Monday, July 28, 2014

Journey with Jesus Day 25

I've been discouraged lately. God has been trying to teach me about faithfulness over the past couple of years. He wants me to learn that all He wants is for me to be faithful no matter what I'm doing. But ya know, I gotta be honest...sometimes JUST being faithful is not enough for me. I wanna FEEL purpose in what I'm doing. I wanna be excited about what I'm doing with my life. And I don't feel that purpose or get excited about my day to day life these days. And that makes me feel discouraged and ashamed.  I need to have a better perspective than that because I am so blessed. I should be thankful and excited to be faithful to the Lord no matter what that means. Am I being selfish? Am I being petty and discontent? I don't mean to be, but I do struggle with feeling unfulfilled and restless and discouraged with my day to day tasks these days. ... I will just have to keep pressing forward because giving up is not an option no matter how exhausting the fight is.

Breakfast - cheese,  nuts, and part of an apple
Lunch - chicken and rice,  broccoli and cauliflower,  tomato,  and tortilla chips and guacamole
Snack - trail mix
Dinner - tacos and chips and queso and sweet tea
Only 3 glasses of water

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Journey with Jesus Day 24

I'm so thankful for church! I just get so recharged every week...hearing from God's word and discussing God's word...hanging out with the teenagers...and spending time with other Jesus-lovers! It really helps keep me going! We so need each other! So do not forsake your church body....people there need your testimony, your smile, your talents, and your encouraging words.

Breakfast - cheese and crackers, nuts, and a few apple slices
Lunch - pizza and breadsticks
Dinner - chicken and rice, zucchini, green beans,  and cucumber salad with a glass of sweet tea
6 glasses of water
I skipped the workout and took a 3 hour nap instead! Haha!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Journey with Jesus Day 23

I am continuing to commit my journey to better health to the Lord. Over the past week, I have really tried to throw out my old ways of thinking...no more condemnation...no more wrong reasons for trying to be healthy. I need to honor God with my body. That's really all I need to focus my heart and mind and efforts on. I'm beginning to learn ... if I don't work at my health from this starting point, then I will give up and then stay discouraged. Perspective is everything. So I will keep setting goals. I will keep taking things one day at a time and one meal at a time. God will help me. God IS helping me. :)

Breakfast - slice of bacon , slice of cheese, and part of an apple
Lunch - turkey avocado BLT and broccoli cheese soup
Snack - trail mix, cheese stick, and a few slices of tomato
Dinner - chicken,  green beans,  and mashed potatoes
Dessert - spoonful of peanut butter with chocolate chips
64 ounces of water

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Journey with Jesus Day 22

I'm so thankful because I'm encouraged about my health today. :) I have really set my mind to making healthy choices this week, and even though I've had a few setbacks, overall, it has been a very successful week. ... I've been thinking about how what we eat affects our mood, so that has been a motivator. I've been thinking about how I am two pant sizes above my ideal weight and how discouraging that is. (A size 14 is what I believe the Mical Masterson-Thompson weight is...just in case you were wondering.) :) I'm the the biggest and most unhealthy (joint aches, mood swings, physical fitness) I've ever been. And it's just got to stop! So I am determined to get healthy! ... After all, my body houses the Holy Spirit, and I wanna honor Him and make Him proud. So I'm not gonna stop trying! I'm gonna keep pursuing and being excited about imperfect progress. For so many reasons! :)

Breakfast - cheese stick and trail mix
Lunch - turkey burger (no bun), sliced tomato from the garden, broccoli, and homemade baked fries
Snack - cheese and flaxseed crackers, trail mix, and an apple
Dinner - chicken and veggies with brown rice
More than 64 ounces of water
I didn't workout today, but I got some physical activity playing golf for 4 hours :)

Good night, everyone! Don't give up on your health goals! Just don't give up, okay? :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Journey with Jesus Day 21

I've decided that my struggle with my attitude is just as much a physical battle as a spiritual. I haven't been eating the way I should, and I think it has been affecting my mood and making me more susceptible to discouragement. So I'm trying, once again, to get healthy. I'm hope that this new vantage point will motivate me further. I so badly want to honor God with my body and my attitude. Prayers would be appreciated. :)

Breakfast - bacon and a slice of cheese
Lunch - pork roast and veggies
Snack - cheese and flaxseed crackers
Dinner - taco salad and a glass of sweet tea
64 ounces of water
45 minute workout video

Monday, July 14, 2014

SoZo Devotionals: Romans 12:1-8

Hey, everyone!

On Sunday mornings during Sunday School, the middle school and high schoolers will be studying through Romans chapter 12 ... one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.  I thought what better content for our weekly devotionals??? :D  So take a few minutes each day this week to read the assigned verses, think through the questions, and talk to the Lord about your day.  I usually use the ESV when I read my Bible, so I encourage you to find which version of the Bible works for you.  And I also encourage you to read the NLT alongside it for our study through Romans.  I just like that version to help me apply what I'm reading to my everyday life.

Devo #1 - Read Romans 12:1
What is a "living sacrifice"?
How can YOU be a living sacrifice this week?
What kinds of things in this life are "holy and acceptable" to God?
How can we make OUR LIVES holy and acceptable to God?

Devo #2 - Read Romans 12:2
This verse says, "don't copy the behavior of this world" or "do not conform to this world" ... in what ways DO WE copy the ways of this world?
How can we NOT copy or conform to this world? ... pst!  What does the next part of the verse say? ;)
How can we allow the Holy Spirit to transform, or totally change, the way we think?

Devo #3 - Read Romans 12:3
In what ways do we "think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think"?
How can YOU put the needs of others before your own this week?
What does thinking with "sober judgment" mean?
How can YOU practice sober judgment this week?

Devo #4 - Read Romans 12:4-5
What do you believe YOUR function is in the Body of Christ? ... If you aren't sure, go ask your parents or a Christian friend about it...they can probably help.
What do you think "one body in Christ means"?

Devo #5 - Read Romans 12:7-8
Do you have any of the gifts mentioned in these verses? If so, how are you using your gifts for the Lord? If not, are there any you would like to have? If so, pick one to practice this week.

Prayer Requests -
- Olivia - freshman orientation and P.E. final
- Kristy - frustrations with softball team

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Journey with Jesus Day 20

I am amazed at how often I forget the Truth. I was listening to a sermon by John MacArthur tonight while I put the laundry away, and it reminded me about the importance of abiding in Christ. So often, I try to work for my salvation. In my heart of hearts, I think I believe the Bible when it says we are saved by grace, not works (Ephesians 2:8), but in my everyday heart, I don't believe it. And I constantly try to earn my salvation. And then beat myself silly when I can't do it ... Which is always, by the way. .... But I was reminded tonight that I don't bear fruit by trying; I bear fruit by abiding (John 15:4). I'm so thankful for the reminder!

Breakfast - sausage and cheese
Lunch - turkey burger (no bun), tomato, green beans, and broccoli & cauliflower
Snack - watermelon, apple with peanut butter, and almonds & cashews
Dinner - pizza and popcorn and sweet tea
Only 6 glasses of water
Zumba for 45 minutes :)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Journey with Jesus Day 19

I'm trying again, today, to get back on track. I called this a journey for a good reason....'cause I keep losing the path. I wanna be healthier, but man, bad choices are everywhere...and they are so appealing .....at the time. There are ups and downs on the journey....no matter what kind of journey you're on. Just don't give up! We can't give up. We must keep working at our goals. I must keep trying to get healthy. And really, even if I don't lose another pound in my life, I have made lifestyle changes that make me healthier today than I was a year ago. Imperfect progress is still progress. ....... And today was an up day even if I did have some ice cream. :) .... So don't give up, everyone who is trying for something better! I know I'm not going to!

Breakfast - sausage and cheese
Lunch - turkey sausage, green beans, and broccoli & cauliflower
Snack - apple with peanut butter, cottage cheese, and trail mix
Dinner - chicken, cauliflower, and asparagus & zucchini
Dessert - Frost Bite :)
More than 64 ounces of water
45 minutes of Zumba!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

SoZo Devotionals: Faith without works is DEAD

I've been INCREDIBLY inconsistent with these SoZo devos this year ... but hey, I'm trying again this week.  We talked a lot today in both Sunday School and group tonight about practicing our faith and tapping into the power of the Holy Spirit.  So I encourage you to take some time each day this week to read these Scripture passages and spend some time in prayer, thinking about OUR response to Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross.  Take some time to think about YOUR role in this relationship with Jesus.  Don't forget ... faith without works is dead.  How can you be ALIVE in your faith this week?  Just keep practicing. :)  Love you, guys!

Monday - Read Romans 12:1-2.
Think about what it means to be a living sacrifice.  How can you put that into practice this week?

Tuesday - Read Galatians 5:16-17.
What does it mean for the flesh to be opposed to the Spirit?  Look up the word "opposition" in the dictionary if you wanna think a little deeper about this question. :)  Do you ever feel your flesh (sinful nature) battling against the Holy Spirit in your life?  How so?

Wednesday - Ephesians 5:15-18.
Think about what it means to be drunk with alcohol.  Now, think about what being drunk with the Holy Spirit would look like?  If we were drunk on Jesus everyday, what would our lives look like?

Thursday - Read Philippians 2:12-13.
Read this verse in the New Living Translation if you can.  I especially like verse 13 in that translation.  How do these verses challenge you or encourage you?

Friday - Read James 2:14-26.
Write down some thoughts about these verses.  How do these verses make you stop and think about YOUR faith?

Saturday - Read James 2:14-26 again.
What kinds of "works" have you been doing in your everyday life lately?  Make a list.  Do you live your life to please God?  If not, what is holding you back?  If you've been struggling to serve God lately, how can you be more intentional in listening to the Holy Spirit's leadings and putting your faith into practice?

Prayer Requests from the group this week ...
~ Caylee takes her driver's test on Tuesday
~ Angelica's niece is sick ... may have malaria
~ Jenny starts culinary school this week
~ Kristy is struggling with her teammates on her softball team
~ Darian has three waitressing shifts at Dave's this week
~ Darrell's dad got fired from his coaching job recently
~ Dallas is looking for a new job

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Denying self + relying on Jesus = Faith (which equals a thankful attitude)

I've been pretty discouraged about my attitude lately.  Don't even try to tell me that there's NOT a spiritual battle going on all around us.  My life is living proof that there IS!  Every single day, my flesh is dukin' it out with the Holy Spirit inside me.  My selfish nature wants things MY way ... easy, happy, carefree, no responsibilities, and just plain boring, really.  But the Holy Spirit wants me to be challenged, convicted, and empowered to be the woman GOD wants me to be.  My attitude has always been my main vessel for sin.  Thank you, Jesus, I have a "simple" testimony ... no drugs, no alcohol, no sex outside of marriage, no abuse, no "big-time" mistakes ... but man, if I've learned anything about myself over the past few years, it is that I am PRIDEFUL ... I am a WORRIER ... and I am UNGRATEFUL fffaaarrr too often.  I'm also a PERFECTIONIST and a SELF-CONDEMNER, which means that I beat myself to a pulp every time I mess up.  I have so much to be thankful for ... I'm the most blessed person I know (yes, I'm bragging ;)).  And so I have NO, absolutely NO, reason to have a bad attitude ... especially about frivolous things.  I know I'm human and all that jazz, but I just wanna do better.  So I've been struggling ... wanting to do the right thing, wanting to truly be a good example (not just look like one on the outside), wanting to stop messing up.  Hence, my Facebook status recently about feeling like an imposter.

Thank you to everyone who posted on my status or sent me a separate message or text.  I was humbled to see how many people took a minute to post encouragement for me.  And as a response to all the encouraging posts, I wanted to post something special God used in my life this week.  I've been reading through the book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, and a couple days this week, my readings have been all about facing challenges head on because God is trying to teach us and make us stronger because of them.  This one, in particular, spoke to me this week.  It says ....

"Do not resist or run from the difficulties in your life.  These problems are not random mistakes; they are hand-tailored blessings designed for your benefit and growth.  Embrace all the circumstances that I allow in your life, trusting Me to bring good out of them.  View problems as opportunities to rely more fully on Me.  When you start to feel stressed, let those feelings alert you to your need for Me.  Thus, your needs become doorways to deep dependence on Me and increasing intimacy between us.  Although self-sufficiency is acclaimed in the world, reliance on Me produces abundant living in My kingdom.  Thank Me for the difficulties in your life, since they provide protection from the idolatry of self-reliance."
- Jesus

Wow!  That just hits what I'm dealing with right on the head!  I do not rely on the Lord ... I rely on myself ... because I am prideful.  The root of my bad attitude is a lack of faith.  Faith is denying myself and relying on God.  God has been trying to teach me this for so long, and I keep forgetting the many ways He's been trying to teach me over the past few years especially.  I must remember John 15:5 when it says, "Apart from Me, you can do NOTHING!"  It's so true.  I need Jesus for the very air I breathe, so why do I think I can sustain a godly, joyful, and thankful attitude for any length of time without His help.  If only I could see my failures and difficult circumstances as opportunities to depend on Christ, just like my Jesus Calling reading says.  Wow. ......... I guess I can keep practicing. :)  Practice is one of my life words.  I will keep practicing denying myself and relying on Jesus ... I will keep practicing my faith. :)