Faith & Fitness for the COURAGEOUS Man

By Laurette Willis –

“And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6, NKJV).

Have you seen the movie Courageous yet? Our family really enjoyed it. There’s lots of action, a compelling story, humor, top-notch acting, and it is built on a solid foundation (the Word of God and the Father’s great love for us). The movie’s subtitle is Honor begins at home.

As the promotions for this movie state, “Four men, one calling: To serve and protect. When tragedy strikes home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering. Protecting the streets is second nature. Raising their children in a God-honoring way. That’s courageous.”

How does the Courageous Man Combine Faith, Family & Fitness?

When we come home from a hard day at work, the last thing many of us want to do is think about anything more physical than elbow-bending (as in fork-to-mouth, repeat, and 40 reps).

In the movie Courageous, police officer Adam Mitchell (played by director and co-writer Alex Kendrick, father of six) and his teenage son Dylan start building a new relationship with one another, and fitness becomes an important part of it. All Dylan seems to want to do is “play video games and run a 5K,” says Adam.

Parents realize that in order to build (or rebuild) a relationship with their child, it takes becoming interested in what interests them. Adam decides to lay aside his personal comfort zone for the greater good of blessing his son. He and Dylan begin running together, and their relationship deepens as Dylan sees his Dad’s love in action, not just in words.

Love is spelled T-I-M-E.

Why compartmentalize faith (Sunday only), family (around the dinner table…when we’re not watching TV) and fitness (does watching football on TV count?)?

The Courageous man (and woman) puts God first–so why not ask the Lord how to make fitness a part of your family time together? No matter what the age of your children, you can begin making fun physical activity a part of “what we do as a family.”

Here are just a few ideas to get your wheels turning—and your bodies moving!

  • Walk Together. The Family that walks together, talks together! Take a leisurely stroll 30 minutes after dinner. Make it a new family tradition. Enjoy each other’s company and walk at a gentle pace for 15-20 minutes to help digest your food. This will also keep you from snacking after dinner. Take a portion of scripture and talk about it. How can you apply it to your lives?
  • Go to the Gym or Church Fitness Center. Take your son or daughter with you. Work out with light weights (not on the machines). Show your kids how it’s done.
  • Play Indoor Fitness Games. Remember Twister? You can still play that as a family! Add an element of scripture memorization by writing verses on cards. Call out all or part of a verse with each move. See how many verses you can remember (if you don’t wind up collapsing into a giggling pile before too long!).
  • Train for a Charity Race—a walk, run, or bike race! Train as a family team or with one of your children. Use the time to encourage your child.

In the movie Courageous, Adam says, “I think the Lord is requiring me to call out the man in my son.”  That’s something Dads get to do for their family members—emulating our heavenly Father by “calling out” and encouraging the best in their sons, daughters and wife.

Take the lead, Dad. Be Courageous. Be a Fit Witness for Christ in spirit, soul and body. Your family will follow–and will honor you for it.

Present Your Body to God

February 23, 2020 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Laurette Willis –

“I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1, NKJV).

Paul instructs us to present our bodies a living sacrifice.  Each of us is advised to take care of our body since it is the “temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19, NKJV).

Here’s a sobering question: Do you think you will be required to answer to the Lord for how well you have cared for your body?

That’s a frightening thought for most of us! “You are not your own,” Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:20 NKJV. “For you were bought at a price” (the shed blood of Jesus Christ). Could this mean your body is not yours, but the Lord’s? How well are you caring for the Lord’s property?

The good news is that since your body belongs to the Lord, He has a vested interest in helping you care for it. Your body is not only the temple of His Holy Spirit, it’s what you need to be able to walk around on this earth and spread the good news about Jesus Christ.

The more fit and healthy you are, the greater the likelihood that you will be around longer to carry out His will for your life. The enemy wants you to fail miserably and go to heaven before your time. He doesn’t really care that you’re going to heaven–he just doesn’t want you to take anyone else with you!

If your body is out of shape and lacking energy, it’s difficult to do all the Lord is calling you to do. But you and the Lord working together can change that!

“What?!” you ask. “The Lord needs MY help? But He’s omnipotent–all-powerful and in control!” Well, yes–and no. He is all-powerful, but He will not wrestle the cake fork out of your hand or pick up the strings like a grand marionette master and animate your body to take a brisk walk. We are the ones who have to exercise our will to exercise our body and “choose life.”

Presentation Prayer to God — it works!

Take a small, but powerful step today–right now. Present your body to God. You can pray this with me:

“Heavenly Father, I present my body to You. This body is the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit,’ so it is Your property, not mine. I am the steward and caretaker of it. I present all that I am and all that I have to You, Lord. I trust You to lead and guide me into all truth and good in my life.

“I am Your sheep, so I hear and follow Your voice. Thank You for helping me care for this amazing body You have given me. I choose life in my habits, and love in my attitude and relationships. I will not allow myself to be conformed to this world’s way of thinking, but I am being transformed by renewing my mind on Your Word–the Bible. I choose to think in line with Your thoughts! Thank You, Lord for leading and guiding me into all truth. I now receive from You everything I need to be the best I can be today, for Your glory–in Jesus’ name. Amen!”

Now receive from the Lord everything you need by faith–the most powerful force in the entire universe. Receive by faith into your spirit and start thanking the Lord (no matter how you feel!). Do this every day and make a “present” of yourself to God. If you’ve done this, please comment below and let us know about your results.

Discover Tasty Foods that Fight Fat

By Laurette Willis –

Want to lose some excess fat, eat REAL food (not make-believe “diet food”) and enjoy the journey? Here are some foods that are good for you, packed with nutrition and tasty enough for the whole family.

ALMONDS – These delicious nuts are high in alpha-linolenic acid, which can accelerate your metabolism of fats. Recent studies show that dieters who ate three ounces of almonds daily were able to cut down their weight and body mass by an amazing 18% compared to dieters who skipped eating almonds.

BERRIES – Want to burn up to 30% more fat? Strawberries, raspberries and other fruit high in Vitamin C can turbo-charge your workout, helping you to burn more fat.

CINNAMON – Try adding just ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon to food to help prevent an insulin spike (can help keep your body from storing excess fat).

SOY BEANS – Soybeans are rich in choline, which appears to block the absorption of fat and also seems to break down fatty deposits.

SWEET POTATOES – Definitely better than starchy white potatoes, sweet potatoes contain a high fiber content which helps keep insulin levels steady. This means less fat stored by your body.

MUSTARD – The turmeric in mustard not only gives it a yellow color. Now scientists have determined that tumeric also seems to slow the growth of fat tissue. Put it on hot dogs—and more!

ORANGES – The flavones in oranges help fight fat. Studies reveal that women who ate the most flavones have a much lower increase in body fat as they age. Don’t make the mistake of drinking orange juice and thinking it has the same effect. One must eat the entire peeled orange. Undiluted orange juice also has too much concentrated fruit sugar, spiking blood sugar too quickly.

SWISS CHEESE – Calcium-rich foods reduce fat-producing enzymes and increase the breakdown of fat in the body. Swiss cheese contains more calcium than many of its cheesy sidekicks.

See if you can create a menu using all eight of the foods listed above in one meal (breakfast, lunch OR dinner).

What Is the Secret Weapon for Busy Believers?

November 18, 2019 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Laurette Willis –

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19 NKJV).

“Choose life” is the Secret Weapon for Busy Believers.

What’s one of the quickest ways to experience positive change in our lives? Choose life. How about for weight management, fitness and vibrant health? Yes, the “choose life” decision can be made in a minute and lived moment by moment, one day at a time. Choose life.

I have found these two simple, yet startlingly powerful words have kept me from falling prey to sudden urges for “just one” (bite, cookie, candy bar, soda, binge or foray into Debtsville). For me “just one” rarely ends with just one.

Whenever I simply stop and say to myself, “I choose life,” my spirit (the real me) rises up with strength to overcome the flesh and I’m suddenly able to say “No” to temptation.

These two potent little words from scripture can also help us get moving when our flesh wants to “veg out” or skip that day’s fitness commitment.

“I choose life,” I’d say as I laced my running shoes and headed for the door or mini-trampoline.

“Choose life,” I’d say to myself when I wanted to “punish” my husband for hurting my feelings instead of forgiving him. “Choose life” would often turn the whole situation around.

What IS “Life”?  
 

Jesus said His words are life. “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life,” He said in John 6:63.

We are presented with countless choices every day, which affect the health and fitness of our spirit, soul and body. My flesh would cry, “I want it and I want it NOW!” I had to have my favorite snack, drink, a second helping. Like a child, the desire of the present moment took over. It didn’t matter how strong my will power had been or how solid I thought my commitment was. My flesh would scream and I’d cave in like a startled soufflé.

“Choose life.” I’d be faced with a temptation to forgo my food plan for the day, or neglect the exercise I’d purposed to do and the words would come to me: “Choose life.” I’d want to blow off a commitment I’d made, or stay in bed instead of getting up early to invest in my relationship with the Lord, and the Word whispered, “Choose life.”

A third-party report (i.e., gossip) would come to me and I’d want to share the “news,” but then I’d hear the words in my heart, “Choose life” calling me to make a godly choice.

To choose life is to choose God’s way of doing things. Can we override the gentle nudge of the Spirit of God bringing His Word to our remembrance? Yes. The Lord’s still, small voice doesn’t come with a two-by-four to enforce compliance. While we may try “reasoning” or bargaining with the Lord, the more time we invest in reading, meditating and speaking His Word, the more we will want to heed His gentle reminder to “Choose LIFE,” the secret weapon for the Busy Believer.

(Adapted from The Busy Woman’s Guide to Total Fitness by Laurette Willis, Harvest House Publishers)

GMO: You Are What You Eat?

By Laurette Willis –

GMO = Genetically Modified Organisms. I experienced food poisoning last week for the first and by-the-grace-of-God LAST time in my life. The topic of food purity is suddenly of great interest to me.

Genetic engineering of our food supply is being called “Cell Invasion Technology.” It is estimated that GMOs are found in 80% of the foods we find in our supermarkets (including GMO corn, canola, soybeans and sugar beets).

Whenever I think of Monsanto, I think of chemicals, carpeting…food? Yet, Monsanto is one of the largest GMO engineering corporations in the world. Believe-it-or-not, up to 90 percent of all major U.S. grown crops are grown with genetically engineered seed, and can be used in our food with little or no safety testing or labeling.

Since being introduced into the food supply, multiple chronic illnesses jumped from 7% to 13% of the population and food allergies doubled.

Abstaining from foods?

Scripturally speaking, 1 Timothy 4 speaks about the deception and “doctrines of demons” that will come in the last days. In part, this includes “commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” (1 Timothy 4:3 NKJV).

Notice the italicized “which God created.” Genetically Modified Organisms invade the cellular integrity designed by God (much as bacteria or a virus would do). Injecting genes from cold water flounder into tomatoes so they can withstand colder temperatures (yes that is really done) is not my idea of food which God created.

Many of us have used this next verse of Timothy to bless the Triple-Decker Belly Bomber with fries we were about to eat: “For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4-5 NKJV).

Doesn’t that cover us? I believe if we are evangelizing in a foreign country, for example, and handed an unusual something to eat (such as a monkey meat sandwich), we are definitely covered when we sanctify/bless the food “by the word of God and prayer.”

However, I question whether organisms man has “Frankensteined” into something else can qualify under the “every creature of God is good” category. Wouldn’t it be wise to avoid such foods whenever possible?

What Can We Do?

Be proactive. Study about GMOs and support legislature to counter their being introduced into the food supply. You can shop at local farmers’ markets, thus supporting your local economy, too. You may need to educate your commercial grocers, asking them to direct you to non-GMO foods, and to order more foods without GMOs.

What do you think? Is Genetically Modified Organisms in the food supply a good thing, bad thing, or “no big deal”? Share your comments. I’d love to know what you think!

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