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Transformation by Truth: Day 5

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Day 5

Excerpts from Transformation by Truth: 30 Days to a Healthy Heart, Mind and Body by Noelle Dey © 2012

Monday, February 13, 2017

Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Noelle Dey

Blessing:

Oh Lord, as I enter Your presence today, I have never been more aware of Who You are and of how much You care for me. Your hand never leaves me… regardless of what I do… I am so unworthy of Your protection! Daddy… Thank You! As I begin today’s study, I ask that You would use this time to mend all the broken places… heal all the wounds that I have gathered as I walk this earth. Restore Your righteousness within me. Steady my feet upon the path You’ve prepared. Fix my eyes upon the cross, and capture the desire of my heart… allow it to beat in sync with Yours. And Father just as I did yesterday… I will praise You, honor You and glorify You… regardless! For it’s in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Scripture Reference:

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Luke 8:9-14

Today’s Message:

Do you know that feeling of being rudely awakened from your sleep?

To this day, my sister and I still laugh at how my Mom went about waking us up in the morning for school. There was never the welcoming tone of voice whispering, “Good morning sunshine!” in our rooms. No, she seemed to lean toward waking us up military-style, although I have no idea what it would be like to be in the military. She would open our doors, flip on the blinding light and yell “GET UP!”

We would be in a fog as we’d try to get our eyes to focus. That’s not far off from how I felt as I was being wheeled into the operating room. I was somewhere between a dream and a farfetched reality. There was chaos around my bed as I was being rushed through the corridors into the surgical area.

I didn’t know this at the time, but Lori was running alongside the medical team in shock. She silently watched as they squeezed a ball to give me life-sustaining oxygen. I don’t remember having her at my side, but I do remember the moment I arrived in the operating room. There were stark bright lights. The room was cold and sterile. I closed my eyes and I felt a cold, sharp sensation that traveled from the middle of my upper chest down a handful of inches. When I explained this to my surgeon months later, he said it made sense that I felt the incision run down my chest for my open-heart surgery because I was so close to dying; there was very little anesthesia they could use.

During my last coherent hours leading up to the emergency surgery, everything about my existence was frightening, painful and intolerable. I was either too hot or too cold. I desperately wanted to breathe, but found myself drowning in my own fluids instead. So it was a welcome relief when my chest was opened and I was being operated on. I found myself peacefully floating over my own body. It was as if I were lying on a glass floor looking downward, watching a movie.

I could see the operation below. Within a blink of an eye, I was out of that scene and placed in an all-consuming light. The best word to describe that light is “indescribable.” (I’ll bet that makes perfect sense to all the other females, right?) Pure warmth penetrated all of my being. My first prominent thought was “Ahh! I can breathe!” It felt wonderful. I was no longer too hot or too cold. I was perfectly comfortable. After so many hours of tension, this was the ultimate release.

Just then, I was floating over my body again. I watched for only a few seconds, before I was back in the light. Interestingly, I was told months later that I had flat-lined twice on the operating table which coincides with these experiences. And then it was like listening to an old record that abruptly scratched and screeched to a halt.

Thoughts raced through my mind as if I were speaking them out loud, “Wait a second. Did I just die? That was it? Case closed? Twenty-eight years. Never been married, no kids. My parents will be devastated. How could they lose their younger daughter while being in the midst of their own battles for life? What will my sister do when all of us are gone?”

I started to pray, “God, I am so confused. Am I supposed to follow you? Please tell me what to do.” Before I could hear His answer, I was transported into a completely different world. I heard a beep. I felt my chest rise. Another beep. My chest expanded again. The only problem: I wasn’t breathing! Within a moment, I realized I was on life support. I couldn’t open my eyes, I couldn’t move my body and I felt like I had been run over by a truck.

For my family, the waiting room was immensely tension-filled. Dr. Ott came to tell them that he had successfully implanted a mechanical mitral valve in my heart. Lori said she and my parents let out a big sigh of relief. But that respite was short-lived when he added, “I have to tell you, she is a very sick girl. Noelle is on life support; she is not out of the woods.” Lori said they went from elation to pins and needles in a single breath.

APPLICATIONS

Heart:

If you were put in my situation and you found that your life had come to an end, would you have had any regrets like I did?

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Pretend you found yourself in God’s magnificent presence.

What would that moment look like?

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How would it feel?

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Is your relationship with God authentic, deep and loving where you would melt into His presence and weep with joy and longing for Him? Or would you feel insanely anxious–like you were on a first date not knowing who He is?

Think back to your first dating relationship. On your first date, you were probably as nervous as nervous gets. But your desire for that person was so strong, you wanted nothing more than to move beyond the uneasy first date jitters into a genuine relationship. You probably talked endlessly with your precious love. When we have that type of conversation with God, it is praying. Don’t be intimidated. God is looking for a true relationship. He isn’t impressed by the overly “religious.”

Look at how Jesus explains that principle in the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14:

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Simply give God your heart by dedicating time to just be in His presence. Spending time together and communicating are the foundational steps of any relationship including one with God.

What other things have you done to build relationships?

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Chances are you wrote love letters which lit your heart on fire. You can write those to God in your journal. You used your resources whether it was asking questions, or doing your detective work to know everything you could about your special someone’s character. You can learn all about God’s personality and character through the Bible, books and through great teachers.

We all have different ways to get close to God because we are all created uniquely. For Ryan, he savors his time with God in the midst of the beautiful mountains on a dirt bike or he’ll take walks on hiking trails near our house and have silent conversations with God there. I cherish my quiet times writing love letters to God while I’m sitting on a bench overlooking the beach.

What are ideas you have that match your personality? Journal your responses.

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Which action are you taking today to deepen your relationship with God?

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Mind:

That the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.

Chinese Proverb

This saying cracked me up! Isn’t it a great visual? Think about how many times you have let birds of worry and care “build nests in your hair.” How many of those nests will actually matter when we reach the end of our story here on earth? But most of us are walking around with a lot of nests.

What are your nests’ names?

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A few of mine are: worry, perfection and bill-paying. I’ll tell you what… none of those nests were on my mind and heart when I was on life support! So, how can you put your mind into the right perspective now?

Consider your nests.

What type of advice would a wise, elderly person give you regarding each nest? Maybe it would sound something like this, “If I were to live my life over again, I wouldn’t take things so seriously,” or, “I’d take more barefoot walks in the grass, pick daisies and love with abandon.” Can you imagine a pearl of wisdom that someone nearing the end of their time here on earth would share with you?

What would their message be? Journal that advice.

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Implement that counsel this very moment. Today is a new, clean canvas to recreate your mind’s perspective.

Body:

Have you ever thought that it shouldn’t matter what you look like, it should only matter who you are inside?

1 Corinthians 6:19- 20 says,

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

Look at the Holy Temple in the Old Testament. It was the figurative dwelling place of God’s presence here on earth. But now He resides in the hearts of believers by His Holy Spirit.

Whoa! Wait just a second.

Do you get it? Do you see the connection?

Your body is where He lives!

So, take a look… what instruction was given when the temple was broken down and needed repair?

Please read 2 Kings 12:11-14

Please read 2 Chronicles 24:12-14

Carpenters, builders, masons and stonecutters were all called in to fix things. Man, they brought in the big guns to honor God’s dwelling place!

Are you putting that same amount of attention to your body?

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Couple these ideas with the fact that you and I…

are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do

Ephesians 2:10

That means that God can’t do His work through you if your body can’t take Him out and about. How much more effective would you be in blessing others if you had stronger endurance, more muscle strength and a healthy self-image?

Focus from this point moving forward on repairing and maintaining God’s dwelling place.

Start eating clean.

This is a perfect complement to the workouts you started and the added movement you’ve committed to. I do an 80-20 split. I know, you’re thinking, “Wait a second—this sounds like a sales seminar!” Eighty percent of my food is whole, unprocessed-food, meaning it had a mother or it came from the ground, while 20 percent of it is whatever the heck I like assuming it is free from high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), trans fats (look for the key words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” on the food label) and artificial sweeteners (saccharine, aspartame and sucralose).

Yes I’ll eat a chocolate sandwich cookie, but it might not be the brand name you’d recognize. I treat myself a little bit every single day, buying those splurges at a market that has healthier options, so I never feel deprived. See Appendix B for calorie guidance.

Journal everything you eat and drink and take notes on how you feel emotionally with each meal. While doing this, look for red flags.

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For instance, maybe you eat a lot of junk food at 5:00 p.m. everyday because you’re famished. Try packing a snack to eat on your drive home from work such as an apple and a small handful of almonds so you never hit that ravenous hunger. Maybe you find yourself eating sweets after you put the kids to bed because you feel like you deserve a reward for making it through the day. How about a different kind of a treat such as a bubble bath with spa-like iced water with lemon slices? Fixes such as these are like putting a Band-Aid on a wound. But, for wound prevention, we need to dig deeper.

Pay close attention to the emotional notes you write in your food journal.

Typical emotional reasons people overeat are: celebration (I got through the day… I deserve a treat), stress, depression, loneliness and boredom. When you see that your poor eating patterns correlate to unresolved emotions, you need to take action and work through them instead of eating through them! Read books to help you manage that particular emotion, use biblical references or seek counseling.

Don’t expect perfection. We all slip up. When that happens, give yourself grace and then get back on track. View this process as exciting. You are uncovering a different, healthier person! It’s time for you to think and act like an athlete!

Closing Prayer:

Father, oh Father, I feel that I am consumed by temptation… temptation to sin… temptation to stray… temptation to fall into the pressures this world places upon my shoulders. But yet we are told in Your word that we will not be tempted beyond what we can bear and Father You also promise us that with every temptation presented so is a way out. Father help us to seek the way out! Outline the door! Mark the path! Open our eyes to see our great Rescuer, so that You might be glorified within our lives. I ask these things in Jesus’ name, amen.

What is God showing you through this study? We’d love to know. Comment below!

Do You KNOW Him? If you want to know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, visit this Link: Encouragement Extreme

Encouragement Cafe was given permission by Noelle Dey to bring you this study via Encouragement Cafe. Content may not be reproduced or distributed without written permission from Noelle Dey. To purchase Transformation by Truth: 30 days to a Healthy Heart, Mind and Body in its entirety visit Amazon.com.

1 Comment

My favorite ways that I feel close to God first off through music! Anytime I can I will sing and worship the Lord through songs I hear on my radio stations and there have been so many times when I feel God played a song just when I needed it.

I also love to journal write. If I find a verse that jumps out at me, hear a sermon that touches me or whatever it is, I will write about it. I also like to write out some of my prayers. I love going back and reading these entries in my journal to see lessons I have learned since then or see how far God has taken me!

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