2023: Invest in Your Health

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 1:2

Today I researched holistic health strategies as related to achieving the wellness of optimal health. Did you know that home cooking your food is the number one preventative against poor health?

For many, cooking involves the use of air fryers and microwaves. Yet, cooking on a stove and using a conventional oven allows one to receive the highest level of nutrients for digestion and assimilation on a cellular level in the human body.

What are the guidelines for choosing healthy foods? Moderate in calories, low salt, low fat, and no processed sugars. 2,000 calories per day should provide necessary nutrients for the average adult.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are the building blocks for maintaining a Be Ready Stay Ready Immune System. The colors green, orange, red, yellow, and purple should be consumed daily. Complex carbohydrates along with adequate protein from legumes, fish, and poultry will leave you energetic and change your perception of life in general.

Be creative. Personally, I do not care for one pot meals. Who says our plate has to be limited to only three varieties of food?

Healthy eating is part of having a healthy lifestyle. It is not a diet. Your mind and tastebuds require retraining to achieve optimal health.

Change is intentional. A healthy lifestyle requires an alteration in our thought processes along with strategic planning. Because our choice of food is from learned behaviors, we require Divine Intervention to change from eating foods that supply little nutrients.

Our health is of the utmost concern to God. Throughout Jesus’ ministry on earth, He healed many who had mental, emotional, and physical illnesses. When we consume foods based on taste or habits our bodies will fail us by succumbing to chronic diseases. We were created in God’s image to live long, productive, joyous lives.

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19

Involve God in your desire to take care of your temple. Pray for help! Develop your goals. Purchase a journal. Eliminate time-consuming distractions. Learn your body’s rhythm. When are you hungry? Consider taking a mid-afternoon snack to work to prevent raging hunger that results in ordering fast food on the way home.

Be intentional with your food choices. Purchase your food weaknesses in smaller sizes–one pint of ice cream instead of a half gallon. Consider making your own ice cream with fruit. Shop for food on a full stomach–the junk stuff will be less appealing.

The most exciting part of pursuing optimal health is the body’s response–high energy, weight loss, mood stability, increase in mental acuity, and the overall feeling that comes from your accomplishment of loving you.

The only way for us to achieve optimal health is to lovingly care for the fearfully and wonderfully made minds and bodies gifted by our Heavenly Father.

I have achieved and maintained optimal health for two years. Go ahead! It’s a great way to live!

https://www.aetna.com/health-guide/health-benefits-of-home-cooking.html

Christian Characteristics Necessary for Life In Heaven

During every passenger plane landing, the instructions are given to prepare for landing. Because this directive may be perceived in many various ways the flight attendants give specific directions for preparation to land. They perform a final walk through to complete the pre-landing regulations before taking their seats.

Jesus has given us precepts and commands to guide us to our final destination in the New Heaven and New Earth.

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.'” –Revelation 22:20

With urgency, in Revelation chapter 22, Jesus gives us a promise that is also a warning. Three times He says, I am coming quickly. We are given a preview of heaven, we are told that the time is near, and we receive information on how to prepare by keeping His Commandments. The chapter ends with the repetitive and third promise/warning from Jesus that His coming is timely and definite.

Note: In studying the Scriptures, Jesus rarely repeated His words while ministering to others. We become aware that “I am coming quickly” is a life or death warning for us to do our part [daily preparation] if we expect to receive eternal life.

Most of us possess the skills of preparing ahead. We have our mental to-do lists and are accustomed to preparing the night before or early morning to identify and achieve daily repetitive tasks. Yet, when preparing for vacations or an intentional getaway, we use focused planning strategies. If you need some quiet time, you would not book an Airbnb in a city with never-ending noises.

How many Christians are excitedly preparing day-to-day to live eternally?

Preparation for eternal life is intentional. Every aspect of our earthly activities of daily living require heightened awareness and intentional planning. Without complete knowledge of how we use our time, distractions will prevent us from preparing for eternal life. We never fully comprehend the meaning of Jesus coming quickly because we are unaware of the shortage of time we have to get ready.

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” (Revelation 22:12).

Jesus also clarifies that we have spiritual assignments for which we will receive the reward of living with Him forever and ever. Our Heavenly reward is not given because we were dedicated employees working 40-hour work weeks that provided the necessary income to sustain our lifestyles.

The question, What did you do with your spiritual gifts that I gave you? Did you strive to live a righteous life? The conviction to remain faithful and obedient by overcoming temptations, the courage to say no to sin, [even if it means losing family and friends], and the commitment to love and put God first are righteous standards mandated by the law of God.

Use your spiritual gifts and the resources of time, effort, and money for discipleship–service to God and to others which is the work that Jesus Christ rewards. Read The Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20.

Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the changes in your lifestyle that you need to make to be ready for Jesus’ Second Coming. Live everyday with the mindset that Jesus is coming quickly! We have wasted too much time watching, listening, and doing things that do not count toward preparation for eternal life.

The Journey of Sanctification

We can only take one thing to heaven and that is our character. The Holy Spirit breathed the words of God to the apostles, Paul, James, Peter, and John of the necessary characteristics that we must have in our lives now to be holy and acceptable for life in heaven.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. –Galatians 5:22-23

Most are familiar with the righteous traits of the Fruit of the Spirit. Still, “1 Corinthians 13, Ephesians 6, Hebrews 11, James 1-2, and 1 Peter 1” also give us a foundation for possessing a Christ-like character. Sanctification, the lifelong spiritual journey of spiritual growth and development requires human effort plus Divine Intervention through Jesus Christ.

Secretly, some Christians think that striving for righteousness is overwhelming and that God has placed a burden on us to be holy.

Consider your employer who has greater demands than our Heavenly Father. You are expected to have almost 100% competency in performing your job duties, reach productivity standards, possess time management skills, complete ongoing educational trainings, and have an acceptable attendance record. Nor will you receive continuous help from management staff.

We have the Divine Intervention of the Spiritual Team of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the angels to help us every day. Doing our part requires putting God first and praying for help. Pray and Study the Bible every day. We determine our destiny!

Why is it taking so long for Jesus to come? “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” — 2 Peter 3:9

Thankfully, we have a merciful Father who patiently loves us. Even so, our lifespan remains a mystery Tomorrow is not promised to us. Prepare everyday and stay ready.

Prayer: God, we pray for ourselves today because we realize that we are not preparing for Jesus to come. Holy Spirit please reveal the obstacles in our lives that are causing roadblocks in our spiritual journey. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

The Happiness of Those Who Trust in God

Devotional Reading– The Happiness of Those Who Trust in God is available as a podcast on Spotify.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Self-reliance among post-modern Christians has escalated to an all-time high. The reality is that we are affected by the world’s environment. Satan uses the baby steps of subtle distractions to chip away at our faith and trust in God. He chooses the gateway of least resistance: avenues that produce self-trust from self-accomplishments. Our talents and careers are the paths that give us happiness. The artistic gifts that develop into a self-employment business or jobs that provide prestige and empowerment give us financial stability and usually boost our confidence and trust in ourselves.

Money is Satan’s most valuable weapon because he is an expert on human behavior. Human behavior is quite predictable when the opportunity arises for us to increase wealth. But the question remains, Who is the giver of the gift? God blesses the righteous with abundance to help their brothers and sisters in need. The great deceiver gives to those he knows will accumulate, and keep all for themselves as they watch their assets grow. How will we see the difference?

“Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers and sisters. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)

God’s blessings do not require the compromise of our morals and Christian values. Nor does He pour out blessings on those who refuse to help others. Perform a self-check to determine if you continuously bless others. Your answer will reveal who the giver is.

This is not an attack on money which remains a necessity of life. Still, Jesus says that we cannot serve two masters, either we are loyal to God or money [Matthew 6:24]. Truthfully, we feel confident, relaxed, and happy when our financial portfolio shows abundance. It is then that the Domino Effect occurs. Self-confidence produces self-reliance which produces trust in our abilities!

Satan’s goal: We feel on top of the world because all is well. We pray less, skip Bible studies, and our conversations reveal less praise for the goodness of God.

If you doubt that you trust yourself above God, perform an honest self-evaluation by reflecting on your recent thoughts and lifestyle changes. Are you focusing on yourself and future accomplishments? Are all of your activities directed toward self-gratification? Has serving God become a burden? Do you have head knowledge of the Scriptures but your once faithful dedication to Christ has slipped away?

God is aware of every temptation we face because spiritual warfare must be approved by Jesus before Satan attacks us. Remember that God placed restrictions on Satan regarding Job–“you cannot touch his life.” God knows that some of us will fail when we receive monetary blessings. Even so, as our Heavenly Father, in His infinite love and mercy, He unleashes the plan to save our souls even if it requires Him to take our blessing back.

The story was told by a faithful church member in women’s ministries whom God allowed to start her business. Within a month, her attendance at important church planning meetings declined and she began to ask other members to take her program dates because she was overwhelmed with the responsibilities of an entrepreneur. When reflecting, she confessed that it was not too much for her to operate the business, but as her bank account grew, she lost her desire to put God first.

God’s Divine Intervention: Within six months, her successful business was no more. She also lost her home and luxury vehicle. Her testimony revealed much regret. God had given her warnings through sermons and the Scriptures of misusing her blessings. No, God did not abandon her–she returned to her previous employer, participated in ride-share, and had just enough money in the bank to acquire an apartment. God used corrective action to safely guide her back to Him. She confessed that her feelings changed from humility and trust in God to pride in her accomplishments during her short bout of success.

Once we are sidetracked, sadly, we usually have to endure loss before we agree to return to God and fully trust in Him. Yet we only have to acknowledge, confess, and repent of our waywardness. In His mercy, we are completely forgiven, and our Father continues to love and diligently care for us.

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears And delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart And saves such as have a contrite spirit. (Psalm 34:15, 16, and 18)

“The Lord will work for all who put their trust in Him. Precious victories will be gained by the faithful. Precious lessons will be learned. Precious experiences will be realized.” E.G. White

We need God to give us wisdom and discernment against the spiritual warfare of self-gratification that we constantly endure. Intentional trust in God is a covenant decision that requires daily renewal. Consistent worship, praying, and studying the Bible are the spiritual weapons that shield us from losing our relationship with Christ and our protection against humanity’s greatest enemy.

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.” –Proverbs 3:7. But what do we do when we are our own enemy?

The human effort of praying and surrendering our will every day to God reveals our desire to place our complete trust and obedience in God. Humbly, ask God to search your heart. It is then that God pours out His Divine Intervention [through the Holy Spirit] to reveal the character traits of self that we need to change.

Bible Study: Psalm 34 and Proverbs 3

Prayer: God, we confess that we have lost our way by trusting in our abilities. And for this sin, we ask for forgiveness. Please search our hearts and reveal the things that we need to change. We surrender ourselves to You from this day forward. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.


Prayer Increases Faith and Courage

Devotional reading–Prayer Increases Faith and Courage is available as a podcast on Spotify

Have you ever had a life-changing decision to make that threatened your peace of mind? Or an unexpected life event that produced a financial deficit or health issue?

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow worry about itself it’s on things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34

Our average Floridian temperature in the 70s plummeted to 30 degrees on Christmas day. I had an unexpected health issue arise when I turned the heater on. Fumes and smoky residue flooded my apartment from the AC/ Heater unit triggering the smoke/ carbon monoxide detector, and I had an asthma attack immediately following.

My first response was to quickly set up my nebulizer rescue medication and open the door for the frigid fresh air to enter and clear the toxic environment. Thankfully, I was prepared with a couple of wintry throw blankets and clothing from a previous life that included winter weather.

As the tears fell from my eyes and thoughts of Christmas day being ruined, I began to pray, God, help me. From my short, desperate prayer, I received immediate comfort from the Holy Spirit. But then something unusual happened I had increased mental and emotional strength. The air cleared, the smoke alarm stopped, and my small backup tower electric heater began blowing hot air.

But most importantly, my respiratory system reached homeostasis. I whispered another prayer of thankfulness because God’s Divine Intervention took control and safely guided me through and out of harm’s way.

Every one of us faces unexpected daily challenges that can bring chaos and despair. Changing our response to include God in every aspect of our everyday troubles–great or small builds our faith and gives us a habit of relying on God’s Divine Intervention to help us in every trial.

Forming the habit of consistent prayer changes our perception and awareness that God is an Awesome Heavenly Father. Our minds transition from innate weakness to one of strength and courage. No, we do not let pride give us false confidence in our own abilities, we build a love-trust-dependent relationship with God who is always faithful.

“Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

As Christian believers, we have 24/7 access to the Throne of Grace. Head knowledge of the Scriptures is not enough. Our dependency on God is evidence of a heart-to-heart relationship with His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. We are preparing now for an eternal life of worship based on the love and faith we possessed in our earthly lives.

Bible Study: Matthew chapter 6

Prayer: God, we are thankful for Your faithfulness. We pray for a closer relationship with Jesus based on faith, trust, obedience, and active communication through daily prayer and study of the Scriptures. Thank You for Your love and Divine Intervention that is always available. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.