Bathing with the Gaithers, and other blessings…

Oh….stop it.  There wasn’t enough room IN the tub for all of us, so I just listened to them sing on my iPad, while I enjoyed my detox bath. (where is your mind, people?)

Yes, my morning was lovely.  I am so blessed.  I have a husband that works so very hard, so I don’t have to  (insert prayer request for him HERE)

So here is a little snippet of my perfect morning …..  It started around 6 ish, (why start earlier, hmm?)  I kissed my sweetie and shoo’ed him out the door,  grabbed my bible along with my notebook for some much needed quiet time.

I’m studying (for the 2nd time) Kelly Minter’s Lifeway study called, No Other God’s.  Have you seen it?  You can find it here and I HIGHLY recommend it!   I know that idol worship may seem like something from the Old Testament, but anything that takes a higher priority over God (read: job, hobby, Facebook, cell phone..eeek!) is considered an idol.  It is eye opening and you really should get this book.

So, back to the day.  I did my study for the day, had my prayer time and then decided it was time for a Juice!  I went in the garage to get Jack LaLanne…..ok, not the REAL Jack, but his fabulous juicer.  Easy to use and easy to clean!

Carrots, celery, apple and ginger……yummmmy.  Thankfully, when I get my produce home, I immediately grate, separate, chop and bag everything, and this makes it super easy to make a juice!

If I were really smart, I would place the apple, carrots, celery and piece of ginger into it’s own ziploc and label CARROT JUICE.  That’s what I would do if I were really smart……. (insert sound of crickets here)…………..maybe next time.

Once I had my sweet juice, I decided it would be a good time for my detox bath.  I grabbed my Epsom Salts, baking soda, grated ginger and The Gaithers, and headed for the bathroom.  I grew up with southern gospel music and enjoy it so much!  It’s right up there on the list of sweet tea and big hair!  It’s the perfect storm!!!

While the Gaithers were singing, I was relaxing and thanking God for my perfect morning.  He is so good and I am so very blessed!  What a great time and a privilege to thank Him for all my blessings!  This is my meditation!  I don’t need to ommmm…in a yoga class, I can speak directly to the creator of the universe!!  How powerful is that?

Never get so busy that you forget to spend time in His Word and in prayer.  You are denying yourself  the blessing of hearing His voice and feeling His presence.  He has provided everything you need for freedom of burdens, so  STOP.  LOOK. LISTEN.

And have the perfect beginning to a perfect day!!!

what’s on your plate?

Did you know that according to the United  Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, or FAO, the average American eats 3,770 calories per day?  PER DAY??

So…..what’s on your plate? 

Dr. Gillian Keith has compiled a list of TEN FOODS PEOPLE EAT ON A REGULAR BASIS…(ready?)

  1. Burger meal
  2. Pizza
  3. Spaghetti
  4. Sweet and sour pork with special fried rice (chinese takeout)
  5. Hot breakfast
  6. Steak dinner
  7. Nachos
  8. Ice cream
  9. Chocolate chip cookies
  10. Hot dog meal

These are everyday “dead” foods that we consume as a regular part of our diet!  Eeek!  I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling fatter already!

So let’s change all that and look at some living foods.

Living foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds and nuts, exist in a raw or close to raw state.  They have not been bleached, refined, or chemically enhanced or preserved.  They are plucked, harvested, squeezed and might have a little dirt on them.  (don’t worry, it washes off)

All these living foods were created to cause your digestive system, bloodstream and organs to function at optimum capacity!  Wouldn’t you like to not only live longer, but have a better quality of life?  I know I would!  But where do we start?

Let’s start  by looking at our own plate.  If it needs more “living” foods on it, then let’s go to the grocery store (or if there is one available, the farmer’s market!)

First rule is to purchase fruits and vegetables frequently rather than storing large quantities for days and days in the refrigerator.  And mix it up a bit!  Don’t buy the same fruits and veggies each week.  Buy something new and different!  Choose a variety of colors and don’t forget some fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley and basil.

If you are a meat eater, then the best option is to choose organic, free-range meat and poultry.  Ask the butcher to trim off any visible fat,  or at least choose the leanest cuts.  Go for cage-free, organic eggs and whole grain breads.

If you are really serious, then just shop the perimeter of the grocery store, avoiding the middle aisles that are stuffed with pre-packaged foods and processed, man-made food products.  If you do have to venture into the inner aisles (insert scary music here), don’t forget to read your labels so you can make better food choices.

It will take a little effort to eat healthily, but the end result is definitely worth it!  Psalm 139 says we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”!  YOU are special and deserve the best!  If you make some positive changes to your diet, it is going to have a real and lasting effect on your health!

why am i still praying?

Throughout history we can see the fingerprint of God.  Sometimes His handiwork is obvious;  remember the parting of the Red Sea?  And other times His work is unnoticeable and behind the scenes.

In Matthew 7:7-8, God tells us to ask, to seek, to knock.  But if God is supreme … then why pray at all?  Why would God allow pain or suffering or the unspeakable to happen?

It is one of the most troublesome questions in all of theology.  But let me say this,  God is eternal, infinite, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent.  We are human.  We are none of those things and can’t be expected to understand all of His ways.

Remember poor Job?  This was a man that lost everything but his wife and his life.  He lost his children, his home, his livestock, his servants and was covered in oozing boils.  Not to mention he had three so-called friends that lectured him on why he was getting what was due.

Finally, God speaks to Job and says what we all need to hear!  (Job 38:1-23)  First He asks Job questions and even emphasizes that HE is in control.  Then He speaks about the sea and its boundaries.  Who else can command the waves to start and stop?  Throughout the next chapters, God continues to speak to Job until finally Job has to say, “Ok…I got it”.

Job 42:1-2, “Then Job answered the Lord, and said, “I know that Thou canst do all things, And that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted.”

The Message says, “Job answered God: “I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything.”

Wow.  God is in control.  He sees the beginning and the end.  He has no limitations.  His plan can mean adversity or prosperity.  Tragedy or joy.  Even when we cannot fully fathom why, He knows.  He understands.  He rules.  He reigns.

His sovereignty should relieve us from our anxiety.  It might not take away all of your questions, but it will take away your fear!  And thankfully, He has freed us from having to explain or figure out what He is doing.  I can say, I don’t know why this happened.   I don’t know why my sweet little child had his handicap.   God knows and I don’t have to explain it.

Our part is to pray fervently, sincerely, and honestly, and bring our deepest concerns to the Lord. God’s part is to listen to our prayers and to graciously answer them in His own time, in His own way, according to His own will.

Joni Eareckson Tada has spent the last 45 years in a wheelchair.  She has inspired millions and had this to say about unanswered prayer:

“God is heaven -bent on making us more like Christ.  He can use anything – be it a broken neck, a broken heart, or a broken home.  Suffering has a way of uncomfortably revealing to us the things inside us that need to be transformed.  When I’m not in pain, I think I’m a very likeable individual.  But when pain continues to squeeze me, it’s like squeezing a lemon!  Out comes this sour attitude, this pessimistic anxiety, this fear of the future.  That’s when I have to realize that these are things God desires to change in me.  I think that what most people are hungry for is assurance that God is listening and that He cares.  We just want to know that He’s involved, that He’s compassionate.  What we need to know the most is Jesus Himself is the Answer.”

Don’t give up.  Continue to seek His Will and read His Word.  Don’t let your fast paced lifestyle demand so much of your time that you give up your intimacy with God.  Time spent in His Word will reap eternal benefits.

Trust.  Wait.  Pray. He loves you so very much…


   

money doesn’t grow on sprees….

Everywhere you look people are trying to make a ‘fast buck’ and enough just never seems enough!

Success today is measured in the terms of quantity, whether it be wealth, salary, possessions, etc., and we are trained to want more and to do everything possible to get more.  What’s our motivation?  Greed.

This isn’t anything new.  In Luke chapter 12, Jesus is speaking to a very large and unruly crowd (vs 1 says, ‘many thousands’) when someone in the crowd says, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me” (Luke 12:13)

It seems that in asking his question, probably with his brother nearby, the man wants a judge and Jesus can see that his request is selfish…..greedy.  

Luke 12:14 says, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”

This guy has an obvious desire for possessions, so much that he will even try to tell the Son of God what He must do in order to accomplish this desire!  He is angry with his brother and is consumed with his inheritance.  Is his desire for justice wrong?  No, but his motivation is!  

But our Lord, who sees the dark places in our hearts, labels it greed and warns the crowd with these words:  ““Watch out!  Be on your guard against all kinds of greed, a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

Wow.  He doesn’t just warn against greed but ‘all kinds of greed’.  The dictionary defines greed as an ‘excessive or insatiable desire for wealth or gain’.

How much is enough?  When is it too much?

I believe that when something takes first place in your life, whether it be money, your job, your talents, etc., and makes you put your relationship with God second, or third….or last….it becomes your ‘idol’.    

Some of these things may even seem normal.  Has your determination to be fit and healthy become your idol?  How about your job, your boyfriend/girlfriend, your (gasp!) computer and cell phone!  OUCH!!!  I struggle with these things every single day.  Your good things can become your primary things….then your primary things become your controlling things.

Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Before one can seek first the kingdom, they must be a part of it. The only way to become a part of God’s kingdom is to be born again. To put your faith and trust in the shed blood of Jesus Christ and accept Him as your personal Saviour! Once you have done this, then you can begin to put God first in your life and reap all His blessings….and life with our Savior is enough!