Success is not final, Failure is not Fatal

Winston Churchill said: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” 

We are 21 days into the “Lord’s Table” and I pray that you are doing your best to work towards success, but if you, like myself, missed some days it’s not too late to start again.black-women-fat-health-eating-carbs-new-study-16x9-980-c

The modern world was not designed for weight loss. The food industry in America produces more calories than we can consume. It also makes foods that are more caloric and more tempting — sweeter, fattier, saltier and more addicting — than our brains evolved to handle. Restaurants prioritize aesthetics over health, and retailers prioritize profits over nutrition.

This means we need to be vigilant about our choices every day, and to plan ahead to make sure we have healthy options at hand when we are at work, traveling, and at home. We can’t assume there will be a safe choice unless we take responsibility for providing it.

Every successful endeavor requires desire, discipline, and delight. Success is not final because we always “Press towards the mark”.

The God of the Bible is the God of the second chance, a God who prefers to mend rather than discard. In Matthew 12:20, it is said of our Lord Jesus that “a bruised reed He will not break and a smoking flax He will not quench.” The reed was used by shepherds as a kind of flute and once cracked, was discarded. A smoldering wick was also useless for giving light. These references represent people who are damaged goods and rejected by others and society at large. God’s commitment in Christ is to mend and heal such people, not to “break” them or to “quench” them. When we land hard, Christ’s nailed-pierced hand is there to help us bounce back.

Therefore, when it comes to failure don’t fail to remember:

One, we all fail. As the offspring of Adam and children of dust, it is not hard for us to muck things up. Abraham was a liar. Jacob was a deceiver. Moses was a murderer. David was an adulterer. Peter was a blasphemer. Morally speaking, no one has a perfect score (Rom. 3:23). The best of us are really not that good.

Two, we can fail well. There is such a thing as “failing forward” by learning from what we have done wrong, repenting, and laying hold of God’s forgiveness. We can drown in guilt or we can swim back to shore helped by the incoming tide of God’s grace. For example, Elijah emerged from his failure a new man with a new mission (1 Kings 19:15-16). Peter was strengthened after his failure and set to work again by Christ (Luke 22:31-32). We must not waste our sorrows or sins. They must be allowed to temper and teach us about our sorry selves and the One who is greater than all our sin. So fail successfully.

Three, our failures don’t cause God to fail. Heaven is never shaken by the stumbles of God’s servants. In case you have never noticed, many of the heroes of Hebrews 11 were reclaimed failures. Abraham the liar, Jacob the swindler, Moses the murderer, and David the adulterer are all in there. Our failures thankfully, do not tie God’s hands. God is a potter who works with mud and is able to take that which is marred and remake it into a thing of beauty (Jer. 18:1-6). God loves to restore the broken and brittle and then parade them before the world as trophies of His grace.

Failure is never final unless you give up!

Eat at the “Lord’s Table today family!

12 Days and the need for renewal and recommitment

The nature of living in a fallen world means that we will frequently be tempted to lead out of pride and fear. Whatever the source of our temptation—personal struggles, challenges involving other people, or changing circumstances and opposition—we always have the choice to once again renew our trust in God and ask Him to transform our leadership. Jesus urges us to trust ourselves to the Father’s care, to live one day at a time with a focus on kingdom priorities, just as He did. As we do, our words and actions will increasingly reflect humility and God-confidence.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has   enough trouble of its own. —Matthew 6:33-34

Prayer: Spirit, remind us of Jesus’ words and the Father’s care when changing circumstances cause us to fear. Help us to lead with God-confidence as we trust in You. Amen.

If you get off the path, find your way back and encourage yourself withFor I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 NLT

It’s Been a Week!

1CorinthiansTenThirtyOne

 

Congratulations, we have completed a week of “Feasting at The Lord’s Table”.  While our book exhorts us that, our goal, is to learn to enjoy Christ more, and form new eating habits that, with God’s help will last a lifetime. Because of our focus on enjoying Christ in this way our weight and food choices will also be impacted in positive ways.

Moving into week two we encounter some, what I call “man in the mirror” reflection. Is my overeating sinful, is my sinful desire causing me seperation, am I drawing water from a well that will never satisfy, will I turn and repent?

Refreshment will come as we take a close look and let the Holy Spirit analyze and lead us in the days ahead. It is satisfaction that we crave and so as we take a serious look at ourselves in God’s mirror and realize that we need adjustments and maybe an entire wardrobe change, when God changes us from the inside out we will be renewed, refreshed and restored and Jesus Christ will be the central focous of all we do.

Until next time my friend🙏

CantsToCansDreamsToPlans

Temptation

Tempation Cake

Why would I allow you to face temptation? How does this fare with Romans 8:28? And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose…

In his book All Things for Good, Thomas Watson, argues that everything which happens is ultimately for our good and for God’s glory. The book is a 127 page exposition of Romans 8:28.

Here are eight ways God uses temptation for our good:

  1. Temptation sends the soul to prayer.
  2. Temptation causes us to fight sin more vigorously.
  3. Temptation weakens our pride. “Better is that temptation which humbles me, than that duty which makes me proud.”(35)
  4. Temptation is the means by which God will test the heart.
  5. Temptation prepares us to comfort others. “He that has felt the claws of the roaring lion, and has lain bleeding under those wounds, is the fittest man to deal with one that is tempted.” (36)
  6. Temptation stirs up the fatherly compassion of God.
  7. Temptation makes us long for heaven.
  8. Temptation engages the strength of Christ. “If a poor soul was to fight alone with the Goliath of hell, he would be sure to be vanquished; but Jesus Christ brings in His auxiliary forces, He gives fresh supplies of grace. (37)

Though God uses temptation for our good, Watson is also quick to point out that there is a great difference between falling into temptation and running headlong into it. We should avoid temptation whenever possible, and should be quick to help others avoid it. Yet, God in His sovereign mercy will at times allow that chocolate cake to be in our presence. And he does this to bring about good. He doesn’t tempt us, but He will even use the enemies work to accomplish His glory for our good.

Stay on the path and the plan my beloved.

Why I give in to sinful eating practices

A couple of recent examples are these. Two weeks ago I had to have a filling on my upper left side and a bonding done on my lower right side of my teeth. So My lower right lip and gum were numb as well as my upper left lip and gum. Since it was lunch time I stopped @ MickyD and got a chicken sandwich, thought I’d go light since it was immediately after dental work. Crazy me I couldn’t even tell where to chew the sandwich so I had to throw that $5 chicken away, but, and this is the even crazier part I thought I know I’ll get a milk shake One large strawberry shake, hold the whip and add the cherry. Well guess what that didn’t go well either almost choked on the cherry and it was a dismal attempt at sinful eating.

That said, todays passage reminds me that what I need is nourishment of the soul. I need more than “chicken soup for the soul” I need real, lasting and settled satisfaction and fullness. I have felt that a good meal would bring fulfillment to my heart. Alas, my girth and my body reveal that you cannot do battle with a spiritual problem using physical tools of warfare. I have done weight watchers, medifast, Daniel diet, Atkins diet, 10 bananas a day had gastric bypass surgery. All worked, I lost weight, restricted my quantity of food by surgery but in the end all have failed to give me the desired outcome.

After the gastric bypass I quickly surmised that I could not eat a quarter-pounder or a dozen donuts in one setting, but I could eat two quarter pounders in about 2 hours by eating a little at a time. So what happened, I learned to eat around my spiritual problem and regained what I lost on all those programs. I am not bashing those programs they all worked, but the real true spiritual problem was not addressed. I ate but was not satisfied .

Why all this now, because I realize that there is a heart need. I do not overeat because of some genetic predisposition, boredom, or to be social, or because the food tastes good. I overeat because internally I feel empty, I am attempting to feed my soul by feeding my body.

Jesus said Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Help me today dear Lord to understand this and be able to tell the enemy that I am choosing to obey God rather than my belly.

Matthew 4:4 But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

John 6:27 Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”

Blessings to you. Until next time my friend🙏 and family.

To comfort, medicate, help with pain, boredom or just plain lazy.

Reasons why we overeat. I must admit Ecclesiastes 6:7 “all a man’s labor is for his mouth and yet the appetite is not satisfied:,  hits home. Here’s a classic i’m sitting at the buffet, we most always choose buffet because of variety and return privileges and understand how convicting when I realize that I have a plate full in front of me and I am watching the food bar to see when fresh fried chicken or some other item is put out so I can beat the others to the best for me. Is that comforting, am I medicating some pain am I eating cause I bored or just plain lazy?

Is that double sinning or not. Even after the big meal, my appetite is not satisfied. We spend more time and have more choices for food and yet our appetite is never satisfied.

Think about this, why is it when a storm, or in my area a hurricane, is announced we buy all the bread and milk in the store, we store up supplies not even knowing if we will survive the weather event, we have a pantry full of food, one and two freezers full of food all so that we can feel comfy in our own efforts to make provisions for any occasion.

This is crazy I have become so used to overeating that I carry herbal remedies with me, gin gins”, ginger chews and upset stomach medicine just so I can combat the after effects of eating too much. How foolish of me. Today I am realizing just how crazy my “Desires of the heart- fullness and satisfaction are”

Proper Motivation

I believe that Scripture teaches us God’s will for us in all things. Having said that, 1 Corinthians 10:31 (AMP) is my theme: So then, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of [our great] God.

This time, it’s not to have others admire me, to look good in a swimsuit, to feel better when thin or to have a better self image, no, this time it is for the glory of God.

Dear Lord, I admit that I have come to both love and hate the word “diet”. On the one hand, it represents hope for change, on the other, it’s like a sign flashing “Failure Ahead!”.

I don’t want to embark on another faulty plan but on a journey with you that is led by “Your Power” that depends on Your Strength and is led by Your Holy Sprit. I admit that without you I can do nothing and ask that you show me the path to real change as only you can. Show me what works for me, what is healthy for me. I want to learn to feed my body, Your temple, so that in whatever I eat or drink You get the glory.

Today and everyday I want to learn to feed my body what it truly needs and feed my soul with the Bread of Life.

Today I place my future, my failures, my setbacks, all of my hopes and plans in your hands. There alone will I find meaning and true success in my life.

I pray this also for those who travel this journey with me as well.

Learning, Leaning and Living at The Lord’s Table

To my two Firsts; My first born daughter and granddaughter, I say thank you for inviting me to participate with you both on this special step in all our lives.wedding_supper_of_the_lamb

How is it that we can have so much knowledge about how to lose weight, but be bankrupt in applying that knowledge? The Lord’s Table presents the answer to this question as well as the solution to overeating, right from the pages of Scripture. We must believe that since God made us only God can fix us.

Some things I have learned, or at least have noticed are: (1) Our initial instruction about eating from our creator begins in Genesis 1:29 and 2:16-17 (2) When we began to have health problems one of the first questions from the Doctor is, What have you been eating? (3) When, and only, if you make the correct decision, you enter the New Jerusalem you will go back to the original eating plan (Revelation 22:1-2).

There is also some confusion or those who eat meat and those who eat vegetables however the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul settled that discussion in Romans 14:1-3;14 and 20.

Finally, if we allow our bodies to tell us when to eat we will not be guilty of the one sin you cannot hide. Read this article for a thorough explanation.

So, to those who are precious in our God’s eyes and in mine, I say let’s do this and make Jesus “Lord over the fork”.

See you on March 1, 2018

Have a Good New Year 2018!

 

Shana Tovah 2018

I want to share some thoughts I have gathered from various sources about a Happy New Year vs a Good New Year.

The longer I live the more I realize how strong a connection exists between our thoughts and our words. I am beginning to honestly believe that this connection is one of the most important things we can learn in our lives.

So many of my problems are rooted in my way of thinking, which can actually produce a lot of the problems I and those around me experience.

So I want us to have a Good New Year 2018

To accomplish this I need to turn my words around, I need to start thinking about what I’m thinking about, and then make some real changes.

With God’s help I am being reminded that my past doesn’t have to control my future. *What happened in 2017; stays in 2017*, I don’t need God’s help in my life to give up; I need His help to keep going!

So what’s the difference between a Happy New Year and a Good New Year?

The Hebrew phrase *Shanah Tovah* conveys the hope for a good year rather than a happy one, and the reason for that distinction contains great significance.

In January of 2013, the Atlantic Monthly had a fascinating article titled There’s More to Life than just Being Happy. The author, Emily Esfahani Smith, points out how researchers are beginning to caution against the pursuit of mere happiness. They found that a meaningful life and a happy life overlap in certain ways, but are ultimately very different. Leading a happy life, the psychologists found, is associated with being a “taker” while leading a meaningful life corresponds with being a “giver.”

“Happiness without meaning characterizes a relatively shallow, self-absorbed or even selfish life, in which things go well, needs and desire are easily satisfied and difficult or taxing entanglements are avoided,” the author writes.

She quotes Kathleen Vohs, one of the authors of a study published then in The Journal of Positive Psychology: “Happy people get joy from receiving benefits from others while people leading meaningful lives get a lot of joy from giving to others.” In other words, meaning transcends the self while happiness is all about giving the self what it wants.

According to Roy Baumeister, the lead researcher of the study, “What sets human beings apart from animals is not the pursuit of happiness, which occurs all across the natural world, but the pursuit of meaning, which is unique to humans.”

Long before all of these studies, Jews somehow understood this intuitively. Happy is good, but good is better.

To hope for a *happy new year* is to give greater importance to the ideal of a self-indulgent culture whose greatest goal is “to have a good time.” To seek a *good new year* however is to recognize the superiority of ***meaning*** over the ***joy*** of the moment.

So let’s get to the text: In the very beginning of the Bible, in the Torah, in the book of Genesis 1:4-31.

The word “good” has special meaning in the Torah. The first time we find it used is in the series of sentences where God, after each day of creation, views his handiwork and proclaims it “good”. More, when God completed his work he saw all that he had done “and behold it was very good.”

What does that mean? In what way was the world good? Surely it was not in any moral sense that it was being praised. The commentators offer a profound insight. **The word good indicates that every part of creation fulfilled God’s purpose:** it was good because it was what it was meant to be.

That is the deepest meaning of the word good when it is applied to us and to our lives. We are good when we achieve our purpose; our lives are good when they fulfill what they are meant to be.

We know many people of whom it can be said that they had good lives in spite of their having had to endure great unhappiness. Indeed, the truly great chose lives of sacrifice over pleasure and leave a legacy of inspiration and achievement that they never could have accomplished had they been solely concerned with personal gratification.

A shanah tovah, a good year, from a spiritual perspective, is far more blessed than a simple happy one.

Meaning is our ultimate goal; in our pursuit of the “good” life we will discover the reward of true happiness.

Meaning Leads to Happiness

Happiness is the byproduct of a meaningful life. Social scientists have come to a significant conclusion: while having money doesn’t automatically lead to happiness, giving it away almost always achieves that goal!

So shana tova, may you have a year filled with meaning and purpose. And the happiness that will surely follow.

This Thanksgiving I’m Thankful for Life

Life seems to be more precious now than ever. Precious and valuable is every moment that I have the gift of life.  This gift comes from our Father in heaven.

Some Thanksgivings are filled with much joy and blessing, some with sorrow and grief. Sometimes they are all mixed together.

I’m walking through this Thanksgiving week thankful for prayer being answered in the way I asked. But it didn’t come without struggle. It didn’t come without fear. It didn’t come without the ever-present reality that life (and death) are always in his hands, not mine.

I am walking through this Thanksgiving week abundantly thankful for the gift of Deklyn Marchaun Davis. I am walking through this Thanksgiving week thankful that I, too, lived to see another day.

I’m walking through this Thanksgiving week thankful for the life and death of family members. An organ donor gave one a second chance for a quality of life not known in recent years, while another was called to go home to see our Savior.

I’m walking through this Thanksgiving week thankful for sitting with someone who had a stroke right in front of me, but today is home and knows who they are, who I am, and whose they are.

I’m walking through this Thanksgiving week thankful for a loving wife of 46+ years, who has done me good all the days of my life. I’m walking through this Thanksgiving week thankful for the children that we were given and the lives they are living. This past week we met a couple who had longed ten years to have children but could not so they adopted 4 children over the next few years, then God gave them one of their own. But the real story is they said the turning point from despair, anger, frustration, and disappointment over not having children was when they stopped wanting children so they could say look what we have, but when they said we need children so that we can be a blessing to them.

I’m walking through this Thanksgiving week thankful for that they realize as I have over the years that the parents don’t make the children, its the children who make the parents.

I’m walking through this Thanksgiving week thankful for those tears make you move to cuddle and rescue, they make you work and provide with Gods help. They make you want to serve them as you serve God. Sometimes those children even cause you to turn to the Lord when you walk in disobedience and defiance of Gods clear plan.

I’m walking through this Thanksgiving week thankful for coworkers and noworkers, friends and frienemies that caused me to cry out for help from God and He delivered.

I’m walking through this Thanksgiving week thankful for my mother, my brother the family clans to which I was born for giving me good genes and a strong example of faith through generations of aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews who follow the God of creation.

I’m walking through this Thanksgiving week thankful for my wife’s family and all the connections that came through the blessed event of marriage. I gained more sisters and brothers and cousins and nieces and nephews, more mothers and fathers. God has truly been great.

I’m walking through this Thanksgiving week thankful for the knowledge that even if my life events did not contain all this. God would still be God.

I’m walking through this Thanksgiving week thankful for this…..if it had not been for the Lord on my side……Tell me where would I be?

We all have much to be thankful for on Thanksgiving, and every day, really.
 
Tomorrow I will kiss my wife with a thankful heart. I will celebrate with friends, with a thankful heart. I will enjoy the good gifts that God has given with a thankful heart. Life is a gift that I don’t deserve. And I will relish the goodness I thought was lost forever but God saw fit to save me anyhow. He’s here and so am I. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
 
“Our God is a God who saves! The Sovereign LORD rescues us from death.”—Psalm 68:20 (NLT)

Happy Thanksgiving All