Bread is not Boring!

9 10 2011

“I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life.” John 6:47-48   

I had an epiphany while working through my Bible study today that I would love to share with you. It involved bread. It’s always good to study around food, no? It’s probably why I paid attention in the first place…..

There is significance to bread in Scripture. It was used as a staple for nutrition. It was also used as an offering to God in the Old Testament.

In the case of David, we know that when he fled from Saul, he ran to Nod and visited Ahimelech who was fearful of David because he knew of David’s conquest over Goliath. David told him a lie that he was “on a secret mission” for Saul and asked for something to eat.

“Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.” But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here–provided the men have kept themselves from women. David replied, “Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever I set out. The men’s things are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!” So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the LORD and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.” 1 Samuel 21:3-6

During the time of David, bread was offered to God as a way to remind God of the covenant that he made with his people (Israel). This is the “Shewbread” that we see in Scripture. It was placed on the altar, and it was 12 loaves of what is thought to be unleavened bread. It was replaced with fresh bread each Sabbath.  

David was given bread that had been offered to God. There is some meaning to this, it is a reminder to David by God of his commitment and covenant to protect him.

Jesus also used 5 loaves to feed the five thousand.

“When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food. Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.” Matthew 14: 13-21

Jesus reminded the disciples and the crowd that he alone is the provisioner of all our needs. He can and will satisfy and sustain us.

  • Five loaves fed David when he fled from Saul.
  • Five loaves fed the 5,000. 
  • Twelve loaves on the altar of the tabernacle as an offering to the Lord.
  • Twelve apostles.
  • Consecrated bread represents the presence of the Lord. It is this bread of the presence that was given to David to remind him of the promise of God.
  • Jesus tells us that he is the bread of life.
  • We use bread during the communion ritual as a reminder of Christ’s body.

In the Old Testament bread is used to symbolize things beyond the obvious of nutrition; the presence of God, unity among a group, wisdom. In the New Testament, bread represents Christ himself, unity of his Kingdom and the Church.

When Jesus tells us that he is the bread of life, he is telling us in short that he is the embodied presence of God. He is wisdom, and unity, and the ultimate nutrition. He alone can satisfy your needs.

Doesn’t that just stir your soul to no end? I hope so! Bread, indeed, is not boring! Grasp at your bread hungrily and greedily….and maybe dip it in a little olive oil and vinegar with some cracked pepper as you do! May it become a reminder of who your Maker is and what promises he has made to us each and every time you have your daily bread.


David: Seeking a Heart Like His  (Beth

Holman Bible Dictionary 


My Dog Ate God

23 07 2011

Skipping the alliteration for a post, we’ve taken a temporary detour to the anagram. Here’s the story of how my dog ate God….

My neurotic rescue, Sadie the Silent Wonder Dog, would react in fear by stealing and chewing my possessions under the cover of darkness. She had a particular fondness for chewing anything of mine that was leather. She would steal a shoe here, a Coach purse there (I know you feel my pain!). There was an incident in the past where she stole my favorite Bible and chewed on the corner.  As I was running after her to repossess my stolen possessions, I was thinking “you better be filled with the Holy Spirit now because I’m a-gonna kill you!!!” something always stopped me from reacting with her. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the ever-present sorrowful “don’t hit me” look in her eyes. She was used and abused and has severe distrust of humans.

It got me thinking, we as humans say some terribly unkind things to one another. Why is it so easy to for me to catch myself from reacting to Sadie’s antics, and not as easy to stop reacting when another human being wrongs me?

Why is it so easy to connect to an animal? Is it simply because they offer unconditional love? Why is it such a challenge to do the same for another human? Dogs don’t disappoint the way humans do. But is that really true? Or do we just have different expectations with dogs so there isn’t as much pressure on them to be a certain way?

Over time, dog has become my second shadow. Part of that is because she’s still fearful of other humans and hides behind me for protection, but I believe she’s finally begun to trust me.

Dictionary dot com defines trust as reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence; confident expectation of something; hope.

Glob in Blog?

One of the quirky ways that God chooses to communicate with me is by dropping special key verses in my path. He elects people here and there to bring the verse into my path. It’s always at a critical juncture. There are a couple of verses he uses, but the one I’d like to share with you is Jeremiah 29:11-14:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (NIV)

This particular verse is a favorite of many. The text has an obvious message, but it wasn’t until recently that someone helped me see this in a slightly different way.

If you look in the verse before this (29:10), you come to learn that Jeremiah is sending this message to the people (Israel) that have been held captive in Babylon. Though captive, they have been asked to remain faithful to God and to obey his word in the culture they were transplanted to and held captive by. Babylon had a reputation for the excessive (sound like anything we’re dealing with today?).

God is promising to deliver them from 70 years of captivity. 70 years spans several generations. There would be some that were sons and daughters that had never lived in the Promised Land; these would have been born in captivity. God is offering hope and a future, but he’s asking that the people Israel trust him, sight unseen in some cases.

Doesn’t that sound a little like what we’re dealing with today? We’re the sons and daughters that have been born into the captivity of the culture of excess around us. As believers, we’re being asked to live a little differently from the culture around us and place our trust in something the rest of the world simply doesn’t understand and probably thinks is a little weird. And even though we’ve never lived in the Promised Land, we are being asked by God to trust him, sight unseen.

And whether our proverbial captivity extends 70 years or beyond, we are being asked to trust. We are being asked to rely with integrity, strength, ability, and surety in Christ with a confident expectation. We are being asked to put our hope in Him. 

God wants you to prosper dear one.  He’s asking you to trust Him to do so.

Strut towards Trust

Sadie is developing a confident expectation in me and I in her. She’s acting out less and less. She’s slowly becoming more interactive and affectionate. She follows me everywhere I go. I’m quite certain that she was placed in my life as an experiential teaching tool, to give me a picture of what it means to love unconditionally, to change and evolve. Something analogous to the expectations that God has for me, the plans to prosper me, to give me hope and a future, provided I remember where my trust belongs.

I would like to take it a step further and suggest that if we place our hope in Christ, it helps us manage our expectations; of self and others. If we can remember that we are essentially as captives in the Babylonian-style world and called to live a little differently, it may serve to help us keep our expectations in perspective and focused on God.

People disappoint sometimes. God doesn’t.

I believe if we can learn to relax our expectations of others, and remember that they are in this same struggle of captivity that we are facing, it may help us choose a different reaction, perhaps a more kind and loving response….perhaps we can come to trust God and use that trust to seek wisdom in our response to others.

Now I’m going to go swallow my own medicine. And hug my dog.

Wanton Whispers

17 07 2011

I was out at the pool in my homeowner’s association today working on my daily dose of Vitamin D.  There’s something about that summer sun that soothes the soul.  I had a tall bottle of water, a new magazine, beach towel perfectly draped on the lounge chair. I set the 30 minute timer on iPhone to remind me when it’s time to flip over. I was perfectly poised for wonderful possibilities!

When I laid down near the spa, which is in a partially enclosed area with a curved wall, it was suddenly as if I had been transported through space to the whispering gallery in St. Paul’s Cathedral; the church home that was the place where Prince Charles and Lady Di married. The cathedral that I’ve had the opportunity to visit and happen upon an eventide service with stunning voices echoing throughout the halls; This massive place of worship, designed by Christopher Wren has a not so secret gallery up in the dome. After a few satisfying steps, you alight to a walkway that rims the dome, something like 100 feet above the ground floor, and when you whisper against the wall, anyone near the wall at any point around the dome walkway, can hear precisely what you are whispering about.  <travelus interruptus!>

Only what I was hearing out at the pool was not echoes of sweet prayers and heartfelt songs of praise.  It was……a bunch of cats engaging in some vicious gossip about another. Now my intent is not to sell my gender down the river, and I’m not here to suggest that I’ve never engaged in gossip myself, dear reader. It was just one of those teachable moments I had the opportunity to participate in which I’m choosing to take as a personal reminder why I shouldn’t gossip. I’m sure they had no idea that I could hear all they were saying as the sound secretly traveled around every inch of that curved retaining wall. I’d like to think they would be embarrassed if they knew that I could hear every wretched word, as I would have been if it had been me.

I don’t know the gaggle of gals and I’ll never know the identity of the one of which they were speaking.  But I did just lay there for a minute thinking about the person they were speaking of.  I would venture to guess we’ve all had days here or there that we’ve felt like the world was against us. How are we to respond when life drops unavoidable negative circumstances in our path?

“All my enemies whisper together against me; they imagine the worst for me…”  Psalm 41:7 (NIV)

We know that Jesus experienced the same whispering issues in Galilee. John 7:12 says, “Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.” Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.”  There was a mixed bag for him too. We can tell that people had strong reactions to him and it’s only natural that there would have been a fair amount of gossiping going on about him behind his back. We know for sure that Jesus felt the weight of the world on the cross.

“Lord, they came to you in their distress; when you disciplined them, they could barely whisper a prayer.” Isaiah 26:16 (NIV)

All this to say, dear ones, your Savior knows what you’re going through when you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. He’s been there too. Cry out to him, even when you don’t have the strength to. Cling to him. He’s trustworthy. He’ll rescue you.  He can calm the storms and rough seas in your life, if you let him. He wants you to cry out to him. He’ll bring you the peace that passes all understanding. He’ll stand beside you while you face those pesky pessimists.

 “He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.”  Psalm 107:29 (NIV)

He’s waiting for your wanton whispers.

**Let’s get a conversation going. What do you do when you have times of distress and you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders? What are some ways that you walk through the storms? Post your thoughts in the comments section below.

Catty Corny Chowder

On the menu this evening is the now officially titled catty corn chowder in honor of that gaggle of girlies! Fast and easy summer supper….with leftovers!

1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, diced
4 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
2 large potatoes peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 Tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
8 cups of water (or low sodium chicken stock is an option)

In a stock pot, heat the oil and add the onions. Fry about 5 minutes until they are translucent. Add all of the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer on low for about 30 minutes. You will now puree the soup. If you are using a blender, please make sure and cool the mixture before pureeing. Learn from my mistakes. Hot food in a blender, with the top on, makes the glass explode from the pressure. Physics 101 lecture now completed and it’s too pretty a day to have to mop up a mess. You may also use a stick blender if you have one. Now you have a choice here. You may puree it all if you prefer is smooth, or only half if you like a few chunks of corny potato goodness. Plate and serve. This works for leftovers too!

Serving Ideas:
I made up a little gringo salsa with some fresh tomatoes, onions and cilantro to put on top. Pretty! Pair it up with a crisp green salad or a hot crusty roll (or both!) and you’ve got yourself a nice little meal (and lunch tomorrow!)

Furtive Feasting on the Fourth; Red, White and Blueberry Edition

4 07 2011

A patriotic holiday is here!  We celebrate the freedom of our country, thanks to the sacrifice of some brave men and women. I’m so proud of and thankful for my Nephew who is currently in active service and my Dad and Brother-in-law who have both done their part. Three generations of our family have fought the good fight; literally and figuratively. Thank you for all you have done for our Country!  I’m so glad that I live in the United States and I’m so glad that we have men and women such as yourselves that are willing to sacrifice so much for our nation.

Festive Food –

I don’t know about you but my holiday celebrations are usually centered on sharing a meal with family or friends. There’s a distinct tradition about the preparation of some signature dishes along with some new finds.

I was thinking about Daniel and his abstinence from the rich food on the King’s table (see Daniel 1) helping keep him strong and powerful. It is a good reminder to not take the celebrations overboard. As I was looking through scripture for an appropriate message about feasting, I came across a gem in Proverbs.

“All the days of the oppressed are miserable, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast.” Proverbs 15:15

The attitude of your heart colors your thoughts and actions. One has the ability to choose between an attitude of downtroddenness or an attitude of cheerfulness.

There’s a simple idea that keeps resonating with me. Thoughts drive actions. You have to think something before it can be.

If thoughts drive actions, what could we accomplish in a day if we made the simple choice to have a cheerful heart? We could have a daily feast!

As you celebrate with family and friends today, consider choosing to have a cheerful heart. Chose to have a continual feast today, and tomorrow, and the next day……

You’re on my mind today sweet things!  Happy Fourth!

Fourths and Fifths –

On my table today will be the following:

Red- Watermelon Salad

8 cups seedless watermelon, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 red onion, sliced thinly and separated into rings

10 leaves of fresh mint, cut into thin slices (chiffonade)

6 ounces sheep milk feta, crumbled

¼ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Dash of sea salt

Dash of freshly ground pepper


Place the watermelon, onion, mint, and feta in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl combine the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and whisk until combined. Pour over the watermelon mix and toss gently to combine.

White – Lemon Potato Salad

3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes

1 cup finely chopped parsley

½ cup olive oil

Grated rind of 2 lemons

Freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons

1 red onion, sliced thinly

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper


Cook potatoes in boiling water until for tender but don’t cook until mushy! Drain and allow potatoes to cool enough that you don’t burn yourself when handling them. Peel skin off and discard, cut potato into small 1” cubes and place in a large bowl. Add in red onion slices and parsley. In a smaller bowl place olive oil, grated lemon rind (take care not to get too much of the white pith of the lemon since it tends to add a bitter flavor), fresh lemon juice, sea salt, and ground pepper. Whisk with a fork until somewhat combined. Pour dressing over potatoes and mix gently. Cover and refrigerate.

Blueberry – Fresh Blueberry Pie

Ready for the fast and easy version?

2 frozen deep dish pie crusts (you can make your own if you have the time & inclination)

6 six ounce containers of fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained

½ cup all purpose organic flour

1 cup organic granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon salted butter cut into little pieces

1 Tablespoon raw sugar


Preheat oven to 400*. In a large bowl, place the blueberries, flour, granulated sugar and butter. Toss gently until well combined. Place in one of the pie crusts.

Here’s where the cheating happens! Take the 2nd crust out of the tin and place on a slick surface or cutting board. Cut shapes out of the pastry. I chose a star cookie cutter for this patriotic holiday, but normally, I would cut out leaf shapes or something along those lines. Place the shapes on top of the blueberry mix to create a sort of lattice work top, allowing some of the berries to show through.

Cover the pie loosely with foil. Place on a baking sheet. Turn the oven temperature down to 375*F just before placing the pie in the oven. Bake for 50 minutes. After 50 minutes, remove the foil and sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon of raw sugar. Return pie to oven and bake for about 10 minutes more, watching carefully so that pastry does not burn. Remove pie and allow it to cool before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if desired.


“A joyful heart makes a face cheerful, but a sad heart produces a broken spirit.” –Proverbs 15:13  

May your face be cheerful today!   Now the only question remaining…..what’s your feast? Post and let us know what will be on your table today…..

Caruncle Carob

25 06 2011
Manna from Heaven?

Put chocolate in front of me and there’s a cacophony of alarms going off in my head, it’s too hard to resist the temptation for a daily dose of “vitamin C” most days. In a never-ending quest for health, I’ve been looking into other options. Today’s kitchen experiment was with my new best friend – Carob.

Red Mill makes a fabulous toasted carob powder. It’s like fine silt, and it goes EVERYWHERE when you open the cellophane packaging.  User beware.

I have a habit of picking up some ingredient that I’ve never tried before when I’m at the market. I like to keep things fresh, but I must confess this carob has been hibernating in my cupboard unattended for longer than it should have.  Had I only known!?!

I started scouring the internet for recipe possibilities. There’s one word that kept catching my eye……brownies! But could this toasted carob stand up to the traditional cocoa powder version?

Carob comes from pods of the carob tree which is prevalent in the Mediterranean region. It is technically from the legume family. It is a good source of protein, fiber and Omega 6s.  The plant also goes by the name St. John’s Bread and locust bean. Wikipedia notes that Locust bean gum is a “galactomannan” vegetable gum extracted from the seeds of the carob tree and it is used as a thickening agent in foods. Well, now we know!

Conspectus Controversy –

Matthew 3:4 has John the Baptist feeding on locusts and wild honey. What if that was a reference for locust beans and wild honey? Is it possible that our beloved JB had a pure sweet tooth? (Carob sounds more appealing than grasshoppers, doesn’t it?)

I read that in the Jewish Talmud, there is a story about carob trees taking as long as 70 years to grow from a seedling to bearing its fruit. Israelites would not necessarily benefit from their own plantings; it would be done for the next generation to harvest. That’s an excellent reminder to invest in the next generation in order that they may harvest and prosper.

I won’t need to be eating too much carob for fear of further caruncle development…..but it is a good substitute when you’re looking for an option for a treat.

It has a naturally “sweet” taste to it, so the theory is that you need less sugar to go along with it. And now that we can rationalize using spiritual and historical significance….enjoy your daily dose of “Vitamin C(arob)”….

Carob Brownies

Yield: Makes one 8” x 8” pan


½ cup Earth Balance butter

¾ cup organic granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2/3 cup organic all purpose flour

½ cup carob powder (Red Mill makes a toasted carob powder that works here!)

½ tsp. baking powder

½ c. chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans) 


Preheat the oven to 350*F 

Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Mix until thoroughly combined. Add in dry ingredients (carob powder, flour, baking powder), blending until smooth, taking care not to over mix. Add in nuts and stir until combined. Spread batter in a greased 8 x 8 x 2 inch pan. Bake at 350*F for about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool before slicing.


Corrugated Coffee

21 06 2011

Coffee is something I can get excited about. I am a morning person so there is something to be said for the period of the day before dawn, when the world is quiet and the pot is prepared. It has become daily ritual so I can do almost everything in the dark without fumbling too badly, everything except gauge the water level, that is. Light and spectacles are definitely required for that task. I’ve been cutting back, so it’s crucial that the level is not slighted, you see. I know there are coffee enthusiasts out there who can commiserate. Simply put, there is nothing like the aroma of the coffee as it brews, wafting through the air as if calling my name. After the first cup is poured, and a splash of soy is added, I head straight back to bed and snuggle in before taking the first sip. A sigh of simple pleasures. It’s good to be alive.

I get my coffee from a local Arabic market. There’s something about the darkness to the roast that make it unabashedly appealing. There are two Arabic ladies behind the counter waiting to serve. When I first started shopping there, they would not give me the time of day. They would always help me, and they were always polite, but they would not engage in conversation with me as I saw them do with others. It became a personal challenge. I had been going there nearly every week for a couple of years before they would finally engage. Now they treat me as their other Arabic customers and we have pleasant conversation every time I visit. They always confirm the order twice with me, which I presume is because I’m ordering in English, while most others order in Arabic.

It is tradition that Arabic coffee is finely ground and includes a little cardamom seed in the grounds. The Arabic word for cardamom sounds like our English word hell, which has always amused me. Our conversations go something like this….

“2 pounds, Mediterranean dark, finely ground, no hell, please” which is my usual order. 

“No hell?” they question.

“No hell.” I reply.

 Then we make small talk about the weather or the weekend while they expertly ground and package. The heady scent of freshly ground beans always permeates the car. It’s like a little breath of heaven here on earth.

 I feel a small personal victory now every time I go there. Persistence is the key to friendships.  But is it just persistence?

Conversational  Colloquialism –

That’sa Latte Art…..

Every once in a while, I treat myself to a latte at my favorite local independent coffee-house. They have taken milk froth to new heights! It is art in my cup that I almost hate to drink for fear of destroying the beautiful designs. I might not dare, except for the custom roasted richness waiting for me just below that frothy foam.

Large, nonfat soy, latte extra hot, please; Colloquialism of the day.

The place is avant-garde. One is considered out-of-place if not playing with some Apple designed electronic paraphernalia. There are artistic photographs in mismatched frames on the walls and the small space is cluttered with a cacophony of chairs. It is a fine a place as any to enjoy a good read or catch up on email and enjoy some people watching time.

But then it happened….. I took leave of my seat to use the ladies’ room and opened the unlocked door to find someone….yeah, you guessed it.  Awkward!

What would you do? I muttered an “Aaaaccckkk!” followed by a “So sorry!” and closed the door as quickly as I could. I then made my way back to my temporary table, managed a quick glance around to make sure no one noticed (as if!) and with buried head picked up with my email right where I left off earlier. So much for social graces.  I think we’ve all been there at one time or another.

As I took a sip of my latte and the corrugated foam stuck to my upper lip, I wondered….what is the best way to handle situations such as this? We’ve all had embarrassing moments. What is the best way to allow the other party dignity and still maintain some at the same time? What would you have done? How far would you go to “save face”?

In Matthew 14:1-12 we’re told about John the Baptist being beheaded at Herod’s command. Herod wanted to put John the Baptist to death because he was speaking out against his policy, but because the public found John so popular, Herod was hesitant. Herod threw himself a birthday party, and at the party his daughter danced. Because she did so well, Herod promised her anything she asked for. The girl asked to have John’s head on a silver platter at the prompting of her mother. Herod complied, and John the Baptist’s head was delivered on a silver platter which the girl gave to her mother. (I don’t blame here, I wouldn’t want a dead head either, would you?) A disagreement of words magnified into a man being put to death all in an effort by Herod to save face.

While perhaps not to the same extreme, I think we can all think of examples in our own lives where situations end up out of control from what we initially intended because we’ve made a move to save face and maintain our own public image rather than admit defeat.

Life is full of ridges and troughs. It is uneven and unsmooth. It is corrugated. It is our character and sense of integrity that keep us from slipping too far into the depths.

How to keep from going too far and mitigate our desire to save face?

Luscious Lavender

20 06 2011

Luscious Lavender

Recently, I’ve become obsessed by the scent of lavender. So much so that I’ve recently attended a festival devoted to the plant and now have far too many products in my arsenal. I love the nearly intoxicating scent and found a passion in trying to create the perfect lavender lemonade which I’m sipping as I type.

The hummingbirds regularly buzz by the lavender plant outside my office window. I can see them drink up the nectar every morning  flitting about with a happily intense persistence. Do you ever wonder why God created certain plants or flowers? That got me wondering!

Learning Lavender –

Lavender is mentioned in the Bible under the pseudonym spikenard. (I know, I prefer the name lavender, too) Although there is some controversy on the exact origins, we can still learn something from the mention of the spikenard plant in the quintessential Old Testament romance dance Song of Solomon. Solomon, the lover, speaks “While the king was at his table, my perfume gave forth its’ fragrance” (v1:12). An intoxicating scent this lavender. Enough to set a king on fire!

Holman Bible Dictionary defines spikenard as “a very expensive spice used in making perfume.”  There are also ties to Syrian origins of the lavender, or nard, plant in Greek writings from which we can deduce that the plan was present in the Mediterranean region.  It has been used for antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and according to legend it is meant to soothe and relax. I can attest to that as I add a few drops of the oil into my bath.

The essential oil was extracted from the buds of the plants and was then stored in alabaster boxes in which they were kept for special occasions; Blossom elixir.

We are provides with another poignant reference to spikenard in the New Testament. Mark 14:3 recounts, “While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head.” (NASB)

We are reminded that Mary used this expensive perfume to anoint Jesus at the home of Lazarus in Bethany as well. “Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.” John 12:3 (NASB)

The Bible gives us two examples where this spikenard, this expensive lavender perfume, was used to anoint Jesus. It was poured over him as a sort of offering, to denote him as an honored guest.  It would have been a very costly offering for someone in Biblical times. Solomon uses talk of lavender to express his love as a garden in bloom. The women poured out the nectar of the blossoms as an act of devotion.

It is a beautiful reminder of how God’s word uses the world around us to illustrate points. God is love. God is the Creator of the world.  I am guilty of moving through my day and taking simple things for granted. Here is a beautiful plant outside my window that has been there for years waiting to teach me this lesson. Lavender. While I certainly balked at the $20 price tag on the 10ml bottle (sans alabaster…) the bottle I just purchased (as the clerk cited “it’s organic” as though that should make all the difference in the world!) at the lavender festival, it was not a month’s wages as it would have been for Mary or the unnamed woman.

Lavender provoked inquiry of self. Am I pouring out my best for Christ? Am I storing up my best for honored guests? Or do I hoard that for my own selfish desires?

 Jesus recognized the sacrifice of these two women as acts of devotion.  What acts of devotion are you equipped to pour out to God? What nard equivalent is in your arsenal and are you prepared to pour it out in affection and commitment to your Savior?  Literal or figurative is no matter, let the reminder stand.  

Literally Lavender –  

Think about pouring out a little lavender to your next guest of honor…..

Lavender Lemonade


6 organic lemons

1 cup organic sugar (or ¾ cup agave nectar)

6 cups of filtered water

2 teaspoons of organic culinary-grade lavender buds

 Directions: Peel the rind from lemons with a vegetable peeler or sharp knife and place the strips in a glass bowl. Add the sweetener and allow this to sit for a time, at least an hour. Boil the filtered water and add to the bowl. Add in the lavender buds. Cover the bowl with a plate and allow it to sit for about 20 minutes. Then juice the lemons and add it into the bow. Remove the rind and lavender and strain the liquid. Allow it to cool slightly and then put it in the container of choice and chill in the refrigerator.  When the guests arrive, add some ice and maybe a lavender stalk for garnish. Intoxicating! Makes about 6 cups