Made for Holiness

Ephesians 4:24 says our new self is “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Do you believe it is possible to live a holy life before God?

In the verses leading up to Ephesians 4:24, it tells us:

Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, 

which is CORRUPTED by lust and deception.

In order to be renewed in our new life with Christ, we have to get rid of the old ways. This is pretty similar to our new way of eating that we have been working on in this Bible Study. In January, I changed my lifestyle to clean eating.

Has it been easy?

No, not all the time.

Have I been perfect?

No, but striving to eat cleaner every day.

However, in order to see real results, I have to change the perspective in my mind. I have to throw out the ideas I had engrained in my mind about food as well as throw out the food in my house that is not beneficial to my body.

That verse is so powerful because lust can be for food and deception can be emotional eating or eating behind closed doors thinking it will never show but we fail to realize one thing:

This is when we deceive only ourselves, because we failed to ask ourselves if the food was permissible or beneficial?

Do you know the few times over the past six weeks that I have eaten, even in small portions, something off of my plan that I have gotten sick feeling?

It made me realize, even in small portions, some foods are not worth it. Some foods that we lust for do not help our bodies. I know its ok to plan a treat here and there, but sooner or later if you get sick whenever you “treat” yourself, you learn that its not really a treat.

At this point, a treat feels not like a piece of cake, but a delicious smoothie made with frozen yogurt.

Not a piece of fried chicken, but a piece of my husbands yummy bbq grilled chicken.

You see, after the times I have felt sick whether it be a headache that I normally do not get, or a pain in my tummy, that I usually do not get, It brings the perspective back where it needs to be.

I need to be #Courageous and just give up the idea of food that I had in order to really succumb to Gods righteousness.

After I have thrown these things off, then and only then will my soul, mind and body be ready for whatever God has planned for me.

He tells us in many places that he has plans for us, for you, and for me!

“…you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”

By sloughing off the old skin of the snake, we can be receptive to Gods holiness and true righteousness. But if we keep the old skin on, the devil uses us for his plans not Gods. I for one do not want to be lusting after food or deceiving my temple that God has lent to me. I want to use this life for good and for holy things to help show others the way to Christ.

Lets band together and shed the skins of the snake, and put on our armor of God so that we can truly wear the belt of truth, and the breastplate of righteousness with glory and honor in Jesus name.

Blessings to you my friends,

 

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#Beneficial

Beneficial; Do you want to know the definition?

Definition of beneficial (adj)

ben·e·fi·cial
 [ bènnə físh’l ]
  1. having good effect: producing a good or advantageous effect
  2. profitable: entitling somebody to or entitled to profits or property

I have always loved looking in the thesaurus. Sometimes you can find an extravagant word to replace a small one that sounds ho-hum.

Some synonyms for beneficial are:

adj                     advantageous

I really love WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED lol… seems fitting with Made to Crave.

On the other hand, some opposites to beneficial are:

BAD

Harmful

WORTHLESS

USELESS

They are some pretty tough words.
When I used to think of food, I definitely did not think of my food as useless, harmful, worthless or bad. I was thinking tasty, feels good in the moment, comforts me from this pain, and gives me heartburn five minutes afterwards lol. At that point, I would shrug the heartburn off and say oh well, musta been something I ate. HELLO AMY! Must have been everything you put in your mouth today.

It is quite the wonder I did not have more symptoms but I bet my body took a licking but just kept on ticking barely.

I am a Pinterest-aholic. I really love that when I am feeling down, I can type in “Inspiration” and within seconds, I have a lot of inspiring things to read and it just uplifts my mood. Mind you, I do limit my time on there, because lets face it, scrolling through interesting pins can take a long time. So I put a limit and tell myself in ten minutes, I am going to turn it off, and I guarantee myself that I will feel better; and you know what? IT WORKS. I definitely feel amazing afterwards.

I typed Beneficial Foods in the pinterest search tonight… when I was doing research for my post… Here are some of the top things I loved:

Beneficial food
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/334321972310112311/

Health Benefits of having colours in your diet-- trueactivist-- very helpful list of beneficial foods
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/186899453257621911/

Eat For Energy, Not For Comfort! Preparing To Workout – 6 Foods To Eat Before Hitting The Gym
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/519039925775066289/

Then I searched Beneficial Exercise, and here are some of the top pins:

I'd like to argue against it because it makes exercising look too easy and beneficial....but it is too easy and beneficial not to do. Darnit :)
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/243475923575621079/

Benefits of Regular Exercise  www.UrbanStudioNashville.com

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/321725967100384781/

Okay, there are a lot of benefits to healthy food and exercise. The inspiration just is out there for us for FREE. Yet, sometimes it takes a slap in the face to see it. I know for me, until Made to Crave I just looked at things the wrong way. My perspective was way off, and I needed a wake up call. After the holidays, I had gained almost 8 pounds of my weight I had worked from August to December to lose… and really I was not working THAT hard. I am happy to report since switching to clean eating and healthy workouts in January… I have gotten rid of that all 🙂 just in like five-six weeks! My mind is in the game.

Everytime I create a meal, I ask myself that important question from earlier in the study;

Is this permissible or beneficial to my body? Yes I may have calories for it, Yes I may think it will taste good for a moment, but if it is not beneficial to my body and going to give me nutrients, then I really should not put it in my body.

I want to let you in on a little secret, although I am not too shy about telling people, We are trying to have baby #2… and some of you may know I have had many losses. But God is not finished with me yet, and I feel in my heart, that I can have another baby. However, I do not want to put bad food in my body … I want my body to be a holy temple to house my baby… When I was pregnant with my first baby, I dropped sugar for 7 months… but I should have dropped it forever. There is nothing I need that sugar gives me. I can surely do without the bloat, extra weight and the constant sugar highs and lows. So switching clean was not just for me, but for my future baby and I will keep you guys posted as I eat clean to create the perfect baby environment.

Lamentations 3:24
Rich in Blessings Photography- CREDIT FOR PHOTO ABOVE

The Lord is my portion. I love that they say in this verse it is renewed every day, so I do not have to worry about my portion or your portion running out, because God is our portion every day.

I Took a little journey further into Lamentations the other morning when we started this week. The very next verse is SO powerful… check this out:

The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him. It is good that “I can” both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.

Okay, guys… the soul that seeketh Him. Hey all you Made to Crave ladies… Isnt that what we are trying to do? Learn to live a life that craves God more than food. We are made for more, we are made to SEEK GOD… and when we do… God is good to us. We can hope and quietly wait in reverence and patience for the salvation of OUR LORD.

What a promise!

Don’t you just love when God tells you to push a little further and dig a little deeper? I have found so many wonderful verses in the trenches of my life; but I also have loved the Lord on the mountaintops of my faith. Whether we are on a high or on a dog down low, we need to remember that the Lord is our portion and his grace is sufficient enough for us.

God's Grace...More at http://beliefpics.christianpost.com/
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/238127899021088382/

Have a Blessing Filled Week!

 

Being Complete

As I read through this awesome book that my online bible study is working through now, I find so many times where I hear myself saying, “Hey that’s just like me!” or “Hey, I have said or done that before!”

In Lysa Terkeurst’s book, Made to Crave, she sheds light on such a growing epidemic where tens of thousands of women (and men) across the globe are struggling with a raging battle with food. Yes, I said, FOOD.

Do you know that roughly 1/3 of the worlds population is over weight? I am right there in that category. Oh Wait no, My WII FIT says that I am a beast *Ahem* I mean “OBESE”. What a word! When I first went on my Wii Fit, and I got all happy go lucky and stood on it to weigh, the little voice in such a high pitch way says, “Ohhhhh, You are OBESE”.

Well thanks a lot you little piece of equipment. At this moment, I had to make a decision.

Door number one, I throw this thing as far as I can fling it.

Door number two, I accept that it is only telling me the truth and I have to accept the fact that YES I am obese.

In Lysa’s book, this paragraph from Chapter 12 really hit home:

We are taught to remain in God’s love so that we won’t tie our happy to anything but God. So our joy will be complete. Complete. As in not lacking anything. Complete. As in filled up to the brink with joy no matter if we are wearing our skinny jeans or not. Complete. As in satisfied with a fullness we can’t get any other way. Can you imagine how beautiful it would be to live as a complete person?

 

So they gave us an activity today to share with the world what being a complete person means to us.

Here is mines:

made 2 crave 2014

To me being complete is opening myself up to be loved and not holding back. I feel blessed that God has touched my soul and that I have a yearning to crave Him and love Him.

I am learning one day at a time to find peace within every day that God blesses me with… and to find Peace with my body as I venture through my get healthy journey.

Happy and Joyful go together because when I am listening to music, spending time with my family, nourishing my body with healthy foods I definitely feel joyful and happy.

What makes you feel complete?

2 Corinthians 12:9

Grace.

IMG_5104e

What do you think of when you see that word?

By definition, grace means:

  • elegance: elegance, beauty, and smoothness of form or movement
  • politeness: dignified, polite, and decent behavior
  • generosity of spirit: a capacity to tolerate, accommodate, or forgive people

There are tons of verses that touch on grace in the Bible; 170 so google says.

Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:16; 2 Corinthians 8:9; 2 Corinthians 12:9; 2 Corinthians 9:8. Grace...wherever God is!

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

1 Corinthians 12:9

 

Our God is amazing. His grace or capacity to tolerate, accommodate, or forgive people is sufficient for me; for YOU.

When we fully surrender ourselves to God, and when we feel like we have nothing left to give of ourselves is usually when we find the strongest connection.

I know I am preaching to myself here when I say that so often, I take that wheel. I am like, “Ok God, I’ve got this! I can handle this all by myself!”, only to find that I have come short of the goal.

It reminded me of my five year old. This is the age of “I can do this all by myself”, yet they are reminded so much that they need guidance. When they do things all on their own, through their own imaginative ways, it usually ends in a mess of some sort or by some miracle it works and they miss the lesson before them.

I know on more than one occasion, he has come to me and said, “I should have asked for help!” Umm Yea, Kiddo! I always encourage him to try things on his own, but he needs that guidance to get there.

Our Heavenly Father is up there encouraging us too, but sometimes we are too stubborn to listen. We are all about doing and going on our own until we mess up miserably and want to come crying about it then.

God wants us to come to him BEFORE we mess things up. He wants us to be weak, so that his power can give us strength.

Remember the old song, “they are weak, and he is strong, YES Jesus loves me!” We need to find weakness. I think sometimes that word puts us off.

By definition, weakness means:

  • lack of strength or determination: lack of strength, power, or determination
  • weak point: a weak point in the structure or arrangement of something
  • character flaw: a feature of somebody’s character regarded as unfavorable

When we see weak, we think of failure. God does not want us to be failures. He just wants us to open our minds to His love which is unfailing and perfect. If we are all out and about doing things all on our own and never failing, then I think we would never turn to Him.

God does not just choose the elite of society; the perfect Christians.

God loves us at our worst and our best… he sees those treasures hidden in darkness.

bible-verse-2-corinthians-my-grace-is-sufficient-for-you-for-my-power-is-made-perfect-in-weakness1

What would Jesus do? What DID Jesus do? Jesus found weakness on the cross, and God used that to cleanse us from our sins. Jesus paid the ultimate price for OUR sins … thousands of years later. He took all the pain, suffering, anger of the world and bore it on the cross.

We need to acknowledge our weaknesses to God, so that he can use his power to heal our hearts from the inside out.

We cannot walk around in pride thinking we have life in the bag, because that my friends is when we are highly mistaken. We need to be building our prayer pathway that leads ultimately to Christ. It is not a destination, its a way of life.

I have read through the Bible twice now, and yet I find myself in times when I am in a lull and not reading my Bible religiously. In order to continue growing closer to God, I need to drink up his word, and that is where I will be completely satisfied.

 

FAST LEARNING THE EASY WAY! Awsome chronological Bible "read in 6 months couldn't put it down" & "amaqzingbiblefacts.com" learn why God didn't kill Lucifer & what really happens when we die. Things we don't pick up on

I found this neat graphic of ways to study the Bible, Gods Word, the water for our souls.

God promises that his grace is enough for us.

He makes us strong when we are willing to humbly walk in weakness.

The last part of the verse really brings it all home for me; and I hope for you too.

It says, “…Christs power may rest on me.”

Wow.

I want to boast about my weaknesses, and get down on my knees and pray about them to God so that his power will rest on me.

I want Gods power draped over me, comforting me, protecting me, empowering me to make healthy choices along my journey.

Every time over the past few weeks, since starting Made to Crave, I have asked myself before I ate ANYTHING and EVERYTHING… I have so much more energy and I am talking to God SO MUCH MORE than in the past.

I am finding myself craving healthy foods, exercise every day, and best of all craving God with every particle of my being. And you know what?

I LOVE IT!

I am finding #Peace in Gods #Truth, and God is leading me to #Determination and feeling #Empowered while his power rests on me.

Here is a beautiful song by Laura Story, titled GRACE:

Blessings,

Amy

#Peace

Here we are again… These weeks seem to be flying by! I cannot believe we have welcomed February already.

This weeks topic touched my heart. Peace; is it possible to find peace with our body? If you would have asked me this about a year ago, I would have probably said, NEVER, No Way, Impossible. I thought that you had to wait until you were a perfect size to find peace.

Thanks to Made to Crave and a lot of soul searching and God-chatting… I am learning that I can be so thankful for everything about my body each step of the way on my journey to get healthy. It isn’t about finding a perfect body anymore! For me, it has changed into a get healthy journey to be the BEST daughter of Christ, Wife, Mommy, Teacher and Friend that I can possibly be.

When I was reading Chapter six this week, I always pray along my way now. When I finished asking the Lord to help me find peace throughout my day, I turned and found this on my bedroom door:

IMG_5074e

Somehow, it felt like God was telling me to have peace within my home, within my heart, and that he was with me.

Suddenly, peace washed over my soul and I felt so relaxed and ready for my day. All day as I looked and saw that heart on my door, I remembered that feeling and it would come back to me. If you are wondering where this mysterious heart came from… It is the shape of the hole in my Scentsy Candle Warmer, but I had never noticed it before. Now, whenever I see it, I smile and just feel Gods presence within my home.

As the week progressed, I starting looking at myself with an even different light. Its really the perspective we take when looking at things. This morning, as I was preparing to write this, I wanted to go sit in the beautiful sun outdoors and water my garden. The sun felt amazing on my soul.

I had my camera, and I really could see hardly anything with the glare from the sun. I was blinded by what was right in front of me, until I took a 200M look through my camera lens. Much to my surprise, amidst that sun glare was a beautiful bumble bee drinking up the nectar goodness from my honeysuckle plant. Had I not seen it through the lens, I would not know it was there; I would have missed that little piece of beauty.

IMG_5099e

Isnt it that way with our bodies sometimes?

We are blinded by the glare of commercials, poor body image, magazines filled with skinny people who have been airbrushed to perfection and criticism from the world and sometimes from ourselves. This blind spot causes us to feel down on our selves and horrible about what God has blessed us with. We need to take a closer look, and see it from Gods perspective. He looks down at us with that big 200m camera lens and says, “My Child, WHY ARE YOU WORRYING? I gave you that body… TAKE CARE OF IT and I will bless you with the riches stored in heaven.”

Our verse this week,

I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
Isaiah 45:3

God does not want us viewing ourselves through the blind spots of a worldly view. He wants us to value his creation because he knows us by name.

When he looks at me, he says, “Amy, I want you to be happy with each step of this journey. I am so proud of you for talking to me before you eat something that will harm your body. With every bite of food you take, FUEL that beautiful body that I have given you. You are fighting disease. You are beautiful and I love you because you are MY child and I AM YOUR GOD.”

I hope this week, You be a little kinder to your body… and love all the “flaws” that have their own place…

Blessings,

 

HMJ- February 1st 2014

Last week while I was sitting reading through some blogs that I follow, I stumbled across this awesome post from Marcy Crabtree over at Ben and Me; check her out guys! They are awesome. It was entitled, “Q is for 10 Great Questions to Ask Your Kids“.

CREDIT: http://www.benandme.com

 

I thought it would be fun to see what Gadget at five years old thought about these questions. I LOVED this little Q and A session with my little man because let me tell you, I got a lot of kisses….

Here are his answers:

1. What is your greatest gift?

I remember my greatest gift ever, I know… the city, you know all those cars that I got … that big building… thats the best one ever.

2. How do you use  your gift to bless others? 

I use it to give them playtime…. I share with them.

3. What are two things you would like to do as a family this week?

Snuggle with the family to watch Cinderella… and helping with the family and eating with my family with a family dinner like we always do.

4. What is one topic you would like to learn about this week?

Ill tell you what I love thats good. I love geography. Thats my favorite class of all. I love road trips.

5. What makes you happy?

Hmm… YOU… you make me happy mom.. you always do.
(AWWWWWWWW ALL THE WHILE GIVING ME KISSES … MELT MY HEART)

6. Are you struggling with anything today?

No… I don’t struggle with anything.. Um mommy, WHATS STRUGGLING? (HAHAH) Hmmm Is that being rude? I do have trouble with one thing.. its really hard to do… is playing kitchen.. It can’t just be a CHEF.. a chef needs a customer to buy food.

7. Who do you admire most?

YOU ….. Just like I love you the best! You are my best friend… thats why i love you the best … Gee mom i love you more than my blankie.
(This is a HUGE thing I must tell you HAHA)

8. What is most important to you?

Building an Avis… means I can play that with Daddy…. and have time with Daddy!!!

9. How can Mommy serve you?

With a yummy hot dog 😛 and cucumber cut up. (HAHAH)

10. How can I pray for you?

For good food. And LOVE, Love love love MOM! 🙂
I love you 10 loves (while he kisses me 10 times )

————————-

So as you can see, chatting with a five year old is very FUN. I love how at this age, some of the questions are taken quite literally and there is sure a whole lot of love going on for mommy; which i soak up like a summer day hahah.

Go ahead, Try it with your kids. You won’t be disappointed.

Have a wonderful school week!!!!

God Bless YOU!