Spiritual

To Quit or Not to Quit. That is the Question.

I’m stuck. I think I have lost and gained the same two pounds all summer. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I hear this voice saying, “Who cares? Who is going to see you? You don’t have any upcoming events, so what does it matter? Just quit.” Well, I decided it does matter and I am not going to quit. If the only reason I want to stay at a healthy weight is to impress others, then that motivation won’t do me a bit of good. I need to do the right thing because it is the right thing. And if I have to start over, then I start over every morning. Do you know why people say, “Why don’t you sleep on it before you make that decision?” It’s good advice because things look different in the morning; things look better in the morning; things look brighter in

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What’s Wrong With You?

What’s Wrong With You?

I remember the day I knew I was different. Actually, my mother pointed it out to me with the comment, “What’s wrong with you?” Growing up with four sisters, I could be quite selfish with my stuff. I started working my first job at 14 and had my own money to buy clothes. Of course, my sisters borrowed my stuff all the time and would “ruin” it somehow. But not really. I was just selfish. After I came to Christ the fall of my senior year in high school, the transformation miracle started. My mom noticed that I no longer cared if my sisters took my stuff.  And thus the comment, “What’s wrong with you?” It was just her way. It really would have been more accurate to say, “What’s right with you?”  What the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 is an absolute truth. In Christ, we are new

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The Girl Behind the Curtain

The Girl Behind the Curtain

After four, yes, four hours in the recovery room following my total knee replacement, I finally was wheeled into my room. It would have been so easy just to let the medication do its thing and lull me to sleep. But it was the noises coming from the other side of the curtain of my semi-private room that kept me awake. Heartfelt sobbing. Okay, now I have a choice, just ignore it and go to sleep, or say something. My tired body says to me, “Don’t say anything, Vicki! You need to rest. You need to be quiet.” I finally gave in and speak through the curtain, “Can I help you?” A young voice speaks back through the curtain. “I have no one to come and pick me up. I have no phone and no shoes. May I use your phone?” I say, “sure, can you come over here because

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Five Reasons You HAVE to Attend FP4H Summit THE JOY ADVENTURE:

Location, Location, Location – Want to attend in your pajamas? Okay! Your beautiful front porch? You got it! Your kitchen? No problem! Come as you are, where ever you, on July 24 and 25. Yes, that’s right. Our Summit 2020, The Joy Adventure, will be our first-ever virtual Summit. The Joy Adventure will provide live and prerecorded seminars and breakouts for you to watch at your convenience. You will even have the opportunity to engage with our speakers during the live sessions. The Speakers – What a line-up of the best of our FP4H family! To name a few, Carol Kent shares from her new book, Staying Power, and don’t we need it! These past months have been stressful on bodies, marriages, and finances. Carol will share strategies to help is “stay with it.” Carole Lewis is sharing from her heart the things that bring her strength and eternal joy.

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Make the Best of These Days

Make the Best of These Days

To quote my friend Maggie Rowe, “this week has been the hardest year of my life!” Actually, now it’s been more than a month for some of us. Are you struggling with this “social separation” thrust upon us by Covid-19? My friend, you are not alone. Since I work from home, my daily work schedule has not really been interrupted that much. But I have discovered some surprising things about myself. These discoveries have caused me to be a bit more cautious during this time and a bit more contemplative of the spiritual applications.  Discovery Number One: I am way more productive when I cannot leave and go wherever I want. Because of my Rheumatoid Arthritis, I am at the doctor every four to six weeks. And it takes up time. My appointments now have been virtual. Before, when I traveled to Charleston going to the doctor, I might as

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Why First Place?

Why First Place?

Ever wonder where the name “First Place” came from? It started with the faithful folks at Houston’s First Baptist coming together to create a Christ centered weight loss program. They wanted a scripture verse to represent the biblical precepts of the program. The scripture from Matthew 6:33 fits perfectly. Jesus was sharing with his disciples on a hillside on the edge of the Sea of Galilee, probably near Capernaum. Those folks were worried about so many things like what they would eat, how they would clothe their families, and provide shelter. Jesus knew this, and Jesus said, “seek first” the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things would be added to you as well. We worry about some of the very same things. Food can be thought consuming and worrisome. Jesus said seeking Him first would be the way to successfully navigate through life. His promises are

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Train Your Brain

Train Your Brain

I remember not long ago eating everything in sight. It was one of those days when nothing seemed to satisfy. I ate something sweet then needed something salty then something sweet.  It went on and on. Believing that strong people practice the discipline of confession, I recorded every bite on my tracker and emailed it to my accountability partner, Mary Ward. All I put in the Re: line was, “What was I thinking!” Looking back, I’m not sure what I was thinking that day, but this is what I know today: Your thoughts are the boss of you. What controls your mind controls your behavior.  Some of you may remember way back to 1974. On the evening of February 4, 1974, a group of men and women knocked on the door of apartment #4 at 2603 Bienvenu Street in Berkeley, California. They burst through the door, guns drawn and kidnapped

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Beating the Odds – Get Serious

Beating the Odds – Get Serious

January 17 has come and gone, and so has the commitment to get healthy for the majority of Americans. According to an article in Newsweek, “Strava, a social network for athletes that tracks runs and bike rides looked at more than 108 million entries in the U.S. and found Thursday (January 17, emphasis mine) is when Americans are most likely to bail out on fitness resolutions.”  Research shows that less than sixty percent of us are still committed to the resolution after six months. What happens in just 17 days? Why do so many of us just quit?  How do you beat the odds? I don’t have all of the answers, but I have some. These are simple habits I have developed (not quickly, I must say,) that have kept me focused and faithful to my wellness endeavors: Have a quiet time with God. He is our source of strength.

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Beyond Free

Beyond Free

Many of you bravely walked the pages of Gari Meacham’s first Bible Study called Be Free. Hopefully, you started the hard work of climbing the hills of freedom, establishing safe perimeters of hope and tenacious belief as you came to the understanding of our Savior’s mandate “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” In Beyond Free, we’ll travel to the strong places of mature assurance. We’ll study the power of obedience and discover what chains may still hold us in of defeat. Beyond Free isn’t a place we arrive when we’ve studied hard enough and mastered self-control. It’s the brilliant knowledge that we can’t go back—we won’t go back—to lesser ways. It’s the revelation that God’s Kingdom is vast and inviting, and anything that keeps us from its fullness and pleasure must go.  It’s the understanding that Jesus wants access to the darkest closets of

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Best Christmas Gift Ever?

What is the best, most fabulous, wonderful Christmas gift you ever received? I’ve received beautifully wrapped gold jewelry from my husband. I’ve received homemade Christmas ornaments from my kids. (Thank you, teachers!). I’ve received countless homemade goodies from precious church people. All of these gifts have meant something to me. But by far, the best gift I ever received was in the fall of 1972 when I received the incomparable gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. That gift changed my life forever. Jesus is the Master Gift Giver. His gifts are never returned or abandoned in the pile of Christmas wrapping. His gifts are priceless. His gifts have purpose. The gifts we receive in Christ are riches beyond measure! His gifts have everything we need for life and godliness. These are just a few of the gifts we receive in Christ: He has given us forgiveness and righteousness: Our sins

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