Spiritual

Get a Jump on a Joy-Full Season

Thanksgiving and Christmas – Yikes! Here already? Yes, already! I’m thinking of all that needs to be done and in the midst of having a knee replacement. In spite of limitations, I plan to hang on to my JOY. How do I keep my joy in the middle of family dynamics, finances, food and weight management? It’s a lot to think and plan for. How about something different? Let’s think of new ways to celebrate the holidays this season. And perhaps new ways to manage the ever-mounting stress that often comes with the holidays. Joyful Idea for Thanksgiving Instead of the traditional question “what are you thankful for this year?” consider another kind of question. “What is a favorite holiday memory growing up”? Or, ask your family to share a favorite church person they are thankful for. I love this for several reasons. As we answer these questions, it gives

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Just One Thing

Just One Thing

Is it possible for just one thing to change your life forever? It is absolutely possible! What changed my life forever was an event in Dallas, Texas in 1972 called Expo ’72. It’s been historically referred to as the Christian Woodstock. Hosted by Campus Crusade for Christ, 75,000 high school students gathered in the Cotton Bowl; one of those was my best friend. With her renewed vigor for sharing the gospel, I was impacted by her love for Jesus and give my life to Christ. My life was radically changed forever. Just one thing, just one book, just one person or even just one habit has the potential to change your life for the better. In the FP4H Bible study Stronger Every Day, Janet McHenry challenges us to incorporate just one new healthy habit for the week. Can you imagine the impact of committing to read your Bible every day

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Three Things I Need

Encouragement, Accountability Nourishment These are a few of my personal needs. I need encouragement daily. On those occasions, when I receive a timely, encouraging text from a friend, it can make all the difference in my day. Our new membership model will give you just that. You can receive an encouraging daily text message that will do the same for you. I need accountability daily. I need people in my life I can be gut-level honest with. I need those around me to spur me on to good works when I become weary in well-doing. We all do.  One level of our membership offers quarterly wellness consultations that will help you identify and overcome obstacles holding you back on your wellness journey. I need nourishment. I get bored easily with food, so receiving a variety of new and healthy recipes is going to keep me interested in feeding my body

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Strength Through Bible Study

Strength Through Bible Study

Vicki Strong! I don’t think so. I am the weakest person I know. I may not be physically or spiritually weak, but definitely an emotional weakling. But really, who can say no to grandkids? And I can barely get through a Hallmark movie without shedding a tear or two. And war movies… I’m a wreck. I’m a total pushover for a stray cat. Where does strength come from? There are all kinds of strength, some healthy and some not so healthy. Being so strong and stoic that you hold back emotion or affection that needs to be shared is not a healthy strength. Being strong enough to carry out the will of the Lord is a healthy strength. But then, some of my most fruitful work for Him has been in a debilitating state of weakness. It’s puzzling, and I admit I still have a lot to learn about what

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Finding Strength Through Prayer

Finding Strength Through Prayer

Years ago, I was a mess physically. I had gained a bunch of weight. I was huffing and puffing as I went upstairs. And I needed painkillers to go to sleep at night. The worst moment was when I walked down our back door and found myself in a crumpled heap because my knee had given way. I knew I needed to do something about my health, but I also knew that for some time, God had been calling me to spend more time with him. I decided I would get up a little bit earlier the next morning and walk. And while I walked, I would pray. The next morning when the alarm went off, The List began whispering to me. You are too tired. You need your rest. It’s dark out there!  Nonetheless, I got up, threw sweats OVER my pajamas, and headed out the door. I walked

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Is it really worth it?

Is it really worth it?

What’s worth it? What’s worth making a sacrifice for? Is it money; a nice home; private school for your kids? What about your health? Getting healthy and staying healthy does not happen by accident. It is costly. It costs time to get up early and work out. It costs money to join a gym. It costs time to make a shopping list and stick to it. It takes effort to cook healthy meals. But is all this work really worth it? You have to decide. For me, it’s worth it. Even though it is painful and difficult, I continue to teach exercise classes even with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. I have to. It’s worth it to me to stay strong enough to help care for my grandkids. It’s worth it to me to be okay by myself while Rob is away traveling. It’s worth it to me to be strong

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That’s My Kind of Joy!

That's My Kind of Joy!

I hung up the phone laughing; I could not contain myself. I just spent 40 minutes listening to a dear friend share with me her new found Joy in the Lord. She just completed the Bible study, “Forever Changed”, and she is. And she could not stop laughing at what God has done in her life! Every other phrase was interrupted with spontaneous uncontainable joyful laughter! All I could do was listen and smile. Joy is contagious. Mother Theresa said, “Joy is the net by which we catch souls”, and she caught mine. Rejoice – re Joy, re joying all the time, Joy over and over. We are commanded to rejoice in the Lord at all times. That may seem difficult and almost impossible. It bids me ask: can Joy and sadness exist in a woman’s heart at the same time? I think so. I have great Joy that my

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Rise Up O Church and Honor Thy Health

Rise Up O Church and Honor Thy Health

During our recent trip to the Holy Land, we had an amazing opportunity to worship inside a beautiful cathedral with a group of Chinese believers. I commented to my friend “they all look so fit.” He replied, “They have to be.”  All over the world, it is costing more and more to identify yourself as a Christ follower. In some places, it may cost you everything, including your freedom. This is one more reason for the Church to be healthy, to be strong, to be ready. How fit is your church? George Fitchett, a researcher for Rush University, recently found that people who attend church or participate in some sort of weekly religious service are 62% more likely to be obese than those who do not attend church. An article in Medical Daily reports a study from Baylor University College of Arts and Sciences, where it was found more than

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It’s Time for Real Change

It’s Time for Real Change

“Life is too long to keep doing the things we need to stop and too short to miss the things we need to begin.” Patsy Clairmont [1] It’s time. It’s time to make the changes necessary for you to live as God intended. It’s time to get serious and do the hard work. That’s what I love about our new My First Place for Health materials. These are the tools that, if you allow Him, God will use to bring you to permanent life change. Our new Bible studies are not for the faint of heart. They are deep and life-changing. The new food plan is doable and practical. After watching Mary Ward in My Place for Fitness video, who wouldn’t want her to be your exercise buddy? No judgment in that girl! Exercise is happening for many of you for the very first time, and you are not quitting. It’s

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Giving Up Too Soon

  A man meets a guru on the road. The man asks the guru, “which way is success?” The bearded sage does not speak but points to a place off in the distance. The man, thrilled by the prospect of quick and easy success, rushes off in the appropriate direction. Suddenly, there comes a loud “SPLAT.” Eventually, the man limps back, tattered and stunned, assuming he must have misinterpreted the message. He repeats his question to the guru, who again points silently in the same direction. The man obediently walks off once more. This time the splat is deafening, and when the man crawls back, he is bloody, broken, tattered, and irate. “I asked you which way is success,” he screams at the guru. “I followed the direction you indicated. And all I got was splatted! No more of this pointing! Talk!” Only then does the guru speak, and what

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