The Chef & The Feast (Parable)

The Chef & the Feast (Parable)

There was a local Chef who loved to prepare feasts for those in the town. Daily the Chef would rise and spend hours in preparation for the feast. There was great joy in the Chef’s eyes to share. Years had been spent learning to prepare food. Years where others were able to simply laugh and play, there was due dilligence to study and learn to prepare feasts for others.

The daily feasts were quite the spread. Each detail was thoughtful, with the guest in mind.

Some would come to the feast and enjoy! They were honored to sit with the Chef and enjoy the food and company. They would even place their dishes in the sink when done.

Some would eat and complain, “I don’t like roasted chicken and beef. Why didn’t you prepare what I like?” The Chef would endure their consistent complaining day after day because they were concerned primarily for themselves and not others. They did not recognize they were not paying for the feast. Their selfishness and complaining blocked them from enjoying what was prepared for them.

Some threw their food in the trash or their plate on the floor, because they did not like the Chef. They could not receive because of who was serving. They felt they would be better at cheffing or the Chef needed to be a certain way. They too missed out on enjoying a daily feast and dishonored the Chef.

Some refused to show up to the daily feasts. They were so busy. They could never make time to just rest and enjoy.

Some would come and try to cook for the Chef and they were never asked to cook. They misunderstood their role at the feast.

Some would push their way to the front of the table, “Me first,” they would shout. They did not care who was there, they had to be the first to eat. This disheartened the chef because the intent was a table of family, not a hierarchy of importance.

Sometimes the heart of the Chef would leap with joy because the people were kind and sharing with one another. The Chef loved when they enjoyed the feast. Sometimes the Chef would slip away to the kitchen and cry. The guests would fight over their opinions and beliefs. They would fight to be the first people getting a plate. They would smash plates on the floor, and complain.

There were days were the Chef spent hours cleaning up the messes made. Yet every day, the Chef would rise and prepare a feast. The Chef was never paid for the feast nor the prep time. It was a sacrifice and labor of love.

One day the Chef decided to move to another town and try again. Maybe in another place and with other faces there would be a different experience. The Chef soon realized no matter the town, the people were similar. The faces were different, yet the experiences were similar.

The Chef’s heart sank. Why bother preparing a feast? The Chef closed up the shop and moved into an isolated mountain top. The view was glorious. The Chef still had a passion to create feasts. Therefore, the Chef would rise early in the morning and prepare a mini feast. Dining in solo the Chef would give thanks. Thanks for provision. Thanks for health. Thanks for peace on top of the mountain.

One day there was a knock at the door. An unfamiliar gentleman stood at the door. He said, “I heard you were a Chef and I wondered if a hungry traveler could dine with you. I have traveled a long way and I am famished.” The Chef look puzzled at how the traveler could have found the mountain top home. It was so secluded. He obliged the traveler and let him inside.

The Chef prepared the meal of a lifetime. Oh what a feast. The traveler was in awe of the level of detail and thoughtfulness placed on each dish. The traveler smiled with delight and enjoyed every moment. The traveler asked questions of the Chef and listened. The Chef was amazed because no one had cared about the things on the Chef’s heart before. People came, ate, pleased themselves or complained and dishonored the Chef. The traveler asked, “What can I do for you? You have prepared such a glorious meal for me.” The Chef was startled and taken aback. “I don’t know. No one has ever asked what I desired. I am uncertain of what I want.” The traveler smiled and replied, “If you could have anything, what would it be?”

The Chef pondered for what seemed like an eternity. He finally came up with an idea. “I would love my own garden, to grow my own food and prepare meals from the garden! Yes, a garden. Yet I am on a mountain top and things will not grow here. I travel down the mountain to purchase what I need. I would love to have more travelers like you who understand the feast. The feast is not about the food. It is about fellowship, family, and intimacy. You see, sharing a meal is a time to get to know each other. Yes, those are my dreams.”

The traveler listened intently. “I believe I can help you! I am on my way to another town, yet I will return for you.”

The Chef was excited and they parted ways with a grin. The Chef thought, “Could someone be thinking of me? Oh, will I have my own garden and kind travelers to feast with me?!”

Days turned into weeks, that turned into months. The Chef’s heart sank into disappointment. “The traveler has forgotten me! Yet at least I had a dream.” The Chef continued making feasts for one, watching the sun rise and set in isolation. Though the Chef missed the bustle of the daily feasts in the villiage, the Chef did not miss the behavior of the patrons.

One day, out of the blue, when the dream of a garden had long died there was a knock at the door. The Chef arose thinking, “Who could this be?” The face on the other side was the warm faced traveler. He was smiling from ear to ear. “I told you I would return for you! Can you come with me?” The Chef rubbed the amazement from each eye and packed a bag to go.

The traveler was beyond excited to go on this journey with the Chef. They traveled far from the mountain home to a place where the royals lived. The Chef was flabbergasted at the sights and smells. Aroma of baked bread filled the town square. People were smiling and waving at the traveler. They were bowing and displaying such honor. This perplexed the Chef. Who was this traveler? He (the traveler) looked so ordinary and plain.

The traveler journeyed into the Land where the King lived. The Chef had never seen the King. He only heard stories of the wealthiest King in the world. His heart pounded.

They arrived upon a mansion. The traveler said, “Let’s explore!” The Chef stepped onto the land which was lush and beautiful. The traveler took him on a tour of the mansion and then he said, “I must show you the garden!” He pushed open the double doors and guided the Chef into a garden as far as the eye could see. “This Chef is your garden! Welcome home. I have tasted your food for years and I thank you for every feast. Thank you for all you prepared for me. I am so grateful for you and every feast you prepared for villager after villager. Thank you for feeding the widows and orphans of your town. They had nothing to repay you. I can repay you. Thank you for cleaning up the messes people made, and enduring their complaining and harsh criticisms with grace. Thank you for continuing to make a feast when your heart was breaking. Thank you! This is your garden. This is your mansion. This is your home. I have assigned gardeners to you and other chefs to help you. You will have family and fellowship here. No one will throw your food in the trash or break your plates on the floor. They will come with open hearts to recieve and honor who you are.”

The Chef stood amazed. “How can you say such a thing? How have you tasted my food many times? We just met.”

“Oh I know you Chef. I came every day in a different disguise to meet with you. I would sit at the last place, the last one to be served. I would take my plate to the kitchen and say thank you! I have eaten with you at every daily feast. Even the ones where you were so busy serving you did not recognize me.”

The Chef realized there was always at least one guest who stayed to put their plate away and say thank you. The Chef cried deeply and stood amazed. “How can you offer so much to me? Aren’t you simply a traveler?”

“I am the King! Welcome to my Kingdom. I own everything you see. And you are invited to be my friend, part of my family, and if you are willing-my Chef! We will have feasts and daily bread. I am a rewarder of those who seek to love. Thank you for loving me. I appeared as lowly, sometimes dirty. You treated me like royalty. When I appeared at your mountain top home, you invited me in and treated me like royalty. It’s my turn to repay the favor.”

The Chef remained in the land of King, enjoying daily feasts with people who smiled, laughed, and honored the feast. There was so much joy in the heart of the Chef. The daily feasts took on a new meaning. The King was always there and the King’s opinion of the feast mattered most. Despite how the Chef was treated by villagers in the past, the Chef was storing up treasures for the true cheffing assignment. The Chef was always cooking and preparing a feast for the King.

Moral of the Story: It’s all for the King (Jesus). He shows up daily and our actions are not for people primarily, they serve a great King. He rewards us for our love, sacrifices, and service. Some may trample your efforts under foot, complain, under value, dishonor, or treat with disdain. It does not matter too much. What matters is the King saying, “Well done! Well done! Enter into my Kingdom.”

Photos: Feast (Pinterest)

Lovingly,

Erin Lamb

Grief is Like a Ninja

Grief is Like a Ninja!

I realized Thursday night that I had not grieved the death of a friend this year, nor my aunt who died, nor anyone who died really the past 12 months. It may sound strange, yet with so many challenging things going on at once, you learn to press forward and not process everything.

I sat in an empty office with tears filling my eyes. As I wicked them away, I thought, “Why now?!” Grief has a way of showing up at unexpected times.

I had this thought while sitting there, grief is like a ninja. It shows up at these unexpectant moments. The tears flow, the truth of the situation sinks in and you face grief. It’s standing right in front of you declaring, “I will not be ignored.” Your attempts to bury grief, focus on other things, just keep going, is stalled by moments where reality sets in, “I will not see you again until eternity. Oh how I miss those moments with you!”

We do not wallow in grief, we unpack it. We process it. We come to terms with loss, betrayals, and so much this side of eternity. There is an understanding that God walks with us through the seasons. Through it all, God is with us. We are never forsaken. God does not scream at us to “Get it together, suck it up!” There is no harshness in God. God comes alongside us and whispers, “I love you; I bring comfort.”

The love of God is so deep! Vast beyond measure. Jesus comes along to unpack the pain, mend the ouchies, and deposit even greater love.

If the ninja has snuck up on you, it’s okay to process the loss. It’s okay to be fully human. It’s okay to be still and let the tears flow. It’s okay to process and heal. It’s okay to gracefully walk with Jesus and take it one day at a time. The ninja eventually visits less often. You may even find yourself dancing through a memory of a loved one, instead of tears. In the meantime, be gracious to yourself.

You are forever loved!

Love,

Erin Lamb

Jesus=Pro Women!

I cannot find in the Bible a machismo (ego driven) Jesus, nor a lustful Jesus, nor a bigoted or sexist Jesus. I cannot find a Jesus who said, “Let the women be silent.” He actually sent Mary to tell others He had risen knowing in that culture the testimony of a woman was not held in as high esteem. I don’t see Jesus saying, “Women are weak, they are weaker vessels, send them home to tend to children and husbands.”

Jesus sat with women, served women, comforted women, befriended women, listened to women, treated women with so much respect/honor/dignity that their worship of Him was lavish. He stopped for women, taught women, had close friendships with women, and 4 women financially supported His ministry. I see no ego or abuse or “men are better” in Jesus. If we don’t see it in Jesus, it does not exist in the Father.

People misquote and misunderstand the Bible. Paul’s letters are the most misunderstood. Some twist to fit their selfish narrative. God is not selfish nor sexist. Jesus perfectly represents who God is. If our biblical understanding violates who Jesus is, then our understanding is not accurate.

May we know who Jesus is and be imitators of Christ. I am not a worshipper of Paul, Timothy, or other disciples of Jesus. I follow Jesus.

I simply wanted to encourage women today! In a world that makes fun of you, tries to sexualize you, where 1 in 4 women are victims of abuse, where millions of women and children are trafficked daily, where men make fun of other men by calling them a girl, in a world where you are pushed down or told to be quiet-God loves you! It is not His heart to see you mistreated, abused, talked down to, hurt, molested, or treated with disdain. Cling to Jesus! He says you are of infinite worth!

Love,

Erin

Painting: Pinterest (Wash His Feet With My Tears)

Insecurity is One of Our Greatest World Problems. There is a Cure!

Confident people tend to treat others better than insecure people. Why? If we love ourselves, then we can love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Insecurity is more than just not feeling good about oneself.

Some people cannot be alone, they are fearful, and therefore they cling to anyone who comforts that fear of being alone or left out.

Some insecurity manifests in greed, hoarding, and the inability to be generous. If you give, then there is fear of not having enough.

Some insecurity manifests in settling for less than in relationships and treatment.

Some insecurity manifests in pushing oneself to the front of the line or excessive boasting.

Some insecurity manifests in promiscuity and unholy relationships; lust is false love. It may feel like love to people, but it leaves them empty.

Some insecurity manifests in unhealthy jealousy, comparison, or envy-they must have all the attention or blessing. If not, the internal deficit is triggered.

In the case of abuse, people treat other people the way they feel about themselves. It’s easy to talk down to you or slap you around because they hate themselves. The way people talk to you is often how they talk to themselves.

The critical spirit is rooted in insecurity-“I will nit pick everyone else to bypass dealing with my own issues.”

Manipulation and control are rooted in insecurity (fear). When we are secure in God, we have no need to try to control everything.

Racism and sexism are both deeply rooted in insecurity. Someone must be inferior to feel superior or good about one’s self or group.

God invites us to ditch insecurity and find identity in Him. Godly confidence differs from self confidence because it is rooted in who we are in God; created in His image, His workmanship, fearfully and wonderfully made, desired, cherished, without rival, uniquely loved, the object of God’s affection. God is not unstable, nor His feelings flakey. God is love 24/7 and always. When we live out of His love, our identity grows secure. Living loved by God enables us to give that love away to others and cease comparison, envy, or gross mistreatment of others. Why? We see our value and theirs.

There is a cure for insecurity and it’s found in God’s love; knowing God’s love, receiving God’s love, abiding in God’s love, being healed by God’s love, and living from God’s love. Our world is suffering from broken identity and insecurity. More than having a sin problem, there is an identity crisis. When we know who we are from the perspective of God, we cease mistreating others and ourselves. May you and I seek knowing the fullness of God’s love!!

Prayer: God show me who you are and who I am from your perspective. Heal my hurts, insecurities, and hidden fears. I want to live fully loved by you! Today I want to ditch insecurity and cling to godly confidence.

Blessing you!

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

EmpoweredandFreeMerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org

#KillingInsecurityBook #NextBook

Guarding Your Heart❤️

Build A Fence Around Your Heart, Not a Wall. Therefore, Others Can See It’s Beauty, Yet Only Those Invited Are In It’s Inner Chamber (Your Inner World). Steward Your Heart.

One of my biggest mistakes (I think) in life was opening up my heart to so many people without wisdom. I simply wanted to love people as God loved me. So I was open, transparent, easily shared vulnerabilities. I learned it was not wisdom to give everyone access to my heart. There are ways to love everyone without allowing everyone access.

God is love! Yet God does not give everyone VIP access to Him. If you read in the Old and New Testement, there is way to get to the Father. He is not a snob. He is holy and valuable. You and I are not God. We are highly valuable to God. God loves His children MORE than earthly parents love theirs. God placed so high a value on humanity, Jesus was willing to offer His life in exchange for ours. We were guilty, dead in tresspasses and sins, and distanced from God. Jesus paid the full penalty for sin, and through Him we gain access to a holy God.

God pursues with relentless love. The door and access to Him remains the same. God sets boundaries out of love and wisdom.

You and I are called to love and value ourselves as God does. This means taking inventory of what is coming into our heart, our lives, our ears. Out of the mouth the heart speaks. When we spend all our time healing/mending from toxic people, it takes away from enjoying God and connecting with the right people.

Guarding our hearts is part of our responsibility. God does not do everything for us. We not only take assessment of who has access to us. We take assessment with God regarding our own heart. David stated, “Search me oh God!”

One of my regular prayers is, “Search my heart God. Recalibrate my heart. Align my heart with your love, truth, wisdom. Reveal any little foxes that may spoil the vine. Give me wisdom. Help me to be a blessing. Purge my heart of anything not like you!”

God is faithful to not only reveal the hearts of others (so we know how much access they need in our lives, not to judge them), but to reveal our own hearts so we can repent and be properly aligned with God’s heart! We too can guard our hearts by taking inventory of what we listen to, who we allow to speak into our lives, by seeking godly relationships, and investing in taking in what is good, pure and noble. What we feast on, we become. We become like the gods we worship. We can take inventory of the inputs in our lives. What we take in our eye and ear gates does impact our hearts. What we feed grows. So may you and I not only guard our hearts, may we deposit good things into our hearts.

As water reflects the face,

so one’s life reflects the heart.

Proverbs 27:19

The heart is deceitful above all things

and beyond cure.

Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind,

to reward each person according to their conduct,

according to what their deeds deserve.”

Jeremiah 17:9-10

Create in me a pure heart, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9:7

I seek you with all my heart;

do not let me stray from your commands.

Psalm 119:10

Be blessed! You are prayed for and deeply loved!! God I ask for each person reading this to have an encounter with your love today. May they know and experience the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of your incredible love!! Comfort the hearting. Heal the broken. Love them deep. In Jesus powerful name.

Love,

Erin Lamb

Empowered-Free.com

Empoweredandfreemerch.com

OperationGodisLove.org