Monday, January 9, 2017


[We reached our match!  Thanks to all of you who contributed!  And our thanks again to Larry and Paula Alsum for their generous match challenge!  The work in Ghana can now go forward for the next year.  Praise God!]

I have to admit that I got angry over Christmas.  Not at anyone around me - just at myself.  There was so much food around and I showed little self control.  The more food that came, the more angry I got.  So I did what I normally do when I begin to feel like a victim - I figured out a way to gain control.  I started a green smoothie cleansing program to detoxify my body and establish discipline for myself again.  That means only veggies and fruit for ten days in the form of a smoothie and nothing else.  I have found that if I don't draw drastic lines for myself, I have a difficult time maintaining discipline.  So I started this the day after New Years.

Of course, what one finds when one starts to quiet down in one area of life, is that very quickly one can see that it was not just that area of life that was noisy.  As I quieted down my food and drink intake, it became quickly apparent that I was not just noisy in terms of food but also spiritually and emotionally.  As I quieted down cravings and frenetic eating, I could feel the quietness spread not just through my body but through my heart and soul.  I realized how little I need to survive and how God has provided everything we need as it relates to food in the Garden of Eden.  I realized how complex we have made things through the plethora of options that we have in front of us, and how those quickly turn into "needs, wants, and desires."

Detoxification of body, soul, spirit and mind.  Quieting down in all areas.  The toxicity of a living in a country with so much - so much food, so much consumption, so much entertainment, so much access to everything.  But no matter where we are, the dangers of toxicity are there: toxic food, toxic words, toxic relationships, toxic thoughts.

I'm reminded of the wedding verse that Bob and I choose (and regretted often!), from Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God."  It is such a difficult verse to live out.  We fail so many times.  But I have read it differently during this past week.  I always read it as two separate commands, "Be still" and "know."  But I realized this week as I quieted down, that the only way to know that God is God is to be still.  So it is like this:  "Be still AND THEN you will know that I am God."  It is so difficult to know that when we are so busy in our spirit.

As is often the case, when I begin to quiet down, I find myself back in Ted Loder's prayer book "Guerrillas of Grace," and this particular prayer speaks to me at this time:
O Holy One
I hear and say so many words,
yet yours is the word I need.
Speak now, 
and help me listen;

and if what I hear is silence,
let it quiet me,
let it disturb me,
let it touch my need,
let it break my pride,
let it shrink my certainties,
let it enlarge my wonder.