Daily Walking with God

January 2018
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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.

We live in a world where things are always changing; Minds, relationships, beliefs, styles, hair-color.  You name it, things just seem to adjust to the times or moods of our society.

When you want some stability in life or one thing to focus on, there is only one direction to turn to…Upwards.

We read in the bible the following verses:

  • “I am the Lord, and I do not change.” Malachi 3:6a
  • Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

When we focus on His constant love and unchanging wisdom, we are becoming more stable in our daily lives.

Today during my Saturday Stretch routine, there were times when I had to stabilize myself.  So I focused on an object that was moving. When I focused on the immoveable object, my balance was steadier and I felt at peace.

My daughter, Holly, came into the room and asked a question.  When I turned towards her my stance became shaky and one foot went down.  See, at that moment Holly was a distraction.  Just like in life…we have “things” that vie for our attention.  When we given into “the distractions in life” we just may become not-so-grounded in our daily walk with Christ.

Later, Holly reentered the room, but this time I kept my eye on the immoveable.  I didn’t lose balance as much and was able to be more grounded in my stance.

God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is never changing.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Keep your eyes on Him.  Focus on God and don’t give in to the distractions in life.  You’ll experience a peace that can only come from 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. 

I had to smile at myself this morning when I heard a comment, yet it made me completely aware of what God is doing all the time.

While working out the instructor, who is on a DVD by the way, said, “Okay, I’m coming to you.  I’m watching you.”  I found myself trying to make sure my holds, stretches, and various positions were tight and right.  Okay, he can’t “really” see me, but I know Someone who can.

God is ALWAYS watching over His children.

Psalms 121:5, “The Lord Himself watches over you!  The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.”

Proverbs 15:3, “The Lord is watching everywhere, keeping His eye on both the evil and the good.”

Right now, He is watching you.

I must like the phrase “You can run, but you can’t hide”, because I remember writing about it before.  So when I search for the journal entry on this subject, I discovered that I used the same title three times. LOL.

Well, God’s unfortunately (yet sometime fortunately) not the only one watching us.  Others around you are observing you and your deeds.

Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

I pray that your deeds will put a smile of God’s face and make others more curious about Who our great God is.

Let your light shine for the Lord.  Get tight and right for God.

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.”

Praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you. 

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18

In school we are less than a couple of weeks away from taking the math portion of the FCAT (Florida’s Comprehensive Assessment Test). Yesterday I rewarded the students in my class who had gone onto this website called ixl.com, for a certain amount of minutes/hours for the month of March.

Over the past month I’d noticed how one of my students in particular had more confidence in his math and had made much progress in his studies.  Well, when I saw that amount of hours he had contributed to his studies on the website, it was evident.  I bragged about his progress (without mentioning his name) in each of my class periods.

See, at the beginning of the school year, and many times throughout, I informed the students that: I only have them for about forty-five minutes of instruction time each day. Our curriculum moves at a rapid speed with so much to learn. And, I encourage them to take advantage of the four free tutoring days we offer, the free website provided, and to make sure that if they don’t understand a concept to please seek help in me or other sources.

This one specific student desired to advance in his knowledge, and he did well.  I am so proud of him!  And I can tell by the smile on his face with I bragged about him in his class that he was impressed with himself as well, in a good way.

This morning, I was proud of the progression I’ve made in myself in my daily exercise routine.  I’m getting stronger and my stamina is increasing.  I can feel it!

In Colossians 1:9-12 we read, “We ask God to give you complete knowledge of His will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all His glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, 12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.”

I pray and desire for you to grow in your wisdom and understanding of God, honor Him with the way you live your life, and grow closer to Him.  He will give you strength, endurance, and patience.  God will fill you with joy!  Thank Him for all He does all for all He is.

This verse is an encouragement to me as I progress in the Lord. What about 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.”

Praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you. 

Balancing life.  I can vividly recall a time in my life when I felt that I had to juggle various activities in my life/wear many hats to either feel a specific way or to reach a certain status.  When my children came along and increased with age, balancing life had a whole new meaning. 

Children, job, school, church, friends, family, status, other’s expectation, etc.  I don’t think I’m alone when I say that when we try to “balance” too many things in life, something is bound to fall.  And notice that not all on the list of things we balance are bad.  But, there is a key to balancing life.

I could get into a whole sermon on the life lessons I’ve learned in life on this subject, but I’ll spare you the lengthiness.  The main thing is to have a firm foundation in God.  When we seek God first, some of the “others” in life that we think are important, tend to get into focus and may even fall off the list of “must have to haves/dos”.

  • Matthew 6:33, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”

During my workout this morning I needed to focus balance.  Just like in life, my balance would get a bit shaky.  But that’s when I would just raise my hands and stabilize.  When we need to balance life’s situations, we need to remember to raise our hands and hearts to God and allow Him to stabilize us.

  • Proverbs 11:1, “The Lord detests the use of dishonest scales, but he delights in accurate weights.”

Trying to balance “it all” can be exhausting.  Don’t get caught up in what you think needs to be in your life.  Focus on securing your life on growing in Christ and giving Him all the glory.

  • 2 Peter 3:17-18, “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”

For everything in life has its time and place.  Don’t feel that you have to do it all.

  • Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:  a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

I hope that you’ll discover that when you have a firm foundation in Christ, the “things” in life that you think are important to have/do/”balance” will fall into perspective, not just fall at your feet.

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.”

Praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you. 


Why am I always surprised by His provision?  I shouldn’t be.  He is amazing.  He is God!  But yet, I just sometimes shake my head and smile at what He does for me day in and day out.

When the alarm went off this morning, I did my normal lay my hand on Tim and do my prayer thing.  I told God this morning, “Lord, I give this day to You. Go for it.”  The prayer went a little longer than normal, or did I snooze off a minute or two…I’m not sure, but when my feet touched the floor and I saw the time, I was like, “Ut-oh, I’m late.”  Well, God proved to me that I may have thought I was running late, but He had this under control.  Shocker? Naw.

I thought I was running a bit behind this morning, but time seemed to fly by. The twenty-five minute workout and 2 ½ minute cool down period ended with time to spare.

I remember many, many years ago a friend of mine introducing a Beth Moore in-depth bible study to me.  She mentioned how it requires about 30-45 minutes a day.  Then she added, “If we can’t give that small amount of time to God, when He’s given us twenty-four hours in the day, then we have a problem with our priorities.”  I just used that statement with my Sunday school girls this past Sunday.

Every time, and I literally mean EVERY time, I lay out my daily routine to God on what “I” want to get done that day, He always provides the time for all things to get done with time to spare.  Why?  Because I started my focus on Him, and kept it on Him throughout the day.  He was in the midst of it all, and all “Stephanie’s stuff” seems to get accomplished.  If something didn’t get “checked-off”, then I discovered that it wasn’t that important to get done anyhow.  He allowed the time to get the essential things done when I was focused on The Core of my life.

During my exercise routine today I was completely aware of my surroundings and all parts of my body, but my true focus was hard on my core (my abdominal area) more than ever.  I discovered that when I was aware of it all, yet zoned in on my core, that I was able to go further and harder.

Hmmm, isn’t’ that like our daily walk with God?  God wants us to be aware of our surroundings, but fully focused on The Core of our life…which better be Him.  When we focus on (as my former pastor, Dr. Churchill, would always say), “Keeping the Main Thing the main thing”, we will be able to go further and harder.

Focusing of God gives us strength to make it through each day, the desire to go the distance, and the time needed to do all things needed and give Him all the glory.

He’s my Core.  Is He yours?  Oh how I pray that He is.  What a difference you’ll have in your life when you have Jesus Christ in your heart and keep your focus on Him.

    •  “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”  Colossians 3:1-4
    • “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
    •  “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
    • “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2  

Enjoy getting fit physically and spiritually.

Praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you. 

May you overflow with God's love todayand every day.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5

This verse is one of my all time favorites.  I pray it and remind myself daily to do so.  Praying this verse for my children has been a daily occurrence as well.  I fully believe that if we obey what this verse commands us to do, everything else will fall into place because we have God as the top priority in our life.

Deuteronomy 6:5  kept popping into my head throughout my workout this morning.  Why?  Well, today’s workout was titled “Total Body Circuit”, and loving the Lord with my total body is the circuit/path I desire to be on.

Knowing that the Lord my God is my top priority in life gets me through each day.

Knowing that I have a goal for my physical self keeps me persevering through the exercise routine.

What about you?  Are you totally loving the Lord with all you’ve got?  Give him all you’ve got!

Also…I’m not sure why, but there were times this morning when I would get dizzy.  So during those moments is when I would remember to breathe, focus, and slow it down.  Such as life…When we get a little faint with the pressures of life, we must remember to breathe in God, and focus on and rest in Him.

Enjoy getting fit physically and spiritually.

Praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you. 

Oh my! That felt so good!

I know why God sort of put blinders on my eyes last week when I totally missed out on the stretch last Saturday.  It was so I could see how rewarding and awesome I can feel when I do stretch myself.  I now know that this is one routine I don’t want to miss out on, and actually want more of it.

This morning I was lying in bed a little longer (okay, three hours longer) than normal.  This chic was tired from watching the Gators make it to the final four on Thursday evening (Go Gators!), going to bed around 1:00am, and then waking up at 5:30am to begin a day of exercise and work.  Four and one half hours of sleep…I require more rest than that.

While I was lying there, I could feel my body ache.  It was in need of some stretching.  I guess for perspective reason, I thought about those who are bed-bound for some health reason, and about those people who are just lazy and don’t move much.  I felt for those in the bed-bound situation, and thank God for my current health. 

For those who are just lazy? Well, just get up!!  In James 1:22 we read, “Do what God’s teaching says; don’t just listen and do nothing. When you only sit and listen, you are fooling yourselves.”  So much like you need to not just sit around and not exercise your body, don’t just listen to or simply read God’s word, DO what it says.

Now, back to my original thought…Okay, I’ve been in the routine of daily exercise.  I missed out on the stretching section the first weekend, and was looking forward to it the next.  I stretched this morning and LOVED it.  Not only did I enjoy it, I wanted it to last longer and am already looking forward to it the next time.

So how does this all tie in our daily walk with God? 

  • Getting in a daily routine of having quiet time with God can be tough, but if you stick with it, it is so rewarding.
    • Galatians 6:9, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
  • You’ll discover that the more you spend time with God, the more you want of Him.
    • Psalms 63:1, “O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you.  My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you,…”
  • Just like I was looking forward to “the stretch” portion of my week, we need to look forward to “the home stretch” with God.  One day we will be with Him.  Grow closer to God while we are here, and when we do meet him face-to-face, the reward will be so amazing.
    • 2 Peter 3:13, But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.”

 “But may those who come to You be happy and rejoice. May those who love being saved by You always be able to say, “Praise the Lord!”  Psalm 40:16.

Praise the Lord! I am happy that God gives me not only the desire to exercise and get my physical body strong and healthy, but that He gives me the desire/thirst/longing to be spiritually strong and healthy.

Enjoy getting fit physically and spiritually.

Praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you. 

It went something like this, “The wider you spread your toes the better support base you’ll have.” 

I heard Shaun T (the exercise instructor) mention this statement a couple of times today while working on my lower body.  It made me think about how when we get involved in a church the more support we have in our Christian life.

Why go it alone?  Yes, God is with us always, but He always instructs us through His word to And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”  Hebrews 10:25

I often hear people say that they worship at home, or watch a preacher on the television, or that they have Christ in their heart so He knows they’re okay.  All excuses for not attending church regularly.

Personally, I can tell in my core self when I miss out on church.  I may still be reading my bible and praying, but the fellowship…that’s important. 

When we fellowship with other believers it gives one a sense of togetherness and encouragement. 

I can hear some say now, “Yea, but those folks down there at that church are just a bunch of hypocrites.”  Well, what better place to be than in church.  Hopefully some Jesus will get into their hypocritical thoughts and actions, and they’ll get convicted of their wrongdoings.  I know it works for me.  (Isn’t that the truth?  Every time my mind starts to wonder in the wrong direction, it seems the sermon for that day was meant directly for me.)

 In the same way, we are many people, but in Christ we are all one body. We are the parts of that body, and each part belongs to all the others.”  Romans 12:5

We were meant to be together, to fellowship with one another. 

One of my dearest friends and longtime pastors, Tommy Warnock, often mentions how he is “the big toe”.  Well, that’s one big toe that I’m grateful to have as a part of my body.  Oh, we could go on and joke about what “part of the body” we want to be or don’t want to be called, but I just pray that you’ll just “be A part”.  I encourage you to get involved in a church home and enjoy the fellowship with others.

Widen your Christian support base by getting involved in church and giving of yourself to others through Christ.

Enjoy getting fit physically and spiritually.

Praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you. 

Today my exercise instructor said, “Things will get harder but you’ll be stronger so stick with it.”

While in Rome, Paul wrote, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”  Romans 8:18

Yes, the workouts will get tougher. I’ll run a little faster, breathe a bit deeper, get down lower, and power through it all.  But in the end…I can just vision the results.

Yes, life gets tough.  I’ll pray a little harder, inhale His love a bit deeper, get down in His word, and He will give me the power to get through it all. Life will, and does, get messy and harder.  No one ever said that being a Christian was going to be easy.  But in the end….oh the glory I can just envision.

So when life gets tough, let’s just “put on our big girl/boy pants and deal with it”.  I mean, let’s just be strong in the Lord and persevere on.

Again I must turn to the writings of Paul.  In Ephesians 6:10 he pens, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.

Go.  In His power, not your own.

Enjoy getting fit physically and spiritually.

Praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you. 

Revelations 1:3, “Great blessings belong to the person who reads the words of this message from God and to those who hear this message and do what is written in it. There is not much time left.”

Romans 13:11, I say this because you know that we live in an important time. Yes, it is now time for you to wake up from your sleep. Our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

Today’s exercise focus was speed, the same as last week’s Day 2.  Well, now that I look at it…actually NOT!  Last week I accidentally must have started on the “Beta” side of the routine, which is the more difficult set of provided routines (Speed 2.0), instead of the “alpha” that I’m supposed to be doing (Speed 1.0).  Ooops.

Anyhow… this focus on Speed made me think of the urgency we need to have to share Christ with others.

Yes, Paul and John wrote about how the time is near, and think about what all has taken place since their time.  Wow!  I’m not going to get into a whole “Revelation” study now, but God is waiting and ready.  According to the bible, there’s not anything left to occur in order for Christ to return except for us to share His love and salvation with others all over the world.

He’s ready, are you?

I got a kick out of reading The Message translation of Romans 13:11-14.  Here, take a read:

·         Romans 13:11-14, But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!”

Love it!  Get up and get busy doing what God has called you to do…spread His word and love to all.

Enjoy getting fit physically and spiritually.

Praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you. 

Just a little extra:  Now this is something…When I was looking up bible verses about urgency, I was reading and look at the advertisement that was on the page…T25!!!  Get outta here!  What a cowinkadink (coincidence).