Posted by izonprize

I had a private memorial service for a sweet, baby bunny rabbit today. I had just noticed it in my yard two days ago, as my 6 month old twin yorkie babies were frantically chasing it around the yard. In and out of the flower garden and right up to the border of the briar patches (bougainvillas) they sprinted until all three were completely out of breath. Bear & Bella were delighted with their new "toy". Only I knew this was no toy and this little creature needed to stay in the briar bushes where the yorkies wouldn't go. The yorkies had already been practicing the chase with the baby bunny's parents for weeks. I saw one of those parents on Sunday afternoon. It was chased out of the flowers by the twins. With Bear & Bella hot on his tail, the rabbit crashed right through an opening about 1 1/2 inches in width!!! I was amazed at what I had just seen...the courage and the faith that rabbit had to run, crashing, right into that tiny opening without any hesitation! Now I am sure this rabbit had done this deed many other times in haste, but it was the first time I had ever seen such a feat. That rabbit weighed at least 5 pounds and was as wide and tall as my biggest yorkie. It seemed impossible to me that it could get through that opening...but he didn't have my lack of faith. But back to the memorial service today. I was on the phone rejoicing with a dear friend over a great victory she had in a certain matter, when I heard all the commotion outside. I don't know if my yorkies scared that baby bunny to death or if it died some other way, but they were viciously fighting each other over who would get to play with the now deceased "toy". I had to pull them apart with all my strength as they were deeply engaged in harming each other. I prayed out loud, "Lord, don't let them bite ME in their ferver". They didn't bite me and for that I was thankful...for me AND for them, if you know what I mean. After I got the twins into the house, I went back out to the bunny. It was frozen stiff in a sprinting position with its eyes still open. It broke my heart. It looked like it was still alive, so much so that I had to get down and poke it to make sure. I went inside to find a suitable burial box and found just the right one. Then, of course, I had to find flowers, which I did. Pretty ones, blue daze, knock-out red roses, and some golden orange ones that I can never remember the name of. Then I wrote out a prayer to God. It was actually a prayer of praise and victory. Victory because I believe that bunny will live again, because I care and because I asked God for that. One day, in the 1000-year reign of Christ on earth, the lion will lay with the lamb and I just imagine the yorkie will cuddle with the bunny as well. I hope my yorkies cuddle with this bunny and, in doggie talk, tell it how sorry they were to frighten it so and treat it like an inanimate toy. But that is really stretching the faith! What I realized from this event today is that life has its ups and downs--great moments of victorious shouting and praising and singing over some great and marvelous things, which can quickly, in an instant, turn into great mourning and sadness over the death of a sweet, innocent thing. But I also realized that perspectives can be a choice and in that moment, I chose to rejoice. I found a way to praise God. I praised Him because I was able to see faith lived out by its parents in crashing through an impossibly small opening. I praised Him because He showed me life can be like that...we are offered a way of escape from what is trying to beat us down or take us out and we just have to have the courage to bust through that opening no matter how impossible it seems. We have others who have gone before us and who have shown us the way it can be done. We can follow their example or, we can try it our way...the way the baby bunny did...making ourselves vulnerable to our own inexperience and maybe even prideful self-success. I praised Him because I realized that unless we follow the example of our mentors and elders who have walked this way before and succeeded, we will find ourselves trying to do it our way, the inexperienced way, the way that only leads to destruction and death of a dream and, sometimes, sadly, even loss of a sweet, precious life. My vison is a little clearer tonight because I had a private memorial service today.


Posted by izonprize

I remember reading a book once called The Weigh Down Diet. Although I choose not to eat all the foods she talks about right now, there is so much good advice and tips in it. I remember that the book said to eat whatever you want, (or for some of us, whatever is on our eating plan), but small portions and usually only half of what you would normally eat. Like when you go to a restaurant, immediately ask for a "to go" box and divide your food in half. Then, with the food that is left on your plate, immediately rate each food. Like give the meat a #1 and the peas a #2, etc and eat accordingly...she said in the book to distinguish between head hunger and real hunger and always be tuned in to what your body is really asking for. Head hunger is just the flesh wanting its own way. Real hunger produces a growl or pain in the stomach and usually will only occur once or twice a day UNLESS you discipline yourself to eat very small portions. She said to eat very slowly (if you have m&m's for instance, eat ONE at a time and savor it) and think about each bite and how it relates to the real hunger. The minute you are no longer feeling the growl or pain, and are satisfied that you are no longer truly hungry, then at that moment stop eating. There will always be another meal or you can take the rest of the meal home for later. The lie we believe is that we will never have another meal like the one we are presently eating...or we will never get to taste wedding cake again, etc., etc. But those are just lies...the truth is, once we reach our goals...we could go to the bakery and order a wedding cake if we wanted to! Let's stop believing the lies and falling for the desires of the flesh. It is in opposition to what we really want--a healthy body and to succeed in our goals. We can do this!

CHASING RABBITS--Written January 2008

Posted by izonprize

Just read this quote from a SparkPeople article: If you chase two rabbits, both will escape--Unknown Author. We can't have it both ways. Either we chase our goals or we chase what our flesh desires. The spirit is willing, the flesh is weak, and the rabbits are multiplying! It was a hard 2nd/3rd week, so far, with entertaining elderly relatives on the road and staying in hotels and visiting the hospital patient. The greatest challenge was having to explain why I won't try this or that at every meal. Each meal was a "rabbit to choose". I could have not eaten anything at all for breakfast, I suppose, (none of the choices were on my plan); but the lesser of two evils was to choose rice krispies and milk. I am glad to be home now, where the rabbits are not so wild.


Posted by izonprize

Isn't it strange that the first real choice man had to make involved food? Adam didn't assume responsibility for his choice, "It was that woman you gave me that made me do it". Eve basically said, "The devil made me do it"; and that old serpent "didn't have a leg to stand on". What has been my excuse for not taking charge of my health/weight issues? What is the pay-off, reward, or benefit that I receive by not changing my lifestyle? Which food choices (any choices, really) are based more on selfishness than on love? Adam and Eve believed a lie and made the wrong food choice. What lie do I believe about the food choices I make? Satan told Eve, "Did God really say...?" What is it that God has said to me about my food choices and do I believe Him? Keep in mind, I only believe the parts that I obey. Today I will stop making excuses. I will be honest, starting with God. I commit to live in God's truth and know that it is His truth that can set me free. 2 Peter 2:2 says, "Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute." My body is valuable to God because it is where He dwells! I will honor God when I make right food choices. I choose to live as God's friend and not His enemy. Philippians 3:18-19 says, "For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things." Whatever my mind continually dwells on and whatever controls me can become a "god" to me. Since nothing is hidden from God--I choose to walk according to His ways. The lie of the devil is, "You have failed before and you will fail again." The truth of God is, "Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:3. I choose to believe the report of the LORD about me and about my plans. I will keep my eyes on the prize!


Posted by izonprize

Isn't it so true that anger entices us do things we don't want to do? It is like, "I will show you! I will go hurt myself!!" I recently wrote a little book on how to be free of unforgiveness and offenses. In it, I included a profound quote that has changed my perspective, "Bitterness is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die". How crazy would that be? But it is exactly what we do when we choose to hold bitterness in our hearts and unforgiveness. One of the biggest lies we believe, as humans, is that we can't be happy or live at peace, unless the other person changes their bad behavior. If that is true, then when will we ever be free? We cannot make anyone change. We can only control our own behavior. I hope that we will be able to see the value in ourselves and in our goals and that we won't allow someone else to steal our joy and peace. Next time we are tempted to allow someone else's mean words to blow our goals, may we be able to laugh and shrug it off just like when we were kids and we would say, "I'm the rubber, you're the glue; bounce off me and stick to you!"


Posted by izonprize

I needed a Scripture to encourage myself today. Sometimes we just have to go out and seek that encouragment and I sought it in the Word of God. This Scripture puts me back into perspective. I was tempted many times this morning to eat something not on my plan. I heard things like "you need this or that". What a lie. By God's grace and His Word, and by His power, I was able to resist. Thank you Jesus! I hope this helps even one other person today!

Php 3:12 I do not claim that I have already succeeded or have already become perfect. I keep striving to win the prize for which Christ Jesus has already won me to himself.
Php 3:13 Of course, my friends, I really do not think that I have already won it; the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead.
Php 3:14 So I run straight toward the goal in order to win the prize, which is God's call through Christ Jesus to the life above.
Php 3:15 All of us who are spiritually mature should have this same attitude. But if some of you have a different attitude, God will make this clear to you.
Php 3:16 However that may be, let us go forward according to the same rules we have followed until now.
Php 3:17 Keep on imitating me, my friends. Pay attention to those who follow the right example that we have set for you.
Php 3:18 I have told you this many times before, and now I repeat it with tears: there are many whose lives make them enemies of Christ's death on the cross.
Php 3:19 They are going to end up in hell, because their god is their bodily desires. They are proud of what they should be ashamed of, and they think only of things that belong to this world.
Php 3:20 We, however, are citizens of heaven, and we eagerly wait for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, to come from heaven.
Php 3:21 He will change our weak mortal bodies and make them like his own glorious body, using that power by which he is able to bring all things under his rule


Posted by izonprize

This is my "few words" response to the question I was just asked:
"Why don’t we spend one hour per day studying God’s Word?"
This is my personal opinion, based on my own Journey experiences.

1. First, I believe, we need a love relationship with Jesus that is inspired and fueled by the Holy Spirit. Martha worked hard for Jesus and wanted Mary to do the same. Mary chose the better part, to sit silently at Jesus’ feet and soak up His words, because she was in love with Him. Forgiven much, she loved much and spent limitless time in His presence, undisturbed by her sister’s judgments against her. (WE NEED A GENUINE LOVE RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS)

2. God draws us to himself with cords of love and when we know he loves us, we supernaturally long to know Him better through His Word. Our new Husband does not have to command us to study Him; we study Him because we love Him, we feel safe with Him, and because we KNOW He loves us. If we did not feel loved by Him, if we did not have grateful, thankful hearts for all He has done for us, we would not feel inclined to study Him or please Him. (WE NEED TO KNOW OUR HUSBAND LOVES US UNCONDITIONALLY AND HAS SACRIFICIALLY GIVEN HIMSELF FOR US)

3. There is therefore now no condemnation for us who are in Christ Jesus, for the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and death. Praise our Living God, we are no longer under the cruel, hard taskmaster called Law, who bids us to conform to ordinances and pressures to perform to someone else’s standards, or to earn our acceptance in the Beloved, but we are set free to live and move and have our being in Jesus—we are in Him and He is in us. There remains therefore a rest for us as the people of God. For we who have entered His rest have also ceased from our works as God did from His. (WE NEED TO KNOW THE WORD WAS NOT SENT TO CONDEMN US; EVERY WORD GOD HAS SPOKEN TO US IS BECAUSE HE LOVES US; AND, OUR ACCEPTANCE IN THE BELOVED IS BASED ON LIFE NOT LAW)


Posted by izonprize

Love is not just a warm,fuzzy glow or words we print on a page. Love is not even what we say. Love is a verb; it is an action word, it is something we DO. I would rather see love, than hear love, any day. I saw love today in a paper cup. It was a cappacino made just like I like it, because the one who gave it to me listens with her heart when I talk. I saw love today when I got the best thank you note ever written to a mother. I saw love today in laundry, folded just like I like it, which I didn't do, laying neatly on top of my dryer. I saw love today as two different friends shared their God-dreams about me and were willing to pray for me. I saw love today in action; it gave me a warm, fuzzy glow.

Love is not something you feel. It's something you do.
- David Wilkerson

When you're in the grip of frustration, love can seem pretty much out of the question. Care is going to be a stretch. But appreciation is easy—even if it starts out kind of snide like, "I appreciate the fact I haven't fallen flat on my face ... yet." After a couple of stabs at it, you're going to stumble across one that sincerely touches you. Maybe it's your friends, your partner, your loved ones. One strong dose of appreciation can turn your perceptions around 180 degrees.
- Doc Childre and Howard Martin

After the verb 'to love', 'to help' is the most beautiful verb in the world.
- Bertha Von Suttner

Treasure the love you receive above all. It will survive long after your gold and good health have vanished.
- Og Mandino

It is possible to give without loving, but it is impossible to love without giving.
-Richard Braunstien

What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.
- St. Augustine

Love seeketh not itself to please, nor for itself hath any care, but for another give it ease, and build a Heaven in Hell's despair.
- William Blake

A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another.
- Jesus


Posted by izonprize

Hebrews 10:22
Let us
draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

I love puzzles! I am especially fond of finding and fitting together all the corners and borders. Living this Christian Life is a puzzle. One of the best pieces of the puzzle is the freedom to choose. We are free in Christ; indeed, He whom the Son sets free is free indeed.

One thing I discovered early in my Christian life was the annoying fact that not many people in Christ share the same convictions. One says, “You are free to eat or drink or fast or wear pants, makeup, etc.”; another says, “You must not eat or drink or fast or wear pants, makeup, etc.” You know who you are.
Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don't impose it on others. You're fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent. But if you're not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe—some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them—then you know that you're out of line. If the way you live isn't consistent with what you believe, then it's wrong. Romans 14:22-23 (The Message)
As we progress in our Christianity, if we are not careful to pay attention, we may end up in worse condition than when we first began, as far as being bound up in rules and laws. Equally as bad, we can easily become self-righteous, judgmental Pharisees. I came from my own land of slavery called “Egypt”, so I know what law feels like.

This year is the year of freedom in Christ. Free to live life according to my own convictions, based on the Holy Spirit Counselor who lives and moves within me. In the past 28 years, I have swung from one end of the spectrum to the other. In so doing, I have learned something about myself (and maybe, just maybe, this is true of you too); I have tended to bow to the judgments and convictions of other Christians sooner than to the convictions of the Holy Spirit at work within me. I have also (this grieves me) judged others. If Christ said I was free in an area, and Christian Joe said, “Oh, no”; I have tended to stay bound to Christian Joe’s convictions. That lifestyle was idolatrous—I was making humans my standard instead of Christ Jesus who died for me. Thank God for His grace! He is more than able to speak to me His words of life and truth. Any other contradicting voice is an idol.

Long ago I came to believe and apply the conviction “When in doubt, don’t”. It was easy to apply such a principle to things like, “Should I or shouldn’t I buy that new couch today?” and other such non-spiritual ponderings. But it was much harder to apply it to the harder, spiritual questions of life. Why? Because I was pre-programmed by Christian Joe in his laws and convictions and didn’t know how to be loosed to tap into what the Holy Spirit was doing in me. I was an unsuspecting chameleon—blending and changing to fit what Mrs. Christian Ignorance or Mr. Word Weak believed.

GOD says, in Romans chapter 14—every man must be persuaded in his own mind that what he is doing is right. Happy is the man who is not condemned in his own heart in that thing he is allowing himself to do. “Condemned” means “judged guilty of breaking the law of God”. If you are convinced in your own heart and not condemned in your own mind for doing that thing, then if you refuse to do it based on another’s conviction, isn’t that being double-minded? Isn’t that idolatry? What does James chapter one say about the double-minded? 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. 8[For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].
But the man who has doubts (misgivings, an uneasy conscience) about eating, and then eats [perhaps because of you], stands condemned [before God], because he is not true to his convictions and he does not act from faith. For whatever does not originate and proceed from faith is sin [whatever is done without a conviction of its approval by God is sinful]. Romans 14:23

I left the Land of Slavery and the Hard Taskmaster, Law, 28 years ago. I thought I would never return to him. But Mr. and Mrs. Legal Religion cracked their whips of fear and unbelief at me, telling me I must do The Journey "Their Way or No Way". They are bound up in lies and tied up in knots. Many people are tangled up with them. As for me, I choose to be free. I am fully convinced in my own mind, according to the Holy Spirit who is at work within me (Romans 14:5).
I will be free to live like this: WHEN IN DOUBT, DON’T. And, if I doubt and do it anyway, that is sin.

What about you?

Romans 14:23 (The Message)
22-23Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don't impose it on others. You're fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent. But if you're not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe—some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them—then you know that you're out of line. If the way you live isn't consistent with what you believe, then it's wrong.
(It was worth repeating).

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