Spiritual Muscle

People on tread mills at gymWho doesn’t know that if you want to be healthy you have to exercise?

To strengthen our hearts, many of us go for a walk or a jog each day, some spend time on an elliptical machine or treadmill. To strengthen and build our skeletal muscles, many of us do some sort of weight or toning exercise.

If we want to our brain to stay sharp, creative and healthy, we need to exercise that as well. We can do that by reading, learning new things, taking on mental challenges, meditating, doing puzzles, and just plain using it for something other than a hat.

I’m sure most of you will agree how vitally important exercise is for our bodies and minds.

So what about our spiritual muscle?

What do we need to do to grow and develop the spiritual muscle necessary for a solid relationship with God? let’s take a look at some things you and I can do to develop that spiritual muscle.

PRAYER

That’s a given of course. But just what is prayer, can it be productive; and is there a formula that gets us just the right results? Well, the repeating of a particular prayer, or following some ritual formula each day at a certain time with all the enthusiasm of someone in a Walmart shopping line is not going to grow that spiritual muscle.

Like any exercise, it is grown or toned when we exercise or use it in a way that takes effort. We have to put some effort into it, and push ourselves beyond what we’re comfortable with. God isn’t looking for distant relatives to send Him a letter once in a while. He is looking for children who have the heart, enthusiasm and desire to be around Him just like they do in their physical families.

When we pray to God with respectful sincerity, heart felt emotion, and in a conversational way like a child talking to a parent they love, the relationship is strengthened. If we want our spiritual muscle to develop, we have to put more quality prayer time into our relationship with God.

MEDITATION

No, I’m not talking about the meditation where you sit in the lotus position with hands on your lap saying ommm, ommm, ommm. I’m talking about focused though on The Almighty and His Word, and listening for His still small voice.

When you get into your car to go somewhere; or when you go to the gym to exercise, is putting on some music the first thing you do? If you really want to develop some spiritual muscle, try leaving the music off once in a while and just think. Take a scripture that you would like to understand better, or a situation in your life that you want to go in a better direction; and just think about it, consider all the possibilities, think about what it means or could mean to you; and then let God’s still small voice guide you.

Thinking with your spiritual mind or on spiritual matters is a sure fire way to exercise and develop spiritual muscle. And while music if enjoyable, it can also be a distraction that keeps us from doing some of the deep thinking necessary to move our lives in the right direction.

SERVING OTHERS

This is another great way to develop spiritual muscle. When we are doing something for others without expectation of some reward, we are exercise spiritual muscle. We are shown example after example of selflessness in the scriptures. When we show love and or concern for others for unselfish reasons, we are walking the high road and developing the spiritual muscles that are very important to God.

When the scriptures talk about God loving a happy giver, it’s not just about money, it’s about us doing for others with a joyful attitude. This will definitely develop muscle.

STUDY AND MAKE TIME FOR GOD

Can you imagine what kind of relationship you would have with your parents or children if you, or they gave you the amount of time you give God?

Think about this scenario! Say you have young children, and every morning they get up smile at you as they come into the kitchen. You serve them their breakfast and they say thanks for the breakfast, and for giving me a place to live and for loving me providing for me; and sacrificing for me. Then they tell you they love you and never speak to you again until tomorrow morning. What kind of relationship would you have with them? Unfortunately that is the kind of relationship many people have with God.
They talk to Him for a few minutes in the morning, and maybe before going to sleep, but that’s it.

We live in a busy world full of distraction, and we find more and more people saying, “I don’t have time to pray or read the bible”. Can you imaging standing before God one day and trying to use that as an excuse? I wouldn’t! My suggestion to you is you need to make time for God. God is not some fair-weathered friend who sits around waiting for a phone call. If you want to grow some spiritual muscle and have the kind of relationship God wants with you, it takes time, commitment, and some effort.

If you don’t regularly read the scriptures and other books that can help you better understand God, you cannot grow spiritually. Like anything in life it takes work.

I submit to you, that any good relationship you’re currently in has taken you some investment of your time with a fair amount of effort thrown in.

Without the physical and mental exercises necessary to develop our bodies and minds, we will likely live unproductive and unhealthy lives. Without the spiritual exercises needed to develop our spiritual muscle, our spiritual life will atrophy as will our relationship with God. If you are tying to find time for God, you rarely will; you must make time for God.

So, if you want to live a vibrant, fun, healthy, strong, and spiritually rewarding life I would make a plan to exercise the body, mind and spirit.

I’d love to hear what you think about this post.

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“If you like what you’ve read, please share it with a friend; and recommend YourSpiritMindandBody.com to anyone you feel would benefit from it”. Please also check out my Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/XsKD1p and like me while you’re at it. Thanks!

Sitting In For God

Photo by marlonolram

Photo by marlonolram

I know I just wrote about judging others recently, but I see it so often that it has been on my heart to write about it again.

When we go around judging others, we are putting ourselves in a position that none of us is qualified for. When we judge others we are sitting in for God, and I don’t know about you, but I’m not comfortable trying to fill His shoes.

God seems very specific about how He feels about us judging others, and says so in Matthew 7:1-5.

We’re all aware of that scripture, yet we all tend to judge others to one degree or another anyway. Why is that?

We often judge people by their speech, such as vocabulary and slang. We judge them by how they dress; her skirt is too short, his pants are hanging down, he’s wearing high waters, someone that size shouldn’t be wearing that outfit, she looks like a criminal, etc.

How many of us have not looked at the websites, or gotten emails of Wal-creatures, and made remarks? It is very hard not to when we see others who seem so contrary to the values and standards we hold dear, but we’re not supposed to do it.

We do have every right to judge behavior, and we can certainly have an opinion about what we consider acceptable norms in society. What we are not supposed to do is make overall judgments on other people’s character and life without all the facts. Usually the only facts most of us have when we are making such judgments is what we feel, think, and see; otherwise known as personal opinion.

We are not able to look into people’s hearts and fully understand them like God does, which makes us unqualified to judge them.

As I said, we have a responsibility to judge behaviors as to whether they’re right or wrong, especially as it relates to us, but we do not have the right to judge that person. There is a difference. And just because somebody is behaving badly, it doesn’t mean they’re a bad person. I know I’ve behaved badly many times, but I don’t consider myself a bad person. Shouldn’t we give other people that same consideration?

We have no idea what someone’s been through or what they’re going through. Only God knows those things, which is why only God has the right to judge another person. The funny thing is, God is more interested in helping people and giving them His grace then He is judging or condemning them. Maybe we should think more about having grace for others rather than condemning them because we don’t like or agree with them.

Unfortunately some of the most judgmental people I’ve known have been Christians. Those who should know better often don’t seem to get it.

Let me ask you, who did Jesus go to, and surround Himself with? He didn’t go to those who were well, but to those who were in need of a doctor, spiritually speaking. As a matter of fact, the only ones He was judging were the religious leaders of the day; those who arrogantly spent their time judging others, and placing huge burdens on them.

If we spend our time judging and looking down on people, how can we help make a difference in their life? Not everyone is going to make it to your church so you need to go to where people are, and let your light shine. Not with placards and banners that judge and condemn, but with actions of love and concern setting an example that inspires. Our light will never be seen if we hide it under the bushel of our churches.

I found the following quotes very thought provoking.

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them”. ~ Mother Theresa

“By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.” ~~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

“How would your life be different if…You stopped making negative judgmental assumptions about people you encounter? Let today be the day…You look for the good in everyone you meet and respect their journey.” ~~ Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

I know from experience that not judging others is not all that easy to do, but I have an idea. How about instead of judging people we start praying for them instead, and start sharing some of that amazing grace that God shares with us.

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“If you like what you’ve read, please share it with a friend; and recommend YourSpiritMindandBody.com to anyone you feel would benefit from it”. Please also check out my Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/XsKD1p and like me while you’re at it. Thanks!

How Are You Feeling, How is Your Health?

man vs foodSo, how are you feeling these days?

I’m not asking about your mental or emotional feelings, as important as they are; but, how are you feeling physically; how is your health?

Are you feeling vibrant and full of energy, or are you tired and lethargic most of the time? Are you feeling upbeat and strong; or are you feeling weak and down? Is your thought process clear and focused, or does your brain feel like it’s in a fog most of the time?

Baring disease or injury, your answer to those questions about your health has a lot to do with what you’ve been putting into your body by way of food and drink. What we put in our mouths on a regular basis has a whole lot to do with how we feel physically, which greatly influences how we feel mentally and emotionally.

So, let me ask you, what do you like to eat?

Do you eat a lot of fruits, vegetables and lean meats, or are you a regular at McDonalds and Taco Bell? Do you prefer eating grilled fish and chicken with stir-fry veggies or a salad; or do you prefer Mac & Cheese or Hot Pockets?  The answer to that has a direct correlation to your health.

God created so many good and healthy foods for us to eat. Unfortunately man has chosen to corrupt them, as he so often does. Let’s look at some of God’s foods, compared to some of man’s.

God created Kale! Ingredients:
Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-12, and Magnesium.

Man created Hot Pockets! Ingredients:
Unbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese (Pasteurized Part Skim Milk, Nonfat Milk, Modified Food Starch [Ingredients Not in Regular Mozzarella Cheese], Cultures, Salt, Vitamin A Palmitate, Enzymes), Pepperoni (Pork, Beef, Salt, Contains 2% or Less of Water, Dextrose, Spices, Lactic Acid Starter Culture, Oleoresin of Paprika, Garlic Powder, Sodium Nitrite, BHA, BHT, Citric Acid [to Protect Flavor]), Tomato Paste, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Less than 2% of Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil (with Soy Lecithin), Seasoning (Bread Crumb [Bleached Wheat Flour, Dextrose, Yeast, Salt], Dehydrated Garlic, Tomato Powder, Spice, Salt, Dextrose, Dehydrated Onion, Corn Maltodextrin, Citric Acid Natural Flavor), Yeast, Salt, Dough Conditioner (Calcium Sulfate, Salt, L-Cysteine Hydrochloride, Garlic Powder, Tricalcium Phosphate, Enzymes), Modified Food Starch, Seasoning (Garlic Powder, Salt, Sugar, Dried Onion, Spice, Maltodextrin, Soybean Oil, Citric Acid), Soy Lecithin, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Methylcellulose, Flavor (Maltodextrin, Modified Corn Starch, Natural Flavors, DATEM, Medium Chain Triglycerides), Artificial Butter Flavor (Maltodextrin, Artificial Flavors, Modified Corn Starch, Medium Chain Triglycerides), Whey, Soy Flour, Egg Whites, Soybean Oil.

God created Bananas! Ingredients:
Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-12 and Magnesium.

Man created Twinkies! Ingredients:
Enriched wheat flour, sugar, corn syrup, niacin, water, high fructose corn syrup, vegetable shortening – containing one or more of the following: partially hydrogenated soybean oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, and beef fat, dextrose, whole eggs, modified corn starch, cellulose gum, whey, leavenings (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), salt, cornstarch, corn flour, corn syrup solids, mono and diglycerides, soy lecithin, polysorbate 60, dextrin, calcium caseinate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, wheat gluten, calcium sulphate, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, yellow No. 5, red #40.

God created Chickens! Ingredients:
Protein

Man created Chicken Nuggets! Ingredients:
“White boneless chicken, water, food starch-modified, salt, seasoning (autolyzed yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid, rosemary), sodium phosphates, seasoning (canola oil, mono- and diglycerides, extractives of rosemary).

Battered and breaded with: water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium lactate), spices, wheat starch, whey, corn starch.

Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.”

God created Water! Ingredients:
H2O “Water” which is very good for you when it’s not polluted.

Man created Mountain Dew: Ingredients:
Carbonated water, High-fructose corn syrup (in much of the U.S.), concentrated orange juice, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium benzoate, caffeine, sodium citrate, erythorbic acid, gum arabic, calcium disodium EDTA, brominated vegetable oil, and yellow 5.

Most of all the other sodas are just as bad, and terrible for your health.

Now, there are very few people who have their eating 100% under control, I am certainly not one of them, but I do try. I do my best to avoid things like MSG, Potassium Chloride, Disodium “this that or the other thing”; and all the other hosts of man-made chemicals that we’re being slowly poised with.

God did not make our bodies to ingest all these unnatural chemicals that are making us obese, sick, and dependent on medications to mask how badly we feel.

Most people have followed the lie of big corporations on how eating their products would make our lives easier, more convenient and fun. You notice McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and all the other fast food giants never show obese and unhealthy people buying their product. It’s always good looking, mostly slim and vibrant looking people. Yet if you go into their stores you will not find many people who look like the ones in their commercials.

The scriptures tell us that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Do we believe it?

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

So we are to glorify God not only in our spirit, but in our body as well. Now I realize that none of us are perfect, but I do believe most of us could do a lot better job taking care of God’s temple that we are; me included.

So, again, how is your health?

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“If you like what you’ve read, please share it with a friend; and recommend YourSpiritMindandBody.com to anyone you feel would benefit from it”. Please also check out my Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/XsKD1p and like me while you’re at it. Thanks!

Do You Have Spiritual Affirmations?

affirmationsI’m a big believer in affirmations. I don’t think they are magic words that will bring us buckets of money because we say, “I am rich” over and over again. I believe affirmations help us laser focus our mind on who or what we want to be.

If we can picture the qualities we want to make a part of our lives, and repeat and look at them each day, we will train our subconscious mind to mold us into the kind of person we want to be.

There have been many experiments done on the topic of affirmations, and most of them show that the things we tend of focus on are the things we draw ourselves to or draw into our lives.

I would like to share some of my spiritual affirmations that I try to read and focus on each day. It has made a major difference in my life, and I believe it can make a difference in your life as well.

Now, you can make affirmations for anything in your life, whether it is mental, physical or spiritual. The important thing is to write and say them in the affirmative, with faith.

I have affirmations in many areas of my life, and of course as life changes, sometimes the affirmations change as well.

Please feel free to copy or adjust some of my spiritual affirmations below to fit your goals and direction in life. I hope they help.
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I am a Warrior Poet, and a Saint and Servant of the Most-High God. I dedicate my life to the service of God and to daily improvement in my spirit, mind and body!

I do at least one angel task each and every day!

I fill my mind with wholesome, good, and godly thoughts!

My top priority in life is my relationship with my Heavenly Father and my King and Savior Jesus Christ!

God gets my first and my best!

I boldly and joyfully share the Word of God whenever the opportunity arises!

I live each day in a spirit of worship, praising and loving my God?

Jesus Christ and King David are my hero’s and role models!

I live my life by a chivalrous code of conduct!

I love giving of myself, my time and my resources!

I am so excited to serve God in every aspect of my life!

I embrace God’s leadership in every aspect of my life!

I have a passion and a heart to serve God and His people!

I am a spiritual and prayer warrior!

I carry myself and treat others with a great deal of respect!

My body is a temple so I treat it and feed it as such!

I give 100% to all I put my hand to, as to the Lord!

I feed my mind daily with scriptures, motivational items and affirmations; I am a positive person!

I am a man of godly passion and faith!

I believe that God heals and answers prayer!

I am a man of God!

God 1st, others 2nd, myself 3rd!

I live a life that is worthy to be emulated!

The Word of God is precious to me!

I am faithful and unwavering in my relationship with God!

I refuse to gossip, judge others, or speak evil of others at any time to any person!
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Now, as I mentioned above, I also have affirmations on physical and mental health, creativity, relationships with family, life goals and so on.

Of course my most important affirmations have to do with my relationship with God, and striving to be a better servant of His, and a better person overall.

I hope these affirmations help spark some ideas in your life, as there is nothing more important in our lives than our relationship with our creator.

God Bless!

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“If you like what you’ve read, please share it with a friend; and recommend YourSpiritMindandBody.com to anyone you feel would benefit from it”. Please also check out my Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/XsKD1p and like me while you’re at it. Thanks!

Where Do Our Freedoms Come From?

fire works

I’ve been thinking  about the wonderful freedoms we have lately, and wanted to re-post this article I wrote last year for the 4th of July.   Also, I just started a new job this week, and my daughter is getting married this next Sunday, June 2nd.  After the dust settles, I will have some new material to post.  Be blessed!

The word freedom is second nature to most of us. We take it for granted, because we were brought up in it. Most of us couldn’t imagine living in a place where we were not free to do as we pleased or go where we wanted.

There are many places around the world who can’t say the same thing. How free do you think the people of China, North Korea, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Somalia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and many others are?

You see, people in those countries do not have the right to speak out against their government, the right to travel anywhere they want; nor the freedom to pursue their dreams. They live under repressive governments who have total control over their lives. They can be thrown into prison by a kangaroo court and kept indefinitely if they don’t toe the line.

We, and most of the English speaking world have our freedom. We can speak out against injustice, we can pursue education, we can become who we want and go where we wish. But where did this wonderful thing called freedom come from?

The answer to that question can be found in the second chapter of the Constitution of the United States:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights. You cannot have Life, Liberty or the pursuit of Happiness without freedom.

They are not a gift of government, but guaranteed by our Constitution. You see, our freedom comes from God, but are supposed to be guaranteed by our Constitution.

Unfortunately some of those freedoms are slowly being taken away, but that is a subject for another time.

I think many young people, unless they are in the military or are raised in a military family, do not understand that freedom is not free. True freedom calls for sacrifice, sometimes that sacrifice is doing the right thing instead of the easy thing. It can call for the ultimate sacrifice which has been given by so many brave men and women of this country.

The reason there are people in prisons, is because they have shown themselves unable to function in a free environment. Instead of living responsibly within those freedoms, they broke the law and someone else had to come in and control their lives since they could or would not.

If you look through the history of the bible you will see a pattern of God’s dealing with His people. God gives people their freedom and blesses them in so many ways, but as people stop appreciating the freedom and embracing every form of evil God is forced to take their freedom away.

If you look at the countries that have no freedom, you will see they are countries where there is no God; or information about Him is controlled by the state.

Where the true God is not accepted, governments and dictators become the god of their people. I fear that is happening in the United States. As we continue to kick God out of every aspect of public life we will lose more and more of our freedoms. Without God there is no freedom.

On the bright side, if you are walking with God, there is nothing government can do to take away your relationship with God. Government can take away our unalienable rights that God has given us, but we are still God’s and He will be with us no matter what.

As God is slowly and systematically removed from society the morals and values of people will continue to worsen. People will become more selfish and self-serving, as well as, continue to feel more and more entitled.

I think you’re getting the picture of the freedom given to us by God, vs. the freedom that is controlled by a government. The one calls for responsible decision making; with the promise of wonderful national and personal blessings, the other calls for blind obedience to the government and the promise they provide what they think we need.

As you celebrate our freedoms coming up in July, please spend some time thanking God for the wonderful blessings and freedoms that He has bestowed upon us and this country. Walk in the light and you will always be free.

I wonder how much longer we will be able to hold on to our current freedoms?