Saturday, June 15, 2019

Is Exercise Really Good For Us?

As I begin to approach my mid-sixties, I am amazed at how quickly the last thirty years have flown by! I am the mother of an adult married son who is now a father to two darling children (my sweet grand kids), and I’m sharing our empty-nest full-time with a retired husband.

I was listening to a pastor’s message on the Christian radio station in my area, and heard a familiar verse that some have used in a humorous way: "exercise profits little".  But as I listened to his sermon, I began to hear and understand it in a whole new light.

I Timothy 4:8 says, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having the promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”

Another translation puts it this way:  "...physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things ..."

A brisk walk lowers blood pressure, lowers your cholesterol, and reduces stress on the body. Engaging in some form of regular physical exercise will generally add years to your lifespan. Exercise helps to reduce harmful chemicals in our bodies, and provides a form of abreaction (letting off steam), builds up stamina, counteracts the biochemical effects of stress, and reduces the risk of psychological illness.

I attend a local gym and wear a workout monitor belt using My Zone to track my physical exertion. It tracks your heart rate & is nearly equivalent to an EKG. It shows and rewards your effort (as a percentile) when you work out, as well as your calories burned. The intensity is displayed using color-coded zones. Time spent in each zone is converted into MyZone Effort Points (MEP's) which rewards you based on effort and not your fitness level.

As women of faith, our temples need to be strong and fit, for that is where the Holy Spirit resides. We might not accumulate MEP's, but we will certainly notice when our efforts are making a difference in our personal lives. Spiritual wellness is more important than the latest fad diet or workout routine.

Health and fitness are godly goals when they are balanced with common sense and right priority. In biblical times, physical exercise was not touted as necessary because people living in that time period generally walked everywhere and performed manual labor on a daily basis.

As Christians, sometimes we focus too much on programs, bible studies and the latest book craze for your prayer life or child rearing. All those things in and of themselves are  a good thing, but they shouldn't be the main thing. Our spiritual exercise should consist of reading the Holy scriptures, spending time thanking God and conversing with Him on a regular basis, and practicing our godliness in our everyday lives. Our family, friends and co-workers should see the fruit of our spiritual workouts.



Verse 7 prefaces the previous passage with the following, “…and exercise yourself rather to godliness.”

Spiritually speaking, when we exercise godliness through prayer, Bible study, and self-control, we keep our spiritual man [woman] healthy. But what good is it if we take care of the physical body, but neglect our spiritual woman and coddle our sinful nature?

The eternal value is mentioned in verse 8.  Paul makes it clear that whatever we are doing for the here and now is indeed profitable – even commendable, but that which is to come is of more value and lasting. Taking care of the spirit woman, which is incorruptible and lives forever, is far more important than maintaining a corruptible body that will slowly decay in this world.

Exercise is not my god, nor do I place my fate in its hands. Jesus is my God! Sure, I walk my dog every morning and I still go to the gym a few times a week to a Team workout class.  I make it a point to stay active, eat right, and get a good night’s sleep. But for me, keeping my spirit woman healthy and fit is a higher, God-ordained priority.


Let God speak to you about your “spiritual workout".  What type of changes could you make to minister to your spirit woman as you aim to better your physical woman?










Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”. It was written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion.  It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together.  Visit  http://www.spirituallyunevenmarriage.com


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Friday, May 3, 2019

Motherhood - How Relevant Are We?


A mother is she who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take.   ~ Cardinal Mermillod

Do you feel as though you have no influence in your home?  Do you look around at your children and wonder if anything you’ve taught them actually permeated their minds and spirits?  The world would have you think so...

Are you even relevant to their success in a society that devalues Godly parenthood? Well, in God’s Eyes you certainly are!

There are moments I wish I could go “back in time” and change what I did or didn’t do.  There are things I should have done with my son, or times I should have taken ownership of a volatile situation or conversation.  I remember opportunities missed and instances where I just should have stood firm and said, “No!” 

We are not perfect Moms, though we strive to be.  We often wish our kids came with Owners Manuals.  I would have enjoyed a “free online Chat support” when I had a question, or perhaps a “pro-rated warranty” as they got older.  But wait - we have something even better – God’s Word and prayer! How many Moms have worn out knees and prayer journals full of petitions on behalf of their kids?  How many of us have purchased books like The New Strong Willed Child by James Dobson, or The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartin?  Let’s face it – we all need help; one way or another! So - how do our parenting skills compare to those in the Bible?

Here are two examples of motherhood in Scripture to contemplate:  
Eve and Jochebed 

They are both mothers of significance. They had children that shaped the future of mankind. Both women faced loss and eventual blessing.  Here are their stories…

First -  Genesis chapters 3 and 4 introduce us to Eve, the first mother.  Adam called her name Eve, because she was the mother of all living humans.  She conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have gotten a man from the Lord.”  Cain worked in the fields and tilled the earth which yielded crops, of which he presented his sacrifice to the Lord.  She then bore Abel, the son who was loving and responsible, tending the flocks in the meadows.  Able and Cain each offered sacrifices to the Lord God.  However, Able’s sacrifice was accepted, and Cain’s was not.  Cain killed Abel in a jealous rage over what appeared to be God’s favoritism.  Cain was subsequently banished by God for shedding his brother’s blood. 

What loss and devastation Eve must have suffered!  Do you think she blamed herself for the tragedy they were now facing?  How could she go on after losing both sons?  We can only imagine how Eve must have felt when she heard God’s words ringing in her ears, “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children.”  She and Adam had been cursed by God after their disobedience.  Now that sorrow and pain were evidenced in the heartbreak Eve experienced.  The first mother on earth mourned one son who was now dead and the other who was never to be seen again. 

Eventually Adam and Eve conceived Seth, whose lineage began to “call on the name of the Lord” (Gen. 5).  Do you think Eve did things a bit differently in regards to child rearing the second time around?  I imagine she spent more time pouring herself into his little life – teaching him about God’s Goodness and about Godly character.  She and Adam most likely recanted how his two older siblings had lived, and what happened when God’s laws weren’t adhered to.  In God’s great mercy, their third son, Seth,  would provide the pathway to mankind’s salvation over many generations, which eventually culminated in the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (Luke 3).

Second - In Exodus 2 we are introduced to Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, born to him in Egypt.  She was the wife of Amram and was the mother of Aaron, Miriam and Moses.  Her courage and ingenuity saved her son Moses from the wicked mandate of Pharaoh to kill every male Israelite child.  She cleverly hid him for three months, before placing him among the reeds in a water-tight basket along the Nile River.

As she watched Miriam approach Pharaoh’s daughter, she must have been relieved to hear that she would be nursing and weaning the child herself before handing him over permanently.  Those few early years were no doubt full of Godly teaching and a loving example to that little Hebrew child.  Can you imagine the pain and sacrifice she endured as she watched her young son disappear into Pharaoh’s exotic palace to be raised as an Egyptian?

 I believe Jochebed was an important part of Moses’ life as a young child and into the reaches of adulthood.  She no doubt had an influence on his character, integrity and love for the Lord God of Israel.   She also raised Miriam (the eldest) and their brother Aaron, who appeared with Moses in front of the great Pharaoh of Egypt prior to releasing the children of Israel.  Were her children perfect?  No way.  They all displayed major character flaws.  All were reprimanded and punished by God for their disobedience.  However, all three witnessed God’s Sovereign power, deliverance and blessing in their lives and in their future destinies.


The whole of the matter is this:  Mothers have 
great influence over their children.

God’s Word is very clear on what we can do.  The book of Proverbs is rich in advice and practical wisdom.  Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  We must teach by example and pray for their spiritual growth.  We are to “watch over the ways of our household, and not remain idle” – but stay balanced as we lead our children into adulthood one step at a time.  May we look to our Heavenly Father for His guidance and strength.











Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”. It was written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion.  It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together.  Visit  http://www.spirituallyunevenmarriage.com


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