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July 3, 2015 at 12:23 am (Remodeling the Mind, Thoughts to Ponder) (, , , , , , , , , )

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♡ Grace and Shalom 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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The Kingdom Freedom

July 31, 2014 at 12:07 pm (Remodeling the Mind) (, , , , , , , , , )

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In a crowd of weary of waiting people, one turned to the other next to them and said.

“So how long have you been here. I’m going on two hours almost! There were 6 people helping when I arrived. Three have since left! Just disappeared, gone to break or lunch with all these people stacking up like sardines! The last lady I sat next to waited for three hours and 22 minutes only to get up there and be missing a paper and told to come back! Hmphfft! If I wasn’t a “Christian” I’d give my mind to them! Anywhere else they can track your identity down to the pennies in our accounts but here one piece of paper and they say they can’t! Its ridiculous!”

The other listened and smiled and replied.
“I’ve been here a little over an hour. It’s certainly an opportunity to forgive when our patience wears thin and judgement kicks in, huh?”

The one looked at the other and rolled their eyes.
“Like I said, it’s a good thing I’m a Christian.” The one said with a chuckle.

“Yes, it is definitely the advantage to be under the control of Christ in situations like this. It’s an opportunity to put ones eternal muscles in action! Then I can give thanks for the time it takes for my number to be called! I find I need more time to give Him my sacrifice of offense and judgement almost every time!”

The one looked at the other and spoke with their countenance a great deal of confusion. The appearance on the outside was one of surprise.

“Sacrifice of offense and judgement?”, asked the one, “what does that have to do with this! There is righteous anger. And I’m not judging. .. like I said I’m keeping my thoughts to myself!”

The other was quiet. Leaning into the ones searching for answers and praying.

The one spoke again.
“Well. ..I told you but I forgive the workers by not complaining to their faces. I mean look at the people flowing in, I couldn’t just go off to break with so many people needing help! ”

Again the other listened and prayed and waited.

“I mean everyone has to do this or we can’t be “legal”… Yet they act as if we should just be okay missing work! I have bills to pay!” Continued the one.

The other smiled and looked directly at the one and said.
“Like I said we need the time for Him to show us how to live forgiveness. What we think we have a right to is always less than nothing.”

The one huffed and said.
“So you’re saying I don’t have a right to feel what I do?”

“No.” Whispered the other.

“No, you’re not saying that or no I don’t have a right?” The impatient one inquired.

“Yes.” Came the answer from the other.

There was a time of silence then. The one mawing and chewing,  squirming and stewing. The other waiting. A while went by and the one burst forth.

“So what do you mean about sacrificing offense and judgement? I assume you are a Christian to by your words but the way you put them is confusing.”

“Well. Jesus said we are to forgive. So I suppose it depends on how you think He means it. If He died for all offense and judgement, which is the by-product of unforgiveness, then by “right” He is the only One with the “right” to be offended or to judge. So I find that the application of the “old or former ways” in the Bible that are not thrown out but made complete by Him is that in my mind, my thoughts, is where His greatest work is done. I put my rights to offense and my tendency to judge as a result on the alter and offer them up to Him. It’s like the equivalent of 10 bulls, 20 spotless lambs, and 100 bowls of grain and incense. I literally give up my right to feel offense and think judgemental thoughts and then work my thoughts into all that which is of Heaven. Forgiving starts inside by acknowledging the truth. .. I really have no right to feel offense because if I’m a Christ follower, that “right” I have given to Him because I recognize that He purchased the “rights” by not taking up the right against me.” Responded the other.

“But. .. that would mean that unforgiveness the way you just put it is the end all be all of sin!” The one said incredulously.

“Name a sin that at its heart that isn’t the root of unforgiveness.” Replied the other.

“Oh, that’s easy. .. stealing. .. lying. .. cheating. .. adultery. .. Gosh I can’t see the connection in almost any sin and unforgiveness being the root as you put it! ” replied the one.

The other sat a moment and waited. Pregnant pauses often give birth to truth. Though admitably they feel awkward.

“If one steals. .. They likely feel offended that they don’t have and think they should – offense and judgement. If one lies they likely judge that they should because of an offense they perceive would be taken or given. If one cheats, is it not because they are offended by the work of not cheating and there-by judge that it’s excusable to cheat? And adultery! How often do you see an adulterer who isn’t at their root unforgiving and there-by fornicating as a result of offensive judgement?” The other spoke. 

“Oh.” Said the one.

At that moment the ones number was called and they went up to tend their business. The words of the other ringing in their ears so loudly that they forgot their offense of their original gripe and didn’t even notice that another hour had passed before their number was called.

Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah

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Old Question – Ancient Answer

July 22, 2014 at 3:21 am (Devotionals, Remodeling the Mind) (, , , , , , , )

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***Taken from The Christian in Complete Armor by William Gurnall.***

Why do I find such struggling in me, provoking me too sin, pulling me back from that which is good?

God has a ready answer if we will stop whining long enough to hear it.

“Because,” He says, “you are a wrestler, not a conqueror.”

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It is as simple as that. Too often we mistake the state of a Christian in this life. He is not immediately called to triumph over his enemies, but is carried into battle to fight them. The state of grace is the commencement of your war against sin, not the culmination of it. God Himself will enter the battle in disguise and appear to be your enemy, rather than leave you no enemy to wrestle with. When Jacob was alone, He sent a man to wrestle with him until dawn.

Take comfort in the fact that you are a wrestler. This struggling within you, if upon the right ground and to the right end, only proves there are two nations within you, two contrary nature’s,  the one from earth earthy, and the other from heaven heavenly. And for your further comfort, know that although your corrupt nature is the elder, yet shall it serve the younger. (Genesis 25:23)

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You do not beat down the air, but wrestle to win heaven and a permanent crown. Here on earth we overcome to fight again. One temptation may be conquered, but the war remains. When the death blow comes, however, God strikes the final blow. ***

Indeed He already has!

Romans 8:37
No, in all these things we are super conquerors, through the One who has loved us.

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Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah

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The Sin Within

May 28, 2014 at 1:52 am (Devotionals, Poems, Prayers, Remodeling the Mind) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

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Romans 14:23

…And anything not based on trust is a sin.

O foul unholy you doubtful thought
That paints a picture where you ought nought
To slip inside a pure made gift
And play around as if sands don’t shift

For the Truth is found and forever
It’s gleam beyond your inky vista
The One who fashioned all has kissed ya
Clandestine and cryptic you allure and pull
But your wolvish skin burns away the wool
Revealing inside the attempt to subdue
The brilliant blaze that consumes untrue

O Father of Truth and undying Light
Behold my eyes and repair my sight
Build up in me a resistance to doubt
With the river Forgiveness to cast it out
I trust in Your Fire and walk into
Your heart of flame that will keep me true
And lay not my hand to any such act
That falls from Your grace and heavenly fact

Relent not to move any such thing
That gets in the way of honoring Your Name
And trust shall I choose with all that I am
In the roar of the Lion and the sigh of the Lamb

Titus 1:15

To all who are themselves pure, everything is pure. But to those who are defiled and without trust, nothing is pure – even their minds and consciences have been defiled.

Hebrews 11:6

And without trusting, it is impossible to be well pleasing to God, because whoever approaches Him must trust that He does exist and that He becomes a Rewarder to those who seek Him out.

Matthew 6:22-23

The eye is the lamp of the body. So if you have a good eye your whole body will be full of light; but if you have an evil eye your whole body will be full of darkness. If, then, the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

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Grace and peace in Yeshua the Messiah

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