From Deadly to Dazzling and Delightful

eggs2They’ve gone from being downright deadly to dazzling and delightful.  Eggs were all but banned by dietitians and doctors alike; however, I recently heard a person should eat four eggs a week to help ward off on the onset of diabetes.

Eggs have been a topic of discussion and an element of speech ever since the first person asked:  “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

How many of these egg-laced phrases have you heard?

  • He egged me on.
  • I have egg on my face.
  • There’s an egghead.
  • Boy, he really laid an egg.
  • Be careful, talking with him is like walking on egg shells.
  • Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.

Most of the egg-centric philosophy above is pretty good advice; however, I have to question the context of the last one.  It’s wise to put all of your eggs in one basket when that basket is Jesus.

If you remember the exchange that Jesus had with Peter, you might agree with me:  Jesus said to the Apostles, “Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God (John 6:67-69).”

When it comes to the basket of eternal life, I hope you will come to know and to believe that Jesus is the Son of the living God.

Easter: What’s Left?

475EF8AB-342D-4D51-885D-64659421391BWhen the last Easter egg has been found and eaten, and the kids have said “good-bye” to their sugar high.  What remains?  I hope it is more than chocolate stains and a few extra pounds that were added by way of the calorie-packed candy, and other Easter delights.

One thing that will always remain is God’s Word, and it is a unique book.  The uniqueness of the Bible is seen in its unity. This book is a collection of 66 ancient documents that were originally written in 3 languages: Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Even though 40 different authors, wrote over a span of 1,500 years the theme and message of the Bible is consistent.

In my Easter sermon yesterday, I mentioned Jesus’ encounter with two disheartened disciples as they walked down the Emmaus road.  To help them understand the events surrounding His crucifixion, Jesus, began “at Moses and all the Prophets, and He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:27).”

The life of Jesus fulfilled multiple prophecies.  Long before He was born, it was predicted that He would be flogged; die with the wicked; and, He would be buried like a rich man.

Prophecy is important because it confirms the claims of Jesus.  Here are just a few of the many He fulfilled:

  • Messiah would be from the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10)
  • He would be from the line of King David (2 Samuel 7:12-13)
  • He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
  • 700 years before Jesus was born, the Prophet Isaiah predicted in graphic detail the manner in which Jesus would die (Is. 53).

The Bible has stood the test of time; and, when it comes time for you to be tested, it will stand with you.

Ogres of The Mind

Some people fail to distinguish the difference between their wants and needs.  The difference between the two can determine whether you live a hapless life or a happy life.Ea - ogre 1 textures post version

What are your real needs?  A person needs food to eat, water to drink, and air to breathe—these are the bare necessities of life.  You could also list shelter from the elements, clothes to wear and such items as being needs; however, when you start to classify your wants as needs, you run the danger of compromising your health and your wealth.

This can happen when your brain morphs into a nasty ogre and starts to play mind games with you.  Your brain may lie to you and try to convince you that you need some “thing” to make you happy.  It may create a craving for some substance that is harmful to your health or it may tell you that you have little self-worth.

You may not recognize this Ogre, so let me describe him for you:

  • Overthinking problems that are out of your control
  • Getting stuck or panicked by unfounded fear
  • Repeating past patterns of behavior that are unhealthy
  • Emotional reactivity

The more you allow the Ogre to run wild, the greater the likelihood that unhealthy habits will develop.  Through the process of repetition, habits become engrained in the neural pathways of the mind.  This is true whether the habit is beneficial or destructive.

T0 tame the Ogre you need to reclaim your thoughts.  Either you control your thoughts or they control you.  Paul said you are to “take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5).”

This Ogre carefully cloaks himself in the secrecy your thoughts.  To be more specific, it is what I call your “self-talk.”  It is those little mental messages that flash rapidly through your mind, so lightening quick, you are almost unaware of their presence.

Here are a couple of tips on how you can tame the Ogre and take your thoughts captive:

  • Respond to the presence of these thoughts. When you become aware of the “self-talk,” write it down.  Journal your thoughts.
  • Re-evaluate what you have written down. Validate the messages that attack your self-worth.  Beware of catastrophic thinking that is seen in words like “always” and “never.”
  • Refocus your attention toward healthy thought and behavior. Purge the urge!  You cannot think positive and negative thoughts at the same time.  If necessary change your location or environment to one that is more wholesome and beneficial.

I have found that reading or quoting Scripture is a great way to overcome the Ogre, and to regain control of my thoughts.  A favorite passage of mine that speaks of the power of Scripture is Psalm 119:9-11:  “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.”

I’ll leave you with this thought:  When you emphasize the positive (Scripture) you paralyze the negative (Ogre).

The Belly Brigade

anyoneThe Belly Brigade has only one requirement to enter, and it’s not a belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly—that’s Santa Claus. By the way, there are only 59 days until Christmas.

Unlike most amusement parks, there are no height restrictions. You cannot be too tall or too short to participant. height-restrictions-apply...

When it comes to speed, you do not have to be like NFL quarterback, Geno Smith who has run the 40 yard dash in 4.59 seconds. You can’t be too fast or too slow.speed

You do not need the beauty of Miss America, the voice of country singer George Strait, or the agility of Olympic Champion Michael Phelps, and you do not need an IQ level that gains you membership into Mensa, the high IQ society.

You join the Belly Brigade when you meet the requirement of just one boot camp basic experience that is summarized in the word—SPLANCHOLOGY.

A form of this word is found in Matthew 9:36 where it describes the emotions of Jesus: When He saw the crowds, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd.

Splanchology is that kick-in-the-gut-moment when you feel the needs of another deep down inside of yourself.

Jesus was a Splanchologist in every sense of the word. When He looked at people He was moved with compassion because He could see their needs and feel their pain.

By the way, the Belly Brigade has no age restrictions. I joined on May 25, 1965 when I was 12 years old. I didn’t know how to describe the-kick-in the gut-feeling that overwhelmed me, but I do know that I was moved with compassion for my mother and my two brothers, and they were Splanchologists for me as well.

Then Jesus, the Splanchologist, said to His disciples: The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers (more Splanchologists) into His harvest (Mt.9:37).

What the world needs is not more hanging judges or bounty hunters, but more people who will see the needs of others, be moved with compassion, start to work in the harvest, and in so doing—enlist in the Belly Brigade.
Think About It!