Healthy Discipline


Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over. But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction. It’s the child he loves that God corrects; a father’s delight is behind all this. Proverbs 3:5

Another one of my “first of the year” initiatives is to renew my vow to daily disciplined listening for and reflection of the Holy. This is the easy part. The next step is to discover what parts of scripture, what literature I will use to lead me. This is the interesting part. The hurdle, the really difficult part isn’t keeping with the discipline…it is the listening to and acting on the self-discoveries God leads me to.

I really do not want to know about all the mis-steps I make in being a child of God. I would much rather see the parts of my character that show how successful I am in life. Isn’t this the crux? Until I am ready to confront my sin, there’s very little change made, very little truth I can understand.

Thank God the instructions are, “Don’t try this by yourself.”

 

Body…Mind…Spirit

“Didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

January of most years I take inventory of my closet and make an honest reckoning of what is no longer suitable wear, either due to age or shifting weight. This process usually introduces a period of mourning for the body that was, the exercise that wasn’t, and the promises to be more effective in my “makeover”. Today, I’m wondering if my eagerness to reshape is flawed.

Is my desire to be fit born out of a need for social approval, or is it a response to honor the vessel where my soul resides? When I eat less ‘fast’ food, do I give the savings to help feed others? How do I use my new strength when I improve my stamina with regular exercise? Will I reduce my medical expense with healthy practices and be an example to my children?

Oh, my soul! How much more in tune with God’s grace you are when this body is free from hunger and pain! How much happier you are when this body runs and dances! How much more you love when anger and depression does not overcome your mood! It is true that a healthy body deals better with stress and can support the mind with more positive responses, and a more positive mind gives rise to an energized spirit. May we give that energy back to our Source, our Lord, Jesus Christ!

 

Beginning…Again?

What do YOU do when you find yourself too far away from God?

Several years ago I found myself with all kinds of questions about who God is…what I thought about Jesus, how the Holy Spirit worked in my life. And because I was raised and continued to be a very active church member, I was puzzled by my feeling so far away from a close relationship with God.

Perhaps you’ve been in a similar position. Perhaps we are not so unusual.

Frustrated that I couldn’t work out the answers on my own, it eventually dawned on me that I could go back to a practice or two that I’d heard of before, but only given half-hearted attempts – regular one-to-one prayer time with God, and a regular search for God at work.

12 When you call me and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. 13 When you search for me, yes, search for me with all your heart, you will find me. 14 I will be present for you, declares the LORD, and I will end your captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have scattered you, and I will bring you home after your long exile, declares the LORD. JEREMIAH 29:12-14

 

Surprised? How quickly these earlier lessons came flooding back to me! How thorough the affirmation that God is there for me! How definite the promise that no matter how confused I allow myself to become with the ways of the world, God will bring me home.

Since then, I have added the practice of beginning the devotional year with a new book of daily entries to prompt my thinking. This year I’m reading Daily Disciple by Gary Holloway. If you want to read along with me, you can find it online through World Convention or in print from Leafwood Publishers. We will explore our developing spirituality through daily readings and regular blog entries using the topics below as a guide.

I’m praying you’ll join in.

God and Self –Developing Spirituality Through Self Care Health, Education, Finance

God and Family – Developing Spirituality Through Relationship Spouses/Significant others, Children, Extended family and friends

God and Community – Developing Spirituality Through Building Unity Listening, Leadership, Empowerment

God and Future – Developing Spirituality Through Vision Casting Where is God taking us from here?

 

 

Priorities

When I was a little girl, my parents taught me about taking care of my self and my space. Before I could play with my friends, my hair and teeth were brushed, fresh clothes were on, my bed was made and my room made straight. On Saturdays, the day when the family had more time together, I shared in the family’s chores of maintaining our life and our home.

I have spent times in life feeling distanced from God, and as I searched for my way and listened for God in my days I often find myself at the place where I begin again in the footprints of parents and mentors who have walked these places too. I have heard the reminders, “Look inside yourself, listen for God’s voice in all you do, make yourself ready to interact with the rest of God’s creation.”

This rhythm is the background as I think about this framework of exploration – what I am hoping will become a devotion of listening and writing…of sharing and connecting. This year begins looking more closely at the personal relationship God desires and develops, then moves to the intimate relationships with family and friends and later to communities with a call to belong and participate.

I will blog as I go, and pray that you will join in this journey with your insights and comments. May God bless our time together.

I’m asking God for one thing,
only one thing:
To live with him in his house
my whole life long.
I’ll contemplate his beauty;
I’ll study at his feet. Psalm 27:4 (The Message)