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Privacy Issues

5 Feb

I’ve sighed many times at all the “privacy issues” that come up with social media, but Pam Farrel sent me something she saw on Facebook that made me LOL!

“New privacy issue with Facebook! As of tomorrow, Facebook will creep into your bathroom when you’re in the shower, smack your rear end, and then steal your clothes and towel. And it’s all gonna happen when you have soap in your eyes.

“To change this option, go to Privacy Settings > Personal Settings > Bathroom Settings > Smacking and Stealing Settings. Then, uncheck the Shenanigans box. Facebook kept this one quiet. Copy and Paste on your status to alert others.”

That’s funny, but for many, real privacy issues are no laughing matter. With all the “hacking” and viruses trying to invade our privacy, many of us are searching for ways to guard against those who want to destroy our computer efficiency or, worse, steal our identities!

This made me think ~ how like Satan, the enemy of our soul. He wants to destroy our effectiveness for God, and he is the “Father of Lies” (John 8:44) constantly feeding us lies about our true identity.

Like a sneaky cyber worm, Satan “hacks” into our lives for weaknesses, foolish choices, and sinful behavior that he can throw up against us at the most inconvenient times.

  • He invades our thoughts and tries to shut down spiritual growth.
  • He relishes opportunities to make us feel guilty.
  • He rejoices when we feel unworthy to follow and serve Christ.

Temptation of Christ - Scheffer

We need to establish some strong “privacy settings” by changing the options Satan has in our lives.

Just as Jesus made the enemy flee by quoting appropriate scripture zingers (Matthew 4:1-22; Luke 4:1-13), we need to know and skillfully use the Word of God to guard against Satan’s tricky attacks. We need to be alert and guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23) with biblical truth so the enemy cannot steal our joy in Christ and we can experience true freedom (John 8:32).

We reinforce those settings every day as we spend time reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating on the truth of the Bible. We also are wise step up our protection by putting on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).

If we have some “privacy issues,” it may be because we’ve failed to be faithful in saturating our hearts and minds with the heart and mind of Christ ~ loving the things He loves, and obtaining His wisdom.

So ~ quick check ~ are your “privacy settings” up to date?

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Opening God’s Gift of Laughter

31 Aug

Mary Poppins visited a hotel and asked the receptionist for room service. She selected Cauliflower Cheese for Silhouette - Mary Poppinsher dinner, and decided to go ahead and order breakfast in bed for the next morning, too ~ a couple of poached eggs.

The next morning, as she checked out, the same receptionist asked her if she slept well.

“Yes, thank you.” Mary replied.

“Food to your liking?” the receptionist asked.

“Well, I have to say that the cauliflower cheese was exceptional. I don’t think I have had better. Shame about the eggs, though,” Mary replied truthfully.

“We are always looking to improve our service and would value your opinion,” the receptionist said. So Mary scribbled a comment into the Guest Comments book as she checked out. Curious, the receptionist picked up the book to read Mary’s comment:

“Supercauliflowercheesebuteggswerequiteatrocious!” (1)

Pam came across a devotional from Crosswalk recently. It was written by Leslie Snyder and titled “Laughter.”  Snyder wrote, “One of our family’s favorite songs is from the musical Mary Poppins. ‘I Love to Laugh‘ is sprinkled with laughter and often begins a contagious wave of the giggles. The lyrics give a bit of insight into this silly gift of laughter:

“When things strike me as funny, I can’t hide it inside
And squeak – as the squeakelers do – I’ve got to let go with a ho-ho-ho… And a ha-ha-ha…too!

“We love to laugh Loud and long and clear
We love to laugh So ev’rybody can hear
The more you laugh The more you fill with glee
And the more the glee The more we’re a merrier we.” (2)

Have you seen that scene?” As Ed Wynn, Dick Van Dyke, and Julie Andrews sang with infectious laughter, I (Dawn) laughed along with them. Who wouldn’t?  There’s nothing like joy and laughter ~ and of all people, Christians should be most joyous.

Over the past year, since the release of our book, LOL with God, I’ve thought about laughter a lot.  I’ve also considered the emotions of Jesus many times. Pam and I noted in our book (on pp. 241-242 ~ “The Last Laugh”), that we thought Jesus wasn’t just “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3), but He Jesus' Angerwas flesh and blood (John 1:14). He displayed real human emotions like righteous anger (Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 3:5) and sorrow (John 11:33-35).

Jesus felt things just like you and I do, but His emotions (unlike ours so often) were always based in His holy character; and, because of His dual nature, He didn’t see things as we see them.

As the Son of God, He grieved over things that we might miss, like His Jesus weepinganguish over the unbelief of Jerusalem (Luke 19:41), or His unusual sense of “joy” that came with eternal perspective. The Bible says, “for the joy that was set before him [Jesus] endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus rejoiced in his impending death because He “saw” the resurrection ahead and what it would mean for you and me!

We wrote in LOL with God, “Jesus, though fully God, was also fully human. He was an extraordinary human, and we think He must have had wonderful moments of laughter as He walked this earth.”

Wise Solomon said, in Ecclesiastes 3:3, “There is a time to weep and a time to laugh,” and surely Jesus knew that scripture.

Lazarus & His Sisters

Joy at Lazarus' Resurrection!

I love to imagine the wide swing of emotions He had at the death and resurrection of His friend, Lazarus, all within a short period of time (John 11:1-44). Imagine His pained, sorrowful expression, hearing of Lazarus’ death, perhaps smiling at Martha’s confession of faith (v. 27), being moved with compassion by her sister Mary’s words, weeping over Lazarus (vv. 29-35), and then the joy there must have been in restoring Lazarus to his precious sisters.

Although there is no scripture that is specific in saying Jesus laughed, on several occasions in His ministry He showed that He had a sense of humor when He made funny comparisons. He talked about a splinter versus a beam (Matthew 7:4) and a gnat versus a camel (Matthew 23:24)

Jesus led a purposeful life, and no doubt part of His manifestation of the glory of God was to show the complete joy of a right relationship with the Father and the outworking of His will. For example, Jesus expressed great joy when Continue reading

The Choice to Mess Up – Part 2

28 Jun

[Continued from 6-27-11]

Diet BuddiesKatina Fisher said her friend Kimberly announced that she had started a diet to lose some pounds she had put on recently.

“Good!” Katina exclaimed. “I’m ready to start a diet, too. We can be dieting buddies and help each other out. When I feel the urge to drive out and get a burger and fries, I’ll call you first.”

Kimberly replied, “Great! I’ll ride with you!” (1)

Not exactly the kind of accountability Katrina was looking for …

Remember that yesterday I (Dawn) confessed that I was struggling with Pam’s encouragement to join her and a few other ladies for some exercise and attitude checks on our way to healthier lifestyles? I have to admit that I stewed about that for two days! Have you ever done that?

Why do we balk at things that are good for us?

I have all sorts of reasons for why this is going to be hard for me:  My age (harder to lose weight); I’m arthritic (hard to exercise with much gusto); it’s hard to find time to exercise (I’m a type-A person in overdrive), etc. It’s just hard!

As I’ve written before, these are all good REASONS, perhaps … but not EXCUSES.

I may struggle, but the truth is, I have the Holy Spirit dwelling within me to encourage and empower right behavior; and “…the fruit of the Spirit is … self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

God’s ways of communicating with me often make me LOL with Him. As I struggled with this decision on Father’s Day ~ while eating a one-inch-square One-inch Browniebrownie I’d made for a Father’s Day party ~ I suddenly recalled some words I’d read in Made to Crave:

“The temporary pleasure of ONE BROWNIE  would never be worth me having to tell my accountability partner that I made the choice to mess up.” (2)

There it was … “the choice.” I’d been making lots of choices to mess up in the area of self-discipline ~ particularly concerning food and exercise. Life is all about choices, and that is the passion of my heart. (Check out my website, Heart Choices and blog, Heart Choices Today!) But here I was, intentionally making some poor choices in this area of my life ~ rationalizing all the while that I was making such wise choices in other areas.

The issue wasn’t the brownie; the issue was my heart.

I suddenly had the mental picture of Jesus walking up to me and asking, “Why are you fighting this? Remember …  your check-sheet says you were created to love and enjoy Me, to glorify Me, and to serve Me every day.  One of the ways you can glorify Me is to let Me change this area of discipline (see 1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17). You can do this for ME, Dawn … you can do it to bring Me glory.”

Yes …  I can do for my Lord what I might not, perhaps, even be willing to do for myself.

My commitment to a self-disciplined lifestyle started with surrender on Father’s Day, when I handed Father God my stubborn heart

I wrote a note to Pam:  “OK. I’m in.” And then (before I weakened), I scheduled in specific exercise “appointments,” and made the decision to join an online group where I will record my eating for each day ~ two choices I made as a gift to my heavenly Father.

Nothing has changed in the circumstances ~ it’s still going to be hard for me ~ but it’s going to be a joy, because my heart has changed.

Good intentions do not automatically translate into good results. Desire is the first step, taking action is the second step, but having some sort of accountability will help you press on when you don’t feel like it. More than a simple check-up, an accountability partner or coach can help you be creative, try new strategies, and move to a better place.

By the way, go easy on your accountability partner … you are, after all, asking for the person’s help! Grumbling and griping isn’t pretty, and your partner really doesn’t deserve to hear it. (But a good accountability partner isn’t afraid to speak the truth in love, knowing that your heart’s desire for change may waver sometimes. A good accountability partner will keep on  encouraging you toward health, positive change, and excellence, because he or she really cares about your progress.)

How about you? What is your struggle today? Is there a spot of rebellion in your heart? Whether you use a check-sheet, an accountability partner, or a simple-but-powerful commitment to God, MAKE THE CHOICE. Allow the Lord to do the work in your life that you will never regret.

(1) http://laughs.rd.com/clean-jokes-and-laughs/10-hilarious-weight-loss-jokes/article165978-1.html#slide

(2) Lysa TerKeurst, Made To Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food (Zondervan, 2010), p. 45

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