Warning!!

This is a link because some of the language included in the post itself is a little offensive. However, the content of the post is phenomenal. I urge you to look beyond the poorly-chosen adjectives and consider the intent of the author.

Every social media outlet is seemingly flooded with “fitspiration”, “thinspiration” and everything in between lately. You can’t go on Facebook or Pinterest now without noticing a text war revolving around thigh gaps and images of “real women”. But how many of these arguments are rooted in real fact and not just hurt feelings? Are these images and sayings really motivational or…

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If God Asks, reposted from PrayFit

Sometimes someone says something that you couldn’t say better yourself. Such is the case today. This article was written by Jimmy Pena, at PrayFit. I’m an avid reader of Jimmy’s blog and I subscriber to his teachings on fitness. I hope you enjoy this post:

“We live by faith, not by sight.”–2 Corinthians 5:7

Read: 2 Corinthians 5

I know we typically end our study with a question, but today we’re starting with one. I’m wondering: Would you forfeit your health for the Lord? More specifically, would you give up your fitness lifestyle if God asked you to? Maybe you’re a runner. An avid runner. Your calendar is marked — not with holidays and birthdays — but with 10Ks. Or perhaps you’re a fitness junkie. You lift, you sprint, you jump rope, you sweat and you repeat it…six days a week. What if God asked you to give it all up? And no, He doesn’t give you His reasoning, because He doesn’t need to explain Himself to you. All you know is that the one passion you have in life — that one thing that fulfills you and makes you you — He wants you to relinquish. No more gym. No more road. How would you feel? Sad, confused, both? What would you do?

 

Well, before you say, “Jimmy, I doubt God would ever ask me to give up something like that,” let’s visit a couple guys who would beg to differ…

When Abraham got to the top of Mt. Moriah, he was confused and saddened. “Daddy, where’s the lamb?” asked Isaac. But Abraham took the son he loved more than life itself, set him on the altar and raised his knife.

When the rich young ruler approached the Lord and asked Him what he needed to do to have eternal life, Jesus said to sell all his possessions, give to the poor and then follow Him. But the bible says the rich man walked away sad because he was rich.

Two men, both asked to sacrifice the love of their life. One was sad but obedient, the other was sad because he couldn’t be. The difference? Faith. Faith saved Isaac and spawned generations that outnumber the stars. Faith loved. Faith sensed guidance. Faith followed. Faith swallowed fear. Faith didn’t walk away sad.

Now, Lord only knows what He’s calling you to do (or not do) when it comes to His purpose for your life, but is there anything you need to sacrifice in order to be closer to Him? Since He’s likely not asking you to give up your pursuit of fitness, could it mean you need to carve out time alone with Him? If He’s asking for time with you, do you walk away sad because you’re so “fit”? Or on the flip side, if you’re not honoring your health like God desires, perhaps stewardship is your sacrifice. Maybe the hill of discipline is your Mount Moriah. What is God asking you to do?

Read this article at its original location, here. Also, I encourage you to take time to read many of Jimmy’s other devotionals.

Too Much of a Good Thing

Too much of a good thing?

I remember as a kid, my mom telling me, “You can’t play with Julie today. You’ve seen her every single day this week. You’ll get tired of each other and get into fights. That’s what happens when you get too much of a good thing.”

I know you’ve seen the woman who took a beautiful shade of blue and put too much of a good color on her eyelids.

There’s probably a food you used to love until you indulged yourself one too many times and it’s no longer a welcome taste.

Everywhere we turn these days, we’re reminded how good exercise is for us.

There’s a demoralizing quote by the Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, “A woman can’t be too rich or too thin.”

If that’s true, then there is truly no such thing as too much of every effort to achieve a woman’s highest goal – rich and thin.

But, let me confess a few things that I feel God has brought to my personal attention about the innate value of fitness.

There is no innate value in fitness. 

That’s a hard thing for a fitness professional to admit. There is no eternal gain in being able to run a marathon, no lasting reward for being able to see indentations between your abdominal muscles. Even though our jealous minds might try to tell us otherwise, no one is a better person because they get up at 5 a.m. to jump up and down like they have ants in their pants or perform pull ups from suspension cables like a monkey.

I recently was called to take a hard look at the money I spend in the fitness industry. Money for the gym, money for certifications, magazines, sandbags, other equipment, DVDs, online tutorials, special clothing. If I spent that money on my “adopted” child in Guatemala, wouldn’t I being making a bigger, more eternal difference?

Energy. I love that bone-deep fatigue that results from a killer workout. I love being able to actually feel the EPOC (oxygen deficit) as my metabolism rises to compensate for intense exercise. I love longing for my pillow at night because I “worked” so hard. But did I work? Did I change someone’s life? Did I get to know Jesus more deeply than yesterday? Did I serve my husband, tend my home and if so, did I find satisfaction in these things? Or was my greater happiness derived from my tiny personal success?

I’m not denying the value of exercise. I know it is essential, and I personally love it! I’m so glad that God gave us durable feet to pound out frustrations on the pavement when we run. I worship my Creator when I experience the pleasure a stronger accomplishment and when I see the amazing things He has made me capable of. However, I am firmly convinced that the only reason God endowed me with these abilities is for His Glory.

“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” I Timothy 4:8

 

Sweet, Sweaty Success

The first week of Moms Who TRI was a smashing success! We had about 12-15 people everyday, counting moms and kids. God was gracious to give us sunny, cool weather each day.

On Monday, I had the kids doing a full workout with string – limbo, cross-overs, side bends, over-head squats, jump rope, over and unders. I surprised myself with how many active things one can do with a piece of string. And it’s wonderful to me how easily kids are fascinated by the simple things. Just a piece of twine to call their own and they would have worked out with me for hours.

Kristen took the moms to the other end of her yard and put them through the paces – jumping jacks, mountain climbers, bench dips, pushups and planks. All of them reported back with sore buns and tired triceps – but that’s a good thing. I switched things up a bit for them on Wednesday and Kristen exercised the kids. On Friday, we threw all organization to the wind and had fun with exercise. We did all kinds of relays, an obstacle course and an Easter egg hunt.

Now, we are in the process of planning some PE programs with a home school coop in the area. We are also considering some indoor places to take our workouts when summer arrives with full force humidity, bugs and heat.So, what do you do if you don’t live near Moms Who TRI, can’t afford a gym membership, don’t know what to do on your own and are bored to tears of all your old workout DVDs? Try this…

Ten Minutes Anywhere

Do each exercise for 50 seconds, rest for 10 and begin the next exercise. Go through the list twice and if you have time – do it again!

1. High knees

2. Burpees (that’s a push up, jump to your feet and then jump to the sky!)

3. Bicycle crunches

Jump lunges (put one leg forward in a lunge, then jump into the air and switch your feet landing with the other foot forward)

Regular pushups, if you’re feeling really brave, in between pushups rotate all the way into a side plank and alternate sides

Let me know what you think. And believe me, if that’s too easy, I can make you work harder!

What Fell?

Did you ever think about what fell in “The Fall”? Usually, we think about sin entering the world. Before Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, we know that there was no death, no hate, no sexual impropriety. There was no lying, fear, anger, bitterness or rebellion. There was no cursing, fighting, disobedience, murder or cheating. But what about pain?

The Bible says that in heaven there will be no tears, no pain. Revelation 21:3-4

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

This morning I drudged my way through “Kinesiology and Functional Anatomy” in my course book for the NESTA personal trainer certification. It’s a tough chapter. But even as I flunked my first attempt at the practice test, I have to admit, it’s incredibly interesting. Just as God had an original intent for our lives: the praise of His glory, He had an original, perfect plan for our bodies.

Just a couple examples:

The heart has its own pacemaker and is self regulated. Not once have you ever had to tell your heart to beat

Our bodies were made to work and our muscles, even our bones, grow stronger in response to this stimulus

But what happens when we abuse or damage one little thing? I had to go to the doctor today because I’ve been experiencing some knee pain. At first, I rolled my eyes when he told me that my knee pain was related to the callus on my big toe. He quickly explained that the callus was indicative of over-pronation in my foot, which in turn was affecting my knee. Wow!

It’s similar in our spiritual lives. It only took one sin – the intentional act of disobedience of eating a food God forbade – to introduce the painful sins and consequences that we experience today. In many ways, the continued degradation of human behavior is a consequence of the first sin. That doesn’t mean we’re innocent! Just because Adam’s sin started the downward spiral doesn’t mean we are simply victims of sin.  

Jesus Christ came to redeem sinners. Think of it as: Jesus lived a perfect life, building up antibodies to the illness we are suffering from, sin. Then, on the cross, he poured out His blood, gave His life in order to offer us the cure for sin and death. But we cannot become well if we refuse to accept and consume the cure He has made freely available. If we arrogantly despise the sacrifice, forgiveness and healing of Jesus Christ, we can know for sure that our sin will continually, progressively destroy us.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23

Every single heart beat of every single day, your body is preaching to you the message of salvation. Please listen!

March’s Schedule

Welcome to March, well almost. Here, February will slide right into the year’s third month with a poem. We’ll recognize March beginning in its first full week.

Sadly, today I have been inundated with cultural lies that I’d rather not address. The first one slammed me brutal and early from the morning news on the radio. But its aftershock was even worse. I looked up the headline on the internet which led me to a related lie that took my breath away. I wish I felt there was more of a benefit to making you aware of these lies too. Perhaps there is, if only to help you recognize and avoid them; to help you protect your children and fly to the truth that is Jesus Christ. So, I’ll take the first week of March to mention these:

1. An old, pervasive lie that reinvents itself with every generation: young girls convinced that they are ugly and fat. In their minds, this equates to being worthless, rejected, doomed for the rest of their earthly days.

2. Related to the above, Thinspiration. Heard of it? If not, consider yourself lucky. As I share the crux of this lie, I speak from personal experience. I won’t share links. This is the one that sank like a sharp stone in my gut. Oh how it hurts to know and remember.

3. This last one is a world-wide lie. Lost jobs, failed crops. Rising prices, lost homes. Unforeseen bills, surprise broken plumbing, stalled cars and illness. It’s tempting to wallow in hopelessness. It’s tempting to fudge on taxes or look for loopholes in financial obligations. It’s tempting to keep our tithe in bottom drawer.

The second week in March, I am excited to share a dawning truth in my own life. I am in the process of renewing my certification as personal trainer. I let my certification through IFPA lapse nearly 5 years ago. Though I have entertained the idea of doing it again several times, I always shied away, fearful that anorexia and exercise addiction would rear their ugly heads again. I didn’t believe that God could use my weakness in this area, that He could apply His strength in me and glorify Himself as He conquered the sin where I have fallen so many times before. So, as I’m studying, God has been showing me parallels between our physical bodies, training and our spiritual growth and discipline.

During the third week of March, I want to do a character study on Moses. My sisters and I have been studying holiness in a Precept study called, “Living Like You Belong to God.” The study focuses on the unholy behavior of the Israelites as God drew them away from their bondage in Egypt. God drew defining lines around His people. He called them out to be like Himself – set apart and utterly different from the nations around them. The Israelites faltered over and over, despite their very godly leader Moses. God insisted on using Moses, a stuttering, shy man to lead His people. Moses came to be defined as the most humble man that ever lived, a friend of God, and one with whom God spoke face-to-face.

The truth is that God makes us holy. Regardless of where we come from and how long it takes us to get our feet under us as we follow Him – Jesus is the cause, the means and the effect of our holiness.

Finally, week four. I might be saving the best for last. A continual student of Moody Ministries, I will again be reviewing a book that they published, Counterfeit Gospels. That’s pretty obvious, of course we’ll be discussing lies about the gospel that have invaded the pulpit. We will study to be wary, diligent and effective in our own churches.

Join me!

P. S. This picture was too cute NOT to republish! Click on it to visit a beautiful blog.

Mom’s Who TRI (Train, Race, Inspire)

The big event, the first hurrah, the inaugural invitation… Don’t miss it!

If you live in Northern Virginia, this is probably the most affordable, fun, sustainable fitness program you’ll ever find. Join us April 2, 4 and 6th for the kick-off of Mom’s Who TRI!

Each day will feature a variety of phyiscal training techniques tailored to moms as well to a variety of ages of children. Some activities will be done together, and others separately. From bootcamps, to sports drills, dumbbells to bodyweight exercises, fun relays, and heathy, tasty food, this is the start of great health for both you and your children.

On Friday, bring your favorite healthy brunch item. We will also distribute a brief survey so that you can help us make our summer program exactly what you want it to be. Discounts for the summer session will also be provided to all participants.

Cost $5 adults, $2 child

For more information or to register, email or call:

Kristen Hench at kgriswol@hotmail.com,  703-250-8149

Abby Kelly at abbykelly1980@gmail.com, 703-663-0280

For more information, please Visit Our Facebook Page

Finally!

ABOUT AMBER

Its important to me that you know who I am internally, aside from the glitz and glamour of my modeling portfolio.I was raised by a missionary family in the Congo, Africa. I came to the United States and found my home in sports and my indentity in being a tom-boy. Truth is, I lost that girl amidst the crazy world of being a young adult, trying to prove myself and impress those around me. Modeling initially was a way for me to “prove” that I could take on this industry and be succesful, as if in some way it would validate who I was.

THE TRANSFORMATION

The transformation that happend, I believe saved my life. I began seeing a world driven by materialism and facades..and I developed as passion for representing truth. I want to represent a beauty that allures people in a pure way. I want to represent the truth in fitness by not buying into fads or unhealthy means to look good. And through those representation, my deepest desire is that somehow, even if its in a tiny way, I’ll be able to encourage others to be exactly who they are.Allowing them to go back to their roots, and forget the expectations and approvals of everyone except their creator, no magazine spread or cover, no amount of recognition, or any monetary value could outweigh the importance of “people“ in my life and career….please, live YOUR life “for such a time as this” be who you are, and achieve the things that only you are given the talent, and opportunities to achieve.

~Amber Elizabeth (from her site, click image above)