Wednesday, January 18, 2006

feed your heart

I have lost about 30 pounds over the last few months. One of the things I had to learn to do was look at labels on food before I purchased. You know, the nutrition facts listed on the side of everything we buy now. If you pay attention you can eat food that is good for you and you can get your weight under control and be more healthy. I hate those labels!

We have been talking about a fresh attitude toward health. I would like to discuss with you today your diet. Do you monitor what you take in? What kinds of nutrients are you giving yourself? Are you watching what you give your heart and mind? Listen to God’s word:

My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Prov. 4:21-23 NIV

Again in The Message paraphrase…

Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! 22 Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they're bursting with health. 23 Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that's where life starts. Prov. 4:21-23 Msg.

We are encouraged to take a close look at things before we permit them in. There are good things that we definitely want in and there are bad things that we certainly want to keep out. Health depends on what we are allowing in. Have you thought very much about this?

I can tell the difference when I am watching too much TV and the wrong kinds of shows. I used to like a show called “The Shield”. I thought it was cleverly written and very realistic to what might actually be happening in police environments and on the streets of LA. But each time I would watch my wife would say “I’m not watching this”. Then I would continue to watch and I felt like maybe something was wrong but would shrug it off . Later I would feel negative and synical. The content of the show tends to glorify violence and police corruption. A steady diet of that kind of intake impacts my spirit. I no longer watch that show or others like it.

I could give a dozen other examples of things that I no longer watch but that really is not the point I want to make. I would like to suggest a focus on letting the right things in, not on just keeping bad things out.

I am saying that if we will have a diet of Christ-centered relationships, good books, inspiring stories, and expose ourselves to God’s word regularly, we will feel a whole lot better. Your mind, emotions and spirit will flourish if you will be careful and feed your heart well. I encourage you to take a close look at your family’s diet and guard their hearts. Garbage in, garbage out. Good stuff in, good stuff out!

There is so much good stuff out there. We just have to look for it like we would look for treasure. The cool thing is that healthy, inspiring things are everywhere for the one who really wants them. Don’t settle for a junk food diet. It may taste good up front, but it is going to kill you later.

Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise…and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)

The God of peace be with you,

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