Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Word & Weight: Flex your faith!

Word & Weight

James 1:2-4  
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, 
whenever you face trials of many kinds,   
because you know that the testing of your faith 
produces perseverance.  Let perseverance 
finish its work so that you may 
be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Believe it or not, working our faith is like working our muscles. We must be stretched, put the fibers of the tissue under stress so that they will grow. The soreness that can follow a workout is often proof that we have succeeded in stressing a muscle to the point of fatigue. Here then is where that muscle has the opportunity to grow. We work, then we rest, refuel, recover and the muscle is in a state of growth. I'm sure we have all experienced a plateau with our fitness. We get into a routine which works great at first and then it becomes a rut.  What had been working for us to produce results becomes stagnant and we look the same. The same in our weight, our strength, the same in our appearance. 

Same with our faith. Here in James it says "the testing of your faith produces perseverance or endurance." I love when I hear people talking about flexing your "Faith Muscles". It's so applicable! When we want to see growth in our faith, when we want to be closer to God, to experience MORE of him, we need to flex. Get out of your comfort zone.

Maybe you aren't used to volunteering at church or in the community, that's a great way to flex. Maybe you haven't been tithing at church, that's a major flex. Maybe God is nudging you to call someone, forgive someone, or make amends... HUGE flex here. Or maybe, like the verse says, your facing trials. We are in a battle on this earth, the devil doesn't want to inconvenience you, he wants you dead, crushed, ineffective for the kingdom. SO when you face trials, devastating ones, your faith is being flexed! Trials produce endurance which will produce Character and hope. This hope does not disappoint us. Flex on strong people of faith! 

Reverse Grip, Underhand
Lat Pull down

This is a favorite of mine on back day. It works Lats, traps, rhomboids AND biceps.  
As you breathe out, pull the bar down until it touches your upper chest by drawing the shoulders and the upper arms down and back.
Tip:Concentrate on squeezing the back muscles once you reach the fully contracted position and keep the elbows close to your body.

The upper torso should remain stationary as your bring the bar to you and only the arms should move. The forearms should do no other work other than hold the bar.

Thanks for a great desciprtion


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Your Body MATTERS-here's why!

Your body matters to God. Did you know? Yep, your body, the one that is exhausted from a long night with a new baby, the one that’s sore from the bike ride, the one that doesn’t feel so well after the carbs last night.

That body, in the state it’s in right now as you faithfully spend time with God and seek him, seek balance and health. Your worldview may implode here for a min, let me help you. If you say that Jesus is Lord, but we treat our bodies poorly, or even just shove them aside with disregard, we are living in conflicting belief systems.

In this age, with no temple or tabernacle, the spirit of God resides in us, WE are the temple, the holy of holies being within this very body, tired or hungry as it may be. 

This is profound, because we do not have to travel to the place where Yahweh resides, he resides INSIDE. So when I say, “Your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit” it’s not a metaphor to clean up your eating. Its literal. 

Look in the old testament how detailed the temple is described…

1 Kings 6:31 For the entrance to the inner sanctuary he made doors
 out of olive wood that were one fifth of the width of the sanctuary.
 And on the two olive-wood doors he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid the cherubim and palm trees with 
hammered gold. 

Do you think God cares about the detail and beauty of where he resides? Yes. His description of the wood doors, the carvings, the gold overlay, we know he loves beauty, loves detail and that these things matter. He cares if we treat our bodies poorly, if we over eat and become couch potatoes.  He cares if we push our bodies aside day in and day out, putting responsibilities and people before our own self care: not making time to get that zumba class in, not sleeping, eating on the run etc. . 

He cares if the pendulum swings the other way as well: if we become obsessed with our bodies. If, in vain we become addicted to exercise or restrictive with food to the point of disordered eating, or focus on our physical appearance over our relationship with him. 

We either neglect the gift he’s given us or we glorify it above God him self and the balance hes looking for is worship.  Your body matters to God, because it’s his temple, where his spirit and glory reside and where others see his reflection and when we take care of it, it’s an act of worship. 

There is never any distinction in the bible between “spiritual life” and other area’s of life—it is all spiritual. What we eat, drink, say, watch and do are spiritual and can be worship in the highest form when they fall into line with how God designed us to be. 

Romans 12:1 “Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice-the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.”

Monday, December 5, 2016

We are FREE to chose!!

We all have that choice, maybe you had it this morning, your alarm goes off, you roll over, do you hit snooze or do you get up and start your day? All day long there are choices-once we are up we get to chose: start with a healthy breakfast or frantically grab something, hit the gym or push it off, take a little bit with God or hurry on to our own agenda.  

My friend and author Stef Peters would say, "Are you living your life by design or by default?" We have a choice daily to do one or the other. I know that I feel better when I am making clear choices, ahead of time, for my life, health and faith instead of just handling things as they are thrown at me. I have already spent too much of my life in "damage control" mode. 

Of course, no day is perfect and sometimes we need that extra hour of sleep, a day to recover from cross-fit or a sweet treat with our kids on a hot day. But I'm talking about being prepared to make choices that fit with our desires, with the direction we are going, choices that bring us CLOSER to God and to our goal. The bible says "Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses." Deuteronomy 30:19... So we are to chose and we are FREE to chose. 

What does that freedom look like? God's desire is that we chose him, chose life, chose what is good, right and pure. We can chose to take care of ourselves, be active, hit the gym, go for a walk and play with the dog. Or we can chose to sit on the couch after work, eat junk food, We can chose to skip the workout, opt for a second helping or give into a temptation that can harm our temple. 

The beauty is that daily we have a choice, daily it's life or death before us. Not in a perfectionist way, death isn't going to knock on your door if you have a cupcake with your girlfriends on your birthday, but if God is calling you to beat sugar, then LIFE and freedom is in choosing that. If he has called you to it, he will equip you to do it, we are not alone in it! 

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