Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Once upon a time there were four groups of people:
  1. Those who made their own whole wheat bread
  2. Those who made their own white bread
  3. Those who bought whole wheat bread
  4. Those who bought white bread
(This makes a really nice matrix if you want to put it on a chalkboard.)

Because it's really hard work to make your own bread, those who made their own bread formed a support group. As long as they were discussing where to buy pans and which ovens worked best, and how much yeast they used and how long they baked the bread, and even how terribly sad it is that some people buy bread, they were happy.

Now, all the studies show that the people who make their own whole wheat bread live longest. It's the right thing to do. God tells us to take care of our bodies, after all – you could even say our bodies are the temple of God.

One day, several of the group started discussing a recipe that included white flour.  So some of those who make their own whole wheat bread decided they needed to encourage the whole homemaking group to a higher standard.

"Wait a minute!" cried the white bread makers. "It's what we can afford! It's way better than store-bought – no preservatives! We add in wheat germ, and flax seed! It's easier to make into the shapes that are important to OUR family! Besides, we use freshly-ground almond butter on ours, and you're using margarine, and we know margarine is dreadful for the body! How dare you judge? I thought we were here to support each other."

"How dare you judge us for judging you?" the first group cried back. "We are working so hard to provide only the best for our own families. We want only the best for you, too! And we need a little support of our own. I think we should change this support group into one that is specifically for people who make whole wheat bread. Everyone else is welcome, as long as they don't object to our standards or bring up white flour at all."

Some people who were just learning how to make bread gave up – because it was too much work to get it right.  And they didn't like all the judging and fighting.

And those who made their bread using part wheat and part white wondered what the first group thought of them.

And those who bought bread mix and baked it at home wondered where they fit in.

Those who bought rye bread because of wheat allergies (and because rye bread is REALLY hard to make at home) thankfully had no clue all this was going on.

We're not even going to mention those poor souls who bought white bread. Because we don't know their story at all. We don't know if they filled it with avocado and sprouts and made sure they take a multivitamin every day.

(Did I mention the government subsidized white flour in its evil quest to shorten our lives, so it's cheaper than whole wheat?)

And the little group who made their own whole wheat bread? Well, some of them used a bread machine. Some of them used a bread mixer. Some of them milled their own flour. The ones who grew their own wheat? Well, everyone knows organic is best, local is even better, and hard work is good for the body and soul. So they decided to encourage their little group to a higher standard.

Not too far away, there were people with no bread. They starved while the little group worked out its standards.

Jesus said, "Feed my sheep."

The End.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Blue Monday: Bucket

Asking is the beginning of receiving. Make sure you don't go to the ocean with a teaspoon. At least take a bucket so the kids won't laugh at you.
~Jim Rohn

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Vine

“I am the vine; you are the branches…”

Our grape vines are prolific – more fruit than we know what to do with, year after year.  Whether we prune them or not, water them or not, talk to them or not.

Until this year.

I guess it’s my fault.  I hadn’t gotten around to pruning them, though I am the self-educated grape vine pruner in our house.  So husband organized someone else to do it who had never pruned grapes before.

They were WELL pruned.  Nothing left but the vines.  No branches at all.

Come summer, they grew prolifically.  Loads of foliage, lush and and beautiful and green.

No grapes.

Makes me wonder about this whole vine analogy. 

Yes, as branches we need to be grafted into the vine in order to bear fruit.  But does God need us?  If all His branches are pruned away, what is the result?  Does He work so hard to redeem us because He needs us?