Real Hope only comes from above…

True hope, the kind you can build a life on and see a future in only comes from God.  He designed this old world that way so that in the end, come what may, He would be the only unfailing answer to all our questions- every time, no matter what.  He made us so that His love would be the only love big enough to fill our emptyness.  He is always more than enough for our individual ‘life crisis’ that comes along, as it always does to each one of us.  then the choice is ours-  do I trust Him this time to guide me through this?  No one is ever going to love us deeper, never leave us or be our Rock no matter the circumstance but Jesus Christ.  Ask Him to be that big in your life today….to be your only hope.   then rock on.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.”     Jeremiah 29:11-12

”The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”      Zephaniah 3:17

“He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being.”      Acts 17:27-28

Moving with our powerhouse-

it’s broken record time again :),   but please remember to be aware of your
alignment when working out in the area of your bliss.  whether it’s walking,
jogging, swimming, dancing, rock climbing, workout tapes, cleaning house,
workout tapes, etc. keep your abs strong and pulled in to support your core.
also try to position your head over your shoulders and not pulled forward.  this
will help you to build the muscle support necessary to keep your frame straight
up and not curling over frontwise.  holding your chest up, ribcage lifted, and
shoulders pulled back will also facilitate good full breaths as you
workout. keep your legs strong and be aware of using your whole body as a force
of nature to build a healthier whole frame.  good job!

Can you ‘love’ your enemies?

‘Love your enemies.  Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst.  When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer (i love that!), for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves.  This is what God does.  He gives His best – the sun to warm and the rain to nourish – to everyone.’       Matthew 5:44-45  the Message

Sticking your neck out!

“What we love usually manages to get into our conversation. What is down in the well of the heart will come up in the bucket of the speech.”  -Vance Havner
greetings and let’s hear it for pain-free necks!  we all know how lousy in general it can make us feel when our neck hurts…thus the refrain ‘don’t be a pain in the neck!’.  poor posture can be a likely culprit causing our pain as of course can stress and fatigue.  the posture issue we can do a lot about…hooray!  a study done in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that five moves dramatically reduce neck pain and increase neck strength.  to get the most from these moves try for three times a week of twelve reps done in two sets with a rest in between. 
1)  shoulder shrug- stand straight while holding small weights or bottles of water (yea for cheap!) at your sides with palms facing in.  keep your neck straight  (head over shoulders, shoulders back and ribcage slightly lifted) slowly lift your shoulders up toward your ears in a shrug and lower them back down again.  repeat slowly while breathing with an exhale on the uplift.
2)  one arm row- with a weight or bottle in one hand place the opposite knee and shin on a couch and the opposite hand on the arm of the couch so that your back is at a 45 degree or less angle (slightly tilted up).  keep head in line with back and not sagging downward.  bend arm with weight and lift your elbow upwards past your back as you pull your naval into your spine to support the lower back (you knew i would throw that in :).  think sawing a log type action. slowly lower the weight down to a straight arm and repeat.  do this same move on the other side.
3)  reverse fly- stay in the same position but this time keep the arm straighter with a slight crook in the elbow and again palm facing in.  go for bringing the arm down then slowly raising up to the side to back height (again while pulling naval firmly in).
4)  upright row- stand up straight with weights in each hand.  pull arms up, bend elbows and bring hands right in front of upper chest (think wings) with palms facing downward.  raise elbows up slightly past shoulder height then slowly lower elbows down to sides and allowing hands to follow breathing as before with the exhale on the uplift (sounds like a little song :).
5)  shoulder abduction- stand holding the weights at your sides with palms facing in and pressing them against the sides of your thighs. with your elbows slightly bent again, extend the weights out to your sides until your arms are parallel to the floor, palms down.  repeat.  keep your neck straight and relaxed, head over shoulders and core firm.  again exhaling on the upswing.
excellent!  follow these wonderful neck renewers with some static (held) stretches to lengthen and relax the muscles.  one super one is to sit on your ball with shoulders blades back and flat.  without raising shoulders or turning face downward, bring ear toward shoulder and hold for several breaths.  helps to close eyes and clear mind. repeat on other side.  another good one is to sit on your ball (subliminal encouragement) clasp your hands out in front of you with straight arms and slowly pull your hands away from your chest while bending head down and rounding shoulders and scooping out chest and abs.  as you hold this you should feel your shoulder blades separate slightly and relax.  follow with sitting back up and bringing clasped hands up over head and pulling up toward ceiling for several breaths.  end with clasping hands behind back, straightening out arms as much as you can while raising chest up and tilting head upwards and raising chin up.  deep breath as chest is opened up to fill lungs and stretch- then release.  good to repeat all stretches one more slow time because a relaxed neck is a happy you!

amen for commUnity!

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**looking to the Lord for our strength, eating healthy and working on being fit and active- with a made-up mind, we no longer entertain ideas of stopping all together or just giving up but instead begin each day with new resolve to give it our best shot.  then one day you realize, hey you do feel better and you can do this thing. right on!
grace and peace,
p.s. just found this awesome song and wanted to share it with you all.  the Lord is the only reason i ever have a made-up mind about anything.
 Ephesians 6:11-13
A MADE UP MIND
‘I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. The decision has been made. I have stepped over the line. I won’t look back, let up, slow down or back away.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I’m finished and done with selfish living, sight walking, small planning, “smooth knees,” colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap giving and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, pity or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised,
regarded or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with His patience, live by prayer and labor with His power.
My face is set; my gait is sure; my goal is heaven; my road is narrow; my way is rough, my companions are few; my Guide is reliable; my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity because I have been sustained by Christ.
I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, spoken up for the cause of Christ.
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I must go till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My banner is clear. I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed.’
 
~ Author Unknown ~