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Health Pearls For January 2009
January 3, 2009 – Week 1
The year 2008 is history! Our successes and failures can only serve as tools for our instructions in the future. Are there pages in the 2008 chapter in the book of heaven you would like to modify? 2009 opens a new chapter in heaven's record and by the grace of God, its pages will record victories gained through Jesus! One victory which we must gained, which is dismissed by most, is victory over intemperance. With physical and mental illnesses on the rise, victory in this area is imperative! Remember, if we have taken the name Christian then we should have the Spirit of God and exhibit the Fruits of the Spirit in our lives; one of which is temperance. (See Gal. 5:22, 23) “Through appetite Satan controls the mind and the whole being. Thousands who might have lived have passed into the grave, physical, mental, and moral wrecks, because they sacrificed all their powers to the indulgence of appetite.” (Vol.2, Mind, character & Personality p. 387) During the month of January, practical pearls will be shared to assist you in winning the war with this deadly foe. But always remember, “Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee. (Jer. 32:17)       
January 10, 2009 – Week 2
The disciples of Christ failed in delivering a boy from the torments of Satan; and now the boy's father brings him to Jesus with the plea, “Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed.” (Matt. 17:15) Jesus immediately rebukes the devil and frees the lad from his power. The disciples later asked the Master why they were not able to cure the boy; and Jesus replies, “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” (Matt. 17:21) It needs to be understood that victory over appetite can be obtained by nothing “but by prayer and fasting!” For success in this war you must start each day with a private devotion lasting at least 30 minutes. Then throughout the day following the Bible injunction to, “pray without ceasing.” (1Thess. 5:17) Then begin a 24 hour fast, starting after breakfast in the morning and ending before breakfast the next morning; drinking nothing but water during the fast! Drink at least 64 ounces of water each day unless you are on fluid restrictions for medical reasons. You may repeat the fast as often as the Holy Spirit impresses you! Fasting has health benefits also including: improving blood sugars in diabetes, reducing blood pressure, improving digestive problems like reflux and irritable bowel syndrome and increasing mental acuity. (CAUTION: Diabetic should consult with their health care provider before beginning a fast.)
January 17, 2009 - Week 3
Last week the importance of fasting and prayer in gaining the victory over intemperance was covered. How did the fast go? I know it was much easier than you thought! Right? This week we want to cover another type of fast, FASTING BETWEEN MEALS! Eccl. 3:1 states, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” There is a time to eat, at mealtime and a time not to eat, between meals! “It is quite a common custom with people of the world to eat three times a day, beside eating at irregular intervals between meals; and the last meal is generally the most hearty, and is often taken just before retiring. This is reversing the natural order; a hearty meal should never be taken so late in the day. Should these persons change their practice, and eat but two meals a day, (breakfast and a second meal) and nothing between meals, not even an apple, a nut, or any kind of fruit, the result would be seen in a good appetite and greatly improved health. (Counsel on Diet and Foods p. 181) Remember, if you were successful in the 24 hour fast, then surely with prayer and exercising the power of the will, you can fast for 5-6 hours between meals. And never forget the promise, “I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)
January 24, 2009 – Week 4
In 2 Peter 1:5, 6 the apostle outlines the process for Christian growth. “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness.” No man can represent Christ aright without being temperate. Being temperate means more than not overeating. “True temperance teaches us to abstain entirely from that which is injurious, and to use healthful and nutritious articles judiciously. (RH, September 23, 1884 par. 5) And remember, the Word of God states: “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.” (1 Cor. 9:25) Remember, the key to being temperate is first and foremost, prayer and fasting. Why not try the 24 hour fasting and prayer again? It is the key!    “That which is injurious” are alcohol, tobacco, drugs and caffeine. Eating rich, spicy, sugary items set the stage for the use of these addicting substances. In an animal study, when mice were given the chance to drink either water or alcohol, those eating a plant based diet consumed 4.5% of their liquid in the form of 10% alcohol. Those on the typical American teenager diet: fatty, sugary, caffeine containing foods and beverages consumed 56% of their beverages in the form of 10% alcohol. You may not have known that there is an association between diet and the use of alcohol and drugs; but Satan does. That's why he promotes an unhealthy diet; to control and destroy us! To glory God, to preserve the life and health of your family, and to be truly temperate, you should omit foods you know to be unhealthy.   
January 31, 2009 – Week 5
Before we cover the the final pearl for victory over intemperance, let's review what we have covered this month. Pearl #1: Prayer and fasting is essential in obtaining this victory for only God can give us strength, wisdom and desire to overcome. The importance of personal devotion was emphasized. Pearl #2: Fasting between meals from everything but water and omitting or reducing the third meal of the day was encouraged. Pearl #3: Abstaining from everything known to be injurious and using in moderation those foods that are helpful. No caffeine, alcohol or tobacco. These items will not be in heaven so why not get use to not having them here. Now for Pearl #4: Make sure you get 5 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables each day. Fiber, found in unrefined plant foods are natural barriers against overeating. In the original diet all items contained high fiber. (See Genesis 1:29). Try to make sure you have a variety of fruits and vegetables during the week. Remember, “variety is the spice of life, in everything but in God and a wife.” Be assured if you will follow these simple pearls, the road to temperance will be much easier. For Christ said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Let's thank God for the victory He has given us over this deadly practice of intemperance!

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