The Dangers of Morbid Introspection

images-99It’s no secret that many of us have emotional issues of the soul that have been our lifelong companions.  Many tears may have been shed in pleading with God to take it.  He has not.  And accepting defeat is not our style.  So, what do we do?  We probably begin a serious search for answers.

Where we search and how we go about searching is what I want to explore with you.

Introspection, in the sense of the observation of one’s own mental and emotional processes, may have a little value.  Morbid Introspection, however, is an excessive, depressing, unhealthy, over examination of one’s own thoughts, feelings and emotional shortcomings.  The result of which is often the opposite of what we’d hoped for — more inner turmoil, sometimes to the point of despair.  In other words, over analyzing ourselves is not overly productive.

Many years ago my brother suggested I read a book titled, Handbook to Happiness – A Guide to Victorious Living and Effective Counseling.  If it had been someone other than my brother, I may have procrastinated.  The title sounded a little hokey for a Christian book.  But, nohing could have been further from the truth.  This was, and still is, my ‘go to’ resource book for understanding, spiritually, life’s many inner struggles.

One particular section of the book has always stuck with me.  That brief, one page section is titled “Morbid Introspection”.  That hit home for me because in times of turmoil my tendency has been to ask myself, “What is wrong with me?” and then, proceed to try to figure it out through excessive self-analysis!

Here’s the thing — “Many Christians… spend much time in looking inward… The result? The more they look inward, the more miserable they become, in spite of the fact that they may view their self-searching and self-condemnation as proof of their sincerity, or as a kind of punishment by which they get even with themselves … At best, our searching can only turn up garbage, and sorting garbage is a most depressing avocation. Too, if we could ever complete the interminable task, we would wind up with neatly sorted piles of garbage, but still blind to the source of all garbage–self.” — Charles Solomon, Handbook to Happiness

This mental picture of a mound of garbage sorted into neat piles of garbage remains fixed in my mind still today.  It’s the result when I (as in, myself apart from Christ) decide to over-analyze my emotional issues.  If copious amounts of self-searching were the answer, I would be fixed, cured, emotionally stable, without problems, always victorious.  Sadly, not so.  And, this morbid introspection could be part of the problem.  Actually making things worse!

This begs the question: How Could Introspection Be Creating More Problems Instead of Fixing Them?

One possible problem is this — “If you are a subjective person prone to “thinking with your feelings,” bearing the scars of rejection from childhood and past painful circumstances, the possibility will be that of becoming discouraged. The introspective monitoring of your slow progress [of spiritual growth] will only hinder the release of Christ’s life and if you are not careful, you will become depressed!” — Eric Maddison

We are often mistaken when we hope that we can cope with disappointments by becoming self-absorbed and overly introspective.  We often end up feeling sorry for ourselves, beating ourselves up, focusing on our suffering, and playing the role of a victim.  Has rigorous introspection ever really worked for us?  In honesty, we’d most likely answer, not as well as we’d hoped.

As Christians, when we are looking within, we are occupied more with counting on ourselves than counting on the work of Jesus in us.  It is His work.  His Power.  His Wisdom.  His Grace.  Yet, we continue to try harder, all in our own self-effort, while Jesus waits for us to let Him do His work.  Knowledge and insight are valuable but our eyes are in the wrong direction and we are looking at the wrong person when we practice morbid introspection.  But when I look more to the Person of Jesus, His work, His character, His deity, All that He is, I find that being overly self-absorbed, loses much of it’s initial appeal.

I read an excerpt from the British preacher, Stephen Olford, where he talks about a time when he ‘was haunted by the memory of past defeats’.  He said, ‘instead of turning to the Lord for deliverance, I tried to conquer the problem by self-effort.  The result was disastrous!’  In desperation he went to hear a missionary speaker who said, “Do you know that such introspection is a violation of the principle of grace?  God has condemned, crucified, and buried your ‘old self.’  What right have you to visit the cemetery of your moral past and dig up the bones?”  Olford concluded, ‘the grace of God set me free!’

For those of us who are naturally curious — seekers, searchers, analyzers, researchers by profession, and the like — we might be wondering, Why Do I Continue to Be So Overly Introspective?  Charles Solomon may be able to shed some light on that question:  “When an overly introspective person ceases or attempts to cease this useless and harmful indulgence of self, he usually feels guilty for falling down on God’s job!  He always fails at it because he is playing God.  That is a sure way to fail.”  (Ouch!  Did that sting a little for you, too?)

Here’s how H. L. Roush describes this issue of introspection and how we might begin to change our perspective:  “The testimony of the writers of the Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments abound with a single theme: the faithfulness of God. No time is wasted in dwelling on the unfaithfulness of man, for every believer is well aware of the deceitful and desperately wicked heart within [the flesh]; and when walking under its influence and dragging its heavy chains of unbelief, his only hope is in the faithfulness of God. We are often defeated by a morbid introspection of the heart and mourning over our unbelief, our failure and sin, when the source of victory is not to be found in our hope of perfect obedience, but in the perfect faithfulness of God to us. We seem to forget that if we should succeed in doing all those things commanded us, an honest heart would still force us to say, “We are unprofitable servants…””

There it is then, at least for me — even if I, in all my self-effort, were to self-analyze until I thought I had my issues figured out, I would yet continue to be plagued by the feeling that it was still not enough.  Do you know that feeling?  Have you been in that place of ‘never enough’?

This excessive introspection which prompts us to feel such negativity is in direct opposition to the spiritual truths that God has given us in His Word.  In other words, morbid introspection is self-defeating!  This might be a good time to ask, How Do I Begin to Introspect Less?

As I’ve searched Scripture, I’ve found that there truly is a better way to deal with our inner struggles than to attempt problem solving by morbid introspection.  God’s solutions are always far better than anything we can find within ourselves.

The cure for morbid introspection.

1. Look less at yourself and more at Christ.  Look to Jesus.  “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set images-101before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)  “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

2. Believe God’s faithfulness.  “Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God.” (Deuteronomy 7:9a)  “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13)  “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

3. Ask God to do the searching.  “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23, 24)  Allow the Holy Spirit who dwells in us to bring conviction to our hearts.  (see John 16: 8-11)

4. Repent when we err in lining up with God’s word.  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

5. Beware of the enemy of your soul.  Satan is known as ‘the accuser’ (see Revelation 12:10) and the ‘father of lies’ (see John 8:44).  He distracts, discourages, and deceives us, attempting to turn us away from Christ our Advocate.

6. As Christians, we are ‘in Christ’ so, daily live in Him.  “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” (Colossians 2:6)

7. Be a blessing.  Be love in action.  Let Christ’s life live through you to bless others.  “Being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”  (Philippians 1:11)

Charles Solomon continues with this thought in Handbook to Happiness:  “During the day we do well to remind ourselves several times, “It is not I, but Christ” [Galatians 2:20] and to expect that He will govern our plans and actions.  We are not to become introspective and test every thought and action to see if Christ is responsible or self or Satan.  We are merely to commit the day and our life to Him and trust Him to control us and each situation to His glory.  Committing, trusting, reckoning — all are terms indicative of a functional will.”

A century ago Jessie Penn-Lewis counseled with these words: “Look away to Calvary. The Lord Jesus died on your behalf, and as your Representative carried you with Him to His Cross.  Are you honestly determined to part with every known sin, and willing for the death with Christ to be wrought out in your experience?  Then from this crucial moment see yourself as nailed to the tree with your crucified Lord.  Relying upon the Holy Spirit, and in faith in the word of God, ‘Let not sin therefore reign’… Hidden in Christ upon His Cross, and joined to Him in His life, thy part, O child of God, is the continual choice of thy will…  Do not struggle with aught that comes to thee, but hand over all to Him Whose life thou dost share, and thou shalt find that He is able to deliver and to keep thee day by day.”

I’ll close with a Scriptural summary of what we’ve been examining.  (And just in case you’re wondering, the irony of writing an introspective post on ‘introspection’ has not been lost on me.  How about you?)   : )

My summary is from Psalm 42: 5, 6.  I’m often drawn here when my soul struggles in a dark place.  “Why are you cast down, O my soul?  And why are you disquieted within me?”, the Psalmist asks, as he looks within himself in tiring introspection.  He is searching, and though he is looking inward momentarily, he reasons with his soul to “Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance”.  Then, he leaves his self-analysis and speaks directly to God, to his God.  “O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore I will remember You.”

I will remember God.  My God.  The faithful God who chose me, sent His Son to redeem me.  He is able.  Nothing is too hard for Him.

That morbid introspection with eyes turned inward takes on a whole new perspective when we look to Him, remember Who He is and what He’s done on our behalf.  Did you notice it?  Look up, out, away to your God.  God’s perspective overcomes morbid introspection every time.

images-121

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Top 10 Healthy Holiday Tips

Fall and Winter mixChristmas is just around the corner.  In anticipation of the upcoming holiday, I have compiled a few simple words of advise.

 

My Top 10 Healthy Holiday Tips

  1. Choose your attitude.  Include some gratitude in that attitude.
  2. Put the weight loss goals on hold and consider holding your weight.
  3. Keep calm and remember to breathe.  Find little ways to decompress the stress.
  4. When in a time crunch, make those spare minutes count.
  5. Tired of the same exercise routine?  Try something different.  Really, different.
  6. If you’re planning on ‘get-togethers’, plan ahead.
  7. Try a new holiday recipe such as Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish or Pumpkin Custard.
  8. Remember to read something that makes you smile.  Or, something just plain silly.
  9. Rehearse regularly who God says you are in Christ.
  10. Most importantly, know that you are loved.

Thank You God

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Managing Inflammation with Nutrition

How we eat can either help to manage inflammation or cause inflammation to lead to more health problems.  The foods and nutrients that tend to control inflammation are the ones I want to focus on today.  (For an overview of how our health and inflammation is linked, check out my previous post.)

The best place to start is by choosing real, whole foods that are fresh, natural and/or organic.  Our ancestors of eons ago ate this way and consequentially appeared to develop significantly less inflammatory diseases.

When you look at the way Paleolithic and hunter-gather societies ate in comparison to today in our Western society there is quite a contrast.  A few examples:   1) They ate an average of 100 grams of fiber daily in vegetables and fruits (which is excellent).  We eat about 20 grams of fiber daily, mostly from grains (not so excellent).  2) They never ate refined oils (terrific, again).  Most of the oils we consume are refined (not so terrific).  3) Their ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids was about 1:1 (an ideal ratio).  Our ratio is about 20:1 (not even close to ideal).

While I’m not promoting a particular diet or one certain eating style, I am suggesting that in many ways our ‘highly processed’ eating has led us away from a more natural and healthy eating style that was once common.

raspberries & blueberries

Let’s take a closer look at a couple of these areas where most of us have room for improvement — namely, vegetables and fruits and omega-3 fatty acids.  Our standard American diet tends to be consistently low in both of these.  To begin to correct this deficiency, and promote the body’s anti-inflammatory response, eat more of these foods and nutrients.

Eat MORE Vegetables and Fruits.  Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants galore!

Eat more vegetables and fruits – whole, fresh, fresh frozen and organic (when possible).  I think it would be safe to say that at least three-fourths of Americans are still lacking in the minimum of five servings a day.  Five to ten servings a day would be much better.  Choose mostly from the high-fiber, non-starchy ones.  That would include vegetables such as, spinach, cucumbers, broccoli, green beans, and kale and fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, and kiwi, just to name a few.

flaxseedEat MORE Omega-3 Fatty Acids.  More omega-3 fatty acids and less omega-6 fatty acids promotes a better balance of anti-inflammatory nutrients.

We could improve our omega-3 intake by including more fish, especially cold water varieties like salmon and sardines.  You might add some tuna, halibut or cod for variety.  The omega-3 content is a little lower but they are still good choices.  Flaxseed oil and fresh, ground flaxseeds would add some omega-3 fatty acids as well.

Excess omega-6 fatty acids tend to have a pro-inflammatory effect.  The simplest way to reduce these is by switching from any store bought processed cooking oils such as corn, safflower, sunflower or canola to extra-virgin olive oil which is much healthier.

steamed broccoliChronic inflammation and inflammatory disorders are linked to our dietary habits.  We can influence our body’s inflammatory response to some degree with our every day food choices.  How about trying a simple meal like this: Broiled Salmon with Steamed Broccoli and a Fresh Fruit Salad? 

Why not start today?

NA Salmon

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Could Inflammation Be Affecting Our Health?

I’m not a jogger.  But I do run on occasion.  Like when I’m playing with the dogknee inflammation or having
fun on the ocean beach with my daughter.  However, lately my knees have decided to rebel, even when I pick up the pace for very short distances.  “Bursitis”, my doctor says.  (And ‘itis’, as we know, commonly refers to inflammation.)  “Take an anti-inflammatory, over-the-counter pain medication”, he suggests.  Being one who doesn’t like to pop a pill for every pain that comes along, I researched ‘inflammation’ to find the latest information on problems it causes and the best, most natural ways to deal with it.

Inflammation is a big can of worms in the health field.  Even bigger than I thought it was.  As more research is conducted, we find that inflammation is linked in some way to a majority of diseases.  Uncontrolled inflammatory problems tend to snowball and lead to more serious inflammatory diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, cancer and arthritis, to name a few.

Some have termed this the ‘inflammation syndrome’.  Meaning that it “reflects the coexistence of at least two (and often more) inflammatory disorders that greatly increase the risk of developing more serious inflammatory diseases”.  This definition is from the author, Jack Challem, of The Inflammation Syndrome book.  He goes on to say, “although an inflammatory response may primarily affect specific tissues, such as the knees, {don’t I know it, Jack!} it frequently radiates through the body and attacks other tissues.”  For example, joint injuries can set the stage for osteoarthritis.  Chronic infection and inflammation have a 30% likelihood of leading to cancer.  This is what seems to have happened to my brother earlier this year.  He had a prolonged serious infection unresponsive to treatment, followed by a diagnosis of aggressive prostate cancer which took his life, all in less than a year and a half.

Chronic inflammation simply makes the body more susceptible to disease.  Nutrition plays a large part because nutritional deficiencies or imbalances prime the immune system for the inflammation reactions.  To effectively treat inflammatory diseases nutritional problems need to be corrected.

What are the main foods that contribute to an inflammatory reaction?  In general, highly processed foods.  And more specifically, processed foods high in sugar such as soft drinks and desserts; refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, and cake; processed oils like corn, soybean or sunflower (as opposed to olive oil);  most fast-food restaurant items; prepackaged microwave meals and processed foods that come in boxes, cans and bottles.

This brings us to the flip side – what foods tend to help control inflammation?   In general, fresh and whole foods, such as fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil, fish and naturally raised lean meats.  Look for minimally processed foods.  For example, a baked potato would be a fresh, whole food verses fast-food French fries, which are potatoes, highly processed.  (For more detailed dietary suggestions check back next month.)

And remember, it’s not just what you choose to eat but how much you eat and how often you eat it.  I’m a firm proponent of ‘80/20’ thinking in regards to healthy food choices.  At least eighty percent of the time, make a conscious choice to eat fresh and whole foods.  Twenty percent of the time (or less), give yourself permission to have those items that you truly enjoy even though they may not be considered a ‘healthy’ food.

I plan to continue to do what I can to manage inflammation.  How about you?

pile of produce

If you want to learn more on how to eat to control inflammation be sure to stop back next month.

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Experience Genuine Transformation in a Small Group Bible Study

I believe there is a supernatural power that flows in a small group Bible study.  I have experienced it as a small group leader and as a student.  Women meeting together to share how God has been working in their lives and to pray for one another is the foundation for truly transformational fellowship.  Small Groups

My friend, Kellan, has written a Bible study based on this premise called Genuine Transformation: a reality driven scripture study. As one of several who have taken part in editing and testing this study, I’m giving this a big thumbs up.

(Excerpt from the back cover)  This study takes what you are going through and who you are, and filters these through scripture in three ways: Discover and focus on who God is and what he does.  Discover and focus on yourself in a healthy way by knowing who you are to God and who you are in Jesus.  Find out God’s truth about your problems, feelings and questions by bringing them to God.

In this unique Bible study you won’t find fill-in-the-blank questions or lengthy chapters to read.  What you will find are prompts for bringing your real life concerns to God, and ways to find answers in the truth of his word.

Kellan has graciously made this Genuine Transformation Bible Study a free downloadable pdf.  You may also download the Leader’s Guide for this small group Bible study.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  Amen.   (2 Cor. 13:14)

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No Cooking Required — Summer Salad Bar

Where I live, we’ve been having one of the hottest, driest summers on record.  When the weather is hot like this, I turn to ‘no cooking required’ meals.  A salad bar works well for my family.  I just set out a variety of items in buffet style and let everyone create their own salad.  (And if I’m lucky, I can avoid a trip to the grocery store by using the items I have on hand.)

salad bar in neon

Start with vegetables.  Set out a large bowl of MIXED SALAD GREENS.   In small bowls include sliced or chopped vegetables such as CUCUMBERS, SWEET PEPPERS, TOMATOES or CARROTS.  Consider adding whole SUGAR SNAP PEAS or BABY CORN (canned).  These options are just a starting point.  What’s in your refrigerator crisper drawer or your pantry?

Next, add a protein option such as COTTAGE CHEESE, SHREDDED SHARP CHEDDAR CHEESE or CANNED GARBANZO BEANS to your buffet.

Fresh or canned fruit is a nice addition.  Set out a bowl of SLICED PEACHES or PEARS.  Dried fruit on salads adds a concentrated sweetness and tartness I love.  Try DRIED CRANBERRIES or DRIED MONTMORENCY CHERRIES (my favorite! — find them at Trader Joe’s).

Nuts or seeds add texture and nutrients, such as essential fatty acids.  Try LIGHTLY SWEETENED PECANS or LIGHTLY SALTED PUMPKIN SEEDS.

Add a vinaigrette type item to your buffet such as PICKLED BEETS, MARINATED THREE BEAN SALAD (the canned is great — low in calories and zero fat) or a jar of ARTICHOKE HEARTS.   You may tend to use less salad dressing when you add these vinaigrette items.  I know I do.  And I really like salad dressing.

Speaking of SALAD DRESSING, we all know this is where the entire healthy salad can go south.  However, the combination of the above items creates a salad with so much flavor and interest, I think you’ll find a small amount of dressing will go a long way.  My  recommendation is not a specific brand name of dressing, but a dressing with ‘real food’ ingredients and few additives.  You sometimes pay a little more but it’s worth it.

Balance out your salad with baked CROUTONS or serve some small slices of WHOLE GRAIN ARTISAN-TYPE BREAD on the side.

Happy summer!  Healthy eating!flourish scroll~~~  Looking for more summer salad ideas?  Check out my GREEK SALAD.  ~~~

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Shrug It Off

Let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light…put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh…  (Romans 13:12, 14)

Let’s say you’re wearing an old, dirty, stained and ragged coat.  You’re given a new, spotless, beautiful coat.  Do you leave the old coat on to put on the new coat?  No.  That would make so sense.  It would be uncomfortable and binding.  And, ridiculous.  You’d shrug that old thing off first.  Then, the new coat would fit right — comfortable, not binding.

To put on Christ you’d let go of the flesh, the sinful nature, the old nature first.  Every day, every hour, every moment is a new opportunity to put on the new nature, provided with love, by your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Every time that old nature, the flesh, begins to re-appear and to taint this new nature in Christ, shrug it off.  Accept what Jesus Himself gives you, a new nature, which is new life.  Christ’s Life in you.  That’s the Life that fits.

And stop arguing that the old coat is good enough.  Or that you’re really not worth that beautiful new coat.  Lies!  The enemy’s lies!  When God gives you something, by absolute faith, you are to drop that old ‘whatever it is’ and grab onto that new thing.  No looking back, no questions asked.  Take it whole-heartedly.  This is trust.  Believing the ‘new’ is perfect for you.  The gift is perfect.  The Giver is God Almighty.

His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.  (2 Peter 1:3)

Put on Christ

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First, Greatest, Everlasting: LOVE

God is love.  1 John 4:16black and red He first loved

We love because He first loved us.  1 John 4:19

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.  1 Corinthians 13:13

All of Scripture is full of expressions of God’s love.  Everything God has made, all He does, all He says — Genesis to Revelation — everything the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is, is underlined with love.  To miss it is like missing the forest for the trees.  And yet, there are days I do miss it.  Times when I need to revisit the love of God.

To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge.  Ephesians 3:19

The paradox of God’s love — to know something that is unknowable.  Yet, God says I can know love.  Jesus said, “That the love with which You loved Me, may be in them, and I in them.”  (John 17:26)   Jesus declares His love for His own.

This love is not (always) something I feel, but it is, always, something I can know.

This is a supernatural love.  This love is a miracle.  A gift to be received.  It is a work of the Holy Spirit.  Because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  (Romans 5:5)

So, today, we can remember — God is love.  He first loved us.  He demonstrated His love through Jesus.  He poured His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

We can know, as Jeremiah did, that He loves us with an everlasting love.  (Jeremiah 31:3)

God has done it all.  When my heart struggles to believe Him, I will remember this — God is even greater than my heart.  (1 John 3:20)

Bible with heart pages

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A New Spin on Chicken Wraps

Fresh from my Newly Created Recipes file is a terrific Chicken Wrap with Pesto Vinaigrette dish.  I use the term ‘recipe’ very loosely.  I rarely actually cook from a recipe.  So, if you cook like I do, with an ingredients list and an educated guess on the amounts, you’ll love this.

Chicken Wraps with Pesto VinaigretteBon Appetite with Spoons

THE CHICKEN WRAP.  Buy a roasted chicken, de-bone and cut the chicken into bite-size strips.  Lay some chicken down the center of a flavored tortilla.  (Garlic Herb or Sun Dried Tomato tortillas are my favorites.)  Sprinkle a little crumbled feta cheese on the chicken.  Add a few strips of sun dried tomatoes.  If you have a jar of pimentos or roasted red or yellow peppers, add a few pieces.  Roll the tortilla, rather tightly, seam side down.  Slice in half.  Repeat with a few more tortillas.  I usually make about 4 wraps.

THE PESTO VINAIGRETTE.  Buy a jar of traditional Pesto sauce.  Spoon out a couple tablespoons into a small bowl.  Add a splash of Seasoned Rice Vinegar and a couple splashes of Balsamic Vinegar.  Add about one-half teaspoon of brown sugar (or more) to taste.  Stir well.

SERVE.  Warm the Chicken Wraps in the microwave.  Serve with Pesto Vinaigrette.  Garnish with a few pitted Kalamata olives.  

Ta Da!  Enjoy!

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A Good Some Thing

Peace Phil 4:7What hinders your peace? Is it physical pain, worry, regrets, anxiety, depression, stress?  (Confession: That is my personal list, but yours might be something like it.)

Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.  Proverbs 12:25

What is a good word?

Word (or davar from Strong’s) is defined as: a word, a speech, a matter or thing.  Do you ever have so much bad that you just plain need some good — as in a good some thing?

Word is also defined as: a report, a message.  There are similarities between the Hebrew davar and the Greek logos.  Jesus is the davar of the Old Testament and the logos of the New Testament.  What that looks like to me is that He is the message of the entire book.

Not only does Jesus bring good words, He is the Good Word.

Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I will say, rejoice!  Let your gentleness be known to all men.  The Lord is at hand.  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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things.  Philippians 4:4-8

Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7

Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.  Proverbs 16:24

How do these words from Scripture become real in my life?  How can I put them into action?

  1. Think on good things — things that bring peace.  Meditate on Truth.  (Philippians 4:8)
  2. Pray.  Ask.  Be thankful.  (Philippians 4:6)
  3. Believe the peace of God guards your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:7)
  4. Watch your words, both that which you speak and that which you listen to.  (Proverbs 16:24)
  5. Give your worries, burdens, cares and concerns to God.  (1 Peter 5:7)

The more I know who Jesus is and the more I know who He says I am in Him, the more I know that…

I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me.  (Romans 8:37)

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