Devotional

Don’t Just Stand There

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. – JAMES 1:22 First Place for Health has developed some wonderful, practical, and godly principles to follow, as well as some incredible tools for us to use. The handy-dandy food tracker is one such tool. When I am discussing filling in those blanks, checking off the little squares, and sharing the practicality of this tool with others it seems so much simpler than getting down to the nitty-gritty of recording my own eating choices. Okay, so I’m being a bit dramatic, or am I? How can something so simple suddenly become so difficult when it is time for me to pull out my pen and scribble those extra French-fries on the lines across my card? Sometimes we tend to enjoy the actual talking about accountability, reading about it and planning for it better than actually

Read more

Learning Perseverance

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 CORINTHIANS 15:57 Trying to lose weight and get more physically fit is hard work! It’s a daily battle for me—or maybe I should say a full-fledged war. But I am in this for life! I refuse to allow Satan to stop me as I seek God’s strength and power for the victory. My First Place for Health story is one about learning perseverance. I have been in First Place for Health for 15 years, and I love the program. God has changed my heart and made me a different person from the inside out. He has worked in the emotional, Spiritual, and mental areas. He works to make me more Christlike. But the physical area has been the most difficult for me. God has taught me so much during this time. I continue

Read more

Pulling the Weeds

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge Of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. – 2 CORINTHIANS 10:5 Summers spent at my grandparents’ farm in Arkansas taught this city girl the meaning of the saying, “A hard row to hoe!” Long before the days of weed whackers and chemical sprays, there was only one way to get rid of the pesky weeds that threatened the survival of the fruit bearing plants—with a hoe and lots of hard work. And my grandmother, who was very protective of her vegetable garden, made sure daily weed pulling was a priority. Just cutting the tops off at the ground wasn’ t enough to please grandma. She insisted that the noxious plants be pulled out by the roots, and that meant back-breaking work! My grandmother knew that cultivation was more than sticking

Read more

Leave the Fighting to God

For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory. – Deuteronomy 20:4 My husband, Johnny, loves history. He once asked me if I knew why the first movies during World War II always depicted the Japanese as our enemies, even though we were at war against both Germany and Japan?  When I didn’t know the answer, as I usually don’t, he said, “Because the Japanese looked different. If the movies showed us fighting the Germans, we would have looked too much alike.” As I looked at this verse, I was reminded of yesterday’s history lesson and what I could learn from it. Today, most of my enemies probably look a lot like me and much of the time, my greatest enemy is me. The greatest danger in trying to fight my enemies instead of allowing God

Read more

Enslavement

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. – JOHN 15:5 As a new First Place for Health member, walking with my husband one afternoon, I shared how overwhelmed I felt trying to fit all my daily First Place for Health responsibilities into one day. When my husband tried to encourage me, he paused to find the exact word, ” Just do the best you can and don’t worry about doing all those….” “Enslavements!” I blurted out. The surprise and irony of that word popping out of my mouth made us laugh, though I felt a little sheepish about being so negative. Moments later, the realization struck that this was God’s word choice. He was revealing to me that my expectation of perfect obedience was enslaving me. I was

Read more

Uprooting the Heart

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 As a professional counselor, I have visited the hearts and minds of countless individuals. It’s important for me to know how a person feels and thinks before I can identify, with help from God, the root or source of the person’s wounds and then help him or her heal. In the same way, the Lord desires to uproot the areas of our hearts and minds that bear rotten or painful fruit—or perhaps no fruit at all. Our God is passionate for us to have a thriving garden in our hearts and minds. If our minds are focused on our problems, our failures, our weaknesses or our inabilities, we will produce the fruit of doubt

Read more

Guarding Your Heart

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. – Proverbs 4:23 My Bible concordance defines the heart as “the vital center of one’ s being, emotions, and sensibilities”. My commentary goes on tell me that “ our heart – our feelings of love and desire – dictates to a great extent how we live because we always find time to do what we enjoy”. Scripture teaches that the heart is the “dwelling place of the Holy Spirit living within me.” We are God’s temple and what comes out of our mouth reveals who resides in our heart! As I was studying my First Place lesson, and this verse, I was reminded how important it is to guard our hearts against negative thoughts and people who are always negative. I find when I am continually around negative people I will begin to think what they are

Read more