Americans are fatter and not as active as they used to be. Two out of three are overweight or obese. As far as exercise goes, only about 1/3 exercise 3 times a week. No wonder we see the number of cases of diabetes on the rise. According to World Report, February 2009, 1/3 of our children will get diabetes. Instead we should choose to live a deliberate healthy lifestyle.
Be Watchful Not Diabetic
Normal To High Blood Sugar Levels
While a healthy lifestyle is important and maintaining proper weight is best for longevity, exercise is also a great way to increase longevity and keep you feeling good. The benefits of being physically fit far outweigh the enjoyment we have in an indulgent lifestyle.
- We are more mentally alert and able to handle stress more easily and maintain energy levels.
- We have a normal body weight which will help us to maintain a normal cholesterol and Triglyceride level.
- Our cardio, respiratory, and Immune system will keep us feeling healthy and functioning on a much higher level to reach the goals that we have in life.
There are consequences for a life of indulging. We are out of control and will eventually reap from not taking care of our bodies both inside and out. Proverbs 23:2-3 says:
-and put a knife to your throat
if you are given to appetite.
3 Do not desire his delicacies,
for they are deceptive food.
Do not be tricked into thinking that we can consume it all. In my earlier post about counting crazy carbs, I mentioned that diets are not a life style but rather a healthy lifestyle is best for longterm success in your health. Please read that to help understand what exactly what consuming too many carbs both the good ones and the bad ones can do to your body and the impact that can have on your health.
Prescription For Change- A Healthy Lifestyle
In my next post, I will share with you some scripture that I believe will help provide insight that will motivate you. I will also provide some action steps that will help you get to where you want to be.
Carbohydrates are for the body as fuel is to the car. They keep us fueled and energized. But something goes wrong when we consume too many carbohydrates. Unlike gasoline spilling out of a car when the tank is full, the carbs have no place to go. They can’t be passed from our system like grams of protein can when we consume too many. So instead of doing good in the body where they provide energy, they become stored as fat in the body. But that is a very complicated process that we don’t need to go into at length. Just trust me. We all know what happens when we eat too much. But that’s not why I write this post. The point of this post is to share exactly how I go about my day. What I eat and how I have managed to stay slim my entire life.
God has given us so many good things to eat. It’s hard for us to stay away from it. It is for me too. But we have to be counting those crazy carbs because they matter to our overall health. When we were younger we could eat just about anything that we wanted, But as we get older our metabolism slows down and we slow down. When we combine those two things working against us as well as the temptation to overeat and consume too much, we have a snowball effect. And before we know it we are packing on the fat. Around our waste, hips, thighs, neck, face, and arms. We can almost alter our entire appearance if we aren’t careful. Just imagine what we look like on the inside. Our vital organs-heart, arteries, stomach, are slowly growing unhealthy and our circulation eventually becomes poor.
What We Can Do About It
What I am recommending isn’t a diet. Diets do not work. Almost everyone that I have ever met has tried one diet or another but they fail. Why? Because as soon as we achieve our goal we go right back to where we started. Nothing changed permanently. It was just a temporary fix to a lifelong struggle. We need to be honest with with ourselves. We need a change.
What I am recommending is a lifestyle change.
Almost all of us can indulge a little bit. We succumb to temptations at parties, social gatherings etc. And that’s okay. We aren’t eating like this forever.
Counting Crazy Carbs
In one of my earlier posts, I talked about sugar and the relationship it has with cancer. Sugar plays a critical role in the amount of carbs that we take in. Sugar will rob you of your daily carb intake. Sugar takes the place of a healthy carb. Our bodies treat a carb used for energy as a carb used for energy. Would you rather bank healthy carbs such as from whole grains, fruits, and beans, instead of an empty carb like sugar? And speaking of sugar, my post about the level of sugar in sodas talks about how bad those are for you. I admit that they were very hard for me to give up. When I was a teen it wasn’t uncommon for me to drink an entire six-pack of Dr. Pepper while mowing grass as a side job in the summer. Dr. Pepper has 66 grams of sugar in a 12 ounce can. There are 9 grams of sugar in a teaspoon. Dr. Pepper contains an astounding 7.5 teaspoons of sugar. Today I am proud to say that I haven’t had any soda in over 5 years.
How To Go About It
There are too many diet plans. Let’s be honest, many of us know someone who will hop on the latest diet out there. Do any of them really work better than the one before? I am sure they do. But what really works for me and will also work for you is eating the food that God has already created. We don’t need a diet, a pill, a nutritional supplement, or even a network marketing plan company (although some have really good products and can be really good as a source of income if you work hard and do your homework.) There is nothing better than eating raw or freshly steamed vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts, and a meat source for protein. I am a firm believer in eating meat for a complete amino acid. More on that later.
Make A Commitment Today
Commit to living a healthy lifestyle. Let me ask you something. Would you prefer to live a healthier lifestyle with a high chance to live out your old age being as healthy as you can possibly be with fewer complications, -or- would you rather live it up today, eat all you want, with almost the painful certainty of many health complications in you old age? You decide the next chapter of your life. So let’s get to it!
Father Son Discipleship
What is the definition of a man? Webster’s Dictionary defines a man as an “individual human; especially : an adult male human.” But just because a man is an adult male, that really doesn’t make him a man. They may look like a man but the actions taken and maturity may not be what we would typically define as being a man. Society has this all misconfigured. There truly isn’t a real definition of a man that todays society can offer that comes close to what being a man is all about. Society tells us that “if it feels good do it’, or you can be anyone or anything that you want to be. Is this lack of vision a good fit for what God called a man to be? Is this a man defined?
Part of the problem with the lack of vision for a man defined is complex. It’s not a secret that since the late 80’s and early 90’s most families typically consists of both parents working full time daytime jobs and having very little influence in the life of their children. Usually the kids get home to an empty house and spend very little if any quality time with their parents in the evening. Parents are tired, frustrated with their events of the day, in particular with things that did not go well with their work which is preventing them from fully engaging with their kids. Most character flaws they see in their kids are either ignored, or simply go unnoticed by their parents. Kids sometimes feel as though they are talking to a blank screen. “Are you listening?” “Do you even care?” they wonder.
Fathers Make Sacrifices
Another thing that makes a man defined so complex is divorced parents, and unfortunately divorce continues to rise. I personally had divorced parents. And unfortunately as a christian man, I have seen several of my close christian friends go through a divorce as well. Parents do not develop meaningful relationships with their kids the way that they used to let alone with one another. The family unit begins to dissolve. Parents don’t communicate with one another and grow more distant. Lack of time spent together or pressure from everything else around them adds to the aggravation. A simple life. A less complicated life. A better life would be preferred now.
Communication, time spent together, dinner at the table, loving on one another, nurturing each another, building each other up, has all been traded in for a dream. A dream of having success, stuff, and a status symbol. Parents are both headed off in this direction too often. This selfishness spells departure from our traditional family and values. Sons are left to pick themselves up and define manhood all on their own. He has no accountability, no responsibility, no work ethic, and he cowers into his electronic devices as an easy escape from reality. Divorce means boys spending no time with their father, all their free time with mainly their mother, (no knock on moms or daughters), hastens the ability for him to know who he is and what manhood is all about. He will learn it from the world and his peers.
This isn’t what God had planned. A man defined is way more meaningful than this. If you feel as though you are headed in this direction keep reading…
A few years ago I took a Bible Study Class called Raising A Modern Day Knight. I highly recommend that you read this book, watch the DVDs and take the 6 week class. It will change your life with your spouse, with your son, and change your perspective on a lot things in your life for the better. It’s an excellent course for men with young boys and will give great wisdom that will help and encourage men to be intentional about raising sons that not only have great values, but who are confident in who they are as God intended them to be. You will be able to understand the four principles that define a man and grow in understanding how to apply them in your life and the life of your son.
I have been following these principles with my son and he knows by heart the four principles that define a man. They are:
- A man rejects passivity
- Accepts responsibility
- Leads courageously
- Expects the greater reward
As a father, I am often tempted to be passive, irresponsible, or even worry and be fearful of the future. The author Robert Lewis shares that we often times as fathers fail our sons in teaching them about God and His plan for their lives. Teaching them to obey God, and that God has a work for them to do (vocation), and that God also has a woman for us to love (eventually for them). We can model this in our own lives. And while we are going through these things as fathers we can share real life stories with our sons. Being real is to show how God has gotten us through them, and will bring more father son bonding than we ever imagined. Fathers, don’t be afraid to be humble and show your son how to humble himself through your example.
Many fathers invest in their sons for things that don’t matter. Their career is important but not while bringing our sons up with no moral conviction. What good would it do for them to become successful if they become corrupt in their married life and/or also in their vocation? By teaching our sons these Biblical teachings we are discipling them into manhood. Start them young as the course teaches as a Page, and then a Squire, and then finally into Manhood- The Ceremonial Knighting of our sons. It’s never too late for a father to teach these principles to his son. This is man defined. This is finishing strong!
Remember dads, if you don’t raise your sons to manhood… the world will. -Dennis Rainey
Many have heard that cancer feeds on sugar. Is that true?
While it does not cause cancer, it can certainly add to your waste line. Adding to your waste line can cause health problems that lead up to cancer. So yes, in a way sugar can lead to cancer.
Being overweight or obese puts you at a higher risk for cancer and many other ailments such as diabetes and heart disease.
Avoiding sugar altogether is not absolutely necessary say the experts at MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Your body uses sugar for functioning. But there is a differences in a little sugar and a lot. Managing the daily intake is a critical component to how you feel and you overall long term good health. Unhealthy weight gain is derived in part by consuming too much it and refined carbohydrates, which turn to sugar in the bloodstream as well.
What Are The Right Amounts Of Sugar
How much is safe to eat? Women should have no more than six teaspoons per day (25 grams), and men should have no more than nine teaspoons per day (37 grams), says the American Heart Association. This equals to about 100 calories for women and 150 for men.
Most Americans however, do not limit the intake according to these guidelines. Most really have no idea how much that they take in. On average, we consume 20 tsp per day which equates to around 250 cups or 120 lbs of sugar per year, per person. source (MD Anderson Cancer Center)
We should consider anything that we eat to have sugar and we need to know how much. Just 4 grams of sugar equals 1 tsp of sugar. A can of soda contains around 36-40 grams of sugar or 9-10 tsp. That is already double the recommended amount. When children have a full can of soda, imagine just how much that is to their bodies. Canned and processed foods need to be brought into the picture such as jarred spaghetti sauces or processed meats.
Read The Product Label
If the first word in the ingredients label says sugar, put it back. Unless you just want the sugar.
Some of the sweet stuff even though it may not have sugar as the first ingredient listed, there are other names for it such as:
- lactose (natural sugar from milk)
- fructose (natural sugar from fruits)
- maltose (sugar made from grain)
- dextrose (form of glucose)
- glucose (simple sugar, product of photosynthesis)
- sucrose (made from fructose and glucose)
These all count towards the daily sugar intake recommended.
Honey, molasses maple syrup, and agave are full of antioxidants that can help fight the free radicals in the body and are sugars that are released into the bloodstream much slower. This gives a more sustained energy level rather than the peak and lull from a sugar rush.
Above all, you should avoid the artificial sweeteners that are so attractive.
Although there is no direct link in the cancer sugar relationship, being intentional about your intake of sugar on a daily basis can you are much more likely to keep your recommended weight for your body frame.
What are the perfect snacks to eat for optimum health and wellness?
There is much temptation when walking down the grocery isle to grab things that look good at the time. Be warned…if you go shopping while hungry and without a purpose, you will buy exactly the opposite of what you should. This is never good for a healthy lifestyle. It requires more than this on a consistent basis to help you in your overall health goals.
Make a list of food that you have chosen for your lifestyle not what will satisfy your taste buds. Remember that dieting does not work. You will need to commit to the lifestyle you chose for health and wellness. So, before you get in the car to head off to the grocer, make a list of healthful and beneficial foods that fit in with your life style.
Good Guidelines To Live By
According to the American Cancer Society a perfect snacks are those with between 100-200 calories and includes a PROTEIN + UNREFINED CARBOHYDRATE.
This makes for an excellent food marriage which keeps you feeling fuller longer. Not only that, but it is very nutritious.
Take a look at the guidelines from the American Cancer Society guidelines. It is recommended that eating a healthy snack every few hours helps to fight off cancer. Who would have thought of it.
No longer do you have to wait to eat every six hours as we all were originally taught. But now the recommended snack time is MUCH better for you. You think, “no wonder I was always grabbing what was around me. I was truly hungry with no nutrition around.” Just refined carbs and refined sugars. That didn’t help with your lifestyle goals at all.
You can feel confident in this chart. It is a great way to feeling refreshed, well nourished, and feeling empowered to live a healthy lifestyle to maximize your energy levels.
If you would like to make a donation to the American Cancer Society to get a free copy of this PDF go to the American Cancer Society website and for a minimum donation of $10.00 you can download your copay today.
Cancer Is 90 Percent Avoidable
Cancer is Catastrophic. Period.
As a current health and wellness coach and former oncology sales specialist for a major fortune 50 company, over the years I have learned a great deal about cancer, cancer treatment, and also the major cause of cancer.
What was surprising to me and I think that you will will be surprised as well, was the fact that 90% of all cancers on average are caused by external environment. (American Cancer Society.)
What does this mean?
It means that only about 10% of cancer cases are linked directly to genetics. These types of cancer are the hereditary type.
Wow! That is astonishing news.
What would be even more amazing is if we all took action on this fact and did something about it.
What can we all do?
For starters, when we raise our children from a young age, we need to make them very aware of the facts of cancer. This will empower them to treat their bodies in the best possible way for the best possible outcome in the prevention of cancer later in life.
As for you and me it’s still not too late. There are many things that we can do to live a healthier lifestyle and still decrease our chances of getting this catastrophic disease.
Cancer: How To Decrease Your
Chances Of Getting It
- Do Not Smoke. Period. And when you are around other people do your best to try not to breath in the second hand smoke. I can detect cigarette smoke from about a block away. Yuck! Avoid cancer by not smoking and avoid inhaling second hand smoke.
- Do not drink. Drinking although wine may have it’s health benefits, can cause liver damage. Did you know that drinking one beer is equivalent to eating eight slices of bread. Woe! That’s a lot of carbs beer belly! Avoid cancer of the liver by not consuming too much alcohol.
- Avoid Sun Exposure. The sun’s radiation not only is damaging to our skin, but the majority of melanomas and other types of skin cancer comes late in life. Not only will your skin look and feel old, but your risks of skin cancer or much greater when you have had a high exposure to UVA and UVB from the sun. Wear sunblock, wear protective clothing such as hats, scarfs, and sunglasses. Avoid those cancer causing UV rays!
- Avoid household chemicals. It is amazing that their are so many toxins in and around the home. And by no means should you ever freeze anything in plastic or microwave in plastic. This releases chemicals into the food that you are going to ingest! Avoid cancer causing household chemicals.
- Avoid Pesticides. Avoid cancer causing pesticides.There are numerous ways to get rid of bugs the safe way. It’s always best to eliminate in the yard which will prevent them from coming in the home. If you have to, just spray thr outside of the home, but never inside.
- Avoid Industrial Chemicals. Avoid cancer causing toxins. Did you know that you are exposed to industrial strength chemicals at least once per week? When you put gas in your car, you are at risk of consuming a toxin that gets into your lungs and easily seeps into the skin. Fortunately, our body’s immune system can fight off the carcinogens most of the time. But if it happens often enough, cancer cells can began to spread. Try your best to minimize exposure by wearing gloves, protective clothing, and a respirator anytime you are around these substances.
- Eat Organic. It may be more costly, but these days you can never be too careful. Pesticides run rampant in some countries. It’s always best to eat organic, but if you cannot, then try to selective your food choices and beware of the country of it’s origin. Do they have tight regulations on pesticides? Avoiding pesticides by eating organic helps cut down on your cancer risks.
- Avoid GMO’s. GMO or Genetically Modified Organism, has been restructured and altered the DNA of the food. It started in the seed and has helped the farmer to have a more robust crop. Corn and many other foods are genetically modified. Look for the label of disclaimer. GMO’s can cause many illnesses in my opinion that many will deny. Avoiding GMO’s can help prevent illnesses that can lead to cancer.
- Get Plenty Of Exercise. Science has proven that increased exercise helps prevent heart disease and that it also improves the immune system. Forget the diets that never work. Nine out of ten people will end up right back where they started. Remember that your overall health and wellness depends on a lifestyle change. If you can’t do it, get a health and wellness life coach. They are specifically trained to help you overcome the triggers to eating unhealthy and binging. This helps prevent cancer too.
- Get Plenty of Rest. Helps Prevent Cancer. Forget what most say about the number of hours of recommended sleep needed per night. Get to know your own body. I agree that everyone should get at least 6 hours of sleep per night. Some may need more. Everyone is different. The main thing here is not to get so sleep deprived that you compromise on your health. That’s when you immune system is affected. Lack of sleep over a prolonged period of time weakens the immune function and your body systems from digestive to circulatory do not operate properly.
Although there is no guarantee, it is best to maximize your chances of contracting cancer by living by these guidelines.
Remember that early detection of cancer is a critical key in cancer survival. So be sure to get your check ups and cancer screening required at the recommended time.
Faith in action. Sometimes it’s tough. These days as I sit and have my quiet time in the morning, I think about my faith a lot.
Having a near death experience, not knowing whether or not I would make it out of the surgery alive, has made me that way.
Each day that my feet hit the floor, I thank God immensely for the time that I have been given.
I stay home while my wife is at work, I homeschool our three kids. It is a huge change for us all. Although it has been five years since my surgery, life is such a struggle. I mean,, being more than half blind, has been a mojor change for more me. It has completely changed who I was. It would be different if perhaps I could drive. Then I would at least be able to get around.
But having gone from a successful pharmaceutical sales professional to a half blind stay at home dad who teaches his kids and does all the household stuff like cooking, cleaning, and laundry is crazy.
Our Faith In Action
Logistically speaking what we have on our hands is a complete nightmare to say the least. We depend on so many people for rides to and from so many locations. Don’t get me wrong, I am so, so grateful for all that our friends do for us, we could never repay all the kindness. It’s just that you have no idea how crazy it is.
Two weeks ago while the temperature was in the 40’s my wife dropped off my youngest daughter and I at a gas station, to catch our connecting ride to school. As my wife drove away for work it dawned on me.
My family’s Faith was truly the only thing keeping us all together. It was the only thing keeping my wife and I together. It was the only thing that we can explain to our kids about why things are the way that they are. My wife and both wish things were different.
Put On The Full Armor Of God
I have tried hard to hide my blindness from any potential employer. I have filled out so many resumes and been to so many interviews, but nothing seems to work out. Not being able to drive or work in a changing environment has limited many potential jobs for me. Not looking for sympathy, I’m just stating a fact.
It is so very crazy.
How do we do what we do? I mean anyone in their right mind would be done this crazy mess by now. How do we do it.
I answered my own question that day waiting for our ride to school out in the cold with my daughter Mandy.
It is because we know and believe with our innermost being that God and his overflowing wisdom has a plan for us.
How do we know this? It is because we have been practicing what we believe. It is because we don’t put our faith up on a shelf somewhere and go to it when it is needed. We put our faith where our mouth is.
Faith is not just a noun that you have and simply hold on to it. Yes you do hold onto faith, but you can’t just hold on and not practice faith. Faith has to be intentional and consistently put into practice as in faith the verb.
Faith in action can do more because it is allowing the power of God to work in your life. My family and I, we know that today, because God has a plan, we can do this.
I encourage you to practice what you believe by reading, praying, and holding onto and going where you are called because your faith through God can make it happen.
Don’t Give Up On Health and Wellness
As we are well underway for the new year, I am taking time as a Health and Wellness Coach to share something amazing that has been on my mind for a while- Health and Wellness.
Because we all go through health struggles from time to time, I truly believe that it makes sense to do the best that we can to be as healthy as we can for as long as we can. Simply because our bodies are aging, doesn’t mean that we need to give in. Some people, when they feel they have reached a certain age, lets just say the age of over 50, they give up trying to take care of themselves. They think more of how they used to be and cannot see themselves in the now. Are you this way? Do you see yourself now and wish for something in the past? The athleticism and the fitness and perfect health are gone and the lines and wrinkles of every year now are showing. Hang on and don’t quit.
There is no better way to quickly speed up the aging process than to give up trying to maintain or even improve your health and wellness. I have a friend that at one time truly believed that health didn’t matter any more. He continued to wish for the good old days. I finally encouraged him to start living in the here and now to be the best that he can be.
There are numerous ways to maintain health and wellness over 50. Being over 50 doesn’t really spell disaster. But if health and wellness are not maintained, a very difficult time awaits those in this category.
Let me ask you a question…Would you rather be old and pain-free or old, decrepit, and experiencing massive pain and body failure because of health and wellness neglect?
The choice of the road that you go down is completely up to you…but I want to encourage you to choose wisely. Once you choose your path, it is almost impossible to turn back because the damage has already been done.
There are some great benefits to maintaining health and wellness over 50 verses the consequences of life out of control.
Proverbs 23:2-3 and put a knife to your throat if you are given to appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food.
Proverbs 23:21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will cloth them with rags.
2 Peter 2:19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption.For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.
Proverbs 25:28 A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
1 Corinthians 6:12-13 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful.All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything.
Philippians 3:19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
The benefits of maintaining health and wellness over 50 are extremely beneficial and are a stark contrast to the issues related to giving up.
Benefits of Health and Well-Being:
Overall wellness physically
Mental Alertness- the important ability to handle stress and maintain energy levels.
Lose or maintain weight- This means control over cholesterol and Triglyceride
Healthy lifestyle with exercise and supplementation.
Cardiovascular, respiratory, and immune system health.
There is change offered by what God’s word says. It provides meaningful applicable power given by God to enable every one of us to do the best to maintain health and wellness over 50 or at almost any age. Even though we are getting older, we should follow God’s word and take care of the temple that He has given us.
A Habit of Health:
Proverbs 24:10-Winners never give up.
Proverbs 24:16-Winners always get up.
Proverbs 10:9- Winners always live up.
Proverbs 10:17- Winners do it the right way.
Philippians 4:13- Winners focus on success.
The Bible also sys in Hosea “My people perish for a lack of knowledge.”
When we gain knowledge and believe what God’s word says about our life and the way we are to live, we will repent and turn away from our poor health habits i. e. habits of overeating, choosing to much of the wrong foods, and turn our dietary and exercise regimen around for the good that God has for us.
Maintaining health and wellness over 50 can be managed. Some people are able to do it fairly easily because they have an active lifestyle and have consistently taken great care of themselves. They don’t need much help or motivation. On the other hand, there are some who are either inconsistent and their good health gradually slips away, or they are altogether have neglected their bodies.
But no matter your situation, my advice is this. Forget the past and fix your eyes on the present. Take action steps to find the root causes and triggers for the poor decisions made regarding your health.
As a Health and Wellness coach I help my clients to do just that and more.
If you are interested in learning more on how to overcome the barriers to changing your health for the better, please sign up with your name and email for more information.
Thanks for visiting my site!
How to Avoid a Mediocre Marriage
It is easy to get complacent and settle for just a mediocre marriage. But in order for a marriage to stand strong in tough times, it is important to not settle for anything other than a great marriage. Why settle for good, when great is attainable. Your marriage has the capacity to be great and it truly can be great if you work hard at it.
There are six key principles to avoiding a mediocre marriage and to have the greatest marriage possible.
- Have a goal oriented marriage- in marriage it is important to have a vision. Without vision, people perish. 1Corinthians 9:24- 26 You don’t get in a car and drive without first knowing where you want to go and you also need to know how to get there. Amphorao means to focus and to look away from everything else. It is so easy to get distracted with all the daily activities. A healthy marriage requires both spouses to be intentional. You will both need to know what you are focusing on. Not only is having a goal important but it needs to be the right goal. If it is not pleasing to God, you need to pick another goal. During this time you must both be willing to change in order to reach the goal in mind. A coach can help you get on track and /or make sure that you do not get off track. What is the script that you see in your vision of the goal? Is it one that you have written, or are you going to let God rewrite it for you?
- Invest in time with your spouse. You must value time with your spouse more than anything else. If not, you will not have a happy marriage. Without the investment of time with your spouse, your marriage will become mediocre, grow weak, and most likely fail. Galatians 6:9 says that we will reap if we do not grow weary. When you think of how the olive farmer plants, cares for, and eventually harvest olives that takes years to produce. These farmers know the value of the time it takes to get there. Marriage is the same way. If we invest the time, we will reap the rewards of a great marriage. In order for there to be a making of the people of God, it will take a lifetime. God continues to prune, mold and shape us continually and when we are faithful, he will honor our commitment to him. The blessing of a great marriage will be a model for everyone in our life to see Jesus at work. What an awesome testimony that is. Ecclesiasticsm 3:1
- We must persevere if we do not want to have a mediocre marriage. Stick to your plan no matter what happens around you in life. Through all hardships, health concerns, relational downfalls, or anything else that may come. God has a plan for you and what he started will come to fruition if you will only trust him. Keep your perspective- what God values are relationships. He doesn’t value money, things, status, or fame. What he wants is a relationship. If any of that stuff really mattered he would let you take it with you when you leave this world. The only thing that you can take is your relationship with him. Ecc. 5:3 Romans 8:24 Phil 3:10-14. Effort is involved in he perseverance. Hope in your reality of the situation is extremely important. It is the hope that we have in Jesus that brings true meaning to anything that we set out to do. If you as a couple truly want to persevere and desire a great marriage you will value it as much as you do the air that you breath. You will need to press onward, outward, and upward. Just as a roller blades skating up a slight incline, so must you persevere. You must lay aside everything that encumbers you. Hebrews 12:1-2 Empty your pockets and run. James 1- The testing of our faith develops perseverance. God is not in the success business as much as he is in the refining business. Be ready when you are called.
- Consistency is important because our human nature is to get lazy and bored. The Bible calls for us to be steadfast and unmovable. 1 Corinthians 15:58 Keep in mind that yesterday’s excellence is today’s mediocrity and tomorrow’s failure. Just as we can’t be on and off Christians, we can’t be an on and off spouse. We will be guaranteed a mediocre marriage for sure. We must be ready to be consistent in whatever season that we are in.
- Just as Jesus paid it all out on the cross, and we must be willing to sacrifice for our marriage. Both husband and wife must consistently be willing to die for the marriage for it to be great. The enemy is at bay and he would love to interfere with your plans. He only needs an open door to start his work. Many times in order for this to happen, we must experience the death that precedes the resurrection. Just as Christ suffered before he died, we are not guaranteed an easy road in marriage. Accept the challenge for the cross to bring brokenness before new life and growth in your marriage to occur.
- You must hold each other accountable, and if necessary, a coach can help you with this. People who are great surround themselves with great people and wise counsel. A coach can challenge you and encourage you to be better and reach the common goals of a great marriage that you have. Ecclesiasticsm 4:9 Woe to the one that falls and has no one to pick him up. A coach can be the rope holder for you and continue to pick you up and help you be accountable as you work toward the common goal. The lack of accountability is the number one reason that marriag s fail. Remember, do not be discouraged, keep the end in mind and receive the reward of a great marriage as one day you will finally hear Jesus say “Well done my good and faithful servant.
When I think of losing four members of my family in a 6 year period it puts me in a place that can only be described as a place that is empty, lonely, and solemn. In addition to the losses of my brother, mother, father, and nephew, I tragically lost my oldest sister not much more than a decade earlier.
I had no experience in dealing with death. Other than my grandfather dying when I was 12, I had never experienced anyone in my life dying, especially anyone that I was close to.
In my dealings with the deaths in my family, there was a pattern that I saw that I never really realized at first. Had there not been so many deaths to grieve I most likely would not have noticed it. But the pattern for me remained very similar to the one before. I noticed that how I was coping now was very similar to the way that I had coped before. The amount of time that it took to mourn was at or similar to the one before. I also noticed the time span between recurrences of grief and waves of sorrow that I felt were similar.
In every loss that occurred regardless of how it happened, I eventually got past the hurt, pain, and sorrow. Do I still miss them? Yeah. But getting to the point where I was finally able to get it out of my mind took a while. No wonder, that with each death in my family, which averaged one death every 1.5 years for 6 year span, there seemed to be numbness as time went on. It was very hard to imagine that this would be happening to anyone let alone the reality of what my family was going though. We relied a ton on God and each other and we helped one another to get through it.
Death and grief are hard to overcome. It is nearly impossible to get through alone. Each time as I drove away with my wife and kids on the long drive home from Texas to Florida, waves of loneliness would come over me. I relied solely on God as a refuge, for comfort, and for strength. It was the absolute time for me to rely totally on Him for the things that I could not bring to my own understanding. God’s paths in life are far better for me than my own.
Overcoming grief in your misfortune is not something that is easily attainable. Due to it’s complexity it is really in two part. One part of the complexity is needing to understand why bad things happen to such good people. The other part of the complexity is understanding why he or she had to die. Why now? Why could it not have been someone else?
Beloved, God in his infinite wisdom, has a plan that has been set forth before each one of us even before the beginning of the ages. Every breath or action that we take, He already knows how many remain before our last. Nothing takes Him by surprise. God doesn’t say- “I didn’t see that coming!”
The very fact that God has such a plan, I took time during those years to do a lot of reflecting about my own life. Where I had been and where I was going. I decided to live each day trusting the way of my savior because I know that He knows much better than me. And although I don’t have all of the answers, my trusting that I have in Him comes with my being intentional about the relationship that I have with Him.
God knows and cares about every grief that we have. The Bible is full of verses that show how much God cares and loves us. I hope you find them useful.
Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
Psalm 18:28 “You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”
Psalm 46:1-2 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”
Revelation 21:4 “ ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Psalm 119:50 “My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.”
Romans 8:18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
2 Corinthians 7:10 “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”
Psalm 18:2 “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
1 Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Psalm 22:24 “For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.”
Psalm 27:4-5 “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.”
Psalm 30:5 “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Lamentations 3:31-33 “For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.”
Romans 8:31-39 “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
1 Corinthians 15:52-57 “in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Peter 1:3-9 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
John 14:1-4 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God]; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” NIV