Help Your Kids to Lose Weight

By Julie Morris –

Here’s a scary statistic: Over one-third of our children are overweight or obese. This number has tripled in the last two decades! Here are some practical ways to help them to lose weight:

When they are teens or older, don’t focus on their weight or what they eat. Instead, focus on yourself as you…
1. Eat in a healthy way and start exercising daily for 30 minutes.
2. Write down what you eat.
3. Get the junk food out of our houses (even if this is unpopular).
4. Cook in a healthy way (even if others don’t like it at first).
5. Encourage family meals almost every night—where you sit down together to eat.
6. Provide lots of green vegetables and fruits so that no one will be hungry.
7. Don’t lecture overweight kids about their weight or preach to them about healthy eating.
8. Journal your feelings and have a daily Quiet Time with the Lord. Don’t hide the fact that you do, but don’t brag about it either.
9. Invite your kids on fun activities that encourage exercise such as hikes in the woods, walks in the park, swimming, skating, golf or bowling. Do other not-so-fun things with them such as gardening, washing the car, parking far away from the store, taking the stairs instead of the escalator, walking briskly in the mall.
10. Pray for your children to have a desire to lose weight and make other healthy lifestyle changes. And pray that as they see you lose weight and feel better, they will want to join you.

When your overweight children are young, you have more control over them, so also do some of these things:
1. Teach them how to read labels and make healthy choices. Whether they’re eating out or at home, make a game of finding food “bargains.”
2. Teach them how to have a brief Quiet Time almost every day. If they can’t write yet, help them to draw pictures of their prayers and Bible verses. Help them also to journal their feelings by drawing pictures of things that upset them.
3. Give them non-food rewards when they do something good. Don’t reward by giving them their favorite foods, punish them by taking favorite foods away or calm them with food.
4. When having family celebrations, focus on the fun of fellowship instead of food.
5. Teach them how to cook in a healthy way, but never put them on a diet or force them to eat something they don’t like.
6. Limit their TV, computer or video-game time. One good rule (but not very popular at first) might be to allow them an hour of TV, computer or video games for each hour they spend doing sports, riding their bikes, or playing outside.
7. Don’t tell them that they can never have sugar or other junk food, but limit it. Supply yummy substitutes instead.
8. If they say that they’re hungry between meals, offer low calorie snacks; for example, small packs of raisins, fruits, baby carrots, individual packages of low-fat cheese and yogurt.
9. Never shame them for overeating, gaining weight or making unhealthy choices. Give them lots of hugs and compliments and let them know that you love them.
10. Don’t focus too much on food, diets and weight. Let healthy eating and exercise be a normal part of every day.

The difference these changes can make in your life and the lives of your children will amaze you! Place checks next to the items that you want to try and start making some changes today!

Adapted from Guided By Him…to a Thinner, Not So Stressed-Out You! by Julie Morris and Sarah Morris Cherry.

Make Level Paths for Your Feet—in the Kitchen!

By Julie Morris –

“That’s lame!”

Evan, my five-year-old grandson, loves to say “That’s lame!” to show his disapproval. He says it when I cut off his favorite cartoon after he’s watched TV too long or when his mom offers him a healthy choice rather than the candy he is asking for. We often hear “That’s lame!” from this precious little guy. Evan knows that being lame is not fun…and so do I. My weakness with food is definitely lame.

In Hebrews 12:13 (NIV), God talks about people who are lame, and tells us what to do if we are one of them: ‘“Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”
I’m normally not lame when I walk, but before I started “making level paths for my feet,” I would often get tripped up when I walked in my kitchen. I would have wonderful intensions in mind, but at certain times, like when I baked cookies or started eating chips out of the bag, I’d stumble over my good intensions and fall into overeating.

But many years ago I learned what I could do to make level paths for my feet so that I could stop all of this lame behavior and be healed of my uncontrollable cravings.

I’m excited to tell you that God’s promise in Hebrews 12:13 is true. I know because I lost my harmful extra pounds 30 years ago (!) by making healthy paths for my feet—especially in the kitchen. And I am no longer disabled by out-of-control blood pressure, fatigue and other incapacitating things my overeating caused.

Here are some things that I do to make level paths for my feet:

1. I pray daily that God will help me to make healthy choices.
2. I use a well-balanced food plan similar to the Food Pyramid.
3. I write down what I eat each day.
4. I meet weekly with my accountability partner Tish, and am honest with her about how I have eaten and exercised, as well as other goals I have decided on.
5. I let go of negative emotions because I know that resentments are fattening, pouting puts pounds on and worries widen hips.
6. I don’t go to the grocery store when I’m starving or stressed.
7. When I’m going to a party or out to dinner late, I eat a light snack so I won’t be too hungry.
8. I limit foods that trigger my cravings because the few seconds of eating are not worth the hours (or days) of cravings that are sure to follow.
9. I seldom bake sweets.
10. I take it one day at a time.

If you are disabled because of overeating, I pray that you will make your own list of things that you can do to make level paths for your feet.

Comment below and I will help you personally to learn what you can do to stop being lame!

Beat the Bah-Humbugs!

By Julie Morris –

Do you have the Bah-Humbugs? Do you even know what it is? “Bah” is an old fashioned word that means that you dislike something, and “Humbug” means that you think that something is a fake.

Do you have a “Bah-Humbug” attitude when people talk about peace and joy at Christmas? Or, do you have the Bah-Humbugs all of the time, not just at Christmas? Do you say things like, “Everyone has it better than me,” “I give up. There’s no hope that things will change”?

If you have the Bah-Hubugs, you’re not alone. Do you know the first guy who had the Bah-Humbugs? It was stingy old Ebenezer Scrooge—the meanest man in London. Charles Dickens wrote the book A Christmas Carol in 1843, and Ebenezer is the main character. You may have read it or seen it on TV.

Ebenezer is a businessman who thinks only of making money. For him Christmas is, humbug—a fake. On Christmas Eve he has a dream about three ghosts. Let’s look at some of the things Ebenezer Scrooge learns from the three ghosts in his nightmare on Christmas Eve.

The Ghost of Christmas Past.

When the Ghost of Christmas Past makes Scrooge look back at his childhood, he sees how much he had been hurt, and he gets angry all over again. It’s true, though, that hurting people hurt people, and that’s what Scrooge had done. Instead of dealing with his hurts, he had carried them with him his whole life. We can learn from Ebenezer and deal with our hurts—forgive those who hurt us–so we don’t have to continue to live in the Bah-Humbugs.

The Ghost of Christmas Present.

When the Ghost of Christmas Present makes Ebenezer look at how others are enjoying their lives even though some of them have many overwhelming problems, Ebenezer is jealous and he wants what they have.

Many of us can understand because we have felt the same way—stuck in the Bah Humbugs because others have it better than we do. But there is something we can do to get rid of those negative thoughts. Replace them with positive ones so can get free of the Bah Humbugs.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come.

After the Ghost of Christmas Present finishes with him, The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come makes him look ahead—at his funeral! It is then that Scrooge realizes how empty and meaningless his life has been and he feels tremendous regret.

Like Scrooge, do you feel regret when you examine your life? If you do, discover the life-changing message that Scrooge learns: joy doesn’t come from having what you want when you want it; it comes from loving and sharing and being thankful. And it comes from overcoming problems with God’s help and then helping others to be overcomers too.

Do you remember how Scrooge feels when he wakes up from his nightmare? He is overcome with relief because he still has time to change! He still has time to have the joyful life he has always wanted—and he beats the Bah-humbugs. Will you?

Finding Joy at Christmas

By Julie Morris –

Philippians 4:4 tells us to rejoice always. Ironically, that’s sometimes hardest to do at Christmas.

God understands this, so in Philippians 4:5-6 (NIV) He gives us steps to take that help us find joy when we’re feeling stressed out, experiencing pain, or grieving a loss during the holidays: “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

#1 Step to Joy “Let your gentleness be evident to all.”

Gentleness doesn’t imply weakness. It means to show kindness and consideration for everyone–even in the midst of frantic Christmas shoppers in the mall or the chaos of holiday traffic.

#2 Step to Joy Remember that “the Lord is near.”

He will help us to find joy if we focus on Him and rely on Him to help us.

#3 Step to Joy “Do not be anxious about anything.”

This doesn’t mean that if we are worried, we need to deny it or be ashamed of it. It means that worry is not in God’s plan for us—and He will help us to let go of our anxious thoughts if we bring our fears to Him.

#4 Step to Joy “In everything, by prayer and petition….”

Petition is a more formal way of communicating. When a petition is presented, it’s always done in writing. This verse encourages us to write down everything that causes us stress and pray about each one.

#5 Step to Joy “Present your requests to God…”

We do this by pouring out our hearts to God—giving Him our requests (not demands).

#6 Step to Joy Present our requests to God… “with thanksgiving.”

We take this step by writing a list of things we have to be thankful for and spending time thanking God for each one.

When we work through the steps to joy in Philippians 4:5-6, we find that we not only begin to experience His joy, but His peace as well.

Every day between now and Christmas—starting today—take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to follow these steps and rejoice in the Lord. If it helps you as much as it has helped me, continue to do this daily in 2012. If you do, I’ll bet that you will find joy during the holidays and throughout the new year, and you’ll be surprised to discover that peace will come along with it too!

Thanksgiving—the Antidote to Stress

March 30, 2020 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Julie Morris –

Stress makes us sick. There’s no doubt about it. When we couple stress and negative emotions with poor nutrition and other unhealthy habits, we have a recipe for sickness and disease. Lots of us are stressed out. In the United States we consume five billion tranquilizers, five billion barbiturates, three billion amphetamines and sixteen tons of aspirin every year

Are you suffering from stress? Want to learn the antidote that I discovered years ago?

It’s thanksgiving! Let me tell you how to give thanks even when you’re all stressed out.

In Isaiah 40, God gives us 6 reasons to thank Him. Go through the 6 P’s, thanking God for each one. By the time you get to the last P, you will feel better. This really works so give it a try!

1. Thank God for His PRESENCE.

God the Father is over us–Isaiah 40:22 NIV “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.”

God the Son is next to us–Isaiah 40:11 NIV “He tends his flock like a shepherd: he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”

God the Holy Spirit is inside of us–Isaiah 40:29 NIV “He gives strength to the weary.”

Thank God that He is with you as you face your stressful circumstances.

2. Thank God for His POWER.

Isaiah 40:10 NIV “See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him.”

“Sovereign” means that God is King of kings and Lord of lords. Everything that happens to us passes through His fingers first. He has all power so thank Him that He has the power to help you.

3. Thank God for His PLAN.

Isaiah 40:13 NIV “Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor.”

God knows what He is doing even if we don’t understand His plan. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV tells us what His plant is: ‘“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

God has good plans for you so thank Him!

4. Thank God for His PURPOSE.

Isaiah 40:5 NIV “And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it.”

No pain is wasted in God’s economy. When we endure trials by relying on the Lord, His glory is revealed in us. That means that our trials can work out to be a good thing. There are advantages of adversity, for example, adversity helps us to…

  • Seek God.
  • Help others.
  • Experience God’s power.
  • Mature in our faith.
  • Be disciplined (not spoiled children).
  • Bring glory to God (when we tell others how He is helping us).

5. Thank God for His PRIZE.

Isaiah 40:10 NIV “See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.”

God will reward us! Sometimes we have to wait until heaven for our reward, but we can be certain that we will receive it!

6. Thank God for His PROMISES.

Isaiah 40:8 NIV “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.”

God’s Word is true. Memorize the promises that encourage you most. Put them on your mirror, refrigerator and the dashboard of your car. Thank God for His promises to you, but be sure not to ignore the commands that come with them! 

I would love to help you to give thanks this Thanksgiving. Comment below if you want personal help.

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