Are You Resting or Laboring This Labor Day?

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Happy Labor Day. I trust you are enjoying a holiday BBQ or some other form of rest and relaxation today. I’m learned to safely rest in our Lord Will and my hope is that you do too.

This morning I started walking my little Lhasa as I do each morning, when once again she heard faraway gun shots out in the farmer’s field near our home. Immediately Jewel got skittish and turned for home, even though I was there and holding on to her securely. She had nothing to fear and yet didn’t trust that I would protect her in any circumstance that arose. I’d never allow harm to come to her!

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How like us she acted, when we fail to trust in our Savior when circumstances beyond our control arise. Rather than trust that I would keep her safe from harm, Jewel would rather run home and hide under the bed! She’s kind of like that ostrich who thinks if she’s not seen, she’s protected. Well sin is everywhere and has a way of finding us. Unless we put on the full armor our God for protection, we are vulnerable to outside influences too. No amount of hiding will prevent tribulation from happening in this world. When my husband returned, she found comfort in his arms.

Just like Jewel, when trouble arises, we fail to trust that our Champion will protect us! Do we find comfort and refuge in our Father’s Everlasting Arms?

“The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them. O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!…” (Psalm 34:7)

I decided to take our beautiful Cocker Spaniel for a walk instead. He was delighted to spend time together! God also rejoices when we want to spend time with Him. Do you spend time with our Lord daily? He misses you!

And nothing seems to faze our Cocker Spaniel! In fact I knew he would protect ME, his master at any cost. In the same way we must protect our Master when attacks against Christ and Christianity occur. Stand firm! In today’s world there IS a war on Christianity. Don’t cower against the slings and arrows of the devil for he’s nothing compared to you! (1 John 4:4)  The Bible confirms Absolute Truth and we should stand up for that Truth, defending it with the confidence and backing of Scripture! Therefore memorize practical Scripture verses when needed.

Then as my Cocker and I turned a corner, who did we see but the man I wrote about in my blog “Power Through the Tough Times!”  When we had first met this sweet heavy-set man, he had been trudging through a run a couple of months ago. Our walk was faster than his run. I figured he had gotten discouraged and had given up. But there he was, still running once again. It looked like he had lost about twenty-five pounds by now.  I so wanted to call out an encouraging word but he was already too far away. Even though he was slow, he never, ever gave up! Neither should we. If you had started losing weight a few months ago, you’d be thinner now too, so never, ever give up!
 Continue pressing on toward your mark: Philippians 3:14 for we have an encouraging Champion too!
               

What’s an Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

May I ask you a question? If your doctor prescribed an anti-inflammatory diet but didn’t explain what he meant, would you know what to eat?  Probably not. It’s one of those  “dog year” questions.  Someone needs to clarify what the term ‘anti-inflammatory diet’ means in practical terms so you can relate. Well this is what happened to a good friend of mine recently and I told her I could help her out with the terminology.

The anti-inflammatory diet isn’t a “diet” as much as a lifestyle choice. One thing is certain however, not addressing the problem will only create larger ones down the road! Chronic inflammation is nothing to fool around with. It is not a “little” problem that if you thOKW4XVKEignore will simply go away. Chronic inflammation can eventually cause intense health issues including heart disease, IBS, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and cancers. What causes inflammation? Stress is a major contributor and in today’s world who isn’t under stress? Find ways to relieve daily stress through exercise, fragrant bubble baths, relaxing to soft music, fresh air, massages or anything else that relaxes you.

A good anti-inflammatory diet consists of: fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs and whole grains such as corn, oats, quinoa, brown rice and buckwheat (kashi).  In truth, if you eat as God instructed Adam in the Garden of Eden, you’ll add a lot more life in your years.

You’ll want to strive to keep your body at a more alkaline pH instead of an acidic balance.  Coffee, alcohol and soft drinks are incredibly acidic so cut down. Increase your water intake with lemon (surprisingly an alkaline food. Use my search engine to read “Water with Lemon”)

Most complex carbohydrates foods are alkaline. Every meat is acidic, especially the processed meats with dyes and chemicals such as cold cuts and hot dogs, so consume lean protein like fish, chicken, sirloin and pork loin. Sugar and artificial chemically treated foods are highly acidic. Avoid! Unfortunately so are the nightshade plants like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant. This doesn’t mean you must give them up entirely, but only consume occasionally. Balance is the key here.

Wheat, unfortunately, is on the acidic side of the scale. However whole wheat contains a great deal of fiber, so only avoid enriched breads and balance whole wheat products with more fruits and vegetables. Try to consume fiber-rich vegetables like sweet potatoes, squash, beans and lentils. The fiber helps remove toxins from your system so they won’t cause damaging inflammation.

One characteristic of the anti-inflammatory diet is the recommended inclusion of omega-rich fatty acids, especially omega 3’s. These consists of milled flaxseed, walnuts, olive oil (best used cold), avocados, good fatty fish like salmon, cod and sardines.

Avoid salt and choose to flavor your foods with good herbs. Garlic, turmeric, cinnamon and capsaicin  are especially helpful with their anti-inflammatory properties! Alfalfa tablets are beneficial as well.  And don’t worry about not enjoying any treats either. A good dark chocolate contains a great deal of antioxidants as does a glass of red wine.

Do you see the pattern here? If you simply eat healthier and consume more whole foods and rid yourself of the artificially flavored, chemically processed boxed foods, you might pick up at the supermarket for “convenience”, you can enjoy so much more than you thought you could! Convenience or fast food is to be avoided for there is nothing convenient about pain and inflammation doesn’t dissipate quickly!

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

 

 

Why I’m Wary of the Glycemic Index

thEN89HMNTThe Glycemic Index was created in 1980 by the world-famous professor and physician, Dr. David J. Jenkins.  This graphed theory apparently shows how long it takes carbohydrates to break down into sugar.  His good intentions and clinical research has assisted many diabetics in regulating their blood sugar challenges.

But there was always something that made me uneasy about endorsing his findings and recommending this to my patients. I had too many questions. Why were all rice, cereals and breads lumped into one category? How could a nutrient-dense potato be as detrimental as a pastry with none? Raisin Bran is certainly better than Cornflakes and I don’t consider whole grain bread on par with enriched white. Nevertheless, unless the results have been ratified into more defined categories over the years, they were considered  on the same level.

This fact wouldn’t actually make me more at ease because man’s ideas have always changed over time, but my God Never Changes. God’s Knowledge trumps man’s knowledge every time. I trust God.  Each one of us is uniquely God designed. The glycemic index is intended to put each of us in a box. Well, sometimes a square peg can’t fit into a round hole no matter how diligently man tries to redesign it!

Regarding their clinical studies; I wanted to know how many participants were athletes as opposed to couch potatoes? What % of body fat were they? (muscle burns sugar) What was eaten before they attempted the test? How many hours before? (Carbohydrates remain in your system for 2-3 hours while protein stays for 4-5 and fat for 7 hours.) How did lifestyles factor into the tests? Each person has different daily stresses which affects our chemical make-up. Were some participants under family or work stress? Stress raises insulin with it’s “fight or flight” effect.

What about the fiber content of foods? I didn’t see where the glycemic index took that into consideration. Fiber allows insulin to be released more slowly into bodily systems so there are fewer blood sugar spikes. If one is following a low glycemic index, definite instructions must come with it! Long grain rice is more fibrous than quick cooking rice. I, along with the American Diabetic Association, recommends high fiber foods such as whole grains, beans, legumes while cutting down on unhealthy fats. According to the glycemic index however, one can head to Pizza Hut, consume half a pizza and then head to Ben and Jerry’s for some low glycemic ice cream. Whoopee, I like that diet!

Consuming LESS fibrous foods allows the body to release its water storage. Yes, one will lose weight.  Not consuming carbs means less water weight, but it’s a mirage. Fiber attracts water to help with its digestive tract. As soon as you consume fiber, your body will absorb water naturally, but you’ll believe carbohydrates are the culprit.

Here’s another reason: Processed foods with all its artificial chemical ingredients are lumped alongside pumpkin with all its nutrients. Pumpkin contains vitamins A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, C, E, K, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, copper, plus amino acids and more! How could they be equal?

To me the glycemic index doesn’t add up. So what other would I recommend? What’s my mantra again? Eat for nutrients:  Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs and lean protein will provide a healthy, balanced, joyful God-enriched life! (Genesis 1:29 & 9:3)

 

“But I would feed you with the finest of the wheat, And with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.” Psalm 81:16

 

 

 

 

Plug Into the Best Power Source!

What did we ever do without the internet? How did we survive?

Yesterday, our internet went down and with it all of our computers, iPads, Kindles and whatever else was hooked up to it! So trying to be helpful, I called our internet provider, intending to have it running normally by the time my husband returned from work. Kudos to the good wife, me! (Besides, I wanted to post a blog.)

thK66AABRYIsn’t it frustrating trying to discuss internet challenges with a technician over the phone when one isn’t a tech himself? And if that’s not enough hassle, why do we need to repeat the same info to yet another person on the other end of the line, as we did to the first and second representative! Why?

“Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.” (Romans 12: 11-12)

Remind me never to pray again for patience, for God has a strange way of teaching me that character trait.

So back to my computer challenge: unless I knew computer terminology, which I don’t,  I was at a loss. Yes, I told her, I checked the connections. Yes, I’d find the modem model number for her . . . eventually. Huh . . . what do you mean, what else did we have connected to the modem? Beat’s me. Had she meant that particular computer terminal or did she mean connected to all the other devices throughout the house???

Finally I did what every other sweet, helpful, loyal wife would do, I said, “Forget it, I’ll just have my husband call you when he returns from work. Thank you for your time.”

And yet, even in THIS I found Spiritual and nutritional principals.

First, always be nice to computer technicians, they have a frustrating job.

Second, since I wasn’t researching on my computer, writing or answering comments from mine or other blogs, I went through closets, dusted shelves and cleaned the grout on my kitchen counters. What a sense of accomplishment THAT was! Afterwards, I curled up and read an interesting devotional I’ve been attempting to get to. A peaceful and intimate afternoon with our Lord, how refreshing. Isn’t spending time with the One who gave us Life, comforting?!

Praise God we don’t have to go through a series of voice messages (aren’t they frustrating?) in our prayer life before we reach the One who answers all our questions. Sometimes of course, prayers aren’t answered in the way we expect or as quickly as we wish, but He does provide for all our needs nevertheless. His timing is always perfect..

Thirdly, nutritionally, how similar to those who want instant gratification in weight loss too. Perhaps, like me who doesn’t understand computer terminology, do you get impatient with nutritional terminology and become impatient as well? Patients have asked me: How am I supposed to know how much 20 grams is anyway?! Forget it. (4 grams equal a teaspoon by the way.) Some are too impatient to follow practical instructions and would rather search for an easier fix for quicker weight loss. Don’t. Do. That! You will be setting yourself up for yo-yo dieting and future health issues. Understanding physiology takes time, but it is certainly worth the journey.

One good thing came from all this however. I didn’t destroy my hubby’s computer or lose any files. See, there is always something to praise God for!

Longing for the “Good Old Days.”

“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD.                       (Amos 8:11)

thUZA3K7LDWell, it has happened. I must have finally become “old.”  I am longing for the good old days.  I remember a time in the 1950s when my grandfather declared that Rock and Roll was destroying today’s youth! Now those songs seem so innocent compared to the Rap and Rock lyrics heard today.

I know we tend to build on memory and make the past better than it was, but I don’t recall a previous time when the world was as out of control as it is today!  Even during two terrible world wars, most people still had respect for one another. Not today. And even in the ’50s and ’60s, there were strip clubs and pornography but it wasn’t blatantly viewed daily on television as we have now.  Even during the angry generation of the 1960s, if a man swore in front of me, he’d immediately apologize afterwards. Now young men in stores casually drop f-bombs and think nothing of it. I have seen little girls go from wearing patent leather shoes to high heels and butt-exposing shorts with no regard to modesty, while her mom apparently approves because she’s wearing a matching outfit.

Heard nightly on the news, radical groups want to convert others to their religion. I ask you, ‘Why would we EVER want to become them? Their ways are neither loving nor uplifting.” And I am not only talking about radical Middle Eastern religions but our own as well! When viewing someone’s unkind Christian remarks, what would make us desire their religion? I follow NO religion . . .  I follow Christ!

In today’s world of apathy and depravity, how many long to hear the sweet words of our Lord? You’re right, not many.  We have a great famine in our country and it’s not for lack of food. (66% of our country is overweight and don’t care! They’d rather follow a famous diet guru instead of God’s healthy plan.) The famine I speak of however, is a famine for Moral Truth. Younger generations are sheep wandering in a swamp of destruction. How much farther can our nation plummet into the muck before we’ll perish? Who has the courage to stand out with Godly Conviction, declaring “enough!” and lead us out of our pit?

Today we see our youth innocuous to suffering, either due to ignorance, (no one has shown them Jesus) apathy (which is the opposite of love and a shield against pain) or blatant disregard for rules and regulations. After all, taking drugs isn’t hurting anyone else! Must I remind you that we don’t live in a vacuum? Everything we do affects someone else! It’s a theory called the “Butterfly Effect.”

I believe your neighbor is thirsting for the Word of God (and everyone is our neighbor!) All you have to do is speak out.  I realize it’s scary at first to profess Christ, but it gets easier as Jesus controls your life. Pray for opportunities and they will come. Don’t be afraid, for won’t it be more embarrassing if before they are sentenced to an eternity in hell,  they ask God, “But why didn’t Ellie just tell me about Christ?”  As Christians, remember we never stand alone! Put on that full Armor of God and don’t hesitate to spread the Word of Truth!    Joshua 24:15

An Analogy Regarding Trust

I’m back after a 10 day vacation and ready to resume posting blogs once again. Thanks for your patience. We had an enjoyable but whirl-wind trip and I am very grateful we don’t fly too often. To all the followers who recently joined my little blog, although I haven’t had time to respond, I appreciate you!

While away, we had to leave our pups in our veterinarian’s kennel and we were so happy to see their smiling faces once again when we returned!

As I was feeding our little Lhasa, Jewel, that first day back, I patted her on the head as I usually did. Surprisingly however, she tensed and growled at me, distrustful. I could only surmise that she thought I was going to take away her food, one of her joys of living. How could she think that??? We’ve never given her any reason to distrust us! On the contrary, our pooches live pampered lives with plenty of belly rubs, daily walks and treats. As I fed her the next day, I continued to stroke her head until she realized she had nothing to fear. Gradually she began to trust me again, realizing I only had her best interests at heart.

thVRSMWZ7SWhen we are away from God for a time, do we do the same? God has never given us reason to distrust Him. Rather He bestowed on us bountiful blessings and yet sometimes we believe He wants to take away our reason for living too! God said we have nothing to fear if we follow Him and yet how many Christians fail to trust God when challenges arise? As soon as an illness, financial, weight gain, relationship or other challenge arises, we impatiently turn from God who has the answers, and search for humanistic ones. After all, a humanistic ‘expert’ we can see, but a relationship with God is based on faith.

Have patience, for even with God, a relationship usually takes time. Trust issues are building blocks that grow. In today’s world we normally don’t trust someone immediately, for we don’t know them well. Who knows, their smile could be a façade to scam us? But why don’t we build trust in our true God who has known us since before the world began? (Psalm 139)  Let’s begin by reading, understanding and memorizing Scripture! (Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 37: 3-6, Psalm 118:8)  The more we are in the Word, the more we recognize God’s Guiding Hand and blessings abounding in our lives. We realize He knew best all along and that builds trust.

“But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” 
My times are in Your hand. (Psalm 31:14-15)

But what if Jewel was coveting her possessions?  She had shared a large kennel with her Cocker Spaniel brother and perhaps thought he would eat it, even though he is so gentle, he’s never taken anything of hers before, not even her toys. How human-like these dogs are! Humans are so afraid of loss that we’ll covet material possessions more than our LORD. Our home, food, automobiles, time . . .  all our possessions are God’s! We only borrow them for a short time on earth. What awaits us in heaven is so much grander.

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” (Psalm 20:7)

Even if we lost everything, our souls belong to the Lord and that possession can never be taken away!

“What Difference Will It Make?”

thGVZJYTG2Lately the phrase “What difference does it make?” has become a punch-line. It has flippantly been construed as “So what?” “Why do you care?” “Won’t change anything!”

Have you felt the same way? Thought one little action wouldn’t make a bit of difference? Well life’s circumstances DO make a difference!  One vote changed history and so did one tent meeting the night Billy Graham was saved. One person or action does make a difference!

It will make a difference to your entire mind, body and spirit:

In your mental aspect, perception becomes reality.

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7a)

There was a time as a beginning golfer, I apprehensively approached  any golf shot that needed to be hit over a water hazard. After my ball landed in the water, I’d mutter, “I knew I was going to do that.” My golf pro husband would then tell me, “Well, that’s why you did. If you think you will, you will.”  I had created a self-professing prophesy. It took a while to mentally change my outlook to one of confidence, but I did. Now, I walk onto the tee-box and mentally state, “I own this hole!” By doing so, I have been able to view a successful shot in my mind and thus conquered my insecurities. So what difference does a mental outlook make? It either instills confidence or holds you back. Choose confidence, it’s better.

With your spirit, it affects attitude and demeanor.

Growing up were you instilled with an encouraging “can-do” personality?  Or did you feel unloved, worthless? Did you feel defeated by circumstances, classmates and family?   Were words spoken by a boss or co-worker used as a sword, wounding your spirit? Did it get so bad you regretted that you were even born? A broken spirit is more difficult to mend than a broken bone. Please don’t believe the lies of the devil who whispers in your ear that you are useless. You have worth because God created you. He knew you before you were born and loved you even then. When we allow the world to overcome our spirit, we will incur ramifications and needless suffering. Choose JOY.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

To your physical being, it changes health and outer appearance.

Before you sit down to consume the entire bag of candy, Frito’s or potato chips in front of the TV, ask yourself, “What difference will it make?” Will that overly processed, chemically altered food enrich your life or eventually destroy it through illness? Will it give you more energy? Prevent artery clogging heart disease? Will it allow you to dance at your child’s wedding, hike a mountain or play with your children? Or will you feel sluggish and pass up any opportunity for companionship because you are too exhausted carrying around excess weight?

Ask yourself before you overindulge and destroy your godly temple with junk food, “What difference will this make?” Which action will encourage you to strive for excellence in your daily walk with the Lord? No contest . . . choose mental, physical and spiritual health!

“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 3: 13-14)