Nicole Burke is guest posting for me again today. I love the way she uses the simple things to challenge me to go deeper. Thanks again, Nicole. Check out her good stuff on Facebook.

——————————–

nicguestpost

A midwife appointment turns our morning on its end and I find myself at the Farmer’s Market right around noon on a Friday. I pull in with the toddler fussing and the two big kids asking for snacks and when I can’t find a parking spot, I wonder if I should go find some fast food drive thru.

 

We push the stroller into the market and I hand the kids the last of my week’s pantry: fairy fruit snacks. And I say a little prayer, “Lord, don’t let the organic farmers see me feeding my kids high fructose corn syrup disguised as Tinkerbell.’

 

We load the stroller full of tomatoes and cucumbers, peppers and squash, and the most beautiful peaches you’ve ever seen. But the kids are hungry and I somehow forgot to pack a sink and a kitchen knife to serve all this summer bounty up in the middle of the market. My big girl smells popcorn and eyes the cookies at the end of the aisle. She looks past all this beautiful produce and begs to head that direction.

 

I spy strawberries, and though they’re certainly not local this time of year, they cost less than the bag of popcorn. I buy a bunch and set the kids munching.

 

I’m handing out one strawberry after another and still wondering where my toddler put my sunglasses. I carry a dozen ears of corn on my arm, hope my keys are somewhere under the tomatoes, and balance a box of peaches on the stroller’s canopy.

 

We finally load up the van and eventually find ourselves back home where we can slice and serve up some of the most wonderful tastes our country can offer. My kids are no longer hungry and there’s no mention of that popcorn we left behind. I eat a tomato sandwich and think about fairy snacks. And I remember the Gospel…

 

I think of Eve in that fruitful Garden…permitted to eat from EVERY tree, EVERY tree, except one. I wonder why she didn’t fill up on the fruit from every beautiful tree as she made it her way to the forbidden one.

 

And then I think of Jesus walking through that desert, not having a bite or a drink for forty days, and yet filled to the brim with the good stuff—the companionship of His loving Father and the WORD.

Eve refused the garden of bounty and came hungry to the spot of ‘Do Not.’ And Jesus? He ate to the full, ate food this world doesn’t understand and was able to refuse and resist the most tempting of fast food offers.

 

I pull tomatoes, cucumbers and the sweetest of watermelons from the car and hide the fairy snacks in the back of the pantry. And I ask Jesus to remind us of the Gospel–that the GOOD NEWS is full of good eating, eating and filling up on the good stuff. Who needs the junky fast food of sin when there’s a market of goodness right under our noses?

 

“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live. Isaiah 55:1-3

 

3 Ways to Fill Up on Christ This Week

 

1. Read a little bit of the Gospels each morning. Just a few verses, a little story, just something. Read what He said, watch what He did, remember how people responded. Watch Him live and ask Him to live in You.

 

2. Welcome Him into the mindless moments. In the car, walking down the hallway at work, packing your lunch, walking to check the mail…whenever you have a mindless moment, ask Him to join you there and call you back to enjoy Him.

 

3. Get in touch with people who enjoy Him. You know these people…not necessarily the ones who are always at church, but the ones who are most interested in Jesus. Do you know at least one-someone who’s full of the good stuff? Call them, email them, get time with them somehow. And fill up on Christ together.

.

pampassgrass

Dear Friend,

 

Seems that each time we talk, anxieties rise to the surface of our conversations. Have you noticed? So, as I’ve prayed for the both of us, Matthew 6:31-33 has returned to speak to my heart. “Do not be anxious….But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” Herein lies the key to freedom from worry.

 

The word “kingdom” stuns me when I look at its original meaning. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon says “kingdom” means “royal power, kingship, dominion, rule – not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right to rule over a kingdom

 

When I seek His right to rule over me first and foremost, I am promised that everything else will fall into place. Could it be that we are worrying about things only as they affect us? “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spent it on your pleasures” (James 4:3). Are our thoughts desirous of His way of thinking and acting or only our own? When the Lord is truly our Shepherd, we shall have no wants (Psalm 23:1). Let’s pray for this state of surrender within the both of us.

 

Father,

 

There is so much going on in our heads. We are anxious about so many things. But You’ve shown us the solution.  Simply turning to face You. 

 

My friend and I begin this day giving You the right to make our decisions. Regardless of whether it is the time we spend on tasks or free time — the words that come out of our mouths and what we put into them. I ask that You take our every thought captive, underneath Your rule (2 Corinthians 10:5). 

 

Just hoping our thoughts improve isn’t the key. We are both old enough to have tried that self-improvement program and found it useless. Please flow Your own thoughts and emotions within us. Change our desires and make them Your own. When Your people who are called by Your Name humble themselves and pray, and seek Your face and turn from their selfish ways, then You are free to give us what we need and go on to heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14). May we rest in Your goodness.  So be it….

 

Photo courtesy of Tom Clark.

.