Forgiveness

I am not an expert on things of the Bible.  I don’t think I pretend to be.  I am not afraid to admit that there are some things that are tough to swallow when following the ways of Christ.  However, despite all of that, I am eager to learn more about Him and I trust Him to know better than me.  His ways are higher than mine.  My lack of understanding is because of my imperfections, not because of His.

One of the things many Christians struggle with is forgiveness.  It is pretty easy to forgive someone for an accident, but I am talking true ‘lay down the sword’ forgiveness.  My biggest struggle isn’t forgiving people who hurt me, but rather people who hurt those I love, or people who hurt children.  But we must forgive.  And we must pray that they change.  We are called to minister to them just as much as we are called to minister to the little old lady next door who always bakes us apple pies.

Whenever I think about murderers, abusers, etc, I think of a few things.  First of all, it is not my place to judge where they will spend eternity.  While we are not called to condone, accept, or agree with their choices…in fact we are called to speak truth against their choices and hold them accountable…we are not the judges of their forever fate.  Second of all, I am far from perfect, and the deepest sins that Jesus knows about me are no better than the ones that we all know about public sinners.  Third, while some people are completely aware of the evil they do, others are not completely…some were raised from birth to think it okay to hurt those who don’t agree with them.  Some have not found Jesus yet and do not realize how wrong they are.  This doesn’t make them innocent.  No…none of us our innocent, but prayers and forgiveness are for everyone.  I also thank God that by His grace alone, I am not under the mindset that murder and abuse is the right path to take.  Finally I think about the length of eternity.  We cannot even comprehend the length of time eternity is.  And for someone to suffer for that long helps me pray for everyone.

Again, please know I am not condoning these people or their actions.  I have not been in the position to have to forgive someone who hurt my family in a severe way.  I have had to forgive people who have hurt my family in a less severe way though.  I don’t know how I would respond in the situation, but I pray that I would be able to forgive and love as Jesus would call me to do.  I am not at all claiming it would be easy.

When I think about people around the world hurting others, especially children, the only way I can make it make sense is if I relate it to “Divergent.”  Yes, my favorite movie!  There is a part of the movie where people are put under a trance and in this trance are programmed to do things that they normally would be against.  When they come out of the trance they are appalled at what they have done.  I think of the unsaved as being in the trance and if we can reach them, maybe they can come out of the trance, stop hurting people, and help save others.

In a world of Sauls, let’s pray for some conversions to Pauls.

Better Me

I have not been hard on myself lately in terms of diet and exercise.  There are perks to this…more sleep, more time, less stress, etc.  There are also downfalls…slight weight gain (though not too bad), less routine, less commitment, worse shape.  Most noted though is that since I used to wake up at dawn to work out, that was also when I would do my quiet time, devos, etc.  Those have been shortened lately, and while I continue to focus upward and spend time in the Word, I am not doing nearly what I could be…or should be.  Not entirely directly related…I feel guilty when I pig out…not just because I feel gross, but I feel like a glutton.  I do believe that it is sinful to overeat and/or not take care of your body (your temple) in the manner in which we are called.

Hence, I am coming back to my blog to keep me accountable in improving my time with my Savior, who deserves every millisecond of my life, as well as improving my diet/exercise (which as I said, is not terrible, but could use a little kick).  I am going to keep it simple.  I find it amusing that there are so many diets and eating plans that claim to be different, but truly are the same…or awfully similar.  Diet = a way of eating.  Diet does not = starving yourself.  Most diets ask for 80% or more effort.  Most diets encourage protein and veggies to fill up your plate.  The biggest difference in many diets are the issues or grains and dairy, but if you are following whichever diet you choose at 80%, then putting 20% of dairy or grains in your day or week is not big deal.  I digress…I did say I would keep it simple.

Each day I will come on and put up a verse, a scripture, a question or a brief commentary of something I have read in the Bible or from a devotional book or a study book.  Each day I will eat no more than 1500 calories…aiming for heavy proteins, veggies, water and green tea.  Each day I will do a minimum of 45 minutes of exercise.  Sundays will be my day off of workouts and calorie counting.  Anyone who would like to come along on this journey with me, just reply to my daily posts and we can get better together!  🙂  I am convicted to be better for Jesus (not that anything good is of me, it is all of Him) but I want to commit to being better for Him, for my family and for me.

Perfection

I am glad I am not perfect.  I am glad I am so far from being perfect that I have no place to judge others.  Of course we all do at times, wrongfully.  But…I am glad that is not my authority.  (note: Christian accountability and malicious/flippant  judging are very different things)  I am thankful that God can see past even the ugliest of sins and see how He can use that for His glory, in many cases taking the sin away and creating a whole new person from the trials.

Right now there are some people in my life that are choosing very different paths than the ones in which they started.  I have Christian and non-Christian friends trying to take control of situations that need to be given to God.  Someone asked me yesterday why I want them to be in Heaven.  My heart breaks over each situation.   I pray that God changes their hearts quickly.  I am a sinner, too.  Perhaps their sins are more noticeable than mine because they are on display right now.  That makes them no worse than mine.  So while I pray dramatic changes in their lives, I also pray dramatic ones in mine.  Though I will never be perfect on this side of Heaven, I pray that I (and everyone) will grow closer to Jesus, and His will, everyday.

Praise God who gave His only Son.  Praise Jesus that His perfection reigns and that He took our place on the cross, so that when God looks on our lives He only sees the perfection of His Son.

11.23.13

Matthew 7:21-23 ESV

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Romans 8:1 ESV

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

John 3:16-17 ESV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

 

The other day I was with a group of people.   The group was a mix of Christians and non – Christians.  One of the Christians in the group is quite outspoken and opinionated.  This person likes to have attention and  isn’t too concerned if anyone is offended.  Another  person in the group quietly takes it all in, as in many other areas of life, but then is quick to make little snide comments about certain situations or people.  They are unheard by most and I am sure there are a number of thoughts for every comment that comes out.  Neither is better than the other.  They are both sinning, one quietly and one outspokenly.  And guess what?  So am I by judging them instead of looking at myself instead of them.

Christians sin.  We are no better than anyone else in the world.  But we love and believe in a Lord and Savior who forgives us; who died for us knowing every horrible thing we would do in our lives.

There are some Christians who come across as judgmental and hopefully their intentions are good.  If you are a Christian and believe in heaven and hell, the last thing you want is for anyone to live in hell for eternity.  So sometimes we try to “help” others come to Christ in a misguided way.  We aren’t perfect.  We love all people, whether or not they sin, because we know we are sinners.  We know we are lost without Christ.  We know we are saved and going to Heaven and just want as many people to come with us as possible.

day 23 and 24

So we just returned home from a 10 day beach trip.  That is why my daily health posts had been a little spotty.  It is also why my eating was kind of poor…when you have played hard all day on the beach and come back to rest in the cool condo snacks are sooooo tempting.

Anyway, I ran and walked 4 miles yesterday before we headed home.  The first time I had run outside in quite awhile.  It is such a blessing to be able to run on the beach at sunrise!  Wow!  So many thanks to God.  I was once again reminded that outside running is quite different from treadmill and elliptical.  I am so out endurance cardio shape.  I will have to work on that.  And alas, my knee is not doing well after the outdoor run…a bit discouraging.

Anyway, today is weigh in day.  My goal was to be at a BMI of 20.3.  I am 20.5.  This is only a pound difference, but is no change from where I was a week and a half ago.  I have conflicting thoughts.  One is that after all that time vacationing, I am glad to not have gained weight.  On the other hand, I was hoping to lose…of course, my own choices dictated my not losing.  Full blame on me.

All through my “full grown” life I have been this weight…in high school, college, early marriage,etc.  Barring the times I was pregnant and the 2 years when I was 20 pounds less.  So part of me is ok with being here, and the other part of me wants to lose a little, just a little, weight.  I do know my weight is more muscle now, though, because my size is lower than it used to be.

Anyway, I could come on here and lie and tell you that my BMI is really 20.3, but it isn’t.  Hopefully, I will be able to eventually reach my goals and be able to say, “hey, you can also get to your goal…and even if you fail along the way, don’t give up.”

My workout plan today is to do P90X Kenpo and a leg weightlifting routine.

My calorie goal is to stay below 1700 and my water goal is to be around 40 oz, hopefully more.

I will report if anything changes…otherwise will be back tomorrow.  🙂

Day 10

After 10 days I realize I need help!  I have no problem working out.  I have a problem controlling my food intake.  I used to be quite disciplined and am failing greatly!  Due to the working out, the damage is slow going, but it is still damage.  I do okay and than have one tiny slip up that leads to a landslide of disastrous dietary choices.

I decided that it is mostly mental.  If I followed my plans that I constantly write out for myself I would be the weight I want to be right now.  So I decided I need to whip my mind into shape along with my body.  I am going to assume with my mistakes in eating that I am now at a BMI of 20.8.  Surprisingly the internet says that 20.85 is the perfect BMI for women, which I wish was true, but then why would the menfolk drool over the tv/moviestars with BMIs of 18 or less.  (Yes, they are all beautiful despite their weight, but I digress).  I will not reveal my weight, just my BMI.

I am not going to weigh myself again until August 7th (2 weeks from today)

My goal is to be at a BMI of 20.3 on August 7th

My goal is to be at a BMI of 20.0 on August 21st

My goal is to be at a BMI of 19.6 on September 4th

My goal is to be at a BMI of 19.1 on September 18th

I believe these are doable and healthy goals.

To get a jumpstart for the next 3 days…Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I will be eating only 1200 calories.  Healthy, but difficult.

After that I am going to strive to stick to a modified P90X diet of 1300-1500 calories a day.

When I reach my goal of 19.6 BMI I am going to reward myself with some sort of ice cream or milkshake treat.  🙂

When I reach my goal of 19.1 BMI I am going to reward myself with an Onion Blossom from Chili’s.

Now I have kicked the accountability up a notch because I have dates and standards to live up to.

Workout today was light…arm and shoulder weight lifting regime.

And I did do the yoga and Linda yesterday.  🙂

The Fragility of Life

While I was living my life, someone died.

While I was running a meaningless race, my friend was saying goodbye to her brother.

While I was hugging my children during the day, someone was hugging a child goodbye.

While I was sleeping one night about 7.5 years ago my baby died inside of me.

When I go to sleep tonight, there will be people that don’t wake up in the morning.

When my husband gets to work safely tomorrow, there will be those who don’t.

In an instant…a flash…loved ones are gone.

Life is so fragile.  Lives are forever taken for granted and then forever missed.  It doesn’t matter if it was sudden or expected…there are still the memories… “just yesterday he was sitting next to me,” “just last week she waved to me,” “just an hour ago he kissed me goodbye…”

The older I get the more I realize how quickly life can fade…age, sex, race, religion do not have a say when it comes to death.

We do have a say when it comes to life, though.  We can determine how many hugs we give our children, spouses, loved ones.  We can determine how many times we say “I love you” and mean it.  We can determine how many times we say “thank you” and mean it.  We can determine how many times we give a gift, share a meal, say a prayer.  We can be determined to live for Christ so that we will live with Him when our earthly life is through.  As fragile as life is, these are necessary things.  We need to be diligent in remembering how fragile life is, so that we do not regret the choices we have made after a life has passed.