Friday, July 31, 2009

Changed Lives

Today, I'm talking, again, about how the Word of God changes us. Last Friday night my husband and I attended a graduation banquet for Teen/Life Challenge graduates. Teen/Life Challenge is a faith based program to change the lives of those suffering from life controlling issues/addictions. It was started by David Wilkerson. You may have seen the movie or read the book, "The Cross and the Switchblade". It's the story of how it started. This program has the highest success rate of any drug rehab program. One thing I know about T/L Challenge, is that they drill the scriptures into these people. They also have each man choose a life scripture to stand on. One pastor who was at the banquet told how God had changed his life through life challenge. He also said that after the many years of being out and pastoring, he still remembered and stood on "his" scripture. I loved sitting and listening to man after man come up and give his testimony of how God had changed and restored his life. As we left, I said to my husband, "Some of these men may choose to return to their former lifestyle when they leave, but they'll never be able to get away from the Word of God that's been instilled in them." The last song that the mens choir sang that night was, "He's Still God!"

Psalm 119:11 "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Listen to Your Body

If you've been reading my blog, you know that I went on a fast not long ago. I actually was really worried that as soon as I officially went off, I would binge on everything I wasn't letting myself have, and thus, put on every pound I'd taken off plus more, and feel worse than ever. Well, so far, that hasn't happened. Yes, I am consuming caffeine now, but just not near as much. And, I am having some sugar, but not near as much. I find that moderation is a big key here. And most importantly, I'm trying to listen to my body as far as what works for me. I found that when I came off the fast, spicy foods were not making me feel very good, so I'm trying to stay away from them. Also, I feel a lot better if I eat simple and light meals. Anything heavy, such as a lot of meat I am trying to eat less of and load up more on fruits and veggies, and I can tell a big difference in the way I feel after eating these meals. I was starting to eat a lot of grains and I found out that I feel better if I don't overdo with that also. I read in "Nourishing Traditions"(p.466), that"Asians have larger pancreas and salivary glands in proportion to body weight than Westerners, and these traits make them ideally suited to a grain-based diet. The Westerners who eat rice at every meal, may develop serious health problems." I thought this was interesting, because every time I start eating a lot of grains (oats, brown rice, corn meal, whole wheat) I start feeling bad. Well anyway, in listening to my body, I'm finding that I am not putting the weight back on like I usually do after a fast, in fact, I actually lost a pound yesterday, and I was really surprised, because I thought I was eating a lot, but I'm trying to listen to my body and change my eating habits a little, accordingly. I thought this might be helpful to someone out there. Just think, you really don't need to deprive yourself, just get to know yourself.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Changing the Way You Think

When I was a young(er) woman, it used to amaze me how the older christian woman could make a spiritual lesson out of everything. The simplest, everyday moments of life, brought to mind a scripture, song, or spiritual analogy. I used to wonder how they did this. Well, if you read my post yesterday, you might see that I tend to do the same thing now. As God brought this comb analogy to my mind, I thought,"I'm that older woman now. How did this happen?" I then thought about the many years that I've been reading, and listening to the Word of God, and how powerful it truly is. Without even realizing it was happening, it has become a part of who I am and the way that I think. I ran across a message by John McArthur on the Internet, recently, entitled "Adding to Your Faith". He says, "I discovered by doing a study of the human brain that although everything we hear, see, or experience is stored in cells in our brain, whenever you recall and relearn something, you expand the brains storage capacity. So, the more you hear and apply something you learned, it occupies a greater part of your thinking process. As you hear and respond to God's word, it takes over a larger portion of your thinking process. Repetition expands our capacity of recall. Recovering spiritual truth demands repetition and use. The more you hear, think through, and apply spiritual truth, the more it begins to dominate your thinking." Good stuff, hugh?!
I also mentioned yesterday the need for a transformed mind. Well, this is how you do it. By letting the Word of God become a part of who you are.

Romans 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good,and acceptable, and perfect will of God."

Deut. 11:18-19 "Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when you walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is quick , and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Psalms 19:7-10, says the word of the Lord is perfect, converts, is sure, makes wise, makes the heart rejoice, is pure, enlightens, is clean, endures forever, is true and righteous, is to be desired more than gold, and is sweeter than honey. So, get in the Word today. Read it, study it, memorize it, sing it, listen to it being taught, talk about it, apply it. Remember, repetition will cause it to dominate your thinking, changing who you are. And ask yourself, "Do I really desire it more than gold? Do my activities and priorities reflect this?".

Monday, July 27, 2009

Out with the Old, In with the New

I bought a new comb! I have been using the same comb for years. I think this was the same comb I carried in my purse to pop my kids with in church when they were misbehaving. My kids are grown now, that tells you how long I've had this comb. It is a big, wide tooth comb with a handle, and the first two teeth have been broken off for a really long time. But, I knew exactly how to hold it, so that it would fix my hair the way I wanted it, even with the broken teeth. Well, I finally broke down and bought a new one similar to the old one (without missing teeth). I don't like it! I'm so used to the way I held the old one to get my hair to do what I wanted, that I can't get used to the new one. When I was pulling out my old, trusty comb the other day, I thought " This is exactly the way we are as Christians. God gives us a brand new life, and we're so used to the old way of doing things, we keep reverting back to our old man". The new is so much better, Gods ways are so much higher than our way, but we have such a hard time changing our old habits. He even throws in tons of promises for us if we will just do things His way, and we still have trouble making the effort to be obedient. What's wrong with us? We definately can stand to have a renewing of our minds.

Ephesians 4:22-32 "...put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

Friday, July 24, 2009

God and Trouble

Here are some great thoughts from Paul David Tripp on God being our shelter in the time of storm:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Weary Land

Have you ever been going through a rough time, feeling discouraged, and Ms. Happy comes along telling you how you should be happy, because you're a christian, and everything should be wonderful and going smooth if you are serving God? By the time she leaves you feel worse than ever. Well, one day last week I was having "one of those days", and feeling very discouraged. When I opened up my email from my friend Virginia, who sends me a devotional and encouraging word every morning, she had included the words of the chorus from the song "A Shelter in the Time of Storm".
"Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land, A weary land, A weary land;
Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land-
A shelter in the time of storm."
I suddenly felt such a comfort come over me. These words brought to my remembrance that, yes, we do live in a weary, fallen world. But! Jesus is always there for us. He is our Rock. He said He would never leave us. He is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother. No matter what we are going through, He is always there. Things will not always be the way we want them, but He is always there.
1.The Lord's our Rock, in Him we hide, A shelter in the time of storm; Secure whatever ill betide, A shelter in the time of storm.
2.A shade by day, defense by night, A shelter in the time of storm; No fears alarm, no foes afright, A shelter in the time of storm.
3. The raging storms may round us beat, A shelter in the time of storm; We'll never leave our safe retreat, A shelter in the time of storm.
4. O Rock divine, O Refuge dear, A shelter in the time of storm; Be Thou our helper ever near, A shelter in the time of storm.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


1 Timothy 6:8 "And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."

I've read this scripture a million times and for some reason it just jumped out at me the other day and gave me such a peace. Maybe because God has been working on me about disciplining my flesh, and contentment truly is another battleground that we need to have discipline in. Anyway, when I read it, it was like, "Hey, I don't have to feel guilty because we don't have money for nicer cars, vacations, eating out whenever we please, etc. We are fed, clothed, and have a roof over our heads, and that's all that it should take to make us content." God knows exactly what we need and when we need it. So many of the things that we think we need, and so we worry over obtaining, just add extra stress to our lives anyway. Besides, verse six of this chapter says "godliness with contentment is great gain". I do want to be godly!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Be on Guard! We're at War!

The last note that I wrote was about the Christians need for a disciplined life. I talked about some of my struggles and the fast I am on. I want to share with you one of the scriptures that has stood out to me during this time. 1 Peter 2:11 "...abstain from fleshly lusts,which war against the soul." Oh wow! What a reminder, that my fleshly desires, don't just affect my flesh, but also my soul! We are in a battle. Don't let whatever your flesh craves hinder you in your spiritual walk. Whether it be: food, entertainment, habits, sleep(too much or too little), etc. It may not even be something bad.But, if it's hindering you from being obedient to God, it is warring for your soul. Remember, 1 Peter 5:8 says, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he my devour."

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Life of Discipline

The christian life really does require discipline. After all our flesh must be in submission to our spirit. I've been made aware of that more and more as the Holy Spirit calls me more and more to pray, often early in the morning, and I have had a real battle with this flesh. It just does not want to get out of bed as early as it used to. And, I know a lot of the battle comes from me not being disciplined in the way that I eat, and getting to bed too late. I know that when I am eating right and taking care of this temple, I can tell a big difference in the way I feel , and it's easier to get awake. I really have a desire to be obedient to the Holy Spirit, so I am working on getting my fleshly appetite back under control. I have began a 21 day progressive fast this week. Fasting is the best way to get control of your flesh, especially if you are struggling with habits or addictions. These habits or addictions may not necessarily have to do with food, either. Once we let the flesh become strong in one area, it takes control in others. I am sharing this, not to announce to everyone that I am fasting, but, to encourage others. I desire that everyone prosper spiritually and be in good health. I don't want the Lord to tell me to do something someday and because of my lack of discipline, I cannot complete the task.
Time is also an area of discipline in my life that I struggle with. Not only getting to bed at a decent hour, but also how I manage my time during the day. There have been days that I really feel that I need to spend time interceding about something in prayer, and it is a struggle, because I have procrastinated about getting things done that needed to be done. If I would manage my time better, it would free me up to do more things for God without feeling guilty. If I had been disciplined in how I use my time, I would be more obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The way that I take care of my body also affects this area of my life. If I feel good and have more energy, I get more accomplished when I should. In times past when I have fasted, I remember waking up very alert and with so much energy. Just being able to think clearly is a huge benefit physically a spiritually. Why do I always go back to my bad habits? Thank God for His grace and that today is a new day. His mercy is new every morning. That's why I'm not giving up! Let's continue to pray for and encourage one another!