Is that Honey-coated Honeycomb with Hint of Honey Drizzle?

By G. P. Avants

Honey Comb

“Do you like honey? Don’t eat too much, or it will make you sick!”

                                                        Proverbs 25:16

My Grandma Kay loved her “Goody-goodies.” Her house had sweets stashed everywhere. Needless to say, I think we all inherited her sweet tooth. Sadly, but not surprisingly, we all inherited that gene that is susceptible to diabetes.  I wish that I could be carefree as the kids in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Wouldn’t be great? And it was all made with Xylitol so it was the sugar that actually helped strengthened our teeth.

Honey coated

These are fantasies that are soon shaken when our overall health comes into play. The good thing is that the Lord has given us more wonderful things that in the long-run satisfy us deep down inside. He created that spicy kick to enhance dull moments we might experience. Life is a also sprinkled with salty tempers, sour bites of meloncoly , and dry bitter sadnesses which make us appreciate the special sweet things in life.

Buzzy Bee

We can’t live in a honey-coated world. 247. It isn’t lasting and doesn’t have the staying power to get you through the day. All the unique flavors in life round us out as it were. They deepen us into people who just don’t skip along on the surface. As my daughter became a teen (fifteen this month) I have seen her happy happy joy joy moments go through a maturing process.  We often ride home from dance and listen to music. I have seen her tastes change in music over the years. She has a wide variety so you never know what we might hear. We both agree that sad thoughtful music does deepen your soul, mind, and heart. It makes everything richer and the sweet happy times are grounded in something under the surface.

Sad Bear

Yet, together our tastes desire what our lives needs for whatever tasks are ahead. God gave us a perfect vehicle that is waiting to be fueled for the uncertainties on the road of life. I believe He doesn’t want us to sugar oursleves up with short-term things. The Lord wants us to consider the variety of flavors that your high-precision vehicle will need for that marathon race ahead. So whatever you are tasting at this moment, consider how it is preparing you for the next step in your life.

polar-bear-face_1811615i

Posted in bears, Blossoming, Change, Character in Crisis, christ, Christian character, Christian living, endurance, flavor, food, grace, growth, Health, healthy, Healthy Eating, Jesus, Life, perseverance, Persistance, renewal, Sadness, sorrow, Spiritual food, sweetness, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

When You Wear Thin…Remember Him

By G.P. Avants

I am having one of those weeks, well seasons actually, of being worn and torn. It is that time in life when you have to cut back to doing what the body, mind and soul can manage.  We live in a world that will suck every drop out of you. It can make you feel like that paper bag in the wind, or too much bread without enough butter to spread over it.

Thank the Lord, that He knows when we need to be energized.  I pray that this video from one of my favorite bands, Tenth Avenue North, lifts your spirit. We aren’t done yet, folks, the best, by God’s grace is yet to come.

Do you need prayer of encouragement? Let me know.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mi Casa es Su Casa

Welcome

“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him and will come to him and make our home with him.”

John 14: 23

Mi casa is su casa-my house is your house. Have you ever had anyone tell you that before? That’s a generous offer. You’re basically making yourself at home at somebody else’s expense.

Welcome to my home

Is that how I treat the Lord in my home? Does He have full access to my home? It all starts off good. We start off like friends who stay a few days. We do things out of the ordinary and maybe have some special meals, play some games, watch movies. Then the week turns into weeks, then months.

Clean the house

When you have a long-term guest things do change, don’t they? Are they still a guest after a certain amount of time? Do I start asking them to do jobs and pull their own load a lot more? Yeah, I think their status as guest does change but, to what?

Bad day

Will the charming host wear off when God stays long term? Will He feel at home even on those days when I come home bearing a stress load from work? Dinner is late again and we are eating leftovers. These are realities of life in our home. Will He still feel welcomes in mi casa?

Our home

I wake up one morning, unshaven, and in my pajamas. There He is waiting for me so we can talk. We’ve gotten into a good routine but, I feel like I am just going through the motions. We have a great time conversing and eating breakfast. I always feel ready for my day after we have spent time together.

guest_info

However, He notices that there is tiredness behind my plastic smile.

”Tired?”

“Uh-huh, sorry.”

“There’s no need to be sorry. Thank you for opening your home, your life to me.” Then he grins.

“What?”

“I can’t wait until it’s my turn.”

Friends

I know where He is going with this but, I still play the game. “For what?”

“To bring you back to stay with me.”

“On vacation?”

“No, Son, to your real home.”

“Right, yes, that’s right.”

“Don’t forget,” Jesus hugs me, “Mi casa…”

‘
”…es su casa.”

New home someday

 

 

Posted in Christian living, companionship, Eternal home, family, friendship, God, God's Kingdom, Home, Jesus, Mi Casa es su casa, relationships, Uncategorized, Welcome | Leave a comment

Happy, Happy! Joy, Joy.

JOY_Render

 

By G.P. Avants

“The Joy of the Lord is our strength.”

Nehemiah 8:10

 

Joy Joy

Have you ever had a friend that was happy in any and every situation? The bounce round yelling, “Happy, Happy! Joy. Joy!” hey don’t let anything get them down, even when the world around them is crashing in. What in the world do they have that the rest of us don’t? Is it real or is it just a surface kind of joyfulness?

Joy and the Emotions

In the Pixar movie, Inside Out we meet a character simply named Joy. She is one of the little emotions that live inside the head of an 11-year-old girl named Riley. We get a rare glimpse into a child’s first moments, when Joy is first experienced in Riley’s first moments on Earth. You could say that Joy is her defining and central emotion. As Riley grows she experiences Sadness, Disgust, Anger, and Fear. They make up the very make up of who Riley is in her emotional life. They form a tight little family with Joy as the matriarch whose prime goal is to make Riley happy every waking, and even sleeping moment.

JoySadnessInsideOut2

It is a great arrangement until Joy and Sadness, who don’t understand the other, are lost in Riley’s mind. She is moving away from the only home she knows, best life-long friends, and her memories that are as precious as gold. Joy is beside herself. Riley is not happy, in fact her emotions are turned inside out. Riley is learning how to take on an unfair world outside of her little comfortable zone. How she handles these soon to be pre-teen years, will test her family and relationships inside and outside of her head.

INSIDE OUT

Without giving away too much of this great film, it really is deeping of Joy that fascinates me. Joy learns about life below the surface. Where many might have called Riley’s joy, child-like, shallow, and dependent on circumstances, we see the true nature of those emotions God has given us. Emotions are an area of our life that need to breath and grow like all the other areas of our life. When they are stifled, it can throw the rest of our life into unhealthy turmoil. As believers, we learn that the joy Christ gives us is based on our faith in Him. The world around us can be thrown into chaos and bring us down, but it doesn’t have to devastate us.

Joy & Bing Bong

Happiness is temporary, but joy is eternal. When we see where our hope should be, then the Joy inside us truly has a reason to spread its wings and fly.

Please come and join us for a special showing of Pixar’s Inside Out on Friday May 12th from 6-9PM at Venia Church. 41831 Mcalby Ct b, Murrieta, CA 92562. Bring the whole family to this emotional event.

Inside Out Movie Night flyer

Posted in joy, Lil Venia, Movie Night, Movie Night at Venia, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Yoke


hand-to-the-plow

By G. P. Avants

“For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11: 30

 

 

Got it.

The work ahead

Is plan to see.

“If it’s meant to be,

It’s up to me.”

(That’s what they tell me.)

The Plow

I grab the plow,

My back I bow,

Flex and bent

All day

From beginning to end.

Yet when I view

The fruit of my labor,

My field looks no different

Then the unworked one

Of my neighbor.

Not a dent did I make

From the sweat of my brow

Yet tomorrow’s the same

Though I know this will grow.

 

hard-work-plowing-rich-collins

This isn’t a one-man job.

No, in fact it’s one made

For man and his God.

Pulling together

Not grasping at odds.

That silly idea

Doesn’t sound so bad

Right now.

So, I take Him

At His word.

 

MDG : Seed : Plowing a field and sowing seeds in Ethiopia

Pull and strain,

Sun or rain,

Alongside the Lord.

A heavy load

Looking behind,

When all is done;

The field is plowed

The work of God

Is done.

Man in wheat field

Posted in christ, companionship, discipleship, endurance, Growing in the Lord, healthy, Holy Spirit, Jesus, labor in the Lord, Passion, patience, Peaceful, perseverance, renewal, rest, Soil, Strength in crisis, togetherness, Uncategorized, wisdom, work, yoke | Leave a comment

Giddinessness


Hand Holding

Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty and will lift up your face to God.” Job 22: 26

Have you ever stopped and pondered about how a couple had the courage to first hold hands or share their first kiss? There is a giddiness that defines the early relationship that will never be the same, or can it?

I have heard that relationships go through ups and downs. We go through good and bad, wonderful blissful moments, and times you really wonder why life is full of blah. Hey, wasn’t there something in our vows that mentioned loving each other through everything life throws at us?

Romantic

A year or so ago we went to a marriage enrichment Bible study. One of the things that stirred my heart was the phases that a marriage goes through. We have that honeymoon stage and the slipping into comfortable times. We do get use to each other because we spend so much time together day in a day out. You hear so many people who get bored or frustrated with their marriage and call it quits. They say the feelings aren’t there anymore.

epitrepeis

The thing about feelings is that they go through phases too. We don’t always feel in love to be in love. It is a commitment that we said we’d uphold. You know what helps me when my feelings are flighty? I remember that all relationships are based on friendships. Yes, we all have to build on a friendship and then it can blossom into something more if it’s meant to. I think like most people, I don’t throw out friendships when I am not feeling like a friend. There are so many reasons why I’m off my game but, none are pressing enough to throw away a friend. They are too hard to find, why would I flippantly cast on off?

Refreshed-In-Morning-African-American-Couple-The-Trent-700x468

My wife is my friend. That’s how I started and I that’s part of the foundations we build our love on.

I also don’t dump family when we don’t agree. You don’t always get to choose our family but, we do choose how we respond to them. I don’t plan on cutting off my family even if we are disagreeing.

Family

My wife is family. She and I have history, children, a home and all that goes with it. Again, its precious and it was by grace. Why would I want to throw that away?

I don’t think we will ever be giddy in love any more. We both have matured and grown into other people. However, we can still grow and learn how to keep things alive. I can slow down, do less, make more time for us, and choose to love even when I don’t feel it happening. Of course, it’s a fight to have a healthy marriage but, one that’s worth fighting for.

I-Like-You-And-I-Think-About-You-A-Lot-re40800DC0033

Just to put it in perspective, we aren’t tapping into our own strength to make this relationship vibrant. Nope, we are bound with the Lord in our center. Whenever we doubt that our relationship will work, we need to remember its Him, not us, that produce the love we need.

The state of giddiness, what I like to call “giddinessness.” Is it something that can come back? If it can I think it’s something worth trying. With God nothing is totally impossible, right?

Rose

 

Posted in companionship, Emotional health, family, fellowship, friendhip, God's Kingdom, Good Character, hope, love, marriage, Passion, responsibility, Social health, spiritual strength, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rotten Fruit


Bad Fruit

By G. P. Avants

“We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live in an honorably in every way.”

Hebrews 13:18

 

“Eh…it’s mealy. Is that the right word?”

“Yeah, this apple is really dry. I’m more thirsty now than when I started.”

“It’s almost as bad as eating plastic fruit, blah.”

“I’m still hungry but, is all the fruit in the fridge like this?”

“I hope not.”

Yucky

Have you been there? Sometimes you have to eat something that isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. A dry orange, a wormy apple, a peach that is moldy right through the pit: these “tasty” things can ruin your appetite. However, sometimes what comes on our plate isn’t what we ordered either.

That’s life, right?

Can I go through hungry times to wait on the food only God can provide? Or do I just eat whatever I can get? Is it better to be full or healthy?

frutta fresca di stagione

In reality we eat and drink poison compared to what is to come. We are eating plastic, artificial things to satisfy a part of ourselves that really should only eat real things.

Lord, help me avoid things in life that I shouldn’t be eating. I pray to not just eat it because I think it’s the best I can get. Let me hold out for the things you give that really satisfy. Give me the right appetite for the things my life really needs. Oh, especially help me when something that smells good and looks good but, really is deceptive, lands on my plate. Keep me from taking that rotten stuff in.

75

In Jesus Name, Amen

 

Posted in Bad fruit, Blossom, eating, Fitness, God, God's Kingdom, Good fruit, healthy, Healthy Eating, Pleasant smells, Spiritual food, Uncategorized, wisdom | Leave a comment