Emotional

I’ll Never Give Up…

I'll Never Give Up...

At the beginning of my weight-loss journey I boldly said to my class, “I will never give up Half & Half.” Although the coffee seemed a necessary requirement for daily survival, the added condiments racked up calories. In 2008, my pastor challenged us: “Give up a luxury for forty days.” The forty days has spiritual significance; it symbolizes following the temptation of Christ who denied himself during His time spent in the desert. My church focus provided the holy motivation needed as others joined in giving upsomething too. I gave up my precious four cups of caffeinated goodness.  No coincidence that around the same time I learned consuming low-fat dairy products helped with weight loss. When the forty days ended, I savored my cup of coffee with one-half cup of steamed skim milk instead of Half & Half. The Lord blessed me with a bonus. I cut the fat from my diet

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A Change in Attitude Begins with Prayer

Author Dick Eastman suggests in his book The Hour that Changes the World [1] to divide an hour into twelve, five minute periods. During each period, one prays a different type of prayer presented graphically in a Prayer Wheel. At first I could not comprehend praying for an hour. I started with twelve minutes—one minute for each section. PRAISE:   Acknowledge God for who He is. Exalt Him with your words. I name God using the ABCs: Almighty, Beautiful, Counselor, and so on until “Z”. WAITING:  God is always with us; surrender your time and wait with hope. I quiet myself, ready with expectation. CONFESSION: Ask for forgiveness of sins. Time flies in this section. I ask, “Reveal my offensive ways, oh Lord.” PRAYING SCRIPTURE:Remind the Lord of the promise His word provides. I recite my memory verses as a prayer. “Lord, I believe I will receive whatever I ask for in prayer.” WATCHING: Tell God where

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Make the Most of Summer

Make the Most of Summer

Can I get an “Amen” for summer—Fresh veggies, kids sleeping late, summer camp, watermelon, Vacation Bible school, long daylight!  It’s the perfect time to ramp up some summer soul care. Here are four things you might want to incorporate this summer: Fast from something.  I remember the summer we fasted from TV for the whole month of June.  My goal was to get them out the door or at least reading something instead of watching something. The way the kids tell it, I paid them $50 to not watch TV. Today it would be giving up some device time to be replaced with some family communication time. Eat fresh.  I came home from church on Sunday and found a big bag of fresh squash on my porch. Tomatoes are not uncommon either. It’s not a bad way to pay your Pastor. Most anywhere you live, summer is the time of

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Emotional Eating – Uncover the Truth

One of our best-kept secrets in our Member’s Kit is the Emotions and Eating DVD.  Be honest—how many of you have taken the time to watch it?  The next step is Mapping Your Emotional History With Food, found on pages 90-92 in the First Place 4 Health Member’s Guide.  Fear is the most common reason people choose not to watch the DVD and/or map their history with food.    The master deceiver loves to keep us in fear.  Ephesians 6:12 tells us we are in a battle against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Fear is Satan’s friend and he enjoys watching us hold back the freedom we will receive from truth. Do you or your group need victory over emotional eating?  Losing weight is hard work and keeping it off is even harder.   How many times do we need to lose weight and gain it back before we take a

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Two are Better Than One

Several months ago Barbara Amy, a First Place 4 Health Leader from Beaumont,TX, began posting a picture on Facebook every Wednesday morning of her feet on the scale. This takes a lot of courage to do, but it also adds a level of accountability that I believe could help many of us to succeed if we would just take the plunge. I am reminded of something my friend Becky Turner says: “The scale is just like the law in the Old Testament; it shows us where we are, but has no power to help us change.” Many have an irrational fear of the scale and believe that the it is an indicator of how good we are or how bad we’ve been.  In reality, the scale is just a tool to help us get where we want to be if we can get over our fear of it. The scale

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Can You Hear Me Now?

Can You Hear Me Now?

My mind began wandering after asking the Lord for a lesson to communicate in this article.  As I waited, my eyes focused on the little heart-shaped clock my husband gave me last year for Christmas. It was setting on the table next to the place where I have my devotions each morning.  I usually check the time on my phone, but for some reason the clock caught my eye this morning.  I noticed the secondhand moving and suddenly, as if by some miracle, my ears were unplugged enabling me to hear the ticking of the clock’s hand moving from one second to another.  Funny how I never heard that ticking sound before!  Then I peered at my recent memory verse: I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts.  I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give

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Where are You in the Race?

I challenged everyone at Summit 2014 to praise progress no matter where you are in the race.  At the beginning!   On the way!   Halfway there!  Almost to goal!  At the goal!  When we practice praise, we overflow with God’s blessings.  Summit is a great time to praise our progress no matter where we are in the race. At the Beginning!  Yay!  You have recognized the need to learn something new.  You have said “Yes.”    So many of us sit on the fence wondering if it is worth our time, worth our effort or worth the expense.   At Summit you meet likeminded people seeking God first in their wellness journey.   Go for it!  You are worth it.  Here are praises from last year: Revived and look forward to God’s plan for me. I have more determination to trust God to help me live out a balanced life. It was an utterly

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Holiday Tips for Staying on Track

Holiday Tips for Staying on Track

People who are most successful at preventing holiday food blowouts use a variety of strategies.  Here are a few that work for them:   Be discriminating.  Don’t eat everything willy-nilly — go for foods that are specific to the holidays and worth the indulgence. For example, say yes to a dish that you can only get one time a year, or one that nobody but your grandmother makes and is really special.   Scope out the scene. Give the buffet a once-over before digging in.  Set your sights on a few things that you’d really, really like to have.   Watch your portions.  A big amount isn’t going to taste better than a small amount.  In fact, eating too much and not feeling good afterward defeats the purpose.   Stay active.  Keeping up physical activity is important, as well and not just because it burns calories. When you’re exercising, you’re making

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Holiday Goals

Holiday Goals

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.  Proverbs 16:3 During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, many temptations will come our way. It will become more and more difficult to remain faithful to our plan to get healthy, as we are bombarded with activities that will demand our time and attention. That is why we need a PLAN! The plan is to commit to the Lord your desire to reach your First Place 4 Health goals and to remain consistent in practicing the spiritual and physical disciplines you have already begun. Remember, this is a lifetime journey and one wrong turn doesn’t mean the journey is over! So one poor food choice or one missed quiet time doesn’t give us permission to give up. We must plan to succeed and when we fail, we must plan to begin again! Develop strategies that will help you be

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How to Keep Your Cool When It Gets Hot

If you can’t stand the heat, then you can’t. . .  live in Texas  be a parent  be a Christian STRATEGY IDEAS: React slower. Don’t trust your immediate feelings related to the event, but realize that your feelings may be at a higher level than the current situation deserves. It may take more than sincerity to be honest with yourself; it may take some painful reflection to get to the truth. You may have “leftover pain” from similar events in the past. These “feel like” past hurts are added to current hurts. [Remember—a child with a sunburned neck responds to a slap on the back with more pain than one that has not been burned.] Perhaps, add an encouraging or calming Bible verse to your strategy of reacting: i.e. Phil 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus and other verses. You

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