Food glorious food

English: Philippine Food

English: Philippine Food (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For those of you who have just joined us –welcome. Let me explain the things us ramblers are chatting about. We are looking at the way God is bringing us from an old culture into a kingdom culture. To help us do this we are looking at the Philippine culture and seeing what God is saying to us through it.

Food

Mmmm where shall I begin talking about food from the Philippines? – it is truly delicious. Such different flavours that the ones I am used to. It is a mixed cuisine of Malay, Spanish, Chinese, and American, as well as other Asian and Latin influences adapted to indigenous ingredients and the local palate. There are classic dishes that I have tried (and loved) such as Adobo (chicken and/or pork braised in garlic, vinegar, oil and soy sauce) which is made differently by different families and in the various regions, kare-kare  (oxtail and vegetables cooked in peanut sauce), longanisa (sausage), paellas , pancit (noodles), and lumpia (fresh or fried spring rolls). One of my favourites is deep fried mini crabs in batter. The fish is fresh and juicy, the fruits are sweet and ripe. They have limes in the Philippines, small like large cherry tomatoes but sweeter than our oranges.

When I am there I find myself trying anything people give me – just to experience and learn about the different tastes.  Even when I thought I had eaten enough I simply have to make more room in my stomach to enjoy something else being offered.

In the kingdom culture there is a banquet. It is overflowing. We can see it in Psalms 23

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.

Perhaps we have been too polite, perhaps we have gorged on other things that are not healthy and have no room left for heavenly sustenance – have we only picked around the edges? Surely we have only tasted a handful of what is on the banquet table. The flavours, the colours, the juices, the sauces, the fruit – my goodness can you see it, can you smell it? It looks a little like those overflowing tables in Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films.

The other exciting thing about this banquet is that we are not left alone to enjoy it. For those who have spent life outside the camp looking in, for those who have felt lonely and watched everyone else feast on the best of life, for those who feel unworthy to approach the king’s table – He approaches us, links arms with us, loves us, and escorts us in to eat. He never leaves us on our own but is excited to explore the experience with us. He hands us new flavours to try, makes suggestions on our choice of foods, advises us on which flavours blend harmoniously.

Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love.

Song of Songs 2:4

Make yourself hungry. Create hunger. Find space to taste more of God and his goodness. Taste and see that God is good. Find another truth so sweet to the lips lying on the table. Pull up your chair and take your time.

It is time to find books to devour. Podcasts to chew over. Bible passages that get your juices flowing. Then once you feel full – find some more space and keep eating.

We have been like children for too long. Letting others buy, prepare, cook and serve the food. We turn up on Sundays like baby birds shouting feed me. Feed me so I can cope another week, feed me so I can grow strong, feed me some medicine to make me feel better. In this kingdom culture we learn to grow up. We go out and collect the food, prepare the food and cook the food. We learn to cut our own food up and feed ourselves. We grow up into maturity

Today: What are you feasting on today? If you are not reading, listening to anything right now it is time to go out and collect your food. What are you going to get? Where will you get it from? Don’t wait till Sunday – be hungry now.

Sustenance – will a mars bar fill the hole?

Being an impressionable physics student I remember my teacher (formerly known as rubber lips (but don’t let the label stick!)) telling the class he had worked out on a walk up mount Snowdon if the Mars bar he was eating was enough energy to take him to the top. I cannot remember what his answer was I just thought what a waste of a walk!

For us we need to set out for our walking adventure knowing that we have enough to

Mars Believe Bar Limited Edition Football Worl...

Mars Believe Bar Limited Edition Football World Cup 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

sustain us on the way – or know a God who can provide the sustenance

Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. Exodus 16:4

 I have already mentioned that the wilderness was not about the lack of food and water – more about learning to trust the God who can provide the food and water. God could have provided nourishment in any number of natural ways but he decided to given them heaven-bread supernaturally – he rained down a substance to eat. “What is it?” the Israelites said so they called it manna. (manna means ‘what is it?’)

I wonder if manna tasted like a honey cereal – we will never know. What I do know is that it

Kellogg's Crunchy Nut Cereal Naked

Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Cereal Naked (Photo credit: theimpulsivebuy)

was there ready for breakfast time. The dew would come every morning,  flakes would appear and the people would collect the food.  Food from heaven. It must have been a little like the food that poured down from the sky in ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’.

God will always hear cries of hunger. He loves cries of hunger – for then he can provide, he can sustain, he can fill. He cannot do anything for those who are not hungry. For those who are hungry can feed us with food from heaven – sustenance for the journey.

One of the prayers I keep praying over and over again is make me hungrier. Make me so desperate nothing but your intimate presence will satisfy. Nothing but heaven on earth will be enough. Make me so hungry I cry out day and night for more of you and your kingdom on earth.

Today: Ask yourself on a scale of 1-10 how hungry are you for  Gods presence everyday? How hungry are you to see God’s kingdom come? Does it distract you from all you do? Are you so desperate for it that it brings tears to your eyes in longing?