Free & Fit Challenge 2017 - Freedom from Appearance by Rita Tam
Rita Tam and some of the Free & Fit London team at St Marks Church in Kennington
Opening Scripture Psalm 119 13-16 (Amplified Version) For You formed my innermost parts; You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was being formed in secret, And intricately and skillfully formed [as if embroidered with many colors] in the depths of the earth. Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were appointed for me, When as yet there was not one of them [even taking shape]. Taken from: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Psalm%20139:13-16&version=AMP
The beautiful Prospect Park in Brooklyn
Biography Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So, we’ve been told and this is often the message we receive consciously or unconsciously from the wave after wave of images we look at, whether we are aware of it or not, every day. But as Christians we can have a different perspective and know that beauty comes not only from the beholder but also that beauty comes from within. And if we imagine that God is our “beholder” then all the better. His gaze is one that stems from love.
The lovely beaches of Long Beach Island, New Jersey
Sometimes our appearances become a bit of a competition- speaking as a woman, it is an issue amongst women. Men may think that we are dressing up for them, putting on make-up etc to attract their attention. However, from my own experiences and feelings- it is other women we are competing against and wanting to out-look. And it could be similar for men, needing to appear equally fit or able compared to other men. However, God gives us a standard from the get-go, from the very start: after he created all of life, he saw that it was good. We are good because God made us. The state of our appearance doesn’t have to make us “good enough”- we have been given that already just by being created. But how often do we remember or realise this? Many of us can be caught up in worry and anxiety about how we appear to others; whether it is about physical appearance or our character. But God reminds us to not worry. He reminds us how nature is clothed and the birds are provided for. God knows our needs, our insecurities and our hearts. That is his main concern. Do you believe that? We do not need to worry about how we appear to others if God remains our primary view. Rather than focusing on ourselves- our eyes should be looking to him ultimately and his appearance to us. We can be like mirrors to others reflecting God rather than ourselves. God has given us a new view to see the world from and to be a new creation. Therefore, we can shed the old coat of fear, doubt and sorrow and step into a new wardrobe. One that has been fashioned and tailored to our exact measurements. And we are given so much freedom then to be ourselves in a world which often asks everyone to appear the same. God asks us to be true to whom He has made.
The wonderful city of New York, New York City.
Freedom from appearance (or thinking about appearance too much)
Think about these following advertising slogans-
How do these impact our view of appearance or how we want to appear? How does these match up with what the Bible says? “Because I’m worth it/ Because you’re worth it” “Just do it” “Control everything” “Success isn’t born. It’s made” “Championing everyone’s right to feel good.” “It’s all about you.” “I am what I am” “ Be more human” Think about these questions (just for yourself and/ or with others) ▪ What does “appearance” mean to you? ▪ Is appearance only about the outward ? ▪ Is it wrong to think about how you appear? ▪ Who do you appear to/for? ▪ What does the Bible say regarding our appearance? ▪ How does the view of appearance differ for men and women? Does it differ? ▪ Do you do exercise to change your appearance? What are your motives behind seeking physical fitness etc?
About the Free & Fit Challenge
The Free and Fit course has been created to build strong social skills, charge healthy physical bodies and to instil a well balanced and sound mind. Participants who complete the full course over 12 months will learn how to work effectively with their team members to build strong values of power, love, and self discipline. Free & Fit Vision The vision of free and fit course is to engage, motivate, improve and hence find freedom in a physical and spiritual state. As such the freedom that leads to a peaceful heart; leads to a healthy body. The course is built upon the core value of learning together to be disciplined and motivated in our faith as well as our fitness. Instructions for Group or Individual Facilitator 1. Select a sport and space where you want to exercise, book a date and time to meet and invite your friends! 2. Before exercising ensure the space is safe and that no participants are experiencing any illnesses or injuries. 3. Set up a structure of three different exercise routines which you can introduce, read and reflect upon the selected bible verses. In the welcome and warm up introduce the topic and ask the members what they believe the topic to mean. 4. Read the verses in order before each exercise and ask the group to think about the verses during the three different exercise routines. 5. Reflect on the verses and topic at the end of session during a warm down and discuss the answers to each verse and questions at the end of the workout. Bible Verses for Discussion
1. Genesis 1 v31
“God saw all that he had made and it was very good.”
2. 1 Peter 3 v3-4 “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewellery and fine clothes. Instead it should be that of inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle, and quiet spirit which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
3. Matthew 6v25-30 “Therefore I tell you do not worry about your life... or about your body, what you will wear.... Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes... And why do you worry about clothes. See how the lilies of the field grow: they do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Soloman in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.”
4. 2 Corinthians 5v 16-17 “So from now on we regard no-one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come!”
5. 1 Samuel 6 v17 (MSG version)
But GOD told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. GOD judges’ persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; GOD looks into the heart.”
Questions to be asked at the end of each verse How does this verse relate to this topic? What does this verse mean to you/me? How can we challenge ourselves with the verses we heard during the exercises? Testimony Time of Prayer and Reflection Think about a time of thanksgiving and outward reflection. Simply praise reports and prayer requests.
Sign Up. Tune In. Take Part
UK London Contact Details:
Contact: Nav Merghan
Address: Meet at St Mark’s Church,
Next to Oval Tube, 337 Kennington Park Road, London SE11 4PW
US New York Contact Details:
Contact: Timothy Cheux
Address: Meet at Central Park,
Next to Pulitzer Fountain,
764 5th Ave, New York NY 10019
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