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Summary: A teaching message on how we can be faithful stewards of our life, body and realtionships.

A Message from the Pastor

Faithful Stewards # 1

Faithful Stewards of What God has Given to Us -Ourselves

I have a friend who really likes to go to a particular

restaurant and order their double cheeseburger and fries.

It is good, but it is really greasy. He likes to say it is

'fat free'. When we say "Huh?" He replies: "They include

the fat at no extra charge! The fat's free!"

We pray in the offertory prayer:

"Merciful Father, we offer with joy and thanksgiving what

you have first given us: ourselves, our time and our

possessions, signs of your gracious love..."

God expects us to be faithful stewards over everything that

God has given to us, including ourselves. This includes our

physical, emotional, and relationship health. Our

lifestyles and our thoughts are simply sets of habits

strengthened by daily practices. We can, and in many cases

should, alter and change them.

We begin by recognizing that not everything is good for us.

St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5:12:

"Some of you say, 'We can do anything we want to.' But I

tell you that not everything is good for us."

It is really pretty simple: promiscuous sex, unhealthy

diets, drugs, excessive alcohol, lack of adequate sleep, and

too much work are not good for us. Can we engage in these

activities if we want? Of course we can. Should we? Of

course not! The first step in being a faithful steward of

ourselves is to admit that everything is not good for us.

Step two: Learn to control our appetites for all things,

learn moderation and practice self-control. Some one has

said that the things we like are usually...

"...illegal, immoral or fattening."

Yes, unfortunately they are. Too often we let our stomachs,

our desires, and our lusts be in control of our lives. We

need to take control. Too often we simply want instant

gratification. We go for a momentary high, even if it has

long term negative consequences. This step calls for us to

change our behavior. We need to learn to say no to our

appetites for all things, learn moderation and practice some

self-control.

Step three: Control risk factors and develop healthy habits.

1. Wear a seat belt.

Accidents are the number one cause of death and disability

in people under the age of 45. Buckling a seat belt

provides instantaneous result: your risk of serious injury

or death goes down by 35 to 50%. It is the simplest and

most effective prevention step you can take.

2. Don't drink and drive.

Half of all traffic deaths, and causalities from fire,

drowning, suicide and homicide can be connected to alcohol

abuse. Divorce and family violence are often linked to

alcohol abuse. If you drink, drink responsibly and

moderately - no more than two drinks a day. If you drink,

do not drive.

3. Quit smoking.

Cigarette smoking is the single most preventable cause of

death in our country. Smoking is responsible for one out of

every six deaths, yet one third of Americans still smoke.

You can quit smoking. It won't be easy, but you can do it.

Get help from your doctor. Tell ten friends and family

members to help you. Find substitutes for smoking: go for a

walk, chew gum, drink water.

4. Practice moral sex.

This is the sure way to prevent getting AIDS or other

sexually transmitted diseases. What is moral sex?

Faithfulness in marriage, abstinence in singleness.

5. Exercise regularly.

The lack of exercise has been clearly linked to heart

disease. Sedentary individuals are twice as likely to

develop coronary heart disease than more active people are.

Our physical activity needs to be ongoing, frequent and long

term.

6.

Eat a healthy diet.

Our typical high calorie, high fat diets have led to many of

us being overweight. What we eat and how much of what we

eat affects our physical and mental health. The National

Cancer Institute estimates that one third of all cancer

deaths may be related to the foods we eat. Eat less fat and

fewer high cholesterol foods and eat more fruits and

vegetables. And don't forget to control the size of your

portions.

7. Get your weight under control.

For many of us this isn't easy - but still necessary. There

is no perfect or ideal weight. Good health comes in a

variety of sizes and shapes. But most Americans are simply

carrying around too much weight.

8. Manage your stress.

Stress is the body's response to any demand that confronts

it. We can manage our stress when we see life as a

challenge rather than a threat or an unending series of

hassles. When we have a mission or purpose in life, an

overriding belief that what we are doing is both right and

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