Friday, May 15, 2009

Just a quote I like...

Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.
George Eliot

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Shredding & Italy!

I don't get much done when I'm not busy. My to-do list is small this week, so somehow I end up being really good at pushing things off to another day. I should get everything done then enjoy my rare spare time. Hmm. Maybe tomorrow.

Update on my shreddage: I'm seeing lots of new definition in my arms! I have never had much upper-body strength, it's all in my legs, so I'm enjoying these new biceps that have arrived! Also yesterday was the first day I was able to complete the whole workout without stopping or putting down the weights. Yay for strength & endurance! I got my mom & sister doing it too, & did the workout today with Haley. The shred has spread.

We leave for Italy soon...! I need to start getting things together. I'm looking forward to seeing amazing sights (especially the Roman ruins, & thinking of the Christians Paul was writing to... so cool), drinking some yummy Italian coffee (I was reading that they don't drink cappuccinos after lunch, so if you order it you scream TOURIST... as if we won't already do that), & of course eating Italian food! We should do enough walking that we won't come back looking like blimps. Just kidding... even on vacation I need to keep my mind on Jesus & what He would have me eat. Luckily I have a built-in accountability partner, & Josh will be able to keep me in check.

I took an architectural history class my senior year & learned about a lot of the buildings & churches we will see over there... bummer that I don't remember much at all. Nor did we have a book in that class.

Anyone reading this been to Italy &/or have some tips???

Thursday, May 7, 2009

30-day Shred

So, one of the women on staff at the church gave me a workout video that she had told me about the previous week. I thought, "eh, I'll check it out." The only workout videos I had ever done were butt-lift videos (with Paige freshman year) & tae-bo, back when that was popular, & I hated that. But I was going to give it a chance.

Who knew you could get such a workout in 20 minutes?!

Jillian Michaels, the hard-core trainer on The Biggest Loser, is who made this video, called "The 30-day Shred." It is basically 3 circuits of - 3 minutes of strength training, 2 minutes of cardio, & 1 minute of abs. There are 3 levels so you can move up to the next level when you want to; I have been doing the video since Sunday & I'm not seeing that day coming anytime soon!! The first two days I was SO SORE. Now just my calves are sore. It's pretty intense. Josh is doing it too, & it's hard for him as well!

I'm going to update you on my progress occasionally. I won't do 30 days straight, I will probably skip Saturdays, & we do have a trip coming up soon (!) that will get in the way. But this is a good workout regardless; I probably will still do it from here on out (although not every day), especially if I don't feel like going to the gym. My goal is to build strength & muscle, to tone, & to hopefully help lose a couple of pounds of fat (those last few pounds I gained after getting married are hard to get off!).

You should get shredded too (mainly so I have someone else to be sore with)!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What is better than a free piece of chicken?

...A free MEAL.

Living by Christian Principles vs. a Relationship

I receive these devotionals every day, & today's was really good. Here it is -

Stop Living By Christian Principles
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman

..."having a form of godliness but denying its power" (2 Tim 3:5).

God never called you to live by Christian principles. He calls you to live in relationship with the living God, Jesus Christ. One of the weaknesses of the Church today is that we teach people principles without the relationship.

The western church is big on ten step programs, "how-to" methods and acrostics to illustrate memorable ideas. There is a place for establishing principles to change negative behavior. However, we are not called to have a relationship with principles, but a living God.

Living by principles is the equivalent to living by the law in the Old Testament. It is rooted in the Greek system of learning and is dependent upon our strength instead of being led and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Principle-based living is powerless living. This makes our Christian experience a religion instead of a relationship. "But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law" (Gal 5:18).

We read about principle-based followers in the book of Acts, "The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon's Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people" (Acts 5:12-14). There was a group of followers who liked being taught but never entered the game.

The prophet Jeremiah tells us about the nature of God and His desire for every believer.

This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

Friend, have you been guilty of living a life based on principles instead of knowing the One who authored the principles? Invite Jesus to be Lord over your life and begin to spend time with Him every day. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you through every moment of your day.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Scripture & Swiffer

You know, I have read the Bible for years, & it continues to amaze me how God can speak through scripture you have read so many times. Today I read the story about the paralyzed man that was brought down from the ceiling of the building Jesus was in (Matthew 9:1-8). Verse four really stood out to me this time- "Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, 'Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?'" (NIV). First of all, the fact that Jesus knows our every thought - why don't I live like He knows? Shouldn't that convict me to my core, & make me sick when I think things that are not pleasing to Him? Then the hugeness of that fact - how often do I entertain evil thoughts? How often do I think negative things about people, or think negatively of myself, or try to find my fulfillment in anything but Jesus? I think I will be meditating on that verse all day - it's too huge to soak in all at once.

I have an opinion about things (ooh, surprise!). One thing I have an opinion about are gadgets that make things easier, faster, more convenient. Most of the time I refuse to spend money on something simply because it will make something easier. Like... one of those things that peels & cuts avocado into perfect squares. I don't need my avocado to look perfect, & I am able to cut into it with a normal knife just fine. So in most things, I do it the old-fashioned, cost-effective way.

However, I hate mopping.

I can't stand it. I don't do it too often (compared to weekly sweeping or vacuuming), but when I do, it's just such an EVENT, lugging that big bucket & drippy mop everywhere. So I finally gave in & bought a Swiffer Wet Jet. WHOA, crazy me. After I figured out how to assemble it (mops only come in one piece, people), then used it (the exterminator left our floors all sticky-like), I think I decided I like it. It seemed to have done a pretty good job, & that wet stuff even smells good! It definitely is not as cost-effective as a mop. But I'm not seeing that it will feel like a waste of money. If it does I'll quit & go back to the ole mop. But let's hope that doesn't have to happen.