Ruminations from the Beach

Today’s verse:  1 Corinthians 6: 19-20   “19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price.Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

I just returned from a super relaxing week at the beach.   There is nothing that can melt away stress better for me than laying in bed at night and listening to the ocean roll in and out.  Although it was unbearably hot in the sun, there was always a nice (albeit warm) breeze blowing down by the waterfront to keep me cool during the day.

There were two things that  struck me most while lying on the beach people-watching. One was the amount of obese people in this country.   It was absolutely frightening to see how many people are so overweight. I’m not talking about people with a little bit of belly flab, I’m talking about the seriously obese people.    Good for those that were out walking or riding bikes, perhaps trying to fight the fat.  But others, OMG!

In spite of all the “health food” that is now available at fast food places, and the fact that vending machines at schools no longer offer sugary drinks and snacks, there are still an enormous amount of overweight people wandering this earth.  The saddest part is to see the children following in the parents footsteps. They are doomed to a life of “unhealth”:   diabetes, heart conditions, high blood pressure, bad joints, ridicule from others, etc.  I wish there was a way to get through to them about the dangers of their lifestyle.  I am sure they have heard all the arguments, and many would say that they are happy  just as they are, but I pray that they will finally see the light and try to lose the weight.

The second thing that set me to wondering – the amount of sun worshipers on the beach.   We all know the dangers of skin cancer.  Having twice been treated for squamous cell carcinoma (we lived outside most of the summer during my childhood instead of in front of a screen), I try to keep my skin smothered in sun tan lotion.   I, too, am after that ever-elusive bronze glow that makes us look so healthy and fit, but I am careful about how I get there. I was amazed at the number of people on the beach that stayed for hours, and I never saw them apply (or re-apply) lotion. Isn’t anyone concerned about the danger?  I saw lots of older women whose skin also looked like leather, having spent years in the sun.  Their tans were not even pretty – they looked muddy brown to me.  The dangers of being vain, to look pretty, are not worth the consequences.

God gives us a beautiful body and we set out to destroy it, either through over-eating, over-tanning, drugs, alcohol, smoking, etc.  We need to honor the body that God has given us.  It is his temple and we need to take care of it.    I pray for all of you that are trying to return to health and a good lifestyle, and I pray for all of those that have yet to realize that they need to return to health.  Blessings on everyone is their journey to health!  Continue reading “Ruminations from the Beach”

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Out of the Darkness

Today’s verse:  John 8:12   “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Darkness can take over our life if we let it.   When we are not happy with our bodies or our lifestyle, or our actions, we can become depressed.  Unhealthy lifestyles always lead to darkness at times.

We may never admit it to others, but there is no addict that is always happy with themselves.  We say we are happy with our lives, just they way they are.  But inside, we hope to be that skinny girl, that non-smoker, that drug-free person.   It is a merry-go-round of emotions and we always lie to ourselves that we are ok as we are.

The darkness can overwhelm us and lead us to more addiction.  We tell the world we don’t care. We need to break this cycle.  Getting healthy is super hard work, but the benefits far outweigh the consequences.   Take control of your darkness and work on getting free from addiction.   Always look towards the light.

Jesus is the light of the world and He can lead you to the bright side.   Don’t be afraid to put your trust in Him and follow His light.   He will not lead you astray.  He loves us all and does not judge us for our failures.   Trust in Him and you will see the light!  Blessings to all.  Continue reading “Out of the Darkness”

Gluttony and Misery

Today’s verse:  1 Corintians 3:  16-17 “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple”

Once again, I overdid it on the 4th of July. I have been on a super health kick lately, but when I get a bunch of people over at the house, and everyone brings unhealthy food, I lose my will power. I ate and drank like there was no tomorrow.  But sadly, tomorrow is now today and I am feeling miserable.   Such is the sin of gluttony.

The good thing is that because I feel so miserable, it will be easy to get back on the healthy foods.  Lots of fruits and tons of veggies.  No more chicken wings, banana pudding, chips and dip, beer, brats, burgers, and all the other picnic foods that I scarfed down yesterday.

The good thing about addictions and diets: It’s ok to fall off the wagon occasionally. The important thing is to get back up and back on that wagon.  It’s important to not beat yourself up over a failure.  Be positive, think positive and go for your goal.  Do not let a setback derail all of your good efforts.

If you need help, lean on God. There is so much in the Bible about gluttony. I have listed a bunch of verses that make me feel so guilty about yesterday, and assist me to get back on track.  These verses can be applied to any addiction.  Read and meditate on some of these:

Phillipians 3:19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
Proverbs:  23: 20-21 Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.
Proverbs 23:2 And put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite.
Proverbs 25: 16  If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.
 Psalms 78: 18  They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved.
Romans 13:14  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Galatians 5: 16-26  But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, …

But instead of feeling guilty, I will be forgiven for my lapse and I will get back to health. Basically it boils down to taking care of the body that God has given us.  We need to glorify God and we can do so by respecting what he gave us.  So eat drink and be merry, but then get back on track.  Blessings to everyone as they shake it off and carry on!
Continue reading “Gluttony and Misery”

Independence from Addiction

Today’s verse:  1 Corinthians 10:13  “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

Today we celebrate our independence as a nation.   We also should take this day to celebrate our independence from our vices and addictions.  If you are still in the grasp of an addiction, why not make a statement today that you will be free of this starting right now?

Our forefathers were extremely brave souls.  They faced incredible odds, yet they went out fearlessly to obtain what they truly believed in.  We can do the same!    It is hard and it is scary to think about living without our crutch.  But we can (and should) do it. Today can be your liberation. Do it just for today – it’s as good a starting point as any.  Throw away your sweets, your junk food, your cigarettes, your lighters, your rolling papers, whatever you have that is tempting you.  Start fresh each new day with a sense of freedom from your addiction – you can do it!

And never forget to lean on God.   God’s love is always free, and freeing. When you feel weak, ask for strength.  When you feel anxious, pray for calm.  When you feel down, pray for courage and pray for sunshine in your soul.   God always comes through and provides an escape – all we have to do is ask!  Blessings on your new found independence!flag Continue reading “Independence from Addiction”

Where do Blog Ideas Come From?

Today’s verse:  Proverbs 3: 5-6  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

I have been asked how I come up with an idea every day for my blog.  The truth is, I don’t have an idea every day.  When I started this blog, the intention was to have a faith based, nutrition / health food blog with principles that could be applied to other addictions in addition to over eating and dieting.  But as it has evolved, I find I don’t write too much about dieting, but rather about addictions in general.  So how do I get ideas?

Sometimes it is drawn on personal experience from my addiction to smoking and eating (mostly sweets).  These addictions are not as severe as other addictions, but to me any addiction that makes you do something that you don’t want to do, or is unhealthy for you, carries the same weight to the person dealing with that addiction.

Sometimes it is thinking about my sister or my son or any other addict in  my dysfunctional family.  I hope that they read this and are helped. Sometimes I will hear something on the radio that catches my ear and sounds like a good idea to write about. Sometimes I hear something in a sermon at church.

But mostly, I call on God every morning for inspiration.  I spend some time reading a daily devotion from a book called “Breakfast with God:  Inspirational Thoughts to Start Your Day God’s Way”. I reflect on the daily message and pray. Something always comes to me to journal about.  It may not be exactly on topic, but I believe I am listening to God and doing his will.

So I write hoping to inspire others to keep their chin up, keep trying to give it up (whatever “it” is), to have faith in God always and to hope for a better tomorrow. Praying to God is powerful, and it is just as important to listen for God’s reply. This is hard to do, but with practice you will learn to discern what he is telling you for your life. He will not lead us astray.  Read again today’s verse and apply it to your life:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Blessings to all of you today for a great and safe 4th of July weekend! Continue reading “Where do Blog Ideas Come From?”

Denying Yourself of Life’s Crutches

Today’s Verse:   Mark : 8-34  “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” 

When we are addicted to eating, or drinking, or smoking, or drugs, it is hard to quit. We all know that.  These are our crutches, used to get us through the hard times and the daily stress of life.  So I always think of the phrase, “Deny yourself and take up the cross”.   What does this mean?

In an everyday sense, to deny ourselves means to say “No” to ourselves.  It is to deny what we want and sometimes what we need. This means denying things that are bad for us, even if they give us pleasure (unhealthy food, cigarettes, drugs, etc).  We cannot move on to the path of health and well-being in mind, body and spirit until we deny ourselves of those influences.

To take up the cross means to live without our selfish ways and ambitions.  It means bearing a burden.  It is a burden to live with the stress of life, with no outlet for our stress.  We rely on our unhealthy crutches. We need to find healthy outlets that are good for us, such as exercise or meditation instead of harmful, addictive ways.

To put this in perspective, think of the biblical sense of this phrase.  In order to follow a life of Christ, you have to deny your own ambitions and follow his will.  When Christ was headed towards his crucifixion, he had to carry his own cross.  It was a solid wooden cross, which is estimated to have weighed at least 300 lbs.  He bore it for us.

If you are aware of the extent of Christ’s suffering*, you will appreciate even more what it means to “deny yourself and take up the cross”.   You will see that compared to what He went through for us, our addictions are minor.  We can use His strength to fight our addicitons, and deny ourselves and take up the cross.  Blessings to all of you in your battle towards good health.

*Note:  If you want a detailed analysis of the crucifixion, read The Cross of Christ by Dr. Andreas Lambrianides.  Warning:  It is quite graphic, but it does give you an idea of what Jesus suffered for us.  If you want to see it in fairly accurate and realistic detail, see Mel Gibson’s interpretation in  “The Passion of the Christ” movie.  Warning:  Also quite graphic.

 

Continue reading “Denying Yourself of Life’s Crutches”

Today’s Child

Today’s verse:  Matthew 19:14  “Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Today’s children are a different breed from when I grew up.  I know every generation thinks they were the best, and that life was better when they were young.  Many of us look back with fond memories of our childhood.

I remember from my childhood that we played outside continuously, never wanting to come in.  We did not sit in front of a screen for hours (Lol- I come from the age before computers, and only had one black and white 19″ TV). We spent hours in the sun, we ate whatever we wanted, we did not wear seat belts,etc. etc. I am sure you have seen those items on Facebook that talk about how it is possible that we all lived so long when we lived so dangerously.  But we were basically healthy, and we are living well into our 80s and 90s.

However, today’s child has the advantage of knowing better.   We know what the sun can do to you and skin cancer is a very real danger (I have been treated twice for this). We know that sugar and fats are not good for you, and we know how to eat healthier. Kids today have better choices in school lunches and vending machines.

So why are today’s kids still unhealthy?   Is it the lack of exercise?  Is it bad parenting choices?   It really bothers me to see a child going down a path of bad eating habits and indoor-only living.   We need to take charge of this problem and promote healthy living, or our future generations will be in trouble.   We all know the right thing to do, so let’s get these kids on a healthy path through diet and exercise.

I am teaching Vacation Bible School this week at my church. I was looking at the faces of the kids last night in my class.  I pray that all of them will grow up healthy and happy.  In addition to learning good eating and exercise habits, I want them to know Jesus. They yell all the right words about Jesus and sing the right songs, but do they really get the message?  It is my hope and prayer that we get through to these innocents to lead them on a righteous path.   I will do whatever I can to teach these children about Jesus and pray that they will live healthy, happy days ahead in the path of the Lord.  Blessings to all of the children, our future!

Continue reading “Today’s Child”