"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
March 18, 2015
Happy Spring Time!!
I like to eat more than once or twice a week. In fact, I like to eat at least two meals a day. The schedule that Jon and I prefer is to eat a late breakfast around 9:00 or so, then eat an early dinner around 4:00; but that doesn't work during the work week. I enjoy good food. Most days, I enjoy cooking. I also enjoy eating out at various restaurants and trying different foods. When Jon and I find a place that has a particular food that we really like, we tend to go there often; until we eventually burn ourselves out and get tired of it, then we move on to somewhere else.
We are currently on a kick where we both really like the chicken stuffed avocado at a Mexican restaurant in the town where Jon's parents live. We tend to go there once every week or two and always order the same thing. The last time we went, the waitress said, "Haven't I waited on you two 3-4 times; and you always get the stuffed avocado and sweet tea?" Hmm.... maybe we've been there a few too many times here lately! Nah!!
Christians tend to refer to church attendance, Bible reading, and prayer as feeding their soul. It's true that those things do feed your soul. But honestly, if we fed our body as often as we feed our soul, just how nourished would we be?
Many of us attend church once or twice a week. But how many of us have been busy and forgot to read our Bible or have a time of devotion? Sometimes we may skip one day, and other times we may go a few days without opening our Bible. How many times have we intended on making prayer a priority, but other things come up that we need to attend to, and at the end of the day we say a quick prayer before going to bed. We think that we'll do better the next day, but then we get a phone call first thing in the morning and we unexpectedly need to run an errand or help someone out or the kids are up and need fed or it's time to go to work....... Once again, we find ourselves at the end of the day without having spent time with God.
I recently read a post that someone had written that referred to this particular subject. It made me start thinking about the comparison of feeding one's body and feeding one's soul. The majority of us are going to make sure that we get something to eat every day; some like three square meals a day, others at least a couple meals, while there may be some who like just one big meal a day. A lot of people will add in snacks throughout the day. When we have hunger pangs, it signals our brain that we need to eat. If we refused to heed those signals and not ever eat, then we would end up being malnourished, unhealthy, and after a period of time will die.
It's the same with drinking liquids. Our body needs water (or at least some type of liquid) to survive. When we're working outside in the summer heat and are sweating, we need to drink water to replenish and hydrate our body. If not, then we will get sick and dehydrated.
Matthew 5:6 (NKJV) says, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled."
Psalm 42:1,2a (NLT) says, "As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God."
Psalm 107:8,9 (NLT) says, "Let them praise the Lord for His great love and for the wonderful things He has done for them. For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things."
When we are feeling spiritually malnourished and empty, we need to do a hunger and thirst check to see if we've been feeding our spiritual man. Are we filling our soul with the Word of God, prayer, and fellowship with other believers? Are we listening to uplifting sermons, whether it be in a church on Sundays or online throughout the week? Are we having a time of devotionals? Are we listening to music that glorifies the Lord? How much time each day do we give to God? When we honestly answer those questions, we can often find the root of our problem. Perhaps we've been too busy, or have just become lazy, and have been neglecting the care of our spiritual man.
I have been thinking on something the past few days: If I were to spend equal amount of time each day feeling my spirit and soul as I do my body, what would the outcome be? I would guess that I generally spend at least 15-30 minutes eating per meal, so if I eat two meals a day (which is my norm) that would equal 30-60 minutes. What if I were to set aside at least 30-60 minutes per day and designate that as my time to feed my spirit and soul? I believe that I would be amazed at the outcome. My spirit and soul would be nourished and healthy and strong -- always!
Just as I make sure my body has food and water each and every day, I need to make sure my spirit man is fed and taken care of each and every day. I like Psalm 107:9 (listed above) that says that God will satisfy my thirst and will fill my hunger with good things. God desires to fill my life with good things; but that is a benefit of my having a thirst and hunger for righteousness and all the things that only God can give.
May we each do a spiritual hunger and thirst check. If you know that you're not where you should be spiritually and not feeding your spirit and soul, yet you feel indifferent, don't mistake that feeling of indifference as a sign of God's blessings upon your life. Perhaps it's because you have been starving yourself spiritually for too long and you have become so malnourished and dehydrated that you no longer feel the hunger and thirst pangs. Contrary to feeding the flesh, where our body gives us the feeling of being full or sated when we've had enough, once we begin feeding the spirit man, we desire more and more and more...... The more of God that we have in our life, the more of Him we will desire. Our hunger and thirst for Him should never become sated nor should we feel satisfied with where we are spiritually. We should always desire to grow and mature and have a deeper relationship with God. Just as we never reach a place where we stop eating physically, we should never reach a place where we stop eating spiritually.
We may eat a huge meal and afterwards think, "I'm so stuffed, I don't feel like I'll ever be able to eat again!" But the next day, we find ourselves hungry and thirsty once again, so we eat. It's the same principle spiritually. We may receive a great blessing or an answer to a prayer and we feel like our cup is overflowing; but we still need to spiritually go fill ourselves up through prayer, Bible reading, fellowship with God and other believers, etc. the next day, and the day after, and on and on until our life on earth comes to an end.
My prayer is that God will place within me a deeper hunger and thirst for spiritual things. I desire to care for my spirit and soul with more diligence than what I give my flesh. My flesh will one day turn back to dirt and decay. But my spirit and soul have eternal value. How I care for them now determines where I spend eternity. If I neglect and refuse to surrender to God now, then my eternity isn't going to be with God. But if I commit my life whole-heartedly to pleasing God and living to please Him, then my eternity will be with Him. May we all begin to be more diligent in caring for and feeding our spirit and soul!
I've heard that if someone goes too long without water, they may throw up if they drink too much too quickly. The same goes for food. That doesn't mean they don't need the water or food, but they need small sips or bites frequently for a long time to get back to normal.
Sometimes when someone avoids God, reading the Bible, prayer, and church for too long, they can get very uncomfortable just hearing good news about what God has done. Just like with water of food, they doesn't mean they should avoid God, even though they will probably want to even more. A favorite verse or two on the bathroom mirror, and a good gospel radio station on the drive to & from work helps.
(I remember Mama making these when I was a kid whenever we had leftover mashed potatoes)
1-1/2 to 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
Dash of pepper
2 Tbsp. Milk
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/2 tsp. salt
Mash cold potatoes with a fork until soft. Add milk; mix well. Add egg, salt, pepper, and flour; mix until well blended. Heat oil in skillet until hot. Shape potatoes into patties; fry on both sides until golden brown.
The first day of spring is this coming Friday, March 20th! With the beginning of spring, also comes allergy season for many of us, as trees begin blooming and pollen fills the air. I've found that the older I get, the less I like using medication. And after hearing all the side affects from medication, I definitely don't like taking any. I have started looking for more natural ways to deal with such things as allergies. I am not a doctor, have not had medical training -- but here are a few things that I've tried that seems to be effective and helps lessen allergy symptoms, as well as the length of time I suffer with them.
*Using a Saline Nasal Spray to help keep the nostrils clear.
*A couple times a day drinking an 8 ounce glass of water, with 1-2 tablespoons of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother -- it will say that on the bottle and is important) with a teaspoon of honey (supposedly if you use honey from the area you're from, it is most effective) added in.
*Taking Vitamin C supplements.
*Drinking Emergen-C (powdered mix added to water that can be found in pharmacy area of any store).
*Drinking lots of liquids. Drink a lot of water. Drink hot tea; adding honey to the tea will add more benefits.
*Probiotics daily -- I have used the Kefir Probiotic drinks, which is found in the dairy section of your grocery store. The bottle tells you how much to drink per day. This can also help with digestive issues and has a lot of other benefits.
*Reducing gluten. We both cut back (not entirely) last spring, and had a mild allergy year
Here are a few other ideas that I have not yet tried, but have heard are effective and plan to try:
*Eating fresh pineapple
*I have recently started using essential oils and am still in the learning process. I have read that using lemon, lavender, and peppermint are effective for allergies.
*Taking a Butterbur supplement, which you can get at a health food store. I just bought some this week, but have at this point only taken one pill so do not yet know if it is beneficial for allergies or not.
If God shuts a door, stop banging on it. Trust whatever is behind it is not meant for you. - unknown
We love you!
Loretta & Jon