For my sixtieth birthday my son Stephen gave me a Fitbit, a smartwatch designed to help mestay motivated and improve my health by tracking my activity, exercise, food, weight and sleep. Stephen loves using his and weekly checks to see how I am doing. I use it almost exclusively as an exercise incentive and, wow, after wearing it for almost a month I’m amazed at how much my workouts have increased. The hourly reminders to exercise motivate me to get up from behind my desk—away from the computer to walk. But it has also radically affected my prayer life—an unexpected benefit. Because, when I’m walking to increase my step count, I’m now also concentrating on conversing with my Father.
Romans 13:12—The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
I was talking to a great friend on the phone and mentioned that I was recentlychallenged while out running by my asthma in the high altitude of Colorado. He mentioned that he had not worked out in quite some time because of his six-month deployment. By eating mainly restaurant food and not exercising hisblood pressure rose and he put on extra pounds. Before I hung up the phone I encouraged my friend to go work out. He laughed in agreement.
2 John 6—And this is love: that we walk according to His commands. This is the command as you have heard it from the beginning: you must walk in love.
The first Biblical reference to love God is recorded in Exodus 20:6. Moses teaches the Israelites to keep God’s commands and thereby demonstrate their love for Him. So, when John defines love in his letter to his readers, he is not sharing with them a new concept. But, as we all know, it is hard to walk in love with God. How do we strengthen willpower to be better God-lovers and, in the process, improve loving others and ourselves?
Jiroemon Kimura is 116 years-old and may well be the oldest person on the planet. Japanese are well known for their longevity and many people would agree with Kimura who attests that the secret to his old age is eating small portions of food. Mr. Kimura practices “hara hachi bu,” which means that he eats until he is 80% full. Japanese commonly eat low fat food and lots of fish and rice which helps keep them disease-free.
Do you know what one of the largest family species on earth is? Grass! Commonly known as Gramineaethere are more than 9,000 known species of grass. God created grass to provide a major food source worldwide. Rice, corn and oats come from grass plants. Grass plants provide helpful ingredients for making sugar, bread and even plastics. Grass is used in construction (bamboo). It is also invaluable in combating erosion.
In his book Younger Next Year cowritten with Chris Crowley, Dr. Henry Lodge states that “Over 50% of all illness and injuries in the last third of your life can be eliminated by changing your lifestyle in the way we suggest.” The major way they suggest is to exercise forty-five minutes a day six days a week. Four of those workouts are aerobic and two involve weight training. The reason most people grow weak and more susceptible to disease is directly attributed to their failure to exercise!
Okay, I admit it. There are days I just don’t feel like working out. However, if I want to have good muscle tone, a healthy heart and a strong body I have to exercise. Physical fitness doesn’t just happen. It takes consistentwork. We all know what occurs when we don’t exercise regularly. One workout (jogging, weight-lifting, aerobics class) per week, will not make me physically fit! Unfortunately, it’s be fit or be fat.
3 John 2—Beloved, concerning all things I wish that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.
Delnora Erickson left earth on Monday morning. She was 91 years old when she completed her race to meet Jesus at the finish line. She was an inspiring example of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. This amazing woman never lost her thirst to grow closer to her Heavenly Father. Even as an octogenarian her creative mind would not find a hammock to gracefully swing on old lessons. She launched a fresh study of the Old Testament to identify every reference to Christ. Often she would gleefully share her findings oblivious to the fact she was repeating herself, and what did it matter she was excited! I recall many times talking with her and she would ask, “Do you think Jesus will return before we die?” Then with sparkling eyes she’d exclaim, “Oh, I think He’s coming soon!”
I recently read an article that the sale of red wine in Japan has skyrocketed. A television show in that country extolled the benefits of drinking a little red wine each day in order to fight heart disease and cancer. The Japanese are very health conscious and boast the highest life expectancy in the world. Naturally they responded to this report with the result that red wine sales quadrupled.
The beginning of the year is a time when people in our society reflect. For many, new resolutions and goals are forged on the gold-embossed pages of a new journal. Yet as the past is closed for the door of tomorrow a timeless God is not concerned with another year. His word makes His question clear—are we loyal to Him?