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How Do You Value Your Worth?

“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness, I have drawn you” (Jeremiah 31:3)

Hurricane Ian blew through our town in Florida. We already knew the destruction hurricanes can cause. This time we left our home a day before and escaped to a safer area in SE Florida, understanding we might lose everything.

When people go through trials such as this, they tend to question what is important if all was lost.

When faced with challenges, it’s normal to analyze how we’d react. Do we fret about the unknown? What if we lost those precious photos of our children? To me, memory is the most important commodity in my life. That’s what I’d regret.

Would we agonize over the cost to rebuild?  Perhaps. Our lovely church on the Peace River was flooded and gutted, but still stood strong. Friends banded together and donations came in from all over the country. And from disaster, God created Good.

I’m not talking about monetary worth, however – although that is what the world focuses on today. I know where my future lies and it’s not here. But have you ever wondered how much you are worth in another’s eyes?

How does someone create worth? With your employer: Do you demonstrate as much integrity as the hardworking cleaning lady who scrubs the commodes in your building? With your community: Would you serve food to the homeless or would that be too humbling for your Executive position? Money means nothing in God’s Eyes. Million-dollar mansions and mobile homes were undistinguishable in the rubble.

What about family? Many had no clue where their family was during the carnage or what trials they endured following the storm because cell service was nonexistent. How much would a kind word or a phone call afterward be worth? Priceless.

As a counselor, I know patients sometimes numb themselves against heartache by imbibing in harmful chemicals. Yes, drugs and alcohol contain chemicals but you’ll also find feel-good chemicals in foods.

It’s normal to feel sad and lethargic after a shock. Sugar instantly increases energy levels. Sugar is an instant natural mood booster. It sends a signal to the brain to release dopamine, one of the feel-good neurotransmitters.

Chocolate releases endorphins and serotonin, another feel-good chemical. (So does spinach, but get real – which would you reach for?)

The daylight is growing shorter. Do you find yourself rummaging around in the pantry lately, searching for something to make you feel better? How much is that worth? Is it any wonder that we crave something sweet to ease depression and subconsciously, crunchy foods relieve stress?

Is your self-worth tied to your lifestyle? I’m not talking about popularity, even though celebrities get most of the attention and real heroes from Monday are forgotten by the weekend. Our Sports celebrities get recognized while EMTs heroes get relegated to the back of the pack.

Who values your worth? Someday, ask a friend how they’d describe you. What would they say? Are you outgoing? Quiet? Happy-go-lucky? Studious? Aggressive? Kind? Giving? Thrifty? Do you consider these descriptions your true worth?

No, these actions aren’t your real value! Only God sees your true value. He loves and chose you before the beginning of the world.

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love” (Ephesians 1:4)

What someone cherishes, they take care of. Are you, worth the cost? Do you cherish your life as much as Jesus cherished you? To Christ, you were worth dying for! You are priceless. Honor your true worth.

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Temptation Season Begins

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “You are about to enter the Twilight Zone?” Well, hold on to your hats, for we are about to enter the “Temptation Zone.” It lasts four months, at which time, you’ll wonder mysteriously why your clothes shrunk.  

It begins on Halloween – my least favorite holiday, coming up soon. Candy, costumes, and witchcraft. Then comes Thanksgiving, a holiday totally dedicated to family tradition and food.

During December, we have Christmas parties, (both office and personal.) Then Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner. Within another week, we celebrate New Year’s Eve with more parties. The following day, we attend a New Year’s dinner.

January begins with football playoffs every weekend until the Superbowl with an abundance of drinks and appetizers.  A week later, Temptation Season finally ends with a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner.

It’s a long season in which we hibernate from the cold, dreary days of winter. Who wants to walk in the cold, snowy weather? Okay, walk around the mall, or take Zumba classes. Play with your kids, build snow forts, and snow angels, or learn to cross-country ski. No excuses.

Have you ever noticed that no one is tempted by something they didn’t like? No one is tempted to go to the dentist, right? If we served liver instead of turkey at Thanksgiving, I doubt if the holiday would have ever taken off. But no, that day, all our favorite foods are laid out on the table family style. We are encouraged to dig in and even take seconds. Who could resist?

Those who are easily tempted need a plan this season. Recognize there will be speed bumps and roadblocks coming over the next months. There’s always something that might trip you up. Have a plan.

For example, let’s take Trick or Treating. You enjoy seeing those sweet children strolling around in their costumes. So, you bought some candy you enjoy, knowing it wouldn’t all be given away, right? Oh my, what can I do with the rest??? If you bought Candy Corn, no temptation there. But I bought Snickers!!! I can’t throw those away, can I? That would be a travesty. It’s amazing how easily those little bars of chocolate got wrapped around our waistlines, isn’t it?

What could we have done? First purchase candy that we don’t particularly enjoy but children do. Give away the rest or freeze, “outta sight, outta mind.” Get rid of the temptation. Why be tempted by seeing it on the counter?

“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.”  (James 1:13-16)

It’s important to realize that God states anything is fine in moderation. (1 Corinthians 10:23) The problem is creating an idol and loving it more than God. It is also important to recognize that God provides a way out of temptation. (1 Corinthians 10:13) and third, we are to flee temptation. (James 4:7.)

This practice can be incorporated into any tempting situation. You know what to do – as Nike used to say, “just do it!” The longer one debates right or wrong, it tends to lower our resolve. Turn your back and don’t debate temptation.

You have willpower – tap into it now. I guarantee – it feels powerful to overcome!

Reaping the Consequences of the Hippie Generation

In 1967, the popular rock band, The Grassroots, released a song entitled “Let’s Live for Today.” It epitomized the growing culture of the ’60s hippie generation. Since I look at health through a Biblical lens, I see a correlation here between healthy and destructive choices. Please indulge me.

Young people today believe the older generation doesn’t understand what it was to be young. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The ’60s Hippie Generation enjoyed a “free love philosophy” too. Don’t worry about tomorrow, grab hedonistic pleasure today! Looking back, what seemed like a good idea at the time turned out to be nothing but waking up the next morning with regrets, guilt, or a splitting headache, bowing before a porcelain god.

This ’60s philosophy of allowing others to live the way they want without boundaries became harmful. It morphed into an “I’m okay, you’re okay” attitude. This produced apathy. “Sorry, too busy to care.” Apathy is the opposite of love. We need to inspire a seemingly uncaring generation to cherish kindness and discipline.

There’s a price to pay for optimum health. There is no “free” anything. When presented with a buffet, ever thought, free food?! “I better eat as much as I can now because it won’t be there tomorrow!” Then, wake up the next morning with a food hangover, the digestion system rebelling? Ugh. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Excess food creates acidity which generates various illnesses. Thankfully, God gave humans common sense. When we know better, we make wiser choices. Enjoying nutritious flavorful clean food with a disciplined attitude is ultimately beneficial, so why go backward?

In Genesis 3:6, Eve saw that food was pleasing to the eye, and we have been seduced by food ever since!  God is pleased when we conquer worldly pleasures and honor Him!

We have produced an unhealthy generation. I endorse 1 Corinthians 10:23 to moderate culinary boundaries.  By Free Will, you either accept or reject God’s dietary boundaries. Your choice, you can eat anything, but remember, there are no victimless crimes. If you become ill, everyone you love suffers.

With the emergence of mid-century fast-food establishments, came an attitude of why cook when one can simply make a quick stop and bring home dinner?  So what if it’s made from chemicals, preservatives, and other items we can’t pronounce?  Kids will eat it when they won’t touch carrots! Busy parents justified: “Live and let live!” – at least we’ll eat together. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and childhood obesity increased accordingly as additional processed foods adorned the shelves of many supermarkets.

We morphed into a “do our own thing” society. Few attend church nowadays, many have no clear direction ethically/morally.  Parents have become friends not disciplinarians, allowing their children to live as they chose. Religion? “Whatever you embrace darling, as long as it fulfills your need.” The result? Children are ensnared by false doctrines and cultish beliefs. Crime soars.  If our young aren’t taught basic Biblical Truths and behaviors, we indeed reap what we sow. Their Spirit dies.

There definitely IS an eternal tomorrow. It’s called either Heaven or Hell and we can accept or reject that fact. I choose Heaven. To God, All Lives Matter!  Choose Life!

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”  (2 Timothy 4:3)

What is Your Isaac?

What would you do if God asked you to offer a heart-wrenching sacrifice?

God asked Abraham to do the unthinkable, sacrifice his most cherished possession, Isaac, on an altar to God. How Abraham must have been in torment those 3 days traveling to Mount Mariah. But he trusted God and knew he loved God even more than his beloved son.

Has God ever asked you to sacrifice?

If suddenly, God asked you to sell all your earthly goods and move to a foreign country and work as a missionary? Would you, do it?

That was us in 2005 when we felt called to the mission field. I had moved many times with my military linguist/golf pro/full-time Christian service husband. That included six wonderful years in Europe, so I loved adventure, meeting new people, and adapting to different cultures.

Giving up worldly goods was no problem. Twice we’ve sold everything we owned to travel the country in our RV. We thought we’d be perfect candidates to relocate overseas and serve the Lord.

There was only one deterrent. We discovered we’d have to give up our dogs. Would I be willing to do that??? After all, our pooches were family! Every time I gazed upon our sweet Cocker and ornery Lhasa, my eyes filled with tears. Oh, my dear God, please don’t ask that of me. Who would love them as much as we would – especially stubborn Jewel?

Each time, while walking our dogs, I prayed – my heart struggling over this sacrifice. During that time, however, we continued with the application.

Finally, I reconciled what I needed to do. Alright, LORD, I love you more than my precious pets. I’ll trust you’ll find a caring home with someone who will love them as much as we do.

Immediately, I felt at peace about my decision and eagerly anticipated the Mission Agency’s acceptance letter.

BOOM, the door closed!

“I’m sorry,” they replied, “but the Board feels you’re too old . . .”  Too OLD? How dare they?! We were in perfect health and only in our mid-50s! I’ll never be too OLD!!! Even at 100!!!

Then it dawned on me, this was my Isaac. God wanted to know where He stood in my life. My pets were my most cherished possessions. I was ready to sacrifice my Isaac to Him.

What is your Isaac? What is your most cherished possession? To some it’s their lifestyle, sports, business, money . . .  how about food? Ridiculous, you say? Not so fast.

Have you attended Sunday services simply for the coffee and donut social hour or after church luncheon? Have you looked at your watch and thought, wish he’d stop preaching before it’s too crowded at the restaurant!? Or: hope my pot roast hasn’t dried out by now.

“Their God was their belly. Their mind was set on earthly things.” (Philippians 3:19)

So, think of it this way: are you willing to present your body as a living sacrifice in every aspect of your life – including what you eat?

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1)

God sacrificed His Son for you. Is it a sacrifice limiting sugary sweets, fattening processed foods, bacon cheeseburgers . . .? Isn’t honoring our earthly temple by sacrificing unhealthy food a small sacrifice compared to what God sacrificed for us?

Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ (Matthew 22:37)

Do you love God more than your belly? Silly question.

Avoid Being Lured into a Marketing Net

A preacher once compared fish being lured by enticing fishhooks to humans being ensnared by the temptations of this world. Fishhooks can look very enticing to fish, but they are also dangerous.

Now being a nutritionist, I view everything through a nutritional lens. I immediately thought, hmmm, how true. Another similarity between nutrition and spirituality.

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1 John 2:16 (KJV)

How many times have we innocently strolled along the grocery aisles or the local mall when we suddenly get a whiff of cinnamon, coffee, or popcorn and start salivating? Or walk past the Food Court and a McDonald’s calls our name? (Eating at a restaurant is not wrong. However, as we attempt to become healthier, we cannot allow food to control us, then we have a problem.)

As we focus on finding that perfect pair of jeans, we can’t get the thought of those cinnamon pretzel sticks out of our minds, no matter how hard we try! Now we notice that every corner has an Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, or Wetzel’s Pretzels. Temptation begins to lure us in through its cinnamon, buttery aroma, and a feast for the eyes as we observe others pulling apart its flakey bounty.

“Look at that delicious item over there! It smells so GOOD!” That’s all it takes, and we’re hooked! Losing control, we feel like failures and Satan gleefully dances while we suffer.

Why is it that as determined as we are to eat healthily, we notice tempting food choices abounding everywhere?! Satan wishes to destroy our bodily temple with unhealthy fats, preservatives and chemicals. He can’t read our minds but he sure is attuned to our human nature. He’s deduced what our weak links have been. It takes Herculean power to resist his hook baited with temptation, but it sure feels even better when we do!

Marketing departments know what it takes to lure us in too.  As the world becomes more globally secular through the internet, television shows, musical jingles, food commercials, etc. It’s easy even for a strong Christian to be side-tracked nowadays with the many lures of those enticing worldly advertisements.

So how do we resist the fishhook of temptation? It’s extremely tough, so we must be prepared. God wants us healthy!

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

Logically, when it comes to food, think ahead to challenges. You already know as you shop for gifts, there are plenty of stumbling blocks at the mall. Don’t allow yourself to be lured into failure – be prepared:

  1. Don’t go hungry. Duh, right?
  2. Love cinnamon? Have it on your yogurt, in your coffee, or on your whole-wheat toast before you go. Your hypothalamus, (the little traffic cop in your brain which controls nutrient pathways) will disperse desire for that particular substance.
  3. Bring a snack with you, such as homemade granola, peanut butter on whole-grain crackers, a peppermint, grapes, a banana or an apple.
  4. Shop with a disciplined friend who isn’t a “yes ‘man” when it comes to being tempted and will keep you in control.
  5. At home, mute commercials, play solitaire, or talk to your spouse, children or friend.
  6. Reward yourself with something you want more than food when you overcome temptation! Perhaps a scarf, book, CD, earrings, a manicure, or another non-food reward.

I promise you; nothing tastes as great as being Victorious will! Remain strong and disciplined.

“But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:27)

How Do We Change Behaviors?

Remember the old saying, “If you always do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got?”

Have you tried every diet plan under the sun and still haven’t kept your weight off? Others have but you keep hitting a brick wall or worse yet, a mudslide of weight returning your way. Why?

What’s the secret to those who lost weight and kept it off? How can they lose weight and not me? you ask.

One Answer: First change a mindset to change a behavior!

Are you stuck in your same behaviors? Restrictive diet plans?  Giving in to peer pressure? Exercise – Who has time to exercise???

If you look at the most successive healthy humans, like Tom Brady, Sabrina Williams, Cindy Crawford among others, they hold a disciplined, goal-oriented mindset. They like themselves too much to ever return to an unhealthy lifestyle even if they could. There would be no ‘up’ side. They like themselves healthier.

It’s simple really – their desire to be healthy is more desireable than that second donut. They enjoy walking more than sitting around watching the latest Judge Judy episode. They like the way they feel more than they liked feeling sluggish and unhealthy. 

All successful people have a goal that means more to them than anything else and they’ll work to reach it! How much did you want that healthier living? Did you give it your best?

“Brothers and sisters, I do not regard myself as having taken 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.” (Philipians 3:13,14) NASB

I didn’t like myself much being overweight. When my mindset changed I ate for nutrients in all food groups. Why would I want to return to an unhealthy lifestyle? Food isn’t a god to me anymore. (Philippians 3:19.)

Once you become healthy, your desires change too.

Are you willing to change to a positive mindset to change your behaviors? Are you tired of the old you and crave a new lifestyle, energy level, appearance?

Accept a better you. Each of us are unique, having a different physiology and personality created by God. Our pH, blood type and activity level is different. Strive to be your best within that structure. 

Are you feeling worthless? Sometimes one has to reach bottom before they can crawl to the top.

Change your beliefs:

God gave us a bounty of nutrients on Earth so one shouldn’t suffer. He wanted us to eat for the pleasure of it. He didn’t want us to consume a “sticks and twigs” diet. Denying oneself an entire food group is not a healthy way to live. He created balance for our optimum biological function.

There are basically three food groups: fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Carbs aren’t the enemy. They break down to simple and complex. Complex are excellent sources of fiber which stabilize blood sugar (reducing hunger) move bad bacteria and dangerous chemicals out of your system. That in turn improves energy levels, attitudes and appearance.

Ensure you drink plenty of pure, clean water.  (Anytime we add ingredients to water, it takes longer for the body to break it down. Adding lemon or lime to water improves our good pH  so go at it!)

As a Believer, honor God with your body. Why would you mess it up by throwing unhealthy food onto the floor of your temple?  Start living an abundant and healthy lifestyle now. 

 

Developing Healthy Patience

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Sometimes as little children occasionally do, we’ll stomp our feet and declare, “But I want it now!”   Afterward when the regrets kick in, we ask ourselves, “Why did I think that was a great idea?”

Have you ever stopped to think that our Heavenly Father loves us so much, He will give us the desires of our heart even if those are bad for us?  It’s called “free will.” Naturally God hopes we’ll choose what’s best. But it’s our choice.

Have you ever debated if you should consume something even though you understand it’s going to create an illness? Then shake a fist at God and ask, “Why’d you do this to me?”

I know very few children who choose vegetables over candy, cake or even cheesy fries. After a few tummy aches however and children usually instinctively learn to choose better. Do we really think eating all that fattening, processed, chemically-laden packaged food is good for us? We need to conquer our food cravings and resist the tug of gluttony. We are not children anymore.

No food is bad (1 Corinthians 10:23) but our reaction to it sometimes is.  Who’s in control, you or are you lured by manipulation? Have you ever lost control, giving in to a decadent food only to become discouraged because you couldn’t stay on your health plan?

As God’s child we also need borders which will assure a healthier lifestyle. When young, our children need boundaries to keep them safe and healthy. Certainly you wouldn’t feed your child only candy? They need real food to grow and thrive. God laid out our diet plan in Genesis 1:29 and 9:3. Follow His plan and achieve a healthier lifestyle. So why can’t we resist temptation?

Unfortunately some never grow up. When presented with a menu of grilled fish or chicken or hamburgers and fries, they’ll still go for the fattier selection every time! THINK! Once in a while that’s fine but choosing an inappropriate choice every day and you’ll wind up with debilitating diseases and parasites, lovely.

Why do we fail to understand we answer to a Higher Authority? If I am out walking my pooch, I’m her authority. I want her to enjoy her journey but if she misbehaves and wants to chase squirrels across the road, I reign her in because I don’t want to see her run over! God provides boundaries for the same reason. He wants us to be safe! And because He is All Knowing, He realizes what will happen when we give in to temptation.

Emotional eating is not healthy. If you desire something unhealthy, work it off by exercising and you’ll remain in control.  If you’ve kept your food journal for two weeks as I encouraged, you might understand why you give in for reasons other than hunger. Continue to journal; asking yourself, what happened just before I gave in to my desires? A disturbing phone call, an argument? Are you lonely – food offers comfort. Bored? Eating is something to do. Angry? Crunching on food is a stress reliever. Sad? Chemicals in food release happy endorphins.

For example, chocolate contains  phenylethylamine which makes us feel loved. Since God created chocolate, it’s fine in moderation.  But if we’re motivated by a chocolate commercial on TV, losing control, we’ve become manipulated. Give in and you just made that food an idol before our Lord.

 “I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”  (Galatians 5:16)

Remaining in control and conquering addiction is a wonderful feeling. Conquer self and honor God.

Aren’t We All God’s Needlepoint Project?

A dear friend worked on a needlepoint project for weeks. I once walked in while she was laboring over her design. It was turned upside down. From where I stood, it looked a total mess. All those patchwork colors were joined in scrambled directions. What in the world was she working on? It looked incredibly complicated and discouraging.

Then she turned it over. The top side displayed a beautiful young child in a meadow amidst colorful flowers. Who knew??? It was so lovely and intricate, revealing a life lesson to me not to judge a piece of work until it’s finished! To her it was worth the effort.

How very much like a needlepoint project is God’s intricate work in us!

Years ago, I worked for a faith-based, drug recovery center.  The women who arrived at the facility were beaten down by life – shattered into pieces. Life’s choices hadn’t been good to them.

Sometimes their drug addiction began as a cry for attention. For some, it was to cover painful emotional attachments to family challenges, boyfriend or peer pressure situations. Others to dull the pain of loneliness, self-esteem issues or friends urging them to join into the “thrill” of drugs and alcoholism.

Unbelievably and regretfully, several had begun their dangerous meth or drug habit merely to lose weight. Now they were addicted. What a half-truth Satan proclaims when he tells a young woman that she will lose weight, gain beauty and popularity through drugs. Weight loss? Of course – through malnutrition and early death!

The half-truths of this world mislead many, just as it has since Adam and Eve. (“Surely you will not die . . .  ” Genesis 3:4) And any drug which artificially jumpstarts one’s metabolism will hang on to every pound after the “goal” is reached as an act of survival.

Losing weight through manipulating drugs  WILL. NOT. WORK! Please do not even think of attempting a drug (diet pills) to lose weight if you’re a Christian. It not only hurts your heart, but God’s as well. You are God’s holy temple and drugs change your biochemistry and brain function!

Today many of these lovely women (but sadly not all) conquered the satanic bonds that anchored them to this world’s view of beauty. True beauty comes from within.

Those women placing their trust in Christ are now firmly anchored to His Truth of Salvation instead of drugs as Christ proclaimed each one was worth the sacrifice He endured for them. They are now children of the One True King!

“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

A luring idol has a powerful tug of the heart. But the Word of God is stronger! I pray that the intricately woven Word of God will be able to assist you in resisting the ever present, powerful enticement towards a degrading lifestyle of weight loss pills and other diet fallacies.

If our life is God’s tapestry, it is unclear even to us how His work will turn out until our lives are completed. God’s prick of the needle can be painful as He works on us. And sometimes God needs to modify His creation by reworking the pattern if we go astray. (Genesis 50:20) His Patience and His Timing is perfect in His workmanship of us.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

What’s Your Purpose for Staying Healthy?

Have you ever watched the movie, “A Dog’s Purpose?” It’s a cute, sweet, emotional movie which tugs at any dog-lovers heart.

Sometimes I believe our beautiful little white dog only lives to please us. That’s a comforting feeling. He bestows upon us the gift of love. I certainly believe he loves us more than his toys, his chewies and his comfortable bed.

But perhaps you’ve pondered that same question. What is my purpose? Why was I even born? Was it to acquire wealth, prestige, power? Items that never last – are never enough – never truly satisfy? Sadly, some in the church (as well as Congress) think that. They will receive their reward and for some it won’t be pleasant.

No, our entire purpose on Earth is to glorify God. To know Him, make Him known and bring Him Glory. We were made because He first loved us.

 

By You I have been sustained from my birth;
You are He who took me from my mother’s womb;
My praise is continually of You.  (Psalm 71:5)

So how should we show our love to God who created us?

Today is the first Monday in January. 45 million people will begin a diet. They’ll vow, “This time I’ll lose weight!” That usually lasts till the end of the first week. That’s as foolish as those who worship on Sunday and act carnally every other day. They get discouraged and try countless other diets to lose weight – not necessarily healthily either. Why do they fail?

They must find their purpose! They’ll strive to  look good for others, create self-esteem, or lose weight for a specific event. Not for anything substantial – only temporary reasons. This isn’t the right purpose. I believe my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. It isn’t easy, but I try to maintain control as a way to honor my Lord. That’s my purpose! Christians should honor God with their bodies.

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

When someone looks at you, do they see someone fit, healthy and vibrant? Or an out-of-shape, tired and older person for their years?

God is a loving God who gave us an abundance of activities on earth. With that, He also gave us free will. Some abuse that gift and create idols out of careers, sports, money, power – or even the enjoyment of food.

Yes, my nutritionist mantra is “any food is fine in moderation” and “eat for nutrients,” but why create an idol out of food? Food shouldn’t control us. Can you stop at one piece of chocolate or potato chip? Losing control gives that food power over you.

Certain foods are as addictive as any drug. Choose healthier foods and you won’t crave junk. Your body won’t tolerate it any longer. Seeking to live for the Glory of God changes us too.

Change starts from within. It’s a personal decision. I can’t make you healthier, you must want it more for you than I do.

First, change your mind-set.  Determine WHY you want to become healthy. Don’t allow it be be about temporal earthly things with no redeeming purpose.

I see so many around me who “live to eat” and it’s very sad. The results are bad knees, exhaustion and a myriad of health issues. I don’t prefer to live like that, do you? Visualize yourself as a strong, healthy person with energy to enjoy life.

How we live brings Glory to God and I live to please Him, won’t you? I pray you’ll love God more than chocolate!

 

Excuses Only Spin Your Dieting Wheels!

Our Lord was not a wimp. Nor was he someone who had a robotic personality who spoke as if he was reading a stock market report. On Earth he felt every emotion we feel. He laughed, sighed, became weary and excited. He got righteously angry upon seeing his Holy Temple in Jerusalem misused.

So how do you think Jesus feels when he sees us destroying our bodily temple of the Holy Spirit? Probably the same.

Here are some common excuses I hear each year and what I’d offer as practical alternatives in overcoming them:

“This year I want to really get healthy, but . . . ” 

“I can simply take a vitamin pill” Our bodies work within a fascinating team environment. Vitamins and minerals need food in conjunction with each other to produce optimal efficiency. For example; iron should be consumed with vitamin C for maximum absorption, (try tomato sauces with meat). Calcium, magnesium and potassium work together for electrolyte balance . . . and so on. Without food, vitamins are ineffective, so starving yourself and then popping a vitamin won’t succeed and you’ll be wasting your money.

“But without fat, food doesn’t have flavor” Oh, really? Well then, open a Crisco can and dig in. It’s herbs and seasonings that give flavor to food. Fat coats the tongue. Avoid heavier fat items such as prime rib, ice cream or whole milk for a while and you’ll taste the difference when you resume.

Garlic, onions, mustard, curry, oregano, sage, thyme, cumin, lemon, even wine and vinegar enhance food flavor. Try adding vinegars, especially balsamic vinegar, to pasta sauces. Sure, use real butter, but use less of it.

“I have no time to eat right” By the time you get to the fast food joint, get out of your car, get in line, order, wait around, pay for your order, get back into your car, drive home, change into something comfortable, get your place settings out, get drinks and sit down, you could have pounded a chicken schnitzel, popped a few baked potatoes in the microwave, created a salad and have relaxed with a glass of wine! So don’t give me that excuse!!

“It’s too expensive to eat right” See above. For the amount you paid for that bucket of chicken, you could have purchased spinach, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, radishes, any meat on sale, potatoes and a loaf of French bread and had leftovers! Search store circulars and choose sale items from that week. As my mother said, “You can have anything you want . . . and this is what you want.”

“I have no time to exercise!” Listen, I know you’re tired after a tough day at work. Exercise revives you! Do you watch TV at night? During the commercials use stretchy bands or lift small hand weights. One of my patients peddled her stationary bike while watching Jeopardy each evening.

Have children? On weekends, get them involved! Dance with them, rake and jump in leaves, play Simon Says, walk the dog, go to the park, throw the ball around. Your children will forever cherish those memories forever.

 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  (Matthew 6:21)  

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus didn’t offer excuses. Are your excuses more important than HIS were? He went to the cross because he thought we were worth more than his comfort.

Isn’t that enough to choose to honor God with our bodies.

“for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:20)

Press on toward Success!

Except from “Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese”