Saturday, January 28, 2012

Divine Strength, Courage, and Eternal Life

The Biblical Numerology Meaning of 28 is associated with the expectancy of Divine Strength, Courage, and Eternal Life. How are expectancy of Divine Strength & Courage, and Eternal Life interconnected to one another? Do you remember that ordained time when the Holy Spirit called you to come forward, and surrender your life to Christ? There is nothing like it. You may have felt the enemy trying his best to hold you back with fear, uncertainty, hesitation, yet you boldly went forward and surrendered your life. Were you were full of excitement, with a righteous expectancy of the your life changing forever more from this point on you knew that you would never be the same. In that very moment Divine Strength & Courage was being manifested in our life, and it forever changed our life, because through the Gift of Salvation we were blessed with Eternal Life. In that Blessed Moment when we became Born Again we realized that we needed GOD to save our life, and transform our life. As we grow in the Son's Light a righteous wisdom is gained through a Divine Perspective. We realize that unlike the flowers that grow, fade, wither away, and die, our life goes own. This life here on earth is a vapor in the wind, nothing compared to the eternal life we have in Heaven. 

Although this time here is very limited, it is also very precious, and it is never apparent more than when we are blessed to become a parent, or when we are blessed with a near-death experience. Both situations open our eyes and give us a Divine Perspective on our very limited life here on earth. I am blessed to have had both of these types of experiences. I would like to take this time to focus on the Parent's Perspective. The time with our child passes ever so quickly. One moment we are birthing new life into this world, and the rest of the time is spent helping our child be the best person s/he can be. Through love we encourage our child to live to his/her fullest potential, and discover the person GOD created him/her to be. There are so many milestones, and goals for our child to achieve throughout his/her life time, from learning to eat food, roll over, sit up, crawl, stand, walk, and run. There is a natural progression that is expected over a life time. As with our Holy Parent there is also a Divine Expectancy the moment we become Born Again. The moment we find our identity in Christ there is a Supernatural Progression that is expected to take place as we are to grow in Divine Strength & Courage. 

We are to live our life out of our comfort zones, and by doing so we achieve a Divine Progression through Transformation. Just as a person changes from a helpless infant, to an adventures baby crawling to explore his/her life, so must we get out of our comfort zone of everything being brought to us. Just as a baby gains the strength to stand and walk, so must we also gain Christ's strength, so that we can take a bold stand, and walk forward. Sure there are times where we will stumble and fall, but that is part of the learning process. We take our Holy Parent's hand, get up and walk again. The closer we get to Christ the stronger we become, and there will be a time where our walk is very strong, and our Holy Parent will expect us to do more with our life.

We are all apart of the Family of GOD which means that GOD has many children, and we in turn have many siblings. As in all Loving Families, as an older sibling we are expected to look after, take care, encourage, and support our younger siblings. It is apart of our Divine Birth Order, not defined and limited by biological age, but by spiritual age. Our Holy Parent sets us apart from the rest of the Family, and expects more from us than the Babes in Christ. A very important question to ask is, How am I growing & maturing in Christ? Is there a noticeable difference?

Recently my daughter turned 5 years old, as I reflect over her first 5 years I realized that the first 5 years in our Christian Life should also have a remarkable & notable change. Five years ago, my child was just a teeny tiny embryo, and now she is a vivacious five year old seeking new adventures. As her loving parent I know that the best growth that can take place in her life is her spiritual growth. As much as she learns about this world, I long for her to learn even more about GOD's Kingdom, and the specific part she has in it. When I see her grow spiritually I am lovingly convicted by the Holy Spirit to examine my spiritual walk, growth and maturity. How have I grown  & matured in Christ over these past 5 years? It has been 15 years, since I gave my life to Christ, and became Born Again. What stage of my Spiritual Growth am I at right now? At 15 years, that represents a teenager. When I think of teens I think of courageous youth who often live their lives without limitations, and believe that they are invincible. Can you imagine if our Spiritual Life was like that? In 3 years my Spiritual Life will be 18 years old. Many who are 18 years old are called to be soldiers in the military, risking their very lives to save others, and to protect at all costs our freedom, and way of life. Can you imagine if our Spiritual Life was like that? 

As GODs Kids, joint heirs with Christ we were made, and destined to be Courageous.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Growing in Wisdom (part 2)

(Read, Growing in Wisdom part 1 to put this event in proper context).  

As we were coming back from dance class, I was pulling into the driveway, and began to roll up all the electric windows. Carissa was in her car seat in the backseat, and she decided she was going to go against what her parent was doing, be disobedient and defiant, and roll down her window. I responded by proceeding to roll her window up, and she decided she was going to stop what her parent was doing, be contrary, and place her hand on top of her window to prevent it from being rolled up. I did not know she was doing that, until from the backseat I hear a loud cry for help. I jump out of my seat, and run to her rescue to find her cradling her damaged finger. My only concern was to comfort her, to releave her pain as much as possible, and to check out the damage. I cried out to Jesus, Lord heal my daughter's wound. We rushed into our home, and I placed a bag of frozen vegetables on her hand. While she laid flat out on the couch with the bag of frozen veggies on her hand, deeply crying in agonizing pain, I had to make the emotionally painful choice to take the phone into another room with me, so I could hear the the doctor's receptionist. Unfortunately they were booked, and I had to go to the ER. 

While we were driving to the ER, Carissa says, "Momma I forgive you." I asked her, What are you forgiving me for? And she said with a slightly disturbed attitude, "for hurting my hand." I asked her, Was that really my fault? I did not do that on purpose. I did not know your hand was on the window. Who was being naughty, disobeying & defying her parent by putting her hand on top of the window, and tried to stop Momma from what she was doing? Carissa said, " Oh, I did, but I got hurt." I could see how this was going to be a teachable moment for Carissa & I. This was a time for Carissa to grow in wisdom. Sometimes it is painful to grow in wisdom. I lovingly explained to my child that her naughty, disobedient, defiant behavior of refusing to listen and obey is what caused her to get hurt, and now she is suffering in pain, for her bad choice. 

I explained to her that bad choices not only hurt others, but hurt ourselves too. While we sat in the ER, I got to take the time to explain to my beautiful daughter the difference between being disobedient and being defiant. If Momma or Daddy tell you to roll up the window and you refuse, that is being disobedient, because you are not doing what we asked you to do, you are not obeying. Now when you rolled down your window, and did the complete opposite of what Momma & Daddy are telling you to do you are being defiant & contrary, then when you placed your hand on top of the window to prevent it from going up you were . . . 
and then I was lost for words, so Carissa finished by saying Dumb and Stupid (words we do not use, but certain classmates have used these words to tease one another). I asked Carissa if she knew the meaning of Dumb and Stupid, and she said no, so I explained to her that it means to be very foolish, to not use good judgement, and to go against what we are taught by our parents and GOD. Carissa said, so being dumb, stupid, and foolish is a sin? I replied to her, yes honey when we are being dumb, stupid, and foolish we are sinning against GOD. It is what we refer to as a Contrary Spirit which causes us to go against GOD. I asked Carissa, Do you know anyone in the Bible that told people to go against GOD? Carissa said, Yes! The serpent in the garden told Adam & Eve to eat the apple when GOD told them not to eat it. 

Carissa said with confusion, "But Momma I didn't know that was going to happen!" (referring to her hand getting hurt & damaged in the car window) I told her Adam & Eve didn't know what was going to happen to them when they went against GOD either. I know you didn't know what was going to happen either, that is why you must always trust, obey, and know that Mommy & Daddy loves you & knows best, especially when you don't understand something, and don't want to do something your parent's way which is GOD's way, and insist on doing it your way, because that caused you to really get hurt, and we love you and don't want you to get hurt. Do you understand? Honey you could have gotten hurt a lot worse. It could have gotten broken so badly to the extent that the doctors could not repair it back to normal. We praise you Jesus that you are right now in the process of healing Carissa's finger, and is not broken. 

While we waited in the ER lobby for over an hour our discussion helped to take the focus off of her pain, and Christ was healing Carissa's finger. In just little over an hour, Carissa was able to fully bend it, grasp things, hold things, and completely use her hand as if it never got hurt. Hallelujah! We Praise You Jesus! We told the receptionist that Carissa did not need to be examined by the triage nurse, and the receptionist said since the triage nurse has not seen you, you wont be charged. 

Carissa's learning experience got me thinking, and now Carissa's Momma is growing in wisdom too. 

Reflecting back on Carissa's experience, Isn't that how we often are with our Holy Parent GOD? GOD is doing something in our life, then we put our hand to it, trying to interfere, prevent what GOD is doing, because we don't understand, and all we know is what we want, and we don't want to wait to do it His Way. Then when we get hurt, by interfering, being disobedient, defiant, and contrary, our foolish sinful pride cries out in pain -- It's Your fault! You did this to me! I don't understand. Why would You hurt me? 

It is only when we sacrifice our foolish & sinful pride in the Holy Fire of Truth, that we understand that it was our choice, our responsibility, and our fault for being disobedient, defiant, and contrary thinking we knew better than our Holy Parent, and put our hand in the middle of something that it didn't belong, and it is we who are to blame for getting crushed, not our Holy Parent. Our society tells us it is not right to find fault. However, if we had a faulty window that did not work right, we would have to take it to an expert specialist to investigate the cause in order to fix the problem. It is very important to know when it is our fault, and when it is not, and what faulty part did we have when things went bad. 

Praise the Lord for the Holy Spirit Who is our Expert Specialist & Helper that lovingly & compassionately convicts us when it is in fact our fault. With a humble & repentant heart, we realize it is not GOD that needs to be forgiven, but us. The Bible teaches us that we must examine ourselves, and we should ask, Is there anything that I am still blaming GOD for, when it was my bad choice? Dear Lord I ask that you forgive me for blaming you when it was my fault. If we are faithful to confess it with a repentant heart, He is faithful to forgive it with His Holy Heart & Amazing Grace, and then we are blessed to grow even closer to Christ.

It really is about trusting that our parent knows best even when we don't understand, or don't want to do what we have been told. We need to just remind ourself, my parent knows best. We praise You Lord for those teachable moments in life, no matter how painful they are to learn. Here are some Great Scriptures on the importance of growing in wisdom. The Bible teaches us that even Christ grew in Wisdom. Luke 2:52

Proverbs 2:6, Proverbs 4:5, Psalm 90:12,  Proverbs 4:7, Proverbs 16:16, Proverbs 19:8, Romans 11:33, Colossians 1:9, Colossians 4:5, 1 Corinthians 3:19, Psalm 104:24, Psalm 136:5James 1:5, Psalm 119:34, Psalm 51:6: 1 James 3:17, 1 Corinthians 1:24, Job 12:12-13, Proverbs 28:26, Proverbs 23:4, Colossians 2:3, Ephesians 3:10Revelation 5:12, Jeremiah 10:12, Proverbs 3:19, Proverbs 21:30

Growing in Wisdom (part 1)

Just picked up Carissa from Kindergarten, and Carissa said, "Momma my friend Savannah didn't have a drink for lunch, and I listened to GOD and He told me to give her my drink, so I did, and GOD blessed me, because another friend Emmalynn was having a birthday and brought cupcakes and drinks, so GOD made sure I had a drink too." Carissa just experienced the character of Christ, JEHOVAH-JIREH (meaning The LORD GOD my Provider).

Yesterday we were shopping for shoes, and Payless Shoe Store had the BOGO sale (buy one get one 1/2 off). Carissa found these attractive blue-jean style wedge shoes with bows at the toes, and a little wedge heal, and she wanted them sooo much. She actually pleaded for these shoes. I wasn't sure about them for 3 reasons; one they were more than I wanted to spend, secondly I didn't know if she was mature enough for a shoe with a little heal, and thirdly, because they would be only for church, and dressing up to go somewhere, which means they are not a "practical shoe" that she would wear every day at school running around at recess. GOD pressed it upon my heart, and said, "It's okay, go ahead and buy Carissa those shoes", so I did. GOD knew Yesterday that today Carissa would sacrifice her drink for a friend in need, that her loving sacrifice would bless three people, her friend, her Momma, and her Jesus. GOD is truly Amazing. I am so very blessed to have such an awesome little daughter who cares so much for others. Happy tears are a flowin, because she is knowin her Jesus! If you couldn't tell, I now have total Peace & Joy about those little blue shoes.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Easy Way

Ever wonder, Why is it so easy for others? Why do things come so easy for them?

The easy path is not hard to do, takes absolutely no effort at all, because it leads down hill. It is a gradual decline, going with the world's natural gravity to pull things down, and it is only at the very end of our downward destination that we find ourself in hell, up until then it's been a very comfortable pleasure trip lulling us into darkness.

The path of the righteous requires us to get out of our comfort zone, because it leads all up hill, going against the world's natural gravity to keep us held back, and pulled down. Taking the path of the righteous takes more than a lot of effort, it requires great determination, especially the longer & higher you travel. It is a challenge, it is very difficult at first, until we build up are spiritual muscle, and momentum to climb the sharp incline that leads to a higher elevation. The greatest obstacle comes right before we enter a new level that is significantly different than the one before.

Many various obstacles will come against us, some requiring a Huge leap of Faith to over come. Storms will come in order to confuse, disorient, blind us from the Truth, and cause us to lose our sense of direction. This is why we must equip ourselves with holding the Word of GOD in our Body, Mind, Soul, and Spirit. We must learn to die to the flesh in order to live for Christ. Our body will get weary, even down right exhausted, our Mind stressed out & overwhelmed, and our soul cries out, "I just don't feel like doing it any more".

At this point when we are weighed down so much that we can not move forward, we can not even get up and stand, we don't even have it in us to crawl even an inch, all is not lost. We are not alone. We are not on this journey by ourselves. Our Holy Parent has given us a Great Gift, a Helper & Healer along our journey who can lift our spirit above any and all circumstances. The Holy Spirit is always with us, all we have to do is drop our foolish pride, and ask for help, even if we don't have the energy for actual words, the Holy Spirit hears & responds to our silent cries.

If life ever gets too easy for too long, that is a clue we are headed in the wrong direction. For the life of an authentic Christ Follower is all uphill. It is mere Believers who are content with staying on the same level, never challenging themselves to move forward and follow Christ. Believers know the direction Christ is leading and is heading, but want to remain where they are at, just barely above the negative decline, at ground zero (O).

Thing is when we are content at living at ground zero, then that is what our life amounts to (O).
We were created to be social beings, and it is not good for us to be alone. Our very nature will seek out company & companionship. We have a choice seek higher ground, or fall backwards into the world's natural gravitational pull. It is our sin nature to seek the easy & comfortable way of life, that is why the lower you go the more people you will find to keep you company and deceive you into believing you are doing the right thing, because just take a look around it can't be bad if all these people, and everyone else is doing it.

The company of the crowd, or the solidarity of Christ.

Our life choices determine our destination. Choose to follow Christ, choose to be with Christ, choose to do His will, and serve only Him. Choose not to be mere Believers, or Hearers, but Doers of the Word. Faith in Action, it's a workout with the Holy Spirit as our personal trainer.

GOD's way is a Guide, a Blessing, to avoid the pit falls of this world. The Holy Spirit is a Gift from Christ, a Blessing not a burden. We resist the gentle compassionate conviction of the Holy Spirit. We avoid the warnings, and make excuses instead of making changes. We tell our foolish pride that "this is normal".

Are we created to live an average normal ordinary life, or were we created to aspire to greater things? Ordinary or Extraordinary that is the choice we all have to make a new goal in this new year, and challenge ourselves to do something (Extra)? 

All living things have two choices Grow or Die. 
To remain stagnate is an illusion of life. 
~ Anissa Stark 

Just something to think & pray about.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Right Path

Whose opinion do we value above all? Does majority rule in our life? Who makes up our circle of influence? Are we partaking in what is Popular or what is Purposeful?

Partaking in secular things that go directly against GOD are becoming more and more acceptable with many Christians. Rationalizing & justifying choices that they are okay, based on what others do rather than the guidelines Christ has set for us. I know, been there, done that. We search for the "Easy Way" which is really "The Lazy Compromising Way" that we have cloaked in a deceptive lie and renamed it "The Practical Way". It is our sin nature and foolish pride that elevates Practical over Spiritual. Thing is when we do things the world's way instead of GOD's way Practical leads to Problems.

I certainly do not have all the answers, but Christ does, and I am discovering more and more as I go along His Way, and not the way of the world.

GOD's Way is key to unlock an Extraordinary Life found only through Kingdom Living. 

Matthew 7:13-14

The Narrow Way New King James Version (NKJV)
   13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Matthew 7:13-14

Amplified Bible (AMP)
13Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it.
    14But the gate is narrow (contracted [a]by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.

Matthew 7:13-14

Being and Doing The Message (MSG)
13-14"Don't look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don't fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.

Psalm 25

New Living Translation (NLT)
1 O Lord, I give my life to you.
    2 I trust in you, my God!
   Do not let me be disgraced,
      or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
 3 No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
      but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.
 4 Show me the right path, O Lord;
      point out the road for me to follow.
 5 Lead me by your truth and teach me,
      for you are the God who saves me.
      All day long I put my hope in you.
 6 Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,
      which you have shown from long ages past.
 7 Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
      Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
      for you are merciful, O Lord.
 8 The Lord is good and does what is right;
      he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
 9 He leads the humble in doing right,
      teaching them his way.
 10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
      all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.
 11 For the honor of your name, O Lord,
      forgive my many, many sins.
 12 Who are those who fear the Lord?
      He will show them the path they should choose.
 13 They will live in prosperity,
      and their children will inherit the land.
 14 The Lord is a friend to those who fear him.
      He teaches them his covenant.
 15 My eyes are always on the Lord,
      for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.

The easy way leads to disaster, that is the enemy's plan to pretend he is a friend, encourages us to compromise to lead us to our own demise. Compromise leads to Demise. 

Just something to think & pray about.
~ Anissa Stark

Monday, January 2, 2012

Healthy Mind, Soul, and Spirit

Just as important as the food we choose to nourish our bodies, are the choices we select to feed our Mind, Soul, and Spirit. As Christians we are to have discernment for what we consume for our Mind, Soul, and Spirit, and make healthy choices.

I wonder what if we used, "The Light System" to identify and discern whether or not something is spiritually healthy for us?

Green Light - (G) stands for GOD, as in GOD centered, and GOD filled. This food for the spirit is full of Organic Truth. No Additives or Artificial Flavors, or Imitation Ingredients. These things strengthen our Mind, Body, and Spirit. Full & Consisting of Necessary Ingredients that not only sustain us, but makes us stronger, and the more we consume like the hungry caterpillar, it transforms us into a new creature with beautiful wings to fly, and soar to new unimaginable levels. The Bible is the number one source, and there is no close second. Other great Chris-centered resources are designed to be supplements, but never substitutes to the Holy Bible. A great quality Christian resource will always reference back to Sacred Scriptures. There are many Christ-centered resources that will strengthen, nourish, and stretch one's spiritual growth. It is very important to fellowship with other wise Christians, who have not just shown up to church, but have grown up in Christ over the years, so that they can recommend great resources for your spiritual development. Pray that the Holy Spirit will lead your selection of great Christian resources, for GOD is the one who knows the best what our individual needs are and the particular areas of growth that we need to examine with Christ.

Yellow Light - This food for the spirit is sometimes food. An occasional treat, a snack food that we can sometimes have, but they are not to be consumed on a regular basis. They are not designed to sustain us, and we are not to depend on them for our nourishment. They have some good qualities, mixed in with things we do not need, and can be harmful if we consume too much of them. They are void of Christ, thus they are void of Organic Holy Truth, and are not for our spiritual development, growth, and maturity. Their purpose is to feed the mind by acquiring new skills, such as cooking. One of my favorite TV programs is Cupcake Wars. While this is not a harmful show, and it provides entertainment as well as education, it does not feed my spirit. Only Christ-centered resources can feed one's spirit. To consume primarily, or only items from this group will starve my spirit to death, for one can not live on Cupcake Wars alone.

Red Light - Stop. Do not consume this food. It has zero nutritional value, because the harmful ingredients nullify, or out weight what ever good may be in there. Stop, don't consume, contains noting healthy, and is full of unhealthy ingredients. What these items contain go directly against GOD's purpose for our spiritual development. They are a detriment, counterproductive, very harmful with a very deceptive and equally destructive source. Avoid this, do not under any circumstance consume any amount of this type of spiritual food for it is a deadly poisson created to destroy either quickly, or over time leading to certain spiritual death. Resources from this group come against GOD's will and are in direct conflict with our unique Divine Purpose that GOD has created for each of us. Some of these resources are obviously wrong, like those that glory the enemy's kingdom, darkness, evil, and death, but there are also other harmful resources from this group that are not so obvious, are very covert, subtle, yet just as deadly to the spirit. Anything that promotes creatures of the darkness are things to avoid, for they lead to the enemy's realm and kingdom not GOD's.  The devil is in direct contrast to GOD. To look in the enemy's direction is to literally turn your back to GOD. Why are so many Christians interested in creatures of the night that suck your blood, rather than desiring to be with the One Who has shed His blood? If we consume things from this harmful group we are Zombie Christians who are dead in spirit, who lack authentic passion for Christ. You can not belong to two kingdoms. Choose Darkness or Light. To go back and forth between both worlds means you live among the shadows of this world.

Revelation 3:16

Amplified Bible (AMP)
16So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth!

Garbage in Garbage out. We can not continue to consume rotten things, and deceive ourselves into believing we can remain righteous.

How are we to be righteous when we keep consuming rotten things? Burry the dead things, and feast upon all things that have been planted in organic truth and grown by the Son's Light.

I like the 3 variations of Matthew 7:21-23, because the message is very clear that GOD does not seek a Religion from us, but a Relationship with us one based on loyalty, trust, dedication, faithfulness, and intimacy. 

Matthew 7:21-23

New King James Version (NKJV)

I Never Knew You
   21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Matthew 7:21-23

Amplified Bible (AMP)
21Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven.
    22Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name?
    23And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].(A)

Matthew 7:21-23

The Message (MSG)
21-23"Knowing the correct password—saying 'Master, Master,' for instance— isn't going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, 'Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.' And do you know what I am going to say? 'You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don't impress me one bit. You're out of here.'

Matthew 7:16-20
Amplified Bible (AMP)
16You will [a]fully recognize them by their fruits. Do people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?
    17Even so, every healthy (sound) tree bears good fruit [[b]worthy of admiration], but the sickly (decaying, worthless) tree bears bad (worthless) fruit.
    18A good (healthy) tree cannot bear bad (worthless) fruit, nor can a bad (diseased) tree bear [c]excellent fruit [worthy of admiration].
    19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.
    20Therefore, you will [d]fully know them by their fruits.

It is essential to determine whose Kingdom we want to dwell in, the Deceiver's or The Christ's. If we consume food from the enemy's kingdom, then it is at his table we dine and die.

Matthew 12:33-37

Amplified Bible (AMP)
33Either make the tree sound (healthy and good), and its fruit sound (healthy and good), or make the tree rotten (diseased and bad), and its fruit rotten (diseased and bad); for the tree is known and recognized and judged by its fruit.
    34You offspring of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil (wicked)? For out of the fullness (the overflow, the [a]superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks.
    35The good man from his inner good treasure [b]flings forth good things, and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse[c]flings forth evil things.
    36But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every [d]idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak.
    37For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Light System

This year Carissa's Kindergarten class talked about the 4 Basic Food Groups (Meats, Fruits/Vegetables, Dairy, Grains).  They were also taught within each of the 4 Basic Food Groups there are lots of choices to make, some are healthy and recommended, and some are not so healthy, and there are even some we should avoid. It is important to educate children about making healthy choices that will nourish their growing bodies. The 3 basic types or quality of food are based on & analogous to the Traffic Light System.

Green Light Foods - Go to foods, because they are full of healthy ingredients. Fresh is best, and organic even better. The closer to its natural source is the goal, and most beneficial to the body.

Yellow Light Foods - Are sometimes foods, an occasional treat, a snack food that we can sometimes have, but they are not to be consumed on a regular basis. They are not designed to sustain us, and we are not to depend on them for our nourishment. They have some good qualities, mixed in with things we do not need, and can be harmful if we consume too much of them.

Red Light Foods - Stop. Do not consume this food. It has zero nutritional value, because the harmful ingredients nullify, or out weight what ever good may be in there. Stop, don't consume, contains noting healthy, and is full of unhealthy ingredients. This is a never, hardly ever, or rarely ever item. If we based our consumption on strictly healthy content this would be a Never item, because it has zero, none, nada healthy components and actually contains harmful ones, like candy sweet to eat, but has the potential to rotten, damage, & destroy.

After the children studied in school about the 4 Basic Food Groups and the 3 Types/Quality of Food they went on a Field Trip to test their knowledge. A representative of the grocery store took them around the store, and had the children identify the 3 Types/Quality of Food. The representative eventually took them to the Produce section where the children identified all the healthy fruits and vegetables, then the representative brought out a wonderful fruit tray for the children to select their favorite "Green Light" Foods. After the children had a healthy snack, off to the Bakery section they went. The representative quizzed the children, and asked the children, What food group are the rolls in? The children shouted out, "The Bread Group", then the representative said that these are in the "Green Light" Group, some of the parents and children looked a little confused, because the bread she pointed to was a variety of white bread, french and sour dough and the children have been taught the difference between healthy brown multi-grain bread and white bread, as in multi-gran brown bread is "Always Food/Green Light Group" vs. white bread that is "Sometimes/Yellow Light Group".

Then the representative pointed out the donut display, and said that "these are sometimes food"so they are in the Yellow Light Group, and some of the parents said "well for us they are in the Red Group as in never or hardly ever foods. Then sitting right next to the donuts were the muffins that were sprinkled with large clear sugar crystals, they were definitely not the healthy muffins. The representative pointed out the different kinds of muffins to choose from, blueberry, banana, cranberry, and chocolate, and said these are healthy choices, so what group are they in? Some of the children were perplexed, because they were taught that healthy foods are from the Green Light group, and muffins are "sometimes foods" thus are from the Yellow Light Group. The children were confused and did not know how to answer, after all the ingredients were healthy, but this muffin looked like a treat, and was sitting right next to a donut which was clearly a dessert and sometime food at best.

Then my daughter Carissa, one of the youngest in the class, shouted out, "Muffins are a Sometimes Food". Her friends echoed in agreement, "yes muffins are Sometimes Food". The children shouted in unison, "Muffins are in the Yellow Light Group". The representative intended to identify the muffins as "healthy food" "Go to Food" "Green Light Food", and tried to convince the children that muffins were a "healthy go to food". Well, at this moment I had to step up and say, this item is a bit tricky to identify. While the muffins do contain healthy ingredients they also have lots of sugar & fat, and they are sitting right next to the donuts which is a hint that they are in the same group as the donuts which is "sometimes food" "Yellow Light Group". The representative replied, I never saw it that way before.

After the field trip was over, and as we were loading up the children back into our cars, the thing that stood out in the children's minds were the fact that the representative "tried to trick them" by saying the muffins were in the Healthy Green Light Group, and were a "good choice" when they knew she was not saying the truth and the children knew better. This was a great learning opportunity to explain to our children the importance of remembering what you have been taught, that other people may try to trick you into making a bad choice, or maybe they were not taught the correct information, so they don't know any better, but you knew better, and you made a better choice. We explained to our children that it is okay to disagree with people, even adults, when you have been taught the correct information, the correct way, and you know that the other person is wrong. Some of your friends even though they are taught right from wrong will make the wrong choice, like having muffins or donuts every day instead of sometimes.

I wonder what if we could use and adapt, "The Light System" to identify and discern whether or not something is spiritually healthy for us?