Heart Choices: 2009-06-07 -->

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Then Sings My Soul Saturday ~ In Christ Alone

Once again, it's Then Sings My Soul Saturday. I connect with Amy of Signs, Wonders and Miracles. You can find other participating blogs on her link.

I'm on the lookout each week for songs that speaks to my heart. For this week, I choose "In Christ Alone" performed by a talented musician, Travis Cotrell. He provides the music for all of Beth Moore's conferences. I love the words and music of this song.


Lifestyle Related Risk Factors

Today is Fitness Friday. Our host is Sandy of God Speaks Today. You can link there to join in or link to other participating blogs with fitness posts.

Have you heard of The Dirty Dozen? Now before you say that The Dirty Dozen is an old movie starring Ernest Borgnine and Lee Marvin, let me stop you to say ...that's not what I'm writing about today.

After all, it's Fitness Friday and I want to remain on topic.

But have you ever considered how likely you are to die of a lifestyle related risk factor?

My hubby and I had the opportunity to spend a month at the Pritikin Center several years ago. This was when they were located in a beautiful beach hotel in Santa Monica close to the famous pier. Not a shabby place to get healthy, I can tell you. I continue to receive a monthly newsletter with many of the latest studies on health and wellness.

In the June 2009 newsletter, they shared the findings of a new study and the authors come from several institutions that include the Harvard School of Public Health, the University of Washington, and the University of Toronto. They analyzed nationally representative data.

Their conclusion was that ...more than one million Americans die annually from 12 lifestyle-related risk factors.

They call them The Dirty Dozen. Listen guys, these are risk factors over which we have control.

According to Daniel Akst in a May 15, 2009 commentary on this study in The Wall Street Journal, "Too many of us appear to be bent on slow-motion suicide."

So here they are "The Dirty Dozen":
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Inadequate physical activity and inactivity
  • High blood glucose
  • High LDL cholesterol
  • High dietary salt
  • Low dietary omega-3 fatty acids from seafood
  • High dietary trans fat
  • Alcohol use
  • Low fruit and vegetable intake
  • Low dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids

The reason this study was conducted was to bring attention to the importance of lifestyle changes. They wanted to bring this information to the current healthcare discussions going on in Washington DC.

With the food industry promoting unhealthy food and mega-meals being served at restaurants, children today are becoming increasingly overweight and even obese. Now, I'm not crazy about government intervention and more regulations but that might be coming.

In the meantime, what can you do?

  • Start by teaching your children about healthy eating
  • Practice what you preach
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Provide healthy snacks
  • Walk, walk and walk
  • Eat smaller portions
  • Limit your eating out
  • Drink lots of water
  • Get physical; encourage your children to release some of their energy through sports or simply running outside
  • Don't smoke

This really hit home for me yesterday when I got a phone call from my brother Steve telling me that a good friend of ours died suddenly.

I've known Matt since I was 16 years old and he and my brother have continued their friendship over the years. They both entered the Navy together, they share the same birthday July 10th and they're the same age. Matt would have turned 58 next month. It's much too young to die. He died in his sleep when his wife checked on him since it was later than normal. Very sad news!

So, let's get serious about these lifestyle risk factors. Yes, we'll all die one day. That's a fact. But in the meantime, we can be stewards of our bodies and do our part. What are you doing to positively impact your health?


Thankful Thursday ~ True Beauty

If it's Thursday, this must be Thankful Thursday. I love having one day a week to blog specifically about being thankful. Because of this, I tend to be on the lookout for things for which I can be thankful during the week. And that's a good thing!

Today our hostess is Laurie of Women Taking A Stand. She chose the theme of true beauty for this week. You can link to her blog to join in and participate or locate other participating blogs to read.

I've heard it said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I agree with that. But our culture tends to define beauty in a specific way:

  • Being young
  • Being thin
  • Having a perfect face structure

All you have to do is watch TV shows like America's Top Model or take a glance at the magazine covers. But is that really true beauty? Have you ever seen a woman who is beautiful on the outside but when she opens her mouth, her true self is exposed?

Here's what the Bible says in 1 Peter 3:3a, 4:

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment ....Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."

As I think back over this week, I'm reminded of many of the truly beautiful women who have been there for me and I'm so thankful for each one of them. There are many others who have blessed me but I want to mention a few from this particular week.

  • My prayer partner Helen, who is on vacation in Oklahoma this week visiting her ailing uncle. She gave me a blessing basket before she left. Each day I get to open a gift labeled for that day and there's always a Bible verse linked to each. So far, I've received the cutest flip flops, a candle, chocolates, lip balm, and today a beautiful friends photo frame with a picture of the two of us. How special is that? Helen is beautiful!
  • Lisa Shaw of Sharing Life With Lisa has been such a blessing to me this week. She is beautiful inside and out and has been such an encouragement to me through her prayers and words of wisdom. Thank you Lisa!
  • Jill of Forever n Ever n Always who has blessed me abundantly in so many ways. She is truly beautiful both inside and out.
  • Laurie M. of Beauty for Ashes has that true beauty too. She has also been a special encouragement to me this week. And did you know that we share the same birthday? Different years but the same day. How cool is that?

There are many other truly beautiful women who have blessed me this week including Terri, Sue, Lori, Marcia, Nancy and of course there's Jamie in San Antonio.

But if I get going, this list would be too long and ...you have other Thankful Thursday blogs to visit, don't you?


Walk Down Memory Lane ~ Grandpa

Wednesday's Walk Down Memory Lane is a meme I've seen and read on other blogs. The host is Lynnette of Dancing Barefoot on Weathered Ground and her idea is to document precious memories. I thought that was a great idea so I decided to participate for the first time today. You can link to Lynnette's blog to find other participating blogs.

I have special memories of my Grandpa Sumstad. He is my father's father and he died much too young of a heart attack. I was in my first year of nursing school when I got the dreaded phone call. He was the first person who was very close to me to die. But instead of focusing on that memory, I'd like to share a few things about him with you.

My grandpa was born in the northern part of Norway on his family's farm in Sumstad. He later took the town's name when he sailed to America, landing on Ellis Island. His name is recorded on the wall. He had gone to seminary in Norway and so when he settled in Brooklyn, New York he immediately started a home church for Norwegian immigrants. The Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn at that time was predominantly Norwegian.

Grandpa met my grandmother in church. She had also traveled from Norway with her girlfriend and they worked for the Red Cross. After they married, they continued to live in an apartment in Brooklyn until eventually moving out to Long Island. He started another church in Smithtown, New York and it continues on to this day.

My grandfather walked his talk. He was a wonderful example of a godly man. When I stayed overnight at my grandparents' house, it wasn't unusual to find Grandpa in his chair praying or studying his well worn Bible.

He loved people! Nobody was a stranger. I loved to go to the stores with him because everyone knew his name. Whether it was the bakery or the news stand, they all knew Henry.

One time he heard a couple in a store speaking Norwegian, so he immediately went over to speak with them. The Fredericksen's had recently moved to the US and so of course Grandpa wanted to welcome them. They were invited for dinner and eventually church. My Nana got used to having unexpected guests for dinner so she always made extra.

Here are a couple of early photos of my grandpa and our family:

The first photo was taken back in 1958 when I was about five years old. That's Grandpa and Nana, my mom and dad, me in my favorite dress and my brother Steve who is 18 months older than me.

The second photo was taken in 1969; two years before Grandpa died. My Grandpa was known for wearing his hats. My younger sister is pictured here too. I have to laugh at the short dresses but that was the style back then.

My grandfather was a carpenter and he built their house. He was a very special man in my life. How grateful I am that I will see him again one day since I know that he's in heaven.


In Other Words Tuesdays ~ Who's In Charge?

It's "In Other Words Tuesdays" and Karen of In Love WITH Jesus is our host this week. You can visit there to find other participating blogs.

Karen has chosen the following quote for this week:

When I read this quote, I immediately thought of Peter Marshall. He was the Scottish-born minister who became Chaplain of the US Senate. He died at a young age in 1949. I thought of Peter Marshall because I remember reading his widow Catherine Marshall's book "A Man Called Peter" years ago. Peter Marshall always referred to God as His Chief and Commander. That stood out in my mind after all these years.

But how many of us allow God to occupy ALL of us? I may believe I allow Him access to all, but then I'm reminded of an area that may be hidden to others. It's easy to make excuses, especially if you evaluate your life by how other's live. But as a Christian, our measure is Jesus and ... not other people.

There have been times when I've invited the Holy Spirit to search my heart, mind and entire being and to convict me of anything that is not pleasing to Him. It's amazing because over time, the closer I grow to Him, the more He reveals to me. I guess if it all happened at once ... I'd probably give up.

But all I need to do is the surrender part. He can then have full access and do ...His work in and through me.

I'm amazed by that. It's only been recently that I've understood better what entering the rest of God really is. I thought I was being lazy. But my own works that often wear me out don't really count in eternity. It's what He does in me and then through me that will last.

So, I do want Him to be the Commander and Chief in my life. How about you?


BlogThings ~ A Fun Place To Visit

Do you enjoy taking short quizzes? I'm not talking about tests like we had to take in school. These are things like personality tests, or intelligence tests or simply finding out what season are you. I find them fun ...but not always so accurate.

BlogThings is a site where you'll find lots of quizzes. Some of them I wouldn't bother with but a few are quite interesting. How about this one? Wouldn't you be intrigued?

"What's your gift? What makes you who you are? Discover your special gift with this quiz."

I don't think this has anything to do with spiritual gifts.

Here's how mine came out as:

Your Gift is Intellect

You are a big thinker, and you're always playing with new ideas.

You are curious about the world. You enjoy learning and developing new theories.

You enjoy researching, analyzing, and solving problems. Thinking hard feels good!

You're the type of person who finds most mental tasks to be easy. You love to stretch your brain.

Why not click and find out?
I'd love to know if you think it's accurate.
I guess I really want to know if intellect is mine. LOL.
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