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Archive for the tag “Abundant life”

The Big Picture

When I worked in the corporate world, one of the things that always came up on my review was the fact I couldn’t always see the big picture. I would get bogged down in details. I am a details kind of person so I couldn’t ever make headway on this weakness. However, I am a great helper. If someone else has the big picture, I am great to help meet those big picture goals. As long as someone else can see, I will be the one to go to in order to get it done. That’s the corporate world, however. In the spiritual world, I can see clearly. Well, most of the time.

One of the things I keep asking God is for more wisdom. These days, it’s hard to know who’s telling the truth. You can’t just go to the internet or the local news channel or read the newspaper unless you know the ones who are behind the scenes writing the information. Everybody has a perspective that may not be coming from the True Source. We all need more discernment in this day and age. I am sorry to say it’s not going to get much better. I hope it will – by God’s grace maybe He will allow another graceful period. I pray for it; however, so far I don’t see it coming. God’s hands may have been taken off of us for good and given over to the “depraved” mind foretold in Scripture.

So what’s the big picture here? One of the most important things I see is the attack made on the family in these last few years. Family is important to me. I love my family as you could probably guess from previous postings. Family is also important to God. God instigated the family concept from the very beginning. The concept of family portrays His family. God created a nation out of one man Abraham; He set forth this concept of His family blessing the earth through Abraham’s ultimate offspring, Jesus. Through Jesus we are adopted into His family when we believe Jesus is God’s Son.

The other day, I heard it said this way by Rice Broocks: “Jesus became a man to live the life we should have lived; who died the death we should have died; three days later He rose from the dead proving He is God’s Son.” If we believe this and have turned back to God (repented) and trust Him daily, we are part of His family. Robert Morris said recently “sinners don’t go to hell. Unbelievers go to hell.” We all sin and fall short of God’s standards. It’s the belief in Jesus that allows us into heaven.

Hell was not made for man; it was made for God’s enemy Satan and his demons. However, Satan has been active in making sure he doesn’t go alone. He distorts the truth and makes us doubt God. He turns our attention to the wrong things and makes us desire the wrong way and lies about the consequences. And we believe him instead of the truth found through Jesus – His way is the best way to an abundant life – everything else leads to death.

Most think it’s an exclusive club – however, God made it inclusive – whosoever will believe – anyone can believe. There is no condemnation for our sins – Jesus came to forgive our sins – Satan condemns us. If we will turn away from our sinful life, through Jesus we can live a life devoted to Him. But Satan makes everything else seem better. Why? Satan’s goal is to become like God; he wants to be worshipped and have his own throne. And right now, he is having a field day. One of Satan’s goals is to go after the heart of the family. If the family falls, everything else is easy pickings.

I watched an interview with Pastor Tony Evans’ children – Priscilla Shirer led the interview with her siblings. It was an interesting conversation. They had their issues with sin, but today they are stronger together because of the battles they faced. My own family had our issues too. And today, we are stronger too. Our family unit is solid because of our deep bound with each other and also of the belief we have in Jesus. He is our rock and our fortress. He holds us together.

When families don’t have this anchor, it’s no wonder they are tossed about like a ship on the wildest ocean. They believe Satan’s lies and families are destroyed because of it. Whatever the person is considering today, if it is not found in Jesus; it’s a lie that will have consequences. Killing the family, having an affair; molesting a child; whatever that lie spoken in the dark will have devastating consequences.

Only Jesus will bring forth life – abundant life. He promised it through His death and resurrection. He paid for sin in full by His blood – His sacrifice so that we could live differently. This is the Good News we need today – as Rice Broocks recently said – it’s Good News because it’s True News. We’re getting so used to fake news when we need to be reminded there really is True News we can count on. Jesus is the Big Picture we need today to bring hope to this worn out and weary world. Know your source of Truth.

Those who are motivated by the flesh only pursue what benefits themselves. But those who live by the impulses of the Holy Spirit are motivated to pursue spiritual realities. For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set controlled by the Spirit finds life and peace. Romans 8:5-6 (TPT)

For when you live controlled by the flesh, you are about to die. But if the life of the Spirit puts to death the corrupt ways of the flesh, we then taste his abundant life. Romans 8:13 (TPT)

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Choose Life

For the last couple of weeks, I have been listening to a health summit on glyphosate and genetically engineered foods (GMOs). I love to learn so I check out the latest information through these health summits. Most of the time, the speakers are the same. The speakers will come on these summits to sell books or products they develop. They will spin the message based on the health topic of the summit but they always promote their product. I don’t have a problem with this. It’s a way to get their message out.

The health summits are usually secular in nature so I usually don’t get a spiritual message from it. That’s not why I listen. My passion is to help others find true health in mind, body and spirit. The message can come through different avenues. I put on my discernment cap and listen intently to the topic at hand and glean wisdom from these speakers. If it so happens to be a Christian speaker (and there are a few out there in the natural health world), I will listen that much more intently to their message.

With this latest summit, it has just made me angry. There are many health concerns with glyphosate and GMOs which I will post for my monthly newsletter on August 1. However, the reason for my anger is a spiritual one. The summit was about a health topic, but I see the enemy’s hands all over this topic of glyphosate and GMOs. You might think I have bought into a conspiracy theory, but I hope you will continue reading to understand where I stand on this subject.

We are told in John 10:10, the enemy (known in this verse as the thief) comes to steal, kill and destroy. I think we can all agree the country (and the world) is going a bit crazy these days. I believe there is an evil force trying to destroy us as a nation and especially trying to destroy the church. Yes, we are divided as a nation – whether political, race or rich and poor. Something is happening like no other time in history. And yes, we have seen other times of great division. However, I believe something greater is going on. It just feels different. I may be wrong about this. But hear me out. There are many threads of thought on this one topic, but stay with me on this, please.

Since the beginning of time, we have been in a conflict with the powers of darkness. Since man has been made in the image of God, Satan has been against man. He wants to destroy everything God has made – he wants to destroy God’s Kingdom. Satan’s goal has always been to have his own kingdom and to be like God. His aim is to steal, kill and destroy everything God has put in place.

God desired man to have dominion over the earth. Adam couldn’t have dominion by himself alone. He needed to rely upon God’s strength because the enemy has always been against him. By God’s word, Adam could withstand the enemy. However, Adam was defeated in the Garden because he believed Satan’s word over God’s. Since that time, the enemy has been working throughout history to put an end to God’s Kingdom. He has used people to do his bidding. He gives us just enough truth to reel us in and we believe what he feeds us – just as Adam did.

When I listened to this health summit, one of the speakers began to talk about the destruction of our DNA through these genetically engineered seeds. He mentioned the altered gene actually has the potential to alter our genes. Our seed – our children and our grandchildren could be affected for generations – forever changing who we are as human beings. Scary thought.

A few weeks ago, I heard someone say by the year 2030, there could be no pure DNA. The speaker referred to genes being altered to create “super humans.” But now I see this connotation could be something totally different from what the speaker intended. What does that mean? I don’t know. I just know something significant could happen because of these altered genes.

Seeds are divinely given. God intended for us to eat the green plants and seed-bearing plants (Genesis 1:29). God considered this good. However, in the 80’s, chemical companies realized they could patent seeds and they began to buy up seed companies. Now, the majority of our seed-bearing plants are now in the hands of only five chemical companies. The lie told during that time was genetically altering food genes would increase output and therefore, feed the world – it would end hunger. But that hasn’t happened. Hunger still exists. There are consequences that have yet been determined by altering genes. We haven’t seen everything from these “experiments” to nature. Changing genes sounds beneficial – increase output – sounds like a good thing. But research is proving otherwise.

We need to be on guard for Satan’s lies and attempts to steal, kill and destroy us. We are told from 1Peter 5:8 to be alert because Satan is like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. We are to be a discerning people and pay attention to what’s going on around us. And to throw a little health tip to you as well – eat organic to stay away from these GMO foods and the glyphosate that is sprayed on them. If you are interested in my monthly health-related newsletter, please sign up HERE.

I want to leave this post on the positive side. We are reminded in the second half of John 10:10 Jesus came to give us life in abundance. Satan thinks he’s going to win this battle, but he is wrong. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life and it’s through Him we will be united with the Creator God and be redeemed as the rulers of this creation. This is His victory. For His glory and for our good, be informed and watch what God will do when we stay alert. Moses directed the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob at a critical point in their history with these words – choose life and we can do the same.

Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:19-20

Finding My MoJo

Time seems to have sped up. Do you feel it? Things are just moving at breakneck speed. I just had another birthday this past weekend, and it’s made me realize how fast time really is fleeing. We all have this great commodity called time. We get to choose how we spend it. We all have the same amount in a day. We just don’t know how many days we have. As a general rule, I don’t like to waste my time. But I do feel like I waste it at times when I just don’t feel productive. The enemy wants to steal our time. He distracts us from being productive.

One of my favorite things to do is play golf. Some would say that is just a waste of time with nothing gained by it. But I do believe it’s a great way to please God through the relationships that we foster as we play. Through the years, my Dad has been my playing partner. We used to play quite often. It was a great way to bond with my Dad. Nowadays, it’s only three or four times a year. Dad quit playing about three or four years ago; it just got to be too hard on him (he is turning 90 this year!). It makes me a little sad that I can no longer play with my Dad. We can’t go back to the way things were; we have to accept the way things are now and enjoy the time we have together.

Relationships bond over great difficulties, and on a golf course there are many. Most players dread the “water holes” where we all have to make it across a water obstacle. Usually, I have no trouble getting over water. I pick a club that will get me to the other side. This past Saturday, I lost a ball to the dreaded water hazard. I had been playing with that ball for a couple of rounds so I was a little sad that I lost it (and it cost me a penalty stroke, which is not good!). The brand stamped on it was MoJo (by Nike). It’s a fun name, isn’t it? My thought when the ball hit the water was “I want my MoJo back!” A funny thing happened on the next hole; I found another ball with MoJo stamped on it. I did get my MoJo back!

Golf may seem to be a waste of time to some, but to me this is how I enjoy my life. God gave me golfing skills and an enjoyment for the game. I believe He’s enjoying me as I play. I think it pleases Him when we use what He’s given us. Just like my Dad who watched me play over the years and bragged to his friends about my abilities (he taught me how to play), I think God gets a kick out of us doing the things we enjoy. And I get a kick out of seeing miracles on the golf course! God does stay right alongside us!

I had a hole in one a few years back. That day was a beautiful with a slight breeze behind my back. When I hit that ball, I knew it was something special. It felt different from all the other times. That was a miracle that can only be attributed to God. The week before I had done something that God had asked of me, and I believe God blessed me with this special moment because of my obedience. God impressed upon me to go visit a friend who was on her death-bed. I didn’t know why I needed to go, but I did what I believed God wanted me to do. It was scary because I had never done anything like that before. How do you say goodbye to a friend like that? See you soon?

About a year later, I had another occasion to say goodbye to someone else. This time it was my Mom. This time, it was much more difficult. It has taken me years to get to a better place. Celebrating my birthday without my Mom still hurts a little. Since my Mom’s death, my life hasn’t been the same. I lost something with her death. I think I lost my MoJo. MoJo is described as a magic charm. I think of it as our vital force, something within us that motivates us to do better things. We all have to find a new normal after someone’s death. Time moves on and so do we.

Our passed loved ones would not want us living in the past with the way things were. They would want us to have a wonderful life doing the things we love and enjoying every minute we are given. Time is precious and we should be using it wisely. We will never know when God will call us home. This is our time to get ready, to be fruitful and enjoy what God has given us to enjoy. It’s time to find our MoJo and do better things. This is better than finding a golf ball. This is finding our stride on God’s path. He has promised to give us an abundant life. It’s time we all find our MoJo and live life to the full!

A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. John 10:10 (MSG)

There’s a Difference

I have been told that I am different. My tastes are unique. After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease eleven years ago, I eat differently than most people. The first Easter after my change to a healthier lifestyle was the first time I experienced the reality that I was totally different. My Mom was still alive and well at that point. The family was together as was the tradition for holidays. As usual, Mom fixed everyone’s favorite food, except I couldn’t eat any of it.

Mom forgot that I could no longer eat like the rest of the family. I had to have a different menu. Not because I wanted to be different, but because I had chosen to treat my disease with a food-based approach and not a medical prescription approach. My Mom didn’t get it. My family didn’t get it. And on that Easter Sunday, I had to come to terms with hard reality of being different.

I don’t think many people really like to be different, especially young people. We like our friends to be similar to us. Even our church life has the same mentality. We want to be like our neighbors – nice car, nice house, perfect lifestyle with perfect kids. And sometimes that comes with a hefty price tag. We go into debt to finance our desires. I heard Dave Ramsey say recently on a show that we need to be different. Normal is to be in debt. Different is to have a healthy bank account without the burden of debt. The Bible tells us debt is our master; we are a servant to it (Proverbs 22:7). Possessions possess us.

We all need a hard reality check. Jesus didn’t come to burden us but to free us from our burdens. No matter what we struggle with – health issues, debt, unhealthy habits, etc. – Jesus is the answer. How you say? If we are followers of Jesus, we should have a different mentality. We should have a different focus. Pastor Tony Evans has a teaching series on eternal focus. We should be living in the light of eternity. Possessions shouldn’t possess us – sell it. Move into something that is affordable. Free up the bank account so that it allows for Kingdom purpose – to help those in need at a moment’s notice.

Living a healthy lifestyle has changed me in more ways than just my eating habits. It has freed me from the burden of feeling sick and tired all the time. I have the freedom with a clear mind and satisfied heart. Living well is a choice. It may have a steep learning curve, but it’s worth it to be different. Finding the right people to encourage us along the way is important. We don’t all have to be alike. It’s healthy to have a diverse friendship base. They can teach us many things. However, there always has to be a true foundation of belief in Jesus so that no one can move us from Jesus’ rock of truth.

Jesus promised us the gift of the Holy Spirit when we receive His gift of salvation. The Holy Spirit is our guide to living a different life. The Spirit will give us a check in our spending habits, in our eating habits and in choosing a different path. However, we have to be sensitive to His promptings. If we continue to ignore the promptings, we will no longer feel His leading away from the things that will entangle us in an unhealthy life. There’s a difference in the way we live when the Spirit is in control. It’s not easy living differently, but it’s very rewarding when the Spirit gives us a nudge in the right direction. There’s always a blessing when we do the right thing.

As followers of Jesus, the world cannot give us what we desire. When we look to worldly things, we leave God out of the equation. When God is in the picture, everything is seen in a different light. I had a conversation last week with a fellow at the gym about marriage. He said marriage was overrated. I said, God has to be in the marriage too in order for it to be a good marriage. God has to be in the middle of our lives in order for it to be a good life. We have to live differently. It’s the only way to live a truly joyful, peaceful life. Jesus is the answer. Choose to be different!

For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News. 2 Timothy 1:9-10 (NLT)

Life and Death

Over the last month, death has been on my mind. I have had a few people die recently that have touched my life in some way. None of them were close friends or family, but all of them died suddenly. Maybe they had been sick in one form or another, but death is just always just one last breath away. We never know when death will come to claim us. God says He has numbered our days. We are just a fine mist; here today gone tomorrow.

For much of my life, I have lived it by just drifting through. I didn’t accomplish much. I lived just getting by. I lived going from weekend to weekend; from paycheck to paycheck. I worked so that I could live. But is that all there is to life; to just get by? Or is there something greater to obtain? Climbing the corporate ladder to success, but where does that really get us? I watched a program recently that showed a woman’s closet that was three stories tall. She was showing all her valuables stored in this closet. I wondered if that is what success is all about? A closet full of clothes and accessories? There’s got to be more, right? A couple of weeks later, there was a news report that the lady had a break in and some of her most valuable possessions were stolen. Imagine that? I am not judging this woman’s heart or her possessions.

After this report, I thought of where our treasure is placed. We are told in Scripture to store our treasure in heaven, not in the earthly things that can rot or be stolen. What we store in heaven will grow in abundance. Thieves cannot take away what is placed in God’s hands. Jesus said nothing that is put in God’s hands can be snatched away. I’m sure He was not talking about material possessions but the things that God treasures the most – people. His love is so great for each one of us. But most of the time we give very little thought to Him. We just drift through this life without real thought or purpose. But we are made for more. Jesus said in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Is my life full?

Did those who died recently, did they have the fullness that is promised in Jesus? I don’t know their stories. I don’t know what was in their hearts. I don’t know if Jesus was fully contained within so their lives reflected His love outwardly. That is not for me to judge; but I have to look at my own heart and life. This is for me to discern. This is for me to look and judge my own reflection – is Jesus evident in my life? Am I living with purpose and dedication to what Jesus wants to do through me? This is my time to reflect as I consider my own mortality. I want my life to touch others in a way that gives God the glory. I want to be a reflection of Jesus. I want to make a difference here so that I may gain treasure in heaven. This will be a successfully full life here. This I want desperately because there is a desperate world out there that needs to see Jesus. There isn’t much time left. My days are numbered. And who knows when Jesus may come again. I need to be busy; I have said it too many times; I need to make it count and do it.

No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. Deuteronomy 30:14-16

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