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Great Tips on Maintaining Your Health

January 13, 2019

We all want good health, but I hate going to the doctor.

As a child, every time my mother took me in for a check up, the doctor proclaimed my weight above average. I’m the type of person who likes to please, and I hated that news. Chubby. Plump. Yuck.

As I got older, I watched what I ate, and I discovered that I couldn’t eat if I wanted to be skinny. That made me just as uncomfortable.

I had always been one of those kids who liked to read and too much exertion made me tired. But I earned good grades in school, so that rewarded my studies. Finally, I learned about exercise. It didn’t come naturally because I hated sweating. However, over time I learned exercise could be fun and make me feel good.

Then I saw the Bible encouraged that.

While bodily training has some value, godliness is of great value in every way as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. I Timothy 4:8

Note that bodily exercise does benefit, even though godliness benefits more.

The Holy Spirit helps us with self-control. Watching what you eat and exercising several times a week takes self-control.

After the holidays, you may feel a little uncomfortable in your clothes. Those rich dessert at parties or an extra Christmas cookie at night added a few pounds. Now you want to get back in control of your weight.

Today I have Karynthia Phillips. She is a Physician’s Assistant and she can give you some ideas on being healthy and staying that way.

Deceived

How to Avoid Being Deceived

January 6, 2019

None of us want to be deceived. A fellow writer, Pamela Christian, starts her talks by asking the audience if they want to be deceived. No one ever raises her hand.

Deception scares me, and I question everything I read or hear so that doesn’t happen. I enjoy reading mysteries and watching suspenseful movies because I like to solve the puzzle. However, one movie, Deceived, upset me. The story started off fine: early scenes showed a family of three. Husband wife and daughter. The husband managed a museum and traveled a lot, and the couple seemed to have a good marriage.

An accident took the husband’s life, and then the suspense started. Goldie Hawn played the wife. She learned the stories her former husband told her didn’t add up. For one thing, investigators suspected him of selling forged antiquities to other museums. Her husband bought her a gift he claimed came from another city, but she found a receipt proving her husband bought a gift in the same town where they lived. More research unearthed another wife in the same city. That’s when I got edgy.

And because she kept looking, he began to stalk her. She feared he might kill her. How unsettling. especially since I stayed home with my children at the time.

But when it comes to faith, these days people pick and choose what they like from various religions, as if their choice makes something true.

How can we be sure Christianity is true? Our eternal destiny depends on that. During the Reformation, Martin Luther turned to Scripture above church decrees and councils. But we can’t trust in mere men. What can we do to ensure our faith is in the right place? 

Today Ray Simmons, an elder at Grace Community Church, will give us answers to these questions. Ray wrote an article on a recent book by a local pastor, and you can access that here.

Encouragement

God’s Best for 2019

January 1, 2019

New year, new plans, new memories to be made. New opportunities, new prayer requests, new testimonies. From my heart to yours, wishing you God’s Best for 2019.

Kicking off 2019 on the right foot, let’s pray:

Dear Father, I praise you for this New Year. I pray that I will lean on you more fully and seek your face for wisdom every morning. Keep me from sin and keep my focus on you. May I never forget the price you paid for me, so I will feel loved. Help me reach out to others who are hurting. In Jesus Name, Amen.

May the below Others Centered Calendar Challenge be an encouragement to you and those around you, but most of all, my team and I pray these prompts get you one step closer toward our God, the Ultimate Father.

The Art of Living is #OthersCentered Calendar-January 2019-Cynthia L. Simmons

Download the January 2019 “Others Centered” Calendar

Personal Growth

Heal the Aching Spot and Achieve Personal Growth

December 28, 2018

Personal Growth can seem impossible because of your past.

This morning my kitty has been so demanding, rubbing up against me, whining. He has this pitiful high pitched squeak that rips my heart out. I have already fed him, and I gave him a good brush down, but he acts like he needs something more.

Have you ever felt that way? Restless? Not sure what you need? Maybe you have been deeply hurt, a pain that radiates to the center of who you are. That is so hard.

Some of us may handle that pain by crying out, others may withdraw, or work hard to stop feeling.

We were designed to live in a perfect world with perfect relationships and to be loved, adored.

However, the world is broken. We can feel the groan.

Romans 8 says For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.

What is the answer?

Today I have Jane Rubietta. She has just completed her first novel, The forgotten Life of Evelyn Lewis, and her main character deals with these problems.

True Joy

Experience True Joy During Christmas

December 21, 2018

I have such fond memories of Christmas. As a child, I loved the lights, the music, and decorating the tree. Mamma really managed to make it a magical time.

My father used to film home movies on Christmas morning. My early Christmases were very bright because daddy had special lights for filming and wouldn’t let us come in the living room until he had everything set up

He started when I was 3 months old. Before we came in the room, my father had filmed out stockings. Mother had a sock for each of us filled fruit and placed on a chair in the living room. Above each stocking she had spelled out our names with wooden blocks. And while daddy filmed, the toe of one sock was so full, it slid down. That image is blazed on my mind.

There’s a picture of mother holding me and showing me a baby doll she had purchased for me. So touching!

However, one year I blew it. I decided to snoop to see what mother bought for me. It ruined the surprise and the joy. And that spoiled Christmas day because I was so embarrassed about what I’d done. 

That served to show I focused on the wrong things. The beauty of the season has nothing to do with our traditions and decorations or even Santa Claus, reindeer, elves, or red, and green.

 It’s about the hope we have in Christ.

Carol McLeod, author of Let There Be Joy, is my guest today. She will share thoughts for meditation on being joyful during Christmas.

Depression

Overcoming Depression During Christmas

December 14, 2018
Depression

Depression makes the world dark even during the holidays.

I’ve always loved the beauty of Christmas. The lights, the music, the decorations remind me of the message of hope: Luke 2:11 – 14

The angel said, “Behold I bring you good tidings of great job. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.”(ESV)

However, not everyone rejoices this time of year. And if you are not happy, the joyful sounds of the season can grate on your nerves.

That’s why I believe God put Ps 88 in the Bible.

For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol.

I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am a man who has no strength,

like one set loose among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand.

You have put me in the depths of the pit, in the regions dark and deep Ps. 88: 3 – 5

Depression. That may describe your mood, and you may have a good reason. Maybe you have lost someone dear to you. That first Christmas hurts.

Maybe your own health is declining. Or perhaps you lost your job and feel alone. How can you handle depression over the holidays when everyone else is happy?

Today I have Dr.Michelle Bengstron, and she has answers for battling depression.




Overcome Christmas Depression
celebrating Christmas

Celebrating Christmas without Exhaustion

December 7, 2018
Christmas

Celebrating Christmas can be exhausting. Let me explain.

When I was growing up, Christmas was magical. I loved the lights, color, and decorations. And I still love anything that glitters. Our church sponsored a school and I recall listening to the Messiah. In high school I sang parts of the cantata in choir, so it became part of my soul.

We always got a tree the week prior to Christmas, and we had bubble lights that worked if you sat them straight enough on the tree. Back then, strings of lights would stop working if just one light went out, and I remember Daddy testing every light to make the strand come back on. And icicles.You don’t see those used as much today, but they were thin pieces resembling sparkly foil. We were supposed to put them on the tree one at a time, but I loved to toss them on because the lights reflected off and make them so pretty. I recall being excited about the packages under the tree, and Mother seemed to know what I liked.

Then I got married and had my own family. Once I started homeschooling, the list of things I had to do got so long that I dreaded the holidays. Celebrating Christmas became a drag. Take one child here and the other child there. Decorate. Shop. Wrap. Cook. Decorate more. Christmas meant more work.

The Bible talks about the angels singing Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill to men. I missed all of that. Drudgery replaced celebration.

I think it was easier when I was little. I could focus on the birth of Jesus, and the beauty. Because that’s the important part anyhow.

Today I have Peggy Sue Wells, author of Homeless for the Holidays. The family in the story lost their home. Believe it or not, they learned to celebrate Christmas without exhaustion. Peggy Sue will share how. 

Homeless for the Holidays and Celebrating Christmas
Teen

Guidance on Navigating the Teen Years

December 1, 2018
Teen

Imagine your child as a teen. That can be scary. When I had toddlers, I worried about my kids becoming teenagers. I understood those years can be tough as your child pulls away and seeks independence. Lots of things change, and of course, we mommies never want to see our babies leave.

I knew of one mother who cried when her baby’s umbilical cord fell off. I’m not that sentimental but different things trigger us. I clung to their baby shoes.

Letting go of your teen can be one of the toughest things you will live through. Because after all, you gave birth to them, stayed up at night when they were sick, took them to the doctor, endured all the various stages, including temper tantrums.

And suddenly, they reach the teen years, and they say, “You don’t understand.” Or “You can’t love me.”

As a teen, they fail to see your sacrifices.

Here’s what I wanted for each of my teens. It’s what Paul said to Timothy, his young apprentice:

Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

We all need to pray more and have wise guidance for these years.  Today I have Tessa Emily Hall.  She has written Coffee Shop Devos for teens.

Thanksgiving Holiday

A Mother’s Guide to Celebrating Thanksgiving

November 23, 2018

Celebrating thanksgiving falls to moms.

Here’s my problem:

If I give in to my tendencies, I’m like a kitten, fluffing up my pillows and getting comfortable. So naming off my blessings takes effort. Putting together meals takes effort, and cleaning up takes effort.

A brown jar sits on my desk that says, “Things I’m thankful for.” I have put several slips of paper in there, which is good. But I have to work hard at celebrating thanksgiving.

I am glad we have one holiday that calls for us to sit down and thank God. 

 I suspect that most of us see Thanksgiving as a bridge to Christmas, and we almost miss the importance because we get caught up in the work, the guests, the meal, and the mess. 

Let’s check out what the Bible says.

Did you realize Scripture uses the word praise 250 times, and the word thanks appears 117 times, so clearly, it’s important.

 

Not all of those are commands. A few are statements by the psalmist or by the author, however, we have lots of commands to pray.

 Here are some examples:

Colossians 4:2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

 (Col. 4:2 ESV)

1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thess. 5:18 ESV)

Karen Whiting is my guest today. Like me, she has five grown children and she overflows with tips on the Bible and practical tips. She’s going to help make celebrating Thanksgiving fun.

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