Saturday, October 26, 2013

VERSE OF THE DAY: John 11:14

VERSE OF THE DAY: John 11:14

John 11:14
Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

We know that God is love. We know that when God came to earth as the man, Christ Jesus, he spoke peace & calmed a storm. We know that Jesus was so kind and approachable that children were comfortable & happy to receive a hug from him.

Sometimes, however, Jesus must take on a role of cold, hard reality. That's what we find Jesus doing in John 11:14. In this verse he was not saying, "peace be still." He was not saying, "Let the children come!" In this verse he was lowering the boom about reality, saying it "plainly."

Sometimes Jesus does this in our lives as well. He requires us to face and accept a hard fact.

But we can never become so overwhelmed with the shock and emotion caused by the reality that we lose faith in God's love for us. Regardless of the pain, God is at work for us. He will never leave or forsake us. He will walk through the difficulties of life with us.

What "realities" have you had to face?

What emotions did you feel?

Do you feel you found a way to trust God's love?

Tell God your thoughts & feelings.
Ask forgiveness for any time you may have doubted his love.
Ask for his help to think and behave as a disciple of Christ.
Tell God (and possibly yourself, and those you're accountable to) that you will strive to handle difficulties with behaviors of faith in God's love for you. 

Please, share it! 

The Verse of the Day is taken from a selection of Bible memory verses, compiled for memorization by the United Pentecostal Church International, for the Bible Quizzing program.

Denée writes & records each verse as an individual song to aid the memorization process. You can find the links to purchase the songs at Denée's website: 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Intro to Running

A Facebook friend asked for some advice on starting to jog. She said she had run for 12-15 minutes and that she had pain in her legs. Below is my reply.

Different people will have different advice. Ask around for the information that best suits your success.

1. Definitely make sure your doctor is okay with you jogging.

He/she may attempt to talk you into another form of exercise, which you can follow. But if it is their preference and not due to your actual physical issue, do the type of exercise you feel like doing. 
The concern you want to eliminate is blood clots. I don't know what TYPE of pain you may be feeling. If it's muscles, then outlasting the pain is the trick. But you should make sure your blood is flowing correctly, and you are not risking dislodging a clot.

My personal way of handling a doctor's suggestion is to appreciate his or her opinion, then do what I sense is best for my body. If they become aware of a physical reality, it's no longer a suggestion, it's instruction. While I would get other doctors' opinions and insight, I would not blow off my doctor. Our goal is longterm safety and health, not a quick fix.

2. Don't run if it hurts.

I like that you said you ran "12-15 minutes." I'm a strong advocate of time goals over distance goals. Except if you decide to do a 5k, or something similar. Then you will need to train using distance as a goal.

If, however, you are going to stick with time goals, lower the time so you are not hurting.

There is NO REASON to feel pain. I do NOT abide by the concept of "no pain, no gain." My experience with MYSELF (each person is different) is that if it's painful, I'll quit. When I started running, I did not want to merely run until I lost a certain amount of weight. I wanted running to become my lifestyle.

ME: "I pray every day, I don't wear pants. I raise my children. I run. I breathe."

I wanted it to be as natural and as integrated as breathing.

3.There is more to jogging than running.

What I mean by that, is that you can "go for a run," but walk half or most of it. Your main goal is to get your heart rate up to the place where you have heavy breathing. Once you are breathing heavily, just walk for a bit. 

Getting your heart rate up to that level actually sustains calorie and fat burning even if you sit down.

Running in intervals (walking/running/sit-ups/running/walking/running, etc.) is not only effective and easier, but it has gained national attention as being quite healthy and more efficient for your body.  

Hope this helps you decide if running is for you, and how to sustain it.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Psalm 31; Purposeful Recovery

No one recovers anything by ignoring the problem.

If a person lost their wealth, they would RECOVER it by getting new work, more work, investing smarter, etc.

If a person lost their health, they would RECOVER it by seeking professional medical attention, changing their diet and habits, going to rehab, etc.

If a person lost their child they would RECOVER the child by seeking outside help such as law enforcement, or detectives, or psychiatrists, etc.

Losing something is a terrible experience, but we MUST accept that RECOVERY of some kind is necessary. RECOVERY is the counter balance of loss. However extremely hurtful the loss of it was, the work of recovery will and must match the pain. Unfortunately, because of the pain, the recovery process feels more difficult than the initial loss itself. But if you deem what you lost valuable enough, you will pay the price of RECOVERY.

In the foggy-minded aftermath of great loss it is possible to not understand exactly WHAT needs to be recovered. Truly all we care about recovering is the missing main object of our affection. Whether or not that is possible to recover is not entirely in your power. However, other "things" get lost along the way; such as self-esteem, faith, tenderness, innocence, joy, etc. These are "things" of the spirit, therefore the recovery of them will require a spiritual plan of action.

I've lost much. I truly do not want to publicly say all that I've lost because I risk appearing to attempt to garner sympathies. I appreciate prayer, but I'm not all that fond of sympathy. Simply telling you I've been through the pangs, embarrassment, sorrow, and shameful feelings of divorce will give you a significant insight into some of my loss. I only relay even that much information to give you confidence in the following plan. (No "sorry for your loss" flowers please. Or consoling pats of pity.)

This "Purposeful Recovery" prayer plan is just one of the many tools I've developed and used in my own struggle to get my head above the drowning currents of confusion, depression, and bitternes. It was a long road, before I finally felt like walking the rest of the road before me. Most days I did NOT want to wake up, dress, and put forth even the menial effort of one foot in front of the other. But thanks to great training, I did. And now, I DO. 

Don't give up in the midst of your swelling, pounding waves. The storm produces feelings of anger, sadness, jealousy, confusion, and even the lack of ALL emotional feelings. This is absolutely normal. It's not enjoyable, by any means. But these emotional swings do not mean you are a bad person. What it does mean, however, is that you have work to do. Settling with all those negative inner-turmoils as an acceptable lifestyle is very destructive. Not only to yourself, but to anyone you are in contact with. (And no, Isolating yourself isn't the answer, because your lack of presence is damaging to your community of people as well.)

Get on the path to Purposeful Recovery.

Here we go. I hope taking these very deliberate steps in prayer and relationship with God will help you as much as they've helped me. You could take each deliberate prayer focus hour by hour some days, or give each point its own week of focus. 
I have done them on an hourly basis for a week, then gone to another program, then came back to these steps. However you sense these steps would be beneficial to you is how you should enact them.

Purposeful Recovery 1: SPEAK your need of God TO GOD. Saying it triggers hope and sends faith into the atmosphere.  

Purposeful Recovery 2: REITERATE your trust in God often. After you speak how you want God to be your refuge, then make yourself and your atmosphere HEAR that you are believing God IS WORKING for you. 

Purposeful Recovery 3: ACKNOWLEDGE what or who brought you pain. Bitterness is clearly not permissible in our lives. But facing facts is necessary for recovery. 

Purposeful Recovery 4: COMPLAIN to God. While it's harmful to your social standing to complain, you show your desire for relationship by TELLING God what things are causing your pain.

Purposeful Recovery 5: REQUEST what you are wanting him to do. In the previous step you describe what you don't like. Now speak what you want him to do for you!

Purposeful Recovery 6: CLAIM the blessings! If he did it before (and he did!) He will do it again FOR YOU! Claim them by SPEAKING them.

Purposeful Recovery 7: PRAISE him in a seriously braggadocios manner! Make yourself dig through your current sorrow and find every nugget of blessing he's ever given ANYONE, and thank him for it!

Purposeful Recovery 8: ENCOURAGE others, even in your own pain and distress. Tell them how God is able to help THEM!