When Two or More are Gathered…

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Matthew 18:20

 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

 

Over the past few weeks, in my quiet time,I found myself yearning to feel the presence of God. I tried starting out with prayer and worship, just prayer, and even continued straight to my daily reading. Though I’m sure He has been with me… my spirit was longing for a deeper connection. On Sunday, in Bible study, we closed with intense prayer and laying in of hands. Finally… I felt His Spirit gently wash over me for a brief moment! The next morning, I found myself in my room trying to press in to find I was edgy and distracted. I walked out to the kitchen and mom and I began to discuss a situation that was sort of weighing on us. That’s when it dawned on me… take it to the cross! As my mom and I entered in, the anxiousness in my spirit dissipated. We worshipped a little, and I headed in my room and was FINALLY able to focus and press in. Wow! As I was reading, the Lord reminded me of a time when I was about 5… it was the first time I’d ever felt His presence. I was at Glad Tidings (now known as Lake Tahoe Christian Fellowship) & was in a room off to the side. I got a turning sensation in my stomach, then the chills… I ran into the sanctuary where my mom and some of the other adults were doing intercessory prayer. The presence of God was so thick and so breath taking! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget that incredible feeling. In looking back on this, I was reminded of the verse that stays when two or more are gathered, His presence is there… wow. So that was the answer… days, nearly weeks of asking God for more of His presence to find that I needed to step out of my isolated prayer den (which is good to have when properly balanced) & into an area of fellowship and allow His Spirit to move with power. So, this week… I want to encourage you… mix it up… don’t let your spiritual life become stagnant and stale. If you tend to press in alone… grab someone you trust or ask the Lord to provide the rite people to pray with you and build fellowship. There is truly strength in numbers! That being said… I’ll go ahead and work this into fitness and nutrition.  

If you tend to go hiking, running, biking, or even to the gym alone, try to create a buddy system by going with a friend from time to time. This will both keep you safe AND create a different atmosphere that will help motivate you to either train a little harder and fix a plateau or even give you new ideas and perspective for the days you train alone. Here’s an example of a buddy workout that can be done with a partner. 

Buddy Intervals

-go to a park that has some good running or walking trails. Do a good 5 to 10 min brisk walk to warm up. Mix in some dynamic stretching (I’ve added links to examples in a few past blogs). Then, as one person walks, the other jogs ahead for 1/4 mile, then turns around and jogs back to the person walking. Then switch. The person who was walking runs ahead 1/4 mile then back. Next, you increase the distance in quarter mile increments, switching off. One person walks while the other person jogs or races ahead. Do the switch off 3x to start. When you increase in endurance, do the switch up to 5x then, cool down! Make sure you stretch out and stay hydrated! Be safe… HAVE FUN!

 

 As far as nutrition… try to find people who are aiming for healthy eating habits and try to create an accountability system. This way you have someone to keep you headed in the right direction and vise versa! This can also be a great way to share recipe ideas and tips to stay on track! Now… This week’s recipe…

Strong Chord Gluten Free Cinnamon Pecan Twists

 

Twists

-2 1/2 cups oat flour (this can be bought or made by placing oats into a blender or food processor and blend until a nice flour is made)

-2 1/2 cups brown rice flour

-1/2 cup organic cane sugar

-2/3 tsp salt

-2/4 rapid-rise yeast

1/8 tsp baking soda

-3 cage free egg whites

-1 cup water

-1 tbsp 2% milk

-2 1/2 tbsp non fat Greek yogurt

-2 1/2 tbsp low fat butter spread

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-1/2 cup chopped, raw pecans

 

Cinnamon Topping

-1/2 cup organic cane sugar

-2tsp cinnamon

 

Directions

In a separate bowl, breast egg whites until slightly fluffy, almost meringue like. Slowly mix in water, milk, Greek yogurt, and butter and vanilla extract. In another bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Slowly mix liquid with dry ingredients until smooth dough is made. Lay out on smooth, floured surface and useing a rolling pin, roll out into a rectangle, smoothing out until dough is a 1/4 inch thick. Take pecans, sprinkle evenly over top and use rolling pin to gently press nuts into dough. In another bowl, mix cinnamon and sugar for topping, and set aside. Take dough, and useing a knife, cut into strips 1/2 inch wide. Take strips in sets of 3 and braid them. Lay strips 2inches appart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Set in oven for 30 min with a pot of boiling water. Take twists and boiling water out and sprinkle cinnamon/sugar mixture. Preheat oven to 325 and bake for 15-20 min. Let cool and enjoy!

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Power food for your spirit, sould, mind , and body

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“My message and my preaching were not done with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”

Hey there heeeere we go again! =) today’s message is about being empowered by the Holy Spirit. Now, instead of going off on a droning trail about the details of my circumstances, I’m going to shine some light on the glory of God in those situations. As a fellow motivational speaker once said, “you have to be PROACTIVE.” So, how does someone who has suffered abuse (by numerous people), loss of home (multiple times), broken relationships, change of job, health issues that have come and gone, deaths of multiple loved ones, and countless other traumas within a short period of time find the strength to move on? By keeping my eye on Jesus Christ. Knowing that He has good plan for my life and that He is a good God who gives life so we can live it to the fullest. Have there been moments when I’ve broken down and made a fool of myself?… of course! To say that I haven’t would be to deny the fact that I’m human. However, every step of the way… My heart has cried out to God in one form or another. Through it all, especially through the mosrt recent loss of my God Dad along with other battles, God has taught me to ask Him to turn it around for His glory. Now, for the first time in my life, though I’m not materially wealthy, I’m the richest person alive.God has given me a relationship with my mom that was once shipwrecked, a relationship with my sister and nephew… my miracles, a relationship with my little brother, and a God Family that has adopted mine and shown my family how to enjoy meals and birthday parties together in peace and joy. I have more now than any riches can buy. While it does still bother me at times that I’m not currently in a position to give back to others the way I would like, the hope remains that this too shall pass, and I too will get to be a vessel of blessing to others. In the mean time, I daily have to crucify my attitude asking God to give me strength to endure this season… Knowing it will all be for His glory in the end. For, you… I will say this… whatever you are facing, no matter how great a trial, cry out and ask God for His help. Open your word, meditate on verses that will help strengthen you to endure. Ask God if there is an area of your life that needs to be put into check, and be willing to make proper adjustments, fast (if you feel lead to do so), worship Him and let Him wash over you and refresh your spirit. Keeping your eye on Him will keep your mind out of the storm so He can lead you safely to dry land. In closing, I will leave you with some power verses to meditate on, a speed training workout that will add some power to your fitness and take you to a new level, a list of power foods and… a recipe for homemade breakfast bars that will give you energy to power out your day!

*Power Verses:
-“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit had come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 1:8

-“Not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit says the Lord of hosts.”

Zechariah 4:6

-“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

-“I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:13

“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

Luke 10:19

Psalm 91

“for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

1John 5:4-5

*power workout
Go to a track and do a nice dynamic warm up. Do a slow jog for 1/2 mile (2laps)-1 mile (4 laps). Go to the beginning of a straight run as hard and as fast as you can, then very slowly jog or walk the curve. Once you’re at the beginning of the next straight, run as hard and as fast as you can through to the end of the  curve (1/2 way around the track). Stop at the beginning of the next straight and jog in place for two min. Go to the beginning of the straight and run as hard and fast add you can all the way around the track, then cool down with 1/2 mile-1 mile SLOW JOG. This is a beginner speed workout and can be changed up by adding repetitions of various cycles around the track. Have fun with it! Make sure you thoroughly stretch out when you finish. Make sure you DO NOT over do yourself! Listen to your body!!!!! 

* 5 Power Foods
Peanut butter

Dark Chocolate

Eggs (free range)

Rolled oats

Berries

*Recipe
POWER OAT BARS (makes about 1 doz cupcake sized servings)
-3 cups rolled oats
-3/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
-1/2 cup peanut or almond butter
-1/2 cup ripened pureed banana
-3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
-1/4-1/2 cup honey OR 100% maple syrup
Directions
Preheat oven to 350° and line cupcake tins with paper (you can also choose to use a cookie sheet sprayed w nonstick spray). With an electric mixer, mix the apple sauce, pureed banana, and nut buter together. One thoroughly mixed, slowly mix in the oats then… the dried fruit. Once all ingredients are combined, place 2-3 tablespoons into each cupcake paper. If you’re using a cookie sheet, spread evenly over the sheet, and using a buyer knife, cut into 12 equal parts making sure to wriggle the knife side to side at each point of separation to leave about 1/2 inch between each bar. (Please excuse the lack of image for this). PLace in oven and bake for 7min, pull out and drizzle honey or maple syrup on top. Place in oven for another 5-10 min or until golden/ crispy on top. Set out to cool. Enjoy!
I hope you all have a wonderful week! Be blessed, be safe, and enjoy life!