Many of you already are aware that I went through another stress test for my heart doctor.  I was certainly stressed beforehand, just thinking about what might happen.  Desserts spelled backwards is STRESSED, and just maybe, too many desserts has put me into the doctor's office.  
     People suffering from depression or obesity often report significantly higher stress levels than those who are healthy.  Who would have thought?  We recently completed our study about "Worry!",  recognizing that the lack of trust in God is sin!
     There are many faith-related measures – or spiritual exercises –  that a believer can take or apply to manage their worry and stress. I’ll mention just a few of the key ones we studied .....

    Worship. Being with your faith community, and among friends.
    Trust God – If we trust God, and believe that he is in control and that he’ll provide for our needs, we will be less likely to be anxious or to worry.
    Depend on God – Often we try to muster up all the inner strength we can to deal with the stress and associated circumstances in our life. Throughout God’s Word, he encourages us to surrender to a deeper level, to be humble, to depend on him!
    Live In the Power of the Holy Spirit – as we ask God to live through us, we use His gifts to touch others, and we fix our eyes outside ourselves.  His Spirit in us is the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the grave. The apostle Paul encourages us to live by God’s Spirit.  
    Abide in Christ – Jesus tells us in John 15 to remain in him because apart from him we can do nothing. Apart from Jesus, we are not going to be able to manage all that life throws at us, including the stressors in our life.

     People who are depressed are angrier and tired.  One stress reliever I enjoy is laughter. "A merry heart does good, like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones." (Prov. 17: 22)  
     Dr. Brian Seaward (author of "Stressed is Desserts Spelled Backward") remembers an epiphany--a turning point in a childhood filled with incredible pain. His grandmother handed him a plate of freshly baked cookies with these loving words: “Now remember, stressed is just desserts spelled backward!” He realized that humor and compassion go a long way toward easing both stress and sorrow and has made it his life’s work to teach people that when met with faith, humor, love, and optimism, life’s greatest challenges can lead to success and spiritual depth.
     My doctor has prescribed "diet and exercise" so that I lose weight, (2 pounds per month) and get healthier. The statins he had me on had begun to destroy some muscle tone and my liver!  He called and said, "Stop taking the statin!"  I feel better now.
    I'll be getting into my garden soon, doing yard work, and laughing more as I celebrate all the gifts God has for me, including you, and many other friends.  Remember to invite a friend or two for our "Celebration of Friendship" Sunday on June 14.  
      I feel better already, don't you??

     GLYSDI,  PB