We’ve been faithfully serving, tithing, members at North Point Community Church for a long time now. We’re lovers and followers of Christ. But, we won’t be there on Wednesday night when Michelle Obama appears to talk about obesity.
Because you don’t like the First Lady? No, nothing to do with whether we like her or not.
Because you disagree with her political views? No, not because of the wide gap separating our political ideologies, per se.
Because evangelicals were born to boycott? Nopety-nope.
Because you don’t see the point in the FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States) appearing at your church, especially to talk on this topic? Yeah, that’s more like it.
Am I interested in hearing what she has to say? Sure, I’m intrigued to hear what any high level government official or celebrity has to say about kids in our nation. But, having recently come face to face with the ugly truth about my own flaws and overeating, I don’t see why it’s relevant to me.
Obesity is a spiritual problem, not a political problem.
Okay, I said it. Call me a narrow minded bible-thumping troglodyte if you must. But, as God has drawn my wife and I near to Him during a recent extended fast, I came to a deeper understanding of my own depravity, my own lack of self control, my own need for a Savior: I feed my flesh with more gusto than I feed my spirit. I reach for comfort food when I don’t really want food so much as I want comfort itself, which my God has promised to me in abundance if I’d just reach for Him instead.
Yes, there are great opportunities to witness to those outside the faith, but I’ll be doing it from the comfort of my own home as we watch it streamed online. Yes, I am grateful for our church being selected for such a media heavy event. But, relevance, please?
Am I being a wuss? Yes, a bit, because you and I both know that getting into and out of our church parking lot (even with the thank-you-Jesus-new-bridge) is hard enough when it’s just our church peeps. God forbid, we should have to brave those throughways when it’s every Tom, Dick, and Harry flocking to that building to see the most famous FLOTUS in American history.
The reality is, however, I think addressing childhood obesity with a program, a slogan (imagine: “Just Say No to Seconds”! “Read My Lips: No New Fat Cells”!), or a famous face misses the mark as much as a band-aid on leukemia. Obesity, especially childhood obesity, is not a merely a mindset problem, it’s not a political problem, it’s a sin problem. Without Christ, we are utterly lost and libel to do whatever we want, when we want, as much as we want. Have we forgotten Sodom and Gamorrah? Have we forgotten Romans, 8 verse 12 – “Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it.”
One of the most poignant truths that jumped off the pages of my bible during this fast was just that – “Aarron, you don’t have to answer the door when chocolate cake is ringing the doorbell.” I need a savior. Kids who are struggling with overeating don’t need a slogan or a t-shirt, they need parents and teachers who have Christ in their hearts and an abiding relationship with the Holy Spirit, who can train them up to live by the Spirit and not by the flesh.
Am I wrong?
I’m not pointing fingers at the kids – they’re just eating what we feed them. So, yes, a change in accessibility to certain foods and a change of mindset and practice by those making food choices for our kids could go a long way. But, as long as a way as it could be, it falls far short of how far God would have us if we would pray for and trust Him for true, penitent, sweeping revival in this nation. Do, yes. But, abide, deny the flesh, carry the cross, and pray for revival, so we can stop putting band-aids on cancer.
Love you guys.
And, what’s next?
Every year, the most taxing time for me is around the end of the year, when we get into “walk, but trust mode”. It’s a time when we do a lot of letter writing, emailing, phone calling, and general fundraising activity that normally had one or both of us collapsed in a sweaty heap, exhausted, yet grateful for God’s provision. A little “regroup” time is always in order.
Thus, we try to start off each new year with a couple of “vacation days” [this term is used loosely in light of the recent snowstorm that had all four kids trapped in the house for 8 days with no school…], some sort of food fast, some form of media fast and/or “regroup” time. As an organization, it’s important to have checkpoints where we can… well, be checked on how closely we’re abiding in Christ, how well we’re staying on mission, and revisit the mission. What is it that God’s called us to? Are we on track with Him or have we gotten ahead or off the path?
For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been mulling that over, praying about it, and will be updating our website with a fresh look, clearer description, new resources, and links to our Facebook page, this
blog, Twitter, and a variety of other enhancements. It’s an exciting time for us at Seasons of Life.
With “That Day” growing in popularity [we’ve currently got about 4 performances either on the calendar or in the planning stages], we’re looking forward to greater exposure for the cause of Christ, the mission of discipleship, and expansion of our workload. We’re grateful for these new opportunities and invite you to pray for us and consider supporting us in your regular or periodic giving.
Aarron will continue discipling men this year, helping out at ONE TH1NG as a table leader and possibly even guest facilitator, and continue to manage and execute the project we know as “That Day“. Cristine has taken on a couple of new women in her discipleship, is currently leading a women’s small group for North Point Community Church, and continues to grow in her ministry to teenage girls through Free Chapel’s “The Blend“.
As a couple, we continue to keep our eyes open for couples that God sends our way for “couples discipleship”. Frankly, it’s an odd feeling when God does that to us – having only been married for just over three years, we often look at the Lord with a Moses look (you want me? I-i-i-i d-d-on’t speak so, w-w-well.). Yet, He constantly gives us opportunities to grow in our own marriage that just happen to coincide with places that the couple in question struggles with. So, we trust His judgment and just do our best to “be available” to Him as He calls.
Demand for the food ministry has continued to grow, so we invite you to support us in supplying food, clothing, and even financial support for several local families in need. Some of them just got their lights turned back on and are still behind. We’d like to help them keep their kids warm this winter, so please, take a trip over to our giving page and consider supporting our local families in need with a one time gift or make a note on your online transaction to that effect. As always, pray for them, too.
The questions we’re trying to get people to constantly meditate on this year are: “am I growing more dependent on God or more self-sufficient?” and “am I growing more sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit?” Of course, you know when you get something like that from God, He’ll immediately put you to the very same test. It’s what I call God’s “drink your own Kool-Aid guardrail for people who’d like to think they’re fully surrendered.”
As the Lord clears our evening schedule, we plan to dive in to leading a new DivorceCare group, whether at Free Chapel or North Point, we’re just excited to have dual availability as He may call us. It’s very hard to know that there are so many people out there in the midst of separation or divorce who don’t have access to real, live people to listen and point them back to scripture and the comfort, compassion, healing, and direction that only God can provide.
Please pray for them, wherever they are, that our hearts’ desire [that God would fully reconcile 5 divorcing couples this year], would be part of His will. Also, pray that we trust in Him and not our own personal agenda, that He would do the healing, restorative work through us in His power alone.
We always encourage you to follow along with our newsletter and Facebook and pray that you will support this mission as we do all that we cannot through the power of Him who can do exceedingly abundantly more than all we can ever ask or imagine through Christ Jesus.