Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Star of Bethlehem

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech;night after night they display knowledge...their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world." Psalm 19:1,2,4

Last week I went to the Exploradome at the Bell Museum which is a computer generated planetarium show. Since its near Christmas, I asked the lady doing the show if she knew which star was the star of Bethlehem...I had two reasons: my curious mind and a hope of igniting curiosity in her heart which may lead to curiosity in Christ. She had heard of it, but didn't know any details. Another mom who was with me shared that she had seen a video called the Star of Bethlehem by Rick Larson. In it he "proved" the star was an alignment of two planets, Jupiter and Venus, whereby the brightness from both of them combined made the brightest star. Astronomers now tell us the difference between stars and planets (stars twinkle, planets don't), but to the ancient sky observers, all bright lights were considered stars.

This got my scientific mind excited. Not that God needs proof of His existence and omnipotence, but I LOVE that He has given all of nature to declare His glory. In fact, as I was watching the Exploradome show Psalm 19 kept running through my mind.

I happen to be studying astronomy with my two boys for homeschool. We are all intrigued with this vast universe in which we live, the uniqueness of each planet, the force of the sun and how orderly the whole thing is. It also has really bothered me that something so wonderful has been named after Roman gods. Like God's glory was stolen.

Then it dawned on me, what the gods of Jupiter and Venus "stood" for. The Merriam-Webster definition of Jupiter is "the chief Roman god, god of light, of the sky and weather, and of the state and its welfare and its laws. Venus is "the Roman goddess of love and beauty." How clever of God to use these two planets to make a "star" to declare the birth of His son, Jesus. Who is Jesus if not what these 2 gods combined represent--He is the King of kings ("chief" God), the Light of the world, the one whom the waves (weather) obey, fulfiller of the law which ushered in the new covenant, love incarnate and beauty personified and through whom all beauty is created. This completely redeemed (means to buy back, to change to the better) the fact that the planets are named after the false gods. I like to think it is no accident that it was these 2 specific planets that came together because of the names they carried...all other names/planets would not have represented Jesus as well. (Mercury=a Roman god of commerce, eloquence, travel, cunning, and theft who serves as messenger to the other gods, Mars=the Roman god of war, Saturn= a Roman god of agriculture, Neptune=the Roman god of the sea, Uranus=the sky personified as a god)

God is not mocked and even uses our own faulty understanding to draw us to Him, just like the magi! So I am in wonder at this Christmas time of God's Son and the "star" that declared His glory and I hope you are too!

Here are some youtube links to increase your wonder and declare His glory:
Indescribable by Louie Giglio
Awe Factor of God by Francis Chan
Star of Bethlehem by Rick Larson I refer to

Monday, August 6, 2012

Berries and Battle, Fruit and the Fight

 One of my pleasures of summer is picking black raspberries that grow wild in our woods. There are several layers to this food, solitude, beauty and a sense of hidden treasure. Over the years this has become a precious time with God, usually in the early hours of morning with all the stillness and promise of a new day. Having five kids, I have relished the hour or so that no one is calling my name. But deeper than these gifts are the unravelling spiritual insights God keeps unveiling as I walk through the woods with Him to gather these little, purple gifts to me. We live in a world at war in the heavenlies and are also promised His provision and opportunity to bear fruit...this is what is truly speaking to my heart as I berry pick.

Mosquitoes and thorns abound in raspberry bushes. These two enemies of the berry picker are what keep my kids from joining me...oh, they love to eat the fruit; they simply get scared off by what stands in the way. I have learned to arm myself with long sleeves and pants for the mosquitoes...much like donning spiritual armor in Ephesians 6, you can stand and advance on the battle field if you are equipped! The buzz in my ear is a constant reminder that those blood thirsty pests are lurking, just like the barrage of lies the enemy of my soul whispers hoping to discourage or back me away from all God has. The armed berry picker uses armor AND bug spray to keep these pests at bay...much like prayer, incense rising to the throne of God that keeps truth in the forefront of my mind and settles deep in my heart such that I have no fear and can persevere. While the thorns are a reminder that I live in a fallen world, there are plenty of thorn-free areas to grab to move the stalks out of the way...its all about discernment and reaching focusing on holding God's hand instead of all that's wrong with the world. Kingdom focus versus frustration with the fall is a matter of what you gaze at!

The fruit/berries grow by God's gentle hand...through His rain, the soil nourishing and the nature of the plant abiding in where it is planted to bear the fruit. Doesn't this sound like John 15 about abiding in the vine...fruit is the natural product of abiding. This takes some pressure off to conjure up ministry...fruit in our life MUST come from drinking deep of water that satisfy the soul (His spirit), nourishment from His Word and knowing our calling (what type of plant He created us to be)! Then trust fruit will come out of desire internal to the gifts He has planted in our hearts as we are fed from Him. In the woods, berries literally fall off the bush when they are ripe...this has taught me about timing. God's timing is perfect, fruit comes at the right time and can't be rushed. It requires patience and trust that more is coming when you see those luscious berries turning from creamy white to red to maroon to ever-deepening purple. This is true in our own fruit bearing whether it be internally or externally...wait upon the Lord and trust His timing and expect good fruit from the wait.

Gathering berries is a bit like a treasure hunt...their exact whereabouts is a bit of a mystery. While you can spot a bush yards away, only by stepping closer can you actually observe if there is fruit growing. Then step by step, reach by reach, purple nuggets are collected one by one, sometimes handful by handful. Places that were bountiful in previous years may be barren, and new areas may produce a bumper crop. This is a good reminder that God doesn't work the same way twice...just because He previously blessed an area in my life doesn't mean that that is where to camp assuming more fruit will come in the same way and through the same process...He's way too creative for that! Since He longs for relationship and not religion/routine, He delights in our taking risk in new areas where He is leading and not simply returning to old ways of blessing. As we take steps nearer to the path He is calling you to, He will make the way obvious...the promise of Is. 30:21 "Whether you turn to the right or to the left you will hear a voice behind you saying this is the way walk in it!" AND don't assume by what you see...there have been areas in my berry patch that looked empty of fruit, however, bending over either out of curiosity or from losing my footing and stumbling, has revealed hidden treasures not seen by where I was standing. Much like prayer and humility, surrendering to Jesus gives new perspective blinded to the independent heart. Truly on our knees we can see more!

Once the berries have been collected, there are several ways I love to enjoy them...right out of the bowl, on cereal or pancakes, frozen for future pleasure, made into a pie, the joy of giving them away...some of these are simply savored by me, some of these are enjoyed with others. This is the kingdom of God...nuggets dwelling richly in me and also made sweet through fellowship or simply given away to bless others in their journey. In all of it may He be glorified and may the riches of the kingdom be gathered, savored and multiplied!

You may not be bitten by the berry picking bug that I have, but I hope you ARE simply longing for more fruit in your life. Yes, the fruit is always there for the picking...remember the fields are ripe, but its the workers that are few...I encourage you to keep your eyes on the fruit and not the thorns (what stands in the way of what God has for you). Arm yourself to avoid the buzz of the mosquitoes (the whisper campaign of the enemy), grow up in the robe of righteousness with which Christ has robed you and practice using His mighty is what will protect you on the battle field for your heart and the hearts of others. There is LIFE and TREASURE to be found step by step if only you would desire it above all. Like the fruit I gather, there would be none if I didn't desire it and invest well to win the battle for berries! The same is true in the Kingdom, take the risk...Go for fruit...Avoid sitting on the sidelines discouraged by the mosquitoes and thorns...Seek your Commander, Engage in the battle, then taste and see that the Lord is good!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hope, Joy and Peace

Hope, joy and peace...who doesn't long for more of these? As lovers of Jesus, these are our birthrights! This is part of the GOOD NEWS...yes, Jesus died for our sins to be forgiven eternally, but temporally, He has given these treasures as well, more than the anxiety, concern, fatigue and uncertainty I get trapped in! In light of this, I love the verse Romans 15:13
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
I am encouraged that the God of hope is the one doing the filling, like the teapot in the picture...He is the rich source, not me having to grasp at something. He is such a kind father and giver of good gifts! And who doesn't want to be filled with joy and peace...sometimes that almost seems too good to be true! The part that I get stuck at is "trust"...sure in my mind I know I can trust Him, but my heart is weak and honestly I think I try to get my life in order, or problems solved first, then when I'm not anxious or stirred up about something, there will be plenty of room for trust. This never happens! Swing and a miss! Trust cannot be circumstance dependent!

I looked up the key words in this beloved verse in the Websters dictionary and rewrote it using the definitions and inserting personal pronouns...this verse took on even deeper meanings, more encouragement and really speaks to my's what I found:
"May the God of (trust in whom is my confidence) (put in me as much as I can hold, satisfy, feed) me with all (emotions of well being, delight) and (freedom from disquieting/oppressive thoughts, security) as I (place my confidence, depend, hope, am without fear, rely on truth) in Him, so that I may (flow over the brim) with (trust, confidence in Him) by the (authority, physical might, means of supplying energy, influence) of the Holy Spirit."
I am challenged by asking myself how much room is there in my heart for the Holy Spirit to supply delight and security so that trust in God would flow over my brim.

able to jump to the wrong conclusion in a single bound!
For me, the phrase "freedom from disquieting/oppressive thoughts" holds a key the type of vessel I allow myself to be. This takes on a whole new meaning to "taking my thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5). This is my role in preparing my heart to receive the peace and joy the Holy Spirit would love to supply. As an act of worship and obedience I can keep my thought life in check, resisting figuring out solutions to troubles on my own or letting empathetic feelings rule when I hear of a tragedy...these are burdens I easily pick up and carry and I grow weak and anything but joyful and peaceful. In a way, it is saying I don't trust God to carry these, I must do it. As I gaze at the broken world we live in, what do I see...brokeness and if I dwell on that it declares hopelessness. BUT God is the God of HOPE, He is a who makes things new and better than the original...He must be my gaze above what I see on earth.

For two days, when I've been tempted to dwell on tragedies, brokeness or things I simply wish were different for myself or others I love...I have simply said, "no, I will not elevate these...Jesus thank You that You see these and You have the answer. Show me my part if there is one, otherwise I choose to trust You to work all things together for good with Your wisdom and many resources and I ask You to work in that situation, etc." In a way, I am setting Jesus Christ apart to worship Him and not circumstances. And you know what...there is delight and security filling in my heart...hmmm...aren't these "code" words for joy and peace?! The source - the Holy Spirit, the vessel - my heart that chose to empty itself of oppressive thoughts to place my confidence in Him. And the overflow or the flowing over the brim - hopefully my mouth. "For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him." Matt. 12:34-35

What's coming out of your mouth? What topics do you find yourself thinking/stewing/talking about? Are these emphasizing the fallen world or trust in the God of hope? Are you carrying burdens as if there is no God bigger than yourself like I was? Take notice of your thoughts and words, these could be the joy robbers of your soul and the stealer of confidence in God. We need to emply our hearts of self, the world and lies so they may be trying to fill a watering can with water that is 3/4 filled with sand, the overflow will be murky water, but an empty vessel fills with pure water and pours forth clear, refreshing streams. Similarly, a stuffed up heart will not have much room for the joy and peace the Holy Spirit longs to supply to overflowing. Here's to the hope, joy and peace that Jesus longs to give and we so desperately need!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kingdom For Sale

"You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." ~Isaiah 14:13-14

As I write, it is the middle of June and the lazy days of summer are upon us...lazy, my foot! I have five children clamoring for what to do, can I get a ride here, etc. I find my life anything but lazy and honestly my heart is a bit can I meet all these needs and wants?

It dawned on me I am carrying more than is mine to carry. Why do I always go to this place of thinking its all up to me...I can and must come through for all the needs around me! That is quite a burden to live under. Very far from the burden is light and yoke is easy stuff I read Jesus telling me in His Word.

At first, the above verse made me think of the arrogance of Satan before his fall from heaven...wanting to be like God. I was encouraged to tuck this away for my talks around spiritual warfare and God's kingdom at women's events. I was shaking my head at Lucifer's pride and worshipping God for His might, wisdom and wonder. THEN it dawned on I much different? Isn't this the lie whispered in the garden..."the serpent said to the woman, 'For God knows that when you eat of (the fruit) your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God..."

Believe it or not this is the root of the pressure I am feeling this summer! As a mom, I am seeing myself as the one to come through for all my kids' desires, do all character training, encourage life and protect them from the evils of the world. In my heart I am building a kingdom around ME and MY strength! And in this way I am "making myself like God" who is the giver of good things, the fortress to run to in time of need and the one to show the path to life. He is more jealous for my family's hearts and more capable of providing than I ever will be.

To go a bit deeper for my own heart...whenever I have suffered hurt, disappointment or lack, I have spent time going through the facts logically and reaching a conclusion that explained it away. All of this to protect my heart from feeling hurt, because I had no clue what to do with that emotion. So if I could come to an explanation for the "injury", I could avoid the pain and keep my heart pushed down. In a way I was elevating MYSELF (my mind) over a situation and building MY kingdom/throne that I could manage and control, intellectually at least. As an example, I rationalized my father's suicide as him really loving me by leaving life insurance money behind. What kind of explanation is that?! Or when I've had a fall out with a friend, I blame myself for making a mistake in communication which leads to shame. Again, what kind of reason is that?!

The Light has shone on this dark place and I now realize, rationalizing kept me from feeling the hurt, for a while, and it also kept me from running to God and His kingdom for comfort and protection. I set myself up to live apart from His presence and replaced it with my own throne of understanding! YIKES, this sounds so backwards and obvious, but it is so subtle that I am just now having the eyes of my heart opened to this prison I created.

Eventually the heart must speak! That is where the healing, freedom and life is. Not in understanding, but in trusting Jesus enough to run to Him to pour out my heart, wanting comfort and not demanding explanation nor understanding. I now know He will comfort me, bring truth and He is enough for every situation I will face...this is an uncertain world but I have a Rock as a Redeemer and need no fear of what will happen, nor need to control to feel safe!

Hence, my old kingdom is for sale and praise God Jesus' blood has paid for it. He takes it upon Himself so I can be rid of it and runs to me with HIS Kingdom of love, comfort and joy. Not to mention carrying my burdens and my family. I give you all Jesus and help me RUN to you in emotional upset when I am tempted to sit on my throne and rule with understanding. Understanding is a poor scepter when I can live loved as your daughter, a princess, who is radiant and free because of you.

Friday, May 25, 2012

WORSHIP~A Deeper Surrender

Feeling rested for the first time in about 2 months and honestly a little lost. We had an amazing event through our ministry, All Things New, and life seems a bit empty now that the prep work and offering is complete...kind of like preparing for a wedding...the event is over, now what? So yesterday I simply asked Jesus, "What do you want to say to me?" I share what follows as an offering of worship...a deeper surrender. May you be encouraged! Here is what came to my heart...

"I love your is a vast open space for my Spirit to dwell. I long to meet you in worship. Sometimes you think too much. Sorting out things and understanding are your glory especially since you pass the nuggets on to others. However, there is a deeper worship, simply commune with Me, delight in Me, be strengthened and nourished in My Presence, declare My Glory and lift up My Name...
  • Holy, Holy am I
  • I am worthy
  • I am on high
  • I am sovereign
  • I am friendly
  • I am powerful
  • I am joy
  • I am reckless-seeking more always, going for hearts
  • I am jovial
  • I am serious
  • I am committed
  • I simply AM because I am the Great I Am
  • I am eternal
  • I see all
  • I know all
  • I am all
  • I am vast and deep/I am wide and long
  • I am in sorrow and pain as well as gladness and joy
  • I am safe
  • I am healing and wholeness
  • I am a shelter
  • I am mighty
  • I am not thwarted
  • I am not mocked
  • I am not made weak
  • I do not tire
  • I am merciful and just
  • I am good
  • I am for you-who can stand against you?!
  • I am your confidence
  • I am at your right hand
  • I am a deliverer
  • I am righteous
  • I am jealous and will not share my glory with another
  • I am power
  • I go before you
  • I carry you
  • I look after you
  • I long for you
  • I am freedom
  • I am full of surprises
  • I am fullness of life
  • I am not put in a box
  • I am vast
  • I am creative and creating
  • I am relational
  • I am orderly, but not predictable
  • I am lovely and kind
  • I am near, I am far, I am everywhere
  • I am redeemer and sustainer
  • I am enduring
  • I am love
  • I am a law unto Myself filled with grace and mercy
  • I am faithful and true
  • I am truth
  • I am the light of the world
  • I am life
  • I am lively
  • I delight
  • I speak
  • I command
  • I woo
  • I thwart
  • I hem in
  • I push forward
  • I lead
  • I demonstrate
  • I show
  • I fly
  • I soar
  • I roar
  • I whisper
  • I surprise
  • I comfort
  • I long
  • I frustrate
  • I rejoice
  • I commend
  • I knit together
  • I forgive
  • I forget/don't keep records of wrongs
  • I anoint
  • I align
  • I unify
  • I divide
  • I am a marvel
  • I see, I hear, I feel
  • I know
  • I am knowable
  • I am wise
  • I am food for the soul
  • I am excellent"
Hallelujah! AMEN!!!

Enjoy Come to Me by Jenn Johnson
from YouTube

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Progress Isn't Always Moving Forward

"We are not living a a world where all roads are radii of a circle and where all, if followed long enough, will therefore draw gradually nearer and finally meet in the center: rather in a world where every road, after a few miles, forks into two, each of those into two again and at each fork you must make a decision. Even on the biological level life is not like a river but like a tree."
                                                                          ~C.S. Lewis, the Great Divorce

This quieted my heart as I started to view life as an adventure to live rather than a destination to obtain. My logical side can be very cause and effect/achievement oriented. It challenged my "perfectionism" side with the thought that there is more than one way to travel rather than the pressure of finding the one "correct" path.

All this got me thinking about growth and movement, especially when it relates to growing as a Christian. I used to strive after God through tons of study and reading...if I just obtained enough information, then I would know God or at least be able to mature as a believer. This is all forward movement...constantly adding another rung. While it can be helpful, it is exhausting honestly, if that is the only way to mature. God is opening my eyes to more...

While on vacation to Puerto Rico, I was enjoying the tropical scenery and noticed all the different types of movement that were catching my eye. It was as if God were showing me movement isn't always forward and all types are beautiful and necessary for He is a great God...master of all parts fitting together to make everything lovely.

Here is the list of movement He gave me in relation to spiritual growth:
  • vertical--going deep instead of wide (letting truths sink deep into your heart until you "own" them)
  • sprawling--like ivy on a wall---fellowship (as lives touch one another and abide in the Vine, the Kingdom grows)
  • explosive--like a fish darting for cover (running to God in a storm or danger/uncertainty lurks, fleeing sin, resisting the enemy)
  • walking from here to there--like the puppy that joined us on our morning walk (following God one step at a time enjoying His companionship and listening for His voice)
  • stationary--like a palm tree blowing in the wind (a time to pause and reflect giving Him the glory, or worship with arms swinging)
  • sedentary--like an anemone (they wait for food to come to them and digest it, like us digesting Truth)
  • simply being--like a jellyfish floating in the currents (displaying His glory to the world just because we are alive and His unique creation)
  • beauty--like a flower (Jesus in us should cause others to stop and enjoy, or inquire about what they see---that's movement in someone else, or should I say the ceasing of movement!)
  • waiting--like a tide ebbing and flowing (there is a perfect rhythm to His timing, forward, back a bit, pause; it can seem like you're going nowhere and be a bit frustrating, but if we rest in His arms (the tide), we will end up where the tide is taking us)
  • fluid--like water seeping into crevices (allowing God's spirit into all the spaces in our heart)
Don't fall into the trap of living only for measurable performance...there is freedom in all movement and all is orchestrated by Him. If we constantly strive and move out in human effort, its like being a piece of glass that can cut through things, but others may get hurt, including ourselves! If we allow His tide of grace and His timing to have effect, our edges will become smooth, even soft to the touch---we will be able to reach others more effectively. Obedience is surrender to His current and may seem like you are "doing" less, however, He works in more ways than simply moving forward...may His waves of grace wash over you...His grace takes time and is sufficient to make everything beautiful!

"For in him we live and move and have our being." Acts 17:28

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Just Say "NO" to Worry

You've heard of "Just say no" to drugs because of the ill effects on your health--physically and mentally. However, worry is no less harmful. I shared a quote on Facebook that said, "Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but gets you nowhere." The more I think about it, that makes the effects of worry sound actually peaceful; like a little old lady rocking on her porch as she knits baby booties. So I must add, "Just say no to worry"!

As I reflect on the effects of worry in my own life, I think its much more like tangling with a raging lion. Its like trying to keep the teeth at bay--much effort is used up in self protection, fixing the issue and eyes are totally on the "problem". It can feel productive, honestly, because it is protective--trying to figure out the way to safety for yourself or the one you are worrying about. It can be about control--in a fallen world, our heart cries for order and is frustrated by smacks of injustice, confusion, hurt, fear, being overwhelmed, or just things that irritate.

The fall brought our hearts the knowledge of good and evil...we now "naturally" take ownership of things that never were ours to carry or figure out. Gone is the complete trust and daily face to face communion with God...leaving our hearts independent, living as orphans in a scary world. Worry and fretting usually lead to the problem looking bigger than it is, create a striving spirit to "fix it" or a depressed/overwhelmed, tired soul. This is a huge cost with larger implications. Lost sleep robbing us of joy and energy that could be used for good, those over indulgences to temporarily give comfort/relief that actually bring shame, simply stress that makes us less graceful to others, or depression can set in that takes a life--either the quality of life or literally, physical life.

Yes, this lion rages, taunts, ridicules, then comes in to suck life if its not put in a cage. Jesus said He came to GIVE LIFE. We need Him to cage the lion so we can receive all this life! Only His strength and spirit are big enough to carry all the burdens this broken world will throw at us. We can walk safely, securely with a light spirit if we can see everything through the lens of trust--trusting Him to take care of us, to care for the burdens...if we cast our cares upon Him like our friend Peter says, then its like putting the raging lion in a cage at a zoo. We can walk by it, glance at it, but not obsess over it and enjoy the rest of the "zoo"--all of God's creativity, life and others around us.

I confess, I am an expert worrier...or used to be. As God comes for deeper parts of my heart, as I allow Him closer and receive His Fatherly love, it quiets my heart. Not that I don't get trapped into fretting and mulling over less than perfect situations, but I can catch myself...or should I say catch that lion and put a cage around it. Thank you Jesus, that you are always willing to catch the lions I throw at you. AND thank you more for the LIFE and JOY I find in you apart from the lions!

How about you, where are your lions? Are they raging in your face/heart/mind? Have you talked with Jesus about what's bothering you and let Him put a cage around it? He can and will carry it too! May you look back at your life and remember His faithfulness to you and others and gain the courage to trust Him in the face of the teeth that are coming at you! Trust Him, Talk to Him...I know its easier said than done, but take heed or you will get bit!

Job 4:8,10 "...those who sow trouble reap it. The lions may roar and growl, yet the teeth of the great lions are broken."
Psalm 37:1,3,4 "Do not fret...Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 37:7 "Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret..."
Psalm 37:8 " Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret--it leads only to evil."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

You Are What You Eat

You've heard the saying, "you are what you eat." Have you ever thought about that in terms of your spiritual life? I heard a speaker last week talking about Psalm 23:5, "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies." He said knowing God is like a buffet table that is spread before the world and it’s our choice as His children what we are going to eat. For example the "meat" is studying the Word and the "dessert" of simply enjoying His presence with a quiet, worshipful heart. Not to mention all the options in between.

However, we don't always come to the table that's before us, preferring the junk food that's easier to grab---fretting, obsession with politics, busyness, relational issues and the list goes on. For me, this junk food steals my joy, makes me churned up inside and escalates the problems of the world. It’s like trying to solve all the problems first so I can trust and enjoy Jesus. We all know chips and candy do not lead to physical health. So why do we let the spiritual junk food rule our day? It’s like staring at a dark, gloomy mountain of junk that’s too high to climb, when I could be abiding in the vine, enjoying the Son and growing regardless of the world around me.

Perhaps you "eat" from the same place on the buffet, like a picky eater afraid to try something new. Always spending time with God the "same" way is safe but is boring and can feel "stuck"--try something different!

Welcome to God’s buffet---His Word, worship, devotionals, rich fellowship, extended times away/retreats, books to read, really letting go of sin/bitterness/etc., forgiveness, healing, someone to reach out to, opportunities to shine using your gifts, fasting, prayer, listening, dancing, desires He places in your heart…Come to the table and choose a balanced diet. It may take you out of your comfort zone, require self discipline to make time or better choices, or simply recognize a desire for more and a larger vision than going through the routine.

What are you feasting on? Are you tired of your spiritual meals? With the start of 2012, get out of the rut; how about trying something new off of His table? I dare you!!! You will be blessed. And you’ll discover there truly is always MORE!!!