My Fitness

Monday, November 7, 2016

insignificant me

My prayer for you tonight is that you will waken with refreshened zeal and surplus of faith that you will realize how insignificant tomorrow is. 

Here in North Texas we are surrounded by many cultural Christians. I say cultural because of their dependency on culture to define their christianity. They are Republican. They are Democrat. They need freedom. They need government. They need guns. They need to homeschool. They need to speak. They need to be helped. They need high tax. They need low tax. But don’t be mistaken. There will be no Republicans in heaven. There will be no Democrats in heaven. 

For two thousands years Christianity has survived. Only ten percent of that has been with America. The Republican Party does not carry the Christian message. The Republican Party does not speak the words of Christ. The Republican Party does not live off the platform of Christ. There’s a simple test to see how I know this: The Republicans has dozens of pages outlining their platform. Christ summed his message in one simple breath in two thoughts: Love the Lord you God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself. 

The Democrats do not speak for Christ either. If you are getting your religious dogma from a politician, you are looking in the wrong direction. 

Do not overestimate the importance of this election.

For two thousands years Christianity has survived. Christianity has survived because of Christ. Christianity has not survived because of the saints and martyrs, men and women, rulers and conquests, popes and sinners, or democratic republics and kingdoms. 

You don’t need free speech to share the love of Christ. My prayer for you tonight is that you will waken with refreshened zeal and surplus of faith that you will realize how insignificant tomorrow is. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

a nice day with gals from church

This morning the women of Denton Bible Church met for a "Mugs and Mentors" brunch at Ann Little's house. It was delightful. I didn't know anyone but thought it would be a great way to meet new people. I met many wonderful gals and officially met a few people that I've had limited interactions with at church.

It was fun, challenging, encouraging, and grace-filled.

I chatted with various people for over an hour after it ended, which, if you know me, is not something I've done since having kids. (Something about being too tired for human interaction)

I then gathered my family together and we headed to the mall. I only have one pair of shorts. I know that it's November and here in the Northern Hemisphere we are about to enter Winter, but no one has told the weather this. Thus, it is still shorts-wearing weather. I was able to find a pair of shorts! Amazing! Not only that, but I was able to find a "workout jacket" as I call it - it's the thinnest jacket available and I wear it to Pilates and Ballet to give an extra ounce of warmth without overheating. I found both these items at very discounted prices. I would not have bought them otherwise!

Also, Felipe found a jacket that he said was very "Lauren-looking" at Zumiez along with a couple of beanies. So fulfilling!

Finally, I found the perfect "purse" but it was close to $30 and you know I'm not spending that much. Felipe found one for $6 that he thought looks right for me and I said that definitely the price tag looked like me! ha!

So I found every item I was looking for at discount and now I own two pairs of shorts for this Texas winter.

I remembered to write a Thank You Note to my host this morning and got it in the mail already. That was amazing - when do I remember out-of-the-ordinary things like that? When Micah, 5, saw me put it in the mailbox we had a mini-homeschool lesson about what I was doing and why. He then said, "Well, maybe I can write a letter to Kirsten about her buying me a dragon ball." Um, ok. More opportunity to educate and what's 50 ¢ for his happiness? Ha! So funny!

More good news: yesterday we bought a new (to us) washer and dryer for significantly discounted and it's working great. I am hopeful that we can give our old washer (kinda works) and dryer (works perfectly) to someone who needs it. I posted to the DBC city page and was immediately called by a gal who's daughter had just been texting me about something completely unrelated. Then I saw this gal at Mugs & Mentors and it was so refreshing. I love being part of the Body of Christ. I love helping and being helped by people who aren't looking for anything in return.

Nothing amazing happened today, but it was filled with grace and peace. And while these gals might have thought this event was no-big-deal, to me it was invaluable.

Thank you, new friends. 

Friday, November 4, 2016

are you good at defending God?

I am currently wearing this shirt:

In the diamond it reads, "We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19"

I ran an errand and a cashier complimented my shirt. She said it was her favorite verse. I replied that we all needed the reminder. She said, "Yeah, we need more people defending him. That's what's so wrong with this country."

She had to help other people who needed her attention but I was tempted to ask her what she meant.

God doesn't need you to defend him. He doesn't need you to believe in him. He doesn't need you. He doesn't need.

Perhaps she means something more along the lines of "defending her faith" which would be defending herself and not God. But the impression I got was that she felt we needed to take care of God and protect him. If that is actually what she meant, then I think we found our country's real culprit: bad theology. Decades and decades worth of theologically illiterate people.

Theology matters. If you're a cultural Christian, you're not a Christian. If you're really a Christian, it doesn't matter what the culture is like. We are so heavily influenced by our culture that we usually can't see where our Christian Culture ends and our Redemption begins.

There are thousands and millions of people who think they are good Christians because they don't drink alcohol. They explain that when Jesus was drinking the Bible got it wrong. Jesus would never do something that their culture says is bad (never mind the entire point of the Good Samaritan).

There are others who think that not smoking is a bonus point with God. Lots of people think homeschooling is what Real Christians do. Millions are being deceived right now into thinking that the only option for a Christian Voter is to vote Republican. -This last one is so obviously wrong and you'll see why when I point out that most Christians are not allowed to vote for US elections because they're not American.

We are so blinded by culture that we don't even consider non-American cultures.

Theology matters. God doesn't need your help. You need his help. You will fall for anything if you don't start studying different theologians. If you only listen to Brother Wilson (made up name) from your small hometown and shout "amen" at every service no matter what he says, that is foolish. If you only listen to Pastor Chuck (made up name) from your huge city megachurch and you discount every naysayer without looking into the matter, that is foolish.

Get a good Lutheran theologian, like Luther (duh). Get a good Calvinist theologian, like Calvin. Get some Augustine. Get some Piper. Get some Stott. Get some Lewis. Read their books and blogs. Listen to their sermons and podcasts. They don't all agree. Find out where they do agree. Read their Biblical analysis and start forming your own opinion. Don't be foolish but rather be like the Bereans who tested everything that Paul the Apostle taught them.

[The one stipulation that I can think of is if you are having difficulty following their reasoning and discussions. We are all weak in some areas. Some basic theology might be too much for you to understand. That's ok. Jesus didn't say, "Understand all things and you will be saved." We simply can't know all things. We are simple. What you need to know at the most basic level is that God loves you and sent his son, Jesus, to die so that those who believe will enter heaven in the after-life. Love God and love your neighbor; everything else falls under those two statements. ]

A God who needs your help is not strong enough to save you. Don't worship that God.

My help comes from God (Psalm 121:2). Not the other way around.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Where Jesus Slept review and free gift

This children's book is in the genre of Green Eggs and Ham in that it builds on the previous page until the final page has every phrase. I think this book would make a great children's skit. I want to work on it for 2017 - have each kid assigned a phrase telling the whole story of Jesus' birth. Just an idea. 
Leave your email address for a chance to win your own copy from the publisher!

“This is the bed where Jesus slept. This is the straw that lined the bed where Jesus slept.” From here, the story builds with each spread, adding a new element and explaining the relationships among the participants and witnesses to the first Christmas. From Jesus sleeping sweetly to the wise men bringing gifts, this charming book reminds readers young and not-so-young of the joyous event we celebrate at Christmastime. Children will love the delightful illustrations and the engaging repetition in this cumulative tale.

About the author:
Norma Lewis is the author of ten books. She lives in Grand Haven, MI, with a marmalade cat named Scalawag. They both love spending time with her six grandchildren, ranging in age from three to twenty.
Illustrated by Katy Hudson.

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