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Be in good health

Be in good health

By Hannah Ng’uni

Nutrition is a broad topic, can be complex, sensitive and at times controversial depending on who you are speaking to. But want stands true across the board is that we all want to be well and live healthy lives and good nutrition is key to maintaining good health. Food is fuel for the body but in the same way that putting the wrong fuel in a car damages the engine with costly implications, putting the wrong food in our body can cause ill health with effects on quality-of-life overtime. Exercise is also an essential part of good health.

A recurring thought crosses my mind as I reflect on my Christian journey thus far and the different churches I have followed in recent years, ‘how come we do not talk much about nutrition?’. We are quick to pray away the conditions linked to diet e.g., high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes etc but not address what we eat. This is not a criticism at all, just an observation and I am sure there are many reasons for this that would make for an interesting discussion another day.

The Lord wants me well.

What has become apparent on this journey is that the Lord cares about every aspect of our lives and desires for us to be well in spirit, soul, and body. It is not the Lord’s will for us to be unwell, in the Gospels we read how Jesus went about healing all sicknesses and diseases (Matthew 4:23, 9:35). Some people believe Jesus put sickness on them, if that were the case, why would He go around healing? How can you want someone sick and well at the same time? That belief is not in line with the person of Jesus. Because He is faithful and remains the same (Hebrews 13:8), we can conclude that sickness if not from Him and He heals even today because He wants us well. Amen somebody!

Spiritual and physical health.

Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually]. 3 John 1:2 AMP

This was John’s prayer for Gaius, one commentary suggests John “affirms that Gaius is indeed well off spiritually, and he prays that Gaius’ physical health would match his spiritual health”(W. Hall Harris III, 2004)

So, is it possible to be spiritually healthy but physically (nutritionally) unhealthy? Yes, I believe so. Somehow, we separate the two or not pay as much attention to our physical health, I have been convicted of this during prayer. Another commentary interestingly stated that “many Christians would be desperately ill if their physical health was instantly in the same state as their spiritual health” (David Guzik, 2018), wow! A ‘selah’ moment right there. Let us prosper in our spiritual and physical health.

My desire is for us as believers to have an awareness of what we are putting in our body and how it would affect us short term or long term. To make healthy eating a lifestyle not just a ‘once-in-a-while’ option. My desire is for us to experience all round wellness – spirit, soul and body.

 In the next post, we will discuss health and purpose. God bless

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like Wildfire

Inner beauty

By Hannah Ng’uni

The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. Esther 2:17

In chapter 2, we meet Esther, a lovely and beautiful young Jewish woman. An orphan raised by her cousin Mordecai as his own daughter.

Some years after Vashti was dethroned, King Ahasuerus’ servants felt it was time for him to find a queen, a decree went out to all provinces in his kingdom for young beautiful virgins to gather at the palace under a custodian of women Hegai. Esther was taken to the palace and something about her stood out to Hegai, she found favour and received preferential treatment including everything she needed for the 12 months of beauty preparations before meeting the king. When it was her turn to meet the king, Esther she did not request any special jewellery or clothes like the others and kept to what she was advised. The king fell in love immediately and wasted no time in crowing her Queen Esther.

Esther’s humble heart and grace in this chapter that set her apart, it is no wonder she found favour in the sight of all who saw her (vs. 15). She was humble enough to follow Hegai’s instructions during the preparations, 12 months may have sounded like a long time to spend preparing just to meet the king for one night but I believe this was more than just a physical but also a spiritual preparation. Do no negate your time of preparation, there is always a due time (1 Peter 5:6).

Esther was also wise enough to obey Mordecai’s guidance not to reveal she was a Jew just yet for her protection. There was also an element of faith in God and trusting in His timing as the events in her life unfolded, we will explore this further on day 4.

In this chapter, we see that beyond a physical beauty, was an inner beauty of the heart more pleasing to God.

‘Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God’. 1 Peter 3:3-4

Before you ask, no there is nothing wrong with taking care of your outward appearance but what is more precious to God is a gentle and gracious spirit. Let what is admired about you be the condition of your heart, a heart after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).

What do you learn from this chapter? Feel free to comment, would love to hear from you.

For this weeks study guide click the link below

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choose to remember

God is not Man to lie

God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
Numbers 23:19

I choose to remember God Is not a man to lie, he does what he says he will do so we can trust Him  

Humans Change their mind for various reasons, sometimes the joy of the decision wears off or we gain further information on the decision we initially made. We often also change our mind because our circumstance change – for example you promise I will buy you a present when this happens and that does not happen.

We also tend to lie because we want to escape punishment or gain favours or seem better than what we are

“I am the LORD, and I do not change. And so you, the descendants of Jacob, are not yet completely lost. – Malachi 3:6

But consider this, God does not need more information, he does not need favours, he controls situations and the conditions to make his promises come to pass. He does not need us to help Him, he is not caught by surprise.

Todays Prayer:

Father God I thank you, that you don’t change you remain the same. You are faithful and true to your word. I thank you that I can trust your promises nothing changes your mind you know it all

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Uncategorized

Mary Did you know?

As I sit here and ponder the faith of Mary, I realise how intense it can be to fully trust God against all odds.  In 2018, I told my parents I had found man that I plan on spending and building my life with. We told our family and friends the wedding was set the marriage formalities fulfilled. Imagine Amid all the planning and deciding, Say I received a call to accept something beyond my imagination. Like Mary a baby, what would people say – its never happened before and it was a very strange request

I can imagine how my soon to be husband would feel betrayed, considering how Joseph was feeling about this news. Furthermore the reasoning behind it sounded absurd to say the least. This was not a small task for Mary, her life depended on it. The explanation of what was happening would have in fact sounded unreasonable.

There are moments when God approaches us with big asks, where He requires you to go the extra mile to defy the norms and cultures of society.  Its in these moments where we are called to boldly accept the task and not limit God.

Mary Answered, “how can this be?” I study this question intently and it allows me to discover I can ask God for revelation in moments where I am uncertain and He will provide the response.

When God entrusts us with is purpose and call, He will also provide favour for the journey. When Nehemiah heard that the walls needed rebuilding, He prayed that God would grant him favour with the king.  

We see Mary yielding totally and wholeheartedly to the unknown, in Mary’s bold move we see God protecting and vindicating Mary.

Reflection Moment:

Luke 1:26-80

Ephesians 3:20

Romans 4:17

What Tasks has God called you take but fear of the unknown causes you to limit God?

What cost are you prepared to pay for God to reveal His Attributes?

Thank you for participating in our 21 day journey to discovering the beauty of God. This is only the beginning of your journey as the attributes of God are inexhaustible.  Please share the page, most importantly take time to read and meditate on the word.  #IwillnotLimitGod

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Uncategorized

Our race against time

I remember when I was in high school neatly writing down where I see myself at the various ages of my life, at all fronts I am an advocate of planning and setting goals. The problem comes in when we give God our plans, when we decide this is how I intend on running my life. We tell God – if you can just authorise the plans I have set out no surprises, and we will be okay.

During my periods of giving God my checklist and plans I found myself quickly tangled in a relationship that I was not supposed to have been in.  I found myself rushing God because I had a time scale of when I saw myself married. The pointers I prayed for in a husband that guy didn’t match them, but I figured that person would do because time was running out. I am grateful to God that he didn’t allow me to proceed with that relationship.

It’s crazy because sometimes we put these time constraints on ourselves or our environment or culture puts these pressures. I can see myself in Sarah, she was supposed to be a grandparent by now! Perhaps you can too, plans all set out but life is slowly drifting away.

From Sarah’s view point, Yahweh had provided them a list of promises and He was delaying. Fear encompassed Abraham he was aging; Eliezer would inherit his possessions.

Sarah quickly coins up a plan to help God, Genesis 16 ‘states Sarai had no children, but she had Hagar’ my translation states. Its interesting how she thought I have an alternative solution to this time delay. What have we decided as the alternative solution to our problem?

Her narrative is very damaging in that she believes the Lord had kept her from having children, so Hagar was the best alternative to solving Gods time lapse. We see a lot of blame in chapter 16 how Sarai tells Abram you are responsible for the wrong am suffering because Hagar starts to despise her. You see the thing about personal made plans vs a God’s plans is that we have finite knowledge and most times we can’t forsee how the reaction of other people or the fruit of our actions.

In Chapter 17 we see God return to reveal himself as the Almighty God ‘El-Shaddai’

He tells them walk before Him faithfully and be blameless. He goes further to change their names to mean Nations, multitude, fruitful.

 Despite this change of Name Sarah Laughs! But God reminds them ‘is anything too hard for the Lord, I will return to you at the appointed time next year!

Truly God keeps his covenant Sarah holds a baby in her Arms as the Lord promised

Reflection Moment

Genesis 17:16
Genesis 18:1-15
Luke 1:37
Ecclesiastes 3:11

How is my identity causing me to limit God?
How have I created alternative plans for God?
Have there been moments when I have prayed and quickly coined a plan apart from what I had pray for?
How have I used the concept of time to limit God?

Thank you for participating in our 21 day journey to discovering the beauty of God. This is only the beginning of your journey as the attributes of God are inexhaustible. Please share the page, most importantly take time to read and meditate on the word. #IwillnotLimitGod

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Uncategorized

Quick tips on how to stay Active

By Belina Sithole

Its Monday and I’m waking up to the buzzing sound of my 7:00 am alarm. I roll over to switch it off and the sun rays shining through my curtains make me quickly pull the duvet over my head! I stay curled up in bed for a few minutes. “I really should get some blackout curtains” I say to myself. Anyway, it’s a lovely sunny morning which is rare in Manchester, so this motivates me to go for a run before I start work.

Regardless of the type of exercise you’re into, I think we can all agree that motivation, or lack thereof, is one of the biggest barriers to our fitness goals.

Of course, there are days when getting out of bed to work out is the last thing I want to do. Do you ever watch a YouTube home exercise video thinking I can do this, but instead of following along, you are just lying in bed or sitting on the sofa? Yes, I know…me too! There are a lot of articles and videos out there telling us how to work out and the importance of exercising, but we still struggle to maintain it or even start! As Apostle Paul wrote in the book of Romans 7:15 – “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do“. Sometimes skipping a workout feels worse than just doing the 5km run or going for the gym class, the guilt is real.

To help us stay active and get over our individual fitness barriers, I thought I would focus and share from my own experiences on what not to do in order to maintain your workout routines. I’ll also share a few tips on how to stay motivated. Hopefully you’ll find one that you can adapt to suit you…so Leggo!

Don’t Set Unrealistic Goals
‘Start with the end goal in mind’ is probably a phrase you might have heard; This helps to maintain the motivation you need to achieve your goals. However, when you’re setting your goals don’t set goals you know are too difficult to achieve based on your current level. I used to struggle to drink at least 2 glasses of water in a day, so for me to say I’m going to drink 2 litres of water was just setting myself up for failure every day.

Set SMART goals instead – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely goals. Looking at my water situation above, I bought myself a time marked 500 ml water bottle and my goal in the first week was to have at least 2 bottles (1 litre).

If you struggle to stick to a workout routine,

  • Set yourself a weekly routine that you’ll enjoy – switch it up if you’re not enjoying it, it’s not set in stone!
  • Time yourself, work out for a specific time and try to stick to the set time for the first few days even if you feel like you can keep going. We will look at overdoing it in the next section
  • If you miss your workout, hold yourself accountable, how do you plan on making it up for the missed session?
  • Reward yourself when you stick to it!

SMART goals help you to focus your effort and increase your chances of achieving your goal.

Don’t Push Yourself Too Much

I learned this lesson the hard way, stop overdoing it! It’s good to challenge yourself because you’ll benefit from it, Romans 8:18 – “For I consider that our present suffering are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us“. I use this verse for perseverance.

It’s lockdown, I’m working from home, a notification pops up on my phone inviting me to join a running challenge…this was the beginning of an ongoing monthly challenge with a group of friends. I planned out how many km I’ll do each week in order to complete the challenge. A few days in, some people in the challenge had already covered what I planned to cover in a week. This is when I started doing 20km, 15km in a day to keep up with the competition. My knees paid the price and I’m still recovering.

  • Be disciplined with your workouts, don’t let competition or the feeling of guilt push you to do more than you can handle – know your limits
  • Plan in rest days and take the time you need to rest
  • If you’re injured, ease back into it and keep it simple until you recover, exercising through injuries will only make it worse

Don’t Struggle Alone

‘I work better alone’, ‘everyone else is busy’, ‘it’s difficult to find a time that works for everyone’ – I understand that coordinating workouts can be a pain but having someone or a group of people to exercise with will keep you motivated when you’re struggling to be keep up.

Some of the activities I like doing to stay active are not everyone’s preference such as hiking, but because I enjoy it, I’m self-motivated to go out alone. However, when it comes to full body workout, I need all the support from others I can get so I go to gym classes or join online sessions with friends.

  • Get the people around you to help you achieve your fitness goals, it is easier when you have someone holding you accountable
  • Try inclusive fun activities that are suitable for your family and friends. When you’re enjoying it, it becomes less of an obligation and time well spent with your loved ones
  • ‘Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing’1 Thessalonians 5:11

I would like to challenge you to think of one thing that you’ll change right now to help you stay active!

Belina is actively involved in a community of young women living and pursing their authentic lives according to God’s word. She holds a BSc and an MScR in Bioorganic Chemistry. She enjoys a wide range of fitness activities including tennis, running, cycling, hiking, Zumba, and Thai kickboxing.

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Uncategorized

Simple tips for eating healthy

by Lindizgani Eunice

As we are spending more time at home its easy for us to just grab a snack or that drink. Regardless of whether you are spending more time at home our bodies are still temples of the Holy spirit, God still dwells in us and would love us to look after his most prized possession.

We shall not live by bread alone but by every word. Prayer reading the word are the most important things, but what we eat also plays an important role in our health and well being. Paul said beloved I pray you proper and be in health even as your soul prospers

Here are my simple tricks on following a healthy lifestyle on a budget:

High fats, high sugars are not needed in the diet or beneficial. If you decide to eat them, have small amounts less frequently.

Fruits and vegetables

Include these in your day and your meals, they provide vitamins, minerals and fibre.

*tinned and frozen fruit and vegetables also count to your 5 a day and they are great as they last long too.

Another way is buying fruit and vegetables from the reduced isles then chopping them up and freezing them.

*Portions: Aim for 2 handfuls or ½ your plate to be fill with vegetables, And handful of fruit as a snack / dessert

Carbohydrate

I know it is currently trendy to cut out or limit your carb intake. However, carbs are very important for providing energy, fibre and some minerals. It is important to base your meals with these

*Aim for a handful of starchy carbs as a portion 3 times a day or ¼ of your plate

Choose whole grain options were possible as these provide fibre and keep you fuller for longer.

Examples of carbs include (potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, cous cous, maize, plantain, oats ,  )

Protein

Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and meat free alternatives

Try to include two portions of fish each week, one of which should be an oily fish (darker skinned), for example: mackerel, trout, sardines or kippers (if you are following a pant based diet walnuts , linseed , chia seed , soya beans are great omega 3 sources)

Tips: – avoid frying if you can

Remove excess fat or get lean options

Remove skin from chicken

*Portion is a palm size or ¼ of your plate at a meal.

Dairy and alternatives

Great sources for calcium. Aim for 3 portions a day

A portion is: –

a small pot of yoghurt

1/3 pint of milk

a small matchbox size piece of cheese.

Fats and oils

Choose low fat options of polyunsaturated or monounsaturated spreads and cooking oils such as olive oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower or vegetable oils

As a rule, put a thumb size amount of bread

Tablespoon of oil in cooking

Avoid oils with high saturated fat more than 5g/100g as these increase your risk for heart disease (pastries, coconut oil, palm oil, butter, ghee, cakes, ice creams)

Sugar

Small amounts can be added to sweeten foods. However added sugars are not essential to health.  “Free sugars” which are found in table sugar, glucose, honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices.

As a guide on food labels

High sugar = 22.5g per 100g,

 low-sugar food =less than 5g per 100g.

high-sugar drink = more than 11.25g per 100ml,

 low-sugar drink contains less than 2.5g.

*You only need 30g or 7tsp of sugar a day*

Choose some nutritious and healthy snacks

Carrots, cucumber, celery and hummus

Handful of nuts

Pot of Greek yoghurt

Handful dried fruit

Fresh fruit

Small bag of rice cakes

1 slice wholegrain toast with thinly spread nut butter

1 boiled egg

Apple with nut butter

It is important to ensure your daily intake is adequate for your personal nutritional needs and also  manageable.

Exercise

Also aim for 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 times a week that makes your heart race a little.

Thank you for reading my short guide to healthy eating

Lindizgani Eunice is a Registered Dietitian (Bsc Hons Dietetics, HCPC). She is a Wife, Mother and serves in the power generation youth group and Worship team at Authentic City Church.