- 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!!!
Life Plan Devotion #241 [Abide in New Clothing] on June 30, 2010 7:02 am
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It's a wonderful Wednesday, here in Kansas...a beautiful, warm, sunny day, with a slight breeze. I wish you could come over. We could sit on my back porch swing, and chat.
Please pray for those having surgery today and those recovering from surgery. I'm praying for each of you, as we have this new day before us.
Life Plan Devotion #241 [Abide in New Clothing]
Philippians 3:9 "[That I, Paul, may] be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith" (NIV).
The word "abide" comes from the Greek word “mĕnō,” and it means "to stay (in a given place, state, relation, or expectancy):--abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for) thine own" (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance). Abiding in Christ, as we learned last time, begins with being in Christ, and that comes from a true salvation experience.
There are many results of abiding in Christ, and today we look at the first one. At the moment of salvation, we are given everything we need, although we may not realize it, and we may not fully appropriate all that we're given. At the moment we say "yes" to Jesus, when we ask for (and receive) the gift of forgiveness of sins, we are clothed in a robe of righteousness.
Paul speaks of two types of righteousness, in Philippians 3:9. One type of righteousness is that which could be earned by keeping the Old Testament law. It was imperfect, in that a human cannot earn true and permanent "right standing with God," which is what the word "righteousness" means. God, in His mercy, set in place animal sacrifice, as a way to have one's sins excused. It was part of the old covenant.
When Christ came, however, He cut the new covenant, with His own blood. Because of that, no longer are our sins merely excused; they are expunged, wiped away, as if they never happened. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). What the law could not do--clothe us in righteousness--the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, once, and for all, accomplished.
Abiding in Christ presents us sinless, before God. That is how He sees us, because He sees us through the Cross, through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The truly saved have shed their tattered rags of self-righteousness, and are clothed in the perfect robe of righteousness.
The challenge is to realize that we're clothed in righteousness, and to allow that to affect our thinking and our actions. It is not a license to sin. No, because to do that which is counter to "right standing with God" tramples the grace of God, and causes much misery. We believers have done that, at one time or another, and we know the sorrow it causes, the pain, until we get things right with the Lord.
That precious robe of righteousness, bought and paid for by Jesus Christ, gives the believer justification (that status of "just as if I'd never sinned"). As we abide in Him, as we stand and continue in His presence, we humbly appreciate and treasure our new clothing, our robe of righteousness, gifted to us through faith.
What this has to do with weight loss: When a believer meditates on their state of "right standing with God," even before sitting down to a meal, there will be a strong sense of "fullness." When the spirit is satiated, it does not take much for the body to reach satiety, as well. Try it, and you will see it is so.
Prayer for Today:
"Heavenly Father, I am humbled by Your gift of righteousness, through faith in Your Son, Jesus Christ. I often close my eyes and think about that moment when my tattered rags of self-righteousness and sin disappeared, as You clothed me in a new robe of righteousness. I think of how that cold feeling of sin and despair was replaced by a warm feeling of perfection and forgiveness. It felt so right. For the first time, I felt truly good, whole and well. In You, I have everything I need and all that I want. There are no words to thank You for what You have done for me, for what You continue to do for me. May I show my thanks by wearing the robe of righteousness well, so that others will see Jesus in me. That will happen, as I continue to abide in You. It's the right place to be. Amen."
Life Plan Devotion #240 [Abide in New Life] on June 29, 2010 6:26 am
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I'm excited about the new theme for the Life Plan Devotion. It feels a bit overwhelming, but it always does, mainly because I know that, on my own, I cannot write, but that only makes me realize all the more that this is God's project, and He is faithful. He will give me each day's writing. Please join me by praying for me, that I will listen carefully to His voice, and join by reading and responding to each devotion, if you're willing.
Let's pray for those having surgery today, as well as those recovering from surgery, and please pray for those who cannot see themselves in today's devotion, as they decide whether or not to find new life, in which to abide.
Have a terrific Tuesday, everyone.
Life Plan Devotion #240 [Abide in New Life]
II Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (NIV).
In praying about the next step to take in the Life Plan Devotion, the next verse or theme, the Lord spoke three words, "Abide in Me." I believe that the Lord would have us to consider what it means to abide in Christ. What does that look like? How will you know if you are abiding in Him?
Webster's defines "abide" in 7 ways, as quoted below:
--v.i. (intransitive verb)
1. to remain; continue; stay: Abide with me.
2. to have one's abode; dwell; reside.
3. to continue in a particular condition; last; endure.
--v.t. (transitive verb)
4. to put up with; tolerate; stand: I can't abide dishonesty!
5. to endure or withstand without yielding: to abide a vigorous onslaught.
6. to wait for; await: to abide the coming of the Lord.
7. to accept without opposition or question: to abide the verdict of the judge.
If one desires to abide in Christ, it cannot happen unless one is "in Christ." There must be a true salvation experience, and nothing less (not any ritual--like dedication, baptism, confirmation, or partaking of communion, etc.) will do.
I had attended church for many years, but I did not have a personal encounter with Christ until July 13, 1969, at the age of thirteen. Before that, I had head knowledge of Christianity; after that, I had heart knowledge of Christ. There is a big difference between the two.
The moment I said "yes" to Jesus, I became a "new creation," but it took many years for me to truly understand what that meant. The "old" was "gone," but not forgotten. Like many believers, I found myself clinging to the "old," and, eventually, I experienced the battle that is waged within when the "old" is not allowed to leave.
The "new" was amazing, though. I felt different. I saw the world differently. I had an instant love for people--all people. I saw the Creator in His creation, and all of it looked so beautiful and vibrant. It took my breath away. He took my breath away. It was the beginning of abiding, of new life in Christ.
What this has to do with weight loss: Having an unhealthy lifestyle, living in an obese body, is a result of not abiding in Christ, of not recognizing that "you are not your own; you were bought at a price" (I Corinthians 6:19c-20a). Whatever you keep from Him will deteriorate, because He is life. When you realize that Jesus paid the price for your body, and you invite Him to move in, to abide in that area of your life, you will submit to the command, "Therefore honor God with your body" (I Corinthians 6:20b). You submit, and God will do the rest, helping you to honor Him in your body.
Prayer for Today:
"Heavenly Father, when I accepted Jesus as my Savior, You gave me new life. I have not always submitted to that new life, and where I have not done so, what a mess it has turned out to be! I desire to abide in You, to learn what that means, and to learn what that means for me. Show me any area of my life (my mind, my will, my emotions, and my body) where I am not truly abiding, and help me to understand what I need to do to get to the place where new life is invited in, where, with Your help, I honor You with my mind, will, emotions, and body. I pray in Jesus' Name, and with anticipatory joy in truly abiding. Amen."
Life Plan Devotion #239 [And Grace Will Lead] on June 28, 2010 6:09 am
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Today, we complete the miniseries on grace. As I finished the prayer at the end, saved the devotion, and waited for it to print, I thought that if the Life Plan Devotion ever gets published, as a yearly devotional book for those on the weight-loss journey, I'd put the series on grace at the end of the book, because it would make a great ending. What do you think? It doesn't matter if it gets published or not. I've had a blast bringing it to you, my OH friends.
Let's pray for those having surgery today and those recovering from surgery. Please pray for me, as I seek God's direction on where we should go from here, with the Life Plan Devotion. It's always a bit nerve wracking, but fun, to wait on the Lord, to hear His voice, to receive His guidance. This is His project, and He is faithful.
Have a marvelous Monday.
Life Plan Devotion #239 [And Grace Will Lead]
II Timothy 2:1 "You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus" (NIV).
Grace, the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God, is seen in the gifts of salvation, godly instruction, and divine strength. Grace is what brought Jesus to us, and it is grace that helps us to follow Him. Grace is available, to help the believer be transformed rather than conformed, and grace can make the difference between a life overpowered by weakness and a life empowered by Jesus Christ. It is by grace, found in Jesus, that gives the believer, who receives, the strength to handle whatever comes his/her way.
At my age, I have more years behind me than ahead of me. There is peace in admitting that, and that peace comes from knowing Jesus, from being confident in my salvation, and years of experience that has taught me that nothing is a surprise to the Father, and I am never alone. It reminds me of the old song that says, "The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows. The more that I love Him, more love He bestows. Each day is like Heaven, my heart overflows. The longer I serve Him, the sweeter He grows" (The Longer I Serve Him, by William J. Gaither, 1965).
It is getting more difficult to live as a believer. It is politically incorrect to bash a religion...except Christianity, that is. Just a few days ago, I received the latest issue of a magazine that keeps believers updated on the latest imprisonment of Christians or even the most recent story of martyrdom, around the world. Since the early church, believers have been thrown to the lions, literally and figuratively. What do we do? We must remain strong, strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
The grace that is found in an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ is what will give each of us strength. It is that grace that enables each believer to rise and greet the day with confidence, knowing that whatever comes, the Lord will enable and empower. Spending the first few moments of every day with Jesus is like drinking Living Water, and reading God's Word is like partaking of the Bread of Life. There is absolutely nothing that compares with walking the way with the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God and Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
The Bible has much to say about the end times, and it appears that we are in it. I don't know if I will live long enough to see Jesus split the sky wide open and return for His children, but I sure would love to. I long to hear that trumpet sound and the Hallelujah call. Life has given me some difficult moments; I'm sure you can say the same, but one day, "It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus. Life's trials will seem so small, when we see Christ. One glimpse of His dear face, all sorrows will erase, so bravely run the race, 'til we see Christ" (When We See Christ, by Esther Kerr Rusthoi). Until then, I echo the last words of the Bible, Revelation 22:21, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."
What this has to do with weight loss: When a believer turns to the Lord for help on his/her weight-loss journey and then gives God all the glory for his/her weight loss, there will be those who mock and ridicule. It takes courage to bear the jeers, but that courage can be found in grace. Who cares what anyone thinks, anyway. The only opinion that really matters is God's, and if you are looking to Him and living for Him, even with your body, He is pleased. Walk the weight-loss way with courage, strength, confidence, and grace.
Prayer for Today:
"Heavenly Father, how precious it is to walk this day with You, to know that You have all the grace I need, the courage I need, the fortitude, the love, the provision--everything. No matter what may come my way today, I know that You are with me. I pray that I will be faithful, like You; loving, like You; and empowered, like You. Thank You for Your grace that has brought me safe this far, and I know that Your grace will lead me Home. I love You, Lord, and I love your awesome, abundant, amazing grace. Amen."
Take a final listen to our theme song, Were It Not For Grace, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-X7FoXIuu4&feature=related and then the wonderful old hymn Amazing Grace, written by John Newton, who ran a slave trade ship until he found Jesus, here sung by 10-year-old Melissa, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkiGDUfizb0&feature=related.
Life Plan Devotion #238 [All-sufficient Grace] on June 28, 2010 6:06 am
Somehow, I forgot to post this on my blog, so here it is. :)
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Post Date: 6/24/10 5:01 am
I didn't post yesterday, but I'm not sure anyone noticed. ;) Maybe your week has been as busy as mine, although yesterday I didn't post because I was busy. I didn't post because I spent the day resting from the previous very busy days, as well as meditating on today's verse and studying the Greek meanings of the main words in today's key verse. I love to do word studies. It's the best way to make sure that we're thinking on God's Word in the correct way.
Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will post the Flashback Friday Devotion, and on Monday, we'll have our final devotion on the topic of grace (unless the Lord directs otherwise). Please pray that I will listen carefully to where He'd like for us to go, next.
Let's pray for all those having surgery today, as well as all those recovering from surgery, that God's grace will manifest in a miracle in their body and life.
Life Plan Devotion #238 [All-Sufficient Grace]
II Corinthians 12:9 "And [the Lord] said to [Paul], 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me" (NKJV).
Grace, the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God, is seen in the gifts of salvation, godly instruction, and divine strength. Grace is what brought Jesus to us, and it is grace that helps us to follow Him. Grace is available, to help the believer to be transformed rather than conformed, and grace can make the difference between a life overpowered by weakness and a life empowered by Jesus Christ.
Being a believer does not come with a guarantee of a life free of care. However, we are not meant to be buried by care, weakness of any kind, or sickness. A believer can call on God's grace to sustain him/her while experiencing those difficult times, but God does not desire that we settle for that. I know this because the Word says that "in all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us" (Romans 8:37). "All" meansall. If a "thing" is conquering you, rather than you conquering it, you are living a "less than" life.
If you realize you are living a "less than" kind of life, because you are experiencing a care, weakness, or sickness that has not gone away, and doesn't look like it ever will, I want you to know that God's "grace is sufficient for you." The Greek word for "sufficient" is pronounced "ar-keh'-o," and it is "the idea of raising a barrier, to ward off, and to avail." It can mean "to be content," but there is much more power in the former meanings than the latter, and it is that power that Paul brings up and that we should appropriate, by grace.
In II Corinthians 12:9, the Lord says to Paul, and to us, that His "strength is made perfect in weakness." The Greek word for "strength" is "dunamis," and it means "special miraculous power (usually by implication a miracle itself), ability, abundance, meaning, might (mightily, mighty, mighty deed), (worker of) miracle(s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work" (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance). That tells me that God desires to fill us with such power and strength that not only will we prevail over whatever is going on in our life and/or body, but we can be used of God to share miracles with others, because of that power.
That's what happened to Paul. Every time Paul's "thorn in the flesh," which he called "a messenger of Satan sent to buffet [him]" came around to torment him, he experienced Christ's power (II Corinthians 12:7-9). We know that Paul used that power to share miracles with others, for Acts 19:11-12 says that "God did extraordinary miracles through Paul. Handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them" (NIV).
Let's look at the Amplified Version of II Corinthians 12:9, where the Greek definitions are added, for greater understanding. "But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!"
Whatever care, weakness, or sickness you may be experiencing, God is behind it only if you're experiencing great God power, too. Anything less, and it's a "messenger of Satan," something you're not meant to put up with. Call on God's grace, and then take, receive, and appropriate that grace to receive your miracle, so that God can use you to share a miracle in the life of someone else.
What this has to do with weight loss: Too often, we who are on the weight-loss journey try to prevail under our own power. That's why we struggle, for if Jesus, the very Son of God said, "By myself I can do nothing" (John 5:30), what makes us think we can do this by ourselves, on our own power. Ask for, receive, and appropriate God's grace and power, to help you prevail on your weight-loss journey.
Prayer for Today:
"Heavenly Father, for too long I have settled for a 'less than' kind of life, but no more! I don't want anything less than what You have for me. I want Your miraculous power to work in me and through me, and I'm not going to settle for less. Humbly, I ask for Your grace to come to me. I know it is a free gift of love from You, so, in prayer, right now, I reach out and take that gift of grace. I receive it into my mind and heart, so that my mind and heart can be 'made perfect' and every care be healed. I receive it into my body, so that my body can be 'made perfect' and every weakness and sickness be healed. Thank You for performing a miracle in me. I will look for the evidence of that miracle, in Your timing. Thank You for the power of Your Word and Your grace, that does for me what I cannot do for myself. I 'boast' in that; I 'boast' in You. Use me to share a miracle in the life of someone else, I pray. In Jesus' Name. Amen."
Flashback Friday Devotion #56 [Strength] on June 25, 2010 7:14 am
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Today's devotion is from my personal journal dated June 3, 2007. May it strengthen you. Lord willing, the Life Plan Devotion will return on Monday. Have a great weekend, and do spend time with the Lord and in fellowship with other believers.
Flashback Friday Devotion #56 [Strength]
Early this morning, I sat down at my desk. I looked over at the picture of my mother hugging me. She moved to Heaven on November 9, 2001, and I miss her. The picture sits on a base that contains a recording of my mom reciting her favorite verse, Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (NKJV).
I reached over, pressed the button on the base of the picture, closed my eyes, and soaked in my mother's sweet voice. My mom knew the Lord's strength, and, as such, she was able to encourage and strengthen others. How we all need His strength.
When my precious pastor used this same verse, Philippians 4:13, in his sermon this morning, I knew this was what the Lord wanted me to focus on today.
I like the Amplified Version of Philippians 4:13, which says, "I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency]." Isn't that awesome!
Everyday, there are battles, yet "God has girded me with strength to battle" (II Samuel 22:40). When I am so weary I can hardly stand, I know that if I "wait upon the Lord, He will renew [my] strength; [I] will mount up with wings as eagles; [I] will run and not be weary; and [I] will walk and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31). God says to me, "I am with you...I will strengthen you...I will help you;...I will uphold you" (Isaiah 41:10).
Even in the body of Christ (the true church), there can be times of weariness. The Word says that "the people who know their God will be strong and do exploits" (Daniel 11:21). I want that for my church!
God loves me [and you], unconditionally. He encourages me, by telling me that I am "more than a conqueror, through Christ." When I am weary, He tells me to "Come," so He can give me rest. Whatever I am facing, whatever is to come, I have strength for it all, through Christ Who strengthens me, Who empowers me. He will enable me, if I let Him. Yes, there is strength for the journey.
When I weighed today and had stayed the same for the week, I refused to be discouraged. God has a plan for me, and it is good. I leave the results and timing up to Him. He has called me to honor Him in my body, and whenever He calls, He also enables.
Today, wherever you are on your journey (weight-loss journey or life journey), remind yourself that you are "ready for anything and equal to anything" and you are "self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency."
Listen to Selah singing "You Raise Me Up." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lK8KLDgoCA&feature=related