Saturday, March 19, 2011

Who's your Daddy?

I've started a new blog. It's specific to my battle with weight loss and I have titled it, "The Fight to Lose." Weight loss has been a long battle for me. Not a forever battle, but long enough at this point I have probably fought the issue long than I didn't. And what I have come to realize is, that for me, the battle is far more spiritual than just physical. My struggle with food comes from deep within. When I think of it, I am reminded of Paul talking about his own battles with his "flesh" in Romans 7:15 "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. That's me and my fight with food

There all kinds of roots I recognize: bad habits, learned behaviors, emotional issues. In the end though, the root is simple. It's an issue of sin.

I started the blog for two reasons, (1) accountability, and (2) inspiration. They're actually very tied together. If I know someone else is watching me, I will think twice before I fudge because I don't want to cause anyone else to stumble. I know as a believer I'm called to live life openly before both God and man. And I always hold out hope that if by God's grace I am able to walk in some level of victory, then maybe I will help someone else hold on to Him and find the same.

In the end, anything good in my life comes down to my ability to hold on to the Lord. ."Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17

A big part of holding on to Him for me this year is about writing in a prayer journal. As last year closed and I prayed about what my goals for the new year should be, I chose to read my bible through in a year and journal to the Lord ever day. Obviously I have a passion for writing, and I know it is a gift the Lord has given me, but even though I have continued to write for His glory, I haven't really written for Him. So every day I have been writing for Him and to Him in my prayer journal.

The other night as I wrote I talked to him about this new blog. I wanted to share a little bit of the conversation that developed there.

From my journal:

Do, do, do - What is the revelation You gave me? It isn't all about the "do." Help me, Lord.

"If you continue to obey My teaching You are truly My followers. Then you will know the truth and the truth will make you free." John 8:31-32

"So if the Son makes you free, you will be truly free." (from sin.) John 8:36

Who's your Daddy?

If you belong to the Father, you would love Jesus and accept His teaching.

If you belong to the father (Satan, the father of lies) you do what he wants, murderous and against the truth, a liar, buying into his lies.

Lies: that food is a viable alternative to God's comfort, that my body is my own, lies that what I do with food doesn't matter.

So, what is Your teaching? What specifically do I need to obey? Where have I been buying into a lie? Help me to see these things, to call out the lies and it's attached temptation and respond to it with truth. Just like Jesus did when Satan tempted him in the wilderness. To respond in truth I must know truth ad to know truth I must be in the Word and continue in it and obey it."

For me the conversation leading to the revelation was specific to my battles with food, but it is universal to the battle of temptation and sin. The bottom line is, to overcome it we must be walking in obedience to God's word, and the only way to know it is to read it regularly, and with faith.

What are you battling today? What temptation is trying overcome you? The answer to your struggle is in God's Word.

How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.

Psalm 119:9

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Disappointment - Redux

I am in a strange place, and have been having a little trouble putting "pen to paper" these past few days. So because I have an obligation to blog at least a couple times a week and it has been a full week since my last post, I have decided to re-post something from the past. This post was my first ever "recommended" post (which probably doesn't mean much since I am the one who recommended it). It was written back in August of 2008, when the blog was still very new. I hope it ministers to you today.



The definition of the word is "the failure to fulfill the expectations or wishes of," or "the defeat of the fulfillment of" such as of wishes or hopes.

My daughter experienced a huge disappointment today. We got a letter in the mail informing us the gym where she has learned and practiced gymnastics for the last four years is closing. We started there in a "Mommy and Me" class right after the 2004 summer Olympics. When I saw the excitement it brought my , then two-year-old, daughter to watch these young women flip and fly on the TV screen, I signed her right up. Over the past four years she's grown and flourished being knocked up level to level quickly and even getting to participate these past two semesters as the youngest member of their demo team. It's sort of ironic that as we rushed home tonight to watch this year's Olympic gymnastics competition we sat down and opened the letter in the mail that bore the bad news about her gym. This year as we have been watching it's with insight and understanding as well as the same wonder of the two-year-old from four years ago.

It's not as though there are no other options for her to continue learning gymnastics, it's just that she's really grown to love the place she's been, her teachers and the friends she's made there. It's a huge disappointment, and maybe even a little more heartbreak for a little girl who is already sad about the closing of her elementary school back in June, and she's already leery of the change she's making attending a new one in the fall. Now TWO places she's loved and grown are no longer going to be a part of her life. That is disappointment.

Last night I was at a meeting at church and we were talking about the theme for our women's ministry in the fall. I edit our newsletter and we center the publication and our ministry around a general theme. We talked about the sense of hopelessness and disappointment surrounding us today. The economy is lousy, people everywhere are struggling, businesses are failing, jobs are being lost. There is a lot of disappointment to go around. In my own life I am watching people I care about struggle with personal disappointments too, marriages failing, betrayals of loved ones, people wounding people, people facing battles, even life-threatening battles, that they didn't expect to be facing. Disappointments.

I have another perspective on this word that always rings in my mind when I hear the word disappointment. It's something over the years I have shared with many people, and I'm inclined to repeat it again now. Did you know that God has NEVER been disappointed? That was a revelation that came to me when I was going through emotional and spiritual healing from an abortion I had in my late teens. I was having a very hard time believing that God would forgive me for what I had done because I was so very certain He was too disappointed in me. But I was wrong.

"What is she saying????" I know as some of you read this, that's what's going through your minds. "OF COURSE God was disappointed!"you say, but no you'd be mistaken. He was grieved, I am sure, and He may have even been angry, but He was NOT disappointed.

Let's go back to the definition. "The failure to fulfill the expectations or wishes of." God held no expectation of me, He already knew I was going to fail, and commit the sin that I did. In the very definition of disappointment is the element of surprise. God is NEVER surprised. Because He was not surprised, because He already knew, He could not be disappointed in me. He has never been disappointed in me, or in you.

As we continued to talk about the fall theme, we each shared our thoughts on it. And what I was left with was this picture of the "dis" being broken, even smashed off of "disappointment." And when that happens, what is left? "Appointment."

Let's talk about the definition of "appointment." "A meeting set for a specific time or place," or "the act of appointing, as to an office or position."

This weekend my pastor was speaking on joy, and how joy is built out, in a large part, of our perspective on life. Now here is the thought process I have been working through, my perspective. This same God who is never, NEVER disappointed in me, because He is incapable of being surprised is also not surprised by those things that disappoint me. When in my mind I saw the "dis" being smashed off of the word disappointment, across the hammer that leveled it was the word "hope." Hope is a rare commodity in the world today. But those of us who are believers in Christ have a "corner on the market" of hope, the smasher of disappointment.

Romans 5:3-5 says, "We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character, and character produces hope. And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. He gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us."

We can have joy in our troubles, our hurts and even our disappointments, because we know that God is working out a greater plan and purpose, not only FOR us but also THROUGH us. Wherever these disappointments, these troubles, may lead us to, we can be sure that we were APPOINTED to be there. There is no random, accidental or coincidental event in the life of any believer. That is pretty incredible, brings me joy to think about it!

I don't know how well I will be able to soften the sadness of a 6-year-old with this truth, but I know I can try to encourage and love her through the process. And I can hope (because with Christ I can ALWAYS hope) that at some point these young life lessons will be owned by my daughter who is living them. At some point when we can look back at some relationship built, or some good deed done, or some feat that is accomplished because of the new places God has brought her when the old ones have been removed. And she can say God took my DISappointment and brought me to a place of APPOINTMENT for His good plan and purpose, for me and through me, in Jesus' name. Oh that she may some day be able to see her life with such a heavenly perspective.

May we all learn that lesson in our lives, that we may grow in faith, in hope and in love. God is faithful, and He can be trusted.