Worship The King

Adoration.

 

Glorification

 

Exaltation.

 

Worship.

 

We were created to worship the true and living God. What an honor and a privilege to give Him my absolute best. Worship is the act of giving sacrificially of yourself out of your love for God.

 

But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

John 4:23-24

 

True worship comes from the heart. As I open my heart and open my mouth in recognition of the great, mighty, powerful, loving God I serve, I move closer and closer into that sacred space with him. When we worship not only do we demonstrate our love, reverence, awe and honor for God but we also create an atmosphere conducive for having a personal encounter with Him. He says, “If you draw near to me, I will draw near to you”.

 

I am just coming off of a 3 days immersed in worship. Dr. Celeste Owens Ministries hosted The Surrender Healing Retreat. During my time at this retreat I was completely immersed in a worship experience. In fact, the experience was so overwhelming I have been having a difficult time adjusting back to my normal routines. I feel like I am in a fog of sorts but in a good way. I have continued to cry, pray, and praise. I have been at a loss for words, which is rare for me.

 

Oh to bask in God’s glory. To feel the radiant heat of His love saturate the atmosphere and fill me. I am bubbling over. I literally feel as if my body cannot house my spirit, like my spirit has been so ignited that I will combust. Whoo God! And I want to remain in this sweet space.

 

But that sweet sacred space

Of meeting Him face to face

Ignites my soul

It makes me whole

I am forever changed

No longer the same

Filled with love and light

My spirit takes flight

As I worship the King

 

Standing on Holy ground

All love grace and peace abound

Standing in the most place

Seeing the Master face to face

As I worship the King

 

Commonly, worship is associated with music only. While music is a conduit to ushering in worship, it is not our only form of worship. We can engage in worship through:

 

Obedience

 

Serving

 

Making Joyful Noise

 

Giving

 

Proskuneo is the word used most often for worship in the New Testament. It implies having deep reverence, to bow down or fall down before. In its early usage, it was designated for falling down and lying prostrate before a king to kiss his feet, hem of his garment or the ground. As believers, our worship is not only a physical act of lying or bowing, but our spirits should maintain a posture of being laid out before our holy God. Every day all day we should remain open, sensitive and humbly connected, rooted and grounded in the Father’s presence.

 

Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

Psalm 29:2

 

Oh friends I invite you to take your shoes off, dust off your feet and join me. This is holy ground! Leave the cares of this world behind as we move into the most holy place to commune with our God. Worship the King.

 

What will you do to create an atmosphere conducive for pure, authentic, uninhibited worship?

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

,

I Choose To Be Healthy

I haven’t always honored my temple.

 

I haven’t always known how.

 

When I look at pictures of myself from my thicker days, I thought I was doing some things right then. But I was young and didn’t have all the answers. I didn’t understand that though my frozen dinners were low in fat, they were high in sugar and sodium. I didn’t know that drowning my salad in blue cheese dressing undid all of what I thought I was accomplishing in eating the big plate of leafy greens.

 

Tyra in college

 

When I did learn how to honor my temple, I didn’t always obey. But I have to ask myself, “Do you want to be in health and prosper even as your soul prospers?” We have to decide. I choose to be healthy.

 

Even now, some days are difficult. Just recently I engaged in the battle of the bulge. You can read more about that here. I’m happy to say I waged an all out assault and have since claimed rounds 1 & 2 victorious! I’ve been even more disciplined in my exercise regime, I try to get adequate rest, though I think a new bed would greatly help in that area and my eating habits are good.

 

I would say my diet is very clean. That means I consume food that is minimally processed and most closely resembles its natural state. But even in that, I knew I could clean it up even more. So for those of us who already eat clean and for those who want to do better, here’s how I’ve raised the bar for myself in the past few weeks:

 

~Cut Back Sugar

On average, Americans consume about 20 teaspoons of added sugar a day. I probably consumed on average 4-6 teaspoons a day. It lurks in nearly everything. Even in a clean diet it can add up. Even if my healthy friends aren’t consuming refined sugar, several teaspoons a day of maple syrup, agave, honey, coconut palm sugar, Stevia, fill in the blank…add up. So see if there are ways to cut back. I used to have 2 teaspoons in the morning in my coffee. Then I cut that back to 1. Then I cut my coffee. Jesus is still helping me with that transition. You can read more about cutting coffee here. I also cut my “natural” treats like coconut milk ice cream, again the sugar.

 

~Cut Carbs

I am not waging a war against carbs. But really, do I need to eat pasta more than once a week, even if it is whole-wheat pasta? Do I need to eat a grain with every meal? I’m constantly challenging myself to rethink the plate. We’ve come to know the plate as large section of meat, medium sized portion of starch and small portion of vegetables (read more on that here). So lately I’ve been swapping out my pasta with zucchini noodles, cutting the amount of rice (even though it’s brown rice) and having no baked goods (bread, muffins {even though the muffins would be homemade using all natural ingredients}, cookies).

 

 

~Cut The Salty Snacks

Oh dear, I really love and miss tortilla chips. I could easily have tortilla chips 1-3 times a week. A moderate serving size coupled with my favorite hummus. I had rationalized, “I’m eating healthy here Lord, cut me some slack. It’s just organic blue corn tortilla chips and homemade hummus.” And while those snacks are much healthier than Lay’s potato chips, tortilla chips are still fried. And hummus while it is healthy is high in calories for a small serving. So again, it’s obeying God and knowing where I can cut back a little. I’m not saying I won’t eat them again, I’m just cutting back for a while as I temper my actions and taste buds with self-discipline and self-control (I also had to comfortably get back in my jeans). Even raw nuts, which are one of my go to healthy snacks have to be consumed in moderation because they are high in fat (albeit good fats but still high) and they are acidic. And really, who can eat just one serving of nuts? One serving of almond is just 14 almonds! Man, I can eat 3x that easily.

 

I keep this statement before me as a caution in helping me decide to choose well.

 

What will I do today to add to not detract from my health?

 

So throughout the day, when I am presented with CHOICE, I ask myself…

 

~Will eating a croissant add to or detract from my health?

 

~Will this cup of coffee add to or detract from my health?

 

~Will this kale salad add to or detract from my health?

 

~I’m sleepy but will this exercise add to or detract from my health?

 

There is no food Swiss neutral. What you consume either promotes or negates good health.

 

While this may be radical for some, for me it’s just obeying what God has called ME to do. I am not only responsible for my health, but I have to provide nourishment for my husband and my five children. The decisions I make today, will directly affect my children’s DNA thus directly affecting their children to come. I have to be an example for the women I serve in ministry. I need to be strong and healthy in my body to carry out all that God has tasked to my hands. I do not want to defile my body but want His light to radiate uninhibited from this temple so that it draws others near to Him and the decisions I make throughout the day directly impact that. Sometimes it is hard. Sometimes I fail.  But I will try.

 

What is God whispering to you about what you can do to honor Him by honoring your temple?

 

So again I ask, not what can you do, but what WILL you do to add to not detract from your health today?

 

I choose to be healthy. And you can too. Discipline, self-control and obedience pay off.   I am still a work in progress but I feel strong and capable to run with endurance the race set before me.

before and after

Tyra Lane-Kingsland

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

Feature Image Photo Credit
Happy to connect with friends at Dance With Jesus & Fellowship Friday

,

I’m No Superwoman

Faster than Florence Griffith Joyner.  More powerful than Ms. Olympia.  Able to leap a mound of laundry single bound.  Look!  Up in the sky!  It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  It’s Superwoman!

 

Twice on Sunday people made references to me being superwoman.

 

So for once and for all let me dispel that myth. I am no superwoman. More like:

 

Super mistake maker.

 

Super grace receiver.

 

Super Jesus girl.

 

superwoman

 

Truth be told, I am vulnerable. I do get tired. I do lose my cool. I have my kryptonite.

 

But God…

 

Aaron Shust sums it up well for me singing,

 

“My Savior loves, my Savior lives, My Savior’s always there for me. My God He was, my God He is, my God He’s always gonna be”.

 

Without MY Jesus, I can do nothing, be nothing. Apart from the vine we are nothing.

 

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

 

That’s as super as it gets. I’m a super vine clinger.

 

There was a time I tried to be Superwoman. I really believed I could do all and be all to everyone who needed me. But that left me depleted. I Thank God for speaking His truth to my heart and freeing me to know that all I have to do if heed His voice and he’d lead me, love me and empower me.

 

I can only love through Christ who strengthens me. I can love give through Christ who strengthens me. I can only serve through Christ who strengthens me.

 

I don’t try to do all and be all. I stay in my lane and do exactly what he’s called me to do. It’s when we go picking up other things thinking we are superwomen that we can get into trouble. God makes all grace abound toward us to do that which he’s tasked to our hands.

 

Let me give you an example. God has given me the ability to do hair and to do so with a level of excellence that could earn me some good money. I’ve had offers. I’ve had a stylist suggest how I could make it work with my schedule and how much money I could earn. But God told me, “This gift is for HOUSEHOLD USE ONLY”. As a homemaker I had briefly entertained the thought of making some money for doing something I enjoy that isn’t grueling work. Yes, I could do a few heads on the weekend. Then came the gently shoulder tap, “FOR HOUSEHOLD USE ONLY.” Thus I quickly extinguished the idea because I want to operate in his perfect will not His permissive will. So I travel in my lane with the surety that I receive the needed grace for my calling.

 

So I cling to him. I cry out to him. I am open and honest with him. I lean in to him. I dance with him.

 

And he is faith to hold me, to wipe my tears, to listen to me, to strengthen me and to lead me in the way everlasting.

 

No super mommy

 

No super friend

 

No super minister

 

No super wife

 

Just one super Jesus girl fiercely clinging to the Father.

 

superwoman 2

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Feature image photo credit

Happy to connect with friends at Purposeful Faith Titus 2sDay Life Giving Linkup

,

Choose Well

They were calling out to me. In all their hot, oily, salty splendor, those spuds hollered my name. Such was the case when I walked past that Five Guys Burgers and Fries joint. Yield not to temptation. Score one for team healthy!

 

I was chatting with some ladies in my Women’s Group and one asked how I stay so disciplined when it comes to my eating. As I described to her what I do when faced with a food choice, she summed it up quite well. She said, “So you do a lot of self-talk”. And that’s correct.

 

Honoring your temple is a choice. And when faced with options, I constantly have to weigh and choose.

 

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

 

Because my body is the temple where the Holy Spirit resides, I have to choose to honor my temple. And choosing well is not always easy. I’ve shared previously how I’ve devised a system that supports honoring my temple through proper nourishment. You can read more about how I choose well with:

Eating Right on the go

Getting Kids to Eat Right

 

I like to keep it interesting in the kitchen so I’m always concocting something that tantalizes the taste buds. But on the real, truth be told I love a few foods that do the opposite of honoring the temple. I LOVE coffee, pizza, macaroni and cheese and two of my absolute favorites are tiramisu and The Cheesecake Factory’s Banana Cream Cheesecake. One slice of that cheesecake has a whopping 930 calories, 36 grams of fat and 60 grams of sugar.

 

Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, on away from that cheesecake!

 

When I walk into my local Wegman’s grocery store to pick up a few items and haven’t eaten lunch yet, my eyes spot the mac and cheese. One whole hot bar station is full with different types of mac and cheese: traditional, blue cheese, chicken mac and cheese and more. Can I also mention here that the bakery is right near the hot food bar replete with pastries, cakes and cookies? The struggle is real folks! Nonetheless, I begin a dialogue with myself. It sounds a little something like this:

 

~Mmm that mac and cheese smells so good

 

~Don’t even look in that direction

 

~Hot cheesy melty goodness

 

~Seek out the vegetables

 

~A little won’t hurt

 

~Honor your temple and choose well

 

~Ch-a (that’s me sucking my teeth)

 

~Brown Rice veggie sushi roll w/ small side of Sichuan green beans

 

~You’ve chosen well daughter.

 

I’m sure you are confronted with similar choices every day all day. From the moment you wake up you have to decide, will you have:

 

~McDonald’s Medium McCafe Carmel Mocha 390 calories 14 grams of fat and 50 grams of sugar. That one drink has your recommended sugar intake for 2 days!

 

~McDonald’s Bacon Egg and Cheese Bagel with egg whites because hey, you’re trying to save on some grams of cholesterol by choosing well with the egg whites yet it has 530 calories, one fourth of your total caloric intake for the day, 23 grams of fat, more than one-third of your daily value of fat and 1340 mg of sodium, more than half of your recommended value of salt for the day.

 

So with those two breakfast choices, one’s health account is overdrawn and checks are bouncing.

 

While you may not know or have readily available these nutritional facts before you consume food (though it is posted in McDonald’s) you should ask yourself, “Is this contributing to or detracting from my health?”

McDonald's Choices

And I’m sharing here not to point fingers or to make you feel bad. I’m sharing because I know from my personal experiences that it IS difficult to choose well. I do have one area where I am NOT so disciplined and that is with popcorn. See I had rationalized it was healthy so I could indulge but that indulgence went too far and I had to really examine myself. You can read more about that here. But I’m happy to report; I’m getting that under control. I will not be a slave to my urges. Yes, by the power of the Spirit at work in me I am a spirit-controlled self-disciplined individual.

 

A spirit-controlled individual is self-disciplined. As Believers we can discipline ourselves to attend worship service regularly, to serve regularly, to dial in to prayer calls regularly, to have daily quiet time, but when it comes to eating right and exercise…well, it can be challenging.

 

I know it’s difficult. But I also know that we can do ALL things through Christ who gives us strength. Just like He strengthens me at this very moment to not go downstairs and get something sweet. I used to like to have a sweet little bite before going to bed but I had to end my attachment with that. Eating before bed interrupts your ability to fast overnight. That’s why the first meal of the day is called Breakfast because you are breaking your overnight fast. Eating before sleeping can cause insomnia, restless sleep, weight gain, and heartburn among other issues. I have eaten before bed and literally awoke feeling like I had a hangover. And I thought to myself, “Did that food ferment in my stomach?” I’m no doctor but that was my immediate thought.

 

So be empowered friends to choose well.

 

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” Deuteronomy 30:19

 

Having the right information is just one step in helping you make better choices. When it comes to what you eat, some decisions may be clearly apparent, while others may be murky. To assist you when making better choices at the grocery store and at restaurants there is a fun quick read called Eat This Not That.

 

Coupled with the right information is then exercising our will and making the right choices. Will we choose to add to or to detract from our health? Every food decision we make is either a deposit or a withdrawal. There is no food shade of gray, just black or white, an investment or a loss, an advancement of health or a reversal.

 

“Every person has free choice. Free to obey or disobey the Natural Laws. Your choice determines the consequences. Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices.” Alfred A. Montepert

 

I stand here, cheering you on as you choose well!

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired to Live Fully!

 

Feature Image Photo Credit

Happy to connect with Dance With Jesus Fellowship Friday Grace and Truth

,

5 Ways to Reduce Stress

“Relax! You’re wearing your shoulders for earrings.” This amusing quip was relayed to be by a friend. And she is absolutely correct. Some days I feel I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders so to counterbalance the weight I hunch my shoulders. Needless to say my trapezius are well defined.

pods

But I have taken her words to heart and have implemented the following strategies to manage stress; for indeed the Lord encouraged us to cast our cares on Him because He cares for us. Please pause with me as you carefully consider these 5 ways to reduce stress.

 

BREATHE

Slow

Deep

Intentional

This type of breathing slows the heart rate and reduces stress. As you breathe deeply, consciously move down your body relaxing your eyebrows, shoulders, and limbs all the way to your toes. Feel your muscles relaxing as you supply your entire body with much needed oxygen.

pence pond geese

Breathe so deeply that you feel your ribs expand. You will feel the difference. I think so many of us have gotten used to breathing shallowly, short puffs in and out that deep breathing is foreign.

 

Now do it with me.

 

Deeply inhale through the nostrils until you feel your ribs expand. Hold a few seconds, and then release your breath slowly out of your mouth. Now do it again. With each inhalation thank God for the breath of life and with each exhalation release whatever is causing you stress. Visualize it leaving you. Mmm. I did that with you and I’m already feeling more relaxed.

 

The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4

 

 

EMBRACE THE NOW MOMENT

 

What peace awaits right before your eyes? Stop and take a look. As I type this I’m listening to the bird symphony being conducting right outside my window.

All love, joy, peace and beauty can it be found in this moment. A child’s smile, an encouraging word shared with a co-worker, buds on the trees, the sweet tart taste of a green apple; our daily lives an inundated with beauty but we must slow down enough to appreciate it. For more on embracing the now moment, click here.

 

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10a

 

DSC_0363

 

EXERCISE

When you exercise, you release endorphins that improve your mood. Studies have also shown that you get the added benefits of better sleep, released tension and improved self-esteem when you exercise so get some exercise in today. Even if you don’t regularly exercise, start where you are. A 10-minute walk up your street and back practice that deep breathing technique and you WILL feel better.

 

 

BE PROACTIVE

You know some of things already that stress you, so cut them off at the pass. If rushing in the morning causes stress, see what you can do the night before to facilitate a smoother morning. At night you can partially prepare breakfast, pack lunch(es), pack bags, tidy up fill up on gas. All these little things contribute greatly to reducing your morning stress.

 

Some stressors are out of your control. Someone cuts you off when driving or you’re the victim of identity theft. While you cannot control that, you can choose to respond versus react. Reacting is giving way to your emotions and impulses and letting them drive your behavior. When you react you are generally operating out of fear. Responding is when you pause before taking action. You take a deep breath then DECIDE how to best move forward given the information you are confronted with.

 

DSC_0360

 

HAVE FUN

Life can be so serious. Life can be so intense. But please, give yourself permission to LIVE! I’ve had to come to terms with this over the last few years. From my rising to my setting, I am serving people. The mental, physical and emotional demands on me are great. To meet those demands, I would sacrifice doing things that bought me pleasure. Then when I finally would do something pleasurable, I would feel guilty because of it. I had to ask God to help me with that. And He told me I had carried out this self-imposed suffering. I was torturing myself. Through prayer, He helped me free myself and I can now do something pleasurable without the guilt. While my schedule does not permit me to engage in the things I deem pleasurable very often (i.e. I’d love to be on the beach everyday) I have committed to doing things I enjoy. So what do I like other than the beach? Typing these posts while sitting in a coffee shop, exercising in a group or class, browsing in a bookstore, having dinner with a friend.

 

How about you commit to doing something this week simply because it brings you pleasure?

 

A study by the American Psychological Association reports that only 37% of us feel we’re effectively managing our stress, so that leaves more than half of the population then debilitated by the issues of life. And many common methods of distressing are ineffective and tend to make you feel worse afterward like:

 

~Eating

~Drinking

~Watching TV

~Surfing the Internet

 

These usually leave you not only with the initial stress but now bring added guilt. So instead of doing those, join me in breathing deeply, embracing the now moment, exercising, being proactive and having fun and let’s cause of stress to dissipate.

 

For more on managing stress, visit the following links:

Know You, Manage Your Emotions 

Tips for Less Stress

Stress Free Steps

http://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/stress

 

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Happy to connect with friends at Life Giving Linkup & Purposeful Faith

,

Kale: The Mean Green

“I want to be seen green

Wouldn’t be caught dead, red

‘Cause if you are seen green

It means you got mean bread.”

 

So goes a line from a song from one of my favorite movies, The Wiz. I feel like I’m seeing green. Most mornings can find me starting the day with a green drink.

 

While kale is now all the rage, I’ve always loved it. As a child I loved it cook southern style, preferring it over collards. In my teens and early twenties I liked it sautéed with onion in olive oil. Then about 13 years ago I discovered raw kale salad and that was a wrap! I eat some type of salad every day for lunch and kale is in heavy rotation.

 

kale salad chickpeas

 

And what’s not to love about kale? It’s chock full of goodness. Here’s what you’ll get in a one cup serving:

 

  • Iron

  • Vitamin K

  • Calcium

  • 134 % of your daily value of Vitamin C

  • 133% of your daily value of Vitamin A

  • Fiber

 

From a side dish of sautéed kale, to kale chips, to smoothies, kale is an all-purpose fridge staple. My favorite type of kale for salads is lacinato aka Tuscan aka dino because it is very tender. You can find my recipe for kale chips by clicking here.

 

2014-09-18 14.09.45-1

 

So, for the love of kale, whip up this kale smoothie. Your body will be more in love with you for it.

 

Kale Smoothie

 

1 large rib of kale, destemmed

¼ cup cucumber

½ cup blueberries

½ cup pineapple

2-4 cubes of ice

½ cup water

 

Blend in high-speed blender until smooth. I hope you’re seeing green too as you eat up plenty of Kale: The Mean Green.

 

kale smoothie

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

,

A Father’s Love

Riding bikes together from Roxbury to Harvard Square and back.

Whatchamacallits, Smartfood Popcorn and Sicilian pizza.

Deep conversation, identifying strengths, creating opportunities and unending support. These are just some of the ways my earthly father invested in me and showed me his love.

 

This Easter weekend I reflected on the ultimate sacrifice of God’s love for us in sending His Son to die for our sins. My heart was filled with gratitude to be on the receiving end of this love. Yet I know I’ve only begun to scratch the surface on understanding and accepting the immensity of The Father’s love for me. The magnitude of it is such that I can’t wrap my head around it.

 

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

1 John 3:1

 

When I think about my relationship with my earthly father, it brings a smile to my face. My father is one of my best friends. He is fun loving, brilliant and reassuring. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he loves me.

Daddy's girl

 

I also see a great example of fatherhood in my husband. He teaches our children history and practical life lessons. While I tend to be very structured with the children, he creates room in the routines to have fun with the children the “Daddy Way”. Beyond a shadow of a doubt I know he loves his children.

 

A Father's Love

 

And while these two examples exemplify Fatherhood, there exists an even more complete portrait a father’s love.

 

In a far-off land the Lord will manifest himself to them. He will say to them, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love. That is why I have continued to be faithful to you.’ Jeremiah 31:3

 

We are loved by The Father who:

 

~Covers you so you are not ashamed
~Forgives your disobedience
~Loves you enough to correct you
~Staying in contact with you
~Rejoices when you return home
~Surrenders His absolute best for your benefit

 

And these are but small glimpses of the depth of The Father’s love for us. It is His desire to saturate us in His love but we have to prepare ourselves to receive it. Our images and perceptions of God directly impact our ability to receive His love.

 

Do you perceive Him as a loving, doting father?

 

Do you perceive him as a harsh disciplinarian?

 

Your perceptions of The Father can box in His love for you. We can put human limitations on a Father whose love is immeasurable and everlasting. I pray that we eradicate any limitations, barriers or hindrances that stand in the way of us experiencing the width, depth, breadth and height of The Father’s love for us. I pray that our hearts are open to receive the fullness of His love for us.

 

In his book Love Beyond Reason John Ortberg says, “Attention is so valuable we don’t just give it, we pay attention. This is how God loves us. He pays attention to us.”

 

The Word declares that your Heavenly Father pays you attention in that He:

 

~Thinks you’re the apple of His eye
~Loves you with an everlasting love
~Is a father to the fatherless
~Knows what you have need of even before you ask
~Has compassion for you
~Calls you His child

 

This is but peek at the totality of A Father’s Love, The Father’s Love. Oh friends be assured of His complete, utter, absolute love for you and receive it today. Join me in prayer…

 

Abba Father, most loving gracious God what a joy it is to stand in your presence. You are so full of love and light. Your glory saturates the atmosphere and fills this place and fills me. Lord I ask that you create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit in me. Whatever barriers stand in the way of me receiving the fullness of your love for me, I ask you to remove them. Lord, I thank you that you bless and keep me, that you make your face shine upon me, you are gracious to me, you lift the light of your countenance upon me and you give me your peace. Abba manifest your love for me in a real and tangible way. Amen.

 

Receive His love today.

 

In the song I Receive, Israel Houghton sings,

 

“Behold all things have been made new

My past has gone, my shame removed

You gave Your Son Your love for me

Now at the cross I am made free

I receive Your love, I receive Your love for me

I receive Your love, I know I am accepted”

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Happy to connect with friends at Purposeful Faith Monday’s Musings Fellowship Fridays Dance With Jesus Grace and Truth

It’s A Good Friday

What would you willing die for?

 

What you die for a cause you believe in?
Would you die for your children?
Would you die for your spouse?
Would you die for a friend?
Would you die for a co-worker?
How about dying for the person who abandoned you?
What about the person who physically violated you?
Are you willing to die for the one who betrayed you?

 

My heart cries thank you to The One who said YES and died for me. My heart is flooded with gratitude for the good and selfless act that has freed me to have life and have it more abundantly.

 

My heart’s meditation today is this chorus from Walter Hawkins’ song Marvelous,

 

“You gave that I might live.

You gave that I might be set free.

Exchanged Your life for mine,

What a marvelous thing You’ve done.”

 

It’s a Good Friday indeed. If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, I invite you to take some time today and join me in spirit as we reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice for us. May you be saturated in the depth of His love for you. Because of His good and loving deed, good{ness} and mercy are now following you all the days of your life as you dwell in His house forever.

 

If you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus, I invite you to learn more about the depth of love Jesus has for you. I invite you to memorize this scripture and ask God to open your heart to its truth.

 

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Photo Credit

 

Happy to connect with friends @ Five Minute Friday

,

What Do You Crave?

Crave. Desire. Long For.

Dependency. Habit. Addiction.

 

Oh friends, can I be brutally honest with you today? I LOVE coffee! I do, I do indeed. The experience is inextricably woven into my day. Immediately upon waking I say still in my bed and worship to whatever song is in my head. Nearly every morning I wake up with a worship song on my heart. I sing the song in my head, I think about the lyrics and how they relate to me, and I worship God for how amazing He is. After that I proceed to grab my devotional book, journal, pen and phone (which I need for my bible app) and make my way downstairs. I place my books on the loveseat and proceed directly to my kitchen. Oh yes, the joy in making a fresh cup of coffee. I love everything about the ceremony of it; grabbing my jar, removing the lid and catch a whiff of that bold, enticing aroma. Next, measuring out just the right amount. Then taking the pot and filling it with the exact amount of water I need to make 2 cups, one for me and one for the hubs. Slowly pour the water in. Close the lid, power on and wait. As the water heats, it steams and pops in my Cuisinart. The machine has an auto feature which I’ve never used because I’m a creature of habit who loves the ceremony of making coffee so I couldn’t deny myself the routine of carrying out the task by filling it at night.

 

Inextricably woven into my daily life, I’ve got to have that cup.

 

From Gevalia to Starbucks to organic fair-trade, I love everything about coffee. I prefer dark roasts for their almost burn flavor. The fruity, chocolatey notes, the smokiness, the aroma, the slight bitter toasty taste of the beans. And the smell….Even typing this is a challenge as it makes me want to run and make a cup. Even on the About Me page on my website, I give a shout out to my friend, Cup o’ Joe.

 

Can I just skip having a cup in the morning? No. And that’s what let’s me know there’s an issue here, my attachment to it. The creamy dreamy goodness of a sweet warming cup is so comforting. But God whispers, “Come to me for comfort. Comfort is not found in that cup.” Oh, but I do find comfort and joy in each sip. But I’ve been here before. I had to end my attachment another beloved (click here to read more on that story).

 

I need that cup.

 

The ONLY time I will not have a cup of coffee is if it’s what I’ve surrendered on a fast, otherwise it’s my daily companion. It’s become something that I not only want but also something I feel I need because I can’t seem to want to start my day without it. I’m naturally an energetic person, so I didn’t thing it was about the caffeine. I do put 2 teaspoons of sweetener in it. So it is the sweet I crave?

 

What do you crave?

 

“God made us capable of craving so we’d have an unquenchable desire for more of Him, and Him alone. Nothing changes until we make the choice to redirect our misguided cravings to the only one capable of satisfying them.”

Lysa TerKeurst, Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food

 

Whatever it is that has me dependent of that cup to start my day has to stop. I realized it was a problem when I started to creep up from just one cup a day. For so long I had disciplined myself to JUST the one cup. I love it so much I would like more but I’d exercised restraint. Until that one cup became a cup and a splash, then a cup and a 1/3. I would make a tiny cup in the wee hours of the morning and sip on that while doing my devotions then make my usual to go cup that I drink while driving the children to school.

 

So in light of Wellness Wednesday I’m sharing with you my commitment to break this habit. With my food I’ve make a conscious decision to consume foods that add to, not detract from my health. Coffee crops are one of the most heavily sprayed crops and the cream and sweetener, though turbinado are not adding to my health.

 

And coffee is one of those things that appear to be both good and bad for you. It’s like a back and forth argument.

 

~The Caffeine in coffee will leach your body of vital nutrients

~But it has antioxidants helping kill those free radicals

~But it’s addictive

~Yet is has magnesium and chromium

 

And on and on and on.

 

In general, I’m not a fan of substitutes. I don’t eat meat and am not a fan of meat substitutes. When I stopped eating ice cream about a year ago, I knew no substitute could ever come close to full fat super premium ice cream so I didn’t look for an ice cream replacement (though I do LOVE banana “ice-cream” it’s not a replacement). So in trying these, I knew going in that it would never be coffee because coffee is well…coffee.

 

Nonetheless, because of my attachment to coffee, I needed something to help me bridge the gap while I work toward releasing its hold on me. So here’s a peak at what I’m currently testing.

 

Dandy Blend

Dandy blend is an instant herbal beverage that can be considered a coffee substitute. This non-acidic, 100% caffeine free drink is made from dandelion, chicory, barley and rye. It tastes pretty good. It reminds me of the Cambric tea (hot milk with a little tea and sugar) my grandmother used to make for me as a child.

Dandy Blend

 

 

Teeccino

Teeccino is another herbal coffee alternative. They have several in their line but the one I’m currently trying is the Java since I was looking for something dark and sweet. This one is made from Organic Carob, Organic Barley, Chicory, Organic Chicory, Almonds, Organic Dates, Natural Coffee Flavor, Organic Figs Contains: Almonds. Carob is an interesting flavor reminiscent of chocolate but with a strange taste. Teeccino is grounds so it gives me the ability to still have my coffee ceremony.

Teeccino

Between the two I can’t say which I prefer. I like the taste of Dandy Blend and the ceremony of Teeccino. Both are missing the heavy mouth feel of actual coffee. At some point when I have brought my love affair with coffee into its proper alignment, I think I’ll do one scoop of coffee with one scoop of Teeccino. And there will be times when I will drink a nice strong cup again but for now I’ve got to step back while I work through this attachment issue.

 

It’s been almost two weeks since I began walking away from my addiction. There I said it. My dependency will be called what it is, an addiction. You may be thinking, but what’s wrong with having a cup of coffee a day? Well, when your attachment to anything is such that you can’t do without it, you ought to examine it further. Just because something is permissible doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

 

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.

1 Corinthians 10:23

 

I invite you to examine anything in your life that you crave, long for or desire. Has that longing become a habit? Do you go out of your way to get that thing? Does your day or life feel incomplete without it? If yes, I’d say it requires further examination to ensure you have a healthy relationship with that thing.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!