Sugar in a sermon?

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I heard a sermon a few weeks ago in which the pastor was addressing addictions… in essence, the escapes we use in this human world to hide from our fears, or shame, or insecurities, etc.

And guess what he referenced as his picture to addiction?  Yup, sugar!  And he cited the research that proves it is more addictive than … wait for it… wait for it…cocaine!   Yes, I’ve read the studies myself and you might have by now as well, but I will follow up with a later post dedicated to this research about sugar.  It’s disturbing.

For now, because this is my Sunday Soul Food post, click here and choose the sermon dated 4/24/2016 – Addiction Unmasked Living in Freedom.  

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If you’ve grappled with ANY addiction, whether food, smoking, drugs, alcohol, porn, or gambling etc., then I hope this speaks to your heart.  Freedom is possible!

Here’s to a healthier you!

Blessings,

Valerie

Petersburg, VA church outreaches for health and wellness

picture V and G health fairI wanted to give a big shout out to Tabernacle Baptist Church, 418 Halifax St. in Petersburg, VA!  They held their second annual Bridge the Health Gap Joy Run/Walk 5K and 2K event this morning.  It was A.W.E.S.O.M.E!

Although they already had vendors lined up for the day, they allowed us to register our vendor table on short notice.  Thank you!

Optima Health and Capital Area Health Network were large sponsors for this community health fair, providing cholesterol, BMI, and blood pressure screenings along with other health education.  Other vendors also contributed with information on elderly care in the region, rehab facilities, physical trainers, medical imaging, nutritional supplements, smart eating and nutrition, and even a local group helping children in foster care.

Reverend Dr. Diggs, Donald Barrow, Dee Johnson, and all the countless others, thank you, thank you! Thank you for having a heart for your community, for using your church to meet physical and spiritual needs, and for the energy and time to organize such an event for the community.

Blessings,

Valerie

Beauty from ashes

It’s Sunday… and since this blog encompasses health and wellness of the entire being (body, mind, AND spirit), I’d love to devote Sunday blog posts specifically to addressing topics that encourage the spirit and growth in faith.

I currently live in a “flood home”.  What I mean is this home was destroyed by a horrific flood in 2010 that hit the U.S. Northeast in epic proportions.  While I moved into this adorable cottage-style home years after this devastation, I was told that the floodwaters neared the tops of the windows of the first floor, and the entire neighborhood was evacuated by boats and rescue teams.  Fast forward to today, and this home is absolutely charming.  The owners were devastated at the time.  Everything was washed away or destroyed, leaving  silt, sewage, and filth in its place.

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But today, this home is restored, rebuilt, renewed.  To see these pictures, you’d never have realized the destruction that was in its past.   And this home is a constant reminder to me of a bigger theme… “rebuilding” is the heart of God.  God brings beauty from ashes! And while this happened in a physical sense to my home (and around the world to rebuilding of neighborhoods, businesses, and homes from natural disasters), God is in the business of rebuilding hearts, lives, families, relationships…forgiveness.   Wow.

  • Isaiah 61:1-3
  • Psalm 30:4-5, 8-12

There is much meat here.  This is deep.  And if you’re interested in digging deeper into this, I encourage you to do so.

God’s word says He restores, NOT  just because He loves you, but to bring praises to God.  That others would see the restoration and know from whence it came … the restoration is “for the display of his splendor” … to give glory to God.  His heart is for his people.  We are not to be silent when we see rebuilding in our lives, our marriages, our families, our children, our finances, our emotions etc., but instead acknowledge what God has done.  It’s AMAZING how much it creates a grateful heart.

So as I sit in my little home that is totally restored and more beautiful than the original, I am reminded to be so VERY grateful for all the beautiful things God has repaired in my life … from divorce to remarriage, from broken relationships with children to renewal, from having no faith to a faith-filled life, from losing parents to gaining friendships … on and on.   Beauty from ashes.

Valerie