(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
> (This article was written a few years ago, but I am preparing to experience its timeless truths again. Tomorrow morning, I’m going to encounter a man with a sharp knife, who is going to give me a new hip to replace the damaged one. This involves at least a 4-day hospital stay, followed by a few weeks of rehabilitation at home. I’m looking forward to the promised soul-restoration.)
I wouldn’t exactly call my sofa a verdant field, but this week, God is “[making] me to lie down in green pastures” (Psalm 23:2). Again, I have ignored my body’s need for adequate rest, and have run headlong into a cluster of germs stronger than my resolve to be Superwoman.
As my codiene-laced cough syrup and a powerful antibiotic combine with my weakened physical state, I have resigned myself to spending time on the couch, cuddled up with a favorite quilt and a box of tissues. In times past, I would have begrudged such periods of relative inactivity. However, I now realize these “down-time” days are God-ordained, and can provide unique spiritual benefits. Seeing that the world continues to function without my help frees me to relax, while the Lord, who is my Shepherd, “leads me beside the still waters” (verse 2).
Maybe God is leading you “beside the still waters” through circumstances beyond your control. A job loss, a physical ailment, the ending of a relationship…all these frustrating and painful adversities can cause you to feel you’ve been placed on the sidelines. My friend, don’t rebel against these opportunities. Instead, see them as God calling you aside for time alone with him, that he may strengthen you, mold you, and possibly redirect you. Don’t shun the Shepherd’s tender care; the end results will be worth the trial and the teaching. You will then be able to agree with the psalmist who confidently proclaims:
“He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3
Related scriptures: Psalm 23, 1 Kings 19:1-12, Mark 6:30-32, Psalm 116:1-9, Isaiah 40:27:31