Live It Articles

Self-Forgetfulness

Self-Forgetfulness

True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it’s thinking of yourself less. Rick Warren How do we forget ourselves in a God-honoring way, without neglecting ourselves? What does that look like in real-time? How on earth can we be “free of me” (a concept from Sharon Hode) when nothing seems right or easy, let alone joyful? We are all isolated to varying degrees. Our face to face socialization as we know it has changed radically. Mundane daily rhythms, we no longer have, seem much sweeter now that they are no longer options. How do we respond rather than react to those we live with or take care of or who may care for us? How is it possible to separate ourselves from what comes naturally and live supernaturally? Intentionally, prayerfully and in complete and utter dependence on the One who can. “Self-forgetfulness” is freedom. To focus less on self

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Are You Bringing a Friend?

Are You Bringing a Friend?

In 2008 I attended my first First Place event.  Not wanting to attend alone, I invited my sister Cyndi. We hatched a plan. We convinced our spouses that they could handle our rambunctious sons without us for the weekend.  We booked our hotel, registered, and planned our drives to Williamsport, PA. We each drove over four hours from different directions. At the hotel, I stood star-struck in an elevator, stammering as I introduced myself to Carole Lewis (then the National Director).  Instantly we felt welcomed. We soon realized we were with our people.  People who understood us. We were with our fellow First Placers. Years later, Monique Johnson and I realized we were both at the same event in the same elevator. 2010 brought a new challenge.  I wanted to attend the Summit in Houston.  No one in my group wanted to go.  My sister couldn’t go.  Do I go

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The Girl Behind the Curtain

The Girl Behind the Curtain

After four, yes, four hours in the recovery room following my total knee replacement, I finally was wheeled into my room. It would have been so easy just to let the medication do its thing and lull me to sleep. But it was the noises coming from the other side of the curtain of my semi-private room that kept me awake. Heartfelt sobbing. Okay, now I have a choice, just ignore it and go to sleep, or say something. My tired body says to me, “Don’t say anything, Vicki! You need to rest. You need to be quiet.” I finally gave in and speak through the curtain, “Can I help you?” A young voice speaks back through the curtain. “I have no one to come and pick me up. I have no phone and no shoes. May I use your phone?” I say, “sure, can you come over here because

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Strong Will or Strong Won’t?

Strong Will or Strong Won't?

Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. Deuteronomy 30:11 “Reach.” This is an action word—as in “reach for a cookie,” which is one choice we can certainly make; or a better choice, “reach for the ceiling,” which we do while exercising. God first spoke to Moses, who then delivered His commands to the Israelites. The will to obey precedes carrying out His greatest commandments, which come down to two actions: to love and obey God. Not difficult—right? If only it were that easy! Personally, I battle weight control daily. But before First Place I considered it a losing battle. I now realize the battle is not mine but God’s. And His greatest battle with me is not controlling my weight but commanding my obedience. Oswald Chambers said, “The battle is fought in the domain of the will.”1 So the questions

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Tips for Storing Produce

Tips for Storing Produce

We want our produce to last as long as possible while we limit our trips to the grocery. Here are a few helpful tips for storing produce. Your fresh greens are the most fragile, so eat them quickly once you have them, rather than let them sit around. Prevent spoilage by adding paper towels or a clean dish towel to absorb the bag’s excess moisture. If they’re in the plastic container, line the container with dry paper towels or a clean dish towel before putting the greens back in. If they’re in a bag, fold up a paper towel, put it in the bag, and seal it with a clip. Use within a week. Remember, things like apples and avocados emit gasses as they ripen, causing your greens to go bad faster, so don’t store them together. Hardier greens, like kale or collard greens (things that come in a bunch),

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Is It Time to Make Dinner…Again?!

Is It Time to Make Dinner…Again?!

Struggling to stay motivated when it comes to making dinner? Are you tired of cooking or just bored with what you’re eating? I love to cook, but the other day when it came around to time to decide what’s for dinner, I just thought, “Ugh, again?! Maybe we can skip dinner this time.” Ha! It can be exhausting to cook as much as we’re cooking during these times. There’s the constant washing of dishes and restocking of ingredients, the making of the food, meal after meal after meal. But once I pull out the cutting board and start chopping, I begin to relax. There’s comfort in the act of cooking. There’s satisfaction in that simple act of feeding yourself or your family. Here are a few tips that I hope will ease the burden of figuring out what to make and help you find comfort and satisfaction in making your

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A Recipe for Gratefulness

A Recipe for Gratefulness

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. COLOSSIANS 3:16 Which comes first, the gratitude or the actions that turn our heart toward gratitude? Does it matter? If you are feeling grateful, run to God’s Word so that it can dwell in you even more richly; share the wisdom you learn with others, then burst into song as you praise God with a heart that is already full of gratitude. That’s the easy part. But on those days when you are struggling to feel grateful, do the same thing, even though it is harder—cling to God’s Word and praise Him anyway. It is amazing how gratefulness rises in your heart when you take your eyes off of yourself and put them on God. I

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That Unexpected Perk from my First Place Bible Study

That Unexpected Perk from my First Place Bible Study

Oops! Why did I just eat that unnecessary snack? Because I’m bored, social distancing, and no one saw me anyway, so the calories don’t count, right? If you have ever struggled with comfort eating in secrecy, this quarantine season could be a potential minefield; if it weren’t for the caring people in your group! With so many activities and events canceled, you might have even been missing your First Place Bible Study. Perhaps these days at home are helping you realize that it was much more than just studying and applying God’s Word as part of a healthy life plan. Your group was a connection with other people who understand your journey. Without regular contact, perhaps you have drifted away from some of those positive, encouraging voices that help you stay on track. I am so very grateful that my weekly First Place for Health online group has continued to

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Five Reasons You HAVE to Attend FP4H Summit THE JOY ADVENTURE:

Location, Location, Location – Want to attend in your pajamas? Okay! Your beautiful front porch? You got it! Your kitchen? No problem! Come as you are, where ever you, on July 24 and 25. Yes, that’s right. Our Summit 2020, The Joy Adventure, will be our first-ever virtual Summit. The Joy Adventure will provide live and prerecorded seminars and breakouts for you to watch at your convenience. You will even have the opportunity to engage with our speakers during the live sessions. The Speakers – What a line-up of the best of our FP4H family! To name a few, Carol Kent shares from her new book, Staying Power, and don’t we need it! These past months have been stressful on bodies, marriages, and finances. Carol will share strategies to help is “stay with it.” Carole Lewis is sharing from her heart the things that bring her strength and eternal joy.

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Great Ideas for Staying Fit During These Trying Days

Great Ideas for Staying Fit During These Trying Days

• I have not been able to teach my live Body & Soul classes, but I have been using On Demand with B&S. The first week is free! Use the code FP4H01, and First Place will receive support. • Dianna says she is doing one set of exercises as she cleans her house. As she is putting the pots and pans away in the bottom drawers of her kitchen, she does ten squats. • Leslie is doing ten lunges in the morning on her right leg as she brushes her teeth and the same for the left leg as she brushes her teeth again that night. • Debbie says she does her exercises every day at the same time. If you schedule it, it will get done! • Pam finds workouts on YouTube and actually does them instead of just watching – ha! • Joanne is breaking out her old

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