Monday, September 13, 2010

One Measurement

We are busy.  Too busy.  We often forget that the world doesn't revolve around us.  We often forget that there are people all around us that are dying.  Dying physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Did you know that "8 of 10 Americans (81%) believe in an afterlife of some kind? Did you know that 64% of Americans believe they will go to Heaven (Barna, 2003)?  Do you count yourself in that estimation?

  Why or why not?  When you look at God's nature throughout the Bible, you will find that God never lies.  In no circumstance in the Bible does He waiver or go back on His word.  God's unchanging nature is why, even today, the state of Israel is a prosperous nation.  No matter what your personal belief is concerning Israel; think about it.  Their people have been scattered (yet brought back)- all fulfilled scripture. Think about their arid soil; yet they produce some of the best crops in the world - all fulfilled scripture.  Think about the hatred other nations have towards them; yet they continue to protect themselves and stand strong in the face of ongoing hatred by other nations.  They are rich -fulfilled scripture. They are rich in weapons - predicted in scripture to only become richer. Think about those that hate them; it is an age-old battle that goes back since the beginning of time.  They are hated because God chose them. Even if current countries don't even know the Bible; it is still playing out.  Israel is just one example of the fact that God does not break his promises.  Even when Israel rejects the One that chose them. Even when they continue to deny that Jesus is the Messiah. Even then.  Even then, God does not waiver in His love for His chosen ones and continually blesses them and protects them.  
What about you?  If you died today, where would you go?  
Stop and think about it. God cannot lie.  So, when it says in Ephesians 2 that "good works" or being a good person will not get you to heaven; do you believe it?  When the Bible says that grace is a "free gift;" do you believe it?  Do not think for a second that God, who has remained unchanging will change for you.  When you stand for judgement, there will be but one measurement.  No matter what you did or did not do-one measurement.  

You do not have to be perfect to receive grace.  Jesus died for sinners.  Simply put: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.  He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. " 
John 3:16-18

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mi Amor

I am still laughing.  My sister called one of our local Mexican restaurants to place a to go order and did the unthinkable.  Seriously, funny.  You know how you get in the habit of saying "okay love you bye" to your loved ones? Well, it most certainly slipped out after she placed her nacho order.  She told the boy that took her order "okay I love you talk to you later."  I giggle at the thought of his response.  I giggle harder at the thought of us seeing him next time we are dining in. Sorry Aunt G, that was just too funny not to share.  She was mortified to say the least.  I would have been so embarrassed.  I might not have ever been able to dine in again. 

Embarrassment.  I don't know if it's just me, but I suffer with a serious case of "do not embarrass me."  I get embarrassed so easily it's ridiculous.  Today, my friend and I, had our first prayer meeting.  I am so grateful for her in my life.  I have been praying over the last year for a good friend.  My best friend lives in Louisiana and we do not get to spend much time together because of the distance.  You probably remember her from THIS post. And although I have plenty of acquaintances, my need for a close girlfriend has been great.  Then,  God sent me a new friend from clear across the world.  Columbia actually. She's tiny and tan and has a cool accent. I'm large and pasty white with a Southeast Texas twang if twang is even a word.  I feel like we have been friends for a lifetime.  She asked if we could start praying once a week and I am so grateful.  
Fear of Embarrassment.  
We talked about that a little bit today.  Satan loves to use fear of embarrassment to keep us from God's best.  When my stomach problems started in college, I was just plain embarrassed to tell anyone.  I was too embarrassed to tell a doctor even, and when I finally did talk to a doctor and they told me that everything was fine; I was too embarrassed to push them for another answer.  Are you like that or is it just me?  When I look back over a lot of what is now my testimony, I see that "fear of embarrassment" has held me back at times, stolen my joy, hindered my health, and in general kept me in darkness. 

 I have a feeling that some women out there might be able to relate.  Yes?  How does fear of being embarrassed hold you back in life?  

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Forbidden fruit fantasies and the fall

 I ate fruit for breakfast today.  Seriously.  I can barely contain myself.  Cantelope and blackberries; they have never tasted so good.  Last week it was all I could do to keep my mind off fruit. I was an unwilling participant in a war of the world's type mind game concerning every kind of forbidden fruit you can imagine. My two weeks (which is the first two weeks on a 3 month fast) has literally crawled by.  Like sand through the hour glass...go ahead and finish it for me...these are the days of our lives.  

You've seen people on television that are so rich they roll in their money?  Well, if you see me running around town looking like a tie-dyed will know that I have been bathing  basking in my new found freedom to consume fruit.
Despite the fact that this fast is a "forced" one, I have been learning a lot. Have you ever thought about what the food must have been like in the Garden of Eden?  I bet it was good.  I also imagine that our human brains cannot fathom truly how fulfilling and tasty it was.  Even with our best gardening efforts, we are consuming food that is under "the curse."  
 In Genesis 1: 8-9 it says: "8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden was the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 
Think about that for a second.  God himself planted the very first garden!  This was probably no measly orchard.  
Then, the fall in Genesis 3:17-19...
"To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.  By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."

I find myself acting so Eve-like as of late.  Look at all the healthy things I can eat, yet I complain.  I want what I can't have.  Why is it that we obsess over the things that we cannot have? When I was eating gluten-free, I was completely ticked off sometimes at what I "couldn't eat."  Now, I just wish I could get my hands on some of the lovely things I was eating.  In much of my self-reflection over the past few weeks, I have realized just how selfish I really am.  Simply put: I am a spoiled American food brat.  We have so much food and excess that eating plain things from the ground feels like deprivation.  Yes, the proof is in the proverbial pudding.  I am not grateful enough for the things God has given me.  Gulp. Now, that is hard to swallow. 
Then, my mind moves to my three children. 
Baby A

Baby B
Baby C
What kind of example have I been for them?  In the attitude department?  In the "what to put in your mouth" department? As parent's, we are in charge of our kids health.  We control what they eat.  Even at four years old, I feel overwhelming guilt for all the horrible "dead food" I have let them consume.  Trust me, this is no easy habit to break.  I cannot let my children go through what I have.  My heart already breaks at the thought that Leyton won't get to have a normal "milk break" with chocolate milk and ice cream due to his sensitivity to dairy.  I mean, it's milk break for crying out loud!  The best part of a child's elementary school existence falls into that 30 minute snack!  Food should be fun and enjoyable, but we have to be wise about what we allow our children to eat.  Their health really depends on it.  Cursed ground or not, we have a choice to make. Just as Eve made her choice, we must make ours.  So, today, because it's already 1am in Texas and I am still up, my attitude is going to be better.  I am going to practice gratefulness.  I am also going to continue to at least "offer" my children healthy food.  Offering doesn't mean they are going to eat it the first time.  
Baby steps my friends. Baby steps.