Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Word-Filled Wednesday: Repentance

When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, He changed His mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened. ~Jonah 3:10

A God who changes His mind?  Apparently so: God recognizes true repentance when our actions match up with our words, and our faithfulness can sway Him.  Just like when Moses begged God not to give up on the Israelites in the desert, the faithful response of God's people will always turn away God's anger.

With God, there is no such thing as too little, too late, if our response is genuine.  The most important thing is not delaying the response.

When God calls you to change your attitude or choices, don't hesitate or wait a single minute.  Get back on the right road as soon as you can, as soon as you know what God wants, because He is eager to respond to your repentance.  We may not escape the consequences of the choices we've made or the way we've been living; but instead of experiencing God's anger or discipline, we can know His comfort and guidance through whatever we may be facing.

~ Excerpted from The Way

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ok, ok....I hear you!

In the past 18 hours, I have seen/heard Philippians 4:13 at least five different times - all from different sources.  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Sometimes God speaks to me in subtle ways.  Sometimes I doubt that I can hear Him at all.  And then sometimes - like last night and today - He speaks to me in a way that resembles a bright, neon flashing sign.  This is when I have no choice but to throw my hands up in the air and surrender.  "Ok, God!  I hear you!"

It's no secret that Steph and I started out on a wellness journey last month.  But what I haven't been completely forthcoming about is how extremely poor I have been doing.  Sure, last week, I had two great days in a row.  I took the stairs instead of the elevator at work, I ate within my recommended number of calories, and I did Level 1 of the 30 Day Shred with Bianca at my side each day.  But then Friday night came along, and things quickly went downhill.  In fact, last night, between eating dinner at Chick-Fil-A and drinking my mocha from Starbucks during small group, I consumed more calories in that short time than the whole amount allotted for my entire day.  Not cool.

Naturally, I woke up feeling a bit discouraged.  The voices in my head haunt me.  I have Steph supporting me, my church praying for me, and the eyes of the world (ok...maybe more like 5 people!)  on me via this blog, and I still can't succeed.  I have been struggling with my weight since I was 5 years old; do I really think I can bring my addictions under control now?

I guess the answer would be a resounding no if I was going at it alone.  But if I am really depending on Jehovah Nissi, if I am surrendering total control, there is no way I can fail. 

David told us in church a few weeks ago that our struggles might not go away overnight.  The battle may rage on far longer than we would like.  But if we keep the faith, raise our banners, and remember that our sticks are just sticks, we will ultimately be victorious.  Not because of anything we can do, but solely because of the power and might of God.  (Of course, he said it much better, and you can listen to the podcast by clicking here.)

So, I get it.  I have no choice but to pick myself up once again and keep walking this road.  And eventually I will get healthy.  I will lose this extra weight.  I will be able to play for hours with my kids without getting tired.  I will be able to think clearer.  I will be able to serve my husband, children, and community better.  And it will all be attributed to Jehovah Nissi and that precious, powerful Word: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." ~ Philippians 4:13

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Word Filled Wednesday: Commitment

With the dawning of a new year and the declaration of many resolutions, I thought this blurb from The Way was rather fitting.

I was not in Jerusalem at that time, for I had returned to King Artaxerxes of Babylon in the thirty-second year of his reign, though I later asked his permission to return. ~Nehemiah 13:6

It would be easy to miss the implication of Nehemiah's passing comment that he had returned to his role of serving a foreign king.  But Nehemiah is modeling something enormous for us: commitment to a promise.  He had experienced twelve years of leadership in Jerusalem, with stunning results.  The wall had been rebuilt, and even better, the people of God had renewed their covenant with God, worship had resumed, and order had returned.  But Nehemiah remembered that he had made a commitment to the king he served while in exile - a promise to return after a specific length of time.  And he kept that commitment in the face of what must have been countless reasons to break it.

Do you have that kind of integrity when you make a commitment?

Happy New Year!

Well, here we are on Day 2 of 2013.  I must admit that I feel just wonderful about the New Year.  Overall, 2012 was not a very good year for our world.  So much pain, heartache, and disastrous events that left many people wondering if God really does exist, does He even care?  But along with the fireworks and the magical flip of the calendar, a whole new surge of positive energy has settled in.  We all have the chance to start over, to regain focus, to try to get it right this time.

The new year invokes dreaming, planning, and baby steps galore.  In the cold of winter (or heat of summer, depending on your hemisphere!), though the earth lies dormant, people slowly start to come alive again.  So much vision, so much hope bursting forth.  It truly is a wonderful time!

In numerology, 2013 is a 6 year.  It's a year that focuses on family, security, responsibility, and birthing new things.  I think my Proverbs 31 Year is definitely well timed!  Here's hoping that when the twinkling ball drops again, we can say without a doubt that yes, indeed, this Year was Happy!