Sunday, August 18, 2019

Need motivation to get more exercise?

Come on now.... you know it's true. Most people need a motivation to get healthier and to exercise. Some people are a little strange -- they actually love it and have lifetime habits. But for the rest of us, we need a motivation other than taking care of ourselves or we would always do it!

As you can probably tell, the #Doit4theKidsDay5K has been that motivation for me. This is the 3rd time that I've participated in the fundraiser, and each time it has been motivating.

The first time I posted everything I ate and every time that I worked out. I know that it annoyed many of you to the point of unfollowing me. The second time, I was trying to go 143 days without stopping but on day 110 our lives fell apart and all the progress I made disappeared.

But I decided to try again. And I decided to do 100 days starting on May 7th. Several people agreed to be part of the challenge, but to my knowledge only 4 of us have prevailed (please correct me if I'm wrong. 

So I'm on day 70 and I have just 30 days to go. So how about joining me for the #best30daychallenge? Here's how it works:

Exercise 20 minutes and then take a selfie or a picture of what you're doing and mention what day it is. If you start today you have 48 days to exercise 30 of them. Not hard, right?

But here's the trick -- or the trap. One of the four people who have kept up with this came up with it after she got behind. She said "I'm going to donate $10.00 for every day short of 100 days I end up when it ends on October 5th"

Isn't that brilliant motivation? So who is up for this challenge? The penalty is a donation to a great cause so it's a win win. You exercise 30 days and you can let everyone else bear the responsibility of supporting this cause. If you miss a day then a $10 donation comes to help with the Vision at PHFS.

And the bonus? The satisfaction of helping me get to day 100 AND knowing you've exercised for 30 days is going to be a great feeling. Let's do this together. 

Everyone understand?

Or maybe you'd just rather donate and skip all this.  That's ok too.  :-). 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Running out the Darkness

Have you ever noticed that utter darkness is not possible if there is even a glimpse of light?  No matter how deep and cold darkness is, one single light, even one match or one candle, can change it.

That is why Jesus says to us, His people, “You are the light of the world” because each time one of us let’s our light shine, darkness is an impossibility.

As you have probably noticed, I have been consumed for years with the desire to see each believer recognize their responsibility when it comes to dispelling the darkness for those kids who are in foster care or those children who are marginalized and at risk of being separated for their families.   Jesus never had a plan B.  He said that we are His body, we are His hands and feet.  If we don’t do it, He can’t do it.   We are the solution.

I love this section of the song “Power” by “We are Messengers”.  May this be what you and I are doing in our communities, in this city, in this region, in our homes, in the schools our children and grandchildren attend, in our neighborhoods, and every place we go.  And may we be a constant reminder to others around us that WE ARE THE LIGHT…. no point cursing the darkness unless we are willing to shine.

Yeah, we're running out the darkness
Chasing down the dead of night
We're bringing hope to the streets
There's a new way, a better life

Thursday, August 15, 2019

And the Lord Looked at Him

This may be one of the saddest moments in the New Testament.   The verse is Luke 22:61 and this is what happened immediately after the rooster crowed.   Peter had denied Jesus three times, even though earlier he had promised he wouldn’t, and then Jesus looks it at and it hit him.  He had totally blown it.  And as soon as he realized it, he left the courtyard and “wept bitterly.”

Have you had one of those moments?  Caught up in your humanity have you found yourself forgetting what God had asked of you and plunging ahead in something you knew you shouldn’t do?  Have you then, at one point or another,  even while trying your hardest to avoid His gaze, felt like the Lord has turned at looked at you?  What was your response?

The beauty of Jesus is that that gaze was simply a reminder to Peter of how far away he had drifted.  It wasn't a look of anger or frustration it was just a knowing glance.  And it led him to repentance which eventually led to Jesus reminding Peter three times at the end of the book of John that He loved him.

The whole point of the gospel is not based on a theory that we never screw up.  It is based on the fact that no matter how many times we do, God will forgive if we repent and come to him in humility.    It’s not God’s anger or fear of Him that leads us to repentance, but His kindness.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Do you have a BUT?

In 2nd Chronicles 20, we read a summary of the life and reign of King Jehosophat.  It ends with these words:

32 Jehoshaphat was a good king, following the ways of his father, Asa. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight. 33 During his reign, however, he failed to remove all the pagan shrines, and the people never fully committed themselves to follow the God of their ancestors.

Ouch.   He did everything BUT one thing.  He failed to remove the shrines.

When my life is summarized, I wonder if there will be a BUT.   Will you have one?  Will people say, “Yeah s/he did everything God asked him/her to do BUT…..

I notice that there are two sad things about those verses.  The first is that there was only one thing that Jehosaphat missed… He almost got it right.  It’s sad to be so close.  But the most heart breaking thing is that the one thing that he missed is what made others around him never fully commit to following God.

It is my prayer today that God will convict me of whatever it is I am not doing to fully please Him …. not only because it robs me of the satisfaction of a job done completely — but because I don’t want anything that I do to keep others from committing themselves fully to Him.

In my opinion, No other Christian artist has written more convincing lyrics that Keith Green.  As a teenager he had a huge impact on my life.

Let’s go back to 1978 and have him sing a song (with a lengthy introduction, if you want just the song go to minute marker 2:10.