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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

We had a very rainy day yesterday and it's still somewhat overcast early this morning but the plants are sure enjoying the liquid.  
Our tulips are just starting to bloom, what Brooksyne considers the prettiest stage!

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"Breakfast With Jesus"

"When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread" (John 21:9).  "Come and have breakfast" (John 21:12).

Camp breakfastWhen I go camping with a group of men the most memorable meal of the day is breakfast when the kitchen crew rises early and builds a big fire.  Smoke from the blazing fire and the aroma of sizzling bacon and sausage fills the air.  It certainly makes a more natural "morning friendly" wake up call than the intrusive sound of an alarm clock! The photo shows a breakfast being prepared for our group during our annual men and boys campout in the mountains. We usually have eggs, pancakes, hash browns with peppers and onions, bacon and sausage. We might even have some fish if anyone is successful in catching a few!

I suppose there are a number of factors that makes a meal cooked over an open fire extra tasty. In addition to the pleasant aroma that fills the air as the food sizzles over the crackling fire is the smoked flavor that penetrates the food as it cooks.

Burnt ends at Snead's BBQ in Belton Missouri When I'm visiting the Kansas City, Missouri area (my home turf) one thing I always look forward to is eating some "real" barbecue.  This involves slowly cooking meat over wood, usually in a pit.  Now that my folks have passed away I rarely get out that way and I sure miss the great BBQ. Several years ago I went with my brothers, Mike and Pat, to Snead's BBQ in Belton, Missouri, the small town we grew up in, and we split a big platter of burnt ends (seen in the photo).

Consider today's text: "When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread."  I thoughtfully ask three questions: Who started the fire?  Who caught the fish?  Who did the cooking?  Friday we wrote about how Peter and the other disciples fished all night and caught nothing.  Early in the morning Jesus stood on the shore but the disciples did not recognize Him.  Yesterday we saw how He gave them some specific fishing instructions which led to a great catch.

After the miraculous catch John recognized the Lord and Peter characteristically jumped out of the boat and waded ashore, with the others following in the loaded boat.  When the disciples landed they saw the "burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread."  Apparently Jesus had already done a little fishing Himself.

But He said to them, "Bring some of the fish you have just caught."  Evidently He wanted to add their freshly caught fish to those that He was already cooking over the fire.  Since there is no mention of anyone else waiting on the shore we assume that He built the fire, cooked the fish, and provided the bread.

Then Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast" or as the KJV says, "Come and dine."  I'm sure that breakfast really tasted good after a long, frustrating night of hard work. Dave, a longtime friend in Missouri tells me of his fishing trips and how delicious a fresh trout is cooked over charcoal along the shore.  But even more than the physical meal Jesus offered the disciples, I'm sure the fellowship at this men's breakfast was outstanding!  I always enjoy getting together with a group of men for breakfast.

I would like to have sat with these disciples on the shore during this breakfast where one after the other surely told their colorful stories, using expression and animation, as they spoke of how they tried every method known to fishermen to fill their nets, but nothing worked till they followed the Master's instructions.  After hearing all their stories I wonder if Jesus used their fishing experience as an illustration to teach and reinforce that, even though circumstances seemed bleak, He is the Great Provider.

Though He would not be with them physically He was only a prayer away.  Perhaps He repeated some of His earlier teaching where He said, "Ask and it will be given to you" or He reminded them that they were to seek first His kingdom and righteousness, even in their daily labors, so that all that they need to eat, drink or wear will be provided for them.  They probably needed to hear once more from their Master that their heavenly Father knew what they had need of even before they asked.

Of all the significant events that took place in the forty-day period between the resurrection and ascension this is quite a story to be providentially included in sacred Scripture.  I believe in part it's included as a reminder of the fellowship the Lord now wants to have with all His followers and for us to have with one another, and also that we are always to seek His Kingdom first as we follow His leading in all avenues of our life. 

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, if You care for the lilies of the field that neither labor nor spin, and You clothe the grass of the field, which is here today and yet tomorrow is mowed down how much more will You care for us who are made in Your own image. You desire our fellowship, our devotion, and our reliance on You for all our needs, for You delight in providing everything we have need of.

An Interesting Perspective: Ed, a pastor friend, commented on this series and shared how he had once preached on this passage using
as a sermon title, "Fishing Without A License". Peter got itchy, and said I'm going fishing...Outcome...NO FISH...Its what happens when we go "Fishing Without A License" Later when they followed His Instructions... Lots of Fish...

Mike Stillman with fishYesterday's fish story prompted another friend,
Mike, to share a photo from a recent fishing trip from last Friday. Here's a photo of Mike and another friend, Jerry, horsing around with a really large fish that Jerry had just caught!

Mike and Jerry work at a company where Brooksyne and I serve as chaplains. Several weeks ago I walked in and it smelled just great. I commented to one of the employees and he teased me that it was a chemical used in the heat treating process. I thought, "Wow, I never recall a chemical smelling so much like food cooking" and I fell for it, till I saw that Jerry was cooking some smoked sausage on a grill!

Ester in firetruck

Last night I had an opportunity to share a brief word of appreciation and encouragement with a group of volunteer firefighters in Mastersonville PA.  Ester joined me and I snapped this photo before the meeting. After I spoke they asked her if she had anything to say and she said, "Never leave your partner behind, especially in a fire." Can you recall where she heard that line?

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.

"Come And Dine, The Master Calleth!"  Video   This is an old song with a southern Gospel group, The Happy Goodmans, singing it.  But it brings back a special memory for me.  Pastor David Selleck was my supervisor along with a group of other pastors in the area I served in northern Pennsylvania early in my ministry (we used the term Presbyter).  We gathered monthly for Pastor's meetings and I recall Pastor Selleck often leading us in singing this song prior to offering thanks to God for our luncheon meal!  It's also the only song I am aware of based on today's passage.

Mike Weber at Snead's BBQ in Belton Missouri
Note regarding KC BBQ:
 Technically barbecue is meat slowly roasted in a pit with a wood fire, although many use the term for grilling meats on charcoal and even a gas grill. Although at one restaurant in New England it merely meant pouring some sauce over the meat! I am sure my perspective is subjective, but Kansas City is the place for great BBQ! Here's an article.

Three of my favorite KC BBQ joints:
Snead's   Arthur Bryant's   Gates

The photo shows my brother Mike pointing to the famous Snead's sign!

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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