Step #2: Today’s Manna

season

This scenario happens far too frequently in my life:

My husband I go out to dinner and can’t decide whether or not to order an appetizer or dessert with our meal. We usually cave and get both. And then we often forgo debating which dessert and simply order two of them. It’s fabulous and waaay too much food. We placate ourselves by talking about how rarely we go out or how much we deserve a treat. By the time we hit the car to drive home I usually remark, “I’m not going to eat ANYTHING tomorrow.”

It doesn’t matter the ridiculous amount of calories I consume in the evening, I’m still going to wake up hungry. I always wake up hungry. I’ve never been one of the lucky few who could just forget to eat lunch. I also know that if I don’t eat when I’m hungry, my hunger can quickly turn into hanger. Hunger + anger = Hanger. “Sorry I snapped. I’m hangry.” I try not to use it as an excuse, I simply acknowledge this fact and make sure to pack a Larabar with me at all times.

Hunger is an important driving force in the Bible. God provides food miraculously for the hungry time and again. Case in point, this story from Exodus.

The sons of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction. (Exodus:16:3-4, NASB)

God was making an important point with the Israelites. If they tried to utilize the manna from the day before, they discovered it rotted through. He wanted to be their source of provision each and every day. Layer that truth with Matthew 4:4 and you find our 2nd step to staying in tune this season.

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

stepSTEP #2. Collect Manna for Today.

I know how easy it can be to read the Word on Sunday and want that manna to be our fix for the whole week, but God desires to speak to us each and every day. The Bible is meant to be our fuel for the journey, the sustanance that will keep us graceful in the midst of the most trying times.

Jeremiah 15:16 is one of my all-time favorite verses and speaks to the precious nature of God’s Word.

When your words came, I ate them;
    they were my joy and my heart’s delight,
for I bear your name,
    Lord God Almighty.

If we want our hearts to remain in tune, we would be wise to fill up each and every day. My hope and prayer is that the Word of God would be our joy and delight, the source we turn to satisfy our hunger.

“Like an addiction, a compulsion that can’t stop its seeking, do I always want to see more beauty–more of the glory of God? Because that is what I am made for–to give Him more glory. More eucharisteo, more. And not only yesterday. But today– manna today or I starve.” (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts)

“Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.”

– Robert Robinson, 1735-1790

 

Following,
Ginger

Friday Finds: The Whole Sweep

I have a beautiful video to share today. It’s worth the 7 minutes it will take to watch. Promise. The only catch? You have to follow the link below to get there.


The Whole Sweep of Scripture,

by N.T. Wright

GO, GO, GO!

“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.” -Charles H. Spurgeon

Happy Friday,
Ginger

Thursday Tips: Truth for the Road

Yesterday we talked about K’s question and the proper way to respond/steward our emotions. Here’s a snippet…

“I know God gave me emotions and the ability to feel deeply, but He also gave me a head on my shoulders and oodles of truth in His Word.  As much as I don’t want to admit it or live it- my reaction is my choice.  The feelings will always be there, but hopefully I’m allowing them to be interpreted by a Master translator and guide.”

God does have tons of truth for us to claim in His Word – but the power comes when the Word is in our hearts and not just on our shelves.

Thursday Tips: On the Go…

Thursday Tips: To Go from Ginger Ciminello on Vimeo.

Thankfully, “I don’t have to live in a state of reacting to whatever my emotions tell me. I can make choices based on the truth and watch my emotions change.”

Let’s fill up on truth!

Following,
Ginger

*A Retro Post from July 2011

 

Good Treasure

Yesterday we talked about how our center of gravity should be God’s Word. It’s important that we fill up on the good stuff. Check out Luke 6:45 in the New American Standard Bible:

“The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evilman out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested in evil treasure.

Let’s talk about filling up on the good kind…

Filling Up. from Ginger Ciminello on Vimeo.

Here’s to filling up on the good and true-

Following,
Ginger

*A Retro Video Post from April 5, 2011

Inside and Out

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; 
      you formed me in my mother’s womb. 
   I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! 
      Body and soul, I am marvelously made! 
      I worship in adoration—what a creation! 
  

 You know me inside and out, 
      you know every bone in my body; 
   You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, 
      how I was sculpted from nothing into something. 


   Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; 
      all the stages of my life were spread out before you, 
   The days of my life all prepared 
      before I’d even lived one day. 

 Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful! 
      God, I’ll never comprehend them! 
   I couldn’t even begin to count them— 
      any more than I could count the sand of the sea. 
   Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you! 

Psalm 139:13-18, MSG

Challenge for this week: Write your own Psalm of praise thanking God for how He made you! Be specific, be honest, and be thankful – for every single part of the True You He created.

Following,
Ginger

Friday Finds: Action Verbs

Just a few from the Old Testament:

THE GOD WHO…

HEARS Hagar – Genesis 16:11
SEES Hagar – Genesis 16:13
HEARS Ishmael – Genesis 21:17
OPENS the eyes of Hagar – Genesis 21:19
SEES Leah – Genesis 29:31
HEARS Leah – Genesis 29:33
LISTENS to Leah – Genesis 30:17
REMEMBERS Rachel – Genesis 30:22
WAS WITH Joseph – Genesis 39:2
SENDS Joseph – Genesis 45:5
INTENDED GOOD – Genesis 50:20
WAS KIND – Exodus 1:20
HEARD & REMEMBERED, LOOKED & WAS CONCERNED – Exodus 2:24-25
HEARD & REMEMBERED -Exodus 6:6
DID what Moses asked – Exodus 8:13
BROUGHT – Exodus 12:51
WILL FIGHT for you -Exodus 13:14
SAVED Israel – Exodus 14:30
HEALS you – Exodus 15:26
GIVES – Exodus 16:8
HEARD – Exodus 16:9
COMMANDED – Exodus 17:1
CARRIED you – Exodus 19:4
BROUGHT them out – Exodus 20:2
BLESSED the Sabbath day – Exodus 20:11
WILL GIVE you – Exodus 25:21
WILL MEET with you – Exodus 25:21
WILL DWELL among you – Exodus 29:45
HAS GIVEN skill – Exodus 31:6
CAME DOWN – Exodus 34:5
CHOSE – Exodus 35:30
GAVE ability – Exodus 36:2
COMMANDED – Exodus 39:21
CALLED Moses – Leviticus 1:1
GAVE – Leviticus 7:38
SPOKE to Moses – Leviticus 16:1
GIVES the Land – Leviticus 20:24
MAKES us holy – Leviticus 22:32

and on and on…

He’s moving even when you feel stagnant.
He’s listening even when you’ve run out of things to say.

I’m resting today in the fact that He sees me and the mountain that’s before me… and that His promise is to journey with me all the way.

Happy Friday,
Ginger

Chips, and salsa, and ranch… oh my.

My favorite food has changed over the years.  When I was younger it was definitely ribs.  I still love ribs, I just can’t eat them too often.  My teeth need a break, and so does my waist.  If pressed, my answer now might be shrimp, but it’s too easy to get bad seafood in the middle of the desert.  So for the last five years my response to “What’s your favorite food?” has been chips and salsa AND ranch.  Go ahead, raise your eyebrows.  But I dare you… mix the ranch and the salsa, dip your chip, and then get back to me.  I love it.  But this is also a very, very dangerous delicacy to love.  I am notorious for eating multiple baskets of chips and salsa prior to the arrival of my meal at restaurants.  By the time my food arrives I’ve filled up on carbs and don’t have room for any of the things my body actually needs.  Tortilla chips may fill me up for a while, but they certainly won’t satisfy or sustain me for long.

I may have a new obsession. I loved falafel before Israel, but now I might be mildly addicted and on the hunt for a hole-in-the wall place to serve it up hot and fresh out of a FRYER. So not great for me. But soo good. Oh. My. Goodness. NOM. NOM. Darn you, fried chickpeas!

Isaiah 55:2 reads, “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 your soul will delight in the richest of fare.”

I find it interesting that we are to LISTEN in order to eat what is good. That tells me that God’s Word is food for my hungering soul.  My friend Lauren reminds me that God’s portion isn’t stingy! Forget the picture of stale bread and dirty water. Throw that image out of your mind. God’s Word is compared to good food and the richest of fare! It’s filling, pleasureful and overflowing. Why would a God who LOVES to give good gifts fill us with anything less?

“Whom have I in heaven but you? 
   And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 
My flesh and my heart may fail, 
   but God is the strength of my heart 
   and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25-26, NIV)

This world is full of some amazing diversions, but we know in our hearts there must be more than simply drinking coffee and following celebrity gossip. Jesus said in John 10:10 He has come to bring the abundant life.  We choose everyday whether we will fill up on carbs or make our way to the Banquet table that holds the real feast.

I want to feel the way about God’s Word that I do about food. I want to crave it, thirst for it, hunger after it. It’s not just satisfying… it’s so good for me.

I’m so thankful He loves to answer this prayer: Lord, let me love your Word. If your appetite still hasn’t been wet by the Word, can I challenge and invite you to join me and pray this prayer today?

Hungry,
Ginger

Strainer

At the top!

On our second day in Israel we took a hike straight up the face of a mountain. I was thankful for the March temperatures and the Camelbak (TM) full of water, as we made the grueling ascent up Masada!

A scaled model of the fortress.

 “Masada was Herod‘s royal citadel and later the last outpost of Zealots during the Jewish Revolt. The citadel was a site of the most dramatic and symbolic act in Jewish history, where rebels chose mass suicide rather than submit to Roman capture.”

This is a cistern used by King Herod at his palace at Masada. “One of Herod’s first undertakings was an intricate water supply system, that was of crucial importance in the arid climate of Masada. It consisted of a drainage system to carry rainwater from the two wadis west of Masada to a group of cisterns in the northwestern slope of the rock. 12 huge cisterns could hold together about 40 thousand cu.m. of water.” (Quotes on Masada from: http://mosaic.lk.net/g-masada.html) 

I couldn’t help but think of this passage from Jeremiah as we walked past one of the large cisterns:

Jeremiah 2:13, NIV
“My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me,
   the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
   broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

Jeremiah laments with the Lord that the Israelites have made faulty cisterns. They have spun their wheels and worked to an end that simply will not satisfy. Check out the same passage in the Message Translation:

“Stand in shock, heavens, at what you see! Throw up your hands in disbelief—this can’t be!” 
God’s Decree.”My people have committed a compound sin: they’ve walked out on me, the fountain of fresh flowing waters, and then dug cisterns— cisterns that leak, cisterns that are no better than sieves.” The Message

Do you know what a sieve is? It’s like a mesh strainer. Sounds perfect for catching water, right?

And yet how often do I turn to shopping, friendships, my spouse, food, exercise, money, entertainment, social media, and even “relaxing” hoping these things will fill what God alone can satisfy?

“Men are in a restless pursuit after satisfaction in earthly things. They will exhaust themselves in the deceitful delights of sin, and, finding them all to be vanity and emptiness, they will become very perplexed and disappointed. But they will continue their fruitless search. Though wearied, they still stagger forward under the influence of spiritual madness, and though there is no result to be reached except that of everlasting disappointment, yet they press forward. They have no forethought for their eternal state; the present hour absorbs them. They turn to another and another of earth’s broken cisterns, hoping to find water where not a drop was ever discovered yet.”-Charles Spurgeon

Oh that we would turn to the fountain of Living Water rather than trying to catch rain water with a strainer.

Thirsty,
Ginger