FULLY ALIVE!

Your life will be as bright as the noonday sun. Job 11:17


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Super Size Me

Super Size Me is a 2004 American documentary film directed by and starring Morgan Spurlock, an American independent filmmaker as he follows a 30-day period during which he ate only food from the fast food chain, McDonald’s.  The film documents the drastic effect of a lifestyle of fast food on Spurlock’s physical and psychological well-being while also revealing how poor nutrition is encouraged for the profit of the industry.

Consuming about 2500 calories a day, the same as what is recommended for the average man to maintain his weight, after 30 days Spurlock had gained about 24 pounds.  Perhaps more alarming was the increase in his cholesterol, the fat accumulation in his liver and his experience with mood swings and sexual dysfunction.

Spurlock’s investigation was fueled by what the Surgeon General has termed an epidemic, the increasing spread of obesity throughout our US society.  We are a people convinced that “super sized” is better – bigger cars, bigger homes, “bigger” titles, bigger closets, “bigger” positions…

Paul, writing to the Corinthians to explain a change in his plans and his peace in relying on the grace of God, says, “We behaved in the world with simplicity…not by earthly wisdom” (2 Corinthians 1:12 ESV)…”we relied on the grace of God” (CEB).

A gentle breeze on a warm afternoon, sunshine on a chilly day, the laughter of children, rainbows after a storm, a single dip of our favorite ice cream, surprise phone calls from long lost friends, being remembered in the prayers of our loved ones – what wonderful simple joys that bless our lives if instead of super sizing, we focus on the simple, if we operate not by earthly wisdom but embrace the grace of God.

Good things still come in small packages.  Joy comes in simplicity.

THIS WEEK, look for small moments of God’s grace, and be blessed.


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Just As I Am

Just as I am without one plea.

But that Thy blood was shed for me,

And that Thou bidst me come to Thee

O Lamb of God, I come. I come.

I come broken to be mended.

I come wounded to be healed.

I come desperate to be rescued.

I come empty to be filled.

I come guilty to be pardoned.

By the blood of Christ the Lamb.

And I’m welcomed with open arms –

Praise God, just as I am!

Just as I am, I would be lost.

But mercy and grace my freedom bought.

And now to glory in Your cross!

Oh Lamb of God I come! I come!

~ Travis Cottrell

“Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

~ Matthew 11:28 ESV


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Responding

Sid Evans, writing for Southern Living magazine, said, “The horrific shooting that took the lives of nine churchgoers threatened to rip the city of Charleston, South Carolina apart.  But by responding with public displays of compassion, love and unity, Charleston has shown us how to move forward.”  Within hours, hundreds of flowers were piled outside the church forming a makeshift memorial.  People – black, white, old, young lined up to pay their respect, and instead of riots there were vigils.  Instead of warring, there was peace.  The people of Charleston gave a “soft” response and turned away wrath (Proverbs 15:1 ESV).

“God,” said Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as he eulogized the victims of the Birmingham church bombing, “still has a way of wringing good out of evil.”

It comes through the response.

Evans wrote, “It’s hard for an average person to know how to respond to a tragedy like this.”  It’s not only hard to know how to respond sometimes, even when we know better, it’s just easier, just preferred and sometimes just (we feel) justified for us to lash out, to get even, to fly off the handle, to seek vengeance.  What do those responses bring us?  More pain because harsh words stir up anger (Proverbs 15:1 ESV).

James teaches, “Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20 ESV).  This is the thought that we must ever be cognizant of – what results from our responses.  Do they honor God and produce His righteousness or do they grieve His Holy Spirit?

As Christians, we are called to be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving (Ephesians 4:32 ESV), and if we do speak, we speak truth in love (Ephesians 4:15 ESV); we get angry, but we do not sin (Ephesians 4:26-27 ESV).

THIS WEEK check your responses.  Are they soft?  Are they turning away wrath or stirring up anger?  Ask God’s Holy Spirit to respond through you so that in your responding you produce His righteousness.  Pray that your responses will be the “good” wrung from any evil situation.