In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean. Mark 7:19

Jesus is dealing with some serious heart issues and the takeaway  that Mark leaves us with is that we can eat whatever we want to eat.


In my imagination,  the disciples are just outside of the home of one of the local gentiles and they can hear the bacon sizzling in the pan. They’ve been trying their best to listen to what Jesus is saying but  that wonderful smell of bacon is in the air. For years they’ve wondered why they’ve been denied even a taste of bacon. The gentiles have been eating it but doesn’t seem to have hurt them. Has it?

And now they just heard Jesus say that it’s alright to eat …..


Maybe this was what Jesus meant when he said you can’t live on bread alone…… Slice up that bread and make a BLT!

(Sorry my imagination has run away with me…..)

I think that many of us are just like Mark. We are spending far too much time thinking about what we should or shouldn’t be eating and we are missing out on what Jesus is really saying to us.


Mark 7:14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” 

17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)

An abundant birthday….


My grandmother used to say that age is a matter of mind and if you don’t mind then it doesn’t matter.

And I set out to prove her right each year on my birthday by doing some sort of physical activity. This year, I decided that I would paddle board 6.2 miles down Econfina Creek while Hank kayaked with Chris Wade and his daughter.

The current tossed me off the board and then pinned me into fallen trees twice. Thank God for my husband/hero who rescued me, my paddle, and my board! trail20armstrong

That was on Monday.  On Friday, we rode our bikes 41 miles on the St. Marks-Tallahassee  Trails.

And this was the best part. On Saturday morning we got up and took the paddle board and kayak over to the beach. maxresdefaultWe paddled out towards a pod of dolphins who were playing. The best part about being on a paddle board is that you are standing up and can what’s swimming around you. When the dolphins stopped playing, I looked down and they were  swimming underneath my board. (That was my birthday present from God.)

I am 53 years old and I am living the abundant life that Christ has given me.

Abundance shouldn’t always be measured in dollars and cents. It should also be measured by joy. And, for me, it’s also measured in adventures and opportunities.

On this birthday, abundance is being able to get up and down on the paddle board as I float down a river and avoid the overhanging limbs. Abundance is getting pinned against a tree and holding on to my paddle for dear life because you should never ever drop your paddle. . Abundance is being fit enough to ride my bike through the woods and have a picnic of nuts and raisins. Abundance is having dolphins swim so close that it feels as if you could dive in and swim with them.

And finally, abundance is being so tired from all that you’ve seen and done that all you want to do is curl up in your hero’s arms, lay your head on his chest, and go to sleep.