Making a Masterpiece…

Wednesday Wisdom 🙂

Today’s scripture verse comes from Luke 4: 4

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

Last weekend, I traveled to Indianapolis, Indiana to participate in the 2018 Food Waste and Hunger Summit. In the United States, we waste 40% of the food that is grown while 1 in 6 Americans are food insecure. The summit, put on by DC Central Kitchen and its Campus Kitchens Project, brought college students from across the nation together to brainstorm solutions to this challenge. It was truly an honor to lead a break out session and participate on a panel as a speaker for the summit.

In 2018, we have the best and safest food supply in the history of our nation. My favorite farmer and I are proud to play a role growing it. It is a sad story that neighbors go hungry while landfills are simultaneously filling up with wasted food.

We can do better.

We must do better.

It’s hard, but the road to excellence is never easy or comfortable. I believe that part of the problem can be solved by working to improve the logistics and integrity of food production and delivery, as well as inspiring responsible eating. But, it is bigger than that. While there is an obvious physical link to hunger, food insecurity finds its roots in a larger social challenge. We grow enough food to feed everyone, so why are so many of our neighbors going hungry?

Jesus reminds us repeatedly in the Gospels that we do not live by bread alone. While bread fuels our bodies, love must fill our hearts to heal our souls. Growing food is important and honoring it by limiting waste is critical.

But that’s not the entire story. The rest of the story exists in our ability to end the cycle of hunger by teaching skills and offering jobs — one American at a time – until everyone has a place on the team.

A team that brings love and opportunity.

A team that packs their FAITH to live with GRACE.

My trip home took an unexpected turn and I ended up driving from Minneapolis (that’s a story for another time). As I drove,  I kept thinking about how each one of us is a masterpiece in the making. God asks us to open our hearts so that He can travel the journey with us — impacting our attitudes and inspiring us to offer service and outreach to others. When we let Him in, He fills us with agape love to share. In that moment of joining, our lives become meaningful. The world looks different and our natural internal focus broadens as we look to share and contribute.

Imagine a world where everyone looks to serve instead of to receive.

Imagine a world where we are all members of God’s team.

It is incredibly powerful to realize that while bread is necessary for physical survival, it is truly God’s love and guidance that sustains us in our earthly journey. Our country faces many, many challenges in 2018 — From hunger to food waste to the daily violence that seems to stem from disunity and fear. When I closed my feed yard down 14 months ago, I promised myself that I would intentionally devote more meaningful time to serving others. I felt the call to share — to help the youth in our community to learn to love and to understand that they are loved.

Each one of us is a masterpiece in the making. Perhaps most importantly, all of our masterpieces fit together like pieces of a puzzle in order to heal both our hearts and those of our fellow countrymen. As we progress through Holy Week, I pray that each one of us intentionally opens our lives to share with others. Together we make a difference 🙂


Filed under General, Wednesday Wisdom

4 responses to “Making a Masterpiece…


    Great post. The “40% wasted food we grow” stat is jaw dropping and very sad.

    • Hi Joanne! It is a staggering number and this is a problem that we can fix. I hope that we can all come together to make measurable improvement. Thank you for reading and responding 🙂

      I hope that you and your family have a blessed Easter.


    Source for the statistic is a 2012 report prepared by the Natural Resource Defence Council A quick read of the report would suggest the headline should read “40% of expected food value not realized.”
    The numbers for food disappearing after the wholesale level make sense. The numbers for loss at the farm level do not account for salvage operations and include what we normally consider a farmers risk For example, they cite 15% of wheat acres are not harvested. About 10% is hailed. some is harvested at a great reduction in production and most not harvested. In addition, if drought impact is great, it is not harvested and finally, if crop prices are depressed it is often grazed out.
    Nan’s brothers had a ranch next to a melon field, all the cracked melons were sorted off and fed to their cows. We have friends near the vegetable canners in southern Minnesota who feed their cows the blemished produce.
    It appears that the salvage is not recognized in the statistic. .
    And one of their suggestions for waste reduction is now actually misleading. One of my daughter’s friends grew up as a carrot farmer. They considered adding a baby carrot machine to their packing. Instead of being a good use for multiple root carrots which they usually sell to hunters, the machine turns big carrots into little carrots and lots of shavings.
    However, I agree with many of the conclusions. It takes a lot of planning and care in implementing to avoid wasting food at every step in production, distribution and consumption.

    • Thank you for all of your additional information, Rex. The NRDC does drive a lot of the statistics as well as serving as a catalyst for the food waste reduction movement in our country. Yes, I agree that our understanding of food waste is still limited at this point — particularly at the point of the farmer. Cattle are great “recyclers” and “upcyclers” and create a powerful tool to reducing vegetable waste.

      The whole concept of “food waste” is so vast that it is difficult to wrap our arms around it. I think that an important step is to recognize that each one of us makes a difference by how we chose to live our lives. When we are intentional in our thoughts and decisions, then we become better stewards (no matter what role we play).

      I hope that all is well on the ranch!

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