Progress Exam

#God, #bible, #inspiration, endurance, testingMy chiropractor schedules regular progress exams with his patients. After a certain number of treatments, an assessment is done. I have completed three progress exams.

One part of checkup is having my photo taken while standing in front of a grid on the wall. This enables us to see if I am off centre. A thermal rolling scan was done as well as a questionnaire regarding my health

The purpose of all of this is to find out how my body is responding to treatment and if any changes are needed to make it more effective.

I think of other areas in life where it would be a good idea to get regular progress reports. I’ve been working on having more patience. How am I really doing with that? It seems to be going well until I’m in a stressful or frustrating situation. Those tests clearly show where I am off center. My calm, cool demeanour is shattered and my voice takes on a sharp edge. I’m not happy with the outcome of this testing but am now aware of changes that need to be made.

God allows us to be tested to teach us endurance. It is a way to train us to persist and not give up. The question I need to ask myself is how to make the necessary changes to improve my spiritual health.

I can start by spending more time in prayer and reading God’s instruction manual, the Bible. My time with Him will reveal the answers to my progress exams.

“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation.” (James 1:12 NLT)

Good Days vs. Bad Days

#inspiration, challenges, good days, bad daysA few groans were heard as the instructor introduced a difficult new exercise. She responded with, “If you want to have more good days than bad days, you need to do things that challenge you.”

She went on to tell us that improving our core strength would promote better balance which would, in turn, help to prevent injury from falls. It would also keep us healthier and that alone would make the difference between good and bad days.

My mind took in the physical benefits before it quickly moved on to other aspects of my life where this declaration is also true. The thought was simple but also quite profound. When I do things that challenge me, I’ll have more good days than bad.

I need to remember this when I’m tempted to take the easy route rather than stretch myself to see what I can achieve. By thinking I can’t do something just because I’ve never done it before, I am actually ensuring more bad days than good. Instead of having the thrill of new accomplishments, my life will become boring and routine.

My goal is to create the best life possible. In order to do so, I will need to be open to new possibilities and keep challenging myself. My life will become more fulfilled and I can then look forward to having many more good days than bad ones.

“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” Joshua J. Marine

“We don’t grow when things are easy. We grow when we face challenges.” unknown

Nightmares

#God, #inspiration, blessings,positive The night seemed never-ending. Strange, vivid dreams disturbed my sleep. I woke frequently to the unsettling dream video playing in my mind. When I fell asleep again I’d find myself in another aspect of this bizarre story.

After many hours of this sequence, I realized that I needed to focus on something else as I was nodding off again. That’s when a snippet of a scripture verse came to mind; “whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, think about these things.”

It took all my concentration to replace the unsettling images with thoughts of God’s blessings. What could be more pure and lovely than that? My final hour of sleep was peaceful.

Soon the alarm went and I was surprised to find my neck and shoulders were stiff and sore. My back ached and it took great effort to place one foot in front of the other. “What happened?” I thought; “I felt fine when I went to bed.”

It was then I realized the negative thoughts in the night had seized my body as well as my mind. If they had the power to make this much impact in eight hours of rest, I wondered what the overall effect of negative thoughts had on my health. This was one experiment I wasn’t willing to take!

Just as I discovered in the night, my focus needs to remain on God. He has provided many blessings in my life. By consciously turning my attention to God and praying about every situation, my mind will stay positive and the tension will be gone.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:6-8 NIV)

Is Your Heart Healthy?

#God, #inspiration, prayer“I feel fine,” I said to my doctor, “just thought the changes to my family medical history should be brought to you attention.”

When the heart disease of past generations started affecting my siblings I decided it was time for me to be proactive.

No problems were found in the initial tests but as a precaution, I was referred for a cardiac risk assessment, which included a stress test.

This made me think of the stress I’ve had in my life. Most of it was self-imposed. When I focus on negative things I cause myself stress. This can be hard on me both physically and mentally.

Thinking of only positive things can be quite a challenge. I used to worry about many things that were out of my control. When I started bringing these troubling thoughts to God, my life became more peaceful. Praying about my worries reduced my stress. I will freely admit that I haven’t perfected this. The good news is, the more I do it, the easier it becomes.

I have learned the benefits of consciously searching for the blessings God has surrounded me with. My attitude of gratitude is what will keep my heart and mind healthy.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7 NIV)