Challenge 73: Share for Health’s Sake & Natural Health Tour

Over the weekend several people approached me about their various health issues: respiratory, immune, cellular and reproductive. As a natural health care promoter and educator, my mind immediately went to what might be missing in their diets that may be contributing to their health issues. Even with challenges to four different body systems, what was consistent with most of those people was a diet of high starchy foods with few non-starchy vegetables, including the essential leafy greens, which are chock-full of healing nutrients. Simply eating more greens, particularly raw, like in salads, juices and smoothies, would make a major positive difference for each of them.

Many of these people know they need to do better. Some have said so and have not made the steps, beyond prayer, to do better. They know God is able to help them but they seem to want Him to heal them without any human intervention. We know God could do that but He also wants us to be good stewards over our bodies. We have a responsibility to cherish, not trash, our temples of the Holy Spirit. When we trash them, God guarantees divine intervention, unfortunately to our detriment (1 Corinthians 3:16-17). But we have the power to reverse our natural consequences from poor health by changing and helping others change.

One person, who finally decided to take charge of her health by joining my Your Fast for Life™ food and lifestyle program, said, “I’m so ready to start the meal plan part. . .tired of this sickness.” And you know? That’s what it takes. We have to get so tired of being young but feeling old, looking fit but being tired or looking and feeling unhealthy. We have to make a move to help ourselves and to help someone else. If my client hadn’t been receiving constant information about my program, testimonials from those on the program and witnessing the benefits in my own life, she would not have made the most crucial step in trying to do something different to get a different result. It took this particular client more than a year to join Your Fast for Life™, but she would not have done so if others didn’t show her love by sharing healthy options with her. What you know and what others that you’re familiar with know may just be the key that your family member, co-worker, classmate, neighbor or friend needs. Offer that key and help somebody help themselves.

Take a Risk Challenge: This week share what you know or what others know to help someone get on the path of health and healing. I would love for you to share about Your Fast for Life™ and, for those in the Metropolitan Detroit area, Soul Delights’ Natural Health Tour to urban farms. Currently, I have a discount for Your Fast for Life™ only and free admittance on the tour with a regularly-priced Your Fast for Life™ membership. Get more details on the website or simply sign up below.
Fast for Life™ for the regular $100 price and attend Soul Delights’ Natural Health Tour for free (a $35 savings).

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The next scheduled Your Fast for Life™ session for everyone, including groups of 10 or more who receive a discount up to 30%, begins Monday, May 5, 2014, but you don’t have to wait until then. Sign up today with our new Your Fast for Life™ Flex Program, which allows individuals and groups to begin the program when you choose. Individuals receive a 35% discount now until Wednesday, April 23, 2014. You can also join Your

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Challenge 72: Don’t Judge

Every week for about a year I have shaken my internal head at the ensembles that this young woman in her early 20s wears. Literally, she looks like she gets out of bed and grabs whatever her hands first touch, whether in her closet, drawers, chair or on the floor. It is not unusual for her to have on a pair of black ankle boots, white tights, brown skirt, beige shirt and yellow cardigan two sizes too big and all clothes not ironed. I have contemplated talking to her, asking her if I could give her some tips, show her how to groom and style her hair, assess her wardrobe and take her shopping to give her whole style a makeover. But I love her and her parents and don’t want to risk offending them. Still, I believe I need to say something. I see a beauty with so much more potential that doesn’t seem like she’s giving God her best in her appearance: she loves the Lord deeply, evangelizes children, has a pleasant face, bright smile and has a gorgeous body. I really want her to do better so I continue to wonder “What’s wrong with her? Doesn’t she see herself before she leaves the house? Why does her mother let her leave the house looking like that?” Then last week when shaking my internal head I heard in my spirit “What if she has mental problems and that’s why she dresses that way?” I stood convicted. I made the judgment that she shouldn’t dress like that because she has to know better and there is no good reason she should dress like that. God quickly helped me see that there could be a good reason that she dresses like that and I must not judge because I don’t know.

I thought I had gone beyond judging people, which was something of a family trait. My family, strong in discernment, would know something about someone but take that further and write their life story. This is a classic dialogue between my sister and me:
“She needs so much attention,” my sister might say.
“Her parents probably didn’t give her much affection when she was younger.”
“She better deal with that because a husband ain’t gonna want to deal with that all the time.” Here, my sister and I not only acknowledged her issue but also determined why she likely had the issue and what the fate of her issue would be. I had learned to reconcile “judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1) and “judge not according to the appearance but judge righteous judgment” or “…judge a right judgment” (John 7:24), the first verse telling us not to “unfairly find fault in others and pronouncing an opinion concerning right and wrong” while the second is telling us “to pass judgment on the words and deeds of others,” not making judgment about the person (Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon on Blue Letter Bible). In order to judge a right judgment we must 1) discard our opinion; 2) not determine a fate for the person that God hasn’t determined; and 3) not determine the worth of a person that God has not determined.

I, however, crossed the line with the young lady by determining that she should know how to dress. I can’t have that opinion. In addition, my opinion unfairly finds fault in her. Perhaps her mother or some other older woman never took the time to tell her about the importance of neat appearance and certain styles and colors complimenting each other. I don’t know what’s going on in her head, heart or home concerning her dress. I can only see what she looks like, not the reason she looks like that. When I determine the reason without her, someone close to her or God revealing the reason to me, then I am judging. And when we judge, we cannot show love.

So this week’s challenge for us is what God through the Apostle Peter tells husbands how to love their wives: “according to knowledge” (1 Peter 3:7). If we operate toward others based on what we know for sure, in this instance, “to judge a righteous judgment” then we steer clear of speculation, finalization and a know-it-all attitude. We may know that something is wrong but we may not know the why and sure fate that will result from the wrong. We often just see what people are experiencing not why they are experiencing what they are experiencing or who they are. Only the all-knowing, all-seeing God knows not just what they are experiencing and why they are experiencing it but who they really are. We only see what is on the outside. And the outside is not sufficient for us to make a judgment. God is the only one who can judge and gives us that power in limited situations. Judgment is final. It’s something inescapable if it is the consequence that God has ordained. We can only speculate if we are observing someone’s life. We must be careful to use terms like seem and looks like and we should even reserve those terms for our thoughts unless God leads us to speak to the person. If we go to the person we must know that God wants us to love them; there is no room, and we have no right, to condemn.

Take a Risk Challenge: Judge someone righteously, remembering that means judging the words and deeds not based on your opinion and without your condemnation. God will no doubt lead you to pray on that person’s behalf and perhaps speak the truth in love for their edification. Judging righteously is truly a radical act of love.

Join Soul Delights for its Natural Health Tour to Urban Farms Saturday, April 26, 2014
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Challenge 71: Confront for Forgiveness’ Sake

This weekend I rose to the challenge. Not a challenge from my husband to do something around the house, not a challenge from a friend to conquer some long-time feat but a challenge from the Lord to carry out His word to reconcile a relationship. My friend and I weren’t estranged but there was a conflict, an issue that she had with my way of parenting, and though she never came to me directly I knew she had an issue. Her issue seeped out in conversations, and I wanted to shout “Say what you really want to say, why don’t you!?” But that would have been immature, attacking, and asking for a bigger problem that didn’t have to be. It would have also been easy for me to say, “She’s the one with a problem with me; she should come to me” and just wait for that to happen. But sometimes this won’t happen, even though it should.

And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (1Thessalonians 5:14—NIV). Though the first command says to “warn those who are idle,” my friend, who thought my husband and I don’t provide my eldest with enough structure to combat his lack of diligence, wasn’t going to warn me of our idleness because “I didn’t want to offend you. Parenting is a touchy subject.” Because I know my friend doesn’t like confrontation, I knew I had to confront her. Even though she abdicated her responsibility, I, too, had a responsibility to fulfill.

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24—ESV).

The offering referred to here is the burnt offering, the one regulated in the Old Testament to be offered to atone for the sin of the one bringing the offering. So for the New Testament believer, this verse is saying that God will not receive you to forgive you if you know someone has something against you and you haven’t sought reconciliation with that person. So though my friend should have come to me, I was still obligated to go to her. Going to her was good for my emotional and spiritual health, and confronting those who should, but don’t, confront you is good for your emotional and spiritual health too.

Remember, we don’t just get to abort people or think they don’t deserve our love. God’s love demands that we confront them for our sake and theirs. When we confront them, we position ourselves for God to forgive us and we allow them to follow God’s command to confront (also see Matthew 18:15-35). Reconciliation with man is the way to proper fellowship with God.

Take a Risk Challenge: With grace confront someone that you know has a problem with you but has avoided confronting you. The results of reconciliation and fellowship with God come from confrontation, truly a radical act of love.

Challenge 70: Choose God’s Way to Love Them

They knew they were right where God wanted them to be—in relationship with each other, but they were ready to bail. They didn’t tell each other this but they told me individually just days apart that the relationship was too hard. They didn’t want to deal with confrontations, taming the flesh, hurt emotions and facing the truth. They didn’t want to “be stretched,” though they each knew this was God’s way of molding them and helping them reach new heights in love, maturity, and faith in Him. They didn’t want to risk the comfort of their lives, the predictability of their space. They just wanted to remain safe. Continue reading