Saturday, September 12, 2015

Why is Weight Loss Important to the Christian?


      The National Health and Nutrition Survey in 2004 tells us 133.6 million (66%) adult Americans are obese or overweight. A Purdue University study indicates conservative churches such as southern Baptists, Assembly of God and Church of God fight this battle more often. Richard Kreider of Baylor University gives further insight into this. These denominations “avoid dancing, tobacco and alcohol, but give no guidelines for overeating.” He goes on to say our churches more often attract with food, not action events.
     Even if you don’t suffer from compulsive overeating to the point where it almost ruins your life like I did, still unhealthy eating habits can slow you down and diminish your witness.

     From my own true story, I can say that though I gave my heart to God at age seven and attended church regularly, compulsive overeating almost ruined my life. I teetered on the brink of suicide and divorce for several years. Praise God, He gave me an emotional and spiritual healing just  in time.


Have you given your heart to Christ?

Have you set Him on the throne of your life?

                That is the question each Christian must face.

  Think about it.

If anything  (even food) takes the place of God in your life, you hamper your walk with Christ, you drown in your own powerlessness, and you're not putting your trust where it needs to go.


Why is weight loss important to the Christian?

It's not about the food. It's about the fix.

Is your mind fixed on Jesus, or the next treat you plan on eating?


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

An Interview with Award-winning Author, Lena Nelson Dooley

I'm excited to have as my guest today multi-published author and gracious mentor to many, Lena Nelson Dooley. In 2006, my first year of studying writing and submitting my work, Lena blessed me by doing a critique of my first chapter while we both attended an American Christian Fiction Writer's (ACFW) conference. I purchased one of her books and have been her fan ever since. I highly recommend her blog (  http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com ) for inspiration, knowledge, and fun. She's known for her fantastic author interviews.


Today, I get to interview her.


Tell us a little about yourself.


I'm a wife, a mom, a grandma, and a great grandma. My family is very important to me, and now they all live closeby. I've been married to the love of my life for over half a century. We'll celebrate our 51st anniversary in November. And I write Christian novels.


Tell us about your writing journey.

When I started writing novels in 1984, there were no writing groups around that I knew about. God has led me all the way. He put people in my path when I needed to know about something. It took 8 years to get my first book published, then 10 years before the second, but now there are over 30 different books out there with my name on them. 


Did you ever feel like giving up?  And how did you press through this?


Yes. During those first 8 years, and even during the next 10, I questioned if I was doing what I was supposed to do. God had used several events in May 1984 to tell me to become a professional writer. (You can read the testimony on my web site: www.lenanelsondooley.com on the About Me tab.) When I would get discouraged, I traveled in my memory to that time. It sustained me.


What gave you the idea for this book? What is the book about?


http://www.janetkbrown.com/2015/09/an-interview-with-award-winning-author.htmlThe book we're featuring is A Texas Christmas. It's a novella collection with novellas by myself and 5 other award-winning authors. My story is Charlsey's Accountant. Here are the titles with blurbs from the back of the book:


Six Romances from the Historic Lone  Star  State

Herald the Season of Love

Here Cooks the Bride by Cathy Marie Hake - Lacey Mather's delicious cooking is warming many hearts and stomachs--especially those of a closed-mouth blacksmith. But she has no plans to stay in Texas

A Christmas Chronicle by Pamela Griffin - Travis McCoy is a nomadic photographer with no time to put down roots, find a wife, and raise a family. But then he meets the unconventional Vivian Sager.

To Hear Angels Sing by Ramona Cecil - Bridget O'Keefe leaves Chicago to teach Indian orphans and quickly experiences the hostility the Comanche face from locals like Seth Krueger who blame then for the death of his parents.

The Face of Mary by Darlene Franklin - Mary "Polly" Jessup holds onto a promise of marriage made five years ago, but when Joey Carpenter returns from law school with a new outlook and a new girlfriend, her future hopes are dashed.

Charlsey’s Accountant by Lena Nelson Dooley - Charlsey Ames can rope, ride, and work the ranch with the men and never thought she's be attracted to accountant Harold Miller, III, a citified tenderfoot.

Plain Trouble by Kathleen Y’Barbo - An expert tracker, the plain Bessie Mae Ames is content unmarried, until Texas Ranger Josef Mueller tides into town, trailing a wanted man. 


How do you feel this book will encourage people in their walk with Christ, or did you have something in mind like this when you wrote it?

Every book I write I like to show people how the characters can deal with their problems with the help of the Lord. I hope the book will encourage them to seek Him in their own problems. 


What’s your favorite vacation spot?

Galveston Island on the Texas coast 


If you could be a song, what would it be?


Zach Neese, a worship pastor at Gateway Church in Texas where I'm a member, wrote a song "The More I Seek You." I've told Zach that he writes the songs my heart feels. This one especially. Here's a link to a YouTube video of Kari Jobe singing the song: https://youtu.be/NI_1YliutzA 


Where can your readers find you?

I'm on a lot of places online:


Where can your books be purchased?

Many of them can be found in Christian bookstores, some in Walmart occasionally. But all of the books I've written are on Amazon.



Award-winning author Lena Nelson Dooley has had more than 800,000 copies of her books sold. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the local chapter, ACFW - DFW. She’s a member of Christian Authors’ Network and Gateway Church in Southlake , Texas .

She has been on both the CBA Bestseller list and several Amazon Bestseller lists. Her 2010 release Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, from Summerside Press, won the 2011 Will Rogers Medallion Award for excellence in publishing Western Fiction. Her next series, McKenna’s Daughters: Maggie’s Journey appeared on a reviewers Top Ten Books of 2011 list. It also won the 2012 Selah award for Historical Novel. The second, Mary’s Blessing, was a Selah Award finalist for Romance novel. Catherine’s Pursuit released in 2013. It was the winner of the NTRWA Carolyn Reader’s Choice contest, took second place in the CAN Golden Scroll Novel of the Year award, and won the Will Rogers Medallion bronze medallion. Her blog, A Christian Writer’s World, received the Readers Choice Blog of the Year Award from the Book Club Network.

In addition to her writing, Lena is a frequent speaker at women’s groups, writers groups, and at both regional and national conferences. She has spoken in six states and internationally. She is also one of the co-hosts of the Along Came a Writer blog radio show.

Lena has an active web presence on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Linkedin and with her internationally connected blog where she interviews other authors and promotes their books.

Thank you, Lena, for stopping by for a visit on Writing with God's Hope blog.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Need a Boost to Your Weight Loss?

     Poet, John Donne, wrote "No man is an island."
     Hillary Clinton told us, "It takes a community to rear a child." 
     The fact is that we need each other for wisdom, encouragement, and strength.

Notice in my post about my 10 best tips for weight loss at


that number 7 on my list is going to the support group of your choice.



My devotion book, Divine Dining, gives 365 days of encouragement and inspiration to the food addict. Losing weight is a lonely road. Many times, no one is there to turn us away from a doughnut. At a dinner or pot luck, everyone there may indulge while we stand alone to withstand the temptations. Support from others, even if only given once a week, strengthens our resolve.

During my recent trip to Colorado, I had the pleasure of meeting two sweet ladies in person, who I had previously met online.

I first met writer, editor, radio interviewer, Patti Shene several years ago when I submitted a short story titled Victoria and the Ghost. Because of her advice, that story became my debut YA novel published by 4RV Publishing Co. out of Edmond, OK.

The other new friend, Dawn Orr, found me on Facebook, and purchased Divine Dining. When Patti interviewed me on her online radio station, Dawn heard the broadcast and explained that she and three other friends were doing a weight loss Bible study using Divine Dining as their guide. Of course, I wanted to meet her. How blessed I was to learn the book God gave me was helping someone else in their walk with the Lord.


Writing friend, Patti Shene on my right, Dawn Orr, who started a Bible study with Divine Dining on my left when we met in Pueblo, Colorado in August, 2015


Weight loss encompasses the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of our lives. During my weight loss journey, I've attended many support groups because I realize the need for me to be around others going through the same struggles.

I began this path twenty-two years ago when I attended a church group called "Christian Weight Controllers." When our music minister, who led the group, moved, I took over the leadership. The stress got to me, and I stopped the class. By that time, I had already lost about 65 pounds and had 35 more to go, so I still needed that group strength.

I then rejoined Weight Watchers and lost thirty more pounds. I maintained the 95 lb loss for eighteen years and last year lost another five pounds to make it an even one hundred pound loss.

After I lost the weight, I quit Weight Watchers. I accomplished the physical and much of the mental problems, but I found I constantly regained pounds, moving up and down, again and again. I faltered often. I rejoined Overeaters Anonymous. Some of the groups helped a lot, some, not so much. Once, our church offered a generic 12 step program that helped with any addiction or compulsion, similar to the now popular Celebrate Recovery programs. For a few weeks, I attended a TOPS meeting. For awhile, I went to both OA and WW because I felt the need for help in all three aspects of my life.

My next step was to teach a program through my church that addressed all 3: physical, mental, and physical. My first try ended in disaster. I taught with the wrong attitude, and God did not bless it. Divine Dining released in January, 2013. That September, I began a weight controllers class at my church. We named it for my book. Every September, when we start up new classes throughout the church, I debate whether to continue teaching. Always, I remember the importance of support groups.

Do you need a boost for your weight loss?

I know that I must eat healthy, get exercise, and change my mindset about food, but guess what ...

I STILL NEED MY SUPPORT GROUP.

The devil actively tempts me where I'm weakest: putting food in place of God, running to food instead of the Word, not asking for the Lord's strength when I want to quit.

Is it time you joined a good support group where you live? If there's not one, do you need to start one? If you live in or near Wichita Falls, TX., we would welcome you to the Divine Dining Weight Controllers Class beginning anew on Sept. 15 at 6 pm.



Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Tunnel Vision

     Then Peter called to him, "Sir, if it is really you, tell me to come over to you, walking on the water."
     "All right,"  the Lord said, "come along."
     So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.
     But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified, and began to sink. "Save me, Lord," he shouted.
                          Matthew 14: 28-32 Life Recovery Bible




Tunnel on way to Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado
For our Christian walk, we require tunnel vision.  On a recent trip in the Colorado mountains, we passed through three tunnels.  While our car was going through them, we could see nothing except the sides of the tunnel and the road ahead. There were no distractions to pull us away from our goal, getting through that tunnel. Once we reached the end, lakes and trees, homes and businesses, other cars and even animals vied for our attention.

In the verses above, Peter reached his goal (walking on water) as long as he kept his eyes fixed on Jesus, but when the waves distracted him, he sunk.

If your goal is to lose weight God's way, or to find deliverance from any addiction, compulsion, or hang-up, keep your eyes on Jesus. If, like me, you have a hundred pounds to lose, or even thirty, the difficulty rises in your mind like a mountain that looms across Colorado roads.

Tunnel vision is the solution. Block out worrying about the storm, the problem, the mountain. Focus instead on Jesus, and Him alone.

If your feet begin to slip, spend more time in the Word and in prayer.



When a train goes through a tunnel, and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.
                                                                        Corrie ten Boom

Are you struggling to reach your goal? Do you feel God led you to write? Or lose weight? Or teach a class? The goal may seem like mission impossible.

Try doing it by going through a tunnel. Don't allow anything to take your eyes off Christ.



Saturday, August 29, 2015

SERENITY

Serenity Prayer


     "Lord, give me the serenity to accept the things I can not change; the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

I challenge you to look up the entire prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. It's all good.



As we begin to see how unique and special we are--embraced and accepted by God Himself--our strides toward recovery should grow faster and longer.
                                                     Note on Life Recovery Bible, page 665




****Think back over this week. How many times did you get mad at yourself for not being able to eat something, or mad at someone else because they could eat what you like without weight gain?.

Remember, there’s not any of us perfect.
       Are you serene?                                               

What's the definition of serenity?

Webster’s New World Dictionary

    Clarity, Undisturbed, unclouded, calmness

Roget’s Super thesaurus

    Peace, quiet, stilled, tranquility, at rest


Lack of serenity creates a fertile field for anger, resentment, envy, fear, and self-centeredness. Any of these can drive a compulsive overeater into a binge.


Let’s talk a little about anger and unforgiveness.


Read  Luke 6: 27-36



The 8th step of the 12 step program is being willing to make amends to those we’ve hurt. What’s hardest of all is to apologize for anger or hard feelings for what that person did to us.

     We want them to say “I’m sorry” and reconcile and make it all nice, tied up, and forgiven, but others have their own ideas, and sometimes they won’t forgive, or they blow us off.



Despite others actions, forgiveness is our choice.

Decide to forgive. The feelings will follow.

A few years ago, my husband and I had a local man do us wrong in business. The hardest part was we considered the man a friend , not just a business associate. It hurt. I asked God to help me forgive. I turned it over to God, and made a decision to let it go.

However, living in the same town, I ran into the man from time to time. I couldn't speak to him. Those angry feelings immobilized me and choked off my air. I would turn aside without comment, only to fall on my knees and plead with God to rid me of this turmoil.

One day, I walked into a graduation party for the son of a mutual friend. The ex-business partner was there.

I waited for the feelings to choke me, but nothing happened.

I walked toward the man who had wronged us.

He hugged me. "It's so good to see you," he said.

"It's good to see you, too." God's miracle was complete. The anger had left. I was glad to acknowledge him again as a friend.

Now, that didn't absolve the man from doing us wrong, but it put it between him and God, where it belongs. My conscience was clear. I had forgiven.



To be free of compulsion, we must have serenity.

To have serenity, we must forgive.

To forgive, we must rely on God's doing the work through us.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Three Ps of Success

Are you trying to lose weight?
    A hundred pound loss begins with the first pound. Have you talked to God about it?


Are you beginning a writing career?
    Whether this is your first book or your fifteenth, furthering a prospering writing career takes hard work.


Is your new football season beginning?
    High school around Texas including Leonard, TX where my grandson plays are beginning their 2015 football season with two-a-days before school starts.


Whatever your goal, success comes through three P words.




Preparation  To insure success in losing weight requires a mental change, a physical turnaround, and a spiritual search.


1. Seek God. Read His Word. Pray for His guidance for what to eat, what exercise to do, which meeting is right. Set aside a place and time to commune with the Lord, daily. (Spiritual search)
2. Join a support group. Dwell on the positive. Visualize yourself at a smaller size. Get your mind off the food and on to other things that interest you. (Mental change)
3. Purchase fruits, veggies, lean protein, low fat dairy, and healthy oil. Rid your pantry and refrigerator of trigger foods by giving them to others or throwing them away. Buy a notebook and keep it handy to journal. Find recipes and favorite restaurant menus and pick out low fat choices you like. (Physical turnaround)



Patience  If you lose slowly, or have a gain, patience can save you from giving up. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is patience. Ask God for that fruit to be active in your life. Keep doing what you've been doing, and God will give the success.



Perseverance  Continue to follow the first two Ps over the long haul. Prepare weekly. Have patience when you can't see the results. Keep going. Don't give up. 



Those same three Ps can be applied to any other goal.

To be successful at a writing career:

Preparation  Go to writing conferences and workshops. Network with other authors. Take online courses about writing. Read writing craft books and books in your own genre and genres you don't write.
My debut novel 

Patience  I recently read an article about "Why I Am Glad it Took Me 11 Years to Get Published." The longer the process takes, the better our writing gets. Have patience and know that you are growing, so it's all good.

Perseverance  Write every day. Write after your work is rejected. Take the suggestions and corrections given by critique partners, agents, or editors. Improve. Grow. Don't quit.


What about those beginning a football season?


Preparation That's what two-a-days is all about. Preparing and improving before the games begin.


High school game with my grandson & son-in-law coach along with my daughter and granddaughter.

Patience Other teams are good, too. We're human, so we mess up. Good football players learn from their mistakes and remain patient for the next opportunity to get it right.



Perseverance Keep working. Keep improving. Be ready for the next game. Keep on keeping on.