Posts tagged ‘peace’

August 11, 2013

Day 579: Not Gonna Post

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I was going to write out a nice post today.

And then I read my own posts today on facebook and twitter and google+.

Instead I’m going to take my own advice (for once).

I’m gonna set it all aside and worship Him through rest and peace.

Go on… do the same.

Even if you aren’t reading this until late Sunday evening… stop and rest.

 

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February 15, 2013

Day 402: Food, UNglorious Food!

You know, if ever Food had a theme song… then I don’t think that there is any doubting that it was the scene from Oliver where the boys all serenade… well, food. Okay, I can’t help it… if you haven’t seen the movie, then you can at least watch this song.

And especially the part near the end of the song. Here are the lyrics (just in case you aren’t as big a nerd as me and don’t have them memorized) for the very end:

Food, glorious food! Don’t care what it looks like — Burned! Underdone! Crude! Don’t care what the cook’s like.
Just thinking of growing fat — Our senses go reeling One moment of knowing that Full-up feeling! Food, glorious food!
What wouldn’t we give for That extra bit more — That’s all that we live for Why should we be fated to Do nothing but brood
On food,
Magical food,
Wonderful food,
Marvellous food,
Fabulous food,
[OLIVER] Beautiful food,
[BOYS] Glorious food.
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Oh, how I identify with that song.
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But for ALL the wrong reasons! The boys in this video obviously dream and sing about food because they get slop to eat. Is that why I dream and sing about food (okay, so I don’t really actually SING about food)? No… I dream and obsess over it, not because I don’t have good quality food to eat, but because I have always had SO MUCH stuff to eat!
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But lately, I’ve been becoming extremely disenchanted with food. I know that should have happened long ago, but I’m almost going to the pantry or the fridge every time and thinking, “Nothing in here is going to taste the way I want it to taste.” But then when it doesn’t taste the way I want it to taste, I dwell on it even more while I long for some kind of wonderful flavor to hit my tastebuds. Not sure if this insatiable desire is a result of having had so much sugar cross my lips over the years or if so much sugar crossing my lips was a result of this insatiable desire. Either way, I’m having to fight it back now.
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So, a couple of nights ago I just found myself saying to God, “I don’t want to think about food anymore.”
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That was it. That was my prayer. And then I realized that saying that a) out loud b) to myself, and c) to God already started to help. So I said it again. And then when I woke up the next morning, I said it again. And again. And again.
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I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help. Psalm 77:3
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And I don’t think that it was a coincidence that this new prayer of mine has come about right at the beginning of Lent. Not that I’m changing anything with my eating, but it is 40 Days of Focus on Jesus. I did give up Facebook for Lent which has already been such a relief for me, and although ironically enough I did add a twitter “activity” to do during Lent, I’m cool with that because twitter for me is all about Jesus, so it’s been a great refocus for me to be on there. But I’m also giving up “sleep” for Lent, and I think that this will be the game-changer for me.
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No, I’m not not-sleeping for 40 Days… that’d be cuh.ray.zay. But I am waking up at 5:30am every morning to make sure that I get in a shower (so that I’m fully awake) and some bible study/reading/meditating time on Christ. I used to get up early all the time like that, but somewhere in the midst of my toddler becoming a frequent night-waker, I started to sleep in until juuuuuust before my boys woke up in the mornings, so this is a big deal for me.
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Not only is it a big deal because I am missing out on sleep so that there is the element of “sacrifice” for Lent, but also because if I am getting up every morning (including Sundays) for the 46 days of Lent to commune with God… well, that is gonna have a pretty big effect on me.
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And that is so what I hope for! I want my soul to be getting thinner and thinner (got this concept from that guy over at Fat Pastor) as it sheds off this desire to appease my worldly desires. And I want to lose all of this desire and obsession over food. I know that the only way for that to happen is for me to replace those thoughts with the thoughts of God and let Him take it from there.
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You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3
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February 12, 2013

Day 399: Lent Life

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Last year on Fat Tuesday, I published this post. It was an interesting thought process for me, especially since I was only on Day 42. Here is the main point of what I wrote:

I guess though that the more that I think about Fat Tuesday I sorta get a little insight into my “issues” of overeating. Fat Tuesday is pretty much all about getting to overindulge simply because lenting requires sacrifice. It’s almost as if we fatten up on this day because we feel like we deserve it since we will have to self-sacrifice the rest of the time. And that is kind of the mentality that I’m afraid of having...

…But now that I get to thinking about this whole Fat Tuesday mentality, I’m kinda of wondering if maybe that’s not what would please God. I mean, my whole thing has been about Him changing my mind, my heart, my soul. Wouldn’t that be just like me turning my back on Him pretty much as soon as He has delivered me into the promised land? Which is so much of what the Israelites did when He dropped them off. After the generation that had been wandering in the desert died off, the people started worshiping other idols in no time. And God was NOT pleased with that scenario. I’m reading through Judges right now and it seems like any time one of the judges gets the people back in order, everything is good, then he or she dies, and everyone gets right back into their mess of looking somewhere other than God. And then He punishes them.

Yeah… I don’t want that.

And wow – reading that now, after my weekend of… gluttony… I’m even more assured that sticking to a more strict covenant is what is right for me. It was one thing for me to have a night off in California when I didn’t have a lot of options, but it was an altogether DIFFERENT experience being here at home AND baking a bunch of sugary treats! I just… lost control.

No, I gave up control.

But either way, I let myself get into a Fat Tuesday Mentality of I have to “sacrifice” the rest of the year so I should be able to eat whatever I want and as much as I want during this “off” day.

And it was just a terrible, terrible time.

I mean… I didn’t even really enjoy it because it was all about breaking the rules instead of celebrating in what God had done. I knew that the only sugar I was supposed to have was at my husband’s birthday PARTY (cause that was the agreement that I made with God), but I started eating sugar the night before while making all of his cakes and cake balls and red velvet cake popcorn.

On Saturday morning, I tried to get back on the right page and I was resisting eating one of the cake balls that I had made for him, but I eventually gave up and ate one.And I think that’s when I first started lamenting what  was going on. I was “fighting” with those cake balls. I hadn’t “fought” with sugar for so long. It was horrible. It was extra horrible because I gave in.

My mind immediately told me: See. Nothing’s changed. Just live it up and give in. You can just get back on track tomorrow and no one will know the difference but you.

And then at the party I was too busy to eat, but I did load up on my dessert plate… But WHY? What was the point? I’d already had everything!

Once I got everyone to bed then I ate some more, although not too much, I was stuffed and exhausted.

Then Sunday… oh my. Sunday I ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate until I was, quite literally, sick.

I ate TRYING to make myself so full that I couldn’t eat anymore. I wanted to stop eating all that junk and I knew felt that getting obscenely full or eating everything was the only way at that point. I finally collapsed into bed, feeling horrible and sick and knowing that I was done with sugar again.

Monday would be a new day. A fresh start. A day without fighting the food. A day without sugar. A day without justification or rationalization. A day of boundaries. A day of joy and peace and comfort like I had known for the past year.

And Monday was all of those things for me. Much like an Ash Wednesday will be for some tomorrow. A breath of fresh air as they step away from something that has its hooks in their soul: Diet Dr. Pepper, Facebook, television, etc. And really, I sorta “bashed” Fat Tuesday last year, but now that I sit here and think about it… the Fat Tuesday to Ash Wednesday is really such a beautiful picture of our salvation. We think we need to party it up to live, and then we step from the things of the world into a new life because of Jesus. Not condoning Fat Tuesday for those reasons, but… really, salvation is just this exact process for all of us.

Our life before Christ = one big ol long Fat Tuesday
Our life with Christ = choosing to follow rules and a code in order to honor Christ and focus on Him

The main difference is, we don’t have to keep going back to Fat Tuesday year, after year, after year. We can live a Lent life… all the time.

February 2, 2013

Day 389: BBFFs

BFFs.

Best Friends Forever.

I remember when I was in junior high and dangle rings were IN. I mean… you HAD to have a dangle ring and it HAD to be a Best Friends dangle where one person had the Be Fri and the other person had the St End.

20130201-132644.jpgIn 9th grade, a girl that was a good friend of mine gave me the Be Fri side of the set. Now note. I said a good friend. And my actual best friend (who is still my best friend now) was a little jealous in that junior-high best friend kind of way that all girls experience at some time. And I honestly don’t know when the BFF “term” came about, but I use it all the time (ironically enough though I almost never use it to refer to my actual real best friend). However, I have now come up with a new term.

Best Blogging Friends Forever.

BBFFs.

{Brilliant. I know.}

Why, pray tell, did I come up with a new abbreviation?

When I started blogging over a year ago about my covenant, I anticipated that it would be pretty much just for me and that some of my close friends and family would read it too. I had no idea that other people that didn’t even KNOW me would want to read it and I certainly never expected anyone to do a covenant WITH me.

Which is why I also didn’t expect to get such encouragement from other bloggers and other blogs. Namely, two.

My new BBFFs.

I recently discovered the blog of a woman who approaches her mindset about weight and weight loss in a very similar way to me. It was so wonderful to see someone else write the very words that I was thinking. It was so wonderful to see someone else provide ME with a verse that helped. The blog love.life.chocolate. has already been an inspiration to me as well as comments made on my blog by “finneyfer“.

Like, on Day 387 I wrote a post about when I was in California and got sick cause I ate too much fried food. I was sorta beating up on myself… and she made the following comment for me:

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And I’ll be honest… at first I was like, No, I don’t want to give myself grace and then I was like, Wait. She’s talking about scripture. Before you say “No” it would probably be a good idea to re-read through Romans 7 and 8. This is not HER talking… this is her reminding you of what GOD says. So, I (again, being honest) reluctantly read Romans 7 and 8.

Lo and behold, it changed me. Hmmmmm… what a shocker, that the Word of God would change me. Ha! But I was reminded that this is not about my COVENANT. This is about me showing love to God and honoring Him. It is about living in the spirit not in the flesh. It is about going past the Law… past my covenant… and doing even more than I have been instructed to do. Going “above and beyond” if you will.

That’s just one example as to why finneyfer has been designated as a BBFF… because she didn’t just say “Oh yeah, fried foods are totally gross” or something like that… instead, she pointed me to scripture. A woman I have never met led me to The Cross. She led me to scriptures that reminded me and refocused me on His Grace.

Another BBFF of mine is the author of the new blog mignonpanache. She is actually one of my BFFs in real life as well, and it’s because of things like her post Self Talk:

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And later on in the post she wrote this…

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Dang. Especially after my recent Facebook struggles, this one really got my attention. She said that she had “a ton of non-tech time.” Now, granted… I have two young strapping boys. I have a ton of non-tech time as well simply because I’m always with them… chasing them, entertaining them, cleaning up after them, dressing them, bathing them… you get the picture. However, I tend to gravitate towards my phone whenever I have a second of downtime or “me” time. So, I rarely spend any of my quiet moments without technology.

And I think this needs to change.

I know it needs to change.

Thanks to her sharing something she has learned… I have been really thinking about my over-techie lifestyle a lot… thinking of how I need to change my full-tech life. thinking of how I can find more peace. more serenity. more stillness.

Soooooooo, yet another example of how someone that I don’t see regularly has impacted my life… through a blog.

It’s just… awesome. It’s so… unexpected. It’s so… modern. Ha. And at no point am I suggesting that BBFFs can replace real, one-on-one, authentic relationships in the flesh… but I think they can be a powerful influence.

Afterall, the majority of the New Testament… was a letter. It was written communication. It was faith, hope, and love in the form of words. sentences. paragraphs. And aside from the fact that it was GOD’S WORDS, it’s form was very similar to a modern day blog.

My point?

Ha- I don’t really know. Find a blog? Start a blog? Write a letter? An email? A note? I guess… my point is… reach out and communicate.

Share whatever blessings you’ve been given. Share whatever message you’ve been given. Share whatever pain you’ve felt.
Share His Grace. Share His Truth. Share His Hope. Share His Love.

November 3, 2012

Day 298: Some Friend You Are

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Well, whadda know… I went a whole big chunk of time again not blogging. I am on a retreat this weekend called MomsAway (THE most amazing retreats I have ever been on…) and because I am away is probably why I have time to write. I suppose, though if I am really honest with myself, that I could MAKE time to write again if I were home. You see, writing is a bit like personal bible study or prayer: there MUST be a time every day set-aside for it, you must have solitude, you must set aside your to-do list (or have yet to have looked at it), and you must be deliberate about it.

Annnnnnnnd I have been none of those things lately for bible study, prayer, or writing.

And I think to myself now, How will I explain that to Christ? ……Wait. No…… How, at this very moment, how DO I explain that to Christ?

Can I truly look him in the face and say, I didn’t meditate on Your Word or pray to write about you because I wanted to sleep in???

But that is what I must say to Him now. And I am embarrassed to say it to Him. And ashamed. And regretful.

I am reminded of that song right now… What a friend we have in Jesus… But would Jesus say the same of me??? Would he say: What a friend I have in January? Hmmmmmmm, likely not. But as I look further into that hymn I am grabbed by the lyrics that follow…

What a friend we have in Jesus.
All our sins and griefs He’ll bear
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer.

O what peace we often forfeit
O what needless pain we bear.
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.

I am struck over and over again by those lines “O what peace we often forfeit… O what needless pain we bear.” How my life has danced around those sentences. When I think of the times in my life that I have carried burdens… that is where my gluttonous eating was able to bloom and grow. But I forfeited peace when I turned to a brownie. I carried needless pain when I turned to a bowl of cookie dough. or a milkshake. or a bag of chips (Cheetos… if we’re getting specific!). I traded the truth of God for a lie… I relied upon the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of all praise! (Romans 1:25)

And so I am keenly reminded (againnnnnn) of how important that daily connection to Him is in my life. And I am reminded of how “the faithful love of God never ends! His mercies never fail… never stop.” (Lamentations 3:22) And so now, againnnnnnn, I ask Him to “satisfy me each morning with His unfailing love.” (Psalm 90:14)

And I smile to myself… knowing that He will.

October 10, 2012

Day 274: Soul Rest

Well, things are decidedly better in my life.

This whole praising God thing has completely turned my spiritual frown… upside down!

I mean… it has just really refocused me on how awesome He is. How capable He is. And how minor I am in comparison to His Glory.

Kinda put me in my place, so to say. But it also really made me remember WHY I love Him. Why I am in awe that He lowers Himself to communicate with me. Why I want to follow Him.

Anyway, so I really have focused on my spiritual renewal lately and not as much my eating.

Can you say… Cheetos?

And, by the way, those Fig Newton “fruit thins”… yeah, they are cookies. Do not be deceived. Fruit thins… pfffffff.

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So anyway, last night I was just… missing my “new” self. And I asked God… what should I do? How do I get back on “the wagon”?

His answer… You already know.

And I did already know.

And don’t we oftentimes already know what to do?

So, I started another hard-core Daniel Fast today. I’m thinking more and more that I might need to be like my friend Alice and do a hard-core Daniel Fast for way more long term.

So, for the next month I will be eating fruits, veggies, nuts, coffee, and rice and pasta only when it’s a “necessary” part of a meal.

Chips? Out.
Bread? Out.

And just today… even though I had a major sugar crash around 4pm… it was soooooooo nice to be free again. Free from my son’s leftover Cheetos. Free from the last mini-homemade-snickerdoodle muffin. Free from saltines. slices of sandwich bread.

It’s so nice to commit to God once more to honor Him, and in doing so, to lose my struggles and my burdens.

His “yoke” truly is light. And I am already enjoying this rest for my soul. (Matt 11).

May 11, 2012

Day 122: Eat His Words

My husband brought home a surprise Olive Garden dinner for us last night. It was my fav OG meal: shrimp fettucini alfredo, OG salad, stuffed mushrooms, and… breadsticks.

Dern those things. I mean… don’t get me wrong. They are uh.maz.ing. Like truly one of the foods that was delish before I went on my Lent fast and was still delish after my Lent fast.

But I think as good as they are, I need a “break” from them… from bread and chips.

I have really been praying on what I should do and time and time again I feel pulled to stop eating them. My only reluctance comes from how it can limit some of my fav meals like enchiladas or this “chips n chicken” recipe both my husband and I love (I use mushrooms in my half).

So I’m going to try a “balance” for this one. I’m going to modify my covenant from “avoiding” breads and chips unless they are in a recipe to refraining from eating breads and chips unless they are an ingredient for a recipe.

Cause really, it’s just not worth it. Both breads and chips have become an issue that is slowly, stealthily creeping towards being “bigger” than Jesus in my mind.

If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away! It is much better for you to lose one of your limbs than to have your whole body go off to hell. Matthew 5:30

Of course, I’m not talking about cutting off a limb but it is a similar principle. There is something in my life that is taking my focus off of Christ… just like the chocolate and sugar was (although that was more severe for me which is why I know that I can afford myself no leniency with it)… so I am going to chop it off and rid that distraction.

Now for how long? For a month? Three months? The duration of the covenant?

Yeah… I think bread and chips are a big enough of an issue that they need to go for the rest of the year.

My mind was just teetering on writing this: {sigh} but then I thought, “Wait, think about how you really feel……” and there it was. Not disappointment. Not fear. Not regret.

Peace.
Relief.
Joy.

Truly… People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4

April 25, 2012

Day 106: He Is.

Like I mentioned yesterday, I met up with a friend who has recently started the covenant and it was really neat to talk through some things with her.

It acted as a reaffirmation that this isn’t just something that works only in my head, but that it is God. And He is the same God to me. to her. to Christy. to Debra. to Sherry. to all of us.

But one thing that really stuck with me as she and I talked was the area of comfort eating (or comfort shopping, or comfort dating, or drinking, cutting, smoking, TV watching, etc). Most of us seem to have something earthly that we turn to instead of God. For me, it was chocolate. And if I didn’t have chocolate well then any old food would do. But like I mentioned on Monday, after a while of not having chocolate, my mind went immediately to the Word of God for comfort. But it has taken 100+ days of renewing and retraining for that to happen.

Here’s my point. (Sorry, both my boys have been up a lot at night this week with nightmares or sickness so I’m in that “I’m totally exhausted so I’m going to ramble” kind of mode!)

So here is my point. Haha!

What I think was important is that I had to cut chocolate and sugar completely out of my comfort options. Doing so allowed me a chance to retrain my mind to turn to God for comfort. I needed chocolate to be a non-option so that I couldn’t make it my god. Just like God used to tell the Israelites to do whenever they conquered a new city or area: total destruction of anything that could sway their affection from Him.

But once I removed that other “god” of chocolate from my life, then it simply made it easier to turn to Him. And so now, it’s not about turning to Him for comfort as a second choice because chocolate isn’t there, but now it is about turning to Him because I realize how much better He is at comfort. at healing. at love. at hope. at relief. at joy. at peace.

• No chocolate bar can comfort me in my hour of sorrow.
• No new shirt will be able to heal me of sadness or regret.
• No husband, boyfriend, or lover can ever completely love me as I am.
• No beer will give me hope of a future.
• No cut on my arm will relieve my pain.
• No cigarette will bring joy to my life.
• No amount of TV will give my mind peace.

But He can give me all of those things. Because He is…comfort. healing. love. hope. relief. joy. peace.

He is…everything.

He is.

Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles. Psalm 119:50

March 28, 2012

Day Seventy-Eight: G.I.P.

My favorite miracle has always been the woman in Mark 5 who had been bleeding for years. She had suffered… for twelve. years.

And I know that some people have already heard this about her and the background around her, but just in case someone had missed it… not only had this woman been suffering physically, but she had also been suffering socially. A woman that was bleeding was considered “unclean” (for obvious reasons) and was not allowed into the community. For most women this would only last a week or so but this woman had not been allowed into her community, her church, possibly even her family for twelve years.

There are so many different lessons that this one woman can teach, but more than anything I just like to identify with this woman…

A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.

Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?” His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” But he kept on looking around to see who had done it.

Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”

I find a connection with her for two reasons:

1) The woman had tried all the ways of the world to be healed and had gotten worse. Not only was she suffering physically, socially, but now she was also suffering financially… and had gotten worse. I identify with this when I think of the money I spent on “good for you food” that wasn’t that good for you… on SlimFast (yeah, remember what a waste that was for me?)… on pills… teas… herbs… exercise equipment… you name it, I probably bought it. And yet, at the beginning of this covenant I was worse off than I had ever been… eating a mixing bowl full of cookie dough.

But I suppose that is what drove her to go to Jesus. She had nothing… literally, nothing… to lose. An unclean woman touching a rabbi could have gotten her in some big trouble. And she would have made Jesus unclean as well. But all she wanted was healing. All I wanted was healing. And I had nothing to lose by going this way with Jesus. By allowing Him to “clean me up”.

2) She was healed and her suffering was over. Even though I am already beginning to feel the relief of healing of my addiction, I’m sure that it doesn’t even compare to the relief that she must have felt. But to hear Jesus say the words, “Your suffering is over.”

Over. Done. Gone. Forgotten. Closed. Completed. Ended. Finished. Past.

And I like to imagine her as the crowd’s attention, and Jesus’s attention, was turned toward Jairus because his messengers arrived telling him that his daughter had died… I imagine her still on her knees. Watching as the crowd walked away. Watching as Jesus walked away. I imagine that it must have been like seeing the world for the first time in 12 years… seeing that it could be full of hope. full of beauty. full of peace. full of relief.

And then I see myself in such the same way. Jesus has ended my suffering. He has ended my slavery to this lust for food. And now, because I am healed. Because I am no longer suffering, then I can… Go. In. Peace.

March 13, 2012

Day Sixty-Three: Written For Me

I was reading through Romans last week and I came across this chapter. I totally said to myself, “This chapter sounds like it was written for me!”

So I’ll go through this chapter and make comments in between each part of the scripture.

Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables.

Oooooo, apparently I have a “sensitive conscience”! Wow… sounds fancy. But I will say that my “sensitive conscience” is only “scheduled” to last a year!

Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval.

And even though I don’t right now “judge” or “condemn” people that don’t follow the same thing as me, I can see how as I lose weight more and more this might become a temptation for me. Since I do know that it is working and I do think that it is awesome. I am afraid that my zealousness to help someone else break free from their chains might be misconstrued as me glorifying myself or nay-saying their diet. When I know that it is not what I’m eating that is making the difference (although I do think that it is good stuff), but that God is changing my heart and mind.

In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God.

I love how this brings the focus back away from the food itself and to honoring God through my choices. It is a good reminder of what I am really doing… trying to honor God. Through my sacrifice and even just through allowing Him to be the one to “fix” me instead of relying upon myself. I don’t know… I think, based on reading through the Old Testament, that God really likes it when we attribute any of our abilities to Him.

For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead.

I lovvvvvvvvve this part: “If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord.” That sounds like it should be in a movie or something with some guy wearing war paint on his face (a la Braveheart)!  I just want to say that with my fist up in the air like in a power stance!

So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.

Ouch. That’s not entirely a pleasant reminder, and yet it’s one that I have been thinking on a lot lately…

For the Scriptures say, “`As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, `every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God.'”

Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.

Good call… this is a good summary of how to change my heart… live in such a way that I will not cause another believer to stumble. That means that I must be gracious in my speech. gentle. kind. understanding.

I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good. For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

BAM! That’s the money right there… it is all about living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Amen and Amen!

If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.

Again, what can I do to build up my brothers and sisters? Serve Christ with the attitude of living a life of goodness, peace, and joy.

Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble. You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.

Ooooooo, this will be one to remember when the covenant is “over”: if you have doubts if you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. Eating what I know is wrong IS a sin. Point blank. As much as I don’t want that to be true… it is. Right there. In the Word. And sinning does not please God. Sinning does not get blessing. Sinning gets not-so-pretty consequences.

So, I think in summary, I’m going to go back to verse 17: For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. He says that is the matter of the Kingdom of God… I think I prefer to think about the Kingdom of God more than anything here on earth, like food. That is what I want my mind to move from… from food thoughts to Kingdom thoughts.

(Romans 14:1-23)

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