The Bread of Life

Today is Wednesday (Hump Day), the third of February, 2021.

Peace be with you!

Day 22,973

I actually had to stop and think a minute to remember what day this is.

I hear the “big game” is this Sunday. I certainly don’t have a “dog in this hunt,” but I might watch at least part of the game. I don’t know, though . . . Sunday is one of my major gaming days, so I will have to weigh which is more important to me. The only reason that I might watch is to see this Patrick Mahomes kid play. I definitely will not be rooting for Tom Brady. I don’t hate him, like a lot of Texas people. Neither do I like him very much. He’s great, I’ll give him that. But I can’t bring myself to root for a team from Tampa.

Sports logic is weird, so don’t question it. The Tampa Bay Rays are one of my top three most loathed teams. The other two are the New York Yankees (duh), and the Toronto Blue Jays (even though Joey Bats doesn’t play there, any more). Now that my primary allegiance is to the Texas Rangers, perhaps I should shift the brunt of my baseball dislike a bit more to the west. But, hey . . . Rangers fans don’t like Toronto, either, right? And everyone but Yankees fans hates the Yankees.

Enough of that. Time to get serious.


Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
(Psalms 63:7 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

  • For Twisted Pine Hawaiian Blend coffee; good stuff – highly recommend
  • For Your words . . . sweeter than honey to my mouth (Psalm 119:103)
  • That my times are in Your hands (Psalm 31:15)
  • That every word You speak is true
  • For the Bread of Life

Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year



How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.
(Psalms 119:103-104 NIV)


For the director of music. A psalm of David.

In you, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, LORD, my faithful God.
(Psalms 31:1-5 NIV)

My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.
Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.
(Psalms 31:15-16 NIV)


“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
(Matthew 6:1-8 NIV)


“My times are in your hands,” says the psalmist. I can easily echo these words, and have, many times, in my life. The truths stated in this psalm are some of my most favorite in Scripture. “Rescue,” “rock,” “fortress,” “refuge,” these are all words that describe how I feel about God, my Father. I feel safe when I think of Him in terms like these.

Jesus continues to challenge our ways of thinking in His Sermon. “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them,” He says. I added the emphasis.

Because, seriously, where else are you going to “practice your righteousness,” other than “in front of others?” I honestly do not think that Jesus is telling us that we should never allow our “good works” to be seen by others. He is challenging our motivation. He is telling us that, if we are doing good works in order to be noticed by other people, we’re doing it wrong! The attention is not the motivation.

The motivation is love, compassion, service, the simple joy of doing something good.

I have never liked the church’s practice of calling someone up and pointing out the good things they have done. We should not be calling attention to our deeds. Let them speak for themselves. I’m not even sure I’m comfortable with putting up pictures of all the gifts we gave to some families for Christmas (The Exchange did this a few years ago). I guess as long as we are only showing it to ourselves, and saying, “Look church. Here is what you did for these people.” That’s probably okay. But if we start putting stuff like that on our social media, where everyone can see it, it becomes tricky.

We’re not hiding anything. People will hear about our good deeds, they will find out about them. But we don’t parade down the street, blowing a trumpet when we carry food to the hungry. We do it quietly, simply. We do it for the love of our Lord and for the care of people whom He cares about, and no other reason.

Of course, this thought translates next into how we pray, but I don’t want to take the time to get into that, this morning. I was more drawn in by the first portion. And I have a feeling that the praying part will continue in tomorrow’s Bible reading.

Father, I thank You that You have given us generous hearts, that You have led us to hold onto our possessions with open hands rather than closed fists. But we could still do better, I think, which is evidenced by the fact that our “tithe fund” still has money in it. Help us to see with better eyes and spirits the needs of people around us, that we might help them. Not for attention, or not for glory. Not to us, O Lord, but to You goes the glory. May we serve and work quietly and simply, for the attention to go to You, rather than to us.

"God of mercy,
thank you for the freedom to do good -
not to prove to you,
or myself
how good I am,
but instead forgetful of self,
focused on your pleasure,
and moved by your undeserved mercy.
Give me a gentle heart of compassion
by deepening my experience of your grace,
knowing that in doing good works
I only do what is appropriate
to your generosity in Jesus.
(Belgic Confession 24)


Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
(Psalms 25:4-5 NIV)

“You are my defender and protector. You are my God; in you I trust.”
(Psalms 91:2 GNB)

Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.
(Proverbs 30:5 NLT)

So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.
(Hebrews 6:18-19 NLT)

The Hebrew word for “bread” is “lechem.”

The Hebrew word for “house” is “beit.”

You may already know where this is going.

Beit Lechem means “house of bread.”


Bread is a major source of life. It can be, perhaps, seen figuratively as that which we need most to survive.

“If what we needed most was money, if money was the bread of our lives, then what we’d find in Bethlehem, the house of bread, would be money. If what we most needed was success, then we’d find success there. Or if it was acceptance or pleasure or substances or careers or possessions or any other thing we desired. If any of these were what we needed most, then that’s what we would have found in Bethlehem. But we didn’t find any of those things there.”

What did we find in Bethlehem, the “house of bread?”

The Bread of Life.

The Mission: Stop filling your needs and desires with that which is not bread. Fill your heart with the love, the presence, and the fullness of your true bread – Him.”

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel, whose origins are in the distant past, will come from you on my behalf.
(Micah 5:2 NLT)

Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
“Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”
Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
(John 6:32-35 NLT)

(From The Book of Mysteries, by Jonathan Cahn)

Father, thank You for the Bread of Life, which was found in Bethlehem, the house of bread! Help me to fill up my life with this true bread, not with things that are meaningless and fade away. Teach me Your ways, show me Your path; help me walk with Jesus today.

Lord, I also pray, today, that my fellowship with the risen Christ would be deep and intense. Remind me, frequently, throughout this day, of His work and sacrifice for me, and of His victory over sin and death. Give me spiritual renewal and refreshment, today, even as I go through the mundane tasks of “work.”

I pray for peace in our nation, peace in our world. I pray for racial injustice to end, and I pray for the pandemic to be over. Above all else, though, I pray for Your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(Psalms 16:11 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.

Love Those Who Annoy You

Today is Saturday, January 21, 2017.

Quote of the Day

“At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.” – Plato

Word of the Day

Propinquity – nearness or closeness in space; neighborhood, proximity.

Today is Hugging Day. I’ll be available all day.

I think a lot of people in this country could use a hug today.

We had a pot luck lunch at work, yesterday. It was pretty amazing. All I had time to grab was a sausage/cheese tray from Walmart Neighborhood Market. But some people went all out. We had homemade chili, chicken and dumplings, homemade enchiladas, “cheeseburger pie,” and a veritable plethora of other things. I ate so much I was miserable the rest of the afternoon. Yes. It was worth it. I got the recipe for the cheeseburger pie, by the way.

C went to the doctor yesterday, and was diagnosed with “bronchial asthma.” She’s never been diagnosed with any kind of asthma before. The doctor she saw also pinpointed some of the causes of the various pains she has been experiencing. There may be some hope for relief in the future.

There isn’t much on the schedule for today. I’ll probably hit the grocery store after a while, but C needs to just rest today.

And, by the way, my predictions for football this weekend (keeping in mind that I hardly ever watch football) are that the Patriots and Packers will win, thereby making it to the Superbowl, which happens sometime in March, I think. No, seriously, it is February 5. It just seems later every year.



Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! Psalm 105:4

Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! 
You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.” 
Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation!
Psalm 27:7-9

But you, you are to be feared! Who can stand before you when once your anger is roused? Psalm 76:7

I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. 
Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— 
no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. 
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. 
On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. 
You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
Psalm 91:8-10

(From The President’s Devotional)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 
But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 
so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:38-39, 43-45

I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

“It is easy to love when we are loved.” Jesus alluded to that in his commands to love our enemies. What good does it do us if we only love those who love us? Even the “tax collectors” do that! It’s not even that difficult to love someone who hates us. More difficult than loving those who love us, true, but I believe we find it easier to pray for someone who has an intense hatred for all things “Christian.”

But what about those situations that fall between the two? What about those people you encounter every day who annoy and irritate us? Coworkers, family members, and so on.

“It is in these moments that we must live up to our spiritual discipline, where we immediately say a word of prayer for the person on the other end of the exasperation, the irritation. She or he is a sister or ‘brother for whom Christ died.'”

“Dear God, remind me of my own fallibility, weaknesses, and flaws, so that I might more easily show grace to others. Amen.”

Father, these words strike home in my heart. I find myself in situations where I forget to love these people. As Joshua stated, it is usually quite easy to love those who love us, whether they loved us first, or love us in return. It’s not even impossible to love those who hate us. But those folks in between. The ones that simply annoy and irritate us. Dear God, how I have failed in that!! I pray for your Spirit to help me to accomplish the words of Christ in my life. Help me to live and walk by the truth that Christ proclaimed, and live in such a way that there can be no doubt who I belong to.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.