Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Vacation Blessings

“Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord.” (Psalm 128:1-4)

       The adage “God is watching over you” is truly an understatement.
       This past week my husband, son, and I enjoyed a vacation, a college experience, and a celebration of my son’s early acceptance into Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP).
       My son (a soon-to-be high school senior) enjoyed a weeklong stay at Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pa., where he attended a business leadership conference. He learned about all aspects of business and how a company works in today’s economy. He roomed with a high school buddy of his in a dorm, met new friends, and learned firsthand what it would be like to live away from home at college. Just this morning my son said, “I can’t wait to go to college. I’m so excited!”
       While he was away, my husband and I enjoyed our own getaway. We drove to Virginia, where we soaked in the sun on the beach and at the pool, and wined and dined each evening at Catch31, one of the most popular fine-dining restaurants along the Virginia Beach shoreline. The live entertainment wasn’t so great this year as it was two years ago so we didn’t hang around to listen to the bands. 
       I took loads of pictures of our road trip to and from Virginia, while at the beach and the pool. I even took some video. I wish we could’ve stayed in Virginia longer than just four days, but we had to go home to prepare for our trip to Indiana. We took a different route to IUP this time, which was shorter and more direct. We attended what’s called Early Decision Day, where you take a tour of the school and learn that day whether or not you’re child has been accepted. After the 90-minute tour and a complimentary lunch, we picked up a letter at the admissions office. We were all thrilled to learn he was accepted! The school is absolutely beautiful, everything from the campus grounds and office buildings to the library, fitness center, and dorm rooms. It all makes me wish I were young again so I could attend this school and get my college education. But the Lord quickly reminded me that I enjoyed my opportunity to go away to college years ago and that this is my son’s turn. And what a blessing it is.
       Our vacation was hard-won. I prayed earnestly for it in light of the fact this is the busiest time of the year as editor of my company’s nutrition magazine. Due to the workload, I didn’t think I’d get the chance to take a vacation this summer. But God answered my prayers by providing me with extra help to make my vacation possible. And God gave me the wisdom to prioritize my work to get it all done. I owe it all to Him who sits high and lifted up, to the one who sits on the throne. Without Him, none of this would’ve been possible.
       I encourage everyone who might be in a tight situation, a seemingly impossible circumstance to find promises in scripture that relate to what you’re going through, claim them as yours, and pray through them first before taking action. That way, you give God the chance to go before you and prepare the hearts and minds of those with whom you need to communicate. The Lord worked in a mighty way for my family and me, and I’ll be forever grateful. Thank you Jesus for your faithfulness and unfailing love. Amen!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Prayer and Fasting With Diabetes

"Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord." (Joel 1:14) 
       In the July issue of Today's Dietitian, we published an article titled Prayer and Fasting With Diabetes. If you're a person of faith who has diabetes or know someone of faith with the disease, this article is a must-read. 
       The American Diabetes Association reports that more than 23 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. Seventy-nine million have prediabetes, a condition characterized by elevated blood sugar levels, which place them at high risk for developing the disease later in life. And each year, there are now 1.5 million people newly diagnosed with diabetes. African Americans are disproportionately affected by this disease and suffer more complications, such as blindness, kidney failure, neuropathy, and heart disease, than other races. 
       Given these statistics, you can surmise there are many people of faith with diabetes who set aside time to commune with God while abstaining from food, drink, or both. But the question is can they fast safely without putting their health at risk? 
       In this article, we discuss that fasting is practiced by the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths and how these practices differ from one another. We review how fasting can impact the health of those with diabetes and provide strategies for fasting safely. Please let me know your thoughts about the article. If you have diabetes or know someone who has the disease and fasts safely, I'd like to hear about your  experiences and theirs. I hope you enjoy the article as much as I did in assigning and editing it.

* Linking up with Spiritual Sundays here.
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