Monday, April 29, 2019


Lately I have been struggling with an addiction that really my husband only knows about.  In fact I have enticed him into my addiction  a few times.  The place I buy my drug of choice has been out of them for almost two months. I found myself looking for an excuse to go to this one store to see if they had gotten more but so far none have shown up.  I have tried other products similar to them but they do not cut the craving I have.  

I know a little about addictions because for  20 years I smoked heavily.  I got saved  Oct. of 1980 and the Spirit of God begin to convict me of smoking. It was so hard to quit or I should say, try to quit. I would decide today is the day that what ever I had left in the pack I would throw away only to find myself hours later digging through the garbage trying to find at least one that was not coffee soaked. It went on that way for about a month and finally I totally laid them down. Then the full blown withdrawal started. My head hurt, my nerves was shot, I could not sleep and I was worried I would not be able to make it through Christmas with our family who all  smoked.   The withdrawals do subside  and about a month later it was gone but then I had to face the time with family.  By the grace of God I was able to make it through the first holiday gathering without smoking. Never smoked again. 

Another addiction I had was Pepsi, drank it every day, a lot everyday.  Then I started getting kidney stones and guess what the doctors told me to give up?  Of course it was Pepsi, soda is filled with acid.  Gave up coffee too, another addiction.  

I am a stress eater and we all know there is no getting away from stress.  My extrovert personality brings stress on myself at times by me over doing.  For years I used Lays potatoes as another  drug of choice.  I had a dear friend who knew how much I loved Lays chips so she send me two bags when we lived in Papua New Guinea.  She bought a hard plastic container to put them in so they would not get crushed and they made it half way around the world to my house sitting on the ocean with jungle all around me.   Never has anything tasted as good as those chip when I opened them. I shared one bag and ate the other all by myself.  I finally broke myself of eating them everyday and hardly buy them now.  Living in a 5th world country will break a lot of bad habits.  

Some of you know I had double bypass surgery two years ago.  In fact I had three blocked arteries but the one in the back of my heart they could not get a bypass sewed onto it, so there it sits, inside my heart all clogged up.  You would think knowing that I would not be prone to anything that would hurt my health.  Yet this one little item has captured my taste buds.   If only I could continue with my addiction and not harm myself I would, that's how good it taste.

Food is my drug of choice,  not just any food , but sugar, specificity chocolate, more specificity, Walmart brand, Great Value Chocolate covered peanut butter cookies.  When they were in stock I would buy four or five packs so I would not run out.  Of course I used the excuse I would use them for snack for my bible study or share with my Grandchildren.  Yeah sure.  Step one has been admitting I am addicted. Step two is breaking it.  So I have been doing some research. 

In my quest to get rid of my sugar addiction I came across a quiz to see if I really was addicted to sugar.  I failed it.

Then this morning in my devotions I read this:  With out the rescue of God's grace, we are all wise fools heading for danger we simple don't see.  So we eat more than we should while denying the physical, empirical evidence of our foolishness.  We spend ourselves into hopeless debt and are surprised when we can no longer pay our bills.  We live selfishly and judgmentally in relationship and then wonder why so much tension and distance exist between us.  That's why Paul says, "For the foolishness of God is wiser than men and the weakness of God is stronger than men" (I Cor. 1:25). Paul is saying that if it were possible for God to be foolish, His most foolish moment would be infinitely wiser than our most wisest moment.  How humbling!  Paul Tripp Like I said, I have taken step one, admitting I am addicted to those little round chocolate filled peanut butter cookies.  Some say it's not good to "cold turkey" quit something that is bad for us.  So I am going to try limiting myself to two little cookies a day, which I just had with my tea. 

What do you think, cold turkey, limitation, eat apples and oranges instead?  What has worked for you in the past?

Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Middle of the Story

Friday night our pastor preached on the crucifixion as I am sure many pastor did.  It was a sad but wonderful message for it set the stage for the middle of the greatest story ever told. First came the birth, but actually the beginning of the story starts in Genesis 1:1.  Over and over God tells the story, over and over through different men and women who played important roles in this story.  Through history as it unfolds, tower of babel, a flood all over the world,  one King after another, countless idols and some of the most horrific act done to mankind.  It's all there in the beginning.  Now we are at  the middle part of the story, first came His birth, born of a virgin, preaching at 12 in the temple, worked for His father, heading for the cross.  Called 12 men to train to train others after He was gone. The betrayal, the denial, the prayer in the garden to the Father.  Getting closer to the middle of the story, His beating, His carrying of His own cross, nails pounding in His flesh.  The weight of His body as it hung on the cross, watching His mother, His disciples, the guards, the crowd, the other two on the cross, all part of the story.  Then His final last words, the day turning into night as He breathe His last, those watching trembling from fear.

To so many there that day, actually almost everyone thought it was the end of the story.

I hate it when a story ends bad. I watched a show the other night about a Marine home from Iraq, he went awol and hid out in the wood.  He met some others living a remote lifestyle and thought he had found a new life.  I thought this is going to end well...wrong...he turned out to be a murder running from the murder of his wife.  He killed some of the people he was living with then himself.  I was stunned at the ending, why would they make a movie with such a bad ending.

But, that's how stories go sometimes.  There He is, dead on the cross, all those things He said, forgotten, He was dead.  His mother wanted her Son down from the cross so He could be buried.  Nobody planned on Him dying so funeral arrangements had been made, there was no tomb for Him until a rich man gave a tomb to the family.

Everyone was sad, distraught, disappointed, grieving , this is how this ends.  Wait, didn't He say something about rising again, but He is dead, cold, blue, dead laying in a tomb. It's over.  

Up from the grave He arose,
with a mighty triumph o’er his foes;
he arose a victor from the dark domain,
and he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

The song, Up From The Grave He Arose, is the end of the middle of the story.   We are living in the end of the middle of the story. He has died, rose again, sitting at the right hand of His Father.  He will never have to be born of a virgin again, never be crucified again, never die again, never have to rise again.  Without this part, the cross, the last part of the story cannot happen.  He had to endure the cross for us so He could come again to take us to our heavenly home.  Praise God for the story of Jesus, who like His Father really had no beginning, He always was but suffered a middle so we could have an eternity ending.  
Happy Easter 


Sunday, April 14, 2019

Once Again God

Emoticon, Emoji, Angry, Cartoon, EmotionOnce again, I had to deal with the anger that resides inside me. Once again, after my anger was spent by unloading on someone I love,  I had to deal with the guilt for allowing myself to explode.  Once again, I fell before the Lord asking Him to help me with my anger.

Thank God,  He is a,  "once again" God, for His forgiveness was there, ready for me to accept it and open myself up for learning more about the root of this anger I deal with.

It would be easier to write about all the wrong that has been done to me and get you on my side.  I have a friend that I don't  open up to much because she tend to remind me I have been through a lot as if I deserve to feel the way I do.  That kind of reasoning is no help if I want to be like Jesus. He was never self righteous.  To be honest that is exactly what is the root of my anger.

I was always applauded at the story  in Matthew 18 about the unmerciful servant, a guy who owed the king millions of dollars. The king orders him to be sold with his wife and kids and everything he owns, to pay back his debt.

The servant pleads with the king and the king has pity and lets him go, debt free.

What came next is what angers me.  This servant in turns will not forgive someone else  who owed  him money.  It was a small amount of money owed to him and he had just been forgiven a huge debt he owed by the king.

 Peter ask Jesus, how many times do we need to forgive, would seven times be enough?

Brant Hansen who wrote the book, Un-Offendable tells it this way,  "Jesus says to Peter,   not even close, and then lets us know that, before God, we are in far deeper debt that anyone needing forgiveness from us. In that story, we are not, "just guilty" as the one whom we need to forgive.  We're worse.

The quote continues, If I get to determine whether my anger is righteous or not, I'm in trouble. So are you. The reason: we can't trust ourselves.

Trusting in yourself sounds like a perfectly normal things to do.  Problem is, for the believer, it isn't biblical at all.  We are deceptive to the core.  Jer. 17:9 ESV, The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick: who can understand it?  

End of quote: My thoughts:  When self righteous is reigning we are not trusting God, We are afraid he will not mete out justice, that people won't get what they deserve.

Hansen quotes: So perhaps our entitlement to anger is our little way of making sure some measure of justice is served.

Jesus wants to disrupt this kind of thinking.  Remember the women caught in adulteress, how the men wanted to stone her. I mean, she was guilty,  and they believed, no doubt, they were doing the right thing. they were carrying out God's justice, they thought. I love the way Hansen paraphrases what Jesus said to them,  "You can't do this, because you're all just as guilty. Every single one of you.

Another Hanson quote, Anger makes me think I have a right to hold the stone. I may not throw it, but I'll hold on to it, since the other person really did do that horrible things.  Jesus flipped their story upside down. And since He wants to do this for us, I say we let Him.  When you do, you'll find you have no standing to hold on to anger, ever.  Truth is, we want Jesus to leave our self righteousness intact.  He wants to smash it.

Well, by now you should have figured out where this post came from.  From the heart of a self righteous women who wants to go deeper with God.  God is opening up doors in my heart that I have let Him in before but as soon as the light got too bright I would shut it again.

Once again, He is answering my prayer and giving me what I ask for.  Take me deep, was my prayer, take me deep.  Good thing He is my life line or I would drown in defeat and guilt.  

I hope you are not one who thinks I am being too hard on myself, trust me I am not.  In no way am I getting what I deserve.  I deserve hell, He bought and paid for heaven. Not only that when I fail here on earth, He does not take His love, forgiveness, strength and so much more away.