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Sunday, December 1, 2013


I found out recently that you should not brush your teeth after meals. Apparently, it is best to do it when you first get up before you eat. It is counterintuitive and certainly not my practice the past half century, but that is the way it is... Brushing is for plaque removal not food removable. I add that to the list of other things that turn out to be wrong. Lots of long distance running is not good for you and including sprints is. Missing breakfast and integrating regular fasting does not slow down your metabolism. And we all know about high grain diets! Everything I have been programmed to think turns out to be seriously in error.

Now the good news is the core principles are accurate and even if the best practices are different, the goals are the same. In different ways they are about healthy living.

Thanksgiving is about healthy living as well. It is returning thanks for the gifts we receive. Gratitude has several fruits in the human spirit. We complain less and demand less when we are grateful , because we recognize it is a gift. We also can be more generous--Jesus' dictum, what you have received as a gift give as a gift--is a holistic approach.

This Thanksgiving when I preached I shared that I wanted to shake things up the way exercise experts and nutritionists and dental experts were messing with me mind. My suggestion: Do not thank God for your blessings. The bewildered looks on peoples' faces showed me I had hit the target. Here is why I say it.

We are not good at recognizing true blessings. Most of us (at least me) tend to consider things that make life easier or more pleasant to be blessings. So we look at what we are getting and determine the gratitude based on that. However, in reality, we all know that sometimes things which make life harder and more challenging are actually the blessing. It is not easy to see that a blessing may be painful or difficult. So perhaps we are thanking God for the wrong things. For all the disagreements on repetitions, sets, weight and frequency all exercise folks agree that struggling with heavier weights makes you stronger. The same is true of life. Having some one lift the weights for me is easier on me, but it is not a blessing. I get stronger by working.

So in this season of thanks, that is my slant. Thank God for EVERYTHING and do not try to figure out what is the blessing. We are not very good at it any way. Gratitude (and trusting God knows best) is the best way to live. And when life gets tougher it is enough to know that it might be because we have received a blessing!

1 comment:

  1. Well, yes, everything God did when he gave us Jesus is exactly up-side-down of what we people would have done ... or expected. Probably why He said "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways."

    Wishing you and yours many blessings whether you like them or not.