I Have a Gift For You

I Have a Gift For You

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him (Matthew 7:11).

In January 2013, the Lord spoke to my heart these words: “I have a gift for you.”  I pondered these words during the year, expectantly waiting to discover the gift.  Might it be that God would heal my husband, Johnny?  That would be a gift of monumental proportions.  Sitting here at the beginning of 2014, I can say with surety that God gave me three huge gifts in 2013.

Gift One

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.  Therefore strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed (Hebrews 12:11-13).  Sometimes a gift doesn’t seem like a gift, and the first gift fits that category.  I had just spoken at our 2013 First Place 4 Health Summit, when I met a young woman who was sent to check out our program.  She was from a mega church who wanted to know more about First Place 4 Health.  The Lord used this introduction to get my attention and speak to my heart.  I needed to get to my weight goal if for no other reason than to be fully used by God.  I began my journey the next day, July 28, 2013, and have not veered much from the path since that day.

The first gift seemed like what Patsy Clairmont calls “A whuppin from the Lord,” but in reality it was a precious gift.  As I became serious about achieving my weight goal, the Lord came alongside and helped me lose twenty pounds.  What a gift!

Gift Two

Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds (Psalm 72:18).  The second gift from the Lord came in October 2013, when our publisher, Gospel Light, told us they wanted to bless us and give the rights of the program back to First Place 4 Health.  This was a huge gift, as we were given back the publishing rights, all digital files and art work, all DVD’s and rights to all of my books and Vicki Heath’s book.  The greatest part of this gift is that now we will know where all of our groups are located and will be better able to serve our First Place 4 Health family.

Gift Three

But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God. My times are in your hands” (Psalm 31:14-15a).  Two years ago on my 70th birthday, I began praying about when the Lord would have me to retire as the director of First Place 4 Health.  I did not want to leave too soon, but I also did not want to miss God’s perfect timing for me and for the ministry.  On December 2-4, 2013, very important planning meetings were scheduled for the future of the ministry.  We met all day December 2nd, and on the drive home the Lord once again spoke to my heart and said, “There could not be a more perfect time for you to retire.”  I announced this news the next morning to all in the meeting, and I officially retired on January 1, 2014.  I have had perfect peace about the decision, because I know that God knows His plans regarding the First Place 4 Health program.  I fully expect the program to explode in growth as it did in 1987, when I became the director.  It’s all about His timing and our obedience. I will continue to write books and speak at First Place 4 Health events as the Lord leads.

I am thrilled to announce that Vicki Heath, my dear friend and First Place 4 Health Associate, is now the director of the program, and I am confident that the best days are still ahead.  God has been the “Director” of the program all these years, and He will continue to do a great work as He works through Vicki for the good of First Place 4 Health and for His glory.