A Note from Pastor Joel

Dear Grace First Family,

Have I got a deal for you!

Yes, I know, you’ve learned to flinch when you hear those words — but work with me on this. It’s the season of Lent and you may be working on controlling one of your appetites.

Have you considered meditation as a diet program (yah…I know!). Over a 7 week period a group of study participants were taught “mindfulness meditation”. During that time they practiced recognizing, accepting and experiencing their cravings rather that trying to ignore, deny or even suppress them. Sort of like looking the devil in the eye.

As a result of this meditative practice they did a better job at staving off (sort of like starving) those cravings. Researchers reasoned that this meditative practice did a better job than trying to rely on sheer will power (which is sometimes in short supply). They thought the practice helped minimize the frustration and obsessive preoccupation with food by trying, often failing, to suppress food cravings.

It doesn’t work for everyone but the key is to know what works for you. For some it’s a brisk walk, yoga, getting on the bike or treadmill, doing the dishes (doesn’t work for me), or maybe focusing on pastor Joel’s e-prayer list! One idea is, instead of “stress eating”, try stress walking, etc. Or maybe, instead of using food to comfort or sooth yourself, find some other way to sooth the frantic beast. And when you do eat, slowly savor every bite. Enjoy it to the fullest (and probably not in front of the tube or computer). Paying attention to food helps you consume less.

I hate to tell you this, but as we age our brain shrinks-like an apple on the counter. But you can help keep it plump by just walking a mile a day. People who walk 6-9 miles a week preserve more gray matter than their sedentary soul mates. With Spring coming on strong-go for it!

Carpe diem, PJ


Pr. Joel K. LiaBraaten

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