Saturday, January 28, 2012

10 Steps to Lasting Weight Loss

A million diet plans vie for attention this time of year. The latest gimmicks and schemes bombard our magazines and airways. Many of us jump on the bandwagon and try the latest thing. I did that for years.

But, do we keep off the lost weight? Not me.

When I reached my bottom weighing two hundred and fifty pounds, carrying a load of self hatred with resentments eating at my mind, I finally asked God for His success stragedy.

Here's the ten steps I've learned:

1. "Not my will, but Thine" Pray this every morning.

2. Every day eat 5-8 servings of fresh or frozen fruits or vegetables. Have one of these whenever you're hungry.

3. Whenever possible, substitute enriched breads, cereals, pastas, rice for whole grains which better satisfy.

4. When you attend a party or go out to eat, first visualize what healthy choice you'll make, and then scan the menu or options to find the item nearest your mind picture. Around your house, never keep any foods that "call your name." As the Bible says, "shun the very appearance of evil."

5. Always eat 2 teaspoons of healthy oils such as olive oil, canola oil or sunflower oil. Try nuts, seeds or avocado in moderation.This keeps you from being hungry.

6. Start your day with the Bible and then read a paragraph in a book or blog that motivates you to serve God in a new or improved manner. Remember, you need to subsitute the god of food for the true Lord of all.

7. Choose leaner meats such as grilled chicken, trimmed-up sirloin, or fish. Try meals without meat as occasional options. Eat more legumes.

8. Whenever you feel overwhelmed or tempted, pray. Strive for a short prayer at least once an hour while you're awake.

9. Find an activity you enjoy--walking, dancing, meeting friends at the gym, swimming, biking. Don't pattern your exercise after someone else.

10. When you fail your idea of perfection, (and you will), start anew whether it's noon, five p.m or ten at night. Remember, it's our own minds that demand perfection, not God. He asks only that we hold His hand.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

God In The Storm


STORMS. I don't like them. Do you? During storms, we stew and worry. We tremble and cringe. We see no escape. Yeah, while the tempest rages, Jesus can appear to be asleep in the back of the boat oblivious to our plight.

But soon, a terrible storm arose. High waves began to break into the boat until it was fairly full of water and about to sink.
Jesus was asleep at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. Frantically, they wakened him, shouting, 'Teacher, don't you even care that we are all about to drown?' Mark 4:35-36 Life Recovery Bible.


This last week, I’ve been in the storm. Rain blinded my trust-ability quotient. Blustery winds concealed the sound of His voice. Two days ago, I “hit the wall.” Exhaustion, illness, worry and my usual struggle with resentment took a toll on my mind and my body. I sought to “wake up” my Lord. With tears streaming my face, I cried out, “don’t you care that I perish?”

God answered me as he did the disciples long ago. He spoke to the storm, “Quiet down.” The wind and rain diminished. Then, He turned to me and asked why I was so fearful. “Didn’t you know all was okay?”

I guess I forgot. Or, for just a few minutes, I doubted.

Recently, I saw an anonymous saying that I thought God would have me remember.

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s learning how to dance in the rain.

Lord, even while the storm rolls over me, teach me to dance.

Monday, December 19, 2011

GOD HOLDS OUT HIS CHRISTMAS GIFT, BUT WE MUST MAKE IT OURS


My three grandchildren make out lists of things they want for Christmas. Their two aunts and uncles and myself and my husband try to pick items from their lists to "surprise" them with. Yet, these gifts, no matter how much we spend, will fall apart or drop in the forgotten category in a few years, or maybe even months. Hopefully, we can give them the true gift of Christmas that never disintegrates or loses its value--the Christ Child Himself.

One year, my oldest grandson acted as if he appreciated the gift we gave him at Christmas, but when the family left for home, he left his present at our house. We gave him a gift, but he didn't accept it. So it is with us. God offers us valuable presents, but we must take them into our lives.

With God's sending His only Son, other gifts came our way. Jesus brings salvation, peace, joy, love and healing. Most of all, I'm grateful for Jesus' gift of hope for our future in this world and beyond. He holds out his gift of great value to each of us. Have you made it yours?

That's the true message of Christmas. God's gift/our blessing. My daughter sent this e-mail story to me. Many of you may also have received it, but it so touched my heart during this time that I wanted to repost in case some of you hadn't read it. See below.

Remember, whatever is going on in your life right now, God is in control. Nothing takes Him by surprise and nothing happens by chance. God is all we need.

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned
to their first ministry, to reopen a church
In suburban Brooklyn , arrived in early October
Excited about their opportunities. When they saw
Their church, it was very run down and needed
Much work. They set a goal to have everything
Done in time to have their first service
On Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls,
Painting, etc, and on December 18
Were ahead of schedule and just about finished.

On December 19 a terrible tempest - a driving
Rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church.
His heart sank when he saw that the roof had
Leaked, causing a large area of plaster about
20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall
Of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit,
Beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor,
and not knowing what else to do but postpone
the Christmas Eve service, headed home.
On the way he noticed that a local business was
Having a flea market type sale for charity, so he
stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful,
Handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth
With exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross
Embroidered right in the center. It was just
The right size to cover the hole in the front
Wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. An older
Woman running from the opposite direction was
trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor
Invited her to wait in the warm church for
The next bus 45 minutes later.

She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor
While he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put
Up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor
Could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and
It covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center
aisle. Her face was like a sheet. "Pastor,"
She asked, "where did you get that tablecloth?"
The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check
The lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into It there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had
Made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria .

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor
Told how he had just gotten "The Tablecloth". The
Woman explained that before the war she and
Her husband were well-to-do people in Austria .

When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave.
Her husband was going to follow her the next week.
He was captured, sent to prison and she never saw her
Husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth;
But she made the pastor keep it for the church.
The pastor insisted on driving her home. That
Was the least he could do. She lived on the other
Side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn
For the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas
Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the
Spirit were great. At the end of the service, the
Pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door
And many said that they would return.

One older man, whom the pastor recognized
From the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the
Pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he
wasn't leaving.

The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on
The front wall because it was identical to one
That his wife had made years ago when
They lived in Austria before the war and how
Could there be two tablecloths so much alike?

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he
Forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was
Supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and
Put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home
Again all the 35 years between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to
take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten
Island and to the same house where the pastor
Had taken the woman three days earlier.

He helped the man climb the three flights of
stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on
the door and he saw the greatest Christmas
reunion he could ever imagine.

True Story - submitted by Pastor Rob Reid
who says God does work in mysterious ways.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Visit with Pam Thibodeaux

I am excited to be part of my very first blog tour. Feel free to comment if I'm not doing this right. Ha! Please comment to enter a contest. See below.

With great pleasure, I wish to introduce a special person and wonderful writer, Pam Thibodeaux. She writes what she calls "inspirational with an edge." A native of Lake Charles, Louisiana, Pam moved to my part of the country in north Texas where I've been fortunate enough to visit with her and attend one of her classes. This award winning author co-founded and is a lifetime member of Bayou Writer's Group. Besides women's fiction, she writes inspirational romance and creative non-fiction. Even with her busy schedule as author and speaker, I found her eager and willing to help new writers like myself.



Her new release is entitled "The Visionary." I highly recommend it. Pam's writing was new to me, so I read this new book with no expectations, just curiosity. Truthfully, few people could handle the delicate topic of childhood sexual abuse resulting in murder. This book demonstrates the breadth of God's grace. The tender way which Ms. Thibodeaux illustrates hope over a dark, untalked-about subject is unrivaled.


EXCERPT:
Trevor hovered in the place between wakefulness and sleep, darkness and light, heaven and hell. He could hear his sister’s voice, but he couldn’t see her, couldn’t find her in the darkness, and couldn’t reach her in the red haze of pain and fear. He was hot, so hot. He burned with anger and shame and shook with the fear that kept him bound, unable to get to her. He felt trapped, helpless. She called to him again, but it was the sound of a little girl whimpering. He mumbled her name, assured her he was there, that he’d save and protect her. It wouldn’t happen again, he promised and struggled to jerk his hands from their restraints, to break through the darkness and rescue her.

Question: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Answer: The hardest part of writing The Visionary was depicting the gruesome abuse the twins suffered as children and then realistically portraying the healing available through the awesome power of God's love and their struggle for relief from a past too horrendous to live with any longer.


Question: What do you like about your publisher?
Answer: They are author-friendly, patient in helping new authors understand their rules without making them feel ashamed or embarrased.

Question: What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
Answer: The biggest challenge I face is not having my work accepted by the “Christian” publishers. As one reviewer said, “though undeniably Christian, it is never dogmatic or insular; offering faith rather than religion.” (Review of Tempered Dreams by Elizabeth Burton for Blue Iris Journal) My books deal with issues in a way that is unacceptable in the traditional CBA market. Now that is not saying that my books are better than those published through traditional CBA publishers, only different. As I’ve said many times, everything that gives God glory deserves to be praised!

Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com
Blog: http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com
Bayou Writers Group: http://bayouwritersgroup.com

BUY LINKS:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/n8as1b
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/o3YrMq

Anyone commenting on my blog will automatically be entered in a drawing for 4 lucky winners of an autographed copy of "The Visionary." Also, go back to any of the other blogs and comment for extra chances in the drawing. My post is the last stop of Ms. Thibodeaux's blog tour. Here is the list of those who've previously posted about "The Visionary" in case you're interested in going back, reading those reviews and commenting on them:

Nov 16th: Amber Stockton: http://amberstockton.blogspot.com/

Nov 17th: Karen Kelly http://www.authorkarenkelley.com/blog.html

Nov 18th: Author Expressions http://authorexpressions.blogspot.com/

Nov 19th: Tracy Krauss http://www.tracykraussexpressionexpress.com

Nov. 20th: Jessica Ferguson http://jessyferguson.blogspot.com

Nov. 21st: Guest @ LASR http://lasrguest.blogspot.com/

Nov 22nd: Robin Bayne http://wwwwritingbetweensundays.blogspot.com/

Nov. 23rd: Clare Revell http://telscha.blogspot.com/

NOV 24TH - THANKSGIVING DAY - http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com

Nov 25th: Tanya Hanson http://www.tanyahanson.com/Blog.html

Nov. 26th: Delia Latham http://delialatham.blogspot.com

Nov 27th: BWG Blog http://bayouwritersgroup.blogspot.com

Nov 28th: Raquel Byrnes http://nitewriter6.blogspot.com/

Nov 29th: Marianne Evans www.marianneevans.blogspot.com

Nov 30th: Shawna Williams http://inspirationalebooks.blogspot.com/

Dec 1st: Jan Rider Newman janridernewman.blogspot.com

Dec 2nd: Vicki Cain http://www.victoriapitts-caine.blogspot.com/

Dec 3rd: Justin Lugbill http://christian-book-review.com;

Dec 4th: Curt Iles http://creekbank.net

Dec 5th: Dana Pratola www.danapratola.webs.com

Dec 6th: Sylvia Ney http://writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

Dec 7th: Shonell Bacon http://chicklitgurrl.blogspot.com/

Dec 8th: Joanne Troppello http://joannetroppello.weebly.com/blog.html

Dec 9th: Nona Cross http://winonacross.blogspot.com

Dec. 10th: JoAnn Carter http://home.comcast.net/~jo.glenncarter/site/

Dec 11th: Donna Basinow http://donnabsnow.blogspot.com/

Dec 12th: Guest @ Edgy Inspirational Romance www.edgyinspirationalromance.com

Dec 13th: Michelle Sutton http://edgyinspirationalauthor.blogspot.com/

Dec 14th: Guest @ PenTalk Community http://pentalkcommunity.blogspot.com/

Dec. 15th: Judy Leger: http://judithleger.blogspot.com/

Dec 16th: Janet K Brown

Good luck to all.
Thank you, Ms. Thibodeaux, for trusting me to review your book. I enjoyed it. God bless.



Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thank God for an Overeating Compulsion

“Always giving thanks to God, the Father, for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20 NIV.”


Everything? Really, God. Think of all the terrible things that come in our lives.

A stroke victim, who is a dear friend, worries every day over simple movements. I ask her “Are you angry with God?” Her answer was “Why would I be angry with God when He saved my life, helped me walk and sent me a husband who stayed by my side?” I wonder if I would be as gracious.

In my own pit of depression, I cried out “Why did I have to be cursed with an inability to control food?” I believed life was unfair. Even today, after God has healed my emotional imbalance and helped me lose a lot of weight, I often fight compulsions to binge.

Yet, through this journey to healing, my compassion for the lost and the addicted grew. God sometimes used me to encourage others with all kinds of addictions. I experienced God's love through facing trials with His victory. Would this have happened if the curse of compulsive overeating had not burdened my life?

God desires what’s best for His children. We must trust this even when our minds see only negative. God wants us to be thankful in everything, even the plague of compulsion.

Thank you, Lord, for the journey. Help be face those ahead without the griping and complaining.




Sunday, October 9, 2011

Reformation Fire Must Fall

    With a line of other children, I marched into church for the convening of Vacation Bible School feeling as if I’d enlisted in God’s army. We studied Bible warriors Joshua and David. We learned the strong stands of Daniel and Ezekiel. Teachers armed us with the necessary weaponry. Each child including me yearned to fight for Christ.
     Song leaders in our church peppered our Sunday music with militant Christian melodies. The titles of our hymns included A Mighty Fortress is our God, Onward Christian Soldiers and Stand Up for Jesus, Ye Soldiers of the Cross. Who could forget the Christian song that became a theme of the civil war, The Battle Hymn of the Republic?

The spirit of reformation framed previous congregations as a mighty fighting force. I think in America, where life is too easy for some, we’ve lost some of that vigilance. As a recovering compulsive overeater, I must remain alert and prepared for battle. Just because I’ve succeeded for years doesn’t mean the devil will leave me alone. Like an Army general does, Satan plans a new strategy or a new direction for attack.

To follow Christ, I must keep the spirit of the militant, triumphant church of old and march into battle daily.

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life; whereunto thou are also called and have professed a good profession before many witnesses. 1 Tim. 6:12.” 


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Too Busy to Stop Quiet Time

Have you ever felt as if you were too busy for time alone with God? When I worked a full time job, I had to set the alarm early to have any prayer and meditation. Now that I'm retired, normally, I can give the first minutes after breakfast to quiet time with the Lord. But, sometimes, I mess up.
I learned long ago that the busier I get, the more I need that quiet place of prayer. Without it, I can't write, I can't be the wife or friend I need to be, and I sure won't be eating according to God's will.

“He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him. Ecclesiastes 10:8.” These words were penned by the wisest man who ever lived--King Solomon under God's inspiration.

Not doing what we know we must do = digging a pit.

Skipping several days without waiting on God = breaking up the hedge He put around us.

Yesterday, I ended five days with grandkids and two days of returning to normal. I did no writing, no reading and no quiet time with God. That doesn’t work. I must have time away every day, even if I have grandkids or fill in the blanks ___ (whatever hinders you).
The ironic thing is I can keep under God’s protection and strength for awhile and don’t even realize I’m growing weaker. All the time I camped and played with the kids, I ate healthy and light and of course, got plenty of activity.
Still, weakness crept into my mind, sneaky as in all of Satan’s devices. I’m going on the steam power gleaned a few days ago, oblivious that it’s nearly expired—not unlike taking medicine that heals me but being blinded that the last pill has been taken.
When the hindrance is behind me, my mind turns to mush with no creative juices flowing. I eat everything in the kitchen not nailed down. Depression covers me like an old blanket. My medicine bottle (my spirit) is empty.

Answer to failure:
Stop where you are. Remedy what you messed up. Go to Jesus NOW.
The best lesson I’ve ever learned is I can change course on Saturday and not wait until Monday, or 4 p.m. and not wait until the next day. DO IT NOW.


Prayer: Lord, thank you for once again giving me a reminder of why I need You, and picking me up from the ditch immediately.