Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Resurrection Sunday

We had a great Sunday!!!!!   The construction team did a great job of decorating.   I love how the church looks.

We didn't do a door-knocking blitz, nor did we have any give-aways this year.   We did fast as a church.  Also, Pastor Armstrong asked all of us to do several things:  call someone, text someone, personally invite someone and post invitations on social media.

Seems like everyone got into that spirit, and we had a record-breaking attendance.  We had 20 visitors, and several people were saved.

I love Easter because it reminds us of exactly why we do what we do, and believe what we believe.  The whole thing is based on a risen Savior.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Weight Loss Milestones.

I have struggled with my weight since I was 12 years old.  It didn't help that I lived in a country where 12-year-olds were little girls, and I was already maturing physically.  Everyone around me constantly commented on how big I was.  Chileans aren't into tact.  I probably wasn't all that different from a lot of American girls, but I wasn't in America.  I felt huge, and started dieting at an early age.  I continued to lose and and mostly gain weight.  I had tremendous success with Weighdown at home in 2000.  I lost 50 pounds, but slowly gained it back and more over then next 15 years.  In the past 3 years, I did not step on a scale.

For over a year, I have been working out 3 times a week.  I told myself that I had no intention of dieting, but I was interested in exercising.  I wanted to be strong.  Four months ago, Neil was invited to run a 5K.  He had 2 weeks to train, so he started going faithfully with me to the gym.  Seeing him work hard challenged me to work harder and I began to sweat!

During Carla and Jorge's visit, we treated them royally. And by that I mean we ate good!  Every American goodie we could find.  But I knew that when it was over, something had to be done.

On Feb 2, 2016, I decided to face my worst fear and step on that scale.  I had an amount in my head that I thought I weighed, simply figuring that I had probably gained 5-10 pounds per year.  I didn't care, I had to face facts sooner or later.  I got on.  It was 20 pounds less that what I had figured.  Then, the next day I remembered something.  My scale is weird, and first thing in the morning, it registers 4.2 pounds more. You have to step on and off a few times to get it to go normal.  So I was actually 24 less that my worst fear, and not all that different from 3 years ago.

So began a new weight loss journey.  I was trying for a slow weight loss, a pound per month.  Honestly, I don't know how to do that.  Incredibly, God had given me a weight loss that far exceeds anything that I had ever done before, and in 6 weeks, I have lost 9 pounds.   I am generally following the Weighdown principles, exercising, and not eating at night.  I have tried to lose weight in the past, and it had been so hard.   I don't know exactly why it's different this time, but I am thankful to God, because he knows my heart.  He knows that I desire to honor Him more than anything else.  I wouldn't even mind being fat, but I know that it is not a good testimony of self-control.

I have several personal milestones, certain "I remember when I weighed this much" moments.  I hit the first one a few days ago.   I hope a never reach that weight again, by God's grace.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Are they kidding?

I am amazed sometimes at what people believe.  Not just that, I am amazed at what people believe that they say they learned at church and from the Bible.  I wonder, were they really reading the Bible?  Did their pastor teach the Word, or his own spin on it?  I feel so sorry for people who lack discernment and can't see that they are being taught falsehoods.

I think that most church-going people think of church as an all-you-can-eat buffet, where they go once a week.  Then they complain about "Not being fed" by the church.

News Flash!!!!!!   Feed yourself.  Get out your Bible and read it.  For yourself.  Pray, ask God for wisdom.  The Holy Spirit will guide you to the truth.  Then, when you go to church (and you will go to church) you can sit there and listen intently and participate. You will not only be fed more, you will be in a position to help feed others.  If you are in a church that does not have biblical doctrine and/or practices, you will know it.   If you belong to a solid, Bible-preaching church, you will have a new appreciation for it, and your pastor.  Then you will thank God, not for the church where you are fed, but for the church where you have the privilege to serve.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Reasons why we worry

Simple.  We worry because we don't really trust God.  We say that we believe that he can create the universe out of nothing, but we worry that he can't deal with our problems.

I was thinking about this the other day.  Worry and anxiety are taking over our lives. We worry about what we eat, what we breathe, what we wear.  We worry about politics and terrorism.  We worry about our children, our prodigals, and we worry about spouses.  There is no end to the list of things that we worry about. All of it is wrong.

God can take care of you and yours.  He asks that you take your concerns to Him in prayer, and then He asks you to quietly trust. This is relatively easy when dealing with things that are out of our control, like the weather, or politics.

What is really difficult is to learn to trust God about situations that were all or partly our own fault.  Bad situations of our own making.  Maybe we instinctively believe that God won't help us get out of the mess we made.  Maybe we feel that suffering through our self-made troubles is somehow punishment for our disobedience and now we must bear the weight alone.  And that, is where real worry and anxiety kick into overdrive, because now we feel abandoned by God.

Good news.  That's not how God works. However, it's going to require a little more that trusting.  It is going to require you to Trust and Obey.  And by obey, I mean look over your situation, and see if and where you sinned.  Don't make excuses for it, and don't justify it. Repent of it, turn away. Then, and only then, you can pray and say "I trust you, Lord."   He forgives, and he restores.  Punishment was already doled out, on the cross.  Discipline's main goal is restoration. Come to God in repentance and rest.