Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love. I Corinthians 16:13, 14 NKJV

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Living a Truly Balanced Life ....series ... Abstemiousness(Temperance or Self-control)

"When you try to treat yourself, whether it's in the realm of physical medicine or in the realm of spiritual medicine, it doesn't go so well. We need the great Physician. And really, that's what part two of this study on preventive religion is about. Our premise is that the same eight simple remedies that the school of health and the preventive-medicine people use have their counterpart in the spiritual life. In physical life these eight simple remedies, God's remedies, are the simple agencies of nature: pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, and trust in divine power.".... This week "we will cover the spiritual counterparts of abstemiousness, rest, trust in divine power, and sunlight."  


"Abstemiousness is a tough word. Let's face it, a better word is temperance, and perhaps an even better word that that would be self-control. Abstemiousness or temperance and self-control are significant. We understand that self- control is the highest evidence of nobility in the Christian. It gets high marks. But what is self-control? Is it something we do ourselves, or is it the result of something else? This is a practical question to consider.

If you turn to Galatians 5, you'll discover at least three of our remedies for today in the list called the fruits of the spirit: "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance(or abstemiousness, or self control) against such there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23). We notice in this list these three: temperance; rest, or peace; and faith, or trust. They are called "fruits of the Spirit." One of the first things we notice when we consider fruit is that fruit is the result of something else. You don't really work on fruit. You work on what produces fruit, and the fruit comes. That's why we've divided our list of eight remedies in the spiritual realm into two sections. The first four, which we discussed in the previous chapter, have to do with the cause, and the last four, which we refer to in this chapter, have to do with the result o time spent with God and fellowshipping with Jesus.
So, self-control is a fruit, or fruit from the Holy Spirit. It is not so much something that we achieve as it is something we receive. I wonder how many of you have worked hard to develop more self-control. I wonder how many of us understand the difference between what we really have control over and what we don't! May I remind you that everyone in this world is either under the control of God or under the control of Satan. There are no other options. There is no third choice. The only control we have is which one of these two powers we want to control us. And that is hard for some people to accept, but it's still the truth. Romans 6 makes it clear that we are either servants of God r of the enemy, and we are only servants. So how much deliberate control do we have over our lives? All we have is the choice of deciding to come into fellowship with the Lord Jesus, and choosing to continue or discontinue that relationship. If we choose not to put ourselves under God's control, we will automatically be under the control of the enemy of souls.
The result of choosing to come under God's control, which is always ours and is never taken from us, is something we should rather call "God control" than "self-control." It's true that Go never bypasses our capacities. He works through us and never outside of us. But God's control allows people like Paul to say, It is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me(see Galatians 2:20). and, "It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do His good pleasure"(Philippians 2:13). Therefore there are two kinds of control. One is the only kind we can choose, and we have to use whatever grit, backbone, determination, and self-control we have toward that. This choice is toward which of the two powers we want to control us. The other is something that is a fruit of the Spirit, the results of that choice. If we choose God's control in our lives, we will receive something better than self- control. God will control our appetites, our passions, our thoughts, words, actions, our motives, our purposes, and all the rest of it.
The example of self-control tat people bring up most is appetite. It would be well for us to take a look at how the control of our appetite really works. I wonder how many of you have ever tried to control your appetite. That is a foolish question, isn't it? I suppose that even some skinny people are wiling to admit that appetite can be a problem for them. I've heard a few of them admit it.
People will never be truly temperate until the grace of Christ is an abiding principle in the heart. All the pledges in the world will not make you health reformers. No mere restriction of your diet will cure your diseased appetite. You will not practice temperance in all things until your hearts are transformed by the grace of God. Circumstance cannot work reforms. Christianity proposed a reformation in the heart. What Christ works within will be worked out under the dictation of the converted intellect. The plan of beginning on the outside and trying tow work inward has always failed and always will fail. God's plan with you is to being at the very seat of all difficulties, the heart, and then from out of the heart will issue the principles of righteousness. Reformation will be outward as well as inward.
So of all the things, health and diet and appetite are classic categories in which we see that our only hope is in the fruit of the Spirit. If the self-control you have been using for years is the fruit of the person, then the person gets the glory. Strong people who live a lie apart from Jesus, and whose whole religion is made up of trying to do what's right and thinking they succeed- these people will discover sooner or later that that kind of self-control is not enough. It will not carry them through. But when we accept self-control as a fruit of the Spirit instead of a fruit of the person, then we discover the kind of control that comes from God, which deals not just with outward actions, but with the inward heart and motives and purposes and feelings and inclinations as well. Then it's worth something.
I'd like to invite you to circle this whether you're talking about Peter's ladder in 2 Peter 1, or temperance, which is part of growth in the Christian life. Whatever you call it, it is a fruit of the Spirit, not a fruit of the person. Let's also allow for growth. Baby Christians who discover problems with their self-control probably ought to remember that babies in the physical realm don't have much self-control, either. That's why we have Pampers and things like that, and that's why babies are forgive when they thrown things. Self-control is part of the growth in the Christian life, and I'm thankful that God understands that as well, aren't you?"

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Working Towards Who God Wants Me To Be....

I had fallen into an old familiar trap. I wasn't happy. I felt like something was missing, like I needed something in order to continue to be successful. I didn't quite know what the problem was, but I knew that things needed to change. 

I had been moving along in a good pace. I had my schedule all figured out - I would have quiet time and then my exercise time. It all worked so well together. And it seemed like every week I was able to lose about a pound. Then I injured my knee and was put on restriction. And that is when I really fell into that old trap. That trap was wanting approval from other. I had felt a tad bit of the desire before but when my circumstances got to the point that I had to slow down and could not push myself in the area of physical exercise I began to really feel the need. I wanted a "Way to Go!" or "Good Job" anything to reinforce that what I was doing was working and that there were results. But it seemed that (insert the sound of crickets here) compliments and encouragement seemed as a dry creek bed...

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil
 walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
1 Peter 5:8

When we work towards better physical, mental, and spiritual health, Satan is not very happy and he will do what ever he can to discourage us. When he knows that we really desire approval from others- he works hard to keep that from happening. We really have to get to the place of not needing other peoples approval. When we are living up to the light that Jesus has given us then His approval is all we need. Yeah - it's great to get the compliments and encouragement but we can't depend on those things to encourage us along our journey and give us momentum to continue on. God supplies all of our needs, we can depend on Him.
19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19
Image result for your approval is not required

PS - This has nothing to do with todays post- but I just wanted to mention that I am still having issues leaving comments at  some blogs- even responding to comments left on my blog- so I wanted to take a minute to say I really do appreciate all comments and I am enjoying your blogs as well- even if I haven't left a comment lately. I will figure out the problem - hopefully soon. I had thought that I had it figured out - because I had been able to leave some comments and then this morning went to a blog that I wanted to leave a comment at and tried the same thing and it would not let me leave the comment.  Hoping to figure this all out soon....

Monday, October 24, 2016

LIving a Truly Balanced Life ....series...water



 Exercise makes you thirsty and drives you to water. Notice what Jesus said as HE talked about the spiritual life:
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth in me, as the scripture have said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified)
 (John 7:37-39).
When Jesus sat down at His Father's right hand, the Holy Spirit stood up and went into action in a new way, as the Comforter whom Jesus had promised. And the Holy Spirit is likened to water in the Scripture. The Holy Spirit brings righteousness. The Holy Spirit is involved in the latter rain- water, refreshing- and the loud cry of Revelation. The Holy Spirit is all through the Christian life, from conversion to the end. But it's exercise, reaching out in service and witness, that drives us to the water. And as we're driven to the water for deeper drafts of the mighty resources of God through the Holy Spirit, we grow in grace. If you want to know the mighty power of the Holy Spirit in your life. I'd like to give you a few steps that will help you to understand it better.
1. Accept Jesus again every day as your only hope of salvation (see Galatians 3:2-5).
2. Receive the gift of repentance that Jesus has to give, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 2:37,38. 5:31)
3. Obey! But this obedience is primarily continuing service instead of laying down the torch, continuing to reach out towards others (see Acts 5:32).
4. Admit that you're thirsty; tell God you're thirsty; accept His promise that at whatever cost, you want to have the Holy Spirit in your life, giving up on all other methods to experience the vibrant Christian life (see John 7:37-39).
5. Ask God for it. Ask Him for Him. Sometimes we call the Holy Spirit and 'it." I guess that's all right, but the Holy Spirit is also a Him, and, more important, a Person. Jesus has promised Him, and He said that if we ask, He'll give Him. He's willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask (see Luke 11:13). Why should we not seek for the Holy Spirit, when this great gift brings all other blessings with it?
In the next chapter we'll talk about the last four preventive- religion remedies, which are more results of the first four than they are cause themselves. The last four are self- control(or temperance), rest, sunlight(of God's presence), and trust in divine power. But in the meantime I'd like to invite you to break the bread of life every da, to breathe every day- for you can't go long without either one - and to exercise every day in a spiritual sense. This will make you thirsty for the Holy Spirit.
Break Thou the bread of life,
Dear Lord, to me,
As Thou didst break the loaves
Beside the sea;
Beyond the sacred page
I seek Thee, Lord;
My spirit pants for Thee,
O living Word.
See you on Wednesday as we continue to learn about the health laws and how they pertain to our spiritual lives.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Come to the Garden~ An Invitation to Serentiy...series




to the Garden,
The secret place we share.
My essence is in the Garden;
Come to Me in prayer.


I will not leave you desolate;
I will come to you.
John 14:18
Come to me.. And I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28
When you pray, go into your inner room.
Matthew 6:6
Ask and it will be given to you ;
see and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
Matthew 7:7

Friday, October 21, 2016

Living a Truly Balanced Life...series.... exercise


If you are able to exercise - be sure to get out there and do it - because there are those of us like me- who would love to be able to exercise.
The third element in living the Christian life, to keep us from losing our faith is exercise. Exercise, of course, is more and more in the foreground these days. Some people are overdoing it. I had a doctor told me that just recently. It made me feel good. Exercise, as far as bodily functions are concerned, is more and more considered a top priority in our world today. But it had gotten to be such a fad among any that the Reader's Digest had t publish and article entitled, "Why Not Not Jog." They
were suggesting a new fad of not jogging.
Now let's move from bodily exercise to spiritual. Paul made a very interesting statement to Timothy which, I suppose, would make the physical-education people thrown him out in a hurry. "Refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little; but godliness if profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come" (1 Timothy 4:7,8). SO what is Paul's appeal? I am sure he must have gotten a lot of exercise himself, what with all the camping, walking, and traveling he did. But he said that in comparison, the most important exercise is exercising ourselves unto godliness. The book Steps to Christ, pages 80 and 81, makes a very good application of this in these words:
"Strength comes by exercise; activity is the very condition of life. Those who endeavor to maintain a Christian life by passively accepting the blessings that come through the means of grace, and doing nothing for Christ, are simply trying to live by eating without working. And in the spiritual as in the natural world, this always results in degeneration and decay. A man who would refuse to exercise his limbs would soo lose all power to use them. Thus the Christian who will not exercise his God-given powers not only fails to grow up into Christ, but he loses the strength that he already had."
I'm going to make a bold statement. Anyone, regardless of how much he reads his Bible, and how much he prays, how much he breathes, and how much he eats, spiritually, who does not become involved in exercise as well, is going to lose spiritual health. It always happens that way, and it always will. Every once in a while the phone rings, and someone says, "I've been reading my Bible, I've been studying the life of Christ, and I've been praying, but I have he religious blahs. God doesn't even know my address. My prayers go no higher than the ceiling." They were excited at first, but now there's nothing. As I probe a little bit with these people, I inevitably discover that they have not become involved in Christian service, witness, and outreach. And without exercise, eating and even breathing can kill you.
I admire those people that I see early in the morning and late at night getting their exercise. It reminds me of something I learned when I was the one o'clock classes, right after lunch. We'd sit there and doze and try to take notes. At the end of the class we'd do stumbling drunkenly down to the room for a three- hour nap, only to wake up feeling worse than when we went to sleep.
Then one day it dawned! Our problem wasn't that we were physically tired. Our problem was that we were nerve tired. So we went off to the gym instead and threw some baskets, or jumped on the trampoline. After thirty minutes we were feeling fine again. Don't miss it, you people with the white collars; you can be tired and exhausted all the time, not because you don't get enough sleep, but because you don't get enough exercise. That's true, isn't it? Have you discovered it? And if you get the proper amount of exercise, you don't have to sleep as much.
But exercising- Christian service and witness and outreach - will make us thirsty. And that brings us to the fourth of these eight preventive remedies for spiritual life.
On Monday we will talk about water and what it represents in the Christian life. Please be sure and join me. :O)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Can't fall off the wagon...If you never get on

In July things got real. I finally realized the importance to adopt a healthier lifestyle. There are many things I want to accomplish by changing the way I do some things and changing what I eat and drink. I had known that I needed to make this change for quiet some time, but in July I was convicted of the importance to do it now.

It's true that I had attempted to get back to a healthier lifestyle a time or tow and failed. But over the last several month's God had lead me to understand that a healthier lifestyle was light and I needed to live up to the light I had been given. It was truth, the way God intended us to live. It was best, our minds and bodies function much better when we go by the health principals of sunlight, water, fresh air, exercise, rest, healthy diet, and last but certainly not least- trust in God.

The last couple of weeks since my knee injury I've had to take it easy. No more working out with Jennifer Webster on Rise Up program. No more 2 + mile walks at the park. And sadly no more hikes at the state park with my sister. Nope.... I had to take it easy.

It has caused me bouts with discouragement. I have been working towards losing weight and when I could incorporate exercise into my routine I seemed to lose about a pound a week, maybe not every week - but the scales were gradually going down. So now that I am not able to exercise I have been concerned- that I would not continue to lose weight. And even concerned that I may fall off the wagon-what I have fallen off more times than I would like to admit. That's when I was reminded that I hadn't gotten on the it this time. Getting on the wagon would mean that what I am doing is just riding a healthy lifestyle till I got the results that I wanted and then getting off. IT would signify a temporary journey of some sort, but that's not what this is about. This is about me living up to the light that God has given me. This is about my health. This is about my well being. And right now this is about me really acting out all those health principals to the best of my ability. Right now the "trust in God is seriously being put to the test. Sometimes we need to be put to the test not only for us to see where we really stand in that area, but also in order to grow us in that area. I know that this is an area that I've lacked in the past. I believe that God has been working on showing me the importance of this truth.  Trust in God is very important in every area of our lives.

In order to trust God we need to have a relationship with Him. We need to prioritize our time with Him.

Today I would life to leave you with an awesome quote from the book that I just finished reading:

"One of these day soon heaven will open and we will see Jesus coming at the right hand of God. He will be surrounded by millions of angels among whom will be the one that has followed you from your earliest moments. As you look into the face of Jesus, won't it be wonderful to be able to say, "I know you!" ...But greater yet will be the thrill as He looks into your eyes and says, "I know you too!"
In that day, that will be the only thing of importance. Everything else will be nothing without that experience...but it is also true for today as well."

excerpt from Morris Venden's " Hard to be Lost...Good news: God won't give you up without a fight"

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Living a Truly Balanced Life...series ...Diet

The following is from Morris Venden's "Hard to be Lost ~ Good News: God won't give you up without a fight."


What do we think of when we think of proper diet in the spiritual sense? Of course, we are talking about eating the Word of God. "Thy words were found, and I did eat them" (Jeremiah 15:16). Jesus said, "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." (John 6:35) In John 6:53-56, Jesus said,
Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whose eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." 
This was a mystery to those people who heard it, but if they had thought a little further along some of the lines that their Old Testament prophets had written, they wouldn't have been as confused. We have insights as to what this is all about today. It is by receiving the life poured out for us on Calvary's cross that we can live the life of holiness. And this life we receive by receiving His Word.
Let's dwell for just a minute on the illustration. Jesus said that we need to eat His flesh and drink His blood. When we think of His flesh and His blood, we think of HIs spilled blood and broken body. And when we think of that, we think of the cross, we think of death, and we think of our Substitute. So to eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God is to take into our lives what He has done for us. We accept into our lives, our hearts, our minds, our very existence, what Jesus had done for us. Now, a person does this when he first comes to Jesus, after reaching the end of his own resources and accepting Jesus as his personal Saviour. But that isn't enough, any more than the baby's first meal is enough. Eating His flesh and drinking His blood must be a daily matter. Jesus is the One who used the similarity between the physical and the spiritual. Genuine conversation is a needed, not once, but daily. This conversion brings man into a new relation with God, but this work must be continual. No renewed heart can be kept in a condition of sweetness without daily application of the salt of the Word. Divine grace must be received daily, or no one will stay converted. I suppose that's why Jesus had something to say about iniquity abounding and the love of many waxing cold. "but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved"(Matthew 24:13).
So let's accept Jesus' own analogy that eating is a daily matter. What are we going to eat? We are going to accept nourishment from His Word. That is the source of our spiritual food. But just reading the Bible is not enough. I'd like to remind you that knowledge, just simple knowledge, might destroy us.
"The greatest deception of the human mind in Christ's day was that a mere assent to the truth constitutes righteousness. In all human experience a theoretical knowledge of the truth has been proved to be insufficient for the saving of the soul. IT does not bring forth the fruits of righteousness. A jealous regard for what is termed theological truth often accompanies a hatred of genuine truth as made manifest in life. The darkest chapters of history are burdened with the record of crimes committed by bigoted religionists (The Desire of Ages, p. 309) 
Our only hope is not only to know the words of Scripture, but to realize that scriptural difficulties and scriptural understandings are never mastered by the same methods that are employed in grappling with philosophical problems. Understanding Bible truth depends not so much on the power of intellect brought to the search as on the singleness of purpose, the earnest longing after righteousness.
And, of course, that is what the initial experience of conversion will motivate us to do. And only Jesus can bring truth to us that's more than words, that goes deep into the heart, deep into the soul. I'd like to ask you, my friend, are you really longing after righteousness? Are you hungering and thirsting for God, more than just going through the form of reading words out of a book? I'm thankful that Jesus ahs promised the Holy Spirit to be our teacher, for without Him we're sunk.
But the most important ingredient in the spiritual diet in the realization that the cross is our only hope. The enemy knows that, and so he constantly tries to cause what grasped our attention in the first place to fade from view. That
's why we should spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the cross. That's the good diet- the life of Christ, especially the closing scenes. To remove the cross from the Christian would be like blotting the sun from the sky, for without the cross, man would have no union with the Father. On it depends our only hope. From it shines the light of the Saviour's love, and when at the foot of the cross the sinner looks up to the One who died to save Him, he may rejoice with fullness of joy that his sins are pardoned. Kneeling in faith at the cross, he has reached the highest place to which man can attain. And that's what your devotion life is going to center around. If your attention doesn't focus around the cross, then the foundation of the Christian gospel is going to fade from your mind and become hazy, and all you have left is to become a theoretical or pseudo-Christian who grapples with philosophical religious problems but seldom if ever focuses on Jesus.
Diet= eating the Word of God ~  Jeremiah 15:16
Be sure to check back - next we will be going over Exercise and what is it's equal Christian experience. You won't want to miss it. :O)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Goal Setting and Assignments

My Sister and I have been going to a Diabetes workshop the last two weeks and have 4 more weeks to go. Each week we get a home work assignment. For this assignment we are to think of a goal that we would like to set for the upcoming week. This goal needs to be something not only achievable, but also action specific. And the following questions need to be answered: What? How much? When? How often? We also need to state our confidence level of a 7 or above.

My first goal -
What? to keep a food journal.
 How much? for a majority of my meals.
When? as soon after meal or by the end of the day.
How often? at least 5 days of the week.

The reason I choose this goal is because I wanted to see what I was eating and to be able to see if I needed to add more variety.

Well I gained some important insights from this assignment. First I learned that I did need to make sure to add a bit more variety and add things like beans and a few different veggies. I was also reminded of the importance of making healthy choices.

The surprising thing I learned actually happened yesterday morning. My battery went out on Sunday and so on Monday my son was going to take me to Walmart to get a new battery(by the way - a money saving tip - we went to Auto Zone first and the battery would have been almost 200.00. I got one at Walmart for $120.00. So shop around) Anyway it turned out that he was going to get here earlier than I had anticipated and so I ended up having to get a bowl of cereal(not a healthy breakfast for sure and you will see why soon) After we got back from getting the battery. It seemed like gradually I felt more depressed and discouraged than usual. Since I have hurt my knee I have had to take it easy - which means not doing my exercise program. I have been handling it pretty well- except yesterday it really seemed to get me down. I felt emotionally raw.
Just a plug for exercising- some awesome benefits that I have noticed and have missed.
*Exercising helps you sleep better
*Exercising helps your bodily functions happen more regularly, if you know what I mean
*Exercising gives you endorphins and helps you be happier and have a more positive outlook
*Exercise also helps you lose weight easier when paired with a healthy lifestyle

As the day progressed - I felt more discouraged, sad and down. I had a much harder time picking healthy things to eat and ate more than I needed to. This morning as I was trying to figure out why yesterday had been such a rough day for me - I then remembered that I had only eaten cereal for breakfast. Normally I eat at least 2-3 servings of fruit, some steel cut oats, homemade wheat toast, and a handful of almonds. This is a much more substantial meal and lasts a much longer time. In fact, in my diabetic workshop last week we had learned that when you eat cereal and milk - it is a whole lot of carbs and not the kind of thing that works well with your blood sugar. SO I now realize that I need to make sure that I eat a healthier breakfast- it really makes a difference for the rest of the day. This was a reminder on a small scale - but what I would like to remember and want you all to remember is that when we live a healthier lifestyle - we feel better - our bodies feel better. When we don't - we suffer. And all of those unhealthy things as much as they may appeal to our appetites will not help us feel better- in fact, it is quite the opposite. So if you want some of those not so healthy things- maybe just allow yourself something special after you have eaten a good meal. So that the healthy things you are eating way out weigh the unhealthy things. I know I am going to be doing a better job of making sure that I get good meals. I handle the entire day better when I do. :O)