“Just as if I’d”

This morning I was reminded of something I had read or heard a long time ago, though I can’t recall from where or who. The thought was brought to mind while listening to an elderly preacher speaking about justification, sanctification, and glorification. I taught a lesson a few years back entitled Big Words to help folks better comprehend some of the words we use to explain different parts of theology and this was my finale for that lesson:

“Justification happens when you meet Jesus. Glorification happens when you see Him. Everything that happens in between is sanctification.”

That is undoubtedly the simplest explanation of those terms I’ve yet to come across. It’s also, for the same reason I reckon, the most memorable way, for me at least, of explaining it to someone that doesn’t quite have an understanding of those “big words”.

After the elderly preacher wrapped up the message the pastor made a few closing comments, mostly about justification. He used the illustration, which you may be familiar with, that once we are justified through Christ Jesus it is “just as if I’d” never sinned because we are made righteous by grace, through faith in His perfect and final sacrifice. And it is the individual who decides whether or not to accept this gift, a decision that everyone must make for themselves only. 

My mind lit up with thoughts at this point, so much so I laid my iPad aside (yes, I use a tablet in church as well as at home for reading/studying almost exclusively) and grabbed a pen and index card from its case. Writing is a funny thing for me; I could’ve easily switched to the notepad-app and typed my thoughts but I went for the pen and paper instead. I suppose that likely says something about me, though I don’t know what, that I use the iPad in church but out of habit, preference, of something else grabbed a pen and paper to jot down a haiku! At any rate, this is what flowed from my pen:

choosing sin street is
my choice for my life’s journey-
the highway of hope

Life is indeed filled with choices: daily mundane ones and the far less frequent life changing ones. For me, I’m proud to say that I happily and humbly accept that free gift and am constantly learning and growing in this process of sanctification as I await glorification. 

Almost a Month In Now

I am days away from my one month anniversary of my diagnosis as a T-2 (that sounds weird still). I have done a lot of reading, testing, and journaling/note taking and feel very positive about the future. Thanks to many of you who have guided and instructed me, I have gotten a source of cheaper test strips and have been putting them to use! I now know that, like many diabetics, I spike at closer to an hour, not at two hours, when the doc wants me to test. I have come to a very good understanding of what and why I am doing what I’m doing with my PCP’s nurse, and she agrees with me and will order me supplies whenever I need them. I will see Amy, the nurse, later today for a flu shot and give her a run down on my numbers while I’m there, if she has time.

I have lost around five pounds so far and have made major changes to my diet, all good one that I can live with. And I am exercising more, as I’m able, as instructed by my long-time neurosurgeon. (If you happen to be interested, I have a longer “About Me” type-post on my recently started blog that you can read HERE, which explains more about my other condition.)

I’m also happy thrilled to report that my BG has come way down; I’ve only had 4 readings above 130 since September 1, and I learned something from each one I think. I have had some low readings that were confusing and plain irritating at first but I think I figured those out. My average over the last 30 days with over 100 tests is down to 97!

I’ve also tried lots of new foods, most of which I find I like. I have even gotten to where I can stand a banana once or twice a week; I have always detested them so this is a big surprise for me! And possibly best of all I have a good outlook on the entire situation. I was thinking the other night that the Bible tells us we can choose to be a slave to sin or master it, through faith in Christ. It then occurred to me that the same is true of this disease: I can choose to be a slave to diabetes or I can take control of all the things I can do and be the “master”; I choose to me the master in this “relationship”.


Today I was faced with my biggest temptation since my diagnosis: church potluck dinner. Everyone jokes about Baptists and their dinners and love of and for good, even us among ourselves. And it’s true, for good reason I might add- in my experience most small churches like the one I attend are, more or less, “country” churches with “country” folks who really know how to make comfort foods! Today being our annual Homecoming service made it all the better – or worse in my case – with higher attendance and more selection on the buffet: mashed potatoes, potato salad, macaroni and cheese, potato and cheese casserole, and much, much more. But then there’s the dessert spread, too, with more than I can tell you about (since I steered clear if it all together). But I will tell you about two dishes there: “Aunt” Bertie’s apple spice cake and Odaline’s peanut butter pie.

Let me start with “Aunt” Bertie; she’s not really my aunt. She is related to half the small congregation, and is a founding member of the church, so (almost) everyone calls her aunt ad I picked up it by habit, which she likes. Bertie’s apple spike cake is delicious and it reminds me of my grandmother’s. In the past he has made them, extra, just for me, a token I greatly appreciated. Until today I had never not had a piece (or two) at any of the dinners we have at church. But today I passed on it.

The story is almost identical for Odeline’s peanut butter pie; a frozen pie that is rich and creamy and so yummy. Many times she has made me one of these extraordinary treats, including today; the look on her face when she realized I “couldn’t eat it anymore” was actually so adorable: the genuine concern because of my health was obvious. (Bertie showed her care, too, when she scolded a couple of the kids {to my ears only, not theirs} for tempting me with their large plates full of rich sweets. Of course they didn’t mean anything by it; just kids playing around I’m sure.) I passed on the pie as well, also for the first time.

Now, it’s not that I can’t eat these foods anymore, rather I chose not to indulge in them today. I know that my choice will have consequences – bad choices equate bad consequences, good choices mean good consequences. I’m sure there will be days when I choose the bad option; I’m human and will make bad decisions. But the key is to make good choices much more often than bad ones, as is true in all aspects of life. A good analogy is that I’m in a war and sometimes battles will be lost; but the war will be won.