Sunday, May 30, 2010

D.C. Trip ~ Day 3...Downtown

OOPS!  This was supposed to pre-post itself on Saturday!  Sooorrryyyyy! :)

Day 3:

Do you ever get that feeling that you did a LOT during the day, then at the end of the day you realize that all that you did doesn't even compare to what you WANTED to get done?  That's the only way I can think to describe D.C....there is SO much to do and see, and no possible way to do it all in less than 1 month...and we only had a couple of days.

Ways to see D.C./monuments, etc...  You can take a guided bicycle tour, VERY cool idea, but we didn't reserve in time, and they were booked.  You can take a segway tour, interestnig idea and expensive, but a great way to get around (we did see them touring).  You can take the double decker bus, the Tourmobile, the Metro, A bicycle cart (that looked fun), a taxi, drive yourself around (that would be nuts), or you can use your legs and walk...and walk...and walk...and walk....and did I mention walk?  That's what we decided to do.

Cris met us at the hotel and we drove down to D.C. downtown...after driving around, and around, and around, we found a parking garage.  That's not to say we didn't see many while we drove around, but they were for hotels or government offices, etc...it was pretty tough to find one for the public, mostly because we just didn't know our way around.  We walked away from our vehicle wondering if we’d ever see it or it’s contents again…just sayin’!

Then we began our attempt at "seeing it all" in a short time.  I'll save the words and give you pictures...I will say this though, I love old buildings, and great architecture, and D.C. is PACKED with both...I think my jaw stayed dropped open all day long...

Our Handsome Son...
True Treasures are held inside...


So much traffic...and the Capital Building...


Beautiful architecture...

Didn't you know we were there to make a movie???

Woo-Hoo!!!!!  :)

I'm not sure I care if this guy only eats "veggies"...maybe I look like a nice salad!

T-Rex is eyeballing my son...

Then it was time for lunch...which one would you choose?

The Heartburn Wagon...Um, no.

Or the Corner Bakery Cafe?  Oh yes!
Washington Monument

My men, heading to the Lincoln Memorial...

Did I mention there was a LOT of walking???

Big

And of course, the "House"...

The Korean War Memorial had (I believe) 19 statues reflected into a black granite wall with the faces of all those who served in that war...
It was beautiful to see these War Veterans reading the names on the wall...it's likely that they served alongside many of the men whose names appear here...

We headed back to the hotel and cleaned up to meet at Fuji’s Japanese Steakhouse for dinner. It ws very much like Makoto’s back home, but TWO shrimp appetizers, and NO liver patty (you'd have to KNOW to understand that one)!  It was a lovely time. After dinner we walked over to Caribou Coffee and had a yummy coffee drink while we all sat and chatted.

Somehow my son has become a Sushi eater...I can tell you for certain he did NOT get that from me!  Ewwwww!  Oh, but it's "cooked" Sushi???

Can you smell it?  Yum!

Cute!

I saw this on the wall in Caribou Coffee, and had to take a photo because it made me think of my BGFF, Kim and her Hubby. :)

Ya'll are definitely in for a "special" treat for "Day 4"...you may have to wait until after this holiday weekend, but let me tell you, it'll be worth the wait, LOL...

We had some FUN on "Day 4"....  Woo-Hooooooooo!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

D.C. Trip ~ Day 2...

Day 2:


We slept until just after 9 a.m.,...which is when we realized the “free breakfast” ended at 9:00. With no coffee breakfast in my system, we hit the road.  Breakfast consisted of a small slice of homemade rosemary bread, a few blackberries and some applesauce – no doubt much healthier fare than if we'd eaten at the hotel.  Now I don't know about you, but I LIKE to have my coffee when I wake up.  I just do, some may call me an addict, but I always shoot back with "it's half decaf!"... :).  However, I am married to a man who needs NOTHING to get going, he does not drink coffee, so he doesn't share my addiction preference.  We needed to fill up shortly after we hit the road, so I quite happily sucked down a Starbucks Iced Mocha Frappuccino (one of those little thingies in the glass bottles you can buy at the store), which to my glee I found did not contain corn syrup (which I try to avoid at all costs).  It was just the little bit of kick I needed to get me going.

Don't go thinkin' that he doesn't have his "desires"...here we are in liquid form...
he is Sweet Tea, I am a Grande Mocha! :)


When we travel we always make a point to find out if there are any Schlotzskys Deli’s on our route, we’ll even go a little off the beaten path to eat at one. We found one in Fayetteville, NC and headed there for lunch. We LOVE us some Schlotzskys!!! So does our son.  We sent him a text, offering to bring him a BBQ Chicken Jalapeno pizza…it might be bit worn out after 5 hours, but I don’t think he’d care at his age.  We didn't hear back from him, and figured he hadn't gotten the message since he was in a meeting that day, so we hit the road.  THEN we got a text back "YES!"...ooops.  No more Schlotzskys were anywhere near us for the remainder of the trip...sorry son.


By 3:00 p.m., we were driving through Dunn, NC, back on the road with happy tummies. We split a  Turkey Original on wheat (no salami or mayo) and a BBQ Chicken Pizza…yum! Snagged a couple of cookies from the bundle I had baked Cris for an after lunch snack.

I always love driving through or visiting North Carolina, it's a beautiful place.  The roadsides at this time of year were covered with wildflowers in pink, purple, bright yellow and white, several different varieties were evident, and they made me smile.  I love to look at things while we drive, my eyes just eat up everything, and I loved seeing all the pretty brick and wooden older buildings that can easily be admired from the interstate through N.C. 

I feel like we’ve been driving for days, I’m sure Mike feels that way even more, since he’s been doing all the driving so far. We did manage to stop at Dicks Sporting Goods and get him some new shoes.  Incidentally, that's the first time we've ever bought shoes there and I didn't like the way it was set up AT ALL, it was confusing. You go to the wall and see the shoe you want, then you have to hunt the store for where they are stored????  Who designed that???  Oh well, happy feet, happy tummies, on the road.


At around 5:00 p.m., My Hero spotted the “little round green sign”…and though it does NOTHING what-so-ever for him, he did suggest I pull off to get a little Java Boost.  A Tall Iced Dark Cherry Mocha was the perfect driving accessory – woo-hoo!


Entering Virginia, (we had the windows rolled down), we began to smell a sweet smelling white flower that was growing along the highway, it reminded me of the boysenberry bush that we had in our backyard in England when I was a little girl.  So, I have determined that Virginia smells like boysenberry blossoms, and campfires.


We finally arrived at our hotel in Laurel, MD around 8:45 p.m. I was pretty anxious to see Cris, and he was close by….in addition to that, we hadn’t had dinner.  We met Cris at Olive Garden.  When he walked in, I felt my little baby boy wrap his big boy arms around me and squeeze me and lift me off the ground...I kissed that face and hugged that boy, I love him so much.


Each time I see Cris, I am reminded of  “our” favorite book – Love You Forever.  "...I think we are in this "chapter" now...

"...That teenager grew. 
He grew and he grew and he grew. 
He grew until he was a grown-up man. 
He left home and got a house across town.
But sometimes on dark nights, the mother got into her car and drove across town.
If all the lights in her son's house were out,
she opened his bedroom window,crawled across the floor,
and looked up over the side of his bed.
If that great big man was really asleep
 she picked him up and rocked him back and forth,
back and forth, back and forth.
And while she rocked him she sang:
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be."

It doesn't matter how many times I've read that story through my life, I always cry when I do...*sigh*...
At Olive Garden, we each had a bowl of soup, some salad and breadsticks, plus water with lemon. Tomorrow we will spend the day in downtown D.C., ...

Friday, May 28, 2010

D.C. Trip ~ Day 1

Our son is in the Air Force, and when he told me a couple of months ago that he would be deploying to Iraq in July, I immediately got this "Mom feeling" in the pit of my stomoch...I WANT to see my son!  So, I explained my need to my Hubby, and we began to plan a trip to the D.C. area...the following week will give you a glimpse into that trip...it could be interesting, or boring, or weird, or funny...I'll leave that up to you...


D.C. Trip Day 1:

The night before our trip, we stayed up WAY too late watching a movie, and had to get up WAY too early…this is par for how we seem to begin vacations.


The day began early, and the plan was for me to get things ready to go during the day, Mike would come home, take me to dance class, head home and load the car, then pick me up at the studio and we'd hit the road from there.  Our total drive was calculated at about 13 hours, so we wanted to cut it down a bit this first night.  I was so anxious to get my son in my arms and kiss that face!


I sent Mikey off to work (a class actually), and began the day: laundry, packing, bake bread, bake cookies for the kid, mow lawn, water plants, talk to neighbors and take them plants, talk to Kim, walk dog, prepare dog food, prepare dog “bag”, pack our food, gather all camera equipment, straighten house, and hope I got it all together.


Mike arrived home, tired, both from lack of sleep and sitting in a classroom all day. I gave him a quick rundown of what was ‘what’ with the bags, what I’d packed for him etc. I got dressed and he drove me to class on the motorcycle. He was left with the task of getting Stormie to Susans, packing the car, shutting down the house, and grabbing any items that I didn’t pack for him.


8:00 pm. 1 ½ hours of dance completed, sweaty, hot, hungry, and tummy aching from excitement and the busyness of the day. I did my best to do a quick clean up, and changed into travel clothes. Mike arrived and we hit the road. As we traveled north, Mike recounted how difficult it was to leave the house without me there, wondering if there was something he’d forgotten, or needed to do…when he suddenly realized that he didn’t bring his tennies! He had on flip flops and had forgotten his tennies!! It was about time for a new pair anyway, so we made plans to stop and get them at some point. We’ll be doing a lot of walking on this trip, the man's gonna need shoes. :)


We planned to knock off several hours from the trip, so sleepiness was not an option. First stop was Sonny’s for some SWEET TEA, then Chik-Fil-A for quick on-the-raod dinner. So far so good on the healthy side (grilled chicken wrap, NO fries). We did have a couple of mini-peppermint patties for dessert though.


After about 2 hours of sitting in the car, I realized why it’s NOT a good idea to go immediately from a high energy dance class to sitting still for a long period. I got an extremely painful Charlie horse in my right inner thigh,…the kind that make you want to laugh and cry and scream and maybe grab and squeeze the closest person (not a good idea when that person is directing your vehicle at 70 mph). Then about 40 minutes later, my left hamstring did the SAME exact thing! Oh the pain!


We drove on through the night being 'entertained' for quite some time by an elderly gentelman who continually came inches away from the cement walls and construction barrels, crossing the center line SEVERAL times. We were a bit worried for him, but decided it was good for him to be driving at night while the roads were almost empty. He didn’t appear to be drunk, just having a hard time seeing at night…scary.


I sit next to my husband, and look over at him, when I get this overwhelming feeling that I just need to tell him I love him. So I do. I’m so thankful for my best friend, and the blessing he is in my life.  He's a good travelling buddy...so much fun to be with. :)

At just past 1:30 a.m. we decided sleep might be a good idea, so we stopped at a Days Inn near Brunswick, S.C. Having taken just over 5 hours off our trip. The room was just what we needed; shower, bed.  Exhaustion took over...you might think I fell asleep dreaming about the joy of seeing my baby boy...but I really just sank into that bed and disappeared into dreamless sleep...we'd be on the road again in the morning, I can daydream then...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Good for a Giggle...

We heading out of town this evening.  We're on our way to Maryland to visit our son (who will be deploying to Iraq in 2 months), and see the sites in D.C.  I hope to come back with some interesting tales and good pictures! :)

Until then, let me leave you with this little story... :)

I don't know about you, but we don't consider pants or shorts "dirty" if we wear them once or twice, so don't think I'm gross, but I'm not going to wash a pair of shorts just because I sat down on my friends couch for a few hours in them, lol.  So, it's a habit to put away our "clean/worn" clothing in the drawer for another time.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I attended our "nephews" 5th birthday party.  These are our best friends, but we've always considered them to be our family.  We were the only guests, as it was a "family" party, so of course, we played all the usual games....including Pin the Tail on the Donkey. 

Now, in order for you really "visualize this" I need to brag for moment, my husband is the best of both worlds, he is strong, smart, manly, can rebuild engines (or entire cars for that matter), build sheds and gazebos, he can swing an ax and make it look easy, replace electrical stuff, and lift all matter of heavy things...basically, he is a "manly man"...on the other hand, he's gentle, caring, tender, funny and great with kids, he was the BIGGEST kid at this birthday party as a matter of fact, so playing party games was second nature.

Fast forward to just the other day...

Hubby and I went out to run some errands.  First we went to Chik-Fil-A for lunch, then on to Lowe's Home Improvement store for a few items for our camper rebuild. 

We'd been in there shopping around a bit, going from aisle to aisle.  With his hands full of all sorts of "manly" things, electrical outlet boxes, wires and cables, my precious husband headed toward the drill aisle to look for a new battery, and I lagged behind him just a few steps.  I began to admire him as he walked in front of me when I noticed something on his shorts...what was that????

I focused in on the "item" in question, when giggles began to overtake me and tears filled my eyes.  I called out...

"Oh Honey!"

(he turned to look at me)

"You have a.....(giggling)..."

"You have a....Oh...giggling)..."

(Hubby asks with a smile why I'm laughing at him, as I struggle through giggles and tears to get my words out)

"Oh Honey...you have a donkey tail on your butt!"



He smiled and laughed lightly as I peeled the tail off to show him, tears in my eyes, still laughing.  Then I asked..."Can I put it back?"...to which he replied..."Of course you can"....and I did, watching him walk through that "manly" store with a donkey tail on his behind just made me smile SO big.  I LOVE that man!  He makes me laugh EVERY day!!!!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

How Great Is Our God!!!!

Have a blessed and beautiful weekend!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Funnies - Seriously???


Joining with my BFF Kim today.  If you want to laugh a bit, or add your own funny, go HERE.

"Come on kids.  Let's go for a walk and when we get home we can discuss all the things you saw today....online..."  ??????????????????

You have got to be kidding!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

This just doesn't happen every day...

We had quite an interesting thing happen yesterday afternoon....something quite "extra-ordinary" in our "ordinary" lives.  I had actually just finished doing my Shred workout (ugh), and was planning to hop in the shower when the doorbell rang, then it rang again.


I figured it must be the neighborhood kids, because I don't have many people come to the door during the day.  I peeked through the peep hole (as I always do) and standing on my front porch was a VERY old man with a cane.  Interesting.  The poor older man must have gotten lost looking for someone's house.  I didn't mind opening the door, as I didn't feel a threat.


I opened the door to find a tall, slightly hunched older man in polyester tan pants with coordinating suspenders that held them just an inch or two above his neat and tidy brown shoes.  He had on a long sleeve button down shirt and a bright colored tie with "Tabasco" bottles on it.  His smile caught me right away.  It was big and "fun", for lack of another word.  His eyes twinkled as he began to speak.


He and his wife were in town visiting a friend in our neighborhood and they happen to be looking for an RV, he thought maybe ours was for sale (it was in the driveway).  I informed him that it wasn't, and we were just doing some work to it.  We chatted a bit about the comfort of that particular model and I couldn't help but marvel inside at this QUITE old man wanting to go on an RV trip????  As we chatted he continually got closer to my screen door (no doubt hard of hearing), but the smile on his face never waned.  He began to ask "technical" questions about gas mileage and such, to which I replied "Hubby is the expert in that field".  I informed him that my husband would be home soon, and to come on back by when he saw the police car in the driveway.  His eyes lit up.


"Oh!  Your husband is an officer?....I played a detective once YEARS ago in a movie" (insert adorable grin and a "hee hee hee".     Really?  Huh.

He didn't seem to want to leave, and we chatted some more, I didn't seem to WANT him to leave either...he was interesting to say the least.  He finally decided he would stop back by later when he saw the Police car, and told me his name was "John".


When Hubby came home, I informed him of the intersting visitor, and that he would be stopping by to ask some "questions".  In an hour or two, as Mike was working on the RV, John arrived. 


In the course of no less than an hour, we had heard so many fascinating stories about going nearly getting thrown in prison in Somalia for no reason at all, wild animals, deserts, travelling all over the word as an entertainer, etc.  We met his wife and learned that this man would be 99 in just 3 months, born in 1911...WOW!  And he's out RV shopping????  LOLOL...wow.


As he chatted, with my husband, his wife came around the corner (she had dropped him off), I went to the car to say hello.  She was obviously older, the grey strands in her hair showed that, and the sound of her voice.  But she was beautiful...really beautiful!  Her skin was nearly wrinkle-free and flawless, and she had the sweetest twinkle in her eye and lovliest smile.  She came out to talk with us, and standing by her husband (who must have been over 6 ft in his "day"), appeared so very tiny, maybe 5 feet tall.  They were adorable together, just adorable...and we began to learn even more about his life, his travels and his occupation.  He was a magician by trade...not unlike the kind you see in Broadway shows, or Vegas.


After talking and laughing and even hugging they decided to head on their way, letting us know that if we were ever in Kentucky, we would be their guests and they would show us all the great caves in that area.  Leading her husband toward the car, Tammie turned and said, "You can "Google" him"... (insert adorable giggle here)..."John Calvert Magic".  So after they drove away, I went inside and did just that, and this is what I found.




I don't know about you, but people like this don't just show up on my doorstep every day.  How cool is that?  LOLOLOL

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Yoga: What Christians Need To Know ~ & A Giveaway!


Have you ever wondered about the term "Christian Yoga"?  Is there really such a thing?  Isn't that an oxymoron?  Yes it is, and my "guest" today explains why, she also offers an alternative to this deeply deceptive practice.  If you are a Christian and are even remotely interested in yoga, you NEED TO KNOW this.

I'd like to introduce my guest, Laurette Willis:


Christian Fitness Expert and Harvest House Author Laurette Willis is the Director of PraiseMoves Fitness Ministry, offering fitness programs, DVD's, books and training for those interested in a Christian alternative to yoga, and fitness for spirit, soul and body.  See "PraiseMoves Kids" TV Show every Thursday @ 3:30 p.m. EST on TBN's Smile of a Child Network and LIVE @ smileofachildtv.org.

~ GIVEAWAY!!! ~
Laurette has been kind enough to offer a DVD for me to giveaway to one lucky winner.  The winner will recieve the PraiseMoves For Kids DVD.  Designed for children ages 3-9, it is the ideal way to help children memorize scripture, make fun fitness a lifestyle and praise the Lord!  Details on how to enter are at the bottom of this post.
The following is taken directly for Laurettes website (with her permission).  To read the entire article, for more information about Laurette, health and fitness for the whole body (inside and out), or to order products, please visit her site right HERE.


"Yoga. It’s everywhere. In ads for everything from IT to ice cream, meditative supermodels sit cross-legged in the Hindu Lotus position, contemplating “nirvana.” There are yoga videos for pregnant mothers, senior citizens, toddlers and babies – even yoga for you and your dog! You can work out with yoga straps, blocks, bolsters and balls.  Since yoga is everywhere, it must be okay. Or is it?

Those who think yoga is little more than a series of stress-relieving stretching exercises may be surprised to learn about the true foundation of the multi-billion dollar yoga craze in North America.

There are an estimated 15-20 million people practicing yoga in the U.S., and estimates of 50,000 to 100,000 yoga instructors offering classes at 20,000+ locations.

Yoga Defined

According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, yoga (coming from an east Indian Sanskrit word which means “union with god” or “to yoke”) is “a mystic and ascetic Hindu discipline for achieving union with the supreme spirit through meditation, prescribed postures, controlled breathing, etc.”

Yoga in the Mainstream

Over the last several decades yoga has been embraced by the mainstream of society – and even the church. We find yoga classes offered at YWCAs, church fellowship halls, and even elementary schools.

As a child growing up on Long Island, I became involved with yoga at the age of seven when my mother and I began watching a daily yoga exercise program on television. For the next 22 years I was heavily involved with yoga, metaphysics and the New Age movement until I came to the end of myself and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ in 1987.

I call yoga “the missionary arm of Hinduism and the New Age movement.” We don’t often think of other religions having missionaries, but the philosophy and practice of yoga have been primary tools of Hindu “missionaries” to America since “Indian priest and mystic” Swami Vivekananda introduced yoga to the West at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Called “Hinduism’s greatest modern missionary” by Swami Palani in Hinduism Today.


Interestingly, Swami Vivekananda is attributed with the idea of combining the theory of “evolution of the soul” with his teachings of Hinduism. Instead of working out one’s “karma” by becoming a grasshopper, ant or human in progressive lives, he taught an “evolution of the soul” whereby the individual continues in an evolutionary process to “manifest the god within.”

Apparently he understood that Americans wouldn’t buy into the traditional Hindu belief in reincarnation. Not many westerners could imagine they would ever come back as a lower form of life. A higher form of life perhaps, but certainly not a lower one. Have you noticed how many people – even Christians – believe in reincarnation? One can just keep coming back until they get it right. Sadly, this false teaching leads people away from the necessity for a Savior. And if we progressively get better with each life, why aren’t we all living in Blissville now?

Some consider this Hindu belief a theory to be embraced. Interestingly, definitions of “theory” in Webster’s include, “a speculative plan, conjecture or guess.” Do you remember when evolution used to be called the “theory of evolution?” It’s seldom called a “theory” any longer outside of Christian circles. Promote a theory long enough and it becomes the truth? “Not hardly,” as my country cousins would say. But I digress…

Another Hindu missionary welcomed into elite circles was Paramhansa Yogananda who started the Self-Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles. He cleverly chose to demonstrate that yoga was completely compatible with Christianity. Wearing a cross, he came to America in the 1920s with the Hindu religious text, the Bhagavad Gita, in one hand and the Bible in the other. He reasoned that yoga was the binding force that could connect all religions.

Personal Experience

From experience I can say that yoga is a dangerous practice for the Christian and leads seekers away from God rather than to Him. You may say, “Well, I’m not doing any of the meditation stuff. I’m just following the exercises.” It is impossible, however, to separate the subtleties of yoga the technique from yoga the religion. I know because I taught and practiced hatha yoga for years. Hatha yoga is the most popular yoga style available on store-bought videos and in most gyms. For an eye-opening account of the background and meaning of “hatha yoga,” please see my notes at the bottom of this page (click HERE for that specific page on her website).


Perhaps you have sensed uneasiness while doing yoga (what some call a “check in your spirit”), but you ignored that quiet nudge. I urge you to pay attention to it. Jesus Himself said, “…the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice” (John 10:4).

The yoga mudra (hand gesture or “gateway”) for Namaste (“I bow to the divine in you”), is a Hindu gesture that pre-dates Christianity. The Bible speaks of praying with uplifted hands or “hands spread up toward heaven” (1 Kings 8: 22 and 54; 1 Chronicles 6:13)


“Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice” Psalm 145:1

Your yoga teacher may bow to her class saying, “Namaste” (“I bow to the divine in you.”). Postures have names such as Savasana (the Corpse Pose) and Bhujangasana (the Cobra or Snake Pose). References are made to chakras or “power centers” in the body, such as the “third eye.” The relaxation and visualization session at the end of yoga classes is skillfully designed to “empty the mind” and can open one up to harmful spiritual influences.

As Christians, you are instructed to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2), not the emptying of your mind. Many believe that transformation process occurs as we meditate and feed on the Word of God – renewing our minds by filling them with God’s thoughts, not emptying them or filling them with the prideful thoughts of man.

The Dangers

It seems the enemy has a counterfeit for almost everything the Lord offers. While mind-numbing tranquility may feel good for a time, it’s a poor substitute for the “peace which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) and “the joy of the Lord (which) is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

Yoga’s breathing techniques (pranayama) may seem stress-relieving, yet they can be an open door to the psychic realm – inhaling and exhaling certain “energies” for the purpose of relaxation and cleansing (Paul refers to satan as “the prince of the power of the air” in Ephesians 2:2, and I doubt the air to which he is referring is oxygen, but rather the psychic arena some call “the second heaven” which is certainly not a playground). Whenever you see the words prana, ki or chi, these refer to “life force” energies (see the notes on hatha yoga at the end of this article). (Please click HERE for her page with notes)



Both chanting and the customary relaxation period at the end of a yoga session also have an agenda that may surprise the weekend yogi. Before becoming a Christian, I remember numerous instances of “traveling outside my body” during yoga relaxation periods. I wonder who – or what – checked in when I checked out? Whether you believe such phenomena can happen or not, some medical professionals claim such experiences have led to psychosis. (Note: While Christians cannot be “possessed” since the Holy Spirit resides in your re-created human spirit, one may be “oppressed” by demonic influences.)

Nine out of Ten Hindus agree: “Yoga is Hinduism”

Again and again we hear or read, “Yoga is science. It is not religion.” But what do Hindus and true yogis say?

TIME magazine featured a quote from Subhas Tiwari, a professor of yoga philosophy and meditation at the Hindu University of America in Orlando, Fla.: “Yoga is Hinduism.” You may read the full article from the Sept. 5, 2005 issue at: HERE which included a quote from yours truly that “Christian yoga” is an oxymoron (contradiction in terms – like a “Christian Buddhist” – no such thing!).

Yoga postures are actually offerings to the 330 million Hindu gods.
“Abstain from things offered to idols” Acts 15:29.

A staff member of an east coast Classical Yoga Academy wrote to me, “Yes, all of yoga is Hinduism. Everyone should be aware of this fact.” This staff member went on to say she didn’t appreciate my “running down of the great Hindu/Yogic religion.

Living Sacrifices

Did you know that yoga postures are offerings to the 330 million Hindu gods?  Can you see a twisting of Romans 12:1 here (“present your bodies a living sacrifice”)?


One of our PraiseMoves Instructors spent three months on a missionary trip to India several years ago. She said her group often saw people performing yoga postures in front of statues of the gods in the streets! Some brought offerings of flowers, some fruit, some themselves…

Acts 15:29 tells us to “abstain from things offered to idols.”

Where Yoga Leads

In an article dated May 14, 2006, Darryl E. Owens of the Orlando Sentinel quoted Sannyasin Arumugaswami, managing editor of Hinduism Today. Arumugaswami said Hinduism is the soul of Yoga “based as it is on Hindu Scripture and developed by Hindu sages. Yoga opens up new and more refined states of mind, and to understand them one needs to believe in and understand the Hindu way of looking at God. … A Christian trying to adapt these practices will likely disrupt their own Christian beliefs.”

In an article entitled “An Open Letter to Evangelicals” from the January 1991 issue of Hinduism Today, Swami Sivasiva Palani writes:

A small army of yoga missionaries – hatha, raja, siddha and kundalini – beautifully trained in the last 10 years, is about to set upon the western world. They may not call themselves Hindu, but Hindus know where yoga came from and where it goes.  Swami Palani goes on to write:

We hope this proves useful to you. I close with a quote from Swami Vivekananda, Hinduism’s greatest modern missionary, spoken in January of 1895, ‘What I now want is a band of fiery missionaries.’ It’s a hundred years late. But it appears he’s going to get his wish.

In the West, the term “yogi” is used to refer to anyone who practices yoga. However, in the Bhagavad-Gita, the god Krishna says that the true yogi is one who has surrendered himself “fully unto me.”

Besides these historical evidences, I can clearly state from my own experiences and those of many I knew while in the New Age movement, yoga class was the door that led us into the New Age Movement.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi taught that through meditation, not salvation through Jesus Christ, “a sinner comes out of the field of sin and becomes a virtuous man.” This is an example of the erroneous philosophy of “salvation by works.”

It seems the student is being manipulated as well. Yoga’s “least religious” form, hatha yoga, influences one’s spiritual life as unmistakably as any one of the dozens of other yoga techniques. Hatha yoga is actually seen as the stepping stone to raja yoga (the form said to involve “psycho-physical meditation techniques to attain an experience of the truth and ultimate liberation from the cycles of death and rebirth, or moksha”). Anyone want to join me in a collective, “Yikes!”?

You may study or teach yoga (or so-called “Christian yoga”) and believe it is completely compatible with your Christian faith. Perhaps you feel your relationship with the Lord is unshakable, but I ask you to consider for a moment the young Christians and non-believers in your life. We all have people we influence by how we live our lives.

In light of the facts – the religious philosophy and history of yoga – take a look at Paul’s warning to believers in the Corinthian church about meat offered to idols, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being… If anyone says to you, ‘This was offered to idols,’ do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake…not your own, but that of the other… not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved” (1 Corinthians 10:23-24; 28-29, 33).

To strong Christians (strong in their relationship with the Lord as well as the strong-willed, strong-minded ones) I say – certainly, you may not be adversely affected by the subtle seeds of doubt and New Age thought planted in yoga classes. You may even be going to a yoga class that is devoid of much of the New Age lingo and Hindu phraseology. And if not, perhaps you are able to see there is nothing inherently right or wrong with the “meat” or postures offered to idols (1 Corinthians 8: 4-8). You are oblivious to the visualizations and suggestions during the “meditation and relaxation” at the end of yoga class, the talk of chakras, auras, breathing in prana (the “life force” connecting us to the “Universal Life Force”) and getting in touch with our higher self to unite with “Universal Mind” (remember, I was a student and teacher of this stuff for 22 years).

Consider the Example You Set

However, would you agree there are people in your life you influence? Do you think there may be some unbelievers and new believers watching you?

Might someone young in the faith be watching you and saying to herself, “You know, she’s a strong Christian and loves Jesus. She does yoga and says there’s nothing wrong with it. I think I’ll take that yoga class being offered down the street.” This young follower may not have your discernment. She may be like my mother and I were – weak and unskilled in the Word of God and open to the deceptions of the enemy. Do you think she could perhaps wind up in the New Age movement as I did?

Are we responsible for living our lives in such a way as to be a help or a hindrance to the cause of Christ? That’s a pretty tall order, isn’t it?

Many parents have written to me with their concerns about the various yoga curricula being offered around the U.S. and Canada. I’m sure parents in Europe, Australia and elsewhere are encountering similar challenges. When something is so widely accepted in mainstream society, those of us who sound the clarion call are seen as “fearful” and “extremists.”

From personal experience, I know where the study of yoga can lead for children as well as adults.

If your children are at a Christian school (yes, believe-it-or-not, some Christian schools are teaching yoga) or home school, know that PraiseMoves for Children is also available (DVD, not curriculum–yet).

But ANY good stretching program is a better choice than yoga. Look around, there are several good DVDs available on just good, healthy stretches for children, athletes and adults.

Making a Choice Concerning Yoga

Concerning Things offered to Idols…

Quoting from 1 Corinthians 8:1, 9-13 – be forewarned this is hard to read:


“Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up (makes arrogant), but love edifies (builds up). But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”

So it is not out of a spirit of fear we avoid yoga, but could it be out of wisdom and love for others – perhaps those who are not as spiritually mature as we are? Can we do such things out of love for others? That’s too hard, isn’t it? What if I LIKE IT???!!!

Again, looking at the “ouch” from 1 Corinthians 10: 28-29 and 33 – “But if anyone says to you, ‘This was offered to idols,’ do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake…’Conscience,’ I say, not your own, but that of the other… not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.”

So – it’s not all about ME after all. I win when I make the decision to come in third place: 1st – “Love the Lord your God with your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” 2nd – “and love your neighbor” 3rd – “as you love yourself” (Matthew 22: 37-39).

While practicing yoga may not seem to have an adverse effect on your Christian walk, it may be effecting your Christian witness. Of course not everyone who knows and trusts you will jump into yoga and find themselves engulfed in a New Age lifestyle for 22 years as I was, but some weak ones might – and be hopelessly lost as others have been. Would you agree that we are responsible for planting seeds of faith or doubt that can lead people to Christ or away from Him?

PraiseMoves certainly isn’t for everyone, but stretching exercises are! Find a good book on stretching and flexibility. Look for videos that are purely about stretching the body – not the mind and spirit.

(Altar)

The believer’s walk is one of renewing the mind (Romans 12:2), not emptying it – a practice common in yogic meditation.

(Jars of Clay)

No, you don’t have to do PraiseMoves – but why not consider a stretching and flexibility class instead of yoga? If still unsure, please pray and ask the Lord about it. “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God” 1 John 3:21."

A little about PraiseMoves:



NOW, about that Giveaway!  :)

Laurette is blessing me with a DVD to give away to one of you...PraiseMoves for Children...Mom's you can join your kids in doing this stretching workout that strengthens both your body and spirit!

You can get up to 4 entries, here's how:

1.  Leave me a comment, telling me what you thought about this post today (1 entry).

2.  Put a link to this blog post on your facebook page, come back, leave a comment telling me you did! (1 entry)

3.  Blog about this post and giveaway and link it up, come back, leave a comment teling me you did! (1 entry)

4.  Pop over to the PraiseMoves website and browse around, come back here, leave a comment TELLING ME SOMETHING YOU FOUND OUT OVER THERE! (1 entry) 

Blessings to you ~ Have a beautiful, Jesus filled day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Just As I Am!

We watched a DVD of David Phelps in concert last night.  Everytime we hear him sing we are so impressed with the beautiful gift he has been given...let's just say the boy can sing!