Repost – First Guest Post: New Normal


Continuing with my Repost series, below is my very first (ok, ok … ONLY, I admit it – you satisfied? *hmph*) guest post by my friend Annie. She hasn’t been blogging, but you can still go check out the blog that she has there, and read the great stuff she has written. She will be back to blogging – I hope…

Enjoy!

This is my first guest post!  My good friend, fellow prayer warrior and all out good girl Annie consented to do a guest post for me…. part of the reason I hadn’t written anything myself is because I’ve been going through a lot of stuff… but I’ve also been waiting for her to answer me ;)

Anyway, here it is! My first guest post!  (And when you’re done, hop over to Annie’s place and read her stuff… she’s very good…)

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“NEW NORMAL”

Have you ever tried to …

break an old habit?
go on a diet?
change a wrong behavior?

———————
I discovered about a year and a half ago that my intestines don’t digest dairy very well at all.  (Some people call this lactose intolerance.  I don’t like labels.  Or excuses.  So I don’t say this.  I say I don’t eat dairy.  It’s a choice, not a victimization.  Anyway.)

When I discovered this, several things happened.  Firstly, I was relieved.  It explained several things that had troubled me for almost all of my life, and which I had asked the Lord many times to reveal to me what was going on.  Secondarily I was chagrined.  Really?? No dairy??  But I LOVE milk, butter, and cheese!  I grew up on them.  Yummy, yummy, yummy.  Thirdly, I knew from Scripture that the promised land was ‘a land flowing with milk and honey’ and I had already looked up in the past the first occurrence in the Bible of eating dairy, and God Himself actually was the one who did.  Abraham served curds to God when He visited him (as the three men) before He went down to investigate Sodom and Gomorrah.  So.  I believed then (and I believe now) that my particular problem is a problem, and not normal.  So I’m still believing for the revelation on that.

At any rate, since that time, it has been a constant battle for me.  It is really hard to go out to eat and find non-dairy options.  This country’s cuisine depends on the cow like you would not believe.  The real war though, was in my taste buds.  The stuff just tastes so good.  I may know in my head all the consequences of eating a piece of pizza or taking a bite of that yummy Alfredo sauce pasta, but my taste buds are in denial.  They don’t consider the fact that if I eat it I’ll have to deal with the consequences.  They just know it will taste good.  And that’s all they know.

So I am left at the point of this decision.  Do I give in to my tongue?  Or do I respect the entire rest of my body and force myself away from it?

You know, when the Israelites left Egypt their physical situation changed.  They were no longer in bondage; they had freedom.  Yet even though their physical condition changed, in their minds (or hearts, as the Bible puts it) they were still longing for Egypt.  Egypt was still their ‘normal.’  They didn’t take ownership of where they were and say, “I’m free, in a desert, and pressing forward to the promised land.”  Instead they expected what they had had in Egypt.   They expected provision a certain way; they expected comfort a certain way.  And even though they knew that the precursor for having those things was bondage, they still didn’t give up wanting the ‘good tastes’ of Egypt.

So you’d think that after a year and a half I would have got this dairy thing down.  I mean, it’s the same decision every time.  But in my head you know … I always held on to the prospect of how good it would taste to eat it.

And finally I had an epiphany.

Psychologically, I hadn’t accepted that there had been a change.  I let my mind keeping thinking that ‘normal’ was everything I used to eat.  And therefore not eating it was ‘abnormal’ and ‘temporary.’  Light bulb!  I decided to change that.  So now, instead of looking behind me and ‘longing for Egypt,’ I created a ‘new normal.’  In my new normal … I just don’t eat dairy. It’s not something that’s forced on me; it’s not even something I regret.  It’s just … normal.

You see, in the past, feeling bad was normal.  And in my mind, I couldn’t break away from that.  Feeling good (when I didn’t eat dairy) was just a nice perk.  A temporary fluke.  It wasn’t normal.  I had put up with feeling bad for so long that it had come to feel comfortable to me.   And regardless of the fact that I had plenty of evidence to tell me that a ‘new normal’ was possible … my heart had never accepted it.

The epiphany came when I was willing to look at that and say, “It’s not normal for me to feel bad.  And look bad.  It’s normal for me to feel good.  And look good.”  The choice to not eat dairy was just a part of my new normal.

So I am happy to report that the last month or so I have lived in my new normal.  I’m not longing for Egypt anymore.

Normal never felt so good.
———————-
Has there been a ‘new normal’ in your life?  Would you like to share?

PS: for those who are interested in my symptoms and results, I would love to answer questions.  Most people, I think, wouldn’t, so I haven’t made that a part of this post.  🙂

Annie

http://callingtodeep.blogspot.com
http://www.myspace.com/callingtodeep

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The Prophetic Intersect


Logo from the NBC television program Chuck

Image via Wikipedia

I promised a good friend of mine (Hi Wen!!!) that I would get back into blogging about what God shows me through movies and television shows.  Anyone who knows me personally would know that I spend just as much time quoting from The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix and “300” just as much as I do from the Bible when I’m praying or prophesying over someone.

People would roll their eyes or groan whenever I was moved by the Holy Spirit to say,  “As Gandalf / Morpheus / Leonidas said….”  but God works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform, right?  I’ve mentioned this method of hearing God in some of my earlier blog posts.

And now, to the inspiration for today’s post.

I was listening to my friend Leah recount a story in which an international intercessor had a dream about her.  I read her story,  and as she was recounting it I started seeing all the connecting pieces – Scriptures came to mind, impressions and Spirit led conclusions just tied everything all together; when I told her what I was sensing she could only say, “Yes, that’s right.”

While that was going on I had a ‘flash’ of my own – I started remembering Chuck.  Now, for those who have not watched this show yet – GO AND FIND IT.  (ok, that’s my own bias and love of spy stories coming out! Ignore me if you’d rather watch sappy romantic comedies rather than guns blazing. Anyway… I digress….)

Chuck is a twenty something year old computer geek that accidentally downloads government secrets into his brain, and is now a secret agent going on spy missions.  Whenever he sees something that is relevant, he ‘flashes’ – bits and pieces of information from the “Intersect” (the collection of government secrets) link together – and he spits out the data to his friends in the secret agent friends.  This allows them to put pieces together that they could never do on their own.

As I was spitting out Scripture references and Spiritual impressions relevant to my friend’s story, it made me think of how the Holy Spirit in my life is like the Intersect in that show.  He resides within me, and based on the knowledge of Scripture and my experiences with Him, things tie together in my Spirit in much the same way as the Intersect interacts with Chuck.

In fact, one of the titles I was bandying around in my brain for this post was “Do Prophets have an Intersect in their Heads?)  😆

How many of us have Scripture references drop into our minds at the weirdest times, but the Scripture references fit perfectly into your situation?  How many of us feel like seemingly random events just tie together in some weirdly divine way?  How many have watched Chuck and feel like there’s an Intersect in their heads???? Ok, ok, maybe it’s just me….

For those who know that they prophesy – do you find this to be true for you as well? For those who don’t, does it still feel like the Holy Spirit drops things into your head – ties things together that otherwise wouldn’t make sense?

Personal Devotions: Sonship


Welcome to the first Personal Devotions post for 2011!

I have started to use Youversion on my Blackberry to get back into reading the Word.  Last year I was interacting with the Scripture using the Daily Audio Bible website and community, but in November I couldn’t keep up the momentum… it petered out.  So although I almost made it, I didn’t finish reading the entire Bible last year.  It was becoming a lot to take in all at once – Brian reads from the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Psalms and the Proverbs every single day – as well as gives his own inspired commentary on what was read.  Then he would pray, and there was also be a section where people from the community could call in and ask for prayer, pray for others in the community or give a praise report.

It was  great. But it was a lot to take in as the year progressed and my battle with depression deepened.   So this year, on the advice of a few good friends, I have endeavoured to look for another strategic Bible plan that will ease me back into the reading of the Word.

I had downloaded the Youversion app on my Blackberry for a while, but hadn’t really used it much until I was challenged to read the Word more – specifically the Psalms.  I decided that I would find a short Bible plan using the smartphone.  And this is day two.  I’m reading a Psalm and a Proverb.  that’s’ it.

But today I heard God speak through his word in a way that I have not heard in a while.  I was arrested by Psalm 2:7

I will proclaim the LORD’s decree:

He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have become your father.

I heard him: YOU ARE MY SON.  I cried out to him, “I have not felt like your son in ages!”  But in spite of what I feel or don’t, his word still rings true to my heart today.

This Scripture naturally makes me think of Romans 8:15 as well

15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[a] And by him we cry, Abba,[b] Father.”

And looking at Proverbs 2, I was also arrested by the beginning two words: “My son”  The entire chapter spoke to me, but I am picking out the part that I really feel impressed on my heart right now.

1 My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
3 indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
8 for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.

I have had so many depressed moods, so much negativity, so much pain – that focusing on the positive was a welcome change.  So here is my devotion for today.

Lord, I have not felt like your son for ages. I can say like the Prodigal, “I am not worthy to be called your son.” But you call me son anyway. Even if I fail.  Even if I fall. Even if I decide that I am still feeling rebellious… all of this time you still call me son, and still seek my heart turning back to you. I ask that you will acknowledge my baby steps, and help me to increase my momentum. Thank you Jesus. AMEN

One Word – Momentum


(Author’s note: I will return to Bajan culture in my next post. This, however, is where I am right now…)

My friend Alece of  Grit and Glory has started a tradition at her blog called One Word … where you condense the tradional New Year’s Resolution into a single word and focus on that one word all year.  You can read about it in her latest post.

My word for last year was ‘Resurrection’.  In a lot of ways, there has been a lot of death in my life.  Death of relationships, of trust, of the passion that once drove me into the arms of the Saviour… a whole lot of death.

I have had some great friendships and people who have pulled me from the brink of the abyss, and some who have even walked through the valley of the shadow of death with me.  I have great respect for them, and, though the majority of them I have never met in person, I hope to rectify that pretty soon.

As I stated in an earlier post, “I guess I’m in the perfect place for God’s resurrection that he has been talking to me about since last December, because I have no fight left in me whatsoever.”  But that has changed somewhat.  I now am feeling the urge to MOVE – to move forward and not stay in my state of death.  Now I am convinced that the only one with the power to lay his life down of his own accord and pick it up again is Jesus himself, but I also acknowledge that resurrection is possible only through him.  I can’t do it.  I can’t make myself get up and be back to my old self – but I can move forward as much as I can and continue to press in whatever way I can.

Therefore, my One Word for 2011 is momentum.  This is defined by http://www.dictionary.com as:

force or speed of movement; impetus, as of a physical objector course of events:

The car gained momentum going downhill.

I have started to try to work on myself and will continue to come out of my cocoon of pain along with some wonderful friends, both here and online.  But as I have started, I will attempt to continue.  Here’s to FORWARD MOMENTUM!!!!

What areas in your life do you need to focus on for next year?  Go over to Grit And Glory and read the post – and come up with your own One Word focus for 2011!

Six


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Today, my firstborn son is six years old.  Six years ago today, my world changed.  We were no longer two – but three.  I was scared, unsure of how to handle the new responsibility.

I have seen him grow into a compassionate, loving, beautiful son … I am awed by the fact that six years have gone so fast – and I’m looking forward to the  rest of his life!

Son, I want you to know that you mean the world to me. You are handsome, caring, loving, sweet – you shower your mother with gifts and want to do her hair, always telling her how pretty she is and how much she looks like a princess.  (I could learn a thing or two from you, kid!)  I see how protective you are of your brother; a trait I want to see you continue.)  I love your sensitivity, and I want you to learn that big men can and should cry as a result of empathizing with the hurts of others – the Bible says, “Weep with those that weep…”

I felt led to seek out the biblical meaning of ‘six’ and found out that it is the number of man.  Some of the meanings seem to have  negative connotations (the serpent was made on the sixth day, and other stuff…)  but I sense God is trying to say something about your birthday and the significance of six to Him for YOU.

I feel that God is saying that you are in His eyes, a man … in the sense that He knows the end from the beginning, and he called young men from birth to be great leaders.  I hear ‘man after my own heart’ – like King David.  Very many great men in the Bible were called as young men – Josiah was king of Judah at eight years old, and men like Daniel and David and Jeremiah were called into God’s service as teenagers.  I see that God has his hand on you, and is calling you a ‘man after His own heart’ – even at the tender age of six years old!  Continue to press into love, my son.  God’s love shines forth from you as the sun’s rays on a bright summer morning.  You light up a room when you come in.  God wants you to continue to be loving, and caring, and compassionate, and helpful.

On this, your sixth birthday, I want to bless you and publicly declare the admonition I spoke over you when I held you in my arms for the first time, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased!” And I again call you NIKAO ROBERT GIBSON –  The OVERCOMER, with BRIGHT FAME!