4 in 44 at 44

A summer challenge.

I was sitting around the other day feeling a little bored. I don’t have a race to train for right now (no money for such luxuries), and I find it hard to really improve without knowing what I’m aiming for, so I needed to come up with an event all my own. At first, I thought it would be cool to run 4 miles in 40 minutes. Since I’m 44, you know.

After a few days of thinking, and running, and really just wanting to make the title of the challenge even catchier, I decided to back that goal down to 4 miles in 44 minutes, bringing my target speed to 11 minutes per mile. Let’s at least be realistic. I’m not a fast runner, but I can do 11 minutes four times in a row. I know I can! I’m still going to go for the harder prize: 4 10-minute miles in a row. But I will consider myself to have won my race if I can do 4 in 44.

I have until mid-August. I’ll let you know if I make it!

Speaking of Oil

Seed oils, even.

As many of you know, my husband is afflicted with chronic pain, both head and neck, and is frequently confined to bed. It’s been more than 15 years now, and we are accustomed to running our family much as if dad were in the military or traveling for work a lot. He’s here, but…well, he’s not here. Whether it’s illness, or travel, or long hours at work, many young mothers find themselves both alone and lonely in their role. Motherhood, even with the best of husbands, is still a very solitary job. Even with help from husbands, friends, and older children, nobody else is Mommy. This life makes for hard days and long nights, and we do have to go through these things alone sometimes.

When my fifth child was about 11 months old, Get Along Husband had been having the headaches for a few years. I had become used to him coming home from work, going to bed, and having at most only one good day every week or so, but I had not found peace with that routine yet. I was usually able to contain my tears, never having been much of a crier, but one night, after a particularly busy and eventful day, I found myself crying into my dishwater over it all. I was so tired, and the kids still needed to be put to bed, and I was late getting them fed.

“Lord, I don’t think I can do this anymore. I’m so alone.”

Just that minute, I heard a little bitty splat behind me. I turned around to see through my tears that my little guy had crawled into the kitchen and stealthily loosened the lid on a gallon of vegetable oil. I had put it down on the floor when I’d brought in groceries earlier, and my baby was now slipping and sliding and slapping in a gallon of soybean oil, quite happily!

I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Or this child’s timing.

Then that still, small voice came through. “Are you sure you can’t handle this any more, Cindy?”

Oh, Lord Jesus, why?

Still boohooing, I scooped that baby up, warned the rest of the children to stay out of the kitchen, and took him for a bath. Then I put all of the children in front of a video and somehow cleaned that whole gallon of oil off the floor. By the time I was done, of course, I was no longer crying. You really can only cry so much, even when you’re as tired and lonely as I was that night. But as I sopped, then squeegeed, and then soaped that floor, I had a talk with Jesus. It was not the task of a few minutes, so it was a very long talk.

I do sincerely believe that God Himself put that baby and that oil in the floor that night to show me just what I can take. I’ve never wondered since that episode whether I could handle the hardships of mothering alone. As I said in my last post, all I had to do was pour. That day, I poured my little pot of oil into my family by keeping my temper and just doing what had to be done. God just kept filling up my reserves until the job was done.

When I woke up the next morning, my self-control was restored, and my floor was clean, and my children were just fine. Jesus did that. I cannot take any credit at all! I was so tired. I did not have the wherewithal to handle myself in that moment. But He did.

I was never alone. 

If you’ve never been a young mother with lives dependent on your very body for sustenance, it may sound like I was crying about absolutely nothing that day. But you who are mothers, you know. I still tear up every time I think about it. I’m crying as I write. It was such a hard day, after so many other hard days just like it.

Thank God, I’ve never felt since that day that I could not do it anymore. The days didn’t get any easier for a very long time. But God showed me how to pour myself out that day. It wasn’t long after that that our family was in a car crash, and we nearly lost my husband. What I learned that day with the baby and the oil carried me through that emergency, as well as many more that have followed in the 11 years since.

If there’s one thing I want you young mothers to know from this story, it is that you are not alone. You are doing it humanly alone sometimes. There’s no getting around that. But God is truly, literally, powerfully working through you. Don’t despair the way I did that night. Don’t give up on your husband, or your kids, or your Savior, or yourself. Don’t be bitter about whatever circumstance has you so lonely and so tired. Even if you’ve been wronged somehow, and that’s why you’re so alone and tired, don’t let it make you bitter. Know that you are being refined and made into the kind of Mother that gets written into hymns. You are doing important work.

Just keep pouring.

Borrowed Pots

When you step out in faith, you will be rewarded.

It’s Mother’s Day, and I, like every other mom, was blessed with some flowers and gifts, and lots of hugs and love to commemorate my having done…well, nothing all that extraordinary, really. Naturally, in receiving these gifts, I was overwhelmed with gratitude that I’ve been blessed with the children themselves. They are the gift. The flowers are going to fade, and I’ll probably lose or break the gifts eventually. But the souls I’ve been blessed to nurture are forever. To God be the glory!

On Mother’s Day, especially, people are extremely complimentary about my largish family. Of course they are! They’re kinda forced to be, aren’t they? I get to hear all day what good kids these are; what a blessing to be able to have so many; how happy I must be; how busy I must be; how patient. (Lord, have mercy. Ask my kids about that sometime.)

It is both pleasant and difficult to receive the compliments and comments about my offspring, whether on Mother’s Day, or any other day. It is pleasant because I agree fully: I am extremely blessed! You won’t find a happier mother than me anywhere! It is difficult because I want to give God all the glory, and not take it for myself. I might be tempted to think I’d really done something here, when in fact God gives the life and the increase. I’m just along for the ride.

There’s another reason it’s difficult, though, and it is because the assumptions behind some of the compliments are quite distressing to me. The assumption is often that I had all of these children because I’m just some kind of mothering machine, better and more suited to that task than most women. That “just Mommy” is all I ever wanted to be. (OK, that one is true and I love it.) Or that I am some kind of idiot who just couldn’t figure out how to shut the machinery down. Sadly, Christians make these assumptions nearly as often as everybody else.

Now, not everyone makes these assumptions, and I want to take care that readers understand that nobody in my own church seemed to be saying these things to me today. I’m speaking of the wider culture now, my past experiences, but nobody in particular today.

In our Sunday School lesson this morning, we were talking about Elisha and the widow whose husband had left her in a great deal of debt. From 2 Kings 4:1-7:

 

The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”

Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”

“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”

Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”

She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.”

But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing.

She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”

I wonder, when the widow went to borrow pots to store something that she clearly did not have, did her neighbors think she was crazy? Did she feel silly asking for empty pots that she knew she didn’t have the wherewithal to fill for herself? She only had a little oil left in the house, and no prospect of getting any more. What could she possibly do with all those pots? Did she tell her neighbors that she expected God to fill them? Did she even know herself what the prophet planned to do?

All I know for sure is that she did as she was told, and her faith in so doing was rewarded.

Now, what in the world does that have to do with Mother’s Day and having a bunch of kids? Much! First of all, it shows that the sons left to the mother were a blessing to her in the absence of her husband. Provided that the creditor didn’t take them from her to pay her husband’s debts, they would be a blessing to her for the rest of her life. Children, even in extreme poverty, are a blessing in and of themselves!

But, more importantly to my point today, it shows what value there is in being blindly obedient. Even when we can’t see for ourselves, and our neighbors certainly can’t see, what God is planning to do, we must take the action we’ve been told to take.

I could so easily have missed out on my eight greatest blessings if I had thought of children the way everyone else does: As expenses. As time-sucks. As troubles and trials. As part of a lifestyle that requires a special kind of person to maintain. All I had to do was be “wise” and “responsible”, and I would be short some number of wonderful people in my life.

I’m sure I looked crazy to my friends and relatives as I birthed eight children (let’s call them my little pots now) in the space of thirteen years. I’m sure they had no idea what I could possibly do with all those empty pots, seeing that I myself have just one small vessel, and barely enough oil (energy, money, time, patience) to take care of even myself. I’m sure they thought we were innumerate, irresponsible, and just plain incompetent to make our own decisions as we kept adding children every 18-20 months.

And I am very sure that I had no idea what God was going to do with those little pots. But I was told to gather them (“be fruitful and multiply”), and so I did.

And I have seen with my own eyes over these years the miracle that is promised to those who believe and obey. After collecting these eight pots, closing the doors, and sitting down and endlessly pouring oil from my own vessel–much more oil than my vessel can even hold!–into those little pots that He gave me, I can say with confidence that there is reward for faith. I’m still pouring, and the oil has never run out yet!

Every pot that I borrowed is perpetually being filled. I borrowed as many pots as I could. Some will be able to borrow more, some less. But all must exercise faith by gathering the pots. And of course, I say “I” because the widow’s story is a story about a mother, and it’s Mother’s Day, so it just flows better to speak as if I were the mother in the story. But my husband also has his little vessel, and equal faith to pour his oil out. We’ll do his part of the story on Father’s Day, ok?  I have not done all this without him!

Now, I’m no Elisha, but I feel the need to prophesy to the young couples:

Borrow as many pots as you can, right away. 

Three times this week, I’ve heard young couples say that they were worried about being able to afford children, or being able to afford them right now. These couples are Christians. As readers well know by now, I am ever amazed that believers think that what they can afford has anything at all to do with what God wants for them.

The widow did not wait to go and ask her neighbors for their pots. She didn’t worry about the timing, or what people would think, or even what Elisha wanted pots for. The widow was not slow to act when she was told to gather the pots. And she was not sorry she’d asked for so many once she saw what was to be done with them.

Close the door on the World.

The World, and (God forgive us!) even the Church, have told these young people to be responsible. Make some money first. Make sure you have your degree and a good job first. Make sure you have life experience first. Above all, make sure you have some fun first! The World is sure to be whispering about what you’re up to behind those closed doors, but you will have excluded them from the conversation. This is between your family and God.

Close the door to all this worldly thinking. Close the door to worry and doubt about your own abilities. You are not able! It’s true! You do not possess the oil–the love, the experience, the wisdom, the patience, or the holiness–that you will need to be parents. You will never have those things if you don’t first gather the pots to put them in.

Just keep pouring.

As a parent, you will inevitably be called upon to give to your children many things that you do not have. But God in his generosity will give you all of the holiness, the patience, the faith, and the wisdom you need if you will just trust Him to do so. And if He will give you those things, do you think He won’t take care of the easy stuff? The food and the clothing and the doctor bills? The money, the energy, and the time? That stuff is easy for God. Just tip your one small vessel over and see how freely all of the oil you require pours out!

God does not say any of the things that the World says about children. Do not listen to those who say to you that you are responsible for filling up your pots. You, future mothers and fathers, are responsible only for first receiving the pots, then closing your doors to the World, which can’t understand what you are doing at all, and just pouring.

I put together an ebook from several blog posts I wrote over the years on this topic. It’s a little bit old now, and written by somebody who obviously wasn’t as far down the motherhood road as I am now. But it’s still good, and I wouldn’t change very much at all, except to be even more sure of myself and my Jesus. He is faithful. Taste and see!

Click on the cover to read it, spread it around if you find it useful:

 

 

It’s a Fallen World

It’s not as fallen as you think it is.

Christians who read this blog may be familiar with the song “Is He Worthy?” If not, here you go.

Now, I happen to love that song. He is worthy, and the song is altogether worshipful and right. But that first line: “Do you feel the world is broken?” gets on my ever-loving nerves. Well, of course it is! But among Christians, it is too often our tendency to look around at the broken things, throw up our hands in despair and say “Come quickly, Lord Jesus!”

Yes, the world is broken. Some things are going horribly wrong. I’m not even talking about politics, as I’m sure you thought I would be. I’m talking, as is my wont, of our health. Nearly everybody I know is sick. They have cancers, heart disease, degenerative diseases, autoimmunity, mental illness. The list of troubles I see in the people around me is so long that I can’t possibly cover it all. The older they are, the more of them there are. But I don’t believe age is the problem. I believe the length of time they’ve spent living modern lifestyles is the problem.

There was a time, probably somewhere within the pages of this very blog, when I would have said “Oh, well, it’s a fallen world, after all!” about my own illnesses. I’d have sighed a bit, lamented my aches and pains, and accepted the doctor’s many prescriptions, thinking that this is just my genetics, just a fact of getting older, just the effect of the curse.

And all of this stuff does happen because there is a curse on all creation. It’s true. Creation is still groaning. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

But what if I told you that much of the trouble we experience that we think is inevitable, is actually avoidable and fixable? We’ve accepted a lot of unnecessary sicknesses, blaming perfectly preventable illnesses on bad genes, aging, or just bad luck. We’ve paid out a fortune for drugs that don’t make us well. I watched my grandmother die of medical treatment. She could have had a wonderful last two decades, and instead she was poked, prodded, medicated, and financially sucked dry as she became more and more miserable. And finally she died, with very little comfort or dignity.

Most of us have no idea how much of our sickness, our fatness, and our sadness, is due, not to the general fallenness of Man, which will cause us all to degenerate and die eventually, but to specific fallen behaviors, like the greed of agriculture, medicine, pharma, and government entities. I could write books, and have read several, about what they have done to our food supply, our environment, and our bodies.

But it’s not their choices that are killing us so miserably. It is our trust in “science”, our fatalistic attitude about getting fat and sick, and our love of comfort that keeps us from making the changes that could result in our living longer, healthier, stronger, more prosperous lives. We lean on medicine to make sure we don’t have “too many” children, ruining our hormonal health and our relationships. We vaccinate our children’s immune systems into oblivion because we don’t want to have to risk chicken pox.

We eat sugary, seed oil infused slop, day in and day out, just because it’s easy to get and cheap to buy, and lights up our brains like drugs. We relax in our recliners or beds or hammocks after meals instead of taking a walk or gardening or running or lifting some heavy weights. Our entertainment is soul-destroying, but we’re not willing to read difficult or inspiring books. Too hard on our sluggish, sugar-addled brains. I just drove by a group of men in full-body protective gear who were spraying toxic chemicals all over rows of small Christmas trees, destroying everything that lives in that field. We’re killing ourselves and our land so we can have nice looking trees in our living rooms in December. This is a choice we’re making.

We go for the easy route in every aspect of life. We atrophy. We degenerate. Our very cells no longer function the way they should because we have chosen ease and entertainment every day, all day, for our entire lives.

I’m not perfect. My kids are watching Pokemon right this minute. They get a little bit of screen time nearly every day. I will probably feel really convicted about that and put a stop to it now. We do all have to take ourselves off the hook from time to time. Rest is essential. But we have made a national identity of finding the easiest, most enjoyable route to absolutely everything. We have destroyed our health, both physical and mental, by coddling ourselves. And I hear people call this easy way of life “blessed”. They think they’re prospering while billions of their dollars are going into a kind of health care system that doesn’t even need to exist; while they endure horrible pains and discomforts from their lifestyle-induced diseases; while their relationships go under because of the depression and addictions.

Next time you have yet another ache or pain, or another miserable visit to the doctor, or another side effect from the pills you’re taking to try to counteract the damage you are doing to your body, don’t look at Big Pharma. They didn’t make you take that pill that doesn’t even work. Don’t look at Big Food. They didn’t force you to eat that Hot Pocket. Don’t look at the government and say “Save me from the consequences of my choices!”

Don’t look at Satan and Adam and Eve and blame the curse.

Look at yourself. You have made choices.

Look to Jesus, who died so that you don’t have to live defeated. Pray to be released from your addiction to foods, comfort, and self-indulgence. Put down the doughnut, turn off the teevee, and go do something to improve the wonderful physiology that God gave you. Go make your environment better. Make your food nourishing, instead of entertaining. Talk to your neighbor and get some real relationships going instead of playing around on Twitter. Take baby steps. I know it’s hard! But you can change things.

We are all going to die. It’s a fact. But we do not have to die like this.

Run Dump!

I’m just gonna puke it all up here.

May be an image of activewear and text

If you zoom in, you can see my little “Suffering Christ” pins I bought to hold the bib on. To Him be all the glory and praise! I know I talk up the Meat Life, but it’s only Jesus that makes me even want to live.

 

So, I did a thing. And now I’m sitting here, just smiling. And smiling is what I’ve been doing for days in the run up to this…er…this run. I have been so over-the-moon happy to be doing this!

I am having a hard time nailing down why it is that the mere idea of running a race–one which I never had a hope of winning or placing–makes me so happy. For days, I’ve been falling asleep with a smile on my face, thinking “I get to run! I get to race!”

Then last night…well, no smiling happened last night. Instead, I just lay there trying to sleep. You know how it is: when you know you need your rest, it’s really hard to fall asleep. You don’t smile when you’re trying as hard as you can to shut down your excitement and go to sleep. I expect the next race I enter to affect me a little less this way.

Anyhow, I woke up, packed a breakfast for the family to eat while they waited for me at the finish line, and went and ran this thing:

On about 3 hours of sleep. And a weak left ankle. I’m not making excuses. Just telling the sad truth. I was not really in the best shape for this race because of these two things. But I was mentally into it, so I did it anyway. All things considered, my expectation to cross the finish line in an hour and twenty minutes (remember when I said I was slow?) was not too far off the mark. Taking it easy so as not to blow out my Achilles tendon, which I’m working on strengthening, I did it in 1:23! Woot! My average pace was an unimpressive 12 minutes per mile.

I finished ahead of only (I think) five other runners. Almost everybody, even the old people, came in ahead of me. I “lost”. By a LOT. I’m still happy.

And it’s because I’m so grateful. Six years ago (actually, my calendar tells me it was more like seven now), I could not breathe because of asthma. I could not run because I was fat and my right knee hurt all the time. Even if I could have run, I’d have had so much social anxiety that I’d have never considered going out in front of God and everybody and making an absolute fool of myself. But the biggest smiles I’ve smiled when anticipating this race have been the ones where I knew I was going to make a fool of myself. Because it doesn’t matter! I’m a fool? The world needs fools, too!

I had fun. I did something hard. I beat me. I beat Ten Years Ago Me. I even beat Last Week Me:

All personal bests!

Now, nobody is going to look at that and say “Wow! What a natural talent!” Really, I’m 4’11”. I’m not ever going to outpace people with actual legs. But I got faster today. And I’ll get still faster tomorrow. And eventually those numbers might start to look respectable. Maybe. If they don’t? Who cares?

What’s respectable about all this is not the numbers, but how far I’ve come. I’ve worked to be able to do this. I’ve sat at the dinner table with people eating “normal” food and cried because I knew I was never going to enjoy pizza again. I’d love to be able to say it was a tear of joy running down my cheek because I was so glad to be rid of all my health problems, but it wasn’t. I was just sad not to eat pizza anymore. (There are carnivore-keto ways to simulate pizza, by the way. But they don’t agree with my system very well, so I don’t eat them.)

I’ve been lifting weights, rowing, and running for a few years now.

I’ve done the hard work of getting myself to enjoy human contact, after living most of my adult life in abject dread of social interactions. I’m not going to try to make it sound like it was worse than it was. I was able to get the kids to church and playdates and basically live a normal life. But it was miserable. I cried–or cringed–myself to sleep frequently. Social anxiety sucks! But I beat it.

I deserve the respect I have for myself right now. 

As the last two runners came in at the 1:43 mark, I cheered for them as hard as I could. I was as proud of them as I was of the guy who finished in FORTY-FOUR minutes! Maybe those slow finishes don’t mean much to a “real runner”, but we have no idea what they may have overcome to be able to get to that finish line.

They didn’t lose. They just won last. 

 

 

Smile!

I get a charge out of you!

I took what was likely my last run before the big run this morning. Maybe I’ll squeeze in another little one Thursday, just for fun. Sunday afternoon I’d had to cut a run short because my Achilles tendon was acting up. I requested prayer from friends and family, rested another day, and woke up thinking I’d like to test that heel. Everything was fine today! No pain. I’m ready for the event!

And I had an audience, waaaaaaayyyyy up in the sky! (Sorry about the grainy picture. I was running. Didn’t really have time for a good zoom.) That was neat.

I smiled and waved, just on the off chance he could see me from up there. Then I looked down at my Garmin and noticed, not for the first time, that after smiling and waving at somebody, I was running faster. A lot faster! And I felt great!

There’s some kind of energy being exchanged here.

It’s odd, but when I’m running alone, after an initial burst, I can urge myself on to a hard pace only with great mental effort. I lose steam quickly, and just have to grind it out. But as soon as somebody says “You go!”, or “Get it, girl!”, or just smiles and makes me feel like I’m among friends, I’m flying effortlessly! Running is suddenly easy. It feels good.

Now, I love a long, slow run all by myself. It blows the cobwebs out of my head and gives me time to pray and plan and write blogs posts in my head.

I love a good fast run by myself, too. It takes a different mindset to get yourself to go faster and harder when nobody cares, nobody’s keeping a timer on you, and you’re only doing it to see what you’re capable of. It’s probably good for the soul in some way, to put yourself through that kind of torment. I hope so, anyway.

I also really love sprint/walk workouts, where I push as hard and fast as I can for 20 or 30 seconds, and then walk to recover, over and over again until I just can’t do it anymore. Uphill, downhill, flat, doesn’t matter. It’s just a wonderful way to wear yourself out and build cardiovascular strength.

And now, here’s this whole other kind of run that I hadn’t noticed I was doing, but is really my favorite: the one where people are smiling and waving and somehow throwing their energy my way. I always thought I was pretty introverted, but the older I get, the more of a charge I get out of other people. Maybe I’m becoming some kind of long distance extrovert! No need to talk to me, just smile and wave as I run away! I get a real, measurable charge out of that kind of interaction.

I hope this same magic follows me to The Cub on Saturday. I’d be shocked, honestly, if I do this thing in an hour and twenty minutes. That’s my wildest dream. I’m not fast, ok? But if the spectator spell I’m noticing works consistently, and it’s not just a temporary boost that wears off like most placebos, I might be able to shave another ten minutes off that! It’s that big of a difference that I’m getting!

(While I’m talking about time-shaving, I might as well mention that I’m hoping to rub 5 more minutes off of my 5k time by the end of the summer. I think I can do it. I’m finding that I do a lot better when I have a firm goal, rather than just “let’s go out and see what we can do today”.)

You really don’t know what you can do until you have to do it.

In fact, before I signed up for Saturday’s race, my longest run had been, I guess, about four and half miles. Once I knew there was a 7-miler in my future, I started going both longer and faster.

Because I knew I was going to have to, I not only did it, but I did it well: doubled distance and faster pace.

If you’re struggling to get better at something, I highly recommend making it official by joining a competition! Or a class. Or go get your neighbor and see if she wants to join you. Make sure that the thing you’re doing “just for yourself” is social enough to keep you on your toes.

You will stagnate on your own.

When others are involved, whether as spectators or competitors or companions, you will find that you have vast reserves of ability and motivation that you didn’t care enough to search out before. This is not an extrovert thing. It’s not a pathetic sheeple thing. It’s a human being thing. We thrive on each other’s encouragement. This applies to all areas of life. If you’re not into sports, but (let’s just say) music or acting, find a group to play with, or a bunch of other newbies to jam with. Or maybe you want to learn a language or a new skill. You can do all that online by yourself, sure!

But it’s not usually getting you anywhere if you’re doing it all alone. You might have this super-secret ability to speak German really fluently, but who are you speaking it to? Find people!

And since I almost always find myself bringing it back around to Jesus (because of course it’s all about Jesus!), this is why we need church, too. I know a lot of people who name the name of Christ, but stay away from church for whatever reason; this hypocrisy, or that doctrinal disagreement, or that way of doing the budget. It doesn’t matter. There’s always some reason to avoid church, if you really want to dig one up.

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.–John 13:35

You can’t love people you won’t even go around. You are meant to bless and encourage other Christians, and they are meant to bless and encourage you. You have to show up for it, no matter how hard it is to swallow your differences, or get up that early on the one day you have off work, or you will never know what you are capable of as a follower of Christ. You could be moving mountains, but you’re struggling to even move yourself.

Get out there. Whatever it is you’re doing, get among people from time to time. You think you don’t need them? Fine. What if they need you? Just go!

 

 

Stone to Flesh

These verses keep meeting in my mind.

Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. –Luke 3:8

and

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. –Ezekiel 36:26

Isn’t it amazing how God takes our hearts of stone and makes children for Abraham of them?

And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. –Genesis 28:14

and

Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. –Galatians 3:16

Be careful, my friends, of fleshly reasoning. Genealogies mean nothing. The work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts is the only thing that saves.

 

Do Troll the Vegans

It’s for their own good.

It seems at least some vegans feel that the rest of the world owes them a life devoid of delicious meaty scents. Especially while they’re running. While I’m running, I do not worry much about the smell of grass as I fly by the neighbors mowing their lawns. And I certainly wouldn’t ask the neighbors to please not mow their lawns until I’m finished, just because I don’t want to eat that. What is wrong with these people? (But we know what’s wrong with them. They need meat for their brains to work right.)

I did this at a grocery store last year. The look on the starving individual’s face was hilarious:

They’re just hungry, poor things. Grill all day, every day, meat eaters. The life you save will be the vegan that finally breaks down and asks for a bite of real, proper human food.

 

Carnivore Popcorn

Somebody asked me a while back what they could do for popcorn. My friend, I have found it!

You’re going to have to do a little footwork to procure the materials if you don’t buy your beef in bulk the way I do. If you do, tell your butcher you want the trim fat. And the suet and the marrow bones, and the organs! Don’t waste food! But this is about the trimmings. If you don’t buy your animals in bulk, you can probably go to any butcher and ask for fat trimmings. I promise, they will not think you’re crazy. Just march right up to that counter and ask!

When I got my first big ugly bag of fat with a bunch of red meat still stuck to it, I momentarily thought “What in the world am I going to do with this? Why did I ask for this?” I like suet for rendering, as it gets you a nice clean tallow, but this? This has a lot of meat still on it!

Um, hey…Carnivore person? It’s A BUNCH OF FAT WITH A LITTLE BIT OF MEAT ON IT! Isn’t that what you prefer to eat?

So I diced it up into about 1/4 inch pieces

And I fried it and ate it with my pitifully lean steak. (If you are one of those blessed people who have an air fryer, this would be a good use for it!)

You don’t need to eat this stuff as a side. It would make a marvelous small meal (aka, a snack).

You will never miss popcorn again, I promise. Just try it.