- Username: marylaw
- Location: Winfield, KS, USA
- Member Since: 7/26/2008
- BMI: 44.7
- Hoping to have surgery
- Surgery Type: VSG (11/17/08)
- Surgeon: Gregory Walton, M.D.
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Surgeon TestimonialGregory Walton, M.D.When I attended the informational seminar, Dr. Walton was the presenter. I was impressed by his unassuming demeanor, his humor, and his knowledge. When I found out that I could get an appointment with him, I was delighted. When I met with him, I just knew he was the surgeon for me! I have had several challenges already, and Dr. Walton has been very helpful and encouraging. His staff has been wonderful. Everyone emphasizes the importance of pre- and post-op care. Dr. Walton and I both know there are risks, not only in connection with the surgery but with me as the patient. I feel like I am part of the team, to make sure my experience is the best it can be. I feel \"heard,\" and that is so important to me. No question is \"stupid.\" I appreciate Dr. Walton's surgical expertise and his sensitive bedside manner.rnI'm sure Dr. Walton is not a perfect surgeon, but, so far, he's come close.
- Books & Literature - I'm an avid reader. I love to learn and be challenged.
- Writing - I enjoy writing spiritual devotionals and articles.
- Teaching - I'm a retired English teacher. I still enjoy teaching; I just don't get paid.
- Walking - I used to enjoy walking. I look forward to being able to again.
- Singing - My favorite form of worship is singing.
- Christianity - Radically saved (40 years and counting)
- Married - Very!!!
Devotion #42 on September 30, 2008 5:36 am
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One of the blessings of posting these devotions is that it gives me an opportunity to relive very precious moments with my Lord. I love how one's past with the Lord can be one's present and one's future. In fact, it just keeps getting better and better!
Today's devotion is from my personal journal dated May 20, 2007. May it bless you, and may you bless me by responding.
I awoke this morning, hearing my Father saying so gently, "Seek Me." It took my breath away. I cannot explain it. His voice was so soft and gentle, yet the impact was so strong in my spirit that I could not wait to be alone with Him.
I decided to focus on the first scripture of the New Testament I could find that had the word "seek" in it and was about seeking God. I found it in Matthew 6:25-34. (The first reference with "seek" was about seeking the Christ child, to destroy Him, so I went to the next reference, in the Concordance).
"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? Oh, you of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself."
I am commanded to seek first the kingdom of God. I am not to be focused on the physical and temporary needs of life, like food, clothing, and shelter. Seeking God's kingdom and righteousness is most important. It is to be the number one priority in my life. If I do that, everything else will be provided by my Jehovah-Jireh (the God Who Provides), for He knows all my needs.
It is unbecoming of a Christian to focus on the temporal, to fear about tomorrow, to worry about this or that. It shows that he/she does not trust God to deliver and supply. To be "full of care" is shameful. Worry is a sin. When I am tempted to "take thought" about any area of provision, I must ask myself, "Do I believe God? Do I believe, truly believe, His Word?"
I can sense when I'm not trusting, when I'm "taking thought" of circumstances, because I feel agitated in my spirit. That tells me that I have not sought the Lord and His wisdom, in my situation. Even though my flesh stubbornly resists the seeking of God, I know that God comes to my aid, when I make seeking Him my priority.
How does all of this relate to weight loss? It liberates me from focusing on weight loss. I am focused on pursuing Christ, and my eating habits are part of how I pursue Christ. If I am seeking Christ first, I will eat in a careful manner, so that I enjoy my food as a gift of God and so that I do not overeat. Weight loss will be a by-product of my life, because I am committed to focusing on the glory of God and pursuing the righteousness of Christ in all things.
We tend to think that seeking God means that we have to strive or be perfect or spend hours in prayer or be cloistered somewhere, away from the world. Seeking God is simply opening up one's heart and mind to the presence of the Father, who loves with an everlasting, unconditional love. My prayer is that I will seek God first, that I will pursue Him, run to Him, bask in His presence, make Him the priority in my life, and that even my eating habits will evidence that.
Today, take time to seek the Lord. You'll know you "get" what that means, when you "get" this song sung by Kari Jobe,
"The More I See You."
Devotion #41 on September 29, 2008 5:13 am
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Today's devotion is from my personal journal dated May 19, 2007. I love when you share how God speaks to you.
II Peter 2:19 says, "By what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved." Food has been my master, for many years. When I experienced freedom in different areas of my life, I began to have a very strong desire to rid myself of anything that has a controlling influence on me. Overeating is, perhaps, the final stronghold.
I'm in I Corinthians, in my Quiet Time, and the Lord drew me to I Corinthians 6:12-13, "All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body."
All food is lawful for me. I am not "under law," so I don't have to obey a certain diet or adhere to a list of permissable and non-permissible foods. However, "not all things are profitable" for me. Not all foods are helpful to me.
The Lord has given me a great question to ask myself, as part of eating with thanksgiving and with discipline. It is, "Will this food be helpful to me, in glorifying God?"
I want to be like Paul who says, "I will not be mastered by anything." I am free in Christ to eat whatever I want, as long as the food I choose will be helpful to me and as long as I am not mastered by it.
Paul says, "Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them." Both food and the stomach are temporary. I've spent much time and energy in the past, thinking about food, planning what I can eat, and, at times, counting calories, keeping track of portions and food groups, cutting out this, giving up that. It was exhausting, and it didn't work!
I want to spend my time and energy getting my soul "fat," rather than obsessing about getting my body thin. Don't get me wrong; I want a moderately-thin body, too. I just don't want to have that
be my focus. I want to eat in moderation, enjoy what I eat, and then get on with what is truly of value--pursuing intimacy with Jesus Christ. I believe that if I do that, the moderately-thin body will evolve, also.
Today, consider if you are mastered, enslaved by food or a certain type of food. Whatever we focus on becomes larger. May it be Jesus.
Listen to Michael W. Smith singing "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" (3 min. 5 sec.). There's a beautiful violin solo for the first 1 min. 30 seconds.
Devotion #40 on September 26, 2008 5:48 am
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Today's devotion is from my personal journal dated May 18, 2007. Have a great day and a wonderful weekend. I'll see you on Monday, Lord willing.
I woke up in pain this morning. I do not like pain! In fact, I dislike even the pain of denying myself food. For many years, I've avoided the tiniest twinge of hunger, because I didn't want to experience any discomfort. It's not just the physical "pain" involved in hunger (true hunger, anyway, although I seldom let myself get to that stage), but it's also the emotional pain that goes with a commitment not to overeat.
I know the physical discomfort will diminish over time, for my stomach will get used to the fact that I'm not going to be stuffing it anymore. What about the emotional discomfort? Will it also dissipate? I don't know. I hope so. I pray so.
The goal is to glorify God in my eating and to break free from the sin of gluttony. My flesh craves. It always has; maybe it always will. When I think of how I've tried to avoid pain, I realize that I've ended up with what I was trying to avoid in the first place: discomfort, aches, and pain, as my body has grown larger and larger.
It is time to live in my body for Christ, and if that means going through discomfort and pain to do so, I should be more than willing. Perhaps, for me, this is the "living out" of dying to self daily, as Paul talks about in I Corinthians 15:31.
There are so many diets out there, and most of them promise that you can lose all the weight you want and not be hungry or have to exercise. Sounds pain-free, but, unfortunately, they don't work or don't work for long. There is no way to lose weight and avoid "the cross" that goes along with it. There is suffering that goes with breaking free from a habit, any habit.
Perhaps this kind of suffering is part of my perfecting process. This process frightens me, because I recognize that I have been stuffing my emotions for years and years. What will I do with them now? In prayer, I felt God was urging me not to run from the pain of crucifying my flesh, but to run to Him, and He will minister to me and guide me through this process.
Today, consider how often you avoid the pain of denying yourself food, by overeating? Are you willing to stop running from the pain of crucifying your flesh daily and run to God? For a believer, the best way to do that is on one's knees.
I don't know the name of the girl singing "On My Knees," but she has a beautiful voice.
Devotion #39 on September 25, 2008 5:29 am
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Today's devotion is from my personal journal dated May 17, 2007. Let me know how God speaks to you.
I read a quote by John Piper today, and it got me thinking. He says, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him."
It reminded me of how, for so long, I didn't feel right unless I felt wrong. "Dissatisfied" was the adjective that hung over me, like a sign, and, I believe, despite all I've been through in my past, it was dissatisfaction that ushered in depression in my life.
Jesus wants me to be passionate about Him. He was certainly passionate about me! He died for me. He lives in me, delights my soul, and stirs me.
I was drawn to the Psalms, to read about delighting in the Lord and praising Him. I love Psalm 16:11, "You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, in Your right hand there are pleasures forever."
I thought of Psalm 37:4, which is a verse I pray for my daughter, Leah, for a godly husband. "Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart." I realize that I've never looked up the Hebrew for the words "delight" and "desires," for Psalm 37:4, so I decided to do that, and, my, how my perspective on this verse broadened!
The Hebrew word for "delight" means "to be soft or pliable." The Hebrew word for "desires" means "requests, desires, petitions." If I want to have a "yes" from God to what I ask, want, or need, all I have to do is be soft and pliable, so God can mold me. That's all I need to do to be a delight to God, also.
I asked the Lord to show me some verses that would give me more information on delighting in Him, because I don't want to miss it! He led me to Job (I know, I was surprised, too) 22:21-26, which says, "Yield
now and be at peace with Him...receive instruction from His mouth
and establish His words in your heart...return to the Almighty...remove unrighteousness far from [you]
...then you will delight in the Almighty and lift up your face to God
Look at the progression to delight:
2) Be at peace with God
3) Receive instruction
4) Establish the Word in your heart
5) Return to God
6) Remove unrighteousness
It all starts with yielding, with being soft and pliable. So often, we try to "remove unrighteousness" in our own power, and it seldom works. If we begin with yielding, the peace comes. If we look to the Word, to receive it, to learn from it, and if we seek the Lord, we'll be able to remove the things from our life that harm us or do not help us, that keep us from having a right standing with God.
With Jesus is fullness of joy, overflowing pleasure, ongoing delight. In thinking about how this relates to a God Gain lifestyle (which I choose to call this journey, rather than a Weight Loss program), in particular with eating, as I continue to "taste" the joy found only in Jesus, I won't go back to the temporary pleasure of overeating.
Today, think of yourself as clay in the Potter's hands. What kind of clay are you? To help you decide, watch the video called "The Clay." It's short, just 2 min. 53 sec., and there's no song, but it's so good, to help you answer the question, "What kind of clay am I?" If you're not happy with the answer, talk to the Potter. He'll help you.
Devotion #38 on September 24, 2008 5:47 am
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I've said, before, that patience is a tough one, for me. I want what I want, and I want it yesterday! However, I'm learning to "let patience have her perfect work" in me. Today's devotion, from my personal journal dated May 16, 2007, speaks of being diligent, and diligence is the sister of patience. While weight loss isn't mentioned specificially, it will be affected by diligence.
This morning, Chris woke me up at 5:00 (so I could get ready to go to early intercessory prayer group), and as I was taking my bath, I began to sing, "He is my everything, He is my all, He is my everything, both great and small. He gave His life for me, made everything new. He is my everything, now how about you? Some folks may ask me, some folks may say, 'Who is this Jesus you talk about everyday?' He is my Savior, He sets me free, This is what I'll tell you, what He means to me: Like honey in the rock, sweet honey in the rock, for He tastes like honey in the rock. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good, for He tastes like honey in the rock."
That old song got me thinking about how Jesus IS my "all." In Him, I really do have everything I need. It reminded me of the verse that talks about how God has given us all things, through His power. I found that verse and read much more, in II Peter 1:3-10.
It's so good, I'm going to quote more of those verses than I normally would. God had much to say to me today! I just love Him!
"His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness
, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue). By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises
, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature.
"For this very reason, adding your diligence
[to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith
to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness
(piety), and in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love.
For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful
unto the [full personal] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)..." [Amplified Version of the Bible]
Just look at that progression of exercising and developing! Just like God's promises, there's a "my part" and a "His part." God says to "add [my] diligence" to His promises. The old lazy "me" wanted the result and manifestation of every promise, without the work. The new "me" says, "I'm ready to be diligent!" I'm ready to be diligent, because I want everything God has for me. I know He will help me do this.
Today, on a scale of 1-10 (low to high), how would you rate your diligence? If it's on the lower end, consider your progression of exercising and developing, to see if there's a quality that needs to be "pumped up" in your life. Remind youself that if Jesus is your all, you have everything you need.
Listen to this sweet couple singing "He Is My Everything."