Image courtesy of crossgrace.org
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.
Click here for more details on Lisa Bishop.
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?
Click here for more details on Arlett.
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!
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?
John 3:16 (NIV) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Every Sunday during Lent is a time to celebrate that God loved us so much that Jesus came, lived and died for us. This is truly amazing. In fact, it transforms all of our possibilities for living here on earth and for life eternally. While it is sometimes easy to say how great a gift we’ve received, we have the entire season of Lent for us to consider how we are responding to this gift of love.
Aligning our minds, bodies and spirit sounds as if it should be an easy thing to do. There are probably moments when everything is working together well. However, there are likely to be other times when things are not so smooth and we may not even recognize it nor know that God will help us to change it.
There are times when it seems we get accustomed to a little discomfort and don’t try to change it. Our clothes get a little tight, our jobs become a little annoying or our money is just a little funny. However, we might not make the effort to make a change. We may not even see away that things could be better. While we can’t see it, God can and God can make it happen.
Take a moment to examine what your goals truly are for this Lenten Season and beyond. Remember that God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to transform us. We may not have an overnight transformation, but everyday we can work with God to give us the lives that we desire and that God wants for us.
No matter how well you did on the Lenten Challenge last week, this week provides another opportunity. Praise the Lord for how far you’ve come and lean on Him all the days ahead.
Peace & blessings,
Mark 11:22-24 22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly[f] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Here we are Day 1 of the Lenten Challenge! We are so excited to get to this point in our journey with God and our journey with you. Our prayer today is that the next 46 days will bring you into a closer love relationship with the Father. Our hope is that you will be healed, refreshed, rejuvenated, and set on a path to living your best and blessed life in Him. We believe this journey is one of joy and peace, testing and discovery, and challenge and victory. Can We Talk?!
During the next 46 days you will be spending time with Jesus, reflecting on His work and purpose on the cross. Yes, Jesus was crucified. He died. They laid Him in a borrowed tomb. For 3 days there was silence. The Good News is that He got up with all power in His hands conquering death, hell, and grave. Because Jesus got up, so can we! We have the power of His spirit living inside of us. We have the power to overcome the struggles and circumstances of this world. We have the power to change our world.
If we commit ourselves fully to this next 46 days, our lives will change. Others, who we pray for will see a change in their lives. Surrender and obedience will be our food. We are going to speak to mountains and cause them to move OR we will climb those mountains in the strength of Jehovah-Tsori. We will pray believing. We will trust as if we can already see what we are asking God to do! The victory is promised to us in Jesus’ name. The promises of God are Yes and Amen! (2 Corinthians 1:20)
See you at the top!
I’m so excited to be working with Aqua Copeland and Gillian Stephen again. We’re taking time to focus on mind, body and spirit during this Lenten season. We have been so blessed by working together in past and anticipate an even better experience this time. One of the differences is that other guest bloggers will be joining us. Their insight and perspective will expand our view and help us connect with others on this journey.