Day 539: Saved By The Bell

Saved by the Bell

Ohhhhhhh, Zack.

Okay, I’m gonna admit that I spent an embarrassing amount of time searching through Google images for a picture because I just sorta got lost back in my childhood of watching this show.

That, and there were A LOT of current fashion trends that I’m pretttttty sure were inspired by Kelly’s outfits. Case in point…

kelly saved by the bell outfit

I am almost positive that I saw those pants (in a legging form) at Target, those shoes are everywhere and that top would totally be at Forever21. And I’m not sure if I think it’s cool that “kids these days” are wearing clothes like this or if it is utterly frightening and mortifying.

And the best part… the title of this post has very little to do with the actual content (other than the word “saved”) and the show Saved By The Bell Has… nothing… to do with the content of the post.

So, that little trip down memory lane. Yeah… that was a freebie.

You can thank me later when you have a flashback dream tonight of Jessie’s “I’m so excited” scene.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bflYjF90t7c&w=420&h=315]

POSITIVITY: I am saved.

I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me. Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice.  He ransoms me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me. Psalm 55:16-18

I just went through and highlighted that verse and it just really. really. hit me.

There is a battle being waged against me.

I know it. I feel it. I fight it day after day.

Just today I thought to myself, “Why is it that I broke so many habits, changed my lifestyle, lost all that weight, and then it’s like… I forgot it all? Like, the old me just snapped back awake and took over again.”

And there it was in the verse.

There is a battle being waged against me.

Cause I know… had things kept going along swimmingly I would have just gone crazy powerhouse about God’s life-giving freedom. So Satan had to pony-up and come and get me.

Cause let me tell you… that freedom. It’s the most wonderful thing you’ll ever taste.

And I miss it.

I long to have it back.

But right now… right now, there is a battle being waged against me.

{I just started silently smiling to myself.}

But I. am. safe.

I know that God wins the battle.
I know that God hears my voice.
I know that God will rescue me.

So I’m just gonna keep on keeping on. Fighting my fight. Even though so many days of the week it seems as if I’m losing. as if I’m being pushed back. as if I’m just about to be taken captive.

I’m remembering Psalm 55:16-18 up there.

And I’m remembering that I am safe.

PRAYER:

God, I come to you a bit raw today. I can’t help but feel a little defeated at the moment. I want to be over this. Honestly, I just want you to touch me with your magic wand and say “HEALED!” I want to feel Your power coursing through my blood. That same Power that healed the bleeding woman, Lazarus, the lepers, the blind, the sick, the possessed.

Heal me as well God. Please. Heal me. I reach out and touch your garment. Heal me.

But as I wait for that, I will remember that you are keeping me safe from this battle waged against me. I will remember that you hear my voice. I will remember that you. will. rescue. me.

Give me wisdom God. Give me wisdom to know what to do with myself. to know what to pray. to know what to avoid. Give me wisdom God to know how to fight this enemy of mine! I feel him trying his best to put a rift between us… he has pulled out the big guns, man. But I’m trying to hold on God. I’m trying to hold on to You.

Keep me safe God. Keep me close.

I trust You, God.

Amen.

Day 527: Repetitive Rescue

psalm 91.14-16 verse

Over the past few months, I have found that I have tried to do a lot of this “dieting” thing on my own.

Not sure why… I mean, it’s not like the whole “doing it on my own” was working for me before, but whatev. I guess I just slowly let my pride or something override my willingness to follow God and utilize His Power and His Help.

After reading Made To Crave (well, I read the first half of it and then I had to return it to the library), I just kept remembering her referring, multiple times, to times when she would go into her bathroom or closet or something and cry out in prayer to God. And I sorta realized that I wasn’t really doing that when I was hitting struggles or temptations. So, this morning, knowing that I just HAD to get back on His Path, I started to just very, very simply pray…

God, help me.

And ya know what… I think He heard me.

Yeah… sorry, that was a bit of sarcasm.

I know He heard me.

I was able (not necessarily easily) to turn away from everything that was against my covenant with Him. But I’m gonna tell you that I’d probably said “God, help me” about 57 times before breakfast. Honestly though… it doesn’t matter to me how many times I had to say it! He was there. So…

POSITIVITY: I am heard.

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16

PRAYER:

God, I have one of those step by step prayers for you today.

First of all, forgive me please God. Forgive me for turning from You and relying solely upon myself. Forgive me for breaking covenant with You time and time again… willfully. deliberately. pridefully.

And thank you God for your forgiveness and mercy and unconditional love and second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, etc. changes.

With that being said, thank you for listening to me. hearing me. rescuing me. rewarding me.

And with THAT being said, God… help me. Please keep helping me. Draw me closer to you.

Amen.

Day 117: HE WILL DO THIS

Okay so I have been feeling crummy for several days now… and for once I don’t mean crummy just physically but also spiritually. Like, something akin to depressed but not quite that strong. And I hate to admit it, but I think most of it stemmed from that dad gum weight thing, although it has taken me days to realize (or admit) that was the root cause.

But over the past day I have realized that all of my thoughts were centered around my weight. my lack of weight loss. my covenant blog posts. and then this morning to just plunk a nice big ol’ cherry on top, I weighed and had gained four pounds.

That was all she wrote. I was plummeting after that… what if this doesn’t work? What if God has abandoned me? What if I was wrong all along? What if I have failed?

And so I was so glad that today was a church day. I needed some fresh perspective. Some Word of God from… outside of me. Although I have kept on reading the Word through all of this, I realized today that I was reading the word with tunnel vision on: reading it solely for a Word about the covenant. about why I wasn’t losing weight. or about something I could use in a covenant post.

And there I was in worship, sangin and dancin… and the wisdom I have been praying for was right there. Not in a particular song… just in some truth written on my heart, whispered to me in the midst of me losing myself in praising Jesus for my salvation. A True Word From God…

I WILL do this.

And that was His voice saying that… not mine. HE. WILL. DO. THIS. I almost wanted to laugh there standing in the middle of the church. Haha- it was so simple. God and I had made a covenant… and I had lost faith that He could and would hold up His end of the deal.

I was thinking again that I could do it. That I could lose the weight. He just wanted me to realize that He is the one that has to do it. That He is the One who can do it. That He is the One who WILL do it.

And then, wanna guess what the Pastor spoke on???

Yep. Fear.

And at it’s core, that’s what I was… afraid. Afraid that God couldn’t, or wouldn’t, continue his work in me. But these two verses struck true with me…

But Moses told the people, (as they were about to have to cross the Red Sea) “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today… The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:13-14

And here I have been wondering and worrying DESPITE THE AMAZING WORK HE HAS DONE FOR ME ALREADY… would He save me all the way? Worried that He would only take me 117 days in and then drop me? I’m so like those dadgum Israelites that He brought out of Egypt. I have seen this miracle in my life… recently… and yet I was afraid that God might not take me across the Red Sea? I was really afraid that He would change my entire life and then just dump me out for the Egyptians to come and slaughter me? or WORSE, take me back into slavery?

Nope. I just need to stay calm. stand still. and wait for the Lord himself to fight for me. to rescue me.

Cause He has.

Cause He can.

CAUSE. HE. WILL.

 

Day 112: I’m A Keeper

There was a time when my brother was playing soccer as a kid… like Kindergarten or 1st grade age. You know how it works when they are that age. Every kid just hovers around the ball so there is like this tornado of kids all in one area. And then… there’s the poor keeper. All by himself down there by the goal. And it’s especially worse when your team is good because most of the action is happening at the other end of the field where the tornado of action is attempting to kick the ball into the other keeper’s goal. Well, my brother’s team was pretty good so the poor little keeper on his team tended to get bored pretty frequently.

Well, this one time, after we had all been watching down to the left for several minutes as our kids hacked away at getting the ball in their goal, there was a breakaway and a kid from the other team busted out of the pack with the ball, sprinting towards… our goal.

And we looked on in horror, amazement, shock, and ultimately complete hilarity as we saw that our keeper, having obviously been bored and… well… ignored for quite a while, had climbed up into the goal ropes. It was no biggie apparently… he was just “hanging out” (haha) until it was time for that breakaway. Only, he had gotten himself so entangled that when he tried to get off… he couldn’t. He was stuck. Stuck dangling from that goal as he watched helplessly while the lucky boy from the other team effortlessly kicked the ball in the goal right under our keeper.

Hilarious, right? Definitely! Ha- you should hear my dad tell the story! It’s even better!

But ya know, I think we have all at some point felt like that keeper. We, for whatever reason, choose to go where we shouldn’t go and we get tangled in the ropes of sin. And then, when the time comes for us to escape… we are stuck. Stuck dangling above watching life go by. Stuck watching someone else win right in front of our eyes. Stuck. Stuck. Stuck.

An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him. He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness. Proverbs 5:22

I will admit that more and more I feel separated from the girl that felt entangled by this sin of addiction. But I must say that this verse stuck with me. In fact, I finished my reading this morning and then went back to it because I was still thinking about it. Probably because it is such an accurate depiction of what has been going on with me for yearrrrrrs. And while I am all about moving forward, moving on without the past, I guess at the same time when I take small moments to look back at the past then everything about the present is… better. more manageable.

And I saw this verse and remembered how hopeless I felt tangled up in those ropes. Just as helpless as that boy was in that goal. I think about how helpless people were around me that wanted me to be free, but they could only watch me hang there. Just like we all watched helplessly as that boy dangled there that day. We could not help him. And I think about all the poor women I have despised because they were thin… the ones I thought were winning… even though their thinness might have been the only “goal” they ever scored.

And then I look at that second half of the verse “He will die for lack of self-control; he will be lost because of his great foolishness.” And the lack of self-control I had for food was literally going to kill me. I don’t have to be a dietician or a scientist to know that I was pushing the machine of my body to perform in a way that it was not designed. And that will kill a machine.

And all of it was just such great, great foolishness… now I see that. Eating to comfort? to entertain? to rest? From the outside looking in, it was such a ridiculous thing. But… I was too entangled to see it. Too entangled to see that I was going to lose. Too entangled to see that I could not escape…

without God.

And I am reminded of how Hezekiah just… asked for life and God granted it to Him. And Hezekiah’s response…

Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live!
Yes, this anguish was good for me, for you have rescued me from death and forgiven all my sins.
For the dead cannot praise you; they cannot raise their voices in praise. Those who go down to the grave can no longer hope in your faithfulness. Only the living can praise you as I do today. Each generation tells of your faithfulness to the next.
Think of it—the Lord is ready to heal me! I will sing his praises with instruments every day of my life in the Temple of the Lord.
Isaiah 38:16-22

And how good it is to sit back and know that God is ready to heal me. He is ready to rescue me from death. He is ready to untangle me.

He is ready. Am I ready to ask?

Day Fifty-Five: Reese’s Vs God

Once again my post for the day comes from what I read this morning in 1 Samuel 17. It’s probably not a “new” story to most of us, but I got this whole new spin on it for me this morning. Although, I should say that it also might be a little comical because I have this slightly overdramatic and overactive imagination. Haha!

Every time I read this story (which is a lot since my son is almost five and loves battles right now) I get chills when David speaks. He has such power, such authority, such confidence in God’s power. And oh, for too long I have missed out on that- the confidence of God’s power.

But as I read the verses where he tells Goliath what’s what, it sorta like automatically “translated” into me talking. Okay that makes no sense. Let me explain. David has just walked out onto the battle field in no armor or sword and armed only with his slingshot and five stones. Goliath, naturally, thinks this is ridiculous and teases him “What do you think I’m a dog coming at me with rocks?” And David’s brilliant reply:

David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 1 Samuel 17:45

I want to like yell or like beat my chest or something when I read that! It’s just… awesome! And here’s how “I” say it (to the Devil):

“You come against me with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Olive Garden breadsticks, and 12 ounce ribeyes from Roadhouse, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

And as cheesy as that sounds, that is the power I feel from God in this battle against my Goliath: food.

And David doesn’t stop there. Oh no- he goes another step:

Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 1 Samuel 17:46

He’s not just saying “I have God on my side so I can defeat you.” Here he comes in saying that he is going to defeat and humiliate them. But again- what is the purpose in that? So that the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.

And the next verse rocks it too:

And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord ‘s battle, and he will give you to us!” 1 Samuel 17:47

And wow- this verse gets me at home again. Because I do feel like I am being rescued throughout all of this. But not the way the “world” might look at it. Like, the world wants me to eat low fat, high protein, low carb, high carb, sodium free, gluten free, low calorie, low saturated fat, no high fructose corn syrup, no MSG, no, low, high, free.

But the only word I want out of that is the last one: free. You see, God isn’t rescuing me with any diet. He isn’t rescuing me with the way the world expects- the world expected Goliath to be defeated through sword and spear and the world expects me to be rescued by their ways. But God’s ways are not my ways.

And that’s why “I” am winning… because this is the Lord’s battle. And He is going to defeat this addiction in my life.

Easiest. battle. ever.

Day Thirty-Nine: Damsel In Distress

I want to start out by saying that I’m so glad that I decided to do this for a year. Five weeks in and I’m realizing that I’m gonna need another 47 weeks to get this worked out. That might sound like I’m “down” but it’s actually almost like a sigh of relief! I am just really glad that I gave myself a lot of time to get “over” this addiction. To work through my bad habits. To become a new creation. Too often before I have expected myself to become a new creation over night and that’s not always the way that it works. I mean, hey, I have thirty-three years of addictive habits that I’m trying to break. That might take a little while!

Now, with that being said, I feel like I have moved into Phase II of this experience. Phase I was getting past my addiction to sugar, namely, chocolate. Honestly… haha, yeah… honestly, I thought that was my only “issue”. Nope. Turns out that I realize over and over that it really wasn’t about the chocolate at all (well, okay, maybe a bit because it was soooooooo good), but that it has been an issue of the heart. So, once chocolate was gone I simply started to slowly work in new “addictions”. But the good news is that I’m not going to let those new addictions master me for the next thirty-three years but I’m going to deal with them now. nip them in the bud now. abolish them from my life now.

So… yeah. In a way I feel like I am back at square one. I’m seeing some of the same tendencies popping back up! Eating what is not beneficial but is still technically “okay” on the fast (e.g. potato chips). Eating past the sensation of full (e.g. dinner last night and tonight when I ate two servings worth and was way past full). Eating too late in the day and ignoring hunger sensations in the hopes that I would let my belly eat a little fat while I starved a bit (e.g. yesterday when I tried to skip lunch altogether).

I can tell that my weight loss has stalled out a little bit and I think that it is because of these things.

So, I’m needing to remind myself of the covenant. And I don’t think that this is a sign of me faltering, or Satan winning, or a lack of faith, discipline, etc.

I have just finished reading through Joshua in my daily bible readings, and after Joshua and the Israelites cross over the Jordan River (God, again, stops the water from flowing so that they can cross) they pile up 12 stones that someone from each tribe picked up when they were crossing the river. Then Joshua tells them why:

“In the days to come, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What are these stones doing here?’ tell your children this: ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ “Yes, God, your God, dried up the Jordan’s waters for you until you had crossed, just as God, your God, did at the Red Sea, which had dried up before us until we had crossed. This was so that everybody on earth would recognize how strong God’s rescuing hand is and so that you would hold God in solemn reverence always. Joshua 4:21-24

It’s not that atypical to set reminders… to need reminders. Heck, it’s all through the bible of the Israelites setting up altars to God to remind themselves that He came through. Like Noah when they got out of the boat. He built an altar to God. I just really like how this part ends… the stones are there so that they can tell others what God did… and why He did it: so that everyone would know how strong God’s rescuing hand is and so that we would revere Him always.

So, I am going to be thinking over the next few days of a way that I can set up my stones to remind me that God’s rescuing hand (which I just love that adjective… not just His hand, but his rescuing hand) is strong and that I should revere Him. In the past I might have put a picture of me looking all fatty to “demotivate” me from eating, or a picture of me all skinny to “motivate” me to not eat, or a pig, or a… well, you get the picture. But now again, I am pulling the attention away from me and refocusing it on the things of eternity.

And I think when I see those “stones” and remember that my God has a strong rescuing hand… I might just allow myself to be rescued at that moment. A damsel in distress rescued by The Knight In Shining Armor.

Wow… sounds kind of like a love story.

Yep. The Love Story.