Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Brings out the Best in Selfish People

“Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. John 12:2 NIV.”


Compulsive overeaters like me turn inward. At one time, my motto, though I wouldn’t admit it, was “It’s all about me.” Feeling sorry for myself exacerbated my eating, and eating increased my low self esteem. This vicious cycle churned in my mind and spiraled to lower depths with each day. At one point in my life, even though I had a faithful husband and three precious daughters, I could see nothing worthwhile to my life. Feeling empty and void of any good thing, I truly believed my family would be better off without me.

Now, it's Christmas time. I just returned from stuffing stockings for under-privileged children. My mouth sings and my heart feels weightless. My mind focuses on others, not myself. I feel good about helping someone.

In chapter twelve of John, Mary loved Jesus so much, she longed to show Him in a tangible way. The only thing she could think of was to break open her perfume, which was possibly the only thing of value she owned, and anoint Jesus’ head. Many thought that action foolish. Once a friend thought I was crazy for picking up a mentally-challenged lady and bringing her to Bible study. This sweet lady didn’t seem to know what we were saying and added nothing to the conversation. But, in doing this, my mind stayed on her, not me.

Do what you can. Do what God leads you to do. Focus on someone besides yourself. God will conquer your shortcomings and bring joy to you as well as those you help.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rumble Strips

The state of Texas lines the highways with rumble strips to wake up sleepy drivers and keep them from veering off the road. God gives us rumble strips (warning signs) to keep us on His path. Here's my list:

1. Doing anything else appeals to you more than going to church.
Boing! You've just hit a rumble strip. The vibration rattles your mind. What's wrong with me? Walk, no, run to the house of God. Listen to His Word.

2. You're depressed. No one speaks to you. You feel so tired, so very tired.
If you're dwelling on yourself and what's wrong with you, look up. God is flashing a yellow light. Beware! Beware! It's not all about you.

3. Temptation to speak harsh words comes more frequently. You find yourself laughing at an off-color joke. When was the last time that was a problem? You absolutely hate your boss and dread to go to work. WARNING: When was the last time you prayed?

Resentment and compulsive overeating plague my personal life. God's rumble strip shows up for me when I constantly long to eat sweets. I must check my life. What is wrong? Am I angry with someone? Have I been too busy for a quiet time of meditation? Have I really forgiven my friend or my family?

Fellow Christians, think of your own life. God places rumble strips there for all of us. At first, they distract or aggravate us, but have we allowed them to steer us away from trouble? Do we use the warnings to get us back on God's path?

Rumble strips on our highways and in our lives bear a purpose--to save our lives, but only if we follow their nudging.

Rumble strips steer sinners to saving strength and success.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Are you growing?

This idea originated with a visiting minister at our church last night, but I found it inspiring not only in regards to my Christian walk, but also in my writing. My writing is my career, but the idea could apply whether you're a teacher, a secretary or an engineer. Think about it. Are you growing?

God's ideal is a perfect Christian walk with no sin, no impure thoughts, witnessing and being always sensitive to God's will in our lives.

Perfection

"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:14 NIV."

Perfection is the goal, but we will never reach it. Therefore, should we give up and say I'm not the ideal or she/he doesn't live right, should we ignore them? No, of course not.

An oak tree strives for the ideal of being tall with many branches giving shade. When we plant an oak in our yard, the height might well be three foot or less with two scrawny branches. Do we cast it aside because it's not perfect? Of course not. We water it, we nourish it, we pray for sunshine and rain at proper times. The oak starts growing though slower than many other trees planted at the same time, but an oak grows in strength. Life flows through the trunk and branches of an oak at a different pace than through a willow. Yet, we plant and nourish both toward the ideal they can reach.

A new Christian is a tiny sapling. As a more mature Christian, we should help them along, and yet, we also should be growing. If an oak ceases to grow, it ceases to live. Our Christian walk resembles that. We must stay attached to Christ and continue to grow.

God plants new writers in His field for His perfect purpose. In the beginning, we are so inept. We don't know a sequel from a point-of-view character. More mature writers train us, encourage us. Growing hurts. We struggle through rejection and discouragement, through writing and rewiting, but if we don't quit, we grow. Our writing improves, and we push through obstacles we never believed we could. Yet, even the mighty oaks of writing must continue to learn and improve.

Are you growing?
In your walk with Christ and in your writing or other career?
Don't give up.
Poke your head toward the sky and keep striving regardless that you will never reach the goal of perfection until God takes you home. How close can you come?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Minds in Rebellion

We Christian compulsive overeaters are a stiff-necked bunch, not unlike the Israelites long ago. God used His chosen people anyway & worked miracles for them. He made a covenant with the Israelites to do wonderful things in them that other nations could see and give glory to God. No power, but God’s power can break the bonds of stubborn rebellion.

What did Jesus say was the first commandment? "To love the Lord our God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. Matt: 22:37"

I think we get down the heart, the soul, even the strength. We follow Christ with everything in us, but we have a problem when it comes to our minds.

Our minds take in our
reason
logic
desire
imagination
memory
will

Sometimes we hold back a little of that. We rebel in some small area which grows into a mountain of unbelief. Today, help me stamp out the rebellion in my mind.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Broken Walls

God has me thinking about broken walls. My life periodically reaches the point where I've messed things up. Rejection sours my heart and my attitude. That comes from taking over the reins from God's hands and steering for myself whether it's in my writing, my compulsive overeating disorder or my family issues. Yet, when my mental walls are destroyed and my physical body depleted, I can call on God. His handiwork repairs those walls and restores my life to a thing of beauty.


“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land….
…..you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. Isaiah 58: 11,12


Praise: Thank you, Lord, that you see me bright, shiny and new even before I let you inside to renovate my temple.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Last two reasons why I walk with the Lord

Thank you for following my weekly posts about why I walk with the Lord. Last week I entertained grandkids and didn't post on Sunday, so I'm running late. God has blessed me while I pondered this question and the blessings I have in my life because of walking with the Lord. I hope you also have been blessed.

Here are my last two reasons:
13. Goodness enters my world through Him. I have insight into what's good and what's true and kind. Without Him, all seems negative.

14. He affords me Holy Spirit power.
As I come to the end of my blessings, I cherish the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He gives me supernatural power to overcome and to witness.

To summarize, here are all fourteen reasons why I choose to walk with God.

1. The Lord loved me enough to die for me.
2. He provides my daily necessities.
3. He gives me instruction and guidance.
4. He answers my prayers according to what's best.
5. He furnishes courage when I am fearful.
6. He renews strength when I am weak.
7. He provides protection and help when I'm powerless.
8. He gives confidence when I have low self esteem.
9. He's my inheritance.
10. He's my hope and that of my children.
11. Justice and truth come through Him.
12. All blessings enter my life through Him.
13. Goodness enters my world through Him.
14. He affords me Holy Spirit power.

I hope you've made up your list.
What would you say if someone asked "Why do you walk with the Lord?"

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Two More Reasons I Walk with the Lord

If you've been following my blog, I've been listing each week two reasons to give if someone asked me why I keep walking with the Lord. Today, comes reasons eleven and twelve.

11.Justice and truth come through Him.

Despite the trend toward relative truth, justice for all comes only through Christ. God is truth, and truth is what sets us free.

12.All blessings enter my life through Him.

He allows or directly provides everything good in my life. Without Him, I, like Paul, would of all men, be most miserable.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I Walk with the Lord. Why?

Well, here's two more reasons following through with the question why am I blessed to walk with the Lord.

#9 He's my inheritance.
I had never thought about this until recently. Most of us understand the meaning of getting an inheritance. Two things happen.

1. Someone we love dies.
2. They love us enough to leave us something of value.

Being an only child, my mother put into a document known as a will that everything she had became mine upon her death. She wasn't rich but my inheritance from her did help my husband start his real estate business, gave my daughters some furniture to remember her by and purchased me a new car. Yet, I would have rather had my mother with me. Fortunately, both my mother and father were Christians, so I can see them again in heaven.

Jesus died on the cross because He loved me and thereby left me a priceless inheritance. Because of His death and His love, I will live again and see Him in heaven.

#10 He's my hope for the future and that of my children.
This is similar to number nine, yet different. The inheritance He left gives me hope for the future.
Without Jesus, I have no hope for me or my family, both in this life and in heaven.

Thank you, Jesus, for my inheritance and my hope for my life on earth and afterward.

I have four more reasons left why I walk with the Lord.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

More reasons to walk with the Lord

Since my last post, I've traveled to the mountains and again beheld God's glory. Nothing like mountains or oceans to make us feel small.

So far, I've listed 6 reasons to walk with the Lord. To review, here they are:
1.The Lord loved me enough to die for me.
2.He provides my daily necessities.
3.He gives me instruction and guidance.
4.He answers my prayers according to what's best for me.
5.He furnishes courage when I'm fearful.
6.He renews strength when I'm weak.

Have you came up with your list yet?

Here's my number seven and eight;

7. He provides protection and help when I'm powerless.
Overcome with a compulsive eating disorder, I had to first admit powerlessness to get God's help.
Life offers up many challenges for which we have no place of safety except through the Lord: death, disease, financial bankruptcy, rebellious children, divorce. I wouldn't like to be without God's covering.

8. He gives confidence when I have low self esteem.
Most of the time, I've struggled with this problem, but with the Lord in my
corner, I can do all things.

Work on your list. Count your blessings. Then, life becomes worthwhile.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Why do I walk with the Lord?

Why do I walk with Lord?

I've come up with fourteen reasons and have posted four so far.

Maybe you've come up with your own list.
If someone ask you today that question, how would you answer it?

Here's my number five and six reasons.

5. He furnishes courage when I am fearful.
Ever tried to face a scary situation alone?

6. He renews strength when I'm weak.
Which is most of the time---thank you, Jesus. In fact, when I am at my weakest point, God is closer than ever.

Keep thinking and praying about your own reasons.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Why do I walk with the Lord?

Last Sunday, I posed the question "Why do I walk with the Lord?" I noted I had fourteen reasons and listed numbers one and two.
Today, I'm giving reasons number three and four.

3. He gives me instruction and guidance since He knows all things.
Boy do I need this one!

4. He answers my prayers knowing full well what's best for me.
Guess I don't get everything I want, huh?

Thank you again, Lord, for these benefits.

Next Sunday we'll explore the next two reasons on my list.
Have you made your list yet?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Two reasons I walk with the Lord

What would I say if someone asked me why I walked with the Lord?

I sat down and thought of fourteen reasons. I decided to post two each week.

Here's number one:

The Lord loved me enough to die for me.

I can't imagine love like that, nor can I understand it. Francis Chan calls it in his recent book by the same name, crazy love. Gratitude for such love overwhelms me. It shakes up my world. How can I not submit?

Number two reason:

He provides my daily sustenance.

I look to Him for my needs, day by day. Without the Lord, I'm deplete.


Think with me what your reasons are. Next Sunday I'll list two more.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Control

Spring offers a unique perspective into God's thoughts. As the time of newness arrives, we can sit outside and breathe in the beauty. God authors new beginnings in nature and in people. He gives us the call of the mockingbird, the ripple of a brook, the fragrance of a rose--all things we can't control--to give us pleasure, peace and purpose. How like God to remind us that joy comes in not controlling things. Our control brings contamination, confusion and cost. With this spring, I search for fresh insight and help.

Lord, help me to release control. Only through you can I find true happiness.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Stiff-necked Unrelenting Will

“….let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance.”

How many times have I went against everything I thought I wanted, everything that my family, my work, my Christian walk demanded to “control” my situation myself. Friends and family advised me to use will power and refrain from overeating.
What they didn’t realize and neither did I for years was that I had an unrelenting will I used every day. My will power overcame every rational thought to say “I will to eat what I like and I won’t be controlled by anyone else in choosing what I eat.” The craziness of this principle was that my will power overcame my conscious goals and desires. Like turning on a tank of oxygen near the fireplace, my invincible will power/won’t power consumed my sanity and my life.

No power but God’s power is strong enough to overcome a stiff necked rebellion. Are you a control freak? Has it ruining everything you hold dear?

Prayer: Lord, help me to release my stiff-necked will power unto You.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Repairer of Broken Walls

"The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land....
....you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. Isaiah 58:11,12

Do you ever feel like you're losing your mind? So did I. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and always expecting different results. Sound familiar? As a psychiatrist once told me, trying to willingly destroy one's self is not sane. Compulsive overeaters kill themselves slowly with legal means, but it's no less real.
Resentment, envy, anger had broken in the walls of my mind where the enemy of my soul could have free reign. Thereby, the devil caused more and more emotional imbalance; insanity, if you will. When I, of my own free will, chose to give my mind and my body back to the Lord, He used my day-to-day actions to repair those walls and restore normal thinking.
If I fail to lean on God's power, another wall will break down. My healing is contingent on my day-to-day spiritual condition.

Prayer: Lord, today take my thoughts, my will and my choices and let them be yours.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

God's Banquet Table - Daily Devotions for Compulsive Overeaters

Compulsive overeating can only be healed by God. The addictive quality of this weakness takes a lifelong day by day dependency on God's power. Seventeen years ago, He healed me emotionally and started a successful weight loss journey. I lost ninety pounds and have since then maintained that loss. God has put it on my heart to regularly share my devotions for compulsive overeaters. I pray there's someone out there that might notice my blog and start reading these and receive God's help with this complex problem. Every day I must seek after God since I'm powerless over food. Watch this blog tomorrow, Monday, April 19, 2010 for my first devotion.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

New Beginnings

In all my years of life, I've stepped into many springtimes. I've spotted the tips of jonquils peeping through the cold ground, but never has that sight not sent a thrill across my mind. In God's wisdom, He created spring as a new beginning. I love new beginnings.
New beginnings can come as a new job, a new spouse, a new home or as simple as a time of new warmth as in the springtime of the year. The spin of failure is turned around by a new beginning. Every mistake dissolves in beginning again.
The last few months, I've debated about what God wanted me to do with my time. He showed me this Scripture, "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world;and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4."
When I retired from my day job four and a half years ago, I threw myself into my writing, learning all I could. Along with several short stories, I've completed five full-length manuscripts and attempted to sell some of them. As God tried to slow me down, I bucked Him and complained. Now, with His peace descending into my world, I'm faced with yet another new beginning--true retirement with writing as a ministry directed by God.
Charles and I are traveling more, spending time together in fun and relaxation. When he works on real estate, I write stories and sell some of them. God's peace paves the twists and turns of this new beginnning.

Lord, may I always be directed by you and have sense enough to step in Your footsteps leading the way.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Balance

Life becomes a walk on a tightrope with a delicate balance between what we need and what we like. Often, my feet step off the rope and teeter above a harsh, unrelenting floor. Recently, I fell off that rope by becoming stressed and overwhelmed to the point of becoming cranky and hard to live with.

Most of my time revolved around writing or writing-related activities such as critiquing, loops, courses, looking up markets or fulfilling roles in my groups. Family time, even time with the Lord, interrupted my driving ambition. Life ceased to be fun. When I crashed into the net, God required of me to quit all writing except to fulfill definte prior obligations.

While I'm sprawled on the floor and looking up at God, He's teaching me one more time the wisdom of balance in my life. For every weight, we lay on one end of our teeter-totter, we must lay an equal and offsetting weight at the other end.

Ecclesiastes 11: 8 "However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all."

Lord, thank You once again for breaking my fall, for holding me until I regain consciousness and for tipping me onto my feet, so I can take baby steps while balancing with the touch of Your hand.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

PRIDE

PRIDE--the sin committed by a beautiful angel of God called Lucifer. In Genesis, we read of the first sin. God doesn't give us laws to punish us or make it hard on us. His laws show us how to live and cope with life. The ruling He offered Adam and Eve was to merely refrain from eating one fruit--so they wouldn't die. Pride tempted Eve with being as smart as God. She succumbed, as we all often do.

Satan uses pride to his best advantage. As many of the devil's tools, pride slips in without our realization. We believe it's not something that tempts us until we look at the many sides of the sin. Pride hides behind our defensive attitude, our hurt feelings, our territorial stance.

In any chosen field, pride can seep in like a sneaky intruder, but I look at it from the role of Christian writer. When I tighten up at criticism of my writing or feel an edge of envy at another writer's success, that's pride nibbling at my toes. Even handling rejection with anger shows pride in my life. Writing isn't about just getting published for me, it's about ministering God's word.

God gives me words to share with others. As long as I'm grateful to write for Him regardless of where those words are seen, pride releases its power over me. In ministry, we work not for our glory, but for God's, so getting uptight about what person gets the compensation or praise is pride. We find this in all types of ministry even in our local churches. If we don't receive the glory for our work, we get irritated. The devil sneaks in a measure of pride to tear down God's work. The bad thing is many times he's successful.

Time and time again, I'm reminded to check up on my measure of committment to God. He called me to write.

Lord, please make me aware when Satan has slipped into my work. You are my primary reader and critic. Use my words for Your work and delete my pouting pride.

Next month, I'll look into another sin that works on me. Can you guess what it is?