All posts by Christine Peart

Addicted To Slavery

Deuteronomy 32:11(CEV)
The LORD was like an eagle teaching its young to fly, always ready to swoop down and catch them on its back.

While slavery has been banned in most countries, some tenets of its ugly head still continue to rise up, not only in remote and primitive populations, but in civilized cultures as well. In days past, you could tell slaves by how they were dressed; most often they had no shoes, very little clothing, and were branded with the insignia of their owners. These circumstances made it difficult for slaves to escape, for they were not equipped to navigate the tumultuous route and elements they would have to endure on their passage to freedom. In some countries it is still illegal for a slave to wear shoes, making such a person easy to identify and rendering his or her quest for freedom that much more difficult.

It’s hard to imagine that anyone would be in love with such a degrading state of affairs. No one wants to be treated as property or be bought and sold at the behest of a master. This practice is evil and wrong.

However, many may find themselves ensnared in another form of bondage. This bondage does not start with the same entrapment and humiliation of slavery, but the end result is the same. What’s worse, the person is not enslaved by something they hate; instead, they’re trapped by something they love.

We all have been caught up in things that we really enjoyed, not realizing that our fixation was a form of slavery until it became clear that it was bringing about our demise. Only then do we realize we are barefoot and not able to escape, branded with the hot poker of illnesses, fears, and addictions.

Let us thank God, who comes to us and stirs up these places we love so much, allowing us to take no comfort there and pushing us out of our comfort zone. If we were to stay there, we would never know the liberty that comes from being able to soar.

What Time Is It

Ecclesiastes 3:1(KJV)
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

Years ago, I came home from work utterly exhausted. I always took my job seriously, and I had been burning the midnight oil by finishing reports at home just so I could stay on task during the day at work. When I arrived home, I laid across my bed only to realize after awaking that I had no idea what time it was or where I was. I was sure that the time had not gotten too far away from me, but to my surprise it was not 7pm; it was 2am!

Still tired, I wandered around the house for some time trying to decide what to do. My body told me to go back to sleep, my stomach told me to get something to eat, and my mind told me to push through and get some work done. I ended up sitting in front of the TV, living vicariously through some superhero who managed to save the world in under two hours. I finally went back to bed, knowing that I would awake in a few hours and start the day with the same exhaustion that I had ended it with the day before. If only I had more time…

Many of the ailments that we suffer from are a result of an imbalanced lifestyle. There is a time and place for everything, so why not work to bring order back into your life by changing some habits that breed chaos? Making these changes will diminish the number of negative flare-ups that you experience in your life and health. Why not get started today? The time you invest to rid chaos from your life will decrease the amount of time you’ll spend suffering from the fallout of that same chaos.

Side Effects

Proverbs 20:5 (KJV)
Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.

In today’s world, it’s all about pushing the product. Everyone is looking for a way to make what they are selling sound appealing. When I was a kid, you were made to believe you would get stronger just by eating certain cereals. Certain chocolate-flavored drinks were associated with space, and the thought of drinking them made you feel that much closer to the stars.

There is nothing wrong with advertising your product, but nowadays, with there being so much information available on the effects of products, companies must reinvent themselves, hiding the true effects of their products by making them more appealing with a few intellectual facts.

Alcohol is no different, with all of the news about drinking more responsibly, now, alcohol companies are advertising that wine may actually decrease the risk of heart disease, and the truth is they would not be lying. The skin of red grapes contains powerful flavonoids, such as resveratrol and quercetin.

These are antioxidants that help reduce heart disease. Keep in mind that while these are good qualities of the product, the downside of drinking is esophageal cancer, liver cancer, and cirrhosis of the liver, and because alcohol is a mind-altering drug, it is responsible for many crimes, traffic deaths, and domestic violence, and it is at the heart of many divorces.

Instead of trying to lower your risk of heart disease with a glass of wine, why not drink grape juice; thus, getting all the benefits while avoiding all the side effects. A group of friends sitting around the dinner table drinking grape juice is not appealing to advertisers, but neither is a group of friends sitting around a hospital bed, but nobody ever wants to talk about that.

Looks Are Deceiving

Psalms 127:2 (KJV)
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

I once stayed at a five-star hotel and received very poor service. The hotel was beautiful in every way; no expense had been spared in the presentation of this fine resort. The colors and textures provided a soothing, calming feeling to the weary eye. The menu offered foods that were pleasing to the palate, and the rooms looked clean and polished upon entry. However, it did not take very long to find the flaws behind the façade and see all the shortcuts the staff had taken.

Who could miss the large bag of popcorn that had been dumped out and left underneath the bed? Who could discount the two hours it took for room service to arrive, or the frustration the front desk displayed as they tried to undo the reservation problems that some other workers had created? This expensive, five-star hotel was short staffed, and because of this problem, the customers experienced a great number of service mishaps and errors.

When we allow ourselves to become tired and overworked, we are predisposed to make unnecessary mistakes that can be time-consuming and costly to reverse. While we may look like a five-star hotel on the outside, on the inside we offend the organs in our bodies by making demands upon them without giving them the time they need to rest and recuperate. Thus, the work they put out is subpar at best. This result can frustrate us, as we become sick under the body’s burden, leaving us unable to provide the five-star service that our facility has promised.

You have been fearfully and wonderfully made, and if you are willing to take care of your body, giving it the necessary tools and the rest it requires, not only will you be able to do your job with fewer mistakes, but you will do your job well. And in times of crisis, that same body will be able to hold up under the stress instead of folding like a deck of cards.

Strange God

Isaiah 44:15 (KJV)
Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto.

Our lives are filled with many routines. Whether your daily responsibilities include a job, a family, or just doing the things you enjoy, you probably get up in the morning with a pretty good handle on how your day will go. While we can count on the regular routine of the day, every now and then some unforeseen event occurs—something we had not planned that may test or shake our confident foundation. In those moments, we may need the help of someone we believe is stronger and more knowledgeable about the situations we are facing.

The thought of cutting down a tree and using some of it for a fire to warm yourself, some of it to cook your meat, and some of it to fashion into a god to ask for help when you are in trouble sounds crazy, but how often do you rely on a shot glass to numb the pain of failure? Do you reach for a pill bottle to soothe your restlessness, or an unhealthy food to quiet loneliness? Do you look for answers in something that has no ears to hear and eyes to see, or something that does not have the ability to unravel all the twists and turns that your crisis may entail?

Why not make God your go-to, instead of following the wisdom of a bottle, a smoking stick, a cupcake, or some other inanimate object? Why not go to the only true, living God? After all, you already know the idol you hold so dear does not have the answer; it’s just hard to walk away when you have invested so much in its foolish promises. May you have the courage to embrace the only one who can help you out of a crisis, although I am sure it would also be nice for God to hear from you when you just want to say hello.

Turn The Lights On

Genesis 1:3 (KJV)
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

I once heard a comedian speak about the arrogance of the human brain. He described it in this way:

“Every night when I get up to go to the bathroom, my brain tells me that this is my bedroom and I know it like the back of my hand; therefore, it is not necessary to turn on any lights. Meanwhile, my toes are terrified that the arrogance of my brain is about to make them experience some serious trauma.”

There is nothing like the searing pain of unexpected blunt force to your toe. Most times we hit our toes on things we know are there and that have been there for a long time. We simply miscalculate our surroundings, or we rely on our memory of what we saw in the light and hope that it will carry us through the perilous terrain we must negotiate in the darkness.

While we cannot keep the darkness from coming, we do possess means to bring light to it. How many times have we caused ourselves unnecessary pain because we chose to live and function in the dark?

Do you have fears you hide in ignorance, suffering privately and worrying about the worst-case scenario? Well, if you turn some lights on, it may not be as bad as you think. In reality, whatever you’re dealing with is probably something you can manage. Turning the lights on can transform a room or situation that looked one way into something totally different. Even a night light, as small as it is, can keep the Boogie Man away. Why not avail yourself of the light? God, the only true light, is waiting.

Rent vs Own

1 Corinthians 6:19(KJV)
What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

There is something about the mindset of owners that distinguishes them from renters. Owners take pride in their work and see to it that their property has the best of everything. They don’t take shortcuts, they don’t use cheap materials, they don’t ignore codes, and they make sure everything lies within proper specifications. Owners understand that their investment must be able to withstand the wear and tear of time.

Renters, on the other hand, may care about what has been loaned to them, but their commitment is a step removed. They may be careless with what they have because the final responsibility does not rest with them. If renters must make an investment in the property, they are usually more concerned with cost of materials than quality of workmanship, and because the asset does not belong to them, they expect to be reimbursed for any and all expenses.

Your body belongs to God. You are an example of his workmanship; He has spared no expense. He made the clock in your heart to keep the beat on time. He made the cooling system in your brain to keep your body at the perfect temperature. The alarm system in your blood is able to spot enemies and launch an appropriate response; the ventilation system in your lungs wards off airborne pathogens; the irrigation system in your kidneys keeps the environment moist, and the sewage system of your colon flushes out undesirable elements. God did all of this for you so that you could have the best life possible. It would be wise to work with the owner, and not be careless with what has been loaned to you—doing so can ensure that He is not constantly being called upon to make repairs.

An Unnecessary Death

Deuteronomy 2:16(KJV)
So, it came to pass, when all the men of war were consumed and dead from among the people.

Sickness never comes at a convenient time. It is intrusive and rude, demanding and overbearing. It usually brings with it a dose of humility and some unforeseen expenses that we are not prepared to pay. As you sit and review your diagnosis, you have a decision to make: do you want to live, or do you want to die?

Everybody knows someone who has died of something that was avoidable. Some diseases are completely manageable, but because we are stubborn, unwilling to listen to expert advice, and reluctant to bend to our circumstances, we fight our diagnosis rather than make changes.

Deciding to take care of yourself is not the white flag of defeat! Giving up poor habits does not give aid and comfort to the enemy; it gives relief to you. We often fight instructions and admonitions regarding what actions would best resolve or at least allow us to live with an illness because we want to live our lives our way, without restrictions. We rebel like teenagers who believe that the rules serve only to ruin our lives instead of to protect or even save us.

In war, you must be aware of the mission and the enemy, but you also need to know when it’s time to call a truce and form a treaty. Asthma may be your enemy, but you cannot fight it by refusing to use your inhaler. Nor will you conquer high blood pressure by eating a high salt diet and neglecting your meds. This refusal to adapt is not a sign of your military might; it is a sign of someone who is about to perish in the wilderness.

May you be wise enough to listen to what your ailment is telling you and do that which is needed in order to live. The shock and awe will come when those you love to see that you finally followed the doctor’s orders.

Living In Your Mind

Proverbs 28:19 (KJV)
He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough.

It is a beautiful day; outside, the wind is blowing ever so gently through the trees, the birds are singing, and the children are playing. The Caribbean Sea is so crystal blue, and the sky matches its color, with not a cloud in sight. This is a perfect day, and I am living the life. My job as a big-time corporate executive allows me to spend more time out of the office. I have finally risen to the top and have many people working under me; they now do all the hard work, while I enjoy the benefits. As always, my private jet’s pilot did a superb job of getting me to this oasis, and the car service driver who took me to my five-star hotel was courteous.

There is only one problem—everything I have just said has never happened. I do not have a big fat corporate job, and I do not own a private jet. I do enjoy daydreaming about these things, though. There are many people who choose to escape the realities of their living situations by daydreaming. The problem is that if you spend your life daydreaming as opposed to working, what you wish for will never happen.

I used to get up every day and wish I were thinner, that my living situation were different, and that I had a better job. However, I realized that these changes would never happen if I didn’t do anything about them.

Life is not always easy, but it bodes better for you if you remain present in the reality of your life and not escape into some daydream. May you have the courage to live your life, changing what you can, and the wisdom to know the difference, regardless of the circumstances you may find yourself in.

Man-Made Storms

Judges 4:1(KJV)
Again, the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord, when Ehud was dead.

For many years, the Israelites had peace under the influence and guidance of a good ruler. However, as soon as this ruler died, they began to return to their old ways, indulging their every desire without restraint. These men and women were so absorbed in their foolishness that they were blindsided by the coup that brought on their captivity. Their conqueror was a strong one; he ruled them harshly, with no compassion, and only then did they cry out to God for deliverance.

As we look at our own personal journeys, we can see (if we are honest) that the only times we seek God or even listen to his counsel are when we are in trouble. When things are going pretty well in our lives, we don’t tend to take our indulgent, destructive ways seriously or recognize the fallout that can come from our behavior. We may be aware of some issues in our lives that we need to address, but it’s easier to kick the can down the road. Nevertheless, sooner or later a storm will arise in the sea of life, and it will be one of our own making. Whether we experience sickness, trouble on the job, or relationship problems, we must sleep in the bed we make.

Why not go to God now, and ask him to deliver you from some of your destructive ways? If you don’t, sooner or later you’ll find yourself crying to him in the storm and asking for deliverance when you could have allowed him to address your issues during times of peace. If you turn to Him now, you might stave off an approaching storm altogether. The choice is yours; may God give the courage to choose wisely.

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