Week Two – It is a bit easier to get through the exercise video, so other than my legs and arms being weaker than I thought, it is making me feel better. Though I have no further loss in inches or weight this week, I’ve maintained.
9th. Vine: Life Giving Nourishment – John 15:9 (Message) “I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love.
Jesus was my example. He loved the way the Father loved him. I wouldn’t think to say that if I’d been sent to my death for things that others had done. Yet Jesus did it willingly. God gave his very best – not the leftovers. God gave until it hurt.
SGF: Strange to even mention the small sacrifice of minutes of exercise and aching muscles in the same conversation with the great sacrifices of Christ. But I like how Jesus said I can make myself at home in His love. Think of it – to apply that love response to every room of His home in me – including the exercise room.
10th. Vine: A Burst of Springtime – John 15:10 If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.
When he is allowed to abide (make himself at home in my soul) that is when I am watered, fed, nurtured like the vine feeds the branches. God’s love toward me was also a choice, and I also need to make a choice to love others, whether they are lovable or not.
SGF: Some parts of the routine are getting easier. The legs still hurt, revealing the weak spot – though I have been walking, it’s obviously not been enough to keep up good circulation. Keep going, keep going, Debra says. How like the Father’s commands. They are not harsh words while He is ‘cracking the whip.” They are encouragement, to keep on, keep going.
11th. Vine: Training – John 15:11 “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature.
Hmmm – never thought of immature joy before. Is that when I think stuff – or food – can give me joy. That lasts about as long as it takes to melt in my mouth. That’s immature to count on something so temporary (some momentary pleasure –) for my joy. Instead He wants me to know HIS joy as my own.
SGF: That is kind of what Debra is doing. She started out over twice my size and has experienced victory. She is so excited over her long-term victory, she wants us to know it – to experience it for ourselves. That’s unselfish joy. If we believe it we need to share it.
12th.Vine: What to do in Springtime – John 15:12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.
Without the love and tender personal care of the husbandman, the vines, and thus the branches, would all die. If I would truly love others as He loved me, the majority of my time, thought, and energy would be spent on my branches. They would be my primary ministry. Thought provoking hmmm. It is so easy to be so heavenly-minded busy, we are no earthly good.
SGF – Keep on going! Debra encourages. When you don’t feel like doing it, (now?) just DO it! You are right, Debra, it gets easier, when I keep practicing, not what I think or feel, but what I believe: that I need this and it will make my body healthier. Then, I need to ask myself if I am putting the same effort and concern into caring for others as I care for my own self.
13th. Vine: A Time for Maturing – John 15:13 This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends…
SGF: Some of the gals in Shapely Girls Fitness have put their lives out there. That is risky exposure, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We sure don’t do that for ourselves, but if we truly believe it will help or encourage a sister, we will put our pride and ego on the line for them. Jesus said that is the very best way to love.
14th. Vine: Deep Roots – John 15:14 You are my friends when you do the things I command you.
We’re just like kids aren’t we? I know I am. It’s hard to do what I am commanded to do, but I will do most anything out of love, or for love. Friends = loving and of one mind; that is what we are when we trust the voice that leads with authority and compassion. Love begets love – and so we keep striving,
SGF: It is easier to do the fitness out of a desire to improve myself – a want-to, than out of a have-to. The feeling AFTER I am done exercising – the high of oxygen flooding through – and the taller, energized feeling makes it worth the struggle to begin.
15th Vine: Fruit from the Heat of Summer – John 15:15 I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.
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