7 Biblical Reasons to Exercise

I came across this inspiring article written by a gentleman called Fritz Chery. Have a read. Comrades will be a mere pup for you after this (ha, ha)! I especially like no.6.

It is always good to exercise to be prepared for anything that God calls us to do, but Christians must be careful.

While there are many biblical and health reasons for exercising, always watch out for vanity because if you are not careful exercising can be a huge idol in a believers life, especially when it comes to bodybuilding and weightlifting.

Are there benefits to exercising and can Christians do it? Yes, but should that be a believers main focus? Of course not because godliness and spiritual training is more important than physical training.

1. We honor God by taking care of our bodies.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

1 Corinthians 10:31. So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Romans 12:1. Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

2. It is valuable, but of course it is not more valuable than godliness.

1 Timothy 4:8. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

3. Our bodies are members of Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:15. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!

4. To discipline yourself.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Proverbs 25:28. A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.

5. It will help with gluttony.

Philippians 3:19. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.

Proverbs 25:16. If you find honey, eat just enough too much of it, and you will vomit.

Proverbs 23:2. And put a knife to your throat If you are a man of great appetite.

6. It will help with laziness.

Ecclesiastes 10:18. Laziness leads to a sagging roof; idleness leads to a leaky house.

Proverbs 12:24. Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.

Proverbs 10:4. Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, But the hand of the diligent makes rich.

Proverbs 10:5. He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.

7. You will be healthy.

3 John 1:2. Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.

Other benefits of exercising

You will be a positive example for your kids in this slothful generation.
To be physically healthy for doing God’s will.
It helps you sleep better.
Exercise reduces stress and fatigue.
To stay attractive for your spouse.
It helps with high blood pressure.

A Look at Christmas. How can we feel our way through it.

I read a piece from The “Desiring God” email I receive in the mornings. In there Matt Chandler, one of my all time favorite preachers, says the following:

A war will be waged again this Christmas, a battle far more pressing than whether to say “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas.” For believers, the real challenge is something entirely different. It’s a battle for our heart, our joy, and our worship.

I’m no Scrooge. I love the holiday, even some of the silly things we do that have very little to do with the birth of Jesus. I’m not the “Christmas is a pagan holiday” guy. But we have to know what we are up against this season. Almost every commercial, television special, and classic movie promises us a false reality. These things tell us that we’re going to gather as a family, group hug while we carve the ham, and end with us all laughing in pure joy. There’s a feel to this time of year, and we love the feel.

But as we start celebrating earlier and earlier, wearing Christmas sweaters in 90-degree weather, we must ask ourselves: What do we truly want from this season? What do we put our hope in that makes the season merry? What do we long to have that makes Christmas a favorite time of year? A thousand other answers subtly (or overtly) compete with this: “To us a child is born, to us a son is given” (Isaiah 9:6).

I was thinking of how my family would be celebrating Christmas. We are having many family members over for this time. How am I going to make sure that Jesus stays the centre of our season?

Let us, amongst the bustle of preparing legs of Lamb, Roast Pork, fried chicken and the rest, keep Jesus near to us every minute of the day. If you concentrate on this alone, the rest of Jesus’ love and purpose for us will not be far behind. May your Christmas be one filled with love from the Father and peace from our Saviour.

Eddie Howden

Kyryandongo: A place where God’s Grace abounds

Our partner in the Children’s Project, Daniel Barbanti, took his team to visit a refugee camp in the north of Uganda in November. There are approx 50 000 South Sudanese refugees in this camp. Unfortunately they could not enter the camp itself but ministered at the field hospital on the outside. This is their story:

             

On Thursday, after approximately 6 hours of travel, we arrived in the vicinity of a UN-backed refugee camp. Our desire was to visit the camp, especially for the children. Due to the vulnerability of the refugees, security is extremely tight. Many refugees bear marks of violence, loss, pain, terror, fear … However, we know God raises valuable people on earth to be the voice of those who can no longer speak, be the dignity and justice of those forgotten by their own homeland. The sun was scorching, we were sitting inside the car waiting for our leader to resolve the documentations to schedule a visit. We decided to start praying for this nation with a history of so much loss and sorrow.

We all prayed individually in agreement, and suddenly my turn came … I could not synthesize in a few words the petition necessary for these people, but I asked for something special: “God connect us to a single person of this nation. As I prayed, I heard a sweet, sad voice singing. At first I thought I was over listening, but when we finished we saw a small boy at the window singing. He carried in his body the mark of his tribe and in his heart the mark of hunger and war. Anywhere in the world a child singing can be a happy moment, but this song broke our heart. His sweet voice expressed that the UN was welcome, that in the walk to the camp his parents had died in the war and some brothers got lost. He said that school was good for those who could study … So small, he composes his own songs, all bathed in loss and pain. Fear is expressed in his attitudes, he did not allow us to approach, he was afraid to receive our food, but left in us an image to remember in our prayers. She left vivid image of war and the sadness that it leaves behind.

Let us pray for the refugees. Let us pray that the kingdom of the Lord may be revealed on earth. Pray for peace in the Sudan’s.

Kristina Kezia Jorge

 

Running Comrades as part of S4J – an athlete’s perspective

As an athlete and Comrades runner, I have had the privilege to be part of the S4J since 2011. Many things have been said already about the purpose of the S4J, why we do what we do, etc. I just want to share my experience purely from an athlete’s perspective.

Imagine you are running in a desert. The sun is beating down, you are sweating and dehydrated. All your water is finished. Your motivation is at an all-time low. Then, on the horizon, you see the shimmering of an oasis. Cool water, shade…you get the picture. You know that, if you can only make it to the oasis, you will be able to replenish your water, quench your thirst, and be able to carry on your journey.

The support points the S4J has along the Comrades route, are like oases in an arid desert. Anybody who has ever run Comrades, knows that support along the route, whether from loved ones or your running club, is what pulls you through the race. Not everybody is lucky enough to have a loved one or a club gazebo along the race, but if you are part of the S4J family, you can be assured that they will be at two crucial places during the race. It gives you an oasis to look forward to. Their “outrageous orange” (as someone called it this year!) flags and signage is also quite easy to spot next to the road!

Above: some of the S4J team(athletes and supporters) this year. Note the “Outrageoaus Orange” 😉

I will never forget my first Comrades in 2011. It was an up run, and much, much harder than I expected. Norman and the S4J team were stationed at Lion Park, at around 65/70 km. I was in tears. Everything hurt; I was tired, emotional and felt very alone. I got to the support point, got my pre-packed bag with my “stuff”, and if I remember correctly, didn’t even take something from it. I was too tired. In tears, I asked Norman to pray for me. I knew I could not carry on in my own strength. Norman immediately started walking with me and praying for me. Just around the next bend in the road, I saw my husband and best friend Reinette, who were supporting that day, as well as my father-in-law Sarel, who also ran. They were waiting for me at a place I never expected them to be, just moments after Norman prayed for me. The Lord knew exactly who I needed then. My father-in-law, a veteran of 17 Comrades, had a problem with his back, and waited for me so we could finish the last 25/30 km together. Had it not been for him, I might not have finished.

Above: Running with my father-in-law just after Norman prayed for me. Note my face..close to tears

Another thing about arriving at the S4J support point, is that they make you feel as if you are a rock star or a VIP. All your needs and perceived needs are taken care of. “Look, here comes Annelize!” Norman with his camera is usually the one who spots you first. The wonderful team at the gazebo will then ply you with cold water, marmite sandwiches, look for your prepacked bag, help you with your shoes, etc. etc. You leave the support point refreshed and ready to take on the next section.

Above: Marmite sandwiches at the S4J gazebo Comrades 2016.

I can think of many other examples of how S4J supports their athletes, and I can imagine that every athlete who has been part of the S4J the last 9 years, will have equally wonderful stories to tell. What a wonderful privilege to be part of God’s family, and to experience God’s love, grace and favour through something as “mundane” as support among the route of an ultra race.

Annelize Hietbrink

Comrades entries now Closed!

You will not believe it but the Comrades entries are Closed. We notice on the Comrades web that the sale of the entries this year was unprecedented.

In the history of the Comrades Marathon, entries have never been snapped up as quickly as they are going for next year’s Up Run.”

  Read more here

So S4J team, we do hope you have secured your number.

Comrades and the whole experience has been so good to the S4J brand in the years gone by. We have been able to do so much good for the people of Sudan:

  • We have been able to fund the drilling of a borehole in Nimule, Southern South Sudan
  • We have sent 100 000 Sudanese dialect Bibles to the refugee camp in Kakuma in July of last year
  • We were able to assist our Children’s Fund partners with funds for their upliftment work in the Nuba Mountains
  • And this year we will be able to assist the Beja People of North Eastern Sudan with Social Upliftment Programs.

This season is going to be super exciting as we are planning three recruitment drives at races and we are extending our presence into the corporate world as well.

We wish all our friends at S4J a safe and injury-free training program up to Comrades. We promise you…we will see you on the road.

Warm Regards – Eddie