The following Birthday post is a substitute for a New Year’s Day post. I tried to post it yesterday but I was having trouble getting the computer to work.
I considered skipping today’ devotion entirely, after all, it is my birthday. However instead of aiming to write a thoughtful, inspirational and prophetic message to all of my loyal readers, I am hoping for a epistle of all I’ve learned and will hopefully apply to my short life.
First of all: It is easier to live in a new house than an old house. My little family lived in a house built in 1938. It was our dream home. 898 square feet, porch, white picket fence, big back yard, gas appliances. Then, things changed for us. Brian was living in Stockton during the week and commuting back home. My daughter and I wound up moving up here with him living in an apartment which was two steps up from a trailer park and one step down from student housing. Our cat starting peeing on everything– well more specifically on everything that belonged to me. He must have thought this was all my fault.
Eventually, after a year of smoke getting sucked in to our apartment from the upstairs neighbors and drug deals gone bad waking us up in the middle of the night, we moved in to a brand new house with my mom. I was not looking forward to it, to be honesty, but we quickly adapted. The thing that I have most gotten used to is this: Everything works. All the time. We’re not running up credit cards or going without meat during the day trying to make repairs; nothing needs to be fixed. If it need, it would be under warrantee anyway.
We were looking for an older, charming house, but our lives (I know this is out of context, but think new wineskins instead of old) have been made much simpler by living in this house.
Secondly: Food is good, but living guided by your belly is not. I never noticed that the Bible is filled with thoughts on food, bellies and gluttony. Did you? It was one of those things I totally skipped by until it was time to lose 30+ pounds.
Philippians 3 says: 18For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.
Proverbs 23:20-21: “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”
Proverbs 28:7: “He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.”
Proverbs 23:2: “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.”
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the spirit is….self-control”.
I dieted some, exercised some and lost 20 pounds in less than a year. It’s not like the Bible is a magic book, but these verses were convicting and have helped me gain some control. This doesn’t mean I skipped a birthday breakfast of chocolate cake, but it’s helped put my eating and gluttony in perspective.
Third: I figured out what I want to do if I grow up. I want to keep writing the devotions I’ve been writing. It would be ideal to get paid for it, but I’m not sure how to go about it.
Corinithias 1:14-1, 4, 5c: “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy….But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. 4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5 He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues…. so that the church may be edified.”
I’ve always understood that the one who prophesies makes the Word apparent to those who listen and I’ve always had a quirky way of talking and teaching. I strongly pursue God to develop this gift in my life, and I hope these devotions help me do so.
Fourth: Some people are astonishing servants. I am not one of them. I deeply admire those who are though. When we needed help moving, about ten people, including our pastor and associate pastor came with about fifteen minutes notice. We had a wonderful going away party made possible by the incredible people at Creekside in San Leandro. It was so touching and and I still cannot believe their generosity.
Fifth: Although I am not technically a servant, I still have to serve. A example of this is taking care of my house and putting away chairs after church. While these things don’t give me joy, I am surrounded by people that really enjoy it and I’m not about to ruin that for them.
I think that’s all for today. If I remember more I’ll share more, but until then, I’ll be with you tomorrow.
By the way, I wanted to add something. I am not a certificated counselor, psychologist or any other mental health professional. I am not an ordained pastor. If you need professional help, (for example, you are suicidal or think you’re going to hurt your kids) please get it. I want to be a support to you, but my emails and my chats are not meant to take the place of a professional.