Thursday, November 25, 2010

on thankfulness

I am so grateful for my life.

Here in town, the Springs Rescue Mission does just what it sounds like it does. Member of the association of Gospel Rescue Missions, they help people who need help. This help comes in many forms: evening meals every day that come after a brief church service, donations made available to people who need them just for asking,  a New Life men's program for men who commit to the recovery journey, job training for these men, and big free community meals for each holiday. Yesterday was the Great Thanksgiving Dinner. The mission rented out the city auditorium and put on a free Thanksgiving dinner for whoever wanted to eat. People were offered bibles, prayer, but also the most talked about, food. There was a child's area with games, and lots of people to serve.

Here are a couple of my awesome high schoolers that went with me and dished up food:

I'm not sure why Daniel looks like that...
And Stephen was snapping the turkey tongs - that's why they are blurry!

The 2 Ms: Megan and Michaela

and Zandy, cheerfully serving all day.

These kids went willingly, served cheerfully, and were a delight to be with all day. I am thankful for them.

I am so grateful that there are people and organizations that do this.

I'm grateful that there are people that donate to make this possible.

I'm grateful that there are people like my kids that willingly and cheerfully go and serve others.

I am SO grateful for my life, and that I'm not in a position to need the generosity of the Springs Rescue Mission. I feel that quote very deeply right now: "There but for the grace of God go I."

Here's to being grateful for the blessings in your life. As my pastor said on Sunday, "If there are any blessings in your life, it is because of The Blessor."


Saturday, November 13, 2010

gonna have to face it, I'm addicted to...dairy products?

Well, I am confessing.

I'm addicted to dairy.

I don't really love milk, and almost NEVER drink it straight, but it's great on cereal and cheese is my FAVORITE thing ever. I would eat cheese over sweets almost anytime. Butter = AMAZING!

I really think that this situation is caused by my lack of dairy for the first 18 years of my life. From the time I was little, I was SEVERELY allergic to dairy. I didn't ever have regular dairy, and the dairy we DID have was all goat milk, or soy milk. Gross.

Over the course of college and living on my own in my 20's, I gradually ate a little cheese here and a little milk there, and eventually I think I either 1) grew out of the allergy or 2) introduced it slowly enough to become OK with it a little bit at a time. I don't really know - I'm not a doctor. BUT, I can eat a little dairy now and not have it bother me.

You know that commercial from the '80's: "Cheese, glorious cheese!" Well, that's my theme song. I LOVE cheese and could eat it on almost anything.

This speaks greatly to the human condition - always wanting what we can't have, or desiring that which is harmful to us. Dairy is really not great for me, and I would be better off if I went without for the rest of my life. But, I CRAVE it. It is the thing I want most, and whenever I have a craving it most likely involves bacon or cheese. (Let's discuss my cholesterol another day, shall we?)

What is your cheese? What is the thing you want, but avoid because it isn't really good for you, either physically or spiritually?

I hear people ask this rhetorical question all the time: "Why do I want this so badly? It is terrible for me!"

Or even sometimes: "I seem to only be interested in the guy/girl that I can't have."

I believe this is an ingrained part of our fallen human nature, and will continue to be a curse until the days of a new heaven and a new earth. We always seem to want what we can't or shouldn't have. These desires of the flesh often turn into behaviors, attitudes, or actions that are sinful. (" I know I shouldn't __________ but I just enjoy it so much.")

I am so grateful that God makes us whole, even in our broken state. I'm grateful that His love overcomes our human-ness. I'm living in His grace.

And going to eat a grilled cheese sandwich.