Jesus, the Bread of Life

I started to study the story of the Last Supper, but I found that I couldn’t get past the first verse. Matthew tells us that this event happened on the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread. Before I got into this study, I had to figure out what the significance of this festival was. What exactly is the Festival of Unleavened Bread? How does it relate to the Last Supper and the first Holy Communion? Here’s what I found.

The Festival of Unleavened Bread was a weeklong holiday commissioned by God in Exodus on the first Passover. He carefully instructed the Israelites how to prepare for their departure from Egypt, and to bake bread with no leaven (aka yeast) because there was no time to wait for the bread to rise, and in remembrance, to do the same thing every year. Get all the yeast out of the house, whatever leftover leavened bread was to be burned up outside the house, and banished for 7 days. (The number 7 in the bible is the number of completion and perfection.)

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Traditional Jewish Matzo (Unleavened Bread)

Why was it so important to banish yeast from the house for 7 whole days, and even destroy perfectly good bread? For one thing, it represents sacrifice, and paying respect and thanksgiving to God for rescuing them from slavery. But more importantly, I think, is that yeast in the bible usually symbolizes sin.

“In the Bible, leaven is almost always symbolic of sin. Like leaven which permeates the whole lump of dough, sin will spread in a person, a church or a nation, eventually overwhelming and bringing its participants into its bondage and eventually to death. Romans 6:23 tell us that “the wages of sin is death,” which is God’s judgment for sin, and this is the reason that Christ died—to provide a way out of this judgment for sin if man will repent of his sins, accept Christ as his Passover sacrifice, and have his heart changed so that he can conform his life to what God commands.”
www.gotquestions.org

Another mention of yeast is from Jesus’ shortest recorded parable in the book of Matthew.

He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
-Matthew 13:33

Here Jesus paints the picture that yeast is contagious. Just a small amount of yeast will spread to all the dough. You can’t remove yeast or repair its effects after it has been added to dough. It’s effects are irreparable. Such is sin to our own spirits. Our spirits from birth have been infected with sin, and only God can renew it for us, when we are born again.

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As the night goes on, Jesus administers the first communion, telling the disciples to eat the bread, for it is his body which is given up for us. Traditional Jewish matzo (unleavened bread), is beaten and pierced during preparation, in the same way that Jesus was beaten and pierced during the crucifixion.

He goes on to offer also the wine, for it is his blood which is poured out for the forgiveness of sins. Of course in Exodus, when the plagues came upon Egypt, the blood of the perfect first-born lambs is what saved the Israelite children from death. This blood of salvation is the same blood Jesus offers us as a free gift through faith.

Worth mentioning also, is that unleavened bread was sweeter than leavened bread, because yeast eats up all the sugar, leaving a bitter or sour flavor. Manna, the life-sustaining food that God sent to the wandering Israelites in the desert in Exodus, similarly, was sweet bread. Unleavened bread. The bread of life. Jesus!

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The bible never ceases to amaze me. I do plan on studying more about the whole story of the Last Supper. Not sure about you, but the first verse is enough for me to chew on for now! 🙂

God bless.

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Verse of the Day

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Salt & Light

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I love the fact that this salt lamp exemplifies who Jesus says we are in the world. This Himalayan salt lamp is a natural health item with so many benefits; negatively charged ions, clears toxins, mold and odors and purifies the air. It is salt and it is light. We are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

My family and I don’t celebrate Halloween. With that being said, it doesn’t stop the so-called ‘holiday’ from being  exposed to us every year, especially our children.

Halloween is probably the most popular ‘holiday’ for children, because it’s positioned as fun and exciting for kids, synonymous with signature fall activities, slewed across every episode of children’s shows for weeks on end, from Curious George to Bubble Guppies, and of course, associated with endless amounts of free candy and treats. Children love to play dress up and act like their favorite characters, while having a unique annual conference of princesses, superheroes, celebrities and the like.

My two-year-old, who has never celebrated Halloween in his short life, managed to put the words together to tell me, “Mommy, I LOVE Halloween!” simply from the education about it he’s received from TV and visiting the local Target.

As the day approaches yet again, I found myself torn between completely ignoring Halloween, or giving my children a fun yet wholesome alternative to the night’s regular festivities. So I decided to search God’s Word for His advice.

I’m drawn to the scripture found in Matthew 5:13-16.

13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

As a firm believer in Jesus, I personally cannot celebrate a day that glamorizes death and fear, because those things do not bring glory to God. I cannot innocently dress my kids up in cute costumes and go trick-or-treating because I know the history behind it makes it of no value to us. I cannot join the pagans and wiccans in celebrating their most ‘holy’ night of the year. At the same time, I feel that we should neither stand idly by.

Since this day usually attracts people to unknowingly glorify the devil, we should feel compelled to instead glorify God all the more on this day. We ought to remember to especially pray on this day for protection and to bind Satan’s power. Just because this day is the devil’s holiday, does not mean that we shouldn’t have our own fun. The bible says that this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24), because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). We thank God that he protects us from hurt, harm and danger, and most importantly from demonic attacks that run rampant on this day. It’s also important that we let our light shine in the world, and share the goodness of Jesus on this day, and tell people why we chose not to participate in Halloween. Share the truth about it’s history, and the truth about the Gospel, and about God’s love and mercy for the world.

Jesus said he is sending us into the world (John 17:18), so we shouldn’t run and hide just because there is evil all around us. We shall fear no evil. Yet we are called to be separated and not to conform to this world. (2 Corinthians 6:17, Romans 12:2)

In Genesis, Abraham interceded for Sodom and Gomorrah, because the city was overcome with sin. God promised him if there was a certain number of righteous people in the land, he would not destroy the cities. We should pray that God withholds his wrath on the evil that is happening in our cities as well.

In Jesus’ days, the major use of salt was a preservative for food, especially meat. So we are called to preserve the communities that we live in. If we just practiced Halloween like every other person who is in the world, how are we acting as the salt of the world? We would not be using out preserving power. Jesus says in Luke 14:34-35, “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out…”

I do not condemn or judge anyone or other Christians for celebrating this ‘holiday’, because most probably unaware of what the day represents, or just want to give their kids a happy childhood. I do believe we our sins are paid for in full, and that we are covered by God’s Grace. However, I do not endorse partaking in anything that involves the evil history of the Halloween, and do encourage Christians to learn the history, and make an informed decision about what everything we practice and teach our children. Though all is lawful, not all is beneficial.

This year, while others might be celebrating Halloween, my family will stay at home, praising God, praying for our community, studying the bible, baking goodies and making crafts. And should some precious children from the neighborhood knock on our door, we will hand out some biblical coloring pages, to educate them about what we believe, and to let our light shine before men.

 I pray you all have a joyous day!

God bless you and may His grace abound to you!

See a brief history of Halloween (aka Samhain) here: youtube.com/watch?v=3-qhBq1bbOE
Fruits of the Spirit Coloring Pages: http://christianpreschoolprintables.com/fruit-of-the-spirit-printables/fruits-of-the-spirit-bible-coloring-pages/

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Verse 0f the Day

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For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
Romans 6:14

Long & Short Vowel Sounds

Christmas vacation is on and we are delighted to spend much more time with our Kindergarten student daughter Anaia. We also would like her to actively continue with the wonderful progress she’s been making all school year long so far.

I designed a worksheet to help her practice and memorize her long and short vowel sounds as she is learning to read. I thought I would share this with you other parents out there who may find it helpful. I am including her songs below as well that coincide with the coloring worksheet.

Enjoy!

Short Long Vowel Sounds

Short Vowel Song

A-a-a-a-apple, e-e-e-e-egg
I-i-i-i-inchworm, My short vowels I do sing
O-o-o-o-octopus, u-umbrella too
Now I know my short vowel sounds, I’ll sing them all to you!

 

Long Vowel Song

A for apron, A for apron
E for eagle, E for eagle
I for ice cream, I for ice cream
O for oatmeal, O for oatmeal
U for United States, U for United States
So we can echo, so we can echo
Learning our long vowels

Share the good news

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He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
Mark 16:15
(NLT)

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My Kids Eating Lunch Under a Blanket in Honor of National Breastfeeding Month

One Good Dad

Kids eating

In honor of National Breastfeeding month, I made my kids eat their lunch under a blanket just like the old days of when they were infants. It turns out it isn’t the ideal way to eat. Who knew?

Other posts on breastfeeding that you might enjoy:

A Dad’s Thoughts During National Breastfeeding Month

Reaction to the Time’s Breastfeeding Cover

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stay or change

a splendid adventure

curveballs.

The white and red stitched round blazing through diamond dust headed right for its leather home.

Curveballs start off at one height, one velocity, one direction. You see it, prepare for it, make adjustments to your position to make contact with it, and then it does what every good curveball does. It drops.

The thing about curveballs is you don’t know it’s a curveball till it’s, well, curved. Changed its direction, dropped a few inches, thrown you off your game. At that point there’s nothing you can do to change its direction or make it do what it seemed like it was doing before.

Once the curveball has revealed itself to be the curveball you were not expecting, you have a choice.
You can keep your position and go out swinging, maybe get lucky and tip it off.
Or, you can change positions, drop your chin, and go in…

View original post 195 more words

The life cycle of a butterfly

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While my kids and I were visiting my parents house yesterday, my nephew found two big fuzzy yellow caterpillars in the garage. I’m always trying to find different educational activities that I can do with my four-year-old daughter, so I was excited to use this opportunity to teach her about the life cycle of butterflies. Plus, she would finally have a chance to use her mesh insect cage that she received for her birthday last month. Double score.

So we fixed up their little home with leaves, moist dirt, sticks, rocks and flowers, just for decoration, trying to think of everything a caterpillar might need. I even did some research about how to properly house them, only to find out we might need to keep them inside the house with air conditioning, the cage was a little small for 2 caterpillars, and that they only eat a certain type of leaf. Not as simple as I thought it would be. -_-

Later that evening, I noticed the caterpillars started to become pretty motionless, so I started to worry. I certainly didn’t want the outcome of our science project to turn into a caterpillar death trap. I tried to fix their home and leaves and did more research, and then I found out that it was normal for caterpillars to become very motionless right before their metamorphosis stage, and that they were likely in our garage searching for a safe place to to transform. Phew.

My mom has now been in the hospital for a few months in palliative care with terminal colorectal cancer, with lung metastases. We have been praying, believing and hoping for her healing, but at the end of the day, I know Gods will is perfect. While visiting her today, it occurred to me that she is in stage of transformation similar to that of a butterfly.

Albeit much too short, she has lived this ‘caterpillar’ life up to this point preparing for the next phase, and now she is resting up before her beautiful transformation. But the beauty is that’s when her real life will begin. It’s when the most fulfilling phase of her life will just be starting. She will grow a new stronger and more able body. Just like a butterfly. It grows wings and flies incredible distances to get to it’s destination. It sees amazing sights that it could never experience as a caterpillar. It grows a new body just like we will when our day comes. I don’t think a butterfly ever dreams of being a caterpillar. I find it comforting that my mom will be so happy in heaven.

Of course not everyone will become a butterfly. Some of us will not make it into that stage of metamorphosis, but will rather be squished like a bug before we get there. I don’t want to say goodbye to my mom, but at the same time, I am so thankful that my mom is in this stage, because it’s where God intended her to be. God has already transformed her into a new creature, and she is getting ready to get her wings.
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Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.
1 Corinthians 15:43-44
But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.
Philippians 3:20-21
For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.
2 Corinthians 5:1-2
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