Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35 NIV
My prayer today is that the scripture I use in this first blog will be a river flowing to nourish the root system of your heart. Flowing into your soul like those canals I used to swim in that provided much needed water in the Valley of the Sun.
Growing up “south of the tracks” in Phoenix Arizona, I didn’t have some of the things that I do now. Just to name a few, there were no blueberries in the barrio. Now I eat them almost every day, mixed in with my yogurt to keep me full of antioxidants and regular (it works for me). These little plump, bluish-purple, small pillows of fruity flavor are incredible. I did not get to eat a bagel with cream cheese until age 24 and sushi swam into my mouth (thank God) at age 39. We did not have pajamas in the hood, however, when you do not have these things you can’t miss something that does not exist in your world.
Please do not think I am looking for sympathy – put down those violins, stop that sad music. We were poor, but trust me, I always had way more than I needed growing up in the barrio. We had an abundance of figs, mulberries, pomegranates, nopales, verdolagas and occasionally pecans. My Tio Pancho would climb that tall tree and shake it with all his might while he yelled “Charracate! Charracate!” I’m not sure what that word meant, maybe it was passed down from our Aztec ancestors. The word “Charracate!” seemed to give him the strength of a chango (orangutan). Unlimited pecans hit us as we stood underneath the tree. We had more pecans than you could shake a tree at.
So, what is my point? I want to fill you in on where I was undernourished in the barrio. I did not get to establish a personal relationship with Jesus until age 47 and my father did not make his decision until he was near the end of his life.
My father used to tease one of my friends named Arturo. He would call him, “Arturo, pan duro!” It rhymes in Spanish and means, Arthur, hard bread. Arturo would get annoyed and asked me, “Why is your dad always hasseling me?” My father would laugh and finish by saying, “El pan no es duro …duro es no tener pan! (the bread is not hard; it is hard not to have bread). He always reminded us how difficult life was when he had to work in the fields from sunrise to sunset instead of being able to go to school.
As I was walking just the other morning and enjoying my time with God, I heard the words, “El pan no es duro … duro es no tener pan! My paradigm got shifted when I thought about this in the spiritual sense. The undernourishment I had in the barrio was not getting a full portion of the Bread of Life. It was evident in my father’s words when he received salvation. After I read him the story in John chapter 14, he received just what he needed at that moment. When we got to John 14:6, Jesus answered “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the father except through me.”, my father looked amazed and said, “So that’s where that comes from?” We had only received crumbs by getting part of the bread most of our lives. Most of our church life we only heard or read I am the Way. I asked my papa if he wanted to hear more and he said, “Yes!” We continued down the Roman route and he made a personal connection with Jesus as Lord and Savior that day! Alleluia! If you get a chance, read about this in the last chapter of Barrio Walk: Stepping Into Wisdom. It is the greatest miracle I have ever experienced.
At age 47, I heard the words in John 6:54 NIV: Jesus said, “Whoever eats my flesh (spiritually) and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” What an awesome promise! Back in those days when Jesus was walking on our Earth, his words were extremely controversial. He lost many followers because those listening to him only knew of what was being taught in the Law by the Pharisees. Many thought Jesus was off his rocker when they thought about eating physically from His Flesh and Blood. Some people also stop listening to me when I talk about Jesus being the only way to the Father. I grew up reciting the Apostle’s Creed at Our Lady of Fatima and still believe that prayer.
I am heaven bound with a renewed heart to go with my balding head. When I decided to follow Christ, he yanked me out of the darkness that was fueled by alcohol for 30 years. He put me on the Path to Peace fully clothed and in my right mind. My mind is now centered, and my heart is finally calm. I no longer have to go to a man to confess my sins, I communicate with Jesus directly. There is One God and One Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:5 NIV
I want you to go to Heaven with me. If you are undernourished, like I was, I will be glad to help you on this journey. We do not need blueberries, sushi, bagels or nopales … we need our Daily Bread. I am going to leave you with something to chew on until the next writing. Read this carefully: If you are not seated at the Lord’s table eating the Bread of Life …You might find yourself on Satan’s menu.
Hasta Luego! Bendiciones! Until next time! Be blessed. Soli Deo Gloria!
I welcome any comments or if you need a prayer, let me know.