Is Your “Temple” In Ruins? What is the state of your physical body?
“Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins?” Haggai 1:4 (NLT)
I recently read this verse during a mini-study of the book of Haggai. Many years prior to this time in scripture, the Babylonian armies destroyed God’s temple in Jerusalem, and exiled the people. The temple lay in ruins for quite some time. King Cyrus later gave permission for the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild. During the time of Haggai, the people should have been in the process of rebuilding the temple.
However as time went, they had limited resources and started facing opposition. When difficulties came, it discouraged the people, and they gave up. Then instead, they started building and working on their own elaborate homes. Consequently, God sent a message to Haggai as a word for Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah. Haggai was to encourage Zerubbabel and the people to continue the work of rebuilding the temple and to reorder their priorities.
I saw this “temple in ruins” message from a different perspective
Haggai 1:4 stood out to me and kind of convicted me in a different way. I saw this from the perspective of God’s house, or temple, as my body. I saw how the state of my body probably isn’t what it should be in order to be fit to be the house of God. Frequently, I don’t take care of myself like I should…in my eating habits, my activity/exercise, and in getting rest like I should. Often I put other things as a higher priority, and taking care of myself takes a back seat.
Additionally, I noticed that I sometimes tend to give up on focusing and working on my body when Continue reading →
This week I celebrated my birthday. The thought of getting older hasn’t really bothered me too much yet. I guess because I still feel so young? Hopefully that will continue! Another positive is that many people seem surprised when I say my age. I guess I look younger than my 40+ years? Bonus! I know, I know. Looking young is a vain conceit…but hey, I’ll take it as long as I can get it! 🙂
A lot of times I’ll get people asking me what my secret is to looking young. I usually half-jokingly say “I use good skincare!” Which is probably partially true. I do try to take good care of my skin using mostly natural and/or botanical products. My skincare regime often consists of a lot of sunscreen, coconut oil, shea butter and essential oils. I try and steer clear of mineral oil or petroleum-based products as well as other harmful additives.
Additionally, I try to take caution with other products too even down to my housekeeping. I can be found making my own laundry and cleaning products to keep myself and my family from receiving constant exposure to toxins. I also try to eat fairly healthy, reducing as many processed foods as reasonably possible. We eat relatively clean, but by no means are we die-hard about it.
Other factors to stay looking young
Aside from skincare, diet, and other products though, I think there are probably some more important factors to stay looking young. I remember picking up on something when I was quite a bit younger. I heard people using the description “He/She must have had a hard life.” They were describing a rough-looking man or woman that was quite visibly aged. I’ve also seen people talk about a woman that looked older than her age as being “bitter”.
I remember thinking “I don’t want people to describe me like that!” This initiated some talks with my mom and dad about what those things meant. They explained how a “hard life” and being “bitter” (i.e. harboring resentment, hurt, anger, and unforgiveness) could affect our appearance and the ability to stay looking young. Constant harsh emotions affect our facial expressions, leaving deeply wrinkled lines and hard countenances. Also, poor life choices and our environment can alter our appearance.
This past week at my Weight Watchers meeting we talked about ways to love yourself (and NOT the Justin Bieber kind of “Love Yourself”!). We did a fun name acronym activity. We were supposed to come up with a positive attribute or descriptive word for each letter of our first name. It was funny how so many people had such a hard time with that. They had a hard time either coming up with words that were positive to describe themselves, or they didn’t want to say them out loud because they felt like they were being arrogant or bragging. Our leader was trying to encourage them that this is the right time to brag and that it was actually helpful to love yourself.
I wanted to yell out, “Don’t you know that God thinks that of you and sees you that way?!” Then I realized that I wasn’t reading mine out loud either. Oops. It can be hard to love yourself sometimes and then especially to show that you love yourself out loud! We’ve been trained not to speak highly of ourselves because we may come across as cocky and arrogant. However, I think there are two ditches. On the one side is the ditch where we ARE arrogant and speak and think too highly of ourselves. This is obviously wrong.
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” Romans 12:3 (NIV)
I like how the NLT translation of the verse reads though because it says “…Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us”. It doesn’t say we can’t say or think good things about ourselves. It just says we just need to give an honest evaluation by God’s measurement. We need to see, think, and speak about ourselves based on how God sees us. And guess what? He does think we’re pretty great. Therefore, we need to see ourselves as pretty great too!
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, which means that chocolate abounds. So for all of you health-conscious chocolate lover’s out there…don’t sweat it. Just remember that chocolate comes from cocoa, which is a tree. That makes it a plant. That means that chocolate is salad. 🙂
“‘…I have given every green plant for food.’ And it was so.” Genesis 1:30b (ESV)
“Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered” Psalms 105:5 (ESV)
This week I’m sharing the Top 10 Posts of 2015. I like to take the first of the year to recount some of the top or most popular posts of the previous year. I like to share them for a couple of reasons…
First, there are several new subscribers/followers who may not have seen or read these posts and might find some of them to be helpful.
Secondly, looking back also helps me to remember what God has done and is still doing through this website (that I oh-so-reluctantly started…and sometimes still reluctantly continue!).
Lastly, it helps me (and hopefully you too) know how to pray based on what the current need or demand is, and when I know that I know how to continue to pray for others. For example, 3 of the most popular posts have to do with leading someone to Christ or praying for someone to come to Christ. For starters this makes me SUPER excited to know that people are actively seeking these types of websites out. To me this means that the body of Christ is continuing to grow, and I know to continue to pray for the people who have come across these posts to have boldness to lead someone to the Lord and to agree in prayer with them that their unsaved loved ones will be saved and grow in their relationship with God. Another example, is that the posts about being unloved and unwanted are overwhelmingly popular…which makes me so sad to know that there are so many people feeling unloved and unwanted. I continue to pray that they will know and fully experience the love of God and of others.
Take Some Practical Steps:
As you look through this list of most popular posts, please take a minute to pray for one or more of the topics that stand out to you (like my examples above).
Please click on and read or re-read one or more of the posts from which you feel you may be able to receive some benefit or of which you might need some reminding.
Pay it forward…if one or more of the following posts has benefited you, please forward it/them to others you feel they may benefit (you might prayerfully consider who to share them with), or consider sharing them on your social media channels (sharing links are available at the end of each post).
Lastly, please pray for me this year to #1-continue to help others, #2-for me to have to right words at the right time, and #3-for the right people to be directed to my site for God to help them.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)
This past week in my college classes we were discussing stress…including its symptoms, causes, advantages, disadvantages, and how to manage it. Since we are all about being Happy, Healthy and Prosperous at this website, I thought it fitting to discuss stress here too since it can have an impact on all three areas…our happiness, our prosperity and definitely our health.
The dictionary defines stress as physical, mental or emotional strain or tension. Things that happen in your life can contribute to strong feelings of worry or anxiety. Stress can also be felt when demands on you, in a variety of forms, increase or when you feel threatened by a situation. There are many things that can factor in or add to stress, and most commonly stress has a negative connotation. Stress can, however, be leveraged for good if balanced properly.
In class I showed a TED Talk video about how to make stress your friend. This video greatly changed the way I have always perceived stress. After viewing it myself, I immediately wanted to share it with my friends and family. I would also like to share it here. The video is about 14 minutes long, but it’s well worth the watch when you have the time. Who knows…It may even prolong and enhance your life! If you don’t have time to watch it now, I highly encourage you to bookmark the video link page and watch it later. You can watch/bookmark the video on the TED website by clicking here or by clicking on the YouTube site link here (both sites have a “Watch Later” option).