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Lina AbuJamra

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   and Founder:

   Dawn Wilson



Two Frequently-Neglected 'Vitamins' that Keep You Young & Lean

God wants us to take care of our bodies as one way to bring Him glory (I Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17). Health advocate Danna Demetre teaches women how to stay lean for life and balance body, soul and spirit in her book, Scale Down. In today’s post, she addresses essentials necessary to help us upgrade our health, including two “vitamins” that are often neglected.

“Build wisely. Your body tomorrow will be the result of the choices you make today,” Demetre wrote. “To improve your energy, health and lose excess fat permanently, you need to address the essentials. I call them the “Nutrimax Six.”

Danna's Nutrimax Six include: (1) Water, (2) Plant foods, (3) Protein, (4) Fats, (5) Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants and (6) something she calls “Vitamins Z and X.”

Danna continues …  

Vitamin Z—better known as sleep—is a frequently neglected “nutrient” that plays a much more important role in our health than people have previously realized. And Vitamin X—better known as exercise—is essential for maintaining high energy, low body fat and overall health and vitality.  [Add graphic of vitamin bottle]

Okay, okay … I know neither are technically nutrients. But if these two lifestyle factors are not a high priority, even perfect nutrition will not bring you the health, vitality and fast-burning metabolism you desire.

Vitamin Z

Sleep is the time when you get both physical and psychological rest. During deep sleep, your body accomplishes its most important cellular renewal. Even modest amounts of sleep deprivation can diminish your immune system and ability to cope with the daily challenges of life.

If you want to look younger, feel better and live longer—get enough sleep!

How much is enough? Experts suggest that most people need close to eight hours of sleep every night.

I have found that chronic fatigue is one of the biggest factors impacting an out-of-control appetite. I think the body is saying “If you’re not going to give me enough quality rest to reenergize, I’m just going to beg for sugar and calories all day long to make up for it!”

My suggestion: Make sleep a priority. Try getting eight hours of sleep a night for a full month and see the impact it makes in your lifestyle. This is best accomplished by establishing a consistent routine of going to bed at the same time each night, turning off the television and other electronics at least an hour before bedtime, dimming the lights (to increase melatonin production) and taking a hot shower or bath before bed. If you are over 40, you may want to take a melatonin supplement which also has anti-aging benefits!

Vitamin X

Exercise is an incredible energizer. The more you move, the better you feel as your body releases endorphins – the “feel good” hormones. Feeling good motivates you to stay active, and activity tends to distract you from sedentary habits that include eating. To stay lean and fit for life, we need to work toward DAILY exercise unless our lifestyle is extremely active naturally. As we age, our metabolisms decrease because we lose muscle. If we are not exercising daily, we are losing fitness. Get in a positive cycle and get a good dose of Vitamin X every day!

Do you struggle more with getting enough sleep or getting enough exercise? What change/s can you make in the days ahead to get “enough” and UPGRADE Your Health to the glory of God?

Danna Demetre is a popular retreat and conference speaker and the author of the best-selling: Scale Down, The Heat is On, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life and What Happened to My Life? Her latest book co-authored with America’s Family Financial Expert, Ellie KayLEAN BODY, FAT WALLET – explores the common healthy habits that can positively impact both your health and wealth. She also blogs regularly about intentional living, the life of a Christian entrepreneur, and “growing young” – staying lean and healthy at any age. You can learn more about Danna at


'Financial Language' - Are You a 'Driver'?

Janice Thompson's unique approach to money matters helps women UPGRADE their perspective on finances.

"As both a financial professional and a pastor's wife who is passionate about the topic of women and their relationship to money," Janice said, "I have begun to recognize patterns in questions and responses that reflect a woman's personality and instinctive behaviors - I call this her 'financial language.'"

In her book, Managing the Money Maze (for Women), she discusses six financial languages - the Driver, the Thinker, the Partner, the Avoider, the Idealist and the Overcomer - the strengths and weaknesses of each, and their biblical examples.

Janice encourages women to learn the language of scripture regarding how they use their money. In this post, Janice explains the language of "The Driver."

She continues ...

Because of her innate self-assurance and God-given capabilities, The Driver often has to be reminded to slow down and seek out good counsel.

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 15:22, "plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed."

The self-starting Driver doesn't miss an emotional beat. She is resilient, strong, and has tough financial circumstances in perspective. She has learned, in God's economy, nothing is wasted!

In the book of Judges in the Old Testament we meet Deborah, a captivating example of The Driver. In this male-dominated society, Deborah surfaced as a woman with incredible status; she was both a prophetess and a judge.

Deborah gained an amazing amount of respect for her thoughtful analysis and respectful, determined leadership style. She is best known for leading the people of Israel to victory over the armies of the Canaanite General, Sisera (Judges 4:4-16), after which the nation enjoyed forty years of peace.

The Driver, like Deborah, is busy, knowledgeable, disciplined and thrives on power. Does this sound like you?

Do you readily embrace decisions that need to be made and take a back seat to no one? While you may not think of yourself as knowledgeable about the complex details of financial matters you consider yourself intelligent enough to investigate and understand such matters. With a little guidance, you then act upon them.

You are very much in control of yourself even if you have never been responsible for these areas in the past. Once you understand your choices and have evaluated your options, you have no problem making decisions and implementing them.

You react to being pushed before you are ready and you value prompt feedback from those you bring into your inner circle. The demands of your busy life make it imperative that you move forward at an acceptable pace while not feeling pressured. You want to get to the bottom line quickly but thoroughly.

It is important for The Driver to remember, "We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God's purpose prevails" (Proverbs 19:21, The Message). We need to seek Him regarding our finances.

Do you speak the "financial language" of The Driver? How might God want you to slow down and seek wise, godly counsel regarding your finances - especially in business ventures?

Janice Thompson is the founder and president of Strategic Financial Solutions, Inc., a comprehensive wealth management firm focused on biblically-based financial solutions. Janice is a Certified Financial Planner®, Certified Life Stewardship Advisor™, and serves on the Board of Directors of Kingdom Advisors. She has two married children with one grandchild on the way. She and her husband Tom live in San Diego.

Note: Material adapted from the book, Managing Your Money Maze by Janice Thompson (Revive Our Hearts, 2009).

Photo in text: Image coutesty of stockimages at


Our Comforting God

Are you in need of comfort today? Harriet Bouchillon, who ministered alongside her husband for 40 years, discovered the precious presence of our comforting God in a great time of need. If you are hurting, I pray God will UPLIFT your spirit today.

“Since my husband Jim’s promotion to Heaven,” Harriet writes, “I have learned that unwelcomed and not always healthy thoughts often come during the grieving process.”

Anyone who has struggled through grief, even as a Christian, understands what Harriet is talking about. Confused thoughts and roller coaster emotions are normal.

Harriet continues …

During an especially melancholy day four months after Jim’s death, I was dwelling on what his unspoken thoughts might have been as he lay in his sick bed. What did he remember most about our life together? And what were his thoughts about me?

It so happened that was the day I chose to clean out Jim’s desk. In the process, I came across an unsigned “to my wife” birthday card.

My mind raced back to my birthday the previous year, when Jim was in remission from cancer. Frustration was in his voice as he gave me a lovely gift. He had also purchased a beautiful card, he said, and had put it in a safe place. But now he couldn’t find it!

Oh, my dear Jim—if he could only understand that just having him still with me was enough, with or without a card!

The timing of the card’s delivery was perfectly orchestrated by God.

Only He could know I would need it the exact moment of its discovery. Tears flowed as I read the beautiful, comforting words that I took as coming directly from Jim’s heart to mine.

“The man who finds a wife finds a good thing; she is a blessing to him from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:12, The Living Bible).

There are moments when I catch myself saying,

         Wow, that’s my wife.

They seem to come in the most ordinary times—

When you’re laughing with our family,

When we’re having dinner with friends,

When you and I are together doing nothing at all.

I’m still just amazed that out of all the men in the world,

I’m the one who gets to share life with you.

After all this time, I still don’t know all the reasons why God trusted me

With one of His most amazing gifts . . .

          But I’ll be grateful for the rest of my life that He did.

Happy Birthday. I Love You.

How true is God’s Word when He says, “I, even I, am He who comforts you” (Isaiah 51:12).

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3).

Can you remember a time when God comforted you in your hour of need? Are you in need right now of God’s comforting ministry in your life?

Harriet Bouchillon has served as a missionary with Camino Global since 1972, ministering alongside her husband, Jim, in Spain, Mexico and Hispanic USA. She blogs at "Blessed by the Grace of God" (English and Spanish versions). Harriet, recently widowed, disciples, teaches, and mentors women. This mother to three and grandmother to six makes her home in El Cajon, California. Read her story about overcoming the fear of death in the tract, "Confessions of a Mortician's Daughter" (also here in Spanish).


Worship Service

Lynn Mosher blogs about how we should live as we are “heading home” to be with Jesus. I invited her to write about one way to UPGRADE our Worship.

“‘Worship service’ is more than a phrase given to our church assemblies,” Mosher said. “Worship is service to God, as the priests of old worshipped God by their tabernacle or temple service.”

She continues . . .

“The true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth;for the Father is seeking such to worship Him . . . For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, Him only you shall serve.’” (John 4:23b; Matthew 4:10 NKJV)

In Greek, one word for “worshipper” means a temple servant, or one having charge of a temple to keep it clean and adorn it. Our word “worship” is derived from the old English word meaning worthship.”

We are all temple servants of God, doing our duty by taking care not only of the temple of the church building but also of the temple of our hearts.

Paul tells us of the highest form of worship-service we can offer God: “I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you…to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.” (Rom. 12:1 AMP)

Our godly service then is keeping our temples clean and unspotted by the world, adorning them with acts of service, and having a lifestyle of holy living that honors the worthship of God.

In all we do, we should “Worship and serve Him with (our) whole heart and with a willing mind” (1 Chron. 28:9 NLT).

To worship the God of creation is:

  • to bow down in reverence to Him because He is worthy, acknowledging His divinity;
  • to bow in humility and obedience;
  • to bow to His will, His plan, and His purpose by relinquishing one’s own agenda;  
  • and to bow in service to Him with one’s life, honoring Him as the One True God.

Do we seek the Lord’s Presence or His presents? Do we seek His handout or His hand? Do we always seek something from Him as the multitudes did, or do we lean upon His breast as John the beloved did, just to be with Him; to sit at His feet as Mary did, just to serve Him in worship by pouring out our thanks and tears as fragrant oil upon His body?

     How lavish is your worship of the Creator’s worthship?

Lynn Mosher lives with her hubby (since 1966) in their Kentucky nest, emptied of three chicklets and embracing three giggly grand-chicklets and an inherited dog. Lynn’s greatest passion is to fulfill God’s call on her life to encourage others and glorify the Lord with her writing.

Note: Praying woman Photo Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at



A Time to Plan

I’ve always been impressed by Debby Lennick’s approach to homemaking. I asked her to share some of her expertise with us in the months ahead so we can all UPGRADE our homemaking perspective and skills. Many in the younger generation might not have the slightest idea where to begin.

“When was the last time you thought of a homemaking or Home Ec class?” Lennick said. 

Now I don’t know about you, UPGRADE Friends, but it’s been a long, long time for me. (My Home Ec class resembled this cover photo at the Saturday Evening Post!)

Lennick continues. . .

Remember cooking and sewing back in the day? Maybe you’re thinking, “I still have that apron!” Or, “That’s where I learned to cook!” Or maybe you’re thinking, “Not me then, and not me now! Either way, let’s revisit Homemaking 101.

What does “homemaking or Home Ec” mean nowadays? It simply refers to the economy of the home. The definition of economy includes “thrifty management . . . management of the resources; an organized system or method.

Home economics or homemaking class may be from the past, but the principles are for today!

It’s the management of all home resources from food to finances, from tasks to time management. For this post, I want to discuss the resource of time.

A key to unlocking successful time management is planning.

Planning - a Spiritual Side 

God role-models planning.

We see this in the Old Testament. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). In the New Testament, Jesus said to his disciples, “I go to prepare a place for you” (John14:3). 

What a relief to claim these promises! He’s planning and preparing, and everything is perfectly synced! In today’s hectic pace, this is comforting.

Planning – a Practical Side

1. Since planning is about time, evaluate by answering these questions:

  • How much time does your household have at home?  
  • Do you want more or less time at home?  Why?
  • Is time wasted by family members spending hours and hours on electronics (TV, computer, phone, the internet)?  
  • Is it routine to run in the door faced with a dirty house, barely time to scarf down prepackaged or take-out food, just to be tortured by homework then flop into bed?
  • How can meal planning be improved?

2. After evaluation, make a home schedule; aim for a balance between tasks and family time. The results will please you. In my house, it gives opportunity to foster relationships through intentional time at home, less media, cooking together and playing games.

3. Learn how to sync electronic calendars with family. This will help eliminate stressful over-planning and double-booking.

4. Review your electronic passwords and PIN numbers. Not remembering or finding them can be a frustrating time waster. With your spouse and/or older kids, intentionally research and discuss strategies to safely store and access passwords and PINs. Various solutions can include apps for smart phones, cloud/sky drives, and Google research. Banks and other professional institutions can be excellent resources.

5. Make “God-Time” a top priority. Non-distractive quiet time with God is a must in our busy lives. Be intentional to make this time.

“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10. 

Absorb His Presence, and then absorb life around you. Seek Him for wise time management and planning.  The result?  An awesome home upgrade!

What is your biggest struggle with home time management? 

Debby Lennick taught Home Economics at Christian High in El Cajon, California, for more than 20 years. She earned a Home Economics degree from San Diego Christian College (formally Christian Heritage College) which emphasized “economy of the home” topics. Debby is committed to women’s ministry at Shadow Mountain Community Church and has a deep love for helping others make the home a Christ-centered place for everyday family life.