You don’t have to shop very long to discover that a lot of what is marketed as healthy is quite the opposite. New and Improved usually means same-old and less-than-healthy. Many fat-free items are loaded with carbohydrates to make up for the loss in taste. Many low-calorie items use sweeteners that make the body feel like it is starving, which causes consumers to eat much more. Then you have the psychological affect. People tend to over-indulge or cheat because they feel like they have earned it by “being good.” In the end, people often find themselves in worse shape – and further from their goals – than they would have been if they had stuck to meat and potatoes in the first place.
I was reading a rant on Facebook this morning that brought this “truth” to light. The person was chastising people who call themselves Christians, yet ignore the character flaws of Donald Trump. He went on to berate his readers for criticizing President Obama for character issues while ignoring those found in the man they supported.
As a musician, singer and speaker, I have had the opportunity throughout most of my life to travel and engage all kinds of church folk. I have ministered to Baptists, Presbyterians, Mennonites, Amish, Pentecostals, Independents, Catholics and many others. I have noticed that even among the less charismatic believers, there is a tendency for people to look to preachers and prophets for direction and guidance. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since God established Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers for the building up of Saints and the Church. (Eph 4:11-12) But sometimes, this goes a bit too far and people start chasing after so-called prophets.
There was a time after God delivered Israel from Egypt into the promised land when they were harassed by the nation of Midian for seven years. The people of Israel hid in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. Every time they planted crops, marauders from Midian and other places would attack them. They would camp out, destroy the crops, steal the sheep, goats, cattle and donkeys and leave the land stripped bare. The people of Israel became impoverished, destitute and on the verge of starvation. They finally began to cry out to God for help.
In May 1961 – with the Soviet Union leading space technology – President John F. Kennedy spoke the nearly unimaginable, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” The concepts previously relegated to the pages of science fiction was now proposed as reality. Children imagined what it would be like to be an astronaut, and scientists pondered the great discoveries that awaited them. America, and the world, had a dream.
Several years ago, a large church informed a visiting choir that they would not be allowed to sing “Amazing Grace” as it portrays man in a lowly light. The successful church explained that their priority is to make people feel good about themselves and let them know how much they are loved and cared for by God. This methodology appeared to work well for them as they boasted thousands of members, millions in assets, and served host to some of the biggest stars in the ministry and secular markets.
As a Life Coach and Pastor, I thought I had heard it all. Quite honestly, it takes an awful lot to surprise me. I have had multiple people walk into my office, drop a bombshell and then search my face for some hint of judgment or criticism. As the old Ray Steven’s song goes, they “began to cry and then to confess to sins that would make a sailor blush with shame.” Despite all of that, however, I was recently thrown a curve ball and was indeed caught off-guard.
One of my clients sent me an email this morning telling me he was anxious to make his business “great again” this year. During a follow-up, he began to lay out specific objectives that he wanted, and needed, to achieve. We discussed the objectives, the necessary resources, and the potential challenges in making his dream come true. I love it! My client is leveraging his emotional energy, prompted by a New Year, to press forward in actual strategies, tactics and behaviors to make things happen.