Saturday, May 19, 2012


Gain in Kilos; Lose in Pounds
May 19, 2012

     Last week, my three friends and two of their husbands, Christina, Christy, Deana, Mike, and Colin, and myself filmed a silly little spoof of Charlie’s Angels. I was horrified when I looked at the clip. I sunk into a depression as my weight moved around before me. I practically cried and prayed myself to sleep in the fetal position and wanted to hide from the world.
     On Sunday, while avoiding human contact as much as possible all day after church, I decided I needed to do something. I decided to do a juice fast. This was not some fad diet attempt; rather, it was my decision to break the cycle of horrible eating habits and reset my mind and body. I prayed about it and for three days: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I drank only juiced or blended vegetables, fruit, nuts, and beans (the nuts and bean blends were… interesting… not tasty, but interesting). I needed to just break the cycle of bad eating and start over, and let’s just say with those blended beans and nuts, I experienced what it really means to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. No risk of overindulgence there!

     Well, Today was day two of eating solid foods again. After my first meal, my tummy ached for a few minutes, but that was it. After that I was fine. I realized that it’s not enough to start with exercise. Exercise deals with what is in my body; eating well deals with what does or does not even make it into my body. I can exercise all I want (figuratively speaking; I don’t really want to), but it doesn’t mean much if my cells are starving for nutrients.

     The first day was relatively easy. The second day was irritating. The third day was hard. I boiled my eggs so if I was still awake at midnight, I could eat them.
On the third day, I determined and signed a contract with myself dedicating myself to not eating processed foods or refined sugar for the next six days (except for yogurt since I can’t read the Chinese label to know which is the healthiest yogurt-- and honey which I rarely use anyway).

     Today is the end of day two of this and my diet is consisting of lean proteins, vegetables, fruit, beans, a little extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a little salt, pepper, and other spices. I am actually enjoying this because I am eating only at home, which means… I’m cooking all my meals. I am experimenting in the kitchen and discovering vegetables I normally wouldn’t take a second look at in the grocery store. I’m learning to cook tasty food with all fresh ingredients since I can’t use any processed ingredients. I’m even using fresh spices when I can find them in the store (fresh garlic, ginger, cilantro).

     I can’t say I will never eat this or that again because that is too overwhelming, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with indulging on special occasions (special occasions being on a birthday, not for a week after the birthday, On Christmas, not the weeks leading up to and after Christmas, on Thanksgiving, not the week after Thanksgiving). I can only say that I commit to this for six days and if I am pleased with the results (Which I am sure I will be. I’ve already lost 6 pounds- or 3 kilos. I prefer to gain in kilos and lose in pounds.), I will consider renewing my contract. Eventually, I might even extend the length of the contract, but for now, I’m just going to think about today’s part of my current six day contract.

     Well this is truly the next step of my spiritual journey with Jesus. I pray to God that I stick to it this time. I really feel like I have to put this part of my flesh to death like He commands us to put all of our sinful fleshly desires to death in order to continue to grow in my relationship with Him—and my relationship with the Father is my life’s goal.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Part 1: Sp1r1tual Logistics

All I can say is wow! The Lrd is GOOD! He IS working in the lives of the people all across Asia. I want to share about a few things I have seen first-hand here in my pocket of southern China as well as in the city of Phenom Phen, Cambodia. I will try to break this up to make it easier on the eyes. Read bits now. Read pieces later. I just hope this encourages you in your walk with our Father, as well as I hope it will build upon your vision of the role global body. 

Part 1: Blessings throughout preparing for Cambodia (The Sp1r1tual Logistics)

This week I went on a short-term trip to the Kingdom of Cambodia with a team from my fellowship in China. It is so amazing how the Father weaves the lives of His children together so that we cross paths exactly when we need it the most, so that we are placed in the exact location we need to be in at the exact time we need to be there, and how He puts the words in our mouths and the law in our hearts just as the Word says He will. 

Important Background Information: His hand was over this trip from the very beginning. Over a month ago, each one of our sixteen team members was assigned a secret buddy to pry for in preparation for the trip. 

Blessing #1: 
Fast-forward to the week of the trip. Most of the team left on Friday morning and the remaining three of us left on Saturday morning. After we booked the flights for these specific days, I found out I had to turn my passport into my school so they could renew my Chinese visa for next year, and I found out that my passport would not be given back to me until Friday afternoon, the day before I was to leave and several hours after my team was to leave. The rejection of my request for leave from work for that Friday so I could fly out with my team was a blessing in disguise.

More important background information:
Rewind to Tuesday of the same week. I got an email saying that I was supposed to have gone to the Kodak photo shop down the street and have a visa photo taken for the Chinese visa process. I hadn’t done this. I was informed that if I didn’t get the photo before 9:00 pm that same day, my passport would be delayed. (Translation: I would completely MISS the flight and not be able to go on the trip.) By the grace of The Father, I did not completely flip out. I went on with my day, planning to go that evening to have the photo taken. Then, I went on with my evening. Finally, it was 11:00 pm and I had an “Oh crap!” moment. I forgot to get the photo taken!

At that point, I had a mild freak out. I knew I needed pryer, but I was afraid to tell my team leaders about the visa. I feared that they would be angry for my irresponsibility. However, He placed it so intensely on my heart that I needed pryer and I specifically NEEDED pryer from the very team leader I was afraid of making mad. Unhappily, and just because He told me to do it, I emailed her and told her what happened and that I needed pryer. 

After a few hours of anxious sleep and many emails begging for extra time, my BFF agreed to print my visa pictures so I could get them to work early in the morning. As I left to meet her to get the photos, I got a text from the lady at work, “You don’t need to print pictures. You must have them taken at the Kodak shop today. They have to insert a special code into the electronic photo.” I was growling inside, but still trying to sing hymns. I then rushed to the Kodak shop to find that it didn’t open for another hour. So I did what any self-respecting American would do; I went to McDonalds for breakfast. (At this time, I will not reveal the blessing, but I will reveal the lesson God taught me once I realized the blessing: God doesn’t always tell us everything. Sometimes, we just have to obey in faith… and you will find blessing number two listed later.)

Blessing #3
Upon entering McDonalds, I ran into a woman who I had met at my small group in the fall. She is someone my group has been prying for, as she is now homeless, likely mentally and emotionally unwell, and making poor choices as a result. She remembered me so I sat down and we talked. At first I was really nervous because I didn’t know what to say, but I quickly realized that all I needed to do was listen to her. She told me about the vision she thought The Father gave her and many of the desires of her heart. Some things seemed very far-fetched, but I just kept quiet and listened. I asked if I could pry with her and I did. I pryed that if The Father was really trying to speak to her that He would do so clearly and she would have no confusion about it. Then it got awkward, though she seemed to be grateful, so I left her at the table and went to Starbucks. I don’t know the eternal impact of this interaction, but I am just sure it was a divine appointment.

Blessing #4
I sat outside Starbucks reading the Word, still waiting for the Kodak shop to open, when I got the urge to go to the alley where our women’s outreach group does sp1r1tual battle each week by pryer walking and singing hymns. I don’t usually get to go with my team because they walk while I am at work across town, but this morning, because of the visa problem, I was on the right side of town. I walked the alley alone three times, singing hymns and prying. The morning is a perfect time because the women are sleeping and the street has light, but “normal” foot traffic, moms walking the kids to school, etc. It’s the “safe” time. Nothing visible happened, but I know the enemy’s soldiers were fighting against each other while I sang just as in 2 Chronicles 20. The sp1r1tual world never sleeps. 

Blessing #5
I got my photo taken and my passport returned in time.

Blessing #6
During the Easter concerts several weeks ago I pryed for a Chinese woman who had many, many things on her plate. I ran into her at fellowship the previous Sunday and she wanted to get together, so I invited her over to my home and we made dumplings. We talked, laughed, talked, pryed, and talked some more. I was so surprised at how much sharper I felt from meeting with her. I thought I would be pouring into  her, but it turned out, we poured into each other. It was nice to make a new friend, one from an entirely new culture, but with the most important things in common: Our faith in Jesus Christ, our singleness, our desire for writing, and our love for dumplings. I really felt like my heart couldn’t hold anymore friends before Wednesday; I thought I operating at full capacity, but when God brought me a new friend, He made my heart bigger. Amanda is a huge blessing.

Blessing #7
On Friday, another friend who I had not spent time with since my last trip to Cambodia in October called me and wanted to meet with me so I could pry with her. She came over that night and we had a blast. We laughed, pryed, talked, laughed, pryed, and sang. She stayed the night and helped get me on my way to Cambodia early the next morning. Again, we were not that close before, but God made my heart bigger!

Blessing #2
Fast-forward to Tuesday night, the END of the Cambodia trip. We sat in a circle and for the first time, revealed our pryer buddies. The person who was prying for me was Tyler, our trip leader, the one I was so afraid to tell about my visa problem, the one God told me I HAD to have pry for me, the one who was specifically and secretly prying for ME for me the WHOLE time.

Isn’t God awesome?

To Be Continued…