Tag: dieting

Taking Risks


It is a new year, barely beyond the middle of January and I suspect most of your resolutions (like mine if I made them anymore!) have faded into history. How’s that new diet? New reading plan? New devotional plan? Exercising every day? Anger issue abating? Self-improvement plan on schedule? Spending quality and quantity time with God? With your family?

Life is a series of changes and there is always something about ourselves that we’d like to change for the better. However, the reality is that we won’t make the changes we need to make until we are ready to take a risk and push through the wall that we – or others – have designed and built to protect us from potential harm, keep us safe, and enable us to enjoy a pleasurable life.

Most of the things we, as Christians, want to change are the things that keep us from being who we know we are, or should be in Christ. We want to grow in our faith and mature in our spiritual walk, but it is just so hard and it requires so much work. We know what we have to overcome: Fear. Laziness. Self-focus. Comfort. Or the all-encompassing, Hedonism.

Hedonism? Hedonism.

What is hedonism? 1) Pursuit of or devotion to pleasure. 2) The ethical doctrine that only that which is pleasant or has pleasant consequences is intrinsically good. 3) The doctrine that behavior is motivated by the desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain.

Hedonist: One who holds that pleasure is the chief good.

Are we hedonists? Are we willing to risk pain if it means becoming more than we are, if it means pushing through the wall of our self-imposed and self-limiting ideas of God, or if it means trusting God in the midst of fear? Are we willing to risk pain, failure, or conflict if it means becoming all that God intends for us to be?

If we say that the risk is too great, then oh my, yes, we’re hedonists! We’re hedonists and we see it manifest physically, emotionally, and spiritually – in every area of our lives. We will go to about any lengths to avoid pain or discomfort.

We do want our lives to be pleasurable. Pleasure: 1) That which is enjoyable. 2) An enjoyable sensation or emotion. 3) Satisfaction or delight, amusement, diversions or worldly enjoyment. 4) One’s preference, wish, or choice.

We have been known to sacrifice our goals, our ideals, our hopes, our dreams, and often our relationships on the altar of pleasure.

Whatever “it” is — if it is too much work we let it die. If it doesn’t feel good, we don’t want it for ourselves or others. If loneliness, conflict, suffering or displeasure is involved, we can’t get on board. We want to feel good about everything we do, every policy we enact, and every choice we make — pleasure motivates us.

We are even capable of sacrificing God’s plans for us on the altar of pleasure. What is God’s plan for us? His plan for us does not end with our Sunday morning responsibility, or our weekly Bible study, or our interactions with other people. God’s plan for us can be summed up in one word: Holiness (Romans 8:29).

Holiness is not an easy path to walk. It will end up pleasurable in the long run (eternity with God will be quite pleasurable!) but in the short run, it is often the opposite: It is difficult and painful. Attaining holiness requires suffering – and there are no shortcuts.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. – Romans 5:3-5 NIV

Not only do we not want to suffer, we don’t want anyone we care about to suffer. We want to remove suffering from the world, and we let our ideology regarding how we intend to do that separate and divide us politically.

However, if God works through suffering, then as we fight to get rid of suffering are we also fighting against God? If God uses suffering as part of his plan to make us, and the people we love, holy then shouldn’t we come alongside hurting people in their suffering rather than work so hard to end it?

Suffering will end when Jesus returns and there is a new heaven and a new earth. Until then, suffering is the lot of all people.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death” or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. – Revelation 21:4 NIV

As much as we want to avoid suffering, we are missing a lot by insisting on pleasure for ourselves and for others. We are forfeiting God’s best. Is the trade-off worth it?

Are you willing to risk anything, something, or everything to become all that God would have you become? Are you brave enough to leave the limiting boundaries of familiarity and comfort behind and do the hard work that is necessary to bloom on the other side of the wall?



Join us as we read and study God’s Word together in the New Year! Click here for more information on Marcia’s Devotional, 365 Days of Grace

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We Are What We Eat


The Sunday School potluck is my nemesis, and this weekend’s social proved it. I totally fell off the wagon. I’m not talking about drugs or alcohol, I’m talking junk food… And way too much of it.

I should have just pressed the brownies right onto my thighs because that’s where they’ll end up; but there’s no satisfaction in that, so I ate them! And the cookies. And the lobster spread. And the cheese potatoes…

Now I have to get back on track, after all, Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away! Knowing I needed to get back on track (first thing Monday morning!), I made a batch of the best Breakfast Muffins click here for muffin recipe

Clean Eating

A friend of mine initiated a “Clean Eating” challenge; a call to eat healthy, whole foods and avoid additives. It’s only a week long challenge, so I thought, “Hey, Brian’s out of town, I’ve kind of fallen off the wagon since Christmas, why not?” I’m in!

She suggested that before we begin, we need to clean out of our pantry things that have lots of additives, like cookies, donuts, and cheese crackers. And, she suggested we purchase things that look like they did when they were in the garden, or in the pasture.

Oh, and continue here


First you make your choices, and then your choices make you. If you are like me, you know that’s a true statement, but sometimes it just doesn’t matter.

Seriously, it’s January and the gym is calling your name…
But so are the treats in the pantry…
Both can be right choices at the right time. I think it becomes a bad choice when we choose sweets at the expense of sweat for a long period of time. It requires hours on the elliptical to work off a momentary indulgence in thin mints! We must be careful what we find more here