Staying Strong

By Cami Checketts –

I love mornings! I start my day with a great workout and a positive attitude. I plan how I’m going to be healthy and happy all day. By mid-afternoon I start running out of steam, ready to scream at my boys and eat a pound of chocolate just to help me keep moving. I usually resist both temptations, but by the time the boys are in bed I’m sick of being in control of myself. I tell myself that I did pretty good today and I deserve that bowl of ice cream.

It’s so easy to lose sight of our goals when we’re exhausted and discouraged. I find this is true for me in healthy eating as well as other areas of my life.

Sundays are a day that bolsters me for a busy week. A speaker at church a few weeks ago compared this to a leaky bucket. It gets filled to the brim on Sunday with wonderful spiritual experiences, insights and a rest from our labors. But throughout the week the water slowly leaks out when we make choices that aren’t quite up to snuff. Maybe on Monday our teenager is obstinate (this happens sometimes at my house) and we lose our temper. Maybe on Tuesday a neighbor or co-worker does something that annoys us and instead of focusing on the positive, we belittle him or gossip about him.

It’s just small things but they add up and our spiritual reserves slowly leak out.

The challenge for me is to remain strong throughout my day and week. To stay firmly on the Lord’s side of the line, keep his light burning bright inside of me, and keep my eye on my goals and the happiness that living right brings. The only way I know to do this is through constant reminders: always reading my scriptures and other uplifting materials, praying, associating with enlightening people, and rejoicing in the Lord as I go through each day.

Maybe if I consistently stay strong I’ll be able to resist not only that bowl of ice cream, but that desire to be judgmental. If I ever get there I’ll let you know!

Cami Checketts is a wife, mother to four boys, exercise scientist, and author. Please refer to her blog for more information –

Jesus Still Walks and Talks with His Disciples

June 12, 2019 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Laurette Willis –

During His three-year ministry on the earth, Jesus taught people in many places: in the temple, in synagogues, on hillsides, in the treasury and even from a boat.

But when He taught His disciples He did it a bit differently. Sometimes He sat with them quietly in someone’s home or an Upper Room—but I believe one place He taught them most frequently was as they walked.

Many of us are familiar with the historical account of the risen Lord Jesus speaking with two of His followers on the Road to Emmaus. “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27, NKJV).

As they walked along, He spoke with them. He taught them and He revealed truths about Himself “in all the Scriptures.”

When we purpose to walk with the Lord (both figuratively and literally), He walks with us and reveals Himself and His ways to us.

And He Walks with Me, and He Talks with Me…

Remember the chorus to that lovely old song? Roberta, a dear friend of mine, walks briskly throughout her neighborhood every morning before going to work.

During lunch together last week she told me, “Whenever I have a problem or something I’m wanting clarification on, I’ll take a walk–and I suddenly get the answer!” she said. “I think there’s some connection between walking and communing with the Lord.” I agree.

Physically Speaking: When walking, whether outdoors in your neighborhood, on a track or in mall; or indoors marching in place, or walking on a treadmill, elliptical, air-stepper or rebounder, you entire body is involved in the activity.

Walking is especially good for your brain, because it increases blood circulation and the oxygen and glucose that reach your brain. As you walk, you effectively oxygenate your brain. Maybe this is why walking can “clear your head” and helps you to think better.

When the cognitive abilities of older women were compared, those who walked regularly were less likely to experience age-related memory loss and other declines in mental function. That’s good news!

Spiritually Speaking: When you are walking, you are able to pull yourself away from the news and cares of the day (unless you’re doing your walking in front of the 6 o’clock news on TV!). You can focus more easily on the Lord. Many people Prayer Walk around their neighborhoods–praying “on site with insight” for their community. Often the Lord will have them pray specific prayers for the people in various households.

Other “Purpose-Driven” walking involves taking a passage of Scripture and meditating on it during your walk. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and give you revelation on passages of Scripture, just as Jesus did with His disciples.

Another simple strategy is to pray for your family as you briskly walk away from your home for 10-15 minutes, and then praise, rejoice and thank the Lord for answered prayer on your way back!

My favorite walking is a walking workout–walking to motivating music while speaking the Power Promises of God.

Whichever you choose, the Lord still walks and talks with His disciples when we walk and talk with Him.

What’s your favorite way to walk with the Lord?

Christian Fitness Expert Laurette Willis is the Director of PraiseMoves Fitness Ministry (, and on Facebook ). Are you interested in walking workouts? Try Laurette Willis’s Power Promises Walking Workout! Get your free kit at


God Promises to Rescue Us from Pit-iful Living!

By Julie Morris –

There’s nothing I wanted more than to lose weight… yet I struggled for 30 miserable years, humiliated by extra pounds, failed diets and vicious cycles of shame and bingeing. Finally I discovered the way out of that pitiful way of living and I lost my weight in 1982 and have kept it off. My secret isn’t a secret at all: I learned practical things I could do to rely on God’s power at work in me.

The Message Bible paraphrase explains exactly what happened to me, and what can happen to you too. It might sound too good to be true, but I can tell you from personal experience that it’s not. “God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating” (Colossians 1:13-14).

If you’re trying to quit overeating or turn from other destructive habits, let me ask you a few questions to help you understand the awesome promises and commands in this short passage. Take a few minutes right now and write out your answers:

1. What dead-end alley or dark dungeon are you trapped in?

2. What sins have you felt doomed to keep repeating?

3. What are you doing to allow God to rescue you? If you’re not doing anything, what can you do to reach out to Him?

4. Has Jesus ever helped you to get out of “pit-iful” living? How did He help you? If you haven’t experienced His help, do you know anyone who has? Call and ask them about it!

5. Do you believe that Jesus can set you free? Do you believe that He will? If not, ask Him to give you faith to believe that He keeps His promises.

6. Say this prayer out loud:

God, thank You for promising to rescue me from the dead-end alleys I have been wandering down. I’ve been struggling so hard, but getting nowhere. It feels like I keep going down the same road…over and over…until I hit a brick wall and there’s no place else to go, so I go back and do the same thing all over again.

I have often felt like I was living in a dark dungeon—depressed and ashamed. But, even though I don’t deserve it, You promise to set me up in the kingdom of Your Son. And You tell me something else amazing: Jesus has already gotten me out of the pit and my pit-iful way of living! And He has gotten rid of the sins I felt doomed to keep repeating! The prison door is open. My white linen suit is there waiting for me. All I have to do is to take His hand and let Him lead me out!

I am no longer a victim, but a Victor in Christ. I am no longer a creature of habit, but a New Creation in Christ. I am no longer a pitiful failure, but a Precious Child of God through Christ.

Help me, Lord, to live in the kingdom You have promised me. Show me practical things I can do to reach out to You so I can experience this new higher way of living—out of the pit…out of the shame. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Julie Morris is the founder of two weight-loss programs, Step Forward and Guided By Him—a lighter and easier version of Step Forward. She is the author of 12 books and a dynamic motivational speaker. If you are experiencing pit-iful living, contact her at

Distractions Versus Intensity Workouts

By Don Otis –

The 30-something-year-old woman on the elliptical trainer next to me was reading a magazine. Just down the row, another woman was having a loud cell phone conversation with a friend.  Still another was signing loudly to the song on her iPod. Fortunately, she had a beautiful voice but she was oblivious. The use of technology to divert our attention from the rigors of exercise, or to at least make it more palatable, is now fully entrenched. My informal survey tells me that better than half the people in the gym are listening to something. For women, perhaps it is a good way to keep men from hitting on them.

If you use music or books on tape to get you through an indoor workout, enjoy the diversion. If you exercise outside, I encourage you to leave the distractions at home. I don’t even take my cell phone unless I am going on a long run or ride. My observation is that people with distractions put in less effort than those who have none. It is about focus. You cannot get the full benefit of an aerobic workout and read a magazine at the same time. We are geared to multi-task, to extract the most benefit out of our scarce time, but it doesn’t work. I have tried.

I am for finding any creative way to motivate people. Yet in our fast-paced culture, try to see your exercise time as an opportunity to let go of the distractions. Think of it as a time where the Holy Spirit can speak to you. Think of it as a time to focus on your physical needs. Think of it as a time when the oxygen rich blood reaching your brain can result in a new idea or a creative thought.

Pushing It
In this column, I push the concept of high-intensity exercise. I have always been a believer in shorter but more intense workouts. It was only while training for a marathon that I had to revise my short and intense philosophy and adopt a long and slow approach. But if you aren’t training for a long-distance event, take the short and intense approach because the benefits of a vigorous thirty minute workout will outweigh that of a slow and methodical sixty minute session. In other words, more isn’t necessarily better; it’s just more. As we’ll see in a moment, rest is also a factor to our success.

Increasingly, those who study the benefits of serious exercise are finding there is a better way. While these principles are geared toward serious competitors, they apply equally to you and me. First, recognize that with age we change. Our heart rate declines (which impacts our aerobic capacity), muscles shrink (leading to more injury and soreness), and flexibility decreases (which has a direct bearing on connective tissue and extension).

Second, a unique training program established by a couple of brothers is proving to work well. It is a minimalist training regimen which combines intensity with rest. Yes, our Creator had a reason for suggesting a day of rest! The Hanson brothers encourage us to let the body recover without the mind losing confidence. In other words, don’t feel guilty for resting your weary body. They also say that we cannot “bank time.” Simply put, it’s better to start slow and end strong. Human nature and solid training make us want to do too much too early and this is a recipe for disaster. In fitness, as in life, pacing yourself is an essential ingredient in your success.

Don S. Otis ( is a certified personal trainer, runner, climber, and author of five books. He runs Veritas Communications, a publicity agency based in Canon City, Colorado.

Indoor Games and Fitness Fun for Children

By Laurette Willis –

Looking for ways to keep your children occupied indoors?

Try not to fall into the TV/Computer-as-Babysitter trap. The TV may seem to keep them occupied, but feeding on those images will not spark their imagination or creativity. If you need to have noise in the home, turn on Christian radio or play CDs instead. Remember what the Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6 NKJV). If we allow the TV to train up our children, there’s going to be trouble!

Provide Alternatives to TV and Computer

Here are some ideas for hours of fun to spark children’s creativity and preserve your sanity!

1. Campout!

Make a tent out of sheets and blankets. Nothing like a sheet fort to spark the imagination! Drape sheets over sofas, chairs or the kitchen table.

If using an old sheet, you or the children can cut holes for windows and doors. Then let loose, get in the tent and tell some stories! It will bring back some happy memories and your children may remember the fun they had with you for a lifetime.

2. Captain Midnight

Players: 4 or more

How to Play: Choose someone to be Captain Midnight. Everyone else then yells, “Captain Midnight, what time is it?” The Captain responds by yelling any number from one to twelve.

Each player walks that many steps toward the Captain. If they can touch him, then they are the new Captain. However, keep your ears open because at any time the Captain can shout out, “Midnight,” which means you have to run away from the Captain. If the Captain catches you, you become his assistant, helping him to catch other players.

3. Walk Like a Crab.

Set up a finish line at the other end of the room with pillows or tape. Get on your hands and feet like a crab (with your stomach facing the ceiling) and see how long it takes you to crawl to the finish line.

4. Balloon-a-Thon!

The object of the game is to hit the balloon and not to let it touch the ground. Each round you can choose a different body part as the part you use to bounce the balloon.

For example, bounce it with your nose, bounce it with your foot or bounce it with your belly. If you are playing alone, see how many times in a row you can hit the balloon before it touches the ground.

If you are playing with a group, no one person can bounce it two times in a row.

5. Exercise Stations

Choose exercises with an element of fun such as seeing how long you can balance a book on your head, dancing, lifting soup cans as weights, hopping or marching in place. Challenge the kids to see how many exercises they can complete in a set amount of time. The child completing the most of each exercise is the winner. Get creative and have ribbons for participants.

No matter what your age, go make some memories with your children and grandchildren. They’ll forget the TV show and video game, but they’ll never forget the fun they had with you!

Christian Fitness Expert Laurette Willis is the Director of PraiseMoves Fitness Ministry ( and on Facebook Laurette just launched her new indoor/outdoor walking program:

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