Archive for March, 2012

No Looking Back

But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62 NLT

People working with cattle and plough in Gorj ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cultivating Thought:

Worldly cares distract us from fully committing to God. Jesus knows the hearts of men and their excuses for not following Him (Luke 9:57-62). He used the example of plowing to illustrate the qualifications needed to be a kingdom disciple.

In Jesus’ time, the typical plow was pulled by oxen. If the person breaking the ground looked back while steering, it would inevitably turn the blade in the wrong direction, thus creating a crooked furrow. If the rows curved, they would waste space and be unable to plant to their advantage.

When we allow disturbances to take precedence over our duty to God, they hinder us from producing fruitful work. It is then that we find ourselves heading in an undesirable way of life (or even in circles). It takes focus and follow through to plot and plow when and where God assigns us. Jesus knew the urgency of preparation, because the harvest was near.

Prayer:

God of discipleship, thank You for Your example through Jesus. Please guide  me to better plot out the time You have given me. I now bury all excuses and cast my gaze before me, fully committing to glorify You, as You prepare my heart for harvest. In Jesus name, amen.

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Preparing the Soil

Plowing with a John Deere tractor and a Kverne...

Plowing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of my love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’  Hosea 10:12 NLT

Cultivating Thought:

Plowing hard ground is crucial for casting out old roots and making the soil fertile for planting. Likewise, repentance softens the heart, causing it to draw in nutrients of God’s word.

When we choose to live within the parameters of God’s precepts,  He releases showers of blessing upon us, watering our offered seed. And as we allow the Holy Spirit to work the soil of our lives daily, He will turn over those unholy dirt clods and make our hearts pliable for producing godly fruit.

Prayer:

God of Preperation, please cultivate in me a plant-able heart. Break up the fallow ground of unrighteousness that keeps me from producing a healthy crop of right living. In Jesus name, amen.

Pain in the Foot – Living with Plantar Facsciitis

So, here I am again. Posting my haphazard medical discoveries on my blog site. I must say that I have a lot to write about, since I first started on this journey a year ago.

I would rather write about the fun stuff in life – the happy-go-lucky times when all is right within my world. But I find myself once again learning more and more about God’s grace and mercy, through these tough times. There’s just something about suffering that brings us closer to God.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Right now I am learning to live with plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis). Or as I like to call it, “Plant-your-fashion-iris” (This was what I called it before I could pronounce it). This foot crippling dysfunction causes tremendous heel and arch pain. When taking the first steps out of bed in the morning, the pain can be mild to extreme, depending on how much the plantar fascia is shortened. Because the plantar fascia (a thick band of

Plantar Fascitis

tissue) runs across the bottom of the foot and is attached to the heel bone and toes, it can cause excess or stabbing pain when it is tight. Upon the foot limbering, the hurt usually declines, but may reoccur after standing for long periods of time, or after getting up from a seated position.

Treatment

When I started dealing with this last year, I bought new walking shoes to help alleviate the stress. That has proved beneficial for my walking, but it didn’t take the pain away when I rested. I tried shoe inserts, as instructed by my doctor and massage therapist. Upon stepping off of the “foot diagnoser” in front of the insert display at Sports Authority, a store worker quipped, “You have flat feet!” I would say that I felt like a “heel,” but that goes without saying at this point. She then asked me if I needed inserts for cushion or for support. I told her that I had plantar fasciitis. She grabbed the appropriate inserts and placed them under the insoles in my tennis shoes. I then wore them the rest of the night and again in the morning. I remember waking up in the middle of the night and hurting in places I never knew I could hurt! I began to think that I would just have to put up with the pain until my feet get used to it, but then I remembered the pain and never wore them again.

I did eventually see the foot doctor, and he told me to try Super Feet insoles, to help form my arch and take the pressure off of the fascia. The inserts I was given at Sports Authority were not the right ones – way too short for my feet (no wonder I was in pain!). About six months later, I entered into Fleet Feet Sports and purchased a similar type called Sole. I have used them for three months now, and they are wonderful! Such a huge change in the way my feet feel – virtually pain free!

There are other treatments to consider, such as using a tennis ball to roll under your foot. This will help stretch out that wretched nerve. Also, you can purchase a night sock to wear. This will straighten your fascia nerve and keep your toes from curling at night.

If you are having severe foot pain, try some home remedies, but most of all, I encourage you to seek a podiatry doctor for advice.

All in all, Plantar Fasciitis can be painful and very trying , especially when it nearly disables your walking. But as with most medical conditions, it can be treated, and over time, healed.

Quest for Better Health

Personal Training at a Gym - Cable Crossover

Image via Wikipedia

“It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the thrill of the fight, rising up to the challenge of our rival, and the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night, and he’s watching us all with the eye of the tiger…”

As the Survivor song boomed down through the speakers, I intensified my workout. The clank of the weights tapping the stack and then releasing, completed my set. I was feeling pretty good after my 15 minute weight session. Grabbing my bottle of water, I gulped down a small stream of wet heaven and proceeded to the stationary bike, to ride for 30 minutes.

A year ago I was practically flat on my back in bed, with sciatica. Today I am a regular attendee of Vision Quest gym, exercising almost daily. Since I started two weeks ago, I have worked out with weights and cardio. I hope to add some light load free weights to my routine, soon.

I credit my health to God, for directing my path to this fitness center. And with my personal trainer (Patricia) helping me, I am finding the right routine to relieve my back pain. Although it hasn’t been a total walk in the park, I like the fact that I sleep better and am not sore or in constant pain. I can really feel the difference! My chiropractor also noticed the difference during my last adjustment. He said my body wasn’t moving as much, because it didn’t need to. That was the best check up in the past year! What an exciting thing to hear!

As I look forward to throwing off much needed body mass and adding muscle, I am setting some goals for this New Year. First of all, I am going to lose 40lbs and keep it off, and secondly I am going to start running again (leisurely). It may take me the good part of the year, but I am determined to press through and make it to the finish line.

“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” –Phillipians 3:14