Category Archives: empowerment

Simple changes promote healthy living

(Slipping a dollar bill into my exercise jar each time I work up a sweat provides impetus to regular workouts. When the jar is full, I decide on and purchase something new for my healthy lifestyle journey!) 

Making changes is often hard, but sometimes some simple changes we implement can have a profound effect on our well-being. In our First Place 4 Health meeting recently, I encouraged participants to think of three such changes they’d make during this twelve-week session. As they shared, I jotted them down on the board and later compiled the list. Here’s what we came up with:

·         Keep a food journal/diary

·         Eat on time

·         Remove junk food

·         Consume more fruits and veggies

·         Get plenty of rest

·         Prepare food ahead

·         Eat less processed food

·         Engage in regular exercise

·         Drink more water

·         Eat out less

·         Spend more time in prayer and Bible study

·         Remove (or lessen) stressors

·         Make a menu

·         Avoid buffets/fried foods

·         No late-night eating

·         Stay in touch with a friend/accountability partner


Weight loss is never a matter of the stomach only; in First Place, we realize we’re made up of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual components, and each has a bearing on our wellness journey. Seeking balance under the lordship of Jesus Christ can provide real and lasting victory! 

As I looked over this list, I noticed these four life entities are addressed. I think I’ll print these reminders out and place them on my refrigerator!










Filed under Bible study, calorie reduction, Christian weight loss programs, decision-making, decisions, empowerment, fellowship with God, First Place 4 Health, freedom, God's purposes, healthy eating, healthy weight loss, making changes, physical fitness, prayer, right perspective, struggles, victory, Wisdom

Resources for healthful eating

This tiny book contains a wealth of helpful hints for weight control.

 As I’ve journeyed through the struggles of weight loss and am hanging tenaciously to maintenance, I’ve picked up some of my favorite reads to peruse again for support and encouragement.

Found in a local thrift story, “Dieting in Real Life: 101 Tips and Inspiration for a Healthier You”, by Ellen Sanna, quickly came one of my prime resources. I kept it by my bed, so I could read one or two of the author’s 101 tips daily. The book, about the size of my hand, contains much wisdom and knowledge (both spiritual and secular) condensed into quick-to-read topics. It is divided into five sections: Changing our attitudes, Changing our eating habits, Curbing our desires, Spending more calories, Dieting and our emotions.

Related quotes add emphasis and clarity, and data from pertinent studies and accepted nutritional data help readers make appropriate lifestyle modifications. She introduces each tip with a sentence overview, and then adds a paragraph or two of details. Here are a few of her intros:

  • “Keep your hunger from becoming overwhelming by eating small meals and snacks evenly distributed throughout the day.”
  • “Stop focusing only on your weight; focus on the rest of what life has to offer.”
  • “See your body as a valuable tool God has entrusted to you.”
  • “Only eat when you’re hungry, and stop eating when you’re full.”
  • “Don’t cut breakfast.”
  • “Keep a journal of what you eat.”
  • “Pray before you eat.”
  • “Don’t clean your plate.”
  • “The next time you are tempted to binge, imagine that someone you respect is watching you.”
  • Exercise when you get the urge to eat.”
  • “Don’t waste time feeling guilty.”

If you are interested in purchasing this book, which was written in 2003, you’ll probably have to check some place like eBay or Amazon. However, it’ll be well worth the effort to track down!

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Filed under calorie reduction, decision-making, empowerment, food, healthy weight loss, making changes, menu planning, physical fitness, priorities

>Let Freedom Ring


The local KFC looked like the after-church fellowship place today; several FBC families stopped by, intent on commiting the sin of gluttony (well, at least one of them was, and did). It was wonderful to run into Mo (name changed to protect his out-of-the-country ministry). He and his family are here in the U.S. for a couple of months before returning to their field.
Our graduates were honored today during our morning worship service, but our pastor did make mention of those whose families have paid a sacrificial price to secure the freedoms we often take for granted (our special service honoring these heroes is scheduled for next week). The pastor reminded the graduates, and all attendees, that the blessings of life we have today are due to the selfless commitment of these brave men and women.

Freedom…it is a glorious thing. We rightly consider ourselves free because we live in America, and so we are. But what really makes freedom? It’s a nebulous word, is it not? We’ve only to open our newspaper or click on the evening news to see people right here in “the land of the free”, who are victims of enslavement in some form, be it discrimination, lack of education, abuse, hunger, or human trafficking. And the issues are compounded in other countries.

Our Lord talks about real freedom: “If the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). Yes, there are cruel forms of bondage here in the U.S. and around the globe, but entrapment in sin causes hopelessness here, and also in eternity. As my thoughts drift back to Mo, I decided to post this picture taken during a service where Jerry Rankin, President of the International Mission Board, spoke. The parade of flags is always touching, showing countries where we have a missions’ presence. But black flags are also somberly presented, bringing to remembrance countries where the light of Christ’s gospel has yet to dawn.

Emblazoned on the picture are the words to Joshua 1:16, which could be referred to as an Old Testament response to the New Testament’s Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8. Rankin chose that as his theme, challenging listeners to “GO” – to impact the “ends of the earth”. Mo and his wife answered that call; they’ve taken their family a two-day plane trip away, to raise their children in another culture with another language. As I talked to Mo’s mother (a fellow grandma), I commented on how hard it must be, not seeing the grandchildren often; this is the second time in three years they’ve been together. She nodded, but added – with a surrendered smile – how the family is passionate about the ministry there.

Freedom…”Freely you have received, freely give” (Matt. 10:8). What freedoms are we sacrificing to let the message of freedom in Christ be heard, from the ends of our street to the ends of the world? Mo, Karen, Lynn, Kenny, Pascal, Jeremy, Peggy, Ruth, Jason, Gail…these are names of ordinary Christians, just like you and I, who have answered the call to share the message of eternal freedom. Thank God for them, and support them prayerfully and financially, if necessary. And take another look at the picture. Would you be willing to pray the words of this verse while staring at those flags?

Best wishes from lefthandrightbrain:)

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Filed under Acts 1:8, commission, empowerment, freedom, missionaries, surrender