Tuesday, September 28, 2010

She's a Winner!


Well, Mondayish has turned into late Tuesday, but we have a winner! 

Congratulations to Julie, the proud new owner of WholyFit...that is as soon as I can get it to her.

Julie said What about Pilates? Or is that a form of yoga? I don't know . . . but I think its more of a stretchy-type exercise vs. cardio . . . This particular DVD looks good too, what with the devotions and all . . . and for breakfast, I had an egg scrambled with ham and an English muffin this a.m. because it was kickboxing day and I was hungrier than the norm . . .

Julie is a wild and crazy, totally fun kind of mom, and yet beneath it all beats a very tender heart. I love you, Julie, and I hope you have fun with WholyFit. Can't wait to hear your personal review of this mysterious product. 

Thanks to the rest of you for entering and sharing your deep, dark breakfast secrets. I have another giveaway in the works for October 7th. We'll see how it goes. 

Some of you have questions about other forms of exercise. It's not always easy to know what's right and good, but I thank God that He wants to show us those things. "I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go." (Isaiah 48:17) 

I certainly do not want to encourage legalism in the area of exercise. On the contrary, I want to encourage us to have hearts yielded to Jesus, ready to do and be whatever He asks of us. My prayer is that we are so in love with Him that we will hear Him and gladly follow where He leads us.

With that said, I think it is good to be informed before we decide whether or not to forge ahead with a decision. Several of you mentioned Pilates and one P90X, so I'll briefly share what I found about those two exercise programs. 

If you feel like doing some reading, the history of Pilates can be found here. It does not appear to have the spiritual roots that yoga does. Not all Pilates are created equally, though. I've done Pilates before, and some instructors like to add a yoga component to their workout. But, in my opinion, regular old Pilates seems pretty safe. Here is another article, written from a Christian perspective, about Pilates and other gray area forms of exercise. I thought the author handled the subject very wisely. 

I have no experience with P90X, but it does look like it has a yoga component. It appears to be a combination of 12 different workouts, yoga being one of the 12. According to the chart in this description, the yoga workout is included in each of the 13 weeks of the program. 

And for anyone wanting more info on yoga, you can read this or this. That last one is what I referred to while writing my second yoga post.

I hope this has helped a little. Now, let's go glorify God with our bodies! "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship." (Romans 12:1)    

Friday, September 24, 2010

Yoga Revisited and a Giveaway

Once I finished my posts about yoga here and here, I was ready to be done with the whole ugly business. I don't like to talk about things that cause conflict. I like to smooth things out. I want to help both sides see where the other is coming from. Either that or sit in the corner sucking on my blanky until the two parties are finished duking it out.

HOWEVER

If I am forced to be one of the parties doing the above mentioned duking, I will stick to my guns. Er...my dukes. I will not be moved. Unless I am wrong. Then I might be moved.

HOWEVER

I have learned the wisdom in simply listening. I have had some wonderful opportunities to listen to some varied reactions to my yoga posts. I knew when I wrote them that there would be plenty who would disagree with me, and I am okay with that. Our world is colored with a million shades of opinion.

Here is my final word (maybe) on the subject: yoga happens to be one of those things not specifically forbidden in the Bible, so we must trust what we do know of the Word mixed together with the leading of the Holy Spirit and arrive at our own personal convictions. And that is exactly what this is for me--a personal conviction to not participate in yoga.

I have been hearing several of you say that you are also feeling convicted about doing yoga, but would like an alternative exercise that stretches and strengthens. I would, too! I've been doing some research, and have found a program that I would personally love to try. But rather than buy it for myself, I would like to give it to one of you who would be willing to try it out for me! Then you could send me a message telling me if you love it, or if it is for the birds. That way I can decide if I will ask for it for Christmas, see? Good plan. You will be doing me a big favor. 

So, here it is.
This program seemed to have better reviews on Amazon than the others out there. This one is based on Ephesians 6 and walks you through putting on the full armour of God each day. You can check out their website here if you are interested.

So, don't be shy. You can remain anonymous if you like. Just leave me a comment and you will be entered to win. If you don't know what to say, tell me what you usually have for breakfast. This is the kind of pertinent information I would like to know about you. I always have yogurt and cereal with an occasional smattering of fruit. I'm glad I got that off my chest. I don't want to keep secrets from you anymore!

Okay, time to go. I'm starting to get weird. I'll pick a random winner on Mondayish. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Good News


This post will be short and sweet.

In this world, it is easy to become overwhelmed by bad news. So, when good news comes, I think it deserves a special announcement.

My family and I were waiting this week to hear whether or not my sister Holly has cancer. So many of you know what that waiting is like. We are not unfamiliar with it around here, either.

This time, the answer was good news for us! She does not have cancer, and we are smiling and crying happy tears.

But here is the best news of all: whether we get good reports or bad, we know without a doubt that our Lord is faithful to carry us through it all.

And for that, my heart is all swelled up with gratitude.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Home Is Where Your Flaky Blue Paint Is

Last Friday began with every indication that it would be business as usual. Three-year-old running around with no pants on: check. Six-year-old claiming to be near death due to extreme and unusual hunger: check. Seven-year-old finished with morning chores lickety split and having target practice on my behind: check. 


Little did I know that after lunch, my day would take a turn for the sappy and sentimental. I don't like to go down that sticky road very often. It's gooey and messy and makes my eyes leak. I like to stay clean and tidy, cut and dry, black and white. I like to stick to business, thank you. But Friday...I got messy. I mean, up to my eyeballs in sap and poignant pangs of emotion.

I liked it. It was, I feel, a gift in the midst of the routine of my life as a mother.

I took my kids for a picnic on the west side of town. I know, appalling, right? I mean, what business do east-siders like us have over there? But, I am a west-sider by birth. I grew up there, man. That's my hood, know what I'm sayin'?


Leaving the park, we passed the cemetery where my dad is buried. On a whim, I swung in to look at the spot again. I don't go very often. More than two years have passed since that cold January day. The mound of dark earth has settled and grass is growing there now. I thought, as I always do, about how he is not really there. His body lies waiting for that day when Christ returns, but his spirit is with the Lord now. Having a good old time, I'm sure.


Leaving the cemetery, I realized that I was now driving on my old bus route. As a school girl, I stared out the bus window twice a day, watching all these houses and businesses go by. This path was familiar territory to me, and I found myself headed toward my childhood home. I was lost in remembering who used to get off at what stop. Yes, Anitra and Benji got off here, and Missy D. was always let off at this road.

I was startled back to the present by raucous laughter coming from the back of my van. My kids had been holding out their tongues under the air conditioning vents until they were dry as cotton. Evidently, dry tongues are far more hilarious than wet ones. I smiled when I realized that my children are doing just what my sister and I used to do at their ages: mindless, silly pranks that make parents wonder what it is they've gotten themselves into.

My intention was to drive by my old home place, show it to the kids, and be on with my day. But as I slowed down to look, I saw the sign in the yard: Garage Sale 7am-1pm. My heart started to pound a little harder. I checked the clock: 2pm. Too late. But the garage door was still open, and then I saw her--Natasha, as I would soon find out--waving me in.
(our house at Christmas)

I felt suddenly weak and sweaty and weird. I was about to walk into the garage where I grew up! I mean, I didn't grow up in the garage. I had a bedroom like normal kids, but it was really close to the garage! Was I a freak for being excited about this? I wasn't sure, but I explained to the kids that we were about to enter the garage of my childhood, and they seemed equally pumped about it. These are kids who get excited about scraps of paper and empty tuna cans, though, so maybe we're all just a bunch of freaks.

As we entered this sacred garage, sweet, lovely Natasha started saying something about her sale. But I couldn't hear her. All I could do was see: see the walls, the floor. The floor. It was the same. It was so familiar to me, I wasn't sure whether I wanted to laugh or cry. Here I had just come from the grave site of my dad whose absence is still startlingly painful at times, and now I was looking down on a floor that he had painted so very long ago. I remembered him painting it that shade of blue-grey and then being so disappointed at how quickly the paint had flaked. He never fixed it. It was that way always, and it is that way still. Here was something my dad did with his own hands, and he is gone now, and I can't even understand myself and how that makes me feel. 

I didn't know how to tell Natasha that I didn't come for her sale, so I looked up at her and said quite eloquently, "I didn't come for your sale." Before she had a chance to call the police, I explained the situation to her. She was immediately sympathetic and generous and glad that we had come! She invited us in to see the whole house. Bless her pea-pickin' little heart, as my mom would say. What a gift! 

(target practice in the backyard)

As we looked at the backyard and every room of the house, Natasha and the kids listened as I shared little memories and stories of the the way it used to be. And then Natasha shared her stories of the changes and improvements they have made to make it a home for their two children.
(Me and Holly)



(me baking cookies)

 This house was my haven--the place where I lost all my teeth, learned how to ride a bike, how to change a diaper(thanks, Josh!), how to cook(thanks, Mom!), and where I got on my knees and asked Jesus into my heart. And now it is, once again, a home to a family that cares for it and each other. That makes me so glad.


I thanked Natasha, who was, like myself, close to being teary-eyed. As I drove away, I felt a mix of emotions: thankful I got to see it again, sad that it was probably the last time, and perplexed that a simple house tour could be so deeply moving. I did not just eat and sleep in that house. I was loved  there. My spiritual roots began there. Maybe that's what it is. That house is where I met God, through the teaching of my mom and dad, and through the presence of the Holy Spirit in that place where He was welcomed.

Some of the things my dad built or fixed in that house are gone and some remain. But someday, it will all be gone. There will come a day when there won't be a trace that he was even here. But I carry in my heart the lasting effects of his prayers for me, his passing on to me his love for the Lord and the Word. This is the kind of keepsake that does not fade, the treasure that rust and moths cannot destroy.
And then I knew. I can do this. I can be this mommy and do this cooking and cleaning and laundry and teaching and disciplining and praying and crying and laughing day after day until I reach the end. What I am doing matters. It matters to God and to my children in whom I am investing and depositing spiritual treasures that last for eternity.

(my three blessings)

So, I will do it, Dad.

 I will do for them what you did for us.

  



Thursday, September 16, 2010

So Easy a Three-Year-Old Can Do It...Almost

If you've been reading this blog for awhile, then hopefully you already know that I think knowing the Bible is crucial to our relationship with the Lord. After all, Jesus was THE WORD made flesh! Knowing the Bible is knowing Him!
 We may think that Scripture memory is just for kids in Sunday School. Don't get me wrong, the verses I memorized as a kid stuck with me and shaped me as I grew. But as an adult, I cannot keep relying on the things I learned as a child. I must keep moving forward in the things of the Lord. My goal is to keep memorizing Scripture until I see those pearly gates. There certainly are enough verses to keep me busy until then! A good friend and I have been holding each other accountable to memorizing passages. I'm always more motivated if I have to "report" to someone.

video
(Little Ben-Ben, as we call him, turned 3 in August)

I know I don't want to require something of my kids that I'm not doing myself. That's why I make my bed (almost) every day and why I will continue to memorize right along with my sweet little hooligans.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

And There's the Rub


I've told you so much already, I might as well tell you this part, too. I like to stay positive, so this part is harder for me to share, but it is reality.

God has done this wonderful thing for me, but I am not immune to Satan's attempts to ruin it all. I confess that I am frequently confronted with thoughts and feelings that don't agree with what the Bible says about God, me, or my situation.

I think the thing that irritates me most is that I had a condition that can go into remission only to rear its ugly head again. So, I will often hear a voice that says, "You are not really healed. This is just MS in remission." Or, "What's it gonna be next time, huh? You gonna lose control of your bladder, or end up in a wheelchair or go blind?" Satan is such a meanie.


 The Bible says in Ephesians 6 that he throws fiery darts at us! I'm convinced that the great majority of those darts are aimed right at our minds. Because once he can get us to believe a lie, his work is pretty much done. We do very well to take it on our own from there and mess everything up ourselves. So I've got to have my shield of faith in place to put those fiery darts out!

As much as I would prefer to ignore these pesky thoughts that come, I know they must be addressed. There are three things I know I need to do:

1) Do what Jesus did.
B) Do what Jesus did.
III) Do what Jesus did.


When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert, he responded with the Word of God every time. That was His sword, and it is ours as well. He was ready. He knew His Bible. He had a Scripture defense for everything Satan threw at Him. I am realizing more and more how important it is for me to have an arsenal prepared ahead of time. When a thought comes in the middle of the day, I don't usually have the time to drop everything, pull out my concordance, and look up a verse pertaining to that issue. No, I must do my homework ahead, so I can be quick in battle.

2 Corinthians 10:5 says, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." I love that word "demolish"; it definitely brings to mind actions that are contrary to simply ignoring.


demolish [dɪˈmɒlɪʃ]


vb (tr)

1. to tear down or break up (buildings, etc.)

2. to destroy; put an end to (an argument, etc.)

3. Facetious to eat up she demolished the whole cake!

[from French démolir, from Latin dēmōlīrī to throw down, destroy, from de- + mōlīrī to strive, toil, construct, from mōles mass, bulk]

demolisher n

demolishment n

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003


 Verb 1. demolish - destroy completely; "the wrecking ball demolished the building"; "demolish your enemies"; "pulverize the rebellion before it gets out of hand"


pulverise, pulverize

destroy, destruct - do away with, cause the destruction or undoing of; "The fire destroyed the house"

2. demolish - humiliate or depress completely; "She was crushed by his refusal of her invitation"; "The death of her son smashed her"

crush, smash

abase, chagrin, humiliate, humble, mortify - cause to feel shame; hurt the pride of; "He humiliated his colleague by criticising him in front of the boss"

3. demolish - defeat soundly; "The home team demolished the visitors"

destroy

smash - overthrow or destroy (something considered evil or harmful); "The police smashed the drug ring after they were tipped off"

swallow - engulf and destroy; "The Nazis swallowed the Baltic countries"

cut to ribbons - defeat totally; "We must cut the other team to ribbons!"

defeat, get the better of, overcome - win a victory over; "You must overcome all difficulties"; "defeat your enemies"; "He overcame his shyness"; "He overcame his infirmity"; "Her anger got the better of her and she blew up"



Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2008 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

I also like "take captive every thought..." It helps to imagine that when I use the Word against a wrong thought, it's like tying up the thought with a long rope, gagging it with some wads of Scripture, putting some handcuffs on it, tossing it into a locked cell, throwing away the key, and throwing the cell into a bottomless pit.

 Dust hands off.

Laugh triumphantly.



Saturday, September 11, 2010

Well, What do You Know?

Once upon a time, there was a girl. Let's call her Calliope. Calliope is a good name for the girl. A calliope is an instrument that has been described in this way by Wikipedia: A calliope is typically very loud. Even some small calliopes are audible for miles around. There is no provision for varying the tone or loudness. The only expression possible is the timing and duration of the notes. You see, Calliope's husband and sister have always had to lovingly remind her to tone it down in restaurants and other public places where she often forgets to use an inside voice. This has absolutely nothing to do with my story today.

 (p.s. I am Calliope.)

Back to my story. Calliope had a sister who would do anything for her. Let's call the sister Mandolin. This is a good name for her, as mandolins are often shaped like a teardrop, and this sister's heart was full of compassion for all. Mandolin loved Calliope with all her heart and expressed her love in countless ways: practical, sweet, generous, heartfelt, selfless, and often hilarious ways. This was all to Calliope's great delight. She did not take Mandolin for granted. She felt that if they should ever be separated, a great piece of herself would be cut off.
Here you see a likeness of the sisters, Calliope and Mandolin.

 Once, Calliope became very sick. Her pipes blew loudly no more. This distressed dear Mandolin. She prayed and fasted and wept for Calliope. She often took care of Calliope's three small, but equally loud calliopes. She encouraged Calliope with plenty of jokes and witty remarks. She made a t-shirt for Calliope to wear to remind her of God's power and protection. She cleaned out Calliope's van and emptied her trashcans!

When Calliope was well again, Mandolin rejoiced and said, "Don't ever do that to me again!" Mandolin encouraged Calliope to write her healing testimony in a blog. Calliope had a great lot of fun doing this, and decided to send free gifts to random people as an expression of her joy. But when she used the random number generator thingy to choose her winner, the number was Mandolin's number! "Oh, dear," thought Calliope. "Perhaps the others will think this contest was rigged!"
 

But she soon put her mind to rest. She knew the others would understand, for Calliope had always been honest about everything else on the blog (except for the bit about the Spam.) And she knew that the others would agree that Mandolin was worthy of the prize(not that the contest is about worthiness).

And so, it is with gladness of heart that I announce the winner of the Kari Jobe CD to be pagereader, aka Holly, aka my crazy sister, aka Hollyberry, aka Mandolin.

Congratulations, Pagereader! Now, get on over here and get your prize, kid.
 
I cannot close this post without saying how much I loved reading all your comments. Thank you so much for playing my little game with me. I went over to YouTube and listened to the songs you mentioned that I didn't know. It was fun! Thanks for introducing me to some potentially favorite songs/artists.

Friday, September 10, 2010

My Dryer Needs a Flu Shot

Please pray for my dryer.
It has some kind of nasty virus. It keeps coughing up clothes, and nobody around here seems to care.

There is no Good Samaritan here, I tell you. Folks around these parts pass right on by without so much as a sideways glance at this poor creature.

This virus may be contagious.

So go check your dryer.

And if you haven't entered my small but fabulous giveaway, you'd best hurry up, 'cause I'm pickin' a winner tomorry.  

Thursday, September 9, 2010

This is My Ebenezer

Once upon a time, in a land far away and long ago, God's people once again turned from their idols and began to confess their sins to the Lord and pray for help. They were afraid of their enemy, the Philistines. Samuel the prophet cried out to God on behalf of his people. He took a lamb and offered it as a sacrifice before the Lord. While he was doing this, the Philistines prepared to attack. But the Lord thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines, and God's people defeated them as they fled. Then Samuel took a stone and set it up in that place as a remembrance. He named the stone Ebenezer, which means "stone of help" and Samuel said, "Thus far has the Lord helped us." And the Philistines did not invade again.

This story taken out of 1 Samuel 7, was the topic of one of my pastor's Sunday night sermons this summer. He reminded us of the importance of remembering what the Lord has done for us. Having "stones of remembrance" can serve as sources of encouragement when new trials come. They can help us remember that God helped us before and He will do it again. I immediately began to pray that the Lord would show me a meaningful way to mark what He has done in my life this year. One simple thing I did was write on a stone the verse that started my journey.
 
If you have not read the story behind this verse, you can find it here. I put this stone in my kitchen window by my sink, where I spend a great deal of time!
When I see it, it makes me smile. I whisper, "My confidence is in You, Lord," as I pass by it. And I think that if I had a stone for every time He has helped me in my life, I would not have enough places in my house to keep them. Or I could build a wall with them symbolic of the wall of strength He is to me.

But more than my simple stone, it is this blog that has been my way of remembering the goodness of my Father. This is my Ebenezer stone, Lord. It is for You and about You. It is how I say, "Thus far has the Lord helped me," and how I can say with confidence,"You will do it again!"

If you don't already know this, my heart is full of love for you who have been reading this stone of mine. And to express that love in a tiny way, I'm doing another giveway. If you haven't already entered yourself to win, go here!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Goodbye, Dear Eye Patch (and Another Giveaway!)

Lovely, don't you think? This picture was taken last night. (It is only a reenactment of days gone by.) My mommy made my eye patch. I love my mommy, but I do not love my eye patch. Goodbye, eye patch. You helped me for awhile, but I don't need you anymore!

Look at my eyes! They are looking straight at you! I couldn't do that before.
Just look how far my left eye can go now! This was impossible before.
I would like to make a special announcement now. I am healed. I am 100% better! I don't have any of the symptoms that brought me down low. I am a grateful girl. I'm thankful for my sweet Jesus whose sacrifice healed me in so many ways.

When I was sick, I could only lay on the couch, but now I can jump off of it, so I do jump off of it, and often. You don't believe me? 
What else can I do to display my goofy happiness? Hows about I give something away? Okay, I will!

One thing that encourages me during rough times is listening to some good worship tunes. I love the way the Lord lifts my burdens right off my stooped shoulders when I start singing to Him. Putting in a good worship CD can change the atmosphere of my home and the attitude of my heart! Things have a way of coming into proper perspective when you are worshipping such a great, big, loving God. Suddenly your worries seem much smaller in comparison to His greatness and power. I would love to give somebody one of my favorite CD's!

 
Kari Jobe sings with such purity and sweetness and obvious love for Jesus. And I just happen to have an extra unopened copy laying on my kitchen counter. You just might get this in the mail if you leave a comment on this post. A winner will be randomly chosen on Saturday, so go ahead and leave a comment telling me what tune puts a little kick in your step. If you don't feel like telling me about that, then say something else that will identify you, like "Proper ladies never jump off couches" or "You look pretty lame with an eye patch" or "Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?" You get the idea, right? Say anything and you will be entered to win!  

Friday, September 3, 2010

My Three Weeks of Yoga, part two

Cäsium137 (T. )at wikimedia.org

Part two of my yoga story will be the creeped out portion. I will be referring to snakes, parasites, and the stench of burnt plastic, so if you are faint of heart, please proceed with caution. You have now been warned.

When I first got sick, in my worst moments, I could close my eyes and see what I thought were parasites invading my brain. I could almost see them in my bloodstream. One night, as I closed my eyes to sleep, I saw a snake that had worked its way up to my head. It's head was inside of mine. 

Did I lose anybody yet? Before you decide I am insane and stop reading this blog forever, let me tell you the rest, and then you can decide. During the most acute part of this illness, my sister  made a decision to take a few days to fast and pray for me. I don't know what I'd do without that girl. During this time, she had a dream that she shared with me. In the dream, she had a snake coiled around her spine and her husband was trying to pull it out for her.


crystalinks.com
 I'm telling you these creepy things to help you understand why this whole yoga issue is not something I am taking lightly. Months after these events, when I was first discovering the truth about yoga, I read about the "kundalini", which means "coiled". This kundalini, in yoga, is an energy, a force, or a power that lies coiled as a snake at the base of one's spine. It is believed that during yoga or meditation, this force is awakened and rises upward along the spine. The belief is that as it rises, higher levels of awakening or enlightenment are achieved, until at last this snake-like force reaches the head, where the ultimate enlightenment occurs. 

As I read through this information, I gasped in amazement and disgust. I was so ignorant about yoga when I first began. And in my ignorance, I stepped into a dangerous arena. I now felt so sorry for not listening to that nudge I had in Target that day not to buy those DVDs. (Yes, I bought not one, but two!) God always knows more about everything than I do, and He wants to protect me, but I've got to listen to Him! 


The other fascinating piece of this was how my illness seemed to mirror somehow this description of the kundalini. When I had my spinal tap, it was discovered that I had oligoclonal bands in my spinal fluid. What this indicates is that my immune system went up and crossed my blood-brain barrier and attacked some of the myelin, resulting in the lesion and my symptoms. 

So, what did I do about it? Well, I was at this point, already believing God for my healing and seeing exciting improvement. God had shown me that there were things He wanted to "burn" out of my heart to purify it. Each time He showed me something, I confessed it, prayed about it, and committed to let Him be the Lord of that particular issue, whatever it was. And each time, my eye would get a little better! The numbness had started to "drain" out of my body. It left my head, then my arm and hand, next my leg, until it was only remaining in my foot. I had my energy back, and I could talk and think very smoothly! 

So, what did I do? I already asked that, I know. I burned the DVDs! Yeah, I went out to our fire pit in the backyard and started a fire. This took me awhile, because I didn't have my usual fire starter, Bob. He knows how to start fires. Me, not so much. I was laughing and talking to myself, trying to get a fire going that would be hot enough to burn those things. Has anybody else ever burned a DVD? It stinks! It smells really bad, and the smoke is putrid! I was worried my neighbors would call the fire department.

By: click at morguefile.com
But, in the midst of all of it, I knew that I needed to do more than just burn those suckers. My heart needed to be involved in this, too. So, as I watched the putrid smoke rise, I committed to give the Lord full control of every area of my life, even what kind of exercise I do. He wants to be a part of every detail, and I want to let Him. Everything I do in my daily life I give to Him. Because the things that I think couldn't possibly matter might be more significant to Him than I realize. 

After the fire, the Lord ministered to my heart. He loved me and I loved Him back. He reminded me of the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from Daniel chapter 3. They loved God, but they lived in a land of idol worship. All the people were instructed to bow to a golden idol or be thrown into a fiery furnace.


By: rikahi at morguefile.com
 The Lord showed me that these young men could have reasoned that to spare their lives, they would go through the motions of bowing down, but in their hearts continue to worship the one true God. But they did not do this. They did not bow. They were thrown into the fiery furnace and were seen walking around in there with a fourth Man! They came out of the fire unharmed, without a trace of even the smell of fire. 

The Lord said to my heart that I had reasoned. I was not being forced to bow to an idol, not forced to do yoga or die. But I reasoned that I could do this thing that looks New Age and still worship the one true God. I saw in a flash that holy jealousy of His. He wants me all to Himself. He does not want me to have even the appearance of idol worship. This made me feel more love and respect for Him. He wants me! He wants my pure worship, and I want to give it to Him. 

Since this time, I've had a new sorrow for the many people who are living without Christ right now. I hurt for those who are deceived by Satan, for he is the one at work behind the scenes of every religion or belief that does not acknowledge Jesus is the only way to God the Father.

 My heart weeps for the Hindu who practice yoga, for the Muslims who worship Allah and yet are without Christ, for the Jews who have yet to accept Jesus as God's son, and for the many people who wander through this life aimlessly searching for love or enlightenment or meaning. 

As I sat down to write this post, I picked up my Bible and read a chapter of Isaiah. I've been reading a little of Isaiah each day. This morning's reading was so timely, I thought, considering that my post was going to involve snakes! Isaiah 27:1 says, "In that day, the Lord will punish with his sword, his fierce, great and powerful sword, Leviathan the gliding serpent, Leviathan the coiling serpent; he will slay the monster of the sea." Wow! That serpent is Satan. He was defeated when Jesus died and rose again, and someday he will be thrown into the lake of fire for all eternity. Revelation 20:10 says that there he will be tormented for ever and ever.

By: mzacha at morguefile.com
 Isaiah calls him the monster of the sea. That makes me think of the reality of the sea of people living today who are being tormented and lied to by that monster, that serpent. I'm so thankful that I serve a God who has a rightful punishment in store for him!

Well, that's my yoga story! You might still think I'm crazy, but my prayer is that something in this post might stir your heart. I'm still praying all the time that you will know how much He loves you. Thanks for reading! Believe it or not, I still have more to share...


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