Photography (Lacy Jade Photography)
cow face pose (var.)
cow face pose
boat pose (var.)
big toe pose
upward half lotus forward bend
open angle seated forward bend
monkey pose (var.)
bound half lotus forward bend
half cow face forward bend
bound half lotus forward bend
three-limbed forward bend
Try holding each pose for 1 minute and remember to repeat the opposite side.
After just reading the book of Matthew I was amazed at how many answers to my questions I had found. Below are the answers and my own personal perception on what the scriptures meant to me.
QUESTION NUMBER THREE
“What does God really expect from us as christians? (Are we really supposed to eat, breathe, and talk about Jesus all day, every day?)
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. Matthew 5:14-15
God is not a secret to be kept but if you read the next few scriptures it really focuses on how to present yourself and share with others what God has done for your life.
“Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but God who made you won’t be applauding. Matthew 6:1
When you practice some appetite-denying discipline to better concentrate on God, don’t make a production out of it. It might turn you into a small-time celebrity but it won’t make you a saint. If you ‘go into training’ inwardly, act normal outwardly. Matthew 6:16-17
Jesus came down the mountain with the cheers of the crowd still ringing in his ears. Then a leper appeared and went to his knees before Jesus, praying, “Master, if you want to, you can heal my body.” Jesus reached out and touched him, saying, “I want to, be clean.” Then and there, all signs of leprosy were gone. Jesus said don’t talk about this all over town. Just quietly present your healed body to the priest, and along with the appropriate expressions of thanks to God. Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done. Matthew 8:1-4
Wow I really love this and I noticed Jesus says this several times when he heals someone. So many times people just blast, “I LOVE JESUS AND LOOK HOW CLEAN I AM NOW.” Be grateful for your cleansed life but be careful how you present yourself about it. This really is a delicate thing so many people are turned off by christians because all they want to do is talk, talk, talk, about what Jesus did for them. “Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done.”
Another day, a man stopped Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life? Jesus said, “Why do you question me about what’s good? God is the One who is good. If you want to enter the life of God, just do what he tells you. The man asked, “What in particular?” Jesus said, “Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as you do yourself.” Matthew 19:16-19
Wheh! I thought there was going to be a long list here but this really doesn’t seem like much to ask from us.
When the Pharisees heard how he had bested the Sadducees, they gathered their forces for an assault. One of their religion scholars spoke for them, posing a question they hoped would show him up: “Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?” Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.” This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: “Love others as well as you love yourself.” These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s law and the Prophets hangs from them. Matthew 22:34-40
“Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:
I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.
Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, “Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you? Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of those things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me – you did it to me. Matthew 25:34-40
This one really has made me stop every day and think twice about what I actually do for others. I can be a very selfish person and honestly not have time for anyone other than my little family and just pass everyone else by.
QUESTION NUMBER FOUR
“How should I pray?”
“And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?”
“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Matthew 6:5-13
I love that prayer is meant to be something simple. This is comfortable for me, not the theatrical prayers. That just makes me and a lot of other people feel uncomfortable.
QUESTION NUMBER SIX
“What should I look for when trying to find a pastor?”
“Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character. Who preachers are is the main thing, not what they say. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook.” Matthew 7:15-19
“Don’t let people do that to you, put you on a pedestal like that. You all have a single Teacher, and you are all classmates . Don’t set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let him tell you what to do. No one else should carry the title of ‘Father’ ; you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. And don’t let people maneuver you into taking charge of them. There is only one Life – Leader for you and them – Christ. Matthew 23:8-10
So I’ve definitely been on the look out to find a good church to call home but this is huge when trying to find the right pastor. KNOW what you believe before joining a church. By this I mean pick up the bible and read it for yourself. Just because someone is on stage telling you what to do and how to live doesn’t mean they are always right. Pastors are classmates just like you.
QUESTION NUMBER SEVEN
“Does it say anywhere in the bible that you HAVE to go to church or is private worship, prayer, and reading your bible the same as keeping the sabbath day holy?”
One Sabbath, Jesus was strolling with his disciples through a field of ripe grain. Hungry, the disciples were pulling off the heads of grain and munching on them. Some Pharisees reported them to Jesus: “Your disciples are breaking the Sabbath rules!”
Jesus said, “Really? Didn’t you ever read what David and his companions did when they were hungry, how they entered the sanctuary and ate fresh bread off the altar, bread that no one but priests were allowed to eat? And didn’t you ever read in God’s Law that priests carrying out their Temple duties break Sabbath rules all the time and it’s not held against them?
“There is far more at stake here than religion. If you had any idea what this Scripture meant – ‘I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual’ – you wouldn’t be nitpicking like this. The Son of Man is no lackey to the Sabbath; he’s in charge.” Matthew 12:1-8
What I get from this is that God really isn’t keeping count on how many Sundays I make it to church. I love that he prefers a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual. After reading the book of Matthew I actually really felt like Jesus was a super cool guy that loved simple things, didn’t care for drama, and was very to the point about how to enter heaven.