Thursday, September 30, 2010

Health & Beauty - 9. Get Out

Lets have a little re-cap of what we have covered this year so far in our quest for a healthier body and soul. If you’ve missed any, or you want a refresher, you can find them all by scrolling down.

1. Get A Diary
2. Weigh In
3. Get Ready
4. Metabolise
5. Resist
6. Watch Out!
7. Don’t Skip
8. Happy Meals
And this month’s tip –
9. Get Out.

If you’ve been following along this year I trust you have already noticed that you will not notice any difference unless you put what you have learnt into practice. Maybe you are waiting to find out exactly what is required before making the decision to embarking on a lifestyle which promotes physical and spiritual health – good! Jesus encouraged his listeners in Luke 14 to count the cost, just as someone would when they were building a tower or going to war.

If you aren’t prepared to make the sacrifices necessary to see change, then accept that is where you are at the moment. Don’t keep talking about it if you are unprepared to count the cost, saying things like “Oh I try but it doesn’t work for me”. Be honest. I don’t mind hearing “I’m not doing to well with that at the moment” because that is the perfect place to start when you do decide to change.

Physical and spiritual health requires discipline. It is extremely rewarding, has great results, and isn’t really that hard if you get organized, get honest and get out, but you’ve got to be committed. So are you ready? Are you already on track? Well Get Out.

By far the most important factor in losing weight is going for a walk almost every morning or doing an equal amount of regular exercise. And the spiritual discipline I have found most helpful in keeping me healthy is getting up a little earlier each morning to pray and read the Bible. And once you are out of bed, it isn’t a trial at all!

I enjoy the fresh air and warm sunshine (alright – I am having a bit of trouble with that at the moment, cooler mornings under the doonah won over getting up for a walk), and I enjoy the freshness of starting the day with my Saviour. The rewards are well worth the cost!

So tomorrow morning, or even right now: get out, it only takes one step to be back on track!

See you out there!

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Cost

I am usually pretty switched on. I can pick an email hoax, a possible scam, and find out the 'hidden' costs behind things that are too good to be true almost every time. So I am kicking myself for signing a contract without reading the final clause and clarifying the salesperson's mistake filling it out. I even rang Bryce to check it was ok, so definitely was lead to believe that $35 was all a new T-Box from Telstra was going to cost me with my new home phone and internet bundle. I had a few concerns when I picked up the contract a few days after taking the T-Box home, but when I received the bill my fears were confirmed. I had inadvertently signed up for the $11 per month repayment option. (I didnt even NEED a T-box!)

I am just going to have to wear the cost unfortunately. I really really hate it when I undertake to do something and the cost is far more than I accounted for. Like when going to the movies costs $50, or helping someone takes all day, or a simple glitch takes a lot to fix.

I know some people who may have the same problem with Christianity when they start to understand, or hear for the first time that there may be more involved than they were aware when they 'signed up'. I am extremely glad to say that there are is no small print in being a disciple of Jesus, no hidden clauses, no monthly repayment options, but it is important to know what is involved.

Some think that being a Christian means going to church occasionally and acting a certain way (when other Christians are looking). And when they are challenged to submit their whole life to Jesus they are a bit concerned that their way of life might be compromised and that this is 'more than they bargained for'.

Although the terms are interchangable to some degree, being a disciple (a follower) of Jesus is different to merely believing in Him. The word 'Christian' is only used 3 times in the NIV text, whereas the word disciple is used almost 300 times. Disciples in Biblical times literally follwed Jesus. They gave up what they were doing and went with Jesus wherever He was.

Many people today don't give up anything to be called a Christian but this is vastly different to what Jesus taught, and indeed different to what Christians have experienced throughout the centruries.

Jesus said "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23). He also likened the decision to someone counting the cost before building a tower, or going to war and said again in the same passage "Any of you who does not give up everything cannot be my disciple". (Luke 14:25-33)

Jesus does not ask us to give away everything that we have and do, but to be prepared to give it up for Him. And he advises us to count the cost before we decide.

There was one instance that Jesus asked a man to give it all away, because He knew the man would not be prepared to give it up. You can read that story in Luke 18 and apart from this man and the 12 disciples, there is only 1 other recorded instance of Jesus asking someone to follow Him. The rich young ruler in this passage declined the greatest invitation in history because he thought the cost was too great.

No cost is too great to follow the Saviour. Yes, there is a cost, but the reward is eternal life with God and abundant life here on earth! It is well worth it.

Have you decided to follow Jesus? If not, I'd love to talk to you more about it! Even if you are already a believer, yet so far have declined the invitation to be a disciple, its not too late! When you read the Bible you hold in your hand (or on your screen) the greatest invitation of all history. Never will there be a greater command for you to follow or offer for you to accept.

And as soon as you do, you will experience life to the full! Count the cost. Give it up. Follow Jesus and experience life like you have never known before!

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