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Fi mum23

Royalty, Wife, Mummy, friend, teacher, student & fitness blogger

Month

February 2016

Lessons from Biblical leaders

This past Friday saw me finishing up week 5 of my Bible College studies.  Although I’ll be honest and let you know that I’m a little behind because of two things..  One being that I actually didn’t get my courses ‘opened’ until the end of week 2, and Two, I’m still finding my rhythm in order to best fit in with the kids HS timetable etc.  I managed to get 4 lectures in over the weekend though so that’s encouraging !!

Open Book

While not surprised, I’m constantly blown away by all I’m learning through the lectures etc.  We are currently looking at Biblical leaders and have so far covered Nehemiah, Saul, David, Solomon, Rehoboam & Adonijah.  We have one more of the leaders to look at before we cover Jesus…. I’m really looking forward to that one.

The subject is covering ‘first things’ that each leader did, and also how they fared on the ‘start, run, finish’ scale.  We looked at all 19 Kings, finishing with our Saviour King, Jesus.  eg.  David started well, lost his way in the ‘run’ stage, and then was repentant and finished well.  Saul started well, didn’t run well and didn’t finish well.  Jehoam crashed out on all 3.  Jesus, of course, had the trifector.  There’s so much can be learnt not just from what a leader did RIGHT, but also from what a leader did WRONG.

It’s fun to find out things that I’d never known before.. Like the fact that Solomon’s brother got cocky and threw himself a self-crowning party as King and ended up with egg on his face when David crowned Solomon as King right in the middle of Adonijah’s party. (awkward much).  It’s always interesting to delve into scripture and find out that there were several ‘layers’ to the Sunday school version of the bible story you’ve known forever and a day.

Also what I found interesting, while not new information, was the concept of ‘looking for donkeys’ as Saul was doing when Samuel found him and anointed him.  Saul was known for ‘being diligent in the little things’.  A great lesson can be learnt from Saul on the importance of doing ‘the menial tasks’ and not only doing them, but growing in The Lord while doing them.  For me personally, my menial tasks are making meals for my family, doing laundry, marking tests etc etc.  It’s not at all hard for me to see how God comes and meets me in those situations every single day in order to teach me new things, and to stretch me.

Another think I love discovering is how so many of the stories that we know of from way back in Sunday school days are actually interlocked.  eg.  When Saul stepped in to rescue the small insignificant town of Jabesh Gilead.  (sidenote – Saul was standing by Isaiah 61 – Free the captives, heal the brokenhearted.) When Saul & Jonathan were beheaded on the battlefield and their bodies displayed in humiliation, it was the men of that small insignificant town of Jabesh Gilead who fought there way through much in order to rescue their bodies and return them to Jabesh Gilead, where they are buried.   The heart of what appeared to most to be a ‘small insignificant town’ can be changed dramatically when someone shows them that they are of great WORTH !!

And then to further interlock stories, David (2 Sam 9:1) when first in power as King asked if there was any of Saul’s family that he could show God’s kindness too.  (which Jonathan had asked him to do).  Jonathan’s son, who was crippled and expected to be put to death by David, was instead seated at David’s table.  In doing this, he honoured the covenant relationship he had with Jonathan.

When we got to Rehoboam, we learn that his ‘first thing’ wasn’t too fab.  He chose to ignore the advice of the elders, and heed the advice of the younger men who he had grown up with… living in the palace.  They, along with Rehoboam, had no perspective on the situation of the outside world and hence made a decision that lost him 90% of his kingdom and 3 generations of work in one day.  Praise God that Jerhoboam restored that during his reign that followed Rehoboam.

So, to review… here is some of what we can learn from these 4 Kings –

Saul – Resist temptation of Self-justification

David – The power of keeping covenant.

Solomon – The value of right motives

Rehoboam – The need to be a servant leader.

While there is so so much more I could share with you from my last week of study, I’ll sign off for now and get back into it.

What I learnt this week – As I’ve already covered, bible stories are very often interlocked and have many gold nuggets of wisdom hidden within when you investigate this ‘interlocking’.  Also, what was taught through these scriptures all those years ago, is still very very pertinent today.

Scripture I have soaked in this past week – Well, there has been so many, but if I were to pick one, it would be 1 Kings 1:6 His father had never at any time displeased him by asking “Why have you done thus and so?  (Seems like a pretty normal verse right, but there’s a pound of parenting advice in there when you delve in… on what NOT to do.)

Blessings peeps !!

xx

The rude interuption.

Sorry for the delay with my fitness blog for last week, but I haven’t been very well, so I’ve had to prioritise my Bible College study over blog entries.

As the title says, I’ve really found my ‘unwell state’ to be quite a rude interuption to my fitness plan.  While I was still able to do my PT sesh last Monday (& not die), I was only able to do one of the two sessions I should  between PT each week.  Thankfully I was able to still do my half hour walk each evening, so I don’t feel like a complete failure, but still….  it is annoying to have not put everything into the week that I wanted to.

I think I actually had a mild tummy bug… mild in the way that I didn’t puke or anything…  but I had the rest of the normal symptoms… terrible nausea, headaches, exhaustion etc.  It was pretty weird actually seeing as I KNOW I didn’t eat anything to warrant this tummy bug.  However, I do know from eating well in the past that my body does LOVE eating clean… to the point where if I have a ‘treat’, it doesn’t like it at all.  I pay for it bigtime!!

All I had was a skinny caramel mocha while out with some girlfriends !!  Must be a whole pile of nasty sugar in that one cup coz, man, I felt like poop after having it… and for the next 4 days.  (Seriously, it wasn’t worth it!!)  It can get a little sad really when you feel you can’t have the odd treat.. but I have found a treat drink that I can have and my body doesn’t hate me after…  A mango smoothie on Soy milk.  I just need to find a hot drink I can enjoy, seeng we’re going to be heading into cooler weather soon.  (YAY for that)

I’ve never been diagnosed with a milk intolerance, but I certainly think I do have one to a degree.  I’m fine to have milk on my weet-bix in the morning, but anything after that and my body lets me know all about it.  I’ve found that if I have soy/almond/rice milk, be it in a drink or in cooking etc, my body is ok with that.

I used my Nutri-infusion again on the weekend… I gotta admit I’ve been a little slack on the smoothie front..  The smoothie I made, while very refreshing on what was a 34 degree day on Saturday, was a little bland.  I realised why when I looked at what I’d put in it…  Watermelon, strawberries, kiwi fruit, chia seeds & coconut milk yoghurt.  A lot of water based, not a lot of sugar ingredients make for a refreshing but low-in-taste smoothie.   I bought the (ridiculously expensive) coconut milk yoghurt thinking it was such a great healthy option, but man it is sooooooo bland.  I seriously had to put some sugar in it to make it edible.

However, I did use it (coz seriously, who’s gonna waste a tub of $10 yoghurt) in a stir-fry, and it was DEVINE !!!!  Like not just a little nice, but DEVINELY DEVINE !!!  (Yes, I know devinely is not a proper word.)

I do think that I’m noticing positive changes in my body, which of course is a great thing !!  Slow and steady, but all improvement is good !!  I’m also quite ‘enjoying’ perfecting push-ups and other exercises.  In lots of ways, I hate doing them, but at the same time it’s such a feeling of accomplishment to do them (even if I still suck at them and am officially the most un-coordinated person ever.)  I do love the overall look of toned muscels… especially upper arms…  I really want to reach my goals this way, as apposed to just dropping the excess.  I was ‘skinny fat’ for years and it’s just not cool… so this is where the rubber hits the road.  Positive changes peeps !!

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My lovely PT Mel is coming again this arv, so I’m hoping I’ve regained enough strength after the bug to power on through another session… and then power on into the week.  It’s only 5 sleeps until I board the Pacific Dawn with 11 of my galpals to enjoy 3 relaxing nights away.  I’m not feeling particularly worried about ‘eating bad’ whilst onboard as I didn’t find myself prone to that when cruising to NZ in December.  Of course, you enjoy the food, but it’s all so so yummy that you just chose to enjoy the healthier selections rather than the unhealthy.   Also, I’ll stick to my tried and tested plan from December….. always take the stairs !!

Be blessed, get fit & respect the temple peeps !!  xox

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,  1 Cor 6:19

Jesus is my study buddy !!

So, how is Bible College going for me?  On the whole, I LOVE it !!  It’s just like the thrill of the Bible Studies I’ve been doing for the last few years, but times a million-ga-zillion.   I know I’ve said before that what I love most about bible study is that you delve in through the layers of the scripture.  You go in past the words and discover their meaning, historical content, as well as other fascinating info that can easily be missed when simply reading a scripture at face value.

I’m currently about two thirds of the way through my lectures in ‘Lessons from Biblical leaders’.  We are looking at Nehemiah and it still amazes me how much you can gleam from a text when you stop and do a word study on it. Not to mention reminding yourself of the historical content as well as taking into consideration the emotions attached to each person in the situation.  Nehemiah

I particularly loved looking at Nehemiah 3:23 and the reference to ‘made their repairs outside their house’.  I would easily have just skimmed over that in the past and maybe thought “Oh how nice for them…  no commute.”  (LOL), but when you factor in the emotion involved in working with a trowel in one hand and a sword in another.. knowing that they were under almost constant attack.  It shows great leadership on Nehemiah’s part to place his team where their heart is.  If an attack occured, it makes sense that the greatest concern was going to be for their own family back at home.  If their family was right there behind them then they were going to fight their hardest AT THAT POINT!!   This has a double benefit as each person was sure to put their absolute BEST efforts into their part of the wall, as that part of the wall protected their own family !!  I just LOVE it !!

That is just one of the many, many gems I’ve uncovered since beginning my 2016 study journey.  If I wasn’t already super expectant for the year ahead, I certainly am now.. plus some !!

I will be totally honest though and share with you all that it is NOT easy studying full-time while homeschooling 3 children.  While they are on totally independent learning programs, they still have the odd question, and when there’s 3 of them, the ‘odd question’ usually occurs a few times each morning and arv session.  I defs will be working within a study plan that includes night time lectures (after the kids are in bed).  Afternoon’s when the kids are finished their schoolwork can work too, but it certainly does make for a long day.  I’m sure I’ll the right groove for me before too long.

The enemy does certainly like to make himself known though even more so of late.  He really doesn’t like me being in The Word more than I was already.  Also, lots of conversations come up with the kids that speak to living with a Biblical view and not a worldview.  Lots of things going on here at home, as well as nationally and internationally give cause for conversations with the kiddos.  Here in Australia at the moment, there is lots of social media traffic in regards to the ‘Safe Schools’ program being introduced in Victoria.  All I can say is, I’m extremely glad I took my kids out to Homeschool them when I did.  Christian schools may be able to keep it at bay just a little longer than the government schools, but it won’t be for long.

I am constantly reminded that it’s not just my children that I need to be aware of with things that are going on with schools etc, but my grandkids, great grandkids etc etc. (However, I’m really hoping Jesus returns before then.)  Miss 14 is pretty adamant that she wants to Homeschool her kids in the future, but of course it’ll really come down to who God has put aside for my boys as to whether they’ll go down that path.  I wonder if it’s ok for me to ask for her to have a heart for homeschooling when I’m praying for my sons future wives.. ha ha.  In all seriousness though, all I need to do is make sure my children  not just know The Lord, but have a personal relationship with Him, discover their giftings and seek the guidance of The Holy Spirit.. and they’ll be fine.  Oh, and always remind them of the strength that is within them to put on that armour & hold up that shield !!

 

The title says Jesus is my study buddy, which is so true (online bible study does kinda encourage that situation, which no actual classmates around you. ), but as there are people at my church doing two of the Bible college subjects, I look forward to having some chats with them too.

What I’ve learnt/been reminded of today – BIBLE STUDY ROCKS !!  There is so much growth to be had when studying The Word. Also, studying it just the once in no way gives you everything you need to learn from it.  Studying a book, a biblical figure, a character trait, a life issue within the word, can you teach you new things every time you look at it.

Scripture I have been soaking in today –“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
Blessings Peeps xox

A FitFi update !!

While lying in bed last night feeling terribly sick after my first PT session, I realised that I haven’t blogged about my fitness journey for quite a long time.  Well, let’s just be honest and say that I may have fallen off the wagon a little over Christmas & New Year, but thankfully not too bad of a fall.(kg wise)  I guess in lots of ways, people do tend to relax a little over these times, but the important thing is to pull it all together once those times have passed.  Remembering who we house in the temple is always a great motivator too !!

Wagon

I could have continued on my merry way of fairly clean eating and a moderate excersise routine, but I decided a few weeks back that I wasn’t really willing to plod along at such a steady rate… I wanted results faster and I wanted to get fitter quicker.  So, enter Mel, my Personal Trainer.  My sister & niece highly recommended her, so I knew she’d be great before I even had my first consult.

My first offical 30min session was, shall we say, BRUTAL!!!   In the days coming up to my first session, I had been thinking that I’d like them to be an hour and not just 30mins… Well, let’s just say that I was VERY thankful they are only 30mins during the session yesturday.  As it’s turned out, I had a sinus infection upon me so that will have contributed to how awful I felt after, but no fear… lots of water and rest has been my friend overnight and today.

Mel has given me an action plan for the week ahead so that’s exciting to embark on.  I’m very thankful of today’s ‘rest day’ and I say I’ll come to enjoy that rest day every second day.  It’s actually pretty interesting to learn more of the ins and outs of how our body works… how it burns fat, builds & repairs mucsels, etc etc.

I have been enjoying finding different, healthier ways to prepare meals for my family.  I’ve been quite pleased to find loads of different ways to include white potato as part of the meal for DH & the kiddos (coz they love it), while having something else for myself.  Tonight that was a bit of mashed pumpkin and spinach, often I’ll use sweet potato.  I coated my chicken in coconut oil tonight too so that was yummy… coconut oil has loads of great health benefits.

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10 facts about Coconut Oil

1.  All fats are not created equalCoconut oil contains short term medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), which is a “healthy” form saturated fat compared to trans fat. Trans fatty acid consumption is linked with heart problems, depression and increased cholesterol levels. What does consuming MCFA fats in coconut oil mean for your body? Our body metabolises these fats in the liver, immediately converting this into energy (fuel for the brain and muscle function) rather than it being stored as fat.

 
2.  Controls weightOne 2009 study looked at the weight loss link between women’s consumption of coconut oil and found that it reduces abdominal obesity. Researchers discovered coconut oil is easy to digest and also protects the body from insulin resistance. To try coconut oil for weight loss start by adding one teaspoon to your diet and gradually work your way up to four teaspoons per day.

3.  Eases digestionIf you suffer from poor digestion or tummy bloating try adding coconut oil to your diet. Coconut oil has been found to benefit digestive disorders including irritable bowel syndrome and microbial related tummy bugs. Fatty acids in coconut oil contain anti microbial properties, which have a soothing affect on bacteria, candida, or parasites that cause poor digestion.

4.  Manage type 2 diabetesA recent study by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research found that coconut oil protects against insulin resistance, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. MCFA fats are small enough to be absorbed into the cells where they’re quickly converted to energy. It is this process that not only reduces the amount of fat we pack into storage, but improves insulin sensitivity.

5.  Supports immunityCoconut oil is made up of healthy fats lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid which contain antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral prosperities to boost the immune system. Lauric acid contains the highest concentration of MCFA fatty acids, approximately 75 per cent. The body turn this fat into monolaurin which is claimed to help heal viruses such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, helicobacter pylori and candida.

6.  Boost metabolismA study reported in the Journal of Nutrition found that coconut oil boosts metabolism. Researchers found that participants who consumed two tablespoons of coconut oil per day burned more kilojoules than those who consumed less. A speedy metabolism helps boost the body’s immune system and keep weight off.

7.  Slows fine linesCoconut is not just for your cooking – it’s a wonderfully hydrating treat for skin too. It keeps the skin’s connective tissues strong, which prevents sagging and wrinkles. Apply coconut oil directly to your skin to soften the appearance of fine lines or use it daily on your face and body for a healthy glow. Be sure you use virgin coconut oil with no additives.

8.  Cooks in high temperaturesBecause coconut oil is a medium-chain saturated fatty acid, it gives it a higher smoking temperature than most polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oils. If you’re preparing recipes that require high temperatures you should consider coconut oil for this type of cooking. Unlike olive oil which will oxidise at high temperatures, creating free radicals.

9.  Stops sugar cravingsInstead of reaching for the lollie jar for an afternoon sweet hit, try eating a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil to beat sugar cravings. This is because good quality fat is more satiating than carbs, so if you cut down on sugar you will feel less ‘ravenous’. Most of us do not realize but constant hunger is a major clue that your body is not being fed correctly.  With the proper amounts of fats and protein, you can fuel your energy reserves properly, and come off the sugar roller coaster that many of us are on.

10.  Coconut oil is simple to cook withTry this recipe for a nutritious high protein, gluten and dairy free coconut treat.

1 teaspoon of Niugini Organics Coconut Oil (available from health food stores)

1 cup of almonds or walnuts

1 cup of organic dates

3-4 tablespoons of raw cocoa powder

Shredded coconut (check it contains no preservatives)

Place all ingredients in a food processor. Roll into small bite size balls and roll into shredded coconut. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set.

 

Seriously… how easy does that recipe sound !!  I can’t wait to try it… I’ll let you all know how it goes.

What did I learn/was reminded of today – When you don’t work out for a while and then do  a 30min PT sesh… it HURTS a lot the next day.  Note to self – DO NOT FORGET THIS FACT !!

What Scriptures have I been soaking in today

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.  Phil 4:13

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:29

OK.. that’s all for now.  For those of you waiting on a Bible College update…  It’ll be up t’row.

Blessings Peeps !!!    xox

Bible College Week 1… DONE !!

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Ok, so these four emojis basically cover my week !!  Super excited, so tired I feel I could sleep for a week, realising I’m a natural nerd, and finally… LOVING every second of it !!

& then there needs to be a blessed emoji in order to convey that emotion.  Seriously, how blessed am I to have the opportunity to even do this study !!  Finances weren’t looking like they were going to line up for me to be able to do this year long course, but I simply put it in God’s hands… and doors just opened up left, right & center.  #Godisgood

This might sound a little cliche, but I have a lot to thank #BethMoore for this week.  It was Miss Beth that got me hooked on Bible Study about 4yrs ago now and I didn’t even realise that as I’ve travelled my bible study journey, I’ve excersised crazy good study patterns.  Who woulda thought it.  The only element about it that doesn’t surprise me is that I have always been very good at making lists, making plans, structuring things etc etc, so my study notes were always along that same vein.  English was also my best subject at school (I got that from my Mum, and her Dad, my Grandpa)

When doing my 3 Orientation lectures this week, I was amazed to see that I already did my notes the way they suggested for optimal learning intake.  Woot Woot !!

So, THANKS BETH MOORE !!!

Another significant element in my reality for 2016 is that I’m still homeschooling 3 kiddos.  So, as a result, sometimes lectures get paused to do a grade 6 spelling test with Master 10.  #homeschoollife #balance .  The orientation lectures would have actually been really beneficial for the kids to listen to, as they had loads of great info in them.  Master 10 probs would have found them a little boring, but the older two, especially Miss 14 would have gained a whole lot from them.  Might section off 3hrs next week in order for her to view them.  :0)

My first offical lecture today was lesson one of ‘Lessons from Biblical Leaders”.  We are looking at Nehemiah.  So much goodness found in only the first chapter… and then there’s 7 more lessons on this book…. can’t wait !!!  The one thing I’ll need to be careful of though is not letting my hunger for learning get carried away, resulting in me rushing.  One of the important learning principles is ‘Space vs. Mass’ – taking small amounts of info in on a consistent basis is best for taking it to your long term memory bank. 

Weather-wise, it’s been a very very strange week here in Brisbane.  Stinking hot (like 38 degrees) and then muggy/rainy weather for a couple of days.  Today is the first ‘ok’ day as far as comfort goes.  All I can say is Praise The Lord for Air Conditioners.  

What I learnt/was reminded of this week – God’s timing is so mind blowing.  I would never have thought that these past 4yrs of bible study was preparing me for Bible College.

What scripture am I soaking in  

Isaiah-40-31

Blessings Peeps xox

 

 

 

 

Expand our boundaries.. drive our tent pegs deep

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Sunday night at church, Pastor Nina preached from Isaiah 54.  It was a fantastic message that re-affirmed what’s already very clearly in store for my 2016.

Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.

3 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities.  (ESV)

While I don’t usually like referring to The Message translation, this time, I think it’s a good read.

Clear lots of ground for your tents! Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!
Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep.
You’re going to need lots of elbow room for your growing family.
You’re going to take over whole nations; you’re going to resettle abandoned cities.
Exciting right !!!  While I completely realise that this text speaks of what was going on at that time, I firmly believe that we can learn from this and apply it to our lives today.  (as we can of all scripture)
On Sunday night, Pastor Nina used a fantastic (& very entertaining) illustration of having a children’s play tent on the stage, which she actually climbed into, showing how little room there is in there, how cramped and uncomfortable any length of time in there would be.  To flipside of that though is that some people choose to stay in that tiny tent, seeing it as safe & secure.   “I need not have any fear of God asking me to do anything big, because I simply don’t have the room to do it.”  (Side note – Believe me, I completely get that stepping out is scary…  you never know what God is going to ask of you (Jonah), but I can tell you right now, it’s so worth it.)
In contrast, a big comfy chair and a large tent covering a decent sized area was brought up on stage, showing how we can spread out, allow God to have the room to work in our lives, equip us for ALL that He has in store for us.   It immediately took me back to the vision that God gave me a couple of years ago (I’m pretty sure I blogged about it).  I was shown myself, wearing a VERY BIG, like CRAZY BIG fur coat (I assume it was faux, to be fair to all animal lovers out there.. I would never buy a fur coat.)
I was initially very confused by the vision and enquired of God what He was trying to tell me.  I immediately got a response from Him, explaining that the coat was very big, in order for Him to fill it… with Blessings, with provisions, with skills, gifts & talents in order to equip me with everything I would need in order to do His work in His Kingdom for His glory !!
The ‘drive your tent pegs deep’ really spoke to me also.  To not just have a surface commitment to the things of God, but to dive in deep, have solid foundations, set aside decent time.  Once again, of course, I nearly ALWAYS find in any message that it points back to two things.
1.  We need to have a close personal relationship with Our Heavenly Father, Jesus our Saviour & Redeemer, and The Holy Spirit.
2. Be actively studying His Word on a daily basis.  Imagine it’s liquid in a big ole’ bucket and you wanna tip it over yourself in your quiet time each morning. :0)
Yes, I know I point these things out all the time, sorry for the repetition, but I really want that point to get across.  If we’re doing these two things, we’re on a very good path with The Lord and all that He has in store for us.
What I learnt/was reminded of today – Being shown things in illustrative form is often a very effective way to teach a biblical truth, or be reminded of a truth that maybe you’re not submerged yourself in of late.
What scripture verse am I soaking in today?  The one above, Isaiah 54:2-3.
Blessings Peeps !!  xox

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