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Transformation by Truth: Day 24

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Day 24

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

Monday, March 13, 2017

Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Noelle Dey

Blessing:

Lord, thank You for being a Lord who sees us and teaches us. Thank You for the opportunity to come before You and sit at Your feet and learn. Transform us this morning. Soften our hearts and open our ears to hear You as You speak to us. Change our hearts to be like Yours. We love You Lord, and we pray this in Your precious name, Amen.

Scripture Reference:

Love never fails…

1 Corinthians 13:8

Today’s Message:

There were six of us lying on the ground watching TV in our college apartment. We were as lively as amoeba (with my luck, I’ll have a biologist tell me amoeba are actually quite active). After finishing our last set of finals, pure exhaustion took over.

Love Connection had just ended and as the credits rolled, the announcer said, “If you live in the Los Angeles area, or if you will be visiting and you want to be on Love Connection, give us a call!” It was like a bad idea simultaneously infected each of us.

We perked up and finally showed signs of life. The banter started, “Wouldn’t that be awesome if we all tried out, and they paid us money to date each other?” “Yeah, we could rig the system and be on the show together!” So we called. Audition times were set. We were having the time of our lives.

Our interviews were held in a large room filled with lots of other singles. Some were obviously desperate to find a match. Others, like us, were there hoping for ten minutes of fame… although infamy was more like it.

What celebrity do I most resemble? Bill Cosby. Why do people want to date me? Because I can blow spit bubbles off my tongue (true story). It went on and on. The producers showed us old videos of past episodes. My favorite was when an African-American man sitting on the couch with Chuck Woolery said, “Chuck, she said she had great legs. Well, I’ve seen better legs in a bucket of Kentucky Friiiiiiiiiiiied Chicken!”

A few weeks passed and I forgot all about the show. I came home after a first date and checked my phone messages with my date standing next to me. Beep… “Hi Noelle! This is Jackie from Love Connection… We want you on the show! You’ll be sitting next to Chuck on the couch, so please come in to watch the videos and choose your date!”

Hmm. Note to self: don’t check messages if you are not alone. Second note to self: if your college friends rope you into a TV show, there’s always the chance that you will be the only one chosen. Third note to self: if you are the only one chosen, it’s not as amusing.

The date with Bachelor Number Two was fun… even in the midst of threats from my parents, “Grandma Sase will be watching. Don’t you dare do anything to embarrass us!” I planned the date and I was extra excited since the show was paying. But when I got my check for 40 dollars, I learned that “paying” was open to interpretation.

After the date, we were instructed not to talk to each other until after our show taped. We were given a phone number to call so we could tell the producers about the date from our own perspectives.

I was immediately asked, “So, was it a love connection?”

“No, it was a friendship connection.”

All of a sudden the tone changed, “Give me three reasons why you didn’t like him.”

“I never said I didn’t like him. I said there was no chemistry.”

“If there’s no chemistry, there are reasons. Give me three.”

It got to a point where we were at an impasse. I wouldn’t say anything mean about Bachelor Number Two even when they egged me on by saying, “He said if you tried to hold his hand, he was going to throw up!” Since our story wasn’t a steamy romance nor did it end in an ugly cat fight, we were told that they couldn’t use us for the show.

Well, that’s what they thought. The couple they were going to use in our place must have really had a love connection, because they both came down with the mumps. So, we taped the show. For what it’s worth, yes, the camera adds at least ten pounds ... and yes, I regret my Janet Jackson “Rhythm Nation” outfit.

My date explained that things didn’t quite work out since I was “too wholesome” for him. My parents were so excited that I didn’t offend my Grandma Sase. But here’s the comedy that I never considered until now: Grandma Sase didn’t even speak English. Darn my parents were good…

APPLICATIONS

Heart:

This whole Love Connection experience symbolized the way I used to view love. I saw it as something nebulous that only a few were chosen to enjoy. It was a fleeting emotion that could go from passion to disgust in the span of 30 minutes. There was a chance it would be wonderful, but it could also be manipulative.

It hurt. It was a crazy form of entertainment for some. And in most cases, you’d find that the one you loved didn’t even speak the same language! That is Hollywood.

But what does God say love is?

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Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Chances are good that you’ve probably heard these verses recited at the majority of the weddings you’ve attended.

But have you ever given serious thought to the concept?

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Think about scripture that instructs us to love such as Matthew 22:37-39 and 1 John 4:7. The hardest for all of us is probably Matthew 5:43-44 which says,

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

When I would hear or read those verses, I’d wait for God to give me warm fuzzies for my “enemy.” Of course, that would never happen. On a really inspired day, I might go out of my way to say “Hi,” thinking I was as close as I could possibly get to obeying those words that Jesus spoke.

Have you ever been in those shoes?

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Consider someone in your life who you could either classify as an enemy or someone who just plain irritates you.

Instead of trying to manufacture warm fuzzies, list out each of the love actions that are in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (patience, kindness, etc.) in your journal.

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How can you apply those actions to your enemy?

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How does this differ from living by your emotions?

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Are you catching this? It’s not about emotions or feelings. It’s about action!

With this renewed perspective, wouldn’t you agree that it is more than possible to love your enemies?

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What can you do today to show more love to those around you: starting with those closest to you such as your family and friends and extending all the way out to your enemies? Journal your love plan.

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Mind:

A fool’s mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.

Proverbs 18:7-8

I physically felt my blood pressure rise when the interviewer told me all of the mean-spirited remarks my date had supposedly said. “Your looks repulsed him. He was hoping for a beautiful blonde California babe.” Wait a second. Since when am I not a blonde bombshell? Oh yeah, I’m the Japanese afro girl.

Moving on. My already fragile self-esteem was going downhill. My knee-reaction was to fire offensive comments back. It’s not that I wanted to hurt Bachelor Number Two. In fact, I liked him while we were on our date, and even as we taped the show we spoke highly of one another. But, in that moment, saying something rude about him would have made me feel better about myself. Luckily, I knew that whatever I said would be broadcast to millions, so I refrained.

But in an everyday situation, I can’t guarantee that same type of bravado. Proverbs 18:7-8 says that my careless words will be my undoing. They are a snare to my soul. Words are so easily spoken, but they cannot be retracted. Not only do they hurt the recipient, but the underlying malicious spirit becomes a part of who I am, down to my inmost parts.

I’m assuming you’re a lot like me. There have been times when you were the target of hurtful words that have had a lasting impact on your soul. On the other hand, you’ve also had moments that you’re less than proud of because you carelessly spoke words that have hurt others. Maybe the words you spoke were flat out ugly. Or maybe you hid it well, justifying the gossip because it was in the spirit of “helping” a friend. However you dice it, you know in your heart of hearts if your words aren’t constructive, they’re destructive.

Words hold immense power just like a surgeon’s scalpel. If used incorrectly, it can kill. But when used correctly, it can heal someone’s heart.

What is at least one practical step you can take to ensure your words will only be used to build others up and not tear them down?

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I have learned to press a pause button in my mind and make myself consider the long-term consequences before I speak. I’m not perfect, but I’m far better than what I used to be.

If you have a laundry list of ideas, all the better.

Journal your thoughts and put them in action.

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Body:

I have said a million times (okay, a slight exaggeration) that one of the greatest blessings in my life was having heart failure at 28. After losing everything and then regaining the basic use of my body, I absolutely loved my body even when I could barely shuffle from my bed to the bathroom. I was finally comfortable in my own skin for the first time in my life. I had a profound sense of gratitude for the fact I could breathe without machines, I could sit up in my bed and I could walk over to pet my dog.

Have you ever been so convicted about something that you wanted to shout your message from a mountaintop?

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When I teach my fitness classes, I find myself preaching the same message, “Love what you’ve got! Even if you’re nowhere near your goal, be grateful for your strong, amazing body.” As you can imagine, those words tend to fall on deaf ears. And if it weren’t for my own experiences, I wouldn’t be able to comprehend that message either.

You might be thinking, “You want me to love my body? Can’t you see that I am morbidly obese? What about those who have disabilities or a terminal disease?”

How can I tell you to love your body when I don’t know your story? Good point. So where do we go from here? I think the answer is still the same. Love your body. But use God’s definition of love.

Today, how will you be patient with your body?

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How can you be kind to it?

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How can you appreciate the unique build God has given you instead of envying someone else’s body?

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How can you refrain from being rude (think about the ways you speak about your body)?

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If you have exercised and dieted in the past and experienced numerous failures, how can you keep from being easily angered and keep no record of wrongs?

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What are the truths of your body that you can rejoice in?

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How will you protect it?

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How can you maintain your hope and perseverance?

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Love your body.

Choose at least one action step from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and love your body.

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What do you think? Write your thoughts in your journal.

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Love never fails!

Closing Prayer:

We praise You Lord for who You are! You are the Creator of the Universe, maker of the heavens and the earth, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Thank You God for teaching us about You and for making a way for us to have a close, personal and intimate relationship with You. Be with us today and everyday as we navigate the world around us; the world in which You have placed us. Be our constant companion. We love You, 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

Today, how will you be patient with your body?

Currently I am 23 weeks pregnant with my first child. Everyday is a new challenge of not only trying to eat healthy through my cravings, but just trying to understand what my body is telling me it needs. To me, just listening to my body when it is tired, sore, or hungry is being patient. It takes a lot to just sit down and rest a few minutes when I know so many things need to be done but taking care of the baby and myself are more important.

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