The Temple

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20



I talk a lot on this blog about how we are called to be good stewards of the earth because, after all, it is God's creation. There are limited resources. There is only ONE earth...and it was entrusted to us to take care of while we are residing here. In the same way, God has given us ONE body...gloriously and perfectly take care of while we are here on earth. Did you know that your body is not your own? You were bought with a price. Jesus paid the price for us when He died on the cross...and we owe Him everything!

When you are taking care of something that is not your do you treat it? You probably take very good care of it, so that when the owner comes back, they will find it in good condition. When you rent an apartment, you are probably very careful to keep it in good condition so that when the landlord returns, you will not be fined. We are to be good stewards of our the same way that you would take care of anything that is not your own. In 1 Corinthians, Paul refers to our body as "a temple". When I think about what that mind brings up images of how my house would look if I was preparing it as a place of worship, a place where God would dwell.

With these thoughts in mind, think about the things you did to care for and prepare your temple this last week. What types of foods did you put into your body? What about artificial flavorings, chemicals, preservatives, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides went into your body? Did you exercise? Did you get outside? Did you run, jump, play, and dance? Oh, but Sara! I didn't have TIME to make healthy meals or exercise! :)

Over the years, I have made so many excuses as to why I didn't have time to work out and/or eat better. And being that I was an athlete throughout my school years, it should have been pretty easy for me. But after I had Bella, I just didn't "feel" like doing anything. The less active I was, the worse I ate. The worse I ate, the less energy I had. I had weeks where I would try to start making changes, but then would quit in frustration after I had missed a few days and "failed". It wasn't until about 4 weeks ago that I started at it again...this time with renewed vigor and excitement. I truly believe the reason I have been able to stick with it this time is because it was a holistic change that encompasses all areas of my being. I started having really good time in the Word and meeting with Jesus in prayer daily. I started working out and being active daily. And I started eating much better. And it's this last part that I really want to focus on...because I believe that eating and diet in general is such an intensely spiritual and emotional journey... one that it effects all other areas of our life. If your body is unhealthy (and you are tired, depressed, worn out)...everything else goes into a downward spiral as well. Your marriage, your relationship with others, your's all connected.

If you have been over to my food blog, Happy Foody, you know that I am very passionate about food! I believe that it has the power to heal, energize, and keep your body running well for a long time. But the foods that make up the typical American diet are not healing foods. They aren't even close to healing foods. Nor are they even close to what God had in mind when He created fruits and vegetables for us to eat...perfect foods with perfect vitamin and mineral make up for our bodies. There are over 7500 varieties of apples alone! Just apples! Can you even fathom how much deliciousness grows on this planet that we don't even know about? All created by the one who knows ours bodies perfectly. And yet...we choose foods that have a chemical make-up that would startle our great-grandparents. Just 40 years ago, all food was "organic"...our country has gone so far away from that ideal and it's saddening to see the effects on our health. Even more saddening is that we are CHOOSING these things for ourselves. I know that there are certain situations of poverty where that person may not have a choice, but the majority of the people reading this have a choice as to what they put in their mouth.

When we consider that "we are not our own" becomes a little easier to make better choices. It's not our body to trash... we will be held accountable for our actions here on earth. There is a disconnect between the food we eat and our faith. We compartmentalize everything...I know I am guilty of it as well. We break things out into comfortable categories that don't intersect. My faith. My health. My family. My hobbies. My food. But I am realizing that my faith in Jesus is like a blanket that covers all of these things. My faith is not just one "part" of my life...something that happens on IS LIFE. Being a follower of Jesus is my philosophy of life.

What is the meaning of life? For me, it is to bring glory to God in all that I do and say. I am going to stop treating my body like it's separate from my spirituality and bring it all under His control. He wants is ALL. He desires the best for me, which means that He WANTS to help me be healthy...He WANTS me to learn self-control.

But how can we claim to have self-control, and yet we can't control what goes into our mouths? We are somehow "powerless" to say no to a Venti Breve White Chocolate Mocha, a Big Mac, a Coca-Cola...or "just one more" brownie. We remain slaves to our food when we can't conquer our cravings.

"Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12

When you sense that little inner voice telling you over and over..."you need to start eating better"..."you should exercise more"'s not necessarily just your inner voice. It is most likely the Holy Spirit prompting you to take care of it's dwelling place in a better way. Who knows what you need better than the Holy Spirit within you?!


I know this is a very difficult issue for many people. It's a struggle that feels unbeatable. There are many of you who without a doubt have struggled with eating disorders. I am not saying that it's easy, and I am not saying that you have to look like a super model. Everyone has different body know for yourself when you are unhealthy and need to make a change. The American Heart Association has put the out the standard for all adults...that you should be physically active (and this means actually sweating with your heart rate elevated - they define it as "vigorous") for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. 30 minutes! That's HALF of "Lost" or "American Idol"! You can do it! The activity can be split up into 10-15 minute increments, but it must be vigorous to get the benefits. This means that the leisurely stroll to through the parking lot doesn't really count :) When you are sedentary (a.k.a. sitting around most of the day), your body begins to think it doesn't need all of the muscles it has and you get flabby. Flabby is no fun!

Decide today that you won't be satisfied with letting your Temple sit in disrepair! And then get busy dissecting any body image problems that you might have. Do not judge your body based on a false reality. Stop picking up "Fit" and "Shape" magazines and comparing yourself to the completely absurd, airbrushed photos. They are not real. Stop picking up "People" and staring at the perfectly little perfrect bodies from Hollywood. In order to LOVE the body that God gave you, you have to stop putting garbage in your mind about what this world says it should look like. You can be HEALTHY and not look like a model on the runway.

You also need to examine who you perceive yourself to be. When you can wrap your head around the power that you have within you through Christ, anything is possible. So...who am I in Christ?

I am God's child (John 1:12) I am assured all things work together for good (Romans 8:28) I am confident that God will perfect the work He has begun in me (Philippians 1:6) I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7) I have purpose (Ephesians 1:9 & 3:11) I have hope (Ephesians 1:12) I have been chosen and God desires me to bear fruit (John 15:1,5) I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5) I am God's workmanship (Ephesians 2:10) I have peace (Ephesians 2:14) I am a holy temple (Ephesians 2:21; 1 Corinthians 6:19) I am a dwelling for the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:22) God's power works through me (Ephesians 3:7) I can approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12) I can bring glory to God (Ephesians 3:21) I can be certain of God's truths and the lifestyle which He has called me to (Ephesians 4:17) I can have a new attitude and a new lifestyle (Ephesians 4:21-32) I can give thanks for everything (Ephesians 5:20) I can be strong (Ephesians 6:10) I am growing (Colossians 2:7) I am His disciple (John 13:15) I am prayed for by Jesus Christ (John 17:20-23) I am promised a full life (John 10:10) I am victorious (I John 5:4) I am set free (Romans 8:2; John 8:32) I am a light in the world (Matthew 5:14) I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37) I am not helpless (Philippians 4:13) I am overcoming (I John 4:4) I am persevering (Philippians 3:14) I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) I am victorious (1 Corinthians 15:57)

Now that's some encouragement!

Where to begin? Be realistic with your goals and expectations. Set goals in increments...slow and steady. Make your goals attainable, so that you can easily achieve your goals and then move onto the next one. Start with 10 minutes a day. Start with a walk around the block. Start somewhere. Journal your progress...on paper or in a blog and find someone who is willing to be a help you stay the course.

One of the best partners you can have is Jesus...I feel so confident in knowing that He is with me on this journey. I have been using my exercise time to meditate on scripture and pray through my prayer list. After I'm done, I'm not only refreshed physically, but spiritually as well.

In order to help everyone jump start their healthy journey, I am going to host the "Happy Foody Green Smoothie Challenge"! It will will start on Monday, February 25 and run through March 25. For more details, check out this post on Happy Foody.

Get your temple in order...pray for the Holy Spirit to give you motivation and energy and excitement to begin this journey!

Photo credit: Flickr: j/f/photos






Google Not God?

I came across this awesome post and I knew I needed to pass it on. She so eloquently says what I have been thinking for a long time...although I am no where near deciding to stop blogging! My favorite part of the post:

"It is almost like if I have a problem my first thought is Google not God."

And the part at the end about looking into your child's eyes...that was convicting! Read it today! A big thanks to Amy at Lavender Sparkles for posting it first.

Mastering Passions

It's a NEW YEAR! A fresh slate. A blank canvas. I love the coming of a new year...there is so much hope and excitement. And as we all know, a perfect time for setting goals. This year, I would like to:

  • Draw closer to Jesus by spending time in intimate conversation with him DAILY.
    • I want to depend on Him to be my lifeline throughout the day...which means I need to pray a lot! Nothing is too small or too trivial for Him to be involved. His throne room is open to me 24/7. My desire is to meet with Him in the early morning hours, and I've committed to not getting on my computer or reading anything else until I have done that.
  • Read through the Bible in one year.
    • I really love The One Year Bible...and have succeeded in reading every day so far. I love that there is a reading for each day, and I truly feel that the passage I read that day is specifically for me on THAT DAY. The format of the OYB (Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, Proverbs) is really nice. It's also available online.
  • Walk/run at least 30 minutes a day and to spend time outside daily.
    • There are so many benefits to working out every day, but it's been at least 4 years since I did it regularly (before Bella). I'm 31 years old, and I'm starting to feel like it. I'm determined to get back in shape! I'm 3 days in...and I feel goooooood. Sore, but good.

If I am to succeed at these things, it will take a mindful effort and prayer. Not just "hoping" that I can follow through. I love how the Forerunner Commentary describes "self-mastery":

Self-mastery is self-government, or self-control, the foundation of a strong godly life, growth, and producing fruit. If a person cannot govern himself, if he cannot master his passions, he will certainly not have a good relationship with his fellowman or God. His life will likely be marked by major excesses.

A person who has self-mastery is even-handed, and his passions are under control. He makes proper use of his drives and desires, and his manner of life is not one of extremes. A person reflecting this quality will be making steady progress in growing into the perfectly balanced character of Jesus Christ.

If I cannot "master" a certain area of my life, it will lead to excess in that area. Concerning my goals, if I do not spend time with God daily, my relationship with my family and friends suffer. My not-so-lovely traits slowly start to surface...and I am overcome with an "excess of self". If I do not read and meditate on His word daily, my heart and mind become stagnant and indifferent. I start to display an excess of sarcasm, impatience, and worry. If I do not exercise, my BODY will be in excess of pounds and stress.

On the other hand, if I CAN master my "self" and follow through with these says I will have the "foundation for a strong godly life, growth, and produce fruit". Yes!! Show me the FRUIT! :)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galations 5:22-23

I love how The Message has interpreted this verse: But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. Galations 5:22-23 (The Message)

Who wouldn't want those things!? It's amazing to me that God wants to give those things to us...all we need to do is ASK and follow hard after Him. On a side note, if you're looking for an amazing Bible study on the fruit of the spirit, check out Beth Moore's "Living Beyond Yourself". It's available online...complete with videos.

When you are passionate about something, it doesn't have to automatically be a bad thing. However, there is a stronger possibility that your passions could become a problem in your life. For example...the Internet is a wonderful resource and networking tool...however, it's so easy to get sucked into hours and hours of endless clicking. All of this clicking creates discontentment with our current life and slowly lures us away from our families and responsibilities. At that point, it becomes a "major excess" that needs to be mastered.

Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:7-8

I love this passage in Timothy...because it reminds me that although I want to get my body healthy this year, my spiritual health is infinitely more important. Not that eating healthy and maintaining an exercise regimen isn't a good's just not of eternal importance. I want to spend twice as much time exercising my mind in my relationship with Christ than I spend exercising my body.

I think it's also a good idea to PRACTICE denying yourself of become better at mastering the "self". Yes, you COULD have dessert after your meal...but why not consciously decide not to, and focus on thoughts of self-discipline instead? Yes, you COULD spend your money on a new X, Y, or Z...but why not fast from spending if for nothing else but to make your mind sharper...becoming the master of your passions.

Our culture screams the opposite of this to us every day. Buy now! You deserve it! Bigger and better! More, more, more! EXCESS is our country's middle name. Walk the opposite direction of the world and focus on what Jesus said about these things:

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. " Matthew 16:24

Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” Mark 10:21 "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. " Matthew 5:29, 30

"But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." 1 Corinthians 9:27

Off we go...a new year, renewed passions, and a self to be mastered. Weeeeee!

Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons/