Category Archives: Fitness

Does anyone read anymore?

I have spent the last couple of days reading Health care bill H.R. 3200. We have all heard talk on the radio and the newspaper about the bill but, who has read it for themselves? I asked Jake, ”Who do we believe?”

After reading it, I soon realized not all of the reporters are reading it either. I have talked to, who I consider intelligent people, who are oblivious to what’s on the bill and state “don’t worry”. After reading the bill (up to page 300) I can say I am worried. I pulled the congressional budget report of the impact the bill will have on the deficit…..I am now very worried. Why aren’t people speaking up?

People say they want health care for all…….it already exists. I see people everyday who have medical bills on their credit reports that are not paid. They still get the health care, they just don’t pay the bill. It’s a choice they make whether they want the insurance or not. The bill proposes a fabulous solution. On page 59, it says the government will have direct, real-time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer. WHAT?
I suggest everyone go to the Government website and read for yourselves.

Enjoy!

I just want to celebrate….

I just want to celebrate…. Steps to Pure Joy continued

Step 6: Celebrate where you are going…Heaven. Just imagine-Jesus is going to plan a place for us! “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:1-3 NASB). Just thinking about the place that Jesus is going to decorate for me…build for me….one that’s move in ready, makes me want to bust with joy! I am so excited I can hardly wait to see it. I have already requested a bubble gum machine!

It is a place where God dwells among his people. “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them, and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” And He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. “He who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son” (Rev 21:3-7 NASB). No more pain, no more hurt hearts, no more betrayal……

Later, the bible describes “the streets of the city will be pure gold, like transparent glass” (Rev 21:21 NASB). Just image it. How cool is that. I can hardly wait to slide on the gold floors in my socks and have God laugh with me. I could practice sliding up to him on my knees (like in the movie). I don’t think I will be able to walk anyway. I will be in awe of His presence. Think about God, my father, my Lord and master wiping the tears from my eyes. I am so excited I could just scream. I had to stop to run around the house and scream!
Have you noticed a common theme in the last few ideas? Celebrate the Lord. Worship Him for who He is and what He does. God inhabits the praise of his children. “But you are holy, O You Who dwell in (the holy place where) the praises of Israel (are offered)” (Ps 22:3 Amp). He loves it when we show our love for Him. When we tell Him we love Him and how great we think He is. Just noticing the blessings He gives you everyday and thanking Him for them puts a smile on his face. His love flows back to you through the Holy Spirit in the most wonderful joy you will ever experience.

Question to ponder: Do you celebrate the Lord during the week or only on the week-end?

P.S. Thank you again Mary for all your help.

The best gift ever!

Steps to Pure Joy continued….

 

Step Five: Celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit. “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father” (Gal. 4:6 NIV). God gives good gifts. Doesn’t he give good gifts?! These are gifts you can’t buy down at the Chandler Mall. Now remember, I am not talking about… meditate or think about it. I am talking about celebrate! Praise God….thank him for the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is way cool.

 You may be saying what’s the big deal about that? Who cares? Let me explain why I am so excited about this gift…The role of the Holy Spirit is to strengthen and comfort us “So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and, going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase” (Acts 9:31NASB), teach us “for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say” (Luke 12:12 NIV), help us when we are weak “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Rom 8:26 NIV), and He guides us “ But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth….He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you” (John 16:8,13,14 NIV). I don’t know about you, but I can’t learn the bible without His help…I am a simple person I have a simple mind. I need some guidance. He gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit so we could have Him with us always to guide us and teach us! Think about this with me. We have Him (Jesus) in our hearts to guide us and direct us everyday. This is the best thing Mary pointed out to me yet!

I have had some people say “I wish Jesus was here today so we could ask him questions-like the Apostles.” Boo hoo – “it is so much harder now because we can’t see Jesus. He is not here physically in front of us.” Hello….I don’t think they had it easier. Most of them were martyred! I am glad I was born when I was. Picture this – you are trying to make a career choice. You can’t decide on which job to take….you are trying to call Jesus. You are even text messaging him. You can’t get thru. You try everything, even paying for an airplane to sky write your question to him in the air….Nope no Jesus. He is on the other side of the world. I would use up all my cell phone minutes in the first day! Do you know how many times I talk to Him?….ask Him questions?……tell Him he’s great….better than sliced bread! I don’t need to go through any of that ……I just visit with Him and ask what should I do? What job should I take? “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come” (John 16:13-14 NASB). He does not speak on His own initiative ….and He will disclose to you what is to come. The help you get from Him comes straight from God and He will disclose what is to come. But important key is you have to listen….be still and listen. Wait for the answer. Believe He will answer and wait. A telephone direct to God everyday, anytime…..better than the bat phone on Batman & Robin! The Holy Spirit is your red bat phone! AWSOME!

Question: Have you ever thanked/praised the Lord for that gift? Tell him you think it’s great. That was very thoughtful of him. What a super idea!

Splish splash taking a bath.

Oh, my gosh…I forgot to tell you the other day about our week-end. We had tons of people over from Jake’s work. Jake is a regional manager for a popular hardware chain so he invited people who were without family for the week-end to come over. It was mostly men.

Amy and Richard also came over to help out. I was in charge of grilling the burgers and hot dogs. I lost count after 100! It was good for Jake to get to know some of the team better. Amy and I cooked, cooked, cooked and cooked. I spent the week preparing for Friday. They brought their swim suits or just swam in shorts! Picture this….grow men jumping off the roof into the pool. I am sure the neighbors are still talking about the couple that moved in next door (us)!

I would not have been able to do it all without Amy. I worry about her though. I think she needs to see a doctor for her moods. She seemed really distant this week-end. I don’t think Richard is abusing her. He is such a religious man. I just don’t see that could be. How could someone who prays to God and wears a cross beat a woman? Just doesn’t fit. It must be her. I think I am going to find the time to sit down and talk to her.

Question: Are you still reading the book of John? I am.

Running on God’s fuel. Is is cheaper?

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Since the fall of man, humans have been searching for joy in all the pleasures the serpent provides.  In Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis(love the book), he explains that God created us to run on the fuel that He provides.  We were designed to run on Him.  God can’t give us joy apart of him.  People have tried.  They think they know more about what gives joy than the creator of the universe.  The one who created them.  Wacked isn’t it!

Satan knows humans are searching for pure joy.  He also knows only God has the ability to give us pure joy.  The kind of joy that leaves you full, not empty and wanting more.  Satan knows pure joy, from the Lord, is not found in people, money, stuff, drugs or alcohol.  The joy found in the world does not create true happiness; it is only a temporary fix.  It leaves less of you and a craving for more joy.  The joy found in the world does not last, it is temporary. The more of “it” a person has (whatever “it” is, money, drugs, alcohol…etc.) the less of them there is and they become  less of the person Gods wants them to be.  They become more like the world.  So how do I get the joy of the Lord and when do I experience it? 

Step One:  Believe God created you and loves you.  Believe Jesus came to earth to die on the cross for your sins; whatever they might be.  Believe God wants to forgive you and wants you to have pure joy and that only he has the ability to give it to you.  Receive Jesus into your life.  Receive His forgiveness and the gift of His Spirit into your life.  “And all who believe in God’s Son have eternal life.” (John 3:36 NLT)  Bow your head and whisper this prayer:

 “ Dear God, I am sorry for my sins.  I believe your son, Jesus, died on the cross for my sins, so I might be forgiven.  I want to live the rest of my life your way.  Please come into my life to guide and direct me.” 

 

If you have prayed this pray for the first time, Congratulations!   I encourage you to get into a bible based church, read the bible and pray everyday, and find other Christians and spend time with them on a regular basis.  Find a Mary. 

God made us with the desire to be joyful and to look to him for the joy.  You have to believe that the pure joy you are looking for comes from him. “Peter talks about Jesus, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8 NIV).  The pure joy people are looking for comes from Him….believing in Him.  The first step is to believe in Jesus and to surrender your life to Him.  Allow His will to be done not your will.  Trust the plans He has for you are good.  Ask Him to guide you and lead you in all decisions. 

I’m going to tell Syliva about this joy.

 Additional steps to follow.

What traits do we get from God?

I’m sitting here thinking about Fathers day and how much I would like to be with my father today. Everything I am I owe to Mom and Dad. He and Mom live back home so we see each other about once a year.   Thank you Dad.

I was reading my friends blog (well, it is written as if her daughter is writing it, but I think she is a little young.  Check it out it is pretty funny.) and I starting thinking about all the traits we get from our fathers. Some things I get from Mom and some from Dad. I get my ability to laugh at all times from Dad. I get my voice and enjoyment of art from my Mom’s side. I get my positive outlook from Dad. I get a little from both sides. What traits do we get from God?

Well, if God is only good than we must only get our good traits from Him. Maybe the traits we get from Him are the fruits of the Spirit which we talked about before. As we grow up as a Christian we begin to look more and more like Jesus. Oh, I get it. As I develop into a spiritual athlete I reflect more and more of Christ’s image. But, why are there so many Christians walking around that don’t resemble Jesus? That is probably because I don’t resemble Jesus!  Can it be?

If we get fruit of the spirit (joy) from God …how do we get it? We know believers get it, but how?

When can we experience the joy of the Lord? When Lord….When?

Joy Continued

Some of you might not know, but I have been on this search for Joy. What is the Joy of the Lord? How do you describe it to others?

Mary brought two bible dictionaries today for me to look up joy. They were much more helpful. She is such a jem. This is what we looked up today…

The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary said: “Joy is a delight of the mind arising from the consideration of a present or assured possession of a future good. When moderate- it is called gladness; raised suddenly to the highest degree- it is exultation”.  Sounds nice doesn’t it…”A delight of the mind”. It also claims it is usually in some form of the Hebrew word “gil, which means to leap or spin around with pleasure”.

Mary gave me this verse to meditate on… “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corth. 2:9). Think about it …to leap or spin around in our mind thinking about the assured possession of heaven and all God has in store for us. I get goose bumps just sitting here writing about it.

Next, we looked joy up in the Student Bible Dictionary: “Gladness, rejoicing. An evidence of a Holy Spirit-filled life”. They might be on to something. Joy is the evidence of a Holy Spirit-filled life. The bible says “when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law” (Gal 5:22 NLT). “At that time, Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit…” (Luke 10:21 NIV). Mary knows all the verses!

The world is searching for joy but the true pure joy only comes from God through the Holy Spirit filled life. People who aren’t believers may search for it, want it, and need it, but they will only have the imitation joy provided by the world. The joy of the godless lasts but a moment (Job 20:5 NIV).  So true so true.

Now that’s something I can joyfully share when I harvest my crop.

What did I learn?  I know that pure joy comes from God through the Holy Spirit.  I learned that it is “a delight of the mind” stemming from meditating or thinking about the assured future God has in store for us.  It is not found in the false promises of the world, but in assured promises of our Lord.   I know that joy is evidence of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.  As one matures in their walk, the fruit of the Spirit should be more evident and therefore they should have more peace and more joy resting in the promises of the Lord. 

Question to ponder:  Who has the pure joy from the Holy Spirit available to them?

Healing

I finally called Mary and told her what I did last week-end. She just said, “huh”. Is that is good or bad? She turned in the bible where Peter denied Jesus. We talked about it. I still feel sore on the inside. I feel like I let Jake and her down. More importantly I let Jesus down. She explained there is nothing I can do to earn God’s love. I already have it. He loves me despite of myself. I tried to tell her I’ve done some pretty horrible things. “How could God forgive me?” “He already has”, she replied. Now you need to. I need to reflect on what she said.


Meanwhile…

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what my friend TeriTeri said about the “scent of our home”. I thought about when I go home to visit my parents and the aroma of fresh bread and cookies that fills the air. How I take a deep breath and fill my heart with the love and affection from my Mom. It is pleasing and comforting to enter her kitchen and step back in time. I could not get that thought out of my mind so I decided, just for kicks, to look up the word “aroma” in the concordance of my bible.

There were many passages on our sacrifices being a “pleasing aroma to the Lord”. It caused me to reflect on my life. I don’t really make any sacrifices for Jesus. I don’t have any aroma that is pleasing to the Lord. I started to ask…”What can I sacrifice to make a pleasing offering to God? I came up with an idea. I can help with the church group that feeds the homeless. Once a month, a group of people get together and take food out along the rail road tracks in Phoenix to the homeless that might not make it into shelters. I am going to sign up and help out.

Have a great rest of the week.

What can you do to make your life a “pleasing aroma to the Lord?”

How to win friends and influence people!

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I brought Amy a Starbucks this morning . Nothing says I want to be your friend like a decadent Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino! We sat in the break room looking at Cosmopolitan magazines and drinking our coffee. I really like her. She has a quick sense of humor when you get past the shyness. And how can you look at Cosmo and not laugh at some of the articles.

I asked her about Richard (He informed me the other day it was not Rich). I told her I think I offended him by calling him Rich. She looked up with surprise. I said, “what?” I responded back to her “ Will the Rickster be mad? Or should I say rick-a- rin-o. How about Ricky…..Micky Ricky….Ric Star….Ricket Man”….and on and on. Her laughter fueled my creative juices. A good time was had by all.

Walking back to the office I noticed she was limping. I looked down and her ankle was swollen and bruised. She said she dropped something on it moving furniture. “What did an elephant step on it?” She laughed.

I wanted to tell her about what happened to me the other day. About my joy. But is it joy or happiness? How do I explain it? What is joy? How is that different than happiness? I know I can tell my good friend Katie. She knows everything.

Note to self: I need to try to be friends with Richard. He seems like a nice enough guy. Maybe we could go out together as couples. I know I will ask them to church on Sunday.

Are you doing your 7 minutes a day in the bible?  Mary suggested I start with the New Testament.

Are you sure you can trust the Bible?

This was the question I asked Mary as she looked at my bible. She liked it….said it was a good choice not to get the type with the commentary on the pages. Then I would get in the habit of getting my information from the commentary instead of God’s word. I rephrased my question…

“How can you be sure what we have today is what was written down originally?”

Looking back at the bible she looked at the concordance in the back. She showed me how to use it. Thinking she did not hear me…

I asked “How do we know what was written down is true?”
Mary did not seem the least bit flustered by my questions. In fact she seemed to enjoy them. She next turned to the index….”yes, yes I know how to use the index.” Getting a little impatient. She reassured me that this page will become the most worn page in the book. “It’s ok to use this page. Everyone does when they look up various books. Don’t let them fool you.

She then asked. …”Did you ever read the Iliad?” “Yes of course, in college.” I replied. Then she asked “ How about Gallic Wars, by Julius Caesar? Do you know who Herodotus was?” “Slow down. Let me think about it”, I said. “I remember learning about this. Herodotus is like the head honcho of history….The man”.

She then asked “Why do you believe his work?” “Well, Duh. He systematically collected materials and we know their work is accurate because it is cross-checked to other manuscripts to verify their accuracy!” Feeling very confident of my education. Thinking money well spent.

Mary said, “Very good”. In her calm quiet voice she reports there are 8 copies of the historical works of Herodotus and 10 copies of Julius Caesar. She also goes on to say there are 24,633 copies of the New Testament alone! “Shut up” “For real, Mary?” “For real, Sam.” More surviving early manuscripts means more cross-checks for accuracy.

“But, how accurate is the actual account?” Feeling a little smug – thinking I stumped her.

“Good question” (Folks that only means she was anticipating the question) “Would it be reasonable to assume the closer to the actual account the book was written the more accurate it would be?” Slowly I respond “Y..e..s”. I feel a set-up. Here it comes, “Did you know that the Iliad was written some 500 years and Herodotus 1300 years after the events?” Once again I respond cautiously, “N..o”. She goes on, “But some biblical books were written within 25-30 years of the actual events and show eye witness confirmation.” I am shocked. “WOW”.
“In fact”, she replies, “the bible is made up of 66 books written by at least 40 authors, from different cultures and different backgrounds. Yet the bible is consistent throughout on thousands of highly controversial issues.” “Why do you think that is Sam?” “Why? indeed, Mary” , throwing the question back at her. “Because it had just one author Sam….God” “The Holy Spirit not only directed the lives of the writers and organizers of the bible, but the very words themselves”. “The bible is the tool God uses to communicate to his children. “ She adds, “It is the number one way He speaks to me today.”

I was a little overwhelmed with the conversation. I don’t think I did her explanation justice, but you get the jist. I can read the bible and know that it is God speaking to me. I can trust what it says. It has stood up to the evidence.

She asked me to start reading just 7 minutes a day. Since I am going to try this God’s way…..I told her I would do it. I need to find out what that “way” is. Seven minutes….who can’t fit that in? I am to report back next week- what I read and what God showed me. Oh yeah, she also told me it was ok not to understand everything I was reading. Don’t get hung up on it. Just keep going.

Let me know if you try it and what God has showed you? I will keep you posted.

And remember, Run The Race for Jesus!
Sam