Friday, September 21, 2012
Often my wife and I are asked how we lost so much weight and still look healthy and happy. While we do not mind telling people, most do not wish to hear what we say.
On one such occasion a man asked, "What diet are you on?"
"We eat plant based foods."
"So, you don't eat meat," he understood.
"Correct. We don't eat meat. We eat fruit and vegetables."
"What do you eat?" he asked with seemly little understanding.
"We eat fresh plant based foods. And we don't do dairy."
"What do you eat?" He questioned again.
"Oh, and do don't do eggs or poultry."
"But what do you eat?" he asked with large eyes.
Such conversations are normal. Several have said how hard it must be to deny ourselves of so many good foods. I have laughed at this because this is my choice to eat this way. I love this type of food.
But in truth, I deny myself little.
I eat what and when I want.
I buy what I want.
I drive what road and speed I want.
I think what I want.
I say what I want (some restrictions may apply).
I spend much of my time the way I want.
I watch what movies I want.
I buy Starbucks when I want.
I "give" what and when I want.
I pray when I want.
I help others when I want.
This tells much of my story when interpreted with insight ... it is all about me and what I want. I am pretty much in denial about denying myself. Some see me as a bastion of selflessness. However, I know how deceiving my small works and words can be.
Yes, I pray when I want, but often I should pray and don't.
Yes, I help others when I want, but far too often I only help those who will not cramp my style or life.
This is what has awakened the blog from a deep slumber ... denial. The word is troubling my spirit. I need a change. Not to deny myself for the sake of sacrifice or discipline (though they are good causes), but because I am so "not" like Christ.
God, I need your help on this one. I want too much of what I want. Help me realize that denying myself for You is probably not denial at all, but obedience which helps direct me to fulfillment.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (Matthew 16:24 NIV84)
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Monday, May 28, 2012
It was 1968 in I Corps, South Vietnam, some months after the devastating Tet Offensive. A circuit-riding Army chaplain, his assistant, and I took a Sunday jeep drive to a church service in the nearby suburbs of what was left of Hue. The church building had been damaged during hostile and friendly fire, and now allied forces were helping to replace the roof.
Imbedded in my memory of that worship service is the sound of a male quartet singing "Lest I Forget Gethsemane." The words sounded foreign to my ears, but the melody was familiar, and Gethsemane still sounded like Gethsemane. One of the singers was a Vietnamese college student who had recently lost a leg to bombing. And there he was on crutches, singing his heart out.
To this day, I'm not sure this memory has a happy ending. But shortly after, my chaplain buddy successfully raised contributions from the troops to fit that maimed student with an artificial limb. And this Memorial Day weekend, I remember. dlt
Written by my big brother, Daniel, who faithfully served our country for over 23 years in the U.S. Army.
I do not care much for politics.
Most politicians I could never trust.
Celebrities or movie stars do nothing for me.
Though they may be famous, they do little to influence my life.
I have no desire to rub shoulders with the affluent or wealthy.
Though they may have great resources, they have invested little into my life.
Though I like music, musicians are but those who use their talents.
One may make beautiful harmony, but he will not lay down his life for me.
I do not get very excited about sport activities, college or professional.
Though athletes may be very good at what they do, they are not my heroes.
My heroes are those who have served our country and given their lives for my freedom.
And to you, I give thanks.
Though many may use this day as an extended weekend for whatever ...
I remember, and I honor you.