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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Yesterday concluded the 31-Day Challenge with my Spark Family and FB Friends and although I did not LOSE a single pound, I GAINED some things that were unable to be registered on my digital scale.

Listed below is what constitutes my "Non-Scale" Final Score.

1. Lost a total of 5 inches, in my most challenging areas (waist, hips and thighs)...I'LL TAKE IT!

2. Completed a grand total of 1,672 fitness minutes (averaging 334 minutes a week)....YEAH BAY-BEE!!!

3. Resumed doing my intense CARDIO FIRST LOVES! Like Core Rhythms, Spinning, Step Aerobics and The "Hands-free" Elliptical (in memory of MARSHBTOKS an original member of the CARDIO CONNOISSEURS).

4. Reconnected with the DIVAs and we now have a DIVA Friday where we set aside time to work out together. Not only is this good for my Body, but does wonders for my Spirit.

5. Overcame my fears and completed three weeks of Couch To 5K (C25K) and still counting...In case you didn't know...big girls DO run!

6. Gained some new SPARK Friends and grew even closer to some old SPARK/FB Friends.

7. Lost track of how many FB Friends I encouraged to catch THE SPARK!

8. Celebrated the "Skin that I'm In", by stepping outside of my comfort zone and wore an off-the-shoulder, sleeveless jumpsuit IN PUBLIC! LOL! (see picture below)

9. Rejoiced with my friends who lost pounds, jean sizes, inches, gained healthy habits and/or became determined to not lose sight of their goals regardless of their final results.

10. Became more determined than ever to achieve EVERY SINGLE ONE OF MY GOALS...on the scale and off the scale!

Yes, this was a GREAT Challenge, but the best is yet to come!

Be on the lookout for my blog about the 8-Week Challenge that will begin on 4/5/10 and conclude on 5/28/10. Entitled "The EXTREME MAKE-OVER: The DIVA EDITION."

Who's ready to stay with me and move ON TO THE NEXT ONE?!!!

YEAH BAY-BEE!!! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LATINANYC 4/4/2010 12:01AM

    lovely photo! I didn't do as well as I wanted on the March Madness Challenge but I did lose 1 pound. Look forward to the Diva Challenge.

Comment edited on: 4/4/2010 12:01:32 AM

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CICI510 4/2/2010 1:00PM

    You are just gorgeous girl and I love your positive attitude! I also LOVED this challenge and can't wait to be an Extreme Makeover Diva!!

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RAVEN227 4/2/2010 12:10PM

    WOOT WOOT!!! you are emoticon

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ACCT1908 4/2/2010 10:48AM

    SUPER FANTASTIC SOROR!!!!!!!!! You make me so proud and LOVE TO LOSE THOSE INCHES!!!

Those are results you can SEE!!!!!! Thanks for the challenge and I promise you it is what got me out of my FUNK!!!!

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PASTORLHMAY 4/2/2010 10:29AM

    Great job!! Keep it up!

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JCL129 4/2/2010 9:53AM

    First....the pic is absolutely gorgeous.

Second....your "non-scale" victories were absolutely inspiring.


...and p.s. - if you wake up and find that off the shoulder number and the necklace missing....come and check my page and I'll give it back. HAHA! You go, Diva!

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LCDAWSON 4/2/2010 8:56AM

    You look amazing!!! I am very proud of what you are doing! You are real! You are honest! I love it! On to the next one!
Let's get it!!!

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    Absolutely amazing!! Esp. the off the shoulder number!! I really need to work on stepping out of my comfort zones!! Thanks for the reminder. I will look for the new challenge. Again, you are absolutely emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MRSRUBLE 4/2/2010 3:53AM

    You rockin that necklace, with that off the shoulder outfit. You have no idea how inspiring you are to many people! Keep us movin, keep us challenged and yes we are ready for the "EXTREME MAKEOVER" emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SVELTSHEL 4/2/2010 12:01AM

    BEAUTIFUL! You're absolutely beautiful. CONGRATULATIONS on your 5" loss! That's fantastic! I share those same problem areas, what do you think had the most impact on your reduction?

You are very inspiring! I'm glad Michelle introduced us! emoticon

Cheers to you!

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MZSASSY 4/1/2010 11:55PM

    First, whenever I need a lil JAYZ fix, I hit your page. I LOVE IT
Secondly, all I can say u keep me going. That off the shoulder # is hot!

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DFRANKIN2 4/1/2010 11:39PM

    Clearly it's bed time for Bonzo.....sorry for the multiple entries...... emoticon

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DFRANKIN2 4/1/2010 11:36PM

    You just go girl!!! You look fabulous and should be proud of it...... emoticon

Do keep me posted for the 8 week challenge...... I still need to "get it, get it" emoticon

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DFRANKIN2 4/1/2010 11:36PM

    You just go girl!!! You look fabulous and should be proud of it...... emoticon

Do keep me posted for the 8 week challenge...... I still need to "get it, get it" emoticon

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DFRANKIN2 4/1/2010 11:35PM

    You just go girl!!! You look fabulous and should be proud of it...... emoticon

Do keep me posted for the 8 week challenge...... I still need to "get it, get it" emoticon

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    Im so proud of you and you know I love U!!!

Extreme makeover her we come!!!

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TAYLORLIV31 4/1/2010 11:06PM

    Success Is All Yours!

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NOEILAND 4/1/2010 10:48PM

    Congratulations, Amazing lady! emoticon

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LIZZIECA55 4/1/2010 10:45PM

    Gurl, you know you ROCK!!! I absolutely love losing inches in lieu of pounds. That's what shows (I'm jus sayin'). LOL!!! Thanks so much for remembering MARSHBTOKS. I'm sure she's watching and smiling at the both of us now.

Our Team is completing our Easter Challenge on Easter Sunday and I'm hoping to be as successful as you were on your challenge. We are also preparing to participate in the Revlon Walk/Run for cancer in May.

Keep up the good work - on and off the scale. Have a wonderful weekend and a Happy Easter.

Hugs -

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2008LYNN 4/1/2010 10:36PM


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1WALKINGMAN 4/1/2010 10:35PM

    emoticonon completing your challenge. You are a tremendous motivator. emoticon

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GIRLINMOTION 4/1/2010 10:29PM



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MARCH MADNESS Challenge Update: There's No "I" in T-E-A-M!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Two of my favorite SPARK "Things" are the enthusiasm of the Team Challenges as well as the accountability/support that fellow SPARKers provide.

During the first week of the CC MARCH MADNESS Challenge, the enthusiasm accountability and support have been INCREDIBLE!!!

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The excitement has been contagious...and every time I see that one of my friends has changed their profile picture to a jersey it makes me feel overjoyed. We are motivating each other by commenting on our SP pages, leaving comments on our FB Walls, sending SPARK MAILS, emails, phone calls, text messages, awarding SP Goodies, writing/responding to blogs and leaving motivational posts on the threads.

Speaking of motivational posts, one of my good SPARK Friends - LAURENCHELLE, shared this post on the CC "Put it On Paper...Thread" and I just had to share, because it just made my day...especially #14! Here it goes:

"I took a day off cardio today...been going hard since last Saturday...but for the Sweet 16 I thought I would exercise my "gratitude" muscle. So today...I am grateful for:

1. My March Madness peeps.
2. Deondra for introducing me to the "Madness"; and being sooo positive and inspiring.
3. Shel for being my healthy lifestyle bud for a LONG time; and never giving up on me; another inspiration.
4. My health.
5. A good job.
6. A great partner.
7. Great children.
8. Spring
9. Tim Horton's steeped tea.
10.Recognizing the blessings in my life.
11.Fantastic parents.
12.Supportive siblings.
13.Reading a good book.
14.Realizing that if I have a few "slips" it's okay; that's the part of getting used to a healthy lifestyle. (I think she meant, keep moving ON TO THE NEXT ONE [wink])
15.Warm sheets and fluffy pillows at bedtime.

As we make plans for Week 2 of the CC MARCH MADNESS CHALLENGE...please know that it's not too late to join. Here's the link with the details: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo

This journey can get rough sometimes, but knowing that you're not in it alone can make all the difference in the world. Remember, there's no "I" in T-E-A-M or SPARK for that matter!!!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYDAUGHTERSMOM 3/23/2010 11:42AM

    I love your page...WOW! It rocks!

And the no I in TEAM...is true. WOW. I get into my ME and Me and Me and Me and then I forget that I need others to just live and do and take care of me.

I have been away from SPARK and once again I had to learn the lesson: me first. I let my family and work take first priority and it shows in my food plan, work out and attitudes.

Boy do I need Spark to remember that my life is mine to care for. I am in Geneva, Switzerland with my daughter who is a SPARKER and we are walking everywhere and having fun and watching the Biggest Loser tapes and laughing and realized that getting fit is a lifesyle as well as a commitment to a food plan. It is a stance to reacting to life. So.. I'm in on the March Maddness challenges....I think I will set a very big goal and do walk the El Camino in Spain. Smile.

Thanks for your inspiration. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHORTYGETFIT 3/13/2010 7:08AM

    LOL, I just have to add my jersey.

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    Girl Im running like FLO Jo...in my mind anyway!!

Have a great week!!!

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    emoticon ~~~You're my SHERO

Comment edited on: 3/8/2010 1:35:48 PM

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NEWBEIN 3/8/2010 12:57PM


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Comment edited on: 3/7/2010 11:31:33 AM

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CHELLESDOINGR8 3/6/2010 10:45PM

    That's EXACTLY what I meant..."keep moving ON TO THE NEXT ONE"...you know it, sista!

Michelle :)

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MRSRUBLE 3/6/2010 8:47PM

    Dee you are an awesome inspiration to us all. I am always inspired by you and your journey. Thanks so much for the perfect challenge to get us all ready for spring! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AWILLIAM1 3/6/2010 5:14PM

    I want to join the challenge. How do I post a jersey and where do I find the picture.


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The MARCH MADNESS Challenge...Nothing but N-E-T!!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

First of all, emoticon emoticon emoticon and am super-hyped about the challenge that's starting this coming MONDAY MONDAY MONDAY (in my sports announcer voice)! emoticon

Here are the details (it's never too late to join):
emoticon emoticon www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
emoticon emoticon

The responses that have been received since posting the information about the March Madness Challenge, have me even more SPARKed than ever (is that possible?)!!!

Anyway, so here goes the "BEFORE" pictures and other Pre-Challenge goodies representing my team colors.

For the record, I searched all over for a basketball team whose colors were pink and green...and guess what? No success! But here's my Jersey for Team AKA...Go Team!

So I have decided to go with U of L, although I don't think they'll be among the 64 teams competing for the Championship...but, their colors match my Jay-Z Spark Page background and I like this shirt (Yes, I know I have issues...LOL!)

Here's my Jersey:

Here's my "BEFORE" Headshot:

Here's my "BEFORE" Full-Body:

And last, but not least my "BEFORE/DURING/AFTER" Game Face:

Yes...I'm planning to have some fun with this one...because it's gonna be NOTHING BUT N-E-T...

Now, take that N-E-T and flip it backwards...

And what do you have?

You got it a COMPLETE AND PERFECT TEN...Nothing is still wanting ...ON TO THE NEXT ONE! www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DFRANKIN2 3/2/2010 4:01PM

    I'm in the game!!!

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ACCT1908 3/1/2010 10:12AM

    FYI Your hair is GORGEOUS!!!!!

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    This sounds really cool. May have to give it a try. now to work on a picture.. ugh@@

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GADABOUTDIVA 2/28/2010 7:53PM

    GAME ON!!! As a born and bred BIG BLUE FAN, your UofL-inspired jersey has just SPARKED my competitive demon! emoticon

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MRSRUBLE 2/28/2010 11:57AM

    You know I so want the pink and green jersey, I need you to create one with my name on it! That is so awesome. Nothin but the Net this month, it's on!

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CHELLESDOINGR8 2/28/2010 9:56AM

    What an intimidating game face...NOT!!!

Comment edited on: 2/28/2010 9:58:04 AM

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CICI510 2/27/2010 11:47PM

    Loving the game face!!!! :)

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    Lovin the GAME face...Its on!!! We're gonna run this town tonight!

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HARLYCHIC14 2/27/2010 2:24PM

    YOu will do great with that positive attitude! You go, girl!


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KAYEREADER 2/27/2010 2:03PM

    Love the game face, cute hairdo too!

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The MARCH MADNESS Challenge 3/1-3/31...WHO'S IN?!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Anyone who knows me fairly well, knows that I'm SUPER GREEN when it comes to basketball, but being a resident of the Bluegrass State one cannot help but to catch the excitement that is stirring as March Madness draws near. So I would like to build on that excitement and encourage the Cardio Connoisseurs ( www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
), my SPARK Family and FB Friends to join me as we work to move ON TO THE NEXT ONE!!!

The Challenge is designed for two types of folks, those who want a PUSH and those who need a PULL. The folks who want a PUSH are already, on a program but may have hit a plateau or are looking for a change, some additional support or recommendations on how to add more intensity. Those who need a PULL are the ones who need some encouragement to get started or to get back on the proverbial bandwagon.

To prepare for the Challenge, between now and Monday post a new "Before" picture of you in your favorite team colors or gear. You can share it on your SP Page, in a SP Blog or update your profile picture on FB. Yours truly will probably represent TEAM AKA and the beautiful colors of pink and green (Once again, you know I'm green when it comes to Sports...LOL!)!

Then for the challenge itself there are three MARCH MADNESS-type things that I'm asking the Challenge Participants to do everyday...YES EVERYDAY, from Monday March 1st through Wednesday March 31st...and here it is:

**SWEET 16 = Get in 16 Minutes of Fitness DAILY or a Count of 16 "Things"**
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If you're already doing some type of workout then kick it up a notch. For example, I will be doing my regular cardio and strength training during the challenge, so my extra 16 minutes will include 8 minutes of Yoga in the mornings and 8 minutes of Yoga before bedtime. You may decide to do 16 "Things", i.e. 16 crunches a day, 16 push-ups a day, etc.

If you're not already into a fitness routine, now's your chance to get one started. Be creative on how you get your 16 minutes in each day. Perhaps you have a workout DVD that's 45 minutes long. Choose your favorite section and do 10 minutes of it, turn on your favorite song and dance with your spouse, child or in the mirror for the remaining six minutes...you get the point! emoticon

**ELITE 8 = Drink a Minimum of 8, eight ounces cups of Water DAILY**
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Water does a body good!
Here's a link to an article about Healthy Beverage Guidelines for more information: www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutriti

**FINAL 4 = Eat a Minimum of 4 Servings of FREGGIES DAILY(Fruits/Vegetables)**
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Now really, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the USDA recommend 5 servings per day, but to my knowledge there's not anything in March Madness associated with the number 5!!! emoticon

So, if you're already getting your 5 Servings a day...kudos to you! During this challenge make an effort to continue this streak and perhaps try adding some new FREGGIEs to your meal plan.

If you find it difficult to get in the FREGGIEs, 4 a day is better than ZERO a day!!! Plus, here's a link to an article that will give you some "tricks for healthy treats"

What do y'all think...SIMPLE, YET FUN ENOUGH, RIGHT?!

So, if you're in...feel free to leave a comment on this blog, inbox me on SP or FB, or even better, post a comment on the CC's Daily Accountability "Put It On Paper... " Thread:

This thread is where we will regularly meet to give our updates and encourage each other to make it to the CHAMPIONSHIP, where we'll all be winners.

For my FB friends, if you're not a member of SPARK, now is the time to join. WHEN (not if) you join, indicate that you were referred by D710DANCE so that you will automatically be added as my friend.

So, let's do this...we have nothing to lose but pounds and inches! Together, we'll take it ONE day at a time and move ON TO THE NEXT ONE!

We can do this, remember..."[f]or [we] can do everything with the help of Christ who gives [us] the strength [we] need." Philippians 4:13 NLT


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LATINANYC 3/1/2010 5:56PM

    I'm not that into basketball but I'm up for the challenge. I'll go with Syracuse. Go Orangemen! Thanks for posting.

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    I'm In!!

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SVELTSHEL 3/1/2010 10:55AM

    I'd love to join! I need a PUSH!! THANKS! emoticon

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CHICA84 2/28/2010 9:59PM

    Thankx for letting me know about this website, love itttt. This is all that I needed for my big step. I am iiiinnn. emoticon

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GADABOUTDIVA 2/28/2010 7:48PM

    I LOVE this idea!! I hope you don't mind if I "borrow" it and personalize it a bit to work for me...my short-term goal is to lose 4 lbs/month from March-June (my HS reunion is in July), so I think the idea of setting up a new "challenge" each month will be perfect for keeping me on track.

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MRSRUBLE 2/28/2010 12:03PM

    I amready to slam dunk this challenge!

Comment edited on: 2/28/2010 12:05:22 PM

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NEWCASTLE7B 2/27/2010 12:59PM

    That's clever, Deondra, I think it is just want I need to get pulled back on track!

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CHELLESDOINGR8 2/27/2010 10:21AM

    emoticon I'm in, sista!

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ATR_1983 2/27/2010 1:42AM

    Hey D You know I am in. i need the push and pull. I will post on the CC team tomorrow

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SHORTYGETFIT 2/26/2010 8:35PM

    I'm in determined to make the entire month...maybe I'll represent team Michigan. I'll have to see if I have green (MSU usually goes to the Final Four)or if not, I'll post U of M Blue -not a fan of either, but I'll represent one or the other...regardless, Go TEAM emoticon

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DIATOM 2/26/2010 4:47PM

    You are so creative! I really need to get back on track. Need the support of the CCs and SP.

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MSQUAN 2/26/2010 4:25PM

    I am in Sis!

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    This is fabulous...Im absolutely in!!!!

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    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/26/2010 3:28:22 PM

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    I need a team...and I need to like their colors!!!

Comment edited on: 2/26/2010 3:31:28 PM

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RAVEN227 2/26/2010 3:20PM

    Hey D, I am in...I need a push and a pull!!! lol

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TJOI214 2/26/2010 2:37PM

    You know I'm in DIVA D!

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CICI510 2/26/2010 2:18PM

    emoticon You can count me in!!

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KAMISKIX 2/26/2010 2:17PM

    Love this! Count me in. Just to let you know I bleed orange! GO SU!!!

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DIVATEMPLE 2/26/2010 2:16PM

  This sounds AWESOME and exactly what I need!! Thanks for the Challenge!!! WOOT...I will post my "before" pic (in my UofL colors of course) on FB!!!

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DRPOOH63 2/26/2010 2:03PM

    Great Challenge. I am going to list it on the Women Golfers Teeing it Up! Team. Thanks for sharing

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KAYEREADER 2/26/2010 1:42PM

    Cute challenge! Have a ball with it (pun intended)!

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LCDAWSON 2/26/2010 1:01PM


Now that sounds like a plan!!!
And that is exactly what I need...a PLAN!!!
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The Danger of Putting Your Life on Hold!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pastor Cosby is currently doing a series entitled, "Why? (When God Doesn't Make Sense)". The title of this blog was today's Sermon and the focal scripture was Psalms 137: 1-4 NIV, which is listed below (Yours Truly added the words in parenthesis for a SPARK-specific emphasis).

"By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion (being smaller, leaner, faster and stronger). There on the poplars we hung our harps (Spark Tools, confidence, and workout clothes), for there our captors asked for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, 'Sing us one of the songs of Zion!' How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land (when we're not at our goal weight)?"

Basically, he reminded us that we should not just stop living life and trusting God simply because things may not be going the way we want, or because we're facing some type of hardship or difficult situation (i.e. health issues, financial woes, troubled/failed relationship, weight gain and etc.). And that we should take our life off hold because:

1. Things may not get better. (Jeremiah 29: 4-10)
2. Great men AND women of God were used in spite of their issues.
3. God's grace can make all the difference.

Today's message along with one of the songs that was sung today "Encourage Yourself" were SUPER DUPER timely. (Here's the link to the song on YouTube, it's by Donald Lawrence and the Tri City Singers) www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6yhgFxDQMw

If you have put LIVING YOUR LIFE ON HOLD for whatever reason...remember this quote from Pastor, "No one is perfectly strong, completely happy or absolutely holy. God can bless you right in the midst of your situation."

And to quote one of my SPARK Friends, WOLFKITTY "[I have lost] 140 pounds with SparkPeople and am working on dropping 200 total! [IN THE MEANTIME], I'm not waiting until I'm considered "slender" to love myself and my body. In fact, when I reach my final goal weight, I may still have a protruding tummy, and I know that the size of my behind will probably only get proportionally smaller- OH WELL (or OH GOOD! HEhee)! What's more important is that I have more energy, can do more things, and can LIVE LIFE more fully. "

So, let us keep Living Life and get ON TO THE NEXT ONE! emoticon

AMEN and AMEN!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KMOLIPH 8/18/2010 11:28AM

    This blog really touched me I have been feeling this way I needed the scriptures the word encourages me so much.

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POCOHANTAZ 5/11/2010 3:59PM


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KARIMU1 3/4/2010 11:00AM

    Thanks D, very inspiring! emoticon

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BRENDAB49 2/23/2010 9:27AM

    I was there and the message was a great word from the Lord. I understood what he was saying that even in the worst of your situations who is to say that times are going to get better. Make your life count no matter where you are because who is to say that you are going to get out of what you are in. I appreciate this blog it is a reminder of the lesson that was taught Sunday Morning on this Tuesday. Thanks Dee.

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DRPOOH63 2/22/2010 9:26PM

    Thank you so much for the reminder..... Especially the reminder that God blesses us in our situation....

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CIBROOKS 2/22/2010 2:22PM

  I love it...I was wondering if your church has a websibe the the sermons online

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WOLFKITTY 2/22/2010 12:15PM

    Nice reminder, Sparkifriend!!


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GODZDESIGN95 2/22/2010 9:36AM

    What a timely blog this is. Recently I have pain under my arm. Went Er for it. Discharged with an antibotic and pain meds. My mind been wondering, and flesh has been thinking the worst. Checking in with my dr this week. Thanks for the reminder. Please pray!!!

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LIFEGENESIS 2/22/2010 9:30AM

    Thank you for sharing! It really started my day out right. :D

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SUSI_SINGS 2/22/2010 9:11AM


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GIRLINMOTION 2/22/2010 8:37AM

    WOLFKITTY is a very wise woman! Well said.


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CHELLESDOINGR8 2/22/2010 6:51AM


Michelle :)

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LIZZIECA55 2/21/2010 10:13PM

    Amen. Sometimes we do have to encourage ourselves. You are so fortunate to have a great pastor who you admire. Keep on spreading the word, Gurl!!!

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KAYEREADER 2/21/2010 8:38PM

    That song "Encourage Yourself" has seen many through many valleys!!! Thanks for sharing as always!

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GETFINEONEM 2/21/2010 8:24PM

  Amen thank you so much I needed to hear that right about now...thats just the type of motivation that I need to hear emoticon

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NOEILAND 2/21/2010 7:43PM

    I get it! Thanks

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LASVEGASLES 2/21/2010 7:26PM

    Preach on it Diva D!!!

Amen and Amen again, indeed!!

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    I am a testimony...one of the many imperfect people he uses!! I refuse to put my LIFE ON HOLD...tomorrow isn't promised to any of us...so I've chosen to make the BEST of TODAY!!


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LPRINCESS90 2/21/2010 6:40PM

    AMEN! Lovely blog

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