Peace with Food

In Body, Mind by Caleb

You can enjoy food and not be enslaved by it.

The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. (Genesis 2:9)

Food was always designed to look good, taste good, and be good for the body. The problem with food is when we… * eat what’s not healthy * eat too little * eat too much

Why? Why do we binge or make other unhelpful food choices? For the same reason we struggle with any addiction; we choose control–using our vice of choice–so we don’t have to feel the feelings we don’t want to feel.

But…

It’s not until we feel that we can heal.

If you have a problem with food, food is not the real problem. The food issues are telling you that it’s time to courageously feel some feelings you’ve been stuffing. Therapy, meditative prayer, good friends, family members, others who have walked this road…all can be helpful.

Food isn’t the enemy. You can have peace with food. And food might just be the vehicle God wants to use to give you ultimate peace within.

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Peace with Family

In Heart, Mind by Caleb

You can honor and not agree. You can respect and not see eye-to-eye.

“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:2-3)

Social science has proven this ancient text. Do you know the primary characteristic of the people in the world who live the longest and enjoy the best health? Food and exercise are part of the equation, but the most prominent factor is…community and proximity to meaningful relationships.

God gave us families knowing they would let us down and be imperfect. Family is a shadow representation of the love God has for us, and the harmony God wants with us. A less than perfect shadow is better than no shadow. And, God has a way of filling in the gaps.

But, for us, this holiday season, we honor.

We respect, even when it’s hard. We draw boundaries, but we don’t build up barriers. We change our expectations of people, but we don’t chain people to their pasts.

Peace with family might not be easy, but it’s possible, and it’s a better path for your long, enjoyable life here on earth. 

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Peace with Friends

In Heart, Mind by Caleb

Harmony doesn’t mean we agree on everything. Harmony means we love and respect each other even though we don’t agree.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)

What relationships need more “peace”? What keeps getting in the way?

I know, it’s probably mostly their fault. But, what if fault was less important, and love could win the day?

What if being right took a backseat to being together?

Live at peace. Even with her. Even with him. It’s better this way

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Stay There

In Heart, Mind by Caleb

Be careful not to crave the upgrade.

“Whatever house you enter, stay there util you leave that town.” — Jesus (Luke 9:4)

We love our upgrades. Apple knows that as well as anyone.

But when it comes to upgrading from people and their generosity, it can backfire.

I’ve seen people (and pastors) be friends with some and not others because of their wealth or status. Caring for some—and not others—when they have large homes or more money. So dangerous. It looks ugly from the outside, but its even worse for our human hearts.

Jesus sent his followers out on a good-doing mission and said, “Whoever welcomes you first, stay with them. Don’t upgrade when people see your miracles and offer you nicer accommodations.”

Why? Well, then it becomes about you and your comfort instead of the mission and serving people.

Don’t forget the people who took care of you in the beginning. Serve everyone and don’t just cater to the bougie. Stay on mission and know that inner fulfillment is better than outer fancy.

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Foolish Builder

In Heart, Mind by Caleb

Foolish is usually code for arrogant. It’s the foolish who think they already understand…and that they are right.

“But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” — Jesus (Luke 6:49)

Build a house without a foundation! What idiot would do such a thing?
Turns out, lots of us.

Jesus said—I paraphrase—“Here are secrets of the universe. This is how I’ve designed you and this life. And I’m showing you the heart of God, in living color. Align, and things will go better—for you and the people around you.”
But just like Jesus’ original audience, we object. “This is how we do things. This is how they’ve always been done. This is how we keep the power and order around here!”

Crash!

But there’s hope! With every crash is an opportunity for a rebuild. 

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Wise Builder

In Mind by Caleb

Question: What happens when you apply the words and the ways of Jesus, even when it’s hard?

Answer: You stand firm in the fiercest storm.

They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.” — Jesus (Luke 6:48)

This was a real issue in the deserts of the middle east. (Still is real everywhere, I guess.) People who just wanted pretty scenery or an expedient construction schedule might cut corners to build their homes faster or wherever they wanted. That didn’t go well in the long run.
But the people who dug deep and put the foundation on or into the rock were established and secure for the long haul.

Here’s the thing about building the right way:
1. It’s not as sexy. It’s really hard work. 2. It’s slower, and some people will go faster and look better doing it. 3. There will be storms that come while you’re building and expose the weaknesses in your plan. (Welcome those storms and be grateful.) 4. When your solid house survives a storm, you become a safe haven for those who were crushed.

Because, isn’t that the way of Jesus?

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Jesus’ Words

In Mind by Caleb

There’s knowing information, and then there’s believing that leads to action. We are people of action.

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like.” — Jesus (Luke 6:46-47)

My kids have children’s book about Jesus. There are several stories in it that try to paint pictures of the words of Jesus in ways a child would understand. (Is there any other way?)

One of the stories is about two builders. One who builds their house on rock, and another who builds their house on sand. I’ll say more about those men and their stories in the next two days, but now, let me ask you this:

What are you doing with the words of Jesus? If he was who he said he was—the God of the universe—his words carry a little extra weight. We’d do well to regularly reflect on his words recorded in the biographies called Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. So much goodness there! So much to build your life upon!

I try to bring in bits and pieces on the reg, but if you haven’t downloaded a bible app, now would be a good time! (YouVersion and Bible in One Year are great ones!)

Spoiler: The guy who builds his house on rock wins, and the guy who builds on sand loses. I think we’re going to be surprised by what structures end up collapsing in the storms of the next decade. 

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Starving College Students

In Body, Soul by Caleb

Having a meal with friends is one of the most “spiritual” things you can do.

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples… Matthew 26:26

Hilary leads a group of college girls from a local university. They meet on Thursday evenings and talk about Jesus and God’s activity in the world—then and now. It’s meaningful for the girls and life-giving for Hilary.

This past Thursday night Hilary converted the group conversation into a “First Dinner”—my version of what some religious traditions call “Communion.” (I think the traditional church has neutered communion and stripped it of its fun and relevance to real life.) We ate delicious food that Hilary had made—a noted improvement from the girls’ typical dinners. Then, we talked about Jesus and how he broke the bread and told his disciples that it represented his body, and the wine his blood.

These girls weren’t 21, so we skipped the wine part. But the food reminded us that we need God even more than we need dinner. Instead of stale wafers, we had a tasty meal. A tasty meal that reminded us to be grateful that God gives us every good gift and he’s as close as an extra seat at the table.

Who can you invite to dinner? You don’t have “over-spiritualize” it. Just give thanks and enjoy being together. That seemed a high priority for Jesus

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Lemonade Stands

In Mind, Uncategorized by Caleb

My son, Jack, was dead-set on doing a lemonade stand. His grandma had mentioned the idea when she heard him talking about a toy he wanted but couldn’t afford. Day after day, “Dad, can we do a lemonade stand?”

Me: “Sure, buddy. How about Saturday.”

Jack: (Tuesday) “Dad, are people thirsty right now?”

Jack: (Wednesday) “Dad, I’m going pick some lemons.”

Jack: (Thursday) “Dad, is it light enough still to do the lemonade stand tonight?”

Jack: (Friday) “Dad, is tomorrow Saturday?”

Saturday: Fresh lemons, sugar, ice/water all in the blender for delicious, fresh-squeezed lemonade. We sold out in an hour. Jack made $20 and could afford a Beyblade for both him and his brother.

Where in your life do you need to be a dedicated 6-year-old?

Decide you’re going to do it. Obsess about it everyday. Gather the ingredients. Set your price and set up shop right where your customer drives by. 

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Too Heavy

In Body, Mind by Caleb

Don’t over-lift, but don’t under-work.

I over-did-it at the gym the other day. We were going for our max—the heaviest amount we can do and still lift the weight one time. People around me were lifting heavier. After I completed one lift at a respectable weight (for me), my friend observing said, “You can do way more than that.” I thought, “Yes, yes I can.”

Then I put on 30 more pounds. Turns out I should have gone with 20. The bar went down but it did not go back up.

My wrist took the worst of it, but I’ll be fine. Nevertheless, lesson-learned. I’m 40, not 20. I’m well past my fitness prime. There’s no one I’m trying to impress. Thus, the better plan for me is always small, incremental improvements.

Small, incremental improvements are best in just about every area of life. Don’t go too heavy—in fitness, in business, in risk-taking, in serving… Just make progress, everyday.

Keep showing up. Keep working. Keep pushing and getting a little bit better, smarter, savvier, and stronger.

What can you push a little bit further today?  

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