Sep 27

Are Crumbs Enough?

After a predominantly “toddler-populated” and very long flight home from Israel, I walked into my home here in Charlotte, NC. I found myself welcomed by two sweet pups, who obviously missed me. I could tell because they were SO EXCITED. And one of them even made a little tinkle. (Forgive me I know that sounds so silly, but she did!) Also home was Dylan, sick with a fever home from school. My how reality hits fast. Despite the long flight with little to no sleep, the sick child at home, and the new spot on the carpet needing immediate attention, I am thankful.

You may remember a few weeks ago I posted about how I’d lost my mo-jo. I Became Unconfident As Just Me. I was hoping this trip to Israel would light my fire so to speak. Refresh me. Renew my faith and give me a quench for God and His Word like never before. All that and so much more happened.

Sea of Galilee and Mountains

I want my faith to be like the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15: 21-28. Go ahead and read it all now, then we’ll disect it. (You can just read through the following passage and my notes here,  or you can get out your Bible and notebook and study it with me~ Seriously, I’m studying this as I write this post.)

Begin with verse 21 in Matthew 15.  Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. Stop. Now before I went to Israel, I would have skimmed this verse, just to get to what I considered to be the meat of the message. But I’ve learned to slow down when reading Scripture.

  • What place did Jesus leave? Gennasaret (Matthew 14:34) Near to the photo taken above.
  • And when it says “withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon,” just what does that mean? Tyre and Sidon were both mentioned in Matthew 11 when Jesus spoke of cities that did not repent. Verse 21: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” Foreshadowing maybe?
  • How far is that? About 35-38 miles (remember no Uber back then, Jesus was on foot!)
  • What is the land like? He had to cross mountains before getting the coast (Tyre). The land of Israel is not typically easy terrain.
  • How long did it take? I don’t know. A few days at least would be my guess.
  • What is the signifigance of these 2 cities? Why here? We see these cities mentioned in Matthew 11 and now if we read on in Matthew 15, we find out there is a woman here who needs Jesus. Let’s read on.

When we continue to read in Matthew 15:21-28, we find that a Canaanite (not Jewish, but a Gentile) woman comes to Jesus, calling him “Lord, Son of David” asking for healing for her demon-posessed daughter. The disciples traveling with Jesus didn’t seem to have much compassion on this woman. They urged Jesus to send her away. They are obviously annoyed by her.

Jesus says to her, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” (See Verse 24 here for explanation.) Once you read the explanation, you realize how rare this request is and how rare for Jesus to grant it. Basically He’s telling her that she’s not really a part of His mission today.

After Jesus replied to her, she changed instantly, calling Him just “Lord.” She dropped the “Son of David.” Just “Lord.” And she pleads, “Lord, help me!” 

He replied with a response that people of that time would understand. Verse 26~ “It’s not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” Jews of that time understood the richness of bread. And Gentiles were often referred to as dogs. What this verse is saying is that Jesus came to give the Jews the first opportunity to know Him as Lord. She, as a Gentile, is only receiving the crumbs. And just look at her reply. Oh how I love this.

“Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”

This woman understands that crumbs from the Master’s table are enough.

In verse 28, Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

She gets it. Unlike so many, she gets it. She’s willing to be considered a dog as long as she could receive God’s blessing for her daughter. She recognizes Him as her Lord.

I want faith like this, but the truth is, sometimes I want more. Ok, a lot of times I want more.

  • “Lord, help me by giving me time to study your Word.” Then I add, “Without interruption. At least an hour every morning.”
  • “Lord, help by giving me a good job to help provide for my family.” Then I add, “And money to get more clothes, furniture and take vacations too.”
  • And just recently, I prayed, “Lord, as I leave Israel, please allow me experience peace, thanksgiving and stay focused on you.” Then I added, “No distractions. No obstacles. No problems. No frustrations.” (hahahahahahaha, that’s pretty funny huh?)

This woman in Matthew 15 was willing to take the crumbs from her Master. Healing for her daughter, no more. She called Him Lord. That’s all.

Something to Think About

When you read Scripture, do you fly through it looking for a blessing or word of encouragement for the day?

Arie, our teacher in Israel, challenged us to read the Bible like a piece of music. Each word is like a note. Imagine if a note was left out or if the wrong note was inserted in your favorite song? It would change the whole tune. Look closely at all the words in the Bible when you read it. Even the ones that don’t seem important.

Maps! People! Studying the land and people of Israel is so helpful in understanding Scripture.

Are crumbs from the Master’s table enough for you?

After studying this passage a bit more, my perspective is different. And I can say despite the screaming toddlers on the plane, lack of sleep, the sick child, and the tinkle on the carpet, I am thankful. Crumbs are enough. More than enough.


Sep 19

Shabbat Shalom, Day 5

Shabbat Shalom my friends!  Which means: Peaceful Sabbath my friends!

Shabbat is Judaism’s day of rest and seventh day of the week, on which the Jewish people remember the Biblical creation of the heavens and the earth in six days and God resting on the seventh. Here among the Jewish Believers in Israel is where I am enjoying my peaceful Sabbath today.

This week I’ve been on a study tour throughout Israel with a small group of women. We are traveling with Lysa TerKeurst and Proverbs 31 Ministries. While seeing some amazing sights, it’s really been the study along with the learning of historical and current events, geography, and agriculture that has been life-changing. Yes, life-changing. I don’t use that term lightly.

I thought when I came here, I would be most excited to be “where Jesus walked.” To see “what Jesus saw.” To pray “where Jesus prayed.” And Oh my goodness, that really has been … well, unbelievable! It’s humbling to think that I’m looking and walking on the land where Jesus, Abraham, Moses, David and Joshua were, just to name a few. But here is the blessing for all of us. We don’t have to be here to be close to Jesus. We don’t have to see what He saw or pray where He prayed. Our prayers and faith are just as strong anywhere else in the world. After all, God knows our hearts. Acts 15:8-9 is just one passage of Scripture where this is referenced.

What I’ve been most excited about on this trip is that I’m learning more about the Bible than I ever pieced together before. The order of the Lord is astounding! It is so evident and clear that He has a plan for our world. This land and it’s geography alone confirms Scripture. The Old Testament Scriptures are so intertwined with the New Testament in ways I didn’t see before until this intense study and learning of the land and history. My heart and brain are full! And I still have the Sea of Galilee and Mt. Arabel to explore!

Today we attended a Shabbat service, which takes place each Saturday here (at Yad Hashmona) at 11:00 am Israel Time. What a wonderful time of worship among this family of Jewish Believers. It was in Hebrew with English translation. After a time of worship, prayer and specifically praying for the children, a message based on Acts 15:1-12 was given. Y’all seriously, I could write 10 pages from this, but I’ll save that sharing for another day (and it will come because I can’t keep it to myself!!!).

Here are just few pictures from the day today~

IMG_3637Worship today at Shabbat service.

IMG_3639Under these vines, we studied John 15 in the afternoon. Jesus is the True Vine.

IMG_3628Sunset over Israel. Stunning.

Something to Think About

I’ve shared with you today how I spent my Shabbat (Sabbath) today. How did you or will you spend yours this week?

Thanks for coming back to read today. We are heading to the Sea of Galilee as I type this! Have a great day!

Shabbat Shalom!


Sep 18

Too Old or Too Young? Day 4

When was the last time you read Luke 1 from the Bible? I’ve always loved this story, but this week when I read it in Ein Karem, Israel was my favorite.

Ein Karem is most likely the birthplace of John the Baptist. Today it is a cute little neighborhood in southwest Jerusalem. Because it is believed that this is where John was born, it is quite a popular place!

In Luke 1 some pretty amazing things happen. A few days ago, we visited Ein Karem and read Luke 1 while sitting right outside of a place named “Mary’s Spring.” That’s Mary, as in the mother of Jesus.

First of all, we don’t know that Mary ever frequented “Mary’s Spring.” It never says in the Bible. What we do know is that a spring or well (source of water) was the most important place of any village. It was a popular social gathering place. This is where women went daily to get water. It was also a place to catch up with friends and hear what’s going on around the village. It’s very likely that both Mary and Elizabeth (see Luke 1) came to this spring on a regular basis.

Mary's Spring IsraelThis is the spring today. Supposedly it has never changed.

Across from the spring is land that is not flat, it’s more of a hill that goes down. In Biblical times it was all vegetation. Did you know that vegetable gardens need the spring water, so they are planted lower? That way the water can run down the hill or mountain and into the gardens. Vineyards, however are planted higher. Just a little random information for you incase you are planting vegetataion or a vineyard. 😉

Here are  few highlights from Luke 1. If you haven’t read this passage of Scripture in a while, check it out. You’ll get much more from it if you read it yourself than what I’m going to share here. I’m only touching on a few things.

Did you know:

  • Mary and Elizabeth were cousins (relatives).
  • John the Baptist and Jesus were not named by their by mothers. Both of them were named by the angel Gabriel, sent by God.
  • The angel, Gabriel appeared to Zechariah, Elizabeth’s husband. Zechariah doubted the news the angel brought him. “Zechariah asked the angel, ‘How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.'” (verse 18)
  • The angel, Gabriel also appeared to Mary, Jesus’ mother. Mary had questions (“I’m a virgin how can this be?” verse 34), but she did not doubt. “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” (verse 38)
  • Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s mother, was older. Well beyond child bearing years.
  • Mary, the mother of Jesus, was young … and unmarried. Considered by most to be too young. (Can you imagine the talk around the village about her?)

We have two women, opposite ends of the spectrum. Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist who would go and prepare the way for Jesus. Mary gave birth to Jesus, Son of God, who go and save the world.

Don’t ever say you are too old for God to use you.

Don’t ever say you are too young for God to use you.

Instead, how about let’s say,

I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.


Something to Think About

Do you ever find reasons that cause you to believe God can’t use you? In the name of Jesus, get those out of your head right now. You are never too old or too young (or too __________) to be used by God.