Friday, September 26, 2008

Habit Challenge, Day 10!

How's it going?

I was in bed on time last night, but not the night before since we got to San Antonio late!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

He Is Great!

That's why He does great things with small seeds. This morning, I had a thought to not sweeten my coffee as a small way to deny myself. (In Matthew 16:24, Jesus says that if we want to follow Him, we must first deny ourselves...even before taking up our cross.) Then I thought, "That's's not big enough to be a real 'sacrifice.'" Then I felt like He said, "I do great things with small seeds."

That was encouraging to me!

Don't deny Him the opportunity to do great things with your small seeds today. Have faith that He sees, He cares and He is pleased with every seed that we sow to Him.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Marriage Advice From A Couple Of Experts

Priorities Part 1

I have been wanting to post about priorities for a while now, but every time I thought about doing it, it seemed like I had too much to say. But I am going to give it a least get started anyway!

I am mainly going to focus on prioritizing our time. I don't know if this is the most important way to prioritize, but it is the way that I have learned the most about in my own walk and the way that has borne the most fruit in my life. However, please don't overlook the other ways we show priorities: resources, thoughts, attitudes, I am sure I am missing something! :-)

Almost everyone expresses a "need" for more time. My husband and I always chuckle when we think back to college days. We thought we were "so busy." Ha! We had ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD compared to now. I am not even going to go into our schedules, but trust me when I tell you, we have a lot more on our plates now than we did then. And we both worked more than one job in college while being actively involved in church (leading small groups) and school full time.

Then when we had our first child...same thing...we were "so busy." Then #2 came along. Then the famous saying, "One is like none. Two is like ten." Now we have three and we are outnumbered, but I am sure those who have more than 3 think we have a lot more time than they do. Are you getting the picture? (By the way, please don't "hear" criticism in this post. There absolutely is none...just an attempt to help.) :-)

Also, believe me when I tell you that I am more peaceful and in control of my time now than I was then. What I mean is, I feel a lot more confident that I am accomplishing what He has for me to do on a daily basis. I don't constantly have that "I am behind" feeling like I did then. Now, sometimes I do feel that way but it is usually because I have not been doing what the Lord has told me to do or because I am comparing my accomplishments to others' accomplishments or to what others think I should be accomplishing.

A couple of years ago, I learned a truth that has has revolutionized the way I look at time. Before Jesus died, one of His last prayers included this phrase: "I have finished the work which You have given Me to do." I believe it was Nancy Leigh DeMoss who used that verse to apply it to time management. The truth is that Jesus did not heal everyone or talk with everyone while He was on the Earth. There were many, many "good" things that He simply did not do...and many lonely and hurting people that He did not touch. BUT He did everything that the Father gave Him to do.

Think about that. It's not about what WE think we should do...what seems best to us. It's about what The Father has for us to do in this moment. And, "I just don't have time" simply is not an excuse for not accomplishing what the Lord calls us to. Either it's not His will or we spent the time He allotted on something else. We may have had the best of intentions, but it just was a waste of time.

I love the phrase, "Haste makes waste." It is true on so many of which is the fact that when we are too hasty to decide to do something without consulting with the Lord, we just waste time. His time.

Speaking of priorities, I need to get back to home duties right now. Let me know your thoughts as well as anything you might like to be addressed on the topic of priorities.

More to come!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I Just Want To Say...

I love Jesus!
And He loves

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

His Promise Part 4

I just have to share really quickly that I have been experiencing another evidence of His promise to set me free from being enslaved to food!

When times of depression, fear, anxiety or boredom some, I am usually tempted to eat. Eating has always been a way to escape and a way to make myself feel better.

My goal, obviously is to resist temptation, but lately when I have given in, there has been little to no pleasure in eating. I thank God for this. Although in the past I would eventually feel worse after eating for the wrong reasons, I would feel better for a little while at least. This is a big change and an answer to prayer.

This morning I have been dealing with some tough things. And this on top of a taxing day yesterday. I ate breakfast even though I was not hungry. I just assumed I would...then later, in an attempt to numb some pain, I poured myself some cereal. I didn't even want to eat it. It was just like, "this is what I do when I am sad." For the first time in a situation like that I admitted to myself that:

a. I did not even want the cereal.
b. It would not make me feel better.
c. I would actually feel worse later.
d. His grace was sufficient.

My first instinct was to dump it in the sink, but I don't have a disposal so I quickly dumped it in the toilet! Isn't that funny?

I am starting to see that my bad habit patterns are more of the reason I go to food as an idol lately. Not because that is my desire. It reminds me of something I learned in my training as behavior analyst. When analyzing the function of a behavior, sometimes it's just, "this is what I do...this is what I've always done."

Praise God! Even though I am going through a tough time, He encouraged me with this. I am so grateful to Him for doing the work that He promised to do. It is all His doing!

"When I am weak, then I am strong!" 2 Corinthians 12:10

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Habit Challenge Starts Tomorrow!

Okay, Bird, Debs, Layna, Missy, Tami and...Me! Habit Challenge starts tomorrow! I will do my very best to have a check-in post every day and I encourage you to pop in and let us know that you are on track. Just a word of encouragement: think how great you will feel once you have completed the challenge! Don't give up. Persevere and make this a priority.

Let's go!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Have Your Weapons Ready!

Here is an exercise that some of us in the book discussion participated in and I have found it to be a big help. We focused particularly on food-related issues, but it could be applied to any area where you are consistently tempted and need a quick "reality check." If you have these scriptures already "ready" in your mind and even on cards, then when temptation comes, you have an immediate weapon to use against the devil when He tempts you to believe lies. Similar to the way Jesus combated satan in Matthew 4.

Below is the discussion question and my answer in bold:

List the three main times or situations where you are tempted to overeat. Some examples are: stress, anger, greed and depression. Next to each tempting situation (or "trigger,") give a Bible verse that you can memorize and call to mind to help you to resist the devil. (See page 67.)

worried: Psalm 94:19, Proverbs 12:25
tired: Matthew 11:28-30, Isaiah 40:31
food-related gathering...feeling "entitled" or like I should eat since "everyone else is:" Proverbs 3:5-6, Proverbs 3:7-8

Depressed: didn't get to this one...but I'm hoping someone else does this one. :-

And if you are interested in starting some scripture memory as part of the Habit Challenge coming up, this might be a good place to start. An example of a small measurable habit to form over a 21 day period might be to choose three scriptures to write on index cards. Choose one scripture each week to read, say, 3-5 times per day. Hopefully by the end of the week you would have it memorized. The next week do another and so on.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Habit Challenge Time.

Well, it's been a while, but I need another habit challenge. I have fallen back to my old ways of staying up too late while still waking up early. I feel so sluggish! My new habit? Be in bed by 9:45. Lights out by 10:00.

Do you have a new habit you'd like to form? They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. so let's do it together! The challenge will begin Wednesday and go through Tuesday, October 7th. Here are the rules:

1. Your habit must be measurable. For example, "I will get dressed before 12:00 each day." :-) Not, "I will try to get dressed earlier in the day."
2. Your habit must be a small step forward from where you currently are. If you don't currently read the Bible on a regular basis and want to form the habit of reading daily, your habit might be, "I will read at least one chapter or 10 minutes every day." Not , "I will read 5 chapters a day."
3. You must commit to "doing" your habit EVERY DAY. That is the only way this will (hopefully) become a habit. If there are exceptions, name them up front. For example, my commitment to going to bed by 9:45 will not apply to Friday nights.
4. Is it too much to ask that you check in every day to let us know how you are doing? At least check in a couple of times a week. If you would like to check in daily, let me know in the comments and I will post a check-in post every day. I could use the accountability!

If you need some ideas, habits can deal with:
*sleep habits
*time with God/in the Word
*eating habits (One of my past habits was to sit down while eating.)
*relationships (Encouraging your spouse daily would be an example.)
*cleaning/de-cluttering your home

I have to admit I am a little scared. I am not completely confident I can do this, but I have to try. I have been dragging the past couple of weeks and I think lack of sleep is the culprit.

Oh, and I have a prize this time! If you successfully "do" your habit for at least 19/21 days, I will write a haiku about you! (Hey, that rhymed!) Yes, can you tell I am sleep-deprived? ;-)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

His All-Sufficient Grace

I found this jewel-of-a-quote on Christina's blog, My "Thin Within" Journey. She is quoting The Book, "Thin Within" which is quoting Kay Arthur:

Don't struggle in self-effort to be better. Don't determine that you are going to 'try harder.' Acknowledge your need of His all-sufficient grace and go forward, surrendering and trusting in the power of God's transforming grace. 'As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him' (Col. 2:6). You were saved by faith; therefore, you are to walk in faith. It may be one step at a time, but walk. You can say, 'I can't,' as long as in the next breath you say, 'But God, You can.'

I just LOVE that!!

Jeremiah 2:13

For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,
And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.

The Lord was speaking through the prophet Jeremiah about the Israelites' worship of false gods. Rarely do we see God's people bowing down to idols of wood, clay and stone these days, but what about the idols of money, food, sex, alcohol, even people? What makes something an idol in our lives?

If we worship it.

What is worship? I probably don't have the perfect explanation for this. I know it is NOT limited to lighting candles, offering sacrifices or bowing down to it like we might envision. God makes it clear in His word that he cares more about our hearts than our actions.

The 4th definition offered in my Merriam-Webster dictionary says that worship is "extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem."

In Matthew 22:36-37, Jesus states that the greatest commandment is, "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." (Deut. 6:5)

Aren't we supposed to love our spouse, children, friends, etc? Obviously the answer is "yes" since God commands it. (And common sense!) But even then, our love for people (or anything else) should never come before or exceed our love for God. As best as I can tell, that is when someone or something becomes an idol.

If we obey it (or our desire for it) instead of obeying God, it's an idol. If we find that our heart yearns for it more than for God, it's an idol. If we prioritize it over the Lord with our time, resources and/or our thoughts, it's an idol.

Dangers of idolatry:

I couldn't possibly go into all of the dangers of idolatry, but I will expand on the two that are named in this passage:

1. "They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,"

When we worship idols, we turn from God. He does not allow us to serve both Him and them. We choose our own way and we sheep then don't have a shepherd. We are exposed to all kinds of danger.

2. "
And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water."

When we turn away from God and turn to idols, we have an expectation that the idol will meet some need(s) in our lives. But the fact is, no matter what they promise to deliver, they are broken cisterns. They can hold no water. We were created to crave and thrive on Living Water...nothing else will do. Idols will always leave us empty. The time spent serving idols is always wasted...whether it is a moment or a lifetime.

Picture yourself dying of thirst. You see a fountain of fresh water. Instead of diving in and drinking as much as you need, you pick up a cup with a large crack in it. You hold it under the flow of water waiting for the cup to fill up so you can drink. How long will you stand there, waiting for the cup to fill up? It will never be full
. You will never be satisfied. You will only grow thirstier.

What do you do if you realize you have been serving one or more idols?

Thank the Lord for the gift of repentance! He gives us all of the grace we need to admit we have been serving idols, to repent, be completely forgiven and to turn back to Him. But we must remember that He demands full allegiance. Just as a husband, no matter how godly, will not share his wife with another man, God will not share our affections with idols. He is worthy of all of our affections and He knows that we will destroy ourselves if we continue to serve idols. No matter how deceived we may be, because He loves us, He won't allow us to continue on that path of destruction.

Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.
John 4:13-14

(This study was inspired by a teaching by Nancy Leigh Demoss at a Revive Our Hearts Conference. It is very applicable for me and my journey to recognize the idols in my own life.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


From The Diet Alternative book discussion:

Why is condemnation such a favorite tool of the devil? (p. 68)

"Because [the devil] knows if he can get you into condemnation rather than repentance, he can probably keep you from going to God...but this is the most important time to go to God."

Don't forget that if you hear the voice of condemnation, it is NOT the Lord! Often it seems right to "punish" ourselves with condemnation, but when we do, we just play right into satan's hands. No punishment is enough to purge us of sin. Only the blood of Jesus washes away our sin. Thank You, Lord for Your gifts of repentance and forgiveness!

Friday, September 5, 2008


For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!

Job 19:25-27

Do you yearn for Him? If you are like me, you mostly yearn to yearn. I mean, the yearning is in there...somewhere...often masked by pitiful substitute yearnings. If you don't yearn, don't pretend that you do. Admit the truth to Him. He knows already anyway. :-) It's okay to pray, "Lord please give me a heart that yearns for You alone."

He wants to give you eyes to see that you truly do yearn for see that "My heart and my flesh cry out for the Living God." Psalm 84:2

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Freedom Is Coming!

Many of you know that one of my main prayer requests lately has been for the Lord to free me from constantly thinking about food and food-related things. It seemed like no matter how much freedom I experienced in my eating, my mind was often consumed with thoughts of food. One situation that tends to encourage my thinking off-track is when it's a meal time and I am not hungry. I will either feel disappointed that I may not "get" to eat breakfast at all, wonder several times when I will "get" to eat or think about what I will eat when I actually get hungry. Yes, I realize this will sound strange if you haven't dealt with these issues yourself. It makes no sense at all. :-)

Anyways, because of a later and heavier than usual dinner last night, it is now 10:20am and I have not been hungry yet for breakfast. But I just realized it. That may sound strange, but it encourages me that freedom is coming! Thank you, Lord!