Good Monday Morning! There are a bunch of us who have joined the cause: "Step It Up" found at www.facebook.com Today, I wrote this with all of us in mind who are in the process of becoming Champions IN Christ! Step It Up!
Today I wanted to say something about discouragement and how it hits you through many different avenues when you are training to be "Champions In Christ".
I really believe in eating right, I think our eating habits affect our cause to Step It Up! To take that thought further, I am thinking today along these lines: in our training to be found in Jesus, to Step It Up and become His Champions In Christ, we have to work out the disciplines of body, soul, spirit, will, mind and balance these as we run our race. I imagine this by looking at my own hand. God has balanced my/your hand with five fingers and if you hurt one of those fingers, the function of your hand is just way off balance.
I said all the above to say this: since we started in this Step It Up Cause, I have been working out all these (body, soul, spirit, will, mind) fingers! The one finger that has been a real struggle in discipline for me is the body, which I will call my "pinky" finger! My pinky wants to do its own thing! I have struggled in my eating habits my whole life and a few years ago, I decided that the only way to nip it in the bud was to make a "lifestyle change" in some of my eating habits. In my life, diets just came and went and came and went!! But a Lifestyle Change has seemed to work for me and I have changed these things in my lifestyle over a period of the last 7 or so years:
- I do not eat fried foods.
- I do not drink soda.
- I do not eat ice cream.
- I limit my intake of red meat.
- I do not eat donuts or pastries.
- I do not drink milk, I drink soy milk.
- I drink about 6-8 glasses of water a day.
- I drink at least two cups of green tea a day.
- I do not eat sweets, except on the weekends.
- I eat fresh fruit at least three servings a day.
- I eat raw vegetables or steamed vegetables daily.
- I take natural supplements daily from Arbonne.
- I do not eat anything with food coloring in it, or if it is made with synthetics.
- I do not eat out of a box, or prepackaged food unless it is Organic. I make my food from real food.
- I eat small portions six times a day: balance of protein, vegetables, fruits, good carbs and dairy
All these things I have found work for my body, for my physical make up and following this lifestyle diet really helps me to feel better all around and be the best Champion In Christ that I can be. I guess that is what every Champion In Christ has to find out for themselves what Life Style changes benefit them, because God has made us so different. I encourage you to experiment with a life-style diet for yourself; it will make you a better Champion in Christ.
I took it a Step Up when I realized I needed something I could live with, so that I wasn't continually failing in my attempt to eat right, so I have adopted a lifestyle rule called 80/20. This has really helped me to be able to stay faithful to my lifestyle diet change, because it gives me some down time to also enjoy some of the things I really love… ie… ice cream!!! I am very disciplined with my "Life-Style Diet" Monday through Friday and Saturday and Sunday I might enjoy an occasional sweet.
I have done well with this life-style discipline except for DISCOURAGEMENT. Discouragement always lends to a flood of tempting thoughts of: Why should I bother! I should just eat what I want! Everyone else does! What difference does it make? No matter how hard I try, I am not losing weight! I got myself in one of those downward spirals this past week when I got discouraged with my weight. I had been dieting for two weeks, and I got on the scale and I gained weight!!!! IMMEDIATE DISCOURAGMENT HIT THE FAN!!!! I have to confess, I did not deal with it well. I just gave in to the temptation to be like everyone else and eat whatever I wanted and I have to tell, you I had every opportunity to do so… I wonder who provided me that!!
I heard the noise of the wings of the living creatures as they touched and joined each one the other [its sister wing], and I heard the noise of the wheels beside them and the noise of a great rushing. 14So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away [in the vision], and I went in bitterness [of discouragement] in the heat of my spirit; and the hand of the Lord was strong upon me.
Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
We sometimes forget that discouragement, causes bitterness in our spirit and we can go forward in our lives bearing that heat in our spirit, yet… as with Ezekiel the hand of the Lord is still strong upon us, He wants to see us succeed as His Champions, He is totally for us in our run for the ultimate prize! He is our Advocate!
Have you ever been impulsive, and done things bitterly out of the heat of your spirit because of a discouragement? I know I have. I realize that it doesn't do much for you, except push you down further into the despair of discouragement. Today, I don't feel well physically because my "pinky" ate whatever it wanted to in response to the heat of my spirit, therefore the rest of my hand is way, way out of functional balance today!! I slept in instead of getting up at my normal time. I felt sluggish in my spirit this morning, my will felt beat up by the struggle this past week, my mind is not clear but filled with temptation to eat things I don't need to eat and my soul is discouraged and caused me to opt out of my exercise today. But… because the Lord's hand is strong upon me, because He has a plan, purpose and vision for my life… and because He knows I have a heart after Him, He is still right there with me in my struggle with my "pinkie" and working towards getting my hand fully balanced and functional!!
God and I have talked this morning and I shared with Him my frustrations and He taught me some good wisdom. I need to stay off the scales!! My weight will fluctuate being a female in the season of life I am in! I need to be faithful to the Life-Style that He has called me to and leave the rest to Him! I repented and I asked for forgiveness for my "pinky flesh fit" and I realize that Today Is A New Day! I fell down, but I can get up and I still can compete as a Champion In Christ today. God has offered His Mighty Right Hand and my will is bent toward obedience, so today I take His awesome hand of reconciliation and pull myself up and out of that pit of discouragement! I know the consequences of my "bitter binge" will be with me for a few days, but I also know that God is with me! It Is A New Day and I am still actively pursuing Him, desiring to being His Champion IN Christ!
Dig Deeper…. Dig Deeper….Dig Deeper….Dig Deeper….Just Do It!!!!!
Equip Devotional by: Dr. John Maxwell: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
Heart of a Champion
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:25-27 (NIV)
There is an old saying: Champions don't become champions in the ring - they are merely recognized there. Boxing is a good analogy for leadership development because it is all about daily preparation. Even if a person has natural talent, he has to prepare and train to become successful. One of the most famous quotes of President Theodore Roosevelt uses a boxing analogy: "It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause."
"Bitterness is a habit that can seriously hinder our spiritual journey. When life becomes difficult, when it doesn't seem as if God is providing for our needs, when we're not getting what we want when we want it, we have a decision to make. We can hold onto our faith and trust that God has an answer in mind, or we can gripe and moan and complain and let our souls become embittered. Expecting an oasis, but finding a bitter stream? Don't lose sight of the grace of God. - (Beside A Quiet Stream)"
Quote By: Penelope J. Stokes