We Can Control What We Put Into Our MouthsThere are a lot of things that we cannot control in life. We cannot control the weather, the air that we breathe and we can’t control the people around us. But we can control what we put into our mouths. Many people don’t realize today the reason they don’t feel well and the reason they don’t have any energy. They’re dealing with headaches and allergies and sometimes even more serious, chronic illnesses, simply because of what they’re putting into their system everyday.
And a lot of times, we’re praying for God to give us a miracle. “God, I don’t feel well.” “God, I need more energy.” And “God, take away these headaches. ”
Well, we really don’t need a miracle; we need a lifestyle change. We need to develop better habits to take care of our temple.
One expert said, the food in America was designed to sustain life but it was not designed to sustain health.
A hundred years ago, we didn’t have the heart disease and the cancer that we have today. What’s changed? Our diet. We live off of much more processed, refined foods; foods that have chemicals and preservatives to make them last longer but they’re not necessarily good for us.
We’ve developed bad habits of eating junk foods, eating too much food, and not drinking enough water. All of these things can be harmful to us.
We can learn a lot about the benefits from healthy eating from Daniel in the Bible. He knew the importance of eating a healthy diet. When he was a young man, just a teenager, the king in that region told the officials to go find the strongest, healthiest, most intelligent young men to serve in the king’s court. And Daniel was chosen. The officials were instructed to feed these young men with the king’s rich, fancy foods and to give them plenty of wine. The king wanted them to be the strongest and healthiest as they possibly could be.
But Daniel was a breed apart. He served God with his whole heart. Because he knew some of those foods had been offered up to idols and knew many of them were not good for him, he told the official, “I don’t want to eat this food. Just give me fresh vegetables and water.”
The official didn’t know what to think. Finally, he said, “All right Daniel, we’ll let you try this for a little while. But in a few days, we’re going to see how you compare to these other young men.”
Ten days later, the Bible says, Daniel was stronger, healthier, and he ended up 10 times smarter than the other young men. Yes, he had God’s blessings and favor but he was also putting the right fuels into his temple. While the other guys were eating their donuts, and candy bars and junk food, Daniel was filling up on nutritious foods.
I wonder how much smarter we would be if we’d just start eating the right foods? I wonder how much more creative, more energetic, and more productive we’d be if we’d eliminate a few of the sugars and instead, start eating more fruit. Or, if we’d start snacking on nuts and raisins and give up some of the colas and candy bars. It worked for Daniel. I bet it’d work for us.
I read about a small group of islands called Micronesia, over in the Pacific Ocean, not too far from the Philippines. For hundreds of years, this one particular island was inhabited by natives. They ate the traditional Polynesian diet: fruits and vegetables, coconuts and fresh fish. And as you can imagine, their health was extremely well. Very rarely did they have any kind of sickness and disease.
But after World War II, they discovered that the land was rich in phosphates and all kinds of minerals. So these big companies from the West came over and started to harvest the minerals, causing the people to become extremely wealthy. So much so, they quit farming. They quit fishing. They no longer had to rely on their natural sources for their food, the land and the sea. They started importing canned foods, frozen dinners, bakery items, colas, and candy bars from all over the world. They were on cloud nine.
They replaced their fruits and vegetables with desserts and bakery items. White flour and sugar filled products became the main source for food. And as you guessed it, their health began to severely decline. They started seeing diseases that they have never seen before: heart disease, cancers, and tumors. Do you know today, sadly, one in three people on that little island suffer from diabetes. What’s the difference? Obviously what they’re eating. And the only way to reverse a curse like that is to go back to the source and start eating more healthy.
Decide today to take care of your temple. Don’t put things in that you know shouldn’t be in. Limit the sugars. Limit the caffeine. Drink more water. Eat more fruits and vegetables and don’t live off of these packaged lunchmeats. Eat more organic when you can. More baked and less fried.
I don’t know about you, but I need all the help I can get! I don’t want to get stagnant in life. I don’t want to come to a peak in my intelligence or a peak in my creativity just because I’m not putting the right nutrition in. I don’t want to be an old man falling apart. I want to be like Caleb; at eighty years old, and be able to say, “God, give me another mountain. Give me something else to do.”
I want you to be the happiest, healthiest, most prosperous people around. But you’ve got to do your part. Discipline yourself to make healthy choices. You may be fine now, but if you’re abusing your body later on it’s going to catch up to you.
That’s my prayer for each one of you. You can become all God’s created you to be. If you will make choices for your health and start developing better eating habits, then you’ll be just like Daniel and you’ll get stronger, healthier and wiser. You’ll even be better looking!
Don’t Be Limited By a Lack of Faith
ARTICLE YOU CAN LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE NOW
ARTICLE YOU CAN LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE NOW
That’s all it took. The woman nearly bubbled over. “How nice of you to ask! I’m doing great. I am so blessed!”
The clerk looked at the woman quizzically for a moment and then said, “Let me ask you a question. Do you go to Lakewood Church?”
“Why, yes I do. How did you guess?”
The clerk shook her head and smiled, “I should have known. Everybody that comes in here like you is from Lakewood.”
What a great compliment! That’s the way it should be. God’s people should be the happiest people on earth. So happy, in fact, that other people notice. Why? Because we not only have a fabulous future, we can enjoy life today!
Living your best life now means being excited about the life God has given you. It means believing for more good things in the days ahead, while living in the moment and enjoying it to the hilt.
Too often, we get comfortable with where we are in life and use that as an excuse to remain in mediocrity. “My parents were poor,” we say with a pout. “Before them, my grandparents were poor. Nobody in my family has ever amounted to much, so I guess I won’t either.”
Don’t believe that lie. My dad came from the poorest of families. His parents were cotton farmers, and they lost everything in the Great Depression. My grandmother worked 14 to 15 hours a day washing people’s clothes, earning 10 cents an hour.
They were good people, but nobody in our family line had ever amounted to much, living instead under a curse of poverty and defeat. Then one day, at age 17, my dad committed his life to Christ, and God put a dream in his heart to preach.
Certainly, the odds were against him. But God is not limited by our environment, family background or present circumstances. God is limited only by our lack of faith.
I’m so thankful that Daddy didn’t listen to all the naysayers. He believed that God had more in store for him than staying home and picking cotton. And because he stayed focused on his dream and was willing to step out in faith, he broke that curse of poverty. Now, my siblings and I, and our children, grandchildren, even our great-grandchildren, are all going to experience more of the goodness of God.
Let me challenge you to believe for more. Don’t travel the road for the next 50 years and be at the same place you’re at today.
Maybe you came from a family like my dad’s, where they didn’t have much. Perhaps you hail from a long line of divorce, failure, depression or mediocrity. You need to say, “Enough is enough. I’m going to start believing God for bigger and better things.”
That was the attitude of Phyllis, one of our members at Lakewood. When Phyllis was 16 years old, she got pregnant and had to leave high school. Her dreams were shattered. She rented a cramped, small apartment in which to live and raise her son, eventually going on welfare.
But finally Phyllis said, “I refuse to pass this lifestyle down to my children. I’m going to be the person God wants me to be.” She got rid of all thoughts of defeat and failure and started expecting the supernatural favor of God. She did her part, and God did His.
Phyllis got a job at a school cafeteria collecting kids’ meal tickets. The job paid minimum wage, and Phyllis was thankful for it. But she wasn’t satisfied, believing that God had better things in store. She went back to school for her high-school diploma. But still, she wasn’t satisfied.
So, after working all day, she began attending college at night. In four years, she graduated with honors, then returned for her master’s degree.
Today, Phyllis is reaping the rewards of that effort. She’s not on welfare anymore; she is a principal in that same school district where she used to collect the meal tickets. She, too, broke the curse of poverty in her family.
You can do something similar. Dream bigger dreams. God wants to do more than you can even ask or think. Start living your best life now!
“Yes, but Joel, it’s been a rough year. I’ve gone through so many disappointments. I’ve lost a lot of good things.”
Maybe so, but have you considered this: If it were not for the goodness of God, you might have lost it all. Why not be grateful for what you have? Quit looking at what’s wrong and start thanking God for what’s right. Get up each day expecting God’s favor.
This could be the day you get your miracle. The day you meet the person of your dreams. The day your child returns home. That’s how you stay enthusiastic, even in tough time: You stay filled with hope.
“What if I do all that and nothing happens?” I hear you saying. “I’ll go to bed all discouraged, another disappointment.”
No, you can go to bed saying, God, even though it didn’t happen today, I’m still believing for good things in my life, knowing that I’m one day closer to a breakthrough.
Friend, no matter what you’ve been through, no matter whose fault it was, no matter how impossible your situation may look, the good news is that God wants to turn it around and restore what has been stolen from you. Most of all, He wants to restore your relationship with Him.
God doesn’t want you simply to feel a little better for a few days. No, God is in the long-term restoration business. He doesn’t want you simply to survive that marriage. He wants to turn it around and restore to you a strong, healthy relationship. God doesn’t want your business to merely make it through the murky economic waters. He wants your business to excel!
Start expecting things to change in your favor. It’s your faith that activates the power of God. Remember, if you obey God and are willing to trust Him, you will have the best this life has to offer — and more. You can start living your best life now.