Stretching With God!

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I’m not young, skinny, or athletic, but I have exercised most of my adult life. I believe in exercise! I’m not all that healthy but I keep trying because our bodies are the temple of God. So we should do what we can to be as healthy as we can be.

In 2012, I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors and subsequently a genetic disease called Neurofibromatosis Type 2. If you want to hear more about that, you can read my book, GOD, LIFE & HULA HOOPS.

Anyway, without going into all the gory details, I’m completely deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the others. Along with that I also have multiple other health issues, including  serious balance problems and fatigue among other things.

At one point, I didn’t have the energy to do much of anything and could barely walk.

I decided it was time to take control of my health.

I decided it was time to start exercising again.

I was told I should go to physical therapy for my balance issues. Instead, I started researching it and ending up developing an exercise routine to help with my balance and flexibility. I call it Stretching with God, because I incorporated the seven days of creation into the workout.

So how’s my health now? I’ve lost 50 pounds, I usually do 2-3 miles on the treadmill at least 3-4 times every week, and can bend over to pick stuff off the floor without falling! I still have my struggles, but I’m healthier than I’ve been in a long time. And I believe Stretching with God has helped!

Want to know more about it? Click on the page that says Stretching with God, and it gives the full workout!

 

God Bless & Good Reading!

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Are You Putting God In A Cage?

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This is not the first time I’ve used this devotion, but I love it! So I use it from time to time. I hope you enjoy it as well.

ARE YOU PUTTING GOD IN A CAGE?

James 4: 8 (NLT)

“Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.”

Friends told me this story of a rescued dog long ago, but I’ve never forgotten it. The dog’s owners decided to use cage training to housebreak their young puppy. Cage training consists of having the puppy spend time in his cage until he figures out where to go potty and where not to.

Unfortunately, the owners missed the point. They brought their young puppy home and, as expected, the puppy soon had an accident. His owners punished him by putting him in the cage. With each accident, they would punish him by keeping him the cage for longer periods. Naturally, the dog would have another accident in the cage and so the cycle went.

Eventually, the dog was in the cage for several days at a time without food or water. The owners didn’t understand why the dog had turned mean.

Dogs are great pets when they are loved and nurtured. The more time we spend with them the stronger the bond becomes. The key to any relationship is the time, attention and effort given. That holds true for relationships with animals, people, and God.

The more time and effort we put into a relationship the more we receive.

What about our relationship with God?

Do we treat Him in a way that we wouldn’t treat a dog? Do we take God out of the cage on Sundays for a few hours and then stick Him back in until the next Sunday? We may even have good intentions but…life can get so busy.

I know that happens to me more often than I care to admit. I have good intentions to spend time with God but then life happens. Before I know it, I begin to lose my patience, my joy, and my peace. That’s when I know it’s time to draw near to God and He’s always there waiting.

Don’t cheat yourself out of a loving relationship with God because you think you don’t have time. There is no right or wrong way to spend time with God. Here are a few of my favorite ways to spend time with God:

While you do your chores, listen to praise music.

Pray whenever the mood hits.

Start writing a list of what you are grateful to God for–big and little things.

Rent a Biblical movie.

Put index cards and a pen by your Bible. Write out verses that are meaningful.

Sing your favorite hymn–even if your husband doesn‘t like your singing.

Reflect on God’s goodness as you notice His beautiful handiwork.

As you fall asleep, end your day with a pray of praise and thanksgiving.

Be creative, be flexible, and enjoy your time with God. The more time you spend with him, the more peace and joy you will experience. As you reap the benefits of spending time with God, you will soon find yourself craving more time with Him. He’s here right this moment–waiting for you.

What’s one of the ways you enjoy spending time with God?

UNTIL NEXT TIME…GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

Mourning Robin Williams

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I had to turn off the TV set a few minutes ago. All the morning shows are talking about the death of Robin Williams. After sitting there in tears watching, I decided to find something else to do. It’s just too sad!

And unlike the TV commentators, I do want to mourn Robin Williams’ death. They’re all talking about celebrating his life rather than focusing on his death, but…I DISAGREE…I DISAGREE…I DISAGREE!! We do need to talk about his death and the fact that he chose to die. To me, that is what’s so sad.

In spite of his wealth, he chose to die.

In spite of his fame, he chose to die.

In spite of being loved by his family and the world, he chose to die.

There is a lesson to be learned in Robin Williams’ death and all the other celebrities who make that same choice.  Being famous and wealthy will not bring real peace and joy to a person’s life. And yet, everybody wants to be rich and famous these days. In fact many, many people are willing to do most anything to become a celebrity.

So what’s the lesson to be learned?

That there is only ONE path to contentment,  peace, and joy.

And that path is a relationship with God through His only begotten Son, Jesus.

An Attitude of Gratitude

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1st Thessalonians 5:18

give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Oh yeah, right? Easier said than done.  God expects me to be grateful for the misfortunes, the tragedies,  the hurts?  For me personally, I’m supposed to be thankful for my brain tumors, the complications, the pain?

 

That’s a little hard to do. God doesn’t really expect me to do that, does He?

Mmm, but the above verse does say give thanks in all circumstances?

To answer the question, no I don’t think God expects me to be happy I have brain tumors, but I think He doesn’t expect me to forget all the blessings He has done for me in the past, is doing for me in the present, and will do for me in the future.

Little words can make a huge difference in meanings. Notice the verse doesn’t say give thanks FOR all circumstances, but rather IN all circumstances. And I think that’s what God wants.

When we focus on the negatives in our life, we end up with blinders on. Not being able to see or to enjoy the blessings we have in spite of our circumstances.

I’m not saying it’s easy to be thankful when life gets tough, it’s not!

But keeping a thankful attitude will keep you in God’s peace and joy. Biblical experts believe Paul wrote the above verse when he was in prison.  I take comfort in knowing that fact. If Paul could do, then I can certainly make an attempt at being thankful in all circumstances, too.

I think praising God and be thankful in all circumstances go hand in hand. It’s a little hard not to be thankful when you’re praising God and it’s hard not to praise God when you’re thankful.

So, if you feel a pity party coming on and who doesn’t when life gets difficult, then put on your favorite praise music and sing of God’s great love.

FOREVER HIS!

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Sundays seem to be a good day to run a devotion so here’s one to enjoy.  I’m hoping it will be a comfort to those waiting for the prodigal son to return or you are that prodigal son.  It’s never too late to come home to you Heavenly Father. Trust me on that! I know from experience. More of my devotions can be found at  www.PowerUpWithGod.com.

FOREVER HIS!

Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is an awesome GOD moment I experienced many, many years ago, but I remember the details as if it happened yesterday. And that’s saying something because I don’t have a good memory. I was in my car driving up what is called Madison Hill in my 62 Falcon (but it was 1974 on the way to Fredericksburg, Ohio.

God gave me answers that I was searching for and they were the perfect answers for me.

I was nineteen and making choices that weren’t godly. I wasn’t consciously rebelling against God but my actions told a different story. God’s love is so amazing that even though I had turned my back on him, he didn’t do the same to me.

After a year of working in dead-end jobs, I was going to college. but I needed to decide what to major in. I really had no idea. I only knew I wasn’t going to work in a factory or fast food for the rest of my life.   “Teacher” popped into my head from nowhere.  Almost audible, but not quite. What a good idea but what kind of teacher? Elementary? Home Ec? Math? The words, “Deaf teacher” popped into my head. Another great idea! I”d been involved in the deaf ministry through my church since I was about thirteen or fourteen so it made sense to me.

Four years later, I became a Speech Pathologist and several years later received my Master’s Degree as a teacher of the deaf. I was blessed to work most of my career as a Speech Pathologist for deaf and hard-of-hearing students in the Cleveland City Schools.

I loved it! Not that there weren’t a few moments of frustration, but it was a job that I was good at and it brought me much joy thanks to the great students I had through the years.

It was only years later that I realized that God had truly spoken to me in HIS  still quiet voice in that car that day going up Madison Hill.  God had guided me to the perfect career for me even though I was in complete rebellion at the time and for many years afterwards.  I’m still blessed every day by that choice that God gave me that day.

AT the time, I wasn’t living in a godly way, but God loved me enough to get me down the right path anyway. God is so wise and so good. He picked the perfect job for me in spite of my rebellion. This was only one of the times that God clearly guided me, protected me, and blessed me during my rebellion. There were many others!

Know that God loves you no matter where you are on your spiritual journey. Just as the prodigal son’s father worried, loved him, and longed to bless his child when he was off in rebellion, so it is with our heavenly father. Whether our rebellion lasts for ten minutes or ten years, God is waiting with open arms to welcome us back because we are forever HIS!

SHARING TIME: Is there a time God guided you in spite of your rebellion?