Choose To Be Poor in Spirit (Don't End Up With The Pigs)

In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, there are two sons. One finagles his inheritance early, and spends it in debauchery. The other son, meanwhile, remains at home serving his father's estate. Now the one who squandered his inheritance ends up homeless and dirt poor. He starts to be jealous of the pigs eating slop out of a trough.

Well, you probably know the story, but in case you don't - the rebellious son comes home. And instead of the father giving him a stern talking to, he embraces him and celebrates him with a feast.

The other (older) brother ain't happy.

If You Want To Go To The Banquet, Sell Your Stuff and Leave Your Family

For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet. (Luke 14:24)

There are certain words in the Bible I wish weren't there. They are a little too hard to deal with. When Jesus says we are to hate our family (Luke 14:26), I feel a lump in my stomach. I know he doesn't mean literal hate, for that is against the person and character of Christ - and it conflicts with the rest of Scripture. (Scripture interprets Scripture.) Jesus does mean to make a serious statement though, and his words are never flippant. But as I read the words of Jesus, especially in context with the preceding parable, I begin to understand.

Jesus is telling us to renounce all that we have.

Frame Your Stretch Marks: Love God, Love Your Body

If I could I'd frame your stretch marks
You only get them two ways
Giving birth or dropping weight
Either way, serious pain
~Propoganda, Framed Stretch Marks

If you're an adult female of any size or shape, you probably hate your body. If you are an adult male, there is also a good chance you have issues with your body. Some have a mild distaste for their image in the mirror and might even laugh at their flaws, but others - many others - have serious issues with the way they look.

There is a name for this disorder. It's called body dysmorphic disorder. Though I'm not a fan over our obsession with over diagnosis, this disorder is to me something we need to categorize so we can kill it. Whether or not BDD is a legit mental condition I do not know, but let's just use that as our junk drawer term here for anyone who struggles with body image (read: most people).

How did we get here? Why are so many people convinced they're fat and ugly? Well, for one, our media has put forth airbrushed images of unrealistically skinny women and dudes who magically have no body hair who look like Greek gods. Further, the statistics state that most people (sadly, including Christ-followers) have looked at or continue to look at porn, which gives a completely unrealistic view of the body and healthy sexuality. If you take these two aspects away, there are other mental health factors, histories of abuse, etc. that could come into play.