Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Joyful Jogger

Over the years I've documented here my struggle to make wellness a lifestyle, trying not to treat balanced eating and more activity as a punishment but a choice I embrace. It has been very difficult as I don't not have a natural affinity for it, nor an upbringing in that lifestyle, but I have realized one thing and that is my attitude towards it makes a world of difference.

When I picked up jogging again last summer I passed quite a few other athletes on my favored path, one obvious observation was that they were much better than me, not that it concerned me, but one thing I observed did.

They all looked like they were not enjoying their run.

They looked like I felt.

And it struck me, I don't want to be out here looking like I hate this.

To me it stands to reason that if my emotion indicator (face) appears as if I hate this, then maybe to some degree my subconscious will receive that is how I feel.

And I don't hate actually hate running. I hate that right now it's hard because I've abused my body with food and neglect. I hate that I waited so long my bones and joints are more resistant to impact and pressure at this age. I hate that I would rather have food than any other reward.

But I don't hate running.

Now I realize that a lot of runners have a look of concentration, or determination, some maybe in pain, and some may actually hate running but have their own reasons for doing it anyway. And I'm not a proponent of fake it until you make it. I don't want to run with a smile as part of a facade where I'm not being real with people.

Rather, I want to run with a smile on my face because I want to be joyful in every circumstance.

I've learned over the last year that joy is not an emotion, it is a choice.

It's like love is a choice. Love is associated with a lot of emotions but they don't define love for me, the closest thing to a definition of love I believe is devotion. And devotion is an action, not a feeling, and therefore it is a choice.

Like joy. Joy is associated with a lot of emotions but the best definition I've heard of joy is actually from the Greek term used in the Bible, it means grace recognized. It means I have joy because I choose to recognize how much I have been spared, how much I have to be grateful for.

I want to run out of that gratefulness that I CAN run, no matter how slow, no matter how painful. There are many, many reasons I've come to understand why I should be grateful I can even walk, never mind run.

Being joyful about running doesn't mean that it isn't hard, that I don't dislike parts of it, but it's a lot like life, life is hard, and I don't like parts of it, but I am so grateful I have the life I have.

So, how do I maintain that smile on my face while my knees and hips ache, my calves tighten up, and my lungs want to give up?  Well, since I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, one of the ways I enjoy my run is to listen to revved up worship music - there is actually worship music available that speeds up the tempo so that it's upbeat enough to run to. So I run to songs that sing to me phrases like:

You make me brave No fear can hinder now

Breaking chains that were holding me

You have made my burden light You have brought me back to life again

You are with me in every step that I take

Tune our hearts into Your beat. Where we walk, there You'll be.

You healed my body and You made me new

We are more than conquerors

All I have is yours, every single breath

The song he heard gave him hope and strength to carry on

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Secret Spirit Language

Have you ever wondered why it is you can have conversations with other Christians that really deepen your hunger for truth, they give you revelations and insights seemingly straight from God? You get filled up just talking to them and you leave them feeling like you've encountered God?

Have you wondered why it is you can have conversations with other Christians and it leaves you wondering if you are speaking the same language? Wondering if you even know the same God?

I have noticed this a lot lately in the last 30 months, more so especially in the last year, and the former I just started to call them Holy Spirit moments.  After all, "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."  I love those moments.

Last week in my devotional time God revealed to me more about this amazing concept. He showed me it is like the Trinity speak their own secret language, that language is the language of truth, ultimate truth, all-knowingness.  And we, like anyone learning a new language, are able to recognize it and understand it the more we are exposed to it.

The first step to learning a language is to spend time in a community where we are exposed to people speaking the language. In this case, spending time with Godly people in tuned with the Holy Spirit.

The next step is to practice speaking in, and listening to, the language. To be able to learn the Secret Spirit Language we need to practice speaking to God, developing our prayer life, but not just talking to God, talking with God, taking the time to learn to listen and recognize what He's saying.

And another way to help learn language is through comprehension; reading, writing, and having dialogue. This is more than just reading the Scriptures for knowledge sake, it is reading communication directly from the creator of the Spirit Secret Language Himself, and we read it to gain familiarity with the language of truth. Truth is a difficult language so it helps our development to journal or discuss our understanding of what we have learned.

So, as I have grown in my understanding of the Spirit Secret Language, I have found others who are also proficient in this amazing language! We find ourselves slipping into this deeper dialect naturally, realizing as we talk that there is a connection beyond ourselves happening, and the amazing thing about the language of truth is that our awareness of truth expands the more we are immersed in it. And then there are other people, and they can't seem to understand what we're talking about, it's like they are hearing gibberish. Or maybe more like seeing sign language, it is in English, which they should be able to understand, but the way the language is being communicated they just can't understand.

I am so in awe of this and it has made me so eager to delve into learning more, in every way I can.  I seek out more opportunities to be in the company of other SSL enthusiasts, and reading Scripture and praying are a whole new experience. I have always been a big fan of secret codes and the idea of being multilingual, I am so excited to take my language skills to another level!

After this revelation, God then hammered the point home with having me come across several Scriptures the last few days, but this one captures it perfectly so I will share it in it's entirety.

1 Corinthians 2:1-16
When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. 2 For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. 4 And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. 5 I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. 6 Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. 7 No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. 8 But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. 9 That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 
10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 11 No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. 12 And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. 13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. 14 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. 16 For, “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?”
But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

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