Don’t Look Back

And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”  Exodus 16:2-3 (ESV)

Just as the Israelites did, continuing to live in the past can hold us back.  What the Israelites had in the past kept them in fear and they never made it to the promise land.  They forgot how God provided for them: escape from slavery in Egypt, a path, food, water and directions.

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We all have a past.  If I could, I would go back and change some things. Many things.  I would also love the opportunity to apologize to a few people, but unfortunately I can not.

Glance back at your past ONLY to appreciate how the LORD provided for you and got you through.  Stay there only long enough to thank Him for His provisions.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word.  Thank You for guiding me and showing me how my past has shaped me.  Please forgive me for wasting so much time on things from my past that I’m unable to change.  Please forgive me for not being grateful for how You protected me during that time and how You provided for me.  Holy Spirit, please help me to forget the painful and sinful moments of my past, and please remind me not to linger when my mind wanders to my past.  Thank You, for releasing me from bondage and for a new start each day!  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen. 

My Renovation Project

I am facilitating a study of “Taste for Truth” by Barb Ravling with about 50 ladies online.  This week we are focusing on appearance and renewing the mind.

My earthly father called me Fatty Patty.  I wasn’t fat.   He also called me dummy.  I’m not dumb.  I’ve carried those lies with me far too long in this life.

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I renew my mind by reading God’s Truth.  I can not do this on my own; I’m being extremely prideful when I try to make any renovations in my life on my own.

My earthly father passed away 13 years ago today.

I thought I would become free that day.  Free from having an abusive earthly father.  Free from worrying about the possibility of him hurting my children or grandchildren.  Free from his anger and hatred.  Free from the bad memories of my childhood.

My life did not change on that day because I was already free when I was accepted into the family of God. ❤  I have had a loving Father for almost 23 years now.  A Father Who has accepted me, Who doesn’t call me names and Who doesn’t hurt me.  A Father Who wants the best for me and Who doesn’t put me down.  A forgiving Father Who guides me in His Truth, Who lovingly corrects me, and Who shows me how to do better in this life.  A Father I willingly obey because He loves me, He cares for me, and He protects me.

I am who I am because of Christ, NOT my earthly father.  I am who I am because I’ve been forgiven.  I am who I am because I renew my mind with God’s Truth and do not pollute my mind with what the world says I should feel.

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If you had an abusive father or didn’t have a father present in your life at all, you DO have a heavenly Father Who loves you and desires the best for you:

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
Revelation 3:20 (ESV)

 

Tasting Truth

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”   Romans 12:1-2 (ESV)

I am reading Taste for Truth and it has been a very enlightening journey.   Instead of using a specific diet plan or digging into the reasons why people overeat, this study focuses on the boundaries we may need and the renewing of the mind in order to gain freedom from the control of food.

I started drinking at age 15.  By age 18, I was using alcohol daily to cope with my home life.  I liked the way alcohol made me feel and how it made me more outgoing.

I continued drinking in my early to mid-20’s, but quit a couple of years before I became a mom.  I didn’t enjoy hangovers and had started to take notice of coworkers, family and friends whose lives were out of control because of alcohol or drug abuse.  I am one of the fortunate rare people who could stop using alcohol without support and have had less than 10 beers over the last 30 years.

Sometime in my late-20’s, I replaced my alcohol usage with food.  Unlike alcohol or drugs, our bodies need food so overeating is the acceptable addiction in our society.  I ate when my stress level went up because I took on too many volunteer positions.  Like many people, I often ate too much at celebrations.  My overeating was the most out of control when I had to deal with stressful family situations.

One particular time was the last time I saw my father.  My siblings and I were were physically, mentally and verbally abused by this man, so visiting him was extremely nerve-racking for me.  I hadn’t seen him in over 20 years, but my sister and I had to visit him before cancer took his life so we could ensure that our grandmother was taken care of.  I had a strong urge to get a drink after leaving his house, but thankfully my sister was doing the driving and wouldn’t allow it (thanks, Little Sis  ❤ ).  Instead of alcohol,  we both self-medicated with pasta and cannoli.   I can look back on that event now and realize that using food wasn’t any different than using booze.

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We have an enemy who wants to use our weaknesses so we are ineffective for the Lord’s work.  Through this study, I realized that I have spent more time overeating than renewing my mind.  By renewing my mind, this was my very first Thanksgiving that I DID NOT overeat and I feel I finally have gained control over food!!  Thank you, Jesus!!! 

If your story is similar and would like to learn how to break free from the stronghold of overeating, I will be leading an online study of Taste for Truth  beginning on January 2nd – February 24, 2017.  There is a companion book, I Deserve a Donut that is available in paperback, a Kindle version, and even an iPhone or android app (I purchased the Kindle version of Taste for Truth and the iPhone app of I Deserve a Donut for under $10).  You can click on the links to the books to look inside them and/or read the reviews.  The online study will take place in a secret Facebook group where only the members will be able to read your posts.  Feel free to email me at plewing@hotmail.com if you have any questions or visit http://barbraveling.com/  for more information on the author and her books.

Tickled or Pickled Ears?


I’ve noticed that more and more people who call themselves Christians are allowing their ears to be tickled.  Many of these people don’t study God’s Word and only read Christian self-improvement books and/or short devotions.  I’m also seeing more of my friends and family who are either attending church sporadically,  are no longer affiliated with a church body, are only attending Sunday school (and refusing to go to worship services), or are members of a “feel good” church that doesn’t dig into Scripture with sermons that are just positive messages that don’t talk about sin.

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”
2 Timothy 4:3-4

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 I’ve been making my own fermented foods.  Kimchi and sauerkraut are two of my favorites; they taste good and they’re good for my body because they’re probiotic foods. Pickling food by using a salt brine not only preserves the food, but also adds “good” bacteria during the pickling process that helps with digestion. 

Jesus called us to be salt of the earth in Matthew 5:13 for the very same reasons we use salt — we are to help preserve and flavor the people around us as we serve Him:

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”

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Heavenly Father, I praise You as our Creator and our Provider.  You have given us everything we need.  I thank You for Your Word that enriches and preserves our lives.  Father, I lift up my friends, family and others who are being deceived and are only having their ears tickled.  Father, please guide me and help me to be a pickle each day — not sour with my words but salty so that I may be used to flavor the lives You’ve put in my path.  I ask these things in Jesus’ name, so You will be glorified.  Amen. 

Helping Those Who Hurt

 Places like The Covering House bring awareness to the prevalence of sex trafficking and help those who’ve been exploited.  The Covering House is non-profit organization that provides refuge and restoration for girls that have experienced sexual trafficking or sexual exploitation here in the United States.

 On September 3rd, The Covering House is hosting their 6th annual Race for Refuge.
I will be walking a 5K to raise money to help support the good
work they do there.

ANY amount will help. ❤ ❤ ❤    Please prayerfully consider giving up your daily coffee/tea/pop stop for a week or even just even one day to sponsor me.  You can give online and your donations go directly to The Covering House. 


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 Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love and for Your daily provisions.  Thank You for providing places like The Covering House that help the exploited. Thank You for inspiring me to help places like The Covering House and to do this 5K.  Thank You for each person who will read this post and who will prayerfully give to The Covering House so they may continue the good work being done there.  Please give Your wisdom, strength, and guidance to each staff member and volunteer at The Covering House as they minister to broken girls.  Please restore each client who goes there as only You can.  It’s in Jesus’ precious Name I pray, so that You alone will be glorified.  Amen. 

Love Your Spouse and Respect Your Ex

  There are many more children who have divorced parents than when I was growing up in the 60’s.  There were only about 9.2 divorces per 1,000 marriages in 1960.  This number more than doubled in 1980 and it continues to increase.

I believe the main reason for the steady increase in the divorce rate is because we have become a disposable society.  Automobiles, appliances, and cellphones are quickly replaced when the newest technology comes out. 
About 12 years ago I tried to have a microwave repaired; I had used it only for 2 years when it stopped working and the repair shop told me it was going to cost almost double to fix it than buying a new one.

It’s the same with marriages and  relationships.  I’ve heard many young people complain how someone they’re dating only stays with them until the next best thing comes around (I blame those numerous dating websites, but that’s a topic to explore another day).  I also hear children complain about how a parent (or another family member) talks badly about the other parent.

 

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 Ephesians 5:22-33 is for wives and husbands, but it’s the first two verses of this chapter that show how we all should treat each other:

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.  And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:1-2 (ESV)

If we call ourselves Christians, we NEED to love each other.  That means NOT speaking badly about your spouse or your ex-spouse, ESPECIALLY in front of the children.  If you’re doing this, you’re sinning and setting a bad example to your children. 

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 Heavenly Father, I praise You as the Author of marriage.  Thank You for Your Word that gives us the example of Biblical marriage and how we should treat our spouse.  Thank You for faithful husbands and wives who live out these examples each day and who show others how we are to live and treat each other.  Thank You for godly parents who desire to be obedient examples to their children.  Father, I lift up those who are separated/divorced and ask that You please silence the negativity no matter who it comes from.  Holy Spirit, please convict Christian parents and family members who choose to speak badly of ex-spouses.  Please guide our homes to be loving and please restore broken relationships.  I ask these things in Jesus’ precious name so You will be glorified.  Amen.

Save

After God’s Own Heart

  I’m heartbroken as I read this morning on Facebook that yet another
Christian friend is going to vote for the female candidate.  

If we are reading God’s Word, we have the answers to EVERYTHING in how we should live: from dating, marriage, raising our children, dealing with sin, etc.

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King Saul chose to do things his own way.  Through the prophet Samuel, God told Saul that due to his disobedience he would be replaced by a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).  When we fast forward to 1 Samuel 28, we find Saul consulting a medium and is told why the LORD had turned away from him and the consequences he would face “because you did not obey the voice of the Lord” (1 Samuel 28:18).

Americans love our country, but do we love it more than God?  If we truly love God, why are so willing to choose leaders who believe it’s okay to kill the unborn?

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 Heavenly Father, I praise You as the One True God!!  You alone appoint kings and leaders.  Father, I lift the United States to You.  Please bring us to our knees to seek Your face and Your wisdom in choosing the leaders You desire for this country and in our local elections.  Please show me how to lovingly respond to Christian friends and family who don’t follow Your Word.  Please correct us and forgive us as You corrected and forgave King David in his sin.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.