Over the last few weeks, various members of my family have come down with some congestion, a sore throat, runny nose, etc. And in full disclosure, it likely all started with me back in November, when I’d finished an intense travel season and my body was tired and run down. So it’s highly probable that my family caught the crud from me.
I think this idea of being contagious rings true in lots of ways. For example, I’ve noticed that hurt people often hurt people. To this end, hurt can be contagious particularly when there’s an absence of forgiveness. On the positive side, let’s stay committed to genuine love because there’s a good chance that genuine love is also contagious. Indeed, I think we are the most healthy when we receive and express genuine love 🙂
Recently, my kids picked up a congestion bug and they’ve been hacking along the phlegm spectrum. This started with one of my boys and the other two caught this bug. In the last several days, I have felt some of these symptoms trying to creep into my breathing, so I’ve been vigilante to take extra vitamins and drink more water.
Usually, we don’t think of things that are contagious in very positive ways. We don’t want to “catch” the cold, flu, yellow fever, etc. But let’s also consider that sometimes, we can also “catch” another person’s insecurity, fear, arrogance and other such distasteful traits. Instead, let’s make intentional decisions to be gracious, patient, compassionate, gentle, truthful (Fruits of the Spirit) and just maybe other people will “catch” some healthy traits for our communications and relationships! Let’s allow Holy Spirit to work life and health into our souls so that we are contagions of genuine love!
I grew up eating crawdads / crawfish & I really enjoyed them! There was a canal behind my house where my dad & used a big net to scoop up heaps of crawfish, cart them home & cook them up. Boy were they tasty!
But here’s the rub: crawdads are bottom feeders, so they eat the garbage at the bottom of lakes & canals, making them inherently unhealthy.
Sometimes what is tasty to our flesh is unhealthy to our spirit & we have to make wise choices about what we allow to come into our hearts & minds. Let’s be determined to set our minds above & not allow our minds to become bottom feeding trash consumers 🙂
There’s loads of emphasis on making healthy choices, particularly with our eating, exercise & uses of time & money. I’m continually coaching my kids to Mae healthy choices & I’m abundantly clear that God coaches me along these lines as well. Here are some specific areas for making healthy choices:
Advocate or Accuse: let’s be aware that accusing is what the devil does & advocating is what the Holy Spirit does. Which choice is your natural default?
Convict or Condemn: condemning is when there’s a dead end & no hope to change, grown or improve – everything the devil works to accomplish. Conviction happens when the Holy Spirit speaks in our hearts about something that’s wrong, endeavoring to help us change.
Truth Or Lie: Jesus says in John 8:44 that the devil’s natural language is lying but a few chapters later, Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the Spirit of Truth. If we tolerate white lies or incremental truths we need to consider if we are listening to the devil more than the Holy Spirit :!
I’m a reader & I read a wide array of books on a plethora of topics. So here’s a good one that’s uber practical for your body, soul & spirit: 30 Day Faith Detox.
I’m recommending this book because there’s not a single reader of this blog who doesn’t need some help in all three of these areas. I’m also recommending this book because it’s practical, holistic, easy to read & implement. So grab a copy today!
This morning I read in Luke about a blind guy who was yelling for Jesus. After the blind guy was persistent, Jesus stopped & asked him what he wanted. Of course Jesus knew that the guy was blind, but He waited for the man to express what he wanted.
This has started me thinking about what I want & this truth: if I get what I want from Jesus, I will need to change my behavior. This is often a bigger deal than what we realize. Being healed means that we must act differently. We can’t be healed & continue to behave in the same dysfunctional & broken routines.
Being healed means that we live more wholly & make choices that are healthy & life giving – and this takes courage. Not only do I want to be well, but I also want the courage to live well.
I recently had a birthday & it was AWESOME!! I loved all the kind thoughts, quality time & fun gifts – all very wonderful!
But today is a different day & could have some interesting challenges. You & I have days of joy, stressful days & days with surprises, good & bad.
Regardless of what happens or doesn’t happen on any given day, let’s keep the mindset that today is the day that the Lord has made, a divine gift with abundant opportunities to see / experience God’s presence in a myriad of ways. May your day be overflowing with awareness that God deeply loves & cares for you 24/7 🙂
Today is the day that God has made so let’s decide to rejoice & be grateful!
A few years ago, one of my kids had food poisoning from some black beans they ate causing them to puke at 1:30a on our white carpet. Clearly, this was a rude awakening & I’d prefer to keep these kinds of events at a minimum – smile. To this end, we’ve avoided eating black beans at a certain unnamed restaurant.
What we eat has an impact on our digestive system & what we allow into our thoughts has an impact on our mental health. Garbage in = garbage out. Let’s make sure we pay attention to what we think about, making sure that the Bible takes preeminence with our thoughts. To be healthy in our thoughts, let’s keep the Bible as our central hub 🙂
This past weekend, my husband & I attended a marriage retreat. Truthfully, I loath these kinds of things. I don’t like having relationship stuff discussed in such a public forum, it makes me uncomfortable & twitchy. But we all do things that we know to be good for us, even when we don’t like it (eating kale, jogging, going to bed on time, etc).
Relationships can be challenging & being married can be outright arduous. Here are some takeaways I gained from this weekend, relevant not only to marriages but to relationships in general:
winning an argument often means that relationship loses
forgiveness is essential & trust is earned
love is doing what’s in the best interests of the other person even when it’s difficult for me
being safe in a relationship requires communication & attention
This is a blog to honor my friend Kim, with whom I had an awesome chat last night. Kim is an entirely amazing person, nurse, mom, wife, COO & all around very groovy chick. We were chatting about a few ailments & she said something really insightful, “Sometimes healing hurts.” To which I immediately replied, “blech”. But she’s right.
Healing can hurt sometimes:
*healing in our bodies causes us to use muscles & functions that have been broken
*healing in our emotions can require us to correct & untwist dysfunctional mindsets & behaviors
*healing in our hearts causes us to walk in uncomfortable dependence on the Lover of our hearts
Let the healing process move forward with wholehearted engagement 🙂
There is lots of talk about being healthy with our eating, exercise, sleep, etc. Personally, I can get overwhelmed with all of the info & trends flying around so I thought I’d make an EXTREMELY short list of essentials:
Physical body: drink primarily water & eat fresh
Relationships: forgive & forgive some more
Spiritual: daily Bible time, prayer & community / church
What else would you suggest?
Thanks for the input 🙂
There was a chick in Jesus’ life who was very edgy (actually, most of the women that we read about who interacted w Jesus were pretty edgy for their day). This chick had an extremely severe health need & her problem had lasted 12years & only continued to deteriorate despite spending lots of time & money on doctors & various remedies, all to no avail. Her situation was extremely sad not only because of the horrible health problem, but her problem was exacerbated because under Jewish law, she was forbidden to be in public bc of her health problem.
She took a life threatening risk to go out in public & secretly touch the hem of Jesus’ robe – risky.
The conclusion of her risky faith is that she was healed – but here’s the part that really grabs me: Jesus didn’t allow her healing to remain a secret. He called her out to make her healing publicly known – that she was well & could therefore have normal public interactions & restored relationships. Whatever we allow to come into Jesus’ presence gets improved, restored, healed & redeemed 🙂
This has been a fairly crazy year for me with travel, particularly during the 1st half of the year. As a result, it has come to my attention that I’ve put on a few pounds (did you like how I suddenly got formal? smile). Thankfully, no one has made any overtly rude comments or observations, but I can most definitely tell a difference with my clothes. So I’m getting my rear in gear to see what great things can happen from endeavoring to get back into shape 🙂
In order to be more fit, to be stronger & more healthy, I have to put some work into these areas – a truth that can apply to every area in our lives. Discipline, effort, work & committment can have some very glorious results in our lives, particularly when we join with God’s grace & power working in our lives. Without some effort & engagement I can quickly get flabby – just a little food for thought ,)
I’ve been home for 2 days from my Saving Moses trip to South Sudan & we have a mouse in the pantry – probably more than one. My husband and 2 sons spent the morning clearing everything out to see if they could figure out what the mouse has been eating & they found a few culprits: peanuts, dried coconut & probably a few other items. So they’ve resealed everything, put most of it in tupperware & have set out some traps so hopefully the mouse conundrum has been resolved because mice are a nuisance & can become dangerous.
Sometimes, I think that we let little things eat away at us on the inside – small fears, insecurities, negative memories, past failures, . . . . . While these things can be annoying, if we’re not careful, they can become deadly if we don’t do some soul cleaning from time to time, to get rid of the riff raff. So let’s take a few moments this day to do a quick inventory & see if there are some parasites & pests who have been gnawing on your soul & then do some prayer to give these things to Jesus & receive His peace and wholeness in exchange 🙂
It seems to me that Spring is a very popular season – we like it for the newness of life, for the conclusion of winter, for the longer days and for a host of other reasons. My kids particularly like it because it’s the time when they get to celebrate the conclusion of another school year 🙂
During this Spring, I’ve noticed that many of the trees in our neighborhood are starting to blossom and they’re very beautiful! As I was thinking about how beautiful these blossoms are, I was reminded about seeing a team of men who were pruning the trees about a month ago, at the very tail end of Winter. The best blossoms happen after winter and some healthy pruning 🙂
I grew up as a pastor’s kid & there were lots of positive things about that – people seemed to be extra nice, they’d give me more candy, I had the privilege of meeting some really cool people, etc. One thing that is tricky for every pastor’s kid (and probably for everyone on the planet) is the idea of living up to someone else’s expectations & then dealing the the fallout from someone’s disappointment. This is a difficult path to navigate for anyone, despite their age, background or experience. But here’s my sense on this topic: lots of people have lots of different expectations of me. Some of these expectations are sensible and some are silly. At the end of the day, when the dust settles, the one I most want to please is Jesus Christ and He already thinks I’m really cool. So with this in mind, I know that I will disappoint people from time to time & I won’t meet everyone’s expectations, nor should I. But I want to live to bring my Savior fame, pleasure & honor – all very noble, healthy & constructive goals 🙂
Maybe I’m a social anomaly, but from time to time, I have some struggles with friendships – thankfully, the older I get the less frequent these struggles seem to be, I think. Nevertheless, it seems to me that there are a few essential ingredients for healthy friendships (as with all things, the best source for the pure, organic & untainted source for these ingredients comes from cultivating a rich, deep & surrendered relationship with the Triune God):
extract of high quality forgiveness
a robust stick of faithfulness – substituting frequency with faithfulness doesn’t work 🙂
several “ouches” of humility – ounces are too small ,)
a generous helping of humor – mostly with ourselves
a pound of patience is certainly very helpful 🙂
an infinite supply of genuine love – only available from our Heavenly Father, don’t substitute generic love as it will ruin the recipe
I’m sure I’ve missed some key ingredients, so I’d LOVE to get your input & of course, please feel free to add some spices, flavoring for sweet or savory ,)
While today is Thanksgiving in America & many of us will be consuming high volumes of calories in all kinds of different ways & at all times, I’m remembering that the fundamental purpose of eating is to provide energy. Ultimately, I eat so I can work, function & be productive.
Let’s remember in our high calorie consumption today that we must never neglect to feed our hearts. Indeed, an emaciated heart is unable to live out the purpose for which it was created. Heart food can include prayer, the Bible, spiritual fellowship, some solitude & pause. May your Thanksgiving be truly full of joy in all ways 🙂
Today we had the privilege of meeting some really great & totally fun pre-schoolers, as well as some great moms looking after their babies who we are helping. One of the things that I’m wrestling with is the moms that I’m meeting who have lost babies. The majority of the moms whom I’ve met have lost anywhere from 3-10 babies. When I began to discover this, it simply takes my breath away because I can’t imagine how a mom processes such losses. When you meet the majority of these moms, you wouldn’t know that they’ve endured such tragedies. So as we are now taking a bit of a drive, I’m writing this blog & trying to talk w God about this and to let the Trinity help my heart. I will think & pray for a bit now.
This summer I’ve been grilling lots more than a normal Summer, probably because we didn’t really turn on the air con for the Summer. Consequently, I’m more interested in keeping the heat outside rather than raising the heat inside 🙂
Nonetheless, I thought I’d pass along some thoughts & a few little recipes from the grill:
chix breasts – marinade in italian salad dressing overnight if possible & grill (very tastey). This idea also works well w skewers
grilled peaches, but not so whippy on the grilled apples; the peaches are nice w balsamic vinegar, but the apples I’ve got to work on & figure out how to improve
veggies – any & all; I tried grilled beets last night & they weren’t too bad; all with olive oil & salt
garlic – I tried grilled garlic last night (with olive oil & a touch of salt); they were ok as long as I made sure that they were really well toasted
fish – my weak spot is that I can overcook the fish & make it dry
flank steak – again marinated in salad dressing & grilled to medium rare
pork chops marinated in soy (tastey)
Things I’ve thought about grilling, but decided to forego: celery, lettuce, carrots, avocados, cucumbers & eggplant.
One of my kids favorite things to do with my husband when the coals are pretty spent is to whip out the skewers, grill some marshmellows & make smores.
Can you please help me with some more ideas? As you can see, I’ll try just about anything – very few things are too zany for us ,)