Monday, January 18, 2016

"comfort food"

They don't call it "comfort food" for nothing...

It's the beginning of the new year & the time when my church does "The Daniel Fast."

It's a glorious, somewhat terrifying 21 days of eating only fruits, veggies & whole grains while we purpose to spend more time with God in our daily lives. We're basically setting the tone for the new year & letting our flesh know that it's not the boss.

It's always a time that reveals a lot about your character, desires & motivations.

This year I couldn't believe how much emotional stock I put in food. Really it should not have come as a surprise looking back, but the cold-turkey dismissal of all things sweet, savory, greasy, yummy & satisfying was a shock to my system.  & I came to understand some things.

1. Food releases pleasure & can bring a false sense of comfort/healing, as can entertainment, shopping, & the list goes on. The issue isn't the food, it's your heart. If you turn to food every time you're feeling emotional, you'll become an emotional eater & you'll be caught in a cycle. If however you turn to God in those moments, you become healed. That's a major difference!

2. Laziness will destroy you. Not only will it cause you to gain weight (both physical & emotional), it will keep you out of your promise land & begin to skew the truth of the Word of God in your eyes. Rather than living an active life of faith, you begin to say things like, "tithing doesn't work," or "healing isn't for today" because you don't see them happening.

Somehow in church life I got it into my brain that if I just existed in this Christian life all the good things that God promised would automatically happen for me & none of the bad things in life would ever happen to me. But the Bible says that faith without works is dead - that means I need to do something. It's not about earning God promises, it's about living a life that shows you believe Him. Faith engages God, acknowledges that He is present & then takes the step that He asks of it. Whether that step is sharing your faith, praying for the sick, believing through tragedy, dancing in worship or giving your last $10 in the offering.

Don't let life make you lazy! Don't run to anything else for comfort, it doesn't have the power to heal you. Run your race! Run to God, run with faith, it is not as hard as your flesh wants you to believe.

You don't just sit at the table & expect the food to get in your stomach! You gotta pick up the fork &'s not hard to do, but it makes all the difference.


Monday, January 4, 2016

the greatest resolution

One of the greatest resolutions you can make in 2016 is not something you DO, but rather something you THINK.

What you THINK determines what & how you DO. 

One of my favorite scriptures is Philippians 4:8. It's so powerful in it's simplicity. 
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

I don't know about you, but I can have a lot of thoughts run through my brain that are the very opposite of the things in this verse. & that's been especially true this last year & a half.

But guess what, we have the ability (& the commission) to change the way we think! It's time to renew our minds to the Word. We can't always control the thoughts that run through our minds, but we sure can stack the deck in our favor. 

(Someone's) Mama always said: garbage in, garbage out.

If you want to start to take control of your thought life, start to take control of what your eyes see & your ears hear. Spend more time in front for the Bible than in front of the TV, internet, games, or even other books. 

I'm not saying you have to cut out all non-Christian material from your life, but how bad do you want it? 

It's a simple "formula." 

Spend time in the Word. The Word brings faith, and as faith grows so does your thought life. It is an automatic response to the living Word. Don't leave your mind to it's own thoughts, take control of the foundation. Your mind doesn't become renewed simply by catching every bad thought that runs through it, but rather by filling it with truth & giving yourself something to fight with!

It's not a one-time-flip-a-switch-cure-all, it's a lifestyle & a life-line. God didn't leave you to battle alone. He gave you the tools & the more you use the tools, the more you realize God is bigger than the enemy we face. 

Tools can't build anything while they are laying on the ground. So pick them up & start renewing your mind. It'll be the best resolution you ever made.