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My Lifestyle Page

As with other pages on this site, this page is drawn from a separate blog that I was keeping.  So you may find that you have read some of these articles.  It is my hope as I bring all my interests together under on title, that you may find something to bless your life.  So, with that… welcome to my Lifestyle page. The information you find here are about health and fitness – both physical and spiritual.

I’ve been thinking about my life lately… a lot.  I read a book the other day called “Ultimate  Health“.  It is written as a collaboration by Tony Jeary, Rick Wilson MD, Jennifer Engels MD and Tammy Kling.  There was something about this book that just hit my heart.  It really wasn’t until my second read, that this one little sentence screamed at me from the page.

“Be intentional about designing your own life.”  (page 40)


Designing my life!  What?!?!?!  I get to do that?  Well yes I guess I do.

This book has caused me some serious sleepless nights of late.  I’ve had some real heart to heart talks with myself in the wee hours of the morning.  I’ve prayed for wisdom and guidance.

So here’s what I’ve come up with:

1.  I am overweight and  I am not as healthy as I should be – ie Increased Blood Sugar , Increased A1C, BorderLine Cholesterol, near BorderLine High Blood Pressure.

2.  I do not exercise

3.  I am 7 years out from a diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer – More on that at a later post

So…  on September 22 of this year, I turned 60 years old.  Starting at the beginning of this year, I will be taking the next 365 days to bring myself back.  To begin designing my life, the life that God intended for me.

To learn more about me… click on the “About Me’ button.

My goal for this blog is to hold it as a witness to the next 365 days of my life.  Please know that I am a God-fearing Christian woman.  I make no excuses for my faith and I don’t hide it under a bushel.  I will not hold back on prayers, faith chats, etc.    This is not a blog about Theology… so we won’t be having those discussions here – well at least on this page.

I hope to be very transparent on this blog (while remaining semi-anonymous).  I will be posting everything I can.  I will post my lab results, food issues, perhaps an anonymous picture from time to time, as well as recipes/tips/hints that I come up with.  I am not an expert, if I was would I be in the shape that I’m in??? As for designing my life…  well I think that all of that is going to work itself out as this year moves along.

So….  having said all that….  here we go.

Click here to read my full review of the amazing book, Ultimate Health, on my Book Review Blog.

Scarlet Letters

“You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession.

As a result, you can show others the goodness of God,

for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9b)

As a young girl, I remember reading The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. We all know about Hester Prynne and her sin of adultery exposed by the birth of her illegitimate child, Pearl. Her sin was self-evident by the child she carried in her arms, but it was made more evident by the scarlet letter “A” that she was forced to wear on her chest, a public display of her sin.

The reader goes on to learn about Dimmsdale and his own scarlet letter that he branded onto his own chest and the anguish of his own sin that eventually takes over his life causing such turmoil and distress on his physical health until he is eventually destroyed by his guilt.

There are so many scarlet letters available to all of us. Perhaps you are wearing one:

Adulterer, Alcoholic, Addict, Abandoned, Abortion, Accused, Angry, Ashamed, Batterer, Bitter, Boastful, Criticizer, Child Abuser, Cheat, Cruel, Complainer, Confused, Cult, Drug Addict, Deceiver, Defiler, Depression, Despair, Drinking, Egomaniac, Empty, Envious, Evil, Enticer, Failure, Faultfinder, Fear, Fighter, Gay, Gossip, Greedy, Grudge, Guilt, Homosexual, Hardhearted, Hatred, Incest, Innocence lost, Immoral, Indifference, Insulting, Intimidator, Jezebel, Jailed, Jealous, Joyless, Judger, Judged, Killer, Lesbian, Liar, Lawless, Lust, Murderer, Manipulator, Mean, Merciless, Malicious, Negative, Neglectful, Obsessed, Offensive, Oppressor, Pornography, Pagan, Persecutor, Power-hungry, Prejudice, Prideful, Prostitute, Queer, Quitter, Resentment, Rejection, Sex Addict, Satanic, Shame, Slanderer, Sloth, Stubbornness, Superior, Thief, Tempted, Threatening, Unclean, Ugly, Unbeliever, Unfaithful, Vengeful, Vain, Violent, Vulnerable, Verbally-abusive, Whore, Worldly, Worthless,  Zealot

There is a darkness that envelops the soul of a sinner, darkness so thick with doom and dread that it begins to suffocate the sinner. The weight of carrying the burden; the mock and the scorn of the sin eventually destroys the sinner to the point that they feel that there is no forgiveness for them; they are doomed to wear that letter forever.

Whatever the letter that either we chose to burn into our own chest, or one that society chooses to brand us with, we can step out of the darkness in our soul and walk in forgiveness.

Over and over again in the Scriptures, we see the signs of mercy and forgiveness of our sins.

Ephesians 1:7 (NKJV) 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace

Acts 13:38 (NKJV) 38 Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins;

Acts 26:18 (NKJV) 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’

1 John 1:8-9 (NKJV) 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 2:12 (NKJV) 12 I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.

More than two thousand years ago, God sent His son to this earth in the form of a man. God sent this man, Jesus, as a spotless lamb to be sacrificed for our sins. This wholly blameless man stood silent as He was mocked and scorned and beaten and bloodied for our sins. He gathered our sins in His hands and without a sound He laid down on that cross to be crucified for us. With each blow of the hammer onto the nails that would hold him to the cross, our sins were forgiven. He took those sins, our sins, with Him that we may have forgiveness. Jesus took those sins so that we may be redeemed in Him, that we may be sanctified through Him, that we may be justified with Him, that we may know the forgiveness of our sins from the Heavenly Throne of God.

God, who is infinite in His mercy, forgives our sins once and for all never to be remembered again. (Ps 103)

3 He forgives all my sins

9 He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever.

10 He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.

12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.

It is we, the sinner that chooses to carry our sins in us as a scarlet letter, burned into our flesh. Carrying that sin with us, once we have repented to God for that sin, makes us into mockers of the Cross. Perhaps it our refusal to accept God’s forgiveness, perhaps it is our lack of self-worth that we can’t accept God’s forgiveness. After all, how could God ever forgive me? Why would God ever forgive me?

How could God forgive you? Because He is God, because when you repent, and turn away from that sin and seek His face you are forgiven. All He is waiting for is for you to take that first step towards Him.

Why would God forgive you? Because of His infinite love for you. Because you are His chosen one. Because He has called you out of the darkness of your sin, to walk in His light. He wants to raise you out of the muck and mire that has enveloped your life. He wants you to walk as a child of the King. Now is your time to seek His face.  If you must wear a letter, let it be Saved!

Prayer Journaling

I don’t know about men, but most of the women that I know will tell you that we live in our heads. We typically have so many seemingly random thoughts running around, that if you were to take a peak… well let’s just say it might be a bit scary in there. We carry everything from what’s for dinner, did we take something out of the freezer, when does the dog go to the vet, did I take my medicine, when can I get to the gym, remember to pick up daughter for lessons, don’t forget son needs help with project, and oh yes, I am married and he needs me to do thus and such… and usually all of that takes place before the second cup of coffee.

Add to that the chatter and self talk that we’ve carried around with us for so many years. You know those voices, those condemning, hateful voices that work so well at reminding us just what a mess we are. And don’t forget the voices of past friends, relationships – professional and personal- that continue to remind us of other not so wonderful times in our lives

It’s a wonder that we can think at all with all that running around in there. And then there are the huge thoughts. The one’s that we don’t, or can’t share, the ones that we can take only to God. We so need help sorting it all out. We need to seek His presence, His wisdom, His guidance, His word in our matters.

There are times when my brain is so scattered or when I am dealing with a problem that is so huge for me, that I can’t seem to get it all down. You know the ones I’m talking about, the ones that have you pacing the floor all night.   Those are the times that I take pen towisdom-post paper and sort it out.

There is something about writing it out that, for me, brings clarity. Perhaps it’s because my hand doesn’t move as fast as my brain, so it forces me to slow down and bring each thought forward one at a time. Bring them forward, and then write them down… one after another. I’m always amazed that at some point in writing out my problems, that I recognize how I really should be praying and what, or who, I should be praying for.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t just journal my problems. I love being able to sit down and just write out my praises as well. Sometimes it’s confirmations about something that I’ve been praying about. Sometimes, it’s clarity of the Word. Sometimes, it’s a teaching that I want to remember. Sometimes it’s a verse for the day. Whatever it is, pen to paper has been a tremendous gift that I learned so many years ago when I would watch my mom write everything. After her death, my dad found years and years and years of journals; containing her most private and precious thoughts, concerns, fears and joys. Dad didn’t share them with us… they were not our story’s to know.

On Keeping a Journal:

A trip to your local bookstore will present you with so many choices for your journal ranging from a few dollars to more than a few dollars. I choose not to use a fancy journal. I find that most of the time I will write for pages and pages. I don’t want to be confined to a certain space for my thoughts. For me, I am my mother’s daughter. A trip to my local stationary store and a half dozen or so spiral notebooks and I’m good to go. I love it when it’s back to school shopping and they’re all on sale. It’s my favorite time of the year! Oh yes, and don’t forget a new pen. For me, a new pen on new paper… well they just go together. I also use colored pencils and different color highlighters throughout my writings.

I do write the date on the outside cover of my journal – a start and an end date I think are important if for some reason you want to go back for reference. When you get to that place that we all visit from time to time and you’re wondering if God really has deserted you… if He has in fact turned away from you. A browse through your old journals will show you just how faithful He is.

I would hope that I wouldn’t have to say this, but it might be necessary to find a secure place to keep your journal. Some folks see journals as containing secrets. And I guess in a way they do. If you are writing out some issues that involve someone in your home or someone that other’s in your home know… it might get tricky.

Once you’ve figured out what to use for your journal… you are now staring at a blank page. That can be intimidating. This is what I want you to do. Take your pen… make a huge X on the page. No… bigger than that! Now cross out that X. That’s it… scribble all over it. Now… rip that page out and throw it away. There… now it’s not so daunting! You’ve written in your journal. You’ve christened it. Now it’s time to go about the writing.

What to Journal:

Prayers of gratitude and thankfulness of my daily blessings
Reflections on your daily reading
Prayer requests
Praise reports
Anxious, sad, lonely, fearful thoughts
Vision and dreams
Thoughts and pondering on your daily reading
Details of a problem that you are seeking guidance for
Answers to issues that you have struggled with
Your loving thoughts of your King
Revelations you’ve been receiving

The list is endless. The point it, just keep writing. You will begin to see clarity in the issues that have been so overwhelming. You’ll notice really how much God is involved in your life. Your eyes will be opened to what He is trying to show you, what He is trying to teach you. It’s a marvelous thing!!!

Final thoughts…

Prayer journaling is not something that will happen overnight. Like anything it does require discipline. But what you’ll find after a while is that the words will so easily flow as your mind slows down. I believe that it is in that slowing down that our hearts and minds are more open to hearing from God. The act of pen to paper forces us to sit and wonder and ponder and pray and commune… when we force ourselves to sit… just sit and be present wonderful things will begin to happen.

So grab your pen and that paper and get yourself started!

Check out the journals at Deeper Shopping Books and Bibles (affiliate link)

Alive in the Spirit

Alive in the Spirit: Experiencing the Presence and Power of GodAlive in the Spirit: Experiencing the Presence and Power of God by A.W. Tozer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Is the Holy Spirit active in your life? Many people look to extraordinary experiences as evidence of the Holy Spirit. But what happens when the experience ends? How can we be filled with the Spirit every day in the ordinary things we do?

Many talk about being filled with the Holy Spirit, but few accept God’s conditions. Tozer lays down these requirements in his trademark bold and wise way. Though every Christian has the Spirit, not every Christian is filled with the Spirit. Knowing the difference will change your life.

Continue reading “Alive in the Spirit”

Answering the Toughest Questions About God and the Bible

Answering the Toughest Questions about God and the BibleAnswering the Toughest Questions about God and the Bible by Bruce Bickel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When it comes to the big questions about God, Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz don’t pretend to have all the answers. But they do know how to wrestle with doubt. They welcome questions, and in these pages they ask some of the most important ones you have about God and the Bible.

With candor, insight, and a disarming touch of humor, Bruce and Stan provide some answers to these critical questions, yet they leave enough space–and grace–for you to keep wrestling, asking, and seeking truth. Continue reading “Answering the Toughest Questions About God and the Bible”

Lavish Grace

Lavish Grace: Poured Out, Poured Through, and OverflowingLavish Grace: Poured Out, Poured Through, and Overflowing by Kathy Howard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Lavish Grace is a unique, nine-week study of Paul’s teachings about grace and ways he experienced God’s grace in his life. Filled with contemporary examples of grace at work, this well-written format gives you the rare opportunity to combine a character and topical study into one rich, practical approach to Scripture. Lavish Grace is the eye-opening study you need to recognize how God’s grace is being poured out on you and through you. His grace will give you reason to rejoice every day.”

Lavish Grace by Kathy Howard is an interesting book. It is designed to be an interactive nine-week bible study, but I think that it could also devotional of sorts too. The book is divided into three sections: “Grace Poured Out”, “Grace Poured Through” and “Grace Overflowing”. Each section is then divided into three week studies and each week into four sections. Continue reading “Lavish Grace”