Archive | May 2011

Another blow in the face/Remember Hebrews 12!!!

Well it’s 2 am Sunday night, and I think this time I’ll actually apply Hebrews 12 (endurance) when it comes to going to sleep.  But I didn’t follow that lesson today.  For the past few days God has really called me to Hebrews 12, which talks about endurance.  When I was doing the exercise on Friday I was ignoring it, and I don’t remember when else this week, [oh, yeah, it was making the ground turkey, which took me 1 and a half  hours] but I just kept coming back to that verse over and over again.

Today my dad was going to a funeral and he said somebody might be coming over on Monday (I don’t consider the day changing until the next day until after 6 am), and I knew I had so many things to do.  I have been really struggling with planning and cooking my meals so that the nutrition helps me lose weight and I spent all my energy doing that along with chores like cleaning the house, when the Word says, to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all will be added unto you.” [Matthew 6:33]  I realized that I was becoming a Martha (caught up with daily tasks) instead of a Mary (concerned about being around the people). [Luke 10:40]

I don’t know what time it was in the evening probably around 7pm and I felt so tensed, stressed out that I couldn’t physically move and I was lying down.  I didn’t know what to do.  I tried to pray, I couldn’t pray.  I just couldn’t fight any more and that’s when I forgot Hebrews 12.  So after a short pep talk with my pastor, I was like, “Oh, yah, duh, Hebrews 12 (Endurance/Discipline).  “You have not endured to the point of death like Jesus had.”  [v.1-4] “For the time being no discipline brings joy, but is grievous and painful. (but yields righteousness if endured)”. [v. 11]  My pastor said that the enemy knows our weaknesses, and if I try to give up and not fight or endure now, then what happens when things get really bad during the last days?  Will I be able to endure?  I also have the Holy Spirit inside me and that gives me strength.  That’s what I got from our short conversation.  I was also saying something about the atmosphere and I felt like there was something surrounding me that was making my tension worse, but that was just an excuse.

So I got up turned on the Christian Radio station that plays mostly hymns and I let it work through if that was the atmosphere.  Now I had some work on me to do.  I figured to start out small.  I  started by cleaning out a few sections of the bookshelf and making more space so at least I didn’t feel like my house looked hoarders.  I read parts of a book that had some useful tips on things I could include on my meal plans.  Also I got a brilliant idea, which came from God, that I should probably go and make my Turkey Burgers then, and make my Ground Turkey at the same time.

That was a stroke of genius that I have to thank God for.  So I did those things without too much stress, but my feet were tired.  I was happy that I was done, and I wouldn’t have to worry about that on Monday.  Then I could focus on more important things (by then I found out that no one was coming over) such as making a meal plan on Monday, getting a couple of things from the store on Monday and just taking more time to seek Him.

They sang my favorite worship song today “The More I Seek You.” at church.  Now it comes into perspective.  One thing that I am afraid of and worried about God forgive me, is the change of church to Saturday.  I know it has it’s shares of adjustments, which I am not going to go through now, but somehow I know it will work out.

I also learned that knowledge of the Word is not enough if it doesn’t not change your character.  It has to make you more consecrated and holy.  You should experience peace and joy through the day and you should be a pleasant person to be around and the light within your family and/or community.  I am asking God to help me calm down and experience the Living Word in my Life [In Jesus Mighty Name I pray]

After all I do have the Holy Spirit within me.  Shouldn’t I be reflecting it’s character?  Shouldn’t I be seeing fruits?  If not then I know there’s some things wrong that I need to change.  I know there are so many things I could be doing to be a better example of the presence of the Lord working in my life, but the Lord told me I need to take one day at a time because I have been trying to plan the whole world and it is just not within my capacity because I am simply human.  But it is the Holy Spirit who gives me the strength to go on and endure.  So I come humbly before Him to ask Him to make real to me, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.  Philippians 4:12 In Jesus mighty name I pray, {Amen}

Hebrews 12 and Discipline/Endurance

Today I am going to talk about one verse, which I wish had come to remembrance today when I was trying to do my endurance cardio workout.  I got on the bike frustrated that I had to do 45 minutes on the bike like my trainer had told me to do at home.  Since my regular 700 Club, didn’t record, I didn’t have a valid distraction.  I thought I had been going for a while, and then I looked at the clock on the bike, and it said 3:50 meaning that I had [only] gone 3 minutes and 50 seconds so then I started to get really emotional and crying because my head hurt, my back hurt and my leg hurt before I had even gone on the bike and I didn’t know how I was going to endure the remaining time and I wanted to give up, but my trainer told me this is what she wanted me to do and it would benefit me the most.  I wanted to do the easy 30 minute high intensity interval training, but this is not what I was supposed to do.  So then my sister talked me through this time and I had forgotten everything I had written about in the previous post about endurance from Hebrews 12:1-3 – you can go back to that.  It’s one thing to have knowledge of God’s Word, but to go and actually apply it in your life is a whole other ball game.  So after I was done without my workout I went back to look at Hebrews 12, and I found this –

11For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness–in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God]. (Amplified)

There were two things that my sister talked about and she never reads the Bible, that discipline (in regards to a grueling endurance cardio workout) is all about enduring through the tough things and motivating yourself to go on and pushing on despite all the pain.  Sure there are times when you feel like dying, but then you make yourself go through it and in the long run it will bring you to a place where you can be mentally strong and not just physically strong -[and even though she didn’t say this – it also makes you spiritually strong.]

What I now realize and hope I can remember the next time I have to workout, is that it will have a peaceable fruit, after having going through grueling and painful discipline.  I’m not sure if in this context the writer of Hebrews was talking about chastisement of the Lord, which is kind of like a spanking, but the same principle can be applied to the discipline it takes to go through any kind of training.  So my sister and I talked about “The Biggest Loser” again and now I recall that it is the type of discipline for training that you have to go through when you want to reach a goal.  The Navy Seals have to go through an intense version of this not to mention the whole military.

For myself I want to reach a goal of a healthy weight and a slim physique, but I also want also to mentally ready to be able to fight the enemy in any situation.  Often we let ourselves fall victim, and that is what I did today.  My mom called me a baby because I was crying, but actually it is true, when you take on that victim mentality it means that you are not more than a conqueror and that you believe that you are not strong enough to do what you need to do as much as you don’t like to do it.  In fact the more you don’t want to do something is probably the reason why it is the more you should do it.  I’m preaching to myself here.

The greatest test of faith is when you have to endure through discipline and training when you are by yourself.  When you are by yourself you will have no one to depend on except for yourself and the Holy Spirit.  There is something to be said for the people that are non-believers that can rely on the strength of will to get through difficult training and disciplining without realizing God is there and helping.  If you can depend on God when there’s absolutely nothing else and no one else to depend on that it will make you that much stronger and it will build your character so you can be a blessing to others during difficult times.  Just look at Jesus – He actually died on the cross and He had no one standing up for Him – Some of us think we are going to actually die at the thought of doing exercise and giving up chocolate, pizza, and soda – not that I eat that – but it is actually makes you stronger.  They say that “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  So exercise for most people won’t kill them, but having a victim mentality will.  The Bible says that “whoever endures until the end will be saved” (don’t know which verse).

For most if not all of my life I have been surrounded by people, and when I was not I became very depressed.  But I found that even in times when you are surrounded with a lot of people you can still feel alone unless you realize that the Lord is with you and has not forsaken you – (also from Hebrews) 13:5. So now I am constantly surrounded with at least one person and I have learned to cherish that time alone, but for some reason that principle didn’t apply to me when I was working out today.

I guess the Word that God has for me to share is that whenever you feel like you are about die because you cannot go through something and that you don’t have the strength to make it and you feel like you are in hell, just remember that it will be worth it because painful and grievous discipline brings about peaceable fruits.  Just like having a baby, I guess!!

Hebrews 12 and Endurance

Today I was watching “The Biggest Loser”, which is a show I watch every week where people train arduously to lose weight in a short period of time.  I have my own struggles with weight loss and am part of a gym right now.  My trainer just told me to do exercises at home and spend 45 minutes on the bike and she said it would build up endurance.  So I guess my word for the day is “endurance”.

I have completed a Bible Study at the church on Hebrews and it didn’t really sink in until I was reading Hebrews 12 today and the Word just sort of leaped out at me.  This is what I read –

Hebrews 12

1THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us,

    2Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.(A)

    3Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.


I think the first thing that struck me was “patient endurance and steady and active persistence”.  That is what it takes to train for something and to exercise and to lose weight and so many other things which require endurance and persistence.  Ideally we would like to be this way in all areas, and God has given us the ability to do so, but He knows that we cannot handle doing more than a few things at a time so He gives us what we can handle.  Navy Seals train with patient endurance and steady and active persistence, but they go to the extreme.  People on “The Biggest Loser” [and so do/should other people who like to lose weight] train with patient endurance and steady and active persistence.  Any athlete has to go through training and any competitor has to go through training.

Another thing that struck me was – Looking away from all that will distract to Jesus – Wow, I really had to repent for that one.  Isn’t watching The Biggest Loser a distraction?  Also yesterday, I was so focused on the news that I forgot to make my turkey, I forgot to put my laundry in the dryer until late.  Even with our goal we have to seek Jesus first.  My dad who is not a believer said, if you take away one hour away from God to focus on exercise, I think God will understand.  I know that God will understand, but what am I making more time in my life for is it 1)Sleep 2)TV/Entertainment 3)Diet/Nutrition/Exercise 4)God/Bible/Worship/Devotion/Prayer?  It is also important to have godly wisdom, and godly counsel because you could have your personal trainer telling you your health is your main thing, and your flesh telling you that Sleep and TV are the most important things, but the last thing you want to do in the day is to spend time in God’s presence when it will actually give you the most benefit.  It can all be confusing so it is very important to listen to God and to hear what He says, and the best way to do that is to meditate on His word, and like a member of our church once preached, “Don’t become constipated with it.” You have to share what you have learned.  The best way is to teach somebody.

The third thing that struck me was how Jesus bore bitter hostility and was brutally treated and agonized for sin so much so that he poured out blood for us [v.4]  and we are to reckon up and consider it all in comparison with our trials], so that we may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in our minds.  

Sometimes when I am exercising, especially when I am exercising, I grow weary, or exhausted, losing heart and feeling like fainting some times, so I just call upon God to give me the strength.  Sometimes I even feel like throwing up when I am on the bike, and it’s been only an hour after eating, and I just don’t want to do it.  I feel like, I am so tired, I am so exhausted, and then when I weigh myself I lose heart and just feel like quitting.  And if I do decide to quit, guess what – comes the next part later in the chapter, the chastening where I have ankle pain, plantar fasciitis, difficulty walking, all because I chose to give up or not tarry a little longer in my endurance and training to the point where I have to endure through the hard times.

God has a destiny for all of us – to make us to continue to push through and to brave all circumstances, and to carry out whatever mission that God has in store for us.  The problem is that, many of us, including myself, have become complacent as a whole.  The Church has become complacent.  The whole purpose of shows like “The Biggest Loser” is not just for people to lose weight or to get money, it is to show that when we get out of our comfort zone, which I also saw in “The Voice” today, things start to happen.  Commitment, Discipline, Endurance, Patience, and Love are all good qualities to have, but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have the love of the Lord in your life.

I am probably going to write more about Hebrews 12 because I was really touched by this, but if I do I will probably be up another 4 hours so I’ll probably stop at 1066 words right now.

[Verses taken from Amplified]- I’ll probably have to stop using that one once I reach 500.

Prayer for Joplin Tornado Victims and others in Midwest

This is a Prayer taken from Psalms 57, which The LORD has called me to pray…When we lift up our hearts to prayers and praise during times when circumstances seem difficult, The LORD honors that.

Revised – Prayer

Psalm 57

To the Chief Musician; [set to the tune of] “Do Not Destroy.” A record of memorable thoughts of David when he fled from Saul in the cave.

1BE MERCIFUL and gracious to us, O God, be merciful and gracious to us, for our soul takes refuge and finds shelter and confidence in You; yes, in the shadow of Your wings will WE take refuge and be confident until calamities and destructive storms are passed.

2 We will cry to God Most High, Who performs on our behalf and rewards us [Who brings to pass His purposes for us and surely completes them]!

3He will send from heaven and save us from the slanders and reproaches of him who would trample us down or swallow us up, and He will put him to shame. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! God will send forth His mercy and loving-kindness and His truth and faithfulness.

4 Our life is among lions; WE must lie among those who are aflame–the sons of men whose teeth are spears and arrows, their tongues sharp swords.

5Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let Your glory be over all the earth!

6They set a net for our steps; our very life was bowed down. They dug a pit in our way; into the midst of it they themselves have fallen. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

7 Our heart is fixed, O God, our heart is steadfast and confident! WE will sing and make melody.

8Awake, our glory (our inner self); awake, harp and lyre! WE will awake right early [WE will awaken the dawn]!

9 WE will praise and give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples; WE will sing praises to You among the nations.

10For Your mercy and loving-kindness are great, reaching to the heavens, and Your truth and faithfulness to the clouds.

11Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Your glory be over all the earth.

We lift up this prayer before You, O Father God, that we come united and glorify You above all else.  Please hear our prayer and respond to our heart’s cry.  We need You now when times are dark.  Please spare Your Judgement from us.  If there is any one righteous person in the land please spare the land.  You died for us and though some of us might be ready most of us are not so we just call up0n You most High and we lift up Your name to be exalted.  Help us to be still and know You are God.  Be merciful to us Father God, and hear our prayers.  Hear us from heaven, and heal our land.

I pray this in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen.

American Values and Chivalry gone?

In light of things that have been going on in the news lately I have been beginning to ponder the role of American Values in our society.  It is May 2011 and I was watching a YouTube video about a politician who lied and cheated in 2008.  This has seemed to be a common display these days.  It makes me wonder what happened to our moral standards and what moral standards do we live by today?

In high school we had to study about King Arthur and the round table.  We had to study about “chivalry”, which can be defined as moral, religious, and social standards met by the knights in the medieval time period.  Even then we read that the Queen was unfaithful with Sir Lancelot.  So maybe the moral standard was not as glorified as we think it was back then.  In Sir Gawain the Green Knight talks about another I think it was queen who tempted him to be unfaithful.

In this country it is not illegal for a man to cheat on his wife and have another child with another woman out of wedlock or to commit adultery.  In God’s Law it is illegal and punishable, but men in the Bible like David, Solomon, and even Abraham committed these acts because they were not listening to the Lord and they had to face these consequences.  The Bible says that even if you lust after someone with your own eyes it is like committing adultery with them in your heart.  It seems like lust and adultery are the building blocks of our society.  People are going after what they see dangling in front of them like forbidden fruit and they are tempted and they give in.  It would be nice if we had people that are politicians or role models that led lives that we could look up to.  Even pastors are guilty of this.  They tend the sheep but they don’t behave like shepherds.  Instead they behave like wolves in sheep’s clothing.

So if even in the Bible people were imperfect, there was one person who was perfect who we can use as a role model and that was Jesus.  In the wilderness He was tempted in all accounts and yet without sin.  So He probably and actually had the devil telling Him all kinds of things to make Him give in to temptation, but He did not sin.  So He is our example.

The Jewish law when it comes to adultery is very clear and so is it clear when Paul reemphasizes it for us in Corinthians.  So that is a good guideline to follow.

When the government started taking Christianity out of schools children were left without a moral standard to go by.  In this regard I have to admire the Asian cultures because even though they may not be Christian, they instill values in their children not to date until they are much older than American kids, which lets them avoid entering into the statistics of teenage pregnancy and abortion, but they have other shares of problems.

Maybe it’s not all completely bad right now because with the current headline this man is being condemned and people are not glorifying this infidelity, but I think for a society as a whole we need to have a clearer set of moral standards that really go out and convict people and give them a sense of guilt for knowing that what they are doing is wrong.  We have all been given a conscience and we need to act on that conscience, especially men, and go towards the narrow path of doing what’s right instead of straying away in to this place of darkness America has come to as a whole.

God wants us to be holy like Him, and He accepts our failures and our flaws, but He is encouraging us to steps to be more like Him.  I struggle with this sometimes because as I try to watch a nice television movie on a Saturday night that starts at 7pm all I find is things that promote witchcraft and occultism, have nudity and profanity, violence or horror.  What happened to the values that are in us that say we want to watch something nice like the Blind Side, or other inspirational, motivating, and uplifting movies?  Have they gone down the tube – no pun intended- or do we actually enjoy filling our minds with junk?  So then I just shift my focus onto something productive.  It’s time like this I feel like John Stossel when he used to say, “Gimme a Break!!”  So I say America [the government and media] “Gimme a break!”

For this, even being a conservative, I have to admire President Barak Obama because through all his time that he’s been married there hasn’t been much speculation about any affairs and he seems to be totally in love with his wife and his children have a standard to look up to so I applaud him for that, but then again that’s what they had said about this man in the news.  I doubt Mr. President is like that.  At least we have one politician who serves as a role model when it comes to living a life committed to his wife.

It is hard to find a man who doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t do drugs, is a virgin and single, or is married and faithful and committed, unless he truly follows after God and lives up to a high moral standard.  These are all standards that men should look up to along with developing their character.

Women are also guilty of their own share of problems, but that is a topic for another day.