Friends! Let’s play Good News/Bad News….
Bad news first: Yes, we’ll be doing a four-part series on fitness over the next few weeks which does involve exercise. But, here on the blog, you only have to read about it. If you want to try it, well, that’s up to you!
Good news: We’ll be starting out slowly (!!!), and some of the exercise is metaphorical vs. physical. We’ll break halfway thru’ to talk about Book Club (Mark your calendars for February 27th when Branches Book Club will be discussing Beth Moore’s debut novel, The Undoing of Saint Sylvanus and will receive a personal video message from Beth.)
**Even BETTER news**: There’s a brand new book out by my sweet friend, Carol Bonura. It would be great for any age, male or female. Checkout the title: Our God is a Big God—Personal Stories of Those Touched by the Bigness of God.
The format is fantastic as is each, unique story by over forty different individuals. As the title indicates, these friends of Carol’s share a story where God has revealed Himself. Many of the stories are an only-God-could-pull-this-off kind, leaving no other possible explanation.
Prior to the contributor’s story, Carol shares how she knows this person. Their story rolls, followed by that person’s favorite Scripture verse. Carol then blesses each contributor with a verse which is not only fitting to the story, I believe it inspires that person to carry on. To see the Word of God “work together” so beautifully is another one of my favorite parts of Carol’s book.
I can’t begin to choose a favorite story. I’ve loved them all. (I happen to have a story in Carol’s book and while it’s my story, it’s still a cool God-incident, also irrefutable.)
Bob Russell wrote the Foreword and he has written a story. Liz Curtis Higgs, Pat Day, Elizabeth Jeffries, Amos Martin, Dave Stone, and Joe Donaldson are just a few of the many contributors.
Bob said, “When we allow the Spirit of God to work through us, we have a positive story to tell to the nations, a story that can change lives and inspire others to be more than they can be alone.”
Carol’s book came about from a recent vacation she and her husband, Joe, took with friends. Carol tells us while on vacation, they all participated in Bible study every morning.
She was so moved by Ecclesiastes 3:11, she decided to ask these six friends to share “how they’d been impacted by the immensity of God.” After hearing their amazing stories, it was Joe who suggested she enlist more friends and family to share their stories on the Bigness of God, putting them together in a book.
Once you dive into the book, you’ll immediately say to yourself, “Oh my goodness, so-and-so would enjoy this!” Take my advice and have a notepad nearby as one friend will lead to five. What a beautiful gift this makes.
So, I’ve dodged exercise long enough…What’s fun about this week’s post is you can read Carol’s book and try this most effective exercise at the same time.
A fascinating book came out in 2010 entitled The Blue Zones—Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner (The 2nd edition is in paperback.)
Dan used to write for National Geographic magazine. His article on “The Secrets of Long Life” and its’ popularity, caused him to research the ends of the earth to find more concentrated areas of living centenarians. He studied the lifestyle of these people. They dubbed these parts of the world “Blue Zones”.
Dan also includes lessons enabling you to create your own personal Blue Zone. Happy to report one of the common denominators you’ll discover is these folks consume dark chocolate.
(Just on the off chance you need one more reason to consume chocolate.)
Other common denominators include participating in a community. Another one, across the board, is these folks walk everywhere. Many times, logging miles and miles a day. (One of our four exercise posts will discuss walking and jogging in detail…)
One of a handful of helpful take-home resources is where Dan reveals the single most effective exercise you can do for yourself : Simply sit in a chair. Followed by standing to get yourself up out of the chair. (These women in the picture are practicing!)
Working your three sets of thigh muscles faithfully will keep you out of a wheelchair. I know this to be true as this happened to my own Mother. She quit trying, and kept sitting, causing her to be unable to get up out of that chair, sadly landing her in a wheelchair, immobile.
My proposition to you dear friends, today, is to suggest you grab a good book. Preferably Carol’s new one, Our God is a Big God, and read one of the stories each day.
Take it with you to your favorite chair. Sit down, read one of the stories. Then get up! This simple act will help you stay mobile. Read another story, repeating this action the next day. And the next…
Now see? That wasn’t too painful! This is a mere warm-up for next week’s post. Much more vigorous exercise lies ahead…
One more fun fact before we close: I was blessed to meet Carol many years ago thru’ mutual friends plus we attended Book Club together. One New Year’s Eve, John and I were with Carol and Joe and Liz and Bill Higgs over at Elizabeth Jeffries’ home. Elizabeth and Stephen had asked us over for dinner to ring in the New Year.
We each shared something fun we’d done in the previous year. I about fell out of my chair when Carol reported she’d read sixty-five books that year. How wonderful for her she now has her very own book for us to read! Congratulations, Carol!
‘Til next time!
P.S. FYI, here are other interesting books by the Blue Zone guy, Dan Buettner: