LASTing Peace, “How Does God Want Me to Workout?”


Does God want you to exercise? Is all exercise a vain and idolatrous pursuit? Let’s talk about that today.
Here’s the link to Desiring God that I mentioned in the video:
http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/exercising-the-body-for-the-sake-of-the-soul?utm_source=Desiring+God&utm_campaign=f157fa03e9-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6da5f8315b-f157fa03e9-99428477
Because He Lives!

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Wisdom Borrowed From John Piper

This (lengthy) nugget by John Piper seems to address the tremor of our hearts here on Predatory Lies. The culture’s prevalent lies about our physical beauty and maturity have led many to seek cosmetic surgery. The study that Piper sites is rattling.

No matter your age, what do you feel about your body?

What have you done–if anything–to alter it?

Do you regret your decision?

 

Boomer’s Bodies — And Yours

All of the 10,000 people in America who turn 65 each day have wrinkles. Our skin is more flaccid. Our complexion is more mottled. Our equilibrium is more tenuous. And our hair is more scarce. The effect of aging on our appearance and our bearing is universal. No one escapes. Except by death.
The reason for this is that God has subjected the creation to futility (Romans 8:20). It is in bondage to corruption (Romans 8:21). Even new creatures in Christ groan, waiting for the redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:23).
In other words, when sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, God established a connection between moral depravity and physical deterioration. He intended to make clear that, even if we ignore the dreadfulness of a sinful heart, we will not be able to ignore its witness in the debility of the body.
This is a hard pill for beautiful and robust Boomers to swallow. We have been strong. We have been pretty. Even sexy. And now we realize: We will never have it back. It is over. For good. Until death stops the process we will only get weaker, more wrinkled, more mottled.
Some of us cannot let it go. We resort to plastic surgery in the hopeless attempt to make the looks of youth last a little longer. An article in Psychology Today observes,
Cosmetic surgery is still on the increase throughout developed countries. . . The “looks industry” is alive and well.
But the fix might be more in the head than on the face. Joshua Zimm, from the University of Toronto and his colleagues published a study in 2013 showing that facial cosmetic surgery does not significantly enhance attractiveness and only reduces perceived age by 3.1 years.
The growth of cosmetic surgery is not a reflection of the increasing ugliness of people but a reflection of our increasing negative self-perception. The fact that cosmetic surgery is still increasing in popularity despite showing little positive outcome — objective measure of attractiveness or youth — points again to our desire to become perfect.
Adolescent in Our Thinking
In other words, Boomers don’t look older than previous generations. But we are less content with looking older. We crave the power and the beauty our bodies once had. We are, to a large extent, still adolescent in our thinking about our looks.
Let the Christian Boomers turn this around.
We have found the fountain of youth. His name is Jesus Christ. “He will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Philippians 3:21). Our dying body is like a seed planted in the ground. “It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power” (1 Corinthians 15:43).
Aging in Holiness and Grace
Aging Christians don’t stay beautiful and strong in this life. But they do become beautiful and strong in the resurrection. The implication is: Don’t pour your time and energy and resources into artificial aging inhibitors. Pour them into aging with holiness and grace.
“Older men, be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness” (Titus 2:2).
“Older women, be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. Teach what is good, and train the young women” (Titus 2:3–4).
Don’t be part of the tragic millions who desperately try to look and act younger than they are. It is usually pathetic to watch. A deep Arizona leathery tan does not make wrinkled skin look young.
Because of God’s grace, aging is not only a witness to the fall. It is also now a witness to the power of God’s grace. For those who trust him, God has turned deterioration into dignity.
Let these markers of aging be your goal.
1. Realism
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30). The real beauty — the real praiseworthiness in life — is not our outward appearance. It is our reverence for God. This is the real beauty of life.
2. Humility
“Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor” (Ezekiel 28:17). Physical beauty is not a bad thing. But it is a dangerous thing — like wealth (Matthew 19:24). Let the loss of it make us humble. For humility is a beautiful thing.
3. Legacy
“Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life” (Proverbs 16:31). “The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair” (Proverbs 20:29). The point is not that only righteous people get old. The point is that when a righteous life is crowned with age, it is a beautiful thing. A thing of honor, not shame.
4. Honorable weakness
“You have been borne by me [the Lord] from before your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save” (Isaiah 46:3–4). God has carried us from the womb. We have never been self-sufficient. Now in old age we have the honor of making that crystal clear. The glory of a human is to be carried by God.
Consumed with Ministry, Not Mirrors
Evelyn Harris Brand grew up in a well-to-do English family. She had studied at the London Conservatory of Art and dressed in the finest silks. But she went with her husband to minister as missionaries in the Kolli Malai mountain range of India.
After about ten years her husband died at age 44. After a year’s recuperation in England, she returned and poured her life into the hill people until she was 95. She lived in a portable hut, eight feet square, that could be taken down and moved.
Her son, Paul, commented that “with wrinkles as deep and extensive as any I have ever seen on a human face . . . she was a beautiful woman.” But it was not the beauty of the silk and heirlooms of London high society. For the last twenty years of her life she refused to have a mirror in her house! She was consumed with ministry, not mirrors (see Future Grace, 288-289).
This is what God, by grace, does with our aging. He takes the deep creases of our bondage to corruption and turns them into the dignity of spiritual beauty.
May millions of Christian baby Boomers show the world how the gift of aging is received.

Interruption Applied

I’m finally getting somewhere.

Thanks goes to Jen Hatmaker for keeping me up not just one night, but several nights. And thanks, too, for not simply revealing straight away what God’s message was for me in all of this (I guess that’s not fair. How could she know?). Instead she let me sit and percolate the truths in her new book Interrupted. It was a slow process; she saved the best part for last.

It was this quote, near the end of the book, that started stirred me:

“I used to reside exclusively in Christian subculture: I read James Dobson to learn how to parent, studied Dave Ramsey to learn how to budget, sang Third Day for inspiration, went to Women of Faith conferences for encouragement, consulted Christian Coalition voting guides to see how to vote, and read Tim LaHaye for my fiction fix. This was the controlled bubble I lived in with a few hundred of my closest friends…When your running in the middle of a herd of buffalo, everything looks identical. What we see becomes our reality.”

Jen meant this to explain the shallow, sheltered life that many Christians live in, the safe bubble that gives us our “sanctified buffer” such that we hope others see us doing godly things and are impressed by our “awesomeness” to come to Christ without us having to actually associate with the “worldly ones”. Truthfully, I’ve been one of that crowd, part of the herd of buffalo. But that began shifting a few years ago. This time, God is after something different in me.

This morning, a strand of light broke through. God began highlighting similar messages in Scripture and through a few different pastors I’ve been reading and listening to: Steven Furtick, John Piper, John Bloom and Ann Voskamp.

Truth is dawning, albeit slowly, but I’m getting it. It has much to do with maturity–not confusing it with growth, moving beyond the milk of the Word, the testimony of my recovery from anorexia, my easy obedience to Christ and my walk in the Spirit. Moving past the parameters (read: safe bubble), I’ve established, where I know “what works”. 

For all of my life, I’ve sought my “calling”, what I’m supposed to do, and sought to settle in there. My writing has been accepted by publishers and editors–that’s all I have to do now, right–just write about Jesus? Surely, God’s plan was to develop my testimony. I’ve shared it. Now I can sit back as one of the “stories with a happy ending” and continue to follow my calling?

And now we’re full circle back to Interrupted. God’s been interrupting my sleep and peace all week. He’s been overlaying Jen’s testimony on my own life to reveal a personal correction and gentle admonition: Move on. You’re growing, now continue to mature.

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19

Glorified in Consumption

On Monday, I referenced  John Piper in his article, “To Drink Orange Juice to the Glory of God.” 

As a follow up, I decided it would be valuable to provide you with the whole article, for a fuller perspective on the topic.

Coming out of an eating disorder, my ability to eat, not to mention my motives for eating were completely topsy-turvy. Anxiety welled in my throat at the mere idea of certain foods. How could I ever take those thoughts and fears captive so that I could do everything, yes, even eating, for God’s glory?

Here’s John:

Some of you then asked the practical question: Well, how do you “eat and drink” to the glory of God? Say, orange juice for breakfast?

God is All About HIS Self-esteem

What if God gave us marriage more to make us HOLY than to make us HAPPY? ~ unknown author, taken from Judi Rossi’s book Enhancing Your Marriage

Esteem. The Bible admonishes us not to anything from selfish ambition or vain conceit. As I look back over the expensive efforts I’ve put into my marriage – be they financially, emotionally or energy expensive – I have to wonder – who was I doing this for?

It’s true that I want my marriage to honor God, but what has been my driving motivation? I recently started an online counseling program, to hold me accountable in my eating disorder recovery. I’ve come a long way, but I know that aftercare is essential (been there, done that relapse thing). Within the first two days of work, my mentor has brought one common theme to the forefront:

My motivation for recovery is the determining factor in my success.

John Piper says, “God is most glorified in me, when I am most satisfied in Him.”

Simply put, God is all about God’s Esteem. My ultimate joy hinges on my full-time employment to Esteem Him. When I esteem my Father above my own will and success He will see to my good. That’s the essence of Romans 8:28.

Through A Woman’s Healing Journey, and Enhancing Your Marriage and through Immanuel Prayer I have discovered that God was absolutely intentional about making me Patrick Kelly’s wife. Therefore, my investment in this marriage and my determination for it’s success must be for God (its Creator’s) glory. If I am simply concerned with my happiness and our compatibility then I should probably have walked away a long time ago. BUT, as I have strive hard toward God and He nudges me closer to my husband I am finding that I am more complete and joyful than I have ever been. Oh the goodness of God!

So, whether I eat or drink (conquering anorexia), whether you wed or choose singleness, whether I do anything at all, it must be for God’s glory if it is to succeed.

Tell the Truth Tuesday

What do you think is your biggest God-problem?

What is the most truth-resistant lie that you believe?

Recently, a friend of mine, Deanna Davis, posted a very vulnerable letter on her blog. She unveiled a tricky little lie that Satan employs to undermine active Christians. Self-effacing pride. Does that sound backward? Try this: I just need to get out of God’s way so that He can use someone really effective.

Actually, that is Satan’s ploy to convince a willing, evangelical Christian to shut up and host a pity party. John Piper says that faith doesn’t have a mirror. There comes a time when we have to quit analyzing ourselves – digging for secret sins, begging for conviction, bemoaning lost opportunities and searching our motives. In Psalm 139, David asks God to search and know his heart. He trusts God to reveal any hurtful way in him and to lead him.

I hope you enjoy Deanna’s post HERE. And then, without trying to hard to see yourself in her words, forget about yourself for a minute. Turn your eyes to the perfection of Jesus Christ and the urgency of sharing Him with the world.

How to Remember 9/11

Oh Dearest Friends,

I am struggling this week with how to treat the anniversary of September 11, 2001. Undoubtedly, flags will flutter at half-mast, comic strips will cease to strike at funny bones, somber expressions will roll across faces with the simple word, “remember.” And it’s not that I don’t remember, but I wonder if we don’t begin to trivialize the day’s significance with our dramatic television and radio replays. Does it seem to you that each year, each public medium tries to surpass what they did last year, or trump the emotional display put on by another venue?

So, this week I am not going to draw concentric circles around 9/11, deepening sadness and calling for patriotism.  September 11 was sad and Americans should be the most patriotic people on earth. But the day is past, we have a future to pursue and an obligation to tell everyone about Jesus.

That brings me to a compelling article written by John Piper. If you have ever entertained the idea or the question: Where was God on 9/11, then you MUST read this article.

WHY I DO NOT SAY, “GOD DID NOT CAUSE THE CALAMITY, BUT HE CAN USE IT FOR GOOD”

A Sovereign God and My Own Will?

Last week I devoted each day to a single chapter in Will Davis’ book, “10 Things Jesus Never Said.” One chapter that I did not get to was about God’s will. Basically, Will asks, “What happens if I miss God’s ultimate will for my life?” I have known times of near paralyzation, wondering – what if I go to the wrong college, marry the wrong guy, spend too much money on something God doesn’t want me to have, forget to pray for someone?

What if, what if,WHAT IF!?

John Piper is probably my all time favorite pastor. He is more than a little over my head, but his intellectual style forces me to stay awake and pay attention. John’s passion is unmatched. Another time, we’ll discuss John’s call to be a Christian Hedonist.  The phase itself sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? I subscribe to the blog at, Desiring God. Last week, a guest author addressed this troubling concept of finding God’s will. For once, it made sense to me why God sometimes seems to leave us in the dark.

That said, I believe it’s God’s will for me to share this post with you today, and save my breath for tomorrow.