Death is Not the End, Friend

Among a few other long running trials with my health and my heartaches, I am currently jobless as of last Monday. Thus giving me plenty of time to feel sorry for myself. This morning I was in the book of Matthew where it went through the disciples with whom Jesus spent three intense years. The sentence “and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him.” Arrested me.

Nobody in their right mind chooses trials. Yet Jesus did when He chose Judas to follow Him. Though Jesus didn’t let him into His inner-inner circle, He taught the man who would one day betray Him, just as He taught the others. Jesus treated Judas equally, even giving him the responsibility of taking care of the money bag (which he also failed at shepherding) Jesus being God and knowing all things, knew what a creep Judas was yet He said “come follow me.” If we had the same foreknowledge of Judas’ depth of depravity and betrayal, we wouldn’t let him anywhere near us. Yet Jesus did


Because Jesus could see not only the pain in which Judas would have a hand, He could also see the glory that would come out of it.

I don’t like to hurt, and when faced with a trial, I do everything I can to either get out of it or soften the blow. Whether it’s running from the situation physically or finding some way to comfort myself like overeating. But that’s just seeing the trial and not seeing the glory that God will bring out of it in the end. I see now I need to understand that the pain of the trail or even the anticipation of the pain of that trail is not my end. I will only know what that end is if I submit to it. We believers need to quit trying to soften the blow. Walk through it. In fact, praise God. Not for the trial, but for the sunrise on the other side of the darkness.

So if you are faced with some dark time, see it as your Judas. It is there to bring about God’s glorification in your life in some area. Though it may come through death, a Christian has the promise that God will raise you just as He raised His Son, maybe in this life, but definitely in the next ❤



Make a Peach Not a Pie

IMG_7118Facebook reminded me that four years ago today was when I read my testimony to the women at my church as part of my women’s retreat. After-which the guest speaker told me I needed to write a book.

It took me three years. I wanted to give up so many times. A friend said that it didn’t have to be pretty, just finish. So I did.

It actually turned out pretty. But that didn’t guarantee that people would flock to it. It did pretty well book sales and got some great reviews, but I’m no #harvesthousepublishers so it can only do what it does. I was tempted to be discouraged. But instead I’m looking at it this way. I finished and did it to the best of my ability and talents. That’s all over which I have control.

How many other things do I have just laying there waiting to see the light. Some may be bad and others may be fabulous. But they are all the same if they never get finished. Potential is only a small piece of the puzzle. It’s like a peach tree. The flower isn’t the fruit. It’s the promise of it. Completion is the real fruit. It doesn’t matter how many people partake of it. The tree has done its job if it makes a peach. The fruit may fall the ground rotten, be eaten by birds or become a pie. But the tree has no control over that.

So many people don’t even try to generate fruit because they think they won’t get anywhere. That may well be. So the guarantee that they DON’T go anywhere.

Don’t let what may not happen when you get to your destination stop you from getting on the road. As for me , my book turned out way better than I expected so what I learned from the experience is that I can write. We’ll see where that takes me from now 🙂 the Food Ain’t the Problem is available on Amazon.

#food #god #direction #book #finish

Paid In Full From the Discount Bin

val_tfapt_01142017Even though I’m pretty cheap, I bought an expensive Patagonia lightweight jacket for a hiking trip in 2014. However, to offset the price I took advantage of a friend’s kind discount coupon offer.The funny thing was that the price adjustment didn’t alter the value of the jacket in my eyes. I knew the garment’s worth, so for that reason, I have treated my soft-shell layer with care over the past two-and-a-half years.

Unfortunately a couple of weeks ago the unthinkable happened to my precious Patagonia jacket: I tore a small L-shaped hole in my left sleeve. From the moment I heard the soft, staccato “Ttrrrrrrpt” and felt the slight tug at my arm, I was heartbroken. My extraordinary and expensive coat was damaged.

A few days later I ran into the husband of my friend who had gotten me the discount, and he commended me with pride that I was wearing my Patagonia jacket. “Yup,” I said, “I love it! The only problem is,” I stated sadly pointing to the open wound, revealing the thin white warming layer, “I paid too much for it to look this way.” My friend smiled and tried to make me feel better,“Well, remember you spent less for it.”

This morning as I was mending my coat with the utmost care, I was thinking about value vs. cost. At that moment, I saw my life in an inverted comparison. I reflected on the idea that long before I was born, God paid the most costly object He had in exchange for a creature who had little value. He paid the life of His perfect Son, Jesus, for this sinful carcass, Carole.

Understand, I’m not expressing a pathetic lack of self-confidence, but acknowledging a simple spiritual fact. Before God saved me, I had no value in His holy kingdom because I was nothing more than the walking dead. A spiritual zombie, like all those on the planet who tries to stand before God on his or her own merits. Despite this, God reversed my grave condition. There’s a fancy term for it: Imputation. Meaning, God gave one who had no value because of their sin, the value of righteousness because of His sinless Son (2 Cor. 5:21). If you’re God’s child through the gift of Jesus’ willing sacrifice, then you have also had the estimation of your value changed in the sight of God.


However, if that’s the case then understand this: every time you or I choose to sin to make ourselves happy, we don’t devalue ourselves, we trample the extravagant cost that God paid for us under our feet.


God sees us with Jesus’ value of righteousness though we don’t deserve it, just like I saw my precious little Patagonia jacket’s value undiminished though I bought it with a coupon. Except in willfully sinning, we take something of utmost value and treat it with contempt. In essence, it would be the same as my donning my brand new coat and rolling around on my neighbor’s freshly manured lawn. God has given us immeasurable value through Jesus. When we comprehend this, we will begin to get a handle on the sins which so easily entangle us.

As tears welled up and spilled from my eyes while I finished my seam as neatly as I could, the thought came to mind: even though I fixed my little Patagonia jacket, that scar will always remain. God’s work is perfect, not like mine (I went out into the sun and discovered my black thread was actually a deep shade of Navy Blue). God is gradually healing my heart of its inclination to sin with a seam that’s invisible to the human eye. Why? Because in His love, God paid the most precious thing He had in order that He could do so.

Follow the Food Ain’t the Problem on Facebook and Instagram @itaintthefood

The Food Ain’t the Problem is available on Amazon But you can also ask your church bookstore to order it for you through Spring Arbor Distributors 🙂

The Anniversary Ain’t the Problem

tfap_anniThis is my anniversary post. One year ago January 8, I published “The Food Ain’t the Problem”. My goal was small. If I sold two I would be happy. Lol. My typesetter bought the first two as soon as I hit the“Publish now” button. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of selling 369. Yay!

We all know that there are literally thousands of books on the market whose aim is to walk the reader through weight loss. If you asked me what makes my book “the Food Ain’t the Problem” different from all the other weight loss books on the shelves, I could only shrug and offer the explanation that my book satisfies the biblical verse in 1 Peter 3:15 that states, “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”

Therefore, what makes my book different from others is that it’s my story. In the course of telling it, I offer hints on how to apply the biblical principles which God taught me so that readers who struggle with the same food issues as I do can find hope. You aren’t alone.

In the Beginning God…

It’s important to understand “The Food Ain’t the Problem” has always been more than just a book that aspires to shed light on weighty issues. With the glut of weight loss and diet material on the shelves and the fact that I’m an unknown, it seems that I’m answering a question that no one beyond my circle of friends is asking me: how did I do it? Even still, my desire has always been to bring God’s realness into the lives of those who read my book.

Practically speaking, Jesus didn’t just walk the planet, thump His chest, roar and say, “I am God. Thou shalt kneel before me, you plebes!” On the contrary, the Messiah didn’t just say He was God: He interacted in people’s lives and lovingly showed He was God. When John the Baptist sent his disciples to investigate Jesus, the Savior told them,

Go tell John what you hear and see: The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news proclaimed to them. Blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me” (Matthew 11:4-6)

In light of this understanding, I write to exalt, both in the pages of my book and in every scrap of everything I write anywhere, the reality of king Jesus’ rule, which leads to transformation. This focus has been my desire precipitated by a past event, which helped me understand that it doesn’t take much to show God’s light in a darkness.

Long before the days of Facebook, I reunited with a woman I’d known in high school. She initiated the meeting with me after I’d tracked her down and she’d discovered I’d become a Christian. In the time that passed since our teenage years, she’d continued to be the successful and confident woman I’d known her to be when I was the awkward and homely underclassman where she one day took pity and put make-up on me. Now all these years later she wanted to know the reason for my belief.

I was sooo nervous.

She’d assigned me to read a specific book. Not because she was antagonistic or mean, but to challenge my worldview, and I conceded because of my admiration for her.

However, upon reading it, the book was full of so much heresy against the God I love that it brought my head to the brink of near implosion from heartbreak.

With this in mind, I wanted to tell her what I thought, but I was still mired in my high-school intimation. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to articulate the right biblical phrases necessary to impress her. So prior to our meeting, I researched how the Bible came to be, why Jesus is God, and about the meanings of words, I couldn’t remember as soon as I read them. For all of my reading, it was frustrating. As all of those learned phrases and all of those lofty words seemed to quickly evaporate from my mind, like puddles of water from the concrete on a hot Summer’s day.

In the end, I sat there that day waiting for her to come to the restaurant, hoping I wouldn’t look like a boob while I fumbled over my words.

However, I was surprised to discover that within the early minutes of our dialogue– not even about the book she’d told me to read, she stopped me and said matter of factly, “You talk about God as though He could walk right in that door.”

Knock Knock…

All these years later those words still motivate me. The gospels tell those who read their pages that Jesus was called Emmanuel. That means God with us.

God in our lives, our struggles, our hopes, our heartbreaks, and a God who could walk right in that door if you let Him. God came to earth in Jesus Christ to save mankind. He died and rose again, not just to pay the price for our sin against the Father. Jesus came to change those He saved.

Notably, some changes are the dramatic ones like the one that happened in the life death row inmate Karla Faye Tucker. She had become a Christian before being the first woman to be executed since 1984 by lethal injection in Texas amidst media hoopla. However, other changes are like mine with less fanfare: I’m simply a person who struggles with eating too much to make my life happy. However, God has given me the tools to set me free.

Surely Jesus didn’t just come for murders, liars, and thieves. He came for you. He came for me. He came for anyone who calls out to Him. However, it’s important to also understand that in coming to save us, He also committed to change us so that we would be ready to spend eternity with Him.

In the time leading up to writing and illustrating “the Food Ain’t the Problem” I came realize that while we live in a visual world where looks matter, that’s not the point of God’s transformation that may result in weight loss. It’s so much more. Therefore, I want to open the door to Jesus in the pages of my book. Jesus, the Man who the bible says had no appearance to draw us to Him. (Isa. 53:2)

For you see, Jesus as God incarnate didn’t come to make us beautiful in one another’s eyes. Jesus came to make our inmost heart beautiful to His Father.

The Food Ain’t the Problem is available on Amazon 

Also at Grace Community Church, North Creek church in Walnut Creek, and NOW in Community Bible Church of Vallejo.

If you don’t see it on the shelves ask them to order it for you, it’s probably out. You can also ask your church bookstore to order it through Spring Arbor distributors.

Follow The Food Ain’t the Problem on Facebook and Instagram

Itaintthefood on Instagram

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Talking in the Library? Yes Please!

imageI got a lovely message today from someone I met through Instagram :)! Thank you! *****
Hey! I am a Librarian at the East Baton Rouge Parish Public Library (Louisiana) and just wanted to send this pic because I ordered 2 copies of your book for our collection. I run the programming and outreach department so as soon as my staff gets them catalogued and processed they will be available on our bookmobiles for people to check out!I will try to send better pics when we get them on the bookmobiles. I am horrible at selfies! Keep speaking & writing truth!!!


You don’t have to be a librarian. Why not head over to your library and ask them to put The Food Ain’t the Problem on their shelves. Recommendations really help!

The Church’s Best Kept Little Secret: Taking a Second Look at Second Helpings

tpap_g1Whether, then, you eat or drink or  whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  1 Corinthians 10:31

As we look forward to a new year I want to look at an old sin.

There’s a sin the church which no one addresses because people don’t think it’s really all that bad.

We have the attitude that if a sin isn’t big like lying, sexual immorality, taking someone’s life, or even gossiping then God doesn’t really have a problem with it. So this sin is rarely addressed from the pulpit, and no one brings it up when they are considering church discipline. Yet it’s still sin. Not something to judge anyone over if you don’t struggle with it, but something definitely important to call it for what it is. This way the children of God who are affected by it can begin to repent of it.

The sin is gluttony.

It affects people in the church of all ages, races, and sizes. Both those who show it by obesity as well as those who are thin because they have speedy metabolisms.

It’s not merely an issue of external looks, but internal dependance. Meaning, who are you choosing to worship. Are you choosing to worship God? Or are you choosing to worship something that He created? (Romans 1:25)

Eating to God’s Glory

After Jesus successfully dodged the Pharisees and Sadducees attempts to trip Him up, one of them asked what was the greatest commandment. Jesus answered simply, that people are to love God with everything they are and have as well as to love those around them like themselves. (Mark 12:28)

Gluttony attacks both those areas. For when you’re a glutton you’re loving something more than you’re loving God. When you practice gluttony, you’re setting yourself up for health related issues that will affect those close to you in your life or will limit your ability to serve others in the church as well as in the world without hindrances.

(Not to mention, that if you do show the effects of it due to excess long-term weight retention, you may be a poor testimony of the Lord. The world is more than ready to judge God’s children and come to a conclusion as to whether or not He’s real by how we do or do not follow Him– but a little more on looks later)

So by viewing our overindulgence in food through the lens of the two greatest commandments we learn two things. We discover that gluttony is an issue of what we choose to worship and that what we choose to worship will affect others around us. Remember this, worship of anything other than God is idolatry.

Bearing this in mind, we begin to understand that that extra piece of grandma Dottie’s banana cream pie when you’re already satisfied isn’t just a good natured second, it’s idolatry.

Get out, really? How so?

I know many of you reading this may be thinking that I’m being all man-made seven deadly sinnish about this. You’re probably thinking, where does the bible say anything specifically about gluttony being sinful? While there are several places that shows God is doesn’t approve of gluttony ( Deut 21:20, Prov 23:20-21, and Prov 28:7, Titus 1:12) we need to take a moment to look at what the word gluttony means as defined by the bible. The old testament Hebrew word for glutton/gluttony in the bible as in Prov 23:20-21 is the word zâlal which means “to be worthless, be vile, be insignificant, to make light of, squander, be lavish with.”

While the new testament Greek definition for a person who is a glutton which is gastḗr (as used in Titus 1:12) is defined as “a man who is as it were all stomach”

When we look at the definition of gluttony, then we see that the person who is a glutton is someone who has surrendered themselves to their appetite rather than to God’s control over every aspect of their being. Yet many people indulge in being overindulgent and no one feels bad about it. The truth is that we should be as heart broken over this sin as any other.

We need to start acknowledging it if it’s ever going to change.

Paul says through tears in the book of Philippians 3:18, that those who’s god is their appetite is an enemy of the cross (and yes the Greek word for appetite there is koilía, dealing with the belly, and the palate)

So denying the whole double portions during the church pot luck as sinful in God’s eyes is just the same as the Prov 30:20 adulterous woman who wipes her mouth and says “I have done nothing wrong.”

So why does being gluttonous get a pass?

A couple reasons I think. The main one being that if it doesn’t affect the way that you look, it’s not such a bad thing. Or if you can diet away the effects of it after Christmas then why consider thinking of it as a wrong thing while you’re doing it at thanksgiving?

Yet we don’t think that way about drugs or illicit sex. We know that when we are gossiping about our neighbor that we are doing wrong. But no so much with being gluttonous.

Gluttony is just a way of life. Or more specifically it’s a way to face our lives. It’s viewing all the events that come our way through the prism of the earthly here and now instead of with the eternal perspective of Jesus’s command for us to be asking God that His kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

Gluttony—eating more than we need or not in response to hunger— is as sinful as all the sins we see as major no-nos.

Gluttony goes beyond overeating for the holidays when we run the gauntlet of treats that are thrown at us like sweet and savory hand grenades. Gluttony also goes beyond eating mindlessly after we have had more than enough. In our daily lives, gluttony also is when we use it as a way to reward ourselves when we have done something well. This is instead of being thankful and giving praise to God who has given us the ability to do something or who Himself has provided the favorable result. Gluttony is also a way to comfort ourselves when we’re down or to take control in a situation when we can’t find any other way to control the situation. When we do this we deny that God is sovereign and in control of every event that comes into our lives, and has a purpose in those events to conform us to the likeness of Christ if we sit in the pain instead of running from it to food. Also, let us not overlook that those of us who show food as love can encourage one another to gluttony when we heap other’s plates with food we’ve artfully prepared, insisting, “Oh come on, this one little thing isn’t going to kill you.”

I’m not talking about restricting calories. Nor am I talking about banning foods that God created. I’m simply stating that if you’re finding yourself eating for any of those reasons other than satisfying hunger, you are flying in the face of truly worshiping God and God alone.

So it’s not an issue of body shaming, but sin acknowledging.

If we do show consequences from gluttony we are more likely to confront people for their size, counseling them that they need to go on a diet. That doesn’t deal with the problem (and not everyone who is portly is that size because they are gluttonous).

So looks need to be taken out of the equation. Large people and small can be gluttons. And this kind of sin affects everyone in the church, from the pastor to the person in the pew.

So consider this as you start out on your new years resolutions to lose those pounds. When the Scribe heard Jesus answer in Mark he replied, “Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that He is One, and there is no one else besides Him; and to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as himself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”(emphasis mine) God is looking for obedience. He’s looking for people who will worship Him with all that they have. In the case of gluttony He values a heart given to Him in eating above the sacrifices of making up for it by dieting.

So even though I know this truth, I still wrestle with the obedience to it. For example, in just a few hours I will be headed to my parents house for chitterlings where I will wrestle to submit my will to God’s will for my appetite.

Believe me, I understand what a challenge obedience in eating is. It’s a daily ongoing battle. One I don’t always win. But we who are God’s children are highly blessed for the constant opportunity to fight. Because those of us who struggle with making food our God can find fresh grace from the real God who saved us every time we battle to eat the appropriate amount.

Every time you pick up the fork or open a crinkly bag you need to make the same choices: self-control to the Lords will, gratitude for what He’s given, acceptance for where He has you. Every time you face that fight in your eating, you can pray and ask for God’s grace to wage war well.

I’m not going to lie. At times it will be harder than others.

Until the day that I weep like the apostle Paul in Philippians or like my friend Carol, who tearfully prayed for me eight years ago when I was 312 pounds, I need to agree with God and obey Him regardless of how I feel about it.

We all need to remember Paul’s admonition to work out our salvation with fear and trembling for God is at work within us both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

So, even though we don’t *feel* like gluttony is all that bad, we need to agree with God when He says that it is. We need to agree with Him and forsake it in favor of His perfect will for our lives.

If you would like to know more about this topic and how to begin to tackle it, pick up a copy of my book “the Food Ain’t the Problem” It’s available on Amazon or also at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Northcreek Church in Walnut Creek California And NOW in Community Bible Church of Vallejo. If you don’t see it on the shelves ask them to order it for you, it’s probably out. You can also ask your church bookstore to order it for you though Spring Arbor book distributor  🙂

Follow The Food Ain’t the Problem on Instagram @itaintthefood and Facebook 

New Years Resolutions and The Coyotes of Sin

Matthew 15:16-20 “Jesus said, ‘Are you still lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.’”

The other morning I was out walking and a thought for a blog post crossed my mind. So I did as I always do in such cases, I whipped out my trusty phone and started typing away.  I was so intent on my cellphone  (and the ridiculous autocorrects it always adds) I barely noticed the fluffy brown dog gallop past me. I say barely because while I didn’t really see him, I could tell from my peripheral vision that it was looking up at me as it ran past me about two feet from my left side. I glanced back and looked at the dog.

It was strange looking. Kind of like a German shepherd but then kind of not.

Then I realized it wasn’t a dog, but a coyote

As we stood there staring at each other I found myself thinking I’m glad there wasn’t a pack of them, because in my inattentiveness, who knows what trouble I could have found myself while I was out there trying to exercise and maintain my weight.

As the new year approaches I wanted to encourage you, gentle readers, to be attentive to what really matters when it comes to facing the proverbial season of Resolutions. If you want to have a hope of making your January 1 resolution last past the February Super Bowl,  you need to choose wisely what needs to change.

Resolutions peter out because often they are based on banishing the consequences of a bad habit instead of the sinful heart attitude that creates it. Why is this? Because as time advances we can change our minds about living with the inconvenience of our negative consequences versus the inconvenience and hard work of banishing them.

If you want to stand a chance of succeeding in making your resolutions last, you need to focus as much on the sin that created the bad consequence as well as the consequence itself.

If we address the *sin* that creates weight gain instead of the weight alone, we can’t just just say “meh, I don’t feel like obeying God any more so I think I’ll stop trying” No, God’s purpose for His children is that they look like Him– I don’t mean bodily, but in the intentions and attitudes of our heart. So you will persevere (if you are a Christian) and your Heavenly Father will help you. Not only is God interested in your forsaking your sins that offend His law, the fact that He gave Jesus’ life as a payment for your sins shows the level of His investment in you. He is at the ready to change you through what you read in the Bible and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

So don’t just resolve to lose weight this year, resolve to repent of the sin that put it there in the first place. When you do that, the weight will take care of itself.

Want to know what those sinful attitudes are? Get the Food Ain’t the Problem which details how God changed my heart which precipitated my 150 pound weight loss.

The Food Ain’t the Problem is also at Grace Community Church,
North Creek church in Walnut creek
And NOW in Community Bible Church of Vallejo. If you don’t see it on the shelves ask them to order it for you, it’s probably out 🙂

Food: A Moment on the Mind Just May Shrink Your Behind

imageBack in October I had the pleasure and honor of sharing some time with Kim Wine, Brandi Huerta and Kimberly Cummings three wonderful, fun and godly women on The Women’s Hope Podcast at  to talk about some to the content of my book The Food Aint the Problem. I’m humbled that they have chosen to rebroadcast it as one of their top 5 most listened to podcasts this year.  🙂

I know that the new year brings out the chance for new beginnings. One of those hopes for change is the change in weight. The Food Ain’t the Problem points to the hope I found through the bible to overcome the issues in your heart that promote long term weight problems. it’s written from the perspective of God’s love and not fat shaming. It’s warmly humorous and full of hope– and cartoons, because, hey, I’m a Christian who happens to work in the animation industry.

All diets work– if you stick to them. But the problem is that diets don’t solve the problem of why we pack on the pounds. To find the hope to maintain the change and lose those gains you have to go deeper than the number you see on the scale.

Gluttony and greed affects everyone, whether you see the effects of it on your body or not. But God cares even about the food you put in your body. Unlike many books on the matter that focus on the types of food you put on your plate (or fast all together) The Food Ain’t the Problem focuses on the amount of food and the why you’re eating in the first place.

Wouldn’t you like to start of this New Year’s resolution to lose those extra pounds with the hope of being able to maintain it?

The Food Ain’t the Problem is available on Amazon,
Also at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Northcreek Church in Walnut Creek and Community Bible Church of Vallejo.

Does your church have a bookstore? Ask them to contact me to find out how they can stock the Food Ain’t the Problem on their bookshelves!

#weightloss #newyearsresolution #christianity #loseweight #food

The Islands of Your Father’s Light

imageIn and the land of Naphtali, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— “The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great Light, And those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, Upon them a Light dawned.” From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

A few days ago I went for an early walk in the neighborhood that was in the hills above where I live.

The only thing was, it was so early that the route would take me to an area where there might be hungry creatures. There are literal posted signs stating that mountain lions live there, and I have seen coyotes with my own two nearsighted eyes.

With that in mind, I took the long way around on the flat lands with the intention to hit the hilly area as the sun was rising, rather than while it was still relentlessly dark.

However when it came time to get to the hilly and secluded part of my walk I had misjudged the timing and the sun was still abed.

Steeling my courage, I told myself there were no mountain lions and I would run into no coyotes. That I would be OK. But it wasn’t too long, actually pretty much immediately when all my senses became heightened and I all I could hear was every little snap of a twig and the sound of–

…what was that sound?



….The relentless buzzing of someone’s faint Christmas lights as they cycled off and on.

My heart was thumping in my chest, and it wasn’t because I was walking up the hill.

Then I remembered my cell phone had a little flashlight. Sure it wasn’t a bright light, but it was enough to let me see if I was going to surprise any creature ahead of me. When I came around the bend I saw ahead of me in the dark, deserted Canyon area; a light. Relief! I could make it to that light. And then beyond that in the darkness I saw that a whole line of lights stretched ahead of me, shining brightly lit cones of safety like little islands. All I had to do is make it to each one.

So me and my little flashlight stepped between stretches of darkness into the security of the pools of light. One. After. Another. Until eventually the sun rose in the sky, painting the clouds a magnificent fuchsia.

There will be times in your life where God is so near it will be like you’re standing under a lamppost. But there will be other times when all you can do is look back to the illumination you once knew and hope for the light to come because the darkness is so thick that you can’t see any light for the distance. What will give you hope in those dark stretches is the light you have hidden in your heart.

I’m not talking about some inner reserve that you dig down deep inside to make yourself strong. I’m talking about the light of God’s character you have hidden in your heart. It’s knowing who He is that will be your flashlight to get you through the dark times.

While bad and dark things happen to us all from time to time, our lives are not always darkness. There are pleasant and sweet days of rest. Days when everything is going great. It may not be perfect, but at least there is no pain, and also a large measure of happiness.

There is a temptation in those times to be lazy. To not be faithful in the things of the Lord. But we should see those green happy times like Joseph saw Pharaoh’s dream. A temporary pre-provision for the drought and famine yet to come.

Rest assure night will fall. A drought will come. You will prepare yourself for the drought and darkness as you have stored up the light of God’s word in your heart when things seem absolutely hunky-dory.

God has promised His children that He will not either leave them nor forsake them. Though sometimes in the dark it seems as though He has. But this is not the case.

Just as sometimes a father walks slowly beside his tiny child, and then he steps ahead and calls the child to him to walk alone, God does the same for us. In the darkness of our trials that distance where we can barely make out His light is scary. But it becomes less so as you dwell on the things your Father has taught you when He was walking beside you and things were great.

So let this be an encouragement to you: if you are in a green place, a place of light and happiness, don’t take that for granted. Learn the light of your Father. Likewise if you are in the darkness remember the flashlight you have. That light will get you to where your Father is standing waiting to fold you into his arms and protect you until He sends you ahead again to trust him even more.

Take comfort though, even if you are in the darkness now, have hope. It will not always be that way. For just as the dawn breaks after the darkness, so God will give you another opportunity to learn of his faithfulness in the light. So be faithful. Remember the light of your Father’s love in your darkness.

The Model of Fitness Life for the Non Fitness Model

imageI don’t lift weights. I haven’t been able to #run because of a knee injury so I have been swimming and walking. The weightloss has been slower, but I was encouraged the other day as I looked down at my hand and saw the veins in it. Even without crazy hours in the gym, the structure of my body was revealing itself.

Artist Michaelangelo is reported to have answered the question of how he came up with his sculptures with this “I saw an angel in the marble and I set him free”
This is an encouragement for the people who don’t have time to turn themselves into a hardbody fitness model. You don’t have to be in the gym every day for hours a day to set free the angel that you are. Just remove some of the layers of inattentiveness. Give yourself a shot at being more active because your aren’t tired from being overweight or lacking stamina.

It’s not about being a model. Focus on #weightloss and changing your attitude towards food to be “like” an angel in purpose. Angels of God were servants and messengers. Their job was to worship and point to the King. Oftentimes we find it difficult to do those things because we are either too tired or too uncomfortable. But that can be changed in many cases. So take some time to rearrange your priorities in your life, work towards setting free the better “Angel” you can be. The Food Ain’t the Problem is available in Amazon.