Tuesday, May 19, 2009


"Pleasure has proved to be the most powerful and lasting motivation."
~Mireille Guiliano, French Women for All Seasons

This quote can be taken in almost any context and so prove to be positive or negative. Advertisers use this fact regularly. In her book, Ms. Guiliano's focus is on diet and other basics of everyday life. In her first book, French Women Don't Get Fat, she addressed the area of diet primarily, but her principles work in every area of life so she wrote the second book.

To sum it up, Guiliano purports that all good things are healthy when taken in joy and moderation. Not a bad principle to live by. Gluttony would therefore cause disease and Ms. Guiliano demonstrates that the majority of diseases today stem from obesity.

French Women for all Seasons is not a Christian book per se, however, I see a common thread with Biblical principles. Take the following Scriptures for example:

". . . The joy of the Lord is your strength."
~Nehemiah 8:10

". . . In thy presence is fulness of joy,
At Thy right hand, there are pleasures forever more."
~Psalm 16:11

Don't read over these familiar verses too quickly. Strength. That's not just emotional or spiritual strength, is it? It's physical strength, health, as well.

And what is the "joy of the Lord?"

God's happiness with us; Our happiness when we're in one accord with God; the joy the Lord gives us regardless of circumstances. Anyway you look at it, it's healthy for us in every aspect of our lives: physically, spiritually, emotionally.

Psalm 16:11 speaks for itself. Read it again. "In Thy presence is fulness of joy, At thy right hand, there are pleasures forever more." Wow. God cares about our pleasure. The closer we are to Him the more pleasure we enjoy. He created everything in nature for us to enjoy--for our pleasure. He instituted celebrations for His people to remember him by and to enjoy. He called for far more celebrations than He did for fasts, though both are important, of course.

Why don't we take the time to enjoy celebrations? Even little ones like a cup of tea with a friend or high-quality, natural foods made simply and eaten slowly.

I think the reason we don't is because we're always in a hurry. We just don't want to take the time to prepare or even to be thankful. We gulp down our food and rush on to the next thing on our schedule so we can cross it off our list. The only problem is that this isn't fullness and it isn't the abundant life Jesus promised us.

God wants us to enjoy the gifts He gives and to do that we have to STOP. Recognize the gift, be thankful for a moment or two. To enjoy His bountiful supply in nature, we have to STOP. Taste. Enjoy. Breathe. Give Thanks. Otherwise we'll likely miss the joy of the abundance He sends our way.

Even the conviction of sin is a precious gift to be savored. It is God's kindness that leads us to repentance as it says in Romans 2:4. But if we rush past the conviction in our heart, we won't feel the sorrow over our sin and thus the need to repent doesn't seem as urgent. Without repentance there is no forgiveness of sin, and without forgiveness there is no blessing of an abundant life here or in eternity.

The pleasure of God's presence motivates us to repent so we can be near Him, which is fulness of joy and that's what heaven's all about.

Pleasure is the best motivator.

The pleasure we experience when we're with God motivates us to a holy life. May we allow nothing to hinder that relationship.

The pleasure we experience when we're healthy motivates us to eat slowly, with moderation and to eat vibrant, ripe foods, grown naturally.

The pleasure we obtain from being thankful motivates us to take our time, recognize the gifts we enjoy from God and give Him thanks.

Let us determine to slow down enough to enjoy the flowers. After all they're created by a God who loves us and wants to bless us with pleasurable experiences. He's like my husband sending me flowers for our Anniversary, He wants to remind us of His love and make us smile.





Here's a recipe you're sure to enjoy. It's natural, simple and full of flavor!

Caprese Sandwiches

-Two slices of Crusty Bread (Cibiata, Sour Dough, Boule, Baguette, etc.)
-Dab a few brushfuls of Balsamic Vinegar (For something extra special, see my link to Annon's Gourmet shop. Jeanie sells many delicious varieties of balsamics. For Caprese, I love the Pomegranate Vinegar)
-Fresh Mozzarella (found in Italian Delis or the specialty cheese isle of the grocery store) WARNING: regular mozzarella will NOT do. It's completely different.
-Ripe Tomato, sliced
-Fresh Basil
After dabbing the bread with vinegar, slice some of the Fresh Mozzarella and place on the bread. Add several leaves of Basil and slices of Tomato.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


"I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope, My soul waits for the Lord More than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord; For with the Lord there is lovingkindness, And with Him is abundant redemption. And He will redeem Israel from all his iniquities." Psalm 130:5-8

Waiting is so hard. Have you ever planted a seed, watered it, then watched it every day to see if you could see the first green begin to show through the dirt? As kids we did this in our science class, but I still do it in my garden. I may not check it the first day or two. After all, I'm an adult now, I know it takes longer than a day for a seed to sprout and reach the surface. But inwardly I can't wait. I anticipate.

Seeds planted in the spirit can take much longer than natural seeds to show life. I'd been waiting so long long for certain spiritual seeds to show their sprouts, that I confess, I gave up. At first, I watched and waited, excited for the plant and fruit that would follow. But as the days turned into weeks and weeks turned into years, I confess, I gave up. I quit watering those seeds, quit bathing them in prayer. I quit watching and hoping because I didn't want to face the disappointment again. Busying my thoughts with other things eased my mind so I focussed on the daily grind or my own comfort instead.

Hope is a tricky thing, don't you agree?

Honestly it's easier to let a plant die than to water and nurture it daily without seeing any results. At least you can't be bitter about your seed's lack of progress when your own lack of attention caused the problem. But to diligently nurture, water and wait and yet see nothing is brutal. So I quit. To my shame, I gave up. To be quite honest though it didn't stop me from being bitter toward God. You see I also quit expecting anything special from Him in my life. I still believed, but I held hurt inside and didn't risk hoping.

God is so good and faithful. He is restoring my hope, my faith. He is showing signs of life underneath the soil. I can almost see green coming up from the shifting dirt above that original seed. And I believed that seed to be dead!

Without any care or water from me in recent years, God was working inside that little seed. He tilled and nurtured it through all these years. I don't deserve to reap the fruit from the crop this seed will produce, but He is allowing me to be one of the harvesters all the same. WOW!

Though man be found unfaithful, yet God remains faithful.

I thank you YHVH!