Monday, January 28, 2013

I look at my life as a parent and cannot help but see the parallel to God with us.  As I have journeyed through this life, I have learned some lessons the hard way.  I saw that to do things a certain way really is a good idea.  I use to be one of those that tested things.  I had to learn things through experiences.  But I am glad to say that as time has marched on I have become wiser.  I listen to advice more, I watch to see the way I should go and I understand that there really is a right way and everything else really is the wrong way.  I don't say this to start an argument but state it as fact according to my years on this earth.

I am not in anyway trying to start a discussion about it.  I am just stating that there is a narrow path and a wide path.  On the path that is wide, it is easy for a time.  It may even seem right or fun.  But I can tell you that in math 2+2 is always going to be 4.  You can try all the other answers but they will still be wrong.  It doesn't matter how much you debate it, how much you argue that it is not 4, truth is NOT relative.  Truth is truth.

As a parent, we try to lead our children in the path which is good and right for their sake.  Just as our Father has given us very specific guidelines to live well in this life.  As scripture says "so it may go well with you."  Our confinement in the commands of God are our salvation.

When we go off on our on in this life, we find that walking the wrong path is dissatisfying and we get frustrated.  When we disregard God's commands, we are walking our own way and trying to do life in spite of God.

I can tell you that living in that manner cannot lead you into peace.  We were not created to live separated from our creator as much as many would like to think.  It is the center of who we are; we seeks for meaning and purpose.  We may seek fame, money, success, relationship, drugs, sex etc. to fill the longing, but I can tell you it will never be enough.  It will not satisfy and we will never be at peace in it.

Peace comes when you finally figure out that you are not in right standing with God and you need to be reconciled with Him.  Redemption comes when you receive His restitution for you.  It comes when you begin to line yourself up with what He says and what He wills for your life.  The wonderful news of the gospel is that I can be at peace with God through Jesus Christ.  He paid for my sin on the cross so I wouldn't have to.

Our pastor painted an amazing picture of Christ's suffering and crucifixion and the thought came to me as he was being quite graphic that that is what my sin looks like on my insides and on the insides of others that I sin against.  With each laceration, His stripes healed me and made me right with God.  It justified me. (Just-if-I'd --never sinned)  He made it as if I had never sinned.  That is the good news.  (The best part of waking UP is not Folgers in your cup.  It is waking up to this wonderful truth that I can be in RIGHT standing with the God of the universe and that He wants me to be in relationship with Him)

So the best part is that He showed us a better way to live this life through His commands and they are not just a good idea.  They are the WAY to live victoriously. (they are narrow and specific - not vague so we have to wonder)  There is no better feeling than to sit before God at peace with Him.  Having nothing between us.  Being fully and completely one with Him.

Go today and seek the right path.  Walk in it and even when it seems difficult and challenging, do it any way. Consider the trials you face as you walk in this right-ness, pure joy.  Because as you walk right and the trials come so does the development of character and perseverance.  Walk it out and become a person of integrity.  Do it well.  Choose to continue to walk in this path for the rest of your life, day by day. You will see what the Lord intended for your life if you will just choose to walk in the way of Christ.  Let the Bible be your road map today.

I dare you!

Monday, January 14, 2013

New Year's Resolution

Now that we are in a new year.  I am thinking this is a great time to begin to challenge myself to some sort of New Year's resolution.  This year I wanted  to drink water in the place of my typical drink of choice, un-sweet tea and do it for the month of January.  I do love me some tea to drink and I prefer it to the food I eat.  But I have to admit trying to accomplish this has been difficult.  Although I have blown it several times already, I just keep on trying.  I think it is a great idea for me to challenge these choices in my life to be certain I am in balance and that there are no things that are controlling me in my life other than Christ.  So if you have made a resolution to lose weight, to exercise, or whatever, know this, if you happen to mess up, just get right back at it.  Don't give up.  (Also, if you say I want to start at the beginning of the week and by midweek you blow it, don't wait until the beginning of the next week to start again.  Just start back the next day)  Don't sabotage yourself.  Do pace yourself and be reasonable with your expectations.

I know that with those wanting to drop weight, if you mess up you feel as if you have completely blown it and you may give up.  But I want to take the time to encourage you.  Please do not go on a diet.  Diets NEVER work permanently.  You ask "why", it is because dieting is a misused word in our vocabulary.  Diet is just the way you eat.  We have turned it into depriving the body of certain foods temporarily  to lose the weight we want until the weight is gone.  Then we return to eating the way we did and returning to the weight we were and then some more.  Yet everyone just needs to change that way of thinking.  It doesn't work long term.  If you want permanent weight loss it has to be a LIFESTYLE change.  You have to change the way you relate to food for the rest of your life.  If you choose a diet, ask yourself this question, can I eat this way for the rest of my life.  If the answer is no, keep looking for a reasonable meal plan.

So here is the way to succeed in my opinion.  Eat a sensible diet (notice I didn't say go on a sensible diet).  Eat when you are hungry where you have much more fruits, veggies, healthy grains and nuts.  I typically keep my meat intake to 3 or 4 ounces as my serving size. (I don't have to have meat at every meal)  Drink lots of water.  If you do not like water, try to find a fruit you like to flavor the water, such as lemon, strawberry, or even a cucumber or bananas.

I always suggest getting off of the artificial sweetners.  Too many studies show headaches and weight gain as the side effects.
Several references are available by other sources as well.  However, here is my greatest source, look around at all that choose this type of sweetners, are they small or not?  Test it for yourself.  I do not know of anyone that actually lost weight as a result.

But I simply would like to see each person that reads this to be healthier in 2013.  I have been watching a number of documentaries about eating healthy.  If you have a membership with Netflix, I recommend watching a few of these.
Food Matters;  Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead;  Hungry for Change.
These videos are good sources of information if you are interested.

And lastly, be a body in motion.  You don't have to have a membership to a gym.  I recommend it since I work at one and I believe it is such a great incentive to work out.  But you can find other options too.  Buy a low cost pedometer and wear it all day.  At the end of the day it is recommended you walk a total of 10,000 steps.  That comes to approximately 5 miles.  If you would like further information, check out this website.

Be healthy and blessed today and hope that 2013 is a great year for you.


Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
Psalm 139:23-34

I love this verse.  I saw it posted this morning on Facebook by a friend of mine.  It reminded me how I need to pray this to God frequently.   Many years ago, I was doing a bible study by Beth Moore and that was one of the verses  she talked about and I frequently have prayed this verse in prayer.  I cannot tell you the full fruit that has come from me doing so.  

As I have asked God to search me, He already does but I give Him a welcome invitation.  As He does so and begins to give me conviction and revelation about myself, I then ask Him to forgive me and equip me to walk free of those things that offend Him.  He does so predominately by filling me with the holy spirit.  As the Holy Spirit becomes more full in me the less offensive I am to God.  

So my challenge today is to ask God to search me, to know my heart.  To test me and know my thoughts that are troubling me.   To point out the things in me that offend Him and to be led in a right life that pleases Him by the Spirit.

Hope you will join me.

Be blessed today.