SPIN – it’s more than a workout

I recently wrote this for another blog, Moms Who TRI. However, it’s a theme God has been repeating in my life so often lately, it bears repeating here. Enjoy!

If I say SPIN, what do you think of?

If you’re reading this in the framework of fitness, you probably just imagined a room full of low-profile bikes. Dozens of sweaty people are pedaling as fast as they can and getting absolutely nowhere! But they’re loving it. Someone is at the front of the pack screaming directions over the crush of loud, motivating music.

And you’d be right, that’s definitely SPIN.

Or you might think of the bajillion proverbial plates you have in the air. Somehow, in a superhuman feat you manage to keep your life precariously balanced and a serving of every friend and family member’s happiness whirling at all times. Good for you! Right? Is that good?

In light of a greater fitness – your soul’s fitness and your mental health, I want to propose another definition of SPIN. I recently heard an interview with a couple, the authors of a new book, From Hectic to Healthy. As time marches on and we are entering into the unrelenting demands of a new school year, I think this is appropriate.

Seasons: We often refer to our lives in seasons. There’s the season of singleness, newly wed, parent, mid-life (crisis), retirement, elderly, etc. Cognitively, we’re OK with that, except for always wishing we were younger. But do we live happily in the season God has given us? The authors of this book suggest that we begin to feel overwhelmed when we try to live outside our season.

If you’re struggling to find time to fit in your workouts, or any other important aspect of your life, ask yourself if you are trying to
do this thing in light of your current season. Be reasonable, give yourself some grace. Challenge yourself, yes, but remember
there is season for everything and the time for all your dreams and goals will arrive in God’s timing.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven,” Ecc. 3:1.

Priorities: set your priorities according to your season. By the way, your health is YOUR responsibility and it’s important to your family too! So don’t put that at the bottom of the list. God has been persistently reminding me lately that REST is a key component of health!

Isolation: You probably feel like isolation is something you would pay to have! Many women are in the season of kiddos and chaos; happy family times, but tiring nonetheless. Or you may be feeling isolated from adult companions. Spinning your life faster to include more things isn’t the answer! Find one thing, start with just one, from the bottom of your priority list and draw a big black line through it! Now, go join a Moms Who TRI bootcamp – get your friendship and fitness in one, enjoyable hour!

Neglect: This is MOMS Who TRI, and the only things moms frequently neglect is themselves. That’s what Moms Who TRI is all about. It is an environment for busy moms to prioritize their health, spend time with their children and enjoy fellowship with other women.

SPIN – This fall, ditch that feeling of spinning your wheels and getting nowhere. Discover and fully live in your SEASON. PRIORITIZE and let something go! Don’t ISOLATE yourself, or maybe you need to eliminate something so that you can hide away by yourself and refresh for just a moment. Don’t NEGLECT your health behind the guise of being too busy to workout. You are important, too!

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Colliding Christians

My mind feels like it’s firing on 16 cylinders and none of them are intelligent enough to start a volley of thought on one topic. So spare me if this post isn’t quite up to snuff. (:

A myriad of colliding persuasions have assaulted me in these recent weeks of reading Apocalypse Code and Christ’s Prophetic Plans. It seems every Christian is poised on pins, holding bated breath, hovering over the newspaper – wondering if this is it.

Is it soon? Will all the Christians disappear and start a seven-year countdown? Are we in the middle of the tribulation? How do we know?

It seems every generation has posed this question. In Matthew 24:3, the disciples weren’t the first to wonder even then. In our age, a quick Google search of “how will we know the end times” results in a .52 second search yielding 89,700,000 results. So wonder away.

In an unrelated study, I recently heard Beth Moore say, “When you completely figure out the Scriptures you will have gained authority over them. And you will never gain authority over Scripture.” It is our duty to spend our lives studying Scripture and never fully containing God’s infinite plan in our tiny minds. Perhaps there’s joy and true excitement in pondering, wondering, waiting. And while we wait, grasping the hands of our fellow believers and sharing the thrill of anticipation.

I think of two children waiting anxiously for Christmas presents. Though one is certain that Santa will leave their presents in time for them to open them on Christmas Eve and the other doesn’t expect his packages until Christmas morning – will they argue over the certainty and joy that Santa will come?

I am straying now from a strict book review, but I am suddenly inspired to pursue every theologian’s opinion and to inductively determine what I believe God’s word says about the end times. To that end, I offer you two resources. The first is a video by Hank Hanegraaff. In it he gives an overview of Dispensationalism and why he does not subscribe to that eschatological view.

The second is a link to David Brickner’s ministry, Jews For Jesus. I heard him interviewed last week by Janet Parshall who is a Futuristic Premillennialist.

I think one thing that has become crystal clear to me as I lay these two opinions alongside each other is that the hope of Jews and Gentiles is the same. I have no doubt that Jesus intends a wonderful reunion and ingathering of all Jewish believers. I believe He has that same plan for every Gentile believer as well.

“In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old, that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by my name,” declares the Lord who does this. Amos 9:11-12

Problem or Privilege?

“The human spirit will not even begin to try to surrender self-will as long as all seems to be well with it. Now error and sin both have this property, that the deeper they are the less their victim suspects their existence; they are masked evil. Pain is unmasked, unmistakable evil; every man knows that something is wrong when he is being hurt.”

“Try to exclude the possibility of suffering which the order of nature and the existence of free-wills involve, and you find that you have excluded life itself”      C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

But let’s forget the Problem of Pain, because I have been impressed upon to consider the Privilege of Pain. God began to bring this to my attention as I began studying Chazown.  Then, He deepened my curiosity toward this subject when He chose Beth Moore’s study on James for my focus this summer.

“Count it all JOY my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness, and let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be PERFECT, COMPLETE, LACKING IN NOTHING.” James 1:2-4

This morning, I was listening, as I often do, to In the Market With Janet Parshall and stumbled upon yet another conversation with Shannon Royce, the founder of ChosenFamilies.org. Shannon is herself the mother of a child with autism. She founded Chosen Families to support and encourage those with family members who have some kind of disability that isn’t immediately obvious to the watching world, such as autism and certain autoimmune deficiencies.

I almost switched to a different program, believing that I’d heard most of what Shannon had to share before. But then she said something that fits so perfectly with our Wednesday conversations this month, that I had to share with you:

“I believe that pain is a vote of God’s confidence.”

What of that? What if one of the privileges of pain is that our Father trusts us to make a startling, Christ-worthy impact on the watching world? What if God knows that as He perfects and completes you, just the right people will take notice and when it’s their turn to deal with pain, they will suddenly recognize that Jesus is the resource and sustenance that makes life possible and eternity real.

That would truly be a privilege.

Day One Review of “How Satan’s Soldier Became God’s Warrior”

If God created everything, then He created evil. So, by that line of reasoning, I decided that God was responsible for evil, controlled it, and was in fact, both good and evil. He had to be responsible for the tragedy that was my life. And if He was responsible for all the suffering in my life, how could He possibly care about me? Since God didn’t care for me, I might as well serve His enemy. If God didn’t think I was good enough to save, why shouldn’t I serve His evil counter part? This evil counterpart is Satan, the god of this world. In my crippled thinking, I viewed Satan as God’s alter ego.

By the time you read that paragraph you’ve started Chapter 2 in Michael Leehan’s book How Satan’s Soldier Became God’s Warrior.  Pretty intense. I picked up this book after hearing Leehan interviewed by Janet Parshall. I confess, the sensationalism of Satanism was the driving force behind my interest in the book. That and the fact that what is a more appropriate topic for a blog about Predatory Lies, than a book that shows God’s defeat of the Father of Lies?

I expected a gripping story; and I wasn’t disappointed. However, I didn’t really expect to address the problem of pain and God’s role in human suffering. I didn’t think about how many decisions Leehan made prior to his final decision to serve Satan. There were tiny steps along the way that seemed harmless enough and unrelated. Things that culturally we might recognize as poor choices, but hardly map them into a progression toward the ultimate rebellion against God.

In truth, is there an “ultimate” rebellion, or is sin simply sin and separation from God simply separation from God? How different are you and I from Leehan in his darkest moments?

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.          Eph. 5:15-16

Another thing that piqued my interest in Leehan’s book is that he is “close to home” for me. Leehan’s story takes place mostly in Oklahoma. The church body that reached out to Leehan even as he plotted to murder their pator – is in my home town! So, let me also take this moment to put in a plug for Lifechurch.tv.  There’s a reason that the pastor, Craig Groschel, was on Satan’s hit list. Lifechurch.tv as well as the mobile phone app, YouVersion and their many other FREE resources are unparalleled.

 

 

What’s Coming Up This April

I swear I just did this. It seems like two days ago that I filled a page with ideas for a whole new month. But, there’s no rest for the weary and now it’s time to plot April. April showers, right? April doldrums, bleary days, cloudy skies and itchy impatience for the rewards of spring. Well, let me brighten the days of your April. Let’s allow the Son to

Blind us with His glory

Cast rainbows in the falling orbs

Speak peace in pattering showers

And thunder truth in blackened skies.

This month I owe a review to Moody Publishers for Trevin Wax’s book Counterfeit Gospels. Because of the way the book is written, highlighting six prevalent, modern (or postmodern) counterfeit gospels, I want to spend two weeks here. This is an excellent topic for Predatory Lies – unveiling the ultimate lie that destroys all lives: a fatal misinterpretation of THE ONLY SAVING GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRST.

If someone handed you a counterfeit $100 bill, what would you do? Is there any chance you would attempt to pass it off as real; reap the benefits of deception? Is there any benefit to be gained by facilitating a deceptive gospel? I admit, I have turned away after some uncomfortable conversations with a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I took the benefit of maintaining a friendship, not rocking the boat, being agreeable, and passed on a counterfeit gospel to a bankrupt spirit in desperate need of the real currency: Jesus Christ and the  immutable truth of His death and resurrection.

The following week, the third week of April, we’ll lighten it up a bit. Kristen and I will be two weeks into our new endeavor Moms Who TRI. My motivation for starting Moms Who TRI, a personal training company with a niche in moms and kids bootcamps, is to preempt the cultural lies about body image and health before they seep unconsciously into the minds of youth. I am also determined to counter the lies that have already invaded the minds of women; lies about dieting, exercise, personal value, and other things.

During the third week of April, I am going to let you vicariously reap the benefits of training with Moms Who TRI. I will tell you the truth about eating healthily, simply and affordably and share several resources and recipes with you. I will dispel the myths of long exercise programs, and give you a quick, ten minute program that you can do at home. (Also, Moms Who TRI can provide you with fresh programs whenever you need them and offer accountability. Please contact us through our Facebook page or our website if you have any questions.)

The fourth week of April, we’re back to the deeper, more sobering elements of the Christian life. It is the truth that living a bold, Christian life is getting harder in the United States; but it cannot be denied that we remain a blessedly free people. I listen regularly to In the Market with Janet Parshall. Janet often covers the issues of the persecuted church world-wide. Each time I hear a broadcast exposing the terrible truth about “over-there,” my heart breaks and little shards of it prick my spirit – why cannot I not remember to pray? If I can do so little physically (which is not so little after all) how is that I allow a slothful heart to hinder my prayers for my persecuted brothers and sisters?

So this week, I will introduce you to Voice of the Martyrs.  Together, we will become more aware and accountably committed to praying for them.

I look forward to April’s showers with you. May God shower you with His grace and a deeper knowledge of Him.