Who’s Your Source

Researching a quotation can be fun, but it’s not always easy and many times may require some serious digging. ~Sharon Rickson, New York Public Library

Fake news. It’s all over the headlines. Kind of ironic, don’t you think?

You go to the news to find out whether the news is really “news.”

English teachers and Media Resource Center directors stress to their students to check the facts. Don’t use the first website that pops up on Google. Make sure your source is reputable.

Paul had a reputable source. His teacher was Gamaliel.

Gamaliel came from a line of Torah scholars, namely his famous grandfather, Hillel. Gamaliel lived in the first century AD and held a position of authority and leadership in the Sandhedrin- the ruling council. To study under him was to attend Harvard or Oxford.

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The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed. ~Martina Navratilova

I teach English to Chinese students online. That means I have to work on their time. Beijing Time is 12 hours ahead of Eastern Time, and when the time changes in a few months, it will be 13 hours different. I rise very early in the morning in order to teach my favorite students about my favorite thing: words.

One of my students is moving to western Canada. He will be 3 hours behind me. That poor boy is going to have class at 5:00 in the MORNING once the time changes! He is committed to learning the language and speaking it well.

Some people are committed to healthy living. They rise early to run or go to the gym. They eat low-carb, even on Thanksgiving, and they never drink soda.

Others are committed to their work. They email from their phone on vacation, stay late at the office, and make notes about a meeting when they wake in the middle of the night.

Some people are committed to family. They attend children’s concerts and competitions, have a family dinner once a week, and spend vacations together.

What makes you draw your every breath?

Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple. Luke 21:37-38 NIV

When you’re committed to something, you do what it takes to be there. Jesus was teaching in the temple, but people had to be at work. They had houses and children to care for. They had gardens to tend and animals to feed. But they knew they were hearing a good thing, and they wanted more of it. So Jesus met them early in the morning before all of that began.

It’s no different now. I have work. I have a house and kids. I have responsibilities that require my time and attention.

But I also know when I am hearing a good thing, when I need to hear a good thing.

And I make a commitment to be there.

My commitment isn’t early in the morning. Jesus and I meet at lunchtime, after my early morning work is completed and I can sit with him and have a pleasant conversation.

Everyone’s schedule is different. Early morning may be the best for you. Perhaps you need to meet Jesus at twilight after the children are snuggled in their beds.

It isn’t the timing that is important.

It’s the time.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Revelation 3:20 NIV

First at the Table

All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind. ~Khalil Gibran


Thanksgiving feasts are always later than I usually eat. I like lunch about 11:30, but Thanksgiving is always in the afternoon at 1:00 or 2:00. As a child I could never understand how my mother and grandmother got away with that. Weren’t they hungry themselves?

Now, as the cook in the family, I know the answer. You taste everything you make to check the seasonings. When you’re making a feast, you taste a lot. The truth is . . . You’ve been fed before everyone else even makes it to the table.

In Matthew 14, a lot of people are hungry. Picture a crowd at a Black Friday sale . . . at an Apple store . . . where I-Pads and MacBooks are going for . . . Oh, I don’t know . . . Let’s say, FREE. Yeah, now there’s a crowd.

And they’ve been waiting for three days to get in. They haven’t eaten, but they’re not losing their place in line, so they stand there, waiting.

Now you get it? This is one hungry crowd.

Then the store manager shows up with sausage and egg biscuits and passes them first to the employees. Yep. . . .The employees. Because you have to feed the workers before you ever satisfy the crowd.

Jesus took the fishes and bread, gave thanks, and then handed them to his disciples. I’m not sure when Jesus ate, but I’m pretty sure the disciples ate before the crowd.

Sometimes I feel bad spending so much time in prayer and devotional reading. I know not everyone gets the chance to focus on the Word like I do. But really, I’m in the back room assembling biscuits for a hungry crowd. I can attempt to feed everyone else, but I have to eat first. And if it takes me a little longer, maybe say I need some cheese on my sandwich, it’s ok. Because at the end my spirit is full. I have something to feed you with.

Now sally on up to the table. Feed yourself. The feast awaits.

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. Matthew 14:19-20