Category Archives: struggles

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

>"A Dream’s Direction"

>His plans for beginning a family had come crashing down on him. The woman he loved had delivered some devastating news – she was pregnant. As thoughts of what to do swirled in his anguished mind, he struggled to rest. Finally, sleep gave him some relief. As he dreamed, a startling revelation brought by a heavenly messenger altered his decision and propelled him into an incredible journey.

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins”… Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS (Matt. 1:19-21, 24-25 NKJV).

Can you imagine an angel of the Lord appearing to you with a message while you slept? When you awoke, would you have the courage to act on such? Would you second-guess your decision? After all, it was a dream.

Joseph was called “a just man”. Other translations use the word “righteous”. He walked with God, and was the very one the Lord had prepared to fulfill His promise made to Abraham 42 generations before (Matthew 1:17). Joseph knew the Scriptures, and was confident enough in God’s leading to step out in faith, shouldering the biggest responsibility of his life.

Do you have a “dream” God has placed in your heart? No, not one that happened while you slept, but one the Lord has been impressing on your very soul. Is a nagging dissatisfaction about your current Christian service causing you to dig deeper into the Word, pray more earnestly, and seek godly counsel, perhaps for a major shift in your life’s focus?

Joseph carefully – and surely, prayerfully – considered a course of action. And his first decision would have made perfect sense to his friends and family. But not to God. Joseph chose God’s way, and had the privilege of helping mold the young, tender years of our Lord Jesus. No greater challenge and adventure could be given to any man.

Will you follow Joseph’s example, as he “did as the angel of the Lord commanded him”? What challenging and thrilling adventure has God planned and presented for you to say “yes” to?

Best wishes from lefthandrightbrain:)

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Filed under career, courage, decision-making, faith, obedience, service, struggles, Wisdom

>"Tell Me Again What You Can’t Do!"


(Going through some old files, I came across this article I wrote years ago about a truly incredible servant of God. He didn’t do anything that’d make him a household name, but when he stands before his Lord, he’ll surely hear the gentle words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Prepare to have your heart warmed as you read on.)

Tell Me Again What You Can’t Do!

At the age of 82, Boyce Crown was quite a bit older than most of the other summer staffers at the huge Christian conference center where I volunteered last summer. As I watched him cheerfully go about his work, keeping his area of the cafeteria stocked and cleaned, I couldn’t help but notice his love of life as he enjoyed the camaraderie of guests and co-workers.

What made his joyful manner so amazing was that Boyce was severely handicapped, or so most people would say. I noticed that one of his eyes was just a narrow slit, and he seemed to be visually impaired. One leg was completely useless, being permanently bent backwards at a forty-five degree angle, and he used a crutch under his arm to get around on his other leg. He worked with his free hand, but could also manage to use both hands by gripping the crutch under his armpit. It seemed like there was nothing he couldn’t do! He swept up bits of cereal and empty sugar packets, refilled baskets of condiments, restocked the milk coolers, and cleaned the glass exit doors. He was always on the lookout to see how he could make the conferees’ stay more pleasant. All this with one leg, one crutch, and a gentle, happy demeanor that brightened the day of all he encountered.

After watching him for several days, I asked for a time to meet with him to hear his story. In his humble manner, he consented, but really didn’t feel he had anything “all that special” to offer me. I knew different, though, and was determined to get his background down on paper. We met during his lunch break, and with absolutely no sign of bitterness, he unfolded the events of his difficult, but rewarding, life.

At age two-and-a-half, he and his brothers were playing in a broom-sage field, and the older boys set the field on fire. Boyce got caught in the fire, and was severely burned and blinded in one eye. Since this was before the days of modern medicine, there wasn’t much that could be done for him. The doctor advised his parents to let him stay in whatever position would bring him any comfort, probably not expecting him to live. As he was bedridden for an extended period of time in a position with his leg bent at an angle, his skin healed and he could not straighten his leg. Later, others in the medical field suggested amputation for his leg, but he declined, as he had learned to adjust quite well.

Upon graduation from high school in 1942, he went to work with a furniture manufacturing company, and worked there for twenty-seven years. After another company bought them out, he worked for the new owners for five more years. Transferring to a job with Ethan Allen, Boyce began as a sander, and worked up to a management position. Retiring in 1985, he worked with a cousin in the service station and used car business. At the time of my interview, he had been at the conference center for six years. He and his wife have three daughters and five grandchildren.

I asked Boyce how long he had been a Christian. He cocked his head and chuckled as he answered, “I was saved when I was thirty-four years old, and I asked the Lord to let me live to serve Him as long as I had served the devil. I sure had that prayer answered!”

The two weeks I spent as a volunteer afforded me the opportunity to get to know some fascinating people, and the inspiration of Boyce’s life made the experience all the more rewarding. I plan to be back at the conference center this summer as a conferee, and I sure hope to see Boyce there, serving up daily doses of joy and kindness, along with the orange juice and coffee!

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Filed under Christ-follower, contentment, example, joy, service, struggles