Tag Archives: the Bible

Spiritual Diet

When I could no longer button up the bottom three buttons of my Guide shirt, which I haven’t worn for a while, I decided to take a bit more control over my eating habits. The trouble is that junk food is easier to prepare and tastes nicer than good nutritious food. I would much rather grab a chocolate than a carrot any day.

My go-to plan is the Weighless one. I get to eat all food groups but in limited and balanced quantities. Highly processed and sugary foods are no-no’s.

Image by RitaE from Pixabay

In church today we heard a sermon on how to read the Bible. One of the points our pastor made was that we should avoid snacking. By this he meant not limiting our spiritual diet to second hand, bite sized social media-type posts or clips. Perhaps one verse and somebody’s thoughts on it that take us less than three minutes to read or listen to. We need to engage with the Bible ourselves, struggle with the difficult passages and not only go for the sweet verses that are easy to read and suit our natural inclination.

Just like eating properly takes extra time and preparation, so our spiritual diet should be properly planned and time budgeted. It has often been said that if we are too busy to have a quiet time, i.e. spend quality time reading the Bible and communing with God, we are too busy. I confess that I often fall into this bad habit. I tell myself that if I am attending church or a corporate prayer meeting, that activity can take the place of a personal assignation with God.

The Bible talks about our spiritual diet – how we need to move on from the simple truths of the faith and go deeper into God’s word, allowing it to transform our character and habits. Paul said, “You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid foodSolid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.” (Hebrews 5:12,14 NLT)

My Prayer

Lord Jesus, I confess that I have been taking my Bible reading too lightly, preferring the sweet, palatable bits. Please help me to have the discipline to engage with Your Word and with You in a serious way. Amen.

In an Orange Mood

Every morning, my husband prepares oranges for our breakfast. He cuts them in half and uses a grapefruit knife to loosen the segments. Then we use serrated spoons to scoop out the flesh.

Once I’ve savoured each segment, I go around again, getting the last bit of juice out of the delicious fruit.

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This reminds me of reading the Bible. Even though I’ve read a section before, I can go over it again and get more “juice” out of it.

Oranges contain vitamin C which has long had the reputation of strengthening our immune system and helping our body fend off germs – those invisible enemies. I believe that is is more beneficial to get our vitamin C fix daily as a matter of routine rather than suddenly taking a massive dose when we feel a cold coming on although I am sure that helps.

In the same way, reading the Bible every day can help us ward off the invisible enemy of our souls. This practice refreshes our spirits and helps us grow strong in the faith.

Oranges are not the easiest fruit to eat. Unlike a grape which you can just pop in your mouth, an orange takes a bit of effort to prepare and eat, whether we peel it, soften it and suck it out of the skin, or cut it into segments. Likewise, reading the Bible regularly takes a bit of effort. Somehow it seems that social media, news and messages on our cell phones take precedence and seem easier to read.

I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word... Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. (Psalm 119:15-16,18 NIV)

My Prayer

Lord, teach me to delight in Your word. Please open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. Amen.

Knopkieries

On Friday we made the ten hour journey back home. We had an uneventful but enjoyable journey, enlivened by two pit stops. At the second one, just beyond Harrismith, we sat under a thatch-roofed picnic area and ate our egg mayonnaise sandwiches and drank our Pepsi Max. Nearby a man was selling walking sticks with a knob at one end like a knopkierie. I was thinking about buying one but wasn’t sure what they cost, so didn’t want to show too much interest. I had drawn R200 for the journey and had already spent some of it.

A man in his fifties walked past with one of the walking sticks. I asked him what it had cost.

“R150,” he replied, “as the Bible says, one good deed a day keeps the devil away.”

I queried whether that was really in the Bible, because I had never come accross it.

“It’s in my bible,” he said, “That’s what I taught my kids.”

Those words inspired me and made up my vacillating mind. It was now not so much about acquiring a walking stick, but helping support a craftsman who was providing for his family.

When we went closer to look at the sticks, we found out the man’s name was Steven. He made the sticks from teak railway sleepers, using only hand tools. Each one was beautifully crafted and decorated with different patterns. I bought one and my husband gave Steven the last of our little booklets of John’s Gospel that we had been given.

Whenever I use my walking stick, I will remember how a stranger’s words had acted as God’s guidance and how I was blessed to meet an interesting fellow South African.

Prayer

Dear Lord, today may I be attentive to people, situations and interruptions so that my ears are open to Your voice and I may see You more clearly in everyday life. Amen.