This passage was in my morning reading….

And Peter followed at a distance.  The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there.  A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, “This man was one of Jesus’ followers!”
But Peter denied it. “Woman,” he said, “I don’t even know him!”
 After a while someone else looked at him and said, “You must be one of them!”,
“No, man, I’m not!” Peter retorted.
About an hour later someone else insisted, “This must be one of them, because he is a Galilean, too.”
 But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.

While I’m the first to admit that denying Jesus is a big deal, I want to think about this another way.

Remember, he had just recently declared that Jesus was more than a teacher and much more than a friend, he was indeed the Messiah.  (Matthew 16:16)

When questioned, he’s not just denying the man known as Jesus. He’s not denying the carpenter he took fishing. Or the guy that he had dinner with last night. He’s denying the truth that was revealed to him by God.

Now you might be thinking that you would never deny truth of Jesus Christ as boldly as Peter did. But what about those little truths that God has whispered into your spirit?

Jesus said that, “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 

What if you're so busy denying the truth that it can't set you free? 

Since this is a blog about aligning spirit, soul/mind, and body. Then I’ve got to ask you these questions….

  • What do you know that you should be doing to take care of yourself but you’re not?
  • Are you holding a grudge?
  • Is there some stinking thinking that you need to change?
  • Are you eating things that you know are harmful to your health and self-esteem?
  • Do you find excuses to get out of daily exercise?
  • Is there someone you need to forgive?

 

 

 

Decision to change

so-if-you-dont-like-your-life-change-it-how-would-you-change-it-you-decide-theres-no-action-without-quote-1Yesterday’s post might have sounded harsh. While that wasn’t my intention, I am convinced that change will not happen until we decide to change. And we can’t decide to change until we start thinking about change.

I wish that I could live the abundant life that Christ gave me without me having to do  anything. It would be much easier if God just snapped his fingers and everything in my life changed. But it doesn’t happen that way. And you know why? Because I would lose my ever-loving mind! And I would always be afraid that I could lose it as quickly as I got it.

Picture this scenario…..

Y27e7a53525958b9a7e53f88bc9804c22ou get ready to go to bed with your life just as it is everyday. You know that tomorrow there will be laundry and dishes waiting for you when you wake up because you are just too tired to tackle them tonight. Your husband is laying in bed beside you watching some stupid television show with the volume turned up to concert levels. You can hear your kids arguing. And all you want is to get some sleep.a-stunning-picket-fencing-with-yellow-and-white-daisy-flower-also-fieldstone-paving-pathways-to-create-humble-atmosphere

You wake up in the next morning suddenly living in your spotless dream home  with the white picket fence. You feel and look like a million bucks. Your husband has suddenly morphed into  Prince Charming. Your children are acting like little angels.

And you don’t know what to do with yourself! The truth is that you can’t even really enjoy it because you know that tomorrow everything can go back to how it used to be.

This is why God allows us to participate in our own spiritual, relational, and physical transformation. He wants us to be able to enjoy the abundant life that Christ has promised. While He won’t snap his fingers and change everything,  we don’t have to do it on our own. God gives us more than enough grace to work through the changes that we need to make. He gives us wisdom to make better decisions and the self-control to follow through. He gives us peace that passes understanding. He gives us patience and perseverance to see it through. And He loves us with a perfect love that casts out all of our fear.

And all of these gifts come with the decision to change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting dressed for church….

Getting dressed for church….

This morning we will get ready to go to church. We’ll put on makeup and do our hair. We’ll stand in front of our closets wondering what to wear. And all the while we are getting ready for church, we will be talking to ourselves.

Most of us will complain about how we look. We’ll tell ourselves that we’re too fat, too old, and out of shape. Many of us are having a bad hair day and are wishing we had hair like Jennifer Aniston. Others are noticing new wrinkles for the first time. We may even ask our husbands the dreaded question…..

Do these pants make my butt look fat?

We are feeling insecure before we ever make it through the church doors. And when we get there, we may even start feeling  worse about ourselves! Maybe the lead singer is young and beautiful. Maybe the pastor’s wife has fingernails and toenails that match her Chico’s So Slimming outfit. Maybe the lady behind us has on the same summer dress and it accentuates her curves perfectly while it makes us feel fat and frumpy.

Even while we are singing praises to the one who made us in His image we are rehearsing   our own insecurities.

As James would say, sisters, it isn’t right for things to be this way!

He goes on to say……

James 3: but the tongue no one can tame — it is an unstable and evil thing, full of death-dealing poison! With it we bless Adonai, the Father; and with it we curse people, who were made in the image of God.

Sisters, it’s not just those ladies who intimidate us who are made in the image of God—–We are made in his image too! It’s actually impossible for us to stand in church,  singing praise to God while we are cursing, belittling, and berating ourselves! We might be singing the words, but our hearts and minds are way too occupied with our own insecurities.

So now our insecurities have stolen not only our confidence and relationships with other women but they have also stolen our praise and worship!

This morning, I’m going to confront the lies that I tell myself every Sunday morning with the truth of God’s word!

Psalm 139:14 I thank you because I am awesomely made, wonderfully; your works are wonders — I know this very well.

And guess what? These pants make my butt look fine!

Bad habits can last til the day we die….

IMG_0088(2)
Granny @ 90!

Hank’s mom has been staying with us for the last few weeks. She’s a Southern Baptist 90 year old who takes very little medication, walks on her own, reads her Bible out loud everyday, takes her exercises, and works puzzles like it’s her job.

She is aware of what’s going on politically and during the republican debates told us that “they shouldn’t talk that way” because I’m an old lady.

Of course, at 90, she loves to tell us stories about early life and, usually, we are more than happy to listen.

She is very serious about how she looks. She’ll get up at five o’clock in the morning to get ready for the ten a.m. service at church. She’s not going to leave the house without her makeup and hair done.

And I admire that. But there is one thing that I don’t admire about my mother-in-law and that’s how poorly she views her body. She’ll say things about her “big ole’ stomach” or how her ears are “getting huge!” The other day it was a hot and humid Florida day and she complained about wearing short sleeves because of her “ugly old lady arms.” And she wears knee-highs even when it’s a 100 degrees outside so that no one sees her “terrible feet.”

Rather than celebrating her strength and how mentally alert she is, she’s complaining about her looks!

What I’ve learned from listening to her is that we don’t automatically outgrow our negative self-talk. In fact, it can become such a habit that we continue it until the day we day.

Personally, I’m doing everything I know to break that nasty habit. For me, it begins with reminding myself of these truths:

I am created in the image of God!

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness….. 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

I am wonderfully made!

Psalm 139:14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.

That’s the spiritual side of kicking the enemy’s butt in this area.

Hank helps me with this because he told me that I should never, ever point out flaws that he doesn’t see. And seeing as his eyesight is growing older along with the rest of him, he doesn’t see as much as he used to. At least not up close!

The last part of this breaking this habit is to go back to obeying one of my mom’s first rules. You remember this because you learned it too!

When you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say anything at all!

Yeap! Sometimes I just need to shut my mouth and move on!

JOY

It’s been a weekend of movies for us. We went to see 13 Hours on Saturday and Joy on Sunday. But the one that I’d recommend for all of my girlfriends who read this blog would be Joy. It’s the story of one woman who stopped listening to what everybody said she couldn’t do and began doing what she knew she could.

I think that we are all a lot like Joy and know that deep down there is greatness within. Yet, like Joy did for so many years, we get caught up in living the life that we’ve been given instead of creating the one we want. But you know what? It’s never to late to start.

What is it that you’ve always wanted to do? If you didn’t have to work to make money, what would you do? Would you paint? Would you sew?  Would you build? Would you write? Would you give?

Like Joy, do you have an idea that could make life just a little easier for someone?

Let’s you and I decide to stop wasting our free time watching television, scrolling Pinterest, mindlessly wandering through Facebook, or whatever it is we are doing. Let’s make a commitment that we will use  that time to develop the greatness that lies within.

 

Deuteronomy 8:18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

(The only downside to this movie is that she never found the courage to separate herself and her children from those who had been intent on destroying the dream within since childhood.)

 

Change, change, change……

000-a-change-in-behaviour-quotesI ran across a study guide from a message that I preached on March 21, 2004. The title of the message was “Change” and I had broken it down to an acronym.

  • Consistent Choices
  • Heartfelt
  • Action
  • Non-negotiable
  • Genuine
  • Education/Exposure

How does this apply to our quest for wellness and physical fitness? Well, we must consistently made good choices in what we put in our mouths. The desire for change must be heartfelt which means that we must be doing it for the right reasons and not just to fit into a dress or bathing suit. We must take action by choosing at least one form of exercise each day. We can no longer negotiate with ourselves or our families about what we will eat or if we will go to the gym. Genuine change is change for the long term. That means no more losing and gaining the weight. This is a lifestyle choice not a phase. And we need to educate ourselves on what truly works when it comes to diet and exercise. We also need to expose ourselves to different foods, classes, and experiences.

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. Romans 12:2 (Amplified Bible)

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