Live It Articles

Everyday Encouragement

Everyday Encouragement

Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 THESSALONIANS 5:11  My neighbor Marcia lives just a few houses down from us. What a blessing she is to me as we walk together six days a week early each morning, starting out in the dark, but ending in sunrise, and thanking God for it! One morning this week, it was apparently too early for me. I put on two shirts, as it was a chilly morning (in Texas, a cold morning), laced up my walking shoes, and was ready to go—except, I looked down and noticed that I was still in my “glow in the dark” pajama bottoms. I quickly changed, but Marcia is such a good friend that she would have gone with me in those pj’s, and we would have started our morning walk with a good laugh. We spend the

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Beating the Odds – Get Serious

Beating the Odds – Get Serious

January 17 has come and gone, and so has the commitment to get healthy for the majority of Americans. According to an article in Newsweek, “Strava, a social network for athletes that tracks runs and bike rides looked at more than 108 million entries in the U.S. and found Thursday (January 17, emphasis mine) is when Americans are most likely to bail out on fitness resolutions.”  Research shows that less than sixty percent of us are still committed to the resolution after six months. What happens in just 17 days? Why do so many of us just quit?  How do you beat the odds? I don’t have all of the answers, but I have some. These are simple habits I have developed (not quickly, I must say,) that have kept me focused and faithful to my wellness endeavors: Have a quiet time with God. He is our source of strength.

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Long Life

Long Life

I spent my 30s and 40s obese and nearly beyond hope. My obesity was a symptom of a deeper issue. I ran to food for comfort, friendship, and satisfaction. My recliner was my favorite spot in my house. Discovering First Place For Health (FP4H) in my late 40s helped me focus on what is most important: Christ in first place, including my weight and wellness. Surrendering to God transformed my life as I turned to Him for strength. After four years, at age 50, I’d shed 116 pounds and began a new journey. Maintaining a healthy weight required me to look deep into my past and discover the why behind my unhealthy relationship with food.  Through Bible studies, teachings, and group meetings, FP4H fueled my need to prioritize my health. Ten years at a healthy weight has changed my outlook. Now, as I approach my 60th birthday, I might have

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The Super-est Super Food

The Super-est Super Food

It’s not that I’m a food snob. That’s not the reason I walk the aisles of my local grocery store with a judgmental attitude that I prefer to call “discernment.” It’s because I’m wiser than I once was. No matter what’s on my grocery list, I notice things with invisible labels: Empty Calories Not the Best Choice Better Option in the Next Bin You’ll Regret This One Not Worth the Miles It Will Take to Work This Off Instant Gratification/Long-Term Payment Plan Might as Well Mainline Trans-Fats Heart Attack Platter Eat at Your Own Risk Why Is This Shelved with Real Food? I also notice gems—like veins of gold sparkling among the layers of tundra gravel. Superfoods! Be still my— I mean, be active, my heart! Blueberries Kale Cherries Broccoli Spinach Tea Legumes Nuts Seeds Olive Oil Ginger Some resources list ten superfoods. Others 25. But of all the lists

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Way Beyond My Strength

Way Beyond My Strength

 “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”  (Philippians 4:13) The five volcanos that make up the Big Island of Hawaii create a challenging course for the mini-triathlon I do each year. My favorite part is the first and shortest segment of the race, a 1/3 mile ocean swim. Once out of the water, I race barefooted to my gear station to don socks, shoes, helmet and sunglasses, and off I go to tackle the longest segment of the race, the 15-mile bike ride. The biking is 7.5 miles out and back. The first part of the ride is enjoyable with stunning ocean views. At mile six, the road turns in toward the mountain and begins the climb to 191 feet. I think about how hard this hill will be when I face it again on the way back. A devilish whisper suggests, “Turn back now. You

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Beyond Free

Beyond Free

Many of you bravely walked the pages of Gari Meacham’s first Bible Study called Be Free. Hopefully, you started the hard work of climbing the hills of freedom, establishing safe perimeters of hope and tenacious belief as you came to the understanding of our Savior’s mandate “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” In Beyond Free, we’ll travel to the strong places of mature assurance. We’ll study the power of obedience and discover what chains may still hold us in of defeat. Beyond Free isn’t a place we arrive when we’ve studied hard enough and mastered self-control. It’s the brilliant knowledge that we can’t go back—we won’t go back—to lesser ways. It’s the revelation that God’s Kingdom is vast and inviting, and anything that keeps us from its fullness and pleasure must go.  It’s the understanding that Jesus wants access to the darkest closets of

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Best Christmas Gift Ever?

What is the best, most fabulous, wonderful Christmas gift you ever received? I’ve received beautifully wrapped gold jewelry from my husband. I’ve received homemade Christmas ornaments from my kids. (Thank you, teachers!). I’ve received countless homemade goodies from precious church people. All of these gifts have meant something to me. But by far, the best gift I ever received was in the fall of 1972 when I received the incomparable gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. That gift changed my life forever. Jesus is the Master Gift Giver. His gifts are never returned or abandoned in the pile of Christmas wrapping. His gifts are priceless. His gifts have purpose. The gifts we receive in Christ are riches beyond measure! His gifts have everything we need for life and godliness. These are just a few of the gifts we receive in Christ: He has given us forgiveness and righteousness: Our sins

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Giving

Wess Stafford, the former CEO and President of Compassion International, said, “The opposite of poverty is not wealth. The opposite of poverty is generosity.” When we freely give to those around us, we are truly rich. When we freely give and expect nothing in return, we are truly rich. When we freely give, and it costs us something, we are truly rich. Giving generously does not mean you have to impact your bank account (even though that is a key way to be generous.) The most expensive commodity we have is our time. Time cannot be saved. Time is limited, and we won’t have more hours in the day when the kids get out of the house, or we retire. We are all given 10,080 hours a week. What are you going to do with your weekly allotment this December? Will you be selfish and keep it all for yourself?

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What’s New?

While staying with the tried and true, we continue looking for ways to increase the accessibility and reach of our ministry. Starting with our new bible studies for January 2020, we will move from a 12-week session (10 weeks of bible study) to a 9-week course with eight weeks of Bible study discussions. In the 9-week session, the first week will include the usual weighing and measuring, getting to know each other, reviewing the foundations of Matthew 6:33, Mark 12:30, and our Live It Plan. The following eight weeks will include accountability time, a Wellness Spotlight, Bible study discussion, and prayer partner time. Week 9, the final week will include the Bible study discussion and time for members to share all God has done during the session. In response to leaders’ feedback, instead of having My Place for Discovery assigned weekly, the schedule will rotate between My Place for Nutrition,

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Way To Go

Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 THESSALONIANS 5:11 My own personal definition of the word “encouragement” is to catch someone doing something right and to tell him or her. When we encourage someone, the words we say need to be true. Encouragement can transform another person and give them hope for a brighter future. Encouragement is an important part of the First Place 4 Health program. In our classes, we are assigned one person each week to pray for and encourage. I have never been disappointed when I take the time to call my prayer partner on the phone. I learn things about this person that I would never learn in class, and then I know how to encourage her or him even more. Getting to know another person is the key to being an encourager in a person’s life.

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