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Angela Light

Walking it out- the great, the messy & in between

Faith in Fitness?

Posted by angela on March 31, 2015
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Join me in welcoming guest writer Jack Santora!  

Think your faith and fitness do not intersect? Check out Jack’s perspective!! 

You might be wondering where you can find the work of God in the world of fitness. I mean after all it’s a realm that is highly saturated with self-absorption, vanity, and an obsession for aesthetic results. It feeds on the desires of boys, girls, men and women to have six-pack abs or a tight hind quarter. The industry thrives on supplements, diets, and fad workouts. What worked for Joe Schmo is perfect for you and everyone else in this world for a small monthly payment of an arm and a leg… So where is God in it all?

B.C. (before I knew Christ…) I was someone caught in these worldly lies. Chained by self-consciousness, I relied on the opinions of others to create a false identity. It was easy to get pulled into, but the reality is that all the hours spent in a gym and those “Men’s Health” muscles still leave you feeling empty inside. Some people strive endlessly and work tirelessly to fill that giant void, only to come up empty handed.

And even though physical training is of some value, holiness will serve a greater purpose in this life and the one to come (1 Timothy 4:8).

God desires that we as Christians are disciplined (1 Corinthians 9:27) and that we worship no other idols. While the gym is a great place to begin with self-discipline, society often idolizes the athletes and models that spend their days there, making them into something more than human. Or, just as dangerous, we can even begin to obsess over our own appearance or abilities. Either way, it’s at this moment that the focus has been taken from God and placed in the world. We forget that God created us as beautiful unique individuals. He delicately wove our path with a purpose to fulfill and He’s providing us a unique platform to further His Kingdom.

I’ve found that the gifts the Lord has blessed me with, have given me the opportunity to come in contact with many broken people, physically and, more often than not, spiritually. Although they may not recognize it. I see temples left in ruins from years of abuse and mistreatment (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19-20).

Bound by fear, they wander in aimlessly looking for an answer in a change of appearance or marching orders from a physician threatening them to exercise “or else”. Their mindset is usually hesitant and they lack motivation, faith, hope, and the belief that they can ever accomplish what they’ve set out to do. If only they knew they could do all things through Christ who gives them strength (Philippians 4:13).

My point is this… the Lord is with us every step of the way in all that we do. I believe the more focus we are able to put on Christ in every environment, the more God will continue to bless our lives and the desires of our hearts. Keep in mind, God does His work from the inside out. So is it really that surprising that we often have to change the way our hearts feel about exercise and nutrition before we see the visible changes physically?

More often than not, we become impatient or lose focus. The devil will always be there to try to distract, derail, and misguide our efforts. He wants to see us fail and fall into his traps because he is out to destroy all things beautiful.

Regardless of the path, I know that God has plans that are good for each and every one of our lives, plans to prosper and not harm, plans to give hope and a future. What more loving promise is there than this? All we have to do is seek Him with all of our heart.

So where is God in it all? In you…

 

Jack Santora is an Exercise Physiologist at a wellness & fitness facility in Columbus Ohio. Connect with Jack at www.facebook.com/JSantoraEP

 

Check out this blog site!!http://purposefulfaith.com/

Enough evidence to convict?

Posted by angela on March 24, 2015
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Today is something new to the blog!!! I wanted to offer different perspectives of our journey as Christ followers & have invited a few guests to offer their insights. Please join me in welcoming guest writer Bruce Ostermeyer.

 

If you were charged with being a Christian would they have enough evidence to convict you?

 

Jesus said in Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Are you a wise man? Have you ever been a wise man? I guess the bigger question is do you struggle to continue to be a wise man as defined by Jesus.

Jesus goes on to talk about those who hear his words but do not practice them have built a house on sand and not a rock foundation. Throughout my life I have been fortunate to have people enter my life to keep my house on a rock foundation.
Many people say work and religion are a bad mix. You should not pray at work, read a Bible at work or talk to people about your faith. I have never let work interfere with my walk with Jesus. Many of the people who have stepped into my life to help me regain footing have been co-workers.

At a young age I worked for a small telemarketing company. I had just started to date my future wife. I had met a person through her who became a spiritual mentor but it was at work where God’s work was in play. I was struggling with my performance as a sales representative. The Sales Manager decided to move my desk in to an office with the top performing Sales Representative.

Every morning I would walk in and listen to various tapes. Most were Christian speakers or Christian recording artists. He would constantly talk to me about being successful was really in God’s Hands. Basically, if I was a believer in God and it was in God’s plan I would be successful.
One afternoon he walked over to my desk and pulled up a chair. He talked about being a luke- warm Christian. He looked right at me and said if Jesus came back today would you have enough evidence to prove you were a Christian. Now we all know that Jesus knows everything about me so I’m thinking would I really have to do that?!

So he said let me rephrase that “If you were charged with being a Christian tomorrow would a court have enough evidence to convict you?”

It was the first time I had ever heard that phrase. It was very humbling…
I have had other co-workers who have stepped in and helped me move back on to the solid rock foundation. The question that always brings me back to where I’m at in my walk is “If I was charged for being a Christian would someone have enough evidence to convict me?”

How would you answer that question?

 

 

Bruce Ostermeyer is a former Operations Executive with a major bank. He has over 25 years of leadership experience. Bruce is married and has one son. He is widely known for his passion around being a Dad and is a respected mentor on this topic. Bruce often uses the quote “It is an honor to be a Dad and not a privilege.”

Not worried, just ‘concerned’….

Posted by angela on March 18, 2015
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I know we’re not supposed to worry and I have started saying ‘I’m not worrying, I’m just concerned’.
Am I kidding myself with a play on words?

Worry is constantly going over something again & again, wondering ‘what if this happens, or that’ and coming up with possible outcomes or scenarios. Worry includes such a preoccupation with thinking things over, we become almost obsessive about something. We analyze too much. Think it over & over with no different outcome too much. Dream up possible responses to things that may never happen.

The bible tells us to ‘not worry about what we’ll eat or wear’ that you have it covered. But I haven’t found in His word anything like ‘don’t worry about that job issue, this bill that you have no way to pay, that person who is going down a dangerous path’. If the bible covers the bill thing or college tuition or medical bills or getting a new job, I haven’t yet found the verse.

So what do we do? We may think since we can’t find a particular verse that spells out what we should do step by step then we better take care of it ourselves. It’s not covered in the bible, so we better get a plan.

So I dig more through scripture and realize that Jesus was addressing this very thing. No, he doesn’t specifically say ‘your child’s college bill, your medical bill, your job change’ but he did make statements that cover this. When we read through Luke 12 and see that Jesus explains that we shouldn’t worry about the basic stuff like food and clothing much less the bigger things we face. He even said worry accomplishes nothing and has no use. Instead focus on the kingdom and HAVE FAITH. Ahh…there it is. Faith. The basis of our whole relationship. Hmm, back to basics.

After Jesus covered how we shouldn’t worry and gave examples, I saw the one line tucked at the end of Luke 12:28…he said ‘why do you have so little faith?’
Ouch.
But God, it’s not that I have little faith…I do! I have faith in you but this situation isn’t going away and I see nothing for a solution in sight. Surely you want me to do something about this so HELP!

We cry out and sometimes we have a sense of a direction to handle the issue at hand. Many times, we don’t. We panic. We start the scheming and analyzing process AGAIN. Before we know it, we’re knee deep in a full throttle worry session that is starting to make us nuts.

I admit…I have not overcome this area of my life. I try and keep trying but haven’t mastered it yet.
When deadlines are imposed and I have to do SOMETHING and don’t feel or hear a sense from God on what to do…well, what else do we do but worry? Cry? Pray more?

I don’t have an answer to each of the issues I’m facing. I bet you don’t feel you have the answers to everything either.

I’m learning to cling in a new way however. I’m hanging on to the advice of Jesus…”Seek the Kingdom ABOVE ALL ELSE and he will give you everything you need’. Well, I need direction and answers. NOW.

Okay, but I need to see the kingdom above all else. Is it just me or does this feel more elusive at times than it should? I’m making it harder than it needs to be? Ever been there?I catch myself going into the spin cycle of freaking out or worrying. I then read another verse in Luke and almost missed it!

“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.” Luck 12:32

Don’t be afraid, little flock. This is so simple yet reassuring! Don’t be afraid of the outcome or this issue. And his term of endearment ‘little flock’ reinforces we are little children he wants to take care of. Just as us as parents want to rescue our children when they’re headed for disaster, he wants to take care of us if we will just get out of the way and let him.

I want this. I want to stop the worry cycle. So why don’t I? It’s a step by step process for me-for you too?

Hang in there with me! We have to practice putting our Seeking of the kingdom FIRST that displays our FAITH. These things in turn will keep us from our FEAR—so our Father will take care of things as he sees fit and as he leads us.

Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday lifewhether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. Luke 12:22
And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things? Luke 12:26
And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? Luke 12:28
These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. Luke 12:30-31

 

Check out this site for more about worry this week!!

http://tsuzanneeller.com/

Not ‘good’ enough

Posted by angela on March 4, 2015
Posted in Uncategorized  | 7 Comments

So I was speaking with a new acquaintance last week. She told how her husband had just gone through a heart attack and is now in rehab and what a struggle the past month has been.  I commented how great it is that he’s on the road to recovery and fortunate that she is by his side.

Her next statement has been rattling through my head since she said it “well, I told him God gave him a 2nd chance so he better be really good and not mess it up”. 

I thought she was joking since God doesn’t give us a ‘be good or else’ type salvation. I said something about how great is it that even if her husband isn’t ‘good’ that he’s still held by the Father. She looked at me like I was crazy and said ‘Yeah, right. Like it works that way’ and left.

I’ve been haunted by this exchange. I didn’t get a chance to speak with her further since she left the facility. But it made me realize how many of us may operate in our daily lives with this belief….or even more so—know this is false but continue to act like its true.

Ever have these thoughts run through your head:
• “I better not mess up again. Surely God has had enough of me and all my problems”
• “I lived through this situation by God’s grace—I better work a lot harder to keep Him happy from now on.”
• “God only has so much patience so this time, finally, I better get it right”

Or perhaps you’ve had someone comment to you:
• “Well, you’re one of those church Christian types, so you probably don’t have issues like I do. You wouldn’t get it.”
• “You Christians act like you’re so great but you’re all hypocrites since I know some Christians that do a lot more bad stuff than I do”

Whenever these type exchanges happen, it always saddens me. The depth of misunderstanding so many people have of Jesus followers. Some think we’re all ‘better’ or pretend to be better. Others see what train wrecks many of us are and use it as an excuse that we’re no better than anyone else, so we must be hypocrites.

I know, there are a zillion examples and I’m sure you’ve experienced some in your life as well.

This screams something to me—we have to let them know! Know they are not stuck in their current choices as a permanent prison. There is a way out.

Let them know there is more…much more than hanging out at a church on Sunday. There is something very real that can change their lives, just as it has every believer.

Yes, Christians make mistakes-we all know this. We are human and mess up—some of us a lot more than others (okay, so that was intended for me!)

But when others watch us in our struggle—the unwed pregnant teen daughter, the unkind words, the drug addiction, the cheating spouse, the financial dishonesty,etc . Of course, these are all examples of things none of us want but sometimes happens.

What the world sees is our mistake or colossal sin. What they don’t see is our place with God. What they need to understand is despite our mess, He still holds us and doesn’t kick us out. How do they see that? You, me. We show them. How we humbly give it to Him and walk forward in healing.

We are on a mission, I know. Our mission field is whoever we have contact with on a daily basis. To show them a different way, a different mindset, a freedom they’ve never had before. Yes, a true freedom.

Not something you make up and follow your ‘own’ spiritual journey and redefine who God is based on what you want.

This is an important task friends! We are called to go forth…even in our daily mundane routines. Even when we think no one is watching. Others need to see we are saved by His grace and not our own actions.

I encourage you to reach out to someone you normally wouldn’t this week. Not to unleash a sermon on them, but just a word of encouragement, something to let them know they have value. Many people are so broken they feel there is no value left in them. Or they don’t do enough ‘good’ anymore.

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit… Titus 3:3-5

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Check out this link also!! http://www.susanbmead.com/light-of-god-video-linkup/

Link up with http://tsuzanneeller.com/

Link up with Kelly Balarie

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