When the Rubber Meets The Road: A Story of Compassion

If you read my book Pieces: Finding the Missing Piece is Easier Than You Think, you know that my relationship with my father has always been estranged. Though he lived in the same house with us until I was 13, it was as if he wasn’t there. The emotional detachment proved to be just as detrimental as him not being there at all.

As the years have gone by, I’ve learned to cope and forgive — eventually, I stopped using his absence as an excuse for my poor ability to make sound decisions about men and took responsibility for my part. I even took the advice of a good friend and decided to reach out to him regularly (read: sporadically) just to say “Hi.” Looking back, it paled in comparison to what I would eventually do in a time that truly mattered. Continue reading

courtesy of www.seriocomic.com

Turning, Shaking, and Preparing Tables

courtesy of www.seriocomic.com

Grammy Award winning singer Adele “turned” tables.

Reality T.V. star K. Michelle “shook” tables.

God (who needs no introduction) “prepares” tables.

We all know the familiar scripture out of the 23rd Psalm where David writes about his dependent relationship on the shepherd of all shepherds, God. In verse five, David says that God “preparest a table before me…” and finishes his rumination about how good it is to be in the House of the Lord for ever and ever, amen.

During a drive through the city yesterday, God gently said to me, “Let me prepare a table for you.” In my mind, I had an idea of what this meant: let me be God and you move out the way; what I have is so much bigger than you could imagine! But, though I’d heard that scripture a million times, I didn’t know what having a table prepared before me really meant.

After digging in my Hebrew concordance, I found that the word “table” is defined as “a king’s table, for private or sacred use.”

When God prepares a table for us, it’s grand, filled with the best of the best, sparing no expense, concerned with no cost — much like the table of a king or queen! This is the ideal table that God would have us “feast” from every day of our lives: one that provides every need that we have in abundance that we may feed those around us! (See 1 Kings 4:27)

There’s some rules to sitting at this table, however. Because the table can also be reserved for private or sacred use, we have to have discretionary taste regarding who we invite to sit with us. The Queen of England doesn’t allow just anybody to sit at her table, especially someone who doesn’t have like taste and purpose! “Strange” guests (counterproductive people, ideas, or behaviors) that don’t respect the table, its preparer, or even who the table was prepared for can ruin the feast, contaminate the food, and destroy the sanctity of the moment.

Ever prepared a great meal for friends and family and someone ruins it by eating sloppily, snatching biscuits out the basket, or not saying, “Thank you” for your hard work? Ungrateful folks, aren’t they?

God wants us to take a seat before life’s table and enjoy the benefits of having a King for a father. This experience is readily available to anyone who is a part of God’s kingdom, but we contaminate the table when we invite “strangers” like strife, greed, sin, disobedience or a disregard for God to sit next to us as our “guest.” Psalms 69:22 calls the “table” being a “snare” or “trap” for those who oppose the Godly but I find that more often than not, we serve as our greatest opposition to having God’s best. Isaiah 28:8 also shows us where a table is considered “unclean” because of the behaviors of those table guests.

There’s much to be said about having what’s called “good table manners.”

How then do we receive and enjoy the splendor of sitting at a God-prepared table and not spoil it? Keep your eyes on the preparer and not what’s been prepared. We can’t get consumed with the grandeur of the table itself. Those things, no matter how great and opulent they are, pale in comparison to the glory and honor that should go to the preparer, Yahweh. When we take our eyes off the preparer, it gives room for those “strangers” to enter in. Remember that couple who snuck into the White House dinner party in 2009? No one likes a dinner party-crasher. Someone had their eyes focused on the pretty table before them and some strangers got through. We can’t be about that life! Keeping our eyes on Him lets Him know that we trust that whatever He puts on our plate, we are willing to eat.


On the “I hope my table has some good food on it” chase,

Alisha L.

Exile from Egypt: Real or Fake?

Here are some thought/ramblings about Exodus. Enjoy.

Many argue whether or not the accounts in Exodus are real: the enslavement of the Hebrews, the plagues, the death of first-born Egyptian sons, the parting of the Re(e)d Sea (some scholars believe that the sea the Hebrews crossed was full of reeds, a marshy area that caused the chariots of the Egyptians to get stuck). Some can’t deal with the idea that such a loving God would kill innocent children to “prove a point.” Cross referencing Egyptian history records, there’s no account that any of these happened, including a slave revolt. Many have given a number of reasons that the Hebrews’ escape from Egypt is hogwash.

Whether or not it happened is, in essence, is of no importance. What those stories show us, however, is that God’s divine plan for mankind exceeds anything we could imagine and He would go to MANY great lengths to redeem us — from those who oppress us and even ourselves.

Exodus 9:16 says, “This is why I have let you live: to show you my power, and to make my name resound through all the earth.” How can we apply this to our own encounters with a proverbial “Pharaoh”? When God redeems us, it is for that very reason: so He may be glorified and His name made great.

Sometimes, we find that people don’t believe the miraculous things that were done on our behalf by Him. Car accidents where your car was crushed completely but you got out without a scratch, still-born babies who were suddenly revived, barren wombs that produced multiple births without the help of fertility drugs… miraculous occurrences that were unexplainable.

Some of my friends and classmates determined that God is narcissistic, desperately desiring the praise and glory for all good things that happen to us. The Hebrews’ encounter with Pharaoh had nothing to do with Moses, Aaron, or the burden of proof that such things happened in the land of Egypt. It had everything to do with God’s insatiable desire for all to understand (friend or foe) that He’d do anything for His people — including you and me.

I challenge you to take hold of this idea that God desperately wants to save and redeem us — from the oppressor and even ourselves. He wants to orchestrate our lives in such a way that only He could receive glory for what has occurred. He wants to make us free to live and not be so concerned about long-standing traditions and tales. What has He done in YOUR life? That, my friends, is the true burden of truth.

On the Chase,

Alisha L. (The Seminarian)