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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Choices




My sister in law, Cyndy, told me something that I don't think I will ever forget, "You're not done until you're done!" 

And she is right!

We can choose to make good or bad choices. 

God leaves the choices up to us as well as all the consequences.

{Free will} 

Good or bad choices for my life are up to me. 

I could blame others around me for the outcome of my bad decisions or I could simply fess up and make some healthy selections that can provide for a positive outcome in my own life. Hopefully the healthy path could somehow have a positive affect and spill on to the lives of those around me, but in the end, I am responsible for my selections.

I can either clean up my own act or pay the ultimate price for my bad behavior some time down the road.  
  

Eventually, everything catches up to us.

I have just recently lost 31, 32.4 pounds. The exciting part of the work here is over and now the real task begins losing that last 10 lbs. and not to mention the maintaining of a new life style with different tools and choices.



  {Sounds a lot like the Christian walk, doesn't it?} 


I could blame the food industry for my overeating or even lash out at those bad examples around me, but in all honesty, it wasn't their fault. They didn't have anything to do with the foods being ordered off the menu nor did they have anything to do with the lifting of my fork to my mouth. Sometimes it feels good to blame others. Completely releasing that blame and guilt off my own shoulders but the bottom line to all of this is this; No matter who is at fault, I pay the ultimate price in the end.  Take baby proofing a home for example, eventually the baby has to grow up and take responsibility for getting into the wrong things he’s not supposed to.

{What’s your vice? Mine are many, but right now it seems to be food!} 
(insert a huge UGH!) 

I just recently went over to a girlfriend’s house for lunch. She knows that I have been working at this weight/sin issue (don't call it over eating call it what it really is-sin/gluttony-because until it is ugly you and I will not deal with it!). I was really touched and honored that she had a whole lunch planned out for the two of us that was within my points for that afternoon. She was genuinely concerned for my success to help me stay on that path. I didn't ask this of her at all, she just did it for me. She said that she too wants to get healthy; that my example of losing all this weight and feeling better has motivated and encouraged her to do the same. 

I don't know about you but I am so relating this whole adventure to the Christian walk. 

You and I can preach to people until we are blue in the face (and if you know me you know I do!) but until they are done dabbling in their sinful behaviors it will continue to follow and curse them, that is, until they are done with it.

Problem is this: some of us seem to be waiting for others around us to clean up their acts before we ourselves are cleaned up. This was me to a tee!

Another problem is that we continue to hang out with those who support us in our poor life style choices. Instead of pressing up a little closer to those who live clean and just might make us feel a little uncomfortable about our poor choices, we instead want to feel right at home in our wrong doings. 

I have never been to an AA meeting but my guess is that 
 sober people are encouraged to make new friends with other clean and sober people -just a wild stab in the dark there.

Here was the eye opener for me: I live with people who eat everything they want that is nowhere near my points for a day, scratch that, more like enough points in one day to fulfill a year’s worth for me! Help me!

So, making good choices is not going to be easy, get that right from the gate! 

I have to live with these people, no getting out of this one (laughing here and scaring the dog!). However, I am living a clean eating lifestyle with or without them regardless of what they do. It is not up to me to preach on these issues with these people any more just so I can gain control of my situation. 

{From this point forth it is all example}

 There have been a lot of  times on this self-control journey I have felt a little a lot of temptation, but each time that I relent, I seem to becoming a little stronger in this area. As a matter of fact, my clean eating is kind of rubbing off on a few around me as they are now saying I'll have what you are having.{insert evil grin here} 

Now, regarding my friends and the other people that I choose to spend time with, I have to prepare in advance a food game plan to get through the whole event so that I may have success without being drawn into temptation.  I’ve told you I am still weak, but at least I have a plan!

In all honestly, some people and events I am simply avoiding altogether for right now. Why? Because I want success in this walk and I don't want to have to start all over with this again. Bottom line, I am still weak but at least I have a plan for success!

{Now to follow the plan}

Am I perfect now? No, nor will I ever be but I am encouraged to strive for perfection and to run this race until the end. 

Relating all of this to the words of the wise.... yes...my friend Paul!

One of the greatest problems for a believer is to understand the changed life.   Learning how to struggle with the old nature and live the new nature. Paul pictures the Christian life like a race (Philippians 3:14), and in a race there is a method to winning (talk about my all time Olympic hero!).

The goal of the believer should be to win the race set before us. Self-control is a big issue for me right now. Isn't this the perfect description of sin? I want what I want when I want it regardless of the outcome to ourselves or even others around us?  Selfishness is exactly what sin is. (No points at all to chew on that one!)  -my younger brother, John, has brought this up time and time again to all of us at Humble Stable Church. Thank-you, little brother!

 Anybody who runs knows there is a process to training the body to endure the trials of a race.  Before race-day, the runner trains with the race in mind. This is where I am now with the food life style change, putting on a new mind, and new attitude towards eating.

 The greater the training, preparation and planning, the more serious the runner is about the race. 

I love how the writer of Hebrews uses the imagery of the race with spectators watching as the runners head toward the finish.  Only here the spectators are those who have run before.  

{Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, Hebrews 12:1}


The writer in Hebrews instructs (us) the runner (the believer) to cast off weight and sin, so we can endure the race. The Christian life is an endurance run; we must train and prepare ourselves for this contest. 

I asked the gals in bible study one evening, "Do you know and fully understand that you and I am a bride of Christ? That a bride usually spends countless hours preparing for her groom? Are we truly preparing for our groom? If I were to run into this groom of yours on the streets right now, how would you want me to describe you to Him?"

“Oh she is about 5'9 weighs 300 pounds carrying an adult drink in her hand  a doughnut in the other with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth a phone glued to her ear catching everyone up on everything and everyone around her. She usually speaks more profanity than a truck driver when provoked to anger and looks like your run of the mill hooker off first ave and gets a real high out of gambling! But she goes to church every Sunday and bible study mid-week (You fill in what I left out here)”.

Well isn't that a pretty picture for the groom, the son of the King of Kings to place by his bed stand? I bet he just can't wait for that big ceremony in the sky.  We need daily strong reminders of who we truly are. We are set aside for a Royal Wedding to the groom and not just any groom this is the groom the son of the King of Kings! A holy, holy, holy God!

{We each need to ask ourselves what our weight is}

Examining the lives of many “successful” saints, both Old and New Testament, we will see they strived for personal holiness, they are not born with it;  they choose to strive for holiness. Paul seeing Jesus on the road to Damascus did not just rest on seeing a vision, but battled his old nature, through discipline bringing it under subjection to the new nature. 
24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. I Corinthians 9:24-27 

So even Paul had to struggle with his old nature, we like Paul need to be focused on the prize.  Let us ask ourselves, are we focused? If not, are we willing to focus on the prize of holiness, being like Christ? 


 Thankful for:

People I fellowship with that help me want to be closer to you, Lord
Your holy word last night in bible study on back deck, there was no where else I'd rather be than there with You precious Lord and your saints last evening
nothing more excites me than your word and this direct line of  prayer right to your throne
Your powerful holy Spirit (thank you for making me uncomfortable enough to pursue change)
men like Francis Chan who are taking a hit for preaching your truth from Your holy word 



large jars of  {refreshing} water and lemons on the tables last night as we all sat around reading from Galatians 5 {I admire where you have brought my brother, Lord}
Your Holy Word that convicts me, Lord.
These very thoughts of living in the moment, is this place I am in right here right now where I'd want to be if you were to return right now
Grace, this beautiful Grace that you are so loving and good to me and that you know my heart... ...the good and the bad and you love and lead me towards your perfection
answered prayers
strength from you to stand firmly on solid ground
a mom who is always thoughtful of everyone around her, brings each of the ladies at bible study lilies from her garden {beautiful}
these warm summer evenings
the hope of seeing my earthly dad in heaven again


~enjoying the moments




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