Spiritual

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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What’s New?

While staying with the tried and true, we continue looking for ways to increase the accessibility and reach of our ministry. Starting with our new bible studies for January 2020, we will move from a 12-week session (10 weeks of bible study) to a 9-week course with eight weeks of Bible study discussions. In the 9-week session, the first week will include the usual weighing and measuring, getting to know each other, reviewing the foundations of Matthew 6:33, Mark 12:30, and our Live It Plan. The following eight weeks will include accountability time, a Wellness Spotlight, Bible study discussion, and prayer partner time. Week 9, the final week will include the Bible study discussion and time for members to share all God has done during the session. In response to leaders’ feedback, instead of having My Place for Discovery assigned weekly, the schedule will rotate between My Place for Nutrition,

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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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