Emotional

Memories: Treasures of the Heart

We are anticipating the arrival of our first grandchild this December. I am excited, but the “grandmother-in-waiting” is consumed. We have begun to go through boxes in the attic of important things from our children’s early years. Baby things carefully stored for this time, a time that seemed so remote back then, seem such a short time now. Handmade blankets and favorite stuffed animals, all are filled with memories that cause us to sit quietly and reflect on the journey of family. Most are memories of joy, happiness and fulfillment, but there have also been times of great pain. Memories are where we store the importance of the past. Not everything can quickly be recalled, but those that are usually mean something special. This Christmas season there will be many memories. Christmas seems to be a time that our minds record an unusual number of incidents, both of joy and

Read more

The Ticket is Still Good

There is only one mass transit rail line in Houston. It runs just a block from the front door of the church where I work. The line goes from the heart of the business district, downtown to the medical center. Along the way are many stops, some not so interesting unless you have business there; however, others have a broader appeal. There is always the green and manicured Herman Park with its Zoo, walking paths, pools and outdoor theater. There are also stops for the museum district with some world-class collections. Occasionally, I meet with someone downtown for a lunch meeting, but I usually go to the hospital to visit a member. The ticket I purchase is good for either direction. I have to know on which pavilion to stand so that the train is going the correct way to get me to my destination. The course does not waver.

Read more

Learning from Life

Live and Learn is more than a saying it is a truism. A truism is a simple truth that can have a large impact on our lives. We will learn from life, but we may not always improve because of it. The school of hard knocks may toughen us or break us. As we get older, we may become seasoned or we may just get salty. What we do with the lessons that come our way will determine if we gain wisdom or live life foolishly by repeating familiar mistakes and digging deeper ruts. “You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of…” II Timothy 3:14a [NAS] Paul is speaking to young Timothy helping him realize that tough times were coming, but he should continue with the living that leads to life. Timothy had Christian influences from his childhood, training from Paul and experience in leadership.

Read more

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 events,

Read more

What is the Relationship Between Feelings, Faith and Food?

Will my personal faith have any impact on how I take care of myself physically? The First Place model is based on the concept that God cares about all areas of our lives and that they cannot be compartmentalized. Each area impacts the other when they are in proper balance. Sometimes we have great success in one area of our life while we struggle in another. If we do not address our struggles, they will negatively impact our successes. Jesus said: “…I say to you, do not be anxious for your  life, as to what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body than clothing?”  Matthew 6:25 (NASB) “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious

Read more

Do My Feelings Affect My Eating?

Yes, maybe, but… I have the best intentions to live a healthy lifestyle but I just don’t stick with it. Sometimes I just don’t feel like it. The Balanced Life One of the great distinctions of the First Place program is an emphasis on balance in all areas. When it comes to “head and heart,” it is vital we keep things in equilibrium. We must be honest and aware of our emotions. They are important to our mental, physical and spiritual health. But we cannot trust our emotions to give the right direction all of the time. As we examine our personal history, we will discover patterns that are at times helpful and others hurtful. Our feelings can be key to how we treat food and as a result, impact our health. Feeding the Feeling Happiness – Celebrations can be “reason” to eat a feast. We give ourselves permission to

Read more

Fresh Breeze or Threatening Storms

Fresh Breeze or Threatening Storms

Change is sometimes welcomed and at other times is very troubling. There are times that we long for something new. The old routines of life can get rather monotonous and tedious. They cause us to lose interest and search for fresh experiences or relationships. This can be a sign of desiring to grow. There are times we long for something familiar. The constant barrage of change can be exhausting and unsettling. The onslaught of the unexpected can cause us to feel off balance, threatened and fearful. This can be a sign of desiring stability. Most of us find that a rhythm of stability and change can be a wonderful balance in life. Unfortunately, we do not have complete control on the ebb and flow of life experiences. What we need is to find our “ sails and anchors.” Sails are those attitudes that help us catch fresh breezes that will move

Read more

Fresh Breeze or Threatening Storms

Change is sometimes welcomed and at other times is very troubling. There are times that we long for something new. The old routines of life can get rather monotonous and tedious. They cause us to lose interest and search for fresh experiences or relationships. This can be a sign of desiring to grow. There are times we long for something familiar. The constant barrage of change can be exhausting and unsettling. The onslaught of the unexpected can cause us to feel off balance, threatened and fearful. This can be a sign of desiring stability. Most of us find that a rhythm of stability and change can be a wonderful balance in life. Unfortunately, we do not have complete control on the ebb and flow of life experiences. What we need is to find our “ sails and anchors.” Sails are those attitudes that help us catch fresh breezes that will

Read more

The Overflow of Our Hearts

What we say and don’ t say will eventually reveal a person’ s true character. Most of us can be on good behavior for a while. But stay with us for very long, or when we are stressed or not at our best, and we may reveal some things that surprise even ourselves. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45 NIV Jesus speaks of the need of our hearts being healthy. In biblical times the Greek word Kardia, from which we get our word cardiac, meant “ heart, mind, seat of thought and emotions.” The passage speaks of being healthy people emotionally, even in ways that we think others will never know. Many

Read more

Go Home a New Way

The Christmas season is over and a new year has been birthed. Many traveled a long way to be with family and friends. Coming home means putting away all of the trappings of the celebration: the worn nativity scene on the mantle, simple faded ornaments made by the hands of children, who have long been adults, and strings of lights that next year will take time and patience to untangle. With the close of this season of comfort and joy of tradition, there may be a need for something fresh and new! A New Start Matthew 2: 10 – 11 And they came into the house and saw the child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, they

Read more