By Susan Dollyhigh –
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).
As I made a drive-through deposit at the bank, I noticed that the teller kept looking up at me. As she returned the deposit slip to the metal bin, she said, “You sure remind me of a girl I went to school with.”
I asked her what the girl’s name was and the teller looked down as she tried to recall a name from long ago. Suddenly she looked up, smiled and said, “Geraldine Atkins.”
Time seemed to stop as I comprehended her words. Then I shared with her that my mother, Geraldine Atkins Shelton, had recently passed away.
With a smile the teller said, “She was such a sweet girl.”
The conversation left me feeling so many emotions. Sadness that my mother is gone. Happiness that I had talked to someone who knew her as a girl. Thankfulness that my mother had such a sweet and gentle spirit. And just a little pride that this stranger could tell that I was related to her.
As we go through life, others are looking to see who we might be related to. I hope that those I encounter might think, you know, she sure reminds me of Someone. I hope that there’s enough of Him and so little of me that His light shines through. I hope they can see His sweet and gentle spirit living in me. And if anyone ever asks if I’m related to a carpenter from Galilee, I’m sure going to feel just a little pride as I answer, “Yes.”
By Laurette Willis –
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23 KJV). This proverb of King Solomon’s is not referring to physical cardio training, but spiritual. We want to keep watch over what we are meditating on in our heart.
Is there unforgiveness or bitterness? Envy? Worry? If so, the answer is to exercise…. Exercise forgiveness, repentance and then cast your cares upon the Lord.
Being what I call a “Fit Witness” is wonderful not only for you—but the people around you! And they will want to know your secret. You can begin explaining your blessing with words like, “by the grace of God,” and then mention how you like to combine faith and fitness (such as doing PraiseMoves or prayer-walking).
As a child of God, you are a steward or caretaker of the body the Lord has given you. Did you know your body actually belongs to Him? “For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20 KJV). Both your spirit and your body are God’s property. Don’t let that scare you if you haven’t been taking as good care of His property as you could. Instead, realize He has a vested interest in helping you take care of your body! Ask Him to help you.
Physical Cardio Training
Cardiovascular training involves any activity that requires the use of the large muscle groups of the body in a regular and uninterrupted manner. It elevates the heart rate between 60 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. Some examples of cardio training include brisk walking, running, aerobics, cycling, elliptical training and rowing.
How Much Cardio
Most experts agree that cardiovascular training should last for 20 to 60 minutes, with the normal range being 30 to 40 minutes per session. Cardio should be performed a minimum of three days per week, with four to five days being optimal.
The Benefits of Cardio Training
- Burns calories
- Lose excess body fat
- Strengthens heart and lungs
- Elevates your mood—a real blues buster!
- Adds variety to your workout routine
When to Do Cardio Training
Most people find exercising earlier in the day is best. It helps them not to put it off. Some find after work is best for them. But any time you purpose to exercise is fine—just do it! Here are some tips:
- Avoid doing cardio exercises before bedtime. If you do, you may have a difficult time sleeping as the energy level of the body will be elevated for a while.
- If you are doing weight training too, try doing some cardio exercises right after, not before.
- A protein shake 30 minutes before cardio ensures you’ll have energy and won’t burn muscle protein during your workout.
- Exercise 2 hours after a larger meal.
Combine Physical and Spiritual Cardio
Select a scripture for the day and meditate on it while you are working out. Consider the scripture piece-by-piece and ask the Holy Spirit (our Teacher and Guide) to reveal hidden truths to you.
Build your faith muscles by speaking the scripture out loud as you are working out so you can hear yourself saying it. Remember, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17 KJV).
Combining these two forms of cardio exercise will thus ensure you will keep your physical and spiritual heart with all diligence.
Christian Fitness Expert Laurette Willis is the Director of PraiseMoves Fitness Ministry (http://PraiseMoves.com and on Facebook http://bit.ly/aAlS4u ). Take part in her free monthly teleseminars at http://ChristianFitnessTeleseminar.com .
By Sherri Holbert –
Imagine a soft ball of white, hyper fur who answers to the name Roxy. She was one of my favorite pets. She was a fluffy, spirited, extremely loving Eskimo Spitz. She was predictable. She had specific routines that she stuck to day after day. She loved to eat—a girl after my own heart.
Her morning routine at breakfast time was a sight to see. She looked liked a cotton ball on steroids running the 100 yard dash. The minute the garage door opened she would bounce off the front porch, fly at rocket speed around the corner of the house, bolt to the edge of the eight-foot-tall retaining wall, skid through the turn and cross the finish line with a catapulting jump off the low end of wall that landed her onto our driveway—very close to the food bowl.
One particular cold winter day, Roxy bolted out the door on her 100 yard food dash. Only this morning was different. A new twist to her dash soon caught poor Roxy’s undivided attention. A thin layer of black ice had carpeted the wall. As the song goes, “You can only imagine” the flying cotton ball on steroids in an instant had a new identity. She was now a spastic four-legged UFD (Unidentified Flying Dog). As she flew off the high side of the retaining wall her eyes were as wide as saucers! She was experiencing sheer panic as she tried to understand how to make four paws flap like wings of eagles.
Unsuccessful as a UFD, Roxy recovered from her brief identity crisis and by the next morning she was back to her typical self.
Roxy had her routines, things she did every day. I think we are the same way. We get comfortable in the fast paced secure routine of life. Sometimes, God has to send some “black ice” our way to get our attention. He changes our direction, gives us an unexpected circumstance and, yes, even sends us catapulting through the air in sheer panic. Why? So He can remind us of His identity and who we are in Him. He wants to shake us from our routines; our comfortable life, so we can experience His strength, His comfort, His presence.
So, whatever “black ice” you are experiencing today, just remember it is there for a purpose.
PRAYER: Father, thank you for the unexpected things that You bring into my life. Help me to seek You during my trials so I may become the person You desire me to be.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4 NLT).
Today’s devotion is by Donna McCrary and Sherri Holbert. As Life Coaches, they equip women to discover their life purpose. Learn more about their study DIVAS of the Divine: How to live as a Designer Original in a Knock Off World at: www.walkofpurpose.com.
Thorough the Fire
Written by Shawn Grady
Reviewed by Nora St. Laurent –
Back Cover: Firefighting burns in Aidan O’Neill’s blood. The son of a fireman, O’Neill has a sixth sense about fire and often takes dangerous risks. When one act of disobedience nearly gets a rookie killed, O’Neill is suspended. His weeks off are supposed to be a time to reflect, but instead he escapes to Mexico, where another rash act of bravery actually kills him. But only for a few minutes.
Review: Wow, I just finished reading Through the Fire. I’m thankful for the review copy of this fascinating, enlightening book. I realized how clueless I was as to what firefighters go through day-in and day-out to save peoples lives and risk their own! It’s astounding!
Only someone who’s been in a firefighter’s shoes could show the realistic side of this demanding, sacrificial job that most of us take for granted. Shawn Grady’s been in the fire as a firefighter in Reno, for many years, which gives him a unique perspective. As I read, I felt as if I were in Aiden’s skin and the enemy he faced. Shawn describes fire, “The fire danced. It mocked. It shot from the room with wicked lit fingers, clawing and scratching, curling around my air bottle. It tugged at me, pulling me to it. Flame edges whipped down the walls, forming a sickle in the air, swinging in a slow arc down toward my sternum.” Now that’s a perspective only a firefighter on the scene could write. Shawn gives you a glimpse of fire gone crazy; it’s a horrifying, fascinating, terrible thing. The fire’s sole desire is to consume everything in sight. It’s surreal, chilling, and unbelievable.
This author pens a suspenseful, action packed story filled with intrigue as Aiden tries to track down the Arsonist that killed his father. Aiden’s obsession to right a wrong and his self-destructive lifestyle has everyone worried. His dad was good at what he did. He had to make sense of this tragedy.
Aiden was angry at God letting his dad die. Aiden knew his father trusted God and now he was dead! Aiden wasn’t going to go that route. He would stay far away from God. He would be in control of his own life, he didn’t need anyone. It was just him and the fire. Firefighters are a strange breed. While anyone in their right mind runs from fires. Firefighters, on the other hand seem drawn into the flame. In Aiden’s case, he got into the ring with the fire to win one more round. I learned how critical it was for a firefighter to be aware of his surroundings, use all of his senses and think quickly on his feet to save his life and the life of others.
What a fascinating, suspenseful, captivating story, with complex believable characters. I found myself rooting for them to save the victims and for both to live another day. I couldn’t put this book down until the mystery was solved. Can’t wait to read his new book Tomorrow We Die.
The Book Club Network
By Cheri Cowell –
“Can you tell me that my son has gone to heaven?” the mother asked the hospital chaplain.
Not knowing the family, and only knowing that the boy had committed suicide, the chaplain looked deeply into the soul of the seeking mother’s eyes. What do I tell her? What is the right thing to say, Lord? “Tell me about your son,” the chaplain tenderly said.
As the mother poured out her heart about the life of her only child, she heard within her own words the answer to her question, and the chaplain was once again reminded that true wisdom isn’t always the textbook answer. God’s answers sometimes carry wisdom that is beyond our understanding.
This Scripture is the first account of the use of Solomon’s gift of wisdom. Solomon asked for wisdom or discernment, not wealth. God was pleased with his request and gave him an abundance of wisdom. The dilemma Solomon found himself in with these two mothers would have been difficult for anyone, yet Solomon knew he possessed something outside of himself that would make all the difference. Often the solution to our own dilemmas is not logical, easily seen, or reasoned. But when the solution comes from God we will know, for His solutions are perfect.
PRAYER: Praise God for Your perfect wisdom. Help me seek Your wisdom when it would be easier to rely upon my own logic, reason, or understanding. Thank You for always providing wisdom that is beyond my understanding but not Yours.
“When all Israel heard about the judicial decision which the king had rendered, they respected the king, for they realized that he possessed supernatural wisdom to make judicial decisions” (1 Kings 3:28 NET).
Today’s devotion is by Cheri Cowell, who writes and speaks on topics of Christian discipleship. In addition to her books and articles, you can learn about her speaking ministry and sign up to receive her daily devotional at www.CheriCowell.com