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CULTURE WARS

March 30, 2010Read: Daniel 1

Then the King ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.  The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table.  They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service.” --Daniel 1:3-5

One of the most effective ways to capture an enemy is to surround them. This gives them no viable way of escape. If you have ever seen a SWAT team in action, you know that they will generally secure the perimeter before they go in. When Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were brought into Babylon by Ashpenaz, they were literally surrounded by the culture of Babylon. They were to be immersed and indoctrinated into the ways and beliefs of Babylon at the height of its economic influence and power!

We are surrounded by a Babylonian Culture of our own. And at the core of this culture is Self; it is relentlessly hammering the ideology of self-indulgence, success, sensuality, and status. It appeals to the very core of our fleshly nature – our desire to be the center of attention, to be important, to be noticed.

We are bombarded with images that make us think that we are entitled to a life of comfort and ease; that we deserve it.

The enemy always wants to put us back into the bondage of sin. He hates the freedom we have in Christ so he will try to lure us back to our old, self-centered ways. And he will use the temptations of the culture around us to bring us down. Daniel shows us how we can remain free to influence our “Babylon” with lives of discipline, devotion, and integrity.

Pastor Jimmy Page serves as the VP of Field Ministry and National Director of Wellness for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). For nearly 20 years, he has been a leader in the medical fitness industry, operating wellness facilities affiliated with Sinai Hospital and Johns Hopkins. He currently hosts a daily radio segment and podcast called Fit Life Today, offering a blend of spiritual and physical health principles that promote abundant life. In 2010, Jimmy published "Wisdom Walks: 40 Life-Changing Principles to Live and Give." Wisdom Walks is a field manual for mentoring the next generation and can be found soon at www.wisdomwalks.org.

GO LONG FOR BETTER TRICEPS Raise your hands if you want to tax this meaty part of your arm

The triceps represents the majority of your upper arm musculature. This three-headed muscle includes a lateral head, a medial head and a long head. And of those three, it's the long head that takes up the most real estate.

This head, when it's not in shape, is the one most responsible for that jiggle when you wave. To put the long head in its strongest position means putting your arm overhead. Anytime you do overhead exercises, such as overhead extensions, that longer head is maximally involved. Not sure what an overhead extension is? Reach up and back as if you're trying to scratch your upper back, right at the base of the neck. That arm angle will help engage that long head to the greatest degree.

No weights? No problem. Next time you're in your kitchen, grab a soup can with one hand, then raise your arm up, directly overhead. Then, bending only from your elbow, try and lower the soup can to your upper back/base of your neck, then back up the arm straight overhead position. Once you feel tired in that arm, switch arms and repeat on the other side.

If you hit the gym regularly, the overhead extension can be done with dumbbells, cables and bands. You can do these one arm at a time or with both simultaneously. By doing them single-arm, you'll use your core musculature a bit more as you work to maintain your balance.