Following Jesus

Morning Pages

I’ve begun a new habit in the morning called morning pages. I’m reading a book called The Writing Diet by Julia Cameron, and if you’re familiar with her work you know morning pages is part of her process. I wasn’t able to do them this morning, so I decided to make them a part of this post.

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Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash

I was somewhat proud of myself yesterday in my eating. I had breakfast from the Donut Den, and I had a sandwich from Subway for lunch. I could have easily had a 12″ BLT, but I chose the 6″, and I also did not have a cookie. When I left work I stopped off at Joey’s to get dinner, and that evening I did not overeat. These are small victories, but it’s essential I remember them and celebrate them. I could have just as easily this morning eaten two pieces of toast with peanut butter, but I kept it to one, and for lunch I only had two pieces of pizza. I did have a Coca-Cola, but I’m not giving those up just yet if ever. All things in moderation, and my career choice burns plenty of calories. I don’t have a sedentary desk job. I fight forgo soft drinks if I had a desk job. As it is now my coffee and water consumption more then wash the Coca-Cola away, and I think if Jesus dwelled on earth today he would have a Coca-Cola. That’s what Jesus would do. 🙂

Unconditional Love

I was bending Carey’s ear the other day about unconditional love, and it struct me how we have a Father who does that for us. We don’t do it for each other, but the power of the Father’s love is present for us to keep trying. Those of us who strive to be conduits of this love will never be perfect in offering it to each other, but I want my heart to be soft as His love pursues me. Saul murdered Christians in the first century because he was convinced God wanted him to do it, but his heart was changed on the Damascus Road to not only stop killing Christians, but to influence others to become Christians. Paul’s legacy can’t be ignored because a large percentage of the New Testament was written by him. His letters to different churches are infamous, and without his undying devotion to the spread of the Gospel I’m not sure where we’d be without his influence. I’m thankful that he took his crosses to advance the most important cross that Jesus gave his life upon.

We place so many parameters upon this life we live with each other be it weight, sports knowledge, church attendance, how much money we make, how we make each other feel, how attractive we are or whether or not we’re “popular.” Jesus doesn’t care if we sit at the cool kid’s table or not. He does care if we love each other when we aren’t lovable. He cares very deeply about how we treat orphans, widows and the homeless. He cares how we talk to ourselves about our very own failures because in sinning or not sinning his love is constant. That doesn’t give me a license to flip someone off in traffic because they were a jerk. That doesn’t give any of us permission to sin against another human being, but sadly we do, and we will.

The Response

Scripture is plentiful about living life. The passages about the tongue are many. Verses about our thinking, how we treat each other and our attitude about God are all through the Canon. Even when the Word isn’t “opened” the Holy Spirit is instructing us according the ways of God, and our Father is always a loving Father. He doesn’t get tired, hungry or inappropriately angry. He doesn’t demand I lose weight. Actually, He doesn’t demand anything from me. We place demands on each other everyday. Sometimes we fulfill them, but I’d dare say most of the time we don’t. We live in such a consumerist culture that when we should realize our families aren’t consumers or co-workers we don’t.

Jesus is not anti-government, nor is he anti-marketplace. He is a force for love that replaces hate and indifference. Hate and indifference are obviously players in government and the marketplace, but as believers who daily transverse those arenas love can also be there as well.

My friend Landon kindly joked about us having to take God out into the marketplace, but who can be more kind, merciful and thorough than the believer. Every human being is fighting a battle. God is in-tune with every detail more than we realize. He knows my reasons behind wanting to lose weight. He knows your why behind the desire to make more money. He knows your intentions in your relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend, and He knows what it will take to make that relationship better.

Trust Him. Listen to Him. Follow Him.

 

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