Tag Archives: Bible reading

Walking On Egg Whites

Who here enjoys tapping the “back” button with their pinkie finger to delete part of a sentence? Delete-delete-delete-delete … Why, it’s almost like exercise. And I do have a delightfully slender pinkie, don’t you think?

Speaking of exercise, that’s what I’m talkin’ about! Because tomorrow marks yet another attempt at the dreaded “E” word, as my friend Peggy calls it.

Yes, Working out, another bad word for it. And at a gym, no less!

But this is no small feat. My history of exercise is illustrious. To summarize:

  1. Hating gym class in grade and high school. Y’all been there and you know the list. I don’t have to tell you. Ok, I’ll tell you: Nakedness in the shower. Poorly fitting gym clothes. Unsleekness, self-consciousness, and immobility of body, compared to the rest of the world. A strong desire to throw up. Shall we stop there?
  2. Exercising at home: Mother outpacing you as you attempt to run. Brother following on bicycle laughing.
  3. Aerobics with a friend at local disco. I mean, gym. Fun, private, and on the short term very effective. Body at that time 105 pounds and unconcerned, just realllly want a boyfriend.
  4. Repeat ad infinitum as prices go up and momentum goes down until current weight and form achieved.

However, now that I’m old, gym is free, and I have no excuse. Besides which, my doctor has  “requested” that I start seriously exercising and dieting. Relax; I will not go into my history of dieting. It’s just slightly more embarrassing than my exercise history.

There’s a reason he’s recommending this so strongly. It’s not just because I’ve hired him as a doctor, and he wants to hear himself talk. No, the problem is I have a number of risk factors for heart attack, also known as “M.I.,” or Myocardial Infarction. These risk factors may also lead to stroke and other illnesses. And keep in mind, heart attack is not the only heart disease there is.

The list is is impressive, to say the least:

  1. My obesity  (don’t I just adore that word): I am at least 50 pounds overweight. And my BMI (body mass index) does fit into the “obese” category, so you don’t have to be nice, punch my arm, and say “ohh, come on… have a brownie …” I might say yes! Go here if you want to see how you measure up.
  2. My high blood pressure (also known as hypertension): Your blood pressure does not even have to be super high to put you in this category. Please go here for more information.
  3. My high cholesterol: This is a little more complicated, because some kinds are good, and some kinds are bad. Let’s just say that mine is bad, and call it good. Bad. Oh, you know what I mean. For more information, go here.
  4. My high blood sugar. This is the primary sign of diabetes. And diabetes is one of the more common risk factors for heart attack and other illnesses. For more information, see here, and here.
  5. My age: Although 56 is not ancient, women age 55 or older, and men age 45 or older, are more likely to have a heart attack than their younger counterparts. Of course, the risk grows every year.
  6. My family history of heart attack: I am fortunate that my family history doesn’t include stroke and diabetes, but I am sad to say that one family member has added this particular risk factor to my chance of heart attack. I am more sad for them than for myself, but yes, it does add color to this already fabulous (?) list.
  7. My sex (Man, does this list ever end??): Men are more likely to suffer heart attack, but after a woman reaches menopause, her risk is greater than it was.
  8. My tobacco history: I no longer smoke, but 30+ years did not do my body any favors. Unfortunately, long term second-hand exposure also adds to that risk.
  9. My lack of physical activity: We have already pretty much covered that.
  10. My stress level (Rolls on floor laughing): Have you read this blog?? And I have held back, trust me!

There are three other risk factors listed at the mayoclinic.org site that I should mention, ones that I do not have (and thank you to the site for helping me to flesh out this information):

10. Illegal drug use
11. History of pre-eclampsia (a condition which may occur during pregnancy)
12. History of an autoimmune condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus

Anyone here think that I should dismiss the advice my doctor is giving me? (Searches among the audience). Oh, I see that hand! Wait. That hand belongs to me.

Speaking of God, have I forgotten Him in all of this? Of course not. I have always been conscious of the fact that God requires me to be a good steward of all He has given me, including my body. We could all improve our stewardship of what God has given us, I’m sure. But this area has always been particularly difficult for me. Obviously, I can serve Him better with more stamina, more years, and even with the happiness that comes from doing what is right. Not to mention the happiness that comes from exercise, which produces endorphins!

And I have always believed that better fitness is a better witness. Wouldn’t it say a lot about what God is capable of doing? I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:13). Which is exactly my point. He is the One Who can enable me to do this. He is the One Who will sustain me. If I forget all of this, I will surely be lost in this endeavor.

SO, tomorrow’s the day, the gym is the place. Attractive clothing will be donned, and self-esteem will be firmly (somewhat firmly) tucked into my waistband…

Someone remind me. What is a waistband again?

ANYhow – won’t you come with? Because I really would like to have someone with whom I can commiserate. (You see the word “misery” buried in there?)

And maybe it will be like it was so many years ago. Right, Beth?

♫ ♪ Call me a relic, call me what you will
Say I’m old-fashioned, say I’m over the hill
Today’s music ain’t got the same soul
I like that old time rock ‘n’ roll ♫ ♪
[Read more: Bob Seger – Old Time Rock Roll Lyrics | MetroLyrics]

 

Paul and Silas were imprisoned … are you?

I get so frustrated sometimes, don’t you, by the way mental illness affects your life? I think about the impact it has on my work and relationships. My future plans. My physical health. Even my housework is affected! But that doesn’t bother me as much. But those other things – I do feel imprisoned sometimes!

I was reading in the Bible today in Acts 16, where Paul and Silas had been thrown into prison. Verse 25 shows us, however, that Paul and Silas were anything but thrown by their imprisonment. If anything, they were joyful, for “at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.”

As I read this I thought, what am I but in prison? My bipolar and depression and anxiety lock me up soundly sometimes! The last thing I ever do is sing praises when I feel that way. Oh I will sing praises in church, and when I am thankful about something good, but do I truly praise God in all of my circumstances? And that made me think of another verse that makes me cringe. Ephesisans 5:20 says to give “thanks always for all things.” That’s even harder to swallow! How can I give thanks, when I’m all balled up, and feeling anything but thankful?

My experience today speaks to the wisdom of reading the Bible over and over. Because I’ve read that verse about Paul and Silas probably a hundred times. But I’d never really connected the fact that I am indeed imprisoned by my mental illness and its symptoms. Essentially all I ever do is moan about it. It never occurred to me to sing praises. And it’s not just a verse for everyone else; it’s for me.

But it’s also important not to just do it for the reward. Paul and Silas didn’t know that God was going to free them. They sang because that was what was in their hearts. The reason I need to do it is because God says so! Because it will please Him! And because I truly am thankful, despite my illness!

I can picture the ways I can give praise while I am in my bonds. I can smile more. I can learn to be calm, more grateful. I can exercise discipline in thanking God every day, and show my gratitude. I can be softer and gentler, and “act as if” I was thankful, until it was true. This is a skill I was taught in AA; and I can certainly apply it here.

I know people in my church who are like the above. You know they have a happy heart, despite their many challenges. Maybe I ought to hang out with them more; I already know how to be miserable!

Of course, I know it can benefit others, to hear me praise, and pray, in the midst of my woe. I know it helps me to be around it. And again, this will please God.

This doesn’t mean faking how things really are. I’ve done enough faking. That’s not what this is. This means a heart change. And guess Who can change my heart?

Not I! The Bible calls for us to pray: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10) This means to come to God and confess sin, and ask Him to change this heart. I love Ezekiel 36:26, where God promises: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”

Hm, a stony heart. Sounds like a heart that can be stubborn.

But a heart of flesh?

That is what I want!

♪♫ I need Thee every hour ♪♫

This is not going to be a preachy thing. I just want you to know that I do need God all the time! I may have my issues, but not with God. And “I need Thee every hour” is not just a song. I really do need Him.

Yet, I don’t always realize it. I step out in faith in myself – and I don’t always do so hot.

But when I lean on God, and pray that I will walk more closely with Him – when I remember to pray for my friends instead of just trying to help them all by myself – I am more sane. I am more free!

But when I forget to pray, or when I think it won’t really matter – when I forget to read the Bible and find the peace that comes from God – I’m a mess. Ok, I mean more of a mess that I already am, lol. I truly know that I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Jesus. He gives me pause. He gives me peace. He gave me eternal Life! Yes, as the scripture says, He gives me rest. Psalm 23 is not a funeral psalm. It’s a song for us, the living!

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

There are many verses that remind me of His peace. One of my favorites is Isaiah 26:3: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

That’s not the only reference to peace in the Bible; there are 400 more, according to the concordance! And that is only regarding the word peace. I wonder how many more in regard to the concept of peace!

And why should I seek peace in the Bible?

Because the Bible is the living Word, not just a printed word! It has been my experience that when I seek God’s hand, or His peace, I can find it in His Word.

But doesn’t the devil hate when I do that! Doesn’t he distract me and whisper at me that there are other, more important things to do.

But as a child of God – I have every right to hear from Him! Personally!

Ok, I said I would not preach. I lied. I didn’t mean to lie, but I lied. Forgive me.

Anyway – here are the lyrics to the song, and below that, a you tube video of the song, done by Fernando Ortego. If you continue to listen, there are many other songs that follow. More peace!

1. I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
no tender voice like thine can peace afford.
Refrain:
I need thee, O I need thee;
every hour I need thee;
O bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee.

2. I need thee every hour; stay thou nearby;
temptations lose their power when thou art nigh.
(Refrain)

3. I need thee every hour, in joy or pain;
come quickly and abide, or life is vain.
(Refrain)

4. I need thee every hour; teach me thy will;
and thy rich promises in me fulfill.
(Refrain)

5. I need thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me thine indeed, thou blessed Son.
(Refrain)

The song is based upon Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

and 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

Something which I sometimes have a habit of doing, but it is so easy to get out of that. Like I said, to lean only upon myself.

Doesn’t work.

(If you would like more history behind the song, go to: http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/i/n/e/ineedteh.htm … )