Weigh Less to Feed More

Love God. Get Healthy. Be Whole. Love Others.

A Purpose Driven LifeSTYLE!

Posted by akafitness on February 10, 2009

This week in Weigh Less to Feed More we are going deeper into our purpose. Everyone needs one or is in the process of looking for one. You would have to be blind not to of taken notice of our current economy and financial state of affairs as a nation.  A lot of people, by no choice of their own, are being left to find a new vocation. Scary for most, but only for those who allow a job to define their true purpose in this life. 

Never forget, we are a part of a bigger story, a God story. God begins to tell us his story in Genesis, the very beginning. The first 5 words of the bible are a HUGE challenge, but yet oh so simple. “In the beginning God created….” (Genesis 1:1). Right there,  are you in or are you out? Because if you are in on a Creator, then there is great hope for you and this life. This Creator MUST  know something about you, his creation, not just physically (your physical attributes that are uniquely you), but mentally/emotionally (your thoughts and feelings based on your life’s story) , and socially , because no man is an island unto himself. We are all looking to love and be loved. When life doesn’t make sense, who do you ask? Human speculation can be good, but it is not God. Looking for a new career path? Try God. He is always looking to align the people he created with their purpose for being created.

In Genesis 1:28, God gives Adam his purpose. His job. His vocation. “Be fruitful and increase in number” or as some translations say “Be fruitful and multiply”. At first look everyone is thinking,” Well, best I get married, settle down and have some kids so that I can fulfill what I guess is God’s purpose.” Doesn’t sound that exciting to everyone now does it. But once again, we are missing it. The is not just about procreation, but about what we create. To be fruitful is to produce something good. Something that is lasting and no matter how hard  someone or something tries to kill it, good will just keep coming forth. Anyone seen the movie Defiance lately? Oh my, that is fruitful. A people group that chose to live like human beings even in the face of death. Not to be taken captive by the way things seem to be going, but to chose a better way. You just can’t kill that type of good. It is true and right and more of what God is looking for in this world. To be fruitful and multiply means that our purpose, our job, our vocation at the core of all of us is to connect with being good and doing good and then multiplying that good so that more and more and more springs forth into this world. God’s good creation. But here is the catch. We can do our best to do good and be good apart from God, but unless we know the One who is good and the author of good,  then it will miss the mark. It might bring forth temporary improvements, but it won’t be lasting.  Just like getting healthy is a good thing, but unless we are including and keeping God in on the plan, it won’t be deep and lasting. Surface yes, but deep no. 

Okay Jesus people, brace yourself, because what I am about to say may cause some tension. Take a look around. What do you see? I see a group of people (not all, but a large majority) who proclaim to know and love Jesus and are ambassadors that represent Christ’s goodness, but physically speaking (which we have all agreed by this point IS part of God’s creation) we are doing everything else the world is doing. Eating, drinking and being merry to our own destruction. Sure we may be spiritually strong and healthy on the inside, but not bearing good fruit on the outside. Just like the seed of a fruit tree is good, but how that tree is fed and nourished even what a happens to it when it is pressed upon by the elements will dictate how good the fruit will taste come harvest time. Wouldn’t you all agree that we do as we feel? If I am not feeling good, it is hard for me to do real good. I can say “For you Jesus” and muscle my way through it, but that is not how God wishes to show his power and goodness to a world who is dying for real people. That becomes more about us saying “look what I can do for you God.” Instead of ” because you are healing me and making me whole I can’t help but want to be good and do good  and add more and more good for you!” For God is holy and whole and he is looking for bodies to be as he is and do as he does, but they too must be holy and whole always remembering that it is not  because we are better than, but because Jesus is the better way. Is your life like a flashing sign that says ” Life and freedom this way” with an arrow pointing to Jesus. “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. (Romans 11:36). Let me make this very clear by saying ABSOLUTELY that God does care more about what is on the inside of a man than the outside, absolutely. But as Christians we have become VERY comfortable with stopping short of the full life that God has for us in ALL areas of our life. God is looking to give us a lifestyle. A way of doing all things. It is the best job you could ever have, for his glory and your joy.

We live in a culture of consumption. Everyone is buying something, but most will be left looking for more. Only Jesus can satisfy.  Get this, the definition of a lifestyle is this; products (or a people group)  designed to appeal to a consumer ( those are people who are looking to be filled) by association (as disciples)  with a desirable lifestyle (who chose to be and do like Jesus). Are we offering people a peek into a desirable way of life? A purpose driven life is one thing, but a purpose driven LIFESTYLE where in ALL things you are a walking , living and breathing personal advertisements and an invitation to freedom!  “Everything is permissible for me”–but not everything is beneficial.(1 corinthians 6:12). As Christians we must be saying yes to some things and no to others so that we don’t fall apart, the opposite of being whole. 

17 Responses to “A Purpose Driven LifeSTYLE!”

  1. Tami Doine said

    Thank you for listening to God and putting your heart into this. It really does make sense and is starting to take root in my life! Love you! Tami

  2. Louise Mozell said

    amen!

  3. Annie said

    Well, the reason you haven’t heard from me is because I hadn’t printed up my “packet” yet (no ink-is that stuff expensive or WHAT?) Now that I’ve peeked at the food section I must confess I’m upset. Here I’ve been feelin’ God’s input cuz I’ve been released and free and have had few cravings and have not been too hungry, and he’s taken away some slightly obessive type food thoughts, and I’ve had some real breakthroughs. The thought of taking away the little fun things that make salad eating worthwhile (lo-cal homemade ranch), omitting my 1/2 and 1/2 for my morning coffee, saying I can’t have the 3 squares of Carmellos I’ve held to twice a week and losing my one (down from 2) glasses of Chardonnay in the evening makes me so afraid. It is so true for me that feeling deprived at all levels makes me rebel. Childish, un-holy idolatry you might say, but what I’ve been doing has really been working. Plus I’m going away this Fri Sat and Sun and my parents are visiting all next week. I’m so concerned this will all fall apart with such a regime. I already feel great and am sleeping great and…crap! (Plus I’m PMS-ing so forgive my rant). Help! Annie

  4. akafitness said

    Yes!!! Finally someone who is upset. I was waiting for it. I met with everyone in class tonight and was telling them that I am quite surprised that no one is throwing a fit over the guidelines. I told them all that either they are the most obedient bunch of people I have ever trained or they are totally lying to me and rebelling in secrecy. They had a good laugh. So Annie, I am thankful for your honesty.

    This is what I think. This “food” regime is an outline for what a healthy day should look like. You say you have been experiencing your own successes and things are moving in the right direction and as long as you are being led by the Holy Spirit I would never say “You MUST do this.” But at the same time there is self-discipline factor that we are going for. And when it comes to sugar and alcohol, eventually you should want to face those demons to be sure that they are not mastering you. 1 Corinthians 6:12 ” “Everything is permissible for me”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”–but I will not be mastered by anything. You are free to do as you wish. Such a time is this, if you are willing for this to be the time. I celebrate your victories thus far!! Each person is traveling their own road toward Jesus and that is worth it all!

  5. tiffany said

    I too commend Annie for her honesty! I think you are right that we are all a little unsure as to how each is dealing with this. Which would make sense since we all know that to truly know God is to have a one on one personal relationship with him. I have to admit that I felt pretty under control with my food choices coming into this (learned a lot from doing South Beach a couple years ago and made a lifestyle change then) but knew I had got off track and needed that extra little tap on the shoulder. However, I will say that wow has this program stirred a lot of emotions and thoughts around in my head. I can feel God working in maybe not such a “food/physical” way but definitely opening my eyes to lots of things I didn’t know were getting in the way of my TRUE and FULL relationship with him. I thank you for getting that started. You are doing your “fruitful” duty for sure. 🙂 In closing I have found that I am in the same boat as Annie that I have a few “little fun things” (glass a of red wine while cooking dinner, a few chips or crackers with lunch (yes mulitgrain) that I seem to want to keep in my food routine so as not to go to that angry, diet feeling stage and go the other way. Prayer and SACRIFICE seems to be the name of the game right now 🙂

    Tiffany

  6. akafitness said

    I just got off the phone with Annie and we had a great conversation about the whole “food” thing. The biggest thing for everyone to remember is that God is your God and He is the one who needs to be steering you through this. The food plan is just that, a plan. Not a law. I am not going to back down from the fact that if sugar, alcohol or fats have been functioning as some sort of comfort for anyone that now is a great opportunity to address this issue while we are longing for a deeper relationship with God in all areas of our life, physically, spiritually, mentally/emotionally and socially. That he is at the center of it all. There is NO PASS OR FAIL on this journey. I am no one’s Holy Spirit and do not want to be anyone’s Jesus. Just facilitating a space where everyone can get honest and transparent before the Lord, whatever that looks like for you.
    And one more thing, without giving everyone permission to turn back, if you do make a bad decision do not throw out the baby with the bath water. Use that as a time to be honest and receive grace to get back on your feet and continue to go the better way. I have said this before. We are polar people. We leave no room for God because we want to define the rules. Be careful with that. Leaving room for God means moment to moment you are relying on his leadership so that you don’t swing to far in one direction. WE live our lives by faith. “Being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Polar people are not living by faith, they are defining faith for themselves because we don’t want to hope, we want to know, and we sure as heck want to know where we are going.

  7. Annie said

    Okay, Alisa, thanks for talking me down off the ledge! And Tiffany I like (and hate!) your thought on this “fast” being sacrificial-you’re right. I know that it’ll be good. I just don’t want to fail. It will definately put us back on our knees for God’s lead and rescuing power. One hurdle I face is that I’m an all-or-nothing person so will have to surrender that as well. I think I’ll try an interject an element of grace plus determination. Let’s all agree to pray for one another as we step up in counting the cost of being all in. Love you!

  8. Debbie said

    Annie and Tiffany I love you both and thank you sharing. Today was a tough one for me. Bible study, early dismissal, playdate, park, Karate and Scouts…and all the while making sure that I eat,eat,eat,eat,eat all the proper ratio, proteins and carbs. I have never been so aware of eating ever in my life. I miss my late night mindless T.V. coupled with my usual refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, white enriched flour snack. The kicker was my sons Scout troup had a cake auction this evening. My son wanted to bid on a two foot dragon cake with green buttercream frosting,topped with graham crackers, kisses and fruit roll ups. Twenty dollars later my son is thrilled. Did I mention that my no one in my family even likes cake…they like dragons…. except me. Now I have these two marshmallow eyes just staring at me every time I go in the kitchen. Does God have a sense of humor? I think so!

  9. akafitness said

    LOL! Don’t even like cake. God does have a sense of humor Debbie. Please don’t get hung up on ratios/numbers etc, but do pay attention to serving sizes. I know based on some of our conversations we have had that you have been one to wait to you are hungry then just eat whatever. That can be a roller coaster life. So I am not surprised that you are feeling a little discombobulated but you are being mindful. Which is part of a FAITHFUL life.

    I want to share with everyone else an email that Annie Zimmerman sent me this morning.

    Hi Alisa,
    A little taste of the things God is doing in my family through my being in this class: (1) I’m offering my daughter some of the yummier, better-for-you foods I’m discovering – and she likes them! (2) My husband commented tonight that he likes not having the sweets and junk in the house because it’s freeing him. He said he justified a lot of not-good-for-you foods because he knew I liked them, but he ended up eating them too and it hasn’t been good for either of us. I think my being willing to make sacrifices is opening up doors for him… Good stuff.

    Annie

  10. Debbie said

    My husband also mentioned that he appreciates keeping the healthy choices on hand and not having the junk in the cupboard. My kids love the Kid Cliff bars and it feels great to have another healthy snack on hand.

  11. millie82 said

    For me, the food is the easy part. I have always felt that when I am doing things in a structured setting or I have promised someone(say, my sponsors) that I am gonna do something, I do what is necessary. I see that email. I go, “Shoot, I really like wine and popcorn… but it has to be done to get to where I need to be.” And it sucks. Bad. I want wine! haha. But I know that the fact that I want it so bad is exactly why I need to take a step back and breathe. Let that relationship with the glass of wine and bowl of popcorn have a time out. When I don’t need it anymore, that’s when I will be able to have that healthy relationship with it again. So, I can rationalize that. If I miss something a lot, it’s probably because I have been resting on it like a food crutch.
    What I see, however, in response to this whole thing is a lot of “life mess!” From one day to the next, I have been faced with some challenges that I just feel like I wanna lose my cool, yell, cry, whatever. I have noticed (and it’s not hard to ignore) quite a bit more mischief from my two year old, more crabbiness and just hostility in my marriage, and even, yes, coming home last night to a wet house (plumbing trouble!). And yet, last night I was standing in my wet kitchen, tearing up, and staring down my irate husband as he yelled in another fight where noone could really tell where it had even began and it just hit me. Satan HATES what I am doing. He just hates that I am moving in this direction. So he escalates all this stuff, to make me lose it. Make me give up. To make me think that this is obviously not working because if God were real, he’d be picking me out of these brambles and reward me for all my hard work. Well, I just broke down there. I cried. I was on my knees. God wasn’t abandoning me. I was abandoning HIM. I was about to buy into this lie that my life is bad in spite of what I have been trying to do to help my life…My husband, mind you, is now looking at me like I am emotionally (maybe even a bit mentally) unstable. So I just prayed. And, no, today was not perfect, peachy, all better.. but when I see those things creep up, I take a big yoga breath and remember that it is not God. It’s just another chance for me to hold on to him, fall on him, and trust him.
    I hope anyone who has been feeling that extra stress, that extra nagging worry, whatever, will think about those things and maybe take comfort in it, too.

  12. Lori said

    Did anyone else have problems connecting the scripture?
    “Everything is permissible for me”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”–but I will not be mastered by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12 ”I read the Message for clarity and it says this-” Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims. “1 Corinthians 6:12 (The Message). I do not break the legal laws, maybe alittle speeding, getting angry at dumb drivers, impatient at lights but I am not master by it. TIme is my problem. That is my master but its not my master by choice.

    No problems in keeping up with the class in the food, diet, portions but in the scripture, applying the deeper meaning….. So I’m thinking the scripture was written for the Corinthians who, “a people (me) puffed up with a fancy of their being above others in wisdom and knowledge. All unrighteousness is sin; all reigning sin, every actual sin, committed with design, and not repented of, shuts out of the kingdom of heaven. Be not deceived. Men are very much inclined to flatter themselves.” * from a commentary
    My question is this- Do I commit sin (unknowingly) by my design (knowingly) that is keeping me shut out from the Kingdom of Heaven? I think I deceive myself, I think I unknowingly know. Am I flattering myself? Any deeper thoughts on the scripture?

  13. akafitness said

    Wow Melissa. I am PRAYING for you. You are amazing and so His, to see how the Lord is sustaining you. He is our sufficiency in all things. I too identify with knowing that Satan HATES what I am doing. The world HATES what I am doing. And at the flesh of who I am HATES what I am doing at times. All to get me to turn my back on the ONE thing that has never left me, the ONE thing that when I settle and breathe I am absolutely sure is fighting for me in everything. You and I, all of us who say “I am yours” are going to be sanctified. God doesn’t sprinkle us with holy powder like a magician, he puts us through the trials, sufferings and fires so that we are THE REAL THING! When I really stop and step outside my heart and mind and just look at who I am from a worldly perspective, I can see how people would say “Why do it? Why be put through the pain? If your God is so good, why so much pain?”. I could see why they would go with the comforts of this world so that they can create their own heaven and be their own God’s. I don’t think I am alone in sometimes thinking “I must be crazy!”. Yet the deposit has been made. Ephesians 1:13-14 “Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
    who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.”
    Jesus in me says “this stuff, this junk, this monster storm that seems to be to much to bear, I have got it ALL covered. Stay close.”

  14. Annie Z said

    It’s encouraging to me to read what God is up to in all your lives. He is clearly at work.

    So yesterday (Thursday) was a hard day for me. Home with 2 sick kiddos, fighting a cold myself & pressured by work deadlines…I felt the mental and emotional stress start to rise. At several near break-down moments, I became aware of these strong cravings for my old friends — the greasy fast food, the sweets, the soda — as if to say, “Come with me and everything will be alright.” I never thought I used food for comfort, but that’s exactly what I wanted to do yesterday. And instead of inviting God into that moment, I powered my way through in my own strength and was literally exhausted at the end of the day. The bummer is (and I realized it in retrospect) that my choice not to invite God into the food decisions also impacted my other interactions throughout the day.

    The yoga class was the first time I took time to invite God in to those issues and leave my burden — to connect to His spirit through that deep, groaning breath. The Scripture really spoke to me and began to take root in my heart. “Everything is permissible for me – but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me – but I will not be mastered by anything.” I am able to choose whatever I want (junk foods, selfishness, self-pity), but not all of those choices create good things in my life. And then Alisa said, “Freedom is not free. That’s grace. Grace is free. Freedom costs something. It costs our life.” And I started thinking about all the opportunities I had throughout the day to lay myself down (make a sacrifice) in order to walk in freedom. I could see that my choice not to do that impacted not only me, but my husband and kids too. So I started to realize that this is not just a food thing, it is a God thing. Am I willing to lay myself down, my cravings, my attitude, my selfishness, my everything so I can be free (not just free from the penalty of sin but FREE from the things that create stress in my life and steal my joy)? Am I willing to invite God into that deep, dark place where I’m struggling? Because He’s waiting right there.

  15. ejb44 said

    There were so many comments that I could relate to this week, especially from Annie regarding the “all or nothing” mentality…always been a struggle for me. When I received the material this week I could feel the tension rising in my spirit, but couldn’t really identify what was going on. As Annie said, I was also doing well with my food, had been making healthy choices and reducing my portions, which is the main problem I have. It wasn’t that I disagreed with the food plan, nor did I have a problem with the giving up of white flour, white sugar, or alcohol, but I thought to myself, “I cannot eat this much food and lose weight!” The other thing that the food plan pointed out was my inadequate water consumption, which has been an issue for years. I have never liked water, and struggle just to get 32 oz in my system during the day. I actually forget to drink, and by the time evening rolls around, I realize that I have hardly touched my water. I have decided to take all of this to the Lord and ask Him to work with me on improving one thing at a time because I know that I will become overwhelmed if I try to do this on my own. I have also recognized that there is still a spirit of rebellion in me with which I know God wants to deal. Sanctification is definitely a life-long process.

    My schedule is not allowing the amount of exercise I need in order to eat properly, so that is another area that needs to be taken before the Lord. Adjustments are going to have to be made, and I will need discipline to accomplish the plan. I also need wisdom in achieving my physical goals since I have some injuries that are bothering me again. With all of this said, I really would covet your prayers. Pray that I will be willing to submit wholly to God’s plan for my health and well-being, and that this will allow me to be used to His glory. Thanks for sharing your hearts, and thanks to Alisa for all of the work she is doing to allow us to partake of what God is doing in her and through her. The greatest part of this for me is that we are all being used by God to reduce spiritual and physical poverty in the world. I so appreciate those who have partnered with me in this adventure! Blessings to you all! Elizabeth

  16. millie82 said

    Hey, Alisa! The email this week outlined different excercises and the amount of calories burned in a minute. I am sure you can already guess my question, but it goes to say:
    How much does an average yogi burn in a minute if they are doing, say, a flow or faster paced practice? I know that we can’t just get by on the yoga, we need the cardio too, but I was curious where my yoga falls in. I also wondered if doing like Kundalini or another cardio-type yoga is a good workout or if it has to be jogging/step/etc. You know me- I hate running! lol

  17. Hey Melisaa,
    Doing a faster paced, more power flow yoga class, you will probably burn somewhere from 200-300 calories in an hour. Some yoga websites will tell you that you can burn more by attending the Bikram type of yoga places (hot yoga) but that is only while you are first doing it, then your body acclimates and it becomes easier and the calories go down similar to other yoga.
    I have found this website to be pretty useful when trying to get an idea of how many calories burned.

    http://www.fitday.com/webfit/burned/calories_burned.html

    Of course they are just generalizations and the best way for someone to know is for them to wear a heart rate monitor. And yes, running is and will always be the GRANDDADDY of all cardiovascular activities. Why do you think I have you all running/ power walking so much in class? Sneaky huh.

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