Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Guest Blogger: Lisa Cowman

I met Lisa at a writer's conference and was elated to find out she is a pastor's wife and only lives 45 minutes away. I am especially excited to introduce Lisa on this site because she co-wrote a bible study entitled "Esther" and graciously accepted an invitation to teach a ladies study this summer. If you live within driving distance of Carthage, consider joining us on Saturday mornings beginning June 11th to hear from Lisa and the Lord. Yes, there will be coffee!  

LIE: The only way to celebrate is with food.

"It's payday girls. Let's celebrate!"

"Ooh...let's do TCBY's Yogwichs."

"No, I want McDonald's French Fries!"

"How about Starbucks, guys?"

We finally settle on Starbucks and sink down into the cozy corner chairs with our favorites.

"Yum, I love these," Meredith says, licking the whipped cream off the top of her Caramel Frappaccino."

"Oh no, these chocolate chunk cookies are the best!" Michaela says between mouthfuls.

"You're both wrong. The only way to go is Passionfruit Lemonade Tea," Madison said.

Why is it that it seems the only way to celebrate in the Cowman Household is with food? We love food! We love ice cream. We love pizza. We love coffees. Is there any other way to celebrate?

Hm...Logically speaking, there are lots of ways a family can celebrate. Even as I write this thoughts of Thanksgiving spreads flash before me, thoughts of our "Morning Christmas Casserole" and Christmas Eve Subs after our Christmas Eve service. Boy, it all involves FOOD!

Bu.u.t, but there really are lots of ways a family can celebrate - other ways. We love going to movies....BUTTERED POPCORN. We love taking walks on crisp fall or spring days...HOT CHOCOLATE with WHIPPED CREAM. We love lighting cinnamin candles, turning down the lights, playing quiet music and reading our favorite books...YES! NO FOOD!

Celebrations DON'T have to involve food!

The only way to celebrate is with food? That's a lie!

Lisa has spoken at numerous ladies' retreats and conferences and has co-authored a Bible study on Esther. She lives in Quincy, Illinois along with her pastor husband and four children. Her passion is to share with other ladies all of the joy and contentment that come from "real live faith". To read more about Lisa or to order her study, visit her website at http://reallivefaith.com/Home_Page.html and her blog at http://reallivefaith.blogspot.com/.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Does God Care?

Traditionally, I spend the week from Palm Sunday to Easter contemplating Jesus’ last days on earth. My emotions waver as I consider His triumphal entry through His crucifixion and culminating in His resurrection. Today, I wonder if I have allowed these truths to penetrate every area of my life—specifically the area of eating. Typically, I focus on Jesus and His suffering and sacrifice. I think about how He felt and the agony He endured. I wonder what type of love He possessed that would drive Him forward knowing His fate. Certainly, I must think of Him and His life to understand who He is and to nurture a relationship with Him. But I don’t want to stop there. I want to let these truths wash over me and permeate to my core.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

God Loves You. Period.

Kathy gazes at herself in the mirror. Her eyes drop slowly to her thick neck.

Susan pulls on a red tank top. One look at her upper arms and she reaches for the blue short-sleeved top instead.

Mary refuses an invitation to a swimming party, too self-conscious to don a suit.

Self-image—what we believe about ourselves—plays an important role in our overall health.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What Motivates You?

A hearty "welcome" to those visiting from a guest post I had the privilege of writing this week. If you are new, be sure to comment and tell me how you found my blog.

The following is an encore presentation of a post ran last year.

What motivates you? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Why do you send your children to school each day? Seriously, wouldn’t it be easier to yield to their whining and let them stay home? (Or, for us home schoolers, to say “Okay,” when they request to skip Math for the sixth day in a row?) Do you send them because you have to, or because you want something great for them?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Guest Blogger Marie Notcheva (Part 3 of 3)

I want to thank Marie, again, for contributing this excellent post. This final installment really brings it home.

Beyond Freedom from Food Addiction – Living for the Glory of God (Part 3 of 3)

This is Part 3 in a series by guest blogger Marie Notcheva. To read Part 1 click here. To read Part 2 click here.

What is the Antidote?

Overcoming food-related struggles and obsessive thinking about food, weight and appearance is notoriously difficult. Nevertheless, full and permanent victory is possible, and it all begins by being “brainwashed.” Surprised? No, Scripture doesn’t send us to a hypnotist to deal with sin; rather, we are instructed to“be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). This is an ongoing, life-long process which all begins with saturating ourselves in the Word of God. As we study and meditate on what God’s thoughts, desires and priorities are, gradually we internalize them and they become our own. If your mind is “set on the things above” (Col. 3:2), it will be preoccupied less and less with food. When we learn to live with an eternal perspective, the “drugs” and other means we use to gain pleasure fade in importance. Addictions are broken only when we begin to truly see the all-surpassing beauty and magnificence of the Lord Jesus Christ. Simply put, Jesus must become more beautiful, more satisfying, more desirable and more fulfilling than our addiction. As C.S. Lewis put it, we are too easily satisfied – making mud pies in a slum when a “holiday” at the seaside awaits.