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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”

Choose To Be Mentally Ready For A Healthier Year!

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:2)

One’s Mental Connection to Success:

It’s that time of year when many follow crazy diet plans to lose those pounds which piled on over the holidays. I urge you to use common sense.

How many of you after reading this, would sign up for the following weight loss program if it clearly stated the following:

Volunteers needed to test a new diet program.
Some foods are toxic and will cause paralysis and blindness.

Hopefully none of you, right? Clearly this diet plan states that attempting this eating program WILL cause blindness and paralysis for attempting it. That’s crazy!

However, years ago, Rachel Ray, the American television personality, businesswoman, celebrity chef and author, conducted an experiment on her syndicated talk and lifestyle program, soliciting volunteers to sign up for this particular weight loss plan. Over 1,400 desperate, hopeful people signed up!! Unbelievable! Some people would literally self-destruct for a perceived world-view body image.

You might regard Rachel Ray’s false diet approach as an over-the-top, ridiculous example of a weight loss program, but reflect upon your own diet choices in the past. Are you one of those who tried six different plans and are still searching for the right one? How many have you tried a liquid diet, pills, Atkins Diet, Cabbage Soup Diet, cottage cheese diet, grapefruit diet, cookie diet, no-carbs, no-fat, it goes on and on and on . . . granted, there is no “one size fits all” diet program, everyone’s physiology and chemical makeup is different, but let’s use some physiological sense.

We live in an instant gratification society. Most want a quick fix to lose ten pounds in a week. Many try fad diets and actually lose five to seven pounds the first week. But it won’t be 10 pounds of fat but rather water, muscle and brain they are losing. It is physically impossible to lose 10 pounds of fat per week! You can even starve yourself and not lose 10 pounds of fat! I’ll address that fallacy soon. Please don’t fall for gimmicks or only your wallet will be lighter.

Fad diets might seem tempting, but as we will learn, this is not how God originally designed us to live. We are to cherish our bodies for we were created by God with love and designed for a special purpose. Quit desperately seeking over-promised, under-delivered fad diet plans. Be mentally ready to reject impulsive, self-destructive diets.

It is not easy to conquer physical, emotional and physiological challenges alone. Remember you are never alone! Your partner is God. Let Him be your ultimate Champion!

In today’s society, everyone longs to look like Kim Kardashian or Brad Pitt. People are so desperate to lose a few pounds that they will even risk their health with dangerous diet plans or pills to do so, as we discovered by Rachel Ray’s false diet offer.

To some the adoration and applause of man is worth more in their eyes than the approval of God. Why would anyone want to destroy their eternal godly temple for a plate of earthly pleasure today?

Your goal is life-long healthy living. Please do not become Essau who thought so little of his birthright that he sold it for a bowl of pottage. (Genesis 25: 2)

Excerpt from my book, “Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese” (Nutritional and Life Lessons God Teaches Us) available from amazon.com Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese!: (Nutritional and Life Lessons God Teaches Us) – Kindle edition by Marrandette, Ellie. Health, Fitness & Dieting Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Searching for Dieting Perfection? Not Gonna Happen!

Do you expect dieting perfection from yourself? Face it, you’re searching for an unrealistic goal. Continue toward healthy living and you’ll become your healthiest self.

There was only one perfect person born on earth, our Lord, and we are not him! If God doesn’t expect perfection from us; only obedience and goodness, why do we think we are better than Jesus at achieving it?

God made you human, not perfect. Give yourself a break! Realize that even if you make a mistake, you certainly can strive to do better in the future. Talk yourself into success. Mistakes are wonderful opportunities to learn to overcome obstacles in the future!

“And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God,” (Titus 2:12) NLT

Build your own strategies, but here are some suggestions to start you off. When you feel like eating, go for a ten minute walk up the street and ten minutes back, submerge yourself into an exciting novel, take a bubble bath or paint your nails – you can’t get into a potato chip bag with your nails wet, right? Write your strategies down so they’ll be available when you need them.

There’s a encouraging story about goodness versus perfection which goes like this:

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, the mighty Ruler of Galatica sent two space ships to earth . . . (well, I didn’t tell you it was a true story) . . . anyway, he told the first Explorer to travel to Earth and find everything that was perfect on the planet and bring all that he found back to him in his spacecraft.

To the other Explorer he ordered him to go to Earth and find everything that was good, and bring all he found back to him in his spaceship.

Well, time progressed and finally the first Explorer returned home. The King rubbed his hands together and jumped up and down, anxiously awaiting all the provisions he’d see. But the Galatican arrived back empty-handed.

“What is the meaning of this?” demanded the King.

“Oh Sire, what a despicable place this earth planet was! I searched everywhere! I could find nothing perfect on it at all! Why, there was pollution, people protested in mobs, I found war even on their playthings. Cars honked incessantly and it always rained in Seattle. Gas was $5 a gallon and this thing called fried butter was horrendous! I repeat nothing on Earth is perfect!”

Discouraged, the Ruler waited for the other explorer to return. Finally, the second explorer arrived home and was summoned to the Palace.

“Were you able to find anything good on Earth?” His King asked dejectedly.

“Oh gracious King, you wouldn’t believe all the good I found on planet Earth!” he exclaimed enthusiastically! “Why, there were birds singing, amazing sunsets, rainbows, beautiful homes and automobiles. The taste of ice cream is terrific! Why, I couldn’t bring all I found back to you, because there was just too much good in that world!”

So the moral of that story is, if you search for perfection you won’t find it anywhere, but search for good and it will be all around you.

“For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord.” (Ephesians 5: 8-10) NLT

I urge you to continue to strive for excellence in your health quest!

What are You waiting For? Get Healthy Now!

We’re approaching that time of year again when approximately 45% of people resolve to go on a diet and 70% resolve to become healthier. They check out diet program after diet program, read countless magazine articles professing a secret formula, spend a fortune on boxed food and profess, “The eighteenth time is the charm! This time it will happen! This year, I’m resolved!”

That resolve usually lasts 2-3 weeks. But hope springs eternal – Your friend said she lost 20 pounds in a week on yet another diet and surely if she did, so will you!!! Nope.

Why don’t these programs work? Because each of us have different physiology, personalities, stress levels, metabolism, employment, family responsibilities, etcetera,  etcetera . . . Next, even if you eliminate 3500 calories, the amount needed to lose a pound each day, for a week, you’d only lose seven pounds.

Face it, everyone knows how to lose weight. Eat less, exercise more. Drink water, exercise, slow down and consume smaller portions. Easy peasy, everyone says – until everyone fails. Then everyone believes they have no willpower, they give up and pompously declare, “Well, this is how God made me, therefore, “so be it.”

Wrong! God wants you healthy whether you’re a size twelve or two. Health is more important than weight loss.  True health incorporates energy level, how your clothes fit, emotional wellness, whether you are mentally alert or “fuzz-brained.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve overheard someone speak about their current diet announcing proudly, “I’m cutting out all carbs!” while the companion nods his head in agreement.  AAARGGHH! (If you don’t consume wholesome carbohydrates, your brain doesn’t get energized daily. Our brain feeds on glucose, a carbohydrate!)

It gets discouraging when few listen to the nutritionist who has kept her weight off for thirty years but they follow false diet gurus. Now I don’t expect you to be a size two, but I do practice what I preach and enjoy a vibrant and energetic lifestyle – I only want you to also.

What I follow is a diet plan based on Genesis 1:29 and Genesis 9:3. Anything is fine in moderation. Very similar to the Mediterranean, DASH or Volumetrics diet plan. Over the next few weeks I’ll offer the “why” and provide practical applications.

For now: Consume five times more veggies and fruit than meat on your plate. Eat healthy omega 3 fats and wholesome whole grains. In leu of processed foods, choose fibrous foods. Next exercise, relax and don’t sweat the small stuff.

No one gets healthier unless they are mentally, physically or spiritually ready to. It’s the main reason I started this blog and wrote, Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese (Nutritional and Life Lessons God Teaches Us) available on amazon.com.

Everyone starts out with good intentions. No one starts out wanting to fail; it’s humiliating!  But people self-destruct for different reasons;  could be educational fallacies, while other times psychological. Do you realize that sometimes when you reach for a cookie, it’s not a cookie that you desire but the warmth and security of family memories?

Having a goal to become healthier is more important than weight loss. Building muscle creates the physiological furnace that burns fat. Get moving! Exercise releases feel-good endorphins; so find some form of exercise you enjoy! Walking, gardening, dancing, biking . . . Being out in the fresh air contributes to an extra endorphin bonus.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll provide practical information so you won’t “spin your wheels” on another useless diet program. Get Healthy Now!

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

 

Childhood, Adulthood and Happy Thanksgiving

To quote one of my favorite sayings of a Jesuit priest, “Show me the boy at 7 and I’ll show you the man he will become.” Oh, our wonderful formative years!

What we were like as a child stays within and in a moment we become what we once were.

That seems even more true as we approach the holiday season. Next up, Thanksgiving! One holiday meant to be celebrated by eating all day.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)

Let’s take a quiz shall we? These personality examples typify profiles of many patients I’ve counseled:

  1. Did you expect your Mom and Dad to complete your homework?
  2. Did your “mean” parents not allow you to watch television until you accomplished your chores?
  3. Did “Some Assembly Required” drive you bonkers, but stubborn and determined you finally got it right?!
  4. Or did you give up and let someone else complete that bookshelf?
  5. Were you the first to finish projects so you could have bragging rights?
  6. Did you procrastinate, waiting until the last-minute to finish anything?
  7. Think back to high school: a. Did you join many clubs? or b. join only to quit when you got bored?

Now how did you do?

#1. Personal responsibility is a foreign concept. At work, someone else can pick up the slack . . . eventually. There’s always someone else to do your work. You’ll start a diet on January 2nd and quit by the third week.

If 2. Now you’re in charge of your life and freedom is intoxicating! You’re rebellious and can do whatever you wish! That includes eating whatever you want. You have a desire to succeed but why give up freedom for more hassle? You infrequently reach goals.

3. You’re analytical, needing proof. How does this plan work? You’ll question, dissect and figure out how it’ll be successful before wasting your time or money. In weight loss it’s the counselor’s job is to educate you on the first visit or else. Once you commit, you’re determined to finish what you started. You’re a “Mom I can do it myself!” personality.

4. If circumstances become too complicated, it’s easier to give up. That includes marriage, employment, gym membership or weight loss. You need to establish “small goals to reach goals” so you won’t feel like a failure when large goals aren’t met. Two steps backward but five steps ahead.

5. Competitive, you make life a game. Always striving for short-term goals to makes life interesting, you’ll join a sports team or gym to be the best there. However since you have perfectionist standards, life sometimes becomes an “all or nothing” encounter. Competitive, you might be the heaviest in the crowd because of you desire to be #1! “I can out eat you! Just watch!”

6. Procrastinators never seem to find an ideal time to begin. There’s always a special party or a wedding coming up. “I’ll start next week” and of course next week never comes. A procrastinator usually fears failure, rejection, sets unrealistic goals or needs stimulation to meet deadlines.

7. a. If you joined and stuck it out, your word is your bond. You value your principles and reach goals. If b. then you’ll quit everything you begin. On a diet plan, you’re always searching for another quick fix. No one holds you accountable. Beware! Learn to hold yourself accountable, developing self-discipline. Quitting does nothing for an ego except defeat it.

You’re probably a combination of the above personalities. But understand, Satan wants us to feel defeated, to say, “Well, that’s the way God made me so I guess I’m stuck.” Pity party!

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Be disciplined and conquer any characteristics that aren’t advantageous. You’re worth it to God.

(Enjoy a controlled and Happy Thanksgiving – I’ll return first week in December.)

Optimum Health: Challenging Our Teeter Totter Mind!

Life itself is one creative teeter totter ride – up/down/up/down. If we remained in one spot however, it would be stagnant, tedious. What fun is that?

Sometimes diets can become pretty stagnant too. Why continue to strive for a healthier, positive mindset when diets are so boring?

I can’t imagine existing on carrots, rice cakes and celery for months to lose weight. Yuk! And yet I can’t imagine a diet of chemically-processed, fast-food or boxed meals all the time either. Eat a variety of nutrients. It’s physiologically essential for optimum health.

But lifetime diets can be like riding a teeter totter too. Some days I eat an extremely healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and yet some days I look forward to BBQ ribs, fries and coleslaw . . . in moderation. Then the next day, I am right back selecting healthier choices and not worrying about it

But don’t blame God for what we couldn’t control. I don’t remember who wrote this but it is worth repeating for its Truth: “We can’t blame God for not being in circumstances we stepped outside of him to make happen. Sometimes consequences make great teachers.”

It takes an enormous amount of effort to remain on that health plan when ice cream or cheese fries whisper our name. That is why we need a battle plan, a strategy to resist, knowing that temptations don’t come from God, but from the devil.

When one attempts to establish a healthier lifestyle, it seems culinary temptations cross our paths daily. It’s frustrating because Satan knows our weaknesses. We certainly battle a formidable opponent:

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) 

Stay Balanced!

First thing I do is memorize Scripture. Satan knows Scripture. That is how he tried to tempt our Lord after Jesus fasted in the desert. Scripture allows us to stand fast, remaining confident and vigilant. Quote some heavy-duty Scripture such as 1 John 4:4 and eventually the devil will tire of his game.

Next, envision that beast triumphantly announcing to all, that we follow him now instead of our Lord. His crafty temptations ensnared us. Impossible you say?  Well, creating a god out of cheese is no different than creating a golden calf, isn’t it? It’s an idol. We are worshiping a food item more than God. How silly to reduce our testimony to a block of cheese, when our Lord has done so much for us!

Every day produces highs and lows, so go with it. Let’s vary our diet, make wiser choices over the course of our life and glory in our godly accomplishments. Ups and downs . . . remember life is one endless teeter totter ride. So don’t fall off or stay down for long. There’s a magnificent view on top!

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3: 13b-14)

Braving Our Personal Storms in Life

As we sit here, enjoying a beautiful sunset over western Florida, escaping the wrath of Hurricane Dorian, I can’t help but wonder how many have cried out, “Why, God?” when destruction hits.

Why does God allow storms to enter our lives? How are we to deal with them?

Reflecting, I saw a comparison of personal godly storms and how we can get through them by trusting God.

God is Loving in spite of our rebellion

Twice in our married life we have turned from God, who brought us back through loving discipline. True, we suffered and are still reaping consequences but never have we complained it’s God’s Fault!!! In fact God graciously forgave our immaturity and we’ve learned from that experience. It’s helped us to counsel others because we’ve “been there.” We accepted the fact that we were far away from God’s Will and absolutely recognized we deserved more punishment than our loving LORD dished out.

Have you ever strayed from healthier eating? Of course, everyone has. When you did, what were the consequences? Stomach ache? Fatigue? Diabetes? Something worse? Well, did God force you to eat those double cheeseburgers – make you ill? No, we did it to ourselves and must accept the consequences. God however, graciously prepared a way of escape with wisdom, medications, exercise, healthier foods . . . and you know what? I bet you like yourself better when you eat better!

“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) LSV

As a father lovingly disciplines a child, God warns us, might even punish us for what we have done. Just look at King David and what resulted after his sin with Bathsheba. God doesn’t play favorites.

God sometimes creates storms to navigate us to safer ports.

Last year we were working in a toxic environment but prayed we could still make a difference. God loved us enough to prod us out of that unhealthy environment and to move us into a blessed Christian opportunity and lifestyle experience.

Sometimes we remain in an environment we shouldn’t. We settle for mediocrity. Nutritionally, have you ever thought, “Okay, one piece won’t harm me.” However one leads to another and suddenly it’s ten extra pounds gained. Don’t settle in a bad habit! God desires so much more for you.

Knowing God’s Word Prevent Storms

False prophets twist and turn God’s Word around making it sound better to anyone wanting to believe it. I saw this with politicians while working in public relations. They proclaimed promises the crowd wanted to hear. People who fall for these haven’t researched what Truth is! There’s little distinction between false prophets or false diet gurus. Know what you should believe and why. Do. Your. Research. Understanding physiology is important!

God is Good. He instilled in us common sense. Provided great nutritious foods to enjoy. Therefore eat what you desire in moderation. Avoid man-made, chemically-based foods most of the time, consume good fats and colorful food. If you crave a particular food, ask why. Are you physically hungry, sad, bored, lonely, stressed? Decide for yourself whether you are really hungry or simply emotional. Know yourself.

It’s not easy traveling a Christian path. Nor is it easy reaching a healthier goal. In nutrition no one wants to suffer, yet everyone wants a quick fix. There is no need to continuously sacrifice. Enjoy His Bounty and Stay Healthy in Body and Spirit.