To Live or Not to Live~ Who’s Choice is it?

I’m going to share something that is becoming deeply ingrained in my me.

It’s a verse that has  challenged and changed everything by changing and challenging the eyes thru which I view everything.

“Today, I lay before you life and death;
choose life”.

Whether you’re a bible reader or not, you have to admit there are some really big thoughts in there.

This is  something that has the power to  change it all for you. Guaranteed .
If you sink your teeth into this juicey morsel, you will taste and see how good the Lord can be.

When I don my other “hat” as  Your Natural Food Coach,
I see one consistent inconsistency  time and time again when  counciling with folks.

It is the “maker or breaker” of whether they will nix their eating demons and rebuild their health.

The secret is in that verse.

It’s all about learning to control that chooser inside.

Not an easy task .

I know that my “chooser” can run a million miles in every direction and, often, none of them are the direction I want to go.

If we ponder the essence that  make this verse  huge we will notice four wee words…

TODAY-YOU-CHOOSE- LIFE.

We choose.

Who does?
WE DO!

When do we choose?
DAILY!!

And what do we choose?
LIFE or DEATH!

What we choose is life or death and we are choosing it  NOW.

From there,  it’s easy to understand how  each choice is either life or death.
With each choice we move forwards toward one or the other.

I am convinced, with every fiber of my being, that there is no neutral ground in choosing.

No gray zone.

Nothing of nil- effect.

Our choices, however slight or flippant, will take us in one of two directions.
Towards Life or Towards Death.

You cannot stand still on an escalator.
You  either go up or down.

Up to Life or Down to Death.

And we are the ones determining that direction with each choice regardless of how  it may appear.

No one will make that choice for you.

Your direction on that escalator will forever and always  be  exclusively between you, your great big beautiful heart and that fella inside named “Will”.

Picture each choice  as a seed that will grow.
It  either grows something lush and beautiful that  bears fruit to enjoy, nourish and bring more life.
Or it will grow some nasty weed, solely consumed with its own self- preservation.
A predator that will ravage your garden and consume anything thats stands  in its way to total conquest.

So I  ask you, what  lush and vibrant life-growing choices have you made today?

I know you made some.

But do YOU KNOW you  made some?

We are a people that are so brutally hard on ourselves.
Grading ourself on all our shortcomings, scribbling across our exam page with a great big red F for FAIL!

But, yes, you have made good choices today.

Most likely they were choices that were hard to make.

That’s why they’re choices.

Maybe you chose to put the cinnamon bun back on the shelf.
Maybe you chose to sit and read a book to your little boy while the dishes pile up in the sink.
Maybe you bite your tongue and extended grace to the guy who just cut you off in traffic.

This is all life, folks.

This all grows great big wonderful life inside of you.

And step-by-step little-by-little we are changed.

If you made yourself get to the gym, today when you really didn’t want to.
YOU CHOSE LIFE!
Spent that time with your Heavenly Father?
LIFE! LIFE! GREAT BIG GLORIOUS LIFE!

Give yourself kudos where you deserve it.
Quit being stingy!

Let out a hoot and holler and a hallelujah!!

Still don’t believe me?
Take a quiet moment and ask yourself.  Ask God.
He  would love to show you where He is proud of you!
He is your biggest cheering section.
He is such a big fan that He sings over you!

Remember, in His eyes you have already surpassed “Conqueror Status”

We make a gazillion choices every day

And YES you HAVE made many, many good ones.

And now, knowing what we know, we will contine up that escalator and make MORE LIFE CHOICES.

These little steps are going to get us where we are going, guys.

Don’t be scared of that fella, “Will”.
He can work with you. He can be your most valued ally.
He just needs to be given his marching orders.
Let Mr Will know right now, that the rules have changed, your mind is set and he will be bent on that and only that which is good.

We choose to set our “choosers” on to life.
We will dig out the weeds of our bad choices with repentance and the grace of God.

With every choice a fragrant harvest comes in  due season.
Circumstances change. We change.

Voila! We begin living life in life, not in the swallows of death.

I love you,
Jo

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Do Bad Habits turn Daily Devotionals into No-Do-Votionals

Self- Discipline ,  Self- Control, or the absence thereof…

Are they turning  the time you spend in  daily devotions and time with God into a power struggle?

Does having to break bad habits, replacing them with good habits,  seem like an unending battle to you?

Well, for this gal… you bet.good habit, bad habit

I seem to have immaculate vision when it comes to seeing  my own shortcomings.

The  glare from my horrible habits are  brilliant  so I really shouldn’t have to put on my precision vision to find them. But I do, and I am  pristinely aware of them;  constantly looming over me.

They tease and taunt me.
Reminding me of all I’d be;  of everywhere I’d be, if I only didn’t have THEM.

Undisciplined, lazy, destructive frustrating bad habits!

It feels like I am, forever, on a seek-and-destroy mission.

There always seems to be one of the critters on the chopping block.
Just one more kur-chunk and maybe, just maybe, I’ll be a better me.

Developing a Christian devotional life; one that is quiet before God, spends time with God, visiting, praying, listening and learning is the oxygen to our spiritual walk.

Without it, we will  just shrivel up inside.
And to be honest  (just call me Frank) my self-discipline in the area of daily devotions,  really stinks. 

Where self-discipline stinks; Bad habits abound!

Daily devotions, not to say anything of morning devotions, are a challenge in self control.

I find I get busy.  Too busy for God? You ask ( shocked and appalled!)

Well, yes but no…  busy… but  disorganized is a more accurate word.

My day’s agenda can take the look of a three-ring circus.

And when time comes to do something it does not want to do, that lazy flesh of mine whines and complains something fierce.

Disorganized, overwhelmed, and spread pretty paper-thin… that seems to sum up my world.

( do hear some amen sista’s out there?)

But to not avoid it any longer,  lets get back to that dreaded “D” problem, shall we?
Discipline…

For those who have it down to a science, Ms. Frank here,  tips her hat.

I would love for you to share your secrets to a structured, organized DISCIPLINED devotional time at the end of this post so we can all learn and grow.

Because  I  would love to share with you what is helping move me there at lightening speed.

Daily schedules,  written lists, and time management skills aside, there are two things I have learned and two things that are growing powerfully in my heart~

NUMBER ONE~ No more Self-Condemnation

I was the Queen of  Condemnation as I have  mentioned before

If I couldn’t keep my bible reading/ daily devotional/ personal bible study consistent, I would condemn myself straight to hell.
No pass go, no collecting $100.

If I could not magically transform myself to defeat my bad habits and build good ones, then,  certainly I was a hopeless pagan and I would just sit and wait for the earth underneath me to open up and swallow me whole.

Self-Condemnation; horrible place to be, don’t you agree?
So I have learned to not camp there any longer.
Which takes me to…..

NUMBER TWO~ I work my KEYS!!!!

Yes sire!!!

I work my KEYS and the condemnation flees!!

When condemnation and guilt come knocking I don’t curl up like a ball anymore.

No, I get in fight mode now.
I begin to soak in the reality of God’s love for me.
I let that LOVE begin to build me up and strengthen me, instead of fussing to find my own strength.
I begin to  throw the truth of all God said about me back in the face my enemy.
The Hope, Peace and Confidence all flood in.

Confidence to know that I am a step closer to once-and-for-all breaking  my bad habit and the creation of some new stronger, GOOD habits.

With the BLESS keys I found 5 tools to actually break these old habits and 5 tools that develop new ones.
The keys gave me the direction to go, when I had no idea and was fumbling my way along.

Now, each day that I take a little step forward supernaturally grows into a stronger bolder step.

Aside from freeing me from condemnation and  equipping me to change my habits,  theBLESS You keys do one more thing.

They keep me plugged in with my Father God.
Even when I don’t have time for devotions to plug myself in.

As I said before, daily devotionals, prayer times, and personal bible studies are so very very important.
They are our spiritual oxygen.

I found that these keys, once they become…. (oh, do I dare say)…. HABIT, run like a silent program, in the background of your spirit, always keeping you in tune with God.

Not to replace your intimate time with God, but to always keep you in a place of intimacy.

Don’t let Bad Habits and Poor Self- Discipline rob you of your goals and dreams!

Not so long ago, I committed myself to re-read the May I BLESS You book, and blog everyday how it works for me, so you could see these keys in action. I’ve been using them as my daily devotions, working and concentrating on a new key a week.

Umm… but, if you’ve been watching the dates of these posts, you’ll see I’ve been MIA.  (blush)

Poor self-discipline, bad habits.

That’s it, bottom line. My only excuse.

But the victory in this post is this… you get to see the keys working in me, in a very real way, in my poor habits.   You’ll get to  watch  me use the keys to walk out of them.

Isn’t that a twist-a-roo???

Actually, if I may, I’d like to take a moment to encourage anyone who is walking through the book right now, and is  feeling tired and overwhelmed…

Press in, with me, set yourself a standard and discipline in this area.
Make it your good habit.

Sow yourself a seed.
It  is well worth it.

What you will see growing in me, as I continue to post, will grow in you too!
(So make sure you bookmark this blog or become a follower. You don’t want to miss a thing.)

I definitely have not arrived, but I now I have a map of  the road and the journey is just beginning.

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So, I got honest and real about my self-discipline struggles.
Here’s your turn….

Are you struggling with building better habits?  Do you condemn yourself every time you fail?

Do you have you flesh and habits under control?
Or do you still jump thru some old hoops that you would love to get rid of?

What about your devotions with God?

devotion time with GodAre they a wild adventure that you can’t wait to go on every morning?
Maybe you and God meet in the evenings?

Or have you learned some of your own secrets to walking every moment, in a sweet place of fellowship with Him.

I would love to hear how self- discipline and habit building (or lack of) has effected your walk with God.
Lets encourage and cheer each other on!