Recently we watched a documentary on Netflix called, Food, Inc. If you watch it you may never eat again! It was very eye opening, to say the least. No wonder we have such health problems, and if you believe what some people say, it's no accident. There is a big move toward population control, and many say they are weeding out people, or causing sterility, through foods, vaccinations, etc. I don't know what I really think about all of that, but I honestly would not be surprised a bit. It's cheaper to eat a nasty fast food burger than to buy fresh vegetables - which is tragic. I don't think I have to spell out how that works...certain people groups and social classes can afford the healthier options and certain ones cannot. It's a wicked thing to consider...but so is Planned Parenthood...same agenda.
Anyway, before I get any further up on my soapbox, whether or not it's planned or just stupidity, I know enough to know that what I put into my body will have major ramifications - for the positive or the negative. So, while I am tempted to try to change everything all at once, as is my usual method, I have decided to try to add some things into my diet and routine, rather than start taking lots of things out. Otherwise, I would probably fail miserably, which is my usual result ;)
For starters I am going to try desperately to drink more water. Can I just say that I pretty much hate drinking water...unless I am very thirsty and it's very cold. But I'm going to be a big girl and just do it. I drink too much coffee, as well. Coffee is a diuretic, so it sucks water away from your body. To make up for that, you need even more water. I'm certain I live in a constant state of dehydration. According to recommendations, I would need to drink 63 oz of water, plus another 8 for each cup of coffee. That's a LOT of water! We'll see how that goes.
I also went and bought some green superfood powder, with wheatgrass, algae, and lots of other green things and probiotics. It's really not too bad if you mix it with juice. I just got our juicer back out. It's a really nice juicer Dave's parents gave us years ago, but we just haven't used it much. Corban and I just made our first batch: carrot, celery and apple. I kind of liked it, but Corban was not a fan. My kids will not touch a vegetable of any kind, so I must find a way to get them drinking this stuff. I feel some smoothies coming on...we do love a smoothie around here. Whatever it takes...you can sneak all kinds of things into a smoothie.
Finally...exercise. Ugh. I do enough moving around already don't I? Apparently not. They (whoever "they" are) recommend using a rebounder - fancy name for a tiny trampoline. I might could get into that. It supposedly is one of the few things that gets your lymphatic system flowing...which is kind of important if you want all the yuck your lymph nodes filter out to actually leave your body. I think I would like that very much ;) I could jump while watching one of the 5 channels we now have...ha! Or Netflix. I found a fascinating series about the history of African Americans in our country...it's very interesting and honest, too, I think. Not what you might expect. That was just a bit of bonus information.
I'll update on my progress, as I am certain you'll be on the edge of your seats. Now, I'm going to take a nap...I've got bronchitis and didn't sleep much at all last night. That cough syrup with hydrocodone let me down big time! Think it could have been the steroids I took right before?
"Because you gladly lean to lead the humble, I shall gladly kneel to leave my pride"
If I really mean that then maybe what needs to be purged is the need to feel respected, understood, accepted...to be willing to put aside my reputation and concern myself with His. And clearly I'm not quite there yet...but I want to be.
Listen to this:
"Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Genesis 50
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1
My natural tendency when I am in distress is to ask to be rescued, "God make it go away!" But often, He says , "Not yet." When those not yets come, then what? "Consider it pure joy." Say what? According to these verses, there are some good things that come from suffering and trials...perseverence, wisdom, patience, maturity, character, and even hope, of all things. Hope in the midst of hardship? Absolutely. Our hope is not in circumstances changing, but in the One who has the power to change them...or not change them. When you shift your focus off of feeling better, and shift it toward God, toward bringing Him glory in all things, you gain an eternal perspective. And that's where hope is...in the joy set before us, ahead of us, and that can give us joy now.
We are not completed works. We are in process...we haven't become, but are becoming. In order to become something beautiful, something pure and spotless, without mixture...24K...we have to go through the fire - the Refiner's fire. Don't serve your circumstances, make them serve you. What the enemy means for harm, God intends for good. Stay in the process and plunder the situation for its riches - take everything out with you that you can.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
Meanwhile, I cannot stop listening to this song. This line especially, has become my prayer (that it would become true of me):
"Because you gladly lean to lead the humble, I shall gladly kneel to leave my pride"
which now has me wondering if He lets me do and say things that feel ridiculous to that end. Am I willing to look foolish or be misunderstood? I just want to learn to love people...why am I so awkward at it?
I did pay attention because order is the very thing that I've been seeking. If I am going to be able to accomplish anything outside of my home, do the things that are in my heart to do, my home has got to be in order. There has to be a baseline set...where things are basically as they should be, and only require regular maintenance (which is time consuming, but not as much when you are starting from chaos). My Sunday afternoon was VERY productive and I kicked some clutter butt! Sorry, that sounded juvenile didn't it? Guess what...I don't care ;)
I have decided (or felt led) not to lead a small group this spring for this purpose: to get my world in order and to seek and listen to God about what I am to be doing, where my focus should be. The opportunities and needs of our world are overwhelming, so I am asking that God would lead me by compassion. In other words, He would give me His compassion for the people and things He is calling me to focus on...where I should put my time and energy and where we should invest our finances. You do know that giving sacrificially to ministry is an investment, right? Listen to this from The Message version of the Bible (this is not your version to use for study, but I like the way this was worded.)
"Don't hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it's safe from moth and rust and burglars. It's obvious, isn't it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being." Matthew 6:19-21
Here is the link to yesterday's message at church...take a listen...it was very practical - if you apply the principles, your life will change. Period. Your disorder may not be the same as mine, but I guarantee you've got some things out of whack...we all do. It's just too easy in this world to get sidetracked. Every now and then it's just good to take inventory. Take a listen...
http://www.churchofthehighlands.com/ you can watch it here or download it from itunes.
A couple more people did come in, but still...I debated about whether to eat off the buffet or the menu. I figured off the menu would be fresher, but I ended up opting for the buffet. It was still steaming so I assume that means it stayed nice and hot and nothing was growing on it. I hope. It was pretty good, but honestly I have yet to find a Chinese restaurant that can serve me breaded chicken that isn't soggy. The rice was really good, though, and that's my favorite thing.
I learned this from my fortune cookie: in English, we say two heads are better than one (that was my fortune). In Spanish, they apparently say, four eyes see better than two (that was the Spanish version on the back).
We then went to Gap where I tried on about 5 pairs of jeans, and came out with none. I'm obsessed with jeans and finding the perfect pair. I thought had found them in my Gap sexy boot jeans, but either they stretched or I shrunk. I never used to understand people who said they couldn't find jeans that fit, but now I get it...it's so hard!
After that we came back home and played a game of Scrabble Flash with Caeley. If you haven't played it before, it's an electronic game where you have five squares, and each one has a letter (the letters change each round). You put them together to spell words and they are programmed to "know" when you've made a word. We were playing the game where you have a set amount of time to make one four letter word from your letters and the time gets shorter and shorter as you go on. I think they have some serious bugs to work out. We failed to make words like "fiar" (not even an English word), "oldy" (not a word, according to answers.com, anyway), and "defi" (which was listed on answers.com as an obscure word). Next time we play old-school Scrabble, you better believe I'll be busting out some of these.
All in all it was a great night and was much needed. I had been feeling sad and disconnected for the last few days. I guess I just needed some fun and laughter with the family.
Proverbs 17:22 - A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
- I secretly wish I could get a teeny tiny cute little diamond nose ring. But, a.) I'm too old, b.) I'm not cool enough to pull it off and c.) I'd probably change my mind immediately because I would worry that I looked like a "heathern" and have a third hole in my nose (if you have a nose ring, I don't think you look like a "heathern")
- I have a dream that one day I will be the voice of some cartoon character, like Dory, in Finding Nemo, for a Disney movie.
- When I'm alone at home, or in the car, I talk to myself and sing in wierd voices just to keep myself entertained. Sometimes I skip (not in the car).
- I wish I had a big old truck with huge mud tires to drive just for fun.
- I HATE having my picture taken because I always look awful. And I secretly wonder if it's really that I always look that way!
- I once had my driver's license suspended because I forgot to pay a ticket.
- I wish I was on staff at my church. I don't know what I would do, though. I'm not exactly bursting with skills.
- I want to write a book. But, about what, I don't know, yet.
- This one was originally in the post, but I deleted it. Now I'm adding it back, since I'm no longer in an official leadership position at any church anywhere ;) There once existed, in a file, on a desk in a sheriffs office, a beautiful mugshot of my face...little sign with the numbers and all. I got caught sharing a beer with an under-aged friend, in college...17 years ago...long time ago...and had to get booked. Photo, fingerprints, the works. Oh yeah, and they showed up at my parents' house at 6am with an arrest warrant. Rude. My dad drove me down to get booked. He made me ride in the back of the sherriff's car. It was an amazing experience. Very strange.
What are the moments you cherish?
(for the record the typo in the title of the video is not mine...it came that way ;) (and I know it's terrible quality, but it's all I could find).
I think we all know I'm not exactly a hard core football fan, and this year it's for two reasons. One, I have FOUR kids, three of which are four and under, so I really don't have time to pay attention to football...a game. Second, all the controversy that surrounded Auburn this year put a bad taste in my mouth, with all the nastiness from every direction. Again I say, it's a game. A big one, but a game, a pastime, nonetheless.
Having said that, I still have to say a big WAR EAGLE! I have grown up watching and loving Auburn football and am so proud of the team and coaching staff. There are some really fabulous coaches on this team, ones that really do have integrity and that love Jesus. I know this because I have seen it with my own eyes (just ask Jada, adopted from Africa by the Grimes family...and the cutest little thing you have ever seen!) Not to mention the chaplain, Chette Williams, who is phenomenal. I congratulate them on a hard earned National Champion title.
Later I hope to take the kids to Toomers Corner to gawk at all the toilet paper that is everywhere. We were watching the live web cam at Toomers and Riley said, "I want a paper towel [toilet paper] tree. They are funny!"
And now, enjoy the "Tunnel Video" - Christopher loves this... War Eagle!!
For me this weather was all about footie pajamas and my super cute rain boots. I tried for what seemed like eternity to get a cute picture of my boys together in their PJs but Christopher would not be still long enough and Corban just wasn't having it. I only got one of Christopher that wasn't a blur of motion or his backside
And here Corban is saying, "You stop it! Don't take my picture!" He was in time out just seconds after this, when Daddy swooped in. Sorry buddy!
Sidenote: Do you ever find yourself taking really cute pictures and then when you go back and look the only thing you notice is all the mess in the background? I didn't realize what a mess the living room was until this picture. Sorry...disregard. I promise it never looks like this. Only this one time. :)
Riley has no footie pajamas. I considered buying her some last week, but I thought better of it. This is my child that refuses to wear clothes, so full body coverage might send her over the edge. As we speak we are all fully clothed and she's playing happily in her Little Mermaid panties, pretending to be a "baby doggy named Baby Zeus" (from The Dog That Saved Christmas). I guess it's still okay that I say that she's in her panties...she's only four.
And I get to wear my super cute polka dotted rain boots...yay!
Well, like I said, we cut our cable off a few days ago, and there's a little thing called the BCS Championship game coming on tonight. So, I'm off to figure out how to hook my laptop up to the TV. Dave is pushing pills at Walmart today so I've got to figure this out for myself. I might just be watching it on my tiny screen...bleh. If anybody has an s-video cable I can run from my computer to the TV, holla! I'll trek out into the icy wintry mix to pick it up :)
So, what I am going to do is make a list of the biggies and then maybe try and tackle them one at a time. And I may not ever fully know the answers to some.
- What is the ultimate purpose of reaching out and ministering to our broken world? Is it just to relieve suffering here and now?
- What should the purpose of our church services be? Should they be primarily evangelical?
- God clearly values human life because He made us in His image (see Gen. 9:6), but what exactly does that mean? What's He really saying and what are the implications?
- How can I be relevant to the culture without being fully immersed in it...without conforming to it? How do I love people where they are, but uphold a righteous standard? Or am I just legalistic, as some have said? How do you represent a God that is both loving and righteous and do it with integrity?
- When it comes to my personal healing - emotional, physical, or whatever - is it just for my benefit or is there a higher purpose? Or is it both? Does He just want me to feel better or is there more to it?
- Has our worship become self-worship? For example, was the joy set before Jesus me, or was it heaven? Was it really because He "saw my face," or was it that He longed to see His Father's face again? Was it that He was obedient unto death and was about to hear "well done good and faithful servant?" Do I love Him because He does things for me? If it seems He hasn't "done anything for me lately," do I lose my affection?
I may have to come back and add to this list but for now these are the big questions on my mind. I'd love to hear any comments on them.
Kind of an abrupt ending I guess, but I am dog tired. Dave made me go to the gym with him today because he said I need exercise to have more energy. Why have I been so tired all day then ;) He's probably right but my knees are killing me and I'm whooped, so it didn't work yet.
The same is true of my Christian life. John Piper has me thinking on that very question and is helping me piece together some things I've been thinking on for a while. What is at the bottom of my joy? When I boil everything down, what do I really want? Is my goal to glorify God? Again, to glorify God is to give an accurate representation of who He is...to honor Him rightly and to reflect Him accurately. That's all that will really count.
I have so much more to say on that, but no time right now. I really think I am in the middle of a major shift and am just trying to process through some of it.
But, I am reminded that His mercy is new every morning. This behavior doesn't characterize my every day, and she will come out in the morning when she wakes up, smiling and ready for a hug. And we will start over. New day. Yay.
James said faith without works is dead. You have no faith at all, if it isn't demonstrated with good works. I can say I believe the lights will come on if I flip the switch, but if I sit in the darkness complaining about the darkness, you might wonder if I really believe the light switch works? God has been raising the level of compassion in me and honestly I have been pretty raw, and crying a lot, and I don't really like it. It's a new place for me, and I have no idea what to do with any of it. I don't know how to respond or where to go.
Jen Hatmaker, the author of Interrupted, which I am currently reading/devouring, suggested I read a particular book(I don't know her personally, but I had emailed her and she responded with a few pieces of advice). Well, I don't buy anything unfamiliar without reading reviews first, so I read reviews of the book. And they were all over the place. From what I read I can tell that I may not agree with the authors' approach or theology 100%, so it might be one of those I would have to pull out just what was useful to me (or learn something new...imagne that).
Several reviewers said that the authors made light of the necessity for salvation and boiled the entire gospel down to love for people in a general sense. That the authors are critical of people who believe in absolute truth. If that's true then I would take issue with that. Who knows what the authors really said, though, because people hear things through their own filters most of the time. It's really beside the point.
The point is that all that negativity rubbed off on me, I think, but also it raises the question of balance. I hate the question of balance. I am a very black and white kind of thinker, and so when something is both/and, instead of either/or, I have a problem. The truth is that God is love, AND He is justice. People need food and shelter and water, but they also need a cure for their eternal condition. So how do we do both? On one side we have people who just love, love, love and don't want to preach the gospel, just live it. On the other side we have people who just want to be preachy and tell people what to do, but don't feel compassion or try to get on their level or understand or give dignity to them. We have to mature to the place that we are both compassionate and truth telling...wise, but always motivated by love.
I was so excited for what God has been showing me, then I read all those crappy reviews and I started thinking, maybe I'm getting off track into some liberal make people feel better thing, that is trying to completely deconstruct everything about Christianity to water it down...to hide the Holy God thing, and spotlight the Loving God thing. But BOTH are valid and both are true...and your teaching is nothing if it isn't true. So, after realizing that all the negative things I read were clouding my perspective, and of course recognizing where in the month I am, I am back to this from Matthew 25:
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
I will continue on this journey to see what it is God is doing in me and what He is calling me/us to, and trust Him to show me the balance in it all. People often debate about who we should be generous to, who is "my neighbor," will this person ever come to know Jesus and therefore is it good stewardship to give to him, will they waste it? On that issue I will stand on this quote from Interrupted (I LOVE this):
"He [Jesus] favors unmerited grace. To me, this is a wheat and weeds issue, and since that's not my call to make, I'll just err on the side of mercy and let Jesus sort it out at the harvest."
**I just got to a part in Interrupted where there is a quote from Mary DeMuth, that uses the very same language I used...the both/and versus the either/or. Funny. Should that be getting my attention? 1/8/2011