Wednesday, January 13, 2016

My Love Hate Relationship With Costco Pizza

Costco combo pizza is my favorite pizza out there... Is that bad to admit? Oh well, it's my blog, so I'll just say it. It's tasty, the price is right, and I can eat a ton before I realize that I'm full! As much as I enjoy Costco pizza I hadn't had it in close to a year. That all changed last week when Maria innocently let me know that she was headed to Costco and asked if I'd enjoy pizza for dinner.

Like Pavlov's dog I immediately began to salivate as I thought about the baked marvel of big box goodness making its way into my inner person. True to her word, Maria brought home some pizza for us and I enjoyed "first dinner" with the family, followed by "second dinner" of just a few more slices later that evening.

An interesting thing happened that evening. As I got off the sofa to get ready for bed, I noticed that my inner person wasn't responding to the pizza as desired. In fact, I felt absolutely horrible. It wasn't that I had eaten to much (I took care to space out my feedings). The reason I felt sick was because having not eaten processed Costco goodness for almost a year, my body got used to making healthier choices. As my body has acclimated to a healthier lifestyle, it has also grown distasteful for some of the foods that it used to enjoy.

Here's what I'm realizing... I tend to grow a taste for the things that I'm regularly feeding on. When I used to eat out all of the time, my body got used to processed foods, and it learned how to regulate accordingly. As I've formed healthier eating habits, I've found that my body has lost its taste for some of the things that it used to enjoy.

This interesting gastrointestinal phenomenon reminded me of a spiritual phenomenon that takes place in our lives as we seek to walk in a relationship with Jesus. Over time as we feed on things that are in alignment with God (emotionally, relationally, physically, mentally) we will begin to lose a taste for something that the Bible calls sin (which is basically the things that we used to feed on that were hurting us, others, and God), and we begin to grow our taste for the life that God has in store for us.

This process is a big theological term called sanctification. Sanctification is basically the process of feeding on the things that are in alignment of God and allowing God the space to work in our lives to grow our taste buds for those things.

Here's the BIG QUESTION: Are you enjoying the flavor of your (emotional, financial,  relational, spiritual) life?

If so, then keep on eating what you're eating. If not, I'd suggest looking for a new diet. I'm over at New Life every Sunday and I'd love to have you eat with us anytime.

Right now we're chewing on how to become the best version of our family in 2016 with a series called Modern Family. If you'd like to have a great tasting family, then come on over and join us at 8:30, 10, or 11:30.

One Final Note - I still love Costco Pizza, so feel free to invite me for a slice (or 5) anytime!

On The Journey Together,

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Art Of Looking Back

There I was again... It was about 7:30 on a brisk January 4th morning and I was standing in our church parking lot about to spend some time praying (a process that I started last January each morning before heading into the office).

I started out with something like "God, we have a lot to accomplish this year. Please use me and our church to love more, serve more, and engage with more people around issues of life and faith."

 Right then I sensed God stopping my prayer. I had a sense that instead of asking God for new stuff this year, I needed to spend time celebrating what He had done in the previous year. So I spent the rest of my time that morning thinking through 2015 and all of the great things that God had done in my life, family, friendships, and church community. This past year wasn't perfect, and there are surely more things to do as we explore the possibilities on the horizon of the new year. And yet, it seems to me that if I move straight to what's next, I'll miss the joy of what's happened over the past 365 days. 

Are you like me?
Do you find yourself constantly looking for what's NEXT? If so, can I encourage you to grab a few minutes this week to think back over this past year and find 5 things (big or small) that you can celebrate about 2015. 

None of us has completely arrived in life, and if we wait to celebrate until we've arrived, we'll miss out on the beauty of the journey that we're on. 

On The Journey Together,