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Friday, July 23, 2021



Countless athletes approach their diet with an “I can eat whatever I want to because I workout” attitude and adherence to gymnastics nutrition principles is no different. The biggest problem with this recklessness is it’s nearly impossible to eat right just by chance. The other side of the coin presents the opposite approach, “I must avoid weight gain at all costs.” This reaction to the fear of weight gain totally dismisses the nutritional importance of food and can create a whole host of other physical, psychological and emotional problems. Neither is optimal for becoming your best or your health.

Where body fat composition plays an important role in an athlete’s level of success in most sports, it is critical for gymnasts because of the favorable strength to body weight ratio needed to compete. Maximizing lean body mass while keeping body fat composition to a minimum can be quite a challenge. A scientific plan of attack trumps a “just wing-it” attitude in your pursuit of optimal gymnastics nutrition. I see many Austin gymnastics programs that put the gymnast first and others that put results in front of the young gymnastics student. The following recommendations are a starting point to reaching your peak performance as it relates to nutrition and gymnastics.

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Hire a sports nutritionist to optimize your dietary intake for gymnastics.

A sports nutritionist is just as important to your level of success as the coach you hire to train you. Having a dietary plan mapped out for you is recommended in order to meet your specific athletic and health needs. A well-designed, written out individualistic approach will consider your workout schedule: frequency, intensity, length of workout and workout recovery; your “game day” plan; as well as, the gymnastic events in which you compete. These important details will affect the calorie count and composition that your nutritionist with prescribed. Follow it closely. This delicate balance of fueling your body for the anaerobic competition that gymnastics requires, but not to the point of storing body fat, will strongly influence the outcome of your individual performance.

Steer clear of eating disorders that gymnasts can potentially fall into.

Anorexia, bulimia and excessive dieting are serious concerns in young gymnastic athletes. Some estimate that as many as half of all young gymnasts suffer from an eating disorder. If you suspect this is a problem, consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Treatment for severe cases may require hospitalization. Nutritional counseling, psychotherapy, antidepressant drugs, as well as other treatments are typically used in less severe cases. Your physician, sports nutritionist and/or sports psychologist will help get matters under control so that you can become the athlete you are training so hard to become.

Minimize or eliminate sugar.

Calories are at a premium, you have to make each one work for you, not against you. Although carbohydrates are needed to fuel the explosive anaerobic needs of any event in gymnastics, they should come from nutrient-dense, real foods such as fruits, vegetables and tubers. Sugar-containing foods lead to energy crashes, a non-hunger satisfying effect, stored calories in fat cells, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, an inflammatory response in your body, and more. None of these consequences are conducive to performing at the highest level possible, let alone good health. So, make each calorie count as usable fuel in the near future, not something you accumulate in fat cells for later use.

Don’t eat processed foods.

With the availability, cost, tastiness and convenience of processed foods leading to greater consumption by kids, the risk of nutrient deficiencies increases. Processed foods are full of unhealthy fats and high fructose corn syrup and are destined to leave you feeling lethargic, sick and fat. They also contain artificial ingredients which have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, allergies, and more. So, consuming food with a long list of ingredients, more than 5 or 6, on the label is not in your best interest from a health or athletic performance standpoint. Anything less than optimal gymnastics nutrition & dietary intake will create a decrease in athletic performance. So, power your training up with whole, nutrient-dense, real foods, not foods that are made in a lab.

Stay hydrated as a cornerstone of gymnastics nutrition.

Everyone knows that hydration is not only good for your health and staving off hunger pains, but it is also essential for performing your best at practice and in competition because of body temperature regulation. Once you feel the thirst sensation, you are already slightly dehydrated and certain physiological factors will be conceded affecting your performance. Meeting your hydration needs at this point can be a real challenge given you are still working out or in a competition. This is why pre-practice /competition hydration is critical; so you don’t fall behind. As dehydration increases so do the symptoms. At first you may see a slight drop off of performance, then muscle cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, even death in extreme cases. Staying hydrated is REAL important.

Take supplements if needed.

Follow the directions of a sports nutritionist if it’s recommend that you take supplements. Not only will the nutritionist know your dietary needs, they will also know which supplements are safe for you to take. Additionally, some supplements may be more convenient at certain times than an actual meal so having a greater understanding of what will be most beneficial to you is essential. Ideally, meeting all of your nutritional needs through your diet is best. This is because the nutrition in your food will be more readily absorbed by your body. Nutrients in food act synergistic-ally with one another to complete the beneficiary effects of food and meet the needs of the human body. However, with the additional nutritional requirements of a gymnast, supplements may be added to make up for any nutritional differences.

Eat a post gymnastics workout meal.

Intense workouts diminish muscle glycogen (stored carbohydrates in the muscle, blood and liver) our primary fuel source and create micro-damage to the muscle tissue. Gymnastics nutrition can focus on the rebuilding and repairing of this muscles tissue that we actually get stronger and gain more muscular endurance. Nutrient timing isn’t only important in executing your event to your highest ability, it is extremely important in replenishing glycogen stores, increasing protein production and slowing protein breakdown post-workout to speed recovery and improve muscle efficiency. The quicker we get replenishment to these areas of need, the sooner we “heal” the damaged muscle and slow the muscle breakdown caused by the workout. This will have a positive effect on your performance if you consume a carbohydrate and protein food source 1-2 hours following your intense workout. Light workouts may not need a post-workout meal or drink. A nutritionist will be better able to advise you on this given the intensity of your workouts and the composition of the rest of your diet.


This article is written by Rusty Gregory of Forte Fitness. Rusty is a an Austin personal trainer with 25 years of experience after earning his Masters degree in Kinesiology from the University of Michigan. Rusty also serves as a highly valued consultant to Austin basketball trainer (and co-owner) Chris Corbett. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as well as a Certified Wellness Coach. Rusty is also the author of the following books: Self-Care Reform & Living Wheat Free For Dummies.

Note: The content in this article should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs as you optimize your gymnastics nutrition plan.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2021

This Man Is An Excuse Buster! The StrengthCast PowerShow


How to Get Started Exercising Despite Obesity and Low Energy Levels

  • Author Jordan Pete
Diet and exercise programs often exhort you to "get up and move!" as though the only factor affecting your weight is a tendency towards laziness. If you have trouble staying active, however, there's a good chance that something more is holding you back.
Many people with high body mass indexes, or BMIs, also suffer from low energy levels and difficulties with exercise that aren't found in slimmer, more active people. Here's a look at some of the possible causes of these problems, as well as a few solutions that can help you get moving a little more easily.

Reasons for Low Energy Levels

Many overweight and obese people suffer from low energy levels, but this problem might not be caused by high body weight. Instead, it might actually be produced by a hormonal or emotional disorder, such as hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression or similar problems. All these conditions can affect your motivation, energy levels and your weight, encouraging you to gain. Talking to a doctor can help you deal with the underlying cause and may make becoming active much easier.

You might also experience low levels of energy if your body doesn't process carbohydrates properly. This is common in people who have developed insulin resistance, pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. If you don't monitor your carbohydrate consumption and you have one of these disorders, you may find yourself suffering from uneven moods and periods of extreme fatigue. You might even feel dizzy or lightheaded. Some people with low energy and high body mass are also suffering from sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, which is aggravated by a high weight and can cause extreme fatigue. Like hormonal problems, seeing a doctor can often help you overcome these problems.

Physical Barriers to Exercise

There are also physical difficulties that can make it difficult for many overweight people to enjoy regular exercise. The majority of the sedentary population suffers from poor endurance and low muscle mass, which can make conventional exercise programs exhausting and difficult, but this problem is greater for sedentary people with a high body weight. Simply moving your own body around can be tiring if you're not used to it.

You may also suffer from problems such as exercise-induced asthma, joint pain from old injuries or weight-related stresses, and an increased tendency to sweat. Exercise can be particularly difficult if you have a major physical disability that has encouraged you to gain weight. That doesn't mean you can't find an option that works for you, however.

Working around Problems

The good news is that even if you are physically disabled, suffering from extreme tiredness, or have other problems that make conventional exercise programs difficult, you can still enjoy regular physical activity. The first step is to redefine your idea of exercise.

Most people think that they have to accomplish a certain amount for it to "count" toward their physical fitness. This myth has kept a lot of people feeling uncomfortable in their own bodies, but helpless to improve their health. The truth is that any activity is good activity, and you need to scale your exercise routine to fit in with your personal fitness level. If that means walking slowly around the block or doing easy push-ups against the wall to start with, there's nothing wrong with that.

Take some time to think about the activity level you're currently comfortable with. If climbing stairs makes your knees hurt or you have trouble walking to catch the bus, you may need to pursue an alternative to the standard programs. Identify a form of exercise that makes you feel comfortable, even if it's something as simple as stepping in place during a television program or taking a walk with your kids or pets. Look for something that will get you moving and make you feel a little bit of exertion, but avoid activities that will cause you pain or leave you feeling exhausted. Try to do the same thing every day.

If you have a physical disability such as an old injury or congenital problem, don't try to force your way past it. You could end up hurting yourself even worse. Instead, design your exercise program to work around your problems. Get the help of a physical therapist or a personal trainer who specializes in your disability if you're not sure of the best way to do this. If you suffer from any significant symptoms due to your increase in activity, talk to your doctor about the problem, and make sure that he or she takes you seriously. Doctors who prescribe severe dieting instead of treating your injury are focusing on the wrong thing, and can actually be detrimental to your physical fitness.

Leveling Up

If you do even a very small amount of exercise every day, there's a good chance you'll find that it gets easier over time. When that happens, it's time to increase your level of activity. Add a light set of hand weights as you walk around the park. Shift your bicycle into a slightly lower gear, or add a step to your program of walking in place. Increase the number of sit-ups or push-ups you're doing. It doesn't matter how you increase the difficulty as long as you make sure you do it gradually and keep things within your ability. Any exercise counts, as long as it gets your heart rate up and puts a little stress on your muscles.

Over time, you'll probably find that it's a lot easier to get started. Everyone has bad days, of course, but many people also find that getting more active actually improves their energy level. For people who suffer from depression and insulin-related problems, physical activity can even reduce symptoms, making day to day life a lot easier. If you consume a balanced diet with enough calories to fuel your exercise, there's even a good chance that moderate increases in physical activity will help you reduce your weight.

You may feel like your weight or medical conditions mean that you can't get "real" exercise. This is a myth that could be seriously detrimental to your health. Instead of letting other people's extreme ideas of what fitness means hold you back, take some time to look at your own situation. Find a way to get moving that doesn't disrupt your life or make you feel miserable, and you may be surprised at the difference it can make.

Even a relatively minor increase in physical activity levels has been shown to reduce weight and help your health. While burning an extra 100 calories per day may not seem like much, it could help you drop about a pound a month, as well as lowering your blood pressure, decreasing your risk of diabetes, strengthening your joints and reducing your stress levels. As you become more fit, you can increase your workout, boosting the amount you burn.

Don't let yourself end up feeling tired and flabby when you could enjoy the benefits of a healthy workout. There's no such thing as bad exercise! Just take precautions to make sure you won't hurt yourself, tailor your workout to your personal situation, and be willing to get moving.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

The Uncensored Truth Tour: Tulsa OK and Healthy for Life with Exercise


Healthy for Life with Exercise

  • Author Adrianus Joele

If people would realize how many health benefits exercise can offer, there would be no hesitation in getting started with some form of exercise.

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Especially older folks are harder to get motivated, because they think the exercise will cause an injury. At the contrary, exercise will keep there overall fitness level and muscle strength in optimal form. It's a matter of choosing the right form of exercise.

Swimming, walking and gardening are very suitable for older people. Swimming has the advantage that their body weight will be partly supported by the water, which makes it possible to exercise without risking any bodily harm.

Walking is the best exercise you can have, because it's natural. Good long brisk walks give a lot of benefits- the whole body begins to respond. You breath properly, your circulation and heart benefits, and it's good for the mind and positive thinking.

It's only in recent years that fitness gurus have recognized the supremacy of brisk walking. In contrary to jogging, brisk walking provides a lot of benefits without any problems. Walking is almost as important as the right food. You need to eat properly and exercise properly, the two together gives you the best results. The internal organs of the body need tone and for this most of them depend almost entirely on physical activity.

Exercise produces big results whether we’re 40, 60 or 80. According to the Human Physiology Laboratory at Tufts University Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, we respond well to exercise at any age. Muscles grow, bones strengthen, and metabolism increases. Our body fat decreases while blood sugar and balance improve. I proved this to myself when I taught strength training at a retirement residence. With modest effort, exercisers in their 80s grew stronger and more vital. We were all delighted. Reduced muscle strength is associated with age-related disability. The most common cause of muscle weakness is inactivity. After three months of high-intensity muscle training, healthy men over 60 experienced gains similar to those reported for younger men training with similar intensity and duration. People who were stronger remained more independent and less burdened by advancing years. Any type of exercise helps, but combining aerobics, strength, and flexibility works best. For most people, aerobic exercise is an easy place to begin.

As we breathe deeply, the diafragm – which separates the chest from the abdomen – rises and falls repeatedly, massaging all the internal organs, particularly the stomach, small intestine, bowel, lungs and liver. The stretching and relaxing of the intestines is vital in preventing that widespread form of 'self poisoning' : constipation. Exercise does keep you regular!

In the mid-eighties, a vital clue to the right exercise for lifelong health was uncovered by brilliant research in biochemistry. Biochemists established that all cell replication in the immune system and therefore all immune strength is dependent on availability of the amino acid glutamine. Your immune system uses a ton of it. But immune cells cannot make glutamine. Only muscle cells can do the job. So your muscles have to supply large amounts of glutamine to your immune system every day in order to maintain it. That's it! The mitochondria of muscle are the furnaces in which most of your body fat and sugar are burned for fuel. Muscle is what stresses your skeleton to maintain your bones. We also know that muscle is the vital link which also maintain your immunity and hence your resistance to all diseases. Muscle is the health engine. Which so much overwhelming evidence that muscular exercise is essential to health, what are we doing about it? A big fat zero.

Muscle is the health engine. It's a proven fact that the right exercise not only maintains your heart, your lungs, your muscles, your bones, a healthy level of body fat and even your intestinal function, but also some more subtle functions, like insulin and your body's dealing with sugar. It has been known for more than fifty years that lack of exercise leads to glucose intolerance.

However, not long ago research has shown that getting of the couch and start moving, not only maintain insulin function to deal with the sugar, but it also can reverse decades of damage. Insulin dependent diabetics, for example, using the right exercise program, can increase insulin efficiency so much that some patients, who have used insulin daily for years, no longer need it. In healthy people, the right exercise completely protects glucose tolerance against the degenerative changes in insulin metabolism that lead to adult-onset diabetes. Healthy old men who maintain a lifelong exercise program, have the same healthy insulin efficiency as young men. A high sugar diet, which progressively destroys insulin metabolism, makes it virtually mandatory to exercise if you want to avoid glucose intolerance as you grow older.

Most physicians believe that hardening of the arteries, a degenerative process, is inevitable. Dr. Lakatta at the National Institute on Aging Research Center in Baltimore, is showing in ongoing experiments, that regular exercise maintains arterial elasticity and even reverses arterial hardening that has already occurred. I could fill many pages citing numerous bodily functions which are maintained by regular exercise. But I will keep it short.

Research recently undertaken has revealed the major way in which exercise protect you against all diseases. It started with the evidence that exercise increases the overall number of white blood cells. Followed by more precise findings that moderate exercise increases bodily production of lymphocytes, interleukin 2, neutrophils and other disease fighting components of the immune system. There is no doubt that the right exercise strengthens your immunity. And it also strengthens your resistance to all forms of damage, decay, bacteria, viruses, toxins and even radiation. Closing with the wise words of Louis Pasteur, the father of modern medicine: "Host resistance is the key."

Here is the link for an exercise program that teach you aerobics, weight lifting, flexibility and nutrition for athletes:

Adrian Joele became interested in nutrition and weight management while he was an associate with a nutritional supplement company. Since 2008 he wrote several articles about nutrition and weight loss and achieved expert status with Ezine He has been involved in nutrition and weight management for more than 12 years and he likes to share his knowledge with anyone who could benefit from it.

Get his free report on nutrition and tips for healthy living, by visiting:

Thursday, July 15, 2021

CoachTube Coaches' Corner Give Your QB Confidence and Protection While Using RPOs with Live IFL Action


  • By Matt Ogle

    RPOs don’t have to stand for “Ridiculous Protection Offense” as John Gruden once joked. Against popular belief, RPOs can be a tool to protect the QB and more within your offense.

    Newly hired MTSU OC Brent Dearmon joined Lauren’s First and Goal Clinic recently to explain his philosophy on RPOs and how he uses them to protect his QB and his run scheme.

    Over the past year, Zoom clinics and X&O superheroes have seemingly overcomplicated a beautiful game that boils down to blocking and tackling. Sure, most offensive coordinators can become a bit ambitious and overzealous at times when developing and installing plays. Dearmon, on the other hand, has 4 simple yet vital questions when developing RPOs so they can be successful.


    Dearmon is adamant about building RPOs to get his offense out of bad run plays and into easy passing answers. To do this, he is very particular about how he designs his RPOs as well as ensuring that his QB knows the answers to bad defensive looks. Dearmon explains how he has altered the teaching of his RPO concepts so that his QBs understand gap responsibilities rather than just pinpointing one defender to read. Here is one of Dearmon’s base Inside Zone RPOs that reads the backside C-gap post snap.

    This deeper level of understanding from the QB is necessary in order to command the offense in the most efficient manner. Dearmon has stated before that he calls RPOs to run the football and to create answers, not to throw the ball every play. Another way that Dearmon creates answers to defensive adjustments is finding new ways to attack the C and D gaps.

    One of Dearmon’s more complex RPOs is his Inside Zone Lock RPO. This utilizes the same run concept mentioned earlier, only with a slight alteration to the backside of the run from the Guard, Tackle, and F (some refer to this as the H-back, off Y, or Sniffer). You can see this blocking scheme and RPO concept below.


    Within this RPO, the QB must fix problems in the playside D-gap and the backside D-gap. Pre-snap, the QB can choose the route that he wants his receiver to run. This is the “Gift” concept, but the route can change depending on the alignment of the corner. More popular pre-snap gifts include hitches, slants, speed outs, fades, or any quick game throw that the QB and receiver can execute at a high percentage. 

    Post-snap, the QB is reading the D-gap defender. In this diagram above, the D-gap defender is the Sam linebacker, although this can change depending on the defense. This is the exact reason Dearmon teaches his QB to read gaps, not players. 

    Dearmon emphasizes that his scheme and concepts are not the only way to run RPOs, however, he does strongly believe that the QB must feel protected and know where he is protected to utilize RPOs as an answer instead of a hopeful life line. 

    Extra Nugget:

    Dearmon references the 2013 Auburn offense which used the Inside Zone Go RPO concept to help win late in the game against Alabama. You can view the All-22 clip of this play below:

    Dearmon's course "Gap Sound RPO's" is available here.

    Tactical PE Watch This Warrior Use His Tactical Flexibility To Take Down and Armed Suspect


    Los Angeles --- The Los Angeles Police Department released body Camera, 911 call, picture of an officer Involved Shooting that occurred on May 29, 2021 in Topanga Division. (From Video Leak Police)

    Tactical Workouts Lesson 3 Flexibility 


    Tactical flexibility may reduce the chance of you becoming a target.

    In a gunfight you must make yourself as compact as possible, to get behind cover and concealment. Otherwise you can potentially expose a leg or an arm or another part of your body.

    When it’s time to return fire and go on the offensive, you need the range of motion to place your body in the optimal position to get the shot. Being tactically flexible gives you another opportunity to win.

    You may be a law enforcement officer sitting in a patrol car. You start out in a resting state. In an instant you get a call and must leap out of your vehicle.

    Are you physically able to jump out quickly and go into a full sprint?

    Perhaps the suspect leads you over a chain-link fence.

    Can you raise your leg high enough to get that first bite on the chain-link fence?

    Can you quickly grab the top of the fence and pull yourself over, while wearing 40 pounds of duty gear?

    And now it's time to fight. Learn more.....

    Tuesday, July 13, 2021

    THE FACE-TO-FACE IMPACT OF IN-PERSON OUTREACH and The Rock Almighty Devotional, Praise, and Worship with The 77s



    by CDM 

    The Creflo Dollar Global Missions team felt there was something that we, as World Changers, needed to reactivate coming out of the social distancing and other restrictions required by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that was the human to human contact involved in our outreach to the community. For most of 2020, our local outreaches, such as the Back 2 SchoolThanksgiving Feeding Families, and Christmas Giveaway events, were drive-thru’s without the traditional ministry aspects that have historically accompanied them, such as prayer. However, once COVID restrictions began to lift, our team of volunteers was able to do an in-person outreach activity, and headed to the Salvation Army Red Shield Shelter in downtown Atlanta. For more about the origins of this outreach event, see last month’s article here.


    Face-to-Face Outreach

    On that Saturday, once the Red Shield Shelter’s staff made an announcement to their residents that CDGM was there, the Global Missions team engaged with the shelter’s clients for two and a half hours, distributing general hygiene kits, female-specific hygiene kits with sanitary products, and snacks.

    Clients would approach the table with their eyes on the ground; they’d look up apprehensively, as though they expected judgment or maybe were ashamed of having to receive help. It meant a lot for the CDGM volunteers to make eye contact, to smile and say, “How are you? Who are you?” The opportunity to interact with the mothers there was momentous. The mothers thought they were only receiving things for their children, and were surprised and pleased to learn they would receive supplies, as well. The Red Shield Shelter also services homeless veterans. Our volunteers conversed with them, asking when they served, what war, what their job was in the military, and then thank them for their service.


    Those table moments were huge. It was edifying for our people to have a “heart” interaction with the residents, to actually engage in conversation and provide encouragement as opposed to just dropping off a check or supplies. Sometimes simply telling someone “It’s going to be okay” can be the hope they need to hear. Many of the people there had unique stories and walked away with the hope that’s found in God’s grace.

    Several CDGM volunteers had come along for security and ordering; however, the event was orderly, and security wasn’t really needed. Therefore, those volunteers became prayer warriors for the event. The CDGM members distributing supplies at the table directed the recipients to those volunteers for prayer for depression, relationship trouble, and more. They all enjoyed seeing the fruition of the face-to-face contact and its effect on these precious people.

    Chances to Minister


    One of the teenage volunteers told of speaking with an autistic fifth grader living in the shelter. He was excited to be there. He said, “Since we moved here, everything is so much better!” He accepted prayer, but only if he could receive five hugs first!

    Volunteer Tiffany Johnson recounted a particularly impactful exchange. After giving supplies to a man, she encouraged him to “Go over there and get some prayer.”

    He shook his head, “Nope, I gave up on that right there.” “Gave up on what?” “Gave up on God,” he clarified.

    She wanted to know why. “I had a surgery. I used to sing and entertain, but I can’t do that anymore because God took my voice. I didn’t heal right after the surgery.”

    Tiffany was able to go deeper into his story. “I thought you walked up here,” she said. He tipped his head to the side, “Yeah?” “

    So, you’re able to walk up to this table and then walk away? I saw a few people before you come up to this table with canes and walkers,” she pointed out.

    He caught where she was going and repeated that he had given up on God. She asked him, “Did you find something better?”

    He stared at her silently and she pressed him. “What did you find that was better than God?”

    He admitted that he hadn’t found anything better and Tiffany suggested he hold onto God until he found something “better.” The man wasn’t willing to receive prayer, but he did take in what she said to him with tears in his eyes. She spoke with him further about how to wake up thanking God—thanking God that he can walk, that his voice is returning—and to focus on the “thank you’s” instead of what he doesn’t have.

    Had the Global Missions team just dropped off a shipment of supplies, they would have missed those opportunities. Person-to-person ministry is still needed.

    Saturday, July 10, 2021

    AN ACT OF FAITH and Abandon Everything for the sake of Love


    Most people have a narrow definition of what it means to act in faith. The world defines it as doing something to prove one’s religious devotion or trustworthiness, or as some kind of action that tests one’s morals or beliefs. However, biblical faith goes far deeper than empty works done to prove our intentions to someone else. It has nothing to do with religion, but everything to do with trust in God.

    Get it on Apple Books

    The kind of faith God wants us to have gives us tremendous power the world doesn’t have. It requires the courage to step out and do what no one else is doing. Genuine belief involves more than just paying lip service to something, but physically following up. If we believe something strongly enough, an action will be born out of it. “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (James 2:17).

    Most people think that faith is simply agreeing with God’s Word in their hearts, and doing nothing else. It’s essential that we agree with what He says, but we demonstrate true agreement by going one step further and taking action. The world calls it “putting your money where your mouth is.” God calls it putting our faith to work. I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, ‘Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.’ Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove (James 2:18, MSG).

    Acting according to what we think we should do based on our own intellectual reasoning requires no faith. A true act of faith often contradicts everything that makes logical sense, and requires that we follow God’s prompting even when we have no tangible proof to show yet. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). One hallmark of trusting in God is if the world completely rejects what we’re doing. When He calls us and gives us an assignment, we mustn’t expect the world to agree with us.

    Taking that first step of faith may seem like the scariest thing we’ve ever done, but we shouldn’t just stop at one step. We must consistently keep our faith out in the field and refuse to take it in until it gets us the results we’re believing for, regardless of what’s happening around us. Depending on our physical senses hinders our faith walk; therefore, when things get confusing we need to rely on God to lead us in the right direction. Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” (Proverbs 3:5, 6, NLT).

    This is easier said than done. When Peter walked on water, everything was fine as long as he was focusing on Jesus. He only began to sink when he got distracted by his circumstances and let fear and doubt stop his forward progress. Our faith can enable us to walk on top of the storms of life, move mountains that seem as if they won’t budge, and do the impossible. “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23).

    Whatever is staring us in the face is no match for our faith. God wants us to succeed. Believing this will keep us going.

    For more on how a faith-based response to whatever we’re facing empowers us, click on the link to find the CD series The Faith Response, in our eStore.