"Yes, You Can Overcome Anything!" By Sam Eaton

The sweet aroma of fresh vomit wafted throughout the already pungent gym air as I sat huddled over a small black office trash can. It was 2011 and I had just joined my local Lifetime Fitness and barely survived my “not mandatory but I’ll put you down for Monday” free personal training session.

Throughout my four years of college, I, like many people, started about fifteen different workout routines and stuck to one… two… none of them. Looking back I can see one big underlying problem with my poorly executed workout fads: a deep-rooted belief that I couldn’t do it.

As I sat back up and wiped the lingering throw-up liquid from my face, several steroid junkies sneered in my direction. I HAD to stick to this. I HAD to change. I had spent too many years attempting to move the mountain with no success. Now, equipped with the proper workout routine and my new fitness navigator “Chad,” I was sure to succeed.

“I had spent too many years attempting to move the mountain with no success.”

Spoiler alert: I failed. I did great for a few weeks and then stopped. And failed again. I started a great running routine and then stopped.

Fail, fail, fail, fail, fail, fail, fail.

Fail.

Yet, one thing had drastically changed since college – my attitude. This time I was insanely resolved to keep getting up every time I dropped a barbell on my foot or loudly slipped off the pull-up bar (two things that definitely never happened to me). This time, I stared up at the mountain and, while majorly out of breath, sprinted past my fear.

Within five minutes of turning on any Christian radio station, you’re almost guaranteed to hear a cliché hook over a happy I, IV, V progression about those “mountains you can move”.  But have you ever thought about what it would actually take to move a freakin’ mountain? Jesus told his closest friends:

“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew17:20

A mustard seed of faith isn’t actually much faith at all. According to Barnes notes on the bible, at this time a mustard seed was widely known as one of the smallest of all seeds.

Like poppy-seed sized.

Like a miniscule black speck.

Yet, Jesus doesn’t say your faith must be larger than the mountain to move it (which mathematically might make more sense). He sayssomething 1 gazillionth the size has a greater force than the enormous mass of the mountain. The secret to moving the mountain?

Believing it is possible.

You have to decide that whatever you’re up against “ain’t no thang” to a God who created the earth and raised Jesus from the dead.  Adopt an attitude that says I might not understand this struggle, but I trust in my savior to help me every step of the way. With that belief and the tiniest leap of faith, truly “nothing will be impossible for you.”

“Adopt an attitude that says I might not understand why things happen, but I trust in my savior to help me every step of the way.”

What mountain are you staring up at this week? A mountain of debt? An addiction you can’t shake? A circumstance you feel will never change?

Resolve to never give up. Decide to believe that you can do it despite what anyone says. Wipe the vomit of failure from your mouth and set small, obtainable goals that will help you on your journey. Never stop believing that God iswith you at base camp and he will be there celebrating with you at the peak.

Despite my years and years of fitness failure, I finished my first marathon in October. At mile 21, I was in crazy amounts of pain from a foot injury and I could barely move my legs due to the cold. A medic put her arm around me and asked if I wanted to stop. “Do you want us to take you on the golf cart to the medic tent?”

I looked at her, almost crying. I thought for a moment and said, “No way. I’m not giving up.”

Yes, you can overcome anything!

It’s only a mountain. Tell it to move.

 

By Sam Eaton. "I am a 28-year-old goofball who is in love with all things Jesus, writing, music, adventure, youth ministry, laughter, and friendship. I pay my bills by teaching elementary school music to over 600 kids from grades K-5. My “free time” is mostly spent investing in the next generation through mentoring, teaching a high school small group, and playing on a worship team. I also love a good sweat, a moderately challenging house project, a cup of green tea, and as much time as I can get with my friends and family." (Borrowed from RecklesslyAlive.com).

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"How To Be As Happy As A Billionaire" By Jen Saviano

Let me guess… you didn’t win the Powerball last night? Plenty of us have a crumpled up ticket in the trash right now, too.

Yesterday my friend and I sat outside with our coffees, snuggled up in blankets (it was 60 degrees out y’all, practically snowing for us Floridians) and chatted for an hour or so about what we’d do if we won the lotto: take care of family, find more charities we’re passionate about, travel the world, help out friends and strangers, buy a 4 story penthouse in the Upper East Side, purchase that Valentino bag I’ve been drooling over, oh boy could I go ON with this list but it’s starting to sting a little bit…

We were talking so in depth as if we were actually making done-deal plans, that I absorbed myself in the fantasy of it and felt a wave of euphoria… if only I could feel like this every day…

Then I had a thought… that amount of money certainly won’t be in my bank any time soon, *bitter* but that happiness should always be with me and should be available to anyone that wants it.

At a point during our unrealistic planning, we caught ourselves complaining about something… My friend stopped me, looked around and jokingly teased “yea because we’re really slumming it these days.”

Reality check right there…

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the what if's and what could be’s if we had this or that, that we sometimes forget how ridiculously, stupid blessed we already are.  Sometimes a teasing reminder *or a Miss Lifestyler blog post * is all you need to snap you back to the real reality: If you have a roof over your head, food on the table and access to read this post, I’d say you’re doing pretty damn well, too.

As much as we’d all welcome a few mill in the bank with loving arms, it doesn’t change the fact that you can be billionaire happy right now.

How? It's as simple as appreciating what you already have...

As I typed that last sentence, my favorite quote popped into my head: ‘the things you take for granted, someone else is praying for.”

I guarantee you that some of the happiest kids in the world right now are playing in the dirt in a third world country and some of the most miserable are sitting in their multimillion dollar homes in LA, depressed and wanting more out of their lives.

Happiness is a state of mind, and if you don’t learn to accept and appreciate who you are and where you’re at in your life, nothing from the external world is going to really change that.

So today: take a moment to look around and count your blessings… write them down or scribble a mental note… Reflect, appreciate and absorb yourself in every second of today.

All stress factors and struggles will dissolve in that moment of gratitude… keep it going whenever you feel down and you’ll soon see that this is one of the healthiest habits you can learn to do.

Sorry you didn’t win the Powerball… and you probs won’t win the next one either... but life goes on, don’t spend it any other way then ridiculously happy and grateful.

 

By Jen Saviano. Jen has been on the reality TV show The Bachelor, played Tennis for her college and is the Founder of Miss Lifestyler.com. Jen is well know however she does not allow this attention to drown out her heart and desire to love and encourage people in this world. 

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"What Does A Selfless Life Look Like?"

When you were younger or even now, did you ever have a friend who was just selfless? One who would always step in when you were in trouble to take the blame, maybe took on a punishment, just so you wouldn't have to?  Or a friend who, even though you never called to hangout with him, was more than happy to hang with you when you were without friends? Someone who would stand by you even when things got tough, to help you through the difficult times? I bet if we had the power to we would have every friend be this way. Wouldn't you?

So then why does our world have such a horrible taste towards Jesus? Jesus said, "I came that they may have life and have it to the full." He has offered to be the best person we will ever come to know. I know its a weird idea having a friend that isn't physically there. But don't pass on the fact.
 

If you were on the other side of the world and called your parents, you could feel the love just through the phone, physicality is just something we are used to. I am not telling you to go have invisible friends but love is bigger than we give it credit for. Just as love is not something able to be controlled, contained or held down, so is to who Jesus is. He is everywhere. God is love. Love is God. 
 

I pray that anyone who sees this will take a leap of faith and see what God is all about. He is not one to yell at you, to push you down, make you feel insecure; we already have the rest of the world for that. I guarantee if you do come to Him and trust in the life Jesus came and sacrifice His life for, your life will not be the same.
 

At times your life will feel like the records on a DJ's turntable
 

I promise, once you let God take control of you, the music that comes forth will be more beautiful that you could ever imagine. 

aTimeforChangeMovement