Daily Walking with God

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Walking in the Word

Plant City's First Baptist Church

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Get Fit

Join me in “Getting Fit” physically, as well as spiritually.

God thinks youre specialWow! I’m astonished! But then again I’m not.

Women, you have GOT to LOVE YOURSELF and know WHOSE you are.

This morning I was working out a Curves. Yes, Curves. I love it! (Story to follow on why Curves.) The lady that was working out beside me was new. She had to be in her late sixties to mid-seventies. The employee (I like to call a “personal motivator”) asked her why she started coming. The seasoned citizen replied without hesitation, “Self-image. I have a very poor self-image.” My heart sank when I heard these words. I mean, I see and hear it with the middle school girls. In your teens, twenties, thirties, I observe(d) and hear young women talking about themselves and comparing themselves all the time. But at my co-exerciser’s age?…I would not have thought it still was an issue.

Sure, we can probably all look in the mirror and find fault in our bodies (I know I can). Even the ladies who are tone, hardly no body fat, and appear to have it all together physically can and do find some fault about themselves.

Why do we do this? Is it because of what we see in the media? Come on…you know how much those photos are touched-up. Is it because “Suzy Shape” looks great in all her clothes when yours may be a few sizes more than hers? Stop comparing yourself to others. God made you just the way you should be. He even broke the mold.

Yes, I do believe that we should take care of our bodies. They are God’s temple. You can tell through various posts I’ve done that I find exercise important. (Click here…about 27 posts in the “Get Fit” category!) But…do I do it because of a poor self-image? No way. Because feeling healthy and taking care of your body are important.

Sistas, PLEASE read the following scriptures. Treasure them. Appreciate Who breathed these words (God). He loves and adores YOU! You are made in His image. That’s pretty stinkin’ awesome! Embrace yourself.

“For you formed my inward parts; You kitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my souls knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-14

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but he Lord looks on the heart.’” 1 Samuel 16:7

“Do not let your adorning be external…but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” 1 Peter 3:3-4

The Lord said in Isaiah 43: 4a, “because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you…”

“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him. Male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27

“Why, even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7

I pray many blessings and much JOY for you! Have a wonderful day. – Stephanie

 

 

You go, Ashley!! I’m so proud of you!

I am so proud of my niece Ashley!  I had the opportunity to see her this past weekend.  Boy did she look fabulous! 

She started a healthier lifestyle plan a few months ago, and now it truly has become a lifestyle.

This past weekend, Ashley mentioned how at first she did NOT want to exercise (especially running), but “now that I do it every day, I’ve made a habit of it and I’ve become addicted!”  (her quote)

When she said that I automatically thought about our walk with Christ. 

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been a Christian, getting in a daily routine of having quiet time with God needs to become a habit.  Seasoned Christians are not immune to Satan’s tactics.  New Christ-followers often get excited about growing with God, but then taper off.  Satan LOVES it when we are not staying connected to God on a daily basis.  He sees our weaknesses and wants too pounce on them.

Just like Ashley, it may not be fun or convienent at first.  But if you stick with a quiet time (whenever it is best for you, morning or night), you will form a habit and become addicted. 

In James 4:8 we read, “Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”   Just come!  God wants you to desire Him daily.  He wants to be your BFF. 

I love how The Message translation puts it:

So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.” (vv7-10)

Get healthy and happier in life physical AND spiritual life!

I pray God’s abundant love and blessings for y’all.

(Here’s another journal entry on “addiction”.)

Snap*Crackle*Pop!  That was NOT my breakfast this morning.  It was my body. 

Last week, I was looking forward to finishing my five-week Alpha, T-25 workout and recording my last devotional about working out the body and spirit.  When I woke up last Friday morning, my head and sinuses kept me in bed and made me rest a while longer. So…Week 5 Day 5 was put on hold.

Fast forward to last night…I went to bed ready to arise at 5:30 in the morning so I could finish what I had started.  The alarm went off, my morning get-ready-routine-for-my-workout began, and then that’s when it happened.  No, I didn’t break any bones or injure any part of my body, but something else was broken…it was the DVD player.  As I sit here and type, I can still see the words being displayed, “CD/DVD, reading…”

Well, being one that enjoys making lemonade out of lemons, I said, “Well, God, my prayer list is long and my body needs stretching, so no worries.”  As I turned, twisted, and extended myself for the normal twenty-five minutes of working out, I prayed the entire time.

When the time was up, my prayers were still going. 

My body felt release and healthier, and my mind was fixed on what it should be on…God and others.

So tomorrow is a new day for finishing the exercise routine.  I have faith that my man can fix the DVD.  But in the meantime, today has started out stronger than expected.  I have faith that The Man will answer my prayers.

Starting your day in prayer and meditating on God is the BEST way you can start your day.   I pray that you will seek the face of God before you seek the face of man.  Psalm 27:8 says, My heart says of you, ‘Seek His face!’  Your face, Lord, I will seek.” (Oh, go ahead and read all of Psalm 27.  You won’t regret it!)

1 Thessalonians 5:17,Pray without ceasing.” (Don’t stop praying!)

Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Pray, meditate, and put a smile of not only God’s face but your own.)

Mark 1:35,Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (We are supposed to want to do and be more like Christ, so just do it!  He got up and prayed early each day, so should we.)

Colossians 1:9-12, For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.” (I just loved this when I was reading the scripture this morning.  This is my prayer today for you!)

I pray God’s abundant love and blessings for y’all.

 

The team goes beyond these ladies with me. This pic is from a field trip last year. I love these ladies!

 

My family is my support!

I am so grateful that I have a wonderful support system in many areas in my life.

My co-workers are awesome!  We have lunch together, gather in the halls, and are always there to back each other up.  When times are tough, unexpected, or when there’s much to celebrate, the group of people I’m surrounded by daily never fail to help and encourage one another.  No matter how diverse we are or what stage in our lives we may be, the support we give and receive from each other is refreshing and greatly appreciated!

The support at work doesn’t just end with my team, but it extends throughout much of the faculty and staff.  I have the BEST boss. The administration, support staff, custodial staff, and beyond are pleasant, and often have a smile or hug to give, and even a prayer to share.

My family!  Need I say more?  Parents, brothers, sisters, relatives, my children, and my man!  The support is needed, given, and honored. 

My church family (pastors, staff, teachers, and members) are supportive and encouraging in my walk with God.

My friends…let’s just say I am a blessed girl who has lots of “Barnabases” in her life.

You!  The reader.  The encouraging words I hear and read from you keep me grounded. Thank you for your support.

But where does my great help come from?  The Lord!

Psalms 121  reads:

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

 

This morning while working-out, it seemed that the instructor kept referring to “the modifier” (Tonya) more often today than usual. Even though I’ve done this section numerous times, I guess God wanted to reiterate to me the importance of support from others in our lives. 

Do you have a good support group? I hope so. 

I pray that you will find a good base of support, whether it be from just one person or many.  Co-workers, family, and friends, need to help each other out, not tear each other down. 

1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,…”

Just know that when you may feel that no one has your back, God does.  Turn to Him.  He’s watching over you.

Enjoy getting fit physically and spiritually.

3 John 1:2, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

I’m praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you. 

Yea, you thought I was slackin’.  Well, maybe this morning, because I needed to get to school early today.  But tonight, week FIVE day one routine resumed.    I can’t believe I’m on week 5!

Tonight I heard Shaun T. say a couple of saying that stuck in my mind; “Give it everything you’ve got!”  “Do this with a purpose!”  Amen and amen! 

In life, give it all you’ve got and live with a purpose.

In 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 we read, “Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.”  (MSG)  I love Paul’s writings.  He lays it all on the line and encourages me to live for God more. 

Yes, we must be on guard at all times.  Satan loves to see us stumble.  Don’t let him grab hold of you. 

Always stand firm in your faith.  Hold on to it.  Even when your conviction goes against the grain of everyone else’s perception, hold tight! 

Give it all you’ve got!  Be courageous.  I love all the synonyms for the word courageous:  spunky, audacious, daring, brave, spirited, etc.  If that doesn’t make you want to get up and go, I don’t know what will.  I just had a thought… maybe for some, those words sound exhausting and/or terrifying. Hmmmm, well then, just be brave for God.  He’ll take care of you.

Above all, do everything with love.  Lots of love!

Psalms 138:8a reads, “The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.”  He has a purpose for you.  Seek His will for your life.  Live for Him!

Enjoy getting fit physically and spiritually.

3 John 1:2, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

I’m praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you. 

Just Breathe. 

Have you ever been near a chemical plant, landfill, freshly “used” cow pin, or your own trash on a later day than normal trash day, and tried to inhale deeply?  Ugh!  That is stanky!  You know you want to remove yourself from that vicinity as soon as possible.

Now, let’s switch the scenario. Place yourself in a new car, a field of wildflowers, or a laundry room where the fresh dryer sheets or clothes detergent’s aroma fills the room.  Ahhh, the newness, beauty, and freshness are so pleasant.

That’s a lot like our daily walk with God. 

When you are in a situation where you are surrounded by sin or wallowing in it yourself, you feel “stanky”.  Flee!  Run far away so you won’t have to breathe in the foulness, and be consumed by it.  Sin can consume you.  It’s up to you to turn from sin, and instead turn to God.

When you are spending time growing closer to God, desiring to know Him more, and spending time in His word, that is a pleasing aroma to God.  You will feel “as fresh as a daisy”. Inhale God’s goodness.  Fill yourself with His love and exhale His love to others.

Inhale.  Exhale.  Inhale God.  Exhale God.  Now doesn’t that feel refreshing?  Glory!

  • Psalm 150:6, Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord.”
  • 2 Timothy 3:16a, All Scripture is God-breathed

That’s what I thought about while focusing on my breathing today while working my abs.  Turn your daily life routine into a God thought.  Go for it!

Enjoy getting fit physically and spiritually.

3 John 1:2, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

I’m praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you. 

 

I totally borrowed this pic from google images!! Not my abs, but I'll get there.

“When you focus on the core, everything else just seems to fall into place.”

Oh if this doesn’t sound like something I’ve said time and time again.  Here’s the way I memorized Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

But I love how The Message translation put it starting with verse 30 and ending with 33:

  • “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think He’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do His best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way He works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how He works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

The quote at the beginning of today’s journaling was something the exercise instructor (Shaun T) said while working out.  He, of course, was pertaining to our body, but in my mind, of course, I made it relevant to our spiritual growth.

Ok, stay with me here…Just last week I mentioned to my daughter how I find myself focusing on sucking my abs in (my core).  When I do this, I grow a little taller because it makes me stand up straighter.  My posture improves, which is something I definitely need work on (Ugh, I tend to slouch.).  Also, besides making my tummy look flatter, I’m working on those muscles while sucking in my abs.  The actions of my workout are overflowing into my daily life and making me feel better.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  Yes!  The same is with our daily walk with God.  You guessed it!

The more we focus on “The Core” (God) the taller we’ll feel, the straighter we’ll walk, the more our “walk” will improve, and we’ll just feel a whole lot better, y’all, because we are focusing on Him and not ourselves or the troubles life brings.  Get it???

Now, I’ve got a long way to go in automatically keeping my abs tightened, but I’m a work in progress…just like with my walk with The Savior.

Seek God first, and everything else will fall into place.  God will take care of you!  Stay with Him.

Enjoy getting fit physically and spiritually.

3 John 1:2, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

I’m praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you. 

Kudos to my man, Tim, for taking the photo. ;)

I am big prayer warrior. If you ask me to pray about something for you, consider it done.  When someone’s face or names comes across my mind that I haven’t seen in a while, and after I think, “Wow!  I haven’t seen that person in a while!”, I take that as God wanting me to pray for them.  Done.

My brothers are awesome examples of praying for others.  I so admire that when someone approaches them (myself included) and ask them to pray for them, without hesitation they grab a hand, touch a shoulder, or just over the phone receiver and begin praying. I followed my brothers’ example last week when a friend came to me to pray about a job opportunity.  Now, my prayer may not have been eloquent, but I meant it, and have continued praying for her this past week.

Before my feet hit the floor, prayer is the first thing I do each morning.  Throughout the day, that communication with God is vital!  And, my day always ends in prayer. Often I fall asleep on God.  (That’s not a bad way to fall asleep either…while talking with God.)

This past week, praying specific things for my children has been pressed upon my heart. So, after my workout and cool down session each morning, I’ve extended my stretch time on the mat and my prayer time for my children.

Therefore, when the exercise instructor, within the first five minutes of our routine said, “Give me praying hands”, I took that as a clue from God to stick with the extended prayer time and write about it.

I love how The Message translation writes Ephesians 6:13-18.   See for yourself:

  • Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

It doesn’t matter if you pray lying down, on your knees, while walking or driving (eyes open of course), sitting in a chair, or however.  God just wants you to take all your desires, thanksgivings, and requests to Him.  Chat it up with God.  You won’t regret the time you spend talking to Him.

Here are a couple of website you can go to for more verses and thoughts on prayer:

God Vine

What Christians want to know

Enjoy getting fit physically and spiritually.

3 John 1:2, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

I’m praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you. 

Funny thing….as I’m posting this, Wayne Watson is singing “When God’s People Pray”  on the music channel.  Yep, pray it up y’all!

I’m taking the biblical saying, “Be fruitful and multiply” to a different concept today.  I’m not asking you to grow our population, but to grow your character. (Hmmm, I just had a thought…maybe when we grow our character it will permeate into others lives and then, yes, grow our populations’ character as well.  Be contagious!)

Ok, so how do we do this?  Let’s get a little “fruity”.  Check out these two sets of scripture:

  • “…do all you can to add to your life these things: to your faith add goodness; to your goodness add knowledge;to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add patience; to your patience add devotion to God; to your devotion add kindness toward your brothers and sisters in Christ, and to this kindness add love. If all these things are in you and growing, you will never fail to be useful to God. You will produce the kind of fruit that should come from your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who don’t grow in these blessings are blind. They cannot see clearly what they have. They have forgotten that they were cleansed from their past sins.” 2 Peter 1:5-9
  • “But the fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these kinds of things.” Galatians 5:22-23  

Yum!  Just look at all the good fruit!  Pour it in a big bowl and mix it up.  This is one “fruit salad” you’ll definitely crave more of.

While exercising this morning, the concept of “self-control” kept entering into my mind.  When I was reminding myself of having self-control in various poses, how can I not think about how much it as a need quality in our daily lives?

There are so many things that I could just lose it on or become lackadaisical with, but I must consciously choose to have self-control.

Just look at the benefits in the verses above that having self-control leads to: patience, devotion to God, kindness, love, and so much more.

I believe this is a characteristic that God desires for us to have.  Yes, I believe and know it because He says it in His living word.

Just like when I have self-control while exercising strengthens my body, displaying it in our daily life will strengthen our spirit and character.

Go get fruity!

Enjoy getting fit physically and spiritually.

3 John 1:2, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

I’m praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you. 

The more time you spend with someone the deeper your relationship grows.

I see in the “world of pre-teens and teens” the cattiness that comes with it.  (Especially with girls. Ugh!)  Many times in my own daughter’s life, she would tell me about someone that “someone else said about them”, and then when she gets to know that other person, she finds a different take on them. Why? Because she spent a little time with them in one situation or another and got to know them for herself.

I have friends that I spend a considerable more amount of time with them than I do with my own siblings.  At times, I feel that I know my friends better than I do my own kin.  But the great thing about my brothers is…”Blood is thicker than water”. Even though we may not see each other as much as I would like to, I know my siblings will be there for me in a heartbeat.  Nothing can undo the bond between us.

Think about even our social media capabilities now.  Someone you’ve hardly seen in years, you now have the opportunity to reconnect, chat with, and watch each other’s life adventures.  You are spending time, via the internet, with that person and building your relationship all over again.

Relationships grow stronger and deeper the more time you spend with someone.

I felt the same way while working out with my five friends who I exercise with each morning. Particularly two of them more than the others.  Why?  Because Shaun is always talking to, instructing, and encouraging me, and Tonya is my “go-to-girl” for modifying.  I spend more time listening to and watching those two.

Hmmm, isn’t that how our daily walk with God should be?  Talking to God through prayer, reading and listening to His instruction, and just spending time with Him in thought is building a stronger and deeper relationship with Him.

If you haven’t discovered already, I hope that you will learn that being a Christian isn’t about religious rituals, but about a relationship with God.  Just because you believe God exist, or that you go to church, or that you are a good person doesn’t get you into heaven where you’ll spend eternity with Him in paradise.  Nope.  All of that sounds/looks good, but you must truly believe in Him and accept God’s Son, Jesus Christ, into your heart. Having Christ in your heart and desiring to know Him more will strengthen your relationship with Him.

Do you desire to know Him more as your personal Savior?  Please click  here and start building your relationship with The One who truly matters.

Blood is thicker than water, and He gave His blood for you.

 Enjoy getting fit physically and spiritually.

3 John 1:2, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

I’m praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you.