Strength from within

July 31, 2011

Not many people understand the intricate details of the operation of the CORE musculature of their bodies. To a majority of the population, it is an unknown fact that the stability of the Spine and Pelvic Girdle in the Human Body is dependent on the strength of two internal muscle units working together to produce a complex system of actions. In other words, what seems a simple action such as standing up straight is an effort that can only be achieved by the cooperation of muscles no one has ever seen and when you alter this posture such as twisting at the waist, the unseen muscles operate as a symphony to produce a harmonic rythme which to the naked eye is a simple turn at the waist. Unfortuneately, it is because of the lack of knowledge the general population has concerning these muscles that is the root of almost all injuries. Failure to realize that one’s strength comes from within is what allows us to strain and sprain joints at unforseeen times.

“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6)

The prophet Hosea heard the the voice of the Lord clearly to say that the people have rejected the opportunity to gain strength within their land, in the hearts of each individual, and therefore they brought about their own demise. The knowledge they rejected would have given them the strength of knowing the fullness of God’s will, plan, and purpose for the earth and their role in seeing that purpose fulfilled.

The story of Rahab (Joshua chapters 2 & 6) is an excellent example of what can happen when a person heeds the voice of the Lord and those who have come to prepare the way. Rahab and her household were spared horrific destruction because Rahab welcomed the spies inside her walls and she drew her strength from their promise of rescue.

Rahab had spies, but we have the eternal, internal voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to our soul.   This is where our strength comes from.  The extent to which we allow our volitions (free will) to be affected by God’s Spirit is the measure by which we gain spiritual fitness and strengthen our inner man.

” I pray  that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19)

Our strength within is so much more than we can imagine. Don’t reject the knowledge that is available to strengthen you.  Rahab didn’t, and she, a former prostitute, became a woman whose womb eventually made place for the Christ child to come into the earth.

Everybody Scream!!!

April 7, 2011

Okay, so I was remembering an old VBS (Vacation Bible School) song the other day.  

Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho; Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, and the walls came a tumblin’ down.

So,  realizing that this flashback was obviously God trying to show me something, I went to Joshua chapter 6 where  Joshua is in the process of leading the Israelites to the Promiseland (the place of ultimate and eternal fitness in every area) and they run into this town called Jericho that is surrounded by huge high walls.  This wasn’t a surprise to them, they knew the city existed, in fact, they had sent spies ahead of them to get a sneak preview of what they would come up against.  They had travelled for several days, or weeks, or maybe even months toward this city knowing that it was impeding their path to The Promiseland.  Yet they continued, under the leadership of Joshua who was being led by God along the path that would achieve freedom for Israel.

Have you ever attempted to accomplish a goal only to have a huge, seemingly insurrmountable obstacle stand before you, but yet you continue toward the goal because, in your gut, you know that it is what you have to do?  What a difficult and daunting task it is to stand in times of trouble.  Oftentimes, I become frustrated and depressed and deep in my gut I feel the urge to scream.

My encouragement with this article is to let you know that screaming is not necessarily a bad thing.

When Joshua and the Israelites came up to the tightly walled city of Jericho, Joshua heard God tell him that they would conquer the city and God also gave him the exact plan of attack.  It was definitely an unusual plan, but Joshua followed.  The plan of attack was to play loud praise music and dance and walk around the city and then, after the specified number of times that they walked around the city, they could let out a huge shout and watch as the walls of the city crumbled before them.

In other words, while facing an insurrmountable obstacle, the Israelites were told to dance around, walk, and run.  They were to be diligent in this spiritual exercise routine and then, at the end of the conditioning period, they were to max out their physical exertion efforts by dancing, walking, and running seven times more than they had on the previous days and when it was all over, they should scream to announce their victory to the world and at that exact moment, when it was time (“due season”, Galatians 6:9), they would receive their reward.

The Israelites screamed and conquered Jericho.  But the scream wasn’t the key, it was just the visible sign that signified their victory.  The dancing, walking, and running was the key to this victory.  The conditioning routine was the praise and worship that the Israelites participated in for several days prior to seeing their victory.  If they had not conditioned themselves little by little on the preceeding days, they would never have had the endurance (faith) to make several trips around the city on the final day and shout for their victory.

For those of you who are like me, please let me exhort you to not give in when you start to get frustrated and depressed.  Reaffirm you conviction to achieve your victory by adjusting your focus and condition yourself with praise and worship.  We must realize that the urge in our gut to scream is coming from the same place as our affections (value, desire) to pursue our goal (“make me to know wisdom in my inmost heart”, Psalm 51:6) – this is the part of the soul that is captivated by the Spirit of God.  By using a little bit of praise and worship each day, we can build ourselves up for that glorious day that we shout and see our victory.

The moral of the story:  Don’t be afraid to scream, it just might be God’s due season for breakthough . . . let it out and receive your reward.

Other relevant scriptures:  1 Timothy 4:7-8; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Jude 20; Hebrews 11:1, 6; Hebrews 12:1-2

The Deconditioned Body

March 31, 2011

I am currently living in the most horrifically painful state I have ever been in, and it is a condition I promised myself (20 years ago) that I would never get to.
As a child, I was moderately obese up until my high school years when I joined athletics and began a regime of conditioning my body. For 18 years I used dedicated time management skills, followed a disciplined workout schedule, and nourished my body with foods that it could use as fuel for performance.
Recently, life changed. And I am now a “De-conditioned athlete”.
I don’t know what hurts more, the first step I take upon waking each morning, or the taunting memories of the strenuous workouts and exercise routines that I once adored. I guess it is a little bit of both with the final daunting conclusion that I will never again see the days of my youth. Every time I have to ice or wrap a joint just to make it through my day-to-day routine I am terribly reminded that my physical demise is on the rise.
But my hope for the future is based on the fact that I am a tripartite being which means there are three parts to me – spirit, soul, and body. In other words, I am a spirit, I have a soul, and I live in a body. It may be that my physical body, and it’s functionality, is declining daily, but the other two parts that make up my being are guaranteed with an eternal hope because I have received the promise salvation offered to me in Romans 10:8-11. I can confidently say that, “though my outer man (body) is decaying, yet my inner man is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
My spirit man cannot waste away because it is the spirit of God. God breathed His spirit into me and, at the very moment my body was filled with His breath, my soul was formed. My spirit is eternal, but there are two different eternities available to it. It is the choice of my soul to determine which eternity my Spirit will choose – either Heaven or Hell (Joshua 24:15). My soul is the central operating system of my being, in outward reflection, it is my personality. The parts of my personality or self-expression include my intellect, desires, willpower, emotions, and affections. My soul is the seat of my values and understanding. As central operating system, it is the joining wire of my spirit and body. The condition of my soul and it’s choice of the eternity I seek is what allows my body to act out the hope of my spirit.
In all my athletic pursuits, much preparation and discipline were necessary. And so it is with Godliness, but even more so. 

“For physical training is of some value (useful for a little), but godliness (spiritual training) is useful and of value in everything and in every way, for it holds promise for the present life and also for the life which is to come.”  1 Timothy 4:8 AMP

 I must use dedicated time management skills, follow a disciplined Word-workout schedule, and nourish my body with spiritual foods that will fuel my performance as carrier of this eternal torch of eternity.
Now that I am beyond my peak physical performance years, all that remains are the memories (good or bad; painful or comforting). But eternity is still a long way off and I have yet to reach the extent of peak performance for my soul, but, just as Paul, I remain in a constant training cycle in preparation for that event (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
What about you?  R U Fit-4-Eternity?

other relevant scriptures:  1 Corinthians 1:18; 1 Corinthians 15:42-58; Colossians 1:27

Goin’ Through

March 16, 2011

I was driving down St. Charles Ave., admiring the beautiful day God had created. The weather was perfect – the temperature was in the mid-70’s with a slight breeze and the sky was crystal blue with no clouds. My soul was at peace. I was enjoying the view of the street cars passing by afternoon joggers and getting a feel for the real essence of New Orleans – A city built for people to enjoy.

Just as I crossed under I-10 and entered Lee Circle, in that very small split second, my mind wandered from thoughts of contentment and fell onto thoughts of my current state of financial discontent. In an instant, almost the entirety of my 36 and a half years flashed into my memory. I recollected countless days of working 12 to 18 hours and anywhere from 1 to 3 jobs per day. In the next split of that same second, I let out a despairing plea asking God, “why has my life been so hard, will it ever get easier?”

Then it hit me, the realization of Genesis 3:17-19. Because Adam disobeyed God, mankind today is still reaping what he sowed. “Cursed is the ground … in pain you shall eat … thorns and thistles [the ground] shall bring … you shall eat the plants of the field … by the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground.” Adam made a choice that will affect the rest of eternity.

But God made a choice as well and it is His choice that created eternity – eternity for our soul. Long before Adam fell and even before the first star shined, God chose to orchestrate a path of redemption for those of us who concede the error of Adam’s ways and strive toward the better Way.

In this plan of redemption, God has given us a living hope.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-4

In other words, as long as we live through Jesus Christ, we can take possession of this gift. This gift is peace – spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially. But, as Jesus said in John 14:27, this peace does not come in the same manner as worldly peace. In fact, in John 16:33, right after he tells us that we should have peace, he says that in the world we will have trials. This is a very hard pill to swallow, but if we are to fully receive the gift God has prepared for us, we must learn to see our lives through the eyes of Jesus. The trials we encounter in this world are a direct result of Adam’s punishment for his disobedience, but, because of God’s redemptive plan, it is through those same trials that we learn obedience. As we pursue our redeemer through these stepping stones of obedience, our final outcome is worth far more than materialistic value. What we will have gained on the journey is Truth no one can take from us.

So, the answer to my questions . . . it has to be hard so I will value the gift and yes, it will get easier. In fact, it already has. If I remember the hope I have within then I can realize that it is not my efforts that push me through life, but my resting in Him that thrusts me to victory.

It is Christ in me, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). What about you?

As I rounded Lee Circle and came out the other side, I took a sigh of relief because I was just “goin’ through . . . ”

Other Scriptures: Romans 10:9-10; 2 Corinthians 4:7-10; Hebrews 11:1; Hebrews 12:1-2

“Objects in mirror are closer than they apppear”

March 3, 2011

Have you ever heard this comment? . . . or maybe you read it somewhere? Next time you get in your car, check the passenger sideview mirror.
Being a thinker, I have had plenty of opportunity to ponder this statement as it relates to safely operating a vehicle. It is a simple warning to be aware of the proximity of surrounding objects as they can either help or hinder your journey. So it is with God too — a simple safety warning related to operating in this life safely (or should I say securely under God’s protection).
It is all too often that we lose sight of our purpose and haphazardously begin to operate without the proper guidance and preparation, leading us down a path that is slightly off the one highlighted on the GPS. First we make one wrong turn and that doesn’t seem so bad, but if we keep going in that direction then the numerous wrong turns will lead us farther away than we ever expected. A minister friend of mine uses the term “one degree of separation”. That’s all it takes. Just like flying a plane or navigating a boat. If you don’t stay on course and corrrect that “one degree of separation”, you will soon find yourself miles off course. It may take a few minutes, a few hours, or a few years, but it will most definitely happen. “It a slow fade”.
So what good is the safety warning here? Realize that the help you need is closer than your natural mind can perceive. The heavier our burdens, the further away our perception presents the solution. But, if we have received Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, then we have a cure for false perception.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for you souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” — Matthew 11:28-30

Let’s play Hide-N-Seek

February 24, 2011

Do you remember playing that when you were younger, or, if you are a parent, you probably still play that with your little ones. Well, God has entered into a friendly game of ‘Hide-n-Seek’ with us. It is all a part of our purpose – He is challenging us to open our eyes to what we can find if we really press in. In Jeremiah 29:11-14, God says that He is the only one who knows the exact plans and purposes He has for our life but the key to us understanding those plans and purposes is for us to abandon all other things in order to know Him and Him alone. God’s promise is to give us prosperity in all areas (mental, spiritual, financial, emotional, and physical) when we desire Him and seek Him more than anything else. Our purpose for being created is to fellowship with God and bring others along, not just for the ride, but for the eternity. We must guard our hearts and be very particular about what things we will allow to influence us. As we search every nook and crannie of our lives and the world around us looking for reasons to praise God, God is glorified. “He inhabits the praises of His people”. And when it seems that everything in life is pressing against us but we continue to press into Him, we turn the corner and find Him right there – “Arms wide opened, heart exposed” (Misty Edwards).

Why is it in you?

November 26, 2007

Ephesians 4:12, NASB

“for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;”

Okay, so it has taken me nine months . . . at least I am back to finish what I started.  Hopefully you have been pondering “What is in you,” I know I sure have and now I am back to begin with the answer given in the scripture I have sited above.

 . . . umh . . . just ponder the scripture and I will be back with more later.

Is it in you?

February 10, 2007

Of course, I credit the advertisers of Gatorade with the initiation of this question, but I want to take it a step further. I want to go beyond the liquid filler that is promoted to replenish and nourish your body after physical exertion. I want to ask this question in light of our abilities and potential.

Yes, I am a Personal Trainer and Sports Nutritionist, so I could go on all day about anatomy and nutrition and exercise necessities, but I won’t because the purpose of this blog is to bring new insite to the word fit, or as I have it spelled above F.I.T. (Fundamental, Intuitive, Training). I invite you, my readers to venture with me to explore the depths of fitness. It is my firm belief that fitness is more than just something that is achieved after a certain daily regimen of physical activity. I believe fitness to be a state of mind and an out flow of that state of mind is physical appearance/performance but that is only a minute measurement of a broader accomplishment.

My question of “Is it in you?”, refers to our potential to achieve anything our hearts desire. I would like to further dissect this question into three parts:
1) What is in you?
2) Why is it in you?
3) Will you leave it there or will you let it go free?

. . . but this post will only focus on the first part. “What is in you?”

The Psalmist David wrote “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” {Immediately, this statement sparks another question, what/who are you delighting yourself in. If in fact it is the Lord, please read further, however, if you hesitated to answer this question or if you are in the midst of any sort of confusion concerning this question, please send me a personal email at win@greatworksfitness.com or visit the link on the sidebar entitled ‘r u fit4eternity’.}

You know those timeless questions of Who am I? and What am I here for? Well, David has revealled to us exactly how to figure it out.

What does it mean to delight?, It means to take pleasure in or enjoy or to find joy in. When we find our joy in the Lord, He gives us the desires of our hearts. But it is not at that moment that he gives us the desires, it is just at that moment that our desires are revealled to us. God gave us every one of our desires before He even spoke the earth into existence, but because He created the world and man for fellowship with him (His enjoyment / His delight), it is only when we have that heart-full urging to do things His way that He is able to release the detailed information about His plan to us and the specific understanding of what part we are to play in it.

So what is our potential? Collectively, as the human race, we are to understand the reality of God and His plan for our land and ensure that it is carried through. Individually, our potentials vary. It is a question we each must ask for ourselves and only we can fulfill that potential, regardless of what anyone else may say, think, or feel.

What is the desire of your heart that has been placed inside of you? It doesn’t matter how big or small, and, in fact there will be more than one and they will culminate toward a single end — the big picture. Our work is to identify these desires and understand their Truth (purpose) so that we may appropriately approach the task of pursuing them to fulfillment.

Welcome to Discover F.I.T.

February 6, 2007

Welcome to the Discover F.I.T. blog site. This site was created in an attempt to get inquiring minds to consider the question, “What is fitness?” The initiator of this site, Wendolynn Allen, owner of GreatWorks Fitness, desires to assist you in discovering your true potential and developing it to the fullest.
It must be said from the beginning that this site is published by a Spirit-filled, Born Again believer of the fact that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and came to earth to rule and reign and teach all people, by the legacy of His works, how to rule and reign as was God’s original intent. All entries to this site will be from the point of view of Christianity and the effort is to encourage readers to see their faith as a practical everyday necessity for life.

Hello world!

February 5, 2007

“. . . the kingdom of God is within you.” — Luke 17:21