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.

Storm Survival: Faith Lessons from my Dogs

Faith Lessons from a dog“Where’s Guinness,” my husband asks.

“Hiding I’m sure. He’s scared of storms,” I reply handing him the kid’s lunchboxes. “You know that dog, I’m sure he is hiding under Rachel’s bed.”

Minutes later my husband and kids head out the door to school and work.  I pour a cup of freshly brewed liquid mercy and pad upstairs to my red chair.  Raindrops pelt the windows with fierce intensity. I look out over the lake, but it is too dark to see. In the distance, thunder booms. “The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.” (Psalm 29:3) Savoring the hazelnut aroma, I close my eyes and sit in silence before the Lord.

I open my eyes to see a pair of soft brown eyes staring up at me, silently begging to be held. “Oh Kinsey,” I coo in her ear. She curls up close, lets out an exasperated sigh, and drifts to sleep.

I watch her rib cage expand and contract to the rhythm of her breathing. I smile at the thought of our two Jack Russell Terriers with opposite responses to the same storm. Guinness, the stout dog-hence the name, with the brown patch on his eye, hides in isolation and darkness during a storm.  Kinsey, our runt of the litter Jack Russell Terrier, seeks reassurance and refuge next to her master in a storm.

I stood, careful not to disturb Kinsey and padded into the kitchen to refill my mug.  Not wanting to be leave her Master’s side, Kinsey followed. Returning to my red chair, Kinsey sensed her master’s direction, ran ahead of me, and jumped on the cushion. I laughed.

Continuing my quiet time with the Lord (and Kinsey) I pondered these verses:sea storm pier I will not be shaken verse Pixabay

“He guards the lives of his faithful ones” (Psalm 97:10)

“But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortressmy refuge in times of trouble.”(Psalm 59:16)

Through different surprise storms of life, I have responded in the same manner as Guinness and Kinsey. I hid my face from God and resorted to isolation, when I suffered a miscarriage, and I begged God to hold me up during my battle with post-partum depression.

In my current storm, I have great peace. Waves of uncertainty threaten to crash over me. I am anchored (Hebrews 6:19) to the one who created the sea (Genesis 1:9), and calms the sea with the sound of His voice (Matthew 8:26).

Isolation or refuge in God. How you approach a storm will determine your peace. Click To Tweet

What was the last storm you weathered? How did you respond? When surprised by unexpected storms, we can respond by hiding in isolation and self-sufficiency, or by seeking refuge from our Heavenly Father.  I’ve done both and only one response brings peace.

Seeking refuge in Christ alone,

~April Dawn White

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

© 2016 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

Faith While Waiting for Answers

Faith Waitng on God“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14, NIV).

The earth has twirled on its axis for one hundred and four days since the genetic lab received my sample.  As a biology major and pharmacist, I am curious to discover the hidden wonders revealed from unraveling the double helix DNA structure that God so intricately wove together. Sequencing my entire genome will show the good, the bad, and the ugly. I will know if I am a carrier for the periodic paralysis gene, breast cancer gene, and the Alzheimer’s gene. I will also know if I am the milkman’s daughter (just kidding Dad). These test results will aid my team of specialists to rule out suspicious conditions and provide greater clarity for my future treatment.  I’ve waited for fifteen weeks.

The waiting is driving me crazy.

To tell you the truth, I’ve wrestled with God over these test results. Why is it taking so long? I thought that once I finally cycled through the stages of grief and accepted this neuromuscular disease as my “new normal” that somehow <poof!> all the answers would come flooding in, but I was wrong.DNA

I’m still waiting.

Days before my highly anticipated second opinion at Duke Medical Center I read these words penned from David, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14, NIV). What I thought I needed was answers, but God knew my heart needed a word from the Lord. “Wait for the Lord” repeated twice in verse fourteen.

While my mind wrestles for understanding, my soul searches for peace. Click To Tweet

While at Duke, the neurologist eased my mind when she stated, “I’d be surprised if you had genetic results this early.” What seemed like an eternity to me, she considered early. Then the doctor asked me to return next month for further testing. We agreed with the idea to return, but that meant one concern–more waiting.

I’ve lost count at the number time I’ve sat in a waiting room. When the explanation of benefits statement arrives before the medial diagnosis…have faith and wait on the Lord. Maybe your waiting room isn’t in a medical center, but in the interior room of your heart.

Faith to Wait for the LordWhat are you waiting on? How can David’s command to “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14, NIV) bring you peace in the waiting room of your heart?

Waiting in faith alongside you,

~April Dawn White

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

© 2016 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

When God Shows Up Nothing Else Matters


“The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.” 
(John 1:14, Message)

When God Shows Up Nothing Else MattersThis week I cleaned out my car and found a “To Do” list dated two months ago.  Glancing at the list, I realized most of my listed tasks and concerns resolved without any effort on my part. Flipping the list over I read these words scribbled on the back:

When God shows up nothing else matters! Click To Tweet

Using the skills taught in pharmacy school to read physician handwriting, I tried to depicter my own hurried marks. Here’s what I could read:

Faithfulness

Provision

God is in this season

This is not the way I had my life mapped out

Revealing the character of God

Remember and recall the details

Tell the story of what God did

I wish I could recall the podcast I was listening to that day. Even though I cannot recall the speaker, God’s voice is resonating with me today amidst of my current circumstances.me flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood

This is my prayer: “Jesus, thank you for taking on human form to align with my suffering. Thank you for moving in the neighborhood of Earth and of my heart.

Thank you for reminding me you are in THIS season. While this is not how I had my life mapped out; you have a provision already in place (A Ram in the Thicket).

Help me to have the patience to wait while you deliver the answers and provision I need. Thank you for revealing the trustworthy character of who you are; sovereign, good, faithful, and a perfect provider. Thank you for moving into the neighborhood of my life transforming my situation for your glory. Amen.”

What situation do you need to invite Jesus to move into the neighborhood of your life?

~April Dawn White

*Images courtesy of author and  Pixabay. © 2016 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

TGIF: Thank God It’s Fresh

TGIF. Thank God it’s Fresh!

God’s mercies, compassion, grace, and forgiveness are fresh brewed and piping hot just for you!

This image is from Tuesday’s post Coffee and Fresh Brewed Mercy. Pop on over if you need a spiritual refill. 

TGIF: Fresh Brewed Mercy Everyday. (Lam 3:22-24) Click To Tweet

~April Dawn White

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

© 2016 April Dawn White, All rights reserved

In Time of Trouble Say

feather and Ink PixabayToday, I read a piece of writing approximately one hundred and twenty-one years old. I love the way God uses the Bible and the powerful words of those before us to speak directly to our lives.

Andrew Murray (1828-1917) was a prominent Christian speaker and preacher in Europe and America. He was a minister to the missionaries. One day in 1895 while suffering from back pain, (the result from thrown from a cart in South Africa) Murray penned these words of encouragement in his journal:

In Time of Trouble Say:

By Andrew Murray

First, He brought me here;

It is by His will I am in this strait place: in that fact I will rest.

Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child.

Then, He will make the trial a blessing,

Teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace

He means to bestow.

Last, In His good time He can bring me out again – how and when He knows.

Let me say I am here,

(1) By God’s appointment.

(2) In his keeping.

(3) Under His training.

(4) For His time.

 

 

Words spoken or written, today or centuries ago hold power. The story goes on to say that Andrew Murray had a visitor desiring a word. Bedridden, Murray tore out the freshly penned words from his journal and offered it as encouragement.

Are you at home recovering? What method of communication can you use to encourage someone today?

While facing many struggles, I remember the four-point message by Andrew Murray. I am here by God’s appointment; in His keeping; under His training; for His time and “It is well with my soul.”

~April Dawn White

Pin It on Pinterest