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Entries in Exercise (4)

Thursday
May242018

Habits for the Rest of My Life

A prestigious writer, Dianne Barker has long asked the Lord to guide her steps, so it's no surprise she focuses on what will please Him. In this Choices UPGRADE, she shares some habits that are changing her life. Maybe they will change yours too.

"I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions in January—gave that up long ago," Dianne says. "Decisions and goals work better for me."

I (Dawn) totally agree with this. "Resolutions" are too easy for most of us to break. But making daily choices that get us closer to healthy, godly goals, and cultivating life-building habits? Now that's a good thing!

Dianne continues . . .

Scrolling through journal notes, I found a ten-year-old list of decisions and goals. I’m updating the list and calling it “Habits for the Rest of My Life.”

1. Exercise daily—body and spirit.

No excuse for missing my daily quiet time.

Why settle for my feeble wisdom to navigate this life when I have divine resources for every minute?

2. See Jesus’ face only—especially when I encounter difficult people.

I’m making this decision carefully, aware that He may provide many opportunities to test me.

3. Get a grip on my self-esteem.

Still craving approval? Get over it!

My esteem depends only on God’s acceptance—not on performance or perfection.

God has poured his life into me and chosen me for a purpose.

4. Bring every thought into captivity.

Negative thoughts are defeating. Devastating. Paralyzing. A dead-end street.

Forget trivial stuff.

How many times the Lord has said to me, “You could be praying about bigger things.”

5. Learn thankfulness.

I lost a tiny screw from my glasses. How would I ever find it in my mammoth purse?

My friend said, “Let’s thank the Lord. Now empty your purse.” Found it!

Thankfulness makes sense—since my only options are to thank the Lord or grumble.

Thankfulness pleases the Lord and makes my life better.

6. Rejoice by faith.

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).

Rejoicing is a decision, not a feeling.

Discouragement has robbed me. I choose to rejoice by faith.

7. Stop wallowing in despair and wailing about my inability, and make the most of every day.

I’m encouraged by Rahab’s comments to the two spies Joshua sent to Jericho:

"I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath" (Joshua 2:9-11).

The Lord my God is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. He is my courage!

I ended the journal entry,

“Lord, I only desire to glorify you. Don’t let me waste my life. I’ve set my heart to praise, trust and obey. Fulfill your purpose in me!”

We’re almost midway through another year—a good time to adjust our goals.

What do you hope God will accomplish in your life in the coming months for His glory?

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage TruckDown the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Christian Authors Network, and Christian Women in Media. For more information about Dianne or her ministry, visit her blog.

Graphic adapted, courtesy of Geralt at Pixabay.

Tuesday
Mar202018

Spring into a Healthier You!

Morgan Farr's passion and wise choices always inspire me. In this Health UPGRADE, she inspires us not only to better self-care, but also to consider how our bodies might better bring glory to God—and spring is a perfect time to make some fresh changes.

"God calls us to obedience and self-disciple, and your physical health plays a huge role in your ability to complete the task God has given you," Morgan says. “Is a lack of discipline with your body holding you back from serving God?”

A nutritionist challenged me (Dawn) with exactly that question more than a year ago. Then said, "How are you going to continue ministering when your body is falling apart?" It really got me thinking, and I came to the same conclusions Morgan did.

Morgan continues . . .

Many women spend a huge amount of time battling their bodies rather than bringing them under their control, and it doesn’t have to be that way!

Remember, God has given us the power of self control (2 Timothy 1:7).

God wants more for us than being enslaved to an unfit, sick, broken body.

Here are my top three ways to spring into a healthier you, and glorify God with the body you have been given.

1. Eat Real Food

Taking care of your body is going to start with what you put in your mouth.

1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

While we are not bound by levitical dietary laws, I do think we should be more discerning in what we consume.

God designed every intricate part of our bodies. He also designed what we should eat and how our digestive tract works. Did you know that roughly 70% of our immune tissue is located in our digestive system? Wouldn't it make sense then to show respect for our bodies by eating real foods rather than processed junk?

If you need an idea of what I mean by “real” foods, stick to the OUTER SIDES of the grocery store. If it can sit on a shelf for more than a week or so, it probably isn’t real food.

2. Move Your Body

Proverbs 31:17 says, “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.”

This used to be true. But, the reality of modern life is that it can be very sedentary. We no longer have to spend hours to do basic things like gathering food and water. With the advent of household appliances life form many women has become a lot less physically demanding.

This means that we have to be intentional about moving our bodies daily.

It isn’t enough to count on chores to keep you fit.

This does not mean that you need an expensive trainer or a crazy gym membership. There are plenty of exercises that you can do at home, with zero equipment. (See note, below) *

3. Refresh Your Soul  

The final portion of your health that I want to address is your spiritual life.

Proverbs 3:7-8 says, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones”.

There are two parts to this in my mind—fearing the Lord and shunning evil.

To fear the Lord, here are some basic questions:

  • Are you in the Bible every single day—not a devotional or a Bible commentary, but a real Bible?
  • Are you, every day, in conversation with the One who gave up his life for you?  

For shunning evil, let me ask you these:

  • What are you watching on television? Does it honor God?
  • What are you listening to in the car? Does it proclaim His glory?
  • How do you talk about other people when they aren’t with you?

Now, here is the caveat.

You have to understand why you want to be healthy.

What is the goal?

Being thin isn’t a fruit of the Spirit.

A certain size isn’t listed in the Beatitudes.

And believe it or not,

God didn’t list a certain body fat percentage as the 11th commandment.

Health and fitness can easily become idols if you are not careful. Make sure that you are doing these things for the right reasons and to glorify God.

We are called first and foremost to live out lives:

  • For God’s glory, and
  • To see His purposes fulfilled.

How can you spring into health and fitness this year to bring glory to God?

Morgan Farr is an Army wife currently stationed in San Diego, California, with her wonderful husband Brian and their children. Morgan is a homemaker who dedicates her free time to ministering to other Army wives through Bible studies, one-on-one mentoring and physical training. Morgan writes about her transition out of feminism and into biblical womanhood on her blog The Forgiven Former Feminist. You can find her training programs, nutritional information and meal plans on her blog, Farr Functional Fitness.

* At-home fitness is a real passion of mine, so I coach people in this everyday for free. If you need more help in this area, feel free to contact me personally, I would love to help you.

Graphics adapted, courtesy of Momental and OmarMedinaFilms at Pixabay

Thursday
Jul202017

3 Ways to Keep Summer Sane

Women's ministry leader Cathy Horning loves the Word of God and making biblical truth practical. In this Summer UPGRADE, she shares three ways to keep the summer months sane.

“I love summers! I love long days of sunlight, warm evening walks, and so many other special summer delights,” Cathy says. “However, I also hate summer.”

I (Dawn) read that and thought, "Huh?" Who could hate summer? And why?"

Cathy continues . . .

I hate summer because as much as I like to imagine I am an easygoing, carefree, and flexible person, in reality, I thrive on routine, order, and schedules.

And every year, I am reminded how summer time, pretty much, throws a wrench into the regular rhythm and predictable plans in which I flourish the other nine months of the year.

This summer is no different. I have been out of town nearly every weekend since May.

My husband and I have attended out-of-town birthday and anniversary parties, graduations and weddings, as well as helping our daughter move into a new apartment in Los Angeles. When we happen to find ourselves at home, we enjoy time with those who come to visit our beautiful beach community, or being Grammy and Papa to our ten amazing grandchildren.  

Summers are crazy—full and busy!

However, unlike summers past, this year I hesitantly took a step of faith which, surprisingly, has kept me a little more sane in the craziness of this season.

The step I took was to accept an online invitation to become part of a group of ladies who would go through a book called 40 Days to Healthy Living, by Danna Demetre.

When I first saw the Facebook post, I thought, There is no way I can add this to my summer.

Yet, the day before the group began, I decided to order the book and jump in. And, I am so glad I did!

This book and the group have helped me upgrade my life and bring order to three vital areas that often suffer in the chaos of summer.

1. Make Time for God’s Word

As a Bible teacher, I love spending time in the Word of God. Still, with the busyness of  company, travel, and all the fun of summer, I confess my priority of spending intentional, daily time in God’s Word can slip.

Danna’s book begins each day with scripture. And, always, what she shares about the passage is a good reminder, or brings fresh insight, that I can apply to my life during these long, lovely summer days.

2. Make Time for Healthy Eating

Every year, I grow in wisdom regarding my diet, but with the many celebrations and lack of routine in summer, I find it extremely difficult to eat the right foods, as well as the right proportions.

The "40 Days to Healthy Living" group has given me daily nutritional tips and challenges that I discovered are guiding my food choices during these wildly-full summer days.

3. Make Time for Exercise

Finally, one of Danna’s strong recommendations is to simply eat less and move more.

Going through the book motivated me to be more diligent to use my Fitbit. It doesn’t happen every day, but most days this summer, I am hitting 10,000+ steps, sometimes by only adding little things like parking further away, taking the stairs, and choosing the long way to get where I am going.

1 Timothy 4:8 NLT says, “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”

I love summer! It is my favorite time of the year.

However, I also hate that summer can rob me of investing in my spiritual and physical well being.

What a nice surprise it has been to discover help in this area from the 40-day devotional, plus the support and encouragement of other women online.

I have a feeling this may be my best summer yet!

What are you doing this summer to upgrade your spiritual life and health and keep summer sane?

NOTE from DAWN: I do not normally do "book promos" on this blog, but Cathy and I were both part of the group she mentioned, and I wanted to share how encouraging Danna's book was to me personally too. If you're looking for a new devotional book that will encourage your health as well as your heart for the things of the Lord, this is a good one.

Cathy Horning has been a women’s ministry leader, Bible Study teacher, speaker and writer for more than 25 years. She loves the Word of God. Nothing brings her greater joy than sharing with others how very precious, practical, and powerful the promises and truths in God's Word. Married for 34 years, Cathy has four grown children, 10 grandchildren, and many spiritual sons and daughters. She loves long walks by the bay, a good book or movie, Starbucks ice tea, and especially family get-togethers. Read more by Cathy at her website.

Graphic adapted, courtesy of rwalsh623 at Pixabay.

Thursday
Sep052013

Two Frequently-Neglected 'Vitamins' that Keep You Young & Lean

God wants us to take care of our bodies as one way to bring Him glory (I Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17). Health advocate Danna Demetre teaches women how to stay lean for life and balance body, soul and spirit in her book, Scale Down. In today’s post, she addresses essentials necessary to help us upgrade our health, including two “vitamins” that are often neglected.

“Build wisely. Your body tomorrow will be the result of the choices you make today,” Demetre wrote. “To improve your energy, health and lose excess fat permanently, you need to address the essentials. I call them the “Nutrimax Six.”

Danna's Nutrimax Six include: (1) Water, (2) Plant foods, (3) Protein, (4) Fats, (5) Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants and (6) something she calls “Vitamins Z and X.”

Danna continues …  

Vitamin Z—better known as sleep—is a frequently neglected “nutrient” that plays a much more important role in our health than people have previously realized. And Vitamin X—better known as exercise—is essential for maintaining high energy, low body fat and overall health and vitality.  [Add graphic of vitamin bottle]

Okay, okay … I know neither are technically nutrients. But if these two lifestyle factors are not a high priority, even perfect nutrition will not bring you the health, vitality and fast-burning metabolism you desire.

Vitamin Z

Sleep is the time when you get both physical and psychological rest. During deep sleep, your body accomplishes its most important cellular renewal. Even modest amounts of sleep deprivation can diminish your immune system and ability to cope with the daily challenges of life.

If you want to look younger, feel better and live longer—get enough sleep!

How much is enough? Experts suggest that most people need close to eight hours of sleep every night.

I have found that chronic fatigue is one of the biggest factors impacting an out-of-control appetite. I think the body is saying “If you’re not going to give me enough quality rest to reenergize, I’m just going to beg for sugar and calories all day long to make up for it!”

My suggestion: Make sleep a priority. Try getting eight hours of sleep a night for a full month and see the impact it makes in your lifestyle. This is best accomplished by establishing a consistent routine of going to bed at the same time each night, turning off the television and other electronics at least an hour before bedtime, dimming the lights (to increase melatonin production) and taking a hot shower or bath before bed. If you are over 40, you may want to take a melatonin supplement which also has anti-aging benefits!

Vitamin X

Exercise is an incredible energizer. The more you move, the better you feel as your body releases endorphins – the “feel good” hormones. Feeling good motivates you to stay active, and activity tends to distract you from sedentary habits that include eating. To stay lean and fit for life, we need to work toward DAILY exercise unless our lifestyle is extremely active naturally. As we age, our metabolisms decrease because we lose muscle. If we are not exercising daily, we are losing fitness. Get in a positive cycle and get a good dose of Vitamin X every day!

Do you struggle more with getting enough sleep or getting enough exercise? What change/s can you make in the days ahead to get “enough” and UPGRADE Your Health to the glory of God?

Danna Demetre is a popular retreat and conference speaker and the author of the best-selling: Scale Down, The Heat is On, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life and What Happened to My Life? Her latest book co-authored with America’s Family Financial Expert, Ellie KayLEAN BODY, FAT WALLET – explores the common healthy habits that can positively impact both your health and wealth. She also blogs regularly about intentional living, the life of a Christian entrepreneur, and “growing young” – staying lean and healthy at any age. You can learn more about Danna at www.DannaDemetre.com