All Saints Community Church- not so much a building, more a way of life

           Food for Thought

Each New Year comes along, and  many of us , with some good evidence, make determined resolutions to eat more of the food and drink that is considered healthy , and less of the stuff that is less healthy, more of the planned meals and less of the snacking and comfort eating.

No this isn't a discussion of 5 a day and more fruit and fibre in our diets, though if God gives us only one body, its good to look after that one body we have,  and get reliable balanced advice ( beware- that sadly   there are plenty of people and companies who will  take our money,give us the latest fashionable, marketed diet or scheme which will give us.... the larger biceps or abdominals or pectorals, or firmer gluteals that will apparently be  the path to personal fulfillment and even relationships  clearly we are apparently missing out on, and it is damaging our lives if we do not sign up there and then with their scheme of product for £100s of pounds).

Get wise advice, sensible short term goals, where you would like to be in 12 months time, what  will you do to sensibly get there.

 Most of us know we should  probably get more physical exercise, but our determination often goes no further than collecting the equipment that might help us.

We live in denial if we think merely buying the running shorts, the tennis racket,  the bike, the trainers,the leisure centre membership....... will get us there........ to where we think we want to be.

Where do we want to go in our spiritual journey? We have engaged with God in the past, a powerful encounter sensing the Holy Spirits presence, meaning and purpose during a time of crisis and deep pain, but now.... there is so much else to do, stuff to get done. Even in church we can seem too busy, we seem to raising money for repairing roofs and boilers, but repairing people's lives, my life. There doesn't seem much opportunity to  

do that. And will anyone understand me anyway? 

Perhaps you pray to God, sometimes go along to church service, perhaps you have tried reading the Bible on your own, found some parts interesting, but struggled with much of the language and culture.

 Food for thought  we will become a growing collection of reflections and meditations, challenges, encouragements that might help us on our spiritual journey, or our whole life journey.

"Looks aren't everything- Believe me I'm a model"-  

Cameron Russell an International  underwear supermodel shares about her work and images.

Cameron Russell talks openly on Youtube

We should all watch this, for ourselves and for the next generation of children, to balance those powerful, clamouring voices in our hearts.

'you haven't got it', 'you are an also ran'.

surveys tell us a staggering 78% of 17 year old women say they do not like their bodies

We have an international  media machine of TV, films and magazine that is obsessed with the outside appearance. and the powerful images that they control. Cameron Russell 

If I had thinner thighs and shiner hair, would my life really be better?

If my hair goes greyer and a few wrinkles appear, will the people around me stop caring and valuing me.

If i really believe they are that shallow and superficial, what does that say about my insecurity , my personal foundations,the people I'm hanging around with and what I live my life for....

God says........ you..... are....... amazing...........

Jessica Rey and swimsuits on You Tube

 In the UK, Timmy Mallett made a lot of sales and got to No.1 with the song Itsy Bitsy  Teeny Weeny Yellow polka dot bikini.

have you stopped to look at the lyrics

On the oneside the woman  plans to goes down to beach, but is so self concious, afraid of what others might think, so much so she wraps herself in a towel, or hides in the water, afraid to come out and be seen!

On the other side is the crowd on the beach, quite possibly  friends she came with, having a good laugh  not necessarily with her... but at her expense.

on two three four....... tell the people what she wore. Lets all have a laugh at her predicament

 Our Bible, so far as I know, doesn't have verses telling us that yellow polka dot bikinis are bad or good. Indeed there are vast ranges of activity, there is no specific guidance .

Its all too easy to make choices, because of group pressure, others are doing it, celebrities so the TV and magazines are doing it.

Sadly, even in our Churches we are not immune,  perhaps we have come across people who develop loads of unwritten rules that we are expected to conform to, comply with,  and let us know with a look or a sharp comment , or whisper, when we have stepped out of line, or failed to keep up the standard.

The freedom God wants to bring in our lives , is real freedoms to make choices, to think for our selves, not to fear rejection by the crowd, or someone who might turn on us, or walk away if we do not do their wishes.

Paul the wonderful early church leader wrote to the Christian believers

Romans Chapter 12

Don't let the World ( or  sadly even some church people ) press you / squeeze you into a mould , make you conform.

Many of the choices  and issues we face day by day have greater consequences than what to wear on a beach or to the swimming pool, but even feeling uncomfortable with our bodies can grow to a  powerful disruptive level where we refuse to go places, meet up with people,'go out'. 

Lets look in the mirror and say that  to the person in front of us, complete with  a body that  yes, has lumpy bits, spotty bits, greying bits 'you are OK' , and actually I'm going to explore the freedom of being me as God tells me, and not going to be squeezed into what others tell me I should do. This might mean going in the direction of rebuilding our lives on different foundations, cutting off the  nagging condemning criticising voices inside our heads that have come  way out of the past, from perhaps well meaning but insensitive, or  just plain hurtful, people, letting go of the baggage and the damage they have wrought in the past, and get on with a fresh start exploring a new me, being a new me.

We can learn to be self loving and comfortable, accepting with  all sorts of aspects of our new selves, not just our swim suit choice!

 Step out and enjoy the fresh start and freedom  to be God's child and make our own choices and not have them forced on us any more.

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