"So God created humankind in God's image, in the image of God he created them; male and female God created them..." Genesis 1:27
"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God..." 1 Corinthians 6:19
Current weeks encouragement (Bible verse and prayer) l email Rev. Deb l Fitness Options & dates
This New Year 2018 Knox wants to partner together with you!
We want to help make this happen for all interested folks. There is a reason that having a "buddy system" works.
Here is the way to get started:
1. Follow the weekly encouragement below which will include bible verses and a prayer for the week.
2. Share your loss of poundage each week so that we can add together how much the Knox congregation is losing. Watch the weight thermometer grow! How much can we lose together by Easter 2018 to be "worth our weight in spiritual gold"? Email Rev. Deb or
3. Share your tips and encouragements with "on-line adviser" Rev Deb. I will share them weekly.
4. Attend the monthly accountability, tips and treasures, encouragement meeting the last Tuesday of the month at 7 pm - Jan 30, Feb. 27, Mar 27, April 24.
5. Participate in one of the Knox's Fitness Options - listed here
6. Sign up for the weekly email -
Let's see what we can do together and check out this week's video with Guy and Esther!
Dear Faithful Friends,
This week I have had the opportunity to be personally in touch with many of our Faithfully Fit team 2018 Team. It is great to hear your stories and accomplishments. Yaaay Team!
Speedy progress is one of the most discouraging factors we face-never enough, never fast enough and throw in a “but I’m trying”! Our shared goal is really to develop new lifestyle patterns and to do it with (some) consistency and hope. The reality is that creating a new way takes time, practice, trial and error and success.
I was reading this week in my Guideposts about about a woman who had struggled with weight all her life. She finally began to think of herself and see herself in a way that reflected Gods view of her. This called her to an increased sense of self, need for well being, and belief in Gods provision for her.
She made small strides at first in making changes and then added new efforts. Over time she lost weight, gained strength, and slowly saw herself as a beautiful daughter of God with a true zest for life. The motivation for change grew as her ability to interact with family and enjoy life grew. Her stamina and energy for life cultivated more of the same.
I remember reading a book years ago that conveyed the idea, “less of me, more of Jesus”. We all wish we could do this with more grace and ease and — “voila-boom-done -New me!” Ah—-Jesus wants us to make the journey and to make it with him.
“All things are possible through Christ who strengthens me” Phillipians 4:13
A last reflection —Life is energy. And sometimes the lack of energy makes change difficult. We begin with a deficit sometimes but it begins to grow and change exponentially once we accrue a little!!
Another week has zipped by. I wish I felt a little zippier! How about you? I start my days and my weeks with what I consider to be a pretty good list of hoped for accomplishments. Realistic even. And life just happens, doesn’t it? Some of my goals include better menu preparation and exercise.
In reflecting on what a zipper does, I realized it holds things together; makes a “hoodie” warm and keeps the slacks from slipping down as starters. So I decided to look at my weekly calendar from a different perspective-what will hold my plan for the week together?
My humble discoveries:
1. Plan less. Make the list, then prioritize and lift out what could be non - essential this week, waiting for a new week.
2. Put a guesstimated amount of actual time it takes to do the activity. Be realistic. Consider how you can do some things with less time, thinking it’s better to do something than nothing at all-like exercise.
3. Don’t beat yourself up. Just persist and it will get easier. Ever onward!
Psalm 46 invites us to “Be still and know that I am God.” Let’s do just that. During the quiet time begin to imagine your plan from God’s gracious eyes. Then...just just do it!
Lord, draw us into stillness where we may
take enough deep breaths, so as to focus our days within the realm of your wisdom. What is sufficient for the day? Guide our choices. Amen
...Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you.. (1 Cor 6.19)
When the cold Chicago winds blow, we naturally pull our coats closer and push quickly on to our destination. Sometimes that cold wind is defeating to our spirits! Spring, where are you?!
This sunny Monday morning is a teaser that spring is just the corner, but it certainly lifts our spirits and a lovely walk outside beckons. One of the things we enjoy as spring and summer come to us is getting outside more often! Our fitness efforts usually include outdoor activities and may seem easier to plan and schedule.
Be encouraged and enjoy the hint of spring. When your spirits lag for any reason, remember the presence of the Holy Spirit to carry you through and empower you to be that “new creation in Christ.” ( 2 Corinthians 5:17) This is a spiritual wind that blows in us and through us; always available to us. God’s good work is never done.
Below is a very old, but beautiful prayer from Saint Augustine that I often use to focus my mind and to help me think positive thoughts.
Being “holy”, btw, means being set aside for God to be at work in our lives. It doesn’t mean perfection or purity. Isn’t that encouraging news? We invite God in to do what God does best.
Breathe into me, Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Move in me, Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Attract my heart, Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy. Strengthen me, Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy. Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy. ~Saint Augustine
I hate that word and that feeling.4 pounds down and not only does it not appear to be so but I haven’t budged an ounce in weeks now. I think my knees, scalp and toes lost those pounds. Ugh.
A friend shared that she counted her points, watched her in take like crazy and still remained stuck for some weeks. Finally, success. I guess this all requires persistence, changing it up some or adding something different into the process.
Being “stuck” accounts for many of life’s experiences. Sometimes we must just keep moving forward with our eyes on the horizon, no matter how slow it feels.
We may benefit from remembering Paul’s words once more in 2 Corinthians 5:17...”if anyone is in Christ, he or she is a new creation....”. Jesus renews our spirits, the energy for the journey and our goals!
And so, we have faith and trust that in Christ we too will get unstuck and progress will continue. Let’s not give up on our journey to grater well being.
Lord Jesus, we look for you to lead us beyond our places where our feet seem planted right where they are. We look to you to push, prod and pull us along by your faithful example and loving care. Grant us the spirit of persistence and patience....and we need it now! In your holy name we pray,
Faithfully Fit Friends-Another Cold Snowy Monday Greeting!
The weather in this part of the world has kept things interesting to say the least. Some folks have had to fight their way to work amid ice and snow. Others have enjoyed a snow day or two to just hunker down. And most everyone I believe has had to contend with shoveling and snow blowing.
One thing I am realizing about our wintry season is that we must be especially careful to not slip and fall, not to overdo with the shoveling, and not to over-munch while hunkering down in front of the Olympics!
We are having an Olympic experience of our own in try to train ourselves to be consistently — what else? But-faithfully fit!
We are Olympians, you and I! This takes planning, time, organizing, preparing and training. In a way this is our full time job-living into well being.
I hope by mid February you are learning helpful things about yourself and feeling like progress is being made, even if slow. I have learned a ton-both good and bad-but helpful in the end.
Blessings to you Faithful Olympians! The Lord is your top cheer leader.
You have created us in your image to be the temple of your spirit. Inspire us onward, filled with your energy, to run “the race that is set before each of us, with Christmas our guide.” Amen. - Deb
This amusing diagram reminds us of our best intentions and our realities. What I have appreciated about this diagram is the inevitable call to “keep on keeping on”. Sounds simple and simplistic?
Life carries us forward one step at a time and one day at a time. How well we know these things! How well we also know that we can become discouraged and lose momentum. Ah - life!
We are equal to life’s set backs and challenges by depending upon God’s great gifts of adaptability, creativity and persistence. The good Lord endows us with what we need to traverse hills and valleys, stops and starts, detours and redirections. And we have a remarkable Shepherd who cares for us.
What one thing has helped you stay motivated to meet your goals this year?
Lord Jesus Christ, Shepherd and companion, thank you for walking with me and for all the ways you cajole me to keep moving forward. Thank you for all the gifts of the journey, especially that I do not make it alone. Amen.
...In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God!
I was reading an article on prayer last week and the author presented a new and therefore unfamiliar idea. I also stumbled upon it later in the week in a couple of other resources. I thought perhaps I have lived a sheltered life and just missed this way of praying all my life....what is it?
As the author goes to sleep at night, he asks God to awaken him early the next morning so that he can begin his day in prayer and study. No mention of or dependence on alarms!
This idea had never occurred to me before-to simply ask God to awaken me early so that I would have a graceful morning which included time with God. I imagine this becomes a habit and increasingly became s.o.p (standard operating procedure) for those who employed this practice.
There are never enough ways to guide our practice of prayer and all new ideas are worthy of consideration. I’ll let you know how this works for me in a week or two...anyone else “game”?
Hope to see you tomorrow night, Tuesday January 30, at 7 pm on my office. This is our first monthly check in. I hope you can be there to offer and receive encouragement as well as share your insights along the journey!
As we begin our 3rd week together, let Monday be a breathe deep and evaluate day. Set a calm and hopeful course for the whole week to come.
- What 3 things bring you joy in your progress from last week?
- What is that 1 thing you want to focus on this week?
We have each chosen goals now and made commitments to ourselves. In reviewing them this week, some of you are already in process and have made great strides. Some of us may find it will take a little longer than others to meet our goals-gentle progress is the key! I remind myself of that each day.
Research health ‘pundits’ say that our deepest motivations take us beyond ourselves. We are motivated by the inter-dependent nature of our lives with others. So for example:
Imagine having more energy for playing on the floor with your grandchildren ...
Imagine wanting to take a walk and catch up with a good friend...
Imagine enjoying the next vacay with your spouse or family and waking up each day energized for the day’s adventure...
When we are called forward with concrete images and consider the impact of a healthier self in others, we hold onto our motivation rather than feeling deprived of what we are “letting go”.
With all your temptations of the week-hold on to this!
Psalm 62: 7-8
He only is my rock and my salvation, he is my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my deliverance and my honor, for God is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in God at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God IS a refuge for us at all times.
Keep those daily and weekly journals going. Let me hear of your progress this week! Hope to see you next Tuesday, January 30 at 7:30 pm in my office. Blessings!!!!
I hope you’ve had a little time to work out your initial plans for the next few months. Are you toning up? Losing inches? Dropping pounds? Look next week for the “Worth Our Weight in Gold and Inches” thermometer in the Commons!
I’d like to invite you today to send me your primary goal. This will begin our accountability and (except for me) will remain anonymous. For example-my primary goal is relatively simple -
*To drop 5 lbs by Palm Sunday through yoga, keeping a daily journal and omitting chips and sweets. I have weighed in and have lost - are you ready?! Drumroll please! One half pound ://
What is your goal?
Collisions 3:12 reminds us -
Clothe yourself , as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, with compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience...
We get dressed every morning and as we do
let us remember that we are each special to God. Let’s offer ourselves a little compassion and patience as well, as we continue with our goals!
As we get dressed let us remember that how we think about our choices can enable or impede our thinking. Think of what you will do in the coming weeks rather than what you won’t, can’t shouldn’t and do on. God clothes us with all gods gifts to go forward!
Enfold us with your gifts of patience, compassion, care, humility and kindness for all whom we meet and for ourselves as well. Clothe us with the attitude of possibility and faithfulness.
In Christ we pray, amen.
From Linda Adcock- there is actually an older book by the title of “Faithfully Fit”, by Claire Cloninger and Laura Barr. Lots of stuff on line. From Barbara Brabec- her own story of weight loss-
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Let’s get started:
~ Get a base line. Identify a couple simple, achievable goals. Do you want to tone up and lose inches? Do you want to improve your posture? Do you want to lose poundage? Don’t try to do it all right away.
~ Write down the goal and 2 things you will add in or withdraw or change.
~ Understand temptation. You cannot escape it-you are human. Instead of grit, turn to grace. When temptation is strongest to abandon your goal...
- Call someone and cheer them up
- Write a card
- Learn to knit
- Breathe quietly with your eyes shut and imagine a favorite memory
- Take a short walk
- Read a psalm
- Watch a silly YouTube
- Study your ‘Star Word’
- Take flowers to someone
- Make a flower arrangement for yourself
- Pray for your family
- Pray for a particular part of the world.
I’ll look forward to hearing from you with ideas and questions. I will share them back with our Faithfully Fit Support Team.
This week’s prayer:
In our doubt and weakness we find your strength. Your intention for us is the gift of shalom-that sense of communion with you and others. Use our creativity to do things differently. Grant us energy to be of encouragement to others, for in so doing,
we shall experience this ourselves. In Jesus name we pray.
Isaiah 43:19 - "Behold I am doing a new thing, now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."
The turning of the year brings with it the desire for a "turning of the page", or in some cases, turning of a whole chapter or two! We benefit by a time frame which as the monk St. Benedict said so well, "Always we begin again." God provides us with a fresh start and indeed will make a way through any wilderness of self discovery, redirection and even New Years resolutions.
- Find a plan - there are many options
- Develop a time structure and stick to it with plenty of time for prayer
- Keep a journal for food, brief daily review, tips and prayers.
Lord, our Creator, our Redeemer and our Sustainer, we trust that you will take our small plans and make of them great hopes, our stumbling steps and make them straight and assured; for you are always able to make a way through the demands and clutter of our lives, when we keep our focus clearly upon you. Help us to perceive how you are making us new by your Spirit, presence and guidance. Amen
Come exercise with Esther while your kids play. Come exercise even if you don’t have kids. All are invited! Next classes:
- Jan 13 - 10:00 am
- Jan 27 - 10:00 am
- bring a mat and a set of weights
- Cost: Free!
Knox member Sherry Harter will hold another 8-week session beginning January 8th. It is an hour of stretching and strength geared toward new or beginner participants. If you have ever wanted to try Yoga, this is a great introduction.
When: Mondays, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Dates: January 8, 15, 22, 29, February 5, 12, 19, 26.
Location: The Senior High Room
Cost: One time donation of $10 for the ENTIRE eight week session. You can bring cash or a check made to Knox when you come the first time.
What to Bring: Yoga mat, towel, water bottle, and wear comfortable clothing. A fitted shirt is recommended. Sherry does have a few mats for those trying Yoga for the first time.
Sherry Harter is continuing Tai Chi as well. Learn about moving meditation, how to breath for relaxation, challenge your brain and improve balance. This slow moving, 8 thousand year old martial art continues to be done by the novice to 99 year old because of its complex simplicity Give it a try!
When: Tuesdays, 8:00 am – 8:45 am
Dates: January 9, 16, 23, 30, February 6, 13, 20, 27.
Location: The Senior High Room
Cost: One time donation of $10 for the ENTIRE eight week session. You can bring cash or a check made to Knox when you attend your first time.
What to Bring: water bottle, and wear loose, comfortable clothing.
This group meets periodically throughout the summer. If interested, please contact Mark Blodgett, to be added to the email list.