Living a Simple Life

Today’s verse:  Proverbs 13:7   A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life.

Living a simple life.   This sounds so easy, but in reality it is not.  Society demands that we live a more complicated life.  Social media causes us to be competitive, to look our best, to out-do our friends in fun and fashion.  It requires that we always look good and enjoy our life.

Work causes us stress and makes u s competitive as well.  We want to be promoted, we want to look good to the boss, we want to get a raise.

Family stresses also abound.  As a parent, we try to be everything to everyone.  We are providers, coaches, nurses, cooks, cleaners, repairers, and so on.   We have to do it all.

Stresses such as these are not good for your health.  Life needs to be simple.   What if we just stay off of social media for a while?   Will  anyone really miss seeing us?  What if we take 15 to 30 minutes every day during work to just meditate, or go for a walk, or read something totally unrelated to work?   What if we don’t make our bed this morning or leave the housecleaning undone?  What if we do something simple, as a family, like a puzzle or read aloud a good novel?   Life does not have to be complicated, and it is so important to our health to do something simple.

Simplicity can be achieved in so many ways.   Taking a walk, enjoying nature, having family time, reading a book, discussing this book, meditating, taking a nap, deep breathing, living mindfully.   The benefits of a simpler life will show in your health.

As the verse above states, God wants our lives to be simple.  Throughout the Bible, he tells us not to be anxious, do not stress, be simple.  The Bible tells us that God will take on our troubles and our cares.  He will be our rock.  He will support us and save us.  Do not make life complicated.   Live simply, knowing that God will provide for all of your needs.      Blessings on your simple life!

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/simple/”>Simple</a&gt;

Invitation to Well-Being

Today’s verse:    Matthew 7:16-20  You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Today I extend an invitation to all of you.   I invite everyone to jump on the well-being train.   This is not the same as wellness.  Wellness is concerned with your body and your health.   Well-being is for your mind, body and soul.   It is the complete package.  It is the route to happiness.   Unhealthy people can be happy, and healthy people can be unhappy.  But if you have well-being, you have health and happiness! People with a high sense of well-being have positive relationships, are generally happy, and have a great deal of control over their life.

So how do we get to this state of well being?   There are studies that suggest the following 5 things can help to acheive a sense of well-being.

  1.  Connect – relationships are extremely important.  The more positive relationships you have with family, friends and colleagues, the better off you will be.   Make sure to spend more time with your family – turn off the TV and the phones and have family time.  Volunteer or join community groups.  Build a social network.  This takes work but it is worth the time spent to develop these relationships.
  2. Learn  –  New skills add to a sense of achievement and boost your self-confidence.  Learning about something new helps toward your well-being.   Take some courses, learn a new skill, read about something new, learn a language, learn how to repair something in the home.   Anything to mentally challenge you is good.
  3. Exercise- being active fights depression and anxiety.  You don’t have to be an exercise freak – you can dance while doing housework, stand up while working, and park farther away in the parking lot.   Little 10 minute spurts of exercise add up to a day’s worth of well-being.
  4. Giving – It is always heartwarming to give.  Give anything, whether its your time, your money, or your words.  Being kind to someone has the ability to improve your well being.
  5. Mindfulness – be aware of the present.  Really taste your food,  really feel your clothing, really notice everything “in the minute”.   It all brings about a a positive change in the way you view life.

In addition to the invitation to well-being, I invite you to join me in spiritual exercise.   “Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness.  Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important for it promises a reward in both this life and the next.  This is true and everyone should accept it.”   (1 Timothy 4:  7-9)

Blessings to everyone who reads this and I hope you will join me in well-being!

Invitation

Judge Not, Lest Ye be Judged

Today’s verse:    Ephesians 4:29  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

It is difficult in today’s world to keep your chin up and stay positive.   Social media drags us down whenever someone’s opinion is different from ours.  We get angry reading posts that go against our opinion.  The election has divided this nation in ways we haven’t seen in our lifetime.  Even the mention of politics makes me excuse myself from the conversation.

Anger is not good for us or for our health.  It can add to depression and anxiety, lead to or increase addictions, and make us compensate by indulging in bad habits, such as over-eating.   We need to let the anger go.  We need to keep open minds.  How do we do that?   How do we stay healthy and positive in a negative world?

We should not judge someone based on their politics, religion, choice of lifestyle, or any other “opinion” they may have.  Try to be fair, listen to others, and most of all, keep an open mind.  This is what Jesus taught.  It is not our place to judge others – that is up to God.  I cannot say it any better than this verse from Romans 14: 1-13. Read it, absorb it, and live by it for a happier, healthier you!   Blessings to all!

1 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. 2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand. One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister ? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written: “ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’ ” 12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. 13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.

 

 

 

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.”

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/tempted/”>Tempted</a&gt;

Cleaning out the Clutter

Today’s verse:  Philippians 3:13-14  Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.

My father-in-law has recently moved in with us.  What a life-changing experience! One of the things we had to do was to turn our basement into an apartment for him. The basement was already finished, but served mostly as a storage area for junk that we no longer used, but couldn’t bear to get rid of.   For example, my husband and I are both retired, but we have held on to many files, mementos, etc. from our working days.   Our pool table hasn’t been used in 10 years, and now only serves as a storage area, but we wanted to keep it, “just in case”.

We had to remove everything in order to put in new carpet.  We forced ourselves to look objectively at everything before we put it back and decide whether or not we really needed to keep it. Lots of trips were made to Goodwill.  We sold the pool table and opened up lots of space.  We shredded lots of documents and filled trash cans with tons of stuff.  We love the new area, and it feels so open and clean.

As I was reflecting on this change, and how good it felt to let go of some of our old items, I read a devotional that said we should let go of the old feelings that are taking up valuable space in our heads.  How many of us are holding onto negative feelings or feelings of guilt?  Why not take the time at the end of the year to clear out the clutter?  Let go of things that are useless and space hogs, and fill the space with valuable, good things.  God does not want us to hang onto damaging thoughts.  He has died for us and we are cleansed.  We need to let go and stop feeling guilty or bad or vengeful or sad, and let God’s joy into our heads.  Christmas is a perfect time to remember that Christ came for us and we need to let his light shine brightly, now and ever onward.

Christmas blessings to all – may your light shine bright!

 

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

A Psalm of Praise

Today’s verse:  A Psalm of Praise – Psalm 145: 1-2 (see end of blog for full  Psalm- read and meditate on it.   I have highlighted in red the portions that are exceptionally helpful to me.)

I will exalt you, my God the King;
    I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
    and extol your name for ever and ever.

Meghan Trainor has a song out that says, in part:

“I thank God every day
That I woke up feelin’ this way
And I can’t help lovin’ myself
And I don’t need nobody else,”

I don’t agree with the rest of the song, but I love the chorus and the catchy tune.  It is true that I praise God every day for waking up, feeling good, and loving myself.  I don’t need anyone else to validate me, because I have the love of God in my life.

It is so important to go through life with God’s support, so that we can love ourselves. There is no reason for us to be down on ourselves, to hate ourselves for our mistakes, and to feel bad about ourselves.   We are wonderful creations of God and he will never look down on us.  So praise him to the moon and back when you get up every day.

Praise him for giving you life.  Praise him for sending his Son to die for our sins. Praise him for each day, no matter how bad you feel.  Praise him for his strength and comfort.   Praise him for all of our blessings.  Read today’s verse, Psalm 145.  It is a psalm of praise and truly brings home how wonderful God is to us, and how much we need to thank him for our blessings.  Amen!

I will exalt you, my God the King;
    I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
    and extol your name for ever and ever.

3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
    they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
    and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
    and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
    and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
    slow to anger and rich in love.

The Lord is good to all;
    he has compassion on all he has made.
10 All your works praise you, Lord;
    your faithful people extol you.
11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom
    and speak of your might,
12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts
    and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
    and your dominion endures through all generations.

The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
    and faithful in all he does.
14 The Lord upholds all who fall
    and lifts up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand
    and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
    and faithful in all he does.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
    he hears their cry and saves them.
20 The Lord watches over all who love him,
    but all the wicked he will destroy.

21 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
    Let every creature praise his holy name
    for ever and ever.” 

Praise