Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Total “Body” Cleanse

For several weeks my house has been bugging me.  I got behind on the laundry, which put me behind on vacuuming, which put me behind on the bathrooms, etc, etc, etc!  I felt frustrated and angry about the way my house was looking.  It felt like a giant snow-ball that was unstoppable!  Then I realized that all my anger, frustration, and sense of hopelessness were really my own doing.  So this morning I had  had enough. I rolled up my sleeves and did a top to bottom house cleaning.  Laundry, bathrooms, floors, all done!  I even cleaned out the coffee-pot, the fridge, and kitchen cabinets.  Now I sit in my living room for my “quiet-time” and feel at peace.  It is finished!  As always, the Lord used the physical to teach me a spiritual lesson.

When our literal homes are in upheaval, it affects us emotionally. It’s the same with our physical body.  When our body is polluted on the inside we also feel sick, sluggish, depressed, etc.  Our physical body becomes polluted when our diet consists of fast-food, processed foods, sodas, chips, candy and so on.  The inside becomes a sticky mess.  If this is the case then it’s time to “clean house”!  The only way to clean the body properly is to eat the real foods that God created.  Wash out the sugar and soda with purified water.  Deep scrub the fat off of your arteries with whole-grains and legumes.  Fight inflammation and infection with lots of fresh fruits and veggies.  Just as you feel so much better once your literal house is clean, I PROMISE you will feel so much better when your body gets a good cleaning too!

Now, what about the spirit-man (woman)?  In Jewish homes, just before Passover, the family cleans every bit of leaven (representing sin) out of the home.  In this process the house gets what we know today as a Spring-Cleaning.  Catholic families often do something similar during Advent.  The home is thoroughly cleaned in preparation for the coming King.  Both of these traditions are to represent repentance and cleansing from sin.  If your spiritual life is feeling sluggish you may be in need of some repentant cleansing!

So let’s say we put all of these things together to make a “Wholly-Holy” life.  What if you plan a day to really clean your house?  I mean DEEP CLEAN!  As you clean you don’t miss a thing.  That’s right, even the base boards and under the couch cushions!  As you do this you ask the Lord to show you any hidden sin in your life that needs to be cleaned up.  Use this time to allow Him to speak to your heart.  Now, when you reach your kitchen why not look for all of the junk that is polluting your body (His Temple) and be gone with it!  Dump those dead Oreo cookies and replace them with some life giving blueberries. 

You will be amazed at how good it feels to have a clean home, a clean body, and a clean spirit!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Name your many diets

Name your many diets; count them one by one.  I’m serious!  I want you to make a list of every diet you have been on since Jr. High School.  Now, ask yourself why none of them have worked.  I know none of them have worked because if they had, then why have you been on so many?  Let me let you all in on a little secret.  Every one of those diets probably does work!  Jenny Craig, Weight-Watchers, Biggest-Loser, to name a few.  All of them are based on the same simple principle.  Calories in, calories out.  If you eat more than you burn, you gain weight.  If you burn more than you eat, you lose weight.  It’s not rocket science.  So looking at your long list of diet mishaps, why are you still overweight?

I am sure you are ready for me to answer that question but the truth is, I can’t!  The answer is different for everyone.  The starting point for most everyone is the same: You have a food addiction.  The rest of the issue is for you to discover.  A food addiction is a symptom.  What is it that the addiction is feeding? (Pardon the pun!).  This is the part where you have to stop putting on a new band-aid (aka- diet) and look at the “infection” so to speak.  Ask yourself some hard questions.

#1-  When I am stressed, do I tend to binge eat?  If so, when did it start?

#2-  Do I associate food with comfort?  If so, why?

#3- Do I self-sabotage my diet because I am afraid to succeed?  If so, why do I hide behind my weight?

#4-  Do I take emotional pain to food instead of to God?

These are just a starting point to help you figure out the answer “WHY?”  If you don’t start with the root then I PROMISE your list of failed diets will grow longer and longer.  By the way, this teaching holds true with any addiction.  Smoking, alcohol, over-spending, etc, etc.  Fix the root and then you will produce good fruit in your life.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pardon My Sin

This blog may end up putting me on some peoples hit list. . .nevertheless truth must be spoken.  Recently one of my clients told me that several people at church informed her that it is not a sin to overeat.  Hmmmm.  I know, I know, this will be a touchy issue.  But let's dive in, shall we?  It seems to be human nature to want to excuse our own bad behavior while pointing out the flaws of others (myself included).  Didn't Jesus address this?  Ah yes, it was in:

Matthew 7:3- "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

Having stated that, I want to make it clear that I see many "planks" in my own life.  I do not write on this subject to excuse my own flaws.  With that out of the way, let's continue.

Gluttony is defined in scripture as a sin.  In fact, it's listed as one of the seven "deadly" sins.  I do not condemn those who are trying to overcome a food addiction.  My issue is with those who refuse to see gluttony as sin.  Those who, in fact, encourage it.  My client has struggled with a food addiction in the past.  As she is working hard to overcome this issue, shouldn't she get support from other Christians, and not told that it's okay?  What if an alcoholic was told it was not a sin to drink in excess?  "Don't worry, it's okay to get drunk at a party. . .just don't do it every day".  Isn't that the same as having a church dinner and excusing everyone to stuff themselves to the point of indigestion? 

Just as an alcoholic is harming himself due to the toxins he ingests, so is the glutton who develops II Diabetes, Heart-Disease, Lack of Mobility, etc, etc.  How can we live out the call on our life if we are killing ourselves because we can't control our appetite?  Isn't one of the fruits of the Spirit SELF CONTROL? That doesn't mean just not losing your temper.  It is control over your spirit and your body!  A hard saying, YES!  But if we sing "All to Jesus, I surrender" that even means our physical appetite.