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24 “If you can?’ retorted Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for one who has faith.’ At once the father of the boy cried out, ‘I have faith. Help my lack of faith!” Mark 9:24 (NJB)
I’m a believer and I feel blessed for all the great things that God is doing in my life but sometimes my faith wavers. I may have a problem that I’m unable to decide on the best resolution, instead of putting it in prayer and trusting in God to help me find the answers, I spend a lot of time stressing. Luckily I have a sister that constantly reminds me to hand my worries to God and have faith that my prayers will be answered. I’m not 100% there, but everyday as I see wonderful things unfold in my life my faith grows.
Being on this Lenten challenge has been a blessing, it has made me pay more attention to the word of God. Everyday I am being spoken to, on what I need to do to strengthen my relationship with God to receive my inheritance.
God guides me in seeking him out. He gives me the will power to abstain from sugar as part of the Lenten Challenge. He gives me the strength to exercise, to enable me to be strong for the physical demands of motherhood.
Whatever we are faced with, no matter how bleak things may seem we need to have faith in God. He will support and guide us through, till we come out on the other side. We need to place our troubles in his hands, in the knowledge that he will take care of it and us.
How strong is your faith? Do you stress over your problems or do you hand them to God? Thanks for commenting.
38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2: 38-39)
Now the reason you must be born again is because Jesus wants to transfer life. If we want to follow Christ we must do what the word of the Lord says, “repent and be baptized.” There has to be a turning away from a life of selfishness and rebellion against God’s law and at the same time a time to turn to Christ. We cannot save ourselves – only God can save us. Baptism identifies us with Christ and the community of believers. It is a condition of discipleship and a sign of faith.
Then sin says I am going to attack your body, begin to destroy the thing that God created. Fill you full of affliction and disease. That is how sin works. Sin wraps its fingers around your life and hangs on. Sins says I do all of that for one purpose. Sin eventually wants to get a hold of your soul where it can drag you to hell and work destruction on you for all of eternity. That is what sin has set its course to do.
But Peter said, “let me tell you what Jesus has come to do.”
Jesus has come to destroy the power of sin on your life. You do not have to live with your mind under continued attack. You don’t have to live with your emotions under continual attack. You don’t have to live with your body under attack. Jesus said in the book of John:
John 10:10 KJV The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. This is a word that has resonated with me personally during my weight loss journey. In the area of changing my eating habits. If don’t change the way I was eating and caring for His temple then I am going to die. That was one of the last things that I wanted to do, so I had to repent for my emotional eating lifestyle and asked God for help. He said in John 3:30 ‘He must increase and I must decrease.’ I had to learn to turn my frustrations, stresses, worries over to him and crave Him more and not food.
First of all, repentance is asking Him to be the Lord of every area of your life. Secondly repentance is admitting you are a sinner.
Inheritance means that it belonged to somebody else before it belonged to you. You have received something of great value. It is my prayer that after my 40 Day fast that many of my loved ones and new souls will receive this new inheritance and become part of the body of Christ.
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The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. (Joel 3:16)
Hope can be defined as the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. In other words hope is where your expectations are centered. Your desires and expectations should be divinely centered. Ask yourself this question: Are my expectations aligned with the most high?
The unwise and unlearned place their hope in people, jobs and material things. People are mercurial, the economy is fickle and material things do not last. It’s time we dig a little deeper and place our hope in a steadfast foundation. This sure foundation is God.
No matter what you desire, place all your hope in the most high. You want to lose weight? You want to get fit? You want to be completely healed and restored? Put your hope in the Lord. You cannot do it alone. We are subject to error and mistakes. Eating that extra piece of cake or skipping the gym is a reflection of our weaknesses. Even with willpower we aren’t exempt from temptation and mishaps. Therefore trusting and hoping solely in your own strength is hazardous.
In your darkest and weakest moments, trust in the power of God. The lord will be the hope of your situation.
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Hebrews 4:15-16 (NIV) 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
To think that Jesus understands what we are going through because he walked the earth like us and faced challenges similar to what we faced, is really amazing. Sometimes, it is really hard to comprehend that our Savior led a life similar to what we do. Jesus walked where others walked and addressed issues as others would.
Jesus took on this responsibility to be closer to us and that we could truly be connected our Lord. We should have a knowing that God truly loves us and always wants the best for us. Not only do we have the blessing of eternal life, we have the Lord everyday. The knowledge that the Lord is with us should make us bold even in times of our most dire need.
During this Lenten Season, we have the opportunity to grow and re-focus to prepare to do just as the Word says and approach the Lord with confidence. As we build our relationship with God daily, our connection to our source continues to grow. What will be able to accomplish with this power and when we are acting with the purpose that God has for us.
Isaiah 40: 31 NIV …but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
This scripture solidifies God’s challenge for us to wait upon him for all good works to come to pass. You are not a victim of circumstance. You are a child of the King. You are able to walk on water in faith and you will always know that God is on your side. All you have to do is be willing to thank him for both the good and the bad and remember that he is faithful to the end. He never fails, he always has a plan for you and he will see that good work through to the end if you are able to stand strong and not give up. Though things may seem as if they are going slow and there is a delay, hold strong to your profession of faith. Time is the only thing separating you from the victory. A delay is not a “No” and a hurdle is only a distraction to stop you from believing. You will receive the prize if you hold on and not faint. You may feel weak, depressed and downtrodden. But, they who wait upon the Lord, their strength shall be renewed and you will be like a tree planted by pure flowing rivers of God. Your roots will spring forth and you shall bath in the richness of His riches. Wait I say, upon the Lord.
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Trust! Do you trust yourself? Unfortunately I do not trust myself.
I am doing this Lenten Challenge a little differently from most of you. I have not given up any food items for Lent. I’ve also not committed to any new fitness regime. Why, you ask. Because earlier this year I set a resolution to stop weighing myself and to not start any diet or fitness program for at least the first quarter of the year.
I have realized that I am always on some sort of plan because I do not trust myself to take care of myself without any self imposed or diet imposed rules. I have lived fearfully worrying that if I were not on some kind of plan, that if I were left to my own devices I would eat myself into oblivion and become grotesquely obese. I’m talking cut a hole in the wall to get her outside of the house obese.
I have been overweight since around age 10. Somehow I got the idea and feeling that I could not control or trust myself in my head. Well I want it out!!! Luke 16:10 (NIV) says “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
My weight is such a “little” thing when I think of all that I want God to trust me with. I want him to trust me to be a good wife and mother one day. I want God to trust me to be a good blogger and leader encouraging people to Chase Joy. I want God to trust me to take care of my mom for years and years to come. I want God to trust me to be a good example and role model to others. If I cannot be trusted, can’t even trust myself to eat sensibly and be active without tons of restrictions and rules, how can I trust myself and expect God to trust me with all of the “Big” things that really are important.
So during this season of Lent I am paying closer attention to my body and learning to understand what it is saying to me. I am learning that when I can barely keep my eyes open late at night, my body is saying let’s go to bed, not let’s eat something sweet to perk up and stay up late becoming blogger extraordinaire. I am learning that feelings of anxiety attack my tummy and often feel like hunger. I’m learning that the calming effect that I receive from sugar is short lived and leads to more sugar. I am learning to trust myself to take care of myself and make healthy decisions. “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.”
Honesty is the best policy. I am going to be honest with myself and admit that when I’m eating and feel a little full that means STOP EATING not let’s wash this down with a beverage and eat some more. I am being honest when I admit that I physically don’t feel very well, tired, acid reflux symptoms, and weighed down. I am being honest when I admit that being free of diet and exercise rules and not stepping on the scale is scary and does not feel freeing at all. “Whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
I am new to the practice of Lent but my understanding is that it about reflection as well as sacrifice. Take some time to reflect on the traits of trust and honesty in your life.
Are there areas of your life where you do not trust yourself or where you are not honest with yourself? Have you thought about how the lack of trust and or honesty may be blocking your blessings? How can trusting yourself more and being more honest bring you more Joy?
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As the song goes; “with long life, you will satisfy me, you will satisfy me, with long life, so I will praise you forever….” 1 Kings 3:14 states: “And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”
If we walk with God and follow His decrees the bible says He will bless us with long life. So, what are decrees? Decrees of God are defined as relating to all future things without exception. These decrees, when declared, were concerned about our life and death as well as our place in eternity.
When we get saved from our life of sin we are taught that change is a process and not an event. Over time we learn what it is that God wants from us. We learn these things by reading our bible and hearing the word of God, then allowing Him to show us how His word relates to our own lives today. And since it is a process and we are only human God already knows our faults, has forgiven us for them and will allow us to continue our eternal walk with Him. Lastly, and very important, in order for our maturity to increase in Him we must fellowship with likeminded believers.
Now, what does that have to do with your fitness and health? All of those same principles hold true when you decide to make lifestyle changes that will better your health.
Breaking down the principles:
Increasing your fitness and health is also a process. You have to learn to choose healthier options. There will be times you fall off of the wagon but you have to be committed to picking yourself up and continuing on. And lastly, surrounding yourself with people who have the same goal as you will likely ensure your success!
How do you make this a part of who you are? Regularity, practice, and consistency. The more you do a thing, the better you become at it. Walking with God is not always easy but we continue. In my own opinion, there is no other option. But in our daily diet, it is easy to get off track because of the many options that bombard us. What works for me is the fact that in both cases there is only one way to have the long abundant life promised by God, choosing God and healthy living.
My personal goal is to live a long God blessed life without ailment or disease. So I choose life giving habits and make them second nature. I advise you to declare and decree that your weight loss and improved health efforts will come to pass, NO MATTER WHAT!
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“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” Psalms 1: 1-2
If you want to walk in favor change your surroundings. Walk with God-inspired people. Psalms 1 reads, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly”. Some times the very company we keep is the root of our adversity. Drama queens and negative Nancy’s can hinder us by distracting us from true purpose and our goals.
Align yourself with people who not only push towards your goals but also push you towards God. Remember the ultimate purpose is pleasing God. Once we please him he will give us the desires of our heart. There’s no adversity stronger than the favor of GOD.
Meditation is an efficient method to remove yourself from the natural world and negative surroundings spiritually. It initiates communication with the high realms of Heaven of in the Spirit World. The purpose of meditation is to discover our true purpose and true selves – a spiritual being residing in a physical body; and experience true joy by feeling free from the restrictions and influences of this physical world. To meditate is to connect with source.
When we keep our minds on God he keeps us in perfect peace. With peace comes clarity. Freed minds make better decisions. Whether your goal is a physical fitness and or spiritual fitness, meditate before and during the journey. God will give you insight that will not only get you going but it will sustain you.
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Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.
– Corrie Ten Boom, author and human rights activist
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Recently, when asked what I had I given up for lent, I said “my foolishness”. My friend paused for a few seconds and said, ‘What does that mean?” I responded, “Trying to predict the future, correct the past and skipping over today.” She looked at me as said “Good Luck!”
It truly is not about luck. For me, this Lenten period is period of time to release, rejoice, rejuvenate and recommit to the Joy of being Loved by God, that He gave Jesus his only begotten son, who was crucified, buried and rose from the dead. This is a time for me to release anything that has held me back from allowing God to be my guide, the lover of my soul.
I have found that I worried about things that I could not change. I read a long time ago, that 90% of what we worry about never comes to pass. Whether that is true or not, I don’t know but there’s probably some truth to it in life. How much of our lives do we miss because we’re agonizing over what has happened and what might happen down the road? How often do we stop ourselves from doing something, –even if it’s the right thing to do–because of our fear of the unknown, second guessing ourselves, or looking for someone else’s validation.
While worrying did give me something to focus on; it was also an opportunity for me to avoid dealing with me and it did not solve any problems. All it did was to paralyze my actions and keep me in bondage – I was stressed out, mentally and physically tired and often times, worrying and anxiety sapped all the joy of what could have been a wonderful day.
Periodically, when circumstances lined up, I was happy, but not joyful and certainly not peaceful. And that’s why I decided to give up my foolishness, not just for 2013’s Lenten Season, but as a way of life. I am willing to come before God with my alabaster box and present myself, seeking the gift of joy. Because I now understand that I was being carried through life, and loved, and because He Is Lord, I can, and have the expectation that God’s peace will permeate my life. I no longer have the need to be anxious for anything, God’s peace, love and joy comes from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, not from what’s happening outside of me.
Matthew 6:25-34 25 That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and what you are to wear. Surely life is more than food, and the body more than clothing! 26 Look at the birds in the sky.They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not worth more than they are?
By bizarre coincidence this was touched on in mass on Sunday, in my priest’s homily. He talked about how we spend so much time being distracted by worldly things. So much so that we don’t always set aside any time to reflect and meditate on the word of God, and ask for guidance in fighting the temptations that will be continually laid at our door.
I have to hold up my hand to this, I do worry about my life and in particular about my children. I worry about decisions I’ve made, I worry about decisions I’ve yet to make and it can become a burden and a constant distraction. I’m learning through practice to hand my worry’s to God trusting in him to guide me, show me the way, discovering that I can plan all I want but in truth it’s about God’s time and it has already been decided.
For the Lenten Challenge I’ve chosen to abstain from refined sugar, the cravings for sugar are difficult to manage but I’m getting there (I’ll cover this in another post). For those of you abstaining from a food item in your diet, you’ve made the decision now let it go! Rather than being focused on how you will replace that food item in your diet, during this Lenten period, let’s take time out to deepen our relationship with God and put him first. He will not let you starve, he knows that you need food but leave it in his hands and he’ll take care of it. That is not to say that you should sit back and not use the talents entrusted to you. Work hard, trust that God will provide and remove the focus on the pursuit of worldly things, which serve as a constant distraction.
Do not worry, God will provide, you just need to trust in him.
Is your life filled with worry, how can you make trusting in God your priority?