Weightlifting and Good Form

God Gold of the day

‘All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. ‘John 1:3

‘I can do all things through him who strengthens me. -Philippians 4:13

Testimony Tuesday: “Waiting” by Craig Suglia

God Gold of the day

“I cannot wait to give you the answer on how to deal with your season of waiting… its killing me!”

How many times have you heard someone say “I am in a season of waiting” or tell you that you are in a season of waiting and to just trust God and His timing? I have heard and said this so many times and to be honest it can be more discouraging then anything at times. I feel like it is a general and sort of a cop out answer when it is given to me and when I say it to others it can feel like empty words.

Whether you are waiting for that raise at work, for a future spouse, to start a family, to get accepted to your dream school, end of financial worries, to finally quit an addiction, or finding your career job there are endless possibilities, but regardless you are in this season of waiting, and you want a quick fix and for it to happen now. When you are in this season of waiting with no end in sight to be real it sucks sometimes. In this season, I know I get very impatient especially when I compare and see other people around me thriving; it may make you wonder why it seems like God is answering their prayers and not yours. Which can lead to stress, depression, and worry which could make you look other places instead of God to try and get a quick fix to your problems or to get your wants and plans answered.

Sometimes seasons of waiting can be days, weeks, years, and sometimes you might never get what you want. I know this so far sounds negative and discouraging, but JUST WAIT.

Something that I have realized very recently in this season of waiting which has been years is that I am praying, hoping, and waiting for things I WANT. I am waiting for my plans and wants to come through even if they aren’t inherently selfish things. I know when I pray, and you may do this too when you pray at times about these wants and plans you may say; “Let your will be done in my life God in this season of waiting,” but in the back of your mind you have your plans, timing, and desires that you are praying for. Or you could be putting God in a box with your requests, your timing, and your plans and hope that He answers them. Let me challenge you with this!

Take some time to read these verses before you continue reading this Romans 12:1, Luke 9:23, and Philippians 1:21. Verses I have heard many times phrases like “dying to self”, “take up my cross”, “present myself as a living sacrifice”, and “to die is gain” I heard those words and I understood what they meant, but never put them into practice. If you don’t know what they mean I will try to explain first with “taking up your cross” it will help bring them all together. So the cross now is seen as a symbol that relates to Christ or being a Christian my chain has a cross on it so some people might assume I am religious or a Christian today because I have a cross around my neck. In Jesus’ time, a cross symbolized death, and not just any death but the most intense and painful way to die. When Christ died on the cross for our sins He completely surrendered to God the Fathers plans and fulfilled the purpose He called Jesus Christ to do.

So, when I read these verses now and put the context of that time period behind it, it hit me harder than before. Christ is literally asking me to take my selfish wants, my sins, and my plans for my life and to put them on the cross, and to put them to death and present myself as a living sacrifice in complete surrender to His plan.

So, I challenge you to everyday pray to take up your cross and die to yourself in complete surrender to His plans for your life. Instead of asking for your wants and plans ask God these kind of questions without any of your own input; “God where are you calling me to go?”, “God what are you calling me to be?,” and “God who are you calling me to be with or impact?” When you truly die to self, “to die is gain” really means something. You put to death all the stress and worry of when or how your plans or wants are going to come true and you gain the endless possibilities and things you could not even imagine that God can do when you truly are seeking His will for your life. Living this way is hard and it is a daily decision to take up your cross it leaves you vulnerable hoping and having faith that God is working behind the scenes.

I encourage you to read Romans 8:28, Romans 4:21, and Philippians 1:6 through this time of waiting as a chance to really grow in your faith and relationship with Christ and trust His plan not yours  for this life. I encourage you to be excited in this time because literally with God anything can happen and is possible when you are following His plan for your life.

Expect Victory

God Gold of the Day

This is a God Gold message that was one of the first ones shared on the blog, ran across it today and it was such an awesome reminder! I pray that this message will do the same for you and raise your expectations to the victory that you have been given in Christ!!! Have an awesome day and enjoy!

“for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

-Philippians 1:19-21

Staying in Philippians today because after yesterday’s message of learning about trusting the process, I couldn’t get away from the example Paul is setting here. It blows my mind to see Paul write these things while sitting in prison. His attitude of hope and faith in the worst possible circumstances makes me question a lot about my attitude. As much as I’d love to sit here and wish to be as faithful as Paul or so many other heroic guys in the Bible, it’s awesome knowing that the same Savior that is supplying his faith is the same Savior that we worship today, Jesus Christ! Paul is speaking out of His relationship with Christ, his attitude is solely in the victory Christ won for us on the cross and then raising up from grave! It’s hard to wrap my head around living in that victory and even more putting my daily expectations in His victory.

I constantly look at things with my own vision, I see, feel and act out of how I interpret things to be or on how others interpret it. And that’s why my expectations every day are always so low. We’re constantly influenced with what the world says you can do, who you can be, and who you are. I don’t know about you but I feed into those lies way more than I should and it affects every part of my life. Whether it’s with a struggle I’m having with sin, someone else, or whatever it is, my expectations are horizontal and I see things like fighting a losing battle so in return I am fighting a losing battle. It’s like if you walk out on the football field to play a game, you expectations of winning are pretty low already but you see the other team warming up. WOW!!! Those guys are huge, they’re bigger, faster, and stronger than me so you tell yourself “I’m not winning today.” You feed into the words being said by others about how much better that other team looks and by the time you get on the field to play you’ve already lost.

I hate that I’ve lived my life this way for so many years, living in fear and weakness of what the world says is the truth and my expectations getting so low that when I step on the playing field of life everyday, I’ve already lost. When problems and obstacles come up that look so much bigger than me, my expectations get lower and I’m defeated.

Got some good news for you now! Jesus died on the cross and rose up from the grave on the third day so we could finally break the chains of those old expectations that led to a sad life of sin and death. He did that to bring victory into our lives through having a relationship with Him. When you are operating with Jesus living in and with you, you’ve already won! The victory is yours! Things may not always look like you’re on the winning side in this life but look at Paul’s situation. He’s sitting in prison and because his eyes and heart are fixed above, on Jesus and the victory Jesus won for us, he doesn’t see all the bad and defeat in what others would describe his situation as. He has died to those worldly influences and human expectations but he’s alive in Christ! Paul sees the victory Christ won and what gets me jacked up is the FREEDOM that comes when someone is united closely in their relationship with Christ!

Just think about that Freedom for a second! We don’t have to put our hope and trust in anything or anyone else and thank God we don’t have to put it in ourselves because those expectations bring defeat every single time. When we’re faced with  obstacles and struggles that are way bigger than ourselves, that’s okay because when we put our trust  and expectations in Christ, in the victory He’s already won for us and who He says we are, those huge giants start to get real small. What freedom that is!!! Looking at situations in our daily lives that should have us shaking at our knees or what the negative influence of the world says about it, we don’t have to give into that! With Christ, we can look at those situations and say “so what? I may be in prison but I still got Christ and whether I die or get outta here both are awesome because I’ll be with Christ.”

I pray we can embrace the expectations of freedom and victory Christ has given us! That we can go into our day not giving into those low and lying expectations! Put our hope and trust in Christ, lifting our eyes to the Kingdom so when we look around us we have Christ-like vision and expectation that no matter what happens, we belong to a Kingdom and Savior that can’t be shaken, can’t be beat!

Sent from my iPhone


Golden R-ships: “Thankful”

God Gold of the day

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.”

-Ephesians 6:18

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.”

-Philippians 1:3

“Rejoice evermore. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Pray without ceasing.”‘

-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I don’t even know where to start with this message but I guess the only place I can is by saying, “THANK YOU!!” Today, I had another birthday, actually my 25th birthday so I’m another year older and a few more grey hairs into this life. The birthday was so awesome in so many ways but there was a few things that stuck out to me above the rest. It was you, and all of the people God has placed in my life. Today, I received so many messages of “Happy Birthday,” along with some extra lines of encouragement throughout different messages. From the shortest to the longest messages, each word sent my way today continued to hit me in ways that seems to be magnified even more with each year of life. To have people reach out to me and speak words of encouragement and thankfulness over me, I’ve been so humbled in each message. Just to know that someone would take the time to show how much they care about me and how much I mean to them, that’s the most humbling experience I’ll ever go through. I don’t feel deserving for any of it at all but the one word to sum up the rush of emotions I feel is, THANKFUL!

I could never explain how genuinely thankful I am for you! But I figured, all I can do is show you how much you mean by speaking these truths over the God Gold with the hopes that this message today will bring you a sense of encouragement and hope to your life that moves you forward in your walk with Christ. I could type all day about how thankful I am but I want you to know that it’s because of your messages that God revealed to me a truth in relationships that is much over looked in our busy everyday lives. I pray this truth will open you up to experience the relationships that God has placed in your lives to the fullest and the ways that God has intended.

I noticed in these letters that Paul and others would write to churches in the New Testament, called the “epistles.” They would always take the time and be intentional in telling the people at the churches they were writing to how genuinely thankful they were for them. That struck me and I also noticed that majority of the times, the reasons that these early church leaders had to write these letters were because of wrong-doing or fixing a problem the church was causing or facing. That made this act of thanks expressed by Paul and others so much bigger to me that despite the hurt and problems caused in these relationships, they spent the time to write letters of encouragement and correction anyways. They showed a beautiful picture of the Gospel right there as they continued to love, encourage and help these people throughout there mistakes. It’s the sense of thankfulness that opened up the door to for these men to treat relationships with others in a way that would never be handled the same according to the world’s standards then or now. This thankfulness starts with Jesus, how even though we made our fair share of mistakes, committed sins, and did and still do so much that rejects Jesus in so many ways, despite all of that Jesus still took the punishment that we deserved on the cross so that we wouldn’t have to. He literally went through hell and back so we didn’t have to make that journey ourselves. Jesus did all that without hesitation, even though we were so undeserving. WOW!!!

I can’t put to words how thankful I am for what Jesus has done for me but I still to this day often overlook and live a life that so easily forgets the price that He paid so that I can have the LIFE that He’s given me. It hit me earlier that it’s the gospel that drives our lives but also in a closer view, it’s the gospel that drives relationships with others also. It blows my mind to see these early disciples spend so much time loving and encouraging people that by all means probably didn’t deserve it but it seems to be how they lived their lives through the lens of the gospel that brought out this awesome example of how to treat others and how to build golden relationships with them. When you get down on someone or don’t feel like giving that extra breath or word of encouragement, just take a few deep breaths and open your hearts back up to the gospel. It’s there that you will see Jesus and all that He has done despite our lack or deserving it, it’s there that you will experience this same sense of thankfulness that will overflow from your heart into the lives of others. And golly bum, I can’t explain what experiencing other’s words of thankfulness has done for me today. I see now a little bit of how these early believers must have felt being told by these big time disciples of Jesus how thankful they are for them. It’s those intentional words that changed their lives and spurred them on in this mission we have with Christ and these words have also brought me to a place of thankfulness and fullness that has lit my fire in so many ways. All because of others took time out of their day to share words of love and encouragement, these words have fueled me and made me thankful to the point that I just want this 25th year of life and this year of sending out God Golds, I just want to show you how thankful I am, serve you in every way possible, constantly think of ways to encourage you and spur you on to living a life for Christ. Because of these words I have received today I want to add value to your life in anyway I can and ultimately make you feel the way I do right now, encouraged, full, and most of all thankful.

There is no better feeling than this feeling I have right now so that is why today, I want to challenge you to text one person, call someone, write a letter even, in whatever way you feel led, take some time and be intentional in letting someone know how thankful you are for them. Encourage them and share with them in what you appreciate about them, what ways do they add value to your life. Seriously, don’t overlook this anymore, take the time to spend sitting under the truth of gospel and let that thankfulness overflow into the lives around you. You have no idea how much those words may mean to someone or how those words may pick someone up, it’s those words of thankfulness that changes lives forever, and even the lives around those people. You have no idea just how far those words of encouragement and thankfulness will travel in someone’s heart and the lives around them. That’s the challenge today, make somebody feel like it’s their birth day, whether that person deserves it or not, live in that same grace that Jesus lived in for us so that others will get to experience what it feels like to be set free and have LIFE to the fullest breathed into them! There is nothing more powerful than the gospel and what stems from that good news is it’s power and love spread into action among people’s lives.

The Conversations that Change Your Life

God Gold of the day

““Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬

I can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am for you and these daily messages! Getting the chance to share with you how genuinely good God is and then hearing responses of how God is working in your life, there’s really nothing better! The coolest part of these messages is getting to share with you my first hand experiences with what God is doing in my life and I know, sometimes I get caught up in the experience and forget the whole purpose for these messages in the first place. The only purpose of sharing any of these messages with you is with the hopes and prayers that you too will be touched and moved in your own personal relationship with God! I’m as excited as ever today to share with you Gods truth along with my experience because after seeing and feeling how awesome God is and the way He works, I want nothing more than you to have that same life altering, fulfilling experience with God! I’m just extremely thankful to share with you the greatest and most powerful truths you’ll ever hear about the most loving and awesome God you could ever come to know! Buckle up your seatbelts as we head into the mine!

These verses are pretty popular among the Christian faith, you may have heard them before and there’s probably one big theme you get from them. Prayer. Prayer is just what we do right? It’s what we are supposed to do as followers of Christ right? The answer is yes but it’s not something that we’re just “supposed” to do, it’s those prayerful conversations with God that we should do because of our desperate need for Him in our lives. I’ve been through quite a process of growth myself with prayer but thankfully enough, I’ve had experiences lately where my only and best option was to turn to God.

The truth is we face anxieties, we face pain and struggle, we face many things in our life that we’re not in control of. But the cool thing about our relationship with God, we have prayer! Even though we’re not in control and we have all these things that weigh us down daily and burden us, God gives us the opportunity to come to Him with those burdens! We have the chance to go to the One who IS in full control of every situation or struggle we could ever encounter. That just goes to show here in these verses, Paul gives the believers in Philippi advice that holds life changing power. And it’s simple, so no matter where you are in your faith, it’s a truth that is what it is. There’s nothing to read into it, this truth just speaks what God wants us to know and believe!

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.

You see what I mean? Simple right? Instead of getting caught up in all the worries of your life and all the things that bring so much negative energy into your hearts and minds, just DON’T! I know that can be hard at times to give up a habit of worrying about things but it’s like any other habit, just continue to let go of it more and more and replace it with prayer. Worry about NOTHING! Pray about EVERYTHING!!! Maybe you’re thinking a though that I’ve thought many of times, “what’s praying really going to do to help?” Well, I’ve learned lately that it’s not the act of praying that changes anything, nothing we could say or do will ever amount to a hill of beans in our life. The answers, help and peace you seek, comes in not how much you pray or how you pray, it comes from WHO you’re praying to!!!

The next part of the verses expounds on this simple truth and gives us our replacement for spending our time filled with worry!

“Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Tell God what you need, don’t just sugarcoat it and hide what you truly need. I fail in this way too often, just like we have this mindset of our relationships with others in this world that we don’t want them to see us sweat or know we’re struggling. We don’t have to, it says to go to God with your needs, don’t just pray about some things that you think God may want to hear! Pray about EVERYTHING!!! No matter what it is, the truth of the matter is, you can hide your true needs from God all day long But He already knows every worry and every struggle you have so what’s the point? If we have this golden opportunity to take our worries and struggles to the God who is more powerful than anything of this world, so much so that He created this whole world, why don’t we take that option? Why don’t we take our tough situations to God? There’s a list of reasons why we don’t but none of them matter or even compare to why we should!!!

Think about who you’re praying to….let that sink in that you’re praying to the God of the universe! Don’t let that scare you to say “all the right things” because He is your Father, you’re in a relationship with Him. He wants to know what your worries are because He loves you so much that He doesn’t want to see you struggle with them any longer, He wants to lighten your load and be the place that you cast all your worries!!!

God wants to give you peace, not just any peace but His heavenly, holy, and powerful peace! A type of peace that is completely unexplainable and unimaginable by our small human minds! If it’s something small or something big, Gods got peace that goes way beyond whatever size your worry is!

Prayer has been something I’ve practiced for quite a long time but lately it’s taken on a different look in my life and thank God for the trials and struggles that I’ve went through that pushed me towards this real, raw and personal conversations with God! Prayer has gotten personal for me, for one, I’ve learned more about the importance of knowing WHO I’m praying to, who God is and all the power and goodness that He brings through His presence!!! Then secondly, I have monitored myself, I’ve tried to make sure that I’m not just praying because I’m “supposed” to and not trying to say all the right things but truly taking my needs before God. It’s been hard because some of those needs go against all my pride and fleshly desires want to admit, but in it I’ve learned the most beautiful part of spending that time talking to God. Surrender. To worry means we’re thinking of our problems in our terms, how we can fix it, or what we should do. But God’s peace and power shows up when we realize that we can’t handle these worries and we surely can’t fix it! It’s been in the moments of taking some deep breaths to pause my mind from racing thoughts and just being still before such a holy and powerful God, it’s in those moments I’ve learned what surrender is, literally saying; “God I give you this worry or this problem because I can’t do anything with it, I’m in great need of you God and your salvation bringing presence in my life.” Simply saying, “God I can’t but I come to you because I know you can.”

It’s been the most humbling process I’ve ever been through but the more I learn how to surrender and take my hands off the wheel, the more I’ve seen God do things in my life that I could’ve never imagined doing on my own. It’s been through prayer that I’ve seen the most broken parts of myself that I’ve struggled and battled with for years, I’ve seen God breaking through all my failures and giving me the strength to walk away from any temptation or struggle that comes my way. Through prayer I’ve watched walls of selfish desires that I’ve enjoyed building over the years being broken down piece by piece, some of those walls that were keeping me from ever seeing or expediting the fullness of life that God had waiting for me on the other side. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to explain and I don’t tell you this to say “look at me.” Actually the opposite, “LOOK AT GOD!!” I have nothing to say, praying isn’t something we have to do, it’s something we need to do, and it’s not us praying that changes anything, it’s understanding WHO we are praying to that makes the difference and gives us faith to continue striving forward with peace in the middle of lives storms.

If you want to see how stinkin powerful and good God is, then stop worrying and pray! Take those needs to God and watch all the amazing things He will do in and through you! After being so hopeless and so broken over some situations in my own life, my desperation for help led me to God, and in Him I have found more than I could’ve ever asked for or hoped! You don’t have to sit in those worries any longer, so don’t! Take them to the only One who can do anything about them and He has peace that will fill you in ways that are unexplainable. Prayer is more than what we “should,” those conversations with God are essential to our lives, it’s in those conversations that God will change your life from the inside out! Don’t worry bout it, just talk to God! He’s got some good stuff there waiting on you!!!