is 2018 your Comeback Year? It is for me...

Matthew 7:24-27

24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

Good morning and welcome to our First Fit.Church Sunday of 2018. It has been several months since our last Fit.Church Sunday, and I’m sorry for that, but life had put so many obstacles in my way physically and emotionally that I was unable to keep up with everything.

Dad’s Death, and Medical challenges and physical injuries...between my personal grief, and physical pain...it was tough and to be transparent, still is.

But I am also moving forward, and the other day I shared within our Fit.Church community...I’m working toward what I call “Fitness Comeback Player of the Year” for 2018. The medical challenges are in the past and with physical therapy and training, I’m moving beyond the pain challenges slowly but surely. Now let me explain, yes I gained a few pounds since the beginning of last year about 8 pounds, but truly because of the hospitalization and recovery required, I lost muscle mass. I am reclaiming what was lost and more.

I am building my foundation for life, not only physically but spiritually and emotionally. That is what I want to share with you today, a return to foundational living.

I have shared hundreds of times since 2011, that the life Christ has brought to us is a life that is not only spiritually healthy but also emotionally and physically healthy also. Now don’t misunderstand me, we all have challenges we have to live with as we age, especially for someone like me who lived at 400+ pounds for a couple of decades. We have illnesses and injuries that are beyond our control, but when I am speaking of health I’m speaking of living to the best of our ability without personal sabotage.

I refuse to lie in a bed unable to care for myself due to my own eating and activity habits. If I end up in that situation, it will have to be something that was BEYOND my control.

How do we establish or construct and healthy foundational life?

Jesus tells us very clearly in this passage that “anyone who listens and follows his teaching.” builds a foundation for life. Let me read it once again from the Message...

The Message

Matthew 7:24-27
24-25 “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.

26-27 “But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”

Now let me say there are many of us who are great talkers. We can talk a healthy game...we can talk about the foundational living, we purchase books about how we can live a foundational life, but we fail to do it.

God isn’t as concerned about our talking as he is our walking.

Now many times we hear teachings on this, and we feel bad about ourselves and beat up, and we experience just another instance of personal bruising that drives us further into the cave of existence. I’m not here to condemn anyone...I’m sharing about God’s encouragement to us and especially God’s encouragement to me.

Most of us never intentionally build our life on an unsteady foundation, instead, we just get busy moving along each day without purpose. Many of us never realize we are headed towards despondency, but we arrive their due to a lack of direction and purpose.

We must remember the way we live today determines how we will live tomorrow.

Do not panic and certainly don’t dismiss the thought...if you do, you just might be the “foolish person who hears these words of mine and does not act on them”, and remember those are Jesus words not mine.

As one of the founders of Fit.Church, I must share that I am tired of watching family, friends and acquaintances fall. I have seen their lives “collapse like a house of cards.” And no one says anything about it...

My goal is to do something about it.

Very briefly I want to give you a few blocks that can help you build a healthy life. Please broaden your understanding of what a healthy life is...while it includes physical health it is imperative that we understand that it ALSO includes both emotional and spiritual health.

We are great servants to God, our Families, the Church and our World when we are healthy. We do more, live more, and experience more. This is the full-life that Jesus has promised.

We have to begin to understand that the healthy life is the “whole” life.

Emotionally...we must let go of the past and embrace the present. Establish Friendships

Embrace Community
Constructively share your past pain so that there is freedom from strife and

conflict. Address the pain that has a hold on the present.

Physically...we must get back to the basics.
Eat better. Drink more water, be active, get the right amount of sleep.

Spiritually...we must maintain our relationship with God.
Bible reading, communication with God (prayer), and realizing that all of the steps mentioned above in both the emotionally healthy life and the physically healthy life are PART of our worship before God.

This is the Foundational Life that I am building for 2018... My theme is "Back to the Basics and that is going to allow me to make a “Comeback” in life for 2018.

Please understand, some of us are where we are at because of decisions we made, others find ourselves in our current dilemma due to circumstances beyond our control. What I’m sharing is that it doesn’t matter...what matters is getting back to basics.

2017 was the hardest year of my life with both personal physical illness and my Father’s death. It was all beyond my control, but laying the foundation for the rest of my life, IS within my control and that is what I am determined to do.

This is why the word I have chosen for my own life in 2018 is Tenacity. I jokingly referred to it in one of our Fit.Church video chats as “Kenacity”. Why? Because this is a defining year for me.

What word can you grab to define your 2018, and what foundations do you need to shore up to assure that you move forward in your healthy life.

All of this will help us to be the best servants of God we are able to be... 

In the Tough Times

What are some of the tough times you have been facing? 

 

"12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." -Romans 12:12

1. Be Faithful. 

Faithful to God, to ourselves and to others. 

2. Rest. 

Rest physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

How is it you physically, spiritually and emotionally rest and/or relax? 

3. Release the Stress. 

Turn to God first in prayer, and then find other ways to constructively release the stress through laughter and even through prayer. 

Share with me one of your favorite movies that you enjoy watching that always make you laugh. 

Living Clean

Psalm 51:1-12

1 Have mercy on me, O God,

because of your unfailing love.

Because of your great compassion,

blot out the stain of my sins.

2 Wash me clean from my guilt.

Purify me from my sin.

3 For I recognize my rebellion;

it haunts me day and night.

4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;

I have done what is evil in your sight.

You will be proved right in what you say,

and your judgment against me is just.

5 For I was born a sinner—

yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.

6 But you desire honesty from the womb,

teaching me wisdom even there.

 

7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;

wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

8 Oh, give me back my joy again;

you have broken me—

now let me rejoice.

9 Don’t keep looking at my sins.

Remove the stain of my guilt.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.

Renew a loyal spirit within me.

11 Do not banish me from your presence,

and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.

 

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

and make me willing to obey you.

 

1. We confess realizing we are completely dependent on God’s mercy, unfailing love and compassion. (v.1)

1 Have mercy on me, O God,

because of your unfailing love.

Because of your great compassion,

blot out the stain of my sins.

 

2. We recognize our failures and own them asking God for cleansing. (v.2-5)

2 Wash me clean from my guilt.

Purify me from my sin.

3 For I recognize my rebellion;

it haunts me day and night.

4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;

I have done what is evil in your sight.

You will be proved right in what you say,

and your judgment against me is just.

5 For I was born a sinner—

yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.

 

3. As we embrace our cleansing, our heart becomes clean and pure. (v.10)

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.

Renew a loyal spirit within me.

What I’m suggesting is that many times transformational life change is a process. The process causes us to grow in faith, develop perseverance, and even grow in confidence.

Having faith doesn’t make things easy; it makes them possible.

God's Arms Around Us

Pastor Ken is sharing that we are carried in the arms of God. 

God supports us. 

Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! 
For each day he carries us in his arms. Psalm 68:19

How many times have we as overeating individuals awoken to start a new day, and felt defeated before we ever put our feet on the floor. I have come to realize that I will never be perfect in my living out perfect health. It seems like every single day I am tempted to eat something I should not, and some days I do. 

But in looking at the above passage of clearly, we must realize that our God is Lord of the weak, the depressed and even the down and out. I must tell you that as someone who was born and raised in the United States I was raised to be strong and not show weakness. But read the passage above again, “Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms.” We are not independent beings who stand on our own. We are dependent beings who depend upon our God.

Becoming Deep

Pastor Ken is sharing from Psalm 1 encouraging us to become rooted in God's Word. 

Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do. Psalm 1:1-3

Notice we are encouraged to not walk out the advice offered by the wicked, nor stand around with the sinner, nor sit in participation with the mockers. Whether walking, standing or sitting we are not to do it in the company of evil. Now, we dwell in a fallen world, and while we will rub shoulders with a fallen world, we are not to grow comfortable in it. 

So how do we become like those trees in the Psalms? We all desire prosperity, and this Psalm points out that this means not doing what the wicked do; not joining in when people do wrong, and not standing with people as they sin. This Psalm is pretty clear - you and I get to make decisions every day that either leads us to poverty or lead to prosperity.

We are to be people of rooted character. That way we can cease to wither and instead prosper by setting our roots deep. How is it that we become rooted? By dwelling in God’s Word, we can live a better life. 

We need to recognize as overweight and obese people what rooted means for us. Just as with any area of life where we find ourselves fallen, our way of transforming is to be found in God’s Word. The greatest trees known to humanity are trees that set their roots deep in the earth for nourishment. We, too, must set our roots deep in God’s Word for deep, long-lasting transformation.