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.

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The Golden Calf continued – possessing 1

When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain,

IMG_0334

IMG_0334 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt. Exodus 32:1

1.   Make us= doing

2.   Make us some gods = possessing

There are many adverts that tell me I cannot be fulfilled in life without owning an object or living a certain way. It will make me beautiful, glamorous, successful and desirable. I know that you know that. What constantly surprises me is how much this culture of ours has subtle ways of leaving its imprint on my life and affecting the way I think and live. Having spent two weeks in the Philippines around those who have nothing I realise how petty we are in the west and much time/money we spend on image and self promotion.

Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.  “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please.  I will give it all to you if you will worship me.”Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say,’ You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’  Luke 4:5-8

The Devil tempted Jesus to own/posses all the kingdoms of the earth. To have the authority – that sense of power in owning them. The Israelites wanted to own their own influence and rule by making gods. They would have the power in owning their own gods who would have to do as they asked. Idols move where you put them, they don’t speak back, they bring a focus in your life and they look good too.

Life isn’t about having – but about kingdom. Sometimes we mix up dreams of this world for a Godly vision. We want to have a nice house, good family, respectable job, success in what we do, children that are brought up well, cook well and live well – this is no different to the world. We make it sound like a vision but really it is an earthly dream – those in the world want to have all these things.

There is a different between heart desires and kingdom vision. Kingdom vision is supernatural and not of this earth. For example I am trained as a primary school teacher. I want to influence children and families to live well, to knit together community, to bring love to the children – most teachers would desire this this is not a heaven vision. A kingdom teacher with vision will want to bring heaven to the earth – to do God’s will in heaven as it is in the earth. What does this look like? Supernatural gifts of the spirit being used to bring love, peace, community, family, healing, release, binding up broken hearts etc It is the difference between wanting to have reputation and fulfilment against using all of heaven’s resources for God to be promoted and his will fulfilled.

How do I know what is precious to you? – your conversation will give it away. What is the chat as you walk? Is about what you are having for tea, who you are inviting around, what or does your conversation include kingdom talk, dreams, healings, revelation and heaven excitement?

The Golden Calf – doing2

God is bringing all of us to a place of rest and quite. I keep coming back to this point at the

English: Stream leading To Calf Hey reservoir

English: Stream leading To Calf Hey reservoir (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

minute 🙂

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. Psalm 23

You do not need to do because you lack nothing. You cannot persuade God by doing stuff to love you more, that you are worth his love, that your value is increased – He cannot possibly love you any more.

It is in those times of lying down, those still waters that a miracle will occur. You will come to know the truth about God’s unconditional love. Do I know this love in its fullness? – no I don’t , but I am hungry for more and open to learn where I am telling myself lies, or hiding hurts.

As a child I was born with a severe skin condition. My skin was sore, itchy, uncomfortable and the sores often got infected.  This meant my memories of childhood are full of sadness. I was called names at school – such as carrot peelings, I was picked on by teachers, I had trouble adapting as a teenager as my appearance was not beautiful and wherever I was I felt uncomfortable and embarrassed for looking like I did. God healed my skin 4/5 years ago – but inside I have a greater journey to go on. The affects of withdrawing, being picked on, feeling ashamed and rejecting myself is taking a while to work through. It is in the times of waiting before God that he shows me who I am, what I have taken on that isn’t of him, what he thinks of me, what memories still affect me today and much more.

I must admit that I was skeptical of all this heart healing stuff. Though it was for the softies, or perhaps the flaky Christians – but God has shown me how essential it is to my life in order for me to be saved – fully whole inside and out. How can I be ready to hold the presence of God in its fullness in revival if I am tender and cracked. We need to be vessels ready for Him. I want to know him more.

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:17-19 (NLT)

Panic strikes! The Golden Calf is born

Dont Panic

Dont Panic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4 months into the journey and crisis hits! What is the dramatic news? Enemy attacks, drought, famine, pestilence? – no Moses goes up a mountain for 40 days. The people see him go up – but now don’t know what to do.

The people are learning to stand up on their own for first time. In Egypt they were always told what to do, where to sit, where to sleep – they had no choice of there own. Moses then led them with a strong arm out of Egypt – they followed him and his faith in God. Now they have been left on their own with their own thoughts, time on their hand and choices to make. Panic strikes!

When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain,they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt. Exodus 32:1

Why did the people struggle so much?

In the next few days we will unpack what it was that caused this crisis and how we can learn from it. We will draw parallel with Jesus time in the wilderness. It is interesting that even the Son of God has his training time in the wilderness. A time where God called him close for intimate, undistracted fellowship.

1.        Make us = doing

Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.” But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.’ Luke 4: 3&4

The Devil was saying to Jesus “Don’t just sit there Jesus listening to Gods words spending time with God – do something”.

The Israelites were bored from spending day in day out working until the dropped – now they have so much time on their hands. They felt useless, a spare part, not valued because they were not doing something.

Doing is where I have found solace sometimes. I can  find or hide myself in doing. I can find on days when I am angry, upset or confused that I just want to clean and tidy – or do something to distract myself. Do I measure my self worth on what I achieve. I have notice that when people greet each other they ask “What have you been doing?” The underlying message is “How have you demonstrated your usefulness? What have you achieved? Are you worthwhile? We give labels we give ourselves as doers as this adds meaning to our life – I am a gardener, a cleaner, a children’s worker, a steward etc.

Business is not godliness. We were made for spending time with God throughout the day– not meeting God in meetings. If we can’t fit time in our day to meet with our Father then we are doing something wrong and need to adjust our lives. We were made to be children of God, to be new creations, to be lovers of God

Today: think soberly about your life. Do you find identity in what you do or do you find your identity in the presence of God. Make sure that being with God is prioritized over doing.

Presence of God

English: Crop of File:Souvenir Seller - Moscow...

English: Crop of File:Souvenir Seller – Moscow – Russia.JPG focusing on woman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been struck recently as to how ordinary most days are for most people. We try to fillour lives with exciting moments – but our every day life can be mundane. I wonder how ordinary it must have been to wander around the wilderness. There must have been a lack of fun places to go, things on tv to watch or coffee places to hang out in. This is why when God shows up the ordinary day turns into something amazing

On the morning of the third day, thunder roared and lightning flashed, and a dense cloud came down on the mountain. There was a long, loud blast from a ram’s horn, and all the people trembled.  Moses led them out from the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. All of Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the Lord had descended on it in the form of fire. The smoke billowed into the sky like smoke from a brick kiln, and the whole mountain shook violently. Exodus 19:16- 18

In the middle of the empty landscape God comes down and it was rather dramatic! Thunder, lightening, billowing smoke, earthquake – what a sight. I don’t think you could have missed God’s entry into the Israelite camp even if you were the doziest of folk!

Here comes God letting all his people know that shop is open, he is town, the show is on the road and He is in the business of spending time with his people. Tragically the people did not want to spend time with God.

When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear. And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!” Exodus 20: 18&19

The people had become so fixated on the mountainside dramatics that  they had forgotten the tender words of the Father holding them and loving them. God comes as a Father with power. This is who He is. Let us not be so desiring the big experiences, the healings, the manifestations that we miss the Fathers face and His voice. Both come together. The gentle loving Father full of power and wonder.

We sometimes hide from God when he comes to speak with us face to face. Just as Adam hid in the garden afraid to face up to God it can be due to feelings of guilt, shame, having let him down and thinking we are inadequate. Sometime it can be afraid of the demands we feel he will put on our life or of feeling unworthy. But He is the one who calls us by our name, holds us close and  carries us when we are weak. He only wants the best for us and to help us in our troubles. We need not fear his response to our mistakes, failures or lack – He only has compassion and love for us.

God calls us up the mountain and wants us to come to meet with him. Spend time with him. Share heart with him. He turns the mundane walk of life into something else! The ordinary becomes exciting, the intimate becomes powerful, the plain becomes a wondrous adventure – 3D into 9D!

Today: Ask the Holy spirit to show you if there are any hindrances in your life that stop you freely talking to God face to face. With his help deal with these issues.

You don’t belong here

Sandwich for Tea Time

Sandwich for Tea Time (Photo credit: Johnragai)

There are so many beautiful and encouraging names Moses could have picked for his first child. I know he perhaps didn’t have an A-Z of children’s names, but I am sure he could have found something a little more positive. In Ex 18:3 we find that Moses named his child Gershon which meant ” a foreigner there” .  I don’t if his mother called him in for tea loudly – but I wonder if it got some funny looks.

“Come in for tea son – You don’t belong here!”

It is strange being a foreigner in a land. You feel different, you look different, you sound different  – I probably smell different.

Moses knew he didn’t fit into the land of Egypt. He knew that wasn’t his home land and he looked forward to a homeland where he felt he belonged. He was an alien, a foreigner in a land whose culture felt strange to him – although he had lived there all his life.

I look at our society and find that as people we do all we can to fit in. Perhaps I watch TV, read magazines, discuss the right topics, wear the right clothes and do all I can to fit in and not feel different. Perhaps I am wondering if I measure up to the standards in this land – to look great, be famous. big car, nice house, successful kids. I do know that there are days where I am jealous of those who have bigger houses or seem more successful in life. All of us are so immersed in the Western society that we have allowed it to seep into us. Being away in a poorer culture has only shown to me how much we have taken into our lives but do not notice. I am to be different: I don’t belong here – I am not to use the measurements that this land uses for success. These are not my standards of being who I am meant to be. This is not who I am. I don’t belong here.

If we look at Psalm 73 we find David is having the same issues. How come those who do not care, and are selfish seem to get the big houses and the good jobs. He says his feet nearly slip off his journey until he looks into heaven and sees God. Then he knows that

“you hold me by my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.”

God is walking with us. He is holding our hand. He is taking us somewhere glorious. We do not belong here.

Today: Fix your eyes on your home – the kingdom of heaven. Spend some time asking the Spirit how has the consumer society affected your heart?

Father who loves to walk (with us)

Get your boots on! We are off for a walk. It will take effort but you will see and hear things

holding hands, se 39th ave

holding hands, se 39th ave (Photo credit: cafemama)

to delight you on the way. The birds singing, squirrels scurrying and the trees whispering to one another. It will make you feel alive and your heart vibrate with life!

I love walking. I feel close to God when I walk. I have been learning, however, that he enjoys walking with me also. In fact He has called me out of bed recently to go on a walk because His heart is to spend time with me. I have been shocked some mornings by His excitement.

 Ex 17:1 The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, travelling (walking) from

place to place as the Lord commanded.

Nehemiah 9:12 By day you led them with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire to give them light on the way they were to take.

Micah 6:8 He has shown you, what is good. To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

One of the first things we see God doing with mankind in Genesis is walk and talk with them. He would spend time with Adam and Eve wandering around the garden.  How does a spirit God walk? Has he special legs? Anyway, it seems that He still likes walking with us. He likes to wander with us through the paths of life keeping a conversation of intimacy open. He does not ask us to journey or adventure alone – He is with us all the way. He is in not rush to be anywhere – he is just enjoying your company.

He will even walk with you (escort you) for a good night out. Perhaps a feast in a great hall. He just wants to be with you – because he loves you.

He escorts me to the banquet hall;

  it’s obvious how much he loves me. Song of Songs 2:4

Today: Perhaps go on a physical walk with the knowledge that God walks with you.  Or sit down with God. Make an effort not to pray but just enjoy his company.