Archive for the ‘Our Changing World’ Category

Prophecy in the Ages of Silence

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Prophecy in the Ages of Silence is another topic suggested to me by a friend.  It is a topic I have pondered for some time, so I suppose it is time for me to break my own silence on the subject.

Have you ever heard the phrase “History is written by the victors.”? Revisionist history is a fact. The basis for it is at the root of our human condition. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone will go to great lengths to defend that opinion, and those in power, church or state, have the power to publish that opinion for posterity as fact. This was true in the ancient world and is true today, so we must look at history from a spiritual perspective if we hope to uncover the Truth that God wants us to see.

In some cases, as in the events related in Matthew 1, multiple versions of history survive. A great divide occurred in the Jewish community in that d

ay, one side believing the events were the messianic prophecy unfolding, the other side, determined it was not. The Jewish New Testament Commentary by David H Stern states, “The early Rabbis developed a tradition that Jesus was the illegitimate son of Mary and a Roman soldier named Pantera.” Whatever their reasons, a small group of leaders could not accept the way this prophecy came to pass, and so discounted it. Those who believed became the ancient Christians, those who did not evolved into modern Jewry.

Prophecy in a historical timeline

Because I believe that God is ultimately in control, I believe that this divide was part of His plan, and similarly, the events unfolding in the world today are indeed part of His plan. We are witnessing another of the prominent religions, Islam, experiencing a great division between radical extremists interpreting their scriptures in a far different manner than a peaceful majority. Just as our Christian cannon of scripture paints the Pharisees and Sadducees as villains, a close look at the Jewish writings of the times paints them as primarily righteous leaders with a few radical extremists muddying up the waters.


The Changing Face of Web Ministry

Saturday, April 13th, 2013

Web Ministry –  The Humble Beginnings

Back in the day… well actually not that long ago, the internet was new and we marvelled at how cool it was to be able to email instead of snail mail. At first it was small businesses that kick started personal use of computers, but as personal computers became more affordable, everything began to change – and it changed very quickly.  I remember the very first email I sent. It was actually in 1980 something when the company I worked for set up inter-office email.  Back then, no one even considered that someday there would be such a thing as Web Ministry.

Fast forward a few years and the middle class yuppies had embraced email as their favorite way to stay in touch with friends and family. I suppose it was because of the speed at which the messages were delivered, that the nature of the message content also changed. This, I believe, was the birthing place of what came to be known as Web Ministry.  There was much concern about the content that would end up flowing through cyberspace, and with good reason. The devil was going pounce upon the opportunity to have a hand in anything that could reach so many people so quickly, and likewise God’s people would respond with something uplifting.  Instead of the long letters we used to write about our summer vacation or the what had been going on at work, play, and school, the masses were sending, and forwarding dirty jokes and inspirational stories at an alarmingly increasing rate.  As the web expanded with business and entertainment content, dirty jokes gave way to a booming porn industry and inspirational stories gave way to the first attempts at real Web Ministry. I am sad to say the the devil got the bigger foothold initially, and God’s people were not yet prepared to battle for souls in this unknown territory.

Web Ministry – Coming of Age

It was early in 2007 when I first began to really engage online for business reasons.  I took a course in web marketing, and started learning about building websites. At this time, most churches had some kind of website to make information about the church available to the seeking public, and most of the big name evangelists had websites that offered some spiritual educational content and sold their books. I suppose we could call that the second phase of Web Ministry.  At the same time however, many individuals, myself included, felt a call to be the hands and feet of Jesus on the web, and that is when Web Ministry really began to take hold.

The project I undertook for my web marketing course, which was in stark contrast to my classmate’s commercial websites and sales funnels, was a 31 day study in The Book of Proverbs, offered via email subscription. That site is still live today, and ranks in the top 200,000 websites in the US, and the top 1.5 million worldwide. Considering there are an estimated 182 million websites worldwide (according to Netcraft), and my novice attempt at web ministry is in the top 1% based on traffic, it seems pretty obvious that Web Ministry works. But how far can we, or should we take it?

Web MinistryWeb MinistryWeb Ministry

Web Ministry – To Fulfil the Great Commission

The United Methodist Church, firmly rooted in the style of John Wesley “going to where the spiritual hunger is” has committed to and meticulously researched the potential for Web Ministry, responding with websites, web content, e-newsletters, and even their own social networking platform at I am currently taking their online training to equip leaders for Web Ministry for the future. Ideas being discussed are things like live discipleship webinars, interactive calendars that link to your Google calendar, webcast worship services for the homebound, prayer partners via live chat, facebook pages and groups, online committee meetings, and much, much more.

There is still some push back from the traditionalists that hear the words Web Ministry, and understand that to mean that static informational site, and that response is understandable – change can be hard, but… reality is that prayer chains, worship, study, counselling, spiritual warfare, meetings, small groups, even healing services are all going digital. The face of Web Ministry is evolving and expanding, and that gets me very excited!

Blessings & Adventure,

Lynn “lynnibug” Rios

Give Generously, It Matters

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

I sat down to do some research on  how much American church goers give to support their churches when I ran across this article that really made me think.

Summit Church to Close After 131 Years


“Oct. 10 will be a sad day for the remaining parishioners who have faithfully attended Summit United Methodist GiveChurch of rural Florence all of their lives. The final worship service will be conducted at 10 a.m. by the Rev. David Ragland of Peabody.  Located in Summit Township, the Summit church began as a United Brethren Church. It subsequently became part of the United Brethren Evangelical Church and then the United Methodist Church.

Early records have been lost, and the congregation’s numbers have dwindled considerably as families moved away and the children of those who stayed did likewise. A look at the register on the wall reveals an attendance of nine people this past Sunday and an average of 14 during the past year. Loyal members dug deep into their pockets to keep the church going, but it finally became too much. “We can’t afford to pay the bills anymore,” LaVonne Ammeter said.

Ragland has been ministering to the church congregation for more than four years. He is planning to give a sermon titled, “One Last Time,” based on Jesus’ last meeting with his disciples. He will talk about the church’s closing but will emphasize that the church of Christ continues to march on. “This church has fulfilled the purpose God called it to,” he will tell parishioners.”

GiveWill something like that be written about your church or mine a few years from now?  The truth is that many small churches have been struggling for more than a few years and are losing rather than gaining ground. I think we can all agree that God deserves our first fruits, but if we are anything like the “average church goers” in the US, most of us fall short of the biblical tithe by 6% to 7%. What would we actually have to give up, to give 1%, 2%, or 3% more? Considering all that God has given us, would it really be that tough for us to find say $15 a week more for Him?

I know some of you can’t do that, and that is OK, I don’t want to make anyone feel singled out that is already struggling to get by, but I also know some of you could pretty easily come up with another $15, $20, $25 a week or more.  In fact, I figured out that by making lunches to take to work instead of buying frozen dinners to microwave, I am able to save $15 a week, and at the same time eat healthier and better tasting food. That means $15 a week that was doing little more than making me fatter can go to God’s work.

If we all did a few little things like eat out less often, read a book instead of going out to a movie, skip the $3.50 Starbucks latte, buy the store brand instead of the name brand product… we could easily give a few dollars more and get our church finances back on track, and our vision for the future of of our ministries with it. Vibrant, financially healthy churches grow while those cutting programs and staff to pay the bills, not so much.

If we do not change, if we do not act on what the Lord has taught us about living in simplicity so that we can be more extravagant in our generosity, the article about the final days of our churches will likely end much like that of Summit United Methodist Church.

“The church will probably stand empty and unused in the immediate future, but no doubt, it will continue to bring back warm memories to those who graced its doors.”


Is that a legacy we are willing to accept?  If not then we need to step up to the plate and GIVE!

In the Old Testament accounts of the relationship between God and the children of Israel we find that God’s wrath is unleashed when His children test Him.

Psalm 78:18 -22(NKJV)
“And they tested God in their heart By asking for the food of their fancy. Yes, they spoke against God: They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness? Behold, He struck the rock, So that the waters gushed out, And the streams overflowed. Can He give bread also? Can He provide meat for His people?” Therefore the LORD heard this and was furious; So a fire was kindled against Jacob, And anger also came up against Israel, Because they did not believe in God, And did not trust in His salvation.”

Only one verse have I found where God invites us to test Him,

Malachi 3:10 (NKJV)
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.”


My prayer is that we are becoming a church that WILL test God in this. That we will bring all of the tithes into the storehouse, that we will not only meet all of our commitments and obligations, but that we will be worthy and generous representatives of the Kingdom of heaven in our community, that we will change lives as we fulfill the great commission and that God will pour out on us such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it!

Give generously, it matters.

Blessings & Adventure,

Lynn “lynnibug” Rios

Define Better

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

What Color or Race are Gods Chosen People?

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

raceThe subject of race on this blog is likely to raise some eyebrows, but I believe the body of Christ must be transparent in order to align on such issues.

This all started several days ago when my facebook friend, Gary Ellison, made a bold post.   We don’t see eye to eye on everything, but we are brother and sister in the Lord and have had some very good and edifying conversation.  His post generated a thread of 409 comments (so far), as many passionate believers debated their views.  So here is the post that started it all.
“Every time I see 1 of you Negros post the LIE that Edom is the WHITE-MAN I am coming right behind you and post the TRUTH! The Khazar’s (Ashkenazi Jews) are descendants of Japhet. Edom is a descendant of Abraham Isaac & Jacob, the TWIN brother of Israel. You all need to stop lying in the face of obvious truth. You are making our beliefs & community look stupid with your racist inspired lies. I challenge any 1 who espouse this to a debate on the truth. DONT BE SCARED! Our beef with Ashkenazi is valid, but he is not EDOM”
Gary’s followers and contemporaries believe that they, people of dark color, are descendants of the Israelites.  They also believe that the modern Ashkenazi Jews are descended from gentiles that took on the culture and religion of the Israelites.

Well I am just a white girl, raised Jewish, who gave her heart to Jesus after many years of fast living and poor choices.  I have no reason to be drawn into this conversation except for the fact that in 2003 Yeshua, Jesus, spoke to me.  He said “I am coming for My church, not My churches.  You have work to do.”  When I read Gary’s post and the comments that followed, I could feel the hair on the back of my neck stand up, and I knew I had to respond.  For several days I pondered and prayed for the right words.

What does the bible reveal about race?

Jacob and Esau are described as very different, but twin brothers of different races is not mentioned.  Issac and Ishmael had different mothers, could be different races, maybe not.  What the bible does say about these men is that they will become the fathers of great nations.  Chapter 1 of the Song of Songs describes a Shulamite peasant girl whom Solomon is to marry.  She is insecure among the daughters of Jerusalem because of the color of her skin.  She is dark from working daily in the sun.  This would indicate that the daughters of Jerusalem were fairer skinned than she was, but still not an indicator of race.

If we are to believe the biblical account of the flood, then all races on the earth would trace their lineage back to the sons of Noah.  There has been much written about the possibility that three of Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, fathered the yellow, black, and white races of men respectively.   Others theorize that when the people of the earth all spoke one language they were of many colors and shades living in community together, just as there are many variations in the size, shape, and color of the individuals that comprise a pack of wolves.  They concur that the tower of Babel incident caused family groups with common language to migrate away from Babel in different directions.  The isolation of these groups eventually led to distinct commonalities in the way they looked, based on dominant genes becoming more refined with each successive generation.

The multitude of people who followed Moses out of Egypt were slaves who had been freed.  Egypt had slaves from many nations, not just Israelites.  Imagine yourself on that day.  If you were a slave in Egypt, regardless of who you were or how you ended up in Egypt, would you have stayed behind or followed Moses?  The multitude who stood at the foot of Mount Sinai were more likely multi national and multi racial as we define it.  God gave the law to all of them, He chose all of them, and as a group they took on the identity of the Israelites.  Had they not treasured the law of Moses and handed it down from one generation to the next in an oral tradition, it would likely have been lost.

What is glaringly obvious is that the bible makes little to no mention of race.

God’s word in scripture defines groups of people based on families, geography and beliefs, not race.  People in their prideful ways make race an issue that is irrelevant to God.  Genesis 12:3 records God telling Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”   Genesis 22:18, says “and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”  All of the nations of the earth will be blessed by Abraham’s offspring – not some, but all.  It would stand to reason then, that race is of no consequence in from God’s perspective.  The people doing the blessing are God’s chosen, and the people doing the cursing are not.

According to Jewish law, any child born of a Jewish woman is considered Jewish.  Again, race has no bearing.  If the ancestors of the Ashkenazi Jews were gentiles desiring to embrace and worship the One God of the Israelites, they would have been welcomed into that culture regardless of race, and intermarried with them thereby grafting in.  In a similar fashion, the gentiles who followed Christ were grafted in.  As a Jewish believer in Christ, I accept the Christian community as equals in the inheritance as God ordained with no weight given to color, race, doctrine, or ritual, IF, and only IF it lines up with the word of God.

I recognize that when the black race was targeted, and large numbers sold into slavery, it was a poor witness on the part of the professing Christians who took part.  The black race in America remained enslaved and separated from their culture for generations, and it left a discernible void.  It is undeniable that some white men who claimed to be Christian, and some who did not, exploited the Black race and separated them from their very identity.  I am delighted that some have chosen to search the scripture to identify their origins, reclaim their heritage, and understand their birthright as children of God.  If that search has led them to believe they are descendants of the Israelites, I have no problem with that.

My concern is that just as the ancient Jews, perverted their special relationship with God into a false national and ethnic pride, and thought that they were better than other nations or races, so also these children of God have made this an issue of race and of blame.  These ideas come not from God, but from the sinful hearts of man.  Is the blood of Jesus not strong enough to cover that sin?  Is there not enough grace within to join as equals with the body of Christ and labor in love, side by side, for the increase of the kingdom?

What fruit is to be gained by debating these points?  How genuine is the love of a disciple who is brought into the fold with doctrine based on race, that separates the body of Christ into warring factions, each claiming a birthright to being God’s special people?  This is not what Yeshua taught us!  He taught us to love God first and to love one another as we love ourselves.

Everything else hangs on these two principles.  If we fail at this, we simply fail.

Yeshua calls us to be victorious over all of our petty differences.  What is important has nothing to do with race as determined by the color of our skin or the texture of our hair.  Preoccupation  with race is a weapon of the enemy designed to keep people from their rightful inheritance.  The only thing that counts is who you belong to, God or the enemy.  If we truly belong to God, then we will willingly take our place as His humble servant and call upon Jesus to remove the spirits of contention, racial prejudice, and disharmony from our lives.   <t)))><

Blessings & Adventure

Lynn “lynnibug” Rios

I believe the Kingdom of Heaven on earth will be a beautiful mosaic of God’s children.  The furthest thing from our minds will be issues of race.

Electronic Gossip

Friday, May 27th, 2011

“Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip; liars pay close attention to slander.” Proverbs 17:4 NLT

About once a year I find myself sending the same message to all of my email buddies after receiving another email that is viraly spreading gossip and lies, reminding them to check things out before they click that forward button.  The problem is that we don’t even think about it much.  We read something that sounds like a legitimate warning and we want to share it, so we send it on.  Some people are not going to like what I have to say, but in reality, we often are doing more harm than good, even if the Gossipinformation is valid.

You probably never thought of it as gossip.

Many people don’t know any better, or just don’t stop to consider that this email has been forwarded over and over.  Each time another 10 to 15 email addresses are added to the thread.  Malicious programs are trolling cyberspace looking for large lists of email addresses to collect.  We add to the problem of spam when we do not take steps to protect our buddies and their buddies by using BCC (blind carbon copy) or just deleting the previous lists of addresses before we click send.

These programs and the people who create them are taking advantage of the fact that most of us will jump on the bandwagon when we read an emotional story or highly charged warning, and share that gossip with as many people as we can.  It is human nature.  When we do, we are helping the enemy to do his work, totally unaware, actually thinking we are doing a good thing.  Many of these bogus emails become so viral they achieve the status of urban legend and continue to spread for months or years. has become a well know leader in exposing these urban legends, and does exhaustive research to clarify which are truth, which are lies, and which are gossip.  So why do I receive so many of these bogus emails that cite as the source for their legitimacy?  When I go to the Snopes URL referenced in the email, I find that it is just gossip.

gossipFriends, DO ME A FAVOR, PLEASE… Don’t click the link!  Anyone can embed anything in the text and make a dangerous link to a virus look like a link to, but do go to and type the subject line or a line from the email into the search box on Snopes.  Nine times out of ten (or more), you will find the entire gossip email you received posted word for word on Snopes.  That does not mean that it is true.  Scroll down past the text and read the comments.  Many are based on some small truth, or were true in 2007, but not anymore.  Do the research and stop spreading the gossip.

Just yesterday I received an email from 3 different people with a subject line that read CAR AIR-CONDITIONING – VERY IMPORTANT!  It went on to tell me that especially in the summer, poisonous gas was leeching from the plastic in my car when it sat in the sun, and that if I turned on the A/C without opening the windows and airing the car out first, I would breath in mass quantities of carcinogens.  You can read the email, and see the truth at They are so far apart that it really made me think…

What a great way to spread whatever mis-information is to my benefit.  Disguise it as a warning sent with the best intentions and it can spread like wildfire!  I could squash a competitor’s product like a bug.  The right gossip could change the outcome of an election, convict an innocent man, or free a guilty one.  It only has to sound true, and there are enough good writers around to make that happen with little effort.

And that brings me to the next kind of gossip spread in email messages…

Sign this petition and send it to EVERYONE in your address book.  Just add your name to the bottom of the list and forward it to everyone you know.  If you are number 500 send it back to  Now stop and think for a minute. If I sent it to 10 people then my name is on the petition 10 times.  Is sorting this list for duplicates?  They may be raising awareness for a cause, but more likely they are collecting email addresses to send you more spam.  If you want to support the cause, find a legitimate organization soliciting support on a valid website.  Again, do your research instead of spreading gossip and rumors.

Upon close examination, you will find that much of the seemingly well intended email you receive is filled with gossip, rumors, and lies.  It is designed to make masses of people believe something that is not true, and as surely as Satan is laughing at how easy we are to fool, it is working to dumb our society down into little more than sheeple who will follow anyone that speaks what they want to hear with more than a little charisma.  (I am tempted, but I won’t name names.)

gossipWe must guard our integrity.  Take responsibility for the written word you spread as seriously as for the words you speak.  As the definition of relationship changes to include cyber relationships, our reach is extended and our power to spread gossip and untruth increases, with potentially devastating consequences.  Think first, and use delete when you are not certain of the facts.

Blessings & Adventure,

Lynn “lynnibug” Rios

Proverbs 16:28 (NLT)

“A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.”

Let the gossip stop with you.

The Biblical Model For Sustainable Living

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

The Biblical Model For Sustainable Living has eluded mankind throughout the ages.

While the common man has dreamed of a utopian society that could be achieved via a plethora of isms (capitalism, socialism, communism, and so on), that utopia has never been achieved due to mans corruption of the ideals of whatever ism is in place.

Yesterday I left a comment on a blog post about why purchasing quality coffee online made sense, and have found myself thinking about it a lot today.  When I consider how most products are produced and brought to market in our country, it just makes me shudder.  This business model is certainly not what God intended.

Young Girl Making Textiles

Let’s start with our buying habits. We live in a shop til you drop society.  We are always buying more and more stuff, and in six months to a year we will not want, not use, find broken, or deem no longer stylish, and in most cases, just throw it out.  We have been taught to consume, and to keep us consuming the manufacturers must provide us with a price point that keeps the treadmill moving.  So how do they do that?

Easy, they exploit workers in less developed areas of the world.  Men, women, and children in other parts of the world will work long hours in poor conditions for a fraction of what American workers get paid.  We want cheap prices, and so we turn our heads and hearts away from the knowledge of how all this stuff can get to market so cheaply.  What if we took the initiative to bring about change in the world?  There are a few things we can do that would impact the world in a positive way.Picking Coffee Beans

First, I believe we need to stop and think about things before we make a purchase.  If we would just stop buying so many things we really don’t need, we would have more money to invest in quality items that we do need, items that will last and remain useful for years to come.

Next, learn about the companies that make the products, and buy from the ones that have proven to be socially and environmentally responsible.  As an example, I don’t mind paying a little more for a pair of shoes from Toms.  When I buy shoes from Toms, I know a needy child somewhere in the world is receiving a pair also, so I am making that child’s world a better place.  When I buy certified fair trade coffee, I am supporting a better standard of living for the workers that grow and harvest the coffee beans.  And when I buy quality American made products, I contribute to our economy and help to keep American workers employed.

You see we have a choice to make.  It is not just the government that is out of control spending endless dollars unwisely, it is all of us.  We pay for convenience, we pay for instant gratification, we pay for the unnecessary, we no longer expect anything to last more than a season, and we indulge in excess.  We all want our piece of the dream, and we just don’t often give any thought to who got stepped on for us to have what we want.Young Boy in a Factory

God created our planet with an abundance of everything we need.  There is truly enough for everyone to have it all, if we are good stewards of the abundance that surrounds us.  That makes it our responsibility to do what we can to keep things balanced and equitable rather than take advantage of others misfortune.  It also means that we must hold our leaders accountable to the same standard.

The biblical model for leadership is King Solomon, who through wisdom achieved great wealth and splendor not only for himself, but for his people.  The biblical model for the employer is one who treats people fairly and pays them a fair wage that provides for them and their family, and provides a safe and pleasant work environment.  The biblical model for the employee is to work hard, be productive, and be mindful of both quality and value due to the employer.   For the self employed, the customer should be provided the best quality product at a fair price, with no deceit or trickery.

Returning to the biblical model will require effort on our part, and a change in our world view.  We will need to do our homework to learn about the companies offering us products and support the ones that earn our business by their actions, as we shun the ones built on greed and exploitation.   It will require sacrifice on the part of those who have much, to make a way for those who have little, and begin transforming this broken system into a sustainable way of life.  We can start today by becoming more responsible citizens of the world, and by our actions, cause change to come about.

The biblical model for sacrifice is Jesus, who gave His all for us.  By following His loving and giving example, we can be the change we want to see in the world.

Holy Spirit Rain Down

Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down
Oh Comforter and Friend
How we need Your touch again
Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down
Let Your power fall
Let Your voice be heard
Come and change our hearts
As we stand on Your word
Holy Spirit, rain down

Blessings & Adventure,

Lynn “lynnibug” Rios


A Legacy of Gluttony

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Our Legacy of Gluttony began long ago…

Those of you who are old enough (children of the 50’s and 60’s) will probably remember your parents telling you to clean your plate because “children in China were starving.” It never made sense the way they said it. Wouldn’t it be impractical to gather up the brussel sprouts that my sister and the dog and I didn’t want, and ship them over to China to help those kids? And how would my consumption of those disgusting green balls help those Chinese kids anyway? Too bad my parents had no idea they were contributing to a legacy of gluttony.

Obviously, we missed the point entirely, but so did our parents!

Legacy of GluttonyHow did this Legacy of Gluttony begin?

After WWII, the parents of us baby boomers lived a more prosperous lifestyle than had previously been seen in the world. They simply wanted us to appreciate the abundance that we had, and I believe it was this clean your plate mindset that sent our entire generation down a path that led to record breaking rates of diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and all manner of nutritionally preventable disease in the 21st century, in other words a legacy of gluttony.

The easily attainable prosperity of the 60’s and 70’s took us from the clean your plate mindset into an absolute portion distortion trap that has become the norm.

We are regularly presented with far more than we need to eat, and we are trained to clean our plate so we eat it all. And what we are eating is loaded with chemicals, sugar, and fat that enhance the flavor and make it truly enjoyable for us to eat until we are overstuffed and uncomfortable. That uncomfortable feeling should be a signal to us that we ate too much, but because we have inherited a legacy of gluttony we have been conditioned to ignore that signal and true to our habit, we will do it again and again. Just look at these portions and consider… do we really need to eat this much food at one sitting?

Legacy of GluttonyLegacy of GluttonyLegacy of Gluttony

Legacy of GluttonyLegacy of GluttonyLegacy of Gluttony

So what can we do? Must we pass on this legacy of gluttony we have inherited?

The wisdom the bible teaches us is far from our clean your plate, legacy of gluttony mentality. The bible teaches us to use what we need, and leave the rest for someone else to meet their need.

Deuteronomy 24:19-21 (NKJV) “When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow.”

Proverbs 23:20-21 (NLT) Do not carouse with drunkards or feast with gluttons, for they are on their way to poverty, and too much sleep clothes them in rags.” Maybe the poverty spoken of is the actual physical result of consuming too much. It steals our energy, our health, and teaches our children a detrimental way of life.

So here comes the BIG question. How do we break this cycle, this legacy of gluttony our parents bequeathed us? If we cannot conquer this in our generation, our children and our children’s children will pay dearly for this legacy of gluttony. I have become more aware of this over the past couple of years as my work has become less physical, and I have reached that age where the fat just wants to stick to my middle. In two years, I moved from the middle of the green zone on the body mass index chart to the yellow (warning) edge. Now I am not pleased with the way my mid section looks, and it is time to do something about it, but, I have a lifetime of bad eating habits to break, and I imagine many of you do as well.

Legacy of Gluttony

The good news is that there are solutions to my legacy of gluttony, and I have found one that is working for me. Backed by scientific discovery of the importance of consuming low glycemic, non cephalic foods and beverages to losing unwanted fat, by replacing one product I have consumed daily for my entire adult life, I have seen immediate results. This is really important because a great deal of research has revealed that the consumption of high glycemic, high cephalic products cause weight gain in adults and children, and can lead to type 2 diabetes.

I have not consciously changed my eating habits for the better (dieted), nor have I begun a program of regular exercise, which I know I should, but I no longer crave the sugary afternoon boost, or the donuts and muffins with my morning coffee. I am well satisfied with smaller portions of healthier foods. I have a lot more energy, and my mind seems to be more involved in deciding what to eat, instead of my body responding to cravings that dictate consumption of fatty and sugary treats. In the past four weeks I have dropped 6 pounds and shed 4 inches, without really trying or feeling like I gave anything up. I am one step closer to victory over the legacy of gluttony that was handed down to me.

So what is it that one thing I changed? My coffee! Yes, that’s all. I found a great coffee with low glycemic & thermogenic (fat burning) properties, and stopped drinking Folgers. Yes, it costs a little more than Folgers, but it costs far less than many weight loss alternatives, and tremendously less than the health problems that go along with becoming and remaining overweight!

Certified low glycemic, non cephalic products that focus on addressing the current obesity and diabetic epidemic, like the coffee I drink, are available now and even more are under development to give us more tools to combat the legacy of gluttony that has permeated our society. There are passionate researchers like Dr. Ann de Wees Allen whose mission is to leave a legacy of better health to future generations. I heartily encourage you to learn more and take every step that you can toward a healthier future and break this cycle.

Blessings & Adventure,

Lynn “lynnibug” Rios

The legacy of gluttony must be stopped now.

French Toast – Just Enough To Get To Heaven

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

There has been an interesting discussion going on in recent weeks about what exactly will qualify a person to inherit eternal life. I have come across as much watered down doctrine as I have over the top legalistic doctrine, which has left me asking why so many people seem to be set on doing “just enough” to get to heaven? While the over the top doctrine pushers would have you believe that you must believe exactly as they do, the watered down faction seems to be seeking the quickest, easiest, cheapest ticket that will be accepted at the pearly gates.

French ToastIn any endeavor, when you seek to do “just enough” rather than to excel, you may technically succeed, but you are only cheating yourself when you give less than your best. Here is a real world example – French Toast.

If I take the eggs and beat them just a little, then quickly dip the bread in the eggs and fry it on up in a really hot pan, I will technically have French Toast. It will be dry in the middle and have crusty egg white on the edges, and maybe a few charred spots, but it will have about the same nutritional value as it would have if I were more attentive to the details.

In contrast, if I mix the eggs well, maybe add some cinnamon, give the bread some time to soak up the egg mixture and then gently fry it to a golden brown, it will be moist and appetizing. I will delight in its taste and texture and my meal will be far more satisfying!

If you really think about it, the real difference between these two versions of French Toast is the loving care we put into it. In the same way, we open ourselves to receive from God, according to the loving care we put into having a relationship with Him. I have said many times, it is not about what you believe or even what you do or don’t do, it’s all about who you belong to. When you belong to someone, you put that loving care into building the relationship so that it becomes ever more satisfying. By trying to get away with “just enough”, you are placing limits on God, through whom all things are possible. Now why would anyone want to do that?

If you belong to Jesus, you will surely fall down sometimes, but you will more often strive to do what pleases Him. By grace, He is not counting the times you fall, He is rather counting the times you get up and move closer to Him.

Blessings & Adventure,

Lynn “lynnibug” Rios


A Simple Yet Profound Leadership Lesson

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

All I can say is WOW!  It has been a crazy busy week, with blessing upon blessing in my business life!  All week I have been trying to get a few minutes to share something I learned at a training event last weekend, so here I am, burning the midnight oil because it just can’t wait any longer.

Rev. Jeff Stiggins gave this telling presentation, that is so simple, yet so profound. I would also add that although this is directed at church leadership, the principals are valid for excelling as a leader in any profession or walk of life.

It begins, Once upon a time, church leadership wasn’t so challenging.  There weren’t a lot of options, and the options you did have were well marked.  Today there are choices, lots of choices, and the signs are sometimes confusing.  Today leadership isn’t so simple, to the point where things feel upside down.  So here is a formula to simplify leadership in 3 steps.

1. Be who you are

2. See what you have

3.  Do what matters to God.

Now let’s look at these a little closer…

Be Who You Are

Being who you are starts with asking purposeful questions to re-connect with who we are called to be and what we are called to do.  We are Christ’s disciples called to join Him in kingdom service – our mission is to join in God’s mission.  The role of spiritual leaders is not to have all the answers, but to keep asking people “What is God up to and how can we help?”  By engaging others in purposeful questions, and studying the word of God, we will be able to discern where God is already at work, so we can join Him with the resources He has given us for that very purpose (which brings us to step number 2).

See What You Have

We tend to focus on the things we don’t have and the reasons we can’t do the extravagant mission work we would like to think is of value.  If only we had more funding, more members, more contacts, better facilities, stronger leaders, better musicians…then we could… The truth is that God equips us for the service He calls us to, so from the biblical perspective, we have no more excuses!  As leaders we must help people to take inventory to see what they have, and encourage them to invest their best in God’s mission.  We need to learn to go with God’s momentum.   Seek out where God is at work changing lives, and ride that wave of God’s energy.

Do What Matters To God

Christ expects no less!  So what matters to God?

  • Making more and better disciples

  • Being ambassadors of reconciliation

  • Extending mercy

  • Working for justice

  • Promoting peace

  • Caring for the earth

“And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”  Mark 12:30-31

Finally, these two questions will keep everything in perspective, so keep them at the forefront of everything you do.

What is causing God to smile?

What is breaking God’s heart?

Blessings & Adventure,

Lynn “lynnibug” Rios

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