Women of Strength

Excerpt from Women of Strength – a devotional to improve spiritual & physical health
Kimberley Payne
Chapter 7 Temptation
I began smoking at age fifteen. I had continued the habit for over ten years before I decided to quit because I was pregnant with my first-born. It was not a difficult choice – I wanted to be as healthy as possible for my child. However, it was difficult to follow through on this decision.
The habit was ingrained; I smoked on the way to work, on my breaks, lunchtime and on my drive home again. Many of my friends and co-workers also smoked. My lifestyle revolved around this habit.
The decision to quit had to involve changes. I had to change my habits – I took walks on my break and at lunchtime and chewed on a sucker on my drives. I no longer joined friends for a coffee and a cigarette. I ate sunflower seeds when the cravings became intense.
I resolved to quit for the health of my baby and myself and I was determined to do so. With my new habits in place I felt confident. However, shortly after my decision I was reminded of tickets I had purchased to go to a concert with six other friends. We had bought them months in advance and I was excited that I was going to see this group for the first time. I thought I could handle this. At the concert, the music was loud, the crowd cheering and I was enjoying the whole scene. It was great fun – I was happy that I had agreed to join them. But once outside, my friends all lit up and the smell of a freshly lit cigarette was too much to ignore. I begged a friend for a drag. She argued with me, but after a few moments of pleading she eventually handed over the cigarette and I took a long haul. I had an immediate reaction; it was a mixture of satisfaction, yearning for more, and complete disgust. My conflict was painful. Although I desperately wanted a cigarette, I could not bear the repulsion I felt giving in to my craving. The guilt was heavy. I wished I had not gone to the concert. I wished I had not gone with my friends who still smoked. I wished I had not put myself into such a position of temptation.
When tempted, I lost. I thought I could handle the situation but I couldn’t. I thought I was strong enough, but I wasn’t. I decided not to put myself into such a place of temptation again.
This is what it must mean in the Bible when it says to flee from temptation. Instead of thinking we can fight against it, we shouldn’t even put ourselves in that position. We should run from it. 1 Timothy 6:11 tells us to flee from all this.
Temptation itself is not a sin. We are all exposed to temptation – even Jesus was tempted (Matthew 4:1 NIV). However, yielding to temptation is a sin. The easiest way to not yield to temptation is to resist it and run from it.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7 NIV).
Exercise Your Funny Bone
God so loved the world that He did not send a committee
You Asked
Q: Is a flat stomach a realistic goal for all people?
A: A perfectly flat midsection is simply not a realistic goal for many people. Even if you are very thin, your internal organs may give a slight roundness there. Abdominal exercises can tighten and strengthen your stomach, but they won’t reduce the layer of fat that sits on top. To shed body fat, you must burn calories through cardiovascular exercise.
Faith Lift
Dear Lord – I pray that You will give me the courage to let You control my life and that when I need assurance I can depend on You for all my needs. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
It's so wonderful to be able to get outside again and enjoy the warmer weather. Last week, I had opportunity to bike around the neighbourhood, play catch with the dog, clean up the backyard, and play baseball with the family. Activity is so much easier when it’s sunny and warm outdoors!
What activities do you enjoy outdoors?
Top Tip
Do something else at the same time – You can read or listen to books on tape while riding a stationary bike. You can also watch TV, listen to music, talk to God or think about a Scripture reading. If outdoors, carry a trash bag with you and collect garbage along the road or trail.
Bible Truth
Deuteronomy 31:6 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.
Spend ten minutes once a week gazing at the stars.
Praise Move
Back - Shrugs
Stand holding a dumbell in each hand, arms comfortably shoulder-width apart, palms facing front thigh.
Keep your body straight, and lift the shoulders as high as possible.
Pause at the top of the movement, then lower slowly to starting position.
1.The arms should remain straight as the shoulders are raised.
2.Do not hold your breath throughout the movement.
3.Lift and lower the weight slowly.

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