Archive for June, 2006

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Gut Rut

June 23, 2006

Recently I’ve stumbled onto a few disturbing realities that have alarmed me to the point I feel it’s only fair to warn others sooner than later. 

*Apparently when you stop exercising, practice overeating like a sport, and trade water for Diet Coke, you grow out of your clothes and don’t feel very energetic.  I had often heard that theory but dismissed it as myth and urban legend until recently.

*Late night TV has a strange relationship with my ability to get up early.  I haven’t totally solved this correlation but I’m close.

*Telling myself I’m going to eat right and exercise tomorrow is better translated, “Today I have decided that I would like to destroy my body as quickly as possible.”  (I actually just made myself laugh writing that one.)

O.K. but seriously, I can joke about this, but now let me get real with you.  I have been on a roller coaster ride with my health and the way I take care of myself for as long as I can remember.  It’s been two steps forward, three back for well over a decade.  I sat in my office with a trusted friend this week and poured out my heart asking for prayer to be able to get control of my health in a way that honors God with the body He has given me.  I shake my head and marvel at my wife’s patience with the countless times I have gone cold turkey from sugar and caffeine, this time for good!  Am I alone?  Anybody reading this relate at all?

I’ve got no easy answers here, though I do have some comical diet plans I have made up for a laugh, but I’ll spare you.  What I do know deep down is that God does care how I treat myself.  I know He does long for me to be healthy and energetic.  I know I sadden Him when I turn to food instead of Him in times of anxiety or stress.  And so I know one of my options is not to give up forever.  And so tonight once again I’m asking God for forgiveness, and for His help in changing my mindset. I want to quit abusing my body and to view what I eat and how I exercise as an extension of my relationship with Him.  Anybody care to join me?

1 Cor 6:19 19Or don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

Romans 6:12-14  12Do not let sin control the way you live;[a] do not give in to its lustful desires. 13Do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness, to be used for sinning. Instead, give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life. And use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God. 14Sin is no longer your master, for you are no longer subject to the law, which enslaves you to sin. Instead, you are free by God’s grace.

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Genuine

June 17, 2006

I used to buy expensive sunglasses.  I would shell out $60 to $100 dollars for a pair of Oakleys, only to inevitably sit on them within the first week.  At some point, I realized this wasn’t financially sound, so I stopped.  I’m not sure how this works scientifically, but cheap sunglasses last forever!  Can someone explain this to me? 

I’ll never forget when a buddy of mine came home from traveling with some fake Oakleys.  They looked like the real deal, but they cost $5 dollars.  We called them jokelys.  I learned you can get a lot more than just fake brand name sunglasses.  Pens, watches, jewelry, clothes, you name it, there are counterfeits out there that look genuine.

There are even fake human beings.  When are you and I fake?  When we put up a front to make ourselves appear better than we are.  Of course this means at one time or another every one of us has been fake. Fake out of habit.  Fake out of fear.  Fake out of pride.  Fake out of pain.  Fake because it’s easier. 

We can live a pseudo life, in a pseudo community our whole lives.    Being genuine is hard.  Being genuine is messy.  Being genuine is scary.  But being genuine is the path to true relationships, true community.     

When I’m genuine I’ll share with you where I’m weak, where I’m wounded, and where I’ve fallen.  I’ll tell you these things because they are real, and they are a part of me.  And when you are genuine with me you’ll do the same.  How else can I accurately portray the work of the Holy Spirit in my life if I try to sell you that I have everything together?  How will I see God at work in you if you put up a front with me? How can we encourage one another when we aren’t real?

2 Cor 12:9-10  9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

James 5:16 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

When it comes to sunglasses, I suggest jokelys.  When it comes to relationships, let’s aim for the genuine article!

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Experience

June 9, 2006

Recently my wife Allison discovered a unique detoxification process involving her feet.  It’s called a foot detox. Apparently the bottoms of your feet are incredibly porous, and there is a device that can charge water in such a way as to draw toxins out of your body, through these pores, in your feet.  Allison, struggling with some health related pain and fatigue as of late, thought she would at least give it try.  So she went, put her feet in this little foot tub full of salt water and the device, and waited.  40 minutes later, that water turned from mostly clear salt water, to a substance that resembled something closer to a chicken broth gone wrong.  It was shock and awe.  She made the lady take a picture just for proof. I would post it but I don’t want to scar you. How that stuff came out of my wife’s feet, I don’t know, but I can tell you I’m thinking twice about where I walk barefoot from now on!

Oh, and my wife feels GREAT!  Seriously, her turn around has been remarkable.  She has her previous energy, she has the absence of some serious pain, and she is absolutely positively glowing.  Coincidence?  All in the mind?  At this point neither her or I really care, it’s just nice to have her feeling better, as we have been praying for it for some time. 

What’s my point with all this?  Is it to get you to soak your feet?  No, though I am going to try it probably tomorrow!  Everyone has been asking my wife about this.  She has been ecstatic to share with people about her experience and the difference it is making for her.  And as a result, people want to give this a try based on my wife’s experience.

We live in a day and age in our faith where people don’t want the facts preached at them about Christianity. The motto from their perspective… “Show me”.  Show me Jesus is real by your life, show me He is real by your experience that He is.  Are the facts important?  YES!   Have they changed?  NO!  But if we speak facts to people devoid of any personal experience, we’ll lose them. 

Believe me, I have SO much to learn about this, and so much room for improvement.

Paul, who hated Christians and was on his way to persecute some more, was stopped in his tracks by God with a bright light, forcing him to his knees.   Listen to what the Lord said when Paul asked who was there.  (Acts 26:15-18) "And the Lord replied, `I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. 16 Now stand up! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and my witness. You are to tell the world about this experience and about other times I will appear to you. 17 And I will protect you from both your own people and the Gentiles. Yes, I am going to send you to the Gentiles, 18 to open their eyes so they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.’

Did you catch it?  Hopefully, I underlined it and bolded it!  Over and over again, you read about Paul sharing about his first hand experience with Christ, and he used that as a platform to share the truth about Jesus.

Has God blessed you?  Has He been there for you?  Has He worked in your life?  Has He encouraged you, comforted you, instructed you?  Have you experienced Him in the lives of others?  Have you felt His hand guiding you?  Has He broken you?  Share these experiences with others.

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influence

June 2, 2006

Name the top five people in your life who have influenced you in a positive way.  Seriously, stop right now and at least come up with two, but if you can name five, great!

Are you still reading or did you really stop? 

What did these people do that influenced you?  Was it the life they lived or are living?  Was it something they said to you or something they did for you? 

My list came quickly, and there was a common theme among everyone.  They all directly or indirectly taught me about right and wrong, and they all directly or indirectly taught me about Jesus. 

Its what Paul’s life was all about, after Jesus got a hold of him, and thousands of years later he is still influencing.   Listen to this bold statement he makes about his life from Acts 20.   24”But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus–the work of telling others the Good News about God’s wonderful kindness and love.”

Would you and I make someone’s list?  Wouldn’t that be spectacular if we could?  What if our lives were intentional and focused to the point where we were investing in and positively influencing others?    There are key people in your life right now, who God has strategically placed you in their lives, so you could influence them.  Want another assignment?  Name the top five people in your life whom you have a chance to influence. 

By God’s grace, go influence for Him!

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influence

June 2, 2006

Name the top five people in your life who have influenced you in a positive way.  Seriously, stop right now and at least come up with two, but if you can name five, great!

Are you still reading or did you really stop? 

What did these people do that influenced you?  Was it the life they lived or are living?  Was it something they said to you or something they did for you? 

My list came quickly, and there was a common theme among everyone.  They all directly or indirectly taught me about right and wrong, and they all directly or indirectly taught me about Jesus. 

Its what Paul’s life was all about, after Jesus got a hold of him, and thousands of years later he is still influencing.   Listen to this bold statement he makes about his life from Acts 20.   24”But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus–the work of telling others the Good News about God’s wonderful kindness and love.”

Would you and I make someone’s list?  Wouldn’t that be spectacular if we could?  What if our lives were intentional and focused to the point where we were investing in and positively influencing others?    There are key people in your life right now, who God has strategically placed you in their lives, so you could influence them.  Want another assignment?  Name the top five people in your life whom you have a chance to influence. 

By God’s grace, go influence for Him!