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Americans are willing to spend billions to lose weight. Marketing products and services to dieters is a cinch, a dream, and a no-brainer big business, and easy money, because more than 120 million or 61% of people in the USA are overweight, obese, or overweight by 30 pounds or more. The common techniques marketers use include testimonials and before/after photos, claims of rapid weight loss, and the promise of no dieting or exercise required. Actors say, ?7 weeks ago I weighed 268 pounds, now I am down to just 148 pounds!?Ads claim: ?You can eat as much as you want and still lose weight.? Another ad claimed: ?You could lose 8 to 10 pounds per week, easily . . . and you won’t gain the weight back afterwards.?
However, the dieter’s dream of being healthy, slim or trim, and attractive was dashed by the Federal Trade Commission in a big way. Newspapers, local and national news all reported the FTC warning that advertisements for weight-loss products and services make ?grossly exaggerated? claims. The agency reviewed 300 weight-loss ads in the previous year and tested 218 dietary supplements, meal replacements, patches, creams, wraps and other weight-loss products and services. The report found that 40% of the ads made at least one representation that was almost certainly false, and 55% made a claim that was very likely false or at least lacked adequate substantiation. The agency had the help of a coalition of representatives of science, academia, health professions, government agencies and public interest groups.
The FTC said that the ads are distracting people from doing things that would help them achieve a healthy body weight. Surgeon General Richard Carmona said, ?There is no miracle pill that will lead to weight loss. Losing weight requires a lifelong commitment to healthful eating and physical activity.? (USA Today 9/18/02 “Weight-loss deception found.?
Jesus calls us to be people who
Live in present-tense.
An average person¡¦s anxiety is focused on :
40% -- things that will never happen
30% -- things about the past that can’t be changed
12% -- things about criticism by others, mostly untrue
10% -- about health, which gets worse with stress
8% -- about real problems that will be faced
Stop trying to grapple with the what ifs¨ and let God take care of it. You simply make that long term investment in God’s kingdom day by day.
While touring Italy, a man visited a cathedral that had been completed on the outside only. Once inside, the traveler found an artist kneeling before an enormous wall upon which he had just begun to create a mosaic. On some tables nearby were thousands of pieces of colored ceramic. Curious, the visitor asked the artist how he would ever finish such a large project. The artist answered that he knew how much he could accomplish in one day. Each morning, he marked off an area to be completed that day and didn’t worry about what remained outside that space. That was the best he could do; and if he faithfully did his best, one day the mosaic would be finished.
Today in the Word, September 5, 1995, p. 32.
DESPAIR AND DEPRESSION--THE NEWS
Max Lucado, pastor and author describes the topic title best when he speaks of having "doubt storms". He said, "Sometimes the storm comes after the evening news. Some nights I wonder why I watch it. Some nights it's just too much. From the steps of the Supreme Court to the steppes of South Africa, the news is usually gloomy--thirty minutes of bite-sized tragedies. Story after story of homes that won't heal and hearts that won't melt. Always more hunger than food. More needs than money. More questions than answers. On Sundays I stand before a church with a three-point outline in my hand, thirty minutes on the clock, and a prayer on my lips. I do my best to say something that will convince a stranger that an unseen God still hears. And I sometimes wonder why so many hearts have to hurt."
From Dale Pilgrim's Sermon "When You Can't Get Up"
I once heard the story about a wealthy man who had no need for pocket change, yet he still took the time to bend over and pick up lost pennies and other coins. Whenever the man found a coin he would stop look at it in his hand, then after standing quietly for a moment, he would then put the coin in his pocket and continue walking. He was once asked about his unusual habit. “Why does a man who has no need for money stand still as though he had just found a gold coin?” The man replied, “When I find a coin I look at the words, ‘In God We Trust,’ and I can hear God asking me, ‘Do you still trust me?’ Once I’m cert...
Chuck Swindoll in his book, Improving Your Serve, gives a memorable illustration:
Let’s pretend that you work for me. In fact, you are my executive assistant in a company that is growing rapidly. I’m the owner and I’m interested in expanding overseas. To pull this off, I make plans to travel abroad and stay there until the new branch office gets established. I make all the arrangements to take my family in the move to Europe for six to eight months, and I leave you in charge of the busy stateside organization. I tell you that I will write you regularly and give you direction and instructions.
I leave and you stay. Months pass. A flow of letters are mailed from Europe and received by you at the national headquarters. I spell out all my expectations. Finally, I return. Soon after my arrival I drive down to the office. I am stunned! Grass and weeds have grown up high. A few windows along the street are broken. I walk into the receptionist’s room and she is doing her nails, chewing gun, and listening to her favorite disco station. I look around and notice the wastebaskets are overflowing, the carpet has been vacuumed in weeks, and nobody seems concerned that the owner has returned.
I ask for you and someone in the crowded lounge area points down the hall and yells, “I think he’s down there.” Disturbed, I move in that direction and bump into you as you are finishing a chess game with our sales manager. I ask you to step into my office (which has been turned into a television room for watching afternoon soap operas).
“What in the world is going on, man?”
“What do ya’ mean?”
“Well, look at this place! Didn’t you get any of my letters?”
“Letters? Oh, yeah – sure, got every one of them. As a matter of fact … we have a letter study every Friday night since you left. We even divide all the personnel into small groups and discuss many of the things you wrote. Some of those things were really interesting.
You’ll be pleased to know that a few of us have actually committed to memory some of your sentences and paragraphs. One or two memorized an entire letter or two! Great stuff in those letters!”
“Okay, okay – you got my letters, you studied them and meditated on them, discussed them and even memorized them. BUT WHAT DID YOU DO ABOUT THEM?”
“Do? Uh – we didn’t do anything about them.”
For more from Chuck, visit http://www.insight.org
We should be like little Johnny. After church, Johnny tells his parents he has to go and talk to the minister right away. They agree and the pastor greets the family.
"Pastor," Johnny says, "I heard you say today that our bodies came from the dust & when we die our bodies go back to dust.”
"Yes, I’m glad you were listening. Why do you ask?"
Johnny says, "Well you better come over to our house right away and look under my bed ’cause there’s someone either comin’ or goin’!"
Can you all see what I have in my hand? A receipt. And what purpose does a receipt serve? It is the proof that the payment has been made. That’s what Jesus’ resurrection is. The receipt. The proof that the payment is made, that death and sin no longer have power over us.
Bernie May of Wycliffe Bible Translators wrote, "As an airplane pilot, from the first time I sat in the beginner’s seat beside my instructor I was taught to ’trust’ my instruments. ’Your instincts will fool you,’ my instructor rightly told me. ’You must learn that even though you may feel you are flying south, if your compass says you are flying east, you’d better believe it.’ Often when a plane is surrounded by swirling mist and being buffeted by strong winds, you may feel you are in a dive and be tempted to pull back on the controls. But if your instruments say you are flying level - or even climbing - you’d better believe them. To pull back on the...
“In football they have a huddle, the goal of the huddle is to give you thirty seconds to call the play, that is why they give you a huddle.(At a professional football game there may be ) Sixty thousand people watching you huddle, they don’t mind you taking thirty seconds to call the play. They understand that you have to get organized, you have to know where you are going to go, the ends need to know where they are going to go, the quarterback needs to know where he is going to go, the backs need to know where they are going to go. A huddle is a necessary part of playing the game. But let me inform you if you do not already know, sixty thousand people do not pay $20 a ticket to watch you huddle. See, people don’t come to football games to watch the huddle. They want to see if their team can overcome the opposition who is daring them to snap the ball and move down the field to score. What they want to know is does your practice work? Now what Christians often do is get high on their huddles. We gather together on Sunday morning and Sunday nights and Wednesday nights and we go nuts over the huddle! We say, “Boy did we have a huddle!! My quarterback can call plays better than your quarterback. And boy do we go off on the huddle. But what people don’t seem to understand is, that the huddle is so that we can play the game. The effectiveness of your church cannot be measured by how well you do on Sunday morning. … The test of the church is what it does in the marketplace. What we need today is churches that are representative of Jesus Christ not only when gathered but when disseminated.” (Dr. Tony Evans. “The Power of God’s People.” (Sermon, 1987 – Church Growth Conference, Prestonwood Baptist Church, Dallas, TX)
THE DEVIL’S VISION
The devil once said, to his demons below, our work is progressing entirely to slow; The holiness people stand in our way, since they don’t believe in the show or the play; they teach that the carnival, circus and dance, the tavern and honky tonk, with games of chance, drinking and smoking, these things are wrong; that Christians don’t mix with this ungodly throng. They’re quick to condemn everything that we do; to cause unbeliever’s to be not a few. They claim that these things are all of the Devil, that Christian folk should live on a higher level. Now, fellows, their theology, while perfectly true, is blocking the work we are trying to do. We’ll have to get busy and figure a plan, that will change their standards as fast as we can. Now, I have a vision of what we can do; Hearken-- I’ll tell this deception to you. Then find me a wise but degenerate man, whom I can use to help out this plan.
There’s nothing as real as what you can see; the eyes and the mind and the heart will agree. So, what can be better than an object to view? I say, it will work and convince not a few. The home is the place for this sinful device; The people deceived will think it’s quite nice. The world will possess it; most Christians won’t tell that it’s all of the devil, and was plotted in hell.
We’ll soothe them with pictures of the latest of news, and while they are looking, then will advertise booze. At the soul damming cigarette they’ll also look, until they forget what God say’s in his book. At first it will shock them, they’ll seem in a daze, but soon they’ll be hardened and continue to gaze. We’ll give them some gospel that isn’t too strong; and a few sacred songs to string them along. They’ll take in the ad’s with the latest of fashion and soon watch shows that stir evil passions. Murder and love-making scenes the will behold, until there souls become bitterly cold. The “old family altar” which once held such charm, will soon lose its place without much alarm. Praying in secret, will also be lost as they look at the screen without counting the cost. The compromising preacher’s who won’t take their stand, will embrace the new vision and think it is grand. They’ll help fool the people and cause them to sin by seeking this evil and taking it in.
The influence is great, and this you can see; Just look at my fall and you will agree. It won’t take long my demon’s to tell, that the vision of Satan will populate Hell. Divorce will increase, sex-crimes will abound; much innocent blood will be spilled on the ground. I say, the home will be damned and this in short order. When this vision of mine comes in to stay.
Get busy my cohorts, and put this thing out; we’ll see if the church can continue to shout. The holiness people who stand in our way, will soon hush their crying against the show and the play. We’ll cover the earth with this “Devil vision” though we will camouflage it with the name “Television.” The people will think they are getting a treat, till the Antichrist comes to take over his seat, He’ll then rule the world, while the viewer’s behold; The face of the beast, to whom they were sold. We’ll win through deception, this we cannot fail. Though some holiness preacher’s against it will rail.