey which convinced me even further that it is possible to obtain what I desired.

Message from a teenage boy to his mother after an argument.

2.  It’s God’s Will

Ephesians 1:11

Your children are predestined to become believers.  They were entrusted to YOU.   For an analogy…our family loves the Houston Astros team  My children were destined to love this team too.  Why?  We wear the shirts, we gather around the radio or television, we discuss stats in the car and around the table, we travel to Houston for a live experience,  we whoop, we holler, and we sing.  So now, even though my son lives in California, he is not ashamed to put on his Astros hat when the Angels are playing Houston.  He proudly roots for his team even though he is surrounded by the enemy.   He has been TRAINED.

God has put these children in your family so you can train them for His team.  It’s inevitable.  It’s His will.

3.  You have Power.  POWER.

Ephesians 3:14-21

This immense love of God can only be understood through the Holy Spirit.  He strengthens you, He dwells in your hearts, and He can do more that you can you can ask or imagine.   So partner up and ask Him.  You are not alone for one second.

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Please click the DEEPER Bible study guide below or in the side menu link to sign up for emails from Sanctified Tourist and receive PDF files like the DEEPER Bible study guide, to use in your pursuit of the spiritual disciplines. They will be delivered to you in a Welcome Letter. Sanctified Tourist publishes once a week and also sends a monthly newsletter at the beginning of the month. My newsletter will include friendly inspirations and personal updates on our move to Cambodia. I know your in-box is already crammed full of messages, but hopefully you will look forward getting emails from from Sanctified Tourist.

You can find the above post Fight Like A Boss, Against Unseen Forces here.

Sanctified Tourist  is not paid to endorse any ads or products.

 

The Internet makes it so easy to give to those in need and so fulfill scripture. Read more about why I donate to GOFUNDME, and my outside of the box giving strategy. Millennials who do not go to church, but follow Jesus, should consider these ideas.


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Why I Donate to GOFUNDME

Christianity and Culture:  Online Giving

The Internet makes it so easy to give to those in need and so fulfill scripture. Read more about why I donate to GOFUNDME, and my outside of the box giving strategy. Millennials who do not go to church, but follow Jesus, should consider these ideas.

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This is why I give …

The thief must no longer steal. Instead, he must do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need. Ephesians 4:28 HCSB

Look y’all, this scripture has a cause and effect conjunction clause right in the middle.

The Internet makes it so easy to give to those in need and so fulfill scripture. Read more about why I donate to GOFUNDME, and my outside of the box giving strategy. Millennials who do not go to church, but follow Jesus, should consider these ideas.

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Work to make money…SO THAT you can give to those in need.

The Internet makes following this verse so easy with GOFUNDME and other organizations who take donations online.  In case you were wondering…I only give to those connected with someone I know.  And I only give to those in a real pinch.  And we always discuss and pray before we give because it needs to be God moving us.  Also we give anonymously to fulfill these words of Jesus…

“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get.  But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.  Matthew 6:1-4 NLT

To let you in on our family giving strategy… we do not give our entire tithe to the local church, a portion goes into a special account at our bank,  set aside especially to fulfill this verse.    Maintaining a special account for this purpose leaves us ready to give at a moment’s notice.  Of course we don’t just give to one organization, but GOFUNDME came through for us several years ago when we were in Cambodia, desperate for funds after my son’s motorcycle accident.

One last thing for you millennials who don’t go to church anymore, but still have strong faith.  Just because you don’t drop your tithe in a collection plate, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be generous with your money.  In fact, I am praying that you find your own personal way to show your love for Jesus with your salary.   Use your imagination, and go forth…

The Internet makes it so easy to give to those in need and so fulfill scripture. Read more about why I donate to GOFUNDME, and my outside of the box giving strategy. Millennials who do not go to church, but follow Jesus, should consider these ideas.i love 2

Pictures:  +Ready to transport our son after his motorcycle accident in Cambodia. (scary times), ++A closeup of a hay bale.  Dale spend one summer stacking hay bales at my uncle’s ranch in Montana.  +++Houston skyline through the windshield of the car.  Perfect for representing wealth.

 

Sanctified Tourist is not  paid to endorse ads or products.