Tag Archive | Christian

Be Your Own Best Friend and Also God’s!

Are we truly a friend of God’s, exemplifying peace, joy and kindness in the world? If I claim to be a Christian, it’s important for me to ‘walk the walk,’ otherwise I am a stumbling block for those who are watching me and this grieves the Holy Spirit. When I was young, I expected perfection from myself. Over the years I took steps to be more realistic, but it wasn’t easy. Change isn’t instantaneous. For me it was usually five steps forward, two steps back. If that’s you too, remember we’re still moving forward!

It’s amazing how the mind can be one’s most motivational cheerleader and friend one moment and in a blink of an eye, be its worst enemy. It can build up but also break down a person so emotionally that they hide their subconscious thoughts behind closed lady looking in a mirrordoors in a far-off corner of the mind. It is simply too painful to unlock the memories to view them honestly.

It’s the same with our nutritional health. It’s never easy to admit our part in failure. Occasionally a dieter blames failure on heredity. Genes do play an important role in one’s bone structure, ability to lose and how one ends up with the body shape they have. But so does self-destructive eating, pride, unconscious eating, people pleasing, peer pressure and even revenge.

One diabetic patient insisted there was absolutely nothing to be done about her weight gain due to it “being in her genes.” Possibly, I thought. Some are predisposed to genetic challenges.  But then later that month I saw the small family pet at the vet clinic, overweight by 20 lbs. and wondered sadly what genes the dog had? Clearly personal lifestyle habits factored in and this patient was in denial.

Unfortunately many, such as my patient above, deny reality, preferring to bury truth deep inside the recesses of the mind and find excuses. The fantasy land they desire is better than the factual one they live in.

Awareness is the first step in anyone’s recovery.  Until one knows why he/she acts in a particular way, they won’t change. This only masks the problem.

“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.” (Proverbs 1:3)

Think back. Every overweight person had only five pounds to lose at first. Then it became ten, then twenty and on and on. Why?  What occurred originally to make them self-destruct? Was it abuse, rebellion, overwhelming problems with seemingly no way out?  At that time reach outward instead of withdrawing within, find a trusted friend, pastor or organization such as Against Abuse to confide in. Just because someone you see wears a smile, doesn’t mean they haven’t experienced deep pain. In fact, it usually means they are survivors and learned how to cope. Don’t you want to know how they overcame challenges so you can too?

Reaching out to another person isn’t weakness! It takes a strong individual to humble themselves and ask for help. Even Jesus cried out for help in the Garden. But then he resolved within himself to find the strength to continue his mission for our souls. He went boldly toward Calvary. Praise God he didn’t give up on us! How can we then justify giving up and not present our best temple of the Holy Spirit to Him? Strive to discover that best friend within that God knows you are, because He resides in you! Utilize His strength!

“We are careful to be honorable before the Lord, but we also want everyone else to see that we are honorable.”  (2 Corinthians 8:21)

 

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Weight Loss? First Things First – Find Support!

As one begins yet another health quest, there’s something vital each must do to be successful: develop a personal support system. Surrounding yourself with trusted family and friends is essential. And not just any support system – develop one as strong and powerful as the Redwood Forest!

My thanks to Richard J Green of http://rjgreenphoto.wordpress.com for this incredibly beautiful photo

My thanks to Richard J Green of http://rjgreenphoto.wordpress.com for this incredibly beautiful photo

 Have you ever had the privilege as I have, of meandering through the magnificent Redwood National Forest in northern California?  As you gazed at those majestic 350 foot tall trees towering above you, you probably thought as I did: Wow, their roots must tunnel 50 ft. into the earth!

Amazingly, that’s not the case. Their roots are only a few feet deep! The next logical question one would ask is: So what’s to prevent them from toppling over and being destroyed when disaster strikes? Support.

As Christians we should emulate the Redwoods innate support system when trials occur in our lives.

1. Since the root system is actually shallow, the tree’s root structure supports each other by interlocking their shallow roots with the other Redwoods surrounding them. When under duress, the older trees buttress each other by developing roots on the downward side of those under stress. The younger trees are bolstered up by the older ones, thus supporting the younger generation.

When we know someone is struggling to become healthier in mind, body and spirit, do we encourage or hinder them? Do we strengthen them with the Word of God or only criticize, allowing them to struggle on their own? Can we uphold them by sharing our experiences, offering wise counsel or a church home? If So – Do So.

2The second truth I learned was that when exposed to fire, these trees develop a heat shieldThe charring of the bark actually makes them stronger!

Have life experiences strengthened you? Some of you have gone through the worst that man can dish out; drug, mental or sexual abuse, divorce, abandonment, cancer or other health obstacles, but you’re inwardly strong and still standing! Why? Chances are you were surrounded by a strong support system.

Everyone needs an advocate. If you’re attempting a healthier lifestyle, you shouldn’t go it alone no matter how strong and powerful you believe you are. No one climbs Mt. Everest without support and some of you might be thinking that losing weight is an enormous endeavor to undertake as well. All of us need close friends whom we can totally trust and confide in.

 3. A fallen Redwood will ultimately branch out and continue to grow. Still useful; its roots become other trees.

What this teaches us is to never give up simply because we get knocked down or face trials! Overcoming adversity and temptation makes us stronger, wiser and more confident. Use those life skills to help others because God bestowed them on us for a reason.

God will not abandon us. He provides common-sense ways out of our predicament. As it states in 1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (KJV)

4.  Just as in life, some young trees won’t survive, but many more do because of the support of older trees. After obtaining your goals, reach out to others who might need your expertise and encouragement. Be a shining example of resiliency. Young Redwoods are more vulnerable, similar to young Christians. Even Billy Graham rebelled as a youth. He didn’t become Billy Graham overnight.

5.  Surprisingly, the chemical composition of the bark is distasteful and even poisonous to termites and other pests! Let’s develop a ‘Bodily Armor of God’ so strong  that even the pesky demons don’t dare to bother us!

In our humanity, occasionally trials, temptations and failure will occur. Real friends won’t judge or ridicule, nor will they allow a friend to destroy themselves. We don’t need more “yes men”, we need friends who will speak the truth in love, not what our itchy ears want to hear.

2 Timothy 4:3, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.” (ESV)


 

Am I Really Trusting Completely?

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

We live next to a vast open field. Every once in a while I can hear rifle shots as the farmer fires at rodents, snakes, rabbits or whatever to Jewel041208protect his property from destructive pests.

As I was walking along the pretty sidewalks with my little Lhasa Apso the other day, she heard those shots and got skittish. She started straining on her leash, anxious to return home. No matter how I tried to reassure her that I’d allow no harm to come to her she still wasn’t buying it! I sat her down her down while petting her, saying soothing words in a comforting tone but nothing worked. She still pulled on her leash and wanted her own way!

The trouble was so distant that there was absolutely no reason for her to fear.  She resides in a safe home, gets two substantial, healthy meals a day, gets plenty of belly rubs and yet she still didn’t trust me to keep her safe. How silly was that? I thought. Then the Holy Spirit spoke to me with a short but profound question, “Are you any different with Me?”

How like that little white dog I am sometimes!  No matter how many comforting words I read in the Bible. No matter how many answers to prayer I receive, I still fail to trust in God completely to supply all my needs.

Amazingly, Abraham, the great Patriarch of Faith was like that. He communed with God and received the LORD’s blessing. He would become the father to many nations, including God’s chosen one, Israel. Yet even Abraham failed to trust God completely and when he lost faith, unfortunately took matters into his own hands. Actions have consequences and today we reap the results of Abraham’s lack of trust, sown so many years ago.

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3

Yes, it takes an enormous amount of faith to trust. If you’ve ever been betrayed by a friend, taken advantage of by a sales person, scammed out of money, abused or abandoned by a close relative, our bias transfers to others because of their deed. But we can trust in God completely! God is Faithful.  He is True!  He Does Not Lie! And He is not man with a faulty nature.

God has only my best interest at heart and I believe even now, I’ll see how God’s pathway leading through my life has lead me to where He wants me to be now. Understanding that, there’s absolutely no reason to worry! God has His arms around me, soothing me with comforting Words. All I need to do is trust and not pull on my leash. Trust – it’s a liberating word.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11