Devotional

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  J O H N 1 5 : 1 2  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

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Easing the Hard Work

Easing the Hard Work

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. G A L A T I A N S   5 : 1 3 When I asked my daughter how she liked the first few days of her freshman year in high school, she said, “I love it! It’s like summer camp!” A few months later, the hours of homework were beginning to pile up and grades beginning to weigh on her. She still loves the friends and the extracurricular activities of high school, but doing the actual schoolwork is hard! Isn’t that how it is when we join First Place 4 Health? We’re revved up and determined to lose some weight and start exercising and eat right. We fill out our food and exercise Tracker. We start walking with a friend three days a

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Live Loved

Live Loved

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  1 Corinthians 13:4 “I want you to live loved today,” God whispered in my ear during quiet time. His words echoed in my heart until I asked Him to show me what He meant. The Lord told me to write down what would be different in my life if I lived as though I was loved today. I reluctantly obeyed, not wanting to face the lesson I knew He was setting before me. “I would be more joyful,” I wrote, “and feel somehow lighter. I would have more peace, more to give, and I wouldn’t have to be so in control.” The Lord revealed to me that I wasn’t living loved because I had a hard time trusting love. I desperately needed to know about His kind of love. My childhood years

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Two Degree Shifts Toward Good News

Two Degree Shifts Toward Good News

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.”  Luke 2:10-11 I dearly love good news! Doesn’t everyone? Good news takes many forms: a child’s birth, the birth of a grandchild, an engagement, a long-awaited promotion, a daughter-in-law accepting God’s salvation, a deserved retirement, a disciplined life showing healthy results, observances of spiritual growth in children, and so many more. A piece of good news I learned last summer was about the small steps we make that result in great changes in our lives. It is rarely a lack of desire to change, but the bigness of the changes that discourages us. We become overwhelmed by the magnitude of all that needs to be changed in

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Overindulging in Thankfulness

Overindulging in Thankfulness

Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.   1   T H E S S A L O N I A N S   5:18   Before I matured in Christ through First Place 4 Health, I viewed all holidays from the fridge and pantry doors. All my plans revolved around the bountiful spread of the family’s favorites on the table—the richest of foods containing thousands of calories with practically no nutritional value. (You know the ones—those we think we cannot possibly live or celebrate without!) Today, most of those foods are hardly missed at my table, or they have been converted into healthier recipes for family and guests. Through the years with First Place 4 Health, my family has also developed new tastes that have led to new traditional favorites. I find it exciting to shop in the vegetable section and to select

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Escape from Temptation

Escape from Temptation

Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. I S A I A H 1 : 1 7 When I worked as a school nurse, my office was next door to where the snacks were kept for children to buy each afternoon. One particular day, I noticed the principal restocking the candy shelves with a box of Almond Joys. I could smell them when he walked by my door, so I decided to have one. I got out my 50 cents and was about to walk out my door when a little boy came running from the playground telling me to come quickly because his friend “fell and broke his leg!” I ran to the playground and found the child on the ground, but without a broken leg. By the time I helped him back to my office

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What a Difference

What a Difference

Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. E P H E S I A N S   6:1 8 I have started a prayer journal many times with the best of intentions only to give up after a few days. I wanted to have an effective prayer life, but it never seemed to work for me. It really bothered me, because the people I admired the most were faithful in journaling. Carole Lewis often talks about how she has kept a prayer journal for years. When she is writing a book, she often looks back into her journals to be sure that her memory is correct about some incident or person she is writing about. One day, we were talking, and I expressed my frustration to her about my

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The Perfect Anxiety Prescription

The Perfect Anxiety Prescription

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 I type medical reports for a living and I’m saddened by the number of reports I type daily in which the patient is struggling with severe anxiety. It has become an epidemic, affecting people of all ages. I certainly understand feeling anxious. I would often find myself struggling with anxious thoughts and was called a “worry wart” by others. If there was nothing to worry about, I would find something to worry about! I used to even feel anxious every time I decided to eat healthy and lose weight. I would obsess about how long it would be before I fell off track again and went right back to my old habits. I worried about failing before I even got started. Yet, the more I studied the Bible

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Only You

Only You

You were running a  good race.  Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? G a l a t i a n s  5 : 7  Galatians 5:7 is one of my favorite verses. I guess the reason is because I have lived it so many times. I can easily run a good race for a couple of weeks, but the daily routine of running finally gets to me, and I stop running. The truth is that I am basically undisciplined. I like the idea of living a disciplined life; I just don’t like the hard work it takes to achieve it. I love a clean closet, but that means I must pick up my clothes and shoes every single day. I love a clean desk, but that means I must handle paper only once, which is extremely hard for me to do. I love a clean

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Bear with Me

Bear with Me

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. E P H E S I A N S 4:2 The benefits of being humble, gentle and patient are generally understood, but rarely do you hear someone talk about the benefit of bearing with another person. We can all recall comments made about bearing with others that imply what a hassle or burden such an action generates; but seldom do we consider how precious it is to have people in our lives that will bear with us in love. Thinking back over the past five years since I joined First Place 4 Health, the faces of those who participated in those sessions with me come to mind, warming my heart and reminding me of how God always provides what we need.   While it’s true that learning to make healthy food choices and building exercise into my

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