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Does ‘Redefining’ Change Anything?

21 Oct

As I looked at my reflection in the mirror in the bright morning light, sans make-up, I breathed a heavy sigh.

“That’s it,” I said. “I’m officially calling my age spots ‘freckles.'”

I’d already redefined the wrinkles around my eyes as “smile lines.” And the silver (Ok, gray) around my hairline as “highlights.”

My mom calls her double chin a “wattle,” but I’m still searching for a happier way to define the fleshy flap of skin under my jawline. Rooster wattles are meant to gain hens’ attention. Frankly, I don’t want ANY attention going to my double chin.

No matter how I redefine my bodily changes, it doesn’t really change anything.

I’m getting older. It’s programmed into my DNA. No matter how I try to eat healthier and move my body, my bones will likely grow more brittle with age; my hormones and fat storage will likely change; and my voice, eyesight and hearing will likely weaken.

Solomon talked about this in Ecclesiastes 12:3-13.  In old age, our muscles slacken, our grip weakens, our joints stiffen, and the shades slowly pull down on our world.

The promises of scripture for the aging are God’s continuing presence and opportunities to bear fruit for His Kingdom (Psalm 71:18; 90:10, 12; 92:14, 16; 71:9).

But this redefining thing bothers me.

Redefining reality doesn’t change it.

Redefining only makes us feel better, perhaps, about our challenges.

Or it allows us to go our own way rather than seeking God and His will for our lives.

We live in a culture that tries to redefine so many things.

  • Redefining gender.
  • Redefining femininity and masculinity.
  • Redefining roles.
  • Redefining marriage.
  • Redefining parenting.
  • Redefining love.
  • Redefining tolerance.
  • Redefining salvation.

I’m not going to go into all those re-definitions; but only want to note: We’re ending up with a culture lived in shades of gray. We’re doing what seems right in our own eyes (Proverbs 21:2).

We need to be careful not to redefine what God, in His infinite wisdom, already defined in bold, living color in scripture.

Either He is our Lord and final authority, or He is not. And He already made clear what the consequences are for not recognizing His lordship over every area of life (Matthew 7:21-23).

The One who redeems us also lays claim to our lives, and He has the right to define how we live.

Redefining what the Lord declares doesn’t change anything!

Redefining age spots as freckles is laughable; redefining “thus says the Lord” is not.

What are you trying to “redefine” in your life? Is it flying in the face of the Word of God? 

 – Dawn

 

 

 

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Picky Eating Habits

13 Jun

One of the most frustrating things about being a mom of toddlers is theChewingOnGodsWord_LOLwithGod little ones’ eating habits. A blog called Mommy Shorts posted moms’ submissions about their children’s picky eating habits. Here are my favorites:

  • Hello, my name is Julia, and tomorrow I will hate every food I liked today.
  • Hello, my name is Lexi, and I will gag at the sight of sauce, except if you call it frosting. I love pasta frosting.
  • Hello, my name is Gabe, and I will not eat scrambled eggs unless you spell my name out in ketchup next to them.
  • Hello, my name is Wyatt, and I like my milk separate from my cereal so I can treat it like a dip.
  • Hello, my name is Olivia, and I hate crust. Not just on bread and pizza. Did you know there is crust on pancakes and hot dog rolls too?
  • Hello, my name is Xander, and if I find one string on my banana, I will cry like you chopped off my leg.
  • Hello, my name is Atlee, and I like toast with butter, but not if I see you putting the butter on my toast. You must butter my toast in the pantry, in another room or outside, because if I see you put butter on it, I will not eat it. And don’t get the crazy idea that I like dry toast. I do not. I like toast with sneaky butter on it.
  • [More “picky eaters” here.]

Ah those sweet days of feeding toddlers . . .

Toddlers’ food choices can drive us crazy. Of course, those picky eaters don’t think they’re being picky. In their little minds, they’re being discerning gourmets!

I read a scripture that made me think about what I “eat” each day.

“Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:16, ESV).

It’s a choice. I can either eat the world’s foolish words—and go hungry nonetheless—or I can feast on the satisfying, wise words God has provided for me.

Chewing on God’s Word is a matter of being a discerning picky eater.

We have a choice every day about what we will read and the media we devour. Our choices will affect our lives.

If we are wise stewards of God’s time and of our minds, we will make choices that the world might consider “picky.” But that shouldn’t concern us.

If we want to model Christ to the world, we will want lives that are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2). We need to “test” literature and media—and “discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

The Psalmist said, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103), and the patriarch, Job, said he treasured God’s words more than his actual “portion of food” (Job 23:12). They “ate” the Word and were satisfied.

We may have second thoughts about other things we’ve read, but we will never regret “chewing” on scripture.

Do you eat God’s words every day? How has He blessed and encouraged you by them?

– Dawn

Living with Expectancy

13 Dec

I never know what to expect from little kids when they pray.

Lee, A seven-year-old boy, was asked to say thanks for the Christmas dinner.  The family membersBoy_DoIPray4BrusselsSprouts bowed their heads in expectation.

Lee began his prayer, thanking God for his Mommy, Daddy, brothers, sister, Grandma, and all his aunts and uncles. Then he began to thank God for the food.

He gave thanks for the turkey, the stuffing, the Christmas pudding, even the cranberry sauce. Then young Lee paused, and everyone waited … and waited.

After a long silence, the young fellow looked up at his mother and asked, “If I thank God for the Brussels sprouts, won’t he know that I’m lying?”

Can’t you just imagine how that family laughed? That was probably not at all what they expected.

Like children looking forward to gifts on Christmas morning, Christian of all people ought to live with great expectancy. Our hope is in God!

Cindi McMenamin, in her book, When God Sees Your Tears, wrote:

“God knows exactly when you are ready to receive the desire of your heart, and He will not act a moment too soon or a moment too late when it comes to doing what is eternally best for you.”

God’s timing is perfect, and He wants us to trust Him while living with expectancy.

This is so clear in a passage about prayer. 1 John 5:14-15 says, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we asked of him.”

I’m not talking about “expectations” – a prideful attitude that insists God do things our way. I’m talking about expectancy – placing our hope in God and believing He will work!

There are a number of ways we can live with expectancy. Here are just three:

1. We can live with expectancy as we read God’s Word. We can ask, “What are you going to teach me today, Lord?”

2. We certainly can hope in God’s character and unfailing love, expecting Him to work in us  (Psalm 62:5; Psalm 147:11b; Romans 5:5). He is working in us, giving us the desire and power to do what pleases him (Philippians 2:12-13).

3. We can, as a result, expect to see many changes as our heavenly Father makes us more like Jesus (Ephesians 4:15b).

Oswald Chambers wrote, in My Utmost for His Highest (January 25),

“Keep your life so constantly in touch with God that His surprising power can break through at any point. Live in a constant state of expectancy, and leave room for God to come in as He decides.”

I like that! Leave room for God. That speaks to having a hospitable, God-welcoming heart, doesn’t it?

Christians have many good reasons to wake up each morning with expectancy. Here is just one: We who walked in darkness now walk in light (Ephesians 5:8-10).

One of my favorite scriptures is related to this: Isaiah 9:2 — The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”

Living with expectancy, then, includes:

  • seeking and waiting for God in prayer and in His Word;
  • trusting His character and His love for us;
  • anticipating how He will work in and through us; and
  • participating in a great adventure—walking as “children of light” (Eph. 5:8).

Expectancy … it’s a wonderful way to live!

How does your life show that you are living with expectancy?

– Dawn

Photo adapted, Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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