Tuesday, October 26, 2010

3 biblical reasons to exercise

My family and friends who know me best know that I'm an avid exerciser. My solitary run, pick up basketball with friends or lifting circuit at the gym is something that I really look forward to each day. The exercise endorphins got a hold of me in high school and even more in college, and they haven't let go of me since. Now I can't stop myself from remembering how good it feels to get active, so that the laziest moods can be won over by the familiar feeling of post-workout satisfaction and energy. Exercise has also been shown to decrease feelings of depression and heighten energy. As I continue studying in the field of mental health, I've seen that one of the first interventions for people who are depressed is simply getting them more active each day.

Here are three biblical reasons for exercise from David Parrish on The Resurgence:
1. Paul wrote to the church in Corinth that our body is God's temple where his Spirit dwells (1 Cor 6:19)
2. Our bodies are members of Christ and should not be abused (1 Cor 6:15)
3. Our body is not our own, it is God's. How dare we desecrate it on purpose? (1 Cor 6:19-20)

What a lot of people forget is that exercise can be simply walking for 30 minutes a day while chatting with a friend, playing with their dog or taking a post-dinner bike ride. The important thing is to get moving as a starting point.

The flip side of needing more exercise is where I can easily fall if I'm not careful, making exercise an idol that I hold in a clenched fist, unwilling to let go if I can't do it when I want to and how often I want to. My heart can so quickly fall into a legalistic idolatry with exercise where I set rules for myself that must be satisfied or I become upset or guilty. This idolatry is something that I must continually war against, remembering that my body is Christ's temple, not for my own good, but for the glory of the Father. There are times when I will have to sacrifice my own wants so that I can worship God with my time, my energy, my relationships with others, my heart. At these moments, I have to remember 1 Timothy 4:8. "Physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

romans it is

I've been meaning to start listening to John Piper's series on Romans for the past few months and am finally getting disciplined enough to start the venture this week. Piper took his church through the book of Romans for seven years before it was completed- talk about exegesis! The series started with Romans 1:1 "The Author of the Greatest Letter Ever Written". As always, Piper is an amazing preacher, whose personal experience with God and Scripture draws others to desire the same close communion with the Lord. I'm excited for the next few months of listening...maybe years??

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In debt to love

I love CCEF, a biblical counseling college dedicated to restoring Christ to counseling and counseling to the church (that is actually their slogan too!) The resources available on their website have been so helpful to me as I complete a secular education in a counseling-related field. The emphasis on Freudian psychologies, self-actualization and many other psyche-driven interventions in the world of counseling has set off my biblical spoof radar on a pretty consistent basis and so I set out to find a counter attack for these worldly teachings that I just can't buy. Enter CCEF. They are affiliated with Westminster Theological Seminary and provide podcasts, ask a counselor, articles and many other resources. I really think they're helpful for everyone, not just people entering a counseling field. They touch on many practical issues that are a part of life today and that people would seek a counselor's advice and guidance for, but their advice comes from a bible-centered, gospel-saturated perspective.
One of my favorite authors and counselors, Ed Welch (he wrote the book "When People are Big and God is Small" which is an outstanding book! oh and I swear I'm not being paid or compensated in any way to do this post, I am just such a fan!) shares his thoughts about why affection and attraction isn't enough reason for marriage and the right-minded attitudes that constitute love that lasts. Check it out here.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Be Thou My Vision

We sang this song last Sunday at church and it wrecked my soul for how far I am from these words being true and yet how much I want them to be my life's song.

Be Thou my Vision
Words – Dallan Forgail, 6th Century

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that Thou art

Thou my best though, by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

Be Thou my wisdom, Thou my true word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;

Thou my great Father, I thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always

Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art

O God be my everything, be my delight.
My Savior, my Glory, my soul satisfied

My Savior, You satisfy
High King of heaven, my victory won,
may I reach heaven's joys, O bright heav'ns Son!

Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O ruler of all

O God be my everything, be my delight.
My Savior, my Glory, my soul satisfied (2x)