Food-session

Why pay money for something that will not nourish you?  Why spend your hard-earned money on something that will not satisfy?  Listen carefully to me and eat what is nourishing!”  Isaiah 55:2 (NET)

Would you put maple syrup in your car instead of gasoline?  “But it tastes better!”  Maybe so, but the car won’t run on maple syrup.  In fact, you might end up ruining your car!

Look around.  That’s just what we (as a society) are doing.  Filling our mouths with for that tastes good, but does not provide us with the nourishment we need.  Food that ends up ruining the marvelous creation that God made.

Food was meant to be fuel for the body.  Food was intended to serve the body and provide it what it needs for optimal performance.  But our society has completely inverted that formula.  For many, the body is at the mercy of food.  We are food-obsessed.  The pleasure of our taste-buds has taken first priority, and nutrition and nourishment have taken a back seat (heck, they may even have been tossed out of the car by now)!

Join me in the fight against this obsession with food (our “food-session,” for short).  Reclaim the body as God designed and intended. Reclaim food as fuel — as nourishment for your body — and not as the destroyer of God’s good creation.  Reclaim God’s intended order that food is for the body not the other way around.

It’s going to be a tough fight.  I have a 8-year-old and a 6-year-old.  I tell them often that we eat for our bodies, not for our mouths.  On certain days, I have them look at “My Healthy Plate” and tell me what categories of intake they are lacking for that day.  Our kids are surrounded by more than junk food; they are bombarded by crap-food (pardon me).  Sometimes it’s distressing, but all the more reason that we cannot give up the fight.

Will you join me?  There’s still time to make a difference and show our Lord that we really do value the very good creation He gave us.

The Process of Purity

… Let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit.  And let us work toward complete purity because we fear God.”  2 Corinthians 7:1 (NLT)

If you ever wondered if God cared about the body, read Paul’s letters to the church in Corinth.  Paul’s message is clear : It matters to God what we do with our bodies!

First of all, God created our bodies, breathed life into them, and called His creation very good.  (Genesis 1:26-2:7)

In doing so, He has given each of us a unique and individual gift (our own body) to grow and steward and care for every day of our lives.

And He made it clear that it matters to Him how we care for it.  For the nation of Israel, God gave many laws about what to eat, what not to eat; what to touch, what not to touch; when to work and when to rest.  And for the church, Paul echoes the principle of devoting all of who we are to the Lord — that the body also matters in our devotion to God.

So as I aim to raise the value of returning health and fitness to the realm of the sacred, I constantly have to evaluate my own progress in that journey.  And, as it is with the other aspects of ourselves that we devote to God (e.g., mind and soul), the process of devoting my body to God IS a journey.  And real journeys generally do not go up and to the right all the time.  Some seasons are better than others; some harder.  Sometimes it’s two steps forwards and one step back.  Sometimes it’s victory in one aspect with defeat in another.  And my journey is the same.  I just pray that it’s always moving forward….

So as you examine your life and your whole-life devotion, remember that God wants all of you. Don’t stop at considering just what might defile your soul, but also … as Paul reminds us … what might defile the body as well.  And when things go wrong (because they do), don’t let the evil one use it to beat you down.  Remember that God is the author of process … that Jesus understands our weakness … and victory has already been won for us (although we have yet to lay hold of it).  Just get back up.  Seek to learn what it is you need to learn, and never give up.  In our weakness is His strength.  We just need to find it.

If you are like me, you want to devote everything to Him.  I like to say, “All of me, all for you.”  That’s the goal, but I fall down.  And God in His love and mercy responds to my cries for forgiveness and lovingly picks me up.

Someday I’ll get all the way there, but He will have brought me home by then.  So until then, I’m in the process ….

Growing Stronger

“‘You don’t have enough faith,’ Jesus told them. ‘I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.'” Matthew 17:20 (NLT)

Faith is like a muscle. The more you use it and exercise it, the stronger it grows.  I have yet to move a mountain (so my faith must still be smaller than a mustard seed), but my faith is growing. It is a muscle I want to grow and develop and use to its utmost.

God made our bodies covered with a myriad of muscles. If you’ve never admired the muscular system, I’d highly recommend it! It’s an amazing thing. Layers and layers of muscles — some large, others tiny — each with a specific purpose and role.  But God also designed our muscular system with this principle: muscles are to be used, and if they aren’t used, they atrophy. If you don’t exercise them, they dwindle. And the more you exercise, the bigger and stronger they grow.

And so it is with faith. The more we exercise it, the stronger it becomes. Sometimes we face circumstances where we can choose to step out in faith. Other times, we find that circumstances have come upon us that give us no other choice but to exercise faith. But either way, we end up with the chance to develop our faith muscle.  We get to find and tap into a muscle that perhaps we haven’t used in years, but as we do, we find it grows.  And in the end, that’s a gift.

Faith is like a muscle.  Perhaps one day the mountain will move.