“I Want to Lose Weight, But I Want to Eat Cake and Donuts and Chips and Ice Cream and Pasta”

My friends and I often laugh about the cycle of my diet. It goes like this: I start off each week saying “Okay I’m starting my diet today.” Monday is okay, Tuesday is okay. Wednesday I’m just having one little cheat snack. Thursday I’m snacking throughout the day, but I’m still determined to keep going. By Friday I’ve totally blown it, “Epic Fail!” And I’m once again saying, “I’m going to start my diet Monday.” This explains why I have not been successful with dieting, right? So, I have come to the conclusion that my problem is “I Want to Lose Weight, But I Want to Eat Cake and Donuts and Chips and Ice Cream and Pasta.”

Much like many of us we want all the blessings God has promised us. We want His Favor, His Mercy, and His Grace; but we want to continue doing the same thing over and over. We want to continue living a sinful, rebellious life, and wonder why we are not receiving the fullness of His Blessings.

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Romans 6:1-2 KJV

This week’s blog post is short, simple, sweet and to the point. We have to do our part, there is no way around it. We can have faith that we will receive all the blessings of God, but there’s something required of us.

His word declares if we seek ye first the kingdom of God and all his righteousness then all these other things will be added unto us (Matthew 6:33).

God desires an intimate relationship, true fellowship with us. We have to submit to His Will, and obey His Word and His Commandments. Once we do these things, we will begin to see the Overflow of the Bountiful blessings the Lord has promised us.

Throughout this week why don’t you do a self-evaluation (as I often challenge you to do), and honestly assess if you have been treating your relationship with God the same way I’ve been treating my relationship with dieting. If so, let me save you the trouble; It won’t work!

So, That Settles It. I Want to Lose Weight, But I Want to Eat Cake and Donuts and Chips and Ice Cream and Pasta,” but it isn’t working; so I have to make a conscious decision to get off this rollercoaster ride of diet fails and make a lifestyle change. Likewise, we all have to make a decision to eliminate sin and disobedience from our lives, because it ultimately leads to death and destruction. This requires a lifestyle change, living a life that is pleasing to God. That’s when we will receive and experience the Abundance of His Blessings.

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“Who Do YOU Say I Am?”

I have always been leery of those people who want to tell me what someone else said about me. You know these people; they say things like: “I forgot what we were talking about, but he/she said this about you.” Translation: “We were talking about you, I’m not going to tell you what I said, but I will tell you what the other person said about you.” My response: “What did YOU say? Why was it easy for this person to talk to you about me?”

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” Then he asked them, “But Who Do You Say I Am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:13-16 NLT

Honestly, the words, thoughts, or opinions of someone who isn’t a part of my Inner Circle don’t bother me. My only concern is how the individual I classify as a friend responds. A “Friend Indeed” will not allow someone to belittle or slander you in your absence. Likewise, concerning your friends, make sure you don’t allow others to speak poorly about them when they are not around.

I think this is also important during those times when we are doubting ourselves and our capabilities; when we start to wonder what people think about us, and we ask our friends, “Who do people say that I am?” True friends will tell us that the negative things other people say about us is none of our business. They will remind us, “You are the child of the Living God.” Real friends build us up. They will not tear us down, nor will they allow anyone else to do it.

So, That Settles It. You don’t have to settle for relationships filled with uncertainty. Pray and ask God to send you Divine Connections, True Friends Indeed; those who will never have you questioning, “Who Do YOU Say I Am?” Because their actions will prove their love for you. They will encourage you and remind you often that you are the Son/Daughter of the Living God. They know you, and they accept the good, the bad, and the (sometimes) ugly side of you. Remember to do the same for them. True Loyalty causes everyone involved to win!

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“Overflow”

I remember when I moved into this place exactly six years ago, I had nothing. I didn’t need a moving truck, and not much help for that matter, because I literally had NOTHING; but I was so grateful. Fast forward to the past few weekends, and I have been working hard trying to reduce ALL the stuff I’ve accumulated since I’ve been here. I donated and still have more to donate. I sold a few items, and I threw out a ton of stuff. As I was sorting through everything, I stopped and gave God THANKS! Why, you ask? Because, like I said, I came with nothing, but I am leaving with more than enough. I have experienced a true Overflow.

Please don’t miss what I said: I gave away things, I donated things (nice things); because when God blesses us, it’s not just for us. When He knows He can trust us with “stuff,” He gives us more than enough, so we can bless others.

Prior to moving here, I went through a season of living with people and being told without notice, that I had to go. Then I moved here and I finally had a place of my own. It wasn’t much, but it was EVERYTHING to me. I remember when I heard God whisper to me one morning before I moved, this was the place, and even though it wasn’t my first choice, I obeyed. He sustained me here for six years; no eviction, utilities never disconnected. I even had the opportunity to be a blessing to someone else who needed a place to stay for a while. Now because of my heart of gratitude and good stewardship over this place, God is Blessing me to move on to Greater (literally).

His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord. Matthew 25:23 NKJV

I don’t take this for granted. I remember the promises of God. He says if we are faithful over little, He will make us rulers over much; and I see this very principle right now in my own life. I need NOTHING. I have everything I need and so much more.

Now, this blog post is not to boast about material things, but it is a testament to the Goodness of our Lord. When we make a decision to follow Him, commit to Him, obey Him, and are good stewards over the things He blesses us with, it positions us for His Abundant Blessings. I can easily recount times He provided for me before I even knew there was a need. There were countless times that I was asking for the minimum and He chose to Wow me with more than enough. That’s living in the Overflow of God.

So, That Settles It. I encourage you to take stock of your life and acknowledge the Overflow. Give Thanks to our God from Whom ALL Blessings flow. If you haven’t experienced the Overflow yet, it’s available. Do a self-assessment and make sure you are obeying God’s instructions and are grateful for (and take care of) what you have now. Then position yourself for the Abundance, and joyfully receive the Overflow.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV

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“Moving”

I HATE MOVING! There, I said it. But, I am so excited about MOVING! I’m in love with the idea of a nice new place, a real upgrade. But those pleasant thoughts are soon interrupted by the thought of all the work this move will require. I have to purge my old things, decide what I really NEED and depart with everything else. I have to decide what can be donated and what needs to be trashed. I have to coordinate transferring my utilities from the old location to the new location; but not too prematurely. I have to submit a written notice at my current residence. I have to do a final walkthrough, to ensure I receive a full refund of my deposit. On and on and on…

In an attempt to temporarily divert my attention from all I need to do for this move, I thought about the Spiritual aspect of Moving. There is a correlation. Think about it…

Naturally: When did I know for sure it was time to move? I had a leak in my bedroom and it was the “final straw,” for me being patient with my current leasing office while they continuously drag their feet with the repairs. I’ve finally had enough!

Spiritually: I believe we all have that moment, that “Breaking Point,” where nothing else is working and we make a decision that we must move on. It’s at that place, that many make the decision to invite Christ into their lives.

Naturally: I know what I want, my list of must haves. I know my likes and dislikes.

Spiritually: This is the point in your life where you know you deserve better and you decree that you will no longer settle for less.

Naturally: Moving requires work! Purging, packing, loading, and unpacking.

Spiritually: Moving forward requires work! Allowing God to purge you of those former things that are not good for you. Holding on to the things you are learning along the way, that will sustain you.

Naturally: Submitting notice of “Intent to Vacate.”

Spiritually: Serving the enemy notice that you no longer belong to him, and he no longer has a place in your life.

Naturally: Look on the bright side… I’m upgrading!

Spiritually: Look on the Bright side… You’ve been Upgraded!

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV

So, That Settles It. It’s natural to have a love/hate relationship with Moving, because it takes a lot of work; it’s not all glitz and glam. That part doesn’t come until after the work is done. This is true, both Naturally and Spiritually; but let’s keep Moving; let’s do the work that is required of us. When the work is done, we can rest and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere we’ve created. 

The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts. Haggai 2:9 KJV

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