Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Spiritual AND Physical Fitness Part 2

Before I begin I would like to catch you up with some recent activity at Osoyoos Christian Centre.  This past Sunday was a "Missions Sunday" and we were blessed by the presence of David and Valbona Pennoyer.  David and Valbona have family in this area and they are POAC Missionaries currently serving in Albania.  What a powerful message of hope they bring!  What wonderful things are being done in Albania.  Despite unrest and many obstacles they must face in carrying the Good News of Jesus to the people of Albania, David and Valbona are seeing tremendous work being done there.  They have established help groups for many of the marginalized people - children, widows and children in poverty, street people and they have also started successful youth gatherings, the largest in that region.  What an inspiration they are. 

Whatever I was planning on writing here today was dimmed by the needs David and Valbona brought before us this past Sunday.  How incongruous it is that we have too much food when others don't have enough to eat.  Do we appreciate our beautiful church, our church family, the freedom to worship when others are in danger if they proclaim Jesus as Savior in public.  How wonderful we can be part of the 'vehicle' of sharing the hope and God's message even by praying for and contributing money toward David and Valbona's ministry. 

You can find out how you can get involved by visiting The Global Christian Ministries - Albania.  I will put a link on the sidebar of our blog so you can access it at any time.  Thank you David and Valbona for blessing us with your story this past weekend.  OCC looks forward to next year - if we all pull together, as you mentioned, what will your missions look like next year at this time.  Thanks for allowing us to share.


Spiritual AND Physical Fitness Pt. 2

Last week I focused the physical working out part of fitness and I have just a few words to add to this.  When David Pennoyer was speaking on Sunday, he told us that he had experienced some medical issues over the past year and had, under his doctor's recommendations, had to make some changes in his life.  Of course you all know what I'm going to tell you that is - a) diet change and b) more physical exercise must be introduced into his daily routine.  David knows the BIG picture.  He's not just doing this for himself - he's got his family and his whole missions who depend on him.  Keeping his "vessel" in tip-top shape is another part of his ministry too! 

I was inspired when David talked about how besides cutting down his portions of food, he also has begun walking.  Remember last week I was telling you how walking could be turned into a time of value?  Well, turns out that some of David's walks have allowed his eyes to be opened to the needs of where he is in Albania.  His feet are taking him to places where his eyes (and heart) did not see when he possibly drove by in a car previously.  As he began to walk, he began to become aware of needs.  He began to pray for those areas he walked by, the people living there.  And then one day he heard voices from behind shrubbery in a public park.  He walked around the shrubbery and found several homeless men.  He has since come to know these men and they have come to share food and be prayed for at the church where David and Valbona minister. 

Your walks can be the same.  Osoyoos has homeless. When you walk, pray for these needs.  Pray for US to meet these needs.  Pray for eyes and hearts to reach out for those in need.  Who will you reach out to this week?

So, we have figured out that we all live in a country where, for most of us, having and eating enough food is not a problem.  In fact, a great deal of us are suffering from over-indulging in food.  We are poisoning ourselves with food.  We eat too much - we eat the wrong type of food.  Its not due to lack of education on the facts, we hear it on the news, learn about it in the schools etc.  We know what a doctor will tell us is the first steps to take to get healthy - eat right. 

I like what Michael Pollan, a famous author of books all about food and what the food industry has done to our food quotes "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants"  He also tells us that when we look at ingredients on food labels we should not eat anything that has a name that our Grandmother would not recognise.  He has some great books on the subject of today's food and even a young person's version.  Reading his books makes us aware of what we put into our bodies.  I confidently recommend reading his books "Food Rules", "In Defence of Food" and "An Omnivore's Dilemma" 

  Dear friend,
I pray that you may enjoy good health
and that all may go well with you,
even as your soul is getting along well.

3 John 1:2

God wants us to be healthy.  Of course the first thing we must do is to pray for God's help with our diets.  We must sincerely turn over control to Him, and ask for "portions" - not of food, but of strength to deny ourselves of the (poorly nutritional... empty calories)  food that is pushed at us at every turn.  I am not saying that we have to cut out every single good thing we like to eat.  What I'm saying is that really rich, sweet good things should be reserved as "treats" or "desserts" or "rewards".  These things should be reserved for times of fellowship, times of celebration, as a reward or even to break up a monotonous diet. 

I personally find that a steady procession of rich and delicious foods, the ability to be able to have them at any given moment somehow takes away the joy of having them.  One piece of pie now and again is delicious - three pieces and I don't taste it any more.  You know what I am saying? 

I have a rule at our house, I still bake for our family, even though there are just the two of us, but when I bake a "batch" of something (because really, what recipes are just for one or two people) I only make enough for us to eat right now, the rest I give away to someone else.  Its a joy multiplied.  My husband battles with his sweet tooth and it would just be unfair of me to leave temptation around.  So I have a little food ministry going on which works wonderful as I love to bake. 

I actually think my favorite thing is the reward system.  I know that when I get together with people (family for holidays, church family for pot luck luncheons, fellowship meetings - tea and desserts) that I will "save up" to enjoy the goodies with them because its twice the joy.  The sweet fellowship and something sweet to eat. 

 Do not join those who drink too much wine
or gorge themselves on meat,
 for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
and drowsiness clothes them in rags.

Proverbs 23:20–21

I think the basic rule is to eat food as close to raw as you can.  Don't eat anything when you are not actually hungry for it.  If you eat mindlessly you are allowing food to become an idol in your life.  Everything in balance.  The funny thing is, the more you start to exercise and getting in shape then the more you start caring about what you are putting into your body, the fuel. 

When we become complacent, when we spend our time idle it becomes a habit that's hard to break.  In our prosperous society we have a real danger of becoming slothful.  People have struggled with this through the bible too, for example:

 Like cages full of birds, their houses are full of deceit;
they have become rich and powerful and have grown fat and sleek.
Their evil deeds have no limit;
they do not plead the case of the fatherless to win it,
they do not defend the rights of the poor.

Jeremiah 5:27–28

And knowing the danger of this we are warned:

and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.

Proverbs 23:2

I know it is a hard struggle to diet.  Its a daily battle.  I want you to know that we would love to pray for you if you decide to take the challenge. 

One thing which is a useful tool is to track your food intake. Lucky for us we live in a day and age of useful technology and one of my favorite recommendations for this is Spark People.  Spark People is a website which you can sign up with and fill out the form with all your information (age, height, weight etc) and it will set you up with a personalized tracking system for both your fitness and your diet!  It has a database of thousands of foods and their nutrition so you don't have to repeat enter a food you use all the time.  You can also add a "custom food" (a food not in the database) and it will stay in there.  They also have most restaurant food.  Your food and exercise input is then put into a database and you are able to view summaries which show you over weeks, months - your progress.

They have a whole healthy recipe section and ... even better, they have a whole Christian Connection where you can communicate with other Christians going through this process as well.  You are not alone!!! This is a FREE resource - why not start today? 

I hope you have found value in what I've shared today.  The Lord built us to be a community, to fellowship, admonish, encourage, help, love etc each other.  This subject is one that I could not pass over as I care about each of you.  Did you find this helpful?  I'd love your feedback!


Our OCC women hosted a Fellowship Time at Moira's home last Thursday.  We had some guests coming in from other churches and it was a wonderful time together.  Kaye read a poem she authored and Helen played some hymns.  Eileen shared a report about the meeting she attended at the Baptist Church recently about the poor in our own community - a real eye-opener.  Thank you for all who attended, we look forward to getting together next month.  Here is Kaye, reading her own poem "Battle of Jerusalem"



Prayer at Kaye's
Every Tuesday - 10:00 a.m.
7806 Gravenstein

Friday Night Open Worship
Every Friday - 7:00
Osoyoos Christian Centre
42 Finch, Osoyoos
For more info: 250-495-2550

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Spiritual AND Physical Fitness!

It's the middle of January, always a difficult time of the year.  Do you know we just passed what is called "Blue Monday"?  It falls on the third monday of January and it was named because someone (with too much time on their hands on their hands?) figured this date out by creating a mathematical formula which takes into factor the lag after holiday celebrations, the debt people find themselves in from the holidays, the days being shorter and darker... it all adds up to a tough time to get through. 

And then there is the fact that most of us have even put on a few pounds with all that celebrating and the good food that goes along with it, and the fact its harder to get outdoors and stay active.  As good as our intentions are not to over-indulge its almost impossible to resist.  I don't even try!  The Lord blessed me with a Mother in Law who's "love language" is to feed her boy... and over the years she's teased out my favorite treats too and so now we both can't resist and I confess I don't even try anymore.  After all, what an honour to have someone show love in this way. 

And along comes January and what to do?  In conversation with others my heart is moved to know I'm certainly not alone in feeling like a few changes need to be made.  I'm not much for New Year's Resolutions - for me, they seem to set me up for sure disappointment and failure, instead New Years for me is EVERY day - for every day is a new day in the Lord, when I turn it over to Him. 

As women, as children of Christ, we need to be encouragers to one another and in today's post I'm hoping to do just this for you!  I'm fairly certain we all could lose "a few pounds"  so I'm going to try to inspire you, encourage and motivate you.  I know that for most of us, our days are FULL already and a big issue is finding the time to fit some physical exersize in.  If you're like me, sometimes it difficult to fit bible-study in, and its not even a question that bible-study should come first.  So, sometimes I have to try to combine and complement both soaking in the word and Praising the Lord with getting fit. 

The first thing I should address though is why we should find value (from a Spiritual point) in keeping in shape.  The very first scripture that comes to my mind is

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit,
who is in you, whom you have received from God?
You are not your own;
20 you were bought at a price.
Therefore honor God with your bodies. 

I will interpret this in the plainest of terms - God blessed us with these amazing bodies with which He enables us to carry out HIS work.  I certainly don't know exactly where your body is at, you may have some sort of disability but I have been inspired by many people who have severe disabilities.  The common factor with this situation is each person who inspired me made the most of the situation they were in, did not rest in it, give up in it, they persevered because of it.  They often ignored what their human-given diagnosis they were given, and, giving it over to the Lord, in faith, became witnesses of His mercies by igniting in us a spark to try harder.  Certainly, no matter what physical shape we are in we would be hard pressed to not find someone worse off, physically (perhaps emotionally as well) than you, dear reader, are today. 

I believe the reason we should push ourselves to get into our best physical shape  is because when we are fit and healthy we have more energy and our physical bodies are able to help others who are not able to help themselves.   If we have a body that is not completely afflicted to the point we cannot use it, we are almost obliged to keep it in tip top working order for the service of our Lord.  Sometimes we take better care of our houses, our vehicles than we do our bodies.  We can possibly buy a new house - a new car, but not a new body. 

My husband and I used to climb mountains, and I'll tell you, each time we reached a peak I was reminded that some people will never EVER have the physical ability, to experience the joy to stand at that peak and look down and observe all of God's glory over the land.  It is so powerful and motivating that is - so, what I'm saying is since God gave us healthy bodies which can do this, isn't it a true GIFT to be able to do it?  Isn't this enough of a reason to push ourselves to do it while we can?  We are gifted top physical strength for a season of our life, don't let it pass by.

Another reason to keep in good shape is to have the energy to play with your children.  Children spend a great deal of their time engaged in play and its a fabulous opportunity to mentor to them, to connect with them.  We are accountable to be good examples to them, if we do not stay in shape, keep active then we are leaving them a legacy of inaction and all that goes with that.  What a burden of responsiblity we have!

So no matter whether you have 5 lbs to lose, 50 or just need to be motivated to get more active - this post is for you.  I know its so difficult to get started - and be prepared the enemy will definately be lurking in the sidelines to make it hard.  So the very first thing I'd suggest is to lift up your physical situation in prayer.  (I'd love to pray for YOU too!)  Surrender your body and mind to Jesus and He will enable you.

Philippians 4:13

13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Yes - God built us so we cannot do it alone.  We all need support and that's probably why I find myself sitting here typing this to you.  (I have a huge "to do list" trying to distract me, saying 'you should be doing this, and THISSEE?  That's the enemy working already)  I believe as women I'm given an ability to write this in the hopes it might inspire even one of you to get active. 

1 Thessalonians 5:11

11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,
 just as in fact you are doing. 

Now, lets get down to making this first step, now that we have surrendered your need to Jesus.  I am going to start off assuming you have virtually no physical exercise in your life at this moment.  I am going to assume you don't have a means or desire to join a gym.  The very first thing I would suggest is for you to do is to be accountable.  Find someone who is willing to help you or even just encourage you.  When you get a friend involved you are more likely to stick with it, and its rewarding to share your successes as you build up.  A joy shared is a joy doubled - again, we need to encourage each other. 

Walking is great way to get into shape and there are many rewards.  It does not have to be a long walk or a strenuous one.  Taking a friend along is a terrific way to connect and before you know it the distance slips by.  As you make it a habit it will come easier and you will go further.  Walking also allows you to enjoy being outside.  We are fortunate to have warm clothing in the winter, umbrellas in rain etc.  Ah, come on, when was the last time you splashed in a puddle?  How come we stop that when we are adults - running out into the rain and reveling in it???  My husband and I love walks and runs outside, some of our fondest memories are these times together.  I am constantly reminded of God's wonder of the beauty of nature which we experience when we get outdoors. 

If you have to stay indoors, why not consider a stationary bike - make the time count by either watching something worthwhile on tv (there are all sorts of good Christian shows on these days) or having someone read scripture to you or listening to an audio book?  (there are many FREE books to listen to and download  at  If you have a computer and internet connection you can listen to passages of the bible at

You might like to dance?  You can always tune into where you can search for "Gentle Praise" and can listen to live streaming beautiful and gentle music which you could dance to for a while each day.  If you are at a higher fitness level and would like some music to work out there are hundreds of online Christian radio stations available to listen to, and some have "Christian Dance" streams with upbeat music to motivate you.  If you want just instrumental music which you can download for free in podcast format I often go to where you can download one hour workouts which offer choices of how many BPM's (beats per minute) you would like to get up to.  Podcast can be listened to live on your ipod if there is a wireless connection and alternately you can download the podcasts right onto your ipod/iphone for listening to offline.  We are fortunate to have so many resources available to us! 

And speaking of how much is available to us, why I'm realizing there is a ton more than I can share right here, today, so I am going to break this topic up over to next week.  I hope today has been helpful to you and I'd certainly love your feedback. 

Next week I will concentrate on tracking your progress and on the nutrition aspect.  In the meantime, thank you for taking the time out to visit here today.  I'll certainly address any questions you might have about this subject and help you get started. 

May God bless you this week!


Prayer at Kaye's
Every Tuesday - 10:00 a.m.
7806 Gravenstein

Friday Night Open Worship
Every Friday - 7:00
Osoyoos Christian Centre
42 Finch, Osoyoos
For more info: 250-495-2550

OCC Women's Fellowship Meeting
Thursday, January 20th - 1 to 3 p.m.
Moira's place - 8006 Vedette Drive
Bring a treat - bring a FRIEND!

This is just a time for us to "hang out" together.  If you've been inspired by a poem, story anything please bring it along to share!

Missionary Sunday
January 23 - Sunday Service
Osoyoos Christian Center

This Sunday we welcome missinaries David and Valbona Pennoyer who are involved in ministry missions for Albania.  They will share their vision and we hope to bless them in their endeavors!  You can find out more by visiting their website:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Christmas Photos, A Worship Song and a A Poem by Kaye

As promised, here are a few photos from our Christmas Dinner, 2010.  It was a luncheon, actually and a wonderful time was had by all.  We always set for more people than we invite, and the chairs are always filled.  There are more photos which I will gladly share via a private email link should you request it! 

Our church is especially blessed in the music department and we were treated to a rendition of  "I Can Only Imagine" during the dinner.  Wonderful! 

Speaking of which, we welcomed part of the "Away Team" to join us for this past weekend's service - the Away Team coming from Park Drive Church in Oliver.  Thanks to Bart and Maurice for singing, soundboard and organization.  And we also recognise our team members - Miles, Nathan, Pheoniz, Ken and Sheryl (from our women, Sheryl an extra thank you for your voice lends a wonderful complement)

Here is a song, which you can enjoy here if you were not able to join us last weekend.  Just click on the triangle button to play.

Exciting transformations are taking place at OCC - one nice feature is the addition of "rear screen projection" which allows the worship team to see the words to songs, and no more cluttering of computers and cables and mics in front of our stage.  Thank you to all you (yes, Nate and Leila!) for your help. 

And there's more happening all the time so stay tuned for news here. 

Kaye has supplied me with some of her poems and I'll share you with one today:


Such Love

This wondrous love is like sunshine to my soul
It penetrates the very marrow of my bones
In your path let me ever be
On the tempests of life's stormy seas
Your hand in mine will give me rest
Jesus saviour of my soul
Your hand in mine will make me bold
To tell others of your great love
The gift of salvation sent through Jesus from our father above
Let me tell others of your plan of redemption
Provided by Jesus for you and me
This my prayer shall ever be
To lead your lost sheep home to thee.

~ Kaye Harkness 2010


Prayer at Kaye's
Every Tuesday - 10:00 a.m.
7806 Gravenstein

Friday Night Open Worship
Every Friday - 7:00
Osoyoos Christian Centre
42 Finch, Osoyoos
For more info: 250-495-2550

OCC Women's Fellowship Meeting
Thursday, January 20th - 1 to 3 p.m.
Moira's place - 8006 Vedette Drive
Bring a treat - bring a FRIEND!
This is just a time for us to "hang out" together.  If you've been inspired by a poem, story anything please bring it along to share. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Amazing Testimony

Some of you may have seen the news clip about this, Ted Williams, man on Global TV - he has an amazing story.  I shared it with my husband who missed the news - and so having searched it on YouTube,  came up with a full interview on CBS news instead.  This interview is 5 minutes long and contains his testimony of faith, very moving.  If you find yourself with 5 minutes to spare today please watch, it had us in tears.  God is Good - all the time!

Monday, January 3, 2011

An Update on Dale and Florence

I received an update from Dale and Florence who are hosting a rally down south in Arizona.  Rather than list all the descriptions of the pictures I've added the captions directly onto the photos and I am embedding a slideshow into this post.  Please continue to lift Dale and Florence in prayer that they continue in their ministry. 

Some readers have mentioned the slideshow is a little FAST.   There is a "pause" and "play" button located underneath the slideshow (hover your mouse over the photo to see the buttons) - you can click that to have the photos stay still and then manually use the arrow keys, if that works better for you.  Thanks for letting me know!