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Living Inside the Box

The personal space that surrounds us is about a two-foot square. This "box" moves with us when we walk, when we reach up to get something off a shelf, or when we bend down to pick something up. God designed us to move freely inside this space. Unfortunately, as we age, we likely begin to lose some of the freedom to move effortlessly. The good news is this - you don't need to just accept this as the reality of getting older!

It's true that none of us can do what we did ten years ago. But to throw up your hands and concede to the ageing process is a mistake. I know this from personal experience and from working with folks "of a certain age". None of us, your or old, take up a physical activity without some effort or discomfort. However, with regular exercise, those initial aches and pains can gradually diminish or even disappear, usually in about four weeks. The sensation of well-being and the confidence gained is well worth the physical discomfort experienced at the beginning.

Helping you move more effortlessly inside your "box" is the goal of FMF-FiT. Below are three stretches that will help you develop and maintain your flexibility. They are suitable for any age.

ACTION ITEMS:

Glute Bridge (10 repetitions)

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet as close to your pelvis as possible.
  • Press down through your heels and lift your pelvis off the floor.
  • Continue lifting until your body makes a straight line from your shoulders to your knees (your shoulders should still be on the floor). Keep your knees in line with your feet.
  • Hold at the top before lowering back down.

Seated Stretch

  • Sit with legs extended straight in front of you.
  • Cross your right leg over your left, planting your right foot outside your left knee.
  • Twist to the right, placing your left elbow outside your right knee, and look over your shoulder.
  • Hold, then repeat on the other side.

Wall Calf Stretch

  • Standing near a wall, place the toes of your right foot on the base of the wall.
  • Lean in towards the wall, feeling the stretch in your calf. Make sure not to bend your back leg - only go as far as you can while keeping it straight.
  • Hold, then repeat on the other side.

The information in FMF-FiT is brought to you by Richard Morton, Strategic Initiatives Analyst at FMF Financial Services and a certified fitness coach. Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.

Exercising Faith

"Success at anything will always come down to this: Focus and effort, and we control both."  - Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

FREE WILL. It's a good theological concept for debate, but also an important concept in the world of fitness. I've discovered the easiest thing in life is to skip a workout. Perseverance is required to stick with an exercise and fitness routine.

In Romans 5:3-4, Paul writes, "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." I'm quite certain Paul was not referring to fitness when he wrote his letter, but the same principles apply. Just as our faith is strengthened through suffering, our bodies can be strengthened as we push them beyond perceived limits. And just as we need self-discipline in our spiritual lives to develop good spiritual habits, we also need it to create and stick to regular exercise habits. Quitting is easy ... but good stewards will push through the hard times to reap the promised reward.

ACTION ITEMS:

1 - THINK POSITIVE - Your body believes what you tell it, so think positive!

2 - EAT YOUR VEGGIES - Aim for 5 servings each day. The vegetables with the boldest colors are the most powerful (broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, grapes, leafy greens, etc.).

3 - GET A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP - Darken your bedroom and turn your clock away from you. Write down your worries to get them out of your head. It helps to put them into perspective when you can see them, not just think them.

4 - KEEP MOVING!

The information in FMF-FiT is brought to you by Richard Morton, Strategic Initiatives Analyst at FMF Financial Services and a certified fitness coach. Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.

Fusing Faith & Fitness

As we conclude our focused series on the stewardship of our bodies, I want to encourage you to keep moving! Make an effort each day to move forward with your fitness goals as well as your relationship with the Lord. I’m always awed at how closely caring for our spiritual bodies resembles caring for our physical bodies. Optimizing both involves intentional decisions each moment of the day. Time spent in the Word, on our knees, exercising our bodies, or exercising our hearts, is never wasted.  

FMF-FiT is looking forward to spending time with our brothers and sisters at Light and Life Park in Lakeland, Florida, during the last week of February. If you are interested in having FMF-FiT at your camp, retreat, or conference this year, please contact me! And if you are interested in keep up with FMF-FiT, please visit my blog.

The information in FMF-FiT is brought to you by Richard Morton, Strategic Initiatives Analyst at FMF Financial Services and a certified fitness coach. Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.

FMF FiT on the Road

FMF-Fit went on the road to General Conference ’19. The response was overwhelmingly enthusiastic! We were delighted it was so well received and now want to make it available to everyone in our denomination.

WHAT DO FMF-FiT CLASSES LOOK LIKE?

FMF-FiT is best described as “active worship where we celebrate our thankfulness for God’s blessings through exercise. We use grace-filled and life-affirming workouts that celebrate the fact that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. If you come ready to stretch, sweat, and worship, you will leave empowered, blessed, and feeling strong!

The classes feature a scripture and “thought of the day” along with workouts that include all elements of physical fitness: cardiovascular training, muscular conditioning, flexibility, range of motion, coordination, and balance. The cool-down portion circles back to praise and thankfulness. 

FMF-Fit workouts are designed for all levels of fitness and movements can be modified to accommodate those who what to move at a lower-intensity. No matter the age or activity level, FMF-FiT classes will help you be renewed in body, mind and spirit.

HOW CAN YOU USE FMF-FiT?

If you are looking for a great team building activity, or just a little something different for your next retreat, camp or conference, try FMF-Fit! We will work with your overall theme to incorporate it into the workouts. Contact Richard Morton at FMF Financial Services for more information.

Are You Ready to get off the couch? 
Here are 5 things you can do to help get you motivated to exercise regularly:

Change your perspective. Take the “long view”and  begin with small actions every day.
Set a goal. There’s nothing more motivating than striving for a goal!
Schedule regular workout days and times. Make an appointment with yourself and don’t cancel it!
Think creatively to add fun and variety to your workouts.
Find an accountability partner. On the days when you want to quit, they can keep you on track!

  • January 7, 2020
  • By admin
  • Comments Off on Stewardship of The Mind, Body & Soul
  • in FMF FiT, Uncategorized

Stewardship of The Mind, Body & Soul

Over the next few weeks we invite you to consider a different kind of stewardship – stewardship of the mind, body and soul. Taking care of our physical bodies is a biblical call. Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 that we don’t own our bodies. Rather, they are temples where the Holy Spirit dwells. What kind of temple are you keeping? 

Below are a few questions to consider as you begin thinking about the stewardship of your mind, body and soul:

Action Items: Each week we will feature a few simple activities you can do on your own. Here are three simple exercises to get you going in the morning:

  1. DEEP BREATHS - slightly bend your knees while raising your arms up over your head and take a deep breath. Lower your arms and exhale completely. Repeat three times.
  2. ROCKING – start by getting on your hands and knees. Move your hips back toward your heels. Rock back and forth for at least one minute.
  3. TOE TOUCHES - with your arms straight out to your sides, bend down and touch your right fingers to your left toes and then your left fingers to your right toes. Repeat ten times.

The information in FMF-FiT is brought to you by Richard Morton, Strategic Initiatives Analyst at FMF Financial Services and a certified fitness coach. Next week Richard will share his fitness journey with you … spoiler alert … it didn’t begin until he was 58 years old!

Stewardship of Our Bodies

As we consider the stewardship of our bodies, I wanted to share my fitness journey with you. It is my hope that my story will encourage you and help you see what is possible when you are truly motivated to make a change in your life.

I began my fitness journey at 58. Before then, I had not darkened a gym door in over 40 years. I reluctantly returned to the gym as the result of being told by my physician that if I did not significantly change my lifestyle, I was well on the way to becoming diabetic. I was overweight and my cholesterol and triglycerides were off the charts. I could not walk up a flight of stairs without losing my breath.

I began to watch what I ate and exercising. Within six months of my doctor’s admonition, my blood work came back “normal” and I had lost well over 40 pounds! Along the way I found a love of fitness. I competed internationally in kettlebell competitions and was honored to be on the US national team. I am now a certified personal trainer and kettlebell sport coach. Recently I also became certified as a fitness instructor through Revelation Wellness, which has allowed me to incorporate my faith journey into my fitness journey.

There’s really nothing exceptional about my story. I’m just a regular guy. But now I feel an urgency to spread the word, get people off their couches, and abolish the belief that we are ever too old to begin to get fit. No matter your age or fitness level, I hope you will join me and begin your own fitness journey!

Action Items:

1.  KEEP MOVING - Many of us will be a bit hampered by the winter weather. Think creatively of ways to get a few extra steps into your day. For example, any time you are watching TV, march in place during the commercials.

2.  DRINK MORE WATER - Many times when our body needs more water it lets us know by that hungry feeling. If you’re craving a midafternoon snack, try starting off with a glass of water. It helps keep your calorie count down too.

3.  DON’T FORGET YOUR MORNING STRETCH - This week add a few toe raises to your routine. Begin standing with your feet flat on the floor and then rise up on your toes 10 times. Conversely, keep your feet flat on the floor and flex your toes up 10 times. Your ankles will thank you later.

The information in FMF-FiT is brought to you by Richard Morton, Strategic Initiatives Analyst at FMF Financial Services and a certified fitness coach.

  • July 14, 2016
  • By admin
  • Comments Off on Legacy Giving Through Endowments – CHILDCARE TRUST FUND
  • in legacy giving

Legacy Giving Through Endowments – CHILDCARE TRUST FUND

Many donors like the idea of putting their gift to work to continue giving year after year, rather than just making a one-time gift. For these donors, we offer the option of giving through an endowment. The principal of an endowed gift is invested to provide current income and principal growth. A significant portion of the annual income is distributed to the ministry(ies) designated by the donor year after year into perpetuity.

The Free Methodist Foundation currently manages over 200 endowments totaling more than $19 million. In the past five years, over $2.6 million has been distributed to ministry by these endowments. Praise God!

If you are interested in giving to an endowment, we invite you to talk with us. You can give to a currently established endowment that benefits the ministry(ies) close to your heart, or you can set up your own endowment. Families often like to set up endowments to honor or memorialize loved ones. Gifts to endowments can be given during your lifetime, or as part of your estate.

From time to time we will be highlighting some of the endowments held at The Free Methodist Foundation. The first one we would like to highlight is The Childcare Trust Fund.

THE CHILDCARE TRUST FUND has been in existence since March 1988. Its purpose is to provide ongoing support to the Childcare Ministries Program and specific children therein. International Child Care Ministries is a Free Methodist child sponsorship initiative serving 20,000 children in over 30 countries. International Child Care Ministries works with Free Methodists around the world for high levels of care and accountability. Through education, meals, clothing and basic medical care, children in need have an opportunity for a better life. And they are introduced to the Savior.

Endowments such as this sponsor well over 50 children each year! To assist in the ongoing support of children globally through The Childcare Trust Fund, donations can be sent to The Free Methodist Foundation, for the benefit of The Childcare Trust Fund.  The Free Methodist Foundation Box 580, Spring Arbor, MI 49283.

  • December 27, 2013
  • By admin
  • Comments Off on What is Christian Stewardship?
  • in stewardship

What is Christian Stewardship?

All that we are, all that we possess, all that we can do, is a gift from God, given to accomplish His purposes in the world through us.

FMF Financial Services holds a balanced biblical stewardship perspective. We view the shepherding of resources as a trust given by God in varying proportions as described in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-20). We believe that God meets many needs through faithful disciples, using and giving from what they have been entrusted. While individuals can do this in many ways, some of those ways include receiving inspiration to develop new ideas that generate jobs to provide income and profit that did not previously exist. Or, this inspiration may be the ability to manage present resources so that they grow in value. Both of these add to available resources.

Whether by inspired ideas or by some other means, God uses people and his church to care for his creation. Further, for those who submit to Him, He gives the opportunity to be a steward of resources which can grow and benefit others. By calling out to Him in faith and by doing our part to plan and exercise discipline, we will see “the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 34) and be able to provide for our families and bless others.

FMF Financial Services believes that God has a calling for every individual. To that end, we will provide individuals guidance in first articulating their calling and life goals and then help them shape a plan, based on their priorities, to accomplish those goals.

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