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I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Rhonda used to skip high school gym class, she is strongly opposed to sweating, and she owned the same pair of tennis shoes for about 30 years (and they still looked brand new!).

About five years ago she tried an early morning exercise class. The whispers around the room after class were “we’ll never see her again”. I’m proud to say it wasn’t long before she had earned the nickname “regular Rhonda”, because she could be counted on to be at the 5:30 AM class. She’s burned through a lot of tennis shoes, loves her Fitbit, and in my opinion, looks great.

My story is a little different. I got a physical each year and invariably was asked if I was a marathon runner. Thank God for good genetics, because my truthful response was always, “no, it must be my high fat, high stress, no exercise life style.”

In December of 2014 I had my second shoulder surgery. Around that time I ran into the surgeon, Dr. Samuelson, at a fundraiser. Knowing he was pretty fit, I asked him how he found the time to stay in such great shape. He told me you need to make time.

I showed up at my next appointment, and he greeted me with three books, a water bottle, a tee shirt, and a picture of a piece of exercise equipment he was suggesting. He would not take any money for the gifts, and I have learned he’s given a lot of other people similar advice and the same book.

One of the books, Younger Next Year, changed my life. It’s a quick and easy read with some good humor. The short story is you can live a long time with modern medicine, but what’s the quality of life for many of us in later years if we are suffering the effects of an unhealthy life style?

I now own two bicycles and an elliptical. By the time you read this, I’m hoping to have the fitness room finished and a weight machine installed. Rhonda and I have completely changed our diets. I didn’t need to lose weight, but it fell off anyway, and I had to buy all new pants. We both feel great, better then we have for years!

Since I’m bragging about my fitness, perhaps I should confess about an area where I need to exercise more. There is another “good book” to read on fitness called the Bible. That book will change your life too. Your eternal life.

Matthew 4:4

Jesus Answered, “It is written; ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Psalm 119:9

How can a young person stay on the path to purity? By living according to your word.

As we travel more, we are adjusting to irregular schedules, and spending time away from family and friends. We don’t always get our daily bible reading in. We also miss the message and fellowship of church. You might say we are suffering from FOMO (fear of missing out). Don’t feel sorry for us though, we get to make many new great friends while seeing many new amazing places.

All of us need to be disciplined about our spiritual exercise of reading, praying, and worshiping. Dr. Samuelson told me “you need to make time”. I’m going to do my best to be as disciplined about my spiritual fitness as I have become about my physical fitness. Make time to work out and improve your spiritual fitness!

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