Archive | August 2013

Forgive Me!

Forgiveness is not as difficult as it seems. Nor is it as difficult as we make it. There are two verses that come to mind when I think of forgiveness.

Colossians 3:13  ..bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Ephesians 4:32  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

The theme that I see here is that God forgave us. He forgives me and he forgives you. To walk In Christ is to follow in Jesus’ example. Who are we to withhold forgiveness when He graciously gives forgiveness to all sinners.

It is not for us to withhold forgiveness. Besides, forgiveness has its own healing power and freedom. Forgiveness is not acceptance or condoning bad behavior or sinful acts. Neither are we expected to forget. Learning to forgive is showing the wisdom to stop punishing your own future. Forgiveness is a bold choice. Give it a try!

Holy Yoga! What an oxymoron.

I heard the Hindus want their yoga back.

All forms of yoga are spiritual and aim to experience union with ‘God’, Brahman or universal consciousness. In the West, yoga is considered a means of physical exercise, a way to strengthen the body, improve flexibility, heal or prevent a variety of ailments. Hatha Yoga is a common form of yoga practiced in the West. Most believe that it is purely a form of physical positions and breathing techniques. Iyengar Yoga is the most popular form of Hatha Yoga in the U.S.

Besides having the potential to be physically harmful, yoga can be mentally harmful. Breathing exercises can cause injury to the brain and yoga is capable of endangering one’s sanity through the intense meditation. Most importantly, to a Christian, yoga could be spiritually harmful as it promotes the desire to attain godlike stature.

As a Christian, yoga is utterly incompatible with my beliefs. it is impossible to separate yoga philosophy from yoga practice. Yoga is merely the means of helping the yogi toward a union with ‘God’. As a Christian, I do not believe that my problem is ignorance. The ignorance that can be corrected through meditation, chanting and posturing. My problem is sin. My enlightenment is Jesus. I have salvation for free and cannot earn a positional union with ‘God’. Practicing yoga has the potential to be physically, mentally and spiritually harmful to Christians.

“Physical yoga, according to its classical definition is inherently and functionally incapable of being separated from Eastern religion metaphysics”. ~Dave Fetcho~

Stretching can probably be separated.

Breathing and posturing cannot.

It is best for Christians to choose an exercise program with physical benefits similar to yoga, but without all the negative spiritual issues. Christians should consider low-impact or water aerobics, water ballet, or simply stretching. These programs can be just as beneficial for the body, without potentially endangering the soul.

Additionally, it is offensive to Hindus that Christians use a part of their religious belief as ‘just exercise’. Yoga has a religious connection to Hindus. Just as communion and baptism has a sacred connection to Christians. Exercising/stretching and posturing of yoga are elements of the overwhelmingly spiritual practices of Hinduism. As a Christian, I believe that practicing yoga can be a very dangerous, slippery, slope.

Do your own research before you consider yoga as an option for stretching and exercising. I am so thankful to my very dear friend that brought this to my attention and asked me to do the same. I am so grateful that she did. God bless her for caring about my spiritual well-being.

 

“Why is this so difficult?”

Have you ever experienced a time when nothing goes right? No matter how hard you try or how badly you want something to be a certain way? When I look back at these times, I realize that God had a different plan for me.  

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. (Proverbs 19:21)

Whenever you feel like you are up against a wall or when nothing you do is working out the way you would like, you are probably not where you should be. Now is the time to spend with God. He will show you where you should be. He will not allow us to enjoy the wrong path of ourselves.

Disciplined Freedom ~ Ahhhh….Get it?!

Today, I learned something that I wish I would have learned many years ago. Discipline is Freedom. Makes perfect sense…right?

My pastor has been preaching about Freedom this summer. How God gives us Freedom. Pastor’s emphasis has been on what we have Freedom To…. That in itself has made me do a lot of thinking this summer. We have the Freedom to Love. The Freedom to Serve. The Freedom to Forgive. We are Free to live a glorious life In Christ.

We also have the Freedom to be disciplined. What? That sounds like a lot of work. And it will be. We are Free to ask for help. We can ask God to take our pain away. We can ask God to heal our sisters and brothers. We can ask God to do anything. Everything is in His power. But some things will require Disciplined Freedom.

I have been praying that God would make me Healthy. I have been praying that my life be full of Happiness. Our Father can make these things happen. But, sometimes we have to do things for ourselves. (Philippians 4:13) I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Ahhhhhhh….get it? God will help me live a healthy, happy life. We have the freedom to be Disciplined enough to live our life in a healthy way, bringing happiness to our lives. (2 Timothy 1:7) ..for God gave us a Spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (Proverbs 25:28) A man (woman) without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. Ahhhhh…Get it? We have to be Disciplined to be Free.

Right now, my health is anything but good. I have found great comfort and happiness living a better life In Christ. I attend Church and worship with a wonderful congregation. I have an open relationship with God. But I am still unhealthy. No matter how hard I pray, I will continue to be unhealthy. Not because God doesn’t want me to be healthy. But, because He has asked me to be disciplined with my Freedom.

I get that we are not free to sin, just because Jesus loves us. Believing that Jesus died for our sins and has paid the ultimate price for our salvation is Freedom. Believing that our sins are forgiven is Freedom. We are not free to sin and take advantage of God’s forgiveness and freedom. We are commanded to be in control and to practice discipline within our lives. Through God’s strength, I can be more disciplined to exercise and to eat better. I have the Freedom to ask God to walk with me while I change my habits and become better disciplined in this area of my life. I will ask God to help me change my desires. To help me desire a healthy lifestyle. Where God can make many things happen, many other things require self-control and discipline….on our part. This is our Freedom To…..be disciplined and maintain self-control. Ultimately, taking advantage of our Freedom to be Healthy and Happy. Ahhhh…..Get it?!!!!

 

Welcome to my new blog.

I am so excited about this new blog. God has been encouraging me to share my experiences with as many people as I possibly can. What better way than to share through an internet blog.

The title lists the three books of the Holy Bible that I enjoy the most. Colossians and Ephesians are excellent books for beginners in Christ. Psalm is a beautiful book to enjoy at any time.

The very first Bible verse I ever learned was Psalm 121:1-2

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

I learned this verse somewhere around the 3rd or 4th grade in Religious Education. In my school system, this was a trailer that was parked in the parking lot and we went to this trailer once a week throughout the school year.

While my parents were religious, church-going people, I don’t ever remember ‘learning’ verses or concepts or messages from the Bible. I was in awe of this lady that stood in front of the trailer and told us this Bible verse. I instantly knew that this verse was going to play a role in my life. It has been written on my heart ever since.

Throughout this blog, I would like to share with you these moments that changed my life. In doing so, I hope to inspire others to share their experiences with those that need an encouraging word, a kind thought and a prayer.