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Thursday, August 26, 2021

Fat and Happy: The Comforter Instead of Comfort Food - Purity 507


Fat and Happy: The Comforter instead of Comfort Food                                                                                             

Purity 507 08/26/2021  Purity 507 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of a foot bridge over Cataract Gorge in Launceston, Tasmania in the Land Down Under comes to us from our friends at Dave Baun Photography as they have hit the road recently on holiday.  And yes that’s Laun CES ton -in Tasmania, whereas it is Laun (ce) ston in the UK according to a video on You Tube.

I love that my friends travel to places where I have to look up how to pronounce the names of the places.  From Gloucester (Glaw-stir), Massachusetts to Laun-CES-ton, Tasmania, wherever we go, it is best to do a little research, so we don’t look too much like a tourist. For instance if you visit NYC, you want to know the difference between a stoop, a schtup, and a schmear.  It could make quite a difference in what you receive or where somebody tells you to go.  

Anyway, its Thursday, and although a health condition is going to keep me close to home today, I still wanted to share a photo of a pathway as is my custom to encourage my friends to not only get out there and experience the world around us but to endeavor to take a spiritual journey by seeking the Lord’s wisdom and ways on the path of Christian Discipleship.  Living out our faith in the power of the Holy Spirit on a daily and continuous basis can lead us out of darkness of ignorance, negative mind states, and bad behavior and into the light of God’s love and truth that can result in experiencing the fruit of the Spirit and possibly optimal health.  

Yeah, this faith walk doesn’t necessary mean we are going to zone out in some transcendental state of prayer and only develop our minds and spirits and forsake and neglect our bodies. Scripture indicates we are to crucify the flesh, put it into submission to our spirit, and to care for our body because it is the temple of the Holy Spirit.     

I have testified to my struggles with food addiction, that’s real what it is, and how my research has revealed that processed foods are engineered to make us crave them like an addictive drug and go back for more. Does the phrase: “Bet you can’t eat just one” ring a bell?  

So my spiritual journey, has led me to see this truth and to see the effects that a lack of wisdom and discipline in terms of how I eat has negatively affected not only my physical health but also my mind, will, and emotions.  The phrase “fat and happy” was drawn from medieval days where it described those who had enough wealth not to fear starving and who were “prosperous, content, satisfied, and unconcerned”.  

“Fat and Happy” in that context doesn’t really seem to equal “morbidly obese”, does it?.   Unfortunately, “fat and happy” has been used as a slogan to lead people into unhealthy states that leads to pain and suffering.  The remorse, guilt, shame, and pain that is felt by someone who feels powerless to stop binging on “comfort foods” and struggles physically because of their body size doesn’t really fit in that picture of “fat and happy.”  

The world system is under the sway of the enemy who seeks to deceive and destroy us. The greed of men, the lust of the flesh, and demonic influences have combined to create an obesogenic society, a society that causes obesity.

The only way out is to see the truth. We all “know” what we should do for good health but somehow that “knowing” doesn’t translate into a belief that impacts our behaviors.  

Amazingly, I have discovered that my faith in Jesus Christ calls me to examine all the aspects of my experience and has led me to see the deceptions of the world system but has also given me the hope to change. My relationship with God has shown me that nothing is impossible and that one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. 

This flow of the fruit of the Spirit into my life through my faith in Christ and my relationship with God has given me victory over addictions for years and now I am trusting the Lord to lead me to optimal health through living according to the truth.  The truth in this area is that both exercise and controlling how much and what I eat, on a continuous basis with intentional goals can undo the damage that I have inflicted upon myself.  A change of mind about how I think about food, with the assurance of the Lord’s presence, has led me to make great strides in walking towards my health goals.

My good friend, Bob Griffin inspired me by his example and has become my “coach” on this journey and he checks in with me periodically to encourage and support my walk towards where I want to go.  

Unbelievably, my example has inspired a new friend to pursue the path of Christians Discipleship and caused them to take similar steps in pursuing optimal health!  Today marks the first week of their decision to join us on this journey of taming the flesh, while they also seek to strengthen their faith, and I can’t wait to hear about their progress. 

While we all seek to be “prosperous, content, satisfied, and unconcerned”, the Lord calls us to repentance. He loves us and wants what’s best for us. 

When I first got saved, I was a mess. He loved me anyway and invited me to be a part  of His family and kingdom with no strings attached.  His love for me wasn’t about my performance.  But the new life, and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, that He gave me encouraged me to leave my dark and broken ways behind. 

So, keep walking and talking with God. He has good things for you, and He can give you the power to let go of the things are dragging you down and causing you pain.  Instead of reaching for “comfort food”, we can let the Lord comfort us and lead us to be the version of ourselves we always wanted to be.


This morning’s meditation verse is:

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NKJV)
11  Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

Today’s verse speaks of our function as members of the body of Christ.  

I pray my previous comments regarding the flesh do not condemn anyone.  On the contrary, I only seek to encourage people to seek the Lord and to follow where He leads. 

As believers we are called to comfort one another and edify one another. 

To edify means to instruct or benefit someone morally or spiritually, to up lift. So I endeavor to teach to others what I have come to know through my trials and errors of my 49 years of life in general, the 11 years of being a born again Christian, and through my studies and application of the wisdom of the Word of God. While I learned a lot about what not to do before coming to Christ, my focused advice and instruction focuses on the word of God.  Our experiences are one thing, but truth and wisdom come from the Bible, and we need to know and do what it says.  

However, my experience tells me that this process of transformation through Christian Discipleship is not always an easy one and that we need to comfort each other as we surrender our old ways for the ways of God.  

We don’t just beat people up with the Bible and whip them or ourselves into shape through trying harder and rigorous discipline.  

Our faith walk is a relationship with God and our brothers and sisters in Christ. We need to foster the loving comfort that the Lord gives us and apply it to ourselves and share it with our fellow Christians.  

Many say that churches should be a hospital for the broken, but I disagree. I think churches should be more like physical therapy.  Sure there is comfort and healing available here, but that process of comforting and healing must be accompanied by our participation to strengthen ourselves and walk on our own two feet.

We can lean on the Lord and our brothers and sisters in Christ, but our walk should be towards an increased level of maturity and sanctification that results in our ability to not only walk on our own but to become strong enough to help and comfort others in their walk.       

So receive the comfort and edification that is available to you at your local church but take steps to grow and to become stronger in your faith so that one day you can comfort and edify others as well.  

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

 Today we continue with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, beginning  Chapter 13.

 As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:

Chapter 13

People Grow Better Together

One January I had the privilege of taking 24 seminary students to the Julian Center near San Diego, California, where we lived and studied together for four weeks. My friend Dick Day founded the Julian Center with the vision to educate Christians in a relational context. In the past he had brought together groups for 12 weeks of live-in study, but that January he joined me in teaching seminary students for an abbreviated session.

To introduce the relational dimension of the retreat, I began the January session by dividing the students into groups of three for a relatively nonthreatening get-acquainted exercise. I concluded the exercise by asking students to identify one emotion they had experienced. The typical responses were "happy," "accepted," "peace," "anticipation" and so on, although a few admitted they were a little scared.

A young man named Danny surprised me when he responded, "bored." Danny had come to learn, not to relate. He wanted content, not community. He considered my attempts to build rapport and relationship among the students a waste of his time. Day by day the other students grew closer together, but Danny stayed cool and aloof.

After two weeks, Danny's resistance finally wore down. He began to see that spiritual growth and maturity happen best in a community of people who know and accept each other. When Danny finally opened himself to his fellow students, he really began to get something out of the content of the session.

Following his month at the Julian Center, Danny had a new vision when he went back to the small group of businessmen he was discipling. "Men," he told them, "we've been meeting for a year now, but I don't know what makes you tick, what turns you on or what your family life is like. And you don't know much about me either. We need to move beyond sharing information and start sharing our lives."

Danny had learned Paul's secret of discipleship: "Having thus a fond affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us" (1 Thes. 2:8).


Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

 

God bless you all!

 

Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

 

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

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