Monday, May 31, 2010

What Price Sacrifice?

"Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."  Matthew 20:28 

Happy Memorial Day!  On this very special holiday my mind is wandering over the beauty of the quality of sacrifice, the ultimate being that of God sending His only beloved Son to die for us so that He could redeem us to Him and restore privilege, freedom, and favor in our lives.

This same wonderful spirit exists in each and every service person who is right now sacrificing (or who has done so in the past) so that we might enjoy privilege and freedom as American citizens.  Some, like our Saviour, have even made the supreme sacrifice of giving up their lives in the fight.

Whether you be Air Force, Army, Marines, or Navy, know that you are thought of and appreciated on both this and every day and that special prayers are going up on your behalf.  Thank you for your sacrifice.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Keep It Moving ...

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"  I Corinthians 6:19

I'm so ashamed.  Once again I've dropped the reins of my fitness program.  The Holy Spirit has lately been impressing upon me the need to get and to stay in shape as much as it lies within my ability.  The most important component of that for me is exercise.  I have a membership at a wonderful gym with a lovely staff that has well-kept equipment, but I just can't seem to consistently hold up my end of the bargain.  Now don't get me wrong.  My schedule really is hectic ... and every time I think that I've gotten to a point where I can really get back in there and make that move something comes up to take ownership of my time.

Fitness should be a priority in each of our lives.  When we're healthy we're at our best to serve God and accomplish wonderful things.  Exercise really does make us feel good.  It's a natural appetite suppressant, and it keeps our bodies looking young way beyond the deadline set by Father Time.  Exercising helps to build up our immune system, thereby fending off illness. We live in a society where a high percentage of the population is plagued with hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, etc., all diseases which in most cases could have been averted if that individual had maintained a well-balanced program of exercise and nutrition (more on nutrition at a later post).  I won't try to make an extended sales pitch on all of the virtues of exercise here -- that's something that you can research for yourself, but I just want to spark a thought in your mind on what benefits might be extolled from such.

I've made up my mind that I may be down, but I'm not out for the count.  I'm going to keep trying until I make a consistent fitness regimen a part of my life again.  I'm actually looking forward to recapturing thin, healthy, and cute.  Come on and join me!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Fasting by Jentezen Franklin

"Opening the door to a deeper, more intimate, more powerful relationship with God."

This book has been out on the market for a while, but its message is still just as powerful as the day it hit the stands.

As a believer, are you finding that your prayers are not producing the results that you'd hoped? Has your relationship with God begun to grow stale? Are you not experiencing the power in your life that you should?  Well, Jentezen Franklin leads the way to a higher plane of answered prayer, relationship with God, power, AND success.

This book is an excellent read.  I couldn't put it down until I reached the very last page.  Franklin's writing style is easy and flowing and his insight into Scripture is truly Spirit inspired.  He takes his time and teaches on every aspect of fasting -- what it is, the different ways that one can fast, the results that are brought about by fasting, and he even provides real-life stories (both Biblical and modern day) of the miracles that have been wrought in the lives of believers through fasting.

The hardbound version is reasonably priced, and you get excellent content for your $$$.

Don't delay;  get your copy today.

RATING:  5/5. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Carpe Diem

"Go for it now.  The future is promised to no one."  ~Wayne Dyer

Last week I received the very sad news that a former high school classmate had passed away, and he was funeralized this weekend. I remember him as a very intelligent, studious gentleman of excellence and focus, and his obituary reflected that. He made outstanding accomplishments in his adult life of the caliber that many of us can only dream of. The irony is that he wasn't even yet 50 so was still relatively young.

I bring this up because his passing reminds me anew that tomorrow isn't promised to any of us. We tend to go about our daily business making plans for the future as if it's a given. How many of us have put off until tomorrow things that we could have done today? If we died tonight would the achievements that we leave behind make people stop to pause and reflect? How are our family relationships, the reputations that we have on our jobs, the names that we have in our churches? If called upon to speak at our funerals, how would our neighbors testify of us?

Let's live today, and every day, in such a manner that we leave our mark. Touch somebody's life. Make a difference. Leave a footprint in the sand. Achieve. Only you know how that can be accomplished for you.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Real 'F' Word: Forgiveness

I have an old pair of casual shoes that I like to wear around the house and sometimes on quick shopping excursions that have seen way better days, but they're so comfortable and fit so right that I'm going to wear them until the soles come off. A seasoned fashionista would have a mock coronary at the thought of such an effrontery to chic couture being seen out in public, but this gal has made up her mind that she just can't let go. 

So we are sometimes with people. When someone offends, betrays, or hurts us it's just human nature that under the right circumstances and timing that we just can't let go and forgive them. We repeat the offense in our minds over and over again, allowing the memory to corrode the soft places of our hearts until it festers like a running sore.  We continue to do this long after the offender even remembers the occurrence, much less gives us any depth of thought. 

Learn to let go.  Forgiveness isn't for the other person, it's for us. It cleanses like a soothing rain and clears the path for us to go forward in our life journey on to bigger and better things. God promises that He's a healer of the brokenhearted. Put your faith in Him and let Him have His way. There's just too much abundance and richness in the world to experience to allow someone who hasn't proven worthy of your trust to inhabit such a large foothold in your psyche. 

If you make up your mind today to forgive you'll begin to experience a wonderful new dimension of freedom that will open up a whole new level of peace and blessing in your life.

Are you harboring unforgiveness in your heart towards anyone right now? How has it affected you? When was the last time that you didn't consciously mull over the offense? We'd love to hear your thoughts.  Share them with us below.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Power of Rest

What, you're probably asking yourself, does rest have to do with personal and spiritual growth?  The answer is that it's a very important, rarely thought of component of it.

Among fitness buffs, it's well known that rest is an essential factor in growing muscle mass.  Without rest building muscle just wouldn't be possible.  Weightlifters formulate a delicate balance of stress and rest in such a manner as to increase optimal results. They lift the weights to the point of stressing the muscle to fatigue and then follow with a period of rest so that the muscle can recover.  When done correctly they become lean, mean metabolic machines whose bodies operate at maximum efficiency.

The same principle applies in our personal and spiritual growth.  We live in a world where routinely operating at a high stress level has become the norm and not the exception.  I think that I can truthfully assert that a great percentage of us run at high stress most of the day, juggling family, work, and personal responsibilities.  There just never seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done.  Something or someone always seems to need our attention in some way and we usually end up neglecting our own bodies and spirits to try to get everything and everybody taken care of.  How can our beings rejuvenate when we're constantly under an unrelenting assault of stress, worry, and anxiety? Most doctors will tell you that a lack of rest can undermine your health in ways that you wouldn't have thought possible -- blood pressure, metabolism, blood sugar levels, immunity, energy, even our mental health among other body systems can be profoundly impacted.  When our bodies don't rest our our minds don't rest, we get overwhelmed, and our stress levels increase even more.

I encourage you to make a purposeful effort today to slow down the pace of your life.  Rest your body. Rest your mind. Rest your spirit. Let God teach you how to rest in Him. I think that you'll be surprised at how much of a difference this one decision can make in the quality of your life.

Are you the type of person described above, always on the move and trying to squeeze 26 hours out of a 24-hour day? When was the last time that you just took a day for yourself, that you took a vacation? What is your idea of rest? Comment below.  We'd love to hear your opinion.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Stop Procrastinating … Fulfill Your Destiny!

I believe that God has placed inside each and every one of us a seed that points us in the direction of our life’s work.  This seed manifests itself into natural talents, gifts, and abilities that indicate where we best can position ourselves to be excellent contributors to our communities, to society, to the world at large, and most importantly to the building of His Kingdom.  The problem is that most of us don’t take the time to give any substantive thought to the where (as in where we should be planted) side of the equation because we’re too busy focusing on the $$$ aspect of it.  It’s been said many times over the years by sages much wiser than I that if you find the work that you love that you’ll never have to work again.  The added benefit is that because you plant yourself where you’ll naturally grow the money will come to you instead of you having to knock yourself out trying to pursue it!

Another barrier to our success is that many of us already know where we should plant ourselves but for whatever reason we procrastinate in the act of the actual planting.  We continuously pursue work that’s not suited for us because of the salary and benefit package offered and are continually disappointed because we don’t excel in that particular work and it becomes nothing more than a chore that we dread going to each workday morning.  We move from job to job using this same approach and can’t understand why we can’t find work that fulfills us when the answer is already embedded deep within our hearts.  There are even some instances where we excel at work that’s not suited for us because of our increased effort and focus, but because it’s not where we should naturally be planted we operate at a high-stress level all during our workday.

I say, stop procrastinating!  Go forth and fulfill your destiny.  We sometimes make things much harder on ourselves than we have to.  Each day wasted is another day lost that we could have made a difference in some way, both in our own lives as well as in the lives of others.

This first post is particularly significant for me because at this late stage of my life I’ve finally decided that it’s time to do what makes sense --- to plant myself in my own true career field (pun intended) so that I can grow.

Who will come and ‘grow’ with me?  The Father has already plowed and fertilized the ground … plant yourself and reap a bountiful harvest.

Have you found your true calling or are you still floundering, trying to find your way?  How did you go about determining where you should be planted?  What kind of difference did it make in your life when you found where you should be planted and actually planted yourself there?  Please comment and share your experience with us below.


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Talk to you soon!

~Angela Lane Woods
Writer/Founder, Danny's Angel Publishing