My Fitness

Friday, December 14, 2018

30 days to understanding the Bible - free copy

I am so excited to be reviewing this book!

A couple of years ago I went through an older version of this book and I am glad to see a new version. When I was asked to review it I thought it would be fun since I've read it before.

Skimming through the newest edition, I love the new font and the new lay-out. Also, unexpectedly, Max actually signed my copy. How nice is that!

Seriously though, this is the best introduction to the Bible that I've read. I would love to lead a group of women through the book and incorporate The Bible Project's videos, too. That would be a great combination!

Each chapter has a summary and a self-test. The answers are given and straight-forward. There's no tricks and no need to watch an extra video or listen to a podcast for the "real" lesson. It's all right there. You could do this with a group or by yourself.

If you want a copy, for free, let me know! First comment wins.
Everyone else:
Promo video link:
Official website:

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

giving locally!

Shop local! Shop small!

I am local. I am small. (well, relatively speaking.)

This is a gift going out to a local lady who asked for a copy of my book that I happen to have on hand! I'm so excited that I'm able to share it with her. I have a couple more copies on me. Let me know if you want one.

I'm hopeful that anyone who wants a copy will be able to get a copy. I have endless copies of epub versions. So if electronic reading is your thing, I've got you covered. Let me know!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

stop looking for the helpers

This is going to come across as bitterness. But I'm not bitter. I'm passionate and feel like no one is telling you that you need to be helping others. Please read this with the grace that you would want to be extended to you. Give me the benefit of the doubt and let me erase that doubt with assurance that I'm not bitter. I'm passionate and my heart breaks. Read this as from someone who has been deeply hurt and wants that to not happen to others. Passion. Not bitterness.

Many of you know about the toxicity of the last church was that we were members of. To give you an idea, when I was desperate and begging for help, a couple I didn't know hardly at all wanted to help. A leader at that church said that they didn't need to do that since they didn't know us. A leader. At a church. Where we were members. Said don't help those who need help. 

I feel like I shouldn't have to explain how anti-Christ that statement is, but just in case you don't know how evil that statement is, I'll share a few Bible verses.

James 4:17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

Matthew 25:44-45 Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty...and not minister to you?' Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.'

Galatians 5:13 through love serve one another.

Luke 10:25-37 THE STORY OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN, where Jesus answered who is my neighbor, who should we love and show mercy, with "everyone who is in need."

Is that enough? One More?

Matthew 7:12 aka The Golden Rule; So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.

Fred Rogers was an awesome man and helped so many people learn to love their neighbors. He wasn't God but he was a reverend and God used the man. He's known for a saying in times of trouble, "Look for the helpers." 

Stop it.

That is a great sentiment for children. But some of you guys act like you've never grown up. You're an adult now. Stop looking for the helpers and help. 

Fred Rogers would want you to now be the helpers. He didn't mean for you to continue to sit around waiting for others to help. You need to help. You don't need to advertise how you've helped. You don't need to report to me. But if you walk past someone in need and say, "I always look for the helpers," God is speaking to you when he says,  "I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness." 

Is it your job to help every time? Yes. Every time. What if you're not able to help? Then no, it isn't. Every time you are able to help, it is your turn to help. How do you discern if you are able? Pray about it for 10 seconds then start figuring out how you can help. 

I felt like shaking people at my old church every time I saw a need posted and a meal train created. It was so painfully obvious who was popular and who wasn't. I would get on the group and say, "Hey! Look this person who I don't know is needing help. You need to sign up to help them even though you don't know them." I am not sure if it's just a Denton thing or a Southern thing. When I was Mississippi it would happen similarly. "Why is no one helping that family?" "Well, they are kinda rude." Funny how God didn't say, "Help those who are nice." He said, "Help those in need."

He also didn't say, "Help those who have helped you." No one I helped at that church returned the favor. It made me really bitter for quite awhile. But God specifically tells me and you, "lend and expect nothing in return." I am so ashamed of my bitterness. I could have helped even more people if I wasn't so butt-hurt over being neglected and unloved by those people. I know now that the church was being lead by toxic individuals and the congregation didn't even know that God wanted them to be loving, kind, and helpful. They didn't know that they should love the stranger. I was a stranger to them and they didn't owe me anything. They made sure I knew it. I've forgiven them and I have received forgiveness for my bitterness. 

Helping can be as easy as having someone over for lunch. Not once at my old church did we receive any such invitations. But we were faithful to extend those invitations. Not once did an established member introduce themselves during the service's "meet and greet" time. But we were faithful to do so. It's easy: You look around, see someone you don't know, get over yourself, and say hi. Ask if they've been coming here long. That's how I know everyone I spoke to had been members for years longer than us: I started talking to them. I initiated. Every time. 

IF YOU ARE SINGLE, YOU ARE STILL PART OF THE CHURCH. I hear so many complaints from single adults about not being treated like they are full members of the church. But when someone needs help, where are you? I can tell you that the times that I needed help, no single person on their own came to help. One time one gal came along as a married woman gave me a meal. And one time a single gal came to watch movies with my kids as I mowed my lawn. Isn't that sad? If you can't handle tiny responsibilities, what makes you think you deserve big responsibilities? 

There's a parable about that. Matthew 25:14-30. Go read it. I'll wait. 

You might be reading this thinking, "Sheesh, Lauren, you're so bitter. I'm not going to listen to anything you say." I'm not bitter. I'm passionate. It breaks my heart seeing people in need. I'm trying to help but I can't do it all. I need you and they need you. You are needed. You are wanted. 

Stop looking for the helpers and help.