Archives For health

The Briefing

W.V. Bible class faces legal challenge
For decades Mercer County’s public schools have offered a weekly Bible class during the school day — 30 minutes at the elementary level and 45 minutes in middle school. The program is not mandatory, but almost every child in the district attends. And there is widespread support for the classes: Parents and community members help raise nearly $500,000 a year to pay for the Bible in the Schools program. Now, two county residents with school-age children argue in a lawsuit that the program violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment and the West Virginia constitution.

Baptist Baylor picks first female president
Linda Livingstone succeeds Baylor University’s first non-Baptist president, Kenneth Starr, who was fired last year over the Texas institution’s bungled response to ongoing reports of rape on campus. Livingstone, a former faculty member of Baylor and Pepperdine University, leaves her position as business school dean at George Washington University to become the Waco school’s first female president in its 172-year history.

Porn deemed public health crisis in 5 states
At least five states have officially declared pornography a public health crisis or harmful to the public, and at least one other is considering a similar measure, according to bill updates filed on state legislature websites.

Saudi Arabia elected to UN women’s rights commission
Saudi Arabia was elected to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. The addition of the Gulf nation was first flagged by UN Watch, a nongovernmental body that monitors the United Nations. The Commission on the Status of Women’s executive director slammed the election. “Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief,” Hillel Neuer said.

‘John 3:16’ NFL suicide mystery
It wasn’t a suicide note that former NFL star Aaron Hernandez left in his prison cell when he reportedly hanged himself. Instead, the Massachusetts corrections officers who discovered his body Wednesday morning saw “John 3:16” written across Hernandez’s forehead in red ink. A Bible in the cell lay open to the same verse.

Sources: Washington Post, Christianity Today, Baptist Press, The Hill, STL Today

COMMENTARY | Heath Tibbetts

Looking down at the scale, I was shocked. I knew I wasn’t making healthy choices when it came to exercise or eating, but I never expected to see my 5’11’’ frame register at 50 pounds over my ideal weight!

Heath_Tibbetts_June3For years I had attempted short excursions into exercise or healthier eating, but never with any results or real dedication. And as I contemplated my situation, I realized for the first time that my weight problem wasn’t a physical issue…it was a spiritual one.

“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

My life habits weren’t glorifying God. Food was often a comfort for me when I was stressed or just wanted to forget everything around me. It became clear to me that if I was looking for comfort or peace, I needed to start going to God.

So I did.

I began allowing more opportunities for prayer and found God growing that time both in length and in depth. Scripture became my food in times of trouble, and I worked more diligently on applying the Bible and not just reading it. But I also realized I needed to be more physically active.

“For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way…” (1 Timothy 4:8).

Paul wasn’t telling young Timothy to pursue spiritual health and deny physical health. Bodily training is of “some value,” and our spiritual life should influence our physical life. I was determined to do exactly that, because I had known far too many
pastors with self-imposed health problems that were a result of unhealthy choices. I decided I wasn’t going to be one of those men. The choice had to be made now if I wanted to be physically able to serve God, my family, and my church.

So, I began to exercise regularly. It wasn’t intense, but it was something. Lunch choices became more than just “regular” or “super-sized.” Fried foods and soda didn’t go away for me, but the quantities did. When someone would ask about my weight loss, my common response was, “I stopped going back for thirds.”

Eventually I took up running, and 2011 was spent running several times a week, anywhere from three miles to a personal best of nine. Before every run and every workout I reminded myself of this: “Quitting is easier than completing.” I prayed before my workouts and my runs that God would give me the physical strength, as well as the mental strength, to become a more effective tool for his service. And sure enough, God answered my prayer.

It took a while, but by the end of 2011, I was down to my target weight. And other than some occasional fluctuations (hello, Christmas candy!) that’s right where I’m at today. A knee injury last year claimed my running career, so now I’m at the gym early in the mornings four times a week. And through all this, I’m stronger and healthier today than at any point in my life, including Basic Training!

Through this, I’ve learned some valuable lessons:

1. Stop making excuses about your eating. Claiming your Baptist heritage (potlucks, fried chicken, fried everything) just isn’t funny anymore.

2. Not feeling full is not the same as feeling hungry.

3. Be patient! Change takes time, especially when you’re changing your life and not just your body.

4. Set goals! My first run was sad. So I set a goal of one mile and worked up to it. Then three. Then five.

If you struggle with weight, stop thinking of it solely as a physical issue. Admit that it’s a spiritual issue. Repent of gluttony and idolatry of food. Pray for the resolve to complete instead of quit. And remember that God desires the glory even as you eat and drink.

Heath Tibbetts is pastor of First Baptist Church, Machesney Park.