Roman 12:1-2

"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:1-2

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

inside outside upside down

Ever read the Berenstein Bears book called Inside Outside Upside Down? It is a cute book to introduce prepositions, with Brother Bear inside a box, outside on the back of a truck, and eventually upside down.

I have been very inward focused lately. Instead of being focused on others and my interaction with the world. And it has left me feeling upside down.

I have been trudging (good word, trudging) through the murky mud of medical tests, feeling very discouraged, the whole nine yards. My friends are all very supportive, always asking me how things are going, how the latest test turned out, if I need anything. And I am grateful for their kindnesses. But I felt angry this week, thinking, "I am more than this illness! Ask me about what I am reading, what I am learning, what I am doing."

The irony is that I am not doing anything. I have not read my Bible outside of church in I can't say how long. I don't go anywhere. Sadly, my life does revolve around this illness.

But I am the only one who can change that. So I am putting together a perpetual calendar of outward focused things I can do: write to a missionary, call a friend. I need 31 different things for this calendar.

What do you do to take your mind off yourself and focus on God's world and His people around you? Share your ideas!

Let's be outside inside right-side up!

Friday, January 11, 2013


I am doing a personal in-depth study of the prmises of God. What, exactly, has God promised us? A song by Sanctus Real, recently released, is called "Hold On To the Promises." The bridge of the song recites Romans 8: "neither death nor life can separate us from the love of God."

This is definitely a reassuring promise. Nothing I do or experience will make God love me less.

But I wanted to know what other promises God makes, so I started in Genesis. I determined that there are at least 5 categories of promises in Scripture:

                          * to individuals
                          * to Israel
                          * to Christians
                          * to everyone
                          * promise of consequences

It is this last category I want to discuss. Remember as a kid, your big brother said, "If you don't smell my sweaty socks, I'm going to knock you out."

"Oh yeah?"


"Is that a threat?"

"No, it's a promise."

God is kinder than my big brother (just slightly!), but I got that impression when I first read Genesis 2:17 -- do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or you will surely die.

I questioned this. I almost wanted it to not fit into the categories I had assigned, make it not really a promise. Why is the first promise God gives that harsh?

Keep reading...

Genesis 3:15 -- after Adam and Eve sin, God promises a Savior, the first time in Scripture that Jesus is foreshadowed.

Why is God harsh first?

Because if I first don't know I am a sinner, I won't accept the wonderful gift of a Savior.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

food and the Spirit

This blog will be reposted at both Transformed and Not By Bread Alone...

This diet that I have been on is both good for me and hard to do, hard to stick to and yet so necessary.

Over the Christmas holidays I ate more bread products and sugar than I should have, though I was still good on the dairy end. By the weekend between Chritmas and New Year's , nearly a week of not eating what I should, I felt it. My joints hurt and my belly revolted. While I could blame the joints on the snowstorm Saturday, there is no reason for my belly except I cheated.

And once again I acknowledged this truth and vowed to eat only what I need to in order to avoid this problem.




My thought life and spiritual input have been less thans stellar lately. So much so that I am in the dark. I have immersed myself in the equivalent of marshmallows, and sometimes even the equivalent of antifreeze. When I stop long enough to think, I realize I am sad and lonely and unhappy. So I reach for more "marshmallows" to make me feel better, but the results are always the same.

Last night I realized this truth -- again; just as the bread makes my belly hurt, what I have been reading and thinking about is making my heart hurt. And it is a hurt that doesn't work itself out. It needs the grace and intervention of God.

Every time I go through this cycle (I am sooooo like the Israelites in the time of the Judges!), I return, eventually, to 2 Peter 1: 3-9. And it seems each time God emphasizes something different for me to learn.
This time it is verse 4:

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

Why has He given me his precious promises? Such promises as "I will never leave you or forsake you" and "There is therefore now no condemnation" and "Come to me, all who are weary, and I will give you rest."

These promises are so that I can participate in his divine nature and ESCAPE THE CORRUPTION IN THE WORLD CAUSED BY EVIL DESIRES. 

My problem is neither that I like bread, nor that I read what I shouldn't.

My problem -- my sin -- is that I am not fulfilling God's purpose for my life.