ELEVATION OF EXERCISE

Firm up, lose weight or to maintain current status are some of the reasons whyExercise people exercise. Again, with the New Year approaching, people are gearing up to begin some type of exercise regime. Joining a gym, riding a bike or walking are good methods for the body, mind and heart.

Let’s look at some elevations of exercising.

  • Strolling is walk leisurely. Some calories are burned. Movement is applied to joints. If strolling through neighborhood various sights are seen. Some results are achieved.
  • Brisk walking: Aerobic exercise is great for your heart and lungs and benefits the entire body. It increases metabolism, flexibility, bone density, and strength around your bones and joints. More calories are burned.
  • Jogging /running: After some online research some benefits of jogging: weight loss, burns abdominal fat, improves appetite, strengthens muscles and fights insomnia.
  • Fitness Classes and Cardio Classes: Both have the same benefits as above benefits, but you are sharing your triumphs with groups of people.
  • Enrolling in marathons, contests and competitions. You have mastered a specific exercise category, now you out in the community, city or world showing others your accomplishments. You are being an example.
  • Instructors/Personal Trainers: You have been educated in fitness, received a certificate or degree and now you are in the position to teach others about exercise, diet and health.

Taking the elevations of exercise, I will compare with getting fit with our Father.

    • Strolling is compared to reading a daily scripture from the Bible, book or online. Or, viewing a 20-30 minute gospel program on television. The Word is minimally ingested. It brings benefits and results. You hear the Word.
    • Brisk walking correlates with studying the Word. You are not just reading, you’re studying the Word by researching and comparing scriptures. A higher level of comprehension is achieved. Examining the Word is great for the mind, body and heart.
    • Jogging /running matches with diving deeper in the Word. You’re analyzing words and phrases in Hebrew, or Greek or other languages for a more meaningful cognizance. You investigate other Bible versions such as Amplified, Living or New Kings James for clarification and comparison.
    • Fitness Classes and Cardio Classes are equivalent to attending Bible classes, church or online Bible lessons. You are receiving, understanding and sharing the Word with others.
    • Enrolling in marathons, contests and competitions equals to performing the Word. You apply the Word to your everyday life. You become an example to others. Showing the world you are the righteousness of God.
    • Fitness Instructors measures with teaching the Word. You instruct and teach your spouses, children, friends and family members. You may not have a certificate or degree or doctrine as pastors, reverends or ministers, however, you allow the Holy Spirit to flow through you to educate on the Word. Now you are in a position to help others in their knowledge of the Word. 

Let’s firm up and get fit with our Father this year.

Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. Proverbs 4:1 (KJV)

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. Proverbs 9:9 (KJV)

THE DEGREES OF DIETS

Diet 1Diet time! Yay! Ugh! This is the time of the year many have mouthed the words, “I’m going on a diet.” People want to get that fresh start, beginning January 1st. Many succeed, others fail. It has been advised not to say you are going on a diet, but you’re making a lifestyle change with healthy eating. Dieting means a restriction of specific foods for a certain amount of time, until a desired goal is achieved. A lifestyle change reflects a manner that will continue beyond accomplished targets and determined timings.

Lifestyle changes with healthy eating:

Distribution of meals: Some experts recommend eating 6 small meals versus 3 large meals to keep the metabolism going.
Well balanced meals: Eating the correct foods: protein for muscle building, vegetables for natural vitamins and good carbohydrates for energy.
Consume healthier foods: Eat more fruits, vegetables, vitamin filled foods, natural sugars and whole grain products.
Avoid toxic foods: High caloric, high fat, sugar induced foods produce little nutritional value and should be eliminated.
Drinking plenty of water. Water flushes fat and impurities from the body. Water replenishes.
Bypass fad, extreme or unbalanced diets. Diets that completely cut out all certain types of foods or restrict to a few types of food for long periods of time to achieve a quick weight loss, can be detrimental to your health.

Here is my twist. Let’s take the healthy eating bullets above and replace them with lifestyle changes with God.

Distributions of prayers: Prayer, intimate talks with God, should not be confined to early morning or late night. Talk to God throughout the day. Pray while commuting to work or school or during breaks or walks. Remember, God wants to be included in every area of your life. For prayer,  I recommend 6 or more times a day vs. one or two large prayers to keep your spiritual metabolism going.
Well balanced life: God is our protein for life building. His Word supplies daily spiritual nutrients. His grace is the power and energy for us to do all things.
Consume more of God’s gifts: Love, grace, mercy, peace, joy and righteousness are free Gifts of God. They should be pursued and preserved.
Avoid noxious relationships: Detach yourself from toxic family members, friends or any relationship that produces stress, negativity and worry.
Drink plenty of the Word: The Word combats the devil and replenishes your mind and heart.
Step away from the strict religions. Worldly philosophies and traditions of men are orchestrated by the devil to deter you from God and His Word. Also, remember, if you are more involved in church duties and religious rituals instead of obtaining a relationship with God, those traits can be harmful to your spiritual health.

Now is the time of the year to begin your lifestyle change when it comes to God and His Word.

Lord’s Lane

Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts. Jeremiah 15:16 (KJV)

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4 (KJV)

FEAST OR FAMINE

Feast or FamineThe holiday season is the time of feasting. This is the time for feast of foods, festivities with family and frolicking with friends. Money is spent, homes are decorated and vacations planned. Contributions for Toys for Tots and Funds for Families are made. Donations to the Salvation Army, Red Cross and Goodwill are given without thought. Peace and good will to all men, and joy to the world are daily slogans. Loving, giving and compassionate declarations are penned on holiday cards. Generally, this period lasts just before Thanksgiving until a few days after the New Year. Guess what happens then?

The famine begins. Famine is not only a scarcity of food, it also means a great shortage. The feeling of euphoria has been deflated to grief. Peace is turned to stress. Good will becomes ill will. Pride replaces love. Giving converts to selfishness. Compassion is gone and hardheartedness emerges. Why?

I realize everyone does not fit into the categories listed above. And maybe I took it to the extremes. However, if you are exceptionally good only during holiday times. Convincing yourself this is the “season” to love, forgive and give. Thinking kindness should be for an allotted period of time each year. This may be a problem.

 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world… Colossians 2:8 (KJV)

The children of God strive to do God’s will, all year long. God wants us to be good stewards. A steward is someone who protects or is responsible for money, property or other items. God wants us to be protective of our money, property and time, to name a few. It is not good to overextend on your budget and max out credit cards just to celebrate a few days each year. He wants us to be responsible. Also, remember, when we accept God in our lives, we realize we own nothing, all possessions, time, talents, finances came from God and belongs to God. We are His stewards to maintain His possessions all year long.

But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 1 John 3:17King James Version (KJV)

Avenues of Awareness

Devil’s Drive

The devil has managed to capture many people in his net of destruction during this time of year.

  • If you don’t have family around, he makes you feel lonely.
  • If you do have family around, he causes stress, distress and mess.
  • If you are struggling to make ends meet, he attacks you with guilt, if you can’t provide.
  • If you make a decent salary, he encourages you to overspend.
  • He will send people to make you feel condemned if you don’t celebrate the holiday.
  • If you don’t have a spouse, partner or a close loved one he makes you feel destitute.
  • Boastful buddies bounce your way to show off their extravagant gifts and covetousness stirs in your heart.
  • An unhealthy, competitive streak emerges when you must provide more for yourself, friends and family than others, to prove your status. That’s pride.

World’s Way

The world loves the concept that millions of people will be overly generous through this season because of increased sales and higher revenues for all types of industries. Some people spend more money during the holiday season than they do all year long. And at times, society affixes blame and guilt on those who do not partake of the overspending. Don’t fall for the deception. Know your limit.

Personal Pathway

It comes a little easier for me not to be swept up in the so called holiday cheer. Growing up, due to religious beliefs, my family did not participate in Christmas. As an adult, I drifted away from childhood teachings and shared in the yearly cheer. I found myself spending more money than I could afford. Buying gifts for people because they bought me a gift. Participating in a grab bag at work, spending yet more money. And for some reason, no matter how early I planned for this era, I always felt unprepared, overwhelmed and stressed. After I had children, I never understand the concept if my son desired a bike in the summer, he needed to wait until Christmas to get one. In fact, I recognized many parents, spouses and others had begun to put off what could be done in the present and waited until later in the year to bring joy.

Reflection Road

  1. Ask yourself. During this season does it appear a jot of generosity fuses through your veins with a shelf life of 2 weeks and afterwards there is a justification to go back to normal. Why?
  2. Don’t get caught up in the cycle of feast and famine or the devil’s web of dissolution. Seek God and His Word and He will give you the power to defeat the devil and his antics, restore peace in your heart and balance in your life.

Lord’s Lane

The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace. Psalm 29:11 (KJV)

 Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. Psalm 122:7 (KJV)

COOKING CLASS

Recipe 1Cooking classes are on the rise with trendy styles and venues. These learning techniques are taught to beginners to obtain the basics culinary methods; to intermediate cooks to create gourmet delectations or for students who have a desire to make this art as a profession. These classes can be taken online, at home, at restaurants or in culinary schools. Growing up, there were not many structured cooking classes. Most of my cooking skills came through relatives. The sessions took place in a family member’s extremely hot kitchen and the method was to observe their ways. The expert cooks, of yesterday, did not depend on cookbooks, recipes and measuring utensils, but relied on memory, traditions and taste. They combined ingredients in certain bowls, used particular cookware and produced exorbitant dishes with flavorful results.

There is a cooking class, I want to recommend that will produce flavorful results. It can help beginners and experts. It’s guaranteed, if you follow and observe the class carefully, good results follow. Welcome to God’s Cooking Class 101.

Items needed: a cookbook, ingredients, utensils and an oven. Recognize the time and temperature.

Cookbook: God’s cookbook, the Holy Bible, contains recipes of the Word and teaches about God’s wisdom, will and His way.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)

Ingredients: Gather the ingredients of praise and thanksgiving. Praise and thanksgiving are two of the most important forms of worship to God.

And to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise at even: 1 Chronicles 23:30 (KJV)

Don’t forget to have God’s promise on hand. Reading the Word, will reveal the plans He has for your life.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV)

Utensil: Using the utensil of grace, mix all the ingredients together. Grace of God is the tool granted for us to perform all things.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9K (KJV)

Time: Patience is the time needed. God works in His time not ours. Patience is not just waiting, but going through trials and troubles with a peaceful heart.

But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:4 (KJV)

The temperature: During the fiery furnace of frustrations, pray for peace. God’s peace will keep you cool, calm and collected. Peace is another free given, you must seek it.

 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27 (KJV)

Oven: Acknowledge, and know God loves us. God’s love will bake in your heart during troubled times. Once the realization is discovered about how much God loves, you will feel the warmth that He will never leave or forsake you as long as you seek Him with all your heart.

And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8 (KJV)

The finished product is the blessings of God.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17King James Version (KJV)

Avenues of Awareness

For this section I am going to cover God’s Cookbook, the Holy Bible.

 Devil’s Drive

The devil works in deception. He will deceive, distort or distract from the God and His Word. If he can convince you:

  • The Bible is antiquated with ancient people and fossil fables.
  • The Bible is too complicated to read and too contradictory to understand.
  • To question God and His reasons.
  • To create in your minds an abundance of unanswered questions about God.
  • The devil does not exist.
  • God is the cause of all mayhem in the world.
  • To hold on to old philosophies and traditions of man
  • That You do not have time to read the Word

If you agree to any of the reasons above, the devil’s work is done.

World’s Way

Television has replaced the art of reading. Before television, reading was high on the list for things to do. People curled up in a chair, read a book and released their imagination. Television entertains, no need to use your imagination, the program will dictate what to imagine. An interesting fact, originally, the television was designed to emit information and educate people. Today, it continues to do this purpose, however, with far more additive programming. This is only one reason why the television has been referred to the idiot box.

Personal Pathway

I have always loved to read. However, I am not against television viewing. As I have mentioned in previous posts, there must be a balance. At this time, my day consists of studying the Bible, reading my daily Word, watching inspirational gospel programs and my afternoons are composing posts for your learning pleasure. I go to my workout classes in the evening, while driving, I listen to fiction Audiobooks. I love Audiobooks because I can drive and accomplish other duties all while the book is reading to me. So, in the evening, if I watch a TV program, I feel like there has been a balance.

Reflection Road

Have a balance in your life. Incorporate studying the Bible into your everyday routine. Think of it this way, if you wanted to get your driver’s license, you would study the Rules of the Road. If you want to receive the promises of God, study His Rules of the Road, His Word.

Lord’s Lane

And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. Deuteronomy 28:2King James Version (KJV

THE THREE INGREDIENT RECIPE

This recipe is a foolproof recipe. During the Thanksgiving break, I had the Recipe 2opportunity to travel to my daughter’s home for a week. There were mouthwatering dishes to choose from during my entire stay. But, the most memorable was my daughter’s homemade biscuits. The biscuits were light, fluffy and delectable. Immediately, I asked for the recipe. She informed me that the recipe only called for three ingredients. I was amazed that three items produced these delicious delights.

The three element technique inspired me to compose this post. I am honored to give you, the best recipe I have learned about. The B.A.T Recipe. This method is definitely worth the time and effort and will produce whatever end result you need. This 3 ingredient concoction can produce a cake of conquer, a pie of prosperity, a sandwich of success or a feast of favor.

The B.A.T Recipe contains the 3 ingredients: Believe, Ask, Trust. The sequence in combining these elements is up to you, however, if one component is eliminated the recipe will not have the preferred conclusion.

Believe. Believe means to accept the truth of what is said. You must believe. Believe in God and who He is. Believe He will grant you the desires of your heart. The thing about believing, once you have declared it, the devil, people or circumstances will emerge to convince you to disbelieve. If you pray for prosperity it appears more financial burdens materializes, if you believe in healing, painful symptoms develop. Keep believing.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)

Ask. Make a request. We are good about asking God for all types of things from paying the utility bill to winning the lottery. The call for outlandish and frivolous requests are demanded all the time. When these items are requested, there lacks little belief that they will actually come to pass. And most of these selfish, self-indulged and lascivious desires will not unfold because our Father will not honor longings that are not involved around love, building character, helping others and contributing to His kingdom.

However, when we ask God for whatever request, we must have the first ingredient of believing to receive. The asking part is easy, asking and believing goes into another stage. However, the impatientness of this generation reflects if a request is made on Monday and it has not materialized by Wednesday or no later than the end of the week, disbelief takes over and the aspiration is abandoned.

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Matthew 21:22King James Version (KJV)

Trust is an assured reliance on the character, ability and strength, or truth of someone. In this case, trust God. To put trust in someone or something is to have a dependence. The dependency should be placed on God, rely and lean on Him, let Him direct our steps.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)

Avenues of Awareness

Reflection Road

Think of previous events in your life. Did you apply the 3 ingredient recipe, but placed them in yourself and man? How did that turn out?

Devil’s Drive

It should be obvious by now, that the devil wants God out of our thoughts and lives. If the devil can shift leaning on God and turn it on relying totally on self, his work is done. Please don’t misunderstand, this doesn’t mean not to have confidence in yourself to do things. But, recognizing your power Source is God and your strength comes from Him.

World’s Way

The world wants you to believe in yourself. Ask man for help and trust in your abilities. On the surface it doesn’t sound wrong, but the key you are putting man ahead of God. Using self-works instead of putting faith in the grace of God. Our Father wants to be consulted first in everything we do.

Personal Pathway

I worked at a well know insurance company as a temp. The assignment, the benefits and the people made the company appealing. My desire was to work at the company permanently. Unknowingly, I applied the 3 ingredient recipe, but mixed them in the wrong vessel. I believed in myself. If I would do the assignment to the best of my ability, have a cheerful attitude and understanding demeanor, a permanent position would be offered. I asked the people around me, my coworkers, supervisors and even the director about how I can come aboard full time. I trusted in their words and promises. Month after month, I strived harder to be the star employee. Month after month, more promises were made. Month after month I trusted in them and their ability to make it happen. It never happened. After a year, I remained in the same position. In most people’s eyes, I was doing the correct things. I prayed on the employment situation, however, I went on to do the things I thought I should be doing. After sincerely praying to God, it was placed in my heart, I was using the B.A.T recipe, but in the wrong bowls. I started to believe in God, who He was and what He could do. I asked God about my dilemma and trusted in Him and not man. Guess what. A different company approached me. Better pay, closer to home and an assignment I enjoyed. I leaped at the opportunity. Later, I heard the company I desperately wanted to be employed went about multiple changes, layoffs and other issues. God delivered me from that headache.

Lord’s Lane

 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: Matthew 7:7 (KJV)

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. Psalm 118:8 (KJV)