Come Out of Physical Retirement

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. “  Ephesians 2:10

The term “walk” implies movement.  Not a single action, but a series of actions carried out over time.   We are to be continually engaged in the work that the Lord has for us here on Earth.  He created us to be actively engaged in the world around us, bringing the hope and love of Christ to the hopeless and unloved.  There is no indication that this journey has an end.  No quota to fill.  No years of service to receive our pension.  No retirement age.  Many believe that once they reach a certain age, they are entitled to stop working.  They’ve put in their time.  But the Kingdom of God not only needs, but requires those that are mature in the faith to be actively engaged with the younger workers in mentoring and service.

In the same way, many believe that exercise is for the young.  I hear things like “I used to be able to do that”, or “I wish I could exercise but I just can’t anymore”.  “It’s harder than it used to be.”  As an aging individual, there are two reasons to fight this mentality.  One is what was stated above.  There is still work to be done.  The aging population plays a pivotal role in shaping the generations to come, and they need to remain sharp and focused.  Their physical health plays a significant role in this task.  As we stated before, service is active, and requires work.  Whether it is being able to stand for long periods of time without pain, carry out physically demanding tasks, or have the energy to display vigor and passion in your work, they healthier and stronger you are physically, the better you will be able to carry out the work that God has for you to do.

The second reason is stated right in the excuse, “it’s harder than it used to be”.  When you are young, the muscles, tendons, and bones are naturally stronger, more flexible, and can handle the stresses put on them much easier.  As you age, the muscles get weaker, the tendons and ligaments get drier and less pliable, and the bones get more brittle.  Regular exercise combats all of these degradations of aging.  You might have been able to get away with not exercising when you were younger, just relying on youth to protect you.  But as an older adult it becomes not only recommended, but an absolute essential that you stay healthy and physically active.  It is the only way that you will be able to stay strong, energetic, and pain-free, all characteristics of a vibrant life of service.  Don’t throw in the towel.  God still has much for you to do.  Come out of physical “retirement” and get this journey moving again!

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.   Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”  Matthew 9:35-38.

J

The Church’s Obesity Epidemic

On June 3, 2012, Dr. Scott Stoll wrote an article titled “The Obesity Epidemic in America’s Churches”.  This comes only days before the scheduled launch of my new undertaking, Beyond Fitness.  Without copying the whole article, here are a couple of statistics that jumped out at me:

“A 2006 Purdue study found that the fundamental Christians are by far the heaviest of all religious groups led by the Baptists with a 30% obesity rate compared with Jews at 1%, Buddhists and Hindus at 0.7%. “

“The Pawtucket Heart Health Program found that people who attended church were more likely than non-church members to be 20 percent overweight and have higher cholesterol and blood pressure numbers. “

“Finally, a 2001 Pulpit and Pew study of 2,500 clergy found that 76% were overweight or obese compare to 61% of the general population at the time of the study.”

Dr. Stoll goes on to state “The contemporary church culture has unwittingly contributed to the rise in overweight and obese parishioners. Today it is rare to hear a sermon preached on the stewardship of the physical body and even more rare on the vice of gluttony; it has become a secret and acceptable vice in the modern church. “

These are some pretty strong words but unfortunately I believe that they are true.  Which is why I have set out on this endeavor.  The reality of the Christian life is that we are all human, all subject to the same temptations.  The same struggles, just in varying degrees and forms.  Yet the calling of Christ is a higher calling.  One that puts Christ on the throne of our lives.  A life filled with the Holy Spirit, whose fruits, among others, include patience and self-control.  Yes, eternity might mean leaving this body behind.  But that is not an excuse to abuse it while we are here.  And it should be easier for the Christian population.  Our motivation for being physically healthy extends beyond the vain and fleeting.  We are not on this earth just to “look good”.  “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10).  Friends, the Lord has work for us to do.  And in order to do that, and do that effectively, we need to be healthy.  Come join me as I seek to strengthen the health of our churches, and help equip the followers of Christ to be the workers that He needs in this world.

For the full article: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/06/03/obesity-epidemic-in-america-churches/#ixzz1wqnZ6mPX