Thursday, May 30, 2013

Truth, Truth, and More Truth

Oh pardon me while I dive head first into a big ol’ pool of biblical truth over here. Just what the doctor ordered.

I’ve said it before, I will continue to say it … God’s timing is perfect.

I inadvertently got involved in a conversation yesterday on this exact subject – biblical truth.

Biblical truth doesn’t change!!!

Things the bible says are wrong … are always wrong and always will be wrong. Things the bible says are right … are always right and always will be right. We may change, society may change, and the devil’s lies and tactics may seem to change, but God’s truth is God’s truth.

Indeed there are some issues the bible doesn’t address directly. But there are plenty of non-negotiables in there.

Oh but, Jenn, you’re being judgmental and intolerant!!!

Really??? I may be guilty of overuse of the trinity of punctuation marks today, but am I judging when the bible specifically calls out something as wrong? (??)

This is all assuming you approach life from a Christian point of view and believe the bible is the inspired word of God. Those wanting to get into an apologetics discussion, that’s really for another forum.

So if I respectfully point out – when asked or when given an appropriate opportunity – that xyz behavior clearly isn’t right and I don’t have to participate in it and I don’t have to approve of it and I don’t have to give you three cheers for your choice … I’m not judging. Just using the brain and the bible God gave me. Look, God said it. I didn’t invent it on my own.

And yes, up to a point, I am my brother’s keeper. So deal with it.

During weaker times I have been deceived on a number of issues. Who knows, there’s probably something I’m ignoring right now. I still get dangerously close to falling for the lies on a regular basis. For the most part, though, by the grace of God, I’m over here telling Satan, “Yeah, God did say that. Now get thee way, way, way behind me.”

So. Do you think I’m calling out you and your particular cause specifically yet? Probably not, actually. But God is welcome to use my words however he likes. Perhaps he also can educate me on whether the use of both “particular” and “specifically” in the same sentence qualifies as redundant.

Alright, everyone, get out your bibles and getcha some truth.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My Secret

Things have been all quiet on the western front for the last week. Good grief.

Well I don’t know if quiet is exactly the right word. Satan has been stirring up a big ol’ batch of distraction. And cake. OMGosh have you noticed how we have to have cake or cupcakes or both for every single solitary occasion?!? It’s Tuesday, let’s celebrate with cake.

Hey! I’m on a 90-day challenge over here and attempting to take care of the temple.

It would take something like a thousand jumping jacks just to burn off that mini cupcake with the inch-thick frosting piled on top. Okay, maybe only nine hundred.

We now return to our regularly scheduled program.

Oh! Distraction number two. Or 3,547, who knows. Unbelievable amounts of pollen. Crazy, huge, ginormous amounts of pollen. I’ve had to resort to bedtime Benadryl more than I care to admit this spring. I’ve been really close to booking that trip to the beach, where my ability to breathe is generally better. Soon all this too shall pass.

And please no deluge of well-meaning suggestions on what to do for allergies. Trust me, I’m a pro, a special case, and this is just one of a few thorns in my side with which I get to deal. No biggie.

So. When last we met, we were keeping the faith and praying about schtuff …

And we’re still praying about schtuff …

Maybe I need to get out of the Benadryl fog and just get to the beach anyway. Hmmm.

Have you ever taken the time to step back and look at people? And marvel at how wrapped up they are in their busyness … and priorities that don’t flange up with your own? I am one hundred percent sure I am judging here, but wow, people … you say one thing and then totally do another.

And act like it’s all okay.

Quitters and Debbie Downers and those who like to complain but take no action to change things … you’re on my nerves. And you need to get off of my cloud. If you want real change in your life – health, financial, spiritual, whatever – I am at your service to help coach you through. Wanna know my secret? I’m not even the originator of this one, but here it is …

Never quit.

Want to be physically healthy? Adopt a healthy lifestyle and never quit.

Want to be financially healthy? Follow some simple advice and never quit.

Want to be spiritually healthy? Consult your bible and never quit. Even God said pray without ceasing.

But what about when I’m feeling depressed?

Never quit.

But what about when I’m confronted with chocolate cake?

Never quit.

But what about when, when, when (insert excuse #9,342 here)

Neeeeeeever quit. You don’t have to be perfect. Just never quit. Period.

Peace and love to all y’all. J

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Make the Pray

Maybe I’m sitting here dumb and happy, but there’s something to be said for happy.

God’s timing is sha-mazing. He says it. And then he makes it so. Even people you think he’s not really using (which is totally short-sighted on the part of yours truly, by the way) … are there when everything comes together and all is right with your little part of the universe.

Ha! I’m reading that last paragraph, and it makes me think of a Mexican missionary I know. His English is so-so, and I will never forget this line … “We make the pray. And then we get it.”

It’s true!

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24 NIV)

I’ve been dealing with a particular situation and totally letting God lead, because I’m fairly amazed to find myself in it in the first place … and in the second place, I have no earthly idea what I’m doing. So getting a heavenly idea seems prudent.

I make the pray. Still working out the getting it part. Hey, God said the timing is his.

Most recently he aligned everything to kind of allow me to divorce myself from the situation for now. To allow me to focus on other issues while he does his thing. Seriously, he’s been telling me to stick with it for quite some time. (I don’t hear an audible Charleton Heston-like voice, but he has his ways of making things clear.)

I make the pray. When to act. When to wait. When to speak. What to say. When to shut up. And one way or another, he nudges me. Or gives me a swift kick.

And what’s funny is … this whole thing is not really quite exactly something I asked for in the first place. He orchestrated events. He nudged me. He said, “I’m gonna do this.” And I’m over here saying, “Really. Really??? Awesome. Have at it.”

And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:38 KJV)

It’s not like I don’t question. Even Mary had questions.

At this point, as God has instilled this joy in my heart, and as I wait and work on developing that nagging patience thing … when (not if, when) he delivers … it’s going to be quite the story. Something only he could pull off.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 KJV)

All glory to God. Make the pray.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Truth and Hypocrisy

Do you ever step back and look around … and notice something is awry here?

To some extent it’s the usual evil at work in the world. Past history repeating itself. Each generation flushing itself down the proverbial toilet in the eyes of the previous generation.

Will we never learn.

I really, really don’t want to be a shrieking, accusatory, legalistic church lady. That’s not who I am. But I look around, even at my own generation, and things we used to regard as taboo are now very mainstream. Things that, when reflected on in the light of biblical truth, I really can’t rationalize as okay. Sigh.

Gently pointing it out is easier said than done … and can still get one labeled as intolerant. And when people start holding it out not only as okay, but as something to be celebrated and emulated … pardon me while I fall to my knees. And maybe toss my cookies.

I don’t want to get specific about the who, what, where, when, and why that are on my mind, because …
  1. I don’t want to throw stones in glass houses, and
  2. I don’t want to imply that any sin is worse than another or that we don’t all hate the sins and love the sinners.

It’s just kind of saddening when you see the enemy at work on those you thought pretty much shared the same theology. Those who seemed to be on the same spiritual page. Maybe they weren’t actually on the same page. Or maybe they’ve fallen prey to the devil, whose greatest coup, they say, is convincing people he doesn’t exist. A close second would be causing us to question God and his word. “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

Did God really say xyz is a sin???

Sunday’s sermon discussed hypocrisy.  Very timely. I took notes in my phone! Best quote was from Lucy of the Peanuts comic strip … she claimed to have “inner peace and outer obnoxiousness”. My sister and I thought that described us perfectly, although we would define the outer obnoxiousness in a good way … i.e. extroverted and fluent in sarcasm.

The real point was that you can’t truly define yourself as a devoted follower of Christ … and have that inner peace and indwelling of the Holy Spirit … while continuing to commit sin after sin without remorse or seeking forgiveness … without being a hypocrite. Sorry. Truth.

Yep, we’ve all had our hypocritical moments. Some more than others. And it gives Christians a bad name.

I watched a sermon online on the subject of adultery and its cause. A friend described it as a “must see”. The premise was that ultimately …

Ingratitude leads to immorality.

Wow that is deep, man. Let that sink in. There’s a lot of gratitude theology out there. Be grateful. Name something you’re grateful for every day. Keep a gratitude journal. Count your blessings. Give thanks. Often leading up to Thanksgiving people post daily what they’re grateful for. All good stuff.

“Today I am grateful for …”

“I am so grateful.”

“I am so blessed.”

Careful though … are you grateful for the right things?

The other key point that stood out from the sermon was a little there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I message. The scripture being studied was – no surprise – the story of David and Bathsheba. A man after God’s own heart … falling from grace. The pastor pointed out how many famous spiritual leaders over the years have fallen from grace. Lest you think it can’t happen to you and get all self-righteous …” remember that better men that you have fallen”.

So, yeah, I have seen hypocrisy creeping onto the horizon lately. When that happens, I’m always prompted to examine my own tolerance and (hopefully) non-judgementalness.

But truth is truth. I’ll be over here praying for the enemy to go away and praising God for open eyes.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Depression and Quitting

I watched a video today from someone just starting their weight loss journey. She was having a really down day and was bold enough to share it with the world. She has been having a hard time with the temptation of food that is bad for her. She was so depressed over it … it was downright raw and gut-wrenching.

And honestly, not that out of the ordinary.

I help people with weight loss for a living. It’s what I do. I’m still on my own journey, but I have a couple years experience under my belt, not to mention a long sad saga prior to that.

I understand being disappointed in yourself for giving in to temptation. I understand wanting to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over your head. But guess what, reality is knocking and it’s not going away.

Sorry, just keeping it real.

I have seen so many people quit. Over little things really. With healthy eating, I have yet to see anyone do it perfectly. So when you give into temptation … don’t beat yourself up, and don’t throw in the towel. Who cares, just don’t quit. When you’re having a down day … recognize that not every moment of your life has to be happy, happy, joy, joy.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. No one loses fifty pounds in a day.

Two years down the road I rarely eat fast food, crackers, or potato chips or drink pop … but that has all been a very gradual process. (And note I said rarely, not never. Also note several items not on the list. J) It took a lot of trial and error to get it through my thick head that I don’t feel good after consuming any of the above. And now I’m making my protein shakes with yogurt, spinach, and chia seeds … how hilarious it that. Again, not something that happened overnight.

I see a lot of people not even attempt to lose weight because they are soooooo beaten down. They think they can’t do it. They think they don’t have time. They think they don’t have money. Nothing has worked before. So they self-medicate with carbolicious, unhealthy food and keep the vicious cycle going. And continue to make excuses. I do not say that judgementally. How many decades did I keep that up …

So here’s the deal … my general advice and rules …
  1. If you haven’t started taking better care of your nutrition … start!
  2. When you feel like you’ve messed up … don’t quit!
  3. If you choose to ignore rule #2 … restart!

I might be slightly passionate about the issue. (!!!)

So, let’s see, very recently besides the woman in the video, who is a friend of a friend (and not quitting btw) … I have seen personally …
  • A woman who is restarting, who just kills me with how tired she has seemed lately. I can’t wait to see a new attitude and energy from her!
  • Several people who deal with chronic pain but have obviously quit on their healthy eating plan. And who would admit to you that better nutrition lessens their pain. And who don’t really want to admit to me that they’ve quit. Here’s hoping and praying that they restart.
  • Several people who are heart attacks waiting to happen but are either too defeated, afraid, or oblivious to help themselves and get started.

I’m not here to judge. I’m here to encourage. To be real. To help. But you have to want it.