When I wrote my blog for Fit 4 Life on the topic of Friendship a while back, I listed some of my favourite quotations on friendship and why I liked them. Seeing it is my turn to write a blog again, although this time on the topic of ‘Faith’, I decided it would be a good idea to list some of my favourite Bible verses and give a brief blurb about what they mean to me.
Just as an aside, at our team meeting earlier this week my team said I need to write shorter blogs, so even though the Bible contains 54,248 verses, I have decided to focus on just three verses, at least for this time… (Well, really four verses, as one quote is actually two verses to give the sense!)
John 5:39,40 “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to Me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life…”
In these verses Jesus was talking to religious people, and He was saying that they knew how to quote Bible verses but they had completely missed the point of what they meant and what they were intended to do – namely, lead people to actually come to know who Jesus is and have a real and vibrant relationship with Him! Thinking about these verses causes me to question myself all the time and to ensure I am not just quoting empty words – even Bible verses – to people, but rather I am attempting to help lead people into a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend”
When I think about this verse from Proverbs it speaks to me about how positive change in a person’s life occurs. Somebody once said, “You will be the same person a year from now apart from the people you meet and the books you read”, which I think is similar to what Proverbs 27:17 is saying. When I think back on my life, the greatest growth in my life has occurred from things which people (often friends and family – especially my wife!) have said to me which got me thinking about my behviour, eventually leading me to make positive changes to my life. (I like this verse so much I actually quoted it during my speech on my wedding day!)
Hebrews 6:10 “For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do…”
Through the years I’ve been accused of many things in my Christian life, but one thing I have never been accused of is being a slacker! I have worked hard to develop myself as a Christian and to take God and His Word (the Bible) seriously, and to live it out on a daily basis as best and as ‘hard’ as I can! This verse from Hebrews is a good reminder to me – and hopefully to others like me(!) – that God remembers our hard work. He has an accurate record of everything we have ever done for Him and for His kingdom, and He will not forget the efforts and sacrifices which we make for Him in this life. They will all be revealed and rewarded when we stand before Him one day!!
Hope you enjoyed some of my favourites! If you have a bible at home, look them up and find some of your own.
Bryce – Fit 4 Life Staff
So for those of you that don’t know me, I’m Kirstie and I’m a text-a-holic…just kidding! However I do think that one day I might have arthritis in my right thumb! I really forget how we communicated without cellphones before they were around? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a cell phone these days.
If you are anything like me, I was completely oblivious to the fact that I was going over my texting limit on the business plan I’m on, and wondering why I was paying those big bills! In the last 2 jobs I’ve had, I have been the top ‘text-er’ amongst all my colleagues.
Definitely nothing to brag about but I guess it shows how much I value communicating with people. I use texting as a tool to stay in touch with people that I don’t get to see everyday, to show people in my life that I care for them and be there for people such as friends and family. It doesn’t have to be long and take much time out of your day, but by just saying a few words shows the receiver you were thinking of them and it can make their day. I know I feel cared for when I receive a message from a friend, especially if it’s been a hard day.
Texting is also great as it’s non-threatening and if you are busy you can reply later. There is no pressure to respond immediately.
When it comes to safety (and the law), I’m definitely a believer of not texting and driving. However I do get caught in my car outside my friends’ houses texting others before I enter their houses! And I will admit that I have texted while being in the bathroom!
Some other tips:
- Don’t text when angry. You may regret it later. Better to sleep on it if you are unsure.
- Don’t have conversations via text that really need to be face to face. These texts can be misinterpreted. For example, to resolve conflict or to break up with a girl/guy- never do these over text!
- Don’t text and drive. Your life and the lives around you are too valuable to be lost by sending or reading a message that could wait 5 or 10 minutes.
So go on and take a minute out of your day and encourage a friend or family member. Let someone know that you are thinking of them. We all need an ‘atta girl’ or ‘atta boy’ every now and then. Make the most of the fun technology we have in our finger tips! Build on relationships in your life simply by sending a text! And don’t forget to add a smiley face!
Kirstie – Fit 4 Life Staff
Have you ever asked yourself the question – why is this person not like me? I have…LOTS! When you’re a kid it doesn’t matter so much, but as you get older and move into more serious relationships like dating and marriage or the change that comes with adult children interacting with their parents, these things take on a magnitude they didn’t have before. These are the areas that create conflict, miscommunication and misunderstandings which if left unchecked lead to broken relationships, divorce and a lot of loneliness.
My husband and I started dating when I was quite young (he was a few years older) and at first everything was blissful. I loved that infatuation time. Neither of us hurt each other, everything was so new and exciting and we loved everything about each other….then reality hit. As we moved into a more serious, long-term dating relationship we started finding niggly things that just bothered us about each other and then there were some more serious things that had us questioning, should we even be together?Around that time we discovered a book that helped us hugely – Personality Plus by Florence Littauer.
Through reading her book we discovered that there are different temperaments, each with strengths and weaknesses which contribute to the dynamics of a relationship. As we began to understand each others strengths (and weaknesses) we began to see that the other person was not our enemy, but rather someone who just approached life differently and that was ok. We were able to give more grace when we understood the WHY – why they acted they way they did, or talked the way they did. Personality Plus saved our relationship and we’ve now been married 23 years and together 26 years.
Basically Florence describes the four temperaments as discovered by Hippocrates the
“Father of Modern Medicine”. He discovered that people tended to fall into four groups which he believed came from the amount of each of the four “humours” found in the human body so the names reflect that belief – Sanguine (red blood), Choleric (yellow bile), Melancholy (black bile) and Phlegmatic (phlegm). Now, we know better nowadays, but we still use these words to describe the four temperaments.
The first is the Sanguine – this is an extroverted, people-oriented temperament. These people are fun, exuberant, enthusiastic, love being with people, energised by groups and parties, talkative, vibrant, child-like, talk with their hands and love telling stories. Every party needs a Sanguine. The basic desire of the Sanguine is to have fun whether it be work or play and their basic emotional need is for approval and attention. The Sanguine has some corresponding weaknesses as well. As they are a talker, they can dominate conversation, become repetitive in their story-telling and be overly loud whether in speech or laughter. A Sanguine is generally not very organised, spontaneous and struggles with personal discipline – all gung-ho at the beginning and then peters out halfway through. Sanguines can appear to be insincere as they are very much “out of sight, out of mind” kind of people. When they are with you, they are very focused on you, but once you’ve left, they’ve moved to the next person. A Sanguine is often very driven by their need for approval and often become overly concerned with how they are perceived, whether physically, in their home life and other areas of their life. This drive can lead to conflict avoidance and paranoia about what others think of them. So, that’s the Sanguine!
The second of the temperaments is the Choleric. Like the Sanguine, the Choleric is an extroverted temperament, but different in that the Choleric is task-oriented. The basic desire of the Choleric is for control. They are the temperament that loves to lead, thrives in leadership positions and excels in reaching goals and targets. They love to get things done, produce and work hard. The Choleric is very efficient, highly intelligent and very decisive. Cholerics are the achievers of the temperaments. They are initiators and are outgoing, though this will look different to the Sanguine out-goingness. The Choleric’s basic emotional need is acknowledgement of achievement and appreciation. They love awards and certificates and need to have appreciation expressed for tasks they have done. The Choleric is a strong temperament and because of this their corresponding weaknesses are also strong. As the Choleric desires control this can lead to controlling behaviours like bossiness, dominating, argumentative, lack of empathy and insensitivity to the needs of others. They can be workaholics as they are so driven to accomplish tasks, often struggling to relax or just take a break from their tasks. A Choleric wants the credit, is impulsive and is more likely to experience angry outbursts or become impatient and frustrated. These behaviours can make the Choleric difficult to live and work with, but once they understand who they are and others do as well, the Cholerics are high achievers and very interesting people.
The third temperament is the Melancholy. The Melancholy is an introverted temperament, but like the Choleric is task-oriented. The Melancholy’s basic desire is to be perfect. The Melancholy is an organised, detailed, methodical personality that enjoys things being done well and to a very high standard. They enjoy lists, spreadsheets and charts and routine is their best friend. They like things to be as perfect as possible. The Melancholy tends to be the artistic temperament and loves art, music and beauty. They are loyal, sensitive, thoughtful and deliberate in whatever they do. They don’t need many friends, but the ones they have they are very committed too. The basic emotional need of the Melancholy is for order and sensitivity. However, many of the Melancholy’s weaknesses stem from their desire for things to be perfect. They have high standards and become extremely disappointed in themselves or others if those standards aren’t met. Often their friends and family have no idea of the standard they are being measured against. This perfectionism can drive the Melancholy into moodiness and if left unchecked to depression. That feeling of never being good enough permeates the Melancholy world. Because people disappoint them, the Melancholy is very selective in relationships and tend to bear grudges when wronged. They naturally look on the negative side of things and struggle to believe the best of people. They are easily wounded when they feel that they have not been treated with sensitivity. However, the Melancholy has a big advantage over the other temperaments and that’s their self-discipline. Out of all the temperaments, when they understand their personality and their weaknesses in particular, they often experience the most personal growth.
The last of our temperaments is the Phlegmatic. The Phlegmatic is an introverted temperament like the Melancholy, but is people-oriented like the Sanguine. They are not outgoing, but love hanging out with people and being in social situations. They are easy going, kind, caring, consistent in their emotions, relaxing, gentle, good mediators and very soothing to the other temperaments who struggle more emotionally. The Phlegmatic’s basic desire is for peace. They’re ideal environment is one that isn’t too chaotic, is stress and conflict-free and has people in it. They aren’t the initiators, but do enjoy talking and sharing with others when asked questions or have a particular interest area. The basic emotional need of the Phlegmatic is for respect and self-worth. The Phelgmatic is not a high-achieving temperament as they are very deliberate and can be hard to motivate, so their emotional need reflects their need to be appreciated for who they are, not what they do or accomplish. The Phlegmatic is very easygoing, but that can lead to a “laissez-faire” attitude, and to laziness and procrastination. As the Phlegmatic doesn’t like conflict, this can lead to conflict-avoidance which is not healthy in relationships whether home or work. The Plegmatic tends to be unenthusiastic which is frustrating to the other temperaments and tends to not show a lot of emotion for anything – good, bad or otherwise. When pushed the Phlegmatic can get very stubborn and is incredibly hard to get them to do something they’ve decided they won’t or can’t do which can lead to conflict with other temperaments.
Well, that is a quick summary of the four temperaments. I hope you learned something about yourself and others around you. It is really important to remember that understanding the temperaments is not about putting someone in a box or trying to “tell” people what they are or should be. Rather, it is an opportunity to get to know yourself better in order to have better relationships with others. If you understand the temperaments it becomes easier to adjust how you interact with someone based on their temperament. It’s a great tool to have.
Get a copy of the book (or borrow one from Fit 4 Life) and ask us for a copy of the test. We’ve been given permission to distribute the tests by Florence Littauer so no need to worry about that (if you were :))
Have fun and feel free to contact us if you want more information.
Christy – Fit 4 Life Staff
Recently I came to work and discovered an unexpected surprise of love addressed to me. I was so shocked! I’m not always good with surprises but this one was definitely a beautiful welcome surprise! I’m so thankful for this gift and it totally lifted my spirits and made my whole week! I knew straight away exactly what I was going to do with it. My poor friend at work had to hear me go on about it because I was soooooo excited! Haha!
The most interesting part about receiving this gift was that I don’t know whom it’s from! I tried to figure it out for ages! (Mainly so that I could say thank you!) I just really wanted to go and give this person/couple a big hug!!! After thinking about it, I think maybe it’s better not knowing whom it’s from, as I would probably find a way to give back to this person and this is obviously not their intention. I find is so amazing that an anonymous person can be so kind and generous and not want anything back, no obligations. I love doing this for others and don’t think twice about it, however to be on the receiving end is truly a humbling experience. Even now as I write this, I’m still smiling and so thankful.
1 Samuel 10:7 “Do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you” was the note with my gift. It was a nice reminder that God is watching over me and taking care of my needs. I believe He is always with us. It’s just nice to see in practical loving ways too. I feel incredibly blessed.
I really encourage you to give and do a random act of kindness this week. Be creative and think of someone you may know or even someone that you don’t know and come up with a note, give money, a meal, baking, groceries, vouchers for clothing or the mall for general things, any pampering places are always appreciated, the list goes on….You just never know how much of a blessing you may be to that person.
Kirstie – Fit 4 Life Staff
(This is a blog post from my personal blog, but fit right with this week’s theme.)
With my personality, people are so important to me, but funnily enough friendships were hard for me when I was a kid and teenager. Despite my desire to have close friends and be a good friend, somehow it didn’t always work out the way I had hoped.
I had lots of friends, but struggled to find that “bestie”. I watched other girls with their best friends and my heart hurt, because I wanted to be like them.
I met my husband when I was 15 and we’ve been together ever since. He became my “bestie” which is the way it should be in marriage, but because of that I didn’t develop close friendships with other girls as much. I also had a super amazing friendship with my mom so I think I thought I was sorted in the friend department.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I had lots of people who’s friendships I enjoyed….I am really talking about those heart friendships that develop through time and energy being spent in sharing ones’ lives together. I didn’t have those relationships and moving into parenthood that became even more obvious as I was now at home and didn’t have anyone to do anything with other than my mom. I had friends, but they either didn’t have kids or the relationships were changing.
Then, God brought a young woman into my life who was 5 or 6 years younger than myself. I learned a lot about being a friend from her. I learned to share my life more openly, to reveal some of my “stuff” and to feel safe. That door opened wider in 2005 when another young woman came into my life…she was a lot younger than me, but for some reason God just melded our hearts and I opened my heart even more. Around the same time, I had a group of uni students I was spending time with and those girls became super precious to me. Even though I was their “leader”, I learned so much from them and they made me feel like I finally had “girlfriends”. Finally in my late 30’s I had girlfriends. I had women that I could feel safe to share my heart with, to reveal more about myself, who loved me for who I was. WOW!!!
Now in my 40’s I finally have a really close friend who is my own age….it’s only taken me 30 years. HA!!. She is a treasure. She listens to me and let’s me ramble and shares her life with me. I love it!!!! I actually feel like I have a sister for the first time in my life. YAY!!
I’ve learned a lot about friendship – to have friends, you need to be one. To invite confidences you need to confide and be trustworthy. You need to have fun together and have shared experiences and memories. I have learned so much from these wonderful ladies in my life….and from my super amazing mom and I am very thankful!
Being a girl, I don’t really know how friendships work with guys, but I would venture a guess that there are some similarities, so if you’re a guy reading this, apply what you can! 🙂 And just a reminder to all of us to continue to work on our friendships with others as those are the relationships that make all the difference – having people to hang out with, support us in times of need, have a laugh with and just being there.
Christy – Fit 4 Life Staff
When we opened Fit 4 Life in February 2010, I had this great idea for submitting a team for Round the Bays. It didn’t happen in 2010, but in 2011 we were organised and went for it. I signed up along with my 15 year old daughter and paid. I was committed and suddenly regretting my great idea!! 🙂
I hadn’t been doing a whole lot of walking for awhile and all of sudden about two weeks out from Round the Bays, I panicked….will I be able to finish 8.4km? My hubby and I began to walk three times a week for the two weeks leading up to the fun run, but I was super nervous. To be honest, I am not really that fit, though I am trying and I was pretty scared that I would be suffering for the whole time. My thoughts went to blisters, chafing, sore feet, wrong shoes, sunburn, dehydration and the list went on especially since I had developed a small infection in my big toe. Yuck!!
Well, Sunday morning, March 13th dawned and it was a gorgeous day. We headed down to Fit 4 Life where we met the rest of the team. Our manager, Sarah, had us all organised and we had people driving us in and dropping us off which made a HUGE difference. We headed into Auckland City and the excitement started to build. Once I was downtown and saw all the people, I began to realise that it was going to be a great day.
Before I knew it we were walking and for the next 2 hours and 11 minutes I had a great time. Our big group split up into three/four groups as we had some runners and faster walkers. I ended up at the back with a group of about five of us. It was nice being back there because it wasn’t too crowded and we could just talk and enjoy the sunshine, the ocean and the gorgeous day. Mission Bay was super fun as our “support crew” was there to greet us and encourage us to finish.
The last time I had walked Round the Bays in 2007 the last few kilometres seemed to take FOREVER!!! This time we reached St Heliers in a blink of an eye it felt. Guess it helped to have a group of friends to talk with. I felt so proud as I crossed the finish line and even more proud that I felt really great and could have walked further. So fun to do it as a Fit 4 Life Team and I can’t wait to do it again next year.
So, if you’re like me, Round the Bays is a great place to get your feet wet in the art of “long distance” walking or running plus proceeds go towards a charity as well. Helping yourself and others at the same time. Plan on joining the Fit 4 Life Team in 2012. We’d love to double the numbers in our team next year!!!
I can’t wait!
Christy – Fit 4 Life Staff
I have to admit that I am more comfortable writing about Fit 4 Life’s other three topics – fitness, finances and faith – than I am writing about the topic of friendship!
It’s not that I am a bad friend… on the contrary I believe that I am a good friend to my close friends! It’s more that – for me – friendship is a very personal thing, and so writing about friendship forces me to ‘bare my soul’ in a way which the other three topics don’t.
Anyway, since it’s my turn to blog this week on the topic of Friendship, I thought I would share five of my favourite quotes related to Friendship and give a little commentary about why I like each one.
1. “The only way to have a friend is to be one”. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I think many times we expect our friends to do certain things for us like calling us to say, ‘Hi’, or really listening to us when we are speaking; yet we (or maybe me!) often don’t do it to them! So this quote always reminds me that I need to continually be working on myself to be a better friend to my friends.
2. “A friend to all is a friend to none”. – Aristotle
An ancient piece of advice states, ‘A man of many friends comes to ruin’ (Proverbs 18:24). While Aristotle’s quote has similar implications in that you can’t be friends with everybody (Mark Zuckerberg aside!) the quote also speaks to me that true friends will pick sides and choose to rally around me. In other words, they will choose to support me when push comes to shove and even become enemies of my enemies if it is called for. Politicians and businesses might have to make strategic alliances to get along, but it doesn’t always work with friendships. A friend to all is a friend to none. I remember this and seek to be loyal to my friends at all times.
3. “Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes”. – Friedrich Nietzsche
Following point two above, nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes and everybody has their ‘stuff’. A good friend is not someone who is blind to, or duped by, the flaws which their friends may possess in their character and personality. However, genuine friendships overlook the shortcomings and ‘warts’ which they see in their friends. Nietzsche’s quote is a constant reminder to me to overlook the foibles and failings I see in my friends at times, because I care about them and value their friendship – and I expect the same from them too.
4. “True friends stab you in the front”. – Oscar Wilde
This might seem contradictory to my point about needing to overlook the foibles I see in my friends and which my friends see in me; but sometimes we have such large blind spots in our behavior that, unless they are addressed and dealt with appropriately, these blinds spots can seriously set us back in our life and in our relationships with other people.
I have a close circle of friends who aren’t afraid to point out areas in my life which they feel I need to work on – and I have the same right to speak into their lives as well. Hopefully your friends won’t be giving you a list of things that you need to be working on every week(!), but once or twice every few years my friends tell me that I am off base on some point, or that I am getting too worked up about something, or that I have misunderstood somebody and need to give them more grace, or that I failed to do something and so someone got hurt by my omission and I need to go and make restitution. Real friends are not afraid to come at you ‘from the front’ with a proverbial scalpel to help cut out from your life and character some of your bad ‘stuff’.
Oscar Wilde’s quote reminds me that true friends will address my serious character failures head-on, and they won’t whisper in the darkness with others about my failings and never come in a spirit of love to show me where I need to change. This is a great test of true friendship.
5. “When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand”. – Henri Nouwen
I remember one time when I happened to be on the spot in a particularly intense meeting and the object of much accusation, a person (who wasn’t even my friend!) touched my shoulder to let me know that they cared for me. That one simple act of kindness meant more to me in that meeting than any words of advice fired at me during the two hours which the meeting lasted. Being a natural advice giver, I find it very easy to start telling my friends what to do when they share a problem with me, or when they find themselves in a difficult situation. Henri Nowen’s quote is a good reminder to me that, as a friend, sometimes the greatest thing that I can do for my friends when they are in need and hurting is not to be giving them advice, but rather just to shut-up and show them love and empathy! A hug often communicates more than the most eloquent sermon…
Bryce – Fit 4 Life Staff
Christmas is over for another year and like most years, I am able to truly enjoy the season AFTER the fact. Every year I say to myself that this year will be less busy, less stressful and less complicated so I can just breathe and enjoy. This year it was busier than ever with family visiting from overseas, more people to buy for, more food to make and the end of school year activities were multiplied due to prizegivings and end of primary school graduations.
But now that it is all over I am reminded of why we celebrate this season. It’s not because we need more stuff or need to commemorate the passing of eras (like primary school) or that we need to eat more food or spend more time with family….we celebrate because of a baby born 2,000 years ago. A baby who cooed and did all the normal baby things, yet was a promise to the world….a Saviour!!! It’s hard to imagine that this tiny baby became a man who altered the face of history and provided each of us a way to personally reconnect with God through his death on a cross in Jerusalem and all despite how we have chosen to do our own thing. WOW!! I am thankful beyond measure.
Wherever you might be at in your spiritual journey, take some time to examine the life of this baby, Jesus!!! See how His life transformed others and how He wants to be a part of your life every day. I am so thankful He is part of mine and as I look forward to 2011 I am excited to see what He’s going to do in my life this next year.
If you’re a part of Fit 4 Life Fitness and want to know more about how Jesus transforms lives, feel free to talk to any of the staff…or if you just have some questions, we’d love to help you find the answers you’re looking for. As we say at Fit 4 Life, we’re “more than a gym” because we not only want to help with the fitness side of life, but also want to encourage everyone who comes our way to look at all aspects of life whether it be finances, faith or friendships.
Here’s to a new and exciting 2011!!!
Christy – Fit 4 Life Staff
Some resources to help:
The Case for Faith – Lee Strobel
Answers to Tough Questions – Josh McDowell
A Skeptics Guide to Faith – Philip Yancey
Are you one of those people who complain that there are never enough hours in a day to do all things you would like to do? I am! So, I have found what works for me is to multi-task things together so I can make the most out of my day! And that includes my fitness!
I love summer and being in the outdoors so I will often walk or run with the girls I mentor or my friends. That way I’ve caught up with friends, done some exercise and enjoyed our beautiful country we live in as well!! It’s always motivating and lots of fun when you are with someone else. Plus you can encourage and be encouraged at the same time!
Because I love being with friends and working out at the same time or training for running races (especially long distance runs)…I’ve realizedthat there are 2 essential items that I need other than the obvious of great supportive walking shoes!! They are: Ankle stockings and Elastoplast.
It seems that my feet are prone to getting blisters. So I’ve learned that if you put on ankle stockings before you put your socks on then you can prevent blisters occurring. It sounds bizarre but it’s true and has allowed me to keep enjoying my exercise with friends blister and pain free.
If you already have blisters on your feet (because you forgot to wear your ankle stockings J, or maybe you have them from a new pair of shoes or jandals) then I recommend you use ‘Elastoplast’ -Spray Plaster. It’s not too expensive and a great thing to keep in your handbag to pull out for yourself or anyone else when the need arises. I personally love the spray-on plaster coat because it’s transparent so you can’t even tell it’s on your feet when wearing jandals or opened toed shoes. Everyone hates that “half peel off at the corners” that plasters do which looks tacky and is annoying. This way you are still protecting your feet and preventing bacteria from coming in and can be more comfortable as well.
So enjoy the summer whether working out with your friends or come along and bring a friend down to Fit4Life. Work out together in our weights and cardio areas or our Zumba classes where it is so fun to work out to great music and with great people (plus there are lots of cool fans going!!)
Try out my 2 essential items and let me know what you think!
Looking forward to seeing you down here at Fit4Life!!
Kirstie – Fit4Life Staff