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

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