What Jesus said about priority

Today’s message I want to focus on focusing.  Our priority is the subject.

Pause for a minute and think about your priorities in your life right now. 

Is it your job,… your family,… your health.  Maybe your priority is getting your children through school or saving up for a big family vacation.

I know of a way you would be able to have all those things, with God’s blessing.

In Matthew 6:33 it says… But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

The bible talks about priority a lot.  I think that that scripture in Matthew kind of sums it all up.

We must be thinking about putting God first in all that we do.

1st Timothy 2 tells us our priority should be prayer… The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.

There is a story in the book of Luke between two sisters, Mary and Martha.  This story lends itself more to our current time and cultures.  Where we have chores around the house that we must be thinking of.

Luke 10:38-42… As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

    “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Jesus did not blame Martha for being concerned about her household chores.  He was only asking her to set priorities.  It is possible for service to Christ to degenerate into mere busywork that is no longer full of devotion to God.

The phrase Mary has chosen what is better echoes of Old Testament passages where the greatest possession is close fellowship with the Lord as ones “portion” in life.

Mary chose to focus on Jesus and it will not be taken away from her – neither then to help her sister in the kitchen or for all eternity.

Where is your focus now in life?  What are you choosing day to day as priority stuff?  Are you a Mary or a Martha?

To be well, we must focus on Him and His righteousness.

God bless you, always.

Doug

Jesus was a gentle man.

Today’s thoughts focus on Gentleness.  I am reminded that it is a fruit of the spirit.  “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, Galatians 5:22-23.

Jesus said blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5

With Jesus announcement that the kingdom was at hand, it is natural that people wanted to know how to qualify themselves to be in God’s kingdom.  In the kingdom of heaven, wealth, power and authority are not important.

I want to be like Jesus each day.  I pray for this.  You see, kingdom people seek different blessings and benefits and they have different attitudes.
Jesus frees people from all burdens.  The rest that Jesus promises is love, healing, and peace with God.  A relationship with Him changes meaningless wearisome toil into spiritual productivity and purpose.

Today’s scripture is from Matthew 11:28 where Jesus teaches us about being gentle and His own gentleness.

 


Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls”.

Gentleness is a bi-product of Christ’s control.  We can’t obtain it with out His help.  If we want our fruit to grow, we must join with him and what he is doing in the world.

We must know Him, Love Him, remember Him, and imitate Him.  Do you want the precious fruit of the spirit in you? Remember, He is the vine and we are the branches.

Are your attitudes a carbon copy of the world’s selfishness pride and lust for power, or do they reflect the humility and self-sacrifice of Jesus, your king?

God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So you should always clothe yourselves with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12

To be well, you must be gentle.

 

God bless you always,

 Life Coach Doug

 

What Jesus said about fear and anxiety.

In 1 Peter 5:7 it says to cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  Do you think it is possible to cast all your anxiety?

I do, it’s very hard, but I now realize that when I start to worry and be anxious about something, that’s when I am taking it back or away from God.

That’s what the saying means… “Let Go and let God”.

It’s not easy…it takes practice.  It’s something that I practice almost everyday.

Did you know that Jesus said do not worry, because it won’t add time to your life. He actually say’s and this is pretty cool… And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:27 

Worry is actually a time stealer. Isn’t it?

Jesus words show that the way to eternal life, though unseen, is secure-as secure as your trusting in Him. He has already prepared the way to eternal life.

The only issue that maybe still unsettled is your unwillingness to believe.  Could this be true with you?

Let me share what else Jesus said about fear and anxiety?

 

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house; I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you.  After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.”  John 14:1-4

There are few verses in the bible that talk about eternal life, but these are rich with promises.  Here Jesus said I go and prepare a place and then I will come back for you.

We can look forward to eternity because Jesus has promised it to all who believe in Him.

We don’t need to fear because Jesus is preparing for us.  And for me that is a real comforting thought.  How about you?

Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith. Henry Ward Beecher

 

I choose the handle of faith every time…how bout you?

God bless you

Doug Durham

 

What about Joy? Do you have it?

When things are going well, we feel great.  When hardships come we sink into depression. But true joy transcends the rolling waves of circumstance.  Joy comes from a consistent relationship with Jesus.

In today’s scripture, read what Jesus teaches about joy.

 

I loved you as the Father loved me. Now remain in my love. I have obeyed my Father’s commands, and I remain in his love. In the same way, if you obey my commands, you will remain in my love.  I have told you these things so that you can have the same joy I have and so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy.  John 15:9-11

 

  When our lives are intertwined with his he will help us walk through adversity without sinking into debilitating lows and manage prosperity without      moving into deceptive highs,

 

The joy of living with Jesus daily will keep us level headed, no matter how high or how low our circumstances.

When was the last time you laughed for the sheer joy of your salvation? People are not attracted to somber doctrines.

 

There is no persuasive power in a gloomy and morbid religion. Let the world see your joy and you won’t be able to keep them away. To be filled with God is to be filled with joy.

 

For the joy of the LORD is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

 

 

 

God Bless you,

Doug

What’s for breakfast?

What’s for breakfast – coffee? Most mornings, we barely glance at the kitchen. Fixing breakfast takes up precious time that’s in short supply. But there’s ample evidence that the simple act of eating breakfast — every day — is a big part of losing weight, lots of weight.

“People skip breakfast thinking they’re cutting calories, but by mid-morning and lunch, that person is starved,

Breakfast skippers replace calories during the day with mindless nibbling, bingeing at lunch and dinner. They set themselves up for failure.”

Research suggests that having a big breakfast with carbohydrates and lean protein, and even a piece of chocolate, will help keep your appetite in check all day and help you lose weight.

And yet another study was done. But this one I tend to agree with.

The study compared sedentary, obese women eating a big breakfast containing carbs with sedentary, obese women eating a low-carbohydrate breakfast.

Results showed that at the end of the eight-month trial, women eating the big breakfast lost an average of almost 40 pounds, while the low-carb breakfast group lost only nine pounds on average. Research was done at Virginia Commonwealth University,

Here’s an example of a high-carbohydrate, high-protein breakfast:

A cup of coffee with cream, two 8-ounce glasses of milk, three slices of roast beef, chicken breast or turkey breast, two slices of cheese, and two slices of whole grain bread plus a pat of butter.

And here’s an example of the low-carbohydrate breakfast: Three slices of cooked pork bacon, one egg, two teaspoons of butter, coffee with no milk, four ounces of 1 percent milk.

So how does it help?

It reduces hunger: Eating breakfast may reduce your hunger later in the day, which may make it easier to avoid overeating. When you skip breakfast, you may feel ravenous later and be tempted to reach for a quick fix

It allows you to make Healthier choices:  Eating breakfast may get you on track to make healthy choices all day. When you eat breakfast, you tend to eat a healthier overall diet, one that is more nutritious and lower in fat. When you skip breakfast, you’re more likely to skip fruits and vegetables the rest of the day, too.

It will give you more energy:  Eating breakfast may give you energy, increasing your physical activity during the day. A healthy breakfast refuels your body and replenishes the glycogen stores that supply your muscles with immediate energy.

So start planning your breakfast…oh did I tell you that planning is another great KEY to weight loss?  I’ll have more on that in another blog.

 

Life Coach Doug

 

Connect with me on facebook @   www.facebook.com/lifecoachdoug

Stressed and overweight?

Did anyone ever figure out which came first…the chicken or the egg?

Well, I’ve got another one I’ve been thinking about.  Which comes first…stress or being overweight?

Do you get stressed because you’re overweight or overweight because you’re stressed?  My answer is going to have to be …YES!

Wow! This is a vicious cycle.

When we’re stressed it causes your body to increase a hormone called cortisone, AKA: the stress hormone.  It does have a beneficial factor when it is at normal levels, but when it is too high it can raise a whole boat-load of problems.  High levels of cortisol can create cravings for salty and sweet foods.

Aha…the cycle begins.  We eat sweets, chips…you see where this is headed right?

Often when people are under stress they will seek out social support…that’s a good thing.  But people who are dieting will often turn to food because they’re already hungry.  Sure the social support may still be there, but it is usually combined with a meal or dessert and coffee. Or if you’re at home alone you go the bag of potato chips and eat the whole bag…ever done that?

The cycle really begins when we see we are gaining weight and can’t seem to get a handle on it.  We get a… “Whoa is me” attitude or a “to heck with it” attitude and we eat more.  What happens is we gain 3-5 pounds and get even more stressed.  That is why it is vicious.

This is when you have to turn to God’s word.  I will suggest here…Philippians.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

 When we start to worry and fill with anxiety, I believe that is when we are taking the problem back from God.  We have to trust in Him; do what we know is right, and be patient.  Wait for Him to act.

How are you at waiting to see what God has planned?  This is hard for “us humans” to do.

So the next time you see yourself getting caught up in the stressed –overweight cycle.  Put on the brakes!  Stop and ask for God’s help.  Even if you have to do this daily or more often – maybe sometimes it may seem hourly.  Humble yourself and do it.

God Bless,

Life Coach Doug

Are you close to burnout?

Have you ever been in, or close to, a burn out phase in your life?  Sit back and take a look at the movie theater of your mind, right now.

Is every day a bad day?

Are you exhausted all the time?

Do you feel unappreciated or nothing you do seems to make a difference any more?

If you were leaning towards yes to those questions you maybe close to having burn out.

 Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.

 

What has this past week looked liked in your life? 

 

There are things you can do for stress, which is the leading cause for burnout.

One thing you can do is watch for the warning signs – those things I just mentioned above.

Another would be to start managing your stress.  Either by altering it, avoiding it, adapting to it or just accepting it.

I think most importantly you should build toughness or have a bounce back spirit.  This can only go on so long, but it might get you through a busy time at work.

You must take care of your physical and emotional health.

This weekend I want you to think about what might be causing your burn out.  Is it your job, the lifestyle you’re leading or is your personality?  Are you a perfectionist?

In a burn out situation the primary damage is emotional.  But be careful it could lead to depression.

If you do have to work this weekend, enjoy yourself.  In Colossians 3 it says: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters

If you do not have to work this weekend, enjoy yourself!  Go do something that you usually wouldn’t do.  Go see a movie, go to a fall festival.

Did you notice my encouragement is the same for whatever life brings this weekend?  Enjoy life!  Be well.

 

 God Bless, 

Life Coach Doug

 

Have you heard about Vitamin E? What to do now?

Okay, I’ve got a grip on my schedule

Famous last words I know.  Spread the word, Life Coach Doug is going to start blogging more.

If you are a man, today’s blog is for you.  If you know a man, are in love with a man or have a brother or father or even an uncle…pass this info along.  For further information I have provided an important link at the end of the blog.

Over the years people have taken supplements of vitamin E for various diseases and disorders, such as: coronary artery disease, cancer and eye disorders. 

Have you heard the news about vitamin E?  Apparently, a research study was done on a group of men over a period of 5 years.  50% were given Vitamin E and the other half were given a placebo.

The men taking the vitamin E were found to be at risk 17% more for having prostate cancer.  YIKES!  They are not sure why as yet.  Practically speaking, this means for every 1,000 men who take vitamin E, 76 men get cancer, compared with 65 if they were taking placebo.

 If you have been taking vitamin E and if you are a male between 40-75 you should discuss it with your doctor and probably get screened. The goal of screening for prostate cancer is to find it early, in the hope that it can be treated more effectively.

Prostate cancer can often be found early by testing the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. Another way to find prostate cancer early is the digital rectal exam (DRE).

 If prostate cancer is found during screening with the PSA test or DRE, your cancer will likely be at an early, more treatable stage than if no screenings were done.

 The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for prostate cancer in the United States are for 2011:

 * About 240, 890 new cases of prostate cancer 

 * About 33,720 deaths from prostate cancer

 The new finding comes on the heels of a study released last Monday that found that dietary supplements — including multivitamins, which often contain vitamin E are associated with poor health in older women.  We’ll have to keep an eye on vitamin E.


So what are we to do? 

I have a good idea of what I am going to do.  Allow me to share… 

There is not a lot of evidence that, for healthy people who eat a normal diet, taking supplementary vitamins is beneficial, so I am going to continue to eat my lean and green meals, drink my water and keep reading the web sites/newspapers for the latest reports and studies, for you and for me.

                  Life Coach Doug,

For more information on prostate cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.

For more information about me go to www.LifeCoachDoug.com

Omega 3’s are you in or out?

I will continue posting on Mondays and Thursdays for a while longer, due to my busy schedule.  It is helping me and I hope that it works for you.  I also hope the information I share in these blogs will enable you to go out and apply it to your own life style.  Be sure to keep telling me what’s working for you and what’s not.

 My wife and I prepared salmon on the grill last night.  We microwaved some of those little red potatoes and also grilled zucchini and squash.

 I like the taste of Salmon (did you know, it’s low in mercury).  We put some dill sauce and a little lemon, yum…

Salmon is the fish they tell us to eat if we want a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids.

 Omega-3 fatty acids, found almost exclusively in fish, have been promoted for years as a way to improve heart health, but I read where recent studies are casting doubt on that idea. Some have shown no benefit to consuming more of the nutrient.

Oh no …not another study, I said…

The latest such finding came in early September. A study of more than 3,000 people published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed no heart benefits of a high consumption of an omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

The results were not final, so earlier this week the American Heart Association, as well as some other organizations, still recommends getting your share of omega-3s by eating fish at least twice a week.

~

 Do you get tired of reading studies proving this or dis-proving that?  Later on the article did say that maybe this is because some Nordic countries already eat a lot of fish and so having a higher intake may not be beneficial; there is a “certain threshold beyond which you may not get more benefit.”

There is also a short chain type, which comes from plants so that could have been skewing the results as well.  They also didn’t keep real close track of who was already on medication for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. So their benefit would be less, too. 

I did read in my studies of omega 3’s that pregnant women should be cautious in their choices of dietary omega 3’s from fish sources, as some may contain contaminants that could harm the fetus.  So beware if you’re a mom to be.

All in all, I will encourage you to continue eating fish at least twice a week.  The habit we are in around the Durham household is fish on Wednesdays and Sundays. 

If you have any good salmon recipes I would like for you to send them to me at doug@lifecoachdoug.com

Update: The Centers for Disease Control says nearly two-dozen people have died after eating tainted cantaloupes. Over 100 people in 23 states have reported matching symptoms. The outbreak is believed to have started at a Jensen Farms plant in eastern Colorado, USA. So remember to keep washing your fruits and vegetables.

Take care and God bless,

 Wellness Matters for Life

Life Coach Doug


What is your philosophy?

Do you have a philosophy on wellness?  You probably do, without even realizing it.  We all have philosophies.  Philosophies are nothing more than our opinion dressed up with an opening and closing statement.  It can and should be a way to present to others and even yourself, what you believe.  Have you thought about it?

My philosophy on health is this…I know that if I don’t work at it, it will fail.  My body will fail, my mind will fail, and my spirit will fail.  My philosophy is regular exercise in all three aspects, Body, Mind, and Spirit.

In the New Testament, the book of Mark 14:38 says… “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

I know that I need to eat right and exercise but I don’t always do it.  Do you?

It certainly is tempting to sit on the couch and eat Bon Bon’s, or to sleep in and not get up to exercise or to read my bible. Yes, the body is weak.

After thinking about what health and wellness means to you, take some time to write down your philosophy.

 

Here are some questions that might get you started thinking:

  1. Where do you see yourself on the wellness continuum in the next 5 years, the next 10 years?
  2. If you continue to live your current lifestyle for the next two to three decades, how do you see yourself at that point in the future?

Your health philosophy guides your state of health.  What is your health philosophy?  Take some time today to think about it…write it down…start living by it. It makes things/life so much simpler.  We tend to act on what we believe to be true.

Look for support if you’re starting to make changes in your life style.  Tell others, “Hey I’m going to start exercising, will you help me by holding me accountable?”

 

Dying is the only sure thing about living.

We lost a true visionary yesterday when Steve Jobs passed.  I wonder what his philosophy on wellness was.  He sure put up a good fight for so many years with his cancer diagnosis.  He had passion.  What are you passionate about?

Steve Jobs did say this about his life and what matters to him…

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”

I encourage you to start today being that person you want to be.  Don’t let excuses or worldly things hold you back.

What matters to you?  What is your philosophy?

 

Wellness Matters for life

Life Coach Doug

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