This Thing Called Love

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Mark 12:30 & 31 (NIV) says: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” As I thought on these verses, my mind rested on a vision that I recently had during my morning prayer time. I found myself at the feet of God as He sat on His throne. I then was cradled in His arms. I remember feeling the love radiating throughout my being. After being loved on by God, for what seemed like a little while, I found myself standing before His throne. He placed what seemed like a force-field around me. I immediately thought of my eldest son; and he suddenly appeared cradled in God’s loving arms. My son had bumped his head hard the day before. In this vision, I saw God gently rub my son’s head and a golden substance flowed from His hand to my son’s head. God then kissed him, and placed him within my force-field. One-by-one, each of my children appeared cradled in God’s arms; and he hugged and kissed them; and placed them each within my force-field. Lastly, my husband appeared in God’s arms. He did the same; and then placed my husband and his force-field around all of us. 

My reason for sharing this part of the vision, is to illustrate the Mark 12:30 & 31 principle. We can only love God, because of His first loving us. His love fills us and overflows to our neighbors. We can only love God by His strength alone (Philippians 4:13); and only with His love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). We can’t love ourselves or others without His love. Love begins with Him. It’s His love that gives us our identity and that makes us loveable. He sees us as the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8, Proverbs 7:2, Psalm 17:8); and His treasured possession (Deuteronomy 7:6, 14:2, 26:18, Psalm 135:4). When we think about ourselves the way that God does, we automatically love ourselves and bring healing an order to our thoughts, body and circumstances. We automatically love our neighbors because of God’s love.

Neighbors refer to anyone who is not you (at least that’s the way that I define it for my children). In this particular post, I’m referring to spouses as our neighbors. Sometimes, marriage can be challenging when spouses are not on the same page; or if either spouse is distracted. Please take comfort in knowing that God has our backs; and is with us every step of the way. We must renew our minds to know that marriage is honorable, esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear – in all things (Hebrews 13:4). The “high thought” of our culture about marriage is to just get out of it; if it’s not working to your satisfaction. Here’s the thing, people seem to understand that businesses, education and success in general, take years to obtain. It’s accepted and expected that there will be highs and lows, good times and not-so-great times; but you don’t give up. Marriage, just like new businesses, is like birthing a baby. You’ll often hear entrepreneurs refer to their businesses as their babies. Marriage is the same. If something’s not working, you evaluate and strategically plan to improve that area. You set goals, put standard operating procedures in place. You do all that you can to ensure the success of the marriage. It amazes me that people go to training and workshops, work long hours and such for the success of their careers; but somehow think that marriage is just going to just be successful. If no has told you before, things don’t work that way. You are supposed to have a successful marriage; but it’s probably going to require you to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12).

Psalm 34:19 (KJV) says: Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. We are guaranteed victory! The scriptures are filled with encouragement for victory; as well as God’s love and faithfulness. We see it with Joseph in the prison, Daniel in the lion’s den, and the 3 Hebrew boys in the fire pit (just to name a few). They all endured some HARD circumstances, but they all overcame and were elevated.

Marriage was instituted by God, so I’m quite confident that yours will workout when you follow His lead. 1 Peter 3:8-9 (AMP) is a good guideline: Finally, all [of you] should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing [with one another], loving [each the others] as brethren (of one household), compassionate and courteous—tenderhearted and humble-minded. Never return evil for evil or insult for insult—scolding, tongue-lashing, berating; but on the contrary blessing—praying for their welfare, happiness and protection, and truly pitying and loving them. For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing [from God]—obtain a blessing as heirs, bringing welfare and happiness and protection. Invest in yourself and your spouse by spending time with God. You will begin to think like God, concerning your marriage. God is THE  ultimate mastermind; and He knows how to turn around your marriage….. in 24 hours. With Him, EVERYTHING is possible. Do you believe it?!

The 8 Dimensions of Wellness – Physical

img_2611Happy Belated New Year to All who read this post! I sincerely wish you a disciplined year, so that you will accomplish all of your goals. Tonight’s post is about physical wellness; which is defined as recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy food and sleep (SAHMSA). According to a report by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) only 23% of Americans get the recommended amount of exercise. I won’t even bother with the statistics on nutrition, because it’s complete disaster. According to the National Sleep Foundation, Americans sleep an average of 7 hours and 36 minutes; which is within the sleep recommendation range, however, 35 % reported poor or fair sleep quality. In a nutshell, Americans have poor quality exercise, nutrition and sleep habits. It’s no wonder that over half of all Americans take prescription drugs; and they average taking four. That’s a lot of drugs and alot of money. Early last year, the average price for generic prescription drugs was $80 for a month’s supply. (1) $320 is quite a bit to pay for drugs that are only treating symptoms. I just don’t know how this is a viable solution to anyone. In my mind’s eye, if you have a problem, RESOLVE it! Don’t put patches on it or allow it to linger.

So what does the bible say about physical health and wellness? Concerning exercise, 1 Timothy 4:8 says that physical training is of some value. There are quite a few verses regarding nutrition. Genesis 1:29 talks about fruit and vegetables. Genesis 9:3 states that everything that moves, would be food for them. Nehemiah 8:10 talks about eating fat. Of course there’s the vegetables and water diet in Daniel 1:12. Here’s the thing to consider…..their diets were related to where they were and where they were going. When Adam and Eve were in the garden (a stress-free place), fruits and vegetables was the diet. When Noah and his sons came out of the ark to a post-flood earth, every living thing was the diet. When the children of Israel were in the desert, they ate manna, but when they entered the Canaan, the manna stopped and they ate corn and fruit from the land (Joshua 5:12). So, you have to know where you are on your journey; and how to eat optimally for it. As for sleep, there is one verse that I think is God’s intention for His people. It is Psalm 127:2 (CEB): It is pointless that you get up early and stay up late, eating the bread of hard labor because God gives sleep to those he loves.

When Jesus prayed in Matthew 6:10 – your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. When I think of heaven, I’m hard-pressed to believe that sickness or disease is there. Our bodies are God’s temple; and we are to honor God with our bodies (1 Corinthians 16:19-20). How do you do this? Is your temple reflective of heaven….fit for the King of kings to live in; or does it need some work?

Reference

1. https://www.goodrx.com/blog/are-drugs-getting-more-expensive/