love and worship

In grade school we learned Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Similar to the original food pyramid picture, we saw a bright colorful picture of a pyramid divided into levels, outlining the innermost design of a human.

  1. Physiological needs-air, food, drink, shelter, clothing, exercise, warmth, sleep
  2. Safety needs-security and order, predictability and control, freedom from fear
  3. Love and belonging-friendship, intimacy, trust and acceptance, affiliating and being part of a group
  4. Esteem needs-esteem for oneself and esteem from others
  5. Self-actualization needs-seeking personal growth and peak experiences, becoming all of who you were meant to be

When Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Jesus underwent a time of temptation by Satan. Jesus ate nothing for the forty days he was out there, and when the forty days were ended, the Bible says he was hungry.

Maslow called the first four levels “deficiency needs”. “Deficiency needs arise due to deprivation and are said to motivate people when they are unmet. Also, the motivation to fulfill such needs will become stronger the longer the duration they are denied. For example, the longer a person goes without food, the more hungry they will become” (simplypsycology.org).

The first thing Satan tempts Jesus with is food. “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread,” Satan says. The devil offers Jesus bread alone to feed his hunger, but Jesus, even his hungry state, knows that bread alone is not going to save him. “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”

It’s like the devil leans a ladder against the hierarchy of needs, and in his temptations, begins to climb. Depending on what gospel you read, the next thing that happens is Satan takes Jesus into Jerusalem and up to the highest point of the temple. Satan tells Jesus to throw himself down. If Jesus wants to play by the Bible rules, fine, so the devil quotes some verses about the angels saying, “He will command his angels concerning you” and “On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone”.

Mark’s gospel says angels ministered to Jesus during his wilderness temptation. Jesus didn’t “fall” for Satan this time either. Instead Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test’.”

No doubt the devil knows Jesus’s position as the Son of God gives Jesus a special kind of power and authority. Invoking the strength of his unique Trinitarian existence of love and belonging, two times Satan says, “If you are the Son of God”. Jesus’ position as the Son of God means something.

Satan takes Jesus to a very high mountain showing him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. He tells Jesus, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Revelation 13 talks about a beast that appears rising out of the sea, and the dragon, who is called the devil and Satan, gives the beast his power and his throne and great authority. The whole world marvels as they follow the beast. They worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying,

“Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”

Jesus tells the devil, “Be gone, Satan!” For it is written

‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.”

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’ And the four living creatures said, ‘Amen!’ and the elders fell down and worshiped.”
~Revelation 5:13-14~

middle of things

We’ve reached the point of summer where the kids spend much of their time playing downstairs and I spend a lot of my time working upstairs. As much as I believe in the many years long process of teachings kids to do things for themselves, I sometimes just enjoy the simple solitude of folding laundry, the pleasure of doing something small for someone else.

This doesn’t feel like a time to kick back and relax. I’ve been trying to do something future-oriented every day, be it fertilizing the squash, stocking the medicine cabinet, buying fleece to make the kids blankets for Christmas. Right now JoAnn fabrics is open. With the recent news of California shutting back down, I’m not going to count on it being open sometime later.

Today I’m trying my hand at canning milk. I watched a Youtube video last night, and in this day and age, that’s you’re education and the rest is up to your own effort, trial, and error. Canning sessions do become teachable moments, and one son is affectionately called “my canning buddy”. My daughter also joins to help as she does in many other things around here.

The kids have piano lessons again today, which means I’ll be making another trip to the store. The boys and I never did find a tire tube last week. The bikes were sold out and only a few tubes remained in a size we didn’t need. When I checked out Target later over the weekend, they too were sold out of bikes and most tire tubes. I ordered some online so I wouldn’t forget.


on wearing masks

Two of the boys have been asking me about getting a new tube to fix a bike tire, as the original tube had somehow been shredded into several stringy pieces. While two of the kids were in piano lessons, I took the boys to Walmart to look for a tire tube. When we got there one of the entrances was taped off, and everyone was entering and exiting from the same entrance. Like most of the bigger stores have nowadays here, there was an employee at the entrance keeping track of the people going in and the people going out. In the places we go, most people have been wearing a mask since May 1st, which the governor issued as a requirement for indoor public places.

I’ve been wondering lately how long individuals can continue to live peacefully in separate realities. In some cases, they can’t, such as in one of my sister’s Facebook mom groups where the moderators banned the members from posting about masks. Some people think wearing a mask is completely stupid and won’t wear one. Some people think the government is infringing upon their personal rights by mandating people wear a mask. Some people think wearing a mask poses a risk to one’s health. Some people think they might not be protecting themselves but they’re respecting and protecting others by wearing a mask. Some people are taking every precaution to avoid catching this virus, which includes wearing a mask.

Back when the ruling was that masks were unnecessary, I was of the mind that if this was some freaky weird and little known about virus manifesting itself in respiratory symptoms and serious and ICU-worthy bi-lateral pneumonia, then duh, why aren’t we all being told to wear masks, or some kind of covering that creates at least a modest barrier between the respiratory exit/entrance points and the world’s shared air? Not that I think people ought to be told they’ve got to do something, but when we’re talking about an illness we know very little about, people can at least be honestly educated about the various possible precautions for all body parts involved. If it makes sense then who the heck cares if there’s a study on it or not?

There are times in life where you end up needing to go along to get along. At this point that’s what the mask is for me. When we’re heading out the door somewhere, do I like that one of the things I say to my children now is “Has everybody got their mask?” Not really. Did I get momentarily choked up when I got the email saying students returning to school will be required to wear masks and have their temperatures checked daily? Yes I did. While I do think we need at least a full year’s cycle to be able to judge the true seriousness of this much talked about virus, I am still a little bit puzzled and shocked by the “draconian” measures that have been taken against it.

rainbow sightings

It started raining yesterday evening. The kids were playing, my husband was re-caulking our bathroom shower, and I was reading. The five-o-clock hour had come and gone, and with it, I thought, the chance for rain. The raindrops were loud, and it took me a minute to realize what the noise was. From what I could see from where I was sitting, the sun was still out.

I love it when it does this.

I went outside to look for the rainbow, which is usually right above and behind our house on summer evenings. I couldn’t find one, so I looked to the north of the entry way pine trees, where rainbows also are known to appear. In light rains these trees are like gigantic umbrellas, but the drops were so big I was still getting wet, and still I couldn’t find a rainbow.

(Surely you know where this story is going)

I didn’t see it until I was about halfway out across the lawn. It was lighter than I expected, but it was definitely there.

psalm 18

Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is indeed the Lord. When He comes again in all His glory, when we all bow down and worship the King, then the King himself will open His mouth and the King, again, will praise the Lord.

For who is God, but the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?–
the God who equipped me with strength
and made my way blameless

He made my feet like the feet of a deer
and set me secure on the heights.
He trains my hands for war,
so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

You have given me the shield of Your salvation
and Your right hand supported me
and Your gentleness made me great

You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
and my feet did not slip.

He sent me from on high, He took me
He drew me out of many waters
He rescued me from my strong enemy
and from those who hated me
for they were too mighty for me

They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
but the Lord was my support

He brought me out into a broad place
He rescued me, because He delighted in me

The Lord dealt with me,according to my righteousness
according to the cleanness of my hands He rewarded me

For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
and have not wickedly departed from my God

For all His rules were before me,
and His statutes I did not put away from me
I was blameless before Him
and I kept myself from guilt

So the Lord rewarded me according to His righteousness
according to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.

~~~~~

This God–His way is perfect
the word of the Lord proves true
He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him

~Psalm 18:30~