Thoughts on Challenge Day Three

What If?

There were some valid points made today. In fact, points that made me put down the Fried Taco and say to myself, what in the world are you doing Dottie. Why is it so impossible for you to make a commitment to be healthier and stick with it? This is a 21 day challenge, surely you can give up 21 days in your hunt for health. It seems to me that if I cannot do that then maybe I am not really serious about all this healthy living stuff I spout off all the time. OUCH!

I feel like everyone else is slamming this challenge and here I am, on day three and haven’t even got going yet. I know what is going to happen. We will get to the end of the 21 days and I will either be right where I started or I will be a pound or two heavier. Then I will say to myself, why didn’t you do it, you are such a loser. This part, I have down.

I do not want to get to the end of the 21 days and say “if only”, but even more, I don’t want to take the fast route to severe health problems that I know will plague me if a few years time. Is the momentary pleasure I derive from eating unhealthy food really worth what I am doing to myself?

I don’t want to be like the neglected vase of fresh flowers that we forget to water day after day and one day we look at them and they have died from neglect.

My Father God, I have messed up the first three days of this challenge, I am asking you to strengthen me and to give me the motivation and wisdom to say no to the extra servings of sugar, fat and high calories. Help me Father to see clearly what I am doing to my health. Give me the desire to follow the path to good health. Give me a spirit of commitment to you and not to food. Help me Father to turn to you and let you fight this battle for me, help me to trust you to meet all my needs. Help me Father to change the way I think about eating right, moving more and living healthy.

Help me to be glaringly honest with myself, if I am to lazy to exercise, let me see it, if I eat when I am not hungry, eat unhealthy foods or eat to much, help me to see it. Strike me with the truth of enduring bad health habits. It is only when I can be honest with myself that I can begin to correct these things. Help me to trust the Holy Spirit to guide me through this difficult journey. Let me lose myself so I can be true to you. Give me the strength to endure to my goal and say hello to the new me. Amen

Favorite thought of Challenge Day Three.

“There will be tragedy and triumphs, tests and testimonies, set-backs and successes, mountains and valleys”…….

This is a good reminder that there will be “those days” and I should not be taking them personally, or using them as an excuse to wreck my forward progress. They too shall pass. I strive to be the little engine that could or rather the little engine that did.

Dottie

…………and so I ride

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Accept that you are just one more ordinary person- Rejoice that God uses ordinary people in extraordinary ways.

I love the book of Hebrews, also known as the Hall of Faith. Chapter 11 tell us of those who conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and shut the mouths of lions through their faith. Fire was quenched, weakness was turned to strength and the sword was escaped all because an ordinary person possessed extraordinary faith.
We tend to look at Hebrews 11 and feel small and inadequate but you will find no scripture in the bible where great faith requires a person to be great, famous, good looking or rich. Great faith requires a great love, only then can ordinary man go on to do extraordinary things.
God will take ordinary people, people just like you and me and use them in extraordinary ways. We must be careful here however, I don’t think God wants us to look at ourselves as “Super Christians”, whether we own the cape or not. We probably should not be making grand entrances into trouble with the air of “I am here, everything will be fine now!!”
Resort to the tool that will result in greatness, lay down your pride and be humble. God uses humble people quite effectively because in His wisdom God does not look at the outward appearance, Our God looks at the heart.
What a refreshing thing that is! This is a stark contrast to the way most people live and think.
To truly be humble you must get out of the way and not steal God’s glory when He is working through you. Learn how to gracefully step aside and put the credit where it belongs, that is the most effective way to become useful to God.
If you were in the right place at the right time, it is because God put you there. Don’t look at being humble as a weakness that you must work to overcome. It is quite the opposite, being humble puts us in the perfect place to receive God’s grace. Being humble is a necessary part of becoming everything God has called us to be.
If God can hang the stars on high,
Can paint the clouds that drift on by,
Can send the sun across the sky,
What can His power do through you? —Jones

Dottie
……………………..and so I ride

Stay Humble WOW

The ABC’s of Faith

The ABC’s of Faith
A
Always Give Thanks-
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18New International Version (NIV)
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Life is………well life. Not every day can be wonderful and great. In fact some days can be downright tragic. It is those days we look around and ask ourselves, how in the world do I pull off this being thankful thing?
I don’t think that you have to be thankful that you got a diagnosis that shattered your life or that you are hit with financial hardship, that you wrecked your car or lost your job.
You can throw Satan a curve ball though,
You can stand in thankfulness while you are going through your situation. Thank your Father in Heaven and shout praises to Him in the middle of your crisis.
Be thankful to God in all things and through all things. Being thankful will bring you joy, peace and happiness. Being thankful will change your outcome.
Be thankful for those who show up in your life at just the right time.
Be thankful that even though your body hurts, sometimes to the point of distraction, you are still alive and there is plenty that is still right.
Be thankful the sun is shining, the moon is rising, and the rain is replenishing the earth. The grass is growing and the birds are singing. Have you stepped outside and just looked?

Be thankful that there are simple pleasures that make you feel joy, that make you happy and make your smile. What about the things that bring you comfort.
Be thankful that you have an inheritance through Christ.
Be thankful that your sins are forgiven.
Be thankful that you have been adopted as a child of God and you are unconditionally loved.
Real faith is exemplified by realizing that even though we have not received what we want from God, we have accepted what He has given. Often the good things that come out of a situation are not clearly seen, but we can rest assured that God is working to strengthen us inwardly and mold us into the image of Christ.
I found this quote and love it. “Where we cannot trace God’s hand, we can trust His heart.”
Be thankful for you are loved.
Dottie
…………………and so I ride

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Trust In The Lord With All Your Heart

Proverbs 3:5-6
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
This is a favorite verse of mine. Sometimes though, there is a gap between what we expect God to do and what He is actually doing. To trust God with your whole heart is easier than it sounds. Oh it is easy to trust God when things are ship shape but the minute the boat hits troubled water we start thinking that God is not paying attention and doesn’t care. Then the test of trust and faith is on us full force.
When I am having trouble hanging onto God’s promises it helps me to dig into those promises in a fashion that takes it from the page into my heart.

Verse 5: Trust in the Lord with all your heart. I find that interesting, there are few things in this world that we do with our whole heart, but we are told to trust God with all our heart, not part of it. I guess when it comes down to it, we either trust God or we don’t, He either has our whole heart or He doesn’t have any of it. Another interesting thing is God pushes us into situations where we have to make that choice. All or none, abandon yourself to God. Does that mean burn your bridges and rely on only His faithfulness. Quite possibly it does. Scary isn’t it? But when you burn the bridges you used to rely on and abandon yourself to only God. Live with the belief that God is in charge of your life, He will be faithful.

Lean not on your own understanding. To lean is to prop up or put your whole weight on something. I know that if left to my own devices I do not possess the wisdom to support the weight of the challenges, hardships and decisions in my life. When I take my situation to God in prayer and follow His leading I tap into His wisdom and power. There will be circumstances where the only thing you can conclude is God is unfaithful or indifferent and somehow lost your address. But remember that is only based on the facts as you know them. There is always a side that we can never fully understand. Life is filled with times that are full of “What if’s” Whether we think we understand the truth of the situation or not we are not to trust our understanding of the situation. We must trust that He knows what He is doing and He will see us through.

In all your ways acknowledge Him. I am pretty sure that when Solomon says to acknowledge God, he is not talking about the hour on Sunday mornings and where ever else we can“fit” Him in during the week. God isn’t interested in a quick wave as we pass by each other, He wants to be involved in every single area of our lives. Are the things that are important to you things that God would be proud of? It means seeking His will and not mine, it means living for Him and not myself……………even when I am following and not sure of where I am going, it is to trust the one leading me. To acknowledge Him in all ways is to acknowledge that He is in control, not me.

He will make your paths straight. I think I tend to say to God, Here is the path I have chosen, approve it and bless it please. However it is probably a safe bet to say that God blesses His chosen path then invites us to walk with Him there. That does require a strong measure of trust, a close prayer relationship and to choose to accept the unfailing grace that God pours on us.
Do you see how one step leads to another in these two verses? Trust, leads to leaning on God and not myself, leads to acknowledging Him in all I do, leads to walking the straight path to Glory.

Dottie
……………………….and so I ridetrust-in-the-lord-proverbs-3-5-6

Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those who abuse you. We have all heard that, we all know the Bible tells us that.
We mostly believe it too, or tell ourselves we do, until we are faced with an actual enemy, until we are persecuted, hated, cursed or abused. That is the precise moment that we realize just how hard this is to do.
It is very easy to personalize and internalize persecution by our enemies, who wouldn’t do that? An arm for an arm is what the world tells us to do. It is a dog eat dog world now and the prevailing attitude is “look out for number one”. Therefore we feel somewhat vindicated when we go after our enemies with the same venom with which they persecute us.
However if we take a step back and look to scripture for answers we find that God does put people in our path that we wish were anywhere but in our lives. Or if we see them in our path we try to resist the urge to run over them. It isn’t a fluke, or mistake that these people have come into our lives, God is using this situation to conform us into the image of Christ.
What’s more, as much as we would love too and as good as it would feel, by resorting to revenge we are no better than those who persecute us. Hard pill to swallow but as Christians we are to look at things with a God view and not a world view.
Another thing that hit me like a ton of bricks is that regardless of what this misguided person who is the persecutor has done to you, they are still a child of God. Maybe God put this person in your path to show them what can happen by trusting and believing in God.
By loving those who persecute you and praying for them you are touching them with the most powerful force available to you…… Our God.
God’s love will ALWAYS conquer hate as the light that is God permeates the darkness. By loving our enemies we let God’s light fill our enemy’s darkness. Bless your enemy, God will bless you. I guarantee it.
enemies2

downloadenemies2

When God Answers Prayer

When God answers prayers.

John 16:23–24

“In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

For prayer to be answered you first must pray. To pray is to talk to God, to talk to God is to praise Him, thank Him, tell Him what we need or simply sit and let His spirit bathe you. If you converse with God often enough you become more and more familiar with what He wants of you and for you.

Sometimes what He wants of you and for you is right in line with what you think you need and sometimes not so much. However, whether popular or not, we know we must obey.

Our example I think, should be Jesus. Think about it. Jesus was facing what none of us have ever known, He prayed “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

I am quite sure He wanted to avoid torture and the resulting death that awaited Him. Who wouldn’t want to? So instead of doing what we as humans often do and that is ignore what we know full well we need to do, Jesus simply ended His conversation with His Father with a statement of absolute obedience.

It is comforting to me to remember that God ALWAYS listens and God ALWAYS answers prayers. The answer may be “wait” or “not yet” or a resounding “yes!” It may also be “no.”

Whatever the answer that God has given, treat prayer like the lifesaving bridge it is. Be persistent, be purposeful and most of all be personal. God is waiting on the other side of that bridge, ready to have a talk with you.

Dottie

………………….and so I ride

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