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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Walking with God

For weeks I have been telling myself I would make extended quiet time for God. Yesterday, I finally made time.

I usually run a 6 mile block for my workout on Monday. I decided to walk instead. Some might think, I would rather walk.... Well, walking is not only difficult for me to handle but it doubles my workout time. I kept longing to break out in a run for the first mile or two.  My focus was a little shaky in the beginning...

I have adopted the bad habit of needing music on my runs. I did not take my phone, ipod or anything that would be a distraction. What I realized yesterday is that the music has blinded me from seeing His beautiful creations around me. Have you ever passed by the same place everyday only to discover something beautiful on the hundredth day, that you never had seen before?

Sometimes I need to 'stop and smell the roses'. I take his beautiful creations for granted, everyday... How blessed am I, to live in such a magnificent countryside, He created!

I can only imagine how glorious our next life will be, to walk with God for eternity. While walking down the peaceful road, I was overcome with emotion. I thought to myself how wonderful it is to just be with God, Him alone. Why have I waited so long to take a walk with him?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Women Food and God

The other day, I was browsing in Barnes and Noble (I could stay in there for hours) when a title of a book caught my eye. It read, in all caps, WOMEN FOOD AND GOD. I am not going to lie, at first I laughed, out loud. I honestly think I laughed, because I knew it was screaming my name. As I picked it up, I read in smaller letters 'the tyranny of fear and hopelessness around their bodies'. Before I knew it I was reading over the first few pages and completely enraptured!

I sat down that night and found time to be soaked in by the words.

WOMEN FOOD AND GOD is a nonfiction by Geneen Roth. She shares with you her weight struggles and eating habits, and how it is connected to our relationship with God. She also gives you accounts from her life-changing retreats. These retreats are for women who battle compulsive eating, whether it is eating all the time or not at all, or fall to food for comfort.

I have not finished the book yet. I can already tell you, women, it is a must read.

No, I have never struggled with being overweight. However, I have caught myself going to food for comfort, to fill a void. What am I truly hungry for? I have come to realize, it is everything but food.

A great challenge for myself since I started the book, is to consciously ask when I grab something to eat, "Why am I eating this?... Is it because I am honestly hungry? Am I worried or stressed?"

Monday, October 22, 2012

Running in the Dark (Part 2)

I was given many wonderful and profound thoughts the other day on my morning run. I could not even fit it on one post! If you haven't read Part 1, I recommend you doing so. I would hate for you to be lost.

It is a fairly short thought boggling around in my brain, but too important to leave out.

Carrying a light in the darkness does not only make the road visible, but myself visible as well. I understand it is a good thing. If someone were to be running along the road and see my light, I could help guide them. It is important to share your light with those not yet blessed with receiving it.

However, not all runners I encounter are searching the light for good intentions. You carry the light, for the future followers of God.... AND unfortunately, the enemy. With a light, I am a target in the dark. I have to focus on the path I am running. I cannot be swayed to a different route, one that might seem easier. I know there will be runners who deceive me, saying "This path is quicker, easier and looks more beautiful, even in the dark".  The truth is their route, is longer, more exhausting, and the battery for my light will go dead.  It is said, in John 12:35 "..You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going."

Friday, October 19, 2012

Running in The Dark (Part 1 of 2)

I realized two things this morning...
One, I get the best ideas for my blog while running, which leads me to... Two, I need to carry pen and paper on my runs. I dislike having a great idea, then when you go two write it down, you draw a blank! Fortunately, I was able to jot down pieces of my thoughts after arriving back at the house.

I detest this time of year for a few reasons. The days grow short, sunlight is scarce, and it leaves me little time for a nice, long run. Lately, it has been pitch dark during my morning runs. I finally discovered this handy little app, a flashlight!

I was trotting along this morning when I discovered a big pothole! Luckily, I had my handy, dandy flashlight. Being completely ready for the hole, I hurdled right over it...whew, thank you flashlight! Then a light when off. (No pun intended.) I had discovered my next blog.

What if I hadn't carried my light? I would have broke an ankle landing in that monstrous pothole!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Team Hoyt, an Inspiration

This video has been forever engraved in my memory since I watched it four years ago.
The song "My Redeemer Lives" from this video is my favorite song to listen to while running.
I picture this precious father and son, and it makes me run stronger...
This is all for today, because if their story doesn't inspire you I don't know what will...
I run because I can. When I get tired, I remember those who can't run, what they'd give to have this simple gift I take for granted, and I run harder for them. I know they would do the same for me. 

Philippians 4:13 "I can do all this through Him who gives me strength."

"My Redeemer Lives" Nicole C. Mullen


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Loving a Stranger

Last spring I did a women's bible study over the book of Joshua. One week one of the ladies had to fill in for the woman who usually led our study. I was extremely blessed to hear this incredible story...

That very Sunday before speaking to us was when the following events occurred.
She was leaving church and on her merry way to lunch. Like me, going out to eat after a Sunday sermon is an occasion she looked forward to having. However, her husband had something else in mind. He wanted her to pick up some fried chicken. Disappointed, she tried to put on a happy face and gave into her husband wishes. Being a good, southern christian woman she put on her happy pants... You can picture her face right? It is one of those smiles where she's gritting her teeth.

Unwillingly, she dropped her husband off at the house before hopping over to the nearest grocery store. By herself she drove to the local Brookshire's for some of that good ol' fried chicken her husband's mouth was watering for. On the way she spoke out loud to God "God I know you are with me and I refuse to be in a bad mood. You have some crazy plan for my day."

What do you know, when she got there every other husband must have wanted fried chicken too! The line could have wrapped around the store. As she stepped up to the counter the lady politely told her the wait for chicken would be at least 45 minutes, "Oh joy!" she thought. At this point her day was already shot, might as well shop for groceries during the wait, and that is what she did.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Random Act of Kindness

We encounter thousands of strangers every year, hundreds a month, many a week and for me at least ten a day. Having said that we are given the opportunity to share Christ with strangers several times a week.

I want to challenge any person who reads this to reach out to at least one stranger this week. Maybe you can pay for someone's lunch in the car behind you at McDonald's and leave them a note that says 'God loves you, have a great day!'. Or perhaps letting the person behind you in the grocery store go ahead of you. There are numerous occasions we can take advantage of to shine his light. Be sure to let that stranger know that God loves them in some way...who knows, maybe they need it this week.

Be sure to check out my post about a situation where God used a friend to share His love with a stranger. It is an incredible story..Loving A Stranger (Here is the link)

Mark 16:15 'He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all of creation"

"What if God was One of Us" Joan Osborne This song gives me chills every time I listen to it.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

People Pleasing

I cannot even tell you how many times I have been told I am a people pleaser. Let us just say if I had a penny for every time I would not be sitting in a real estate office...but flying my own plane all over the world.

I would like to say I don't care what people think, but I do. And I discovered I am a 'word of affirmation' person, hearing encouragement or praise lifts me up. How do you get those words, through pleasing others of course. I used to think people pleasing was an admirable quality...well it just depends on WHO you are trying to please.

Growing up I wanted to please my parents by excelling in school, going to college and even choosing the career that would make them proud. I tried to please so much I would get emotional when I didn't come through, it began to wear on me.  I had pushed myself to the point of exhaustion, constantly trying to please my family and friends. I wanted to be superwoman, be on the A Honor Roll, be involved in extracurricular activities and super involved in the youth group.  At the time I was in the role of President of the National Honor Society and the Stundent Council, involved in church and I knew that I couldn't do everything. I was devastated that I would have to step down. I was so worried about disappointing my parents, my peers, the student coucil. I'll never forget the conversation my mother and I had one day while driving out of the school parking lot.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Come As You Are..No Jacket Required

I think sometimes people feel they are so corrupted and their sin is too immense for God, and find grace hard to comprehend. I always have to put things into relative terms, it sticks with me longer...when I stumbled across this story below, I was comforted. Grace is my favorite word, and is it not unfathomable, HIS grace for us? This is a beautiful description of discovering the Lord's grace.

I shook my head in disbelief. This couldn't be the right place. After all, I couldn't possibly be welcome here. I had been given an invitation several times, by several different people, and I had finally decided to see what this place was all about. But, this just couldn't be the right place. Quickly, I glanced down at the invitation that I clutched in my hand. I scanned past the words, "Come as you are. No jacket required," and found the location. Yes, I was at the right place.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Running Through the Rain..

Happy Friday my friends! I want to share a short story today that I read the other day, something about it melted my heart. I just adore children. Their stories just brighten my face and bring so much light into the world! And I just love how sweetly simple minded they are.

A little girl, not even six years old was waiting with her mom inside of Wal Mart one day while it was pouring rain. Several people were standing there as well waiting for the rain to pass.

The young girl turned to her mom at one point and said "Mom, let's run through the rain!"..the mom responded "No it's pouring down rain, we need to wait until it stops."...the little one waited a moment then repeated "Mom lets run through the rain"..."We'll get soaked!" the mom exclaimed. "No, no we won't. That's not what you said this morning." ...the confused mother replied "Umm, this morning? What are you talking about?". "Mommy this morning you were talking to dad about his cancer and told him 'If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything.' "

Everyone in the crowd stood silently, no one said a word.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Taking the Grenade..(Forgiving Others)

Forgiving someone who has wronged me is right up there with loving my enemy as far as challenges go. I am not going to lie, I might be quick to say 'I forgive you' when a person says sorry. The only problem is that I have a hard time letting it go. I will catch myself replaying what they did over and over in my head. Unfortunately, it only creates a heavy burden...

But it's not a burden I have to carry! I don't know if you know this but God gave us a pretty cool power, the power to forgive. He also wants us to let it go and not continue to dwell. Don't you always feel like a heavy load has been lifted when you have forgiven someone of their transgressions. You've been set free by your forgiveness!

Why should we forgive?  Jesus died on the cross for our sins and by that we our forgiven, so we should forgive others. You say 'they don't deserve it', but don't we wrong God time and time again and he forgives us every time?

I read in a Tenth Avenue North devotional once that forgiving is like the pain of a grenade.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Not Like, but LOVE Your Enemy

LOVE your enemy. Yep, I said those three words. One of life's greatest challenges and the hardest things we as Christians have to do is love those who hate us. I don't like using the word hate, but your enemy definitely doesn't love you, so there is no other way around it. I stole some of what I am going to talk about from my preacher's sermon from this Sunday...I have to give him credit for inspiring today's post!

Loving your enemy is different than 'loving your neighbor as yourself', treating those you encounter with kindness is a much easier task. Having to be nice to your enemy, well folks that is a different ball game.

I remember my mom telling me as a kid "Aeron, just kill them with kindness"...with emphasis on the KILL, haha, just kidding. Or telling me about the verse in Romans, treating them with kindess, "you will heap burning coals on his head". Who wouldn't want to light their enemy's head on fire?..just kidding, but it's easy to view it in such a way. There is a tad bit of truth in that feeling, how many times have we ever wanted to treat our enemy as a friend just to get on their nerves, or light their head on fire? We are human and beautifully flawed.