The Daniel Book

HelloImage! I just started a forty day journey. It’s a journey for a healthier life, not just the spiritual part, but the whole part of me that makes up myself. Rick Warren, author of Purpose Driven Life, teamed up with Daniel Amen, M.D. and Mark Hyman M.D. to form a plan to not only have us feeling better with our spiritual self, but our body and mental self. Rick Warren and his Saddleback Church members together embarked on a journey and a mission to feel better about themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually. In one of his sermon’s, he proposed a challenge for his church members to tag along with him. It was a journey of improving their health.

This plan includes a diet; however, dieting is not the only concern. This book talks about the 5 F’s- Faith, Fitness, Food, Focus, and Friendship. It is reminding us that prior journeys to this have failed when we embarked on the journey by ourselves. Faith- ask God to help you through this journey and let Him guide you. Seek Him for every part of the journey; both good and bad. Friendship- God is the intangible one to look upto for help for He created you. However, God knows you need tangible encouragement. He made us to be in community. We were never meant to be buried deep underground or locked away in a cell where there’s no communication with people. He made us to be around people and communicate with them. So with this, we are encouraged to invite friends along in our journey. It doesn’t matter how many friends you invite to take part. If you have just one friend, be grateful for it. If you have a group of friends or a church full of members wanting to take part in this, be grateful for that, too. Don’t worry if the journey finds you with a whole bunch of friends taking part in this. The website will have some things for group members to do. Also, they have a church campaign if a church wants to be involved in it. However you do this, the book cannot stress the importance of having another person along in this journey. This other person, when you fall down and can’t get back up, he or she will be your tangible guide to help you back on your feet.

Let’s face it, often times we find God distant from us when we are down. We need something tangible. Sometimes the “believing is seeing” quote can be a set back to “seeing is believing”. We are humans. God knows us very well. He won’t hate you for leaning on a friend or a group when you fall. He will be grateful you took a step you needed to be closer to Him. The other F’s: Focus, Food, and Fitness deals with dieting and exercise; however, includes focusing your brain on the positives, rather than the negatives throughout your journey. Is it better to say, “I have 7 unchecked goals on my to-do list today” or “I did 3 out of 10 things on my to-do list today. Tomorrow I can do better by trying to reach 1 more!” It is better to do the second one. It sounds more positive. Although you had failed at something, you turned the failure into something you can work on and learn from for a better you tomorrow. You have told yourself, “I may have done not so well today; however, starting tomorrow I can do each day 1 more thing on my list and eventually cover all my goals in my daily to-do list.”

Now the food diet, if you are worried about it, it is not a big change. There is a list of what you are recommended to eat daily. I have mentioned that I started to take a part in this journey. Today was my first day and I had prayed to God telling him my concerns in finding someone to do this journey with. I have thought about blogging to see if any of you would like to join me in this journey. We can work together online encouraging each other. It don’t have to be one other person, it can be 5’s, 10’s, 100’s…. It doesn’t matter the number of people who take part in this. What’s more important is that we are willing to work and communicate with each other. Yes, we will stumble and we will fall. But the greatest triumphs didn’t come from taking the easy road.

So, will you join me? If you are interested, the forty day journey I am taking is Rick Warren’s “The Daniel Plan”. So far, the book has been amazing from what I read in the introduction and Day 1. You don’t have to buy the journal, however, I had bought the journal along with this book thinking it will be a helpful guide to my journey. I also have a separate book where I answer journal questions from the journal book that involve long thought provoking questions, and space. But the book does help reflecting on the day- how it went, what you ate, how well you stuck to your food diet, etc. It reminds you of your goals you made before you began the journey. I technically started Day 1 yesterday while reading Introduction and Day 1. But I feel like today is my official day where I started trying to do some of what Day 1 talks about. I have just started. The question is: Will you join me? Thanks for reading this blog. Muchos gracias! I hope you will join me in this journey.

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2012 Wish List

Sony Handycam DCR-SX 45 Blue, Standard Definition Compact Camcorder, 70 x Zoom, 3″ LCD $199

T-Mobile Samsung T679 Exhibit II 4G Prepaid Android Smartphone

PocketBac Hand Sanitizers from Bath and Body Works

3-wick candles from Bath and Body Works-
Autumn, Farmstand Apple, Autumn Day, Winter Night, Evergreen, Thanksgiving, and Warm Vanilla Sugar.


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Day 26: Growing Through Temptation

Jesus was tempted everyday and he overcame temptation. He never sinned. We are always battling temptation. God’s mercy is always waiting for us because Jesus knows how hard temptation is. After all, he went through it like we are now. Temptation is not the same for everyone. I love makeup products, so I could be tempted in buying something I don’t really need. You may love something else. How are you handling everyday temptations?

Point to Ponder: “Every temptation is an opportunity to do good.

Verse to Remember: “God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 (NLT)

Question to Consider: What Christlike character quality can I develop by defeating the most common temptation I face?

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Day 25: Transformed by Trouble

Everyone faces problems and pains. Our suffering is how we can become closer to God. Because we are to become like Jesus, we are to suffer like he suffered. It is only in our pain that we go before God asking him for help. Our struggles build character. We shouldn’t ask, “Why is this happening to me?” Instead, we should put our trust in God that everything happens for a reason.

Point to Ponder: There is purpose behind every problem.

Verse to Remember: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Question to Consider: What problems in my life has caused the greatest growth in me?

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Day 24: Transformed By Truth

Point to Ponder: The truth transforms me.

Verse to Remember: “If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32 (KJV)

Question to Consider: What has God already told me in his Word that I haven’t started doing yet?

I always struggled with reading the Bible. It frustrated me, reading it but never remembering what I learned. I learned from today’s reading that you can’t just read the Bible. You must try and live by it word for word. You must implement what you learned. I think right now, God is telling me to go back and try again in reading the Bible. But this time, be truthfully committed to it. Don’t just read it, but use it as a guide in living my life.

What about you? What has God already told you in his Word that you haven’t started doing yet?

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Day 23: How We Grow

Point to Ponder: It is never too late to start growing.

Verse to Remember: “Let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God- what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.” Romans 12:2b (TEV)

Question to Consider: What is one area where I need to stop thinking my way and start thinking God’s way?

When I look at my reflection, or think about the way I look, I don’t see a beautiful girl. I am so negative to myself. God created me in his image and likeness; therefore, I shouldn’t think such things. I should feel confident and beautiful. But it’s so hard to feel this way when you everyone around you forms their opinions about you and you form yours from what they said. Have you ever felt this way?

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Day 22: Created to Become Like Christ

God wants us to be Christlike. This does not mean becoming God, but doing things Christ would do; such as feeding the hungry, helping those in need, etc.

Point to Ponder: I was created to become like Christ.

Verse to Remember: “As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.” 2 Corinthians 3:18b (NLT)

Question to Consider: In what area of my life do I need to ask for the Spirit’s power to be like Christ today?

For me, I need to ask for the Holy Spirit’s power to be like Christ by being true to who God created me to be. I form myself in the image my parents or peers want me to be, not what God wants. What about you?

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Day 21: Protecting Your Church

Today we learn that it is important to bring unity to the church. Every church is not perfect. They have its flaws. No one can make everyone happy. Jesus couldn’t make everyone happy. Nevertheless, flaws or no flaws, we must unite and protect our church.

Point to Ponder: It is my responsibility to protect the unity of my church.

Verse to Remember: “Let us concentrate on the things which make for harmony and the growth of our fellowship together.” Romans 14:19 (Ph)

Question to Consider: What am I personally doing to protect unity in my church family right now?

Right now, I volunteered at Religious Education. I am hall monitor. During Religious Education, the doors are locked for security purposes. I question every person who I open the door for asking whether or not they are here for Religious Education. If they are not, I send them to the director. This job is to make sure everyone in the building is safe; that no one who enters is a harm to anyone.

What about you? How do you protect the church?

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Day 20: Restoring Broken Fellowship

We are asked in today’s reading to restore broken relationships. How do we do this? By talking and listening to the other person. We must find a common ground between one another for we can’t always agree with that person’s wants or desires. When you are restoring peace, you are doing what God would do. Cooperate with one another, don’t compete.

Point to Ponder: Relationships are always worth restoring.

Verse to Remember: “Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody.” Romans 12:18 (TEV)

Question to Consider: Who do I need to restore a broken relationship with today?

Make a list of those people you need to restore broken relationships with. Before you try to restore them, talk to God. Ask him what is needed to restore this specific relationship. Then make your call.

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Day 19: Cultivating Community

Point to Ponder: Community requires commitment.

Verse to Remember: “We understand what love is when we realize that Christ gave his life for us. That means we must give our lives for other believers.” 1 John 3:16 (GWT)

We must spend time helping others. Take one hour out of our day to do something for someone else.  That is how we can be like Christ. 

Question to Consider: How can I help cultivate today the characteristics of real community in my small group and my church.

We need to make sure our community is real by being open and honest with one another, encourage each other, support each other, forgive each other, admit our weaknesses, respect our differences, not gossip, and make the community a priority. Just like God wants you to be open and honest with Him, He wants you to be open and honest with others as well. We all make mistakes, and we are asked to forgive each other for our mistakes. Admitting our weaknesses to others does not mean you are weak. It means you know yourself and understand that you need help. We all are different and so we must learn to accept each other as each is. Confidentiality is vital to any community. The community must be willing to keep what is said inside the group, so that others will feel comfortable sharing what they have to say. A community isn’t something that meets once in a blue moon; rather, it is a group that meets regularly; like once a month, or once a week.

This is how we can cultivate community. Are you cultivating community?

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