Daily Archives: September 18, 2012
By Dr. Alexander Chernev, Author of The Dieter’s Paradox: Why Dieting Makes Us Fat, the following is an excerpt from the book. Dr. Chernev is a psychologist who is studying how people make choices.
Our weight-loss efforts are often derailed by our focus on short-term results and lack of commitment to a particular course of action. Even when we are devoted to the idea of dieting, we seem to have trouble staying loyal to the chosen dieting plan. The following strategies can help curb this consistency bias.
Control Mindless Habits
Mindless eating has become ingrained in our lifestyle. Too often we eat out of habit, grabbing things just because they’re out there in plain sight, waiting to be eaten. To get a grip on these subconscious impulses, make indulgences less frequent, less prominent, and less convenient. Avoid temptations by banishing them from your daily routine.
Our myopic focus on immediate results makes us seek drastic solutions, downplaying the effect of incremental changes. We fail to visualize the long-term impact of our short-term actions and refuse to believe that skipping a 400- calorie muffin every morning could reduce our annual calorie intake by as much as 150,000 calories (equal to the recommended calorie intake for 60 full days). Over the long run, small changes produce big results.
Set Actionable Goals
Having the vague goal of “dieting” without a defined action plan can hardly help one lose weight. To be actionable, goals need be specific: they must pinpoint the desired outcomes and set a time frame for achieving these outcomes. Writing down goals makes them easier to share, which further strengthens our commitment and makes us more accountable for reaching them. Set actionable goals and fortify your commitment by writing down and sharing these goals.
Variety can both facilitate and hamper weight-management efforts. Abundant variety makes us eager to try all the different options available and in many cases leads to overconsumption. Not enough variety can lead to boredom and increased consumption because lack of novelty blunts satisfaction and delays satiation. Introduce variety into your menu while controlling total consumption.
Think Carrots Not Sticks
Diets based only on inhibition are short-lived: they produce short-term results and are often followed by a rebound. (This is why many crash diets create repeat customers!) The goal is not to conquer the indulgent urges but to pacify them with sensible rewards. Focus on what to achieve, not just what to avoid.
Thinking about food in terms of consumption episodes makes us vulnerable to the “what-the-hell” effect. Once we break our diet, we consider the entire meal or event “spoiled” and consequently overindulge in the very behavior we’ve been trying to avoid. Break away from the “what-the-hell” mentality.
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When David prayed he wept, “Oh my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent” (Psalm 22:2).
Do your prayers ever seem to suspend between your desperate heart and a silent God? The silence of God is like a thick mist, cold and clammy, blurring your surroundings says Leighann McCoy, author of Oh God Please! Help Me With My Doubt.
The Bible is full of stories about men and women who experienced God’s involvement in their lives. In most all the stories these “heroes of the faith” suffered seasons of God’s silence. If you want to learn how to pray through God’s silence, read David’s prayers from the Psalms. As you do so, you will discover some surprising things about prayer (and about David). Consider Psalm 143.
Expect Spiritual Opposition When You Pray
Don’t forget that we invite God to rule and reign in and through our lives when we pray. For this reason, the enemy of your faith is diametrically opposed to prayer. Expect spiritual opposition when you pray. In Psalm 143:3 David listed three ways the enemy was attacking him: The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in darkness like those long dead.”
The enemy pursues you. He is aggressive. He will get up and in your business. The enemy crushes God’s children as often as he can. His ideal way of crushing you is to cause you to question God’s goodness and to challenge His wisdom. He is most effective at doing this when God seems silent. Once he crushes your spirit, the enemy will make you feel as if you are dwelling in darkness like those long dead. To dwell in darkness with those long dead is to live without hope, without faith, without light, without God.
When Your Prayers Seem Ineffective
Leighann McCoy writes in Oh God Please! Help Me With My Doubt : “When God seems silent and your prayer ineffective, take time to remember. David said, ‘I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. (Psalm 143:5) When God seems silent and your prayers ineffective look around you! Consider the sunrise, the dew on the grass, the birds that greet the morning and the rushing water of the river. When God seems silent and your prayers ineffective look behind you, remember prayers you were desperate for God to answer, and the answers He delivered.”
When God is silent, there is no shame in begging. If there were God would have edited David’s prayer. There is nothing gained by doubting, but there is no shame in begging. David determined to turn to God for relief, then he begged God to give him relief quickly, “Answer me quickly, O Lord…let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.” (Psalm 143:7-8) David didn’t want to wait forever for God to answer his prayer. He didn’t pray for perseverance or patience; he prayed for God to give him relief.
When you Beg, Beg With Resolve
Just as David begged God to answer his prayer quickly, his tone shifted from one of desperation to a tone of submission. Feel free to beg God for answers but when you do, resolve to trust Him, to wait on Him, to hide yourself in Him, to follow Him and to serve Him. This is what David did (see Psalm 143:8-10). In between the time that you pray and the time that God answers, walk in God’s ways. Be a diligent student of God’s will and follow Him on level ground. To walk on level ground is to let God’s Word lead your way. Don’t let emotions pave your path.
Much of our desire for prayer is motivated by a desire for change, and most likely the change we are looking for is a change in someone or something else. We want our husbands to be more loving or our children to be more Christ-centered. We want our work to be more productive or our bank accounts more cushioned. We want health and wealth and the list goes on. David prayed in Psalm 143 for change, or more specifically for relief. As David asked God to change his circumstances and his enemies, God in turn changed David. He was consumed with what was happening around him, but God turned David’s attention to what was happening within (and above) him. And that is what prayer does.
Oh God Please! Help Me With My Doubt
In his book, Leighann McCoy examines the doubts we face when we pray. As we learn to pray through God’s silence, we also learn how to pray through our doubts of His power, His concern, His wisdom and His plan. Oh God Please! Help Me With My Doubt is published by Freeman-Smith, a division of Worthy Publishers.
Read: 1 Samuel 3:1-10
You’re sitting in a darkened theater enjoying a concert, a play, or a film, when suddenly a smartphone screen lights up as a person reads an incoming text and perhaps takes time to reply. In his book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains,Nicholas Carr says that in our connected world, “The sense that there might be a message out there for us” is increasingly difficult to resist.
Samuel was a young boy when he heard a voice call his name and thought it was Eli the priest in the tabernacle where he served the Lord (1 Sam. 3:1-7). When Eli realized that God was calling Samuel, he told the boy how to respond. When God called his name a fourth time, “Samuel answered, ‘Speak, for Your servant hears’” (v.10). This attentiveness to God’s voice became the pattern of Samuel’s life as “the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord” (v.21).
Are we listening for God’s voice in our lives today? Are we more drawn by the vibration of a smartphone than the still, small voice of the Lord through His Word and His Spirit?
May we, like Samuel, learn to discern God’s voice and say, “Speak, Lord. I’m listening.”
As You speak to us today
Through Your Spirit and Your Word—
Help us follow and obey. —Sper
by Joyce Meyer – posted September 18, 2012
And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free. —John 8:32
If you lose your temper easily, you will never enjoy your day as God meant for it to be. Seek God with your whole heart and find out what is wrong. The way to get free from things that upset you is to find truth—the truth will always set you free.
We don’t always want to face truth because sometimes it is painful. Sometimes it shows us that we need to change. If we are behaving badly, we make excuses for our wrong behavior. But excuses will never make us free.
Let God get involved with your day; when you feel your temper flare, ask Him to reveal the truth of that situation. The truth will always set you free to enjoy the rest of your day.
From the book Starting Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2003 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.
Two are better than one…if either of them falls down, one can help the other up… – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, NIV.
We all need somebody to believe in us more than we believe in ourselves. We all need people who will push us up, so to speak. After all, there are enough people trying to push us down in life. There are enough people telling us what we can’t become and how we don’t have what it takes.
I know in my own life, I wouldn’t be half of who I am if it were not for Victoria. She has spoken so much faith into me. She has called out the potential on the inside.
I believe we all have the responsibility to do this for others. Let’s push people up. Let’s look with our eyes of faith and see their potential and tell them what they can become. If you will be that person for somebody else, God will make sure somebody will be that person for you.
Friend, every person has seeds of greatness inside. You can cause your children to rise to a new level. You can be the catalyst for your family to do things they never thought possible. Your words have creative power. When you speak vision, that can be the seed God uses to thrust them to a new level.
Prayer for Today:
Father, today I commit to push people up. I choose to speak life and call forth the seeds of greatness within. Thank You for using me to help others fulfill their destiny in Jesus’ name. Amen.