Devotional

Strength Through His Divine Power

Strength Through His Divine Power

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 PETER 1:3 I have to giggle each week as we begin our First Place 4 Health class. Everyone steps up to the scale, taking off as much clothing as possible while mumbling over and over under their breath the memory verse they are about to quote. Recently, this verse in 2 Peter 1:3 challenged me, and the Lord had me share this fact with the class. After all, isn’t this why we come together, to be encouraged as we share the good, the bad, and the Godly of our journey to live a balanced life? The verse said, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness,” and immediately a thought came: So why am I not reaching my goals? It surely wasn’t

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Please Don’t Quit!

Please Don’t Quit!

A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly. PROVERBS 14:29 One of the most common reasons people give up on exercise is a lack of immediate results. It takes time for change to take place in our bodies. Developing patience with and proficiency in the area of exercise may be one of the biggest challenges for us, but it is well worth the effort. I recall one dear lady in my class in Charleston, South Carolina, who had decided she was going to work diligently at her commitment to exercise. She walked faithfully every day for one week, and when she got on the scale to see how much weight she had shed, she had stayed the same. She immediately began to cry and said, “It’s no use—I am just going to quit. I won’t be back next week.” We all have had the same experience.

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Take Out the Trash

Take Out the Trash

A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. PROVERBS 19:11 What an experience to be a landlord! We just evicted renters for the first time. They left the house in a huge mess! Trash was piled in each room, including the garage. Unwanted furniture littered the rooms, and the carpets were incredibly dirty. The filth on the floors, cabinets, and counters took many cleanings. The tenants even removed and ruined the garage door to get their belongings out. The job seemed to be more than my husband, and I could manage on our own. A sense of hopelessness overwhelmed us. But as I started to work, I began to feel hopeful, knowing that the hard work would be rewarded with a clean, livable house once again. It would not happen on this day, or even after two or three days of hard work,

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Stand Strong

Stand Strong

You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry. PSALM 10:17 My childhood was marked by traumatic events that produced a lifestyle of emotional pain. As an adult, I became caretaker for both of my parents. Food became an addiction and resulted in major health problems. I wanted to die. Daily I asked, “God, why did You wake me up?” Now I ask, “Lord, what are we doing today?” That transformation began to take place through knowledge of God’s Word, the work of the Holy Spirit and encouragement from First Place 4 Health friends. Sometimes our journey takes an unexpected turn. On March 26, 2005, I was almost killed in an auto accident. In the ER, although my body showed no visible signs of injury or pain, further diagnosis revealed the true picture of my life-threatening injuries. My family was told

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When God is Pleased

When God is Pleased

And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 1 JOHN 3:23 The verse just before this one tells us that we will receive whatever we ask from God if we obey His commands and do what pleases Him (see 1 John 3:22). And then the Bible tells us what pleases God. It pleases Him for you and me to love one another as He commanded us. It is easy for me to love lovable people. There are many people like this in my life. The problem is to love unlovable people. I believe that God places unlovable people in our lives to teach us more about His character— God is love. I learned many years ago that it is impossible for me to love unlovable people in my strength. The secret is to ask

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Sisters in Christ

Sisters in Christ

I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another. ROMANS 15:14 When I found myself sitting on my couch watching television, not answering the phone and wondering what I could eat next, I realized that step by step, I had become isolated, disconnected and overweight. Every once in a while, I would remember that there is a better way to live, and I would seek weight loss but ultimately fail. First Place 4 Health was just my next weight-loss choice. Carole Lewis was in my first meeting, and she said that the good thing about First Place 4 Health was that if you didn’t quit, you would succeed, because success is in the process. When the going gets tough, I still remember those words, and they encourage me. Somehow, I became a First Place 4 Health leader.

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Food for Thought

Food for Thought

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. JOHN 15:12 Seeing others fully committed to wholeheartedly obeying the Lord Jesus in every area of their lives always challenges me and inspires me. As I examine my own heart and mind, I find myself asking: Am I willing to say yes to God—whatever He asks of me? Am I willing to say no to the things that displease or dishonor Him? In John 4, Jesus has just told the woman at the well that only He can quench her spiritual thirst: “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (verses 13-14). She responds to His invitation and receives this life-giving water, calling everyone in her village

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All I Want for Christmas

All I Want for Christmas

It’s been a long time since someone asked me what I wanted for Christmas. It’s been a long time since I made a Christmas list like when I was a little girl. I have decided this year I am going to change that; I’m making a list and submitting it to my heavenly Father who is in the business of giving. He gave His throne to Jesus, and Jesus is there at the right hand of the Father, telling our heavenly Father just what we need. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift (see James 1:17).   The main thing I want: an MHVR player—a Mind and Heart Video Recorder to permanently record impressions on my mind and heart. If I could just capture Christmas moments in my mind and heart forever! If I could just keep my children small! If I could always have focused thoughts

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All I Want for Christmas

It’s been a long time since someone asked me what I wanted for Christmas. It’s been a long time since I made a Christmas list like when I was a little girl. I have decided this year I am going to change that; I’m making a list and submitting it to my heavenly Father who is in the business of giving. He gave His throne to Jesus, and Jesus is there at the right hand of the Father, telling our heavenly Father just what we need. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift (see James 1:17).   The main thing I want: an MHVR player—a Mind and Heart Video Recorder to permanently record impressions on my mind and heart. If I could just capture Christmas moments in my mind and heart forever! If I could just keep my children small! If I could always have focused thoughts

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Got Peace?

Got Peace?

Life offers us no shortage of things that tempt us with anxiety. The pressures of jobs, relationships, parenting, keeping house, paying bills, eating healthy . . . even balancing all of the above can produce an abundance of anxiety—if you let them. The apostle Paul, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, wrote, “Do not be anxious” (Philippians 4:6). When I realized this meant that I actually had a choice of whether or not to give in to anxiety, my life started changing for the better. You see, when the Lord gives us a command, like this one, He always provides how to do it. When we recognize the familiar feeling of anxiety, we are to stop and take our feelings and concerns to the Lord in prayer. Not only that, but we are to do so with thanksgiving. No matter how ominous the circumstance, we can always begin by

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