God’s Original Plan

Have you ever looked at a beautiful picture which relects nature and wished you could live there?

When God created the earth, He did not intend for us to live in a cramped city environment. Our bodies were created to be in motion, and consume a plant based diet. Because we have not followed His plan, we suffer with many diseases of the mind and body.

When is the last time you heard the birds sing or enjoy a refreshing gentle breeze? When have your children or grandchildren been able to run on grass, pick flowers, or enjoy a camping trip?

It’s never too late for change. Many questions may come to your mind mostly involving finances. If pure country living is part of God’s original plan, won’t He provide for you to make the transition? I am praying for Divine Intervention for all of us. I prefer the melodious singing of birds as opposed to the sound of screeching police sirens.

Dear God, please give us the desire to live as you intended for us to live. Amen

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

All the Wrong Choices

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself. 1 Corinthians 6:19 NLT

The Epistle of John includes recognition of the importance of good health: “Beloved, I pray that in every way you may prosper and enjoy good health, as your soul also prospers. 3 John 1:2

As I reflected on my historical battle with food, my dilemma began in childhood. The maternal side of my genealogy included an acquired taste for fried foods, gravies, unclean meats, and rich desserts. As a result, our family history includes Heart disease, Hypertension, Diabetes, and Kidney problems. The majority of our family has one of the previously mentioned diagnoses, and is carrying the above recommended weight, even including a morbid obesity status.

The struggle is real. However, God promises us that He will provide a way out of temptation. Yesterday, I was invited to dine at Olive Garden. Although, this would never be my personal restaurant of choice; I acquiesced to please one of our elderly church Mothers. When I looked at the menu, my brain initiated the “get that food right now” process. My mouth watered as I looked at the enticing pictures of pastas ( heavily laden) with creamy sauces and mountains of cheese. Then God provided my way out. I began to look at the high calorie counts which included a high sodium and fat content(not listed on their menu-already prepared foods are high in fat and sodium) which would use up my weekly allocation. I ordered a vegetable flatbread which included unlimited salad. I strategized by heaping a large portion of salad on my plate and allowed myself only one of the scrumptious breadsticks. My downfall was the after dinner chocolate mints which I ate and enjoyed.

I am not fooling myself nor am I placing myself in a self-righteous mindset. My victory from making poor food choices is a daily struggle. I pray constantly to overcome the demon of appetite. However, I believe that I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. The journey to optimal health continues, but, it requires active and willful participation.

The benefits that I have received from sacrificing:

1. 40 lb weight loss

2. Energy to maintain an active lifestyle.

3. Change in my outlook on life: no more negativity.

4. Most importantly, I have the desire to study God’s Word, and pray for guidance before making any decision.

When I do what is expected, God will lead me to the path of victory. I am grateful that He will never fail.

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

Like Unto Leaven

Amazing Facts Devotional for June 10,2018

Ave

rage reading time is about 2 minute(s)
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3:8

The apostle Paul, writing by the Holy Spirit, says, ‘God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.’ Ephesians 2:4-8.

The leaven hidden in the flour works invisibly to bring the whole mass under its leavening process; so the leaven of truth works secretly, silently, steadily, to transform the soul. The natural inclinations are softened and subdued. New thoughts, new feelings, new motives, are implanted. A new standard of character is set up–the life of Christ. The mind is changed; the faculties are roused to action in new lines. Man is not endowed with new faculties, but the faculties he has are sanctified. The conscience is awakened. We are endowed with traits of character that enable us to do service for God.

Often the question arises, Why, then, are there so many, claiming to believe God’s word, in whom there is not seen a reformation in words, in spirit, and in character? Why are there so many who cannot bear opposition to their purposes and plans, who manifest an unholy temper, and whose words are harsh, overbearing, and passionate? There is seen in their lives the same love of self, the same selfish indulgence, the same temper and hasty speech, that is seen in the life of the worldling.

There is the same sensitive pride, the same yielding to natural inclination, the same perversity of character, as if the truth were wholly unknown to them. The reason is that they are not converted. They have not hidden the leaven of truth in the heart. It has not had opportunity to do its work. Their natural and cultivated tendencies to evil have not been submitted to its transforming power. Their lives reveal the absence of the grace of Christ, an unbelief in His power to transform the character.


Still waiting for transformation?

Sonya Johnson Ruiz

The Power of Rejoicing

Practical Messages for Impractical Times

Around midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! Acts 16: 25-26

Throughout the bible, God instructs his people to be filled with joy and to rejoice. We are to stop worrying, ask God in faith for what we need, and rejoice (by claiming and believing) that he will do exactly what he said he will do.

Philippians 4:4-7 (NLT) says:

4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Yesterday at church, I looked at many sorrowful faces sitting in the pews. Are our minds so bogged down with problems, that even in church, we are unable to let go, and embrace the never-ending love of our Creator?

So, how do we begin to receive the joy that God intended for us to have?

1. Develop a spirit of thanksgiving. Thanking God throughout the day for all blessings helps to keep our mind spiritually connected.
2. We are a beacon of light. Believing Christians are to express their happiness, and demonstrate to the world the inner peace that only comes from God, by smiling. In fact, your smile is a living testimony to others.
3. Watch your words! Stating positive words of encouragement, and praising God for his continuous grace and mercy, empowers us to overcome the toughest situations.
4. Read your bible. God has given us many practical examples in the Word. Do as Paul and Silas did; pray, and sing. Listen to spiritually uplifting music. God will deliver us.
5. Minimize the number of interactions with people who always focus on their problems. Unless it is your gift of ministry, most individuals are unable to maintain their own joy, when they allow others to bombard them with ongoing problems.

It is a personal choice to “always be full of joy in the Lord.” I encourage you to develop a daily plan on how to retrieve the joy, and happiness that God desires for you to possess. Praise the Lord! I am alive! I have one more day. I just can’t stop praising his name! Jesus!

Sonya Johnson Ruiz