Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tips for Pursuing Healthier Living

Regarding caloric intake:  Set your calorie intake to be the goal weight times 10 to give you a general idea of the number of cals you should be consuming daily.  Begin to journal your food and record the calories.   (note if you are considerably over that goal weight you will want to do this incrementally- You will not want that to be the calories immediately - reduce the weekly calories as you loose the weight)

Roadblocks:  After doing the above suggestion for a period of time, if you encounter roadblocks, you may need to play with these numbers.  You can take a week where you ramp up the daily calories by 1-2 hundred calories.  Then return back to the original goal weight calories.

Cravings:  After a time, you may develop overwhelming cravings.  It may mean you have cut back on those cals too much.  It is ok if you have a day where you want to eat. You may need to ramp up your caloric intake for several days when cravings come. Be mindful of not being too drastic.  Being too drastic may yield rapid weight loss, but you will have a more unstable emotional state. (also rapid weight loss rarely remains off - you usually gain all of the weight back but it finds some friends to come along when it returns)  Being in an emotional state while trying to loose weight is usually a bad combination and will more than likely lead to failure.

Another factor that may be causing cravings is you are at a certain cycle in your month.  So always be aware of the calendar.   Hormones can drive us. Cravings in themselves are not bad. It is the bodies way of telling us what it needs. So listen to what your body is crying out for.  Ask God to reveal to you what it is your body wants. (scripture says we have not because we ask not)  For example, if you are having this insatiable desire for chocolate, you may need magnesium (there is a low fat way to get that and a fattening way)  You have the freedom to choose which one. If you are craving tons of butter, your body is probably needing fat.  (you can get a handful of almonds -about 5- or avocado is an excellent healthy fat) If you are craving sugary foods you may need to increase your carbs. You can choose multigrains to get that as a healthier alternative to a sugary treat. If you are craving anything at all, there is an underlying biological need driving it. So listen to your body. Is it crying out for a Snickers? You may be needing both the magnesium from the chocolate and the protein from the peanuts the carbs from the caramel. Should you try to satisfy that desire with a healthy choice? You can or just eat the snickers and enjoy it. Record it in your calories and accommodate for it the next day or so. It is not evil and it is not cheating to act on cravings. That is the beauty of this program. You can have what your body desires in moderation and on occasion. You just have to be smart about it.

In this blog, I wrote about focus and how it helps us succeed.  http://on-wings-as-eagles.blogspot.com/2010/10/where-is-your-focus.html  I believe that there are many ways to succeed at living a healthier life.  If you begin to focus on being healthier and educating yourself to make wiser decisions with what, how much and frequency of food consumption, you will find you will succeed.  If you focus on exercise as part of your life, you will find you will succeed.  The good thing about New Years Resolutions is that it gets you focused on the goal.  The problem is that most resolution fail because our focus gets quickly diverted.

Ways to develop this focus is what spurs programs like Weight Watchers, personal trainers, and nutritionist.  They are just methods to get you to focus and to help you stay focused.  The methods themselves are not magical.  They are only effective if you use them and they help you keep your focus.  As for the methods, you use what works for you.  You can get an accountability partner, you can post cards or pictures around your house especially in the kitchen to remind yourself.  You can join a fitness center, you can even find someone to design a food plan for you.  But your most important part of this method is that you remain focused on it. 

Encouraging others to live healthier lives is just part of my passion.  I hope you find encouragement in this today.

Where is Your Focus???

Here is a weapon we have!   FOCUS!!!

I am just reminded today that where we have our focus is the key to what matters to us.  It is the key to how we succeed.  It is a big key to life.

For example, if we focus on our past we live in the past.  If we are consumed by fear of our future or even anticipation for our future, we are focusing on the future.  If we are alert and aware of our present, our focus is on the HERE and NOW!!! The present is the ONLY place where we can affect anything.  You cannot change the past or alter the future.  So if we live in the present and keep our eyes on the present, fixing our gaze on Jesus, we will live a more satisfied, successful, peaceful, and content life.  And we will bring the Father much glory.

Do we focus on our pain, our finances, our schedule, or our sin?  Our focus is SO important.

There is a time to look at our pain, our finances and our sin.  Plus much more.  But my point is that our focus has to be upon the Lord and His word.

Where is your focus?

If we focus on weight loss, getting out of debt, winning a game...  or whatever, we are usually successful.  Why?  We keep our goal before us.  The key to weight loss success is always finding ways to keep the goal right in front of you, whether it is thru Weight Watchers, and accountability partner, a group, or refrigerator reminders.  The method is rarely ever the key to success.  It is that you keep your focus on your goal.

The world is a very distracting place.  There are things demanding our attentions.  If we are not intentional with our focus, we will drown in a sea of busyness and trivial pursuits.  If we want to walk a life that is honoring to God and draws others to Him, we are going to have to keep our eyes SET upon HIM.  Jesus is our goal, to be like Christ.  But it is not to conform ourselves into the image of Christ.  Oh so subtly we can begin to think it is for us to do.  But on the contrary, it is for us to set our eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth WILL grow strangely dim, in the light of His GLORY and GRACE.  (such a great song, but those words cut to the heart of what I am saying)   Listen to me here.  FOCUS on Jesus.  He is our goal.  But it is not for us to do.  As you set your eyes upon Him and your focus is neither to the left nor the right, as you emmerse yourself in who HE is.  THERE is where the work begins inside of you.  It is where the transformation is done.  It is not a difficult mathematical equation.  It is as simple as where you are focused. 

That is why every day we need to seek Christ.  We need to keep Him in the forefront of our minds.  He is always there.  He says He will never leave you.  So as we set our eyes on Him, we become increasingly aware of His presence with us.  As we become aware of His presence we become strengthen, encouraged, and more like Christ. 

I have noticed that whomever I spend the most time with, I begin to pick up there mannerisms and behaviors.  I begin to see things from there perspective and even at times pick up there offenses.  So as we spend more time with Jesus the more we will be transformed inside out.  I want to talk like Him, walk like Him, care about what He cares about.  I want the transforming work of Christ in me.  We need to look at the world from God's perspective.  Ask Him for it.

Daniel 4:27 in the New Living Translation, says "Stop sinning and do what is right."  Focus on that scripture.  Seems pretty straight forward and simple when you boil it down.  But we are able to effectively do this by the enabling power of Christ.  We focus on HIM.  He will strengthen us to stop our sin and to do what is right.

There is a story in the bible of a King who walked a life of focus.  1Kings 22:1-2 "Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. ... 2 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. "

Not turning aside to the right or the left.  Keep your focus directly on Jesus.  I believe it is a key to effective living.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Being the image of Christ to the world

Heard the following statement on the radio the other day yet am unable to quote so forgive me:  "Sin corrupts the image of Christ in us".  Sounds like a pretty good reason to avoid sin.  Our image becomes distorted and we will no longer reflect the image of Christ to the world around us.  Isn't that a great reason to flee from sin and the temptations of sin. 

Just a little something to chew on.  That's all.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Healing Heart on Life Today

Is 61 I come to heal the broken hearted.

Luke 4 when he stood up before them, he rolled out the scroll of Isaiah, pointed his finger right to it and spoke these very words straight off of the pages of inspired scripture and he said, “Today, this is fulfilled in your hearing.”

http://lifetoday.tv/qt/2010/07/100728.htm  Part 1 "The Healing Heart"
http://lifetoday.tv/qt/2010/08/100804.htm  Part 2 "The Healing Heart"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Trying or Trusting


Perhaps I drive home the same message all the time, but it is the one that comes to me the most.  It is a matter of trying for God.  We try to be good.  We try to be like Christ.  We try to do our duties for the church.  We try to be without sin. There are all manner of reasons why we try.  We may try because it is expected.  Maybe we try because that is what we have been taught.  We try because we are seeing our flaws and we want to perfect ourselves.  We try for the sake of pride.  We try as to not disappoint or look bad to other Christians.  We try because we want God to love us.  Perhaps we are even trying to please God or get His favor. We may even try because we do not want to be a poor witness to the world.  For every person there is a reason why we try.  Some of these are great reasons and may seem to even be godly motives.  However, my point remains the same, anything we do apart from God will not only be temporary but will have NO eternal effect.
  • "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."  John 15:5  
  • "Everything that does not come from faith is sin." Romans 14:23b NIV

However, if we believe that Christ came to die for our sins; believe it was finished on the cross; believe that Christ is our savior, then we will have to recognize that the perfecting work is for Christ to do in us.

So when we are convicted of our sin, let's not beat ourselves up.  Let that be a time of agreeing with God.  Let it be a time of thanksgiving, because it is being revealed to you so that God can help you become more like Christ.  When God points His finger at imperfections in our lives it is not for condemnation.  So we need to STOP condemning ourselves and start rejoicing that we see them.
  • "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." Romans 8:1 NKJ  
 
It is God's revelation to us little by little that helps carve us into His son's image.  If we will stop working with the enemy and stop agreeing with his lies about us, and start cooperating with the convictions of the Holy Spirit, then we shall see a true work of God in our lives.  Little by little, God will transform us from glory to glory. 
  • "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJ  
When we were born we were fully a person just really small and in need of help.  However, with time, we grew into the full grown person we were born to be.  All the potential for an adult was in that new born baby.
 
We as Christians have to allow ourselves to grow up in our walk with God.  We also have to allow those around us to do the same thing.   Just as we should never get angry with a small toddler for falling while learning to walk.  God does not grow angry with us as we learn to walk in our faith and walk with Him.   Shouldn't we offer the same sort of grace to others.  I am not talking about accepting sin.  I am talking about long suffering and grace for those who are still toddlers in the faith. 

God is not disappointed in us because we are imperfect.  As a matter of fact, He has known it all along.  He is just trying to reveal it to us thru our circumstances little by little.  I believe that the circumstances of life is what helps us see our own imperfections.  When I am going thru a hard time, I see just how imperfect I am.  It is easy to behave RIGHT when all is good and I am blessed.  However, I see the hand of God in my life when I am in the midst of hardships and trials much more clearly.  That is the time when I am able to see what I am in need of; whether it is patience, compassion etc. or that I need to stop an activity like gossip or idolatry.

God desires our obedience not our sacrifice.  God is not asking us to BE something, do something or NOT do something.  He is trying to get us to listen to Him, follow Him, obey His commands.  He will develop you into THE person He created you to be.  (if only we will cooperate)
  • "But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams."  1Sam 15:22
If we will obey (work with and along side God, cooperate with the work God wants to accomplish in us), we will see the glory of Lord in our lives.  We HAVE to stop trying and start TRUSTING God!   Trust God to accomplish the work in your life He needs to accomplish.
  • "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV
 
Our righteousness comes by faith.  First we are proclaimed righteous when we confess Christ as our savior.  Then we begin to grow up into that same righteousness little by little.  Going from one glorious stated to the next elevated state of glory.  Going from glory to glory.  
  • "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord."  2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJ
Hope you have a wonderful day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXut0HxncvY
Watch this along with what I have shared

Monday, August 9, 2010


"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." "Psalm 91:1-2
My favorite description of God is Him as my shield in all manner of references.  I love to think about being shielded beneath His wings.  It feels incredibly safe there.  So imagine living ( or dwelling) in the refuge and safety of the Lord's wings or in the shadow of the Almighty.  Is. 40:31 says we can soar on wings like eagles. I love the word ON!!!  Also in Matthew 23:37, Jesus speaks to Israel saying, "how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings."

That is the most comforting picture.  Jesus gathering us beneath His wings as a mother chick does her babies.  Doesn't that just comfort your soul?  I know it does mine. 

Spend time focusing on this concept.  We can live in the safety and refuge of the Most High if we choose.  The choice is up to us.

Have a great day.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Are You a Human Being or a Human Doing?

Why are we so determined to find our value in our doing.  Why is it we are either pleased with ourselves or angry with ourselves based on what we have or have not done.  I have heard it a million times that we are human "beings" not human "doings".  That sums it up.

Satan is our enemy, and he will try to get us so wrapped up in the "doing" of Christian life that we will miss out on the purpose of Christ's sacrifice.  Christ died so that we could get back our RELATIONSHIP with God.  It was torn apart in the garden and was restored on the cross.  It is by faith we believe this to be true and it is by obedience we become like Christ. 

There is such peace in surrender.  You can sit peacefully before the throne.  Open to correction without any hint of arrogance or offense.  To be fully surrendered and at peace with God is the most indescribable experience.  Nothing comes near it.  When we hear a message that may pierce our heart and convict us, I have watched over the years as believers get so offended by the message that they begin to even despise the messenger.  Well I say, we need to search our hearts before the Lord to see if the message is for us and is biblical.  If we find that it applies to us, then we must submit to it, confess it and repent.  (Submit- accept somebody else's authority, Confess- agree with God on what He says about the behavior, repent- simply stop doing it)    Why do we get so offended?  Could it be pride?  If what they are saying is however, incorrect, we do not have to take it personally.  My experience has been that when I am offended, the message touched an area of "weakness" in me.  When the message touched a nerve, I should take note.  That should be where I quickly go before the Lord to determine what is up with me.  Usually, the message touched on my sin areas or  it touched on areas where I have been trying to do it myself.

I enjoyed attending church yesterday. To me, it is so satisfying to participate in true worship of the one true and living King. I love songs that get my focus squarely on God. I enjoy singing songs that get me to really realize (for that moment) how insignificant I am in what I do, yet how valuable I am to my Savior. I was just basking in that fact yesterday and the tears began to trickle down my face. One of the songs spoke of the fact that He loves me.  The song reminded me that I love Him becasue He first loved me. Then the message proceeded to validate that point.


I began to think on the value a painter places on a blank canvas and a lump of clay to a potter. Just average people cannot see the potential in a blank canvas or lump of clay. We would never think of it as priceless. However, how many sculptures and paintings are now priceless. They are so valuable the price cannot be met. That is us to our Father. It is only when we are fully surrendered to Him are we going to become the priceless work of art that He intends. How do we do this you may ask, simple -- OBEY His commands.

It is for His glory and our good that we surrender to the hands of the potter.  Allow Him to do the doing in you today.  ALLOW Him to do the work.  That way He gets the glory and you get the peace and satisfaction that comes from submitting to something much greater than you.  We get to participate and cooperate in the work of the Creator of the Universe.  Yet it is not by what we do for Him but what He does thru us in our obedience and surrender.   This is where we begin to really develop our relationship with Him.  Praise God we don't even have to conjure up love for the unloveable.  God gives it to us.  He loves the unloveable thru us in our surrendered obedient state.  I can tell you the love that will flow out of us will feel better than any earthly love we can come up with to shower on others.  Test it and see if this is true.

I am overwhelmed by this fact even as I type.  Be blessed today.  May God bless you thru your obedient surrender today!!

Devotion from Life Today

Regret: A Matter of Perspective

by Stephen Arterburn

We should be clear about one thing, right off the bat: There is no way to be alive and avoid doing and saying foolish and even idiotic things, things you’re bound to later wish you hadn’t done and said at all.

Not being able to forgive yourself for your boneheaded, arrogant, and selfish actions is one of the biggest inhibitors to living the life God wants you to live. If you’re always dragging yourself down with the past, how is God going to lift you up in the future? It’s easy to kneel in church and hang your head, praying for God to forgive you, but you must also face what you’ve done and deal with it in a direct and forthright manner. You have to cleanse and prepare yourself so that you’ll always be as ready as possible to be the man or woman God intends you to be.

One of the most dramatic biblical examples of personal regret occurred in connection with the Bible’s most terrible event, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ:

“When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. ‘I have sinned,' he said, 'for I have betrayed innocent blood.’

“’What is that to us?’ they replied. ‘That’s your responsibility.’

“So Judas threw the money into the temple and left, then he went away and hanged himself.” (Matthew 27:3-5, NIV)

Most people believe Judas went to hell for his sin against the Lord. And he may have – we won’t know on this side of heaven. Even though he did just about the most awful thing anyone has ever done, we have no place judging Judas than we do anyone else. The job of ultimately judging anyone belongs to God alone.

Nonetheless, from the passage above we can see clearly that after his evil deed, Judas’s attitude about what he’d done changed a great deal. Soon thereafter he fell on his knees, desperately despondent over his eager choice; he was “seized with remorse.” He was so distraught over his deliberate betrayal of Jesus that the only way he could think to end his suffering was by ending his own life.

What happened to Judas? How did he go from being a craven opportunist to being consumed by burning remorse? How did he go from wanting only money to being utterly desperate to possess what money can’t buy? What changed in the man?

What changed in Judas is the same thing that needs to change in any of us seeking to come to terms with past regrets and learn how to avoid creating new ones: perspective.

At first Judas’s perspective was, “What’s best for me? What can I do that most benefits me? Who can I come out ahead?” He didn’t care who got hurt on his way to self-satisfaction; he just wanted to know what he had to do to get what he wanted.

But that sure wasn’t his perspective after he saw the results of what he’d done. Suddenly his tragically limited, shamefully selfish perspective became markedly broadened. With the force of a piano being dropped, Judas realized he hadn’t been looking at a picture anywhere near big enough.

Put simply, perspective is everything. In my work at New Life, I’m made aware every day that the perspective people have on their problems is easily the most deciding factor on how effectively they’ll be able to deal with them. In fact, I largely think of my mission as helping people to broaden their perspective. Take anyone with a problem. I want to show them the value of changing their perspective from one in which they’re the center and star of the universe to one in which they realize that their world does, or should, revolve around the Son.

When assessing and evaluating a situation that led to your present regret, imagine yourself back in it – and then try to see the whole of what happened not through your eyes but through God’s. Meditate on bringing the peace of the Holy Spirit to the situation that ultimately concluded so poorly. Picture yourself back with that other person in the relationship, and then lift your perspective so that it rises above the two of you here on earth. Strive, in other words, for a heavenly perspective from above.

“Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” (Romans 12:3, NIV)

Practice that – employ it when looking back on your regretful behaviors – and you’ll be well on your way to feeling better about things you might have thought you could never feel comfortable with at all.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Taking a Coffee Break and Thinking

I have been in the middle of a busy summer, and as I am typing this, the rain is coming down outside.  I can hear the distant thunder (some not so distant)  Just outside the house is two police cars blocking the road to protect unsuspecting drivers from hitting the tree that is down across the road one house up from me.  As I sat and watched the activity, I sat back with a VERY warm cup of coffee.  I began to converse with Jesus on the need for coffee in heaven.  I told Him how I wondered if he too had enjoyed the warmth of coffee during his brief stay here on  the earth (or at least a warm cup of tea).  

Then I just began to think on what exactly it was that I was enjoying about that cup.  I held it in both hands.  The warmth of the cup was comforting.  There was time to sit back and relax for just a little bit.  It  was refreshing.  Listening to the rain and watching its activity help me further enjoy the moment.  As this conversation with Jesus continued, I just felt in my spirit that The VERY Presence of my Lord would bring such warmth and comfort in heaven there would be no need for the coffee.  I began to think on the lack of stress I would have and that to be in the presence of the Lord would mean I would be absent of the need to relax.  Anyway, in the process of my reflection, I enjoyed my conversation with the Lord.

I have had a large amount of projects that I have been working on this summer.  My two daughters have been very actively involved in several of these projects along with me.  We enlisted the help of my mom, and we did complete upgrades to both of the girls rooms.  Bless both their hearts, it has been LONG overdue.  So we have painted, rearranged furniture, replaced many pieces of old furniture and went thru all their stuff.  We have been boxing up momentos, sending out stuff to the local Good Will and trashing a great deal of STUFF!!!    I have been in ORGANIZE mode.  I like to be organized and know where things are.  I intend to continue this long into the girls' return to school.  I have enjoyed the time with my mom and the girls.  We laughed as much as we painted and it was beautiful after it was over.  I still walk by their rooms just to enjoy the view. 

So I began to reflect on all this as I took my coffee break.  I began to think of not only what we have accomplished this summer but what has been accomplished this entire year.  So far this year, I have had surgery on my neck (so I guess you could say I had a neck renovation, HA HA)  We immediately followed with a renovation of our kitchen, dinning room and fresh coat of paint in the living room.  We have many projects to go in this old house but it sure has been worth it.  I looks amazing. 

I am so thankful that God has blessed me with a great cup of coffee and electricity to heat it.  I am thankful for the time with my daughters and my mom.  I am thankful that I have a place where I can just write out my thoughts and express in writing how blessed I am.  I love my house that God has so graciously provided by the hands He has chosen to use in my wonderful husband.  I am blessed beyond measure.

Hope you have a time of reflection today.  Take a break with your favorite beverage.  Have an open talk with Jesus.  I think He would love to sit down with you and listen to what you have to say.  I think the spirit within me has been energized during this time of thankfulness and reflection.  Be blessed today.  Take time to be thankful.  Psalms says that we enter into His gates with thanksgiving.  What if that is the KEY to unlock the gate.  Then we enter into His courts with praise.   We want to be in His presence, I believe that is a very scriptural way to get there.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Points of encouragement to the body

I was sharing these points with some friends of my and as I was writing them, I thought perhaps I needed to share more generally with a wider audience. So I decided to share them here as well.


Points I have been discovering, pondering and have been reminded of during my times of devotion thru the past several weeks. I hope you will join me in my excitement. I hope you will find it encouraging as well.

First: As Christians, we are to set our hearts on things above. So I started thinking. Is it right or wrong to do and participate in earthly things? Of course not. We live here and are to do life here. What I am thinking is that we can bring Christ into everything we do. Now of course I am not talking about sinful acts, just life. I am thinking that every innocent activity on earth we can do it as if we are doing it as a service to the Lord. We can even make the task of cleaning a toilet godly. (No that is not sacrilegious.) We can even encourage others to be a light and still be in the world's activity. So being godly in our activity can make the activity a form of worship to the Lord.

Second: We are called to walk a godly life and to be a light. However, God also enables us to do it. He didn't expect us to do it ourselves. I believe the enabling power comes from our capacity to love one another. It is our love for those around us that compels us to do and to act toward them in a godly, understanding manner. I think we have to pray for God's love toward our neighbors (anyone around us that God placed in our lives).

Third: When we find ourselves with "less than love" for anyone we are doing life with, we need to go to the Father and simply ask for His heart and His love for them. He will be glad to oblige. The best way to go from feeling bad toward someone to having a heart for them is simply to pray for them. Take them before the Father and pray for His blessing on them. (of course we can take that time to tattle on them to the Father, we just can't camp out there) Pray, pray, pray. Once we no longer see them as "men as trees" but as a person with whom we can identify, we will be overwhelmed with love toward them. We will be open to having God's heart toward those around us, even if they have hurt us or those we love.

Fourth: This is the one that overwhelmed me. Are we hating or rejecting the wrong things? Actions of a person and their choices is what we are to reject. We are to love the person even if we do not love what they are doing. We do not have to accept wrong behavior, but we have to hold others accountable for their behavior yet still love them. We tend to put up with bad behavior and withdraw our love for them hoping that we are protecting our hearts. But loving them is what sets our hearts free.
 
Lastly: We tend to argue over gray areas as the body of Christ when there is a generation that can't even clearly define the black and white yet (right and wrong). We must as a body of believers learn to love and embrace those who cannot clearly discern black and white. It is thru walking with them, they see our lives. They cannot truly observe our lives if we withhold living in front of them because they are not certain what is right and what is wrong. We cannot live at a distance and be a light to them. It is when we are up-close and personal that we begin to truly be a light in a dark world. We must be accepting to those who cannot see clearly the blacks and whites. We never expected our babies to walk at 2 months. We never got upset with our toddlers because they fell while learning to walk. We knew that that was part of it. So we need to have the same patience for others as they are learning to identify black and white. We just live it out in front of them, and teach them as we go by the way we live in front of them. Maybe we shouldn't be so worried about the gray just yet. That will come with time.

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" Jesus Christ (Matthew 5.43-45)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Being SECURE






Went to see Beth Moore live this weekend.  I was encouraged to be SECURE.  Her new book, "So Long Insecurity --  You've been a bad friend to me" was the topic. 

I recently have been aware of the numerous amount of us women who are not walking in our God given right to be secure.  We allow the media and others to tell us our value, instead of allowing God to reassure us of who we are.  We are the children of God.  We are to be secure in who we are, and we are to walk it out with the power, strength and LOVE we have been given!  Look! ladies in particular, our daugthers will never walk in the confidence they deserve if we do not demonstrate it for them.  Let's teach by example.  I speak this with the most tenderest of hearts for each of you and myself.  We serve an awesome God and we are HIS and He is ours.  Do not allow the world, the enemy or even the mirror/self to tell you that you are any less than a conqueror, a warrior, dearly loved, a friend of God, heir to the throne, co-heirs with Christ, and a princess to THE KING of KINGS.  REMEMBER the power God used to raise Jesus from the dead is the VERY same power within each of us who have received by faith Jesus as our savior. 

If you have not ever received Christ as your savior and you sense God is drawing you and convicting you of your sin.  If you desire it for yourself, allow me to encourage you to confess your sins before God, (confession is simply agreeing with God regarding your sin), repent (turning from those things God calls sin) and walk in obedience to His commands and above all else, receive Christ's payment for your sin so that you may meet with Him anytime thru FAITH.  It will not promise to be the easiest life, but it will be the best and most rewarding decision you will ever make.  If you do this, seek a godly Christian leader or go to a healthy church and tell someone.  Allow them to encourage you in this NEW transformation.

For those of you who have been a Christian for a while, I challenge you to walk in the light as He is in the light.  I challenge you to walk in love.  I challenge you to be the salt that makes others long to have what God has to offer thru Christ.  RISE UP!!!!!  Walk with YOUR GOD GIVEN right to be confident.   We have every reason to be confident.

A great song for the topic of security/insecurity is :


Walk on the Water


You look around

and staring back at you

Another wave of doubt

Will it pull you under

You wonder



What if I'm overtaken

What if I never make it

What if no one's there?

Will you hear my prayer?



When you take that first step

Into the unknown

You know that He

won't let you go



[Chorus:]

So what are you waiting for?

What do you have to lose?

Your insecurities

Try to hold to you



But You know you're made for more

So don't be afraid to move

Your faith is all

It takes and you

Can walk on the water too


So get out

And let your fear

fall to the ground

No time to waste

don't wait

and don't you turn

around and miss out

Everything you were made for

Gotta be, I know you're not sure

So you play it safe

Try to run away

If you take that first step

Into the unknown

He won't let you go

[Chorus]

[Bridge:]

(Step Out)

Even when it's storming

(Step Out)

Even when you're broken

(Step Out)

Even when your

heart is telling

you, telling you to

give up

(Step Out)

When your hope is stolen

(Step Out)

You can't see where

you're going

You don't have to be afraid

So what are you waiting for?

[Chorus]

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why can't I remember to do what I know I need to do???

You know there is nothing better than freshly baked bread.  It smells so wonderful.  It tastes even better.  Yet I find myself settling many times for week old bread.  You can still eat it, but it just isn't as satisfying.  You know I am just thinking over the fact that I cannot live on spiritually old bread.  The physical body doesn't do well when we are eating bread that is old and moldy  (not to mention that it just taste bad).  I can't understand why I find myself not looking for freshly baked spiritual bread.  I so often settle for all the old words from God when He has a fresh word for me every day.  I just don't understand myself.  I never have to settle on crumbs or old bread.  I pray that I will seek my Father daily for my bread.  So my prayer is that I ask my Father to give me this day my daily bread each day.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Soaring on Wings Like Eagles

Isaiah 40:28-31 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

My absolute favorite above many favorite scriptures in the Bible.  I love that we will SOAR on wings like eagles; that we will run and not grow weary and that we will walk and not be faint;  IF we will HOPE in the LORD our strength will be renewed.  PRAISE God!!!

I love Chris Tomlin's song, I Will Rise.  The first time I heard it was last year at Easter service at Old Brashiers Chapel.  I cried like a baby.  I loved it so much that I down loaded it immediately upon getting home and listened to it over and over.  Yesterday in church our choir sang the entire service and what a blessing it was.  However, I just kept thinking and talking to God about how I would love to hear that song.  GUESS WHAT!  Mike Nelson, a wonderful voice in our choir steps up and begins to sing.  I grinned so big when I saw the lyrics come up on the screen.  WHAT a treat and blessing.  I felt so loved by my Father at that moment.  AND guess what else!  I cried like a baby again!!  Yes I am the tears ducts of the body of Christ.  You know how each of us play a part of the body, well I have determined that I am truly the tear ducts.  Hallelujah, I know my place. 

Only on our knees can we truly rise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Isn't that ironic?

Folks, yes we are broken, yes we are a mess, BUT Jesus came to change all that.  Let's not stay broken, allow Him to HEAL YOU.  Allow Him to clean you up and purify you.  It is not our job to do it, but it is our job to place ourselves in the hands of a perfect potter.  All clay pots that are broken will be made whole again.    It is our job to walk in the obedience HE calls us to individually.  Then we become a reflection of Jesus.  Not by our doing but by HIS   Folks, we were designed to soar!!!!!!!   Hallelujah!  AMEN!!!!!!

Talk about feeling loved, my heart was overwhelmed!!!!!!!!  Sure do love my Jesus!

Want to hear it, this is the link: I Will Rise, by Chris Tomlin

Friday, March 12, 2010


Feeling a bit under the weather today.  I went for my LAST physical therapy appt. today which I have been doing following my spinal surgery and wrist surgery.  We have started renovation on our kitchen.  It is an OLD house and in need of some work.  Well they tore out a wall and the flooring down to the subfloor.  The junk that was in the air is now in MY LUNGS.  So I sounds yucky and feel even yuckier.

All this demolition remindes me of the work that God does in each of us as we age.   As a product of the fall, we come to Christ with all of our CLOGGED pipes from years and years of neglect and inferior behaviors and beliefs.  As we allow Christ access to our STUFF, He begins to pull out our "pipes" and replaces them with His.  He reveals our PAINS and the LIES we believe about Him, ourselves and others.  The only way this happens though, is if WE will cooperate with Him.  They call it OBEDIENCE.  He does it not to condemn us but to transform us into His image. 

You would not believe the LAYERS of wallpaper that was on the walls.  There is this one wall paper that is SO OLD, it has pictures of a pot-belly stove, and various other "General Store" items for the kitchen.  It was actually a walk back in time.  The smell was unimaginable.  However, before you pass too much judgment on the poor kitchen walls, we do the same thing.  Instead of taking our HURTS, FEARS and PAINS to God for His healing, we cover it up with new fancier wall paper in hopes that NO ONE will ever know what is underneath.  Unfortunately, if we cover up these feelings while they are unresolved, it would be like wall papering over mold or fungus.  Can't cover or bury anything alive.  It just shows up somewhere else until it is resolved.

So it is for our good and God's glory that we allow Him to heal us.  It is for our fellow believers and those in our lives that we allow Jesus to get rid of those rusty pipes and tear down our old wall paper.   This way we will not contaminate all those that we love. 

We are the beloved of Christ.  Let walk like it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Learning to trust God with all things

God is so good. 

I have to say that God uses EVERY opportunity in my life to reveal Himself to me.  I went thru a surgery recently that I had postpone for 10 years.  I was told following an automobile accident, I would need a spinal fusion.  Sounded very scary.  I was told the surgery could cause paralysis.  At that point, I had pain, but I was very active and able to fully function.  So I sought alternative options.  I was able to manage the pain for a decade and finally was to a point it couldn't be delayed any longer.   I returned to the doctor, and again told the chances of being pain free and the chances of paralysis.  So I was faced with lots of fear entering the surgery. 

I came across scripture that told me to trust only in the Lord and not in man.  I was not trusting the doctors.  I was not trusting what they could do.  However, the fear revealed that I was NOT trusting the Lord.  I came to the reality that I was to trust in Him no matter the outcome. 

I have not had a single surgery where I was free of anxiety.  Anyone who knows my history, knows I have had several incidents that led me to be cautious where surgeons are concerned.  So for about 3 weeks God began to build my faith.  I began to accept whatever fate laid before me.  The more I submitted to His will the more able I was to walk the path before me.  I have never had such peace.  I was beginning to lay down my control, my concern and even my agenda and plan for my life.  I finally said "OK Lord, Your will be done in my life."  It was hard and I did cry thru it. 

However, when I awakened from the surgery and the nurse asked me if I could wiggle my fingers and toes, I did and that was an immediate cry of praise and thanksgiving to God.  I can not tell you exactly the emotions that ran thru me at that moment, but it was yet another way for God to teach me what trusting in Him really looks like. 

This was a situation I hope I never have to repeat, but the lesson God taught me thur it will be ingrained in me for the rest of my life.  I pray that I never forget it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Weight and health risks - AOL Health

Weight and health risks - AOL Health

This is a good to determine your health risk. You only need to know your height, weight, and waist size. The calculator will tell you your BMI (body mass index) And tell you if you are at risk for heart disease

Monday, January 25, 2010

Knowing God's Comfort (devotional from Life Today)


Know His Comfort

by Ruth Graham


“For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will

shower us with his comfort through Christ.” (2 Cor. 1:5)


Ruth Graham explores God's comfort in her book Fear Not Tomorrow, God Is Already There

One day, my daughter, Noelle, called asking if I could keep my then-two-year-old granddaughter for part of the afternoon. My desk was stacked high with mail and my email inbox was full, but Noelle assured me that Virginia Ruth would probably nap the whole time. I quickly agreed. I would just put my granddaughter down for a nap and go back to what I needed to do.

When Noelle arrived, she broke the news that she had left both “bear” and “blanket” at home. I knew this would pose some difficulty, but I didn’t realize the seriousness of our situation until I tried putting Virginia Ruth down for her nap. She wanted “bear” and “blanket.” Trying to be innovative, I showed her the monkey that was left over from my son Graham’s childhood, thinking it would substitute for “bear.” She looked horrified when she saw it. Then I offered her a baby blanket that belonged to Noelle. Her big, blue eyes filled with tears and she moaned, “Nooo…” I reached for an old doll, hoping that would comfort her. Her wail grew more intense. I felt helpless. Finally, I scooped my granddaughter up and held her close. I sat down with her as she snuggled and nestled her little blond head on my shoulder. Soon she was breathing heavily and sleeping sweetly.

My granddaughter would take no substitute for her bear and blanket, but so often we try to substitute something else for God’s comfort. God certainly uses relationships and the things of this life to comfort us. The problem comes when we look to our comforts to stop the pain. True comfort doesn’t stop the pain. It makes the situation bearable. It gets us through. We are human – we want the pain to stop. And yet, sometimes, pain is what opens the door to experiencing God’s comfort. It is when we are desperate that He steps in and touches us in unusual ways. He wants to cradle us, rock us, and soothe us.

We need comfort in a host of situations, experiences and emotional states, but there is a difference between needing comfort and what I call “coming undone.” We can come undone in our greatest moments of loss, failure, betrayal or fear. We are unable to find relief. When you are undone, you have exhausted your ability to get comfort from anything around you. People can’t comfort you. None of the familiar comforts work anymore. There’s nowhere to turn. No letup. You’re just undone.

When you are undone, it is as if you have been thrown out of the boat. You can’t touch the bottom, see the shore, or even get a hold of the boat itself. You feel alone and desperate. You can’t see what is ahead, nor can you reach back for what is behind you. You are at a complete loss. You are exhausted physically, emotionally and spiritually. And yet the waves keep hitting you, one after another. You are tired. You can’t battle it anymore. You have none of your own resources left. The problem has taken over, and you can’t focus on the Lord. He is out of focus; everything is out of focus. All you know is the problem. And it is overwhelming.

“Undone” is not a place God wants us to stay. His goal is to comfort us in our brokenness and then lead us out of it. But you do have an enemy committed to keeping you undone. He will use whatever means necessary to shut you down and convince you that you will never function and never be whole again. The enemy wants you to believe that undone is the new normal.

Jesus enlightens Peter about the enemy’s plan against him as they are sitting at the Passover meal. To his headstrong, passionate, willful disciple, Jesus says, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat.” (Luke 22:31) That’s what the enemy wants to do – sift us, fragment us, take us apart. When Peter is older, long after Jesus has been crucified and resurrected, the seasoned disciple-turned-leader advises the early church with a similar warning: “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

Satan knows our failures and weaknesses. He knows our fears and the areas in which we find ourselves insufficient. The Bible calls him “the accuser” (Revelation 12:10) Some of his diabolical words will sound familiar to you:

“Nothing will ever change.”

“No one will ever love you.”

“You can’t possibly do that.”

“You’re inadequate for this – you’ll never pull it off.”

“You’ve blown it again.”

“You’ll always be a failure.”

“You’re destined for mediocrity.”

“Your hopes and dreams will never come to pass.”

“God can’t use you anymore. You’ve made too many mistakes.”

These are the kinds of words the enemy sows into our minds and hearts, but Jesus calls Satan “a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44) We don’t have to believe what the enemy says about us. We have the Word of God, which tells us what God says about us. Someone far greater than the enemy is living in our hearts and fighting on our side. (1 John 4:4)

God does not create our ruins. The Bible says, “The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins.” (Isaiah 51:3, emphasis added) God sees us floundering in that water. And He is looking at us with compassion. The verse from Isaiah goes on to say, “He will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.”

Undone is never the final chapter with God. He promises comfort. He promises restoration. He promises joy and gladness. Thanksgiving. The sound of singing. No matter what the enemy says or does, we can know God’s comfort in our ruins. God will make our ruins opportunities to woo us with His love.

This Week

Where are you in need of comfort? Write down the areas in which you feel “undone.” Draw near to God and ask Him to meet you in the place of your pain.

Prayer

“God, I hurt, but I believe Your promise to comfort and restore me. I give you my pain and invite you to heal my heart. Please help me to know Your deep comfort. In Jesus’ name, amen.”


Adapted from Fear Not Tomorrow, God Is Already There by Ruth Graham

© 2009, Ruth Graham. Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Clean living


Having lunch today at home and was so reminded of some of God's truths in the process.  I just had to share them.

I was watching "Everyday Italian" on the cooking network a week or so ago.  She showed how to make Italian fast food.  She showed how to do veggies in a way similar to tempura (Italian style), she made fish and a spinach salad.  The salad is what is on my mind.  It was so simple.  You zest the outside of lemon, then squeeze out the juice, add olive oil, wisk it and pour it over your spinach.  (I added a little salt and pepper)  That evening, I made the entire dinner and it was great.  Everyone enjoyed it, including one of my daughter's friends. 

The reason I share this, I had some salad leftover from this weekend.  I grabbed a lemon and made the dressing mentioned above.  Had a pack of pink salmon, almonds and feta.  I just had the best lunch.  I began to walk my dog following the lunch and that is when the truth became clearer to me.  Strange the number of revelations I get when My dog, Myself and MY GOD all go on a walk.

The minute I walked out the door, I began my conversation with God.  I said WOW I feel clean and fresh and yet amazingly satisfied.  The sense or awareness of this truth came clear in that this is how our mind works as well.  If we expose our minds to healthy thoughts, thinking on those things which are pure, holy, of good report; things that are edifying, we will feel clean and fresh in our minds.  Conversely, if we decide to expose ourselves to depravity, evil, sinful things and think on / dwell on these things, we WILL corrupt our mind.

So set your minds on things above.  We are called to live here as ambassadors of Christ. We represent the Lord.  We are the glory of God in bodily form.  If you have accepted Christ as your savior, He bought you by the price of his blood and death on the cross.  Dwell on that thought, and allow that to penetrate into your mind and heart.  IF you have accepted Christ, you no longer are your own to do as you please.  You are NO LONGER free to act in the manner in which seems right to you or the world.  Repent means to change even your way of thinking, and allow your mind to become the mind of Christ. According to 1 Cor 2:16, we have the mind of Christ. 

The definition of the Greek word for repent used in the New Testament is to change one's mind, i.e. to repent, to change one's mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one's past sins
 
Strangely, repent in the old Testament means the following:
to be sorry, console oneself, regret, comfort, be comforted, be moved to pity, have compassion, suffer grief,

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The transcript from Life Today


Watched Life Today program this morning and what Beth Moore the speaker taught about was so awesome, I had to find a way to share this.  If you would like to see the actual video, go to http://www.lifetoday.org/site/PageServer?pagename=tel_USCalendar_Jan10 or watch it on one of the local Christian stations in your area today.  She is on the show each Wed.  Or you can see a quick donload on the home page at http://www.lifetoday.org/site/PageServer?pagename=homepage

Week 1   12/30/'09

Beth: "Why aren't you happy?" I want you to just lock in on this for a minute. This is when I wish so much that I was looking at every single person on the other side of that screen, just face-to-face, just the two of us for just a couple of minutes because I wonder, there is going to be a lot of people out there and a lot of people in here who really do have relatively speaking, nobody's life is easy, but you really do have a lot of the things that you pictured wanting along the way. Maybe you pictured that you'd have -- all we wanted growing up was like a cute little house. Not really looking for a kingdom mansion, we were just looking for a cute little house that we loved that was home to us. And maybe you thought, maybe I'm not picturing a perfect life but I hope I would have a spouse and I would hope I have a couple of children. Some of you have what you thought when you were a child you always wanted. I have women write me all of the time that say, "Listen, I have a loving husband and I can't figure out why I'm not happy." Anybody know what I'm talking about? Anybody got what you thought you were after and are you still thinking, how come I can't get happy? It's because we thought that thing was going to completely cut it for us. We can let that thing do what it does and be a joy to us but the moment that we place the pressure on it to really just measure up to what we have placed our hope that we have placed in it, we have set ourselves up for an emotional vacuum. It happens over and over again. When was the last time somebody said, "Why aren't you happy? You've got everything! You've got everything!" What pressure are we putting on what we've got? Because somehow we're trying to make our everything our everything and it is not and it's never going to be. Growing in wholeness emotionally is coming to that reality that this is not going to cut it. I've got to have Jesus. I want this, this is a blessing to me, I love this! But it is what it is. When I was a little girl all I could imagine ever being and it never occurred to me I would ever even really have a professional life, I really wasn't looking for that, I just wanted to raise children; I wanted to be a Mommy in the worst way. So many things had been like such a shock to me. My first daughter came along and it was like, this is everything I thought it was going to be. But boy, you start putting that kind of pressure on something that weighs seven pounds, you're about to have a problem. Anybody know what I'm talking about? I didn't even share her with Keith because I just knew one of us was going to drop her and I thought maybe it would less likely be me. We were both so incredibly young. Didn't have a clue what we were doing. I sort of set my sights on this little thing right here and most of the time when she was little, I just flat out played with her because it was like I have what I've always been looking for only she grew up.



[Laughter]



And then she had this delightful -- God knowing my personality, knew exactly what I needed. And then I get this second child who would have made James Dobson cry his eyes out.



[Laughter]



And started every day of our lives when she was three years old asking me if I was going to boss her today.



[Laughter]



-- A whole different ball game. Now I have no greater human joy in this world than just hanging out with those girls. That is the biggest blast to me. I love my daughters so much but they've got their own things going. I'll never forget the very first time I saw -- you know how we doodle all of the time and especially girls in middle school do that. And my girls, when they were little they would write all over stuff, "I love mom!" Then I'll never forget the first couple of times you start seeing, "I love so-and-so" and it is a guy! You're like, "I don't even know so-and-so! I'm calling so-and-so's mother is what I'm doing!" You know what I'm saying? Because we want to be their everything -- their everything. My granddaughter is just obsessed with her mother. My oldest grandson, he just loves his mother to pieces but he is his daddy's boy. When she gets this little girl and this little girls looks at her -- I say, "Amanda, you are Miss Universe to her." She can't get enough of her. Everywhere she goes, every time you look at her, she is just looking for her mother and she is just grinning ear to ear. She loves her! Be very tempting to think, she has cut it for me! Only then she is going to walk down the aisle with her daddy and he is going to dare to give her away!



[Laughter]



It changes -- life changes. We can't hang on to any of this -- enjoy that moment but it is not going to stay, it cannot -- it cannot! I want to show you something very interesting here because Elkanah was not the only one that could not comprehend what she was going through. I want to pick back up in the text now. We're in First Samuel chapter one, picking up in verse nine.



Now notice that she hasn't answered any of the questions, "Why are you weeping? Why don't you eat? Why are you so downhearted? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?" And she is like trying to hold herself together here.



There is something I want to say to you today because there has got to come a time when if you realize that you are totally under oppression to your own emotions and all of us have been there at one time or another, if that's you right now, there comes a time when you have got to get up -- get up -- get up! When you can look around you and you see that you are putting pressure on your closest loved ones to try to somehow help you get satisfied emotionally and that's exactly what she is doing. Like fix this! Someone fix this! And she realized right then, it is not going to happen here. He doesn't get it and nobody in the world loves me more than him and he doesn't get it! There comes a time when you better get up -- you better get up. You can't keep -- you've heard this saying over and over again, I'm going to say it again, we can't keep doing the same thing the same way and we just keep expecting something different to happen. It is time to do something different! I'm not saying with someone different, these are families here, but it is time to do something different within that same framework.



What she is doing is she is taking out the vow call the Nazarite vow in the book of numbers, you can look it up for yourself; it is very, very interesting. It was a voluntary vow. Most of the time people took the vow for themselves. There are a couple of exceptions to this and Hannah is one of them where they determine in the midst -- it was not one of those vows that unplugged you from people; it was kind of a vow of dedication in the midst of much activity. So they would grow their hair out long and they would take no wine, nothing that would have any kind of influence. They were strictly to be influenced by God himself and there were all sorts of strange things to it. They also could not be around a dead body. They could not touch a dead body. Now Hannah calls upon the vow for her son, if God will give her the son and Samson's parents did exactly the same thing. So these are exceptions. Other than that it was a voluntary vow. There is this wonderful time where we're told in the narrative about the Apostle Paul that he left a particular place and that he got a haircut. You're thinking why in the world did the word just tell us that Paul got a haircut? Why do we care? Because it is telling us he had taken the Nazarite vow. He was in Corinth at the time, he knew he was going to be around tons of people doing all sorts of public things that a Hebrew man would never have dreamed of seeing, that there would be very, very open sexual perversity, it was part of the temple worship. He knew he was going to see things that his eyes had never even imagined. And in order to be sanctified in the midst of that, he had taken on this temporary vow. So that tells you a little bit about it. She is imposing that upon an unborn child, a child that has not been conceived. So this is the vow she is making to God in verse 12. Okay, are you getting this with me? So Eli is staring at her and so there she is, she is praying in her heart but her lips are moving. In other words, like she is not praying out loud. It is very interesting; I found it in my research for this lesson that silent prayer was almost unheard of in practice in the Jewish world at that time. That they had often very prescribed prayers but that prayer was said -- it was always auditory, always said out loud. So this was kind of a new thing right here. I love that we find it in the context with a woman. It says she is praying in her heart but her lips are moving, and he is watching her and he is finding it very troubling and disturbing.



I don't know about you but it is always such a surprise to me to find beer in the Word of God.



[Laughter]



That word, "wine" I kind of -- but beer, somehow, I don't know -- just a long neck -- I never can picture it.



[Laughter]



I always try to find a way to not have to read that part of it. It is not that I just -- it just seems so out of place. Somehow it is like for beer to be -- but anyways, she has not had a beer. I just need you to know right now, Hannah did not stop by the Stop and Go and grab her a beer on the way to the temple that day.



[Laughter]



Okay, case in point. Remember what our second point was?



We saw in Elkanah but you would hope that people that is as deeply spiritual as you would get it! Right? Right? Have you ever just kind of had a display of the spirit? Perhaps like grabbing the banner and running through your sanctuary during a really high time of praise and worship? I don't know what the practices are at your church, but it could be all sorts of things, but then later someone that you thought would totally get why you did what you did, maybe you just felt like God was telling you, go lay on the floor right at the altar, just go lay on it face down -- just go lay on it in front of everybody and you're thinking, everybody totally got it. And then afterwards, somebody says to you, "What in the world was that?" It is very disconcerting because you thought they would get it. And you realize along the way even your spiritual cohorts don't get you. So it is very unsettling. At this point she realizes, you know what? I'm really alone here. I'm really alone here. It doesn't mean without relationship -- it just means when it all comes down, I've got something happening that only God is going to get -- only God is going to get. Listen, there is no more important juncture in our lives than that, when we come to that place. But if we just stay there and just think, well, God is the only one that gets me, we're no healthier than we were. That this next thing has got to take place and that's when we look at three and four. Three is this, we'll see kind of the negative side of it, and then four the negative side of it:





We can take this one to the emotional bank. At times of our lives when we most need to pour out, we have the strongest tendency to pour something in. I want you to think this through for a moment with me because the thing about it is, Eli had seen a lot. Eli, as a rule, was dead on. The tendency was there and we all know that it is. He was wrong about Hannah but he was right about most people because when we most need to pour something out, that's when we most have the tendency in our humanity to stuff something in, whether it is food, whether it is drink, whether it is activity, whether it is images or pornography, we've got something inside of us that we're afraid is going to surface -- am I telling anybody the truth here today? We'll have something that we know that we're just trying to hold down, hold that down. We're scared to death of that part of us and so what we'll do instead of bringing that thing straight to the throne of Jesus and pouring that thing out right there and bringing every bit of it clean before him and going, "This is what is in here." And let him turn the light on in that closet and tend to us, we will pour on top of it, just when we most need to pour out. That's when we have the tendency to pour in. Look -- look at the next time you have a tendency to any kind of excess. What is it that you're stuffing? What is it that I'm stuffing? What are we trying not to have to deal with? What part of ourselves is it that we do not want to see and certainly, do not want anybody else to see it. You've got something you need to pour out. What is it we're pouring in on top of it? Because this is it, spiritually speaking. We binge to keep from purging. We binge on something because there is something else that needs purging and we don't want to do it so we keep that down and we keep putting stuff on top of it. The next activity after the next activity, the next responsibility after the next responsibility, the next work out, the next run, the next meal -- whatever it may be, we're just putting it on top of it. Keep it down. At all costs, keep that thing down. Is that speaking to anybody today? Here's what happens, we get to point number four. Four is this -- we know we're on our way to spiritual wholeness through our healthier emotions when number four:



When we can learn, this is going to be optimum health for us emotionally speaking, when we get to where we will pour every single one of those emotions, no matter how toxic, out right before God freely. Next time we're tempted to pour in what is it that we need to pour out? Can we find ourselves a posture to do that? I'm going to tell you something, most of the time I can do it silently but most of the time I need me a place. I'm a demonstrative person, I need me a place where I can shut the door and get all the way down on the floor. I can remember one time in our other office building, we had maintenance people and I normally kept my office door locked. I do not know why it was unlocked but I'll never forget that I had gotten up from my desk because I was working on a Bible study and God was so speaking to me personally about an issue that I was having that I was nearly overwhelmed. I thought just get up and get down. That's my thing, it's not everybody's thing to do a physical demonstration like that but I got up from my desk and I laid flat out on the floor and I was just telling him all this stuff, and I looked up and there was a maintenance man in there with me. I was so humiliated; I did not know what to do. But my pursuit was to pour out what was toxic in my emotions before the throne of grace and to know that somehow that became a drink offering to him. This is all my bitterness. Let me tell you something, he sanctifies that. When he touches it, when he touches it, it begins to heal. To pour them out freely -- I've got to tell you something, this is kind of another lesson all of its own, but here's something God has been talking to me recently about. We have to -- when something has gone awry and life is not coming through for us like we had planned for it to or like we want it to. When something has gone awry, when the family is not like we want it and we kind of feel like we've gotten a bad deal on something, there are two extremes that we can go to with all the negative things that we feel. One extreme is repression. Repression is just when we don't do anything with it whatsoever. Keep it in -- keep it in. The ones of us most prone to repression are going to be the ones that very often are the most spiritual. Either that or you were raised by a very emotionally -- I say this with all due respect -- a very emotionally constipated people.



[Laughter]



I think that still is a good medical term that ought not trip us up too badly. But some of you, like you never ever saw a parent even get tears in their eyes about anything. No one ever just put their arms around you and told you how much they loved you. So you got that. So that keeps you kind of frozen up, whatever it might be: repression. Then there is rebellion. Now these are our two extremes we can go to when life isn't going like we want it to. We can either repress what we're feeling or we can just go into all-out rebellion -- all-out rebellion and I don't even have to describe to you what that looks like. I want you, if you're taking that down and you're doing those arrows like that, I want you to put down an arrow from each one and this one, I believe you can as well take to the emotional bank. Repression will make you sick -- it will make you sick! Listen, we've got to do something with all those feelings. They need out. They need expression. They're in there for expression. We're either going to fly off on somebody or we're going to find a safe place to bring them to God. It is our unbelief that keeps us from doing it because we're not really positive he is there. We feel kind of stupid. Some of you are still convinced you have an imaginary friend you're dealing with here. This is God. He listens to every single word you're saying and he knows every single bit of your emotional upheaval. So repression will make you sick but make no mistake, rebellion will make you stupid.



[Laughter]



Anybody? Rebellion will make you flat out stupid. So we can either repress or we can rebel and that's when family -- my marriage is not going like I want it to so we spin out into an affair, or this or that or pornography or whatever it is going to be, and that can take a whole lot of forms and a whole lot of different situations. Rebellion will make you stupid; repression will make you sick.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Internal exercise for the day



Here is a little exercise today to work out the internal YOU. 

Try thinking of taking control of your life. 
Look at life as a gift to be enjoyed. 
Stop seeing yourself as a victim of circumstances or other people, ect.

We can control our attitude and even make choices that lead to our own happiness. 

Take responsiblity for your own state.  Always take responsiblity for your own sin. 

Happiness truly is a choice.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Balance


Where is it we are out of balance.

Did you know you can be out of balance in good things as much as bad things?  If we are out of balance in good things, that can still be unhealthy.  For example, you can exercise too much.  If you exercise too much, the results are strains, sprains, tears or repetitive injuries.  Did you know that if you are sedentary (not very active) and overweight, you are probably less healthy than an exercising smoker?   Technology is good and adds possible benefits to our lives if done in moderation.  However, the TEXTER who is driving down the road is actually more impaired while texting than a drunk driver.  (There are actual test done to prove this)   If you sit and read for too long, your eyes will deteriorate more rapidly.  Eye doctors will tell you that you should take breaks and exercise your eyes.  You exercise the eyes by taking time to look away from your reading and focus on distant objects periodically.  

Let's take time today to look at our lives to see if we are living in balance.  Take time with your friends, family, and definitely God; but also make time for yourself.  All of this seems impossible with our busy lives, but I tell you that if you find you are too busy to be balanced, you make your own schedule.  NO ONE else does.  If you find you are in a season of busyness, pray and ask God to help you prioritize your life and tell you what needs to stay and what needs to go.  If you are too busy to be balanced, then you are trying to do too much.  Make sure to take time to rest REGULARLY.  It isn't just a suggestion in the Bible because it is a good idea, it is there as a COMMAND because without it, we become USELESS.

I tell you these things because I desire for each of us to be the best we can be, to enjoy our lives and to be a good representative for God  in the world.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Devotion from James Robison

I wanted to share a devotion I read this morning.  I was going to summarize, but as I tried to do so, I found that there was NO way I could.  it was all so good and profound.  Hope you have the time today to read and chew on this one.  I believe it goes along wonderfully with so much that I talk about in this blog.  Both in the physical realm and the spiritual realm.



Your Body, His Temple


by James Robison



"For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

'I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be

their God, and they will be my people.'" (2 Corinthians 6:16)



Whenever Christians talk about health and wellness, we invariably quote 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.” The implied message is, “Take care of your health, because God lives in you!”



That’s a valid message, but when we really examine the text of Paul’s letter, we discover something more foundational to the topic of health. In fact, until we truly understand and implement this particular Biblical principle, we will not be able to consistently practice the practical and beneficial advice presented in the new series, “The True You.” Once this deeper truth enters your spirit, you will be able to align your mind so that you can bring your body under control.



The context of the passage actually encompasses a discussion about marriage. Paul is drawing a parallel between the husband-wife relationship and our devotion to Jesus Christ.



“Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ?” he asks. Then he shocks his readers with a blunt question. “Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute?”



By now, Paul has the attention of his audience. Unfortunately, his question is just as relevant to today’s reader as it was back then! “Never!” he continues, “And don’t you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, ‘The two are united into one.’ But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.”



Here, Paul takes his discussion to a spiritual level. He’s talking about sexual purity, but he’s also elevating it to spiritual purity. He also echoes the prophet Jeremiah, who said to Israel, “Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you...you said, 'I will not serve you!' Indeed, on every high hill and under every spreading tree you lay down as a prostitute.”1



Again, God’s messenger uses the image of prostitution to illustrate the unfaithfulness of His people. Paul and Jeremiah are not only condemning sexual immorality, but also spiritual immorality. It is in this context that the letter to the Corinthians continues:



“Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.” Then Paul asks that question that we often associate with health and wellness. “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”2



This is an issue much bigger than weight loss or physical training. The temple was the place where God’s presence dwelled. He didn’t call our bodies the “hotel of the Holy Spirit,” where He checks in after 3:00pm and checks out before noon the next day. He called it the temple – that holy place where God’s presence resides permanently. It’s the place where God manifests and reveals Himself to a lost and dying people. In a world where nearly everyone is under the control of other influences, the temple is the place where God is fully in control – your spirit and the indwelling Holy Spirit are united as one.



That is why it is so revolting and foul when believers fall under the control of anything else other than the Spirit of God. Like the faithful husband who flees the voice of a temptress, the faithful Christian must flee the seduction of any spirit other than God’s. We must never be under the control of any fleshly appetite, because we are a temple of the Holy Spirit! Remember, the enemy seeks to use our God-given natural appetites as a point of attack in order to lead us into bondage.



One of the most common invading forces in His temple is the simple lust for food. Imagine how different our lives could be if we hungered for God as much as we hunger for our next meal! I believe this is one reason God introduced the concept of fasting. When we deny our body to build our spirit, it changes our perspective and realigns our priorities. Remember the manna from heaven that God provided His people in the desert? It spoiled during the night. They had to rely on God every single day in order to sustain their strength and energy.



This is a recurring, foundational truth throughout the Bible. We must be one with God through daily unity with Him. There is no such thing as part-time marriage or part-time Christianity. If you’re not fully committed, you’re not really in a healthy relationship. You can’t bring prostitutes into a legitimate marriage and you can’t bring other gods into the temple.



So as you hear the wonderful truths and encouraging advice from our experts on health and wellness, you must first examine the spiritual side of “the true you” before you can successfully address the physical side. God wants us to prosper in our physical health as we prosper in our spiritual health. We can and should care for this temporary housing we call a “body,” but we must first start by giving our all to care for His eternal purposes and truth. As your concerned family and friend, we are offering you inspiration, direction and encouragement for your journey and care of your body - His temple.


This Week

Look to the new year as a new emphasis on the Holy Spirit's presense in your life. Commit yourself -- body, mind and spirit -- to being His temple.


Prayer

"Lord, I give myself wholly to You. Take charge of every part of me so that I may glorify You in every way. In Jesus name, amen."


1 Jeremiah 2:19-20, NIV

2 1 Corinthians 6:15-20, NIV

Being transformed into the image of Christ


Been thinking ...  AGAIN and really pondering this thing that we call Christianity.

Seems that if we are Christian, we understand that we cannot save ourselves.  We understand that we need a savior for eternal life.  YET, we seem to think that once we are saved it is up to us to conform ourselves.  We think it not only of ourselves, but we expect it of  others. 

Sad to think that the joy is in allowing God to do the work in us.  "The joy of the Lord is my strength."  It is for His glory NOT ours.

Do we not know that that there is no good thing that dwells in us. (that is in our flesh)  Do we not know that it is Christ in us, and us living in the fullness of the spirit that transforms us into His image.  That is what brings God glory.  God does not receive glory in us trying to be good for Him.   SIN is merely an indication of where we need God's help in our life.  SIN is not to condemn us for there is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ.  We are still powerless over sin in and of ourselves.  Oh, there are those with a stronger will power than others.  There are those whose pride determines they will not be caught up in sin.  However, pride puffs up and God opposes the prideful.  Pride says I can and will overcome the sin in my life.  So am I saying that you should stay in your sin, by all means NO!  I am saying that sin tells us that we need to confess and ask God to forgive us.  We need to repent, which simply means "Stop it", "turn away from it".  But we need God's help to turn from our sin.  We are powerless to do it in our flesh.  ( If we are the lucky ones, we will be in this group)  However, for the strong willed among us who determine to CONFORM themselves in order to be in relationship with God, the road is harder for them.  God never asked us to clean up to be with Him.  He asked us to walk with Him daily and as a result, we would be clean.  See the difference?

Yes there are things we need to do.  Let's do what we can do.  We can worship God.  We can praise Him.  If you don't feel like it, ask God to help you and do it anyway.  Yes we need to go about doing good.  We need to think on those things which are good, pure, holy, etc.  We need to allow no unwholesome talk to proceed out of our mouths.  We are to forgive as we have been forgiven.  We are to love not only the lovely but also the unlovely, and so many other things. We need to allow God to perfect us in the image of Christ instead of trying to do it ourselvesI promise there in lies the joy and peace of Christ.  We would be a lot less frustrated.  However, as you are being about your Father's business of doing good, etc., if you find you are coming up short, ASK God for help.  These revelations come not to condemn you but to call you to go before the Father and surrender it to Him.   He helps you in your willingness and desire to change, and then you are transformed, and HE gets the glory.  Hallelujah!

Now that is freedom in Christ right there!  He loves us and has a plan for our lives.  Let's work with Him and stop opposing Him with our pride or self loathing.  Let's determine today that we are going to stop trying to be good for God, and allow Him to make us truly good, truly Christ to a lost world.  Can I get any amens out there on this?