Friday, February 12, 2010

Does God's Presence Shine Through Me?

This morning, I was reading in Exodus 34. Moses has spent 40 days and nights on Mount Sinai with the Lord. During this time, Moses begged God to let him see His glory. God could only allow Moses to see His back, because God said "no man can see Me and live (Exodus 33:20). God also entrusted Moses with the Ten Commandments. So 40 days later, Moses comes back down the mountain, Aaron and the other Israelite leaders were afraid to come near him. Moses had to have been confused.
Exodus 34:29 says that Moses didn't know that his skin of his face was shining because of Him speaking with the Lord. Yes, you read that right. His skin was shining! This served as proof to the Israelites that Moses' words came straight from the One true God.

There are a few things I learned from Moses in this passage so God's love will shine through me:

1) I have to spend time with the Lord daily -- without distraction.

In Exodus 34:2, God says to Moses, "Be ready by the morning..." Now, I'm not going to say this will work for everyone, but I know that for me, this is the only time I can give God my undivided attention. Before I even look at my email, begin to think about work, or even the responsibilities around my home, I know that the morning is the best time I can spend with God without interruption. If I wait until later in the day, it seems my cell phone is ringing, an appointment gets shifted, or another responsibility pops into my mind. Beginning my day with God gives Him priority. It aligns my heart to think about Him first. My relationship with Him comes before anything else in my life. I trust that when He is my top priority, He will take care of everything else.

2) My personal relationship with God must be just that -- individual.

Exodus 34:3 instructs Moses to come up to the mountain alone - not even to let flocks graze opposite of the mountain. Just because my husband's a Godly man, just because my dad is a pastor, just because I attend church every Sunday....that will not save me. I have to have my own alone time with Christ. Fellowship with other believers is important, but intimacy develops with alone time. If you NEVER had one-on-one time with your spouse, would that effect your intimacy? Of course. It is the same way with our relationship with Christ. Spending time reading His word, conversing with Him in prayer, even singing worship solos to Him is ultimately the best way for me to fall deeper in love with Christ.

3) With obedience and preparation, I must go above and beyond to make sure my personal time with the Lord happens.

Exodus 34:4 discusses Moses' obedience to do just as the Lord says. Also, Moses knew the Lord was going to tell him important things, so he took two stone tablets with Him. I don't know if you've ever been hiking - but it's tough! As a fitness fanatic, the first time I ever climbed a mountain, I was underprepared for the physical exertion I was about to go through! Not only did Moses do that, but he did it lugging two large stone tablets. Some days, spending quality time with the Lord is going to be a struggle. It's going to be inconvenient. But Moses knew that He needed to be prepared to share what God was going to teach him with the Israelites, so he did what was necessary. It may mean getting up an extra hour early. It may mean shuffling some of my schedule around. But it always boils down to this fact: I've never regretted a single moment that I've spend with the Lord.

4) I must surrender everything I am to be 100% humbly His.

When the Lord passed before Him, Moses "quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshipped" (Exodus 34:8). I can't let pride, selfish ambition or anything else get in the way of remembering that anything that I am in a result of everything God is. I cannot do anything on my own power, and nothing I have belongs to me. It has simply been entrusted to me by the God of the universe. Exodus 34:29 says that Moses didn't even know that His face was shining. Moses wasn't gloating about His time spent with the Lord. His humility allowed God to shine through Him.

5. I must get rid of things in my life that do not push me closer to God.

Moses went without food and water for the 40 days that he was on the mountain (Exodus 34:28). He wanted to be that focused on God. This is not limited to food, though I think fasting is an important spiritual practice. However, I need to continually ask myself - is there anything in my life that is holding me back from what God has called me to do? Hebrews 12:1-3 says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Have you ever been around one of those people where Jesus' love just radiated out of them? Of course, I could name dozens of pastors and Christian speakers who regularly reflect Christ. However, when I am outside the church and can tell by the light in someone's eyes, the passion of their words, the kindness of the heart WHO their life belongs to...I am so overwhelmed by the greatness of God. When His influence over a person captives who they are, it inspires me to be more and do more for Christ.

To those people in my life, I say thank you. I need the accountability. I'm praying that my life will be a shining example for the Lord....just as brightly as Moses' face was before the Israelites.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

OVER THE TOP Blog Award Survey

A new friend, Lauren, gave me this award. Lauren serves alongside her husband, Matt, who is the high school pastor, at our church. Check out her blog by clicking here.

I'm always honored when I get encouragement from others about this blog because it just seems to be an outpouring of what God is teaching me, what's going on in our lives & random thoughts for living a healthier lifestyle. As part of the award, I am supposed to answer the following questions with just a one word response. Here it goes! (Also, don't forget to check out the blogs I pass the award to!)

Where is your cell phone? Attached
Your hair? Post-workout - sweet!
Your mother? Servant
Your father? Hero
Your dream last night? Uneventful?
Your favorite drink? Passion Tea (Starbucks)
Your dream/goal? Family
What room are you in? Home Office
What is your hobby? Teaching
Your fear? Disobedience (God)
Where do you want to be in six years? Mommy
Where were you last night? Night class
Something you aren't? Quiet
Muffins? Bagels
Wish list item? Tropical vacation
Last thing you did? Read my Bible
Where did you grow up? Memphis
What are you wearing? Turbowear
Your TV? 24
Your pets? Bauer (James and I want a dog for protection - Bauer...named after Jack Bauer. No one will mess with us!)
Friends? Authentic
Your life? Blessed
Your mood? Thankful
Missing someone? my niece.
Vehicle? Texas plates - just became an official TX resident on Friday!
SOmething your not wearing? Shoes
Your favorite store? TJ Maxx
Your favorite color? Green
When was the last time you laughed? Breakfast with James
Last time you cried? Last time I skyped with Katerbug....miss that kid.
Your best friend? James
One place you could go over and over? California
One person who emails you regularly? Platinum Presenters :)
Favorite place to eat? Panera Bread

I pass this award onto...

Stephanie: a childhood best friend who is godly woman, an amazing mother of 3 and as creative as they come. Love you, Steph! Check out her blogs at and a branch of Proverbs 31 Ministries, geared towards young women 18-26

Unlocking Femininity: a great blog co-written by great friends Diane, Gabrielle, Katie F, Katie M & Sarah - Come see what the Bible has to say about biblical womanhood!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Discover Your Eating Personality

You've probably taken a dozen personality tests in your life - Myers Briggs Inventory, The Big Five, The Four Temperaments, etc. People often use the results from these tests to help make critical decisions such as career choice, interpersonal communication issues and intrapersonal struggles.

But have you ever thought about uncovering your eating personality? Understanding your relationship with food is critical to breaking out of the diet dungeon you may be knowingly or unknowingly incarcerated in.

Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch have identified four eating personalities in their book Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works: the careful eater, the professional dieter, the unconscious eater and the intuitive eater.

We are born all born intuitive eaters, and life experience can cause our eating personalities to vary to one of the other three personalities. None of these other eating personalities are better or worse that the other. However, it can be problematic if you find yourself constantly existing within a single eating personality division other than intuitive eating.

The careful eater rarely eats anything without a thorough examination of the nutrition label first. Painfully prolonged grocery store trips, waiter interrogation at restaurants and specialized orders are inevitable. Careful eaters systematically plan each meal and do not handle their meal plans getting disrupted well. While these characteristics can be seen in a health-conscious person, careful eaters may tend to make eating decisions based on body image rather than overall well-being.

The professional dieter is always on some sort of diet. They are well-versed in portion control and calorie counting, and perhaps even macronutrient counting, knowing amounts of carbohydrates and fat grams. Unlike careful eaters, professional dieters make it known that every food choice they make is based on weight loss. These eaters can also experience the yo-yo effect of dieting and losing weight to eventually trailing off and gaining weight...only to go on to the next diet. Undereating usually results in overeating, so it's not only an ineffective weight loss plan in the long run, but professional dieters are typically not very healthy.

The unconscious eater exists in four forms: the chaotic unconscious eater, the refuse-not unconscious eater, the waste-not unconscious eater and the emotional unconscious eater.

* Chaotic Unconscious Eater: Maybe due to an overly busy schedule or refusal to plan, this person is constantly making eating decisions based on what is available, whether fast food, vending machine or leftover snacks in the office break room. They tend to go long period of time without eating, so they are ravenous when they finally decide to eat.

* Refuse-Not Unconscious Eater: These eaters live a grazing lifestyle, simply not refusing food whenever it's available. They may grab a handful of M&Ms unknowingly from the candy jar each time they walk past the office desk. Hunger doesn't matter. If food is there, they will eat.

* Waste-Not Unconscious Eater: Fast Food Dollar Menus and buffets were created with this type of eater in mind. Desiring to eat the most they can for the least amount of money is the biggest concern for this eating personality. Waste-Not Unconscious Eaters will never be members of the clean plate club...nor will anyone else who eats in their presence.

* Emotional Unconscious Eater: These eaters turn to food for comfort. Whether stressed or hurt, happy or excited, food seems to be the only reward or punishment that will satisfy.

Last, meet the intuitive eaters. This type of eater listens to internal hunger cues. When hungry, they eat whatever they choose without guilt or debate. It's that simple.

In today's diet-crazed world, remembering how to have an eating personality that you might have lost somewhere as early as elementary school can seem impossible. However, the statistics show that if we returned to a lifestyle of balance and moderation, we may discover our bodies are smarter than we give them credit for. After all, what do we have to show for our diet-conscious American society?

- Higher obesity rates in adults and children
- Higher eating disorder rates
- More fat-free/diet foods available than ever - yet 1/3 of adults are overweight.

While it's simple to read, it's much harder to do. I recommend talking with a professional you can trust to help you restore a healthy relationship with food. Personally, I recommend checking out and calling 817.584.5399 to set up an in-office or phone appointment with Jennifer Pereira.