Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Wait on the Lord: He Sees the Delay

posted by Linda Mintle

I’m still waiting  for something important to take place in my life. It continues to get delayed and it is trying my patience. My natural response is to get tough on the people who are delaying and push my weight around with threats and talk of justice. I know I could do this but I also know this is not  what God wants me to do. It doesn’t reflect His love in me.

James 1:3 tells me the trying of my faith brings patience. Could it be that God is allowing these circumstances to build patience in me?

At times, our relationship with God the Father is like our parent-child relationship. When you watch your child work at something and see no immediate response to that hard work, you encourage your child to hang in there. The reward is around the corner. I remember doing this my daughter’s senior year of high school. She was tired of studying, tired of pushing herself and wanted to stop working so hard. But the reward of multiple college scholarships was right around the corner. I could see it and knew how patience in her studying would pay off. Because of the encouraging voices of mom and dad, she was motivated to keep going, keep pushing, doing what she knew she had to do and it all paid off. And she developed the study habits she needed for college.

God, our Father, is a good parent. Even though I can’t clearly see the closure of this problem, God is cheering me on–hang in there, let the trying of your faith bring patience, I am working it for your good, your reward is around the corner. You can’t see it but I can. And He continues to build character in me.

Honestly, I don’t like to wait, yet waiting on the Lord is what brings us strength. We live in a culture that promotes immediate gratification and teaches us not to wait but, indulge the moment. Yet waiting builds character and patience.

So today, I wait on the Lord. Renew my strength. In the process, help me to treat those creating delay with kindness. You are God, in control of my days and watchfully keeping your eye on my situation. Perhaps the wait is also another opportunity to trust.

Psalm 130:5-6
I pray to God—my life a prayer— and wait for what he’ll say and do. My life’s on the line before God, my Lord, waiting and watching till morning, waiting and watching till morning.

 

Resist Body Obsession and Live in Acceptance God’s Way

posted by Linda Mintle

How do we live in this culture of body obsession without being conformed to it?

Paul addresses this in the 12th chapter of Romans, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life–your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life–and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.(The Message 12:1-2).”

Let’s pick this apart. First, we are to place our entire life before God as an offering, or said another way, as an act of worship. This means that our physical bodies are to be holy and pleasing to God. His condition for holy and pleasing has to do with what we do with our bodies in obedience to his Word, not how we physically appear. In fact, no emphasis is placed on physical appearance.

We are to care for our bodies as the temple where God lives. This means we should eat healthy, exercise and take care of our appearance. However, we should resist the imbalance culture places on appearance in determining our worth. God values us because of who we are, not because we lost five pounds or have great legs.

Secondly, we are not to think like the culture thinks unless it lines up with the truth of God’s word. So, when we are constantly told to improve and fix our outward bodies, we are being distracted from the truth of acceptance. Nothing in God’s word says younger looking skin makes you more desirable to God or that big breasts bring success. These are the ideas of fashion gurus, diet experts, the cosmetic industry and plastic surgeons. The intent is simply to get you to buy more product and spend more money.

Paul says fix your attention on God and renew your mind with His thoughts. Don’t be dragged down by the thinking of the culture that pulls you away from the thoughts of God. And that’s exactly what happens when we get caught up in body obsession. Our thoughts are easily pulled away from the way God thinks of us and shifted to the approval of others and some personal standard we have developed from the culture. Our acceptance is all about how thin we are. Our esteem is based on the right nose or fullness of lips. The lie is that the more we do to look like models and celebrities, the more successful we’ll be. But success isn’t being measured by biblical standards. Success means power and money. This type of cultural think is what we must resist.

 

For more help with body image, get a copy of Making Peace With your Thighs by Dr. Linda Mintle

Don’t Panic! God Is With You

posted by Linda Mintle

It’s been a stressful week. A friend of mine had his house struck by lighting while he was out of town and it burned to the ground. All their memories were gone in  moments. Another friend is going through a divorce, another is waiting on a papers to join her husband over seas. The list could go on…

During times of stress, it is important to remember, God is present. He indwells us and hasn’t gone anywhere.

My tendency is to panic first and then remember God is there–trying to reverse that habit!  I calm myself and remind myself that nothing that is happening is a surprise to God. He is still with me and guiding the process. And if His promises are true, He can use even the difficult stuff to bring about His purposes in our lives.

When trouble comes, it is important to maintain a grateful attitude and praise God in the midst of the trial. What helps is to read scripture that reminds us of God’s continual presence, His care for us and His promise to work all things for our good. If he orders our steps, then He is working in the situation. The trying of faith does bring patience!

So if you are going through a difficult time right now, don’t panic. Ask God for His peace in the middle of the storm. Remember, He is the same God who calmed the wind and rain and declared, Peace, be still!

Is Obesity Contagious?

posted by Linda Mintle

The flu is contagious, yawning is contagious, but what about obesity? Can you catch it from your family or your friends?

Actually YES !

Researchers at Harvard Medical School studied 12,000 people over a 32 year period and found that social connections impact your chance of gaining weight.

If your spouse becomes obese, you have a 37% chance of also becoming obese. If your brother becomes obese, you have a 40% increased risk.

Friendships are even more influential. The risk of friends becoming obese together is anywhere from 57- 71 % depending on if the friendship is mutual. This was even true when friends lived far apart.

The idea here is that once someone becomes obese, there is a social acceptability for people who know that person to also gain weight. Attitudes towards obesity change to one of more acceptance of a larger size.

On the positive side, if someone you know loses weight, it will influence you to get thinner as well. So perhaps our social networks could be used to influence us to lose weight if we need to drop a few extra pounds.

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