First Things First
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First Things First

I had a conversation with someone the other day about how hard it was to wedge a workout into such a busy schedule.  By the end of the day, there's not much time or energy left for much of anything.  This is the situation for most Christian adults. Regardless of the job, mode of exercise, or amount of time we have or don't have,  there are still 24 hours per day. I came to the conclusion that it's all about the priorities we set on our time.

Since we only have 24 hours day and must sleep 6-8 of those hours,we seem to have plenty of time to play with our cell phones, chat with a friend, do those silly games online,  or check Facebook and Twitter. Honestly, we do have time to read our Bibles, eat healthy, exercise, and serve others. We simply replaced them. Therefore,  it is important that we set these priorities on our time: 

First, feed your soul through prayer and Bible study. There are scads of wonderful Bible apps and websites making not reading the Bible or doing devotions as nothing more than an excuse. The  best time I have found is at breakfast or lunch. Find a time when you would be the least hurried and distracted. If there aren't times like that, your life may be too cluttered.

Find a quiet space and read a passage of the Bible prayerfully. Seek God in your reading. For more, check out Lectio Divina: Christian Meditation. You can also find more help in my Spiritual Disciplines series.

Second, feed your body healthy, nutrient dense foods. The abundance of food choices is staggering here in America. If you don't believe me, visit a foreign country. You will quickly realize that some of your favorite things aren't available in the form and quantity you find here.  What we eat all boils down to choice. Check out  Dieting is Die with a T at the End! The excuses we use for eating junk food is weak at best. 

Select healthy food alternatives by shopping more in the areas of the store where people tend to spend the least amount of time: produce, fresh minimally processed meats, natural food section, and dairy, the low fat variety. Then be selective about the aisles you shop.  Need help? Check out my Grocery Cart Challenge.

Third, workout for your health and every day functions. If the average American is unable to help move's worth of stuff, then then a trip to the gym for a good workout three to five days a week is a good move. Workout Before You Move Out is one of my most popular posts, by the way. Otherwise, try my 3-10-3 Challenge workout. No more excuses!

Looking for the perfect body is an obsession. It is poor stewardship of the body gave us.  I addressed this in Secrets to the Perfect Body. I wrote it because so many people were looking for another workout or the next diet plan.  They weren't paying attention to what it takes to get into a healthy lifestyle and maintain it. A healthy body is an attractive body. Period. I can be a cheerleader, an encourager, or a drill sergeant. Today is my "Drill Sergeant" day.

Fourth, serve God and others. Now that you have done the first three items in this list, you are prepared to serve the Lord and other people.  Trying to do service without them is like only taking one breath for your day, and not breathing in the rest of the day.  Exhaustion and resentment take over. We can't give out well when we don't fill up. Period. When we are healthy and physically fit, there is so much more that we can do for others.

Service begins at home extending outward. When you got married, did you have to work out and "diet" to look great in your wedding dress? Did you stop after the honeymoon? If you are getting married soon, read  Wedding Day Bliss . What do we offer our spouse to look at or touch? Can you help out with a physically challenging project? Will you be around for them for another 40-50 years?  There are priorities we should set in our service as well:  spouse, children,  extended family, Church, neighbors, everyone else. If we can't take care of the people in our own homes, then missions and other ministry projects should wait.

Why all the links? There are a lot of new readers. Some of you may also have short memories.   There was once a preacher who was asked why he kept giving the same sermon over and over. His answer was, "I'm not seeing people's lives change, so I figured they weren't getting it." I keep saying the same things over and over for a similar reason.

Why so straight up? It's best to get to the point. There was a wonderful pastor,  my first husband's mentor during seminary, who told him, "The mark of whether you preached the Word is this: Are people excited and uplifted from what you preached? Did you step on anyone's toes? This is how you will know if you preached well." After my husband started preaching at his first church, a woman came up to him in the greeting line after service with a scowl on her face, glaring at him, "I'll be here when you leave!" Yet so many other people told him how his message encouraged or inspired them. I think he accomplished the goal.  I aim at the goal of encouraging you most of the time; however, I also aim to spur you onto action as well.

May God bless you!

Passages to check out:

 1 Timothy 4:8

Matthew 22:36-40

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