Friday, December 31, 2010

Knocking on that Door...

You feel like giving up. You feel like all of your efforts are in vain. It seems useless, pointless, hopeless. Day after day, you try to “do better,” yet convincing yourself the entire time that it’s never “good enough.” Sound familiar?
For most of us out there with food, weight and body image issues, this seems to be one of the loudest statements we scream the most. It’s frustrating to feel trapped, as if there’s no open door of hope, life and future. Yes, you have knocked on a lot of doors, haven’t you?
"Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”
Matthew 7:7
"And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”
Luke 11:9
But what about your door?  The door to your heart? Are you hearing any knocking going on there?
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”
Revelation 3:20


Yes, each one of us is guilty of turning a deaf ear to that persistent knocking, aren’t we? We can get so wrapped up in our issues, plans, desires and problems that we miss the whole point to it all: Jesus!
He is there, right now, waiting on each of us, loving us with a love we cannot fully fathom. But we need to respond and change our perspective about our efforts and God’s role in our lives.
In our efforts and pursuits to deal with our issues and attain our desires, have we really asked Him to be a part of them? It’s probably a safe bet to say that mostly, the answer is no.
God doesn’t want to frustrate us; He longs to help us with His love, with a real relationship involving us!
“God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.”
1 Corinthians 1:9
But we have to tire of our independent knocking. So, as we embark on a new year, filled with resolutions and new beginnings, let’s embark on opening that door, occupied by God. He’s there, waiting for our answer to His knock.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Resolutions

“That's why we are not discouraged. No, even if outwardly we are wearing out, inwardly we are being renewed each and every day.”
2 Corinthians 4:16
Feeling the pressure of the clock ticking, of the new year approaching?

Typically, New Year’s Eve/Day focuses on both celebration and extreme repentance. We may, indeed, “live it up” on New Year’s Eve, eating and drinking too much, engaging in various vices. However, with the strike of midnight and/or the glaring light of New Year’s Day and a new year, at that, we declare our newly turned over leaves and selves; this year, we’ll be different, better, changed. So, we embark on a new habit, diet, outlook, whatever. And maybe, we do quite well for the first few days. But then, something happens… We all know the comedy of a resolution; usually, we’re the punch line.
And somehow, we believe the lie that “it’s no use,” that we’re failures. But, regardless of what we do or do not do this new year, resolution or not, God’s always in the renewal business with us.
“Behold, I make all things new.”
Revelation 21:5

Whatever we feel resides inside of us: resolution, success, failure, hope, frustration, we need to realize that God is the Author of lives, not us, and certainly not any imperfect resolution. God is helping us, wanting us to succeed. When we fail, however, His Hand is always outstretched, determined to reach and aid us.
Look at New Year’s, yes, with hope, with optimism, but also with realism and a sense of humor. It’s an imperfect holiday, just like we’re perfect human beings. It’s fodder for entertainment, jokes; it’s a moneymaker, pushing products as well. But it is never the last word on your life and destiny.
 So, if you’re “resolute” with your resolutions, if you succeed or if your feel that you’ve failed already, just remember that you are right on time; it’s not too late for you. You always have a future, regardless of how 2011 starts or plays out! God bless and happy 2011 to everyone out there!
 “My future is in your hands…”
Psalm 31:15







Saturday, December 25, 2010

Family Get Together: Damage Assessment?

So, how did we all do? Hope everyone’s had a blessed Christmas!!! So, what’s the damage assessment? For us here, things went fairly well. We’re all safe and sound, tucked into our warm home, trying to keep our cats from eating the torn wrapping paper.
We set out early- 5:45 a.m. early. That meant we woke up early (4 a.m.) A two hour plus drive to see my mother requires this action. Yes, I’ll admit to being an early riser; still waking up in pitch darkness with two curious cats winding around stumbling feet is an absurdity.
Grabbed three bags worth of Christmas gifts, one Chrysanthemum plant,
dressed in a Santa face and hat, and our own silly holiday headgear and we were on our way to our get together.
It went well. We opened our presents, took photographs and tried not to get headaches from our festive Santa headgear (the Santa headbands pinched, truth be told). And yes, all kidding aside, all “irritation” aside, we are so thankful for all of our blessings.
Counting our blessings…
Here’s a sampling…
We’re healthy, alive, and have the family and friends that we love still in our lives, (annoying or not).
We have the ability, energy, patience and provision to participate in this holiday (2 Corinthians 9:8).
We have freedom (Thanks to all who sacrifice, serve and protect the cause of freedom, so that we can have the luxury of being irritated by loved ones and holiday situations).
We have new mercies every single morning (Lamentations 3:22-23), not just this Christmas morning!
We have Grace (Ephesians 2:8-9) for when we’ve royally blown it and/or blown up at our Christmas/Family celebrations.
We have love, which persists even when we’re at our most ugly or tacky!
We have our two loving, comedic and wacky feline family members, Gracie and Glory, who have amazingly left our Christmas Tree vertical this holiday season; they bless our lives 24/7, (but thanks Girls; leaving our tree alone was your Christmas gift to us this year)!

We have God, Who gave us His Beloved Best, Jesus, to cover all of these bases- and then some (John 3:16)!
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this [shall be] a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Luke 2:10-14

God bless us all this wonderful Christmas Day!!! May each of us experience new, constant blessings every single day of our lives!
Back to interrupting our cats’ plans for making dessert out of that Christmas wrapping! A Merry, Blessed Christmas to one and all!!!

Ah, Family (God, help me!)

Okay, I’m writing this blog entry “pre-holiday get together.” Like a lot of you out there, our family will be embarking on the traveling, the activity planning and gift giving challenges that can only come from spending time with family. Let’s break it down even more; we’re preparing for the challenge of family itself! Ah, yes, I hear the groans and the sighs already! Family…yeah.
“…Lord, help me.”
Matthew 15:25
Just an encouraging reminder- to you and to me, as well- “this, too, shall pass.”
I know this is a REAL challenge to all of us; let’s face it, when it comes to family, as much as we love them, we all have our triggers! Hang on! God wants to bless you today.
So, let’s try not to dump the carrot Jell-O mold on anyone’s head
or bust someone’s jaw with a fruitcake,
 or tie up family members with holiday tinsel
or take a baseball bat to the tree.
 It will be over soon. We can all make it through this; we can.
 Like I said, I write this “pre- holiday get together,” so, I’m going into “battle,” just as much as anyone else out there right now.
As irritating, frustrating and downright maddening as family can be, still, in some way, they are a blessing to us. Try, therefore, to pick out SOME blessing needle in the family stress haystack as you may find yourself enduring the get together. I know I’ll be doing my own looking! Let’s keep each other covered in prayer, God bless and merry Christmas to everyone out there!!!
I’ll report back… Here’s hoping!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Immanuel

Of course, this Christmas season, there are nativity displays decorating churches and homes.
And Who is in these nativity scenes? It’s the Baby Jesus.
Baby Jesus- He’s not just another Christmas ornament, created to make our home décor prettier. You and I know the familiar passage from Luke:
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.’ When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, ‘Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.’"
Luke 2:10-15
Did you catch that last bit? Let’s see this thing that has happened that the Lord has made known to us, as noted in Luke 2:15. So, what does that mean to each one of us? Is this Baby Jesus, indeed, our Savior? Or is He just a decoration?
 Matthew 1:23 describes the birth of Jesus, stating that His very Name, Immanuel, literally means “God with us.” How do we feel about that? Can we believe that God is really with us? We come now to the close of another calendar year. It’s a time of “new beginnings.”
Dare, then to invite God into your life now; dare to invite Him into showing you what a new beginning means to you.
He’s so much more than the statue of a baby. He’s real, He’s alive- and He IS with you and for you! Therefore, dare to tap into what Immanuel means, uniquely, personally, for you!
God bless you all, Merry Christmas and much love from our family to yours!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Three Ghosts

And, of course, Charles Dickens must be represented this holiday season in the timeless “A Christmas Carol.” Numerous adaptations have been created on film and television over the years. We usually see at least one version at some point during this season.
One of the biggest elements of the story is the interplay between the miser, Ebenezer Scrooge and the three ghosts, setting up an “intervention,” for lack of a better term, with him, concerning his life choices and mistakes.

Yes, these three ghosts, representing Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future, all challenge Scrooge (and us) to examine the state of our unique, individual hearts in our daily lives. Each one of us is ultimately called to be mindful of the past, present and future, not to be overwhelmed and oppressed by any of it, but rather, to become better, more loving, more fully ourselves through revelation of our daily choices and priorities.
Yes, it’s quite a challenge. Most of us fear it and run away from it, in some way, at some point. Regrets, painful mistakes, loss and personal imperfection may make us feel that we’re only haunted and doomed to fail. It’s especially amplified and lonely this time of year, when self-reflection seems to be the name of the game.
So, which ghost is haunting you the most these days:
 Past,


 Present
 or Future?


Do you feel doom and gloom when you look at any one of them- or all three of them- in the context of your life?
It’s not hopeless for you. Wherever you are- in life, in issues, in pain, in recovery- God is a Spirit hovering over you right now. We need to go to Him, then, with our Truth regarding our past, our present and our future.
“God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.”
John 4:24
Like Scrooge, we need to say “yes” to what God’s Spirit has to teach and lead each of us. God knows all about us, about our current situation, every bit of our past, present and future circumstances:
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.”
Psalm 139: 7-10
We all live imperfect lives, filled with imperfect choices. God knows this and loves us the entire time. Look at this season, not as a time to be condemned, but rather, like Scrooge, let this be a time of renewal, hope and reconciliation. The past, present and future, in God’s Hands, can be used, indeed, to bless and prosper you.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11
When it comes to your “three ghosts,” be blessed, not haunted. And yes, like Tiny Tim is famous for saying, “God bless us all, everyone!”





Wednesday, December 22, 2010

“A Praying Man”

“Pray without ceasing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17

Returning, once again, to “It’s a Wonderful Life,” we see how the bleak, frustrating circumstances in George’s life, have now led him to this prayerful moment in the film. George finally comes to a place in which he prays about his circumstances. He fully admits to not being “a praying man,” as he, in desperation, asks for God’s help. This has not been the Christmas Eve he wanted for his family, for himself. Still, he prays.

No matter what you’re going through right now, no matter where you find yourself, you can still pray. God hears you anytime, anywhere, even, in George’s case, in a bar.

God has the final say; He is working on your situation. Your prayers DO matter!

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
James 5:16




Tuesday, December 21, 2010

ZuZu's Petals: "Paste it”


“Love is patient…kind”
1 Corinthians 13:12

Yes, I’m back at the film classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” This is one of my favorite scenes in the movie.

In spite of all of the aggravation and worry, the George Bailey character still cannot deny his love and concern for his children. In this case here, it’s Zu Zu, who’s come down with a fever. She received a flower from school, was so excited that she didn’t want to button her coat on her way home, for fear that she’d crush it. In fact, it’s that very flower that’s keeping her excited and awake. All she wants to do is look at it. But George knows that she needs her rest.



In this scene, we see the tenderness expressed between father and daughter. We see how George “negotiates” with Zu Zu about her flower, even going so far as to “paste it,” at her request, and hide the petals in his pocket when some of the them fall off. In spite of every stress going on, George is still patient and kind with Zu Zu (1 Corinthians ).

There’s something else to take away from this scene as well. Aside from the general concepts of love and patience, each of us needs to recognize how God as a loving Father, looks after each one of us, knowing our needs and seeing to our them; He knows what’s best for us (Psalms 23:2), for, in every way, He is our Shepherd (Psalms 23:1-6).He can paste our lives back together when they’ve seemingly fallen apart.

Again, wherever you may find yourself, especially this holiday season, trust God, as the child of His that you are, with your life and issues!  When it comes to love, know that without a doubt, He loves, is patient and kind with you, no matter what!


Monday, December 20, 2010

“Angel Discussion” ("It’s a Wonderful Life")

All right, what’s Christmas without this film classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life?”
I have a real soft spot in my heart when I first discovered this gem as a teenager. I was struck with the chicken pox and this film helped me as I itched, scratched and spent that Christmas recovering.
It’s a staple in family traditions and television programming each year. It works because we can relate to the story and the lead character, our hero, George Bailey. His mix of optimistic dreamer, dutiful family member and frustrated, imperfect person, exemplify this heightened holiday season of hopes, challenges, expectations and stress.
One of my favorite scenes in the film involves the “angel discussion” concerning him. In fact, George is assigned his own lovable angel, Clarence to watch over him.

“The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.”
Psalms 34:7
Indeed, as we see George Bailey’s character unfold and the decisions he makes as well, the angels are in constant discussion about what to do to try to help him in his life.
How about you? Do you feel that there are angels at work, on assignment for the issues of your own life? With the Christmas season, there’s even more emphasis on the reality of angels. We see them everywhere, if nothing else, as part of Christmas décor, topping Christmas trees, accenting homes and shops.
But never forget that they are God’s real agents, working, out of His love for you, to help you in every area.
“For He will command his angels concerning you
   to guard you in all your ways.”
Psalm 91:11
And the best example of that help was, years ago, when an angel brought the best news possible concerning the arrival of Jesus:
“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Luke 2:9-14
Whatever you’re facing, remember, as you see each decorative angel displayed, that God, through those angels, still wants to minister and help you today!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ah, more waiting...

video

Ah, more waiting... will know, one way or the other by March hopefully. Here's to praying...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Miracle on 34th Street

“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
Mark 9:23-24
I love Christmas films; “Miracle on 34th Street” is one of my favorites.

 In this classic movie, the little girl character of Susan is precocious, wise beyond her years, perhaps even a bit cynical. It’s these traits, in fact, that each of us can relate to as well, as we see how Susan responds to her own turn in the “Santa Line.” She’s probably no more than eight years old, yet she’s humoring the adults, Santa, himself, included. Initially, she’s skeptical in believing that he is who he says is, but begins to change her mind as she tugs at his beard.
How much more evidence, then, has God given each of us to believe Him at Who He is? Just like the Santa character’s ability to easily speak Dutch to the little Dutch girl in the story, how much more can God overcome your problem?
Wherever you are this Christmas season, wherever your faith may be, with whatever issues you possess, like Susan did with Santa, try God (Mark 9:24)! He is real!
…“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”



Sunday, December 12, 2010

Two Cents

“So, what do you say?” Ever heard that? Most of us, at some point, have been prompted with this manners lesson when we were children. Or perhaps, it was asked of us, to validate whether or not we were in on a plan or scheme of some kind. Whatever the context, it still poses a universal predicament. We have a say in what we say.
“But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.”
Matthew 12:36


Some people refer to it as our “two cents.” It’s our opinion, our perspective, but it always refers to our use of words about a situation of some kind.
So what are we saying, not just about someone else, but about ourselves- TO ourselves? Our “two cents” about ourselves is vitally important to our welfare and our health. To ever think that words are meaningless, without impact or power is doing others and ourselves terrible harm.
“Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
Proverbs 18:21
Even more so, however, are the powerful benefits of applying God’s word to our lives!
 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9
“As the rain and the snow
   come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
   without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
   so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
   It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
   and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Isaiah 55:10-11
So what do you say? Are you cursing yourself with such words as “ugly,” “hopeless,” or “worthless?” Or, are you sharing God’s opinion of you?
…I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”
Psalm 139:14
It’s your choice, not as inexpensive as a mere two cents. Your words and your opinion of others and yourself can benefit you tremendously, making you and your life truly wealthy. But you choose!
“…choose you this day whom ye will serve…”
Joshua 24:15


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Exit Strategy

Feeling trapped now, more than ever? Is the holiday hubbub cornering you: the expectations, the stress and ah, yes, the food? Feeling tempted , no matter where you turn, no matter what you do? Ah yes, let’s hear it for holiday cheer!
The good news is, however, you’re not trapped.
There is a way of escape; it’s not the literal “Exit” sign we see on the doors of public places, either. It is- you guessed it- God. And yes, it bears repeating, as our issues and anxieties, also keep coming up in life
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
1 Corinthians 10:13
Now, I know that sounds fuzzy, vague and ideal, not really the “practical” solution you may be looking for. But are you looking for God to help you, individually and uniquely, escape this current holiday torment? He is there, willing and able!
We’re getting ever closer to Christmas now, with the big holiday blowout feasts, laden with anxiety and “forbidden” ingredients so connected to the special holiday. So why not, at this time, turn to God to help us? Nothing’s too difficult for Him (Jeremiah 32:27).
Don’t see the “escape” for yourself? How about Grace? If nothing else, from party to party, stress to stress, issue to issue and food to food, remember and trust in the power of God’s Grace.
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”
2 Corinthians 9:8
If it can’t be applied more relevantly, at a time of temptation and seeming personal failure, then when can it applied?
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
Grace is here- now- for you!!!!
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrews 4:16
 God’s not against you! He IS for you (Romans 8:31), no matter what your success or temptation rate seems to be. God doesn’t call it “unconditional love” for nothing!!!!
God is right there with you, in the middle of these challenging holiday situations, issues and feasts. Please never forget that! And He IS helping you, no matter what!!!
“Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10
Look for the exits that God’s giving you, not to run away from your problems, but rather, to run TO Him, to His Love, Help and Healing. He IS your way of escape!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What is a Gingerbread Man?

It’s so easy to feel intimidated and overwhelmed by all of the holiday treats available now. We give so much power to various “forbidden food.” We wonder what the caloric and potential “fattening” damage  assessments are to the buffet of tempting food that’s presented to us. We’re so worried about what food is to us, like this little gingerbread man here, we don’t think much about what we are to God.
“What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?”
Psalm 8:4
Yes, there’s no sugar coating it (pun intended): the holidays are challenging to us all. We are faced with numerous, unique fears, memories, expectations and simultaneously occurring promises of comfort/joy/terror/destruction. We can, however, take a second and look at another couple of real promises, as we “go in to battle” at the next holiday gathering:
“Since you were precious in my sight… I have loved you…”
Isaiah 43:4
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
   do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
   I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10
Indeed, God, the Creator of the world, the universe and every living creature, is willing and capable to help each of us in our individual lives. No matter what we eat, don’t eat, do, don’t do, God is MORE than able to help us WITH it.
What’s your “it” then? Is it a gingerbread man? Is it candy? Is it cake? Is it fear? Is it temptation? Is it stress? Is it ALL of the above?
We can’t avoid food and issues this holiday season; in some way or another, we’ll all need to deal with it. Let’s have God help us then. He’s aware of where we are, of our individual triggers and issues. He knows how to deal with us: spiritually, emotionally AND physiologically!
 By faith, then, let’s dare to accept God’s help, now, with whatever we’re mindful of. He’s not intimidated by any of it.
“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”
Jeremiah 32:27
God, instead, is more MOTIVATED by His love for us and His desire to help- us! He’s thinking of how much He loves you and I RIGHT NOW!!!





Sunday, December 5, 2010

Halfway to the Light

What is it about this time of year that makes me extra reflective? I think it has to do with the abundance of lights. You see them everywhere. People go gaga over lighting anything this time of year: trees, porches, windows. Even our clothes, such things as the notorious holiday sweater, with a blinking reindeer or Santa, seem to be lit up these days.
As we’ve been lighting the Hanukkah lights this week, it especially struck me how light not only is prevalent, but also how it guides in a definitive direction, day by day. Or, in the case of Hanukkah, it guides night by night. We’ve now completed four nights, halfway through this sacred celebration.
And as we’ve lit the candles, said the blessings and tried to keep out cats from setting their whiskers on fire (Gracie, especially, is quite curious about the candles), I’m struck with the hope of gaining more momentum with the Light.
This time of year, it’s overwhelming to those of us dealing with eating disorder patterns; we’re inundated with so many food choices, all seemingly the staple of any holiday celebration. Food does seem to be everywhere now; a lot of it can also be our “trigger/comfort foods” as well. That, coupled by the extreme stressful intensity of our individual personal and family issues can leave each of us feeling like we’re in no other place except the darkest of pits.
But what if, day by day, we’re getting more of God’s blessings and Light instead?
“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more to the perfect day.”
Proverbs 4:18
What if our breakthrough was closer than we realized? What if each of us, in our lives and recovery, was more than “halfway there” concerning the light of God’s hope and blessings? What if?
Next time we see a Menorah, let’s all stop and think about how God continues to bless us, adding His new blessings to each of us, day by day. It’s not hopeless; we’re not hopeless! God has lit His Love and Hope for us thus far.
How much more then, is He going to Light our lives in the future?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Exercise Reality Check

 There’s a lot of emphasis on exercise in today’s culture, isn’t there? There are countless gyms, trainers, types of equipment, programs, workout clothes and shoes, as well as a variety of athletic activities from which to choose. It’s overwhelming. Yet there’s still a rise in eating disorders, in childhood obesity and Type 2 Diabetes?
It seems that these two opposing categories of choice are battling each other, further confusing and stressing us out.
Why is this so? It’s too complicated for me to give a two-word explanation, obviously. Yes, it is complicated.
But perhaps, it has something to do with focus and priority, putting exercise and health in a healthy balance for our lives. God tells us that, yes, there is some benefit to exercise.
“For bodily exercise profits little: but godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”
1 Timothy 4:8
It lowers blood pressure, combats heart disease; it also improves circulation and mood, just to name a few positive results.
But, like anything used to excess, it can harm, even kill. That’s what it could have done for me, back in the day, when I exercised for six or more hours a day, while starving myself at the same time. Believe me; that was not God’s Will!
“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace…”
1 Corinthians 14:33
That was not profitable!
So what is profitable? Moderate exercise that is a part of your life, but not your ENTIRE life!!!! If exercise is preventing you from other people and things in your life, to the point of disruption, that is not profitable.
Signs of Compulsive Exercise
(Teenshealth: http://kidshealth.org)
If you are concerned about your own exercise habits or a friend's, ask yourself the following questions. Do you:
*         force yourself to exercise, even if you don't feel well?
*         prefer to exercise rather than being with friends?
*         become very upset if you miss a workout?
*         base the amount you exercise on how much you eat?
*         have trouble sitting still because you think you're not burning calories?
*         worry that you'll gain weight if you skip exercising for a day?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you or your friend may have a problem. What should you do?
How to Get Help
The first thing you should do if you suspect that you are a compulsive exerciser is get help. Talk to your parents, doctor, a teacher or counselor, a coach, or another trusted adult. Compulsive exercise, especially when it is combined with an eating disorder, can cause serious and permanent health problems, and in extreme cases, death.
Because compulsive exercise is closely related to eating disorders, help can be found at community agencies specifically set up to deal with anorexia, bulimia, and other eating problems. Your school's health or physical education department may also have support programs and nutrition advice available. Ask your teacher, coach, or counselor to recommend local organizations that may be able to help.
You should also schedule a checkup with a doctor. Because our bodies go through so many important developments during the teen years, guys and girls who have compulsive exercise problems need to see a doctor to make sure they are developing normally. This is especially true if the person also has an eating disorder. Female athlete triad, a condition that affects girls who overexercise and restrict their eating because of their sports, can cause a girl to stop having her period. Medical help is necessary to resolve the physical problems associated with overexercising before they cause long-term damage to the body.

God tells us:
“Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.”
3 John 1:2
Let’s believe it and accept it for our lives, not just in the area of exercise, but in everything we do!