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Did you have a great 4th of July? I was blessed to attend a very special 4th of July Breakfast for the Moss Hill Ward in Bountiful, Utah.  The morning included an unbelievably excellent slide show/Powerpoint presentation. With Lee Greenwood’s moving song “God Bless the USA” as the soundtrack, priceless active duty photos of the 19 American Vets from their Ward, and spectacular photos of our beautiful country, I was not the only one who was moved to tears. God bless the USA, indeed!

Several of the Vets in this slideshow served in World War II and were there!  What a thrill!  Our own favorite World War II vet, Leland McCants of Springfield, Virginia, was in our own Ward.  He was a great influence for our own children as they became acquainted with him and his personal power, goodness and righteousness.  He died several years ago at 101.

We had him over for dinner regularly to soak in the great spirit of his life and hear his stories. He lost his precious wife Ruby to cancer in 1993, so he lived 25 years as a widower.  He lost a son to the war in Vietnam and a son-in-law with health problems.  That left just him and one daughter, yet he steadfastly continued to live for many years alone in a spotless town home where he cooked with Ruby’s recipes and cheerfully cared for himself.

He was never seen without a smile on his face, a crisp white shirt and tie, an enthusiastic greeting and a cute joke. He read constantly and was up-to-date on current events. Until the last 2-3 years, he paid his own taxes, enjoyed talking about politics and was regularly invited to speak to young people and groups who needed inspiration and direction. His spell-binding tales about his personal experiences during the Great Depression and World War II (which ultimately led to an outstanding and exciting lifelong career in the military and an opportunity to see the world) were an inspiration for all. He was truly quite a guy

As we finished Sunday dinner with him at our home one Sunday, my husband asked a golden question. “Mack, how have you managed so well physically throughout all these years?”

Mack cleared his throat and emphatically said, “Well, I’ll tell you! When I was a teenager working outdoors with my Dad one day, he watched me working up a pretty good sweat and pointed to my heart.”

“Son,” said my dad, “The Lord can only give you one body. And only you can take care of it. Do it!”

“That has stayed with me all my life,” said Mack. “I’ve had my problems, of course, but not from things that were within my control. I’ve asked the Lord to help me take good care of myself – and He has!”

Mack’s life and continuing good health are an inspiring fulfillment of one of my favorite scriptures, Psalm 37:5:

“Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.” 

Mack’s long and healthy life is a tribute not only to his own self-discipline, but to his dad, and to the power of prayer and the Lord. God is ever-forgiving and, remarkably, so are our bodies! Perhaps it is because they are created by Him, the Master of Forgiveness, that our bodies will literally erase and forget years of neglect as they respond almost immediately to wiser eating and exercise. As the summer begins, Memorial Day and the beginning of June is the perfect time to commit ourselves to an increase in physical strength, energy, personal fitness and self-mastery.

Many of us enjoy a bit lighter work schedule during the summer. The longer days and warmer weather make it easier to exercise. Fruits and vegetables at an affordable abundance make it easier to eat natural, nutritious food.

Most of the summer still lies ahead! if you decide to make it so, it can be an unforgettable personal season of great purpose and great progress. 
After all, the scriptures tell us so! “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

I learned a valuable lesson and started a memorably summer season at our regional amusement park, Paramount Kings Dominion.  There are enough roller coasters to thrill the most adventuresome teens, and enough flowers to thrill me. One of the rides that is fun for the whole family features a fabulous Imax/3-D theatre. After donning the 3-D glasses, we strapped ourselves into the action seats. That year the movie featured none-other than Sponge Bob Square Pants, the popular (though decidedly goofy) cartoon character.

The plot was ridiculous, of course: Sponge Bob needed a slice of dill pickle to make the perfect crabby patty sandwich. As he reached for it, he spoke poetically: “Oh, little pickle! Fulfill your destiny!” Then the pickle slice was kidnapped by some crazy evil-doers and we were all tossed around in our action seats, like cowboys on a bucking bronco, as Sponge Bob chased the pickle slice and the kidnappers into the deep depths of the ocean until at last the pickle was rescued.

It was all incredibly silly, yet there was supreme power in Sponge Bob’s request of the pickle: “Fulfill your destiny!” Food’s purpose is to provide nutrition and please us. That is its entire, God-given destiny. We take advantage of that simple divine principle when we overeat with others or binge alone.

As we picnicked later that day, I did a little experiment. After blessing the food and inviting the Lord to be with us while we ate, I mentally said to myself, “Oh, little strawberries, fulfill your destiny!” I enjoyed them immensely. They fulfilled God’s plan for them in a lovely way as I savored every one. I had one (one!) chocolate chip cookie that I also asked to fulfill its purpose. When the cookies came out later in the day, I was able to remember that I’d had my cookie, its destiny had been fulfilled and I didn’t need to prove that fact with another one or two or three.

As I straightened the kitchen the next morning, I faced the remains of a large birthday cake. I side-stepped the frosting and nibbling it to death by thinking “No, its destiny was fulfilled when the family enjoyed it together. Put it away now.” And with a quick prayer, I was able to.

When you step back, everything we eat has a purpose or destiny, and when we can establish that purpose, we can establish ourselves, our own weight loss, and more readily see our own great purpose as well.

Between the Lord to make it eternal, a War Veteran to make it valuable and memorable, and a cartoon character to make it fun, how can we go wrong? Make a plan! Set a schedule! Get to the grocery store! Then memorize the scriptures and thoughts below and make them your mantra for your most memorably healthy summer ever!

“Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.” 
(Psalm 37:5) 

“Only one body, only one me to take care of it!” 
Brother Leland McCants 
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

“Fulfill your divine destiny!” 
Sponge Bob 

Here’s to the best, happiest and healthiest summer ever!

Carolyn Allen is the Author of 60 Seconds to Weight Loss Success, One Minute Inspirations to Change Your Thinking, Your Weight and Your Life. She has been providing mental and spiritual approaches for weight loss success both online and in the Washington, DC community since 1999 presenting for Weight Watchers, First Class, Fairfax County Adult Education and other community groups. 

She and her husband, Bob, are the parents of five children and grandparents to a growing number of darling grandchildren. They are now happy empty nesters in Jackson, Tennessee, close to Memphis, where they center their online business for an amazing herbal detox that is on sale this week!  CLICK HERE!