8 Steps Toward Healthy Christian Living

Medicine and Pharmacy

As a pharmacist, I dispense medication, education, and recommendations. As a Christian and writer, my mission is to encourage others by dispensing spiritual medicine for a healthy soul.

Today I am sharing with you my sermon notes from Pastor Karl Hofheinz’s message delivered September 25, 2016. (I will link the message once uploaded).  “Open wide your mouth” (Psalm 81:10) here comes a dose of spiritual medication for a healthy soul.

Healthy Christian living reaches for the Word of God daily. Click To Tweet

Healthy Christian living reaches for the Word of God daily. Spending time in God’s Word improves our vertical relationships with God and our horizontal relationships with others. Paul’s book of Colossians opens with eight timeless steps for healthy Christian living. These crucial steps are:

  1. Knowledge of God’s Will. Colossians 1:9

Six Areas to Possess the Will of God:

  • Abiding in God’s Word (Bible). (John 15, Joshua 1:8, Psalm 119:11, Psalm 105)
  • Obedience to God’s written voice (Bible). God doesn’t reveal the finished plan at once, He asks for the next small step of obedience.
  • Being one with God. (John 17) Know the heart and mind of God so that His glory radiates off us.
  • Have no unconfessed sin in your life. (Psalm 51). When we want to hear God’s voice, get rid of sin.
  • Healthy Christian LivingBe careful of who is speaking. (Proverbs 3:5-6) Who’s idea was it anyway, mine or God’s? Did I pray about this decision or am I moving forward with my own agenda asking God to bless my idea? Is this assignment God’s will for my life? I need to be careful of the right heart motive. Am I secretly trying to impress others?
  • Possess a “Not I, but Christ” attitude. (Galatians 2:20) Just as I punch the snooze button each day, I also need to punch the “220 button” resetting my attitude toward Christ’s desires.
  1. Walk Worthy of Jesus. Colossians 1:10. We are ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). As his personal representatives here on earth, we need to represent Christ well.
  1. Fully Please God. Colossians 1:10. Our desired target is to please God in our actions, love for others, and relationship with Him.
  1. Bearing Fruit in Every Good Work. Colossians 1:10. John chapter fifteen is the fruit chapter. A healthy Christian Life possess fruit, more fruit, and much fruit, which comes only by abiding, dwelling, saturating, ourselves with God in prayer and reading His Word.
  1. Increase in the Knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10. Be in the Word of God daily. Reading devotionals and listening to podcasts are great supplements, but we need to read it for ourselves and not be spoon fed from someone else. God wants us to “Taste and see the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8) for ourselves. “Put on your new self, which is being renewed in the knowledge.” (Colossians 3:10). “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).

Five Ways to Increase in the Knowledge of God:Healthy Christian Living

  • Study the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15)
  • Memorize on the Word (Psalm 119:11)
  • Mediate on the Word(Joshua 1:8)
  • Hear the Word (Romans 10:17)
  • Read the Word (Revelation 1:3)
  1. Be Strengthened by All Power According to His Glorious Might. Colossians 1:11. The weapons of our warfare are mighty (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). We have the weapons of God’s Word, Prayer, and Fasting.
  1. Possess Patience and Long-Suffering with Joy. Colossians 1:11. If we think right, we will do right, and act right. “The peace of God which transcends all understandings will guard our hearts and minds” (Philippians 4:7-8).
  1. Be Thankful. Colossians 1:12. God the Father, through Jesus Christ, has qualified believers to share in the eternal inheritance of Heaven.

Taste and see the Lord is godDavid wrote, “Taste and see the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). Use these sermon notes as a study guide, but more importantly, seek God and read His Word for yourself.

Imagine you and your friend are standing outside a pavilion offering free ice cream. Your friend returns, slurping up the ice cream dripping from a waffle cone. Salivary glands erupt, as you see the sugary goodness. Having never tasted ice cream before you watch and listen as your friend describes the flavor and texture of the ice cream. You too can taste ice cream for yourself. It is free and available to anyone. Christ’s love is free and available to anyone anyone willing to believe.

Will you make movement toward God?

~April Dawn White

*All Scripture is NIV from Bible Gateway.

*Images courtesy of Pixabay.

Marred Sword, Yet I Stand Firm

“It is by faith you stand firm.” (2 Corinthians 1:24)

My shield has dents, my sword is marred, but my armor is on. Some days the greatest battle I face is the moment-by-moment battle to stand firm.

Here is a collection of my favorite verses to mediate while standing firm:

Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm. ” (Ephesians 6:13-14)

“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.” (Exodus 14:13)

“When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.” (Proverbs 10:25)

“But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” (Psalm 33:11)

“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you.” (2 Chronicles 2:17)

“If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” (Isaiah 7:9)

The greatest battle I often face is the battle to stand firm in faith. Click To Tweet

~April Dawn White

*All Scripture is NIV from Bible Gateway. *Images courtesy of Pixabay.

© 2016 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

{My graphics are free goodies for you to share. Please retain the Red Chair Moments web address.}

Confessions of a Zebra

Confessions of a Zebra“Mom, since you’re a zebra” Rachel says tossing a zebra printed tank top in my direction. “You can wear this shirt to your doctor’s appointment today.”

“When you hear hoofbeats behind you, don’t expect to see a zebra.” Dr. Theodore Woodward

In the 1940’s Dr. Theodore Woodward coined the term “zebra” for any rare medical condition. He taught his University of Maryland medical students common conditions are commonly seen and not to expect to see a zebra. While exotic illnesses exist, these are highly unlikely and the simplest explanation is usually the best. However, rare conditions, like exotic zebras do exhibit. I am a zebra.

In February 2016, my neurologist diagnosed me with Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis, a rare neuromuscular “zebra” condition that causes episodes of paralysis or severe muscle weakness. These attacks occur suddenly with little warning and may last for hours or days.[1] Periodic Paralysis has a prevalence of 1 case per 100,000 population. [2]   By the grace of God, multiple medications, physical therapy, and avoidance of triggers (which is not always possible) my attacks have lessened in duration and severity.Confessions of zebra, biochemistry

Dusting off the cobwebs in biochemistry, I’ve studied the Krebs cycle, action potentials, skeletal muscle movement, and dabbled in genetics. Taking a break from genetic mutations, I veered into zoology and began to study zebras.

Zebra fact: A zebra possess a unique stripe pattern similar to the unique fingerprint pattern in humans.

Zebra fact: Immediately after birth, the mother zebra will separate the foal from the herd for two or three days. During this time, the baby zebra studies the mother’s scent, the sound of her call, and memorizes the mother’s stripe pattern.[3]

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” (Jeremiah 1:5, NIV)

Confession of a zebraSeparated from the herd, my Heavenly Father set me apart for this season, to memorize His patterns, to examine His character traits, to recognize His voice over the chatter of the world, and to study His chronic presence in my periodic paralysis.

Staring down on at the zebra printed tank top; a familiar verse rises to the surface of my mind: “By His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5, NKJV).

Staring at the stripes Christ bore for me on the cross, I am thankful my medical zebra status, is only temporary.  “By His stripes we are healed” for all eternity, and it is well with my soul.

~April Dawn White

*All Scripture is NIV and NKJV from Bible Gateway. *Images courtesy of Pixabay.

© 2016 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

References:

[1] https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/hypokalemic-periodic-paralysis

[2] http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1171678-overview

[3] http://animals.mom.me/zebra-foals-born-striped-9564.html

Recommended Reading

“I cannot live without books.”
-Thomas Jefferson
 
‘Tis the back-to-school season. I love shopping for school supplies and organizing binders, but most importantly, I love books.
 
My fondness for reading was suspended until after graduating from pharmacy school. Reading for pleasure became a new hobby once I was no longer forced to study physics and racemic isomers. 
 
In honor of back to school I determined to share with you the books that have made a positive impact on my life and my family. This same list will be permanently available under the “Resource” tab. 
 

Inspiration:

Parenting: General


Parenting Girls:

Parenting Boys:

Parenting the Strong-Willed Child:


The Power of Prayer:

Marriage:

Daily Devotion:

 
Let’s keep the list going. What are your favorite books on family, parenting, marriage, and spiritual growth? Please share in the comment field below. 
 
Happy reading!
 
~April 

What Text Message Do You Desire from God?

What text message from God would you want to receive?
At times, I feel suffocated by technology. The need to return text messages, phone calls, and emails in a timely manner overwhelms me. Finding balance in returning communication and family time it is an honest struggle.
God does not share that problem. He is not suffocated by our constant prayers and messages for help. He is never overwhelmed by communication. In fact God specializes in communication; “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God” (John 1:1, NIV).
God sent us His Word (another name for Jesus) and text messages in the beginning of time, long before technology was created. All of God’s text messages are bound in a reference book called the Bible.
Last night I decided to write out all the text messages underlined in my Bible. These messages given directly by God have encouraged me in throughout the various stages of life, marriage, and parenting.  This will be a long range project, but here are a handful of text messages to jump start your weekend:
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  (Joshua 7:1)
Is there anything too hard for the Lord? (Genesis 18:14)
God himself will provide (Genesis 22:8)
Do not be afraid, for I am with you. (Genesis 26:24)
I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go…I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised to you. (Genesis 28:15-16)
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good. (Genesis 50:20)
God heard…He remembered…He was concerned. (Exodus 2:24-25)
I AM who I AM. (Exodus 3:14)
The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still. (Exodus 14:14)
I am the Lord who heals you. (Exodus 15:26)
The Lord relented. (Exodus 32:14)
My Presence with go with you and I will give you rest. (Exodus 33:14)
Is the Lord’s arms too short? (Numbers 11:23)
The Lord your God is going before you, He will fight for you. (Deuteronomy 1:30)
The Lord has chosen you to be His treasured possession. (Deuteronomy 14:2)
The Lord your God is God; He is a faithful God. (Deuteronomy 7:9)
For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the works of your hands, and your joy may be complete. (Deuteronomy 16:15).
My prayer is that these text messages from God will speak to you in a profound way.
Blessings,
~April
Connect with me:
Email redchairmoments@gmail.com

Holding Hands

By April Dawn White

hands-407389_1280 (1)pixabay

“He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters.” (Psalm 18:16, NLT)

I have spent the past three months chronicling God as our anchor of hope in Hebrews 6:19. I have recorded what to do when the anchor moves, how to cling to hope and how to get a better grip.

This week God reminded me that while I am doing all I can to hold onto Him, God is holding on to me by His mighty right hand!

“My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” (Psalm 63:8, ESV)

April 2015 marks two very monumental moments in my life:

  1. Rachel’s 10th birthday!
  2. Delivery from depression!

“Save us and help us with your right hand that those you love may be delivered.” (Psalm 60:5, NIV)

After my first pregnancy, I fell into a deep depression. For over two years I struggled and pleaded with God. The pages of my Bible (especially Psalms and Isaiah) are crinkled from tears.

“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”

(Psalm 40:2, NIV)

Highlighted, underlined, and circled are the phrases: you hold me by my right hand.  These inspired words from God written by Isaiah and David captured my hearts cry. I was falling to pieces and needed someone’s strong hand. I needed God’s hand.

 “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.” (Psalm 41:10, HCSB)

After my first pregnancy, a blanket of darkness covered me like fog. I faked smiles at work, but God knew better. My sweet first born had a broken mommy. My husband didn’t know what to do. I cried and prayed.

“If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the heart-401499_1280sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:9-10, ESV)

 Falling into the abyss I cried out to God.

“I was right on the cliff-edge, ready to fall, when God grabbed and held me. God’s my strength, he’s also my song, and now he’s my salvation. Hear the shouts; hear the triumph songs in the camp of the saved?  “The hand of God has turned the tide! The hand of God is raised in victory! The hand of God has turned the tide!”(Psalm 118:16, Message)

The shock of another pregnancy angered me. Tears of anger not joy filled my broken heart. I had not mentally recovered from the first pregnancy, eighteen months earlier. I was mad at God.

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (Isaiah 40:29, NIV)

“Lord, I cannot go through this again. You have to do it all!” I pleaded.

Your arm is endowed with power; your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.” (Psalm 89:13, NIV)

Every morning and night I cried out to the Lord, reading through Psalms, praying for deliverance and journaling my misery. Slowly, God began to restore my heart. Slowly Heholding-hands-baby shoes 918990_1920 pixabay tenderly attended to me.

“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.”(Psalm 119:147, NIV)

The fog began to lift.

“Put your hand out and steady me since I’ve chosen to live by your counsel.”(Psalm 119:175, Message)

Slowly God pulled me up from the abyss and place a smile on my heart.

“I waited and waited and waited for God. At last he looked; finally he listened. He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from deep mud. He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn’t slip. He taught me how to sing the latest God-song, a praise-song to our God. More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God.” (Psalm 40:1-3, Message)

God and His word alone delivered me from depression!

“It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them.” (Psalm 44:3, NIV)

Our daughter was born two years and two months after our first child. I experienced no depression after this pregnancy!

“He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me.” (Psalm 16:19, NLT)

When I sense the dark fog rolling in, I run to these verses. I run to the warped and crinkled pages of my Bible. With one hand I grab hold of the anchor of hope found in God’s word. With the other hand, my right hand, I squeeze the mighty right hand of God.

“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.” (Psalm 73:23, 28 NIV)

Now I can see that God allowed me to battle with depression for two years to see His hand move in a mighty way.

“Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things!” (Psalm 118:15, NLT)Old Bible by Pixabay

God allowed me to experience this to help others. I can see past the fake smiles and speak a word of encouragement to others.

“The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.”  (Psalm 147:11, NIV)

In April 2015, we will celebrate the goodness of the Lord. Not only did God deliver us a healthy baby girl, but He also delivered me from a long battle with depression. My nick name for Rachel is “Rae Rae.” She is my ray of sunshine. Through her, God reminded me that the sun is always shining even behind the densest fog.

 “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:8, ESV) *

 ~April

*Psalm 16:8 was my verse for 2012.

P.S. As a Pharmacist, I understand the great benefits of counseling and medication in the treatment of depression. If you are struggling with feelings of depression, talk to your pastor, counselor, and/or physician. I sought God and God alone delivered me.

“Slowly God pulled me up from the abyss and place a smile on my heart.”

 

“Now I can see that God allowed me to battle with depression for two years to see His hand move in a mighty way.”

 

“When I sense the dark fog rolling in, I run to the warped and crinkled pages of my Bible.

With one hand I grab hold of the anchor of hope found in God’s word.

With the other hand, my right hand, I squeeze the mighty right hand of God.”

 

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