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Few pastors or Christian writers have dared to approach the subject of how proper eating and an active lifestyle can affect how we serve God. Author Gary Thomas does just that. And he reaches all the way back to the apostle Paul, who wrote that we need to prime our bodies to become, "an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work." To illustrate the body/soul correlation, Thomas presents engaging and diverse stories that include a young mom who got fit through ...
Few pastors or Christian writers have dared to approach the subject of how proper eating and an active lifestyle can affect how we serve God. Author Gary Thomas does just that. And he reaches all the way back to the apostle Paul, who wrote that we need to prime our bodies to become, "an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work." To illustrate the body/soul correlation, Thomas presents engaging and diverse stories that include a young mom who got fit through volleyball and reaped spiritual rewards in her marriage, a 300-pound pastor who realized his obesity was eroding his ministry impact, and a woman who gained the spiritual strength to survive a contentious divorce by training for a marathon. In every instance, Thomas makes a direct connection between the physical challenge and its spiritual consequence. This book is a must read for anyone seeking new and compelling motivation for strengthening their bodies and fortifying their souls.
Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u OJVm Fwl Yb A for more.
1 Souls of Silver 11
2 Heads without Bodies 27
3 "Your Strength Will Equal Your Days" 39
4 Healthy Humiliation 51
5 It's Not a Fair Fight 65
6 Is Being Overweight a Sin? 75
7 Socially Contagious 91
8 The Silent Murderer 101
9 Let's Get Physical 113
10 Muscular Christianity 123
11 The Three-Hundred-Pound Pastor: Changing the Church Culture 135
12 Stronger Shoulders 147
13 Purely Practical 159
14 Meet My Friend Morty: Our Ongoing Battle against Sin 171
15 The Last Christian 191
Questions for Discussion and Reflection 221
Posted January 25, 2012
"Every Body Matters", by Gary Thomas is what I would consider a Study Guide as well as a Physical Fitness Guide to maintaining the proper physical body in order for you individual body to maintain the spiritual goal which we all need for our souls. By doing so, we will only be better to live our lives in the manner God has intended us to live. I must say that before starting "Every Body Matters", I didn't give much thought to how my physical abilities impacted my spiritual fitness. As the cover states, 'Strengthening Your Body to Strengthen You Soul'. God created out bodies as temples, in His own image. What right do we have to destroy that temple by our negligence of our body. Thomas explains in clear and concise words how when our bodies are neglected through lack of exercise, poor diet and the such, that our physical body does not have the strength to maintain and strengthen our Soul. I must say that I hadn't thought about it like that previously. As far as the strength of our soul, if you think about it, without a clear and strong soul, we are unable to strive to maintain our physical bodies, which in turn will affect our lives all the way around. Thomas also reminds us that our bodies are not our own. They belong to God and it is our responsibility to maintain them in order to do His work. Thank you Gary Thomas for writing such a thought provoking and knowledgeable guide. You have certainly opened my eyes and have also provided a catalyst for me to strengthen my body, in order to assist me in growing as a Christian. I'd also like to thank Zondervanblog for the opportunity to read and review this vital piece of advice.
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Posted February 2, 2012
Gary Thomas had the guts to write the truth about the connection between physical fitness and spiritual fitness.
He had the guts to challenge the Body of Christ to tighten the belt a few notches.
He had the guts to suggest that churches schedule a few less potlucks and replace them with fitness gatherings.
Now, I must say that Gary Thomas shares his message with a hefty dose of grace and gentleness.
As an overweight, out-of-shape Christian, he stepped on my toes, but he didn’t break them.
The overall message of Every Body Matters can be summed up by a quote Thomas shares by renowned health and fitness expert, Dr. Kenneth Cooper, “A healthy, fit body is the most appropriate home for a vibrant spirit.”
For 20 years, I’ve been lamenting, “I want to lose this weight so my body can keep up with my spirit.”
Every Body Matters: Strengthening Your Body to Strengthen Your Soul is a guidebook to empower me to do just that.
Using many examples from Scripture as well as wise teaching from years past, Gary Thomas lays out a feast of truth about the benefits of a strong, fit body.
•Paul longed for Christ to be exalted in his body. (Philippians 1:20)
•When committed to God, caring for one’s body can be an act of worship…”a new way of surrendering to God’s presence.” (Thomas)
•An active, healthy lifestyle is a way to stay in the race and to finish the race strong.
•Developing discipline in the areas of food and exercise strengthens Believers to endure spiritual hardships with perseverance.
•Saying goodbye to physical laziness is a huge step toward warding off spiritual laziness.
Gary Thomas challenges Christians to love each other enough to want the absolute best for each other!
I love Thomas’s heart in this statement: “How loving is it to allow someone to barely scrape by when God is offering truly abundant life?”
Becoming spiritually and physically fit are two ways that we can grow in our inner and outer strength, as well as in our ability and willingness to endure hardship. The end result is that we, like Jeremiah and Paul, may become truly useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. (Thomas)
***Zondervan provided me with a review copy of Every Body Matters free of charge. I was not required to post a positive review, but after reading the book, there was no other option for me. This book is a must-read! I can’t wait to share my co