Spirit food: Eat this; not that

 

Proverbs 27:7
A person who is full refuses honey, 
but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.

Did you ever look at a friend who wasn’t being treated well in a relationship – and knew it – and wonder why that friend kept taking the kind of treatment she was receiving? Maybe her boyfriend was a cheater. Maybe he was cruel in some way. Maybe he ignored her. Whatever the hurtful behavior…it was bad; and, she stayed in it. You just couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t break it off and move on.

How about a friend who had some sort of life-damaging issue, addiction or behavior? An eating disorder, promiscuity, hoarding, self-harm, drug use, isolation?

I remember seeing a news clip probably 20+ years ago when Robert Downey, Jr. was being sentenced AGAIN for drug issues. This brilliant, talented, valuable man said the most heart-breaking, tortured thing. “It’s like I have a gun in my mouth and my finger’s on the trigger and I like the taste of metal.”

We’ve all done the same in one way or another. Because of some need or deficit. – some hunger in our lives, we learned to eat the bitter until it tasted normal or sweet to us. The danger is two-fold. We establish an appetite for the bitter and unfullfilling. And because it cannot satisfy, our appetite for it increases and we eat more and more while remaining forever hungry in that area.

I will occasionally see articles on the internet aimed at helping us make better food choices. They’re called, “Eat This, Not That.” The premise of the articles and website is to do “swaps.” Instead of “that” choice at the grocery store, restaurant, salad bar, etc., choose “this” better thing that will be good for you and taste wonderful.

Maybe we’re eating self-pity, loneliness, judgmental and critical thoughts and conversations, feelings of inferiority and unworthiness, offense and hurt, envy, jealousy, strife and arguing, shame and guilt, resentment, condemnation…the list goes on. Let’s get our fingers off the trigger and the metal out of our mouths. We need to belly-up-to-the-bar and have a heaping helping of the crazy sweet love of God. We need to get so full of “this” we cannot imagine eating another bite of “that.”

Here are some tasty morsels to chew on:

*Your love, Lord, is priceless and unfailing and isn’t withheld from anyone (Psalm 36:7)
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I am the temple of God and I meditate on His unfailing love (2 Corinthians 6:16, Psalm 48:9)
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His love for me reaches from earth to the heavens and His faithfulness to the skies (Psalm 36:5)
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I flourish in God and trust in His unfailing love forever and ever (Psalm 52:8)

*You, Lord, are compassionate and gracious, not angry with me and Your love and faithfulness for me is HUGE! (Psalm 86:15, Isaiah 43:25, Hebrews 8:12, Hebrews 10:17)

*Nothing can stop Your love for me. (Romans 8:35-39)

*Your love for me will never end. (Psalm 136:26)
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You love me and You are delighted with me. (Zephaniah 3:17)

*Knowing You love me so much brings peace and quiet inside me (Zephaniah 3:17)
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You love me so much, You sing over me – with joy and celebration (Zephaniah 3:17)
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You are with me and because You love me, You bring your strength and power to save me. (Zephaniah 3:17)
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Your great loving-kindness compels me into closeness and intimacy with you. (Jeremiah 31:3)

*You don’t love me because of anything I’ve done to earn or deserve it – You love me just because You love me. Just because You are Love. (Titus 3:4-5)

*Because You love me, Father, You sent Jesus for me. Through Him, who I am is completely different than who I was or could ever be without Him. (John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:17)

Feeling a little spiritually and emotionally hungry? Starting to reach for a bitter bite? Reach for “this” and not “that” as quickly as you realize what is happening. Make the “swap.” Taste and see that the Lord is good! (Psalm 34:8) Purpose to change your spiritual and emotional appetite and it will change every aspect of your life. It really will. He promised. We have His Word on it! Take a big bite out of His love!

God is good and He adores us!

http://debbyberry.com/2017/07/712/

When you lose someone you love

I was talking to a friend this week who lost an adult child to suicide a few months ago. I asked her what the hardest thing for her to come to terms with is. She said something that struck me. Hard.

“Grieving is not about getting over loss. It’s about learning to live with a new reality…one you did not choose.”

When we lose someone we love – however it happens – it is a new reality. And rarely one we would have chosen. Ever.

I’ve lost someone I love deeply. I get what my friend is saying. It doesn’t mean there isn’t peace. It doesn’t mean there isn’t joy. It doesn’t mean I’m not content or hopeful. It means that I am aware of this new reality and it isn’t one I would have ever chosen.

I’m so grateful for the Comforter. The Holy Spirit. Inside. I’m so glad that I can give every burden to Jesus and cast all my cares and concerns on Him because He cares for me. I have His Word on it.

And I am wildly grateful for the future we have in eternity. Grateful for forever with the Lord and those we love when we are reunited in heaven. Because that will make this time seem outrageously small and short. Here’s to forever with those we love. Heaven…be there.

 

http://debbyberry.com/2017/07/700/

This too shall pass – It’s temporary

 

 

There is a truth that has carried me through some pretty tough times and continues to do so.

THIS IS TEMPORARY.

No matter what it is, it will most likely be over soon. If not soon, it probably won’t be too long in the scheme of things. If it takes longer, it is still unlikely to be this bad forever. If it is irreversible in this life, it will be corrected and perfected at the end of this life. No matter what…this is temporary. And, it WILL give way to better things.

Underlying this truth is a bigger truth. We are not alone. God Himself has given us His Spirit, His grace, His peace, His power. He has also given us each other. This is temporary and you have guidance, help and support. Pause. Breathe that in. Let it comfort you and bring you peace and strength. God is good and He adores you.

 

God is working it out for your good

 

 

God is always working the circumstances of our lives for our good. Even when those circumstances can’t be called good. He brings beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, praise to displace despair (Isaiah 61).

Got ashes? Me, too. Some mourning? Yes. Opportunity for despair? All of us do. God’s got an exchange for us. Beauty. Joy. Praise. Even when there are still ash smudges on our cheeks and hands. He’s bringing it. Take hold of it. It’s already yours.

God is good and He adores us.

Ampersands

 

 

 

 

I really, really like ampersands.  I don’t know all the reasons why, but I do know that the concept that I can always, always keep adding to a good list, a good collection, a good thought, a good idea, etc. appeals to me BIG.

One of the things I absolutely love about God is that He is a Giver. An Increaser. The God of MORE than enough. Exceedingly and abundantly MORE than we can ask or think.

To me, the ampersand represents God’s character and His love. Always increasing. Adding. Multiplying. Giving. 

No matter what I need…there’s an AND to cover it. No matter what.

When things aren’t like we want them to be…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Habakkuk 3:17-18

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!

Wow! That is quite the list!!

We may not be growing figs, grapes and olives or breeding and tending livestock, but most of us are working to grow, prosper, and increase in the ways that bring good things to life in our lives. We want to be able to have decent food, shelter, and clothing. To enjoy good relationships. To see strong results from our efforts. And we aren’t too happy when things aren’t working out like we want them to work out.

I’ve been thinking about joy. How it has NOTHING to do with circumstances. Being happy has to do with circumstances. Being joyful is an inside job. A choice. An action. A way of being.

I love how the writer declares that in all of this crisis, loss, and emptiness – in all that he sees around him, he WILL rejoice in the LORD. He WILL be joyful. Not about the circumstances. Not about the challenges. Not about the difficulties. Not about the disappointments. In spite of them. Smack dab in the middle of them. A quality decision. Purposed joy. Purposed focus on God. His goodness. His faithfulness.  [Read more…]

The promise of new and better

Flourish

 

But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the LORD’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. Psalm 92:14

Have you received Jesus Christ as your Redeemer, Savior, and Lord? If we have Christ in us and we are in Christ, we are “the godly.” Believe that, receive that, walk in that and it is a rich, strong life. A life of flourishing. What does it mean to “flourish?”

  1. flourish verb
    grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment. To grow, thrive, prosper, do well, burgeon, increase, multiply, proliferate. To spring up, shoot up, bloom, blossom, bear fruit, burst forth…
    “wild plants flourish on the banks of the lake”
     
    vigorous adjective 

    strong, healthy, full of energy, robust, spirited, vital, vibrant, full of zest, tough, sturdy, peppy

Wow.  I want to grow. To thrive. To prosper. To bear fruit…in a vigorous way! The whole list – in every aspect of my life. You?

Weak? Not growing and thriving? Let’s make sure we are really inhabiting that favorable environment – us in Christ and Christ in us. The result? We will flourish and be very, very strong. In a vigorous way. F

We have His Word on it.