I have a couple of milestones to celebrate this month! September 11th will be 6 months of being vegan (that’s right, meat free and primarily dairy/egg free-as long as you don’t count my baking which I’m starting to rectify). September 11th also marks my 3rd year of living here in Aberdeen. I got on the plane at LAX on September 11th, 2007 leaving behind California and family and friends to pursue my Masters Degree at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.
I know, crazy isn’t it!
Becoming vegan actually started out as a 4 week experiment because I realized that I needed to go about my withdrawing from cheese and meat in a wise way. In doing so, I read some blogs, found a book to start me off and away I went into this new experiment. After two weeks, it felt like suddenly all the pistons were firing; I had more energy, and I really loved what I was eating. Then I went to visit some friends and I didn’t tell them about my new way of eating, so I ate whatever they offered me, which was delicious, but little did I know that it would take 4 days to get my body back after just two days of changing back to my old ways. This two-day foray back into the old ways and 4 days of undoing those two days really solidified my resolve to continue to be vegan.
Now I have to admit, I love baking and I have found it really hard to bake vegan, but I have found some great recipes from cookbooks and blogs that is making it a little easier for me to get back into baking. I can’t wait to try some of these new recipes. I hope to post some of them and even direct you to the blogs where I found them. What’s great about these recipes is that you probably would never know when tasting them that they are vegan, and that’s what I’ve been looking for.
So onward and upward!
Additionally, these milestones have caused me to ponder my own personal milestones in my journey with Christ. In August I found a passage in Psalms (Psalm 15 to be exact, because on the 15th of August I decided to turn there), that really got me thinking about my own journey with Christ.
Psalm 15 (NLT) goes like this: “Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill? Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts. Those who refuse to slander others or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends. Those who despise persistent sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the Lord and keep their promises even with it hurts. Those who do not charge interest on the money they lend, and who refuse to accept bribes to testify against the innocent. Such people will stand firm forever.”
After reading this it kind of seems like this is a formula on how a good person gets to heaven…not necessarily. I think of this as a marker of a person whose life is changed through progressive sanctification. Big word…yep I use them. Progressive sanctification is basically the concept that when we become believers, our lives and actions are refocused by the Holy Spirit so that our lives and actions change from our old way of living to how Christ wants us to live. With sanctify meaning that we are set apart, made holy, progressive means that it is a process in which we take, a day by day process.
So how do we become the ones that are worthy to worship in the holy place? First off, we need to be believers in Christ (you must acknowledge that Christ is who he says he is, believe in Him, confess our sins because we are sinners and choose to live our life for Him). From this point, it is our trust in Him and through the power of the Holy Spirit to make us into the person He wants us to be and for us live for Him. That’s how this process starts. Hebrews 10:19 says that we “can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus.” With this in mind, we are to go boldly into his presence fully trusting Him.
I’ve listed below some other verses that note what a believer in Christ should be aiming for in their journey in Him. Take a look for yourself…if you don’t have a Bible, you may find this link helpful (there is a search box for Bible references on the lower left hand corner of the website, just enter the references listed below): http://www.newlivingtranslation.com/
Psalm 24: 4-6 – describes those who can enter God’s presence.
Psalm 1:2-3 – a characteristic of those who delight in the Lord.
Colossians 4: 5-6 – how we are to live in the world.
Galatians 5:19-23 shows the process of progressive sanctification…verses 19-22 shows a life without Christ, and verse 23 shows what life looks like with Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – when we become Christians we are new creations, a new life has begun!
Ephesians 5: 15-17 – how we are to live in the world.
Ephesians 4:14, 15, 29 – another couple of verses on how we are to live in the world.
I am in no way perfect. I have hope that God can be trusted to keep His promise (Hebrews 10: 14 and 23). I have hope because knowing full well that I’m a work in progress that He will continue to work within me (Philippians 1:6).
My progress report: I’m doing and feeling great, working on the visa process to stay longer here in Aberdeen (and continue my journey in the far north) and trusting the Lord as He continues to work in me as I journey with Him.