After 40 years of talking about it, the Israelites were finally in the Promised Land. To celebrate, they renewed their covenant with God and prepared for the new life awaiting them. No longer desert nomads, they would become farmers and shepherds in a land flowing with milk and honey.
“The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain.” Joshua 5:11 NIV
Their daily supply of manna suddenly stopped falling to the ground and the river Jordan once again raged at their backs. They couldn’t retreat to the desert. What they needed now was complete trust and obedience in God, their deliverer. Thankfully, Joshua appeared to be connected to Him just like Moses was. This thought seemed to put the people at ease.
Meanwhile, the people living in Jericho looked down with fear at the sight of 2 million Israelites covering the countryside. Would their massive city walls be enough to protect them? They had the living God on their side. Jericho’s army shut themselves tight inside the fortified city and waited. A showdown loomed…
“When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?”” Joshua 5:13 NLT
Last week I outlined my strategy for getting up off my comfy chair and back into the game. I am happy to report no progress was made. You may be inclined to think happy and no progress are conflicting ideas but that’s not the case. Let me explain.
First, and foremost, I am happy to be on the other side of a bad case of the flu. It was a week long affair. Second, I lost 5 pounds in the process. Aside from a nagging cough and some post-nasal drip I am almost fully recovered.
As the weather continues to warm into the 40s I look forward to spring with enthusiasm.
Its been a week since Ash Wednesday and the self-proclaimed restart of my couch to 5k experience. Having learned last year, if you haven’t been exercising regularly (above and beyond a daily activity routine) you need to start out slowly (i.e. a jogging and wa
lking combination). I was able to get one workout in this past week along with several dog walks.
The temperatures here in the northeastern USA have been brutally cold.
Brody, my short-legged miniature dachshund, is assisting me in easing back into a workout schedule. He is a fast walker and is always trying to pull me along at a faster pace. Why not use that to my advantage, right?
My goal is to be ready to start jogging continuously by the first week of April.
After the Israelites crossed the Jordan river, Joshua commanded the people to carry 12 large stones up out of the river and pile them up on the shore as a memorial. Then, when someone asks, “What do these 12 stones mean?” tell themhow the Lord cut off the flow of the Jordan and let the Israelites cross over into the promised land.
This event occurred on the 10th day of the first month of the Jewish calendar (Joshua 4:19) marking the end of the Exodus (the date 40 years earlier the people of Israel left Egypt (Exodus 12:3)). The message: God will finish the work He starts.
Followers of Jesus celebrate communion, “Do this in remembrance of me,” to remind us what God has done for us through his Son. The cross of Christ demonstrates God can accomplish the impossible in our lives if we will let Him.
And like the people of Israel we must be ready to tell those who ask us, “what is the reason for the hope that lies within you?” 1 Peter 3:15.
Looking back over my life, I recall numerous situations a proverbial line in the sand has been drawn. For most of my life I have been exploring the boundaries created by them.
As a child, my sister and I shared the back seat in the family station wagon. One of us invariably drew an imaginary line separating her space from mine. Quarrels began when the line was crossed, even if breeched by a single finger.
As I grew older is spent a good deal of my time trying to test the line of acceptable behavior my parents had laid down. I learned there were negative consequences for crossing their line.
When I entered adulthood, and set off on my own, I realized there was a line separating the life I had already realized from things I had yet to experience (marriage, career, raising children, etc.). With trepidation I launched myself across this line and into the great unknown.
Ash Wednesday occurs this coming week. It marks the start of a 40-day period referred to as Lent leading up to Easter Sunday. Those who observe Lent usually do so by abstaining from a materialistic vice (i.e. chocolate, red meat, television, etc.) or affirming a spiritual virtue (devotions, prayer, etc.).
Since my couch to 5k experience to date has been marked by physical, mental and spiritual wellness, I have decided to choose Ash Wednesday as a starting line I intend to cross!