Rice and Beans: Part 1

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I knew it would be a stretch to include a devotion on legumes in the "fruits and veggies" series... but it felt inspired.  So as I went to rebel and write it anyways, the Holy Spirit cracked me up! Bringing this song to mind:

"Beans, beans, the musical fruit. The more you eat the more you toot! The more you toot, the better you feel, so eat beans with every meal!"

Now doesn't that just make you happy, happy, happy?

Ok. I redirect. The other night, two of my friends and I snuck out for a girls night out. We were in line trying to decide what to order at Panera. So excited to be together that we were like talking bobble heads on a 4WD road.

All this to say, black bean soup sounded good. But I told her I wasn't sure about ordering that since it is an incomplete protein. My friend responded almost in horror, "What?! Don't tell me that!"

Apparently no one ever taught her about proteins.

In case no one ever taught you either, a basic lesson: Protein is the building block of muscles for your body. Protein is essential, providing critical nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

Don't stop reading now if Nutrition 101 is not your thing because it's a parable of the Kingdom! Even on your dinner plate lies a message for us today!

Now, there are complete and incomplete proteins. Complete proteins are like the incredible, edible egg. Beef. It's what's for dinner. Pork. The other white meat. Milk. Does the body good. And yes... too much television for me in the 90's.

Incomplete proteins require two components together to make the whole.  Like rice and beans. Like quinoa and lentils.

So as I thought of my dear friend and her shock at this news, I remembered that she was even trained to be a nurse! I was trained in Latino Poetry and somehow was taught in school a basic bit of nutrition. I say this, not to dog on her, but for no other reason than to explain my next point...

I was raised in a loving Christian home. I had an incredible Bible teaching youth group. I dove into lots of college ministries. I was hungry for God's word and eager to believe everything I read! I went to a few very liberal colleges which was awesome to strengthen my faith. I was surrounded by lots of bright students and professors who caused me to think critically, deeply, and thoughtfully as I examined the Scriptures to find out if it was really true.

I'm not a scholar or philosopher or counselor or anything of the sort, but I sure have had an "education" in God's Word.

And still... like my friend trained in nursing, no one ever taught me a critical missing piece to my walk with God. No one ever taught me about the Holy Spirit! (Til recently!) So, it's my delight to share this good news with others.

Let me try to explain. I'd always been taught (and believed) the verse in 2 Timothy 1:7 that says,

"You have not been given a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, love, and self-control."

I believed it, but never experienced. Fear controlled my life; I still didn't feel loved; and as for self-control... well.

“Rice and Beans” is a two-part devotion.  This week, let it be enough to consider the verse above, 2 Timothy 1:7. Let it be enough to honestly ask yourself these questions below. Ask the Lord what He thinks too:

  • Am I experiencing the dynamite power of God in my life? I believe in it, but am I experiencing it?
  • What do I fear? (For years, the Lord asked me this one question: What do you fear? And for years, I gave Him my lengthy list. Fear prevailed in my life. And that suffocated love.)
  • Do you experience God's love? Do you really trust in and depend on and believe in His steadfast love?  Or is it just something you say. (Like... Yes, I “know” God loves me, but I don't really feel like He does.)