My Confession on WNTD (World No Tobacco Day)

Today’s verse:  1 John 1: 8-9  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Confession is good for the soul, so they say.   But I am confessing today because I failed myself and I want to speak out to others to not give in and not give up.  I confess that I gave in to one of my addictions this past weekend.  I was sneaky and hid it from everyone, but the only one it hurt was me.   I felt like I was in high school, hiding things from my parents as I indulged in smoking again.

I had been smoking for over 20 years when I met my husband.  He asked me if I would quit smoking before we got married, so I did it – cold turkey!   It was extremely hard, but I wanted to get healthy and kick the habit.  It was wonderful to be smoke free.   I no longer smelled like an ashtray.  Food tasted better. I had more energy.  I was healthier.

But I realized that the addiction never really goes away. Even now, after 25 years, I still get the urge to smoke.  I don’t think it will ever leave me.   I was home alone this past weekend and I bought a pack of cigarettes.  I sat on my deck Friday night with a margarita and a cigarette and was blissfully happy.  I continued to smoke all day Saturday.

When I went to bed Saturday night I heard the Lord saying to me  – “Your body it is my temple – why do you want to hurt me by smoking?”    I felt so terrible — then and there I got up and tore up the rest of the pack of cigarettes. no tobacco  I asked God to give me strength and to help me. I asked him to forgive me for my transgression.

Often the Lord speaks to us and we don’t listen.  I could have passed it off as just my own thoughts, brought about by guilt.  However, I have learned to listen for God’s voice in my ear – he does guide my life.   He does not want us to ever give in to our addictions.  He will call to us and guide us back to where we need to be.   Don’t forget to listen for God’s voice.

I am now right with God and at peace.  I know I am forgiven and that is the great news of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.    Thank you for hearing my confession  and blessings to all of you. Continue reading “My Confession on WNTD (World No Tobacco Day)”

Memorial Day: Breakfast & Prayers

Today’s verse:  memorial

Today is Memorial Day.  We will all likely overeat with our cookouts and picnics. So today’s blog will focus on food, in particular the importance of breakfast and how it can assist you in living a healthier, more productive life.  Check out the recipe at the end of this blog for a super healthy, deliciously good breakfast that will leave you thinking that you just had dessert!

Studies have shown that people that eat breakfast feel better not just physically, but emotionally as well during the day.  People who skip breakfast are more prone to anger and depression, as well as unhappiness.   Your body needs the nutrients when you wake up, and those that eat breakfast do better in school and stay more focused at work.  It helps you to control your weight by fueling your body so that you don’t overeat later in the day.

To get a good, well-rounded breakfast, aim for 350-400 calories and a combination of fiber, protein and healthy fat  (think oats, whole wheat bread, avocado, eggs, and yogurt).  Include at least one serving of fruit – see the sample menu at the end of today’s post for a delicious example!

Just as good breakfasts will keep you from hoovering up snacks later on, praying when we wake up is also a great way to start the day. Start the day out on the right foot with a great breakfast and a moment of prayer. Here are a couple of verses to get you started, and some more examples at the link below.

Psalm 5:3b  My voice will come to you in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I send my prayer to you, and keep watch.   

Psalm 09:14  O satisfy us in the morning with Your loving kindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

Read more:  Good Morning Prayers

God bless all the men and women who fought for our freedom – we remember them today in prayer.  And may all of you  have a safe and blessed holiday!

Continue reading “Memorial Day: Breakfast & Prayers”

Random Acts of Kindness

Today’s verse:  Romans 15:2  Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it helps to have confidence in ourselves.  If we believe in ourselves, we have a better chance of happiness and overcoming our addictions. We will take more care of ourselves and have a more positive outlook on life.

One way to achieve confidence is to receive compliments.  When others compliment us, we feel better about ourselves.  When someone tells me that I look nice, I walk a little taller and feel a little better about myself.  I can live on a compliment for days.

So imagine how we can make others feel if we compliment them.  Especially someone who has little self-confidence. We never know what someone is dealing with at any point in time, and a random act of kindness via a compliment may be all that they  need to help them that day.

Every day we should try to give someone a compliment.  It can be anything.  Tell someone their hair looks nice, or that you love their outfit.  Compliment someone on their cooking or on their work.  It doesn’t have to be a gushing compliment, it can be very simple.  Believe me, it will make their day.   I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like to receive a good word about themselves.  Be kind to everyone, including those you are closest to, but also to strangers.   As stated above, you never know what someone is going through that day.

These random acts of kindness can make you feel better about yourself as well.  The best gift you can give someone is one in which you don’t expect anything in return. As it says in Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”    Have a blessed day!

Continue reading “Random Acts of Kindness”

Fast Food, with a side of God

Today’s verse:   Romans 12: 1-2  I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 

I do not like fast (read junk) food.   I rarely eat at anyplace that has a drive thru window. I do not like the food, and they can dress it up all they want, but it is still not good for you.   Junk food is an addiction, like any other addiction.

That being said, my husband is the type of traveler that wants to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible.   So his rule is that when he stops for gas, we have to use the restroom, find something to eat and get back on the road ASAP.  This often presents a challenge to try and find a healthy meal.

The other day, we were returning from a tour and we stopped to get a bite to eat at a place called Cook Out.   If you are from the South you will recognize this place.   They serve burgers, fries, pulled pork, etc. but they also advertise that they have over 40 flavors of milkshakes.  Yummmmmm….. I am thinking chocolate (my weakness).

We ordered burgers and I ended up also getting a triple chocolate shake.   It was delicious beyond belief (later I was regretting my choices, as I felt bloated and yucky). As we were eating, I glanced at the carry out bag and was pleasantly surprised.  Fastfood

The bag had a religious comment on it.At the bottom of the bag is said “Thank You God for America”!   This is almost unheard of in this day and age.  It made me feel somewhat better about stopping at this place rather than McDonald’s or Burger King, even though I knew I was polluting my body with junk food.

It is encouraging to see a company go against politcal correctness in the name of God.  So although I gave in to one of my addictions, I applaud Cook Out for their bravery in sharing their values.

We can resist the temptations of our culture by concentrating on God’s truth.   He wants us to honor him with our bodies.  We can let the Holy Spirit guide and shape our behaviors, and try to live a life to glorify God by eating healthy.  Blessings to you as you eat your way to health – try out the sample menus at the end of each day’s post! Continue reading “Fast Food, with a side of God”

Loving or Enabling?

Today’s verse:  Galatians 6:  7-8 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.  Whatever a man sows, he will reap in return.  The one who sows to please his flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; but the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

I have mentioned before that I am surrounded by addicts in my family.   One of the greatest challenges for the family of an addict is to decide when to stop enabling.  For example, when a loved one overeats, do you continue to buy junk food and keep it in the house, or do you buy only healthy foods?  When a loved one gets a DUI, do you bail them out?   Or do you let them sit in jail and suffer the consequences of their actions?  When a loved one experiments with drugs, do you just let it go as a passing phase?

I wonder how many parents have helped out their kids out of love, when if fact they are just enabling them to continue on the wrong path.   How many alcoholics are enabled by their partners?  If addicts were stopped before they began, would they be addicts today?   It is easy to think, as a parent, that kids have to “live and learn”.  Or we don’t want to have disagreements with them.  Or we want to be the “cool” parent.  What we need to be is tough on them.   Otherwise they have no motivation to change their undesirable behavior and actions.

I once read somewhere a great thought.  When we intervene and don’t allow someone to suffer the consequences of their actions, we are limiting how God can work in that situation. Allowing another to suffer those consequences is, in effect, partnering with God.  It may be called “tough love”.  It may be very difficult.   But God knows what is best.  Perhaps he has a plan for this person.  Perhaps he will help in his own way. Perhaps someone needs to suffer in order to improve.  We cannot guess God’s plan for our life, but we can be sure that He loves us and will guide us in our journey, if we only have faith and ask Him for help.   Ask him today to guide your journey. Continue reading “Loving or Enabling?”

Duh – Junk Food makes you Fat

Today’s verse:

temple

I heard a ridiculous bit on the radio today.  Someone actually paid for a study to be done (in Syracuse, NY).   It determined, after visiting the home of 200+ people, that the ones that had cookies, chips, candy, etc on their counter tops weighed more than the homes that had apples, veggies, etc on the counters.   What??   Who needs money to determine that?   I would have gladly taken the grant and told them the same thing. You are what you eat.

We don’t need a study to tell us that vegetables and fruits are better for us than candy and chips.  But somehow, in spite of all of the information available out there, we still have an obesity problem in the US.  We still are one of the fattest nations in the world.

The challenge is to live healthy.  Period.  Nothing is really bad for you in moderation.   If you eat chips or cookies once in a while, it’s not bad for you.  If you eat it consistently, your body will pay the price.   However, for those of us with food addictions, it is even more important that we stay on a healthy path.   So maybe for us the answer is to keep food out of sight, out of mind.   Or keep only healthy foods in sight.

My solution is not to keep it out of sight, but to keep it out of the house altogether.   And the other solution is to remember, our bodies are a temple, and God wants to honor him.  We do not need to destroy this temple by over-eating and making ourselves unhealthy.  It is the only body we have so live well in it.  When we want to over-indulge, remember that God is watching and is hoping we will do his will and make the right choice.  So grab a piece of fruit and make yourself shine!

See below for some excellent meal examples – and notice is includes dessert 🙂 Continue reading “Duh – Junk Food makes you Fat”

Faith can move mountains

Today’s verse:   Matthew 17:20   Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you.

If someone is not healthy, or suffering due to an addiction, it is hard to find a way out. My addictions are minor compared to some , but it is no less disturbing to me that I can’t break free of them.

I want to eat healthy, live healthy, exercise and do whatever it takes to be healthy.  But quite frankly, living an unhealthy lifestyle is so much more fun.  Everything that tastes sooooo good is bad for you.  Everything that makes you feel soooooo good is bad for you.  Vegetables cannot ever, in my mind, replace chocolate.   Vaping and patches cannot replace cigarettes.  Exercising cannot replace vegging on the couch.

We know we must reach deep inside to conquer our fears and addictions. We need to turn to God.  I read a blog the other day, and it questioned God.  That is where faith comes in. If you sincerely believe, without doubting, your faith will allow God to work through you, and with God, all things are possible.

Faith can move mountains.   Faith can help us through any addiction.   We have to believe.   Faith doesn’t mean it will be easy, but we will know that we have a friend  helping us along the way.   Blessings to you in your journey to good health!

Healthy Living Menu (adapted from Prevention Magazine‘s 28 day challenge

Breakfast:  Scrambled Eggs with Tortillas

Saute 2 Tbsp each diced red bell pepper and onion in skillet until tender.  Add 2 lightly beaten eggs and cook until cooked through.  Divide among 2 warm corn tortillas and top evenly with 1/2 oz. shredded Jack cheese
12 oz. coffee

Lunch:   Chicken BBQ Wrap

Arrange 3 oz. sliced grilled chicken breast on whole wheat tortilla.  Top with 1/2 oz shredded cheddar, 1 Tbsp barbecue sauce, 1 Tbsp chopped onion and 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
12 oz. green or herbal tea or water

Dinner:  Tuna Pasta

Sear 3 oz. tuna in skillet until desired doneness (or used canned drained tuna in water)
Add 1/2 cup cooked whole wheat penne, 1 cup peas, 4 chopped basil leaves, and 1/8 tsp pepper.  Remove from heat and stir in 2 Tbsp non-fat plain Greek yogurt.
Serve with 1 cup steamed spinach
12 oz herbal tea or water

Dessert:

1 oz. dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao)
2 marshmallows

Optional Snack:

10 whole unsalted almonds
20 yogurt-covered raisins