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?

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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.
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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

Repost: You Need Power…..


In this series, I’m reposting some of my earlier contributions to this space. First, so that some of the good stuff isn’t lost in the archives, but is exposed for all to see; and, second, to get the blog active again while I battle a couple of things (including writer’s block – again…)

So here is a repost of – “You Need Power! – Don’t I Ever!” (first published on May 28, 2008…

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I have not abandoned the blog… just have been hit with writer’s block *grin*

I’ve had a wonderful time assisting with a group deliverance on Saturday May 24th…. great to see how God moves. I was exhausted afterward, tho!

Ok, so enough of me. I will post the devotion from Today God is First (TGIF) by Os Hillman for May 27th. I liked it – we all need power from the Holy Spirit to do what we are called to do!

You Need Power
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
05-27-2008

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).D.L. Moody was a shoe salesman until God moved him into a full-time preaching ministry, often in the streets of Chicago. There came a point in his journey with God that he realized he needed more in his life than what he was experiencing. “At the close of the Sabbath evening services I remember two holy women they would say to me, ‘We have been praying for you.’ I said, ‘Why don’t you pray for the people?’ They answered, ‘You need power.’

‘I need power?’ I said to myself. Why, I thought I had power. I had a large Sabbath school and the largest congregation in Chicago. I was in a sense satisfied. But then came these two godly women who prayed for me, and their earnest talk about “the anointing for special service” set me thinking. I asked them to come and talk with me, and we got down on our knees. They poured out their hearts, that I might receive the anointing of the Holy Ghost. And there came a great hunger into my soul. I knew not what it was. I began to cry as I never did before. The hunger increased. I really felt that I did no want to live any longer if I could not have this power for service. I kept on crying all the time that God would fill me with His Spirit. Well, one day, in the city of New York – Oh, what a day! I cannot describe it; I seldom refer to it; it is almost too sacred an experience to me. Paul had an experience that he never spoke for fourteen years. I can only say, God revealed Himself to me, and I had such an experience of His love that I had to ask Him to say His hand.

I went to preaching again. The sermons were no different; I did not present any new truths, and yet hundreds were converted. I would not be placed back where I was before that blessed experience if you would gave me all Glasgow.*

*Elmer Towns, Understanding the Deeper Life, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1984, pp. 224, 225