Friday, July 9, 2010

Forgetting to Eat

Today's Post is a Guest Contribution by Ellie Shumaker:

Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven’t eaten anything. Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive…” ACTS 27:33-34

Food – so nourishing, so good, so delightful. How can we forget to eat? And yet it can happen.

It’s happened to me (not very often as I’ve spent a good part of my life battling my weight). It happened when I went through a terrible crisis way back in my twenties. I was in such an anxious state that I didn’t want to eat anything -- not even chocolate! And then it happened when I went through a wrenching upheaval in my relationship with one of my children four years ago. Again, nothing tasted good to me and I would forget to eat.

And during those times, I can recall that those around me who loved me would say something like what the apostle Paul said to those on board the storm-tossed ship: “Come on, Ellie, you need to eat, to keep up your strength…”

But food’s not all we need. We human beings are complex creatures. We need more than nourishment for our bodies. Just as much -- no really more -- we need nourishment for our souls. Recently as I was recounting to a friend how troubled and worried I was about the demands and the uncertainties of my employment situation, she stopped me and gently urged me to eat -- that is to eat the spiritual food that I was obviously starving for.

“Why don’t you try praying more?” she said.

My friend is right. I’m forgetting to eat.

Prayer – so nourishing, so good, so delightful. How can I forget to pray? And yet it happens. “Prayer is not asking for good things. It’s going to where they are.” (my favorite quote about prayer.) When I pray I am going to where the good things are, I’m going to where I will find all the spiritual food I will ever need.

And if I pray, even should my job fail, should the economy falter, should the nation fall, then, even then, I will survive, I will live, I will thrive. And then, even then, I will have the strength, the courage, the love I will need to reach out to others, to share with them, to help them, too, to survive, to live, to thrive.

Today's Post is by Ellie Shumaker. Ellie writes a monthly devotional she publishes via email. This post is from her June 2010 edition, and is published here with permission. Ellie is a Christian, a writer and a family counselor. To subscribe to Ellie's monthly devotional, you may email her at Feel free to tell her Chatty Kelly sent you.

Chatty Kelly

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hold On, I'm Coming!

Don't you ever, be sad. Lean on me, when times get bad.
When the day come, and you know your down,
In a river of trouble, you're 'bout to drown.
Hold on, cause I'm coming. Hold on, I'm coming.

Hold On, I'm Coming, Sam and Dave, 1966

Do you ever get tired of doing good? Being a Christian in the world is exhausting business. What the world says is okay, often contradicts what the Bible says is right. Not only right, but righteous. We are called to be set apart from the world. And at times, it can be tiring.

God knew this. That is why He encourages us many times in the Bible not to get give up. We are told to consider Jesus, who endured opposition from sinful men, so that we will not grow weary and lose heart. (Heb 12:3). We are told not to grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Gal 6:9) We are told to never tire of doing what is right (2 Thes 3:13).

Obviously God knew we might get tired. Like the words of Sam and Dave's song, He reminds us to "Hold on, I'm Coming. Hold on, I'm Coming." In fact, we need to lean on him when times are bad. He knows our every struggle.

Keep on keeping on, my Christian friends. Do not get tired of doing good, in this world of ours which seems to reward NOT doing good. Do not get tired. Hold on. He's coming!

Musical Musings:
1. Do you ever get tired of being the one who tries to do the right thing, especially when many others seem not to care what the right thing is?
2. How encouraged are you to know that God knew we would tire, so that He Himself ordaining words in Scripture to energize you.
3. Matthew 16:27 says "For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done." Keep focused today on the fact that Jesus is coming back, and will reward you for your persistence in doing good.

Dear Lord, I admit that sometimes I get tired. I want to do what is right, but it's sometimes hard when no one seems to notice or care. I know, Lord, that you notice. And you care. Keep me focused on doing what is right, encourage and energize me to hold on, until that time when you do come. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Rock On: Make note cards on encouraging scriptures, like the ones above. When you are feeling down or discouraged, read them out loud to remind yourself to hold on. He's coming.

Chatty Kelly