Devotional

It Takes a Little Time Sometimes

It Takes a Little Time Sometimes

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. –John 6:36 I wish I could say that I have followed the First Place for Health program perfectly, but that would not be the truth.  The truth of the matter is I have been on this journey for several years.  The most important part of the journey is that I have never given up on myself and neither has God. There have been times that I was stalled and could not move forward and there have been times that I have even gone backwards.  I see these times as a “big waste” but God sees them as times to pour out his mercy and grace on me. At one point on this journey I felt I could not get turned around.  I knew the direction I needed to go, but I was having a tremendously hard time getting turned around.  God in

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Gift of Self

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.  1 Peter 3:8 One of the hardest lessons I have learned in my Christian walk is the difference between compassion and pity. Pity feels sorry for; compassion suffers with. Pity is about feeling superior; compassion acknowledges a common humanity that leaves me vulnerable to the same pain. Pity is being like the Pharisee who looked down at the tax collector and thanked God that, as one who religiously kept the law, he was exempt from the sins common to man. Compassion recognizes that we are all sinners before God. Compassion is humble enough to say, “Lord, have mercy on me a sinner,” knowing that it is God’s grace and not anything we have done that saves us. What I have found is that when I can be compassionate and humble, I

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Please Don’t Quit

Please Don't Quit

A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered mandisplays 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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God & You ~ Better Together

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. –1 Peter 3:12 What is better together—milk and cookies, mom and dad, praise and worship or . . . ? My choice for “better together” is Google and Round Top Retreat Center.  Bet you are saying, “strange,” but allow me a moment to explain.  It was late summer and I was praying about my yearly week away for spiritual growth, so I went to my trusty friend Google and entered “spiritual retreat centers.”  Up came Round Top Retreat Center, so I clicked on it and started reading what it offered. Partway down the page under “events” was something called Wellness Retreat, with a link to First Place 4 Health, which described it as “a week away that would minster to

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Spur Each Other On

Spur Each Other On

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. –Hebrews 10:24 I grew up on a farm, so when I see the word “spur,” I know that means to push forward with a little bit of pain until you run in your potential. That is what my First Place 4 Health friends have done for me. My family DNA lends me to die of a heart attack early, but I do not believe that my “sisters” will allow this to happen. I run an organization called Seasoned Sisters, and the word “sister” is a building term, which means to hammer 2 x 4’s together. My FP4H friends and my Seasoned Sisters “spur” me forward by nailing their lives to mine.  They hold me accountable for better life choices by doing them with me. Maria walks the 5K race by my side. Debbie and

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Pave the Road with Patience

A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly. Proverbs 14:29 I could barely see beyond my rain-splattered windshield. Thankfully, I managed, with the wipers on high speed, to locate my exit. Letting out a sigh of relief, I prepared for the final leg of my journey home following a long day at work—a stressful day, to put it mildly.  Just as I merged onto the off ramp, another vehicle sped by, cut in front of me, and headed up the ramp, only to slam on his brakes and skid to a stop before redirecting his car back onto the freeway. To make matters worse, he performed a certain, unacceptable hand “gesture” as he raced away into the stormy night. Shocked, and more than a little dismayed, I analyzed my choices: 1.      I could tear off and follow him in a radical display of road rage. 2.     

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Super-size That

You my brothers were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather, serve one another in love. –Galatians 5:13 How “Would you like to super-size that?” are words that can cause panic.  The old nature screams “Yes, and hurry,” as the new nature urges you to pretend you didn’t hear and to drive away quickly.  Who wins?  Is it the old sinful nature or the new exasperated nature? Every day is a battle.  The temptation of the food industry and the desire to make healthy choices is a constant struggle within.    Most of us have the luxury of well-fed bodies.  But our spirits are starving.  That unsatisfied feeling in us is the new nature craving its turn to be fed with the word of God. Think about it. Who loves you more?  Who will not lie to you—the billion dollar food industry that

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Who Needs Old Bootstraps?

Who Needs Old Bootstraps?

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  –2 Corinthians 12:9 How can I be so weak? How many times do I have to fall before I get it right? Questions like these plagued me for years—many years. As a woman who lived a very addictive lifestyle, I was familiar with failure. In fact, I was so comfortable with it that accepting a gift like God’s incredible favor and grace was difficult for me to comprehend, let alone embrace as truth in my life. When I first read 2 Corinthians 12:9, I was more than a little surprised. God’s Word said that when I was weak (and I was, often), His power would work best in me. Wow! What an

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Walking the Talk

Walking the Talk

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 There are two ways that I can change my way of living and thinking about food. The first way involves learning all of the rules—the foods to eat and the foods to not eat. The rules about what to eat also come with rules for rigorous exercise. The second way to submit myself to God’s plan for my life is to live utterly dependent on Him, seeing my body as the temple where the Holy Spirit resides. If I choose the first way, I can become rigid and legalistic about the rules and become critical of those who do not follow the rules. When the work of doing the rules becomes too difficult, it is easy to

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Keep It Simple

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.  –Micah 6:8  God’s will for us is quite simple, but we try to make it really hard. If we honored the three commands in this verse, our lives would be richer and fuller than we could ever imagine. God’s requirements are so different from man’s requirements. Let’s look at each one: To do the next right thing—all the time. If I do this, I’ll be able to accomplish even the things I dislike doing. Love mercy: To treat others with the same mercy I want from God. This means I treat kindly the rude person at the grocery store or the mouthy person at the gas station. Walk humbly with your God: God wants to have a relationship with me.

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