Emotional

Stronger Every Day

Stronger Every Day

By Janet Holm McHenry I should have known better. When the surgeon had discharged my son after his knee surgery, the doctor had said, “Be careful as you lift his movement and ice machines, so you do not end up in surgery yourself.” And there I was a week later, flat in bed in extreme pain, unable to move. Day after day I had done what the surgeon had said not to do—lifted the heavy machines from one room to another, even though my back was aching. The straw that broke my back was a large dictionary. I had leaned over to pick it up just prior to our daughter’s sleepover party for her tenth birthday and then could not move the rest of the evening while girls giggled and ran through the house. It was not how I had planned my half-year sabbatical—taken to write a book about praying

Read more

It’s Time to Stop

It’s Time to Stop

Lately, the Lord has been showing me it is time for me to stop talking and listen for understanding. Stephen Covey says, “Most people do not listen to understand; they listen to answer. While the other is talking, they are preparing their reply.” The scripture says, “Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.” (Proverbs 18:13, NLT) The more a leader talks, the more we concentrate on thinking about what we are going to say next. We are more likely to miss important information or clues or promptings of the Holy Spirit if we are doing all the talking. When we take time to listen and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in leading our group, we are gaining a complete understanding before we speak. The 80/20 rule of active listening says that we should spend 80% of the time listening and only 20% of

Read more

Bringing Joy to Others

Bringing Joy to Others

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. HEBREWS 10:24 ©     Volunteer and give donations. Volunteer to serve a holiday meal to needy families and give donations to a food pantry. You could even give a gift to someone in another country through organizations such as Samaritan’s Purse (see www.samaritanspurse.org). ©    Send cards to military service personnel. Visit www.anysoldier.com for more information. ©    Send Christmas notes to at least six people who blessed you this past year. For example, you could send a thank-you note to your First Place 4 Health leader or an other member in your group who has encouraged you. Be specific as to how they have helped you this year. ©    Call someone who may be feeling sad this holiday season. Call a friend who has endured some form of crisis this past year, such as a death in the family this year

Read more

Bringing Joy to Others

Bringing Joy to Others

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. HEBREWS 10:24   ©     Volunteer and give donations. Volunteer to serve a holiday meal to needy families and give donations to a food pantry. You could even give a gift to someone in another country through organizations such as Samaritan’s Purse (see www.samaritanspurse.org). ©    Send cards to military service personnel. Visit www.anysoldier.com for more information. ©    Send Christmas notes to at least six people who blessed you this past year. For example, you could send a thank-you note to your First Place 4 Health leader or an other member in your group who has encouraged you. Be specific as to how they have helped you this year. ©    Call someone who may be feeling sad this holiday season. Call a friend who has endured some form of crisis this past year, such as a death in the family this

Read more

My Place for Discovery

My Place for Discovery

Human beings have struggled with behavior since the beginning of time. In the Garden, Adam and Eve made a disobedient choice to eat the wrong food. Throughout history others chose the wrong path, too. Even while fiercely following God, Moses, Noah, Sampson, and others disobeyed and failed. Finally, King David cried out, “Search me O God and know my heart….” The majority of us don’t need medical or clinical help—because we have a physical problem with a spiritual answer. While we at First Place For Place aren’t psychologists or doctors and never offer medical or clinical advice, we have the Living Word as our guide and our doctor. So, we have developed four My Place for Discovery books. Each book is designed to be completed during one12-week session. Book One – Searching Myself: We will discover how life experiences and personal traits contributed to unhealthy living. Book Two – Searching Life’s Lose and Weight

Read more

Has God Moved Your Cheese?

Has God Moved Your Cheese?

In Spencer Johnson’s book Who Moved My Cheese? four characters: two mice “Sniff” and “Scurry,” and two humans “Hem” and “Haw.” live in a maze. They return day after day to the same location consuming their delicious cheese. One day, they are at a loss when someone moved their cheese. Every FP4H session seems a new opportunity to hunt down a new location of sustenance for my soul. I am successful when I willingly embrace whatever changes the Lord has planned. Do you need help with the changes planned for your life? Are you ready to do something new? My honest response most often is No. I want the transformation without the disruption to my routine. When I am stuck in a rut, everything slows. I need to intentionally “move my cheese.” Here are three areas in which you can stop hemming and hawing, and kick start your wellness journey.

Read more

My Place for Change

In 2005, my sister lost forty pounds. I wanted to know, what had changed? She’d told me the First Place program was an answer to prayer. When I first heard about the program, I didn’t want to listen. I’d decided there was no hope for me. In the past, when I worked on my weight problem, I would struggle, give up and gain more weight than I lost. I convinced myself I was better off doing nothing and accepting my fate—fat forever. It took me another year before I realized running away from God’s plan is not the best plan. I could not conceive how God would use an obese woman who had failed at weight loss countless times to lead a First Place 4 Health Group. At 274 pounds, I had no idea the wonderful changes God had planned for me. I ordered a Group Starter Kit and was

Read more

Pralking — A New Spiritual Exercise

Pralking -- A New Spiritual Exercise

I recently spent the day at a state park intent on seeking God. I arrived early in the morning to watch the sunrise and stayed until the sunset. I brought with me a hammock, camp chair, plenty of water, Bible, and a journal. At the last minute, I selected two prayer books  off my bookshelf I wanted to read and I set my phone on airplane mode to avoid the distraction of the world. I did check in with my husband twice during the day to assure him I was okay. I was more than okay. I had a glorious day. After a walk and a holy nap, I soaked in the Word of God, then turned to my prayer books. One prayer prompt asked me the condition of my personal needs: physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual. I used the assessment in Chapter 3 of my book Restored! and determined I needed to

Read more

Attend or Host — The Choice is Yours

Attend or Host -- The Choice is Yours

When I attended my first wellness event in 2008, I discovered like-minded individuals who shared my journey and embraced the spiritual truth of a healthy lifestyle.  The testimonies of success and their honesty about the ups and downs inspired me. I left knowing I was not alone and had new friends to help me navigate the challenges I would face along the way. Ten years later, I am committed to help bring events to anyone who wants to host an event. Why should you attend an event?  To build relationships. We believe committed, authentic community changes everything.  Together we are stronger. We are more able to press onward in the face of difficulty. To benefit from new ideas. Only God’s Truth has the power to radically transform lives.  Hearing the ideas of those who have been very successful is a wonderful opportunity to learn. If you treat the event as a learning opportunity,

Read more

Time Out For Tough Love

Time Out For Tough Love

Some of the best advice I’ve ever received was hard for the giver to give. I am ever grateful they provided helpful feedback that changed my perspective. They ultimately made me a better person. My choleric get it done personality can be impatient, overpowering and I’ll admit: tactless. Thank you to those who took me aside and showed me a better way. They taught me the need for compassion, listening and waiting on others. God makes us all unique. We need to embrace our strengths and work to improve our weaknesses. Over the years, I’ve learned I need help to identify my weaknesses. I’ve asked my friends, co-workers and those I lead to speak up when I’m headed down the wrong path. I need people in my life who will love me enough to suggest I take a “time-out” before I do or say something I will regret. Jesus was

Read more