Faith and Fitness

Sherry Zeise

The wonderful women of New Life Women’s Fellowship Group gathered with a hearty welcome from our friend and hostess, Nancy Nevius. Nancy always sets a warm, happy atmosphere for our meetings in her home.

This time, we enjoyed many variations on breakfast casseroles and fruit compote. Desserts? Well, there were a number of dessert varieties!

After lunch, Nancy Thomas made announcements, one of which was to inform us of the need for help with childcare and treats for the Inspired Moms’ Group at the “North Campus,” as we call the home church in Sanger. We were then introduced to our speaker, Barbara Shippy, whose story astounded and blessed us all.

Her whole life has been one trial after another that was God’s opportunity to show His love and His power to rescue His children. God has always “shown-up” for Barbara.

As a child, Barbara suffered life-threatening asthma and allergies, to the point of having to live in isolation. Her loving, godly grandfather wanted to get help for her, so one day he told Barbara that he was taking her to a special place, and had outfitted his vehicle to take her there. She had no idea that her Grandpa had contacted Evangelist Oral Roberts about Barbara and her serious illness. During the service, Oral Roberts had them bring Barbara to the platform to pray for her. Barbara’s grandpa was delighted to see God heal his sweet granddaughter! Barbara never suffered from that malady again.

In her teens, Barbara, a strong Christian who loved to sing and play for church services, met Mike, the love of her life. Mike was not raised in a Christian environment as Barbara had been, and was not interested in becoming a Christian. Most marriages like that don’t last, but those two loved each other and life together was good. Later on, Mike became a believer, after God’s goodness and mercy convinced him.

One of the Shippy’s sons became seriously ill, suffering for years, running up enormous medical expenses. Most children would have died, but God saw that he regained his health and the bills were fully paid!

Barbara has loved teaching fitness classes through the years, but she also became a nurse, as well as several other positions for which she had no formal training, and yet God empowered her to excel in each of them.

Her fitness classes are a delight to her members who appreciate her knowledge and help.

She reminded us that Scripture says our bodies are the “temple of God,” as He lives in us. Part of that fitness is keeping our heart and spirit dedicated to the Lord and His service, being prepared to love and lift others who need His love and life.

“I can do all things through Christ, Who gives me the strength” — Philippians 4:13.