Twelve Loaves of Bread

Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

So, I had a dream that I was in a bread store. I will have to add the whole dream, later, when I find where I wrote it down. But, basically people were getting stoping carts of bread. I asked the Lord why they needed so much bread. And, it was clear that the bread had a spiritual meaning. Also, the people were over joyed, saying to each other how crazy it was that they were being given given as many loaves of bread as could fit into a single buggy.

Ok, so then I’m reading in my devotional by The Chosen. And, I learn that in the tabernacle of the Lord the priests set out twelve loaves of bread. It was called the “bread of the Presence” (Exodus 25:30) and it symbolized the constant presence of the Lord with the nation of Israel.

So, now, I get it. Each person had twelve loaves in their buggies because they were receiving the presence of the Lord.

So, I’m thinking that how I receive these twelves of bread that are the presence of God is through asking for things that require his presence and/or power to be added to me life:

  1. I want spring days that feel embedded in freedom like the one who owns the land without trouble waiting or hunting for me, spring days in green pastures.
  2. I want to feel like I can go anywhere, on a whim, spontaneously because my way is clear and secure, and the place I’ll stay is available and ready for me.
  3. I want an outfit that suits me for every hour, enough that I could change five times a day and not wear the same outfit twice in a season with causal wear that makes me look expensive in my jammies.
  4. I want get-away homes and places where quiet, peace, and hope leads to joy.
  5. I want a destination for a home: the place my people, the joyfully excited to be alive people, go once a week, maybe twice, maybe daily to drink, to eat, to sing, to talk, and to worship.
  6. I want jokes and laughter, play and performances in my life. I want music and poetry. I want to hear the winds off the Hebrides provide the melody to the instrumental.
  7. I want to see God’s power: I want to heal mightily, to see my cup replenish before my eyes. I think, it’s damn time heaven drops a little extra into the normal.
  8. I want to be sustained in the strength of the Lord, to forget how to be anxious, concerned, or discouraged. Amen!
  9. I want my body to be of heaven quality, brought into alignment with my heavenly body in the way I look, and with heaven-strength, health, endurance, and agelessness.
  10. I want to fall in love with the love of my life: a kingdom man who teaches me the meaning of strength of character, but also beauty, gentleness, playfulness, and presence; a breath of fresh air, resilient, reliant man on the love of his Heavenly Father for him.
  11. I want each and every place I walk to enter into peace; when I’m there peace reins in the atmosphere, peace reins in the natural and in the spiritual. And when I return, peace returns and joy spreads like a contagion.
  12. I want my creative expressing to be unencumbered, to be able to have an idea and see it accomplished. And, unencumbered freedom of praise in my art.

Hallelujah! Yes and Amen, says the Lord.

Give me that bread!

Rapture Dream

Age 13

I had my rapture dream.

In my dream, my Mom and I were buying soil at a nursery just beyond the neighborhood I lived in at the time. We heard the trumpet sound and my Mom, joyfully, turned to me saying, “Did you hear it? It’s the trumpet! Let’s go!”

I turned, worriedly, to look back at my neighborhood and wondered about my brother and my Dad.

God said to me, “Your brother hasn’t heard it and isn’t coming. Your Dad is going to stay back with him, but it’s time for you to go. And, your Mom is ready. She’s coming. It’s time. You must come with me, now.”

So, I prayed over my brother and my Dad. And, I wondered if I was in trouble for turning back or my worrying. But, I gave it up, and began to float. The higher I got the sweeter the air got and the more fully I was filled with love, joy, and peace.

The sweetness of the air and fullness of the goodness that filled me was so wonderful that when I woke up in my bedroom I wept, bitterly.

And then this happens…

On the day of my Grandpa’s funeral I was 1,200 miles away in a garage painting his likeness from the one photo I had, which I later misplaced. It was a grainy photo taken some ten years previous outside my childhood home. I never got to know him, well. But, my Grandpa had an infectious smile. I have hated every stage of this painting. Each version fails to improve. The first one, looking back, it wasn’t so bad. But at the time I finished it, I only saw the color of dry bones. I thought, great, he’s dead and so I’m painting him dead. The next one has many layers of strange colors beneath that I didn’t photograph. This next photo, when I finished it, all I saw was decay. And, the next, all I saw was muscle. The now all I see is a clown. But, my Grandpa was a bit of clown without the face paint, so perhaps it’s true to him. All the lines are wrong. I don’t think my family would recognize him. But, it’s been two years and it’s time to be done. So, I raise a glass to Grandpa today. From you I get my adventurous spirit and it’s going to take me soaring. And, in heaven I’ll meet you for a milkshake. We can wrap paper around the condensation on our glasses, together.

Green and White
Purple and Light Blue
Red
“Grandpa B” by Bethany Jaine Bredeson, Acrylic on Panel, ’20

“Consider the Lilies”

Matthew 6:25-34

25 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (NASB)

I had always read this scripture hearing a painful command to never adorn myself. I heard, “you’re beautiful as a lily without your adornments. So, don’t be jealous of them.” But then, I read that the Israelites received adornments from the Egyptians and I wondered why God gave them adornments? What does this scripture, really, mean?

First, I believe Jesus is pointing to something the people can agree is beautiful: lilies. As though to say, “Let’s start with something we can agree on; lilies are beautiful.”  He elevates the lilies’ beauty over the wealthiest king in the history of the Israeli nation: Solomon. And, when he says, “will He not much more clothe you?” he was saying that the Father is going to give his children beautiful garments, greater than the beauty of the lilies, which is already greater than Solomon’s garments. He didn’t attack the need to feel beautiful. He didn’t argue that we should feel beautiful when we feel bare and without gifts. He didn’t shame the uncertainty we can feel about our heavenly Father’s desire to see us feel beautiful. Instead, he said, “your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” In saying this, he includes clothing as a need. So, he pointed out something that, to us, is objectively beautiful. And then said, “know that out of his love for you, your Father will clothe you in greater beauty than King Solomon, greater beauty than the lilies.” 

The point of this scripture is really to ask, “Don’t you know your value? 

I’ll summarize the scripture for you like this, “You are more valuable to God than the birds, than the grass. Notice that He gives them life when they don’t earn it by ‘toil or spinning.’ He takes care of them. Won’t he take care of you? He knows your needs. Don’t anxiously seek after your needs, which would be to give your life away to worry. Remember the Father, letting worry go from your mind, letting rest and trust in His power and in His will to take care of you replace your anxiety. Trust him. Look, he is succeeding at maintaining nature. And, for you, his most precious, He will not simply clothe you by the minimal provision. He is going to clothe you in greater beauty than Solomon, and more than that, in greater beauty than the lilies. Know who you are. Let go of your anxieties. Your Father is able and will take care of you. Don’t add to the worry of today by considering tomorrow’s needs as well. Your Father has got the birds. Your Father clothes the grass, making beautiful something so fleeting. He loves you more.”