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Monday, December 19, 2011
Faith, Hope and Love
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)
Faith is the belief in things not seen. You may believe in certain things although you’ve never seen them. It is not a “religious” thing, it is confidence or trust in something without proof.
For example, when you board an airplane, you believe that it will lift up in the air and take you to your desired destination. Yes, you may have worries or fears, but you put your faith in the aircrafts, the pilots and the laws of science. There may be turbulence along the way, your faith may be shaken, but you get to your destination safely. You didn’t need to know how the airplane works, how it can maintain altitude despite its weight and so on. You just need to get on board with a clear decision of where you wanted to go.
Hope is the feeling that gives your spirit life. Hope is something that you can give to yourself and others as well. By tapping in to the internal spirit, you can bring great rewards to your life and to the lives of others. Hope fuels your dreams and creates great vision.
Those without hope fall prey to depression, anxiety and anger. To “have hope” is not to own or possess something tangible; it is an emotion and a mindset that gives perspective to your life’s potential.
Love is more difficult to explain, as it is often confused with emotions such as lust and desire. It is not a physical act, but can influence our actions.
One way I can explain this so that most people can relate is in the love for a child, or the love that a pet may give its owner. It creates the greatest bond between one living being and another.
“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails…”
Very few relationships can be truly founded in love. That of a parent and child, husband and wife and even a pet and owner can be examples of such love. Most times love is confused with feelings such as lust or desire, even greed and possessiveness.
“For God so loved the world (You and Me-not the planet Earth)
That he gave (sacrificed)
His one and only son (himself incarnate; a piece of himself)
That whoever believes in him (God)
Shall not perish (be dead to God)
But have eternal life (your soul will dwell with God forever)
The greatest gift of all time is Jesus. There is no other display of love that can compare.
Just for a moment, imagine giving your only child to a gang of murderers or thieves, knowing that your child will endure great suffering, but also knowing that the sacrifice will free millions from dying.
How Great is His Love for You?
The scenario I painted above is one that even I could not fathom. I would protect my child with everything I have in me.
We hear stories all the time of great sacrifice and time after time we weep for the lost.
How great is His love for you?
Without faith, there is no confidence or trust.
Without hope, there is no vision for the future.
But without Love, there is nothing at all. He gave his Son, in love, so that we may have everything:
faith, hope and love.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Lose Weight Now with These Tips
Often times that resolution has dissolved within a few short weeks. What one has to do is resolve to a lifestyle change in order to see results long-term.
Most people look at me and think I am “skinny.” Once they find out I have 5 children, then their eyes pop out of their heads and they really say, “no way, you are so skinny!”
Thing is, being skinny doesn’t always mean you are healthy.
And, over the years, I have learned how to ‘hide’ my belly, flabby arms and love-handles. Yet, as 40 approaches, I know deep down that I need to change my lifestyle and get HEALTHY, not just SKINNY. I know that I want to lose weight NOW!
This sat with me all morning as I sipped my light & sweet coffee and ate my greasy scrambled eggs. I reflected on my mom…who I resemble in many ways…and considered the health challenges she faces.
I thought about the sore throat I have and the head cold that never went away completely, from 6 weeks ago. And, I knew, I had to make a change; I had to lose weight NOW! And, that’s the hardest part…deciding to make a change. Second hardest part is the following through!
Over the years, I have studied (and tried) various diets and meal plans. What I want to share with you are some tips that I’ve implemented, to help you
lose weight NOW. These tips are common in most meal plans and diets and will help you.
Here are some simple steps to help you start to lose weight right now.
1. Increase your water intake to about 100 ounces per 24 hours.
2. Replace snacks in the home with fruits and vegetables (finger food size).
3. Clean out your refrigerator, freezer and cupboard---get rid of anything that is fatty, sugary, artificially enhanced. If it is still fresh, unopened, etc. donate it to a local foodbank so it is not wasted.
4. Gradually replace “bad” foods with good foods. For example replace white potatoes with sweet potatoes. Replace white sugar with a natural sweetner like honey or agave. It takes time to adjust to the flavor, so do it by 25% every few servings. Start with 75% old and 25% new, then 50% of old and new, move to 75% new and 25% old and then 100% new!
5. Shop with a list and stick to it! Don’t ever go to the food store hungry, either. Just make a list of what you need for the week and only buy what is on the list.
6. Become a label-reader. Make sure what you buy is low in sodium and sugars and high in fiber and protein. Keep in mind most packaged food has a lot of preservatives to make it last longer, so the numbers are going to be HIGH.
7. Do not drink “diet” sodas or juices. I am not a nutritionist or physician, but the studies are conflicting as to whether they are safe or not. Drink unsweetened beverages and add your own sweetener. And just a point to make…products with aspartame always include a warning now… and to me, that is a BIG RED FLAG! Even gum isn’t “safe” anymore. Ask my kids, I won’t let them have it since every label I’ve read (so far) has the warning on it.
8. Eat more! Silly, right? Actually, the body seems to prefer 6 meals a day as opposed to 3. Have 3 meals and 3 snacks every day. This will keep you nourished, energized and feeling “full” easier, yet still help you to lose weight now.
9. Fill up! Before large meals, have 8+ ounces of water or similar beverage. Have a small salad or healthy soup before the meal. Ever go to a restaurant and have salad and/or soup and by time the entrée came around, you couldn’t finish? ;)
10. Exercise every day. Even if it is just a walk around the block, or the perimeter of your office building. Just do something every single day to get your body moving. Why every day? Because if you don’t allow “off” days, you are more likely to get the new habit established.
For many people, these steps are rather easy, but they need more. Either a support system or an accountability partner. For a system to help you lose weight now - I would suggest finding a weight-loss program that suits your needs. This way you can receive immediate support, guidance and mentoring as well as long-term lifestyle results as you transform your body.
Another way to lose weight now is to add meal replacement shakes in to your daily menu. There are many on the market, so look for one that has a track record of producing results. The cost varies, depending on your weight loss and fitness goals. And, in some cases there are incentives to share the products and company with others that can help you get financially fit as well.
I wish you great success as you begin to lose weight now!Blessings,
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Power of Words
There is great power in the words that you hear, read and speak to others and yourself. I had a friend who was battling depression. I knew that she needed to read something that encouraged her. I shared with her the power of her words.
See, without getting in to the science of it, there is something absolutely amazing about words. Most of us deal with the darkness of words, without realizing that just by changing what we expose ourselves to; we can shine a vast light in to our lives. If someone asks how you are doing, does it not feel wrong to say “fine” when you know you are not? However, if you answered, “blessed” is that not true? Does that not completely turn around your attitude?
When I was growing up, my father often said my mother or my brother had “sh*t for brains” and even though he never said it to me directly, I felt hurt by it. As an adult, I’ve decided to choose my words carefully; to think before speaking and to apologize if out of line. By no means am I perfect, but I remember the effect my father’s phrase has on my family. In fact, I refused to call him by name, “Dad”, because I learned how powerful our words are, and although that was mean-spirited of me, I was not mature enough to forgive him.
Today, I carefully watch what I allow to infiltrate my ears, my eyes and my heart. I do not watch the news, reality shows or the like. I do not listen to crappy music about sex, drugs and death. I do not read the newspaper and only on occasion an online news article. WHY? Because these words have power to influence me and I choose not to allow bad influences in to my head.
Although this is not intended to be about religion, because I am not religious, I do highly encourage you to consider Godly influence. I read my bible and devotionals by Pastors around the world. I do listen to Contemporary Christian music. I surround myself with people who encourage me, lift me up and have the highest integrity. From the darkest place, Jesus is always my light. There is hope in Him. This is where I gain my greatest perspective.
YOU were put on this earth to SHINE.
YOU are here to live a life of abundance and prosperity.
YOU ARE LOVED.
YOU ARE NEEDED.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
YOU ARE PRECIOUS.
YOU ARE BLESSED.
YOU ARE A BLESSING.
YOU ARE MORE THAN GOOD ENOUGH.
How do those WORDS make you feel?
READ THEM AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN.
They are the Truth.
They are your Light in the darkness.
Now, go out there and share them with someone else… cause there IS someone out there that needs these words.
I blog because I want to encourage, equip and EMPOWER other people to live the life that God had intended for them! It is what I do...who I am...what motivates me to write.