The Discipline of Exercise

bingby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Exercise. Discipline. Hard work.

Friend or foe? Embrace it or shun it? Push through or give up?

Although I’ve been rather disciplined through the years with exercising daily…walking or riding a bike…one thing I let fall by the wayside was strength training. Something I used to do three times a week for years disappeared from my to-do list.

Excuses for not getting to the weight bench were numerous. I didn’t have time. Didn’t feel like it. Too tired. Not motivated. Didn’t care. But the truth is, I was no longer disciplined.

Maybe you can relate?

Well, at the last visit with my primary care physician, she told me I needed to add weight training to my list of activities to strengthen the weak muscles in my back. I whined. She smiled and patted my shoulder.

bingIt’s been several months since that visit, and I finally got myself to the garage and began the familiar routine of lifting weights three times a week. I believe it is true that our muscles have memory. The process was not too difficult nor overly time consuming.

Of course, a couple days after I started I had some sore muscles, but took that as a sign there was hope the flab could be eradicated. Yea!

This morning as I counted off reps, I thought about how we sometimes make excuses for not exercising our spiritual muscles. We’re content to have flabby arms, rolls of fat around our waistlines, and blubber under our shirts. That’s how God made us, after all, we tell ourselves. More of me to love…

We don’t have time to open our Bibles. We don’t feel like praying. We’re too tired to go to bingchurch. We just aren’t motivated. And if we’re truly honest with ourselves, sometimes we simple do not care.

Ouch.

When I got back to my weight bench I didn’t go full throttle. I knew that would only discourage me because too much time had passed since I could complete X amount of repetitions with Y amount of weight successfully. I began at a comfortable level, determined to increase as time goes by. (That sounds like a great title for a song in a WWII movie set in Casablanca. 😉 )

Want to read the Bible every single day but feel overwhelmed? Try reading one verse a day and build up from there. You could sign up for an on-line devotional to be sent to your in box. Here are a couple to get you going if you’re interested. There are many more out there, but this is a start.

Been awhile since you spent time talking with God in prayer? You don’t have to be a theologian to pray. Just tell God what’s on your heart in your own words.

Make the effort to find a group of believers who you enjoy spending time worshiping God with every week. The kind of place where you’d like to invite your friends to join you.

bible studyGet involved with a Bible study group. One I highly recommend is Bible Study Fellowship. Yes. BSF is intense. Yes. It requires effort. Yes. You have to do your lesson, but you know what? The benefit of disciplining ourselves to study God’s word is more than worth it. BSF is international so odds are, a class meets in your area.

The discipline of exercise, whether it be to improve our physical or spiritual muscles, is beneficial to our overall well being.

What do you do to exercise both your physical and spiritual muscles?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Hebrews 12:11-12 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Gluten-free Mexican Lasagna Recipe

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

  • Vegetable oil spray for misting the baking dish
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 cups frozen, canned, or fresh corn kernels
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 16 oz small curd cottage cheese
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 12 corn tortillas – 8 inches in diameter
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mist a 13X9 inch glass baking dish with vegetable oil spray.

Crumble the beef into a large nonstick frying pan and place it over medium heat. If the beef is so lean it sticks to the pan, add a little vegetable oil. Cook the beef, stirring until it is cooked through and browned. 5 to 6 minutes. Drain off any fat.

Add the corn, tomato sauce, salsa, chili powder, and cumin. Stir to combine.

Let the beef mixture simmer over medium-low heart 2 to 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the cottage cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, oregano, and garlic in a medium size bowl. Stir to combine.

To assemble the lasagna, overlap 6 corn tortillas in the prepared baking dish. Spread half of the beef mixture evenly onto the tortillas. Spoon all of the cottage cheese mixture on top of the beef and spread it out evenly.

Layer the remaining corn tortillas over the beef.

Top the tortillas with the remaining beef mixture. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place in the oven.

Bake the lasagna until it heats through, 30 to 35 minutes.

Remove the dish from the oven, remove the foil, sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the top, replace foil, and let the lasagna rest for 20 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Don’t Despair

Isaiah 40

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

There have been a couple times in my life when I believe what I felt was utter despair. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines despair as to lose all hope or confidence. Yep. That’s what I felt. And what a dreadful place to be.

When we think of the life of King David many things may pop into our minds. Shepherd boy. Goliath killer. Harp player. Psalm writer. Chased by King Saul. Beloved friend of Jonathan. Warrior King of Israel. Slayed thousands. Adulterer. Murderer. Man after God’s own heart. Jesus’ ancestor…

Throughout David’s psalms are songs of anguish, despair and doubt coupled with songs of comfort, praise and rejoicing.

Could it be said of the story of our lives that anguish, despair and doubt can be replaced by comfort, praise and rejoicing? I believe so.

During the times when it appeared I had lost all hope, like David, there remained a spark. A flicker. An ember which refused to be doused by the events that threatened. A reminder that God’s faithfulness could not be removed.

Feeling at the point of losing all hope and confidence?

May I suggest you do what David did, what I do? Remember everything God has brought us through and realize he didn’t bring us this far to drop us now.

Praise God in the midst of the bleakness for who he is. Praise him for what he has done. Praise him for what he is capable of doing. Praise him. Simply praise him.

Get your praise on and send the devil running!

Amen?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Take courage, my soul! Do you remember those times (but how could you ever forget them!) when you led a great procession to the Temple on festival days, singing with joy, praising the Lord? Why then be downcast? Why be discouraged and sad? Hope in God! I shall yet praise him again. Yes, I shall again praise him for his help. Psalm 42:4-5 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Everlasting Love

courtesy coral castle museumby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends. Saturday, February 14 is a day set aside to recognize and celebrate the loved ones in our lives. A time to think of couples with romantic connections. Couples such as:

  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Tony and Maria
  • Bugs and Elmer
  • Edward Leedskalnin and Agnes Scuffs

Who?

courtesy coral castle museumFrom 1923 to 1951, Ed Leedskalnin single-handedly carved over 1,100 tons of coral rock using nothing but home made tools to complete his masterpiece.

When Ed was 26-years-old, he met and fell in love with 16-year-old Agnes. The day before their wedding, Agnes changed her mind. She told her betrothed she no longer wanted to marry him.

Devastated, Ed left his homeland of Latvia and set sail for America. He eventually ended up near Miami, Florida where there was an abundance of coral which had turned into rock.

Using his stone masonry skills, Ed created a coral castle for the love of his life in coral castlehopes it would convince Agnes of his everlasting love and prompt her to live with him forever.

Although the castle was completed, and still stands as a monument to his devotion, Agnes never did marry Ed.

How sad.

While some called the man crazy, he preferred the title, eccentric.

Everything inside Ed’s castle was made of coral stone or items he picked up from junkyards. Chairs, stairs, gates, self-heating bath, tower, even a heart shaped table with a potted plant so Agnes would always have flowers.

bing images

A sign above a bell at the entrance to his castle informed visitors they were to ring twice if they wanted admittance. Should they fail to follow Ed’s instructions, he either ignored them or told them, “Go away. You can’t follow directions and you might break something.”

When I first learned of Ed and his coral castle years ago while we lived in Florida, I drew a comparison to another man who sacrificed much for his love. A person who wanted to spend eternity with his Bride.

Jesus.

Jesus left his home in heaven and traveled this land we call Earth to prove how much he loves us and to woo us to himself. To show just how great his love for us was, and is, Christ suffered much. Even to the point of death on the cross of Calvary. All to make a way for us to live with him forever.

After his death and resurrection Jesus returned home. That’s where he is now. Preparing courtesy coral castle museuma castle just for us. One that has lots of special rooms and furnishings. One made by the scars of his own hands.

Just like Agnes rejected Ed’s love, many reject Jesus’ perfect love. They don’t want him to be part of their life.

How sad.

They think the whole idea of someone dying for them, paying the price for their sins so they can be forgiven and be a part of the Kingdom of God is crazy. Insane. Far beyond eccentric.

There’s a sign placed above the entrance to heaven, too, you know. It says we have to follow the rules if we expect admittance. Just like Ed’s rule, God’s rule is pretty simple.

Accept his son as Savior and Lord.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Long ago the Lord said to Israel:  “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” Jeremiah 31:3 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Holding Onto Jesus

bingBy Sandy Kirby Quandt

Comfort can be found in difficult times when we are assured of another’s presence, wouldn’t you agree?

As a child, just knowing a trusted adult was within arm’s reach or hollering distance often was enough to take care of whatever troubles seemed to be threatening. Knowing there was someone bigger than us who had our best interest at heart and had the power to deal with whatever Bogey Man was out there was enough.

When I was in sixth grade an intruder made its way down our chimney. It flew straight through the living room, turned right and ascended up the stairs. It took another right and ended up in my room where I lay in my bed, reading the latest Nancy Drew mystery before I fell asleep.

At first I wasn’t sure what flapped its wings within inches of my head. Maybe a bird attracted to my bedside lamp? On the second fly-by, I knew.

bingI threw the covers over my head and screamed, “There’s a bat in my room! There’s a bat in my room!” over and over while the monster beat its wings around me.

Within minutes my father appeared at the top of the stairs. He glanced into my room and said, “There isn’t a man in your room.” Which is what he thought I’d screamed.

As soon as the words left his lips, the denizen of the night buzzed Dad’s head. Turning  toward the stairs, my father assured me he’d be right back. He instructed me to stay absolutely still and quiet then ran downstairs, grabbed the broom, and charged back into my room.

It took several attempts before Dad finally managed to bingbeat the bat senseless enough to take it outside. On the side of my bed of all places.

Sorry if such a thought upsets any of you.

I knew enough about Dracula and blood sucking vampire bats to know my dad had just saved my life, and I didn’t really worry too much — only a little bit — about the bat’s imminent demise.

Yes, children like to be assured someone will come to their rescue when they scream out for help, but you know what? Adults want that same assurance.

Is that not so?

While it is oh so nice to have people we can rely on help us in our times of distress, our ultimate help is found in Jesus Christ alone.

When our hearts are breaking, Jesus is the Comforter who holds us and wipes away our tears until our hearts have mended.

When our pain seems unending, Jesus is the Great Physician who gives us the strength to keep going one step at a time.

When the events of life make us fearful and threaten to pull us under, Jesus is our Peace amid the storm. He’s in our boat with us. He won’t abandon ship.

Jesus is a ready help in our times of trouble. He has our best interest at heart. He is the omnipotent all-powerful one who overcame death and rose again after being buried in the ground for three days. Nothing is too hard for him.

We can rest in the knowledge Jesus is within reach. He will never leave or forsake us.

flying batsWhen life feels a little unsettled and unsure, and creatures of the night flap around our heads, we have a source of comfort available to us in Jesus.

Like a father taking his mighty broom to the things that fly through our lives and threaten to harm us, Jesus’ love will protect and keep us safe.

Any tales of terror you’ve been saved from you’d care to share?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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