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Posts tagged ‘Health’

What’s God’s Purpose for You in 2014?.

What are your life goals for the New Year?
What are your life goals for the New Year? (IStock photo)

New Year’s Day is a good time to do something most of us never do—set some goals. Most of the time we call them “New Year’s Resolutions” and we abandon them within a few weeks. Yet I believe God wants us to do more than that. We must determine God’s purpose for our life and for this New Year.

I’ve done this for nearly four decades by setting long-range and short-range goals. Maybe you can learn from my experience in writing goals and letting God use that to set priorities and to accomplish more than you would without them.

Most people spend more time planning their annual vacations than they do planning their lives. My observation is that even most believers drift along in life with no clear direction. It’s been documented that the people who actually write down and work on the goals they set are the most successful in life. I believe they are usually the happiest too, because they have a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Myles Munroe believes that God wants us to become people who have plans. He believes that plans are documented imagination. If we can document an imagination, we’ve developed a plan for action.

“If you are having real problems in your life, you probably don’t have a piece of paper on which you have documented your plans for the next five years,” he says. “You’re just living from day to day in the absence of a concrete, documented plan. You’ve been dealing with the same issues and habits and struggles for years. You slide forward a little only to slide backward again. Whenever things get hard, you start reminiscing about ‘the good old days’ and fall back into habits you had conquered. Progress requires a plan of action. Ideas must be put down if they are to influence the way you live.”

It’s important to know how to set goals.

Are your goals written down? Do other people know about them? Does your spouse? Do your friends?

Begin with general goals. I set written goals every week. In the “notes” portion of my iPhone, I have goals for the year—spiritual, family, physical, professional.

Break your general goals down into specific daily tasks. Mine are written in my iPhone so that I have them with me wherever I go. Each month I make the general goals specific and break them down to daily tasks. I probably only finish 80 percent of them because as I complete them, I set more.

The times I get away from fulfilling my goals are the times when I drift. Goals give me a sense of direction, boundaries and priorities.

Set some life goals. I like to talk with people about theirs. One of my favorite ways to relax is to get a bite to eat with a friend and ask them about their goals. I might ask how much money they want to make in five years, or what career path they want to take. I’ll ask what they want people to say in their obituary.

Most people have an opinion about these things, but few actually have a plan.

Establish a personal mission statement. Many people go through a difficult mid-life period, which may rob them of goals or make them feel as if what they have achieved is ephemeral. Patrick Morley, author ofThe Man in the Mirror, says that midlife is like a lake.

“Early in our lives we run swift like a river, but shallow. As we put years behind us, though, we deepen. Then one day, we enter the opened jaws of midlife,” Morley says.  “Where once we felt direction and velocity, suddenly we find ourselves swirling about, sometimes aimlessly, or so it seems. Each of us, like individual droplets of water, will take a different path through this part of the journey. For some of us it will only be a slowdown. Others will feel forgotten and abandoned by the father of the river. Some, unable to see where the waters converge and on again grow strong, will despair.”

Morley’s crisis started at 36. He says that it can occur well into your mid-50s.  (Remember, in our diverse culture there is no singular mid-life experience anymore).  “You come to a point that you feel somehow imbalanced—like something is missing,” he says, “like it’s not enough. All the years of pressure deadlines have taken a toll. You have discovered a vacuum in your soul for meaning, beauty, and quiet.”

He recommends writing a life mission statement that includes four elements:

1.  A life purpose: Why you exist

2.  A calling: What you do

3.  A vision or mental picture of what you want to happen

4.  A mission:  How you will go about it

Morley takes us full cycle through the birth of one vision, the implementing of that vision, the setting of goals to attain it, the commitment to a personal mission statement and on to the birth of a new vision that is greater than the first.

“A new vision must spring up from a foundation of gratitude for what God has already done to use us and make us useful,” Morley says. “The motivation cannot merely be wanderlust; not more for the sake of more. Rather, one chapter has closed and another beckons to be opened. A vision is a goal—a big one. Visions are not the work of today or tomorrow or even next month. Rather, a vision has a longer term.”

He reminds us that visions rarely turn out exactly as planned. The apostle Paul had the vision of going to Jerusalem and then to Rome. He didn’t consider that he would make those visits as a prisoner, but that’s how it came about. Often, God must delay the fulfilling of a vision or desire until He has prepared us to be people who can handle it with grace and humility. It is not God’s nature to give us greater visions and accomplishments if they work to our destruction. Instead, God allows us to be hammered into the shape of a vessel that can gracefully contain the vision.

What God-inspired goals do you have for your life? Are you a scientist or doctor who can set a goal of finding a cure for a disease? Are you an entrepreneur who can pledge to give several million dollars to a credible missions organization? Are you a board member or pastor who can start a program for the poor in your city, or network churches to meet the need?

What would do you if there were no boundaries on your imagination or budget?

If you haven’t had big goals and dreams before now, I pray you will learn to set goals for 2014 and give them deadlines. Keep in mind that when you stand before the Lord, He will hold you accountable for the talents, resources and dreams He bestowed upon you. You stand to lose nothing by going for God’s highest plan for you. On the day when He says to you, “Well done, you good and faithful servant,” you will know that you attempted and accomplished much for your Savior.

Please leave your comments. Do you agree with me? Did I motivate you to set some goals? What is a goal you achieved because you wrote it down? What are the biggest things you hope to accomplish in 2014?.

Steve Strang is the founder and publisher of Charisma. Follow him on Twitter at @sstrang or Facebook(stephenestrang).

Israel Will Pay for Some Elective Abortions.

Israel will pay for elective abortions starting next year for all women ages 20 to 33 — and could ultimately extend the age limit, making coverage universal, Haaretz reported Monday.

The Israeli newspaper said the proposal came from a committee that determines what medicines and medical technologies will be added to a so-called “health basket” for 2014.

Until now, subsidized abortions for women of all ages were available only in medical emergencies or in cases of rape and sexual abuse; women under 20 or over 40 were also eligible even if the reason was personal, the newspaper noted.

The proposal must be approved by the country’s Health Ministry, and then by its cabinet. Even if approved, women would still have to go before a state committee before terminating a pregnancy, the newspaper reported.

According to Haaretz, the new rule would allow state-funded abortions for an additional 6,300 women next year, at a cost of about $4.6 million.

“It was brought to our attention that there is a large group of women between 20 and 40 who for various reasons – financial or reasons of secrecy – do not terminate pregnancies,” health committee head Jonathan Halevy said, the newspaper reported.

“In the current [health] basket we’ve approved funding for pregnancy termination for women in the 20-to-33 age group, with the intention of completing the process . . . and raising the age to 40.”

Contraceptives are not paid for by the government because “when we’re talking about financing for the entire population, that’s a hefty sum,” Halevy said.

Although ending a pregnancy is technically illegal in Israel, punishable by up to five years in prison, there are several exceptions under which abortion is permitted.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Cathy Burke

6 Ways Your Marriage Can Thrive in a Busy Season.

Man and wife
Does busyness pull you and your spouse apart or make you closer?

I’ve come to the conclusion that more often than not, we find ourselves in a busy season of life. There is always a new assignment at work, another child’s dance recital to attend, another book to read, a new trip to take, another practice to drive the kids to, another meal to cook, another day of yard work, and now Christmas. The list goes on and on.

So how can our marriages not only survive but thrive in these seasons? Here are six ways your marriage can thrive even through the busiest times of life:

1. Set aside a little time throughout the day. Our days often have a couple minute-long breaks here and there. So instead of checking your Twitter feed, posting on Facebook or staring off into space, make those moments count. Send a quick email or text, or make a phone call to your spouse just to let them know you are thinking about them. It’s a simple way to interact frequently and consistently without taking too much time out of your schedule.

2. Be busy together. If you find that your wife has committed to serving at school next week, serve with her. If your husband is coaching your daughter’s soccer team, volunteer to help coach with him. You may not be able to get rid of the obligations in your life, but you can certainly thrive in the busyness if you go through it together. This may even turn out to be a sweet opportunity for you to grow as a couple as you learn to interact in a new way and in a new place.

3. Leave notes around the house. You may not have hours to spend with your spouse each day, but you can take a few minutes in the morning or at night to jot down a quick love note and stick it somewhere you know your spouse will see it—on the bathroom mirror, on the kitchen counter or even on the steering wheel in the car. This will be a creative reminder of your love in the midst of the craziness of life.

4. Plan dates in advance. Planning ahead will always help you spend time wisely in your marriage. If you know you have a date set for next Saturday, you each will work to get things done for that special night. So sit down with your spouse in advance and pick a night you know will work for both of you. Then calendar it as a very important appointment.

5. Say “no” more. It’s sometimes easier to say yes when someone asks you to do something with or for them than it is to say no. It’s OK to say no more often, even to good things, so that you can focus your energy and attention on your spouse.

6. Leave more margin on your calendar. If you don’t block out time on your calendar each day where you don’t schedule anything, it will fill up by default. Leave room for the unexpected—the child who needs to be picked up, the call to get the A/C repaired, the friend who needs help—so that your focus can be fully on your spouse when you’re together.

What are some ways in which you and your spouse have worked to keep your marriage thriving in the busy seasons of life? I’d love to hear your suggestions in a comment below.



Mark Merrill is the president of Family FirstFor the original article, visit

Ikarama people flee homes over oil spillage in Bayelsa.


oil spill

Some residents near Shell’s oil field in Ikarama, Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa, said they abandoned their homes to avert possible health hazards from prolonged exposure to oil spill.They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa that they fled their homes because of the company’s delay to clean up the November oil spill.A spokesman of the community, Mr Freeborn Roland, told NAN that he and other residents near the impacted area abandoned their homes because of the health implications, especially on their children.“My house is surrounded by the spill and because we don’t have money we were initially reluctant to take the option of relocation.“We have been enduring and suffering the negative health impacts, especially my children, my older children

suffered the same thing in the past.“This spill happened not long after my wife gave birth to twins. It was a matter of life and death as my new babies also came down with strange symptoms.“Luckily, through the help of a Good Samaritan, I have been able to relocate my family twice this year due to oil spill in this environment,” he said.Also, Mrs Ayibakuro Warder, a women leader in the community, said she was concerned about the health implications of the spill.“We have been lamenting all these years about oil spills. Our livelihood has been negatively impacted in terms of damage to farmlands and poor crop yields,’’ she said.Warder said that water in the area had been polluted due to incessant oil spills and aquatic lives had been affected.NAN recalls that the spill from the Rumuekpe crude delivery line discharged about 482 barrels of Bonny Medium crude stream into the environment on Nov. 2.According to the Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) report on the spill obtained by NAN in Yenagoa, the spill impacted an area of 6400 square meters.The report added that the spill stretched beyond the oil firm’s right of way into the adjoining areas.According to the JIV report, recovery of the spilled oil commenced on Nov. 12, while clean up of the spill site would be completed in April 2014.NAN checks, however, showed that the clean up exercise had yet to commence.A spokesman of the oil firm, Mr Precious Okolobo, declined comments on slow response to the spill. (NAN).

Source: Radio Biafra.

Rick Warren’s ‘Daniel Plan’ Debuts on NYT Best-Seller List.

Rick Warren
Rick Warren
Despite being the time of year for sweet treats and indulgences, The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life, co-authored by Rick Warren, founding pastor of Saddleback Church, and Drs. Daniel Amen and Mark Hyman, has landed in the No. 1 spot on The New York Times Dec. 22 best-seller list in the Advice, How To and Miscellaneous list following its Dec. 3 release.
The Daniel Plan is Warren’s first book published since The Purpose Driven Life, which has been identified as the best-selling nonfiction hardback in publishing history by Publishers Weekly, having sold more than 36 million copies. This marks the ninth best-selling book for Amen and the seventh for Hyman.
The Daniel Plan details a healthy lifestyle program based on five essential principles of food, fitness, focus, faith and friends, with the latter three being what Warren describes as “the secret sauce.” The program was developed and originated at Saddleback Church in 2011, and within the first year more than 15,000 church members collectively lost more than 250,000 pounds while experiencing decreases in health issues and stress and increases in spiritual growth and energy.
The Daniel Plan is far more than a diet; it is about living a healthier life based on biblical principles,” Warren says. “You can’t love if you don’t have the energy to love. If you go home every night and lie on the couch because you’re exhausted from not eating right and your blood pressure is too high, well, how can you make a difference? Change your life and change the world. That’s our goal with this book.”
Each essential within The Daniel Plan is intended to hold up one’s life, enliven one’s body, enrich one’s mind and fill one’s heart. Warren dives into spiritual health and the importance of building a foundation on God for all other areas of life. Hyman, a family physician and functional medicine expert, discusses the power of food as medicine and a source of abundance, noting that eating real, whole food can be a doorway to reverse chronic disease and create resilient health, easy weight loss and a clear mind. And Amen, a physician and double-board-certified psychiatrist, helps readers boost their brain’s physical health to turn his or her mind into a powerful tool to fight off cravings, bad decisions and toxic thoughts.
“It’s your brain that pushes you away from the table, telling you that you’ve had enough, or gives you permission to have the third doughnut,” says Amen, whose Amen Clinics have the world’s largest database of functional brain scans relating to behavior, totaling 85,000 scans on patients from 93 countries. “I want to help people avoid the dinosaur syndrome. There are 140 studies now that say as your weight goes up, the actual, physical size and function of your brain goes down, which should drive anyone to want to get healthier.”
The Daniel Plan focuses on practical tips, such as eating real, whole food; viewing physical activity as play, rather than exercise; setting SMART—specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound—goals; and finding a group of individuals to provide encouragement for healthy lifestyle choices.
The Daniel Plan is not a book; it’s a movement,” Hyman says. “In addition to the faith element, what makes the Daniel Plan different from other healthy lifestyle programs is the essential of friends. We have found people who did the program together lost twice as much weight as individuals who did it alone. It is the power of the community. They shop, cook, eat and exercise together. And that accountability—the love factor—is what helps people change.”
The concept for The Daniel Plan was developed by Warren after baptizing 827 adults in one day by lowering each under the water and lifting them back up. At that time, Warren literally felt the weight of America’s health problems while being simultaneously convicted by his own unhealthy weight and habits.
Warren enlisted three highly qualified doctors, Hyman and Amen, as well as Dr. Mehmet Oz, to developThe Daniel Plan, which was conceptualized from the Old Testament biblical account of Daniel, who refused to eat the rich foods from the king’s table and challenged the ruler to a 10-day health contest.

Gunman Opens Fire at Reno Hospital, Then Kills Himself.

Police say one of the victims of a shooting at a Reno, Nev., hospital campus has died.

Reno Deputy Police Chief Tom Robison says two people are dead, including the shooter and one of his victims. At least two more were being treated.

Police say the gunman entered the Center for Advanced Medicine at Renown Regional Medical Center at about 2:45 p.m. with at least one gun and began shooting.

The shooter then turned the gun on himself before 3 p.m.

The shooter’s motives are not immediately known.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Rev. Billy Graham’s Health ‘Holding Steady,’ Spokesman Says.

Image: Rev. Billy Graham's Health 'Holding Steady,' Spokesman Says

By Melanie Batley

Rev. Billy Graham‘s health has been stable over the last few weeks, despite claims by family members that the 95-year-old’s health is rapidly deteriorating, his spokesman says.

“People keep saying different things, some good and some not so good. But he’s about the same. I think everybody’s intentions are good. The family members want everybody to pray for Mr. Graham, and I understand that,” Graham’s spokesman, Mark DeMoss, told USA Today.

Speculation about the evangelist’s health began earlier this month after his son, Franklin Graham, told a Charlotte, N.C. television station that his father’s health had been declining since his birthday party on Nov. 7.

A week later, his grandson, Will Graham, made comments at a California church that his grandfather “is not doing well” and that “It’s time [for him] to go home.”

“I think everybody is concerned about Mr. Graham, but we’re not getting any different reports from the medical staff,” DeMoss said, according to USA Today.

“I’m checking in every day, and there has not been a change for better or worse in the last number of weeks. He’s weak, he’s at home and his vital signs are good — his pulse, his heartbeat, his blood pressure. He’s not in any immediate danger.”

He added, “I think we’re holding steady.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Obamacare Drug Plans Will be More Costly for Chronically Ill.

Image: Obamacare Drug Plans Will be More Costly for Chronically Ill

By Melissa Clyne

The list of Obamacare problems keeps growing, this time with news that many insurance plans being offered provide  inadequate drug coverage for people with expensive or chronic conditions.

By either not providing coverage for certain drugs or requiring patients to pay huge co-pays — up to 50 percent in some cases — many insurers participating in the Obamacare exchanges are in essence pricing people out of treatment, The Washington Post reports.

So while the president touts his signature plan for covering everyone, regardless of their condition, treating that condition could be extremely costly for many chronically ill Americans.

Typically, a plan limits out-of-pocket expenses for its insured, but a loophole in Obamacare is that only drugs listed on a plan’s formulary are included, according to Forbes.

If a particular drug is not listed on the formulary — and many are not — the patient is responsible for its full cost. Additionally, the cost won’t count against deductibles or out-of-pocket limits, $12,700 for a family, $6,350 for an individual.

Patients with diseases like cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and autoimmune diseases are all vulnerable.

While technically these patients will have health insurance, using it may be cost prohibitive because some insurance plans have been structured to penalize the chronically ill, according to some healthcare advocates.

“The easiest way [for insurers] to identify a core group of people that is going to cost you a lot of money is to look at the medicines they need and the easiest way to make your plan less appealing is to put limitations on these products,” Marc Boutin, executive vice president of the National Health Council, told the Post.

But the insurance industry insists that the plans meet or exceed minimum requirements under Obamacare and in order to offer low premiums, carriers must restrict the cost of some expensive drugs. When there are no alternate drugs available, the Post reported that insurers believe “it’s reasonable to expect patients to pick up more of the cost.”

Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for American’s Health Insurance Plans, told the Post that the plans being offered under Obamacare are designed “to try to give consumers better value for their healthcare dollars.”

Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, also told the Post that the plans under Obamacare will give many patients access to drugs they couldn’t get before and that exceptions can be made by insurers if more expensive medicines are needed. Insurers are required to respond to such requests within three days.

But insurers are also doing things like limiting quantities of certain drugs and requiring “fail first” protocols that force doctors to try certain drugs first before asking for others, regardless of whether the doctor’s knowledge and experience dictate otherwise. That’s a big concern to doctors who treat the chronically ill.

“2014 is going to be a very scary year,” Dr. Daniel Kantor, a Florida neurologist, told the Post. “People are going to have to stop taking medicines they are already stable on because of this.”

Kantor, who treats patients with multiple sclerosis, added that insurers “are hoping that if they make it inconvenient for people with MS to get treatment, they will leave their rolls.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Pastors, Your Physical Health Matters Too.

Rick Warren

As pastors, we tend to like to focus on spiritual things. But God is the Creator of our physical bodies, and it’s in our physical bodies that we live our spiritual lives out before others.

We pastors have a tendency to let our physical health go unchecked, and we have plenty of excuses, such as our busy schedules, our calendar being heavy with meal-centered meetings, and our need to be behind a desk a lot to feed people spiritually.

For every excuse we can come up with to ignore our physical health, there are other pressing reasons to consider it:

  • Our longevity in ministry can be cut short by poor health.
  • Our sharpness of mind is affected by what we eat and our activity level.
  • We challenge others to live healthy lives, so we should set the example.
  • Our physical energy level rises to the demands of ministry if we’re in shape.
  • Our bodies are temples too, created by the Master Craftsman and placed under our stewardship.

The Bible is full of health rules and guidelines. I want to remind leaders of just six principles from God’s Word about building a healthy body. When you feel bad physically, it affects everything else. Shakespeare said it’s hard to be a philosopher with a toothache. I’d say it’s hard to be spiritually alert when you’re physically dull, when you’re tired, fatigued or out of shape.

1. Maintain your ideal weight. Scientists know that you have an ideal weight based on your bone structure and your height. First Thessalonians 4:4 says, “Each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable.” I realize there are many medical and glandular reasons for being overweight and for having weight problems, but the fact is that for many of us, we simply eat too much. You cannot eat everything you want to eat and still maintain your weight. Ecclesiastes 6:7 says, “All the labor of man is for the mouth and yet the appetite is never filled.”

2. Balance your eiet. You need to focus on controlling both the quality and the quantity of what you eat. Do you eat a balanced diet? A hamburger in both hands? I was on a seafood diet—if I see it, I get to eat it. First Corinthians 6:12-13 says, “Everything is permissible for me but I will not be mastered by anything. Food is for the stomach and the stomach for food, but God will eventually destroy them both.” The point that Paul’s making is that eating is not an end in itself. We eat to live; we don’t live to eat. It’s a means, not an end in itself. And if we get those reversed, food becomes our master.

3. Commit yourself to a regular exercise program. Most of us are convinced but not committed. You know that exercise would be good for you, but committing to it seems hard. First Timothy 4:8 says, “Physical exercise has some value.” In Paul’s day, people were very active. If Paul wrote that verse today, he’d probably change it to say that it has great value. In the New Testament times, people walked everywhere, engaged in a lot more manual labor and ate natural foods. Today, we drive everywhere, live sedentary lives and eat processed junk foods.

How do you know when you’re out of shape? You know you’re out of shape when you feel like the morning after and you didn’t go anywhere the night before. You know your body is in trouble when your knees buckle and your belt won’t. You know you’re in trouble when you see your friends running and you hope they twist an ankle. You know you’re in trouble when you breathe harder walking up a set of stairs than you do when you hold your sweetheart’s hand.

The key is training, not straining. If you want to get in shape fast, then exercise longer, not harder. Commit yourself to a regular exercise program. The fact is, your body was not designed for inactivity. You were made to be active. Even a daily walk will make a difference.

4. Get enough sleep and rest. Psalm 127:2 says, “In vain you rise up early and stay up late.” The Living Bible says, “God wants His loved ones to get their rest.” Rest is so important that God put it in the Ten Commandments. He said every seventh day, you should rest. Jesus, in Mark 6:30-32, insisted that His disciples take a vacation. Make sure you’re budgeting your time wisely. Make sure you get enough rest and sleep.

5. Reduce or avoid drinking alcohol. Ephesians 5:18 says, “Don’t get drunk with wine, which will ruin you. Instead be filled with the Spirit.” Health-conscious consumers are sobering up America. There’s been a dramatic change in America’s drinking habits. A growing number of Americans are beginning to view alcohol as unhealthy or downright dangerous. It’s not surprising industry-wide sales are dropping. These are not religious people. These are just people who are concerned about their health. And for some surprising statistics about alcohol, see this infographic.

6. Live in harmony with God. Proverbs 14:30 says, “A heart at peace is life to the body.” Our emotions have a tremendous effect on our physical health, just like our physical health has a tremendous effect on our emotions. You cannot fill your life with guilt and worry and bitterness and anger and fear and expect to be in optimum health. A heart at peace gives life to the body. If you feel bad, it affects every area of your life. It’s a part of stewardship. Your body is a gift from God. What are you going to do with it?

Note: As I write this, my 10th book has just hit the shelves today, The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life, and it’s a book about what changed my life. In addition to the book, there’s an interactive website where you can track your own health progress and find small group studies and other resources to help you get healthy.

Written by Rick Warren

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America’s largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times best-seller The Purpose Driven Life. His book The Purpose Driven Church was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of, a global Internet community for pastors.

For the original article, visit

8 Things You Have to Quit to Change Your Life.

Geri Scazzero
Geri Scazzero

Geri Scazzero, author of The Emotionally Healthy Woman: Eight Things You Have to Quit to Change Your Life, offers insight on her life and why she wrote the book.

Q. What inspired you to write The Emotionally Healthy Woman?

A. It wasn’t so much a “what” as a “who.” I would never have written the book without my husband, Pete. He’s the writer in our family, and, after I began to articulate the eight “I Quits” that are the basis of the book, he was the one who said I had a book in me. The Emotionally Healthy Woman reflects our effort as a team from beginning to end.

It reflects what we both discovered on this missing aspect of spiritual formation. In addition, I have been blessed with a wonderful extended family who has given me a tremendous legacy for which I am eternally grateful. Without that legacy, I never would have had what it takes to quit living a life that was damaging to my soul.

Q. Speaking of quitting, you actually walked into your husband’s office and announced that you were quitting the church that he pastored! That must have taken amazing strength and determination. How did you ever summon the courage to take such a bold and unconventional step?

A. It was certainly no small decision and it didn’t happen overnight. I had been making feeble attempts to get him to pay attention to what was going on with me for years. I wanted him to see how tired I was and how frustrated.

Eventually, I reached the bottom and arrived at that place where I was so miserable I didn’t care what anyone else thought of me. I just wanted out. There is an old saying that a person who has nothing left to lose becomes the most powerful person on earth. I had become that person.

Q. The subtitle of your book is Eight Things You Have to Quit to Change Your Life. Could you give us a brief glimpse of what those eight things are?

A. Certainly. Quit being afraid of what others think. Quit lying to yourself and others. Quit dying to the wrong things. Quit denying anger, sadness and fear. Quit blaming. Quit over functioning. Quit faulty thinking. And, lastly, quit living someone else’s life.

Virginia Satir once observed that most of us live inhuman lives because we try to live by unhuman rules. The purpose of these eight “Quits” is to allow us to drop those unhuman rules and start living by God’s real rules, not the ones we’ve mistakingly assumed He wants us to live, not by, but up to. By quitting these eight practices, we open the door to allow God in so that He can begin doing a mighty work in our lives.

Q. One of the quits you mention is the need to quit lying. Christians don’t normally think of themselves as liars. Could you elaborate a little on what you mean by that?

A. Of course we don’t think of ourselves as liars because lying is so deeply ingrained in our culture we rarely notice it. But we actually lie all of the time. We lie with our words. We lie with our bodies. We lie with our smiles and we lie with our silence. And we think nothing about any of it because everybody else does it, too.

Here’s an example of what I mean: A neighbor asks you to take care of their dog while they go on vacation. You hate the dog because it barks all the time and keeps you up at night and the last thing you want to do is tend to its needs. But helping your neighbor is the “Christian thing to do,” so you plant a fake smile on your face and say, “Of course. We’d love to.”

You’ve just lied and, in all likelihood, it never once registered in your mind that you were lying, or, if it did, you considered it a “little white lie” and thereby legitimized it. But the truth is that God’s beautiful plan has always been for us to live in truth. Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples, then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” The degree to which we become willing to live in truth becomes the degree to which we live in freedom.

It really is simple. And, for most of us, that first step means we have to stop lying to ourselves. I warn you, though, in the beginning, when you quit the lying, it will feel like death, but it’s the good kind of death because it leads to resurrection and life. When you quit lying, it will ignite your spirituality, remove false layers and reveal the true self God has planted within you. By God’s grace you will become one of the freest people on earth.


Geri Scazzero is a popular conference speaker for church leaders, married couples and women’s groups. A master teacher and trainer, she also serves on the staff of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York City, a position she has held for 25 years. Her newest book is The Emotionally Healthy Woman.

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