I will admit it…I tend to be a worrier.
In my first pass of reading the Bible I saw several verses in which God makes it very clear that not only is worrying a waste of time (which it is) but it means you don’t have faith. Ouch!
When I saw a little bird sitting on a branch that was getting blown back and forth thanks to Tropical Storm Harvey a bible verse came to mind. I didn’t know what number and verse of course…but I did remember it was in Matthew (a lot of my favorite verses are in Matthew so that wasn’t a stretch)
But I found it…Matthew 6:26-27. Paraphrased Jesus is saying, that little birds don’t worry about their clothing, or meals, God takes care of them. And of course He loves us more than birds so why do we not think He will do that and more for us???? He goes on to say that we get nothing for worrying. It won’t add an hour to our life so why are we doing it?
So next time you find yourself worrying about something, be it your finances, your relationships, your health or…the weather, STOP. Know that not only is it bad for your health (a ton of studies show it causes health issues) but God doesn’t appreciate it either. So Pray your way out of it!!!
Granted it’s easier said than done but I think remembering the Bible verse might help.
Though I never grew up reading the Bible exactly, by virtue of growing up in a Catholic home and going to Catholic school I was obviously familiar with the key stories. Yet now that I’m reading the stories in the Bible itself, not some sanitized version of them, I’m finding the stories a bit different than what i remembered.
Joseph and the multi color coat is one such story. Not that the story itself is that different than i remember it, but some of the ramifications of the story.
I didn’t think of this the first time through the Bible earlier this year. When i read the story of Joseph being sold as a slave by his brothers I just registered that I recognized the story and didn’t go much deeper than that. This time however what jumped out at me is that one of Jacob’s 12 sons was destined to be the ancestor of Jesus. The second thing that struck me was that it wasn’t Joseph!
Out of all the 12 brothers it would seem to me that Joseph would have been the best choice. Yet God never does the expected. Instead of Joseph he selected Judah to be the ancestor. Judah, the fourth son of Jacob and one who participated in selling Joseph to the slave traders. (Granted he redeemed himself, one by talking his brothers into not killing Joseph, then two asking Joseph (who he didn’t recognize) to keep him and not his brother Benjamin because he knew it would break his father’s heart.
So anyway I went back to the geneology of Jesus and reread a few of the names. God didn’t always pick the people you’d expect him to pick. There’s some men and women on the list that you might not have wanted to bring home to meet your mother. YET God used them for the good. He always has a plan…the question is how do we fit into his plan?
Texas is getting slammed with what is now tropical storm Harvey.
While I’m in central Texas, even as far east as Austin the effects are being felt. We’ve had non-stop rain for a couple of days and winds running from 20s into 30 mph.
If this is all we get we’ll be fine but they (the meteorologists) keep warning us that we may have continued ran for another week. If that occurs our waterways and sewers won’t be able to take it and homes that are no where near water ways may have flooding.
All we can do is wait and know that whatever happens here is NOTHING like what the folks on the coast are experiencing. So everyone keep positive thoughts and prayers aimed in Texas’ direction. We’ll be feeling the effects of Harvey for decades to come.
If i was asked what ‘theme’ stuck out at me during my first pass of the Bible earlier this year I could say without skipping a beat…God hates arrogance.
The arrogance I’m talking about is the type that when we are successful, or good things happen, we make the mistake of thinking we did it on our own instead of giving God credit.
Over and over again I saw stories of how, when times were good people, including key players, forget that God was the one who got them there. Instead they’d at best forget about him…and at worst they’d start worshiping their idols.
During my second time through I have to say I still see the verses about arrogance, maybe they don’t jump out at me quite as much as they did last time, but I still felt them pulling at me. I make sure to pray that I never allow myself to forget to be grateful to God for everything in my life like I did in the past.
If someone had told me a year ago that I would be on a whole plant based diet AND a born again christian I would have told them they were crazy.
The thing is my favorite meal was a prime rib cooked medium rare and a stuffed bake potato with butter, sour cream AND cheese.
As to my position on faith…well that was still…well…vague. I believed in God and I believed that Jesus was the son of God but that was pretty much as far as it went.
Fast forward 12 months and it’s totally changed….I’m changed. The diet is changing my cells from the inside out, and my new found faith is changing me spiritually, again from the inside out.
But back to the question. What is the difference between a vegan diet and a whole plant based diet? Someone explained it to me once like this; a vegan diet is all about what you DON’T eat. You don’t eat any animal products (meat, chicken, fish, dairy etc). But you can still eat unhealthy if you choose to because food like McDonalds french fries or a bag of potato chips is totally okay, not healthy but okay. There’s also a lot of processed foods with oils that are still okay on a vegan diet.
A whole plant food diet on the other hand is about what you DO eat. Like a vegan you’re off all the animal products including dairy and eggs, but also you are off oils. Olive oil (which I used to eat a lot of) is off the list. You can eat olives, or coconut or avocados in their natural state, but NOT in the pressed oil state where all the fiber and content has been removed.
I cut back on oil this past year but now I’m stepping it up a bit and reading labels and trying to take it out of my diet completely.
I’ll keep you posted as to how it goes.
Let’s face it nothing comes easy. We look at the models in magazines, and want their bodies, only to find out they work out 7 days a week and are on a diet most of the time. We look at great landscaping and forget that behind those wonderful flowers is a lot of sweat. Almost anything that is worth anything takes time and commitment, even..faith.
Getting saved is easy, you repent and ask God into your heart and Wham you’re saved! BUT and this is a big but…if you want a true relationship with God. it takes time and effort and consistency.
I believe that God does want each of us to have the gifts that the Disciples shared; healing the sick, giving the sight back to the blind or making the deaf person hear, but it doesn’t often happen over night. Some healers I’ve listened to said they worked at it, stepping out in faith and praying over people, months even years before they witnessed their first healing.
So we shouldn’t become believers, accept God into our heart and expect everything to change over night. Yet it WILL change. I believe that. Granted i’d like it all to come sooner than later, preferably over night, But i know anything worth having is worth working for and waiting for. The key is the really believe and have faith, REALLY have faith and to be honest that takes some effort. I want to have the deep faith that some people I know have. I want to believe that any believer can heal another, but I haven’t seen it so I guess I’m like doubting Thomas in the Bible. I’ve got to work on that.
In the meantime i’m tending my faith garden. I’m reading the Bible daily, I’m worshiping and praying daily and making God a priority in my life. So I’m on my way to being transformed and watching the flowers bloom in my life. Hope you are too.
While I use a hard copy of the Bible for my daily reading since I like to highlight, underline and make notes, I was told of a Bible application that I really like. The app is called YOUVERSION and it’s free.
In the app you have the option to pick from an entire list of Bible versions, eg King James, New King James, NIV, Message Bible etc. Several of them also have audio versions. I am a fan of Audible where I bought my version of NIV audio so I am kind of picky about the voices and found the voices chosen by YOUVERSION are really easy to listen to.
The other thing I really like about YOUVERSION is that if there is a particular verse in the Bible you like, say Proverbs 16:3, then you can plug that in and then read the verse in any one of the versions. It makes it easy to compare.
There are also Bible Plans that have 3-30 day plans where you read a verse a day with a devotional or some other inspirational phrase each of a different topic. Another cool thing is that it allows you to clip a verse and put it on a slide to share with your Facebook friends. All in an effort to get more people interacting with the Bible.
Bottom line if you don’t have a Bible or you want to check out a version other than the one you have, go over to the app store and check out YOUVERSION. It’s free. I know it’s available for Iphones but not sure about droids…