But this week, I want to dwell on a deeper level than the surface of new habits. Just as our garages and attics serve as storage for things we don’t have a place for in our homes, so our hearts and minds accumulate clutter from the world. Clutter that we really shouldn’t have.
We rub shoulders with the world. Jesus even warned us not to be part of the world, even though we live in the world. Yes, unknowingly, we may pick up ungodly thoughts and attitudes such as: What’s in it for me? I have rights! I don’t have to forgive! Bitterness isn’t all that bad. Just looking at another man couldn’t be all that bad. Does the Bible really say sex outside of marriage is wrong?
Before long, our hearts and minds are no longer clean and orderly but full of mess and disorder. Perhaps it’s time, at the beginning of this new year, to confess to the Lord the clutter of bad thoughts and attitudes we may have and begin to clean up the mess. Throw away the thoughts of bitterness. Fill up trash bags of sensual thoughts. Find a place to file away your anger and any negative feelings. Kick your complaining to the curb.
Then, fill your heart with the beauty of God’s Word. Begin to walk within your house with the integrity of your heart as your guide. Learn that God has given us a way out of the dirt and grime with a cleansing verse: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:8-9
We also need to purposely expose ourselves only to what is healthy for our minds and our eyes to see:
“I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not fasten its grip on me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil.
“My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me. He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house; he who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me.” Psalm 101:3-4, 6-7
I know how hard it is to turn from negative habits and toward healthy ones. And, living in the type of world we do can cause a lot of tension. If you’re feeling anxious, listening to soothing music, especially Christian music, along with breathing deeply may be as beneficial as going for a massage. Seattle researchers recently reported that people who did their own tranquility treatments enjoyed the same symptom easing as those who’d gone to a professional massage. Some musts for at-home relaxation: a comfy chair or place to lie down, soft lighting, and relaxing sounds.
You can now get answers to your health questions from people like cardiac surgeon and TV personality Mehmet Oz, physicians from top hospitals such as Johns Hopkins and the Cleveland Clinic, and experts from organizations like the American Cancer Society and AARP, thanks to a new website called Sharecare.com.
Select one of 48 topics and you’ll see a list of commonly asked questions with responses from health and wellness professionals and research experts. That’s what distinguishes Sharecare from other health websites, says cofounder Jeff Arnold; “Consumers get multiple points of view and different perspectives.”
You can also search by an expert’s name, hospital, organization or disease. Access to advice from local health care providers is automatic in that answers from leading hospitals and medical centers in your area show up at the top of the list. You can even create a Facebook page and arrange to have customized, updated content from “friends” like Dr. Oz posted to your page, and you will be able to interact with other users. People want to see “life-changing health advice in writing,” Dr. Oz says.
Some great news for Moms who want to know all they can about finances: Suze Orman’s latest project is www.MoneyMindedMoms.com, where women can get free financial advice from a team of mommy bloggers.