food (4)



I remember my father saying the blessing at every meal as I was growing up. That memory continues to bless me everyday of my life. It was not unlike the blessing of Jesus over the loaves and fish.

"And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing over them. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd."

Luke 9:16

This is a beautiful picture that is worth considering separate from the rest of the event of which it is a crucial part. The One who created all things made the bread and fish nourishing. He had already put His blessing on it. But it would only have fed one boy. Jesus looked toward His Heavenly Father, and by His power He blessed the meal so it would feed a multitude. Luke said there were about five thousand men there. How many women and children might have been there? That could easily have been a multitude of twenty or thirty thousand souls.

I would like to do something like that with my writing. As I write, I pray with all my heart that God will put more of His grace in my words than I know to write. And I also pray for a blessing like Jesus prayed for, that God will multiply it to touch the lives of multitudes of people.



Amazon Author's Page

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Children are a gift from the Lord and parents want the best for their children. Thankfully, the wealth of the oil-rich countries in the Arabian Peninsula has helped children not to be in want. Unfortunately, it has also created a generation of boys and girls who struggle with health issues due to unhealthy fast foods and a sedentary lifestyle. Childhood obesity and diabetes are on the rise at an alarming rate. In contrast, children in Yemen are starving because of the effects of civil war. "Save the Children" reports that about 130 children could easily die each day from starvation and illness.
More information on the children of the Arabian Peninsula can be found in the link at the bottom of this blog.
and in this video:
Dear Lord, we pray for the children in the AP who are suffering because of the excesses in their lives. We pray that they will get the help they need to be physically disciplined with exercise and healthy eating. We especially pray for the children of Yemen who desperately need food and medicine. Oh God, have mercy on them! Even more importantly, we pray that those with excess and those who have nothing will hear about your great love for them. May they hear the Gospel of the grace of Jesus Christ and embrace the forgiveness of sins and the eternal life which you offer.
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Praise God that the World Food Program was able to get food into some of the towns where people are starving. Continue to pray for those in the AP who live in a war torn country. Ask that all will have enough food to eat and that avenues for food distribution will remain open.

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-- when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? (Isaiah 58:6-7)

Praise God for organizations like the World Food Program who are doing all they can to fulfill Isaiah 58:6-7 in the war torn areas of the world. Pray for favor over their efforts.

Prayers for Wisdom
Abu H, his wife, and children have lived with Christ for a number of years already. There are no known believers around them. Abu H struggles as to how to raise his children. Young as they are he does not want them to reveal to friends, teachers, or cousins that they believe in Christ. Such knowledge coming into the hands of the wrong person would probably lead to severe persecution; perhaps even death. Should we therefore not speak of Christ to them?

Abu H is considering to immigrate. But this is not an easy option, first to be accepted as a refugee of religious persecution, but then also to consider what kind of effect immigration has on the image of Christ among their friends and family. They could think that the Christian message has been the cause for them losing their family members, resulting in even more anger towards Christ.

Will you pray that this family will be able to fix their eyes on Jesus rather than the waves, pressures, and fears of the world? 
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (Psalm 32:8) 

Pray that God's great wisdom and council will fall on the hearts of this family allowing them to discern where God is leading them and how He would want to use them.

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Grandma's Theory on Church Growth

Grandma Buchan was a very wise woman, and she had a fascinating theory on church growth. Well, actually, her theory had to do with restaurants, but many of the same principles apply to churches.


      “Jimmy, I never go to a restaurant if the parking lot isn’t full,” she told me firmly one day.


      I had never thought about restaurants that way. In fact, it seemed to me that there should be other considerations.


      “But, Grandma, I don’t always like busy restaurants, because you have to wait longer for your food.”


      Granny couldn’t be dissuaded, though. “No, Jimmy, if a restaurant has a lot of customers, I know the food must be good.”


      At the time of our conversation, it never occurred to me to ask Grandma about her thoughts on church growth. But as a pastor, I later adapted her theorem: Churches tend to grown when they serve good spiritual food.


      There’s a lot to be said for this axiom. I remember when our college fellowship group was attracting members away from the very boring and very liberal chapel program on campus. The college chaplain wasn’t very happy about this, of course, but I told him that people were simply gravitating to where their needs were being met.


      I’ve been on the other end of this principle, too. What if you’re a pastor whose members are leaving to attend a church down the street? It’s particularly painful when you’ve poured your heart and soul into someone who then departs for greener pastures or a better show.


      If Granny were still alive, I would love to bring up some questions about how her theory applies to churches. For example, the McDonald’s drive-thru is almost always busy. But I surely can’t say the food is good, at least not nutritionally. Aren’t there churches just like that—serving food that’s high in sugar and fat, making people obese and clogging their spiritual arteries as the years go by?


      Yes, people tend to gravitate to what meet their needs, but they also can gravitate to junk food.


      How does this apply to your church? Is it just a feel-good congregation, or is it truly offering good spiritual nutrition? Is it a place of genuine relationship and accountability, or is it more akin to a McDonald’s drive-thru?


      As we can see in John chapter six, Jesus’ earthly ministry demonstrated both sides of Granny’s principle. On the one hand, huge multitudes were following Him, because He was serving good food, healing people, and meeting their needs.


      But toward the end of the chapter, the crowd was reduced down to the original 12 disciples. Why? Because Jesus wasn’t going to let His ministry become like a McDonald’s drive-thru. Rather than being content to entertain people or feed them junk food, He gave them some “hard sayings” that day: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you” (v. 53).


      So we need to allow God to deal with us on both sides of this issue. If few people are being attracted by our ministry, we must ask ourselves whether we’re truly serving good food.


      However, if huge crowds are coming, we may need to preach some “hard sayings” and see who the real disciples are. Let’s make sure our congregations aren’t just filled with drive-by Christians, coming for the junk food. Instead of just providing a momentary spiritual high, may our “worship experiences” promote long-term spiritual growth.


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