Monday, December 30, 2013

The Robertson Controversy

Now that things have cooled down a little bit (and I'm done with the Christmas series) it's time for me to throw my two cents into the hat about the whole Robertson controversy.

I actually went and read the full article that was posted to GQ, because there were all sorts of things floating around on Facebook about what Phil said. Before I jumped into any sort of debate, I wanted to make sure I actually knew what got said instead of just listening to what other people said he said or didn't say. There is no sense arguing or debating over something if you didn't go read the facts yourself. Just saying.

I agree with everything he said. But here's the thing......the Robertson controversy is such a small piece in such a very big problem. On one hand, I'm thankful that the controversy did give the Christian community a small boost of courage. I'm thankful that some people who have been holding their silence felt strong enough about this issue that they finally spoke up. On the other hand, I'm deeply disappointed. Because I know that the only reason this was such a big controversy in the first place is because the TV show is so popular, especially among Christians, and everyone freaked out when they found out that Phil might not be on it anymore. And as long as Phil stays on the show, then people will stop complaining about his treatment by A&E and will go back to their couches.

The majority of this whole controversy was really about whether or not one of the most popular TV shows would go on because Phil said something that wasn't politically correct.
Sure, some people spoke up and said that Christians are expected to be tolerant of everyone, but no one is expected to be tolerant of us. And that's truth. But we are missing the forest for the trees on this one.

Where was the outcry when a baker in Colorado who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple because it violated his beliefs was ordered to bake the cake by a judge or face serious fines/jail time?  I didn't see anyone posting about his right to free speech.

Where is the outcry as a florist in Washington State face penalties for refusing to provide flowers for a gay wedding? I didn't see my Facebook news feed explode with that controversy.

What about the t-shirt company in Kentucky that is still in a legal battle because they refused to make t-shirts for a gay pride parade? I haven't seen people posting the link to an online petition to protect their religious rights.

And what about abortion? What about the genocide of disabled children? What about the clinics that are killing babies after they are born because the abortion didn't work the first time? Who is standing up for their rights??

Listen, I'm not trying to be a jerk about all of this, but really guys. We have been walking around with our eyes wide shut. We only open them when something interrupts our tiny when we find out our favorite TV show might go away.

Do you know why pro-abortionists are winning all of the Congressional votes and court cases? Do you know why homosexuals will soon be able to sue a church for refusing to perform their wedding? Do you know why the welfare system is raging out of control?

Because the supporters are not afraid. They are fearless and ruthless in their pursuit.

Think about it. If a baker were to refuse to bake a cake for my wedding, what would I do? Probably tell my friends what happened, maybe even post about it on Facebook, and then go find another baker. Because seriously, if you don't want my money, then you're not worth my time. But because of the relentless attitude of the pro-homosexual movement, they decide it would be much better to sue the baker and force them to bake that cake (or face jail time) than to just walk down the street to the next baker.

See what I mean? That's fearless. Ruthless. Courageous. That's standing up for what you believe in. And that attitude has got the entire country afraid. That attitude is what caused A&E to almost immediately suspend Phil Robertson from the show. Because who wants a group that ruthless to come against them???? It would be better to cancel the #1 reality show on cable television and lose all of the money that comes with it, than face the mighty homosexual movement.

This saddens me to a degree that I don't think I will be able to express in writing. Church, where has our courage gone? What in the world are we doing? I'll tell you: we're not paying attention and we're not voicing our opinions. And because of our apathy and silence, our entire country is falling into total Godlessness and darkness.

Wake up!! Take on an attitude of courage and fearlessness. Start spreading your light into the darkness. I truly believe that if the Church of America would stop being so wrapped up in ourselves and our comfort zone and rise up to be the fearless Christ-followers we were called to be, America could be an even greater nation than it ever has been. America could be a country that fears God. A country that pursues righteousness. A country that walks in His blessing and protection.

It will take work. It will take courage. It will take a love that only God can give for the sinners of this world. It will take a boldness that only the Holy Spirit can send. It will probably mean that we lose some friends....maybe even some relationships with family members....maybe even our jobs. But we must unite in the Spirit of the Living God and stand up for righteousness.

The future of our country depends on it.

“If My people who are called by My name humble, themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” ~2 Chronicles 7:14

Friday, December 27, 2013

Anticipating Christ: Return of the King

Yes, I realize Christmas was two days ago. So why am I writing another post two days after Christmas is over? Shouldn’t I be moving on to New Year’s Resolutions and stuff? Well, I suppose, if you think Christmas is just about December 25th, but I believe that Christmas means a little bit more than the 24 hour time slot we allot it every year. I believe that Christmas is something that should be celebrated all year long. Because Christmas is truly about Jesus, and how He came for us.
We’ve been through some of the details of His birth: the nasty manger where He first laid His head. The outcast shepherds who were valued by God to announce to the world that Emmanuel had come. The mysterious wise men, who travelled far and faced many dangers just to worship the King of the Jews. And then we went through the reason why He came in the first place.
Christmas is about anticipating Christ. It’s about His people longing for their Savior to come. He did come, over 2,000 years ago, so we no longer wait for the coming of a Savior to save us from our sins. Now we wait for our Redeemer to return, and call His church to be with Him for all of eternity.
Christmas is about knowing that He will come again to receive His bride. It is about taking on the attitude of the shepherds, and sharing the joy and knowledge of Christ with those around us. It is about taking on the attitude of the wise men, and fearlessly seeking to worship our King.
Yes, Jesus was born in a manger. Yes, He lived a humble life and died on a cross and rose again. But the next time we see His face, things will be a lot different. When He returns, Jesus will be in His full glory and power, and the whole world will recognize Him as the one true God and will bow to their face in worship.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for that day. I’m ready for the day when I get to see my Lord face-to-face. I’m ready to spend an eternity with Him. I’m ready for no more tears. No more sickness. No more death. No more struggle. No more pain. I’m ready for Emmanuel to return to us. And I want to make sure that every day I am living for Him, so that I will be ready for His return.
I hope that you have enjoyed this Christmas series. But more than anything, I pray that you anticipate the return of Christ, and that we all realize that Christmas means so much more than the value our society places on it.
Merry Christmas everyone!!

“Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of Him. So shall it be! Amen. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.’” ~Revelation 1:7

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Anticipating Christ: The Sacrifice of the Lamb

So far, we’ve looked at some specific details of Jesus Christ’s birth. (If you’ve missed any of the previous posts, you can check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.) But to share the story of the beginning of His life, without also sharing the rest would be a disservice to those of my readers who may not know the story of His death.
The best part of the Christmas story is understanding why He came in the first place. Why did the King of Kings step out of heaven into human flesh? What is the big deal about all of this in the first place?
After His birth, Jesus grew into a man. He lived a perfect life, because He was the Son of God. He went through all of the same temptations that we did, but He was without sin. When He was 30 years old, He began His public ministry. He called twelve disciples, and for three years they travelled throughout Israel, teaching, preaching, performing miracles, and calling the people to repent. When He was 33 years old, the religious leaders in Israel finally had enough of this Jesus, and they arrested Him and accused Him of blasphemy. They turned the people’s hearts against Him and He was crucified.
But this was all part of the plan in the first place. This was the climax of a story that had been thousands of years in the making. This was the whole point of His humble birth. He lived so He could die a terrible death. He lived to pay the ultimate price for our shortcomings.
It can be summed up like this: when God created the earth and everything on the earth, it was perfect. But Adam & Eve disobeyed God, and brought the curse of sin not only on themselves, but on all of creation. Sin created a divide between God and His people. In order to re-connect with God, the people had to make periodic sacrifices to atone for their sins. But sacrificing animals was not the ultimate solution. In order to make things right, sin and death had to be conquered once and for all. So God sent His Son, Jesus, perfect and holy. He lived a blameless life. He sacrificed Himself by taking on the sin of the world and allowing Himself to be crucified. He died for us, so that we could once again live in the freedom of God. But that still is not the end of the story. Because three days later Christ rose from the dead, conquering sin and death forever. He later ascended back into heaven, and God sent the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in His physical (flesh and blood) absence.
Friends, this is the true meaning of Christmas. It is not the gifts. Not the songs. Not the stress. Not the parties. Not a paid day off work. The true meaning of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of our Savior. To remember everything He came for. To rejoice in the fact that our God loves us so much that He would make the ultimate sacrifice so that we can have a full relationship with Him once more. To know that one day, if we follow Him, we will see Him face-to-face and spend an eternity with Him in heaven.
And that is something to be excited about!
But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ~Romans 5:8
P.S. If you want to know more about Jesus, please feel free to send me a message. My e-mail address is I would be happy to share with you and guide you to some Scripture that gives some deeper descriptions of Jesus and His sacrifice for us. In the meantime, I would suggest reading through the first four books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. All four give an account of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Anticipating Christ: The Wise Men’s Journey

"The three wise men" are a huge part of Christmas today. There are songs about them. They are in pretty much every nativity scene ever made. And you can certainly find them in almost every Christmas play/cantata/program too. What's interesting is that we know very little about them. Here are some things we do know:

  • They were from "the East"
  • They knew Biblical prophecy
  • They followed a star to Bethlehem
  • They had a run-in with King Herod
  • They visited Jesus and brought Him gifts
  • They did not return to King Herod because they were warned in a dream not to
That's pretty much it.

We assume that there were three of them, because they offered him gold, frankincense, and myrrh. We also assume that they saw Jesus right after He was born (because after all, they are there in our nativity scenes!!)

In actuality, the Bible doesn't say where they were from, whether they were Kings or just distinguished foreigners, how many there were, or when exactly they saw Jesus. However, it is estimated that they saw Jesus when he was a toddler, as Matthew 2 uses the term "child", and King Herod later ordered all of the male children age two and under to be killed according to the timeline that he ascertained from the wise men.

What I find most intriguing about the Wise Men is just how far they were willing to go to meet Jesus. In Biblical days, travel was dangerous. Highways were filled with robbers and vagabonds....people that certainly would recognize a group of distinguished people and know that they probably carried some truly valuable possessions with them.

But the danger and expense of a long trip did not stop the Wise Men from journeying many miles to worship Jesus, and I think that provides us with a perfect example of how we should be today.

We shouldn't worry about what others might think of us when we worship Him. We shouldn't stop pursuing Him just because the road is getting long and troubled. We shouldn't let anyone-not even a hot-tempered king-get in our way of seeking Him out.

Christmas is only two days away (!!!), and I know that we are all busy as we finish our last minute preparations. One walk-through at Wal-Mart today during my lunch break reminded me just how commercialized and stressful this Christmas season has become. But my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us not forget the true meaning of this season.

Let us not forget to seek after our Lord today, and fall at His feet in worship.

"When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh." ~Matthew 2: 10-11

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Anticipating Christ: The Shepherd’s Story

Yesterday we were talking about the humble birth of Christ, and this kind of goes along with that, but in a different way. Not only did Jesus have a humble birth, but His birth was announced by one of the lowest groups of people in society’s eyes.

In Biblical times, shepherds were not looked on very highly. They spent all of their time with livestock, and because of this they were kind of loners…..didn’t really have a family or a group of friends. Their clothes were not very expensive, but were functional instead. And worst of all, they smelled. Really bad. I mean, they lived with their sheep, and sheep aren’t exactly the best smelling animals ever. Just saying.

So not only did Jesus have a humble start to His life, but His birth was announced by one of the lowliest people groups in Israel.

But this is not just about His humility. The story of the shepherds also proves God’s love for all people groups. God did not see the shepherds as being unworthy or too much of an outcast to share in the occasion—quite the contrary! Instead, the shepherds were one of the first people to lay their eyes on the Savior of the world, and then they were blessed with the opportunity to worship Him and announce His birth to the city of Bethlehem.

Jesus goes on to live His life surrounding Himself with the people that didn’t really fit in. He would dine with sinners and thieves. His own disciples were fishermen and tax collectors. Throughout His whole life, Jesus proved again and again that He did not come just for the rich and elite, but He came for all of us.

I hope that we follow the example of the shepherds. I hope that we realize just how valued we are in the eyes of God. I hope that we can celebrate the birth of our Savior with the same level of exuberance. And I hope, more than anything, that we would not be afraid to tell others about our Redeemer.

"When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.' And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And whent they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them." ~Luke 2:15-18

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Anticipating Christ: The Humility of a King

What strikes me the most about the story of Christ’s birth is the humility displayed in His coming.
I mean, think about it. This is God. This is the Holy of Holies. This is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. He fully deserved the most triumphant entry, accompanied by a host of angels and wrapped in brilliant light.
But He didn’t. He chose to be born in a tiny stable, and not those cute little stables that we see in nativity scenes. Things were not clean and organized back in those days. This was a little lean-to filled with animals that had been travelling. It was not clean. It was not organized. It probably reeked of urine and manure. And this “manger” was a feeding trough. Nasty. Probably crusted with remnants of old food. Definitely not something anyone would want to place their child in. But it was all they had, and it was the place that He divinely appointed to be born in.  
And this is the key: it’s not like Jesus didn’t have a choice but to be born in a stable. This was not a circumstance that was out of God’s control. It was not a mistake. God’s plan was for this humble birth to take place. But why???
Philippians 2: 5-11 sums it up pretty well:
“Let Christ Jesus be your example as to what your attitude should be. For He, who had always been God by nature, did not cling to His prerogatives as God's equal, but stripped Himself of all privilege by consenting to be a slave by nature and being born as mortal man. And having become man, He humbled Himself by living a life of utter obedience, even to the extent of dying. And the death He died was the death of a common criminal. That is why God has now lifted Him so high and has given Him the name beyond all names, so that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, whether in heaven or earth or under the earth. And that is why in the end every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord to the glory of God the Father.”
In Christ’s birth, throughout His life, and even in His death, He was a perfect example of humility. He had every right to be prideful, I mean, c’mon, He’s God. You can’t get any better than that! But rather than clinging to His prerogatives, He chose to live the ultimate life of humility so that He could display the attitude we should have.
As we go through the month of December (and really through the rest of the year as well) we need to be walking in humility—following the example set forth by our Messiah. We should not think of ourselves as too important to get our hands dirty for the Kingdom of God. We can follow in Christ’s footsteps, and be a shining light to those around us with our humble attitude and servant-minded hearts!
"She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."  ~Matthew 1:21

Monday, December 16, 2013

Anticipating Christ: The True Meaning of Christmas

It is no secret that Christmas can be one of the most hectic times of the year. Christmas parties. Christmas decorations. Christmas cards. Christmas presents. Christmas with his family. Christmas with her family. Christmas church service. Christmas music. Christmas advertising. Christmas shopping.

It’s like the day after Thanksgiving (or in this year’s case, the week before Thanksgiving), time switches to warp speed and before we know it we’re watching the ball drop in New York on the TV and we’re telling our co-workers Happy New Year. 

And every year, I see the blog posts and Facebook statuses and news stories and internet articles that talk about how to have a “stress-free Christmas”. I will be upfront with you: this is not going to be one of those posts. Because at the end of the day, what you do or do not accomplish during the holiday season really has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. Not that any of it is necessarily bad, it’s just that the majority of it really has no eternal significance. 

I am much more concerned with the true meaning of Christmas: the celebration of Christ’s birth. 

Even though we do not know the exact day He was born, the purpose of Christmas is to reflect on the birth of our Savior; to remember all that He did for us when He stepped out of His realm and into a human body. When Divinity traded his crown for a tiny manger in a dirty stable, purely out of His love for us. 

This year, Christmas has been a little different for me. Yes, I’ve bought some gifts. Yes, we’ve already sent out our Christmas cards. Yes, I have a tree in my house and decorations scattered throughout the living room. But my heart has been longing for something much deeper: a true connection with the meaning of Christmas. A longing to celebrate what Christmas day means for not only Christians, but all of humanity. This year, all of the other “fluff” that we add to Christmas really hasn’t been all that important to me. I’ve been humming Silent Night and O Come, O Come Emanuel. I’ve thought about what it would have been like to hold Jesus as a baby, to watch Him grow into a man, to know that the Lord was standing right before my very eyes. 

As I reflected on some of this last week, I decided to do a blog series about it. This is not a series on how to have a fun Christmas, or how to make new memories with your family. This is a series that will hopefully bring some of us back to the true meaning of Christmas….that will hopefully cause us to stop and pause and rejoice in the miracle of Christ’s birth. 

I hope that you will join me over the next week and a half as I delve into the Christmas story. I will be posting one short blog post every day leading up to Christmas. And if you enjoy the series, please share it with your friends and family. Let’s bring back the true meaning of Christmas together. Because Jesus truly is the reason for the season! 

"And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn." ~Luke 2:7

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Worst Thing EVER

If you’re friends with me on Facebook, then you probably saw my status a couple of week ago. If you’re not friends with me on Facebook, then you probably should be here is what I posted:
“Just got bit by a weird spider whose bite stung like fire. Prayers that I do not die or lose a finger are greatly appreciated. My greatest fear has become a reality today. #iHATEspiders”
Because I know all of you are deeply concerned about this horrific incident and desire to know every detail, I decided to accept your over-sharing request and get you all the terrifying specifics.
What kind of spider was it?
No idea. But here’s a picture of it all smushed up:
I tried doing a quick Google search to see if it was a popular poison one, but no such luck. I did save it in a plastic bag though, so if my finger starts to rot off I can take it to the doctor and they’ll know what it is.
Speaking of which, how is my finger?
Good, so far. It stayed swollen for a good week and up until a few days ago you could see a red dot where it bit me. But now, you can barely see it and the swelling is gone. Still not throwing the smushed up spider away though…..not until it is 100% gone.
How did I get bit?
I was washing dishes and apparently the tiny demon was hiding on the bottom of a bowl. I was placing the bowl in the sink when it suddenly felt like my finger was getting burned off I got stung by a bee. I threw the bowl down, slammed my hand up against the side of the sink (in order to kill the suspected bee), yelled really loud, and then got Roman to get a piece of ice out of the freezer so I could squeeze it against my finger. It wasn’t until I finished whining about how bad it hurt that I realized it wasn’t a bee, but a spider. Actually, first I thought it was a bee, then we thought it was some sort of bug, then we realized that the dead bug in the sink had eight legs which meant it was a spider. Then I freaked out. Then I got some Benadryl cream and slathered it on there. Then I proceeded to complain for the next ten minutes until it finally stopped burning.
How much more do I hate spiders?
A lot. I’ve had two nightmares now where the spiders were following me around the house. Every room I walked in there was a spider on the wall. It was terrible. TERRIBLE, I tell you!
Have I washed any more dishes?
Absolutely not. I’m still too traumatized. I may claim emotional damage and never wash another dish again. Roman, I’m looking at you buddy. Jk, yes, I’ve washed dishes. Carefully. Very carefully.  
Have I turned into spider woman yet?
Not yet, but I’m remaining hopeful. I’m thinking about testing out my jumping skills pretty soon because I think by now the poison should be good and sunk in. Maybe try jumping off the couch? Off the bed? Off the kitchen counter? Off the porch?
"The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether." ~Psalm 19:9

Monday, December 9, 2013

December Resolution

The other day I was thinking about the New Year’s Resolutions I made in January. Well, actually, one in particular: Lose the college fifteen.
I haven’t really talked a whole lot about it here, but 2013 has been a pretty difficult year. Roman and I started “trying” for a baby in August of 2012. After five months of no success, we started seeing a new doctor in January of 2013. For this entire year, I have been taking different types and doses of hormones, and gone through all sorts of testing. Between the weight gain that naturally accompanies artificial hormones, the stress of all of it, and a knee surgery in the middle…….I think I can say with complete confidence that I have totally bombed out with that resolution.
And that’s okay. Trust me, the last thing I need is to beat myself up over a few extra pounds gained. But here lately, I’ve come to the realization that what my mind really needs is something other than babies to focus on. And so I turned my attention towards healthiness, because that seemed like a nice thing to focus on. That, and the fact that I’m about to have to buy new jeans because my current pairs almost don’t fit anymore. Ahem.
Roo at Neon Fresh wrote this post about how we should aim for progress instead of perfection. Her main point was, why wait until January 1st to change something in your life when you can start today? What happens so often—and let’s use weight gain as an example—is we eat a whole lot of junk in the month of December and just use the excuse of “I’m going on a diet in January!!!!!” as an excuse. Congratulations, using that logic I would now have 25 pounds to lose instead of just 20.
Over the past few months I have tried and failed (miserably) at starting a workout routine. My knee is fine….other than not being able to sit on my knees for a long period of time or sit cross-legged, I can’t tell that I ever had a knee surgery. So blaming the lack of exercise on my knee is no longer an option. Sure, I’ve been busy. But there really isn’t a time of the year when I’m NOT busy. And if I were being honest, I spend a whoooooole lot of time in front of the TV throughout the week. Precious time that could be spent on improving my health.
Which is why I finally made the impromptu decision to start back last week. Right now I’m working through 42 Days to Fit by Brandy Ferguson, Stacy Karen and Emma Swanston. This is one of the eBooks I bought in The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle. The program is really designed for women, but I’m pretty sure the men could just tack on a few more reps and it would work just as well.   
I’m kind of sort of excited, kind of sort of nervous, and kind of sort of regretting it due to my current lack of being able to move due to muscle soreness. While I was “doing the dance” this morning to fit into my jeans (don’t pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about), I sort of panicked for a minute. Thoughts like, “How in the world am I going to have time for this?” “Can I really stop eating ridiculous amounts of chocolate every day?” “Is this going to be something I can make into a habit?” “Do I really possess that kind of self-control?” flooded my mind and I was really close to just giving up right there in my closet. But then I remembered, I don’t have to have the whole future planned out, I just need to do what I can for today and worry about tomorrow when tomorrow gets here.
Here are some tips/thoughts on how I plan to be successful this time around:
1.       Drink lots of water. LOTS of water. I’ve never been a big water drinker. I <3 Diet Coke and coffee and water is just so bland in comparison. But it is a scientific fact that sodas directly cause weight gain, among other problems (yes, even the Diet drinks) so this is one area that I must improve in. I just finished downing my second 16 oz. water bottle. I drank about 8 oz. first thing in the morning—even before I had my coffee, and I’ve been sipping on cold water the rest of the day. This one is easy for the most part, and completely free. Have there been times over the weekend that I wanted a Diet Coke? YES. And I did cave once, but I can say that I have been drinking a whole lot more water overall just in the last three days.
2.      Only worry about today. I already said this one, but it’s a biggy so I’m going to expound on it a little bit. If I think about everything I have to do over the next week, my mind is overwhelmed. I’ve got worship practices. A Christmas Banquet. A concert. Church. Work. I could easily look at the next week and say, “Nope. There is just too much going on. I’ll start next week.” But I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m focusing on today. I have a practice tonight at 7:30. I’ll probably be there until about 9:15 or 9:30. Which means my strength training will have to be either in between work and practice, or after practice. Past that, I ate a healthy breakfast and lunch, and I have a healthy dinner planned for tonight as well. Done. Today was a good day. I’ll worry about tomorrow when I wake up tomorrow.
3.      Running is awesome. Okay, you may not think so, but I do. And if there is a certain fitness activity that you love, then do it often! Running is a HUGE stress reliever for me, so I’m going to do my best to make sure that my twenty minutes of cardio three times a week is spent running. It will help me look forward to doing it instead of dreading it, and that’s more than half the battle. Think about something you would love: cycling, jump rope, swimming, jumping on a trampoline….and then do what you love for exercise! Working out doesn’t have to be boring!
4.      Sleep more. I’m terrible at this one. I usually go to bed between 11:30 and midnight every night and then I’m up at 6 in the morning. So if I fall asleep right when I go to bed, I’m getting six hours of sleep. That’s the bare minimum requirement for sleep time. I haven’t figured this one out just yet, but I’m going to be doing my best to get some more shut eye.
5.      Keep healthy snacks in the house. I bought a pomegranate the other day, and ate it instead of chocolate when I wanted a sweet fix. If I hadn’t had that in my fridge though, I almost certainly would have eaten the chocolate. You can’t choose the healthier option if you don’t have the healthier option in your fridge. It’s that simple.
6.      Don’t do it by yourself. Is there someone else in your life that is willing to get fit with you? Roman is working through this plan with me. He’s helping me to make healthier choices and stick to my workout plan. Trust me, it is SO much easier when you have someone helping you and encouraging you!
7.      Pray. Seriously, pray. God wants us to exercise our bodies so that we can be healthy. He wants us to have self-control when we sit down at the dinner table. So ask Him for help! Ask Him to give you strength to say no to junk food and for the self-control to eat and exercise responsibly.
Please know, I’m not a certified fitness person, so I am definitely not an expert. And it has only been a week, so this could all be a bunch of hoopla….only time will tell! But it’s exciting to think that as everyone else starts their weight loss endeavors on January 1st, I will already be four weeks in with mine! (And hopefully I won’t be “doing the dance” as much by then….)
What about you? Is there something you’ve been putting off that you could start tackling today? Don’t keep pushing it off just so you can call it a New Year’s Resolution!  
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ~Matthew 6:34