All too often the commercialization that begins weeks prior to Halloween and going through the week of Christmas displaces the real meaning of Christmas. Along with the joyous festivities comes the over-indulgence in unhealthy eating habits that stress the God-given innate self-healing of the body. Is it any wonder Christmas is in the midst of the "flu season"? I encourage you to take a few minutes this week and reflect on the real reason we celebrate Christmas and evaluate where you are both spiritually and physically! Are there any changes you need to make personally? God's Greatest Gift! God's greatest gift to mankind was His Son who set aside the independent expression of His deity (Phil. 2:6-8) to become human in order to satisfy the justice and righteousness of God so that whosoever will could be saved (Jn. 3:16-17). He suffered the penalty for our sins. God's righteousness was satisfied at the cross. Now through God's grace and Jesus Christ's sacrifice we can have eternal life! When we go back and look at the beginning of human history, we see that God created mankind (Adam and Eve Gen. 1:27), placed them in the Garden of Eden with everything they needed including daily fellowship with Him. Man had eternal life in the Garden if he would only pass one test of his free will - abstaining from eating of the fruit of only one tree in the midst of the Garden. (Gen. 2:16-17). Eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil would lead to immediate spiritual death (separation from God - Gen. 3:6-8) and ultimately physical death (Gen. 3:22-24). We have no way of knowing how long Adam and Eve lived in this perfect environment before they chose to disobey God, sin and experienced spiritual death. Once they sinned fellowship with God was broken (spiritual death) and they would no longer have eternal life. They would experience physical death at some point in the future. Time became the major determining factor in their lifespan as well as the rest of humanity that would follow (Rms. 5:12). It is here in Gen. 3:15 we see the first promise of salvation with a hint pointing to the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas. He is the reason for the season! The Son of God existed in eternity past with God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit (compare Gen 1:1, John 1:1-14, I Jn. 1:1-3). A little over two thousand years ago, Jesus was born of a virgin (Matt. 1:18-25), lived a sinless life and ultimately was hung on the cross where He was judged by God, the Father for the sins of humanity. The sinless, spotless Lamb of God gave up His life to pay our sin debt, thus satisfying God's justice and righteousness. His work on the cross made a way for salvation for everyone who would accept the gift of eternal life (Rms. 10:9-11). If you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior, there is no better time to do so than right now. God's greatest gift is Salvation through the birth, death and resurrection of His Son if you will only accept it. If you want more information contact us at Hallelujah Diet. God's Gift of Health? As previously mentioned, man had eternal life in the Garden and apparently enjoyed life free of sickness. Man (Adam and Eve) nourished their bodies with the raw vegetation provided by God in the Garden. From the time of the first sin until the flood when God destroyed all of mankind except Noah and his family, there are no reported instances of sickness. There is also no indication that man strayed from the diet God gave in Gen. 1:29. God had entrusted to mankind a body capable of enjoying eternal life here on earth and He told Adam and Eve how they were to nourish it. Man's body had and still has an innate ability to stay well. Each cell is continually dying and renewing on a timely basis. The body has an immune system that is well able to keep it in top condition when the necessary resources are provided. God did not design a body that would succumb to illness. Moses is a great example of how God intended man to live life to the fullest and eventually die. In Deut. 34:7 we read: And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim nor his natural force abated. God intended for man to enjoy health and longevity well into advanced years. Tragically, it is rare today to find folks living long, healthy lives. Has God's will for mankind changed? The answer is an emphatic NO! In Genesis 9:3 we see God allowed mankind to begin eating meat with very strict guidelines and man began cooking his food. Man's life span dropped from an average of 900+ years for the patriarchs to less than 120 years over the next several generations. We must ask ourselves WHY? We have strayed so far from God's design in fueling our bodies that the innate self-healing God has placed within each of us in no longer able to keep us well. Most Americans consume a diet that rarely contains raw foods, and is primarily made up of animal source foods (meat and dairy), highly refined foods (white flour, sugar and salt). Only seven percent of the Standard American Diet is made up of fruits and vegetables! The other 93% is made up of foods that will not support a healthy immune system and the innate self-healing; thus we are seeing young folks in their twenties dealing with cancers, heart disease, diabetes etc. If we want to enjoy the life God has designed for us, we must first of all acknowledge our sin and spiritual death and accept Jesus as our Savior. Then in order to enjoy optimal health, we must address our physical needs and adopt a diet and lifestyle designed based on the principles found in Gen. 1:29. We are told in Romans 12:1-2: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing or your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Each one of us will make a choice. Either by default - to continue with the Standard American Diet, or choose to renew our minds, educate ourselves and take responsibility for our health. I encourage you to give the Hallelujah Diet a 100% effort this coming year and see the positive changes you experience over the next 90 days! You will not regret it.