Addiction is a Disease, Not A Weakness

Today’s Verse:  Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I read an interesting article over the weekend on addiction.  Basically the premise was that addiction is a disease, and not a weakness.  I have often said this, just as I have said that mental disorders such as ADD are a disease, and not just a behavior problem.

It is encouraging to see that people may finally start to see addiction in a new light. There is nothing more discouraging to an addict then to be told:  “just be strong”, “shake it off”,  “give it up cold turkey”.   This is easier said than done, and anyone that has ever been addicted to anything knows this all too well.

I have long been a proponent of doing it one day at a time.  Goals are very important, but if we set unrealistic goals, we will be discouraged and never get there.  When we are fighting addiction, we can’t look long term.  We need to do it just for today, and celebrate each day as a victory.

Addiction also has a way of wooing us back again.  We may quit smoking for several months or we may diet, or we may go to rehab. But sooner or later there she is – calling us back again.   That is when we need to be strong.  That is when we need to fight the disease with everything we have.  We need to ask for help.  Help from friends, family and most importantly, the Lord.

Along the way, we must pray.  Although God may not answer immediately, he does hear our cries.  He does help us.  You have to have unending faith in the Lord.  I met a young man recently who has been hooked on pills, alcohol and pot for a long time. He has lost his wife, his 6 year old son, and his job.  He is living in a homeless shelter and eating at soup kitchens. But he told me that three months ago God saved him. God helped him to get off the pills, booze and pot.  He goes to church every Sunday and Bible study every Wednesday.  He said that God has literally saved his life.   He has great hope for a great future.  It is not easy, but he calls on the Lord to help him every day, one day at a time.   God can help us too!   Put your faith in the Lord and pray without ceasing.  He will not abandon us. Blessings to all of your journey to good health!


Fighting Temptation

Todays’s Verse:   Matthew 6: 13  Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil   

There is much written these days about resolutions and commitments.   And we are tempted to break them within a week, a month, two months tops.   But let’s take this opportunity to resolve to be a new you!

Temptation is all around us, every day.   We are tempted to break resolutions, revert to bad behavior, and give in to excesses.  We need to be strong and fight temptation.   Below are just ten of the many Bible verses that refer to temptation.  Read them, study them and resolve to follow them this year.   Your life is better when you resist temptation and sin.   Blessings to all of you and strength and comfort in your fight!

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.

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

James 1: 12-16  Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.

Hebrews 2:18  For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Ephesians 6:11  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

Matthew 4:1-11  Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple …

Mark 4:38  Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Ephesians 4: 27  And give no opportunity to the devil.

James 1: 2-4  Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Luke 22:40  And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

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Run the Race and Don’t Give Up!

Today’s verse:   Matthew 20:  16  “”So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Is anyone inspired by the Olympics like I am?   I am just in awe of these athletes. I cannot even imagine the training and the time and commitment that go into becoming the best in the world at something.  Of course most of the gold medalists become famous, known for their triumph and skill.

But what about all of the others that compete?  The ones that don’t finish first, or even third. There are thousands of athletes from every country that work just as hard, train just as long, and make just as much of a commitment as the others.  These are the ones that I admire most.  They not only have committed their lives to their training, but many know that they cannot possibly win a medal. But they don’t give up, they don’t stop trying.  They believe in themselves.  Just to make it to the Olympics is enough of a win for them.  What an honor!

We all face trials in our lives – some of us struggle with addictions that we can’t seem to overcome.  Some of us just cannot lose that weight that holds us back.  Some of us are unhealthy in many ways, and just can’t seem to get better.  We need to make the dedication and commitment of an Olympic athlete.  We need to never give up, never stop believing in ourselves.  We many not be able to win a gold medal, but we can overcome!   We have God on our side, and he is always faithful and just.  He gives us strength and holds us up.  He supports us through our trials and never stops believing in us.

We can’t compare ourselves to others.  We can’t give up because we will never be skinny like those models.  We can’t stop trying to quit an addiction because it’s too hard.  Don’t get caught up in the world’s way of ranking thing.  To quote Got Questions Ministry  “Those who are first in the opinion of others (or first in their own opinion!) may be surprised to learn, on Judgment Day, they are last in God’s opinion.”    Blessings to all as you continue the race towards healthier lives! Read on for today’s Healthy Living Recipe

Aging Gracefully

Today’s Verse:  Titus 2: 2-5  “Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored”

Growing old is not easy.  As I approach the big 6-0 I realize this more every day.  I cannot do what I could do when I was 30, or even 40.   The gray hairs are coming more rapidly every day, and the bones are weakening.  My strength is not as it once was, and I tire more easily.
But with age comes wisdom. Oh if I only knew then what I know now, how different live could have been.  But as the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:8 “Better is the end of a thing than its beginning”.   We may not be able to do as much now, but hopefully we are not doing the stupid things we did when we were younger.   I mistreated my body so badly in my youth.  Thankfully I turned it around before I got into serious health trouble, and have tried to remain healthy ever since.
In my older, yet wiser years, I have learned the benefits of exercise, of healthy eating, and of not smoking and drinking to excess.  I remember the party nights when I would gorge myself with junk food, drink until drunk, smoke my lungs out, engage in casual sex and drugs.  Why???
I recently was shocked to see a picture of my ex-husband, who is my age.  We both partook of all of the above together and lived the party life.   When I saw his picture honestly I didn’t recognize him.  We are the same age, but he looks years older (gives me just a wee bit of satisfaction, I must admit).  We abused ourselves and it took its toll.  I am glad I quit all of that when I did!
On the other hand, I look at my mother, who is 89 years old and still going strong. She has recently begun doing yoga and it has helped her tremendously with balance and flexibility.  She never smoked, drank very little, and has walked fairly regularly for years.  She has also always had a very strong faith.  I can see that it makes a huge difference in her life and her independence.  I hope to age gracefully like she has.   She is amazing!
There are many instances in the Bible where God has taken care of the “old” people. Think about what he did for Moses, Abraham and Sarah, among others. He doesn’t forget us in our old age, instead he blesses us for our faithfulness.  He also uses us as examples for the young. There are hundreds of verses in Proverbs about wisdom, and hopefully we have gained some in our golden years. So if you are young, heed the warning and turn off the bad health habits; if you are aging, live strong, be a good example, and age gracefully as God takes us to our final destination. Blessings to all as you age with wisdom.

Read on for today’s Healthy Living Recipe

Forgive Thyself

Today’s verse:  Colossians 1:13-14  “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins”

We have all done things in life that we are not proud of.  If you are like me, this trend continues.  I’m talking really bad things that we do.  I think if I am honest with myself, I have to say that I have broken every one of the 10 commandments.  I have done some awful things that I have great difficulty accepting.

Sometimes it’s not the big things that I do that I feel bad and guilty about. Sometimes I make a promise to God that I won’t do something anymore (like smoking), but then I do it anyway.   I feel broken and depressed when this happens. Have you ever been there?

The best news is that God forgives us – all we have to do is ask and believe.  It’s that simple.  So why do we still ask forgiveness over and over for the same thing?  It’s not because God hasn’t forgiven us, it’s because we haven’t forgiven ourselves.    It took me a long time to realize this.   God is merciful and good, and His son died on the cross for us.  That’s all it took – with Jesus’s death came our forgiveness.  We are forgiven because He was forsaken.

So we need to forgive ourselves.  God has already done so.   It is indeed very difficult to forgive ourselves, and we can carry guilt around like a heavy burden for years.  It’s time to let go of the burden, realize that we are right with God, and move forward. Take a step today and let go – don’t beat yourself up anymore over something you did in the past.  It is a freeing feeling and you will feel the love of God surrounding you.  Many blessings to all as you forgive thyself.  Read on for Today’s Healthy Living Recipe

A Profound Love

Today’s verses:
Romans 11:33  ”  O, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and untraceable His ways!”
Job 11:7  “Can you discover the depths of God? Can you discover the limits of the Almighty?

Profound – the word of the day.  The proper definition, when speaking of a state, quality or emotion is “very great or intense”.
With a Google search on the Internet, you can find dozens of articles promising “profound” health changes through exercise, by drinking green tea, by taking supplements designed to help you lose weight, and many other profound statements. While most of these may be true and may help us to lead a healthier life,  I think many stretch the meaning of profound.  But all are worth looking into to make a “profound” change in your life for a healthier lifestyle.   Any change, profound or otherwise, that leads us to better health is good for us.
But there is another meaning of profound, which applies to a a person or statement:   “having or showing great knowledge or insight”.

Synonyms:  wise, learned, clever, intelligent, scholarly, sage, erudite, discerning,penetrating, perceptive, astute, thoughtful, insightful, percipient,perspicacious

The most profound being ever can be found in Jesus Christ.   Look at the synonyms: wise, perceptive, insightful, etc.  Are there any that can’t be used to describe Him? The Bible is full of verses that show God’s profound love and wisdom.  We can never really know how deep is God’s love for us and how much He helps us.  Imagine how much you love your child, or spouse, or partner.  Then multiply that by thousands, and you can  maybe get an inkling of His love for us.   So never doubt that whatever troubles or unhealthy addictions you face, God will be there to help you through. Blessings to all today!

Read on for some fun recipes for kids

Finding Beauty in Brokeness

There is a great online site at “Discover the Word”.  It includes a daily devotional, a daily journal, a weekday small group online bible study, and many other links.   Earlier this year, they did a series on a book written by Elisa Morgan, one of the commentators.   “The Beauty of Broken”.   It mostly relates to family relations, but it is applicable to all of our lives, and it shows with certainty the grace of God.

The basic premise is that all of us have suffered some brokenness in our life, and we need to get better.  We may not always know that we are broken, but at some point we realize that we need to be fixed. Whether it is drug addiction, an eating disorder, smoking, drinking, abusing our family, we come to a point where we say NO MORE!

When we reach this point, and we want to fix ourselves, we cannot do it alone.  We need to reach our and grab the hand of God.  If you have faith in God, you can make it through anything, good or bad, that comes your way.  If you are faithful, He is faithful. He will provide what you need and deliver you from evil.  He will lead you into blessings.  Sometimes we need to open our eyes and ears to be aware of the blessings he has offered us.

We do not have to stay broken. Take a listen to the words of Elisa Morgan in the 15 part series online – I am sure that some parts will ring true for you.  It is an uplifting message that no matter how broken we are, we can be made beautiful again, through the grace of God.  Blessings to all for a fabulous weekend!

Ready on for today’s Healthy Living recipe!