From Daddy, with Love

From Daddy, with Love

Love makes us do crazy things.

We sing more love songs than any other song. We hear Country songs about what a man will do for his love, and pop singers singing about the love of their life. And who doesn’t like a great love story? Hallmark movies, romance novels, and magazine articles all boast of love. It is everywhere. We adore love.

History holds incredible love stories.  King Edward VIII of England abdicated his throne for the love of an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson, in 1936. He could not take her as his bride as king, so he gave his kingship to his brother, King George, and married the woman he loved. They became the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Who doesn’t remember reading about the famous Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra and the Roman General Mark Antony? After losing a war on Rome, they took their lives rather than be apart in life. [i]

In a recent El Paso Walmart shooting, a man shot a couple, Jordan and Andre Anchondo, to death while they tried to protect their two-month-old son. The shooter shot Andre as he threw his body in front of his wife and then shot Jordan as she tried to protect their son. [ii]  

What has love caused you to do?

When my children were young, my husband built them a swing set and fort with a slide and tunnel to play on in our backyard. He started it in our garage in the middle of winter. I have the cutest pictures of my three bundled children sitting on the steps of the garage watching my husband, hammer nails, saw wood and piece together this surprise. They could not wait to play on it.

On Father’s Day, I gave Mike a small plaque inscribed with “From Daddy, with love” to attach to the wooden beam of the playset so my children would always remember who built it for them. My kids are nearing the end of their college careers and that playset still stands in our yard.

Hebrews 1:3 says that Jesus is “The exact imprint of [God’s] nature…” God sent his Son as a loving imprint of his nature and love for us. One of the most famous Bible verses is John 3:16 (ESV),

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

We could also say, “From Daddy, with love.”

Who among us would give their child for the life of a good person, let alone an evil, selfish, or hateful person? Only a loving God would offer His Son for sinners like you and me. Jesus suffered and died for us, for love.

Hebrews 2:9 says,

“But we see him, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.”

Not only was Jesus willing to die, but Hebrews tells us how He went to the cross. Hebrews 12: 2 says,

“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who, for the JOY that was set before Him endured the cross…” (Emphasis mine).

The Greek word for joy means gladness, state of rejoicing, happiness. [iii] Why would Jesus be in a state of rejoicing in going to the cross?  Because He knew that cross would restore the relationship He, the Father, and the Holy Spirit wanted with us. We could finally come to the Father, be in the presence of the Godhead, and experience Their love.

Jesus said in John 15:13,

“Greater love has no one than this; that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

There are many people who have not only laid down their life for a friend or family member but also a total stranger. How often do we see videos of or read about someone who risked their life to save another or gave their life saving someone? Just as Andre Anchondo threw himself in front of his wife to save her from the shooter, Jesus did the same for us.

Jesus took the blame and punishment for a crime He did not commit. Soldiers beat Him and He bled the blood we should have bled. He allowed the soldiers to nail His body to a cross that ours should have been nailed to.

But, Jesus did what we could not do. He raised himself from the dead (John 2:19, 10:18). Love raised Him. Love gave Jesus life from a horrible death. Love left scars on His resurrected body. Love seated Jesus at the right hand of the Father.

Remember, when we read verses like “Love is patient, love is kind…” from 1 Corinthians 13, we can replace all the “Love is” with God is.

God is love. So God is patient, God is kind; God does not envy or boast…God never ends.


[i] https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/arts-and-culture/news/g3233/greatest-love-stories-in-history/

[ii] https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/04/mass-shooting-el-paso-texas-woman-killed-saved-baby

[iii] James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

Which filter do you use?

Which filter do you use?

A filter is a common word in today’s vernacular. Growing up, it meant a white, paper thingy you used in your Mr. Coffee to keep the coffee grains from getting into your cup of caffeine. Now, we have the French press and the Keurig, and there is no need of the big, white filters anymore.

Filters on our phones and computers make our selfies and pictures look anyway we want. I can make myself look twenty years younger, glamorous, silly, or like a cat, dog, biker, or a banana.

 I have friends and family who love to take selfies with Snapchat. We send crazy photos to each other, laugh at one another, and make comments.

You can turn a color photo into black and white or a vintage-style picture. On Instagram, there are over twenty different filters to choose from to apply to every picture we take.

But….

All of us have filters ingrained within us.

We can have filters for different reasons:

We inherit certain filters, people teach them to us, or they develop in us by circumstances beyond our control.

We had a German shepherd named Olivia who loved us as much as we loved her. She knew we would protect her so she protected us. She knew she could trust us, too. Whenever anyone came over, she would walk up to them and roll onto her back so they could rub her belly. She loved people because no one had ever given her a reason not to. (I realize that is not always the case.)

Our current dog, Sophie, does not trust anyone. To us, she is the sweetest dog, but let someone visit or drop off a package and she will bark and growl at them until we make her stop, which is why she must stay behind a fence.

Sophie has a pancreatic problem which also causes behavior (fear) issues. Before we knew what was wrong with her, she was already starving. Her body did not digest the large amounts of food we gave her so she ate everything she found. Believe me it was not good. She ate dozens of eggs from our chickens and a couple of times she ate the chicken, too. :((

Two dogs raised in the same way, but one loved all people and the other is afraid of everyone.

Just like our phone apps, filters influence the way we see ourselves and other people.

Hurt, betrayal, pain, illness, or any injustice can be a filter causing us to see things a certain way. Our worldview can skew how we perceive God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, or how we read and interpret the Bible.

For example, sometimes I may need to examine why I react to particular things. I have a friend who told me if I always over-react to the same kinds of comments or behaviors (triggers); I can ask God for the cause of this reaction.

He has been faithful to show me why certain things trigger a negative response from me. My trust issues and disappointment with others stem from family dynamics which affected me as a child.

God has done deep healing in me over the years.

I want to see Him without the filters caused by my parent’s dysfunction. And I want to know truth that only the Holy Spirit and the Word of God can teach me without the negative filters of hurt instilled by teachers and pastors through their erroneous teachings.

Ask God to remove your current filters through his healing and truth. Ask Him to reveal the root of those filters.

Be transparent. Remove the filters telling people you are happy all the time and you don’t need anything. Be vulnerable. Let people get to know the real you.

Are you Thriving or just Getting by? Part 2

Are you Thriving or just Getting by? Part 2

About twelve years ago, my husband and I implemented better food choices not to just get healthy, but to thrive. We started on minerals and vitamins and gave up white flours, sugars, and potatoes.

Is Sugar good for us?

When I started Trim Healthy Mama, I gave up most grains and all sugar. I know unbelievable, right? I was fortunate; sugar addictions and withdrawals had little effect on me when I stopped eating sugar. My husband and I feel better; we have very little inflammation (because sugar and grains increase inflammation) and seldom get sick (as a biologist, I know all bacteria, viruses, and CANCER feed on sugar).

(Did you know doctors actually use sugar to find cancer in our bodies using the PET scan?)

Sugar shuts down the immune system–which inhibits you from fighting viral and bacterial infections.

Think about how sick most people get between Halloween and the New Year when we eat the most sweets and desserts.

After I got sugar out of my system, I noticed my food tasted better–I now like certain foods I had not liked before. And if I eat something sugary now, my joints and body get sore and stiff. I have even gotten sick to my stomach. My body now hates sugar.

I should mention that I am NOT talking about naturally occurring sugar in fruits and vegetables.

I believe God made us to eat for our health, not to self-medicate or to satisfy our sweet tooth.

It’s about balance

Balance is God’s way for us physically and spiritually.

I am not suggesting we never eat for enjoyment either. God gave us food to be pleasing to the eyes and taste buds. I enjoy food now more than ever, but what I eat is much better for me and tastes better, too.

Children are getting Type 2 diabetes younger and younger. Obesity is getting just as common among children as it is among adults.

Eating habits are not just eating how we were taught as children, but why we eat as well. #ThisSideofHeaven #AreyouThriving?

Depression, loneliness, fear, pain, and guilt, among other things, cause us to medicate with food and drink. A lack of nutrition causes many of our diseases. We need vitamins and minerals like magnesium, calcium, zinc, potassium, and vitamins A, B, C, D, and E to keep us healthy and our bones, muscles, nervous and digestive systems to operate as they were designed.

We find most of those vitamins and minerals in foods grown from the ground, not in processed foods at McDonald’s…

Many people may wonder why we do not see as many healings as in the Bible. I have even heard people claim that Jesus only heals us in a spiritual sense, but not physically. I don’t believe that.

But, could it be we don’t see as much healing because Jesus wants us to take responsibility for what we put in our mouth? OUCH! Sowing and reaping apply here.

I believe God can heal anything and everything. I am not suggesting He won’t heal because we eat donuts and candy. He alone knows when and how He wants to heal our bodies, but sometimes it may not be until Heaven.

Steps for taking control of our body’s health:

1. Incorporate more low-carb fruits and vegetables like berries and green leafy veggies, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and brussels sprouts. Using a mixture of real butter, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic gives these vegetables great flavor.

2. Avoid processed foods. Eat foods that you make yourself or you know were grown from the ground.

3. Drink lots of water. Drink one-half of your body weight in ounces of water. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, then you need to drink seventy-five ounces of water a day.

4. Cut way back on sugar. Avoid candy, too. Sugar and even most artificial sugars like Splenda, Aspartame (or Nutrasweet and Equal), or Saccharin (or Sweet ‘N Low, Sweet Twin) still spike your blood sugar.

For instance, Stevia, sugar alcohols, and brands like Swerve do not raise your insulin levels while letting you enjoy sweets. There are many websites with recipes that use these healthier sweeteners.

There are also brands like Swerve, Lily’s Chocolates (https://lilys.com/pages/keto-friendly-chocolate), and even Duncan Hines (https://duncanhines.com/keto-friendly) that make sugar and grain-free desserts and candy.

In a lab, we grow bacteria on sugary cultures. From Halloween into the New Year we overdose on sugar and feed the bad bacteria in our body spending most of the winter sick.

5. Limit white and wheat flour, pasta, bread, and anything made with them. Keto diets really help you get your sugar and insulin levels in a healthy range.

6. Don’t use food to self-medicate. Eating to self-medicate is never good for us and either is making food an idol. God wants us to live free from sugar addictions and self-medicating.

Too many of us do not realize we make food an idol–especially sweets. Like any other idol, we must ask for forgiveness and turn away from it. Pray and ask Jesus if you turn to food for comfort more than Him.

He is the Healer of our minds, bodies, and emotions. Seek Him to find healing and freedom from food addictions.

Seek Him if you are hurting. Forgive and bless those who have caused you pain. Freedom comes only through Christ.

Please do your body a favor and give it Healthy food. It will thank you by helping you to grow old gracefully without disease and stay healthy.

1 Corinthians 10:32 (NLT) says, “You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is good for you. You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is beneficial.”

Are you thriving physically? Pray and ask God how to do that.