Posted by: missionaryprescription | December 5, 2010

Jubilee Weekend

One of the wonderful benefits of laptops is the luxury of typing while in bed.  Today I’m in Reading, PA at a little hotel (cheapest one with a AAA discount!), taking a Jubilee weekend with my husband.  The Bible defines a Jubilee year as a year of rest and returning. . . for example, commenting on when “enslaving” fellow Israelites because of their debts . . .  “They are to be treated as hired workers or temporary residents among you; they are to work for you until theYear of Jubilee” (Leviticus 25:40). In the Year of Jubilee (every 50th year), the land was given rest just as during a Sabbath year (every 7 years) as well as property being returned to original owners.  Israelites were given their freedom again.

The concept of resting and reconnecting is a particularly important one for my husband and I.  Currently as we both have ministries/occupations that require work on Sundays (medical, cooking at a local retirement community), as well as forward-thinking (missionary mercy ministries) that will require work on Sundays, we are thoughtfully considering the many times God instructs His people to take a rest.  There is also the additional aspect of needing a strong marriage to minister to people with (and despite the media’s suggestions, this also takes quite a bit of time and energy!).

So, we are having a Jubilee weekend.  It’s simply a weekend to rest.  We have spent the days in a hotel, quite literally sleeping and “lounging around”.  Last night we ventured out for a lovely dinner at a nearby restaurant (had creme brulee for the first time!).  Initially I thought this might be a weekend of spiritual refreshment (you know, more time to pray and read God’s Word) or of marriage building (long talks and sweet times with the hubby!), but although it is both of those, it isn’t being accomplished in those ways.  We are resting.  That is all.  And that is quite enough.

God knew when He built patterns of resting for mortal man (as well as the Israelite nation), that this was a NEED of ours.  He designed us to need 8 or so hours of sleep a night.  And at least 1 day a week of rest.  Not to mention a few “holidays” a year which included times of rest.  Every 7th year was a Sabbath year where the agrarian society was only to eat “what grew by itself”, while every 50th year was a special resting year.  When these rests were ignored, the entire Israelite nation was deported, so that the land could receive the rests that God alloted for it.

I would encourage you as a individual or a couple or a family to ponder how you are resting.  Take the time to rest and be renewed by the God who designed you to need that rest.  Plan for a Jubilee day or a weekend.  Return refreshed and ready to serve once more!

In Christ,

Rebekah

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Posted by: missionaryprescription | September 23, 2010

Alone and Yet Together

SO, I have succumbed to bloglessness during the past many and very busy months.  The absence has allowed me the time to marry a wonderful young man as well as complete my third year of medical school successfully.  Doubtless, you shall want to know more about all of this . . . and I’ll tell you, but not all at once, and not today.  You’ll have to come back to hear those wonderful tales.

Today I wish to talk about something that plagues my life currently, and perhaps it plagues yours too.  It is the state of being alone, yet surrounded at the same time.  You can see it in the eyes of someone succumbing to pancreatic cancer – they are surrounded by friends, family, medical professionals, and yet they remain alone, the only one to be invaded by the cancer.  The closer I get to leaving for the mission field, the more I see it in the eyes of long-term missionaries . . . they are often in churches, surrounded by God’s kind people, and yet their eyes reflect stories of long spans of time spent in places where there are not such churches, where poverty and godlessness are life.  I see it in some married people’s eyes – so close in space to their spouse and yet so misunderstood.  Alone but together is a way of life for many.

I bemoan, sometimes in a not-at-all-godly attitude, the transient lifestyle that God has called me too.  No sooner am I settling into a place when God calls me elsewhere.  This is that sort of year – I’m finishing my 4th year of medical school, preparing to move to residency, which will necessitate finding a new apartment, a new church, a new circle of friends, etc.  And being a newly-wed, I am meeting and greeting many new people in my husband’s (now ours!) church and even wider circle of friends.   He encourages me to reach out and build on the friendship offered to me.  I find myself holding back, weary of investing in friendships, only to leave them behind in a few short months.  I’m tempted to accept the “alone, yet together” way of living.

I pause to reflect on Jesus Christ and how He must have felt, even as He was tempted in every way in which we have been.  If anyone felt alone and yet together, it must have been Him.  He was surrounded almost constantly by people who must have thought they understood Him, but nearly always failed to recognize Him as the Son of God He was.  Yet He invested in the lives of those around Him, even if He was just passing through the town. 

And so, even as I am purposing to do, I encourage you to imitate Christ, and invest in the lives of those around you, even as you feel alone in the midst of a crowd.  Shrink not back from the pain of giving without being understood.  Remember He who gave all!

Posted by: missionaryprescription | September 21, 2009

A Sea of Yellow

The day began as many others had,

Walking between the helicopter landing

And the ambulance bay, nothing sad

In the beginning, nothing to let me know

That today I would watch a child die.

 

No one told her mother, her grandpa,

Even her nurse would be caught unaware.

How was I to know that today I would

Be finding a rocking chair to hold

The loud sobs of a mother as she walked

Into a sea of yellow – dozens of staff

Gowned and hurrying, working, hoping,

That some small act would buy her minutes –

So her mother could come and touch her foot

Wishing her to stay, telling her not to go.

 

This sea of yellow shouting into the hall

For various medicines, for blood, for mere

Inventions of mortals which would not keep

One child’s soul from leaving her body

Alone, cold and blue on the bed.

 

“She is my life!” I heard the frantic mother say

And this I knew was true, from stopping to

Meet this child and mother several weeks

Earlier, when I saw the girl’s smile, the

Smile soon echoed in her mother’s face.

 

Next to the sanitizer dispenser

I watched as the monitor beeped red

Notifying the watching sea of yellow that

Her heart was too weary to go on

A nurse reached up and plunging her

Hands into the center of the small chest

Gave her strength, hoping that this time

The story might end “happily ever after”.

When she grew weary, another nurse stepped

In, each one taking turn, praying that they

Might be the one to stop, not for death

But welcoming the return of life.

 

Happily ever after ended there, in that room,

Every eye becoming the window to a

Wounded soul, troubled at why children

Die, senselessly as it seemed she did that

Day, and I have no answer for them.

Yet the King of the Universe,

Who suffered the loss of His only Son,

Somehow found it best this girl should

Not live many years, my life seeming long

When laid next to hers, that this mother

Would weep for the days she would never

Have to smile with her daughter again.

Is He cruel?  Is He too weak to take

Compassion on those in that room who

Were begging loudly, silently, for anyone

To save her?  No, not this God.  He knew

The grief that would come, and yet he

Knows what I do not, the end of the story

Remains yet unwritten.   For even in deep

Grief a deeper joy may rise, and

From the ashes flowers often bloom.

Posted by: missionaryprescription | June 10, 2009

Frustrations

Today was not one of those easy days . . . and yes, I know I’ve neglected this blog for entirely too long . . . but hopefully you are becoming accustomed to long absences.   There are reasons I haven’t written here, and today I shall tell you about one of them.

Medical students at the end of their second year (at least that’s the way it is in allopathic schools) face the formidable task of taking USMLE Step 1.  There are three “steps”, but from what I can gather from the students ahead of me, the first step is the most grueling.  I hope they’re right.  Today I quit studying early (after just a little over 11 hours today so far) because my frustrations with this test were interfering with my ability to concentrate on studying for it.  I started studying like this on May 12th, taking only a few days off for a denominational council in KY at the end of May.   I found myself today stuck between asking God to help (which I did, quite often in fact) and wondering if it would be best to quit early and rest my aching brain for tomorrow.  (Yes, I know that sounds weird, because we second year students know that brains don’t have pain receptors, but nonetheless something aches up there, and don’t try to tell me it’s psychosomatic . . . chuckle).  Part of the current frustrations has to do with the practice questions I’m taking now . . . my scores seem to be disintegrating, instead of improving with studying, as might have been expected. 

Then my thoughts return to why it is I am here at medical school in the first place.  I am here because God created me with a love for people and an enjoyment of science and math.  I am here because God placed it in my heart to work internationally and showed me how medicine could be used for His glory in that way.  I am here because God moved the admissions’ committee to send me an acceptance letter (remember, I was applying with a degree in Biblical Studies, of all things!).  I am here because, countless times over the past years, God has helped me when I was studying for exams that were beyond me, when I was sick and hardly able to keep up.  I am here because God has placed me here; even though I doubt that from time to time, I know that it is true.

Furthermore, I am here for His glory, relying on His strength . . . and even more importantly, I have gladly laid down this life at His feet, that He might do with it whatever He finds best.  Thus I work for my kind Master, that He might find pleasure in this small obedience.   Great academic feats are not what He desires most from me . . . as we are reminded in 1 Samuel 15, obedience is much better than sacrifice.  (Recall this was the time where Saul failed to wait for Samuel to come and offer the sacrifice in an acceptable manner . . . because of this, the Lord rejected him as King of Israel.)  Likewise, Mary when told that she would bear God’s Son, said “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38).  She was asked to face certain shame, for having a child out of wedlock – women at her time could be stoned for such a thing.  Yet, she willinging accepted the task that God had planned for her.  I should like to imitate this . . . to live in willing obedience to the work that God has placed before me, faithful to the One who gave His life for me.  Tis is a lot . . . but with God such things are possible!

May we each embrace what God has called us to, looking to Him for the power to accomplish all that He has in mind!

In Christ,

Rebekah

Posted by: missionaryprescription | April 13, 2009

My Awesome God

This Easter season I’ve found myself thinking more and more of the amazing God who has called me into His service.  In church today we were asked how the resurrection has changed our lives today . . . it seems like a simple question, but as I thought about it, I found the answers kept coming.  Rather the question begged . . . what part of my life has been left untouched?

 

How shall I then respond?  Psalm 103:1-2 instructs me, “My soul, praise the Lord, and all that is within me, praise His holy name.  My soul, praise the Lord, and do not forget all His benefits.”  This is a constant danger . . . to forget who my God is and what He has done.  Failure to remember will result in ungratefulness, and like the Israelites, a tendency to do evil in God’s sight. “Judges 2:10 notes, “That whole generation was gathered to their ancestors.  After them another generation rose up who did not know the Lord or the works He had done for Israel.  The Israelites did what was evil in the Lord’s sight.”  I’ve been lax lately writing down what God has been doing in my life, although I have been staying in God’s Word.  (One of the problems with medical school seems to be a wealth of good ideas and a dirth of time in which to do them).  However, I shall endeavor to continue to use this blog to capture some of what I see God doing around me. 

 

Psalm 103 continues, “He forgives all your sin; He heals all your diseases.  He redeems your life from the Pit; He crowns you with faithful love and compassion.  He satisfies you with goodness; your youth is renewed like the eagle.”  He forgives sin.  The more days I live, the more I realize the overwhelming significance of this verse.  Even today as my family was getting ready to leave for church, I was lingering over a cup of tea and thought of just driving myself (leaving a few minutes after everyone else so as not to rush).  My mother was disappointed in me (she wanted all us to travel in the van together), and I remember thinking, “Oh well, who am I to try to keep everyone happy?” However, I felt convicted over my lack of love . . . and dashed off to the van, taking the tea with me on the way.  Ah, you say, it is a small thing, but still . . . it reflects the fact that I struggle with loving God and loving others as I ought.  How amazing that his forgiveness stands ready for the moment I need it.  As one has said, “He is far more ready to forgive than I am to sin.”  Beyond forgiveness, he also crowns me with his faithful love and compassion.  I am truly blessed. 

 

“The Lord executes acts of righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.  He revealed His ways to Moses, His deeds to the people of Israel.  The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and full of faithful love.  He will not always accuse us or be angry forever.  He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve or repaid us according to our offenses” (Psalm 103:6-10).  Certainly he has not dealt with me as my sins deserve . . . I deserved death!  He is the author of life!  Yet he, in his compassion and faithful love, exchanged places with me.  Now I am full of life and I look forward to life forever, especially exciting as I will be spending it forever with the One who died and lives for me. 

 

“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His faithful love toward those who fear Him.  As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:11-12).  The cross was only big enough to hang a man on, but the implications of the sacrifice are far wider . . . I can no longer find an account of my sin.  It is far removed from me.   Somewhere in the depths of His love, it has disappeared.  Not only is my sin forgiven, it is forgotten!  Now I am practicing having this type of forgetfulness in my life . . . I already have the type of forgetfulness that fails to remember to take my antimalarials on time.  But I want the type I see in the death and life of Jesus Christ – the love that “does not keep a record of wrongs” (1 Cor. 13:5). 

 

“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.  He knows what we are made of, remembering that we are dust.  As for man, his days are like grass – he blooms like a flower of the field; when the wind passes over it, it vanishes, and its place is no longer known.  But from eternity to eternity the Lord’s faithful love is toward those who fear Him, and His righteousness toward the grandchildren of those who keep His covenant, who remember to observe His instructions” (Psalm 103:13-18).  I so enjoy the privilege of being God’s child . . . he knows how weak I am.  Yet his faithful love secures me.  Now it is my delight to follow His way for my life.  [On a side note, my sister and I were sitting in church today thinking of what God has saved us from . . . upon thinking of it, we realized we’ve broken every single one of the 10 commandments (when you consider the interpretation given by Jesus in the New Testament, hating a brother is equated with murder, etc.)]. 

 

Psalm 103 rightly concludes, “The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.  Praise the Lord, all His angels of great strength, who do His word, obedient to His command.  Praise the Lord, all His armies, His servants who do His will.  Praise the Lord, all His works in all the places where He rules.  My soul, praise the Lord!” (vs. 19-22).  And so this blog post must end where it began . . . I must praise the Lord.  This is something that I’m not nearly as good at as I might like to be.  Sure, I can praise God with music, but I want my life to be a praise song without an intermission.   Practically, I’m still considering what this should look like in my med student life.  God will guide me!

 

May you praise the One worthy of all such honor!

Posted by: missionaryprescription | April 6, 2009

Thoughts from the Weekend

At the Christian Medical Society Spring Getaway this weekend, I found myself having some time to sort through some thoughts that have been in need of sorting . . . I spent the afternoon “sleeping” on the field while the others played Bocci.  Dr. Bridgeman asked me later if I was enjoying a nap, and I told him that I actually think better with my eyes closed . . . he asked if I had accomplished anything, and I said, “No, but I did look at the “pieces” for awhile!”

However, between the teaching and fellowship this weekend, there were a few thoughts that I might mention here, for those of you following my journey! 

I’ve mentioned in blog posts before about what I sense God calling me to do . . . and I’ve noted a bit about how overwhelmed I feel from time to time.   Hearing about the long hours, the loss of sleep, etc.  further discourages me.   It’s not that I’m worried about being sleep-deprived.  Rather I’m more concerned about what happens when I become sleep-deprived.  I don’t think straight and I tend to struggle with being nice.  How can I love patients well when I have these weaknesses?

I was reminded this weekend how I need to put myself at the mercy of God . . . He is the one who directs my life and knows me better than I even know myself.  This is how Joseph was able to avoid bitterness when he was enslaved, imprisoned, and forgotten.  Psalm 103:13-14 states, “As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”  Dr. Bridgeman shared how at times it seemed like it was going to be overwhelming . . . for example, he would have surgery into the night with a large 12-hour case starting the next morning.  He doubted his ability to complete them well . . . and yet he would do what needed to be done – in this case, the surgery the following day was unexpectedly canceled.   I am reminded that I need to trust God to organize my schedule as He sees fit. 

I was further reminded this weekend when it comes to decisions to focus on deepening my relationship with God.   He is the one I need to guide me, and knowing Him well will make it easier to discern His will.  This is much more profitable than worrying over all the pros and cons, majority opinions, etc.  Psalm 1:2-3 states, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”  And consider Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” 

I was encouraged to continue putting others first.  In medicine, there seems to be an inevitable push to get the best experiences for yourself . . . scrubbing in on a case, choosing the best schedules, etc.  I was reminded to imitate Jesus Christ – he willingly stooped to one of the lowest jobs by washing his disciples’ feet (John 13).  It is true for those of us in medicine as well . . . helping to empty bed pans should not fall into something a doctor simply won’t do. 

Finally, I am not equal to the task.  Dr. Bridgeman reminded us of James 1 where we are encouraged to see God for the wisdom we so desparetly need.  “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (vs. 5).  It was pointed out that “without finding fault” is a luxury we don’t always enjoy in medicine.  Sometimes we are seen as stupid for not knowing something, but God is always open to whatever questions we might have. 

These are some thoughts that encouraged me this weekend – I hope they are of benefit to you as well!  May God grow you to be more like Him – may you seek Him with all of your being!

Posted by: missionaryprescription | March 26, 2009

Opportunities to Look at Photos

I just wanted to make you aware of another opportunity to see pictures from my recent trip to Haiti . . .

Go to http://www.fameworld.org/ and look under the “Photo Album” tab . . . various team members are posting albums there.  One album is currently up, but I would expect more over the next several days.

Also, for the facebook users, I have three albums there as well (with a smidgen of commentary beneath the photos). 

Finally, I will be sharing about this trip to Haiti at Perry Alliance Church, Shermans Dale, PA on March 29th at 10:30am.  You are welcome to stop by and hear some of what God did on that trip (as well as the one of the other Christian Medical Society trips to the Dominican Republic).  As always, feel free to ask any questions you might have.  I will attempt to answer them in a timely fashion!

In Christ,
Rebekah

Posted by: missionaryprescription | March 22, 2009

Love Me by Loving Them

This may not be exactly the post you may have been hoping for about ministry in Haiti . . . but I shall include some thoughts from that experience as well.  (Special thanks for all the prayers that you have graciously given on my behalf!) 

Lately, I’ve been struggling with resenting all the time and energy that serving people well requires.  The needs I see keep growing, and the resources I have to meet them are shrinking . . . or at least it appears that way.   And I think ahead and imagine the future to be even more challenging . . . more responsibility on a continent with overwhelming needs and limited resources.   I’m sure part of the discouragement this week was simply due to a lack of sleep [I arrived back  in Hershey at 3:30am on Monday morning and went to the 10am class (skipping the 8am and 9am classes to grab some snooze and a shower!)].  However, this has not been a one-week-only problem.  I see in the eyes of the students  and residents ahead of me . . . I see it in many people in full-time ministry.  If I didn’t sense God calling me to medical missions, it would be sheer audacity to attempt this. 

Several years back I didn’t struggle with this . . . I think idealism was still alive and well 🙂  I had not yet reached the end of my rope, and even though any ministry I had was very much based out of my relationship with God, I didn’t feel the need for His strength like I do now.  I’m sitting in 30+ hours of class a week (not to mention countless hours of studying afterwards), serving on extensive leadership with the Christian Medical Society, and attempting to reach out to the medical students on campus with the love of Jesus Christ.   I also have a passion for my local church – the pastor is currently in the hospital with a parasite infection from his mission trip in January . . . I’ve been asked to take next week’s service and share about how I saw God at work in Haiti.  My family is dear to me – I set up the webcam today so that my family could chat with my sister in Missouri.  All this is worthwhile and enjoyable, but also exhausting.

Back to the trip to Haiti . . . God used this trip to show me how I COULD NOT do medical missions on my own strength.  I didn’t hit a brick wall and I certainly wasn’t attempting to love the patients we saw on my own strength – rather I just gained a clearer perspective on what I will be up against in medical missions.  The medicines I need won’t always be there, the electricity won’t always be there, illiterate patients will be unable to understand some of the instructions I give them, there will be language barriers, there will be spiritual warfare as I share Jesus Christ with my patients, etc.  I’ve known this all along, but it was clearer in Haiti.  These thoughts overwhelmed me.  I’m usually an incurable optimist, but this was more than I could handle.  I wasn’t really sure what to do either . . . what I usually do is discipline my mind to follow the leading God gives me, metaphorically putting one foot in front of the other.  I deal with emotions later when there is time.   (This is how I can get 12+ hours of studying in on one Saturday!)  This strategy wasn’t working this time . . .

Today God reminded me of a few things . . . and I thought I’d share them.  First off, I was struggling with resenting the time and energy needed to love people well.  I was reading a manuscript on discipleship today, and the words, “Love me by loving them” really struck me.  Matthew 25 states: “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (NIV).  I really do love my Savior and focusing on this love will help me better love others. 

I love because He first loved me.  His love for me reassures me that He will provide the necessary resources for the work He has called me too.  Instead of being discouraged, Philippians 4 reminds me: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”  It states twice that God and His peace will be with me . . . I must not worry 🙂  The passage continues as Paul reminds his readers: “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”  I may be out of my strength, but God has all that I need.  Why do I forget this so easily?!!  May God continue to remind me! 

Thus a new week begins.  May this week be a week of loving God by loving others and may we rely on God’s resources for this labor.  Bon voyage! 🙂

Posted by: missionaryprescription | March 6, 2009

In Haiti

My friendly blog-readers . . . I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be in Haiti on a medical missions trip for the next week or so . . . stay tuned for pictures and stories upon my return!

Rebekah

Posted by: missionaryprescription | March 2, 2009

Says What It Means, Means What It Says

Ever meet one of those people who says things without really meaning them?  Sometimes it’s fairly benign . . . there’s the person who enthusiastically proclaims on several occasions, “Oh, you must come over for lunch sometime!” . . . but somehow, they never get around to actually inviting you to lunch.  Other times, the offense is a bit more complicating.  Someone promises to switch work days with you so you can accompany your parent to their Dr.’s appointment, but later decides not to switch afterall.   Does anyone see a problem with this, or is this just “socially acceptable”?

I dare say that as a Christian, I must not be one who says things without meaning them . . . I am called to imitate Jesus Christ who meant every word He ever spoke.  I was reminded of this today at church during a promotional video where a lady quoted, “My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).  She then reminded us that God said we will hear his voice, and furthermore, He doesn’t talk just for the sake of being heard, but rather that we might obey (follow).   I know the premises are poorly developed here, but let’s assume for a moment that God means every word that he says, and that He also has the power to make everything He says come true.  Then why on earth don’t I care more about what He says?

Look at Proverbs 3:1-2.  “My son, don’t forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commands; for they will bring you many days, a full life, and well-being.”  Did you catch the cause and effect relationship here?  Keep His commands, live a long, full life.  By the way, being a medical student, I can tell you the #1 primary cause of death in the U.S. is tobacco, #2 is poor diet and physical inactivity, #3 is alcohol consumption, #4 is microbial agents, #5 is toxic agents, #6 is motor vehicle, #7 is firearms, #8 is sexual behavior, and #9 is illicit drug use.  The Bible speaks to at least 7 out of the 9 top causes (I’m having trouble thinking of instances where the Bible guides me with regards to toxic agents or motor vehicles).  On the rest God has given commands . . . keep them and you will greatly reduce your risk of dying “young”.   And yet, how many of us really believe God when He says, “Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way. Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags” Proverbs 23:19-21?   Did you see that word “glutton”?  Ah, you say . . . the verse is talking about people who are intemperate . . . you know, the ones who can’t stop drinking and eating . . . Yet, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, 66.3% of noninstitutionalized adults over the age of 20 are overweight or obese.  The easiest way to keep the weight off is not to gain it; the best way to not gain it is to be careful about what you eat.  This requires self-control – something the Bible also speaks to.   So the Bible really means what it says when it speaks to keeping the commands and living a long life . . .

Now I need to clarify a few things . . . first, just because someone keeps all the commands given in Scripture does not mean that they will live to be a hundred.  Considering the truth in all of Scripture reminds me that Jesus, who kept the law to perfection, died “young” at about 33 years old.  (We also need to be careful when interpreting the commands to do so in light of all Scripture).  Second, not everyone who is overweight or obese is so because they were uncontrolled in their eating habits – a small percentage struggle with medical conditions/genetic predispositions.   All in all, it is not my desire to offend anyone, but rather to encourage you to read the Bible as if it actually says what it means, and means what it says.  Believe it, follow it, and in so doing – LIVE!

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