In our young married small group, we are going through a study on Philippians by Matt Chandler. We are only 5 weeks in, and it's already been a huge encouragement...and challenge to all of us.
What stirs your affection for the Lord?
What stirs your affection for the Lord?
Bet you've never seen that verse cross-stitched in a pillow.
It's sad, but it's true. Think about the verses that you have memorized, that are hanging in frames around your house, that are etched on the walls of your church. We choose to display the pretty verses - the ones that talk about God's love, His grace, and His mercy.
Not that God isn't any of those things - He most certainly is! But I can't help but think...If we really want to grow in our faith and challenge ourselves to be more like Christ, we have to be reminded of some of Scripture's tougher truths....like the verse at the top of this post.
If you truly want to know how to live out your faith, the book of James is a great place to start. He doesn't sugar coat anything. He calls out the readers for being of the world, and He pushes them towards God to seek wisdom.
In this passage, James is in the middle of calling out the church for showing partiality - for favoring people in their congregations who wear fine clothes in jewelry over those who can't afford as much.
Now, they weren't kicking them out of the service. They were allowed to stay. But from the text, it's obvious that the poor people weren't as welcomed into the church as those who were wealthy.
As Christians, if we labeled the sin of partiality, it would fall into the "little sins" category. You know, little sins are not near as bad a "big sins" like adultery, murder, stealing, etc.
Yet, when we look at James 2:10, God doesn't seem to have the same categorization system for sins as we do.
Now, this verse doesn't mean that if you steal, God automatically put you down for committing the other nine commandments too. But it does mean that if you sin in one area, you're every bit as guilty for sin as someone who has broken all of God's laws.
To this day, I've never touched alcohol. I didn't smoke cigarettes or even think about experimenting with drugs. I didn't have sex until I was married. And I was appalled by those who did.
But my heart didn't ache for them because they had acted against God's holiness. I was just disappointed in them and satisfied that I would never do such a thing.
You know what that's called?
Pride. It's a sin.
I elevated myself above them just because of a category of behaviors that I didn't participate in. And that arrogance in my heart disgusted God just as much as any substance abuse or premarital sex.
Over the next few months, I want to study the "little sins" category we've created: lying, jealousy, bitterness/lack of forgiveness, judging, pride, arrogance, greed, worldliness, selfishness, etc. If you can think of an area you want me to explore, please leave a comment on this post, and I'll add it to my list.
Last night, I was blessed to attend an incredible nutritional seminar with Dr. Bill Wheeler. Among other notable accomplishments, he served as Staff Nutritionist to the President of the United States (1976 -1981), Staff Nutritionist to the 1996 US Olympic Decathlon Team and Staff Nutritionist to the 2002 US Olympic Snowboarding Team. He has been the personal nutritionist for athletes like Bret Favre and Michael Jordan. It would take way too long to list all of the sports teams he has worked with, but feel free to google him and be impressed.
Here are a few of the evening's highlights:
1. Daily Value: We are misled when we believe that our multivitamin contains 100% of the nutrients that we need. Daily value is actually defined as the minimum amount of a nutrition that will prevent a nutritional deficiency in a 12-year-old.
Chances are, your body is not getting enough of the nutrients it needs. If you feel like you are constantly hungry even though you know you have eaten enough to satisfy your hunger, your body is probably lacking some of the key nutrients it needs.
Key nutrients that people are frequently lacking: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil), calcium & magnesium (work best when taken together), and for anyone extremely active or over 30 -- glucosamine. Over the next few weeks, I will be writing blog posts of the significance behind each of these supplements.
2. If you work out consistently, you must think of yourself as an athlete. The more active you are, the quicker you will see results in performance, energy levels, muscle soreness and appetite reduction when you practice proper nutrition.
The stress that an athlete's body takes in a week is equivalent to about 7 months of stress for the average person. The problem that many athletes, especially female athletes, create for themselves is that they exercise like an athlete, but they eat like someone who needs to lose 50 lbs. The body is not properly fueled, the athlete doesn't see the desired results and cannot figure out why.
This problem can be fixed with proper nutrition. If you would like for me to help you come up with a plan for fueling your body with proper nutrition, please leave a comment on this blog with your email address. I would be happy to send you an example of what I eat on a regular basis and help you tweak that plan to fit your individual needs.
3. The most critical window of time to capitalize on for proper nutrition is within 60 minutes of finishing your workout. During your workout, you break down muscle fibers and empty your nutrient storage. It is dangerous to not replace what you have depleted.
Proper nutrition post-workout will improve workout results, reduce muscle soreness, and keep your muscle metabolism higher for the next 48 hours. Even if you are trying to lose weight, don't freak out about the extra calories. It will help you burn more over the next two days.
The perfect combination is a balance of protein and amino acids, simple and complex carbohydrates, creatine, and antioxidants, especially Vitamin E & Vitamin C. Again, let me know if you would like to know what I do for recovery post-workout, and I will gladly help you.
4. Research shows that men can absorb 35-40 grams of protein per meal, and women can absorb 30-35 grams per meal. Anything extra simply results in gas. The best guideline for how much protein you need is to consumer a gram of protein per pound of body weight.
So if you've been taking 2 or 3 scoops of protein powder at once, your body isn't receiving all of that protein. A good protein drink shouldn't be higher in protein than the grams listed above.
Also, all protein is not created equal. I don't like bad-mouthing other products...but there's one best-selling brand...let's call it "Muscle Cow Juice." The quality of protein in that brand is just one grade higher than what is fed to livestock. Yikes!
5. I saved the easiest tip for last: Your body needs at least 2-3 minutes of exposure to the sun per day. You cannot fully supplement what the sun can do for your body with proper nutrition. NOTHING can replace it. So even if it's just 2-3 minutes, make sure you spend some time outside each day. Your body will thank you.
Over the next few weeks, I will post specific products Dr. Wheeler recommends, the benefits, and how to use them properly. For now, this is enough information to get you started in the right direction. Please don't hesitate to contact me for help if you need it or if something about this post is unclear. If nothing else, I hope you understand the importance of nutrition and educating yourself to best take care of your body. It's the only one you're going to get!