Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Blog Relocated

I have relocated this blog. Hope you'll connect with me at this link.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Proverbs 4:20-22 and Our Health

How can words help our health? Proverbs 4:20-22 tells us "My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body."

As I read this I understand God to be be saying to read the Bible, His words and to keep what we read deep inside... in our heart. I have intentionally read scripture over and over again and the more I read the more I sense that His spirit... the Holy Spirit, mixes with my spirit deep in my heart... my inner self. When this occurs my body and my mind responds in healthy ways. The more often I read the Bible the better I appreciate what God has in store for me and the better I understand how much He loves me.

I believe that is one of the secrets to living a really full life... understanding the love that God has for us as an individual. When we really believe this we begin to live it out. By that I mean that we are better able to develop and sustain habits that honor our body and honor God. We also are better able to keep our mind on things of God and not things of this world.

So, allow God's words... His truths... found in the Bible, to penetrate your heart. This will bring you a richer and fuller life... and good health, in spirit, mind and body.

Have a super day!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Psalm 119:143 and Stress Management

The Bible has much wisdom regarding stress and how to manage it. "As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands" is from the New Living Translation of Psalm 119:143. The New International Version says "Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight."

This says that as a person becomes stressed that he can find relief by following the principles and commandments of God that are found in the Bible. I would contend that the Bible is the first book written on stress management. As you read and study God's Word you find that there are so many nuggets of truth and such great wisdom. The reader can gain so much if his heart and spirit are open to this great wisdom and God's principles.

More and more I have found that as I ask God to reveal to me His truths, I find them. And as I find them tucked throughout His Word, I then am challenged by figuring out how to implement these truths in my life. That is the challenge we all have... how to make it personal to us and then to do it!

There are many sites on the internet that refer to other Bible verses that might assist us when we are stressed. Here is one site. The principles found in these verses are in fact what God would want us to implement during stressful times.

As I reflect on a few of His principles a few come to mind. First, cry out to God. This is a form of Spiritual Exercise. So many times in the Bible you read where people cried out to Him when there had heavy burdens or we "stressed." Simply taking time to open up our hearts to God during these times is so very critical. For me, I have to make it a point to go deeper into my heart, not just converse with God from my mind. To be really effective for me, it has to be a heart thing. That is where we really live and relate... from our hearts. If we expect God to provide direction and strength and sooth us during difficult times, I believe He wants us to come to Him from deep within... from our hearts.

I have also learned that it takes making a certain amount of time to be alone with God. This must be a precursor to crying out to Him. We have to be able to slow way down and spend time with Him. Too often I let time rush by. One day becomes two and two days become three. I might have thought about my concerns and lifted them up to God in a quick prayer and this is good but it is not as good as spending some dedicated quiet alone time with Him. When I am able to do this and still by inner self...still my heart and go to God in an intentional deliberate way I am rewarded by the peace that comes my way. This more complete and deep peace and calmness does not come when I send off a 'quick' prayer to Him. Those quick prayers don't seem to give my spirit time to mix with His Spirit in the same way that comes from a lingering time with Him.

So, a key to being able to better manage our stress is to read the Bible and know His principles, His commandments and then to implement them into our day to day lives.

Read It. Study It. Do It! And have a wonderful day!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

John 4:31- 34 and Nourishment

Recently the idea that blogging on scriptures related to health might be insightful and helpful for me as well as readers. With that in mind, this is my first entry.

In John 4: 31-34 Jesus was urged by his disciples to eat some food. They felt he needed some food because it had been a while since he had eaten. Jesus responded that he had food available to him that they did not know about. He told them, "my nourishment comes from doing the will of God who sent me and from finishing his work." This "work" was to spread the news to people about his Father's love and of the joy and everlasting life that people could have if they knew of this love in a personal way.

Yes, Jesus needed the same type of nourishment in traditional food just as we do today. But He knew that His more meaningful nourishment came from doing what He came to earth to do... to bear all of our sins... past, present and future... so that we might have everlasting life when we die and so that we might have a more abundant/full life while we are here, being filled with His love.

As I read these verses, it causes me to reflect on what "nourishment" I need. True, I need carbohydrates, proteins and fats to fuel and nourish my body. I need to consume a healthy diet of foods so that I have the energy to function. I need the correct nutrients for my mind to work properly. When I run, I rely on a certain amount of glucose floating around in my blood to fuel my muscles. But these are for physical functions. What does my spirit need to perform the spiritual functions God would have for me?

Deep in my spirit I believe I am called to share the 'Good News' of who Jesus is and about the love of God with others. As my heart is set on this and I am in this mode, I am nourished in a way that I cannot be by eating even the healthiest of foods. As Psalm 81:10 reads, "Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things." God is telling the Psalmist, and me(and us), that if I open my spirit to Him that He will fill me with good things deep in my inner most being. Well, I think that God placed in me a deep desire to share with others about His love. To tell others about His goodness. To provide hope to others. And when I do this, deep in my spirit, I am nourished.

So my questions to you are.... what type of nourishment do you need? How is your spirit nourished or fueled? Are there other scriptures that speak to you on this topic?

Have an awesome day!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Is Belief in Your Heart or in Your Mind?

Is believing that Jesus is your savior a heart thing or a mind thing? Is it true that we have to pass that idea through our mind before we believe this in our heart? What if our mind blocks the concept that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and was resurrected? If our mind does not accept this how can we believe it in our heart? Is it possible that our hearts can overrule our mind in this matter. Can a person chose to accept this in his/her heart even though the mind is not able to comprehend it?

This is an area where it seems clear that the mind and the heart are inseparable. So much of our faith is, on the one hand, a heart thing, yet it seems that the mind has a certain degree of control over what the heart will believe. Yet Romans 10:9 says that "if you believe in your heart that God raised him(Jesus) from the dead, you will be saved." It says nothing of your mind.

I believe that we must make a choice to believe in our heart even though our mind might think something else. Isn't this the essence of faith? Believing what we can not see or comprehend.

What are your thoughts? Have you struggled with something big and been able to believe in your heart something different than you were thinking in your head?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Being Connected to God

My most recent article for Faith and Fitness magazine is on the spiritual exercise of abiding with God. When we stay closely connected to God, we can enjoy the many fruits that He desires for us to have like peace and kindness and joy along with the power to make behavior changes that He intended us to have. We are more likely to behave and think in a way that aligns us with His will for our life. We can have the hope that can only come from being close to Him.

As I write this entry I have some soft Christian music playing on my
Ipod. I feel His presence... and from that I feel joy in my heart. I hope that you'll take a few minutes to read the article at the link above. And I hope that you'll reap the benefits from abiding with God.

Have a blessed day! :-)


Monday, September 3, 2007

Where I Write My Best Stuff

It's Labor Day and it's been a few months since I have been able to get outside to my patio out back and write something. It's just been too darn hot in Charlotte during these hot summer months. I have read about how writers have a spot that they like to do their writing from. Some sneak away to a mountain retreat. Others make their way to a lush green park with flowers and birds all around.

I am fortunate to be able to have a patio surrounded by plants and flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. There is also a very small plastic-tubed pond with trickling water. I've missed coming out here to be in the presence of God's natural setting. When I am here, my thoughts flow more easily. I feel like I am closer to God and that I can better hear what His Spirit is saying to me.

It's especially here that I like to sit and ponder what to write for the series of articles on Spiritual Exercises for a Healthier Life I am writing for Faith and Fitness Magazine. All previous articles for the magazine are at that site or on the Resources page of my web site.

As a monarch butterfly flits from flower to flower on a nearby butterfly bush and a Ruby Red hummingbird whizzes by, I'm off to write my next article.

Hope you've had a relaxing Labor Day.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Whole-Person Health

When we know the healer and receive His love and know and believe who we are in Him, we can be set free!

Earlier today I spent an hour on the phone with a wise, gentle man,
Dan Fountain, M.D.. In his career he has spent many years in Africa, caring for people of the Congo, attending to their "whole person" needs. He shared with me several accounts of how people would come to him with various illnesses and diseases. Time and time again, when he and his staff would take the time to care for their spirit, these people's physical health improved dramatically. He shared that when these people were "cleaned out on the inside" they were more healthy on the outside(physically).

Dan is now educating and training pastoral care staff and the medical community on how to care for the whole person, using a Biblical approach. He uses
Psalm 139:23-24 as a sort of "Spiritual MRI" when he ministers to individuals. So many of us, he notes, have things in our past that are unresolved and impact in a negative way on our emotional health and subsequently on our physical health. He trains laypeople how to walk a person through their past to identify issues that impact on their health. Then, in a loving and caring way, these laypeople are able to guide persons through a process which restores their health. They share about the love of Jesus and how God sent His son to help us to be totally free and whole.

If you're in the health profession and have experience in providing this sort of ministry to the people you serve, I'd love to hear from you and about your experiences.

For those of us who have experienced God's love in a very personal way, and have experienced inner healing through His love, I think He wants us to share that with others... so that others can experience the same kind of freedom, and wholeness.

Is your physical health affected by what's been 'eating at you' on the inside? You can be free from that and enjoy improved physical health. Read Psalm 139 and ask Jesus to point out anything that might be impacting on your spiritual or emotional health.... and ask Him to free you completely from this burden or pain. He will if you ask Him deep in your heart! If you do not know Jesus in a personal and meaningful way, visit with a local pastor at a church or a trusted friend who you believe to be a Christian, a follower of Christ. If you're not sure about doing either of those things, send me an email and I'll share my insights with you.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Integrating Faith and Fitness

This morning I conducted a first session for a new personal training client. As we were walking during the 1 mile walk assessment to determine her cardiovascular fitness level she asked me what a good walking pace would be for a solid workout. I mentioned that a 15 minutes/mile pace would be something she could shoot for.

As we wrapped up the session we spoke briefly about goals and "targets" for the training and gained a commitment from her that she would look on the positive side of her efforts and to not focus on what fitness level she was currently at. We then briefly talked about some spiritual or faith-related "targets" to help her.

A strong believer, she understands the importance of mixing her faith with her intentions and actions to become more fit. I had previously challenged her to pick out three scriptures that spoke to her personally about her intentions to become more physically active. She had done her homework and written these out. I reminded her of the importance of speaking these scriptures out loud and that this would help to mix her spirit with God's Holy Spirit that is inside her.

Just as this new client of mine has done, if you are attempting a behavior change to impact upon your health and fitness level, I encourage you to integrate your personal faith into your efforts. Think Biblical truths about who you are and how God is helping you. Pick out a few scriptures that are meaningful and write them out. Perhaps put them on a 3x5 card and keep them visible to refer to them, even consider memorizing them. This is a form of spiritual exercise that if practiced regularly will help you in your behavior change efforts.

Well, it's going to be another near-100 degree day in Charlotte. I'll be drinking a lot of water and staying inside when I can.

Be healthy and be fit!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Morning Exercise & Personal Confessions

The last two days for me have been terrific! I attribute this to a practice I have incorporated into my morning physical exercise. I have read out loud

personal confessions that I have typed and printed out.

A few weeks ago I started to browse through my Bible, beginning with the book of Matthew, to find verses I had previously underlined. These verses must have made an impact on me at one time or another. I wrote out these scriptures in the form of a personal confession. A partial list is at this link. so you can get the idea. These are God's truths as they speak to me personally.

Reading these personal confessions out loud has a tremendous effect. It gets God's truth deep into my spirit. It helps to mix my spirit with His Holy Spirit that lives in me. It helps to renew my mind. It sets my mind on things above. And it gets me thinking about God and Jesus and who I am in God... my true identity. As I have taken time to do this each of the last two days, it has prepared me for the day and circumstances that lie ahead of me.

I challenge you to try this. Don't just take my list and use it but create your own confessions. Perhaps use the same technique I used if you have made it a practice of underlining scriptures. Or you might look into the books of Proverbs or Psalm to pick out relevant verses that you find meaningful. If you do this, I'll bet that you notice a difference in how the day goes.

Let me know....... and have a great day in the Lord!!