This post is dedicated to all women who believe that God gave them the ability to bring their child into the world with the absence of drugs, technology, and other machinery that interferes with our God-given ability and working in our own bodies to give birth.
The Birth of Faith
She was born with a strength of character; I saw that from the moment I laid eyes on her. She had to be born strong, only God knew the things she would someday face. “What are you going to name her?”, the midwife asked while John held her in his arms. “Uyime Abasi,” he said. He looked at me with a mixture of awe and bewilderment. His face stated what his lips didn’t utter, “I can’t believe what just happened here, I just witnessed a miracle.”
I looked at the baby and asked him,” what does her name mean?” He said “it
means ‘will of God’”. I hid in my heart what her middle name would be long before I held her in my arms; even before she was conceived. God knew her before I did and He knew her middle name would be Gabriella. Gabriella…
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The American diet mainly consist of unhealthy fats, animal products, carbohydrates, and the nemesis of health, processed sugar. Most people overly consume, dairy cheese, bread and crackers, potato chips, meat, and sugary desserts in the form of cake, cookies, ice cream etc. The American diet is full of calories, but no nutrients, it expands your waist, but doesn’t fill you up. Therefore, you keep eating, eating, and eating; and you continue to keep gaining, gaining, and gaining more weight.
Let’s not forget the temples of fast food which have been erected so that millions can enter each day to pay homage and worship. Fast food has probably contributed to more deaths than all the wars combined, yet people continue to trudge mindlessly to them as though they are chained by their power, and have no ability to stop and no choice. The choice has been taken away from you by the addition of processed sugar, unhealthy fats, and dead carbohydrates contained in the fast food. Fast food and overly processed food is formulated to make you addicted. You eat and never get full, you consume and are never nourished. People who are starving and people who are obese are both malnourished.
Hence pornography is similar. People who use pornography aren’t just looking for pleasure, they are looking for human connection. They are looking to be fulfilled from something that can never deliver. So, they look at the pictures or videos and hope that by consuming enough of it they will be satisfied. But, they aren’t satisfied, they just become addicted and miserable: and once addicted they no longer have the control over stopping. They may even forget they were looking for human love, connection, and relationships. Just as people who consume all the trash that is called food are looking for nourishment, nutrients, and satiation of hunger; but all they find is empty calories, weight gain, and disease. Why does the food industry make food that is so bad for people, food that stimulates disease and obesity: the answer is simple, it is for profit and monetary gain. It’s the same reason so much money is made from pornography, and the results are the same; the destruction of the human life and the human spirit.
WHAT WE CAN DO TO HELP OURSELVES:
- Try to only purchase food that is in its original form, it may or may not be organic, but stop eating food that is unrecognizable from the way it grows.
- Take the time to cook your own food. I know we are pressed for time, but there are ways around eating fast food. Chop your vegetables ahead of time. Buy vegetables pre-cut.
- Cook several meals at once and freeze them so you can defrost them later to be eaten.
- Find healthy alternatives to snacking, such as fruit, vegetables, real protein shakes,(not those filled with processed sugar).
- Educated yourself about what you are really eating: the calories, the sodium, the sugar, the additives. ( Re-educate yourself about what a healthy diet consist of )
- To avoid the temptation to use pornography, fight to build human relationships with real people. Remember that what you are looking at via the computer or telephone screen isn’t real; even if live people are there, there is no intimate, real connection with them. You are paying these people for their services and it is for their profit and at your loss. And you are losing much more than money.
- Also constantly strive to develop yourself, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that anyone else can do this for you. Find and participate in things that you are gifted in as well as things that bring pleasure in a positive way: this could be sports, music, art, more education for yourself. The list is endless.
- Take note
that you have control over your own life, and if you don’t take control over what you eat, your personal relationships, and your choices in life; someone will make the choice for you.
In life when faced with seemingly impossible and overwhelming circumstances, God has given us certain principles that will carry us through , coupled with a strong faith in Him and his promises.
The one thing that is certain about the Christian walk is the constant trials that we face. As a newborn believer, I felt that I could relax and wait for Jesus’s return and in the meantime just coast into heaven for the next sixty or seventy years. I soon realized that this belief is a fallacy: the adversary convinces many Christians that to follow Jesus means to live a life free of suffering or difficulty. Also in our Christian walk we are faced many times with complicated decisions; and sometimes it seems we have no choice.
What we need to realize is that in times of severe distress and sometimes painful moral crisis, God has given us a blueprint of what to do and what not to do. When I am faced with dilemmas in my Christian walk, I often read the book of Exodus (14:13,14) which is the story of the Hebrews leaving Egypt and their pursuit by Pharoah’s armies. The former Hebrew slaves found themselves in what seemed to be a hopeless situation: Pharoah’s army was behind them, the mountains were on either side and the Red Sea stretched in front of them. Sometimes the greater the seemingly hopelessness, the greater the deliverance at hand. Moses, the Hebrews leader who was chosen by God to lead them out of bondage had four main things that he told the people when they were at the edge of the Red Sea that fateful day.
The first thing he told them was to “be not afraid.” There are many things we can do when we are afraid; such as worry, panic, blame others: but the one thing we cannot do when we fear is trust God. Fear and faith can never exist at the same time. Fear cancels out faith and vice versa. So if you are in a seemingly hopeless situation, as tempting as it is to be afraid, don’t give in to it. If you ask God to comfort you, he will. Hebrews 13:5 says, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” The one thing a child fears the most is being left alone, and this is because they can’t make it on their own. A good parent is never at risk of leaving their child intentionally; so it is with God, he will never leave us or abandon us emotionally because his love for us can never permit him to do so. When we worry in painful and stressful circumstances, it is like saying to God, “I don’t trust you to take care of me, or I don’t believe you can.” One thing to remember about the plight of the Hebrews is that their hopeless situation brought them to their promised land. The path to our destinies is often paved with pain, fear, discouragement, and obstacles. The greater the obstacle, the greater the deliverance and miracle.
The next thing God told Moses to tell the people was to be still. Being physically still in times of crisis is so important. Often we think we are accomplishing something if we are moving; many times all movement achieves is to serve as a distraction. Physical stillness also can give us time to regroup and to think before acting. If every time we encounter stress we immediately act, we run the risk of acting in haste. And as my grandmother used to say, “Haste makes waste.” Stillness also gives our emotions time to “catch up” before we make a physical move. How many times have you known someone to act rashly only to later realize they’d made a mistake. When I’m faced with multiple decisions in my Christian walk, I find I’m not going to make a mistake if I take the time to seek God about what to do, and wait to hear what he says to do. It’s hard to hear the voice of God while in constant movement; especially when that movement has little or nothing to do with his direction for our lives. So when listening for direction from God, it is imperative that we find a place to be still or not move until we know that it is God saying to move.
The next thing God said to do which goes together with stillness is to watch. We see sometimes only what God allows us to see, and this is hard to accept when we feel we are educated, intelligent, and well-informed. Unfortunately, no matter how intelligent we are our smarts are no match for God. There is physical seeing and there is seeing with understanding. The seeing with understanding is the level of seeing that God is trying to get us to. For we can have physical sight and be spiritually blind. When I pray, I ask God to allow me to see situations the way he sees them, which in turn will increase wisdom. We can never know all that God knows, but we can be in relationship with him closely, so as to act in ways that please him and glorify his will in the earth. Sometimes we can not see,(understand) God’s will until we just observe what he is doing, and we can’t do that unless we ask. Watching involves prayer, but it also involves waiting.
The last thing Moses instructed the people to do was to be quiet. This is hard for most people to do because it involves controlling a small member of our bodies, and that is the tongue. The book of James says, “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things..”(James 3:5) Our speech is the one thing that can build up or tear down. In regards to faith, it is important to always remember that our words have extreme power. That is why we should never confess negativity over our selves by speaking. We should never speak negative things over others unless it is to rebuke, correct, and instruct. The power of our speech is another sermon altogether; however when we are faced with extreme distress, we must keep quiet especially in regards to speaking negatively. Also when in times of extreme trials or pain, you can not tell everyone what you are going through; simply because they can not always understand. When facing extreme trials, the primary person you should talk to is God and leave it with God. When we speak without thinking we can never take back what has been said. Hence, it’s important to keep quiet and seek wisdom of what to say or if to speak at all. And always remember if we can control what we say, we can control other aspects of our lives. If in times of crisis you don’t know whether to speak or not, always ask God whether to speak or not; he will let you know. Finally, I can’t stress enough the importance of being quiet when facing life’s trials: because your words have power, they can inflict pain or heal, your words reveal how much control you have over your own spirit and you can literally speak your destiny into existence by saying the right thing or the wrong thing.
Heavenly Father I pray right now for those who are facing difficulties of the kind that only you can deliver them from, I pray for their confidence to be in you, and that they know that you will help them as they put their trust in you. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
THE MOUNTAINS AND THE SEA
At some point eating the flesh of an animal didn’t seemed natural to me; especially when you consider animals have many of the same vital organs that humans have. I always wanted an alternative to eating meat, yet nothing in my life supported this choice, so for most of my adult life I ignored the feeling that there was another way to live and to eat.
In my early twenties I flirted with the idea of giving up meat. I told my mother, “I no longer eat meat.” She was almost horrified, and said, “Jo-Anne, you’d better eat some meat.” She said it with the tone of “if you don’t ,you are risking not having good health.” I soon gave up this venture when I realized I was eating more bread and pasta than would be good for my waistline: this was the days before tofu, tofurkey, and meatless burgers.
When I married, my husband wasn’t obsessed with eating meat ,yet he didn’t understand any need to exclude it from our diets. He was from a country where having three meals a day was considered a blessing, meat or no meat. I gave him one of my many reasons for giving it up; one being the toxins in it. He said, “the chickens and cows in Nigeria are free range and are clean.” “Food is food, what matters is that you have something to eat.” It was all the same to him. Had I been a stronger person and more firm in my conviction to abstain from animal flesh, I could have overcome this small obstacle and simply ate the way I chose. This is the difference between a conviction and a good idea. Had I been convicted, I would have stuck with it: with or without the support of my spouse.
The years passed, I gave birth to three children, and one of the midwives at my daughter’s birth was a vegetarian. Unknown to her, I looked at her with envy, and said to myself, “I wish I could be like that. It seems like a great way to live.” I said this not understanding at the time that living without eating meat in a meat saturated society involves a change not only in what you prepare for dinner; but it involves a change of lifestyle. The years passed and one of my daughters, Uyime, became a vegetarian by circumstance. It seemed that whenever she ate meat, she had unbearably painful menstrual cramps. It didn’t matter if the meat was organic or non-organic: she couldn’t eat meat period. I looked at her with pity because she also couldn’t eat sugar without getting terrible headaches. So I began my journey of buying the meat substitutes which had come on the scene and through much technological advances had become very tasty. I supported and sympathized with my daughter, but not enough to go on this journey with her; after all hadn’t I tried going meatless before and gave it up because I just couldn’t find enough to eat without being hungry.
Menopause came and went. I missed all those great hormones that kept my heart healthy, and regulated my thyroid and a ton of other functions. What I hated most about menopause was the fat that you gained in the places you didn’t know existed. My older sister who had stopped eating meat for years said to me over lunch, “Joan we weren’t meant to eat animals, they have the same hormones and body organs as we do.” Somehow, I’d never looked at it that way, and I’d never cared either. However, I’d begun to crave sugar more than usual and I thought, “what can I do to stop eating all the sugar and cravings?” I read before and also knew that if I could give up meat, it would be easier to give up sugar: for some reason meat and sugar seemed to feed off each other. Maybe because they are opposites. Well, I knew what a horror story sugar is in the body, so I said I will do anything to stop eating it. Slowly and with great determination I looked at the last package of meat I’d bought and said, “when this finishes I’m finished with eating meat.” It turned out to be so. I’ve had my hungry moments, and have heard stories of people who stopped being vegan and vegetarian to eat meat for various reasons. However, nothing has moved me to want to go back to eating meat. It’s taken me too long to arrive here.
THE BENEFITS I’VE GAINED SINCE I ELIMINATED MEAT AND DAIRY PRODUCTS
- My stomach has begun to shrink and feel less bloated.
- Sinus congestion and inflammation has ceased.
- The cravings for sugar are becoming less, and as I thought, as I gave up the meat, the consumption of sugar has become less.
- The pains in my lower leg and the symptoms of gout are lessening and becoming non-existent.
- The pains in the bottom of the feet have ceased.
- Overall craving for foods that aren’t good for me have been curbed.