"And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul." Mark 8:36
Nothing greater - There is no true winner in life without living and building upon the foundation of Jesus. A life lived for Christ is the only relationship that can bring lasting peace and true satisfaction.
Family is the "molding center", where Jesus conforms us to his image. It's where young soldiers are groomed for battle, where incomplete, imperfect lives learn to live as one.
Fitness is not an option if we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. The problem is; we don't consider it as important until something goes wrong, or we have a bad examination. "Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it." James 4:17
Our stewardship of Finances is a test. Can we handle the small things? There is so much more the Lord wants to give us responsibility for, but we struggle with the common things. How will we ever handle the spiritual giftings?
As much as we like to help in the areas of family, fitness, and finances, and consider these the walls that protect our homes, it really all starts with our faith in Jesus, the foundation of it all. We can't hide this, nor would we ever want to. Jesus is the ANSWER for all the world today, and His Holy Spirit living within us gives us the power to make the right choices to live a lifestyle of health in order to serve God for as long and healthy as possible,
Beyond faith, we have always taught the value of having a strong family. It takes time, patience, conviction, and setting standards that will last for generations beyond you. That's called leaving a legacy for your children, and your children's children. The Legacy parents leave behind could be the determining factor in whether future generations are a success or not. It would be an honor and blessing to have some of our standards passed on to future generations well beyond our years. Exodus 20:6 NLT "But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands".
We are living in days where the family is under major attack. Many families are in crisis mode, but we believe help is available and real change can occur.
In 2011, I was confronted with a serious question from our daughter about my physical health, which at the time I didn't think was that bad, nor did I think I was in danger. Our daughter & son in law had blessed us with our first granddaughter in 2005, and 2 years later gave birth to identical twin girls, which was a very high-risk pregnancy. God performed miracle after miracle granting our family the privilege of enjoying our three wonderful, high-energy grandgirls. My daughter spoke a word to me that day that cut to the core of my being when she said "Dad, I want my girls to have a healthy granddad for many years. Please take care of yourself". That was all it took, but it shouldn't have even taken that. As a Christian, scripture says in 1 Corinthians 3:16 "Don't you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you".
Around that same time in 2011, our son would be shipping off to Army Boot camp, and prior to leaving, he asked us to join him for a month of workouts at a local, non-traditional gym. Since we wouldn't see him for a while, we asked my daughter to join us, along with my father, who was at the time 81 years old (yes 81), and both agreed. It was the beginning of our fitness journey as we dedicated ourselves to living healthy and committing our bodies to God, so we could be used to build His Kingdom for years to come. Not to say, we will be healthy enough to play on the ground with our now, 6 grandchildren that call us Granna & Granddad. We love to hear those names called!
Over the years, I have learned many valuable lessons (not all pleasant, I will admit) about the importance of Serving God Fit in our Finances. As a bi-vocational Pastor, working in & out of accounting positions since graduating with a degree in Accounting in 1982, many times those positions provided the financial means necessary to raise our family of four, which we now prefer to call "The Core Four".
In 2008, our personal finances were a mess. I worked in the area of accounting all day, and didn't want to face my own when I came home every night, until one evening, God spoke very specifically to my spirit after one of those dreaded conversations with my wife about finances, which ended in my wife weeping over our financial situation, knowing bills were due, and having no money to pay with. God immediately spoke these words to my spirit, while staring at my wife, "Don't let this ever happen again". I immediately started working on a budget, and God began to lead me to resources that helped shape our plan to get us out of debt and to establish our family as a Financially FIT family.
An ongoing testimony in our home is: That scene has never happened again since that day in 2008. There's no substitute for obedience. James 4:17 "Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it."