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Forty Loaves: Breaking Bread with Our Father Each Day
     

Forty Loaves: Breaking Bread with Our Father Each Day

by C.D. Baker
 

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“Why don’t I have more faith?”
“Why am I so bored with Jesus?”
“Why are Christians so hard for me to like?”

There are many questions we’re not supposed to ask when playing by the religious rules. It makes people uncomfortable. So why is it that Jesus invited questions and even asked some of them

Overview

“Why don’t I have more faith?”
“Why am I so bored with Jesus?”
“Why are Christians so hard for me to like?”

There are many questions we’re not supposed to ask when playing by the religious rules. It makes people uncomfortable. So why is it that Jesus invited questions and even asked some of them himself? What is it that you’re afraid to ask God? It’s a risky prospect to begin asking–but far riskier to continue simply trying to get by without knowing. Author C. D. Baker asked himself 40 soul-searching questions which started a conversation in his heart and ultimately showed him more about God than He ever expected.

Can we become more honest with who we really are and find who God says He really is at the same time? Come indulge yourself in daily readings with an honest exploration of your secret fears and thoughts, and know that you will always be welcomed in God’s unconditional love.

Search me, O God … and know my anxious thoughts.
–Psalm 139:23 NIV



From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for
Forty Loaves

“Christians with questions? It used to be, in certain circles, that even raising a question disqualified the questioner from the discussion. Any question was taken as a sign of doubt, which called in question the steadiness of one’s faith. Yet secretly, most believers struggle with nagging queries about life and God. C. David Baker, in this open-minded yet faithful book, speaks to doubters who long to believe, and addresses some of life’s troubling issues from the inside out. A great encouragement for doubters and trusters both.”
–Luci Shaw, author of The Crime of Living Cautiously and Breath for the Bones: Reflections on Creativity & Faith; Writer in Residence, Regent College, Vancouver, BC

“C.D. Baker has given a gift to every honest Christian, to wit, profound insight and amazing affirmation about questions honest Christians ask…but sometimes were afraid to express to others.  This book looks at the “elephant in the room” and kisses that elephant on the lips with such gracious, loving Biblical wisdom that you will rise up and call Baker blessed.  And you will rise up and call me blessed for recommending it to you.”
–Steve Brown, professor at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, an author, and president of the media ministry of Key Life Network, Inc.

“In contrast to the easy, trite, and ultimately unsatisfying ‘good news’ that is peddled in pop-Christianity, Forty Loaves provides the space to explore what Christians often feel but are afraid to express. Baker’s timely reflections on the complexities of faith in today’s world will help to nurture integrity within people of faith in a way that can only result in an enhanced relationship with God and with others.”
–Bruce W. Longenecker, W.W. Melton Chair of Religion, Baylor University

“Fresh-baked wisdom for all who’ve dined on the stale, hardened dinner rolls of sin. C. D. Baker serves up a bread that satisfies!”
–Ray Blackston, author of Flabbergasted

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307444912
Publisher:
The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/06/2009
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1
Why do I want Jesus in my life?
 
I KNOW A WOMAN WHO SPENT years doing all the things the preacher said a good follower of Jesus should do: she obeyed the preacher’s rules, she worked hard at believing, she prayed faithfully, and she mailed her checks regularly to the address on the television screen.
 
But one evening she wrestled with an uncomfortable realization. She found herself staring at a picture of Jesus, only to feel resentment instead of love. It was then that she had to admit to herself that the Jesus she knew exhausted her.
 
She turned away from the picture, suddenly realizing that she had not wanted Jesus in her life out of love for him. He was too hard to love. Yet she still wanted Jesus in her life. Why?
 
Then it hit her like a bucket of cold water.
 
She had wanted Jesus in her life for her sake alone. She wanted material blessings. She wanted to feel righteous and maybe superior to others. She wanted peace and joy. And she wanted Jesus close so he wouldn’t punish her—something of a fire insurance policy to keep her out of hell.
 
But she didn’t really want Jesus.
 
I wonder why I really want Jesus in my life. Do I really want to take him by the hand or just take from his hand?
 
Like the woman above, could it be that the Jesus I know is some cosmic force I fearfully try to manipulate for my benefit? Is that why I focus on his gifts and dodge his anger, all the while avoiding his eyes?
 
I’m afraid I do sometimes feel this way and, frankly, it’s no wonder many of us do.
 
Many of us have only ever been shown Performance Jesus—a “carrot and stick” Jesus. On the one hand, this Performance Jesus doles out blessings if we toe the line, and on the other, he’s ready to strike us hard for disobeying. He’s a daunting presence that we need to either appease or avoid.
 
Most of us know people like that…
 
We call them abusers.
 
Do we really want them in our lives? Of course not. In fact, we shouldn’t. So why would we want that Jesus in our lives? We shouldn’t.
 
Unfortunately, performance Christianity unwittingly presents just that kind of Jesus. Performance Christianity keeps many from seeing Gospel Jesus, and so we don’t experience Jesus’ love. Without feeling his love, it’s hard—actually it’s impossible—to love him. So we obey him out of self-interest and fear but never follow him out of love and gratitude.
 
But there is good news.
 
The Jesus of the gospel very much wants us to want him in our lives. He understands why we’ve struggled to love him. He feels our anger with that other Jesus, but he wants to reintroduce himself as he really is.
 
Gospel Jesus is the only person in the universe who truly loves us as we are.
 
And he has a gift waiting to pour into our opened hearts. It’s called grace.
 
So let’s ask him for the gift…every day. Let’s ask him to show us how much he loves us in spite of ourselves. Let’s ask him to teach us the gospel daily—to remind us over and over that he loves his children no matter what.
 
Let’s ask him daily to show himself as he really is—a big lover of big sinners.
 
And when he answers us, we will be changed. No longer will we obey for our own gain, but instead we will simply follow him, and gladly. For each time we feel his love overflowing in our hearts, spilling over into every part of our being and bursting beyond ourselves in love for others, we will love him again, and again, and again (see 1 John 4:19).
 
Those are the times we will really want Jesus in our lives.
 
Those are the only times we can really want Jesus in our lives.
 

Food for Thought
When have I used Jesus for my own purposes?
What are the things I expect Jesus to do for me?
Can I honestly say that I love Jesus?
How would I describe Jesus to someone else?
Do I really understand how much Jesus loves me…no matter what?


A PRAYER
O Lord, how dry I am without Jesus.
How foolish and vain
When I desire anything but him.
For what, without Jesus, can the world
give me?
Let me love all things for the sake of Jesus
But let me love Jesus for his own sake.
 
ADAPTED FROM THE IMITATION OF CHRIST,
THOMAS À KEMPIS (1380–1471)
 


From the Hardcover edition.

Meet the Author

C. D. Baker founded an award-winning business before redirecting his career to write full-time from his small farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He is the author of eight books, including six novels, one of which was a finalist for a Christy Award. Baker has a Master’s degree in theological studies from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.


From the Hardcover edition.

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