We enjoy eating in various restaurants, as our widening girth exhibits.  We travel in a recreational vehicle (RV) for long trips, and we eat “at home” in the RV dining room or outside on the patio.  Occasionally, however, we like to try the local cuisine in a restaurant.

In Wisconsin, for example, we ate at Bullhead’s Restaurant.  Bill had pork ribs and sausage and all its trimmings. 

Pork sausage food
Pork dinner at Bullhead’s Restaurant

I had broasted chicken.

Broasted chicken food
Broasted chicken at Bullhnead’s Restaurant

The meals were delicious and, in fact, the second night we were at that campground, we went to Bullhead’s again and repeated our order from the prior day!

The point, however, is that these meals were solid food. We are adults, way past the age of infancy.  Infants could not enjoy these meals because infants cannot eat solid food.

In Hebrews 5:12-14, the writer of Hebrews chastises the people because they were acting as infants in the Lord, needing milk because they were incapable of eating solid food.

You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Milk is good, I like it and have it often with my breakfast.  But solid food is sooooo much better than just milk. 

How does the writer of Hebrews identify the mature Christian, the one who can, and does, eat solid food?

It is the person who has trained his/her powers of discernment to distinguish good from evil. 

And how did they train their ability to be discerning? 

          By constant practice.

We all start this life as infants who can feed only on milk.  We graduate to infant oatmeal and other cereals and then to baby food.  After the infant’s teeth arrive, some solid food is given. 

As Christians, we are born into the family of God as infants who need milk to survive.  But the Christian life is not determined by calendar age.  Someone in their teens may have been a Christian longer and studied the Word more than an individual who came to faith in Christ in their 70s. 

In short, maturity in the Christian is determined by the ability of the individual to eat solid food.  The ability to develop and repeatedly practice his/her discernment so that he/she can tell what is good and what is evil.  The ability to discern when a teaching is leading them away from the straight and narrow road.  The mature Christians do their best to present themselves to God as workers who have “no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”  2 Timothy 2:15   

Beloved, don’t be a Christian who is stuck “dining on milk alone”.  Read the Scripture, listen to sound teaching, study the Bible and develop a discerning spirit so that you can identify when teaching is leading you astray. 

In the Christian classic Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan presents a picture of a man named Christian and his journey from being Graceless to his entrance in the Celestial City.  At one point, Christian is walking the road called Salvation.  It is described like this:

Now I saw in my dream that the highway up which Christian was to travel was fenced on either side with a wall, and that wall was called Salvation.  Up this way, therefore, Christian did run, but not without great difficulty because of the load on his back.

This picture is described in the writing of the prophet Isaiah where God says;

In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city; he sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks.

Isaiah 26:1

Further along in Isaiah’s prophesy he says this:

And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.

Isaiah 35:8

Jesus spoke of the way of salvation, characterizing it as having a narrow gate that is hard to find but which leads to life eternal.

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Matthew 7:13-14

Beloved, develop a discerning spirit that can show you right from wrong.  Don’t walk along the wide road to destruction – follow the straight road of salvation that leads to eternal life.  Don’t be satisfied with milk.  Become mature Christians who can feast on the Word of God, who study so that they will know their God and Savior through the power of the Holy Spirit, and who stay on the narrow road.  It will be hard, but nothing worthwhile is easy!

Blessings to you as you walk along the Way.

Father, thank You for Scripture that tells us how to grow and mature into Christians who are discerning and who refuse to leave the narrow road in favor of the easier one.  I pray that I would have the dedication and purpose to be steadfast in my walk with my Lord.


We had occasion to be traveling on the highways of our country a lot recently.   If you spend any time at all on the roads, you will run into trucks. Well, hopefully not actually run into them, but you will come across them along the way. In fact, as we left a small town in Virginia, I counted over 60 trucks going in the opposite direction, on the other side of the interstate, in the span of about 20 minutes.


Trucks along interstate (C)
Trucks along Interstate 40.


The roads in East Tennessee are hilly, curvy and picturesque. Trucks that run the route often know when the road gets tricky to negotiate and, for the most part, they handle the hills and curves well, usually sharing the road with the smaller cars and vans without difficulty or incident.

Trucks going up and down hills on interstate outside Knoxville (C)
Trucks going up and down hills on the Interstate.


However, one thing that I noticed is that there are times when even strong, big, heavy trucks have difficulty climbing the hills, especially when the truck is heavily loaded and the weight is simply too much to travel at significant speed. When this scenario unfolds, the truck with the especially heavy load will move to the right lane, put its flashing lights on, and plod slowly up the incline, while the trucks coming upon them in traffic will line up behind them until there is an opening in which to pass the slower truck.


Trucks passing along interstate (C)
Trucks passing each other.


We were passing a truck loaded with heavy materials that required slow travel up the incline and I was reminded of how I can get bogged down in my Christian life when sin enters and I allow it to remain.

For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.

Psalm 38:4 [ESV]

This huge truck that can easily travel at highway speed was limping up the mountain side, held back by the sheer weight of its load on the steep incline.

The writer of Hebrews warns us to be aware of sin that “clings” to us:

 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us ….

Hebrews 12:1 [ESV]

When I am loaded down with sin, or with guilt because of past sins, I can no longer climb the hills placed before me. Instead, I am grounded and unable to accomplish the work that Christ has for me. I have effectively taken myself out of the game … sidelined and unable to properly function … I am like the weighed down truck trying to race uphill.

This thought then prompted me to recall a study that the women did at church last year, specifically, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, an allegory of the Christian lifeThe pilgrim was originally named Graceless but he received a new name of Christian after coming to faith in Christ.  He was trying to walk in the Christian Way and was having great difficulty because he was carrying a heavy backpack that was loaded with his sin and guilt.   As Christian approached the cross, he received a fuller view of Christ and the work that was done on the cross for him. It was then that his heavy backpack fell off through no effort of his own; and, as it tumbled down into the tomb, Christian felt the comfort of being covered in his Savior’s care.

David describes this condition in Psalm 51:

Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Psalm 51:9-12 [ESV]

David had sinned … he knew that and he knew that God knew that! He prayed that God would clean his heart, wipe out the sin, be present with him once more, and restore the joy that came from the salvation granted by God.

This is the joy and comfort that Christian felt when his backpack loosened and fell into the tomb at Christ’s cross.

It is the same joy that I can have when I confess my sin and leave it at the foot of the cross.

It is the same joy and comfort that you can experience when you are released from carrying around sin and guilt that has accumulated for years (dare I say decades?)!

Praise the Lord that Christ’s work on the cross enables us to shed the weight of sin and guilt so that we can climb mountains at full speed while we do the work that He has ordained for us to do. We may be called carry heavy weights for Him, but the task will be eased when we remember that our sin is gone and that Christ and His Spirit are with us.

Jesus said:

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:29-30 [ESV]

We will be yoked with Christ, each mile of the road on our trip with our Savior and Lord.   We will not limp along, unable to prevail in our work.  His power will strengthen and enable us to do the task.  Praise His holy Name.


Father, I pray that you would forgive me when I complain about the weight of the task ahead. Help me to remember that You are with me, that your Son is yoked with me and that your Spirit will give me strength to carry on even in the face of difficulties. Help me to honor and glorify You in my life, words, deed, and worship.


We were standing at Lava Butte Lookout on top of a cinder cone outside of Bend, Oregon.  Six thousand years earlier, a volcano caused lava formations that resulted in the cinder cone we were standing on, with its 150 foot deep crater below our feet. The landscape was beautiful, but stark and seemingly dead.  [View of the Lava Butte cinder cone crater in Bend, Oregon ]

Lava Butte Lookout - cinder cone crater, Bend Oregon
Lava Butte Lookout – cinder cone crater, Bend Oregon

As we gazed at the horizon over the edge of the crater, it was clear that there was growth and life beyond the lava rock that had spewed from the earth so long ago.  Large trees and bushes were evident and life was going on, notwithstanding the desolation of the crater itself.

But, then, we saw, coming from the base of the cinder cone and extending far into the distance, a road, dividing the forest on either side, and with no other roads visible from our viewing position.  A long straight road, as far as the eye could see.  [View from the Lava Butte Lookout, Bend, Oregon]

View of road from Lava Butte Lookout
View of road from Lava Butte Lookout

Perhaps it is because I am currently reading John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, that I saw the straight road with great interest as it was reminiscent of Bunyan’s description of the right road.

MR. GOOD-WILL. … Look before thee; dost thou see this narrow way? THAT is the way thou must go; it was cast up by the patriarchs, prophets, Christ, and his apostles; and it is as straight as a rule can make it. This is the way thou must go.

[Bunyon, Pilgrim’s Progress, at {66}, obtained from The Project Guttenberg, at]

Or, perhaps it is because of reading the Gospel’s account of Christ and his teaching to those around Him that Jesus’ words about the pathway to Heaven rang in my ears.

“Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Matthew 7:13-14 [NIV]

[Picture is of the straight road we drove as we traveled from the Columbia River Highway to Bend, Oregon.]

The road to where? Between Columbia River Highway and Bend, Oregon.
The road to where? Between Columbia River Highway and Bend, Oregon.

In Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian asks Mr. Good-Will if the straight road has any turns or windings that would cause the traveler to lose his way.  Mr. Good-Will responds:

MR. GOOD-WILL. Yes, there are many ways butt down [border] upon this, and they are crooked and wide. But thus thou mayest distinguish the right from the wrong, the right only being straight and narrow.

[Bunyon, supra at {67}]   We know in our own lives that there are times when there is “a fork in the road” and we have difficulty in knowing which road we should take.  [Picture was taken outside Bend, Oregon of mountains in the Cascade Range, Oregon.]

Outside Bend, Oregon facing mountains in the Cascade Range - fork in the road
Outside Bend, Oregon facing mountains in the Cascade Range – fork in the road

Peter, after describing those who follow “the corrupt desire of the flesh” says:

“They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness.”  2 Peter 2:15.

The Christian must stay on the narrow road, keeping his/her eyes focused on the Lord Jesus Christ while not allowing the things of this world to creep into the mind and disguise the correct road to follow.

My Beloved sold surveying instruments, GPS equipment and other place positioning items during his years of employment. Thus, wherever we go, we often will find, and photograph, survey control markers stating exactly where we are on this globe.  [Picture of a survey control marker along the path by on the Columbia River Highway, Oregon.]

Survey marker reference point in Oregon
Survey marker reference point in Oregon

Geographically we can find out where we currently are so that we can confirm that we are on the route that we intend to be traveling.  If we have taken a wrong turn, the markers will help us get back on the correct road. [Pictures are of the NOAA global positioning reference station in Mississippi]

NOAA GPS informational marker
NOAA GPS informational marker
GPS positioning possible for today's traveler
GPS positioning possible for today’s traveler

While it is important to know where we are on our planet, it is far more important to know where we are on our spiritual journey.  Traveling down the wrong road will have eternal consequences, so our path is not something to be taken lightly.

Spiritually, we are not left alone to guess if we are on the correct spiritual path.  Although the road is narrow and difficult, Jesus has given us the route and He has provided His Holy Spirit to guide and direct us.  Scripture is our road map, if you will, for our spiritual journey.  Scripture steers us directly to God and gives direction as to how we are to live in Him.  If we need a course correction, we can learn about it by reading the Word of God and praying for guidance and understanding.

God's roadmap for our lives, steering us directly to Him -- the Holy Bible.
God’s roadmap for our lives, steering us directly to Him — the Holy Bible.

Praise the Lord that we are not alone in our spiritual pilgrimage.  The Lord’s Spirit is with us, He has given us other Christians who can encourage and strengthen our understanding and resolve, He has given us His Word for instruction and reproof, and He has given us His Body, the Church, for teaching and growth as disciples of our Lord.

Father, thanks be to You for providing us salvation through Your Son, Jesus Christ and for giving us the Holy Spirit as our constant companion and friend.  I pray that You would show me the road to take, that you would make the way clear and that you would give me perseverance and strength to travel the journey you have laid out for me.  In all things, Father, may I give all glory to You and my Savior, Jesus Christ.