Daily Devotional, Spiritual Walk

Indecent Exposure – #2

Due to my cray-cray work schedule, I am revisiting a series I did earlier this year titled “Breathe In – Breathe Out”.  I’m starting to think that my cray-cray work schedule is of God because I definitely needed to look at this stuff again.  I hope it has been blessing you as well.

 

 

(This is Part 2.5 of our devotional series “Breathe In – Breathe Out”.)

Good morning, peeps!

“As you get older, fat just sneaks up on you.  I could be walking down the street and see a cookie in a window and *POOF*!  I’ll gain weight!  I’m like, ‘God! Why??!   I just looked at the cookie!  I didn’t eat the cookie!” – Sinbad, comedian

My workplace has a lot of buildings and getting from one to another can be a hassle.  Maybe not so much of a hassle as an inconvenience.  Maybe not so much of an inconvenience as a “I just don’t feel like walking” type of situation.  If you can flag down a ride, you do it.  A few weeks ago, I did just that with a colleague who told me her first stop would be at the smoking area.  Fine, I’ll just wait in the truck.  I’ll be alright, right?  When I got to my desk, I was coughing and everything about me smelled of smoke. “But I didn’t even smoke, God!  I just around someone who did!”

You do know that you don’t have to do a thing to be affected by the thing, right?

Second hand smoke contains up to 6 times the amount of toxins as mainlined smoke and I thought about that as I tried to digest yesterday’s “there is no risk-free exposure” statement.  The truth of that didn’t hit me until later when I found myself getting angry just listening to someone talk about another person who was getting on their nerves.  I had internalized (inhaled) all of that and was ready to fight.  How ridiculous is that?  Proverbs 4:23 encourages us be mindful of what we expose ourselves to: “keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life…”.  Our conversations, the images we see all over can affect us. Their stink gets on us.  It’s not just about what you do – this inhaling thing is no joke.  Think about what you are allowing to enter your system – heart, mind and spirit.

You don’t even have to eat the cookie… 

–d.

Daily Devotional, Spiritual Walk

Gasping For Air #2

This is a repost, peeps.

(This is Part 2 of our “Breathe In – Breathe Out” devotional series.)

Good morning, peeps!

“Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” 2 Timothy 3:16

If you’ve ever witnessed the birth of a baby, you undoubtedly held your breath as you waited for the baby to take their first one.  After hearing that affirming “WAAAAH!”, you exhaled.   Whew!  Oh, Alex – my firstborn.  Poor thing.  I used to stand still at her crib and watch her chest rise and fall with every breath.  I would put her face up to mine just so I could smell it.  It was so sweet.  I lie.  It smelled like old milk and gastric juices, but she was my angel so it was perfect.  And I was so protective of those funky breaths.  No one could breathe around her.  I’m surprised I didn’t place her inside of a bubble or teach her how to push down the button on a can of Lysol Disinfectant Spray when she was two days old.

In case her siblings are reading this, Mama was just as careful with you.

You couldn’t cough or sneeze within the same 2,400 square-foot space as Alex.  And don’t let me see a cigarette.  Are you kidding me?  It didn’t even have to be lit for me to go off.  I remember one time her father came into the house after having smoked a cigarette.  You would’ve thought he’d actually lit one up and blew smoke at the head of her crib.  Oh my goodness.  I tore him several new ones as I shoved him towards the front door.  “It’s in your clothes!  She’ll breathe it in!  OH MY GOD!  What’s wrong with you??”  Y’all probably think that was too much, huh?  Secondhand smoke causes approximately 7,330 deaths from lung cancer and 33,950 deaths from heart disease each year.  Secondhand smoke contains hundreds of chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic, including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic ammonia and hydrogen cyanide.2    The only way to fully protect yourself from exposure is to eliminate smoking.  There is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure.

(Don’t concern yourself with that ‘2’. I straight copy/pasted those four sentences from the CDC site. I have no additional references.) 

According to the above verse, Scripture is God-breathed.  When we take the time to study the Word, we essentially inhale what He exhales.  Let me say that again: we inhale what He exhales.  He is the air we breathe.  Well, He should be.  As I looked up that verse, I asked myself how often I’m inhaling what He’s exhaling and how protective I am of those breaths.  The word “not” was in both answers.   I breathe in hundreds of “toxins” every day from the internet, TV, and billboards.  Some of my conversations are full of toxins.  There’s no way I’m not going to be exposed to them.  To be honest, I like most of them.  Not sure if I’m ready to completely eliminate them…maybe I can limit my exposure.  Hmm.

I was about to end this devotional with that line when my eye caught the last sentence I copied: there is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure.  Really?  Man.  I need a bubble.  We’ll dig into this tomorrow. Have a great day.

–d.

Blog, Daily Devotional

Let Me Tell Ya Somethin’!

Good morning, peeps!

I know you all are probably thinking that I’ve just abandoned you, but I haven’t.  I’m still doing my crazy work hours and I’m actually typing this with one foot out the door.  This means that I will be driving slightly over the speed limit to get to work, but I just had to tell you all something.

Saturday, I watched A Wrinkle In Time.  I don’t know why.  I’ve never had an interest in the book and the movie trailers looked weird, but I was the only person in my house at the time and I thought that a movie would go well with the two pieces of cake I shouldn’t have been eating.  I was not even feeling the movie until I heard this one line.  I guess I should tell you what led up to that line, huh?  So the little girl told Oprah Winfrey that she and the other women were beautiful.  Oprah said, “Thank you.  And so are you.”  The little girl shook her head and Oprah asked, “Do you realize the events and choices that had to occur since the birth of the universe to create you…just as you are?”

I almost dropped my pieces of cake.  Almost.

I thought about that line all day long.  Later, as I was preparing for leading worship on Sunday, God spoke something deep into my spirit and that thing has rocked me.  It’s almost like this and the Oprah-line were His “one-two punch”.

“There are three parties involved in this thing called life: the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), the enemy of your soul, and you.  Only one of those continually questions who they are and who I am.”

You.  Me.  Ussses.

I grew up “telling the devil” who I was.  If you lived within 5 feet of a Baptist church, you had to hear at least one time in your childhood, “Now tell the devil, ‘I am a child of God!'”  Or, “Let the devil know how great our God is!”  And we’d yell it.  Guess what?   He already knows.  As a matter of fact, he’s known that for a very long time and he hasn’t doubted it from the first time it rang in his ears, which was a long time ago.  Way before you or I were born.  Those truths were declared all the way back in the day – no, before there was ‘day’ – and it wasn’t by us.

Before the time began, before crust covered the earth, before God spoke “let there be”, He declared, “This is how it is.”

Neither God nor the enemy ever question who God is.  Neither God or the enemy ever question who you are.  We do.  And that is why we have the gift of the scriptures.  The scriptures are full of times when the people of God forgot who He was and forgot who they were.  Tons of times.  I sat there as God spoke into my spirit and I thought about how earlier that day, I’d felt lonely.  I wasn’t alone.  Shoot, I’m never alone.  I couldn’t be alone if I wanted to.  God is always there.  I thought about the times that I’ve lived with a distorted view of myself, all because I questioned the value of the creation and the genius of the Creator.

But let me tell ya me somethin’.

–d.

Uncategorized

Come Again.

Good morning, peeps!

‘Sorry for yesterday…and today…and every day until October 22nd!  I know!  I hate to do this to ya, but I am on the craziest of work schedules for these two weeks so I won’t be able to post new stuff.  This one right here is on a timer.  I feel like I’m cheating.  I’m actually getting up to pray at 2:30a.m.  Y’all.  That’s a whole ‘nother fight-this-flesh monster.  It goes beyond that – more like, take-a-sledge-hammer-and-knock-this-flesh-out kinda monster.

So here’s what we’re going to do. I actually didn’t know until just now.  Let’s revisit the “Breathe In – Breathe Out” series.  I need to see that again myself.  Talk with y’all later.


breath

Eww! Is That Your Breath??

“This is Part 1 of a devotional series titled “Breathe In – Breathe Out”.)

Good morning, peeps!

And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest…” – Acts 9:1 KJV

“It’s Your breath ~ in our lungs ~ so we pour out our praise ~ we pour out our praise to You only”- from “Great Are You Lord” by All Sons & Daughters

The above scripture refers to Saul before he had his infamous encounter on Damascus Road.  Before God changed his life and name (to Paul), Saul was a persecutor of God’s disciples.  He didn’t like ’em.  Okay, now that right there is a HUGE understatement.  He hated them.  He ordered many to be tortured and killed, all because of what they believed and Who they believed in.  [Fun fact for ya: when Saul was younger, he was taught by some of the greatest biblical scholars of that time.  Like, he went to church and/or seminary.  Hmm.  We’ll revisit that later.]  Look at the part where it says he was “breathing out threatenings and slaughter”.  Do something else for me (I’m bossy this morning, aren’t I?): inhale deeply and then exhale (breathe out).  How vicious are you if with your every breath – inhale and exhale again – you were spewing out evil?  I know you mad, Saul, but EVERY breath?  Really, dude??  That’s just straight funky.

Now, before you go find a time machine – SHOTGUN! – to go back and unleash a can of “whoopeth thou taileth” on Saul, you might want to do a quick breath check of your own.  Yeah.  Whatcha workin’ with, peeps?  Genesis 2:7 reads, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Before the Fall of Man, our breath was minty fresh.  It came straight from God and all Man did was use it for HIS Glory.  And then we fell and ever since then we have used this breath for things that are so far from its original intent.  It ain’t sweet anymore and it sure isn’t used only for praise.  My question for you today is “what are you using the breath in your lungs for?”.  Now, inhale and exhale.  Have a great day.

–d.

Bible Study, Blog, Daily Devotional

An Acquired Taste – Pt. 6

This is Part 6 of our study/devotional series on the book of Daniel, “An Awkward Stance.”

Good morning, peeps!

I will try to pick this back up where I left off.  Let’s see how well I do.  The last thing I was talking about was the importance of knowing who you are.  This principle stems from what I said several blogs ago about Daniel’s choice to refuse – excuse me, “piously refuse” – to eat the king’s meat.  People have said that what Daniel did was take a stand.  I’ve said that, too.  As a matter of fact, that is the whole reason I titled this series “An Awkward Stance“.  Then God was like, “Uhn uh”.  I wish He would’ve said something before I made that jpeg.  Talk about awkward.   It was a choice: the stand happened long before that.  Long before.  Note how old Daniel was at the time.  Bibilical scholars have put him at age 16 when this happened.  So, if the stand happened long before this sitch, when was the stand made?  When he was two…or did someone before him make the stand?

Someone else did.

My mommy is the most beautiful woman I have ever known. You may “beg to differ”, but I truly do not care one bit.  And I’m not talking about her outward appearance, even though the woman is BAD, with a capital B-A-D.  Her skin is flawless and without someone telling you, you can’t tell that she will be 70 at the end of this month.  Like I said, the sista is BAD.  So, yes, her outsides are beautiful, but I’m talking about her innards.  Not her intestines and gall bladder, but her heart.  And not her physical h–…do I really have to explain this??

Y’all know what I’m talking about.

Back to her turning 70… We’re the type of family that does fun and crazy stuff to celebrate the milestones of our lives, and this will be no different.  We’re having a small dinner with just her lineage and I thought it would be cool to present her with fun gifts that represent each decade of her life.  For the first decade, she’s getting a mudpie-making kit because that is something she loved to do as a kid.  Why she ate them, I have no idea.  For the second decade, I thought of baby shoes because that’s when she birthed my bigheaded brother.  I didn’t remember that she also had my sister and myself, too.  Duh.  Other than getting married to my dad, I couldn’t think of anything else that she did that was significant during her twenties…until my sister said it.  “Remember, she got saved.”

Ahhh.   Now there’s the stand.

—d.