Monday, July 20, 2015

Self-denial - are you kidding me?

"Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."  Matthew 16:24

Jesus asks us to carry our cross. It's not a cross made of splintered wood, such as the one He carried to Calvary; it's a cross of self-denial and submission.  It's a symbol of dying to SELF. It's not heavy, but it sure is awkward!

It doesn't feel right to say "no" to our natural, human cravings and impulses. We are creatures who love pleasure and avoid pain at all cost. We want to feel good and do all the things that bring us pleasure. You know the old motto: If it feels good-do it!

Yet, God tells us to control our desires. He doesn't ask us to abstain from all pleasure, rather to enjoy the pleasures of this world within the boundaries of His guidelines.  Therein lies the problem; we do not want boundaries. We want to be free to indulge in anything, anytime, in any amount that seems right to us. And He will let us do that, but the natural consequences of those choices could be costly and destructive.

Jesus carried His cross. I'm not talking about the wooden cross upon which he was crucified, but the cross of obedience to the Father's will.

He did not wait to pick up the cross on the day of His crucifixion, nor did He cease to carry it after his resurrection. He carried the cross of obedience all the days He walked on this earth. He remained obedient through life, death and life after death and He is our perfect example.

Let's carry our cross, disciplining ourselves to surrender our will to the Father. This not only applies to our eating habits, but to every realm of our life. The flesh cries out for pleasure and satisfaction, but we do not have to give into the fleshly desires, because the Spirit of God lives in us and gives us power to say no to sin.

"For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age" Titus 2:11-12

Prayer:
Father, we ask your help as we pick up our cross, surrendering our will to yours. Help us, in the face of temptation, to choose what will please and honor you. Help us to care for these bodies you've given us. Help our spirits to be submissive to you, knowing that you love us beyond our understanding and that you have only our best in mind. Self-denial is hard. You understand that, because you understand us completely. You know our weaknesses and you have promised to strengthen us when we are weak. We ask, now, that you strengthen us at the very moment we are tempted, so that we might make good choices. Amen

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Copyright 2015. More of Him Less of Me. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Looking for Answers in all the Wrong Places

Why is it when we are troubled, confused, depressed, bored, etc., we run to the refrigerator or pantry for a little solace? 

Why do we think we'll find something in there that will make the situation better?

Could the answer really be hidden at the bottom of an ice cream carton? Is it sandwiched between the two chocolate sides of a cookie?

Does "comfort food" really bring us long lasting comfort? Or does it just numb us to the pain temporarily and then leave us bloated, miserable and feeling guilty on top of everything else.

Food is not the answer to what ails us!

Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Jesus has the answer. Jesus IS the answer.  Bring your heart's concern to Him and he promises to give you rest. Rest from carrying it, worrying about it and trying to solve it. Just lay it all at His feet. Ask Him to lift it from you or to show you the way. 

He knows the beginning from the end and all the details in between. He knows the plan He has for you and He will lead you to it and through any troubles along the way. Trust Him. Hold tightly to His hand and let go of that refrigerator door!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight. 
Psalm 3:5-6

After Thought: Some of us turn to food, some to the bottle, some to drugs, some to another person to sooth our angst and meet our needs, but none of that will satisfy. Turn to the Lord and be fulfilled.

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Copyright 2015. More of Him Less of Me. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Don't Make Him Pry Your Fingers Open

Are you stubborn or sad when God
asks you to give up something?
    "As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
   “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.  You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother."
   “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
   Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
   At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.  Mark 10:17-22

As I was reading through the book of Mark this morning, I was stopped at this passage. While I know that it doesn't have anything to do with losing weight, here's what I noticed that spoke to me about applying it to healthy eating.

  • This young man ran up to Jesus and fell on his knees before him. He was sincere in his desire to know what he should do to receive what Jesus had offered (eternal life, but for me, I substituted "a healthy body" and I wondered just how sincere I am about giving up my unhealthy eating habits.).
  • Jesus quoted the standard rules. (I thought about all the weight loss "rules" that are stuck up in my head and how I struggle to "keep" them.)
  • Jesus looked at him and loved him. He didn't chastise him, belittle him, or get disgusted with him. He loved him - and he loves me, even if I don't "get it" sometimes.
  • Jesus then hit on the one thing that meant more to this young man than anything else - his wealth - and asked him to give it up. That got me. When I read it, I wondered what I would do if Jesus said, "Jan, get rid of all junk food and stop going to fast food restaurants."
  • At this the man's face fell. He went away sad. Is that how I would react? Do I love sweets and chips and fried foods so much that I would walk away sad, rather than readily give them up?
The truth is, it's pointless to keep asking God to help us with eating healthy and then be stubborn or sad when he asks us to give up something that is holding us back.  We become resentful about the things we can't have."  

Prayer:
Lord, please help me change that. Help me to remember that if you ask me to give up something, it's because you know that it's not good for me or that it has too strong a hold on me.  Help me to be willing and even eager to happily give up things that are roadblocks to a healthier me.  Amen


“Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open.” ~Corrie ten Boom


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Copyright 2015. More of Him Less of Me. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Who's that Knocking at my Door?

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him, and he with me."  Revelation 3:20

God wants to help us with every part of our lives. He stands, knocking at our heart's door. We want his help, but often we will not open the door and invite him into the middle of our mess.

Why?

Maybe because we know that what we're planning to do in the next few minutes is not such a good choice.   Maybe we're too proud to humble ourselves and ask for His help.  Maybe it's because we feel like we got ourselves into this mess, so He must expect us to get ourselves out of it.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus stands at the door and knocks. he wants to come in and sit down with you. He wants to help with whatever you're struggling with, but he will not kick the door in and enter uninvited.  He leaves the decision up to us. Will we open the door or refuse his help?

I often apply this verse to my eating.  If I intentionally invite His presence at my mealtimes, I tend to make way better food choices. I am less likely to reach for a jumbo portion or go back for seconds.  On the plus side, it makes mealtime much more pleasant when I know I am in the company of the Lord.

Of course, this not only applies to inviting him in to help you with your eating, but with any issue that has a hold on you. Jesus came to break the chains that bind us and set us free. Invite him in.



He would never come and knock at our door unless He wanted to come in, and if He does not always come in, that is our fault. 
~ Ambrose


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Copyright 2015. More of Him Less of Me. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Best Laid Plans

 In my last post, I talked about getting back on the Daniel Plan.  I went to Sprouts, stocked up on all things good for you, pulled out my new Daniel Plan Workout DVDs and promised myself I would start working out the next morning.

Don't let this innocent little face fool you. He's dangerous!
Unfortunately, the next morning didn't go as planned.  I went to the kitchen for something and glanced out the window to see an ABC channel 5 news van in the parking lot of our mobile home park.  I looked around for something going on that would be newsworthy enough to bring a them to our quiet little neighborhood. Didn't see a thing.

Being the curious type that I am (some might call it nosey), I decided to step out to get a better look. I guess our little dog, Max, was curious, too, because he shot out the door behind me and got tangled up in my feet as I was taking the first step down off the porch. I felt myself falling and grabbed for the stair railing. As my body twisted around I prayed, "Lord, let this puny little aluminum railing hold." 

It did hold, but I landed hard on the steps and heard myself yell, "OOOOUUUUCCCCHHHH!" (I was so glad that I didn't yell anything worse.)

I sat there stunned, waiting for the incredible pain in my leg to subside.  I had a gouge out of my shin with a quickly rising goose egg under it, a twisted and sore elbow, but the worst was my outer thigh where I had landed on the sharp metal edge of the stairs.

To make a long story short, I didn't break anything, but I couldn't walk on my right leg that day. Was barely able to walk on it the next, but it's getting better. Today, it's still sore, but I can walk on it. Amazingly, there is no bruising.

Needless to say, I have not been able to start working out yet, but I decided to go right ahead and begin my healthy eating plan and after 3 days, my body thanked me by dropping 2 pounds. Better than that, I woke up this morning feeling light and full of energy.  It's incredible how quickly your body rewards you for feeding it healthy foods.  I haven't felt this good in a long time!

"So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

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Copyright 2015. More of Him Less of Me. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Getting Back on Track with the Daniel Plan



My current focus is on eating healthy, good-for-you foods.  Our church recently went through the Daniel Plan program and both my husband and I lost weight and felt great.  Then we quit eating right and reverted back to eating processed foods because they were easier and going through drive-thru fast food restaurants because - well, because it's easier.

Eating right involves some extra time to prepare meals.  I means cooking. I don't like to cook!

The result of our going back to our old ways?  My husband caught a cold about 6 months after we went off our diet, so we made a trip to the doctor's office. They had him step on the scale (for a cold!).  We were ushered into the examining room. The the doctor's assistant took his vitals and began entering them into the computer.  Suddenly she said, "You've gained 30 pounds since you were last in here!"

I don't think she meant to say it as loud as she did, because her face turned really red.  So did my husbands.

On the way home, we realized that the last time he was in the doctor's office was while we were on the Daniel Plan and eating healthy.

All that to say - I'm going back on the plan, and I'm so excited, because I just learned that the Daniel Plan Cookbook is just 99 cents right now on Amazon. (Kindle Version Only)  I snagged my copy. Why don't you grab one, too?  Don't worry if you don't have a Kindle, you can download their free app and read it on your computer.

Here's a link: http://www.amazon.com/Daniel-Plan-Cookbook-Healthy-Eating-ebook/dp/B00DQURKIQ

I'll probably be sharing some pictures and recipes of things I make, both from the book and some of my own recipes, so drop by again soon.

PS - Yes, I have regained some of the weight I had lost on the Daniel Plan, too, but not as much as a certain someone I know. :)

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Copyright 2015. More of Him Less of Me. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

God's Work Under Destruction

Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food!  Romans 14:20

This verse stopped me in my tracks one day! I am sure the Lord put it in the Bible just for those of us who struggle with our weight (or any other controlling issue, for that matter).

As I thought about this verse, I started to list all the "works of God" that would take place in my life if I didn't let overeating interfere.

Here's my list...
  • I would look better
  • I would feel better, both physically and emotionally
  • I would be able to keep my blood sugar levels (I have diabetes) under control.
  • I would have the stamina to participate in athletic activities once again
  • I would be an example to to others of God's power to deliver from addiction to food
  • I would enjoy the blessings which result from obedience to God
  • I would be gain more self-control in other areas of my life
  • I would experience a closer walk with God
  • My faith would increase, so that I could believe God has the power to break other strongholds in my life
Wow! All that could be destroyed by my refusal to properly nourish and exercise my body. There is no food in the world worth messing up the work God can do in my life if I just eat right. (Not even that pink frosted doughnut!)

There are 3 stages in the work of God:
Impossible, Difficult, Done.
~James Hudson Taylor

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Copyright 2015. More of Him Less of Me. All rights reserved.

We Begin the Journey

"Then they said to him, "Please inquire of God to learn whether our journey will be successful."  The priest answered them, "Go in peace. Your journey has the Lord's approval."  Judges 18:5-6

Don't you wish you could know whether or not you have the Lord's approval before you begin any new endeavor?  I do. That would keep me out of so much trouble!

The good news is that on my journey to have More of Him, Less of Me, I don't have to wonder whether I have the Lord's approval - I know that it's His will for me to be more like Jesus and less like the old me - the one who wants her own way all the time, the one who has problems with submitting my will to His, the one who drags her feet when He points out a habit I need to give up.

I know this is his will, because Ephesians 4:22-24 says...
 "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."
 God makes it very clear that we are to leave behind our old ways and pursue a life that pleases him. We are to be righteous and holy.

Holy cow! That's a tall order. I have a bit of trouble thinking of myself as righteous and holy. How about you?

But then I read...

"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21

...and I see that In Him (in Christ) we become righteous.

And holiness? I Peter 1:16 says...
"for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
 Are you kidding me? How can I hope to attain holiness?

I looked up the word "holy" in the Greek (yeah, I'm a geek like that) and the original word is "hagios," which means - set apart for God, to be, as it were, exclusively his.

I can get behind that!  I do want to be set apart for Him - exclusively His!  If that's you, too, then we have a lot in common and I'm proud to be walking along side you on this journey to see More of Him and Less of Me.

Please feel free to leave a comment, now and let me know that we're in this together. :)


"The more we appropriate God into our lives
the more progress we make on the 
road of Christian godliness and holiness." 
~Madame Jeanne Guyan

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Copyright 2015. More of Him Less of Me. All rights reserved.

Introduction to More of Him Less of Me


More of Him Less of Me began in the personal journals of writer/author Jan Christiansen as she spent daily time with the Lord, writing down truths from His Word that encouraged her to draw on His strength for her daily life.  In 1998, God opened a door for some of her journal entries to be published as More of Him Less of Me and Desert Morsels. Those particular entries dealt with Jan's experience with weight loss and have encouraged many.

The original More of Him Less website and blog were discontinued in 2000 as Jan's life became very busy, however lately folks have been contacting Jan about her books. After careful prayer and consideration, Jan has revised the site and is excited about sharing the Word and her heart with those who want More of Him - not just physically as we learn to honor God by taking care of our bodies, but in all areas of life where fleshly desires, thoughts, attitudes and behaviors interfere with our relationship with God.

A note from Jan:

Hi everyone!  I'm a pretty down to earth gal, so posts to this blog will be simple and straight-forward. I'll share with you what I'm learning as I strain toward gaining more of Christ's character while letting go of those things in my life that are not pleasing God. That's not an easy task, and like you, I work daily at surrendering myself more and more to His will.

I hope my words will encourage, inspire and motivate you to take another step closer to God.  I will be praying for all who visit this blog, so if you're reading this...you're being prayed for!


PS: In case you're wondering, yes, I still struggle with eating right and taking care of my body. I'm so glad God is patient with us, aren't you?