Living on crumbs

I love stories. All kinds. I especially love the kinds that paint a picture that is so detailed it’s as if you’re living it. Hansel and Gretel is one of those stories that just blows my mind away in the detail that’s presented in it’s narrative. It’s honestly surprising this “little” story is considered a bedtime story considering its plot. Before I get to the details of Hansel and Gretel, here’s a little back story on what’s believed to be the inspiration behind one of literatures favorite fairy-tale story.

In 1314, a great famine struck Europe. This led to mothers abandoning their children and in some cases, even ate them. Translated in over 160 different languages the story of Hansel and Gretel features darkness presented in child abandonment, attempted cannibalism, enslavement, and murder. So that’s what we have to work with here. A fairy tale story that’s not so cheerful and whose origin is founded on dare I say it, evil. Evil stemmed from hunger. Odd how hunger can lead us to do the darnest things. Survival of the fittest and in survival we will do whatever it takes, even if it’s the unthinkable and unimaginable. But that’s not what we are talking about today. We aren’t talking about hunger that stirs desperation. Today I want to talk about crumbs. Spiritual crumbs we’ve delightfully convinced ourselves we can live on.

In the story of Hansel and Gretel, we are told they are abandoned by their starving parents in the forest. After finding out their parents plan, both Hansel and Gretel find their way back home following a trail of stones Hansel cleverly left behind. Hansel and Gretel’s parents try a second time to abandon their children and this time was successful. Rather than using stones, Hansel drops breadcrumbs as place markers to make their way back home. The breadcrumbs didn’t work. Birds ate the breadcrumbs which resulted in both Hansel and Gretel lost in the forest.

Let’s pause there in the story. Hansel, traded stones for crumbs. He traded security for something that can easily wither away. He traded assurance for uncertainty. He traded stones for breadcrumbs.

Have you ever made a trade before and realized your trade wasn’t of equal value? Maybe it wasn’t even close to equal value. Your trade was greatly devalued and you ended up losing and had to pay the price for an unsuccessful trade. You may have ended up lost and confused at how you were so easily deceived to believe your trade would flop leaving you blindsided in embarrassment and maybe evil guilt.

Spiritual crumbs. Spiritual crumbs are the bits and pieces of Jesus we live on. It’s the going to church on Easter and Christmas only. It’s reading a scripture passage or verse only when we need some encouragement. It’s switching our radio station from what we normally have it tuned into to a Christian station when we need some inspiration. It’s saying a quick prayer only when we are in need. Spiritual crumbs are pieces of Jesus we settle for because commitment to all of who Jesus is, is too much. We want to be apart of Christianity, but only through crumbs; the bare minimum.

We read in the bible that God is our rock. He is our source of life and hope. Chapters upon chapters we read that God, our rock is all and everything we could ever need. Specifically, Jesus tells Peter in Matthew 16:18,

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Jesus wasn’t talking about a physical rock, rather Peter’s heart that was entirely engulfed in all of who Jesus is that laid the foundation for the church. This laid the foundation of Christianity. Christianity that’s built on the bread of life, not crumbs. Christianity that’s built on faith like a rock, not faith that’s crumbling. Christianity that’s built on truth, not partial truth.

The difference between spiritual crumbs and the rock of Christianity, is in times of despair, we are not lost and confused easily deceived. Rather, we can make our way back home because we’ve built our faith walk on the rock. On good ground. On soil with roots deep in the nature of Christ. Spiritual crumbs takes us through a wavering walk that keeps us at bay to who God is. Spiritual crumbs is faith that easily fades in times of despair. It’s the bare minimum that takes you to the bare minimum.

If you wouldn’t trade your Tesla truck for a 2000 Fiat 500, why would you trade all of who God is for cheap Christianity? Why live on crumbs when you can find life and truth in all of Christ? Because it’s easy? If we are willing to slave on earth of temporary things and invest time in things that are neither edifying or advancing who we are, why don’t we invest in a source that provides guaranteed hope, assurance and peace. A source that never fails.

I want to challenge you. You who have traded the rock for spiritual crumbs. It is not too late to make the great exchange. Unlike trades in life that we can’t easily undo, trading spiritual crumbs for the rock is one that can be done. In the story of Hansel and Gretel, while there’s much more to it’s plot, I want you who’s reading to remember that in this life journey we are on, we can either let stones place markers lead us home, or we can choose breadcrumbs that is easily eaten up and taken away. We get to choose. You and I get to choose.

Have you traded the rock for spiritual crumbs? Are you comfortably living uncomfortable, lost and cannot seem to find your way back home? I challenge you to trade those crumbs for Christ. I challenge you my friend, to trade spiritual crumbs for eternity found in full devotion to Jesus.


Coffee Strength; Milk & Steak

I got asked a question about an individual that had me stumble. Not because this person doesn’t fit positively in the question, rather the question in itself had me stumble as I applied it to myself. Here’s what I was asked:

Is _____ a strong Christian?

I knew immediately the answer to that question. What I didn’t quite know is if someone asked that question about me, what their response would be. I pondered on, Is Vashti a strong christian?

You’re probably asking yourself that question about yourself right now. I get it. It gets you thinking. Who knew such a simple question could stir so much questioning. In my pondering, I shifted from “me” to simply – What is a “strong Christian?”

In the Christian realm we use the term “strong Christian” to describe someone who is known for their strong faith in Christ. Individuals who are in the spotlight to some degree or another and makes their following of Christ known. They dress the part, look the part and act the part. They quote scriptures and seem to have the “Christian walk” pretty much solved. Is that really what a “strong Christian” is? Do we maybe have that all wrong? Did we mess up entirely by compartmentalizing Christianity into “weak, regular and strong?” As I asked myself these questions, I was appropriately sipping on coffee. The concept of levels of coffee roast came to mind as I questioned why we have placed Christianity into categories.

Driftawary Coffee has an article on the difference between Light Roast, Medium Roast & Dark Roast. The writer, Scotts describes the uniqueness between the levels. Here’s what he writes summarized for your reading:

Light Roasts 

  • Retains most of the original coffee characteristics
  • Has the highest acidity and are the brightest of the three roast levels.

Medium Roasts

  • Has a darker brown color than a light roast and will look richer
  • Coffee’s oils may be visible on the beans
  • Contains a balance between acidity and body
  • Has a brighter, fuller body in taste 

Dark Roasts

  • Has a dark brown, sometimes almost black, in color. 
  • Coffee oils can be seen on dark roasted beans.
  • In dark roast, you’re almost exclusively tasting notes from the roast
  • The brightness of light roasts is replaced with body in dark roasts
  • Bold Bodies and a Richer Taste 

So what does roast level have to do with Christianity? Well let’s take a look at it using coffee roast level analogy. 

Light (weak) Christian:

  • Has accepted Jesus and sought salvation through coming of faith
  • Has a brighter tenacity from their recent coming to Christ, however still struggling with who they were prior to salvation.

Medium (regular) Christian:

  • Seasoned Christian who spends time with in prayer, fasting and God’s word
  • They do not hide their faith walk
  • Contains a balance between faith walk and struggles
  • Has a brighter, fuller Christian walk

Dark (strong) Christian:

  • Bold in nature.
  • Christianity radiates
  • Knows God’s and makes it known
  • Richness in walk with Christ replaces struggles
  • Bold in walk and richer in character

Looking at this, I would suggest that believing doesn’t make a difference, it is doing and living. Coffee is coffee in it’s original form. It wasn’t born into a “level.” Not until it curates into different forms does it become what it is known for, light, medium and dark.

Like coffee, humans are humans. You cannot be physically born into Christianity. Not until we are curated (accept Jesus as our Christ and savior) do we then fall into the categories of light, medium and dark faith. It is not about belief alone. It is living out what we believe and why we believe it to the fullest. Faith and works work hand in hand. In the Christian faith we should continuously develop and grow. Stagnancy and compliancy is not growth.

So to my question earlier. Is compartmentalizing Christianity into “weak, regular and strong, right? Maybe not so if you’re doing it comparing others to condemn them. But I do urge you to ask that question about yourself. Are you growing in your faith walk or have you remained where you’ve always been. Are you still a newborn suckling milk are have you sifted from milk, to medium chewable to hearty food? Genuinely ask yourself that question. Not to prove yourself better than others, rather to personally perfect your faith in Christ.

I don’t know about you but I prefer a steak over milk. Milk had it’s season in my life. Today, I’d much rather a nice steak than a glass of milk. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with milk, but that was simply for a season. So, where are you? Are you still suckling on milk? Are you chewing on milk food or have you gone for the steak? While I don’t like the idea of compartmentalizing Christianity, I do want to stress the importance of growth. Don’t become comfortable in your faith. Growth, like in the physical world is greatly needed in the spiritual.

What is your christianity strength?

Bible reference: 1 Corinthians; Hebrews 5; Hebrews 6; 1 Peter 2