This week’s challenge: Make the better choice more often.
At first glance, when Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:27 (NLT) “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should”, it seems that he is referring to inflicting pain on the body. Taking a closer look, we learn that he is not talking about physical pain at all but rather developing the mental and emotional fortitude to control his appetites and passions. This is no easy task.
Scientists estimate that you and I are faced with about 35,000 choices per day. Researchers at Cornell University believe that over 200 of those choices are about food. Yikes! How in the world can we decide on a single path in the face of all of these options and often despite our feelings and emotions?
I believe that our challenge in these tempting situations is to think beyond the moment. We can do this by asking ourselves one simple question:
Will I be happy with the outcome of this decision?
The Bottom Line:
What feels good in the moment rarely feels good down the road. Skipping the workout or indulging in the treat satisfies our immediate need but often robs of what we want most. Can I get a witness?
This week, let us ask God for the wisdom and discipline to make the better choice more often. We will not always get it right. We are on a journey with God; change is a process. BUT every time we make the better choice we get a little stronger and a little closer to becoming the man or woman we have always wanted to be.
Be encouraged and talk soon,
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” ~Matthew 19:26 (NIV)
This week’s challenge: Believe it's possible!
Your situation may look bad. You may feel like giving up. Friends and family may be all out of words of consolation. But don’t you give up! Because it IS possible.
Your "it" can be anything...
A broken marriage
A troubled career
A business on the verge of bankruptcy
More month than money
A sullied reputation
Or anything else that you can think of…
It doesn't matter if someone else messed up or you did...
It may look bad, really bad, but God can turn it around. There is nothing too hard for God!
How do I know? The answer is very simple actually…
If He could overcome death and the grave, surely He can handle any problem we face. If you believe that He is the risen savior, then you can have confidence – God Confidence – that He can help you overcome ANYTHING.
Keep looking up,
In 3 John 1:2, John prays that his friend would be as healthy in body as he was in spirit. Investing time in our faith walk makes us spiritually strong & empowers us to great things - not just in the spiritual realm but in the physical as well.
When our minds are full of His promises, our approach to life is different. Things that we once saw as impossible (like eating healthier & exercising regularly) become doable. So if you're having trouble sticking to your regimen, it may be time to pick up your spiritual weights (prayer & bible study). Also, add your health & fitness goals to your prayer list.
Pray for strength not only to make a change but to stick to it. Remember, there is nothing too big or small for Him.
Until next time,
If you find that you are consistently not getting in your meal planning and workouts it is probably NOT a question of desire. No, you WANT to adopt a healthy lifestyle and receive all the benefits that come along with it…
• Balanced blood sugar and insulin levels (no more Metformin)
• Increased good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol (bye bye Atorvastatin)
• Blood pressure naturally decreases (we are through Zofenopril)
• Improved memory and less brain fog (so that you sound as brilliant when you open your mouth as you do in your head)
• Increased energy levels (to do the things you WANT to do, not just what you have to do)
• Higher quality and longer restorative sleep (so that you go to bed with satisfaction and wake up with determination)
• Decreased anxiety and mood swings (so that somebody loves you besides your momma and daddy 😊).
Oh yeah, and the benefit of maintaining a healthy weight so that you no longer FEEL…
• Out of place when you walk into a room of “movers and shakers”
• Self-conscious when you apply for jobs or are in intimate situations
• Like your life is a car spinning out of control
• Afraid that you are getting to a point where it is too far gone and too little too late
• Scared beyond words of dying early (and knowing that there was something that you could have done to stop it)
No, it is not an issue of desire, but of PRIORITIZATION.
We are constantly taught to value other’s needs - at work, at home, and in ministry - above our own and while I agree that we have a duty – an obligation – to show the love of Christ – I do not believe that the message is ALWAYS put yourself last on the list. That was NOT Jesus’ example.
Jesus did a lot of traveling. He taught. He preached. He healed. He responded to the crowds with compassion.
He delegated (to the disciples), told people no or wait, took time to get away and pray, and at times, told the crowds to go away!
We must stop seeing self-care as self-ish because when we believe it is selfish to take care of ourselves, we will not prioritize the things that nourish us.
So please, take some time for yourself this weekend. Do something YOU want to do for you. Whether it’s getting in a workout, picking up some fruits and veggies, sleeping in, having extended prayer and devotion, or spending some time in the great outdoors, put yourself at the top of your to-do list for once, okay?
Trust, I needed the reminder just as much as you. I too am a #workinprogress.
Until next time,
If you are not driving, I want you to take a moment and close your eyes.
Are your eyes closed? Okay good.
Now I want you to imagine, to get a mental picture in your head of the car you’ve always wanted but can’t quite afford yet. Your DREAM car!
Imagine that the exact model you want with all of the bells and whistles is on the lot right now and God has blessed you tremendously. You are in the office signing the paperwork and the best part is… You’re paying CASH!
Now imagine yourself getting into that car as an owner for the first time.
How does it feel?
How do you feel?
You are loving it right!
Alright now imagine a few days have passed and you’ve been all over the place because you LOVE your new car. It’s time to get some gas.
You pull into your gas station of choice, figure out what side of the car the tank is on and park your brand new luxury machine!
You get out of the car and walk up to the pump and there are three choices 87 regular, 89 mid grade and 93 premium. You remember that the sales person warned you that this very expensive vehicle you purchased runs best on 93 gas. In fact, if you use anything else it may affect your brand new ride’s performance.
Alright, you may open your eyes.
I have a question for you…What kind of gas did you put in your new ride?
Now of course I don’t know this for sure, but I’m guessing you chose 93 right? Why? Because you LOVE, adore and appreciate your new car! Right? And because you value it and the investment you made in it, the work the manufacturer did to design it, so that it looks and performs exactly like you like it, you treat it a certain way right?!
I am also guessing that there are other things would you do to take care of your dream car besides put quality gas in it? You know, things like getting the oil changed on time, taking it for scheduled maintenance checks, etc. Right?
I want you to challenge you to see the parallels between the analogy and your health and wholeness journey. Now instead of BMW, Mercedes, Lexus or Acura, God is the manufacturer of this top of the line, luxury, dream machine AKA your body. How proud he must have been in his creation! He was intricately involved he was in its design.
Unlike his other creations detailed in Genesis we are the ONLY creation that he touched. Genesis 2:7 recounts “Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man's nostrils, and the man became a living person.” He SPOKE everything else into existence and NONE of the other creations were made in his image. You are special, and just like Lexus and Acura beam with pride each time a new model comes out, God beams with every child that is born. To Him, you are a priceless creation!
Now, with this new found perspective of how WONDERFUL you are – how God sees you…
Until next time,
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself."
~Matthew 22:36-39 (NLT)
Happy Wednesday !
I am sure when you read this passage of scripture you get the “the love the Lord your God” part and the “love your neighbor" part but did you notice that this scripture challenges us to love ourselves?
I know that is not how this passage is typically taught. I am often challenged on this statement. The argument most often is that we do not need to worry about loving ourselves because humans are inherently selfish. But here's the thing: selfishness is NOT self-love so when I say that this scripture is teaching us an important principle about self-love, I am not talking about being selfish.
Here is what I believe: Jesus wants us to love others in the same way that He does - an agape kind of love. From what I have studied, agape love is not about putting everyone else's needs ahead of yours to the point of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. Nor is agape love is not about stroking egos, making people feel good or giving them everything they want (and feeling guilty when you don't or can't).
Agape love is the love that Christ demonstrated towards us, a love that prioritizes what is good for the person and their development, not what feels good. He does not always give us what we want and as my mom is famous for saying "He prioritizes our character over our comfort." If that is true, (I see countless examples in my life and I am sure you do too), then loving others properly - in a way that furthers God's plan for their life - requires that I learn to love myself in the same way. You see, we can only give what we have. If I have an unhealthy view of self-love (i.e. selfishness or completely selfless), the love I give to others will be unhealthy too.
Just like Algebra must precede Calculus, you must learn to love yourself before you can properly love others. That means learning to do what is in your ultimate best interest even when it does not feel good or is inconvenient. When you can do that, you will love others in that way and:
You see, having goals, speaking up for yourself, and knowing what you need to do to be successful is not selfish and always pushing your goals to the side for others is not healthy. In Christian circles, it is easy to deem selflessness as the ultimate form of kindness, but that is not what Jesus modeled for us.
So I challenge the assertion that in order to be a "good Christian" we have to run around like a chicken with our heads cut off meeting other people's needs and always sacrificing our own. Now, hopefully, you do too.
Again, I'm not here to throw shade. I am on a journey with God too. You pray for me and I'll pray for you.
Until next time,
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Every year the church that I attend adopts a theme and a few years ago the theme was “healthy & whole.”
Prior this theme being introduced by our pastor, I hadn’t really thought much about the difference between the two words. But there IS a distinct difference.
Health is defined as the absence of illness, disease or injury. Synonyms include well-being, good shape, strength, vigor, wellness, and one of my personal favorites, fitness. One can be healthy and not be whole.
While there have been great strides in my spiritual, physical, and emotional health, I must confess that I am still on the journey to wholeness. Why do I say that? Well…
If you were to look up whole in the dictionary you’d find that whole is an adjective or descriptive word.
The whole truth and nothing but the truth.
You'd have to know the whole story.
It seems the whole weight loss company is a sham.
In each of these examples, whole speaks to all of it or the entire thing.
Synonyms: complete, full, unabridged, and uncut
A secondary definition in an unbroken or undamaged state; in one piece.
Synonyms: intact, in one piece, unmarked, perfect
Antonyms: fragmented, halfway
So I say that I am still on the journey to wholeness because there are still areas of my life that are a work in progress. I have a feeling I’m not the only one that lives on incomplete street…
• We’re a rock star at work but to meet deadlines we eat poorly and don’t exercise and that “success” ends up costing us our health.
• Our ministry is growing by leaps and bounds but our relationships are falling apart.
• In public we seem like the life of the party but behind closed doors we cry ourselves to sleep at night.
• We’re succeeding at taking care of others but failing miserably at taking care of ourselves.
The Whole Truth is that we’re so busy going and doing, that we spend very little time being. We are not in touch with who we really are, what we are feeling, or what we are missing.
But today, you landed here because God wants YOU healthy AND whole.
John 10: 10 the New International Version reads “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Full, if you’ll remember, is a synonym for whole.
What does a full life look like? I believe it is one where we…
Today I challenge you to do 3 things:
That last part is so important because it’s easy to rush out and put together a plan of action without consulting Him. But Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us…
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Family, you don’t have to stay where you are. You CAN change. Ask Him to show you the way. A healthy and whole life awaits.
Until next time,
This is one of my favorite coffee mugs because it reminds me that my journey doesn’t have to be perfect... and that’s an important thing for you to keep top of mind because NO ONE is perfect.
My pastor recently preached a sermon that reminded us that God doesn’t expect us to be perfect but rather to be faithful. I was so struck by that statement that I took the time to look up the word...
true, devoted, staunch, implies qualities of stability, dependability, and devotion and steadfast fidelity to whatever one is bound to by a pledge, duty, or obligation.
Today I ask you to reflect:
Are you being FAITHFUL to your dream to become healthy and whole?
Again that doesn't mean that your journey has been perfect. Faithful is falling down and getting back up, faithful is refusing to quit, faithful is putting one step in front of the other and never giving up.
The bottom line:
Setbacks are a part of the journey. What separates those who succeed from those who don't is mindset. Successful people don't allow themselves to stay stuck because their dream will not let them quit. That is faithfulness at its finest!
Are you still in it to win it? On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your faithfulness to your dream of being healthy and fit?
Until next time,
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
~1 Thessalonians 5:18
I do not know about you, but executing 1 Thessalonians 5:18 is a challenge for me. It is easy to be thankful when life is good and you feel great about your progress in your journey to health and wholeness. It is a whole ‘nother story when everything seems to be crumbling and your progress is hit and miss.
The good news is we are on a journey with God. He knows we will not get it right every day. But because He loves us, He sends us reminders like this one to get us back on course.
Today, I am sharing one of my favorite poems on attitude. It is my go to when I know I need an attitude adjustment and sometimes I read it “just in case” I do but do not realize it :). I pray it is a blessing to you.
I am your master...
I can make you rise or fall.
I can make you
a success or failure.
I can work for or against you.
I control your
feelings and actions.
I can make your
heart sing with happiness.
I can make you
wretched, dejected, or morbid.
I can make you
angry and resentful.
I can make you lonely,
discouraged or depressed.
I can make you sick, listless.
I can be a shackle,
heavy and burdensome.
I can be a prism's hue,
dancing bright and colorful.
I can be nurtured and
grown to be beautiful.
I can never be removed,
I am your attitude!
Could making an attitude adjustment towards your work, family, or personal life positively influence your eating and exercise goals?
Until next time,
“Sometimes you just need to take a deep breath to get through the day, and know that better days will come.”
The book of Genesis introduces us to Joseph. Joseph had a dream; two actually. In both dreams, it was clear that he would be a prestigious leader and rule over his brothers – something the brothers just couldn’t seem to accept. They already hated Joseph because he was their father’s favorite and this just added fuel to the fire. They plotted to kill him and a series of unfortunate events was put into action. First, Joseph is put in a pit by his brothers, then they decide to sell him for 20 pieces of silver (the equivalent of $200 in today’s money). What a turn of events, the boy who dreamed that he would rule over others is now a slave!
Despite the rough start, things do start looking up in Genesis 39:2-4. It reads:
2 The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. 3 When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did. 4 Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.
As life would have it though, things get worse before they get better. Just when it seems like things are turning around for Joseph, he experiences yet another setback. Potiphar’s wife makes a pass at him. Joseph acts with integrity and refuses to sleep with her. And what is his reward? The wife accuses him of attempted rape and Joseph is put in prison. If there was such a thing as bad luck, it would seem the Joseph had it!
In the midst of it all, I still believe that Joseph held on to that dream in his heart. He still believed that greater was coming. Do YOU still believe that greater is coming???
Somehow, someway after what seems like several more episodes of the old soap opera “As the World Turns” Joseph does finally find himself in a position of authority not only of his brothers and father but an entire people.
In Genesis 41: 40 it reads...
“You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”
Family, his dream WAS realized it was only a matter of timing.
Today, I stopped by to remind you that delay does NOT mean denial.
There are more chapters in your book. Greater IS coming!
The rest is still unwritten...The story is not yet complete. Don’t get discouraged by what you see or don’t see on the scale, in your bank account, in your relationships, or in your spiritual life.
Take your bookmark out of that "failure" chapter and flip the page!!! I don't care what it looks like, I don't care what that inner voice says, I don't care what "they" said or did, The Voice says Greater IS coming.
Just like favor was with Joseph in an unfair situation, God’s favor is with you in the midst of your struggle.
It’s just a detour.
This is just preparation.
You’ve got more in you.
Keep the faith!
Greater is coming, just you wait and see.
Have a great week.
P.S. Need more support like this in your journey to health and wholeness? Click here.
coach tam's Blog
40-something who loves food, fitness, and fun!