Monday, September 16, 2013

How Important Are Ingredients?

Years ago, someone special to me represented/sold a product that wasn’t in my budget at the time. I was intrigued by the product and the results it promised so I found a ‘similar’ product and tried it. The product was only similar because both products shared the main ingredient.

As most of you know, I’ve been getting healthy this year. Part of my get healthy regimen includes an all-natural supplement which I’ve chosen to represent. One of the people that I’ve told about my journey said to me recently, “Oh, yeah, we bought some blah, blah, blah and we are taking it.” My quizzical look led them to continue. “It’s the main ingredient in the product you are using.

At first I thought, “Hmmm, what go around comes around.” Then I remembered that way back when, using the ‘other’ product did nothing for me.

And that got me to thinking more J

Most people love my Mom’s Chicken ‘n Dumplings. So what’s the main ingredient in those dumplings? Well, by raw volume, it’s flour. So following the “You only need the main ingredient” philosophy, can I boil some flour for you and call it dumplings?

I love Key Lime Pie! It gets its flavor from, of all things, Key Limes. But would I just sit down and eat a whole Key lime?

So whether it’s the product that wasn't in my budget, the supplements I enjoy today, my Mom’s biscuits, Key Lime Pie, or something else, we need to remember that someone, somewhere, over time, worked on a recipe to make that thing effective for its purpose.  They somehow figured out all the things that need to come together to make the recipe successful.

Our Loving Lord has done that as well. He has laid out the plan and provided us with a variety of ways to serve Him and show our love for Him. While I don’t believe there is a ‘formula’ for the Christian life, I do believe it takes more than one ingredient to live a successful Christian life. It’s not just reading His words. It’s not just going to church. It’s not just praying. It’s not just witnessing. It’s not just serving one another.  While all those things are good on their own, relying on just one of them is like eating the Key Lime hoping for the same satisfaction as eating Key Lime Pie.

Little Lesson Life Expression
Are you trying to sustain your Christian life with a steady diet of just one ingredient? What is our Loving Lord leading you to add to your personal recipe for living a life that glorifies Him? How will you start doing that this week?

Romans 11:19-20 The Message (MSG)
It’s certainly possible to say, “Other branches were pruned so thatI could be grafted in!” Well and good. But they were pruned because they were deadwood, no longer connected by belief and commitment to the root. The only reason you’re on the tree is because your graft “took” when you believed, and because you’re connected to that belief-nurturing root. So don’t get cocky and strut your branch. Be humbly mindful of the root that keeps you lithe and green.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Have You Given Up?

Well, hello there! Long time, no see! Looks like it's been a while since we've both been here. Can you believe it's been almost a year?!?!?

I've thought about writing. I've even written entire blog my head. They were good ones too! I wish you could have read them (in my mind but then you'd be a mind-reader, huh?)

Some have asked me why I quit writing. I'm not sure that I actually 'quit' writing. I've written inspirational entries on my personal Facebook page and updates on my weight loss journey on my Facebook "business" page.

However, it's true that I haven't been using my gift to write Little Lessons from my Loving Lord. May I be transparent and explain why? 

My main reason for writing this blog is absolutely to share the lessons He teaches me through every day life events. To let Him reach and touch others through the words of my life experiences.

But may I say this? I'm human. I know, shocking, right? :-) It's true. As much as I do this for His glory and in service to Him, I had (have) dreams and goals that I wanted to achieve as a result of my writing. I wrote faithfully for a couple of years. Built a small but growing following. And naively thought that some other doors would open as a result of this writing. I thought perhaps I might 'win' a writing contest or two. I thought I might get a 'paid' writing assignment or two. I even thought I'd get invited to speak at a women's event or two. I had known several other women I respect achieve these successes (in what seemed like) overnight. I put years in and...

None of those things happened. I was disappointed. I felt that I wasn't seeing the success I planned for, hoped for, dreamed of.  I wasn't sure it was worth the effort so other 'things' took over my time. I guess I didn't realize went into being an overnight success story.

More recently, as I've started my get healthy journey, I've seen other people face this same dilemma with their weight loss. They see the success I've had (and I still have a long way to go!) and read about the success of others using the same supplements. Then they start on their weight loss/get healthy journey and don't have 'overnight' success so they give up. Or maybe they go backward a bit (gain instead of lose) so they quit. They don't realize that these bodies of ours are fearfully and wonderfully made and we all start at different points so some of us have more 'stuff' (that's a technical medical term) inside that needs to level out before we can start getting in the shape we want to be in. So they give up before their bodies are fully prepared for the fabulous results they could expect to eventually see. 

So these to things got me to thinking ... 

Isn't this the way it is with the Christian walk? We all start at different points. On one end of the spectrum we have those that 'grow up' in the church and know many verses and theological facts before they ever come to know our Loving Lord personally. On the other end we have those that have never darkened the doors of the church but someone leads them to our Loving Lord right where they are. When the 'newbie' meets that 'lifer', they can get discouraged because they don't 'know all that stuff', they can't quote chapter and verse, they don't know about Adam and Eve in the garden, Noah and his big boat, Jonah and that fish, let alone things like the Damascus Road experience or Stephen's stoning or Pentecost or Paul's journeys or the significance of the seven churches in Revelations.  Because they can't keep up with the 'successful' church-goers, because they feel like they have to go backwards and learn things others learned in children's church, they give up. They want to be the leaders, the winners, the "know it all's" but they aren't so they quit. Give in. Say it's just not worth it. 

Little Lesson Life Expression
What is it you are facing today that makes you feel like you just don't measure up? Have you really given it your all? Have you spoke with our Loving Lord and asked Him to bring you through it to the point of success for His honor and glory?

1 Samuel 17:32 (The Message)
“Master,” said David, “don’t give up hope. I’m ready to go and fight this Philistine.”

Nehemiah 6:9 (The Message)

They were trying to intimidate us into quitting. They thought, “They’ll give up; they’ll never finish it.” I prayed, “Give me strength.”

Psalm 31:24 (The Message)
Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up. Expect God to get here soon.