Monthly archive for February 2008

Honor God with your Body

I recently attended a conference at a church in Virginia where the Pastor Steve Reynolds, lost 108 pounds and is leading his congregation to also lose weight. During the fall of 2007, his congregation lost 2100 pounds.  The meeting I attended in January was the kick off for their second session where 270 men and women attended and signed up again to lose weight.  Steve’s alumni group is going through First Place together, which is the reason I was there. Some of the below facts shared at that conference were sobering to say the least.  This is a sad commentary for all of us as Christians. * Of 100 pound losers, only one (1) out of 1,000 keeps off the weight. * Christians are the most overweight people group. * The word “body” is mentioned 179 times in the Bible. * 66 million Americans are obese (BMI>30%). * One million

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Cut the Bitter Root

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.  Hebrews 12:14-15 It is impossible to live very long before hurtful things happen. Some we just stumble into and others seem to be well-conceived plots. Even good people end up hurting other good people. Apologies are welcomed, but they do not take away the harm that often has been done. Some hurts are subtle and others are obvious and often irreparable. Christians are not immune to wounds from others. We hurt and require healing. But to be a whole and balanced believer, we must seek healing which also includes forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean that we minimize the damage and pretend that hurtful behavior

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The (not so) Secret to Sticking With It

I read a great article in Newsweek by Dr. Dean Ornish, M.D. a few months ago.  Entitled “Forget about Willpower”, I was quite curious to read what Dr. Ornish believes one shouldn’t forget about in the quest for successful weight loss since willpower is, after all, believed by many to be a large piece of the weight-loss puzzle.  You can find the article here: http://www.newsweek.com/id/81153. Once you read it, I hope you’ll see some major similarities between what Dr. Ornish touts as the secrets to losing weight and what First Place teaches.  The main ideas I took from the article were that if people desire weight loss success, they need to (1) develop more constructive coping skills – namely ones that don’t involve food, (2) change their mindset about healthy eating, (3) accept that food is just food (not “good” or “bad”), (4) make authentic changes perpetuated by our own

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Guard Your Heart

The Bible has many things to say about the heart. My favorite verse that refers to the heart is Proverbs 4:23: Above all else, guard your heart. For it is the wellspring of life. I personally look at this verse two ways. First, when I think of my heart as the core of who I am, the source of my creativity, courage and convictions, as Stasi Eldredge defines it in her book Captivating, I know that I must guard it carefully from the cares and challenges of this world. Since my heart is the center of who I am and the source of my faith, my hope and my love, I must guard it by controlling what enters my mind through the media, through conversations with others and by diving into the Word of God regularly. Secondly, I must guard my heart in the physical sense. I must take care

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One Step at a Time

Is exercise one of the hardest things for you when it comes to healthy lifestyle changes? If your answer is yes, you are not alone. Many people feel the same way. There are so many things that seem to happen in life that sabotage our efforts to exercise. We have to find time to do it, and our lives are busy. We have to be willing to sweat and that makes us uncomfortable. We have to find a place to do it, and we have to find a mode of exercise that works for us. These are challenges, and the challenges are real, but with God’s help, we can take one step at a time to add exercise to our health habits! It doesn’t matter whether you made resolutions or whether you didn’t. Today you can take your first step. A first step is prayer. Ask the Lord to help

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Clueless and Busy in Illinois

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. – Colossians 3:1-2 I became aware of the hectic nature of my life when I found myself dyeing my hair at midnight! The 20 minutes I had forced myself to stay awake so that I could cover the gray, I had just enough reflection time to day, “My life has been w-a-y too busy for the last week.” I should have had a clue on Sunday when I left for church at 8:00 a.m. didn’t look at the time again until I unglued myself from my computer at 9 p.m.  That was my day of rest, the Lord’s Day.  I should have had a clue, but I didn’t because that is what busyness does–it keeps us

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