- 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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Before & After
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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 #249 [My Restoration, part I] on July 15, 2010 6:43 am
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I hope you're enjoying this mini-devotional series on the 23rd Psalm. I know I am. If you miss any devotions, remember that they are saved on my profile blog.
In thinking about the first part of verse 3, I decided it would be helpful to take 2 days to look at it, so that's what we'll do. Today is part one, and part two will be in Monday's Life Plan Devotion. Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will post the Flashback Friday Devotion.
Please pray for those having surgery today, as well as those recovering from surgery, and pray for any who read today's devotion and realize that they're in it (see devotion).
Life Plan Devotion #249 [My Restoration, part I]
Psalm 23:3a “He restores my soul” (NIV).
Sheep are apt to wander. They do not understand the danger, but the shepherd knows that a lost sheep is in grave danger. It is the same for the person who is away from the Good Shepherd, for whatever reason.
Today, let's look at the first type of lost sheep, the person who has not yet given his/her heart to Jesus. Isaiah 59:5 gives an accurate picture of those who live as lost. “Justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.” The lost may try to convince themselves and others that their life is full, but in the depths of their soul, they know that there is something missing. That something is Jesus.
God loves each person, whether or not he/she has accepted Jesus as Savior. It was that great love that sent Jesus to us, that caused Him to be willing to sacrifice His life on the cross, to take our punishment for sins. The gift has been given, but each person must make the choice to receive that gift of forgiveness and salvation. Because we were created with the will to choose, God will not go back on His word and force us to choose. He will, however, pursue the lost with great compassion.
In Luke 15:3-7, Jesus tells the parable (story) of one sheep who wanders from the fold. Because 100 sheep would be large enough to have at least 2 shepherds, one shepherd will leave, to search for the lost sheep, knowing that the rest are safe. Each sheep is valuable to the shepherd, and that is how precious each lost sheep is to the Good Shepherd.
Why would Jesus endure crucifixion? I Peter 2:24-25 gives the purpose and the hoped-for result. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (NIV).
Have you allowed the Lord to restore your soul? Have you given your heart to Him? If not, why not? What is holding you back? The Hebrew meaning for “restore” is “to turn back.” Turn back to your Creator, God, and the Lover of your soul, Jesus. Open up your heart to Him, ask for forgiveness of all the wrong that you've thought, said, done. Ask Him to be the Lord of your life. Forgiveness and restoration of your soul will be immediate, and Lordship will be gradual. Your life will never be the same. For the first time, you will feel absolutely restored, complete, whole, and happy.
What this has to do with weight loss: What caused you to decide that something had to be done? How did you come to realize that your life had become unmanageable? How did you feel, down deep in your heart? You felt lost, I imagine. I know I did. I was weighted down with pounds of pain, and the pain was both literal and figurative. It felt similar to life before salvation, so I went to my Savior and asked Him to save me once again...to save my body from the destruction that I was causing. He did just that—through renewing my mind, healing my heart, and healing my body through opening the door to WLS, providing a plan of eating, and helping me to exercise my body. I could not do this without Him, and I encourage you to include Him in your weight-loss journey, as well.
Prayer for Today:
“Heavenly Father, I once was that one lost sheep, but You found me, and I let myself be found. Thank You for pursuing me, for not giving up on me. Never once will I regret praying, 'Lord, I'm a sinner. I'm sorry for all I've done wrong. Forgive me. I know You died on the cross for me. Come in to my heart, to live in me. I give my life to You, because You gave Your life for me.' Every day, Lord, I am grateful for Your gift of salvation, for the fact that I am no longer lost, no longer wandering aimlessly, no longer in darkness, no longer in grave danger, headed for an eternity apart from You. I love You, and I pray for all those who have yet to be willing to be found, that they will say 'yes' to You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.”
Life Plan Devotion #248 [My R & R] on July 14, 2010 5:57 am
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Wonderful Wednesday is upon us! The week is half over, and Friday will be here, before you know it. Hang in there. :)
Please pray for all those having surgery today, including my dear friend, Rose (not WLS, though), and all those recovering from surgery. Let's pray for all who need to find some R & R (see devotion).
Have a blessed day, and thank you for reading the Life Plan Devotion.
Blessings Without Number,
Life Plan Devotion #248 [My R & R]
Psalm 23:2 “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,” (NIV).
Around noon, every day, the shepherd leads his sheep to the best place for rest and refreshment...green grass to lie in and eat, and water to drink. He is particular about choosing the best for his sheep. He uses his staff to loosen rocks, lifts and places them in the running water, and creates a dam, so that the water becomes still and quiet. He knows that his sheep will be too frightened to drink there, otherwise. Our Good Shepherd does the same thing, and He desires that we get alone with Him, to rest, to partake of His Word, and drink in His Holy Spirit (John 4:14), in prayer.
God's people are busy...sometimes too busy. We can become anxious, bothered, and full of care. Our Heavenly Father will lead us to rest and refreshment. Why? Because He is Jehovah-Shalom, “God my Peace” (Hebrew name for God). His peace is wholeness, where nothing is missing, nothing is broken.
Are you in need of some R & R today? Find calmness, tranquility, peace, and nourishment in the Lord. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Rejoice in the Lord, knowing that He is near (Philippians 4:4), and “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV).
What this has to do with weight loss: What weight-loss journey burdens are you trying to carry today? You are not meant to carry them alone. Go to the Burden Bearer, tell Him all about your troubles and concerns, ask for His help, and then lay those burdens down. Go about your day, knowing that the Lord is helping you find answers and put solutions into practice, in your life and body.
Prayer for Today:
“Heavenly Father, sometimes I find myself in a hard place, where the road is rocky and I feel parched and famished. During those times, help me to remember that I don't have to stay there, that I can run to You, for rest and refreshment. I pray that I will avail myself of the milk and meat of Your Word, and the water and wealth of Your Holy Spirit, through prayer and communion with You. I know that I can get busy...too busy...even when serving You, in ministering to others, but I know I must take time to get away, to rest my body, mind, and heart. Help me to know when I need to do that, without apology. Thank You for the precious peace that only You, Jehovah-Shalom, can give. I pray in the Name of Jesus, who bids me 'Come...and...rest.' Amen.”
Life Plan Devotion #247 [My Provision] on July 13, 2010 6:16 am
Today is my birthday...my spiritual birthday. 41 years ago today, I gave my heart to Jesus. What a wonderful journey it has been. I love Him more today than ever, and He has never failed me. Even the few times my prayers got a "no" from Him, I have known that He knows best, and quite a few of those "no" answers have caused me to see, later on, that it was definitely the best answer. There have been many "yes" answers, and there are still some "not yet" answers. It's all been amazing. I wish I could say that I've been the best believer God's ever had, but I know I'm not. I can honestly say, though, that "He who knows me best loves me most." That's because of His amazing grace. :)
Please pray for all those having surgery today, as well as those recovering from surgery. There are some Life Plan Devotion readers who are facing surgery very soon--like Rhonda and Rose. One is for WLS, the other is for a different surgery. Thank you for praying.
Life Plan Devotion #247 [My Provision]
Psalm 23:1 “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing” (NIV).
At the end of a long day of shepherding his flock, the shepherd stands at the entrance to the fold, and as each sheep passes by, he inspects it. If there is anything that needs tending, with each sheep, he takes care of it. Our Good Shepherd does the same thing, and He desires that we come to Him with our needs. Why? Because He is Jehovah-Jireh, “the LORD my Provider” (Hebrew name for God).
We know that God wants to meet all our needs, because we are taught to pray, in the Lord's Prayer, “Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11, NIV). Provision is promised to the believer. Philippians 4:19 says, “My God will meet all your needs, according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (NIV).
What is your need today? Whether your need is spiritual, physical, emotional, or financial, go to your Provider, and ask Him to meet your need. Be specific. Be sure to listen to Him, because He may need for you to allow Him to tend to something else that's lacking in your life (forgiveness, etc.), and that may need to be taken care of first. God is faithful and worthy of your trust. Allow Him to be Jehovah-Jireh, in your heart and life.
What this has to do with weight loss: Many on the weight-loss journey will go to anything and anyone, for relief of excess weight (or any other weight-related issue), before even thinking of going to God. As Creator, He knows you better than you know yourself. Go to Him with your every weight-loss journey need, and ask Him to help you. He will. Be sure to listen, for He may need you to do something first, and your obedience will be an important part of His providing.
Prayer for Today:
“Heavenly Father, You are truly Jehovah-Jireh, my Provider. I have seen You take care of my daily needs and even some of my wants. Thank You. I do not fear lack, no matter the economy, no matter what, because Your provision is certain, as I line myself up with Your Word. Lord, I don't want anything to get in the way of my needs getting met, so I come to You daily, to ask if there is anything in my heart and life that needs tending. Thank You, for Your faithfulness to inspect me. Help me to mend a wounded heart today, so that my heart may be mended. Help me to forgive, so that I may be forgiven. Help me to love, so that I may be loved by others. Help me to give, so that I may receive. I pray, in Jesus' Name. Amen.”
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Life Plan Devotion #246 [My Shepherd] on July 12, 2010 6:05 am
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I trust you had a great weekend. My older son and his family were here for a youth group reunion. It's so nice that many in the group desire to stay in touch.
I'm so excited about our new mini-devotional series, on the 23rd Psalm. I'm old enough to remember when, in school, we'd say The Pledge of Allegiance and either prayed The Lord's Prayer or recited the 23rd Psalm. That was before the Welcome (God) Mat was removed. Even so, most people, even unbelievers, can recite Psalm 23. However, I think the words have become so familiar that they have lost their preciousness. It is my prayer that our hearts will spark in fresh love for our Shepherd, as we read and meditate on each verse in the 23rd Psalm. I hope you won't want to miss a day!
Please pray for those having surgery today and those recovering from surgery. Pray for all those who read (or will read) the Life Plan Devotion, and for me as I seek the Lord daily for its content.
Life Plan Devotion #246 [My Shepherd]
Psalm 23:1a “The LORD is my shepherd...” [KJV]
One of my earliest memories is that of a painting that hung in my grandparents' home, calledThe Good Shepherd. It was a depiction of Jesus, carrying a lamb. I identified with that lamb, and I have always felt carried by Jesus, even before I gave my heart to Him. As a believer, though, I have found Him to be even more precious, as we have developed our relationship, Shepherd to sheep. How wonderful, to be able to say that He is my Shepherd.
In the Hebrew language, one of the names for God is Jehovah-Rohi, “God my Shepherd.” In John 10:11, Jesus calls Himself “the good shepherd.” Those of biblical days understood the role and purpose of a shepherd, and the role and purpose of a sheep, and many had firsthand knowledge of the relationship between the two. While we are distant from that, a part of every human understands, or at least longs for Someone to lead, guide, care for and intimately know him/her.
When a lamb is born, the shepherd warms it with his hands and soothes it with his voice. For the first few days, until a lamb is able to walk, the shepherd carries it in his arms or on his shoulders. They bond. What a beautiful picture of the tender loving care of our Good Shepherd, who tends to every young believer in Christ. Just as the shepherd knew each of his sheep, from birth to death, so the Father knows each of His sheep, from the foundations of the world to death and throughout all eternity. It is the epitome of feeling “at home.”
What this has to do with weight loss: Ask God to reveal Himself to you, not only as your Shepherd, but also as your Guide on your personal weight-loss journey. Make Him a part of it. Consult Him as you would your doctor, nutritionist, and exercise physiologist. He is omniscient (all-knowing) and omnipotent (all-powerful), and He cares.
Prayer for Today:
“Heavenly Father, You are my Shepherd, and I am one of Your sheep. I know this, but I want to know You better, more intimately. I desire to take our relationship to a deeper level. As I read and meditate on each verse of the 23rd Psalm, in the next few days, may I see You in new ways. Develop in me a heart after You, God, just as You did for the psalmist, David. Help me to see Jesus as my Good Shepherd, who walks with me day by day. It is only when I commune with You (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) that I feel at Home. I pray all this in the Name of the LORD, my Shepherd. Amen.”
Flashback Friday Devotion #58 [Three Steps] on July 9, 2010 7:06 am
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TGIF! Today God Is First! :)
Let's pray for all those having surgery today, as well as those recovering from surgery. Pray for those who need to take the next step (see devotion).
Have a great weekend. Lord willing, I'll be back on Monday with a new mini-devotional series in the Life Plan Devotion. I'm excited, apprehensive, and feel inadequate (I am, but God isn't), so I appreciate your prayers.
Today's devotion is from my personal journal dated June 5, 2007. The journal entries chronicle the 60-day journey the Lord and I went on, which led the way to some weight loss, WLS, and impacts me, still, today.
Flashback Friday Devotion #58 [Three Steps]
Do you have a favorite verse that you've memorized, but then, one day, you looked it up, read a verse or two above it, and realized there was so much more there than you thought? That happened to me today, when I read Psalm 37:3-4.
Psalm 37:3-4 reads, "Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart" (Amplified).
The word "also" in verse 4 caused me look up the verse, as it told me that there was something else that came before, some other requirement(s) or step(s). Step One: Trust. Step Two: Do good. Step Three: Delight.
Those two verses say it all! If I trust in the Lord, if I lean on Him, rely on Him, and be confident in Him, and if I "do good" (do what I know I should be doing, in all areas of life), I WILL dwell in my promised land, and He will feed me with His faithfulness. He will be my delight, and He will bless me with every desire that I have, even the secret petitions that only He knows I have in my heart.
Delighting my soul in the Lord is worship, pure and simple. It's focusing on Him, it's kneeling before Him or sitting at His feet, it's offering all I am to Him, and it's enjoying Him. It's rejoicing my heart in Him, it's yearning for Him, it's thinking about Him, it's talking to Him, it's listening for His still small voice, it's running to Him.
It is amazing to me that I can slim my body by fattening my soul! I no longer try to find satisfaction in food, other than to enjoy it as the gift God intended it to be and nourishment for my physical body
. Now, I find ultimate spiritual food in God's Word and in His presence.
God knew that one of the desires of my heart is to lose weight and be a living testimony of His Grace. I am finding that as there is more of Jesus, there is less of me. What a delight!
Today, evaluate how you're doing with the 3 Steps to Life (Trusting, Doing that which is good, and Delighting in the Lord). Take time to worship, today.
Listen to Chris Tomlin sing "Made to Worship," a song he wrote for the national "Called to Love" youth conference. This song answers the age-old question, "Why am I here?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9taG2SSp8k