Monthly Archives: January 2011

Baby crying

‘No’ is a beautiful word

I’m not a fan of Happy Meals but the recent attacks on them are disturbing. Lawsuits against McDonalds claim that parents can’t say “no” to purchasing the nutritionally deprived meals because of the savvy marketing plan that targets their kids. Children beg and plead for Happy Meals until parents are compelled to give in.

I’m not promoting McDonalds but give me a break! Happy Meals aren’t the problem. Allowing kids a Happy Meal on rare occasion won’t kill them, but it’s our job as parents to teach children to say “no” to over indulgence. Savvy marketing could be an opportunity to train kids to be wise consumers and refuse to be manipulated by compelling campaigns.

Unfortunately, parents are also manipulated by clever marketing. We can’t seem to say “no” to the myriad of images that flash across the screen every day, targeting our dreams and desires. We harm our bodies with products that provide temporary pleasure but rarely deliver long-term satisfaction. We spend ourselves into debt purchasing what we don’t need and then try to blame our financial ruin on someone else. It’s hard to teach what we haven’t learned, but there is hope!

The problem is not McDonalds or Happy Meals. If Happy Meals disappeared tomorrow there would soon be some other decadent delight children would want. We have to stand firm and fight for what’s best for our kids; not by blaming McDonalds, but by dealing with our kids. Saying, “no” to those big pleading eyes, or that screaming voice, takes incredible strength and commitment; but it’s a non-negotiable if we want our kids to grow to maturity. If we don’t teach our kids to say ‘no’ to a toy today, they probably won’t say ‘no’ to far more destructive “toys” in the future.

Surround yourself with parents who are striving to teach their kids to say, ‘no’, not just to drugs, but to every bad choice in life. We need the encouragement and strength we glean from kindred spirits.

Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. 2 Timothy 2:22 NLT


What’s in your wagon?

It’s the new year, and yes, I’m trying to lose a few pounds. Maybe that’s why I’m recalling Oprah pulling a wagon of fat on stage. It was disgusting. The fat in the wagon weighed the equivalent to the amount of weight she had lost (this was a few “diets” ago). Oprah struggled to pull the heavy-laden wagon across stage and the image burned in my brain. Lugging around all that weight takes a toll on every part of life.

I’ve got a few extra pounds in my wagon, but that’s not all that’s weighing me down and making it difficult to run the race of life.

In the Bible God encourages us to: “…strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1b) NLT Discover God Study Bible

I wonder what my wagon would look like if I added all the things that weigh me down? Worry, anxious thoughts, fear for the future, jealousy, inadequacy…I think it would be more than disgusting! These heavy burdens were birthed from a flawed view of God, and the only way to truly lighten my wagon is to focus on who God really is.

Dear Oprah has taken the fat in and out of her wagon so many times it’s hard to keep track. No one knows better than she how damaging it is to her body and yet she keeps putting the pounds back in the wagon. Isn’t it the same with all of us? The older we get the more we acknowledge the damage our excess “baggage” causes and yet we don’t let it go once and for all.

What’s in your wagon? Will you join with me in filtering it all through the reality of who God really is and then let it go…now and forever? When it threatens to get back in your wagon, don’t let it! Follow God’s advice for running the race:

“We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2a)NLT Discover God Study Bible