God’s Ways: Rerouting Perspectives

January 26, 2016 at 2:17 pm (Mile Stones, Remodeling the Mind, WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Exodus 33:14-15;16b
He (Adonai) answered, “Set your mind at ease – My presence will go with you after all.” Moses replied, “If Your presence doesn’t go with us don’t make us go on from here…
That is what distinguishes us, me and Your people, from all other people’s on earth.”

Has it ever occurred to you that God so often used very odd circumstances to get in to a place deep within us, that has absolutely nothing to do with the circumstances themselves? He sets the board, and what we see moves us forward accordingly. As things progress, it becomes rather obvious that He’s moving in through back doors to the goal He had in mind. Almost as if He distracts us with our limited vision and surface prone tendencies, to sneak in where we wouldn’t have went with Him any other way. I’ve experienced this on many occasions, recently as well. The past experiences didn’t que me in to look for His back door agendas in any of these cases. When God wants to move in behind something, no human on earth can track His movements until He’s reached His destination! Only then, can we look back and trace His path, but not until He’s popped up in the seemingly most intentionally sneaky way. It’s been said repeatedly before: “if we saw where God was leading us, we’d most often recalculate our GPS in the other direction.”

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At the end of October, 2015 God pointed His finger, very obviously, in the direction of a new location, new plan, and said “go buy a house, in that place.” We were set on a different location for moving, our plans moved north with our hearts, Montana was home. He pointed South. Our plans were to move into an RV and with our new business travel, live simple, and find a home base in Montana at some point. Sick of moving, sick of all the stuff that one accumulates in a house or apartment, we wanted to be free of it, and mobile to go where God said go. All very good intentions, none violating any will of God, but still not His will for us, however our perspectives saw it.

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So the house hunt ensued, we found one, and all hell broke loose in the process. Two months of grinding, stressful and rest stealing work began. Staying close to Him, we followed every step, endured crazy situations, and wound up with it all falling through. Not the results we humans expect when we feel we’ve done all God asked of us. Yet even at this place, we trusted and went forth on another house hunt (it continues). All the while, God was with us and went before us, we knew that. What wasn’t obvious was that He was slipping in behind us, moving into the center of us, arriving at His intended destination, our hearts, His Home, not a relocation or house on earth. God knows us so well, we don’t face things unless we’re forced to. Circumstances are the forces He uses to bring us to that inner mirror, the one that reflects us back at ourselves but not only do we see ourselves but we can’t avoid seeing ourselves as He sees us in these moments. It’s a faithfulness on His part to go so great a route to get us there. We don’t need to just see ourselves, we need to see ourselves with Him. All the grace and mercy He has to give is ready there. If we just see ourselves, raw and rotten, without Him – we will be lost and walk away without remembering what we look like. But with Him, as hard as that reflection may look with His perfection hovering about us, there’s a pivotal transformation that becomes possible. The circumstances that brought us there, fades into the background becoming relatively insignificant. The house, the place, those were and are insignificant compared to His presence and passion to develop His character in the home Yeshua and His Father took up residence in the day we turned our souls back into Their care. (John 14:23)

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At this juncture, Adonai has revealed His path into the back yard of our hearts, and we are now “getting down to business”. The house hunt continues, relocation all on the horizon, but the real work is right where we are, no matter where we are geographically. Big things that have been hidden and slipped through the cracks are being reflected in His eyes, ever so compassionately and full of that grace that pours out like roaring rivers, Sam and I stand at this place of healing intent. I reach my arms out wide to receive whatever shall keep me here until He has done all He shall do. I pray my beloved will do the same. I have confidence in the work of my God and His ways. More to be revealed. ..but today its enough to know He’s with us. That this alone is what distinguishes us as His – His presence – nothing more, nothing less. We hover at the mirror, eyes on Him and tracking His finger where He is pointing within, waiting on the grace, holding onto the new mercies He’s promised this morning will provide, yielding to His hands as they reshape the clay that these circumstances have softened enough to submit to Him. And once again, we wait. ..He works, we wait. He shapes, we yield. He holds us, we lean into being held.

A quote from Wayne Stiles book Waiting on God.

This section comes from the chapter titled Letting Go.

To resist or resent the time God’s priorities require amounts to resisting God.
Waiting on God reminds us of those facts. Waiting keeps us humble. Waiting shows us over the passing of time that it’s all about God and none of it is about us – except to the degree that we glorify Him. Remember, the goal is God’s glory, not our productivity or personal fulfillment. In our waiting, God weans us from the pride of having to control everything or understand matters “too difficult for” us (Ps. 131:1). God chooses how we glorify Him. He alone selects which of His servants will produce what levels of output – and yet, He also rewards faithfulness on any level with equal commendation (see Matt. 25:14-23).
God works through our waiting to strengthen our character through weakness, to develop our peace of mind by trusting Him in chaos, to teach us that we can glorify Him just as much by waiting on Him as we can by serving Him. When we choose to find our fulfillment in His glory, then we can wait on Him to open the door of greater influence in His time. That’s really His business entirely. Ours is to live faithfully wherever He puts us now.
God’s timing knows it’s own reasons. Perhaps the delay occurs to test how seriously we will pray. Our maybe, in spite of all we’ve learned, God still has more to teach us. Our maybe the delay has little to do with us at all – because it depends on someone else responding to God.
Whatever the reasons, I’m convinced that in most cases God delays because He wants to give us more than we’re asking for. He loves us enough to wait to give us His best rather than to satisfy our impatience with a quick, cheap substitute. That’s why we mustn’t equate His delay with a deaf ear. Sometimes what seems like God’s apathy is really His mercy.
Slammed doors do more than bend your nose; they keep your heart pliable, sensitive, and available to God’s leading. Not only does He keep secret the difficult valleys you’ll experience (and many of the mountaintops) but also the tremendous lessons you’ll glean no other way. Lessons you didn’t know you needed to learn. Lessons you’ll thank Him for one day. You may fail to recognize God using you significantly because you define God “using you” in terms of what you consider significant: results. God defines results in terms of character. Words like productivity and efficiency remain conspicuously absent from the fruit of the Spirit (see Gal. 5:22-23). These results of God working in your life all reflect character – His character. Character alone produces godly results.
– end quote, (they came from various sections; in order but with some left out for length shortening purposes)

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♡ Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah ♡

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Sacrifice Defined

September 12, 2015 at 12:45 pm (Devotionals, Remodeling the Mind, WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Thanksgiving as a sacrifice…what does this look like?

Sacrifice means it cost us something to give; whatever the thing may be. Something that is hard, to the point of rendering one destitute. Lets look at the widow Yeshua (Jesus) praises in Luke (21:1-4) as she was poor, she likely had no way to know how she would pay for food or her bills, but God moved her to give all that remained of her money. Look at the depth of this story.

The widow knew the church (the body of people in the temple and it’s leaders) was corrupt. She could see very well that the money given to it was hardly being used to help the poor such as she, and likely most the people she knew. Yet, she obeyed, trusting God, not the church, giving her money to God, not the church. The sacrificial give here? Her own perspectives, way of thinking – rationalizing, she instead thanked God for what she had to give and gave it all to Him.

Verse 4: “…but she, out of her poverty, has given all she had to live on.”

She could have fallen back on the hardship of her widowhood, made her circumstances the terms by which she negotiated her thinking and giving. I’m sure times we’re hard. Instead she thanked the God who gives and takes away. The sacrifice of praise, even in circumstances that feel hard – don’t initiate praise inside; she chose instead to see her standing as unchanged in His sight. The outward circumstance may look different but the reality of her standing in the Kingdom was what she chose to live by. The sacrifice of giving up our own perspectives and praising God instead of pleading for help and staying in the sorrow – this is the greatest and most costly sacrifice we will make to God. It is most precious in His sight.
So she gave up everything she “owned” both in the physical world and in the inner world where transformation is done. We often make the people in the stories of the Bible inhuman, meaning above those human responses, just because they did indeed rise above them in the stories. The widow thought and felt just like we do, rationalized as best she could, as we do, but her knowing God, changed her choices. Isn’t this what it says?

John 17:3
And eternal life is this: to know You, the One True God, and Him whom You sent, Yeshua the Messiah.

Most don’t sacrifice with thanksgiving, because they don’t know God. Knowing about Him is not the same as knowing Him.

Do we teach our children how to do this? How young are they when they are exposed to the concept? When they scrape their knees and we tend to them with love, do we then pray with them saying,

“God we praise you for scraped knees, we don’t need to know exactly why they are given, but we trust You. May You open our eyes to look for You the most in painful circumstances. We welcome all opportunities for You to show Your love, healing and power as greater than anything on earth we experience and see. Thank You, Father, for scraped knees and the opportunity to praise You. Amen”

This contradiction to all our senses to think and act on such sacrifice is profound. Some may call it extreme, crazy and taking things “too far”. Some may, some do, always have, always will…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Yeshua praised the Father for what He was doing when Lazarus died. He waited to go, I bet He didn’t want to, but He waited till The Father told Him to go. Sacrifice is always what we give up of ourselves for another. We trade our desires, wants, needs, thoughts, perspectives, feelings etc…for God’s instead of our own. And we know that they will be strikingly different, as Isaiah was faithful to write it down – “My ways are not your ways, nor My thoughts your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8)

So read the first part of the Psalms above again.

“Whoever offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice honors Me…”

Then the next part comes into focus.

“…and to him who goes the right way, I will show the Salvation of God.”

The sacrifice of praise in all ways that seem contradictory, hard, and awkward…this sacrifices our view, our opinions, our perspective (which we know is always but a speck of the whole picture) and our lean or bent; this is what this Psalms is speaking of. Without the first, the second is impossible.

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Show us our Father, open our eyes, for great is the need for this lesson to be applied to us, cemented in our hearts. We depend on You to teach us, as we know this action takes You, Your Holy Spirit, Your Word to enable us in action. Our lean is to complain, fall back on excuses, run towards a “help me” prayer (though we know that we need help, and this is not wrong) instead of trusting that You are working as hard for us when the hits come as when all is well. To say, “Praise You God” for the broke down car, loss of a loved one, hurt and pain of those who misuse, abuse and mistreat us – this is not our first response, and without You it shall never be. We want to be like Your Son, our Master, and be able to turn our cheeks to those who smack them, to give without looking and calculating whether we have it “in our opinion” or not. To simply obey, without hesitation, praising You the whole way, knowing nothing will happen that You can not provide for. ..this is what we pray.

It’s easy to think of sacrifice horizontally (with people). But vertically? What is sacrifice for God? How could it be anything other than our ways, and our thoughts? It’s easy to praise Him, when things are well, or even in the “norm”, but in hard times? To actually say “thank You.” when we are in a tough spot, experiencing great pain, hurt and anger? What else could it be but the sacrifice being spoken of so often in the Word. Is this not what we watched our Lord do, to our own perplexity? That even, steady, consistent example of His inner world (very human) completely sold out to trusting the Father. Oh how all who watched Him, walked with Him, knew Him, we’re touched by Him wanted this that He had. Peace.
Those who walk with, watch, know, and are touched by Him still do. They bare the hallmarks of it as well, as it begins to change them from the inside out. It’s more than a simple “I trust You, Lord”, it goes way down deep and pulls up a “Hallelujah, glory glory glory to the Most High”. Joining the constant refrain of Heaven (read all the refrains in Revelation) at times when doubt, fear, frustration, anger, and resentment lurk around looking for the opportunity to steal from this joining in with heavenly discourse. Do we remember how our enemy is described? A thief, searching for someone to devour, rob joy, pull down and snuff out the light? It’s not his delight to do this because it brings us down. No! It’s because it steals from the glory of God, which resides in the praises of His people. Not just the kind of praise of a thousand voices ringing in song to Him, but most importantly the praise that comes from a child whose tendency is to become self absorbed focusing with earthly eyes; instead – those eyes track with the eyes of the Savior and begin to lift up with heart, mind and soul a “thank You” and chorus of “glory” that heaven itself turns towards and joins. Sacrificial praise, points us to the Way, and we can not help but see the Salvation of God. He has and always will ‘out-sacrifice’ us! Glory to God, in the highest! And Shalom – peace to His people on earth!
Selah – Amen!

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♡ Grace and Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah ♡

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Quote Note

May 5, 2015 at 3:45 pm (Remodeling the Mind, Thoughts to Ponder) (, , , , , , , , , )

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♡ Grace and Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah ♡

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When Innocence Asks – 3

December 9, 2014 at 3:32 am (WSGD Newes) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Mrs. Susan, as the 2nd graders called her, was walking out of the main entrance to the church building. She nearly walked right into young Timothy Sadler, who was sitting on the first step leading down to the parking lot.

“Why, hello there Timothy. What are you doing here sitting out front? Is your Dad inside?” She asked as she sat down next to him.

“Hello, Mrs. Susan. Yes, my Dad is in a meeting with Mr. Jensen about the greeters for next week. I’m waiting for him.” Said Timothy

“It’s a very nice day today, huh? Any plans for this afternoon when you leave?” Asked Susan, setting her purse down beside her.

“I don’t think so. We’ll probably do like we always do. Go home so Dad can watch the game. I usually play outside till supper time.” Said Timothy unenthusiastically. He didn’t seem to notice the “niceness” of the day.

“Huh, well its nice to be able to play anyway. You seem a bit down. Everything okay? How’s your Mom, is she still out of town for work?” Asked Susan

“Yes, she’ll be back tomorrow. I guess playing is okay.” Timothy responded, he looked up at Mrs. Susan and cocked his head to one side, squinting one eye against the glare of the sun.
“Mrs. Susan, how does God speak?”

The question seemed to zoom Susan into the spot she sat on and time stood still. Immediately the vastness and complexity of possible methods of answering such a question overwhelmed her.

“Oh my… why I suppose He speaks in many ways, but in His Word the Bible is sure. What made you ask that Timothy?” Susan responded.

“I was thinking of the lesson today. How God told Jonah to go to that place to talk to those people. The Ni…Nivi…” Timothy attempted to sound out his words.

“Ninevites?” Susan prompted

“Yeah.” Said Timothy. “I’ve never heard God talk to me I don’t think. Is it because I’m bad? … But then that can’t be right cause Jonah did bad by not going to that place and God still talked to him, so I am confused.”

“Well, you’re right God doesn’t just talk to the good people. In fact most the time He talks to anyone they are far from good.” Mrs. Susan qualified. “But God speaks in lots and lots of ways. See that dog over there?” Susan noticed Timothy look at the dog playing in a yard down the street, he had smiled when he watched.

Timothy scrunched up his face.
“Yeah… but what does that dog have to do with God speaking?” Timothy asked, looking back at the dog and his antics.

“Well, does the dog make you want to go over and join it, be with it?” Susan asked

“Yeah…” Timothy waited for more explaination.

“Well that’s one way God talks to us. In things around us that make us smile like His creation, creatures, the sky, the ocean, clouds, flowers. It’s His voice saying ‘Hello there Timothy I see you and hope to make you smile at Me’. Sometimes He talks to us through people, like He did through Jonah to the Ninevites or through me during the lesson today, or Moses to the Israeites. And often He talks directly to us, sort of like we’re talking now but we don’t hear His voice with our outer ears but with the ears on the inside. Does that make sense?” Susan took a deep breath hoping she was getting the point across correctly, but feeling like much was left open for interpretation.

Timothy looked up at the sky and then back to the dog and then turned his face up to Mrs. Susan.
“Kind of…I have always thought He liked to make me smile in fun and good things around me, like the sky and clouds and stuff. Not so much with dogs. I like that though. And I know He talks through people, like you and mommy and dad and stuff. I know He made the Bible so everyone could read what He said to and I guess through all those people. But… I’m not sure I got inner ears Mrs. Susan.” Timothy green eyes began to fill with tears and his freckles began to stand out on his nose as his face pinked up with sorrow.

Susan wrapped her arms around Timothy pulling him close.
“There now, sure you have them dear Timothy. God put them inside every single person. Special just for you and Him so noone could interrupt you both when He talks to you. Why, did you know that He loves you so much that only He can speak to you in such a secret and private way that’s not given for anybody else? Even your mom and dad can’t interfere with those talks!” Said Susan, feeling like somehow God was talking to her as much as He was giving her words to speak into Timothy’s confusion.

“Nuh uhh” Timothy shook his head and mumbled. Then He sat back and looked at Mrs. Susan again. “I don’t think He gave those to me, Mrs. Susan cause I don’t hear Him.” The seriousness that settled on young Timothy’s face vied for the determined spirit that seemed to be searching for answers. He was both convinced God spoke to people like He did Jonah but sure somehow God had passed him over in giving him his inner ears.
My, my Father don’t we all feel like that at some time? Please answer Timothy’s little hearts cry to hear You. Help me show him where You already have and do. Susan’s heart reached up and out at the same time.

“Well… let’s see. Have you ever had your outer ears checked? You know, tested to make sure they hear everything they are supposed to?” Susan asked.

“Oh, yeah. At school they had that lady come and test us. With the head phones and beeps and I had to tap which ever ear heard the beeps. I know these ears work good. But they didn’t test me for inner ears… or maybe they did and I didn’t pass that test cause I don’t have them.” Timothy recalled and again looked down, convinced again his inner ears were missing.

“Timothy, you do have them. They don’t have a test like that for inner ears. You see only God can test those. Let me show you now how He does.” Susan paused and waited for God to show her how to “test” little Timmys ears.

Timothy’s face was at attention waiting for his test to begin. Hope faintly beginning to glimmer in his eyes.

“When you are tempted to lie to someone, anyone about anything, what made you pause before you did? And if you did, what made you know in here,” Susan tapped Timothy’s chest over his heart. “That lying was bad?”

Timothy thought for a minute.
“That’s not fair, I already know lying is bad cause mom and dad and everybody told me and I read it in the Bible. I didn’t need inner ears for that.” The hope that had a minute ago glimmered began to flicker out in his eyes.

“Hmmm, well I see what you are saying Timothy but hang in here with me a minute, k? Did your mom and dad and everybody or even the Bible tell you every kind of lie you can tell?”
Susan smiled, I see where You’re going with this Lord!

Again Timothy screwed his face up in violation of the oddness of the questions. “Ummm, well nooo… I mean not every single lie I could ever tell! That would be alot, like books and books!”

“Exactly, so since you haven’t been given all those lies in advanced, how do you know it’s a lie?” Asked Susan

“Well…ummm, I just know. I don’t know how really. I just know. I get really weird inside, feel bad kind of. Usually when I lie, I just don’t want to get in trouble so I fib. Or I want to be liked so I say something not true to make my friends think I’m smart.” So plainly spoken were Timothy’s words. Unguarded.

“Well there you have it! You have inner ears for sure! You see Timothy God’s voice is the one that tells you something is wrong even though noone else can read your mind and know you are going to lie. It’s that thing that makes you feel weird inside and bad when you want to lie or do. God gave that to you. He spoke through your weird and bad feelings, like a warning that it is wrong. No body can lie without that kind of feeling happening. But we don’t feel it with our bodies but with our hearts. That’s where God puts our inner ears. Now answer this next question cause we want to be sure they work exactly the way they are supposed to, right?” Susan was excited. She saw some light dawning on sweet Timothy’s face, hope again bloomed in his eyes.

Timothy shook his head in the affirmative and waited.

“Have you ever been nice to someone that you didn’t know and nobody, like a teacher or your parents or anyone told you to do it. You just saw them and did something nice?” Mrs. Susan asked

“Yeah.” Answered Timothy

“What told you, then, to be nice to that person right then?” Susan asked

“Well… I’ve been told by lots of people that being nice is good. The Bible says that too. So I guess I don’t see that I need inner ears for that.” Said Timothy

“Have you ever been not so nice when you knew you should have been nice?” Asked Mrs. Susan.

“Yes.” Said Timothy

“How did you know you should have been nice? Did someone tell you every time? Or have you just known you should have been before anyone could tell you?” Mrs. Susan prompted, leading slowly. .. waiting for the moment.

“Yes, I have been mean and just knew I shouldn’t have been before I got in trouble.” Timothy followed Mrs. Susan.

“So in the same way, when you have been nice without being told, you must have been prompted inside to be nice to someone at that exact moment with that exact person. Who do you think makes you think that way?” Susan smiled. “You see the very idea of being nice to anyone for any reason comes from God. Anyone who tells us to be nice gets the very idea of it from God. Being nice is God’s territory, not mankind’s. So if you “hear” inside yourself to be nice to someone when you haven’t been asked to by your parents or anyone, that very thought comes from noone but God, you see? God speaks inside by prompting us to do stuff that’s good without anyone asking us. You know His voice because it had that goodness attached to it. Say when you see your mom or dad sad and you reach out to hug them. That’s God’s voice speaking to you. Every good thing we do is from Him. When we obey, when we are nice, when we help someone, when we forgive, when we comfort someone, when we feel badly because we see someone hurt. These things are His voice speaking to our inner ears or hearts and we just don’t think of it that way because we often think it’s our idea, or that it comes natural to us. But the truth is its not our natural responses to do good, it’s God telling us what’s good and we obey.” Susan could see the light getting brighter and brighter in Timothy’s eyes.

“Sometimes God tells us to do good things or be nice and we don’t obey. Usually because we don’t see what He sees and so just like Jonah we don’t obey. We just go our own way and usually end up worse off than if we’d have just obeyed in the first place. That is why that story is in the Bible, God’s voice in print to show us how to listen to Him. That’s where every good thing that can ever be done by anyone comes from. God’s Word – the Bible. That’s where parents get the good stuff to teach us to do and where teachers like me get lessons to teach and pastors too. God’s voice teaches the good and corrects the bad both through people and things around us and inside our hearts when He really wants us to know His love for us. Do you see now Timothy that your hearts ears work fine?” Asked Susan

“Yes. Thank you Mrs. Susan!” Timothy threw his arms around her.
“I was so afraid that God didn’t want to talk to me! But now I see that He talks to me all the time! And He is talking to me right now with you! I have inner ears Mrs. Susan! I do! He could send me somewhere, tell me to do something big like Jonah and I will hear Him! I sure hope I obey Him if He does.” Timothy’s excitement was intoxicating and infectious!

“Oh well I’ve no doubt you will, but even if you don’t at first, remember Jonah Timothy, God will bring you around. If you really listen to Him, for Him, He’ll make sure you do exactly what He asks.” Susan rejoiced at having been delayed by sitting with Timothy.

Timothy’s dad, Mr. Sadler just then emerged from the building.

“Ready to go Timothy? He asked.  “Hello Mrs. Susan, lovely day today.”

“Yes, Dad! I have inner ears on my heart made just for God and me! You do too! Did you know that?” Timothy rose and went to his Dad.

“Well yes I did son, indeed. I’ve never heard it quite put like that but that’s exactly right. Is that what you learned in class today?” Mr. Sadler took Timothy’s hand and began to walk out to the car. “God bless you Mrs. Susan.” He said as they walked away. All the while Timothy kept telling his Dad about his inner ears and how they work and that God talks to him.

Mrs. Susan’s smile shone through tears in her eyes, listening to God speak to her own inner ears as she watched them walk away.

“Yes, yes Lord, You are so very good!”

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Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah

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Distinctives

August 22, 2014 at 4:09 am (Mile Stones) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Recently I embarked on a new way of eating. Diet is a concept set up for temporary experimentation; sadly. This concept of food; what’s good, what is not, is so akin to the concept of sin it quite frankly amazes me. Have you ever googled quotes about sin? How about quotes about animal protein? The main stream of Web-based information is strikingly simular. Weak and paltry at best in helping one get at the heart of the matter. As with all things God leaves plenty of room for us to formulate our own opinions or adopt His as He created all and knows best how to advise how life can be lived to the fullest. Man’s opinions are as countless as the stars. .. with plenty of options to choose from. God’s are simple. .. but not easy. The options are few in order to keep it simple; which we need in all honesty. In man’s mind God is marrow minded. Yet look what He has created! If that’s narrow minded. .. then perhaps man is projecting!?! The most narrow minded God can be comes from man’s mind dulled by his own intellect and pride. We are just lazy, pleasure seeking fools with comfort driven desires to kick God out of the very universe He creates. Praise be to God, we’ll never be able to think and therefore it becomes! Not like Him. In Him the possibilities are endless, apart from Him our thoughts produce vapor and mist!

So. .. this new lifestyle of food consumption has really revealed much in the spiritual nature of my condition. .. perhaps more so than my physical. I begin to understand why diets are so short lived. One cannot begin to deprive the body of the previous poisons it has called “food” without it revealing the true nature of its need and depravity. After a time it becomes a question of “Why do this, with all its ‘misery’ and die anyway?” Ahhhh. .. man’s logic, it stupefies the heart. .. or as God calls it. .. hardens. Discipline is hard. .. endurance with it is down right extenuating! When I began down this road it was exciting and new. I knew in my head that it would be hard but the newness of it for the first 30 days kept me from feeling the difficulties. 60 plus days and I’m still inspired because the body really does begin to reveal the amazingness that God created it to be by now, but the world has shrunk in its options! There are two restaurants we can eat at that adhere to this way of eating. Two! We make our own snacks, meals, condiments. .. everything. The shelves in my cupboards are bare. .. My frig. .. poor little thing, is about to burst at the seams! I miss quickie meals. I miss spending an average of 1-2 hours in my kitchen (including clean up) verses the 4 plus it seems I spend in it now. My forty plus years of living has plenty of recipes to draw from in the “old” ways. I love cooking and cherish creativity in meal making… always have. But the new way leaves me feeling like all the “old” experience helps about as much as if I only spent 10 minutes worth of experience before.  It’s humbling! Do you see the spiritual overtones in the language? The few options the world presents verses before the world was my oyster! The knowledge of the former way being useless to the new! The need to dig deeper to find the source of my discontent verses before the shelves of every aisle at the store held a temporary “fix”. The concept that everything God gives does not have a “shelf life”; its not meant to be kept but consumed and lived! Here’s a real big eye opener! Try to find a product in the grocery store with absolutely no sugar, oil, or dairy! Its like shopping in the store of the heart trying to find one motive without self-centeredness or  self-need! I find God never points me in a direction physically that He doesn’t intend to work most on my heart in His hands!

By now, you are likely either drawing conclusions about the eating style I’m referring to or dying of curiosity! Forgive my vagueness. I’m simply not trying to endorse my food choices with this piece. I’m happy to share if you want to comment/question below but the main ingredient to this dish is not “food”. It’s Life, in the hands of a God who even told us how to eat food for our physical best, as well as made sure that the meal He emphasized was at the heart of our minds and thoughts being emptied for Him alone to fill. .. With His Word. True food. .. is His every direction/instruction.

Do I crave the old stuff? Sure, from time to time. .. but do I really miss it?  No. I miss the ease of the former. .. but I’m learning to love the work of the new. Waiting for that part in the process when it will no longer feel like work. .. it’s joy now but Everlasting joy too! The danger is always how we balance the earn/reward mentality. I could still get sick and die. There’s no promise of cancer free living just because I’m eating right now. A plus B does not equal C in the Kingdom of Heaven. .. not the way we do it. If your physical life is getting your attention. .. God is drawing your real attention to your heart in His hands. Notice this in the parables Yeshua (Jesus) taught with! Its not what the eyes see, and body feels that grants us knowledge. .. it’s been given only to draw our gaze up to His “big screen” of Life! The true question becomes the distinctive: “Am I trying to glorify myself or is my sincere heart for God and His ways to be glorified?”

I praise Him with my whole heart these days that His ways and thoughts are higher and so much unlike mine, yet so humbled that He makes them accessible to me! In the smallest of things He is the biggest of all! And in the biggest of things His simplicity is astounding! I’m in awe of Him! What a mind blowing God we serve! 

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Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah

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