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Monday, August 31, 2009

The Perfect Fit

Lysa TerKeurst

"I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws."

Psalm 119:30 (NIV)


As a little girl, I had longed for a daddy to pick me up, swing me around, and tell me I was lovely and loved. When this childhood longing went unmet, it became an adult emptiness and brokenness that drove me to seek out all kinds of misguided remedies.

My primary remedy was to look for someone or something that would make me feel loved and significant. It's as if I carried around a little heart-shaped cup and extended it to whatever or whomever I perceived might fill it.

I presented the cup to my education: "Will you fill me?"

I offered it to my husband: "Will you fill me?"

I held it out to my child: "Will you fill me?"

I extended it to my material possessions: "Will you fill me?"

I presented it to each of my jobs: "Will you fill me?"

Within these questions were many more entanglements: "Will you right all my wrongs?" "Will you fill up my insecurities?" "Will you make me feel significant?" The more I offered my emptiness hoping something could fill it, the more frustrated I felt.

And when I had grown in my faith, I was especially perplexed. Wasn't being a Christian supposed to fix these kinds of issues in my heart? What was I missing?

Have you ever been there?

Why is it so tempting to look to things of this world for fulfillment? This notion that worldly things can fulfill is all around us. It's on TV, the focus of countless secular songs, and it's what dominates American advertisements. I can't even stand in the grocery store checkout lane without being bombarded with suggestions for a more fulfilling life. A better husband. A better body. A better career. A more beautifully decorated house. The magazines seem so slick, their promises so enticing. They sneak into our thought processes and make us think, "If only I had _______________, I'd be so happy. I'd be so fulfilled."

So, we chase and chase until we bankrupt our relationships, our bank accounts, and our very souls. The reality is every single thing the world offers is temporary. No person, possession, profession, or position can ever fill the cup of a wounded, empty heart--not my heart, not your heart. It's an emptiness only God can fill.

Whatever "if only I had" statement we are struggling with, we can replace it with solid truths from Scripture that will never leave us empty. It's a bold statement to make and might even sound a bit trite, but it's true.

When God's Word gets inside of us, it becomes the new way we process life. It rearranges our thoughts, our motives, our needs, and our desires. Our soul was tailor made to be filled with God and His truth; therefore, it seeps into every part of us and fills us completely. It is the only perfect fit.

Dear Lord, we ask today that You set within us a passion for Your Word. A passion that will override the fleshly desire within us to chase after fulfillment from people, possessions, professions, positions, excercise or food. Lord, help us place the highest importance on getting into Your Word every day. And may we always approach Your Word with a humility of need and a heart ready to receive all You want to teach us. In Jesus' Name, Amen

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NELLIEC 9/1/2009 12:48PM

    Been there, done that. And God mostly definitely is the answer, rather than the world!!!

However, now, rather than regretting some of the foolishness I did in my search, I am just glad that God used it for good and to get me to come closer to Him!

Comment edited on: 9/1/2009 12:49:36 PM

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Steps To Turn Bitterness To Forgiveness

Friday, August 21, 2009

How do you avoid distorted vision? The first step is to change your focus. You may not be model tall, but are you healthy? Thankfulness.

The next step is to focus on others. Praises to those who have done well or those who need encouragement. You find joy in generosity to others. You become others-centered.

Contentment becomes like a new set of contacts or binoculars. Our world expands as we see beyond ourselves and invite God into the picture. It becomes a spiritual act of grace, a work of God in our hearts as we give it all to Him.

Did this sound like a repeat?? Well, partially, it was. It fit and it bares repeating. So, what are the steps?

1. Repent of temporal values. Why am I on this journey to start with? What are my goals?

2. Recognize attitudes of lack of acceptance...why can't I stick to it...bitterness grows out of ungratefulness.

3. View offenders as God's agents.

a. Eating the wrong things
b. Lack of real attack excercise.
c. Time wasted.
d. Focus mostly on myself.
e. Doing it by myself.
f. Ungrateful

4. Do something about offenders.

a. Turn it over to God.
b. Pay attention to what I ate last week vs the new week
c. Time...Focus...spend some time planning my new week
e. Include others...Focus on what are some needs they have. Can I help?

It becomes a work of God, a spiritul work of Grace, a change of heart.

Give it all, give it all, give it all to Jesus...

Broken dreams
Wasted time
New plans
Relationship struggles
Financial & lack of money
A friend who is 89 who I love
Grandchildren and the new school year
DD #1 with parkinsons
DD #2 homeschooling this 2009-2010
A friend who struggles
My struggles
My focus
President O

Dear Father, Today I will not grumble. I will not compare myself to others. I will praise You for the blessings all around me, and Your song of praise will be the words of my mouth. In Jesus' Name, Amen

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EBLOOMING 8/23/2009 5:40PM

    Thank You All for your comments!! How you have encouraged me!!

I wrote this to myself...as I have struggled on this weight loss journey...so excited to see a pound lost .... than so down to see I gained. The focus is wrong. I need to thank God for being with me on my journey.

Keep my eyes on the prize ... the GOAL ... and not let it distract me that it did not happen this week.

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NEECYANNE56 8/22/2009 12:07PM

    Elaine: WOW! This was such a great blog -- glad I stopped by and took the time to read it. The very obstacles in our lives can become stepping stones if we let them! Our attitude is key to everything we do! Thanks for sharing --


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LIGHTHEART09 8/21/2009 10:43PM

    Yes and amen to that sister!

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JAVALINA1 8/21/2009 10:05PM

    Good advice. Thanks for sharing with us.

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HOLLY_ROSE3 8/21/2009 10:28AM

    AMEN!! I SOOOO agree with you!!

Comment edited on: 8/21/2009 10:28:47 AM

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ALMMOM 8/21/2009 10:20AM

    Good to incorporate thankfullness in all we do. Inspirational blog.

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 8/21/2009 10:01AM

    Amen. Elaine, how wonderful and thank you for continuing to be an inspiration and a blessing to me always.
Love and hugs,
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Comment edited on: 8/21/2009 10:02:12 AM

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GRANDMANANCY 8/21/2009 7:07AM

    Praise God.. You are on target.. Thank you Elaine. You are a blessing to me.
LOveand Prayer,

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MOOKBALL 8/21/2009 6:39AM

    This would work for people who are just spiritual but who recognize no supreme being. also. Thanks.

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MY-2-GIRLZ 8/21/2009 4:31AM

    Thanks for this blog, very informative

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Godliness with Contentment = Great Gain

Friday, August 14, 2009

This struck me as I strive in my favorite of all favorites Team of Champions to "lose" a pound or two a week. This was a pearl....and it is about gaining.

"But godliness with contentment is great gain."

1 Timothy 6:6 (NIV)


My husband went back to school three years ago. It's been an adventure! We sold our home to lessen our debt load. We moved to a new city, buying a smaller home closer to the university. I worked full-time as a freelance writer the first two years while he attended school full time. Our budget was minimized to the essentials, like food and shelter and tuition! There were many times I was reminded of what we could or could not have, like when I was shopping with a friend who dropped cold hard cash on a purse or shoes, or was invited to join friends at a special restaurant. The money for those things was not in the budget--or the bank!

Have you ever wished for something you couldn't have? We all have at one time or another, but what happens when it's something you really can't have. Like being model tall instead of average height, or a different nose or longer legs, or the pounds to be distributed differently (a little more in the bust and little less in the stomach, please!). Maybe it's not your body, but your house, your wardrobe, or the car you drive. If only you had ten times more money, then you'd have all you want!

What's wrong with wishing for what you can't have?

It can distort your vision as you become fixated on what you don't have, and fail to see what you do have. It can get scary and mess with your health or your relationships as you pursue quick fixes. At some point it can even become an obsession.

Right now Richard and I can't jet to Hawaii (or even New Jersey), but watching my husband walk across the stage to receive his degree was priceless. Out of the view of the public he did a dance and his joy was contagious. The sacrifices haven't ended for us. He's started over in his career at an age most are settling into success. He's pursuing his Master's degree at night. We continue to pay tuition and live on a tight budget. And yet I feel rich with contentment.

How do you avoid distorted vision? The first step is to change your focus. You may not be model tall, but are you healthy? Do you have a circle of friends, or a caring church? Did your child wrap her arms around your neck this morning? Has a friend walked with you through a difficult time? Has the presence of God wrapped around you in your quiet time?

The next step is to focus on others. Something happens when you take the time and energy and thought life previously devoted to your thighs or that beautiful house on the other side of town. You begin to see the needs of others. You find joy in generosity to others. You become others-centered.

Contentment becomes like a new set of contacts or binoculars. Our world expands as we see beyond ourselves and invite God into the picture. It becomes a spiritual act of grace, a work of God in our hearts as we give it all to Him.

Dear Father, Today I will not grumble. I will not compare myself to others. I will praise You for the blessings all around me, and Your song of praise will be the words of my mouth. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALMMOM 8/14/2009 11:01AM

    Thank you for sharing. Contentment in what we have!!

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LINDA25427 8/14/2009 8:04AM


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GRANDMANANCY 8/14/2009 7:34AM

    I love it ! this devotional is what inspired me yesterday to put as my status... Today I will not grumble...

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WATER alias H2O by Chell

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


How can a 5-letter word and a 2 letter + 1 number molecular formula (H2O) wreak so much havoc if enough of it is not taken in?!?!

A dear friend that I met last year on Dr. Gates' weightloss website, Carol, gifted me with a book entitled "Water: for Health, for Healing, for Life" by F. Batmanghelidj, MD.
As I was re-arranging all the stuff that I was unpacking I displayed that book along with other great ones, above my computer screen on the top shelf of my computer desk. Over the days, it has caught my eye on many occasions but I haven't had time to pick it up and sit down quietly and read it. Heck... I haven't had time to open up my new "Walk Away Your Waistline" DVD and exercise to it, either. Between plumbers, electricians, delivery people, shelf-lining (a totally insane concept if you think about it), and leaf-raking (another totally insane concept if you live in the Texas Panhandle) I have been getting my exercise elsewhere. Another thing I haven't taken time out to do is DRINK MY WATER.

Water takes time.
It's inconvenient to put ice in a glass and get water.
Yet... I'll get in my car and go to Sonic (takes time).
I'll fix me a Dr. Pepper (putting ice in a glass and pouring).
It's insane thinking and insane actions!!

Well... I've been having these horrible, horrible headaches. Blurred vision to the point of not being able to see the huge screen at church when I'm seated only 7 or 8 rows back (even my great grandmother could have seen it without her specs). Then there was the nagging aches and pains in my back and hips and the burning feet and dry skin and scalp.

Knowing what I knew from previous Kidney Stones, I knew the field was set for a major stone storm... but I simply pulled the curtains and chose to ignore the sounds of the distant thunder and flashes of lightening. Well, when going to bed Sunday night I told hubby "I hate these headaches, I wish I knew what was causing them!" As I lay my head down, a voice rang in my head saying "Your problem is WATER". It was a very strong, authoritative voice much like a stern father. I dreamed of water and of stoney places... weird I know.

Monday morning I woke up and had hubby go to Drug Emporium and get me some EvaMore water. It is an Alkaline water and when you're dehydrated you're body's very acidic so the Alkaline Water tends to balance your system out and re-hydrates the tissues much quickly than reverse-osmosis water, especially when you're in bad shape (like I was). Well, I was in the little girls' room most of the day because of that water and noticed a lot of cloudiness in the urine. Another pre-requisite for the Stone Storm. The day goes on fairly normal, including a headache that kept trying to creep back in there. I thought "OK.. let's go rake the rest of the leaves and put the big windmill up in the back yard and get some exercise!". From previous experience I knew that exercise usually made my headaches go away. And the headache DID go away. Eureka!

Well, I got to bed about 10pm on Monday night. At 2am Tuesday morning I woke up to that old familiar " Heeeeeere's Johnny!!!" type of feeling from that scary movie "The Shining" only this time it was "Heeeeeeere's STONE-Y!!!" Holy Toledo!!!!!!!!!! But this time I was bound and determined I was going to pass this thing by myself and NOT go to the hospital like the previous 5 stones (or should I say Boulders). I remembered an elder (of all people) at our church telling me about another member who was plagued with stones and that the member was told (by his Urologist of all people) to drink about 3 or so beers when he felt a stone going through. The alcohol would start numbing the pain and the hops and barley would have a diuretic effect and force the stone to move. Well... I thought "Couldn't hurt" but with it being 2a.m. my hubby remembered the stores were closed. No... I was birthing this one without any "pain killers" LOL!

Well, about 8am Tuesday what I expected to see was something the size of the Island of Manhattan at least. But instead it was the size of a large grain of SAND. All that pain for THIS??? I knew that I had been told that before, but I simply wouldn't believe them. But they were right!

So all day yesterday (Tuesday's Inauguration Day) I drank water and sat back and took in the day's activities. I came to understand there's more change on the horizon than simply in the political arena. I was spared going to the hospital... this time. And the Good Lord willing... there won't be a next time, either!

Water.... Water..... Water.......
Who knew something so clean and pure would have such a huge impact on a person's life!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NIGHTSTAR777 8/10/2009 1:01PM

    Water is best cleanser in all respects. I take glass of water upon awaken, then do my morning routine, and then take another glass of water = 60 mlg TAIslim weight lose product. During day I must take 32 mlg in the first half and 32 mlg in the second half of day.
Unfortunately water does not help me with headache. It goes easy and better but I have to take Migraine, get rest, go to sleep. Any activities are not helpful, just sleeping.
With stones passing it is easy to understand that water helps to pass stones, but stones must be broken down to peaces. If stone is too big it is too danger to pass. Probable stones were bigger and you got to hospital. It will be over when stones pass out. I had that treatment and since it over I do not have this pain any more.

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CAROL_ 7/28/2009 10:23PM

    Great blog! I voted for it.

I follow the Mayo clinic prescription of 1/2 oz per lb of body weight. So if you're 200lbs, drink 100oz per day.

I knew about the alkaline / acidic thing but had never heard of the alkaline water.

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NELLIEC 7/23/2009 3:38PM

    I forget the name of the story that has the line, "Water, water, water, and not a drop to drink." Presumably, if I remember correctly it was about people aboard a ship in the middle of the ocean who did not have water. Of course the ocean water would be too saline to drink.

Yes, WATER is very important!!!

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LINDA25427 7/23/2009 9:16AM


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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

From my study on Patience:


Lord, I can see
I'm not yet what I should be.
Slowly I find
You touch my heart and mind;
In time, I know you will see
The life of grace you have placed inside of me.

And time will tell
That love will finish what it starts.
Time will tell
All you've hidden in my heart.
Lord, I know so well,
Only time will tell.

I'm not afraid;
I'm learning how to wait
On love that never comes late.
Time takes its time,
And with your life in mine,
I find, I'm closer each day.
And in a while, I will see you face to face.

Repeat chorus

Second chorus:
Time will tell
That love will have the final say.
Time will tell
Where there's faith, you'll find a way.
Lord, I know so well,
Only time will tell.

Claire Cloninger & Billy Smiley

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MILITARYMOM1 7/21/2009 6:14AM

    Dear Elaine,
How beautiful and thoughtful your song, it has made my day. "For This Is The Day That The Lord Has Made and I Will Rejoice In It". My whole day will be blessed and I pray that for you and all the Sparks in our group. emoticonI'm so grateful for all the support from all of the sparks team members in our group. Militarymom2 emoticon

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LINDA25427 7/16/2009 12:32AM

    Elaine thank you for sharing it is beautiful . God Bless. emoticon

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KATEMCPHEE 7/15/2009 8:09PM

Thanks for the reminder that MY time is NOT God's time! And that everything is beautiful in HIS time.

Blessings to you, neighbor!
Kate emoticon

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DJSNELLING 7/15/2009 7:29PM

    Elaine......Thanks so much. What a wonderful reminder in our very fast paced world. Taking time with our loved ones and especially taking time for the Lord. Praise His Holy Name.

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JANETELIZABETH1 7/15/2009 2:11PM

    Hi Elaine...all I can add is that I'm glad He is our All in ALL!! emoticon
Thank you for posting those special words.

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FROGGEE 7/15/2009 1:17PM

    What a beautiful song. Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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