Emotional

What is God’s Purpose for You

Do you ever wonder what God’s plan is for your life? As a new season begins (back to school, launch of new church year, new FP4H classes, etc.), are you asking where God wants to use you? How He will grow you up into the person He is calling you to be? Are you looking at your fall calendar and seeking to write down events and commitments that are a priority for your health, family, work, and spiritual growth? If so, this might be the perfect time to work through God’s Purpose for You, one of the Bible Studies I wrote for First Place 4 Health.  The first step in any new endeavor is to take stock of where you are now. Right now I’m wrapping up a fairly quiet summer focused on rest, renewal and writing. The past year had been quite full of family events (both daughters got married), lots

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Vacation: Interval of Rest

Vacation:  Webster defines as:  “freedom from any activity; rest; esp., a specific interval of rest from work, study.” An interval means a break in between things. What is meaningful to some may seem like punishment to others. Some families love traveling in a travel trailer for two weeks to see some of America’s beautiful sights; however, others would see this as torturous – the very thought of being trapped in one vehicle for hours on end and sleeping shoulder to shoulder in a travel camp site. Some families love enriching vacations; going to some of the cultural centers of the world, viewing great art, classic monuments at historic locations and fine arts productions. But to others the idea of an “educational vacation” would be no better than a school field trip complete with a research paper at the end. Some families prefer active vacations; going to classic sports venues, watching

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Why don’t we do what we know to do?

Why don’t we do what we know to do?

I heard a children’s sermon recently that taught great truths. The speaker held up a packet with a picture of a watermelon. He asked them if he planted these seeds, would he get corn. The children looked at him like he was really goofy and said, “Of course not!” “You will get watermelon.” 1. Corn seeds will grow a corn plant. Next, he asked that if he planted the seeds right now, could he have corn to eat for lunch today. And again they wondered what was wrong with their teacher. They replied, “Of course not!” “He would have to wait for it to grow.” 2. They take time and the right conditions to grow. …and then he made his point: If we plant a seed from a weed, we will not get a vegetable, and if we treat other people in a mean way, they probably will treat us

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Why don’t we do what we know to do? – Part 3

his is the third in a series that explores the many reasons why we do not have as much success in the Christian life as we think we should. As long as we have the great host of ‘ordinary people’ who know who they are and are not caught up in the temptation to become what they are not, we can take comfort that God is yet at work bringing blessedness to coming generations. [Myron D Madden, Blessing: Giving the Gift of Power, p, 185] “Ordinary people who know who they are…” Our understanding of who we are is at the core of a healthy self-esteem. There are many books and theories about how to help our children grow up feeling good about themselves, but too often they are based on personal self worth and not a healthy self-understanding and respect. An overemphasis on how worthy we are as individuals

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Why don’t we do what we know to do? – Part 2

This is the second in a series that explores the many reasons why we do not have as much success in the Christian life as we think we should. Part Two of discipline is – Physical Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. I Corinthians 9: 26-27 Run with purpose – Never forget the reason for the restrictions and activities needed to accomplish the goal. The reason will give the motivation. Make our bodies a slave – Instead of our urges controlling us, we control them and for a greater good. Not be disqualified- Taking care of ourselves is important to us, to God and our influence on others. It

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Why don’t we do what we know to do?

Most people who join a First Place 4 Health group discover many things that they did not know and needed to know. But most also come with far more knowledge on how to live a healthy and balanced life than they are living. Why don’t we do what we need to do when we already know so much?  There are many obvious and often subtle reasons why we do not live successful lives. There are also very purposeful components of the First Place 4 Health program that enlighten, empower and encourage overcoming these obstacles. Obstacles such as, lack of discipline, half-truths, discouragement, grief, and self-esteem. The Freeing Power of Discipline Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize: Run, in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do

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The Lord is My Strength

We all encounter difficult times. Sometimes we see them coming and other times we are completely surprised. Even strong believers can be tripped and caused to stumble by terrible life circumstances. This has been the experience of God’s people since the beginning of time. Great people of faith are not exempt from trouble, even the circumstances or distress it causes. They feel the same pain, guilt, despair, and shame. So what is different for them and people of no faith? It is not that they have special strength themselves but they have access to a power beyond themselves who cares for them even in life’s trials. The power is not mysterious – He has made himself known to His people. The writer of Psalm 27 gives a wonderful firsthand account of how God works in the middle of struggles. Read Psalm 27 Confidence in times of strength ~ Verses 1-6

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Firm Grips and Tender Hearts

Sonora Smart Dodd heard a beautiful Mother’s Day poem at church and it caused her to ask the question – but what about fathers?  Her Father was a widowed Civil War veteran who was raising six children. There was no day set aside to honor him or any of the other fathers.  She began to promote her father’s birthday, June 19, as a time to remember those important men in our families. In 1926, President Coolidge supported such a day of recognition and in 1956, Congress recognized the day.  President Nixon then established the third Sunday of June as the official Father’s Day.  It was a while in coming, but it is a noble recognition. Father’s Day compared to Mother’s Day has a ways to go: Mother’s Day                       Compared to          Father’s Day $11.23 billion spent on gifts                

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Joyful Cooperation

We have different gifts…If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Romans 12:6-8 On a recent weekend, our church served four inner city ministry sites with hard labor and tender love. We called it “Cross Over Houston.”  Cross Over Houston was more than a day; it was more than an event – it was a demonstration of the body of Christ working together as it was intended. On the day of the event, I had the privilege of visiting all of the sites. Each of the four sites were very different settings – a church, a home, a recreation center and a residential center. They each

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Cut the Bitter Root

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.  Hebrews 12:14-15 It is impossible to live very long before hurtful things happen. Some we just stumble into and others seem to be well-conceived plots. Even good people end up hurting other good people. Apologies are welcomed, but they do not take away the harm that often has been done. Some hurts are subtle and others are obvious and often irreparable. Christians are not immune to wounds from others. We hurt and require healing. But to be a whole and balanced believer, we must seek healing which also includes forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean that we minimize the damage and pretend that hurtful behavior

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