My Fitness

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

loving day

Lauren + Felipe 
June 12 is National Loving Day celebrating the end of banning interracial marriage. Some 42 years later, Felipe and I would get married slightly unaware that this law protected us. So bizarre.

Yesterday, I received Trillia Newbell's book God's Very Good Idea. I read it to Caleb. Caleb said a couple of interesting things.

First know that we don't have any pictures of Jesus hanging in our house. Jesus makes a pictorial appearance in Jesus Storybook Bible book and DVD and in maybe some Christmas books we have at our house. We absolutely do not have any blonde Jesuses. Caleb noticed how Catalina Echeverri drew Jesus. His words that he chose were interesting. He said, "But why isn't he plain? He is dark."

My kids insist they are not white but pink. And despite the brown influence of their father, Felipe, they all have to be outdoors for hours before they tan. Caleb is especially almost translucent and the only exception to tanning.

I explained to Caleb that Jesus looked more like that picture than he did like us. I was genuinely surprised that he didn't already know that because I thought we spoke about it a lot. But maybe what I'm recalling is talking to Felipe about it, and since Caleb rarely pays attention to anything except Minecraft and Mario, he didn't know.
God's Very Good Idea 

Jesus Storybook Bible

The other interesting thing Caleb said was at the end. "Well if God said it, it must be true." That made me smile. Thanks Trillia Newbell and Catalina Echeverri for giving me a great book to talk to my kids about Jesus!

Consider talking to your own kids about the white-washed Jesus and the truths of Scripture which are sadly often different from the truths of the church. Here's a great article on why it matters. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

thoughts on elijah

Here are some of my passing thoughts on Elijah. I'm not studying him. I only read through his story. You can read it in 1 Kings 17.

I feel like I relate to him in a small way. I'm not a prophet but it seems whenever I start speaking truth to God's people that might be uncomfortable for them to hear, they try to get rid of me, including most recently lying to CPS and showing favor to liars instead of helping the oppressed. The tiny bit of injustice that I've been served from my church makes me marvel at the restraint of entire people groups within the US.

So I've faced my Ahabs.

I've not had any miraculous flour and oil jars. But I feel like I've seen God show up in other ways while I mock people's idols. And then the next day ran and hid because I suddenly forgot God's provision and love for me.

I've helped others when they were lost and crying but I had no one to help me when I was lost and crying. I got lost in February. I cry myself to sleep and sometimes don't sleep at all. It's getting better. The Holy Spirit is my only help. I don't know why the church doesn't care for me. The church isn't the Church. The church enjoys her Baals. She doesn't enjoy me pointing it out.

Today I wait (but not hiding in a small cave) listening for the still, unwavering, whispered voice of the Lord. He is reminding me:

I'd rather be Elijah in the wilderness than Jezebel in the palace.

Friday, May 18, 2018

philippians 2:13

In D-group this week we had a challenge to find 10 truths in Philippians 2:13. Here's my response:

Philippians 2:13
for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

for - from the previous verse. Why should you work out your salvation with fear and trembling? You should because it is God who is doing the work.
God works - God is working. He isn't passive. He isn't distant.
is God - It is not nature nor my will power, but it is God who is working.
works - It is a process and not just an instant achievement.
in you - God works in you and not necessarily around you. He's working on people and not necessarily circumstances.
YOU - He's working in YOU, specifically you! He's not looking for the "greater good" despite what happens to you. He desires YOUR good.
will - the interlinear says this is "gladly intend and desire." God wants to do good in you. He isn't working in you begrudgingly.
work - good is more than a state of being for God. It is action.
good pleasure - It makes God happy to work in us to bring out the best in us.
will and work - He desires and does. God desires and does good in us and somehow according to verse 12 we are also participating. We need to work out our salvation for it is God who is working in us. We need to work because it is God who is working. If we are working God's work, then we can be assured of success.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

up-cycle pen holder

My friend has this neat pen holder for her journal that she made. I searched Pinterest and found a couple of options to copy hers and went off to my local second-hand arts supply store, Scrap. I got my supplies and noticed that they also sell those tiny reading glasses cases for 25c. I grabbed five to share with my kids and to test a design. What if I just attached elastic to the back of the glasses case?

It's worked! I don't know how durable it is. I put a button on one end so that I can adjust the length whenever I change journals. I can fit 3 pens in there and they don't move around. It's pretty neat:

"can you lose God's trust?"

This was a recent submission that came across my desk:
Can you lose God’s trust? (When you sin, does it take him “time” to trust you again?) / how the heart changes from feeling guilty about sinning and just trying to do right, into understanding that you’re still going to always sin but you want to do the right thing because it honors God.
My first thought is best summarized by a head tilt and a, "huh. Interesting."

Whenever I get odd questions, like this one, I get quiet. By quiet I mean the opposite of snarky and rude. As a child and teen, and sometimes even as an adult, if I didn't phrase my questions ever so perfectly, I'd be laughed at and scorned and shamed into "learning a lesson." I'm not sure what lesson was supposed to be taught except to not ask questions in those situations. But rudeness is a character trait that was drilled into me for a couple of decades before I moved out and learned that most Christians are gracious and kind.

Well, some are gracious and kind, anyway.

What an honor it is to have someone think that I can give an answer to their question even if it is not the question that they asked. Since it is honor, I like to treat it like an honor and approach humbly. I don't know anything about the person asking this question. Maybe she is usually very articulate or maybe she was in a rush or maybe she was relaying a question (as in this situation) and wanted to preserve the question unadulterated.

Tara-Leigh added a few sentences, and I'm glad she did. I felt those sentences gave the reply a fullness. The three key points both Tara-Leigh and I wanted to touch were 1, God doesn't trust us, 2, we can't surprise God because he's sovereign, and 3, the real question is what to do with misplaced shame.

Here's my reply:
I want to be very careful with my wording and I may still fail. Give me grace and if I fail to clarify, please do not hesitate to ask me again.

If someone sins and repents, and then still feels guilty, it is not because of God’s lost trust.

God does not trust people. In some very poor translations of the Bible, certain verses translate a person’s faithfulness into God trusting him, but know that the wording in those translations fails to pinpoint the truth accurately. Consider Numbers 12:7 in the NLT (a paraphrase that is good to get the general idea of a passage but not meant to base doctrine on): “But not with my servant Moses. Of all my house, he is the one I trust.” And in the ESV (a essentially literal translation that has been created for the purpose to understand the original meaning): “Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house.”

Even Jesus did not trust humans. “ But Jesus on His part did not entrust Himself to them, because He knew all people, and needed no one to bear witness about man, for He Himself knew what was in man.” John 2:24-25

You are right that the Spirit convicts to repentance and it is the accuser who accuses to guilt us. If confession and repentance has already happened, then those feelings of shame are misplaced. You do not need to do anything to earn God’s satisfaction. God is not waiting for you to prove yourself. He already knows the future, because He’s already in it. If we had to do something, then our salvation would be of our own doing. Instead the Bible affirms that, “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

God doesn’t trust us to not sin. Christ came not only to save us from our sins committed before we were saved but also for all the sins we would commit afterwards. From the perspective of the cross, all of our sins were post-crucifixion. Jesus died for all of our sins because God knew that until we enter eternity, we would continue sinning. God’s feelings don’t get hurt like when we sin against our friends. Our friends might take time to come around and be friendly again, but Christ (through His death on the cross) has already absorbed all the Father’s wrath toward our sin. While God may be saddened by our sin, His wrath has been satisfied.

Your member might now be wondering, “when will I stop feeling guilty after sinning?” God’s love is never lost. God trusts Himself to be there for us in the form of the Convicter and Comforter, the Holy Spirit. When we sin, the Spirit convicts us while the enemy will try to accuse us. The difference will be a Spiritual conviction leads to repentance and new life whereas an accusation will lead to shame. Misplaced shame is real and sometimes difficult to deal with. This is a good sermon to help with that struggle:

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

remembering thinklings rip

A long time ago when I was living in Mississippi I did a web search trying to find something completely trivial. I don't remember what it was. But I saw an interesting link that would launch me down a path that would change my life.

That site was called and that name reminded me of CS Lewis's gang called Inklings so I figured this group must be okay. And they were.

Thinklings is a group of men who discuss things in an intelligent manner and who welcomed many people into that circle to comment on their discussions. I was one of the people they welcomed and it's one of two or three groups I've ever felt welcomed in. (The other two groups being d-group and #adultballerinagang on instagram.) They put up with a lot from me in my immaturity and helped me grow into a strong woman of God. 

The link is good. Go visit:

On the left you can see links to the 5 Thinklings: Jared, Blo, Phil, Bird, Bill. And beneath that:
They included those blogs of those who they liked. I've tried to see if anyone else is still active. Not many are. I'm going through some really bad stuff right now and I wish we had stayed in touch. 

Guys, if you're reading this, I could really use your help. If it helps, my brother-in-law owns a pipe and cigar shop and I'm sure I could hook you guys up! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

the star movie dvd

LIVE GUIDED BIBLE STUDY w/ DEVON FRANKLIN is “interactive and super engaging” CHECK IT OUT HERE

“Full of humor and heart” – Huffington Post

The Star is destined to become a classic!” – The Dove Foundation

Golden Globe® Nominated for Best Original Song by Mariah Carey & Marc Shaiman


The Tale of Faith and Friendship Includes Six Sing-Along Videos from Mariah Carey, Fifth Harmony, Kelsea Ballerini,
A Great Big World, and Kirk Franklin

Includes a Dance Along, “How-to” Crafts Video and Much More

Available on Digital February 6 and 
On Blu-ray + DVD + Digital on February 20

CULVER CITY, Calif. (January XX, 2018) – From the studio that brought you
MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN & CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS comes the timeless tale about faith, friendship, and the importance of believing in yourself.
AFFIRM Films and Sony Pictures Animation’s THE STAR arrives for the first time on Digital on February 6 and on Blu-ray + DVD + Digital February 20 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The heartwarming animated comedy follows a
small but brave donkey named Bo (voiced by Steven Yeun, “The Walking Dead”), who yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth (voiced by Aidy Bryant, “Saturday Night Live”), a lovable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave (voiced by Keegan-Michael Key, Friends From College), a dove with lofty aspirations, along with three wisecracking camels voiced by
Tracy Morgan (“30 Rock”), Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey. Bo and his new friends follow the star and become accidental heroes in the greatest story ever told.

Rounding out the all-star voice cast including Gina Rodriguez (“Jane The Virgin”) as Mary, Zachary Levi (“Chuck”) as Joseph, Grammy® Award-Winner Kelly Clarkson as Leah the horse, Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”) as Zach the goat, Ving Rhames  (Mission Impossible) as Thaddeus the dog, Gabriel Iglesias (Coco, Ferdinand) as Rufus the dog, Patricia Heaton
(“The Middle”) as Edith the cow, Emmy® and Tony® Award-Winner Kristin Chenoweth as Abby the mouse, and Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World) as King Herod.

THE STAR is filled with more than an hour of engaging bonus materials including the “Star-aoke: Sing Along with Bo & Friends,” a dance along to “Life Is Good” by A Great Big World, plus a collection of fun lyric videos that will have you singing along to the inspiring music from
THE STAR.  Families can enjoy crafting and baking with “how-to” videos “Star Mason Jar Votives” and “Sweet and Sparkly Stars,” and they also can go behind-the-scenes to explore the amazing talent who bring these characters to life.  In “Faith All Year Round,”
renowned pastor and motivational speaker, DeVon Franklin delivers a fun and engaging children’s sermon discussing the themes of the film and keeping the spirit of this inspiring story alive in us every day.

THE STAR is directed by Academy Award® nominated writer/director Timothy Reckart, screenplay by Carlos Kotkin, and story by Simon Moore and Carlos Kotkin. The film is executive produced by DeVon Franklin, Brian Henson and Lisa Henson, and produced by Jennifer Magee-Cook. The Star is presented by AFFIRM films and Sony Pictures Animation in association with Walden Media, Franklin Entertainment and The Jim Henson Company. The uplifting theme song, “The Star” by Mariah Carey and veteran songwriter Marc Shaiman was also nominated for a 2018 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. “The Star” song is now available on The Star: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, which assembles new music from a bevy of powerhouse superstars.
Bonus Materials Include: 

  • Star-aoke: Sing-Along with Bo & Friends: In this all new song, sing along with your favorite characters including Bo, Dave, Ruth and the unforgettable camels 
  • "Life Is Good" Dance-Along: Shake your tail feathers and move your hooves in this fun dance along
  • Lyric Sing-Along Videos: Enjoy the eclectic and inspiring music of THE STAR with these colorful lyric videos that allow you to sing along with your favorite recording artists
    • “The Star” by Mariah Carey
    • “Can You See” by Fifth Harmony
    • “Children Go Where I Send You” by Kelsea Ballerini
    • “We Three Kings” by Kirk Franklin
    • “Life Is Good” by A Great Big World
  • Sweet and Sparkly Stars: Create star-themed cookies to be enjoyed year round 
  • Star Mason Jar Votives: Let the light of THE STAR shine with this simple yet stunning craft
  • Faith All Year Round with DeVon Franklin: A children’s sermon discussing the themes of the film and how to keep the spirit of this inspiring story alive in us every day
  • An All-Star Cast: Meet the stars of the film and explore the exciting voice cast who bring these amazing characters to life

THE STAR has a run time of approximately 86 minutes and is rated PG: for some thematic elements

GOLDEN GLOBE® is a registered trademark and service mark of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. 

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) company. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to

Sony Pictures Animation produces a variety of animated and family entertainment for audiences around the world.  The studio is following its worldwide comedy hits—the record-breaking monster comedies Hotel Transylvania and Hotel Transylvania 2, the hybrid live action/animated blockbusters The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2, and the mouth-watering Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movies—with the fully animated reboot Smurfs: The Lost Village available on digital and Blu-ray now; a surprising and comic take at the secret world inside our phones with The Emoji Movie now on Digital HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD; the inspirational The Star currently in theaters.  Next will be Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation from director Genndy Tartakovsky in July 2018; and the groundbreaking animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse from the minds of Chris Miller and Phil Lord in December 2018.  The studio, in conjunction with Aardman Animations, has produced two critically acclaimed feature films:  the CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas; and the Academy Award® nominated stop-frame animated high-seas adventure, The Pirates! Band of Misfits.  In 2007, Surf's Up also received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Feature Film; a sequel entitled Surf’s Up 2: WaveMania is now available on digital and DVD.  The division, whose first feature film Open Season led to a very successful movie franchise including the brand new Open Season: Scared Silly now available on digital, DVD and Blu-ray, was founded in 2002.  Sony Pictures Animation is a division of the Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group.
AFFIRM Films produces, acquires and markets films that inspire, uplift and entertain audiences around the world. Since releasing its first theatrical film-The Kendrick Brothers’ drama, Facing the Giants in 2007, AFFIRM Films has released numerous quality faith-based films including Soul Surfer, based on the inspirational true story of surfer Bethany Hamilton; When the Game Stands Tall, the sports drama inspired by the story of the De La Salle Spartans; War Room, which hit #1 on the domestic box office chart; Risen, which followed the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer; and was the faith-based marketing partner with Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures for their films Miracles from Heaven and the #2 faith-based film of all time, Heaven Is for Real. AFFIRM Films also released All Saints in August of 2017. In partnership with Sony Pictures Animation and Columbia Pictures AFFIRM Films released the animated film The Star on November 17, 2017, the story of the first Christmas from the perspective of the animals in the stable. AFFIRM will next release Paul, Apostle of Christ on March 28, 2018. AFFIRM Films is a division of Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA), a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) company.

Staci Griesbach Jamie Falkowitz-Tancredi
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Falkowitz PR
(310) 244-6903 (818) 606-2652

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