Posted on August 29, 2019
Physical health and wellness alone do not lead to happiness. The Bible warns us not to worship idols. Idols, by definition, are anything that we place above or before God. Wellness and the many categories of it that are marketed to us by modern society can easily take a front row seat in our lives. It doesn’t seem like a bad thing to put a priority on our health but bowing to our flesh is dangerous. Even when we aim at wellness and physical fitness.
Wellness is “the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as a result of a deliberate effort.” In the medical world, wellness is coined as the “approach to health care that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life, as opposed to emphasizing treating diseases.” Seeking medical professionals to treat or prevent disease isn’t unbiblical, nor is opting for preventable health care, but placing any of this before God definitely is.
The following warning signs may alert us to lopsided priorities in caring for our physical health and wellness.
Posted on August 27, 2019
Food is a common disguise for contentment. Whether we over-indulgently seek comfort by splurging, or restrict caloric intake to feel in control, it’s easier to blame what we eat for our problems than to dig past the surface of what ails us.
God provided food in the Garden of Eden, in the desert to the Israelites, to a crowd with two fish and five loaves, and He provides for us today. As Creator of humankind, we can take solace in the fact that He knows how our minds work. Lean into Him to live well-fed.
Father, Praise You for nutrition. From the first spark of humanity, You provided perfectly for us. In the desert, You fed Your people. “Miraculously, each person and each family—regardless of how much they gathered—had exactly what they needed.” (Exodus 16:18b -VOICE) Though our meals do not drop out of the sky, we can trust You to feed us.
Thank You for sending Jesus to earth! He understands the temptation of food for he was tempted by the devil in the desert while starving. He is a compassionate friend, hands outstretched to us, as we struggle in the skin of our humanity.
There are so many that are starving, too hungry to taste food as they focus on surviving each day. Uphold their spirits as they wait on You, Lord, for Your perfect provision. Comfort their hearts and strengthen them. Help us to enjoy food despite the stark reality of so many starving people. Help us to trust You, and be to be ready and willing to help when and how we can.
Posted on August 15, 2019
“Why does it have always have to be like this?” whined my eight-year-old daughter. Both of my daughters react the same way to each act of differential sibling discipline, unfair choice made, or anything else that pops up on the elementary-aged “no-fair” radar.
We’ve all been on the other end of a question that we have absolutely no idea how we’re supposed to answer, let alone on a kid-appropriate level. Or, caught ourselves dead in our tracks over-explaining our reasoning to the children we are in charge of. Spiritual preparedness is the only key to responding to the wacky, weary, and out-of-bound inquiries pint-sized people ask.
Here are a few actions to find the right answers.
1. Think about it.
“ Think before you speak…” (Ecclesiastes 5:2)
I’ve often felt privy to share my abundance of knowledge on a subject in question, especially to the audience of my own children, only to realize as it left my lips that the message was probably for me. I’ll then regret not examining my own thoughts before I let them escape into thin, unprepared, air.
A little time to think allows us to craft the answer our children are after. (And let’s be honest; sometimes we need space to take a breath while rational thought is restored.) A bit of time may be all you need.
Posted on August 13, 2019
Why do we let waves of fear swamp our lives, instead of dropping to our knees in prayer? Why does anxiety continue to crush us, when all we have to do is look up? Jesus has already cleared a path for us to talk to God, but we often continue to struggle within our own minds for solutions to life’s problems. Weave prayer into the natural inclination to solve problems by surrendering what ails us to our God. He promises to hear us, defend us, and loves us… through it all. It’s that simple.
1. Open yourself up to worship with music.
“Let them sing joyful praises forever.” (Psalm 5:11)
Because of Jesus’ victory, we can sing praise at all times. Prayer doesn’t have to be hard. Sometimes, it starts with a song. Music can quickly take over the melody of our hearts and the frame of our minds. Listen to the Christian station or singing a favorite old church hymn or song. God works through those melodies to connect us to Him. Music has always been a way to express emotion we cannot put into words, and it’s an excellent way to reflect in prayer.
2. Look for evidence of God working in your life.
“Remember what I have told you.” (Matthew 28:7)
This verse was part of the frantic realization that Jesus had risen from the dead. In remembering the instructions they were given, their minds and hearts must have been flooded with the statements Jesus had uttered as they walk alongside Him during His ministry on this earth. Looking back to remember, they began to see Him more clearly.
Posted on July 23, 2019
“It is by grace we have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:5)
Many of us feel the tight bonds of our budget each month. How do we have faiththat God will provide for us when we’re struggling to keep our lights on, gas in our car, and our growing children in clothes that fit? What about the ache to reach out to others when we lack the means to do it, or having to tell our kids they can’t join their peers because the budget is maxed out?
Every day we debate ourselves over what to spend our money on. When the incorrect choices we make affect our family, friends, and responsibilities, we can turn to God in prayer… trusting that He is not waiting to mound a side of guilt on top of our conviction. He is waiting help us and guide us… even through the mistakes we continue to struggle with. Use this prayer to confess your challenges with money and ask for God’s help and wisdom!
Father, praise You for saving us by Your indisputable grace. Nothing trumps Your just and loving hand. No poor decision we make, irresponsible purchase, or insurmountable debt can separate us from Your love.
Paul reminds us in Ephesians that there isn’t anything we can do to gain or lose our salvation. The freedom Christ won us on the cross is what it is. Nothing we do or say can add or subtract from His sacrifice… or from who He is