Category Archives: Christianity

Happy Birthday to The Daniel Plan! by Shellie Loughry

Yes! THE PLACE Daniel Plan was born at the end of April 2014! It is 1 year old now and started out strong, remained strong, and is now stronger than ever!

During the last year we have seen many life changes being made, some small and some HUGE! But that is the glory of The Daniel you do not have to change over night, you can start out with baby steps making simple little changes or you can take it by storm and make changes by leaps and bounds! It is all up to each individual!

The Daniel Plan was sparked at THE PLACE by one individual that wanted to make one little change in their life, and that was to become healthy. That individuals spark to change spread like wildfire to others who all wanted the same thing, to become healthy, and that my friends is how The Daniel Plan at THE PLACE was born and still sparking others from all around THE PLACE Church and in our community!

The funny thing is that is pretty much how it all started with Pastor Rick Warren and his congregation! Check out his story:

During an afternoon of baptizing over 800 people, Pastor Rick Warren realized it was time for change. He told his congregation he needed to lose weight and asked if anyone wanted to join him. He thought maybe 200 people would sign up, instead he witnessed a movement unfold as 15,000 people lost over 260,000 pounds in the first year. With assistance from medical and fitness experts, Pastor Rick and thousands of people began a journey to transform their lives.

Here’s the secret sauce: The Daniel Plan is designed to be done in a supportive community relying on God’s instruction for living.

Amazing Story by Rick Warren author of The Daniel Plan! Although THE PLACE is a much smaller church than Rick Warrens church, it is wonderful to know that we have very similar stories! Read more here!

THE PLACE Daniel Plan just wrapped up their 4th Season! Yes! What an amazing season this has been! We have several people that have lost weight, become far more healthier than they could ever imagine, and have accomplished things that they never thought possible!

The Daniel Plan is even more than all that, it is also about the friendships that are made and the happiness that is shared when one accomplishes something, or the tears that are shed when one needs love and support.

During this 4th season of The Daniel Plan there are two major accomplishments we would like to share with you and here they are!

‘Guess what I have lost over 50 lbs!’ Congratulations Craig Melfi you are an amazing inspiration to each of us!

‘Oh My Goodness I DID IT! I ran my first 5K and did it in 38:28 minutes, my goal was under 40 minutes and I  finished 82 in a pack 168, at a pace of 12:23! This was a major ceiling buster for me. As Pastor Greg has said ‘the high is the doing of it.’ Boy do I have a high! I must say I thank GOD for being there and providing friends like Craig, and Pastor Greg, and the Daniel Plan friends. WE all say it but in my case it’s true IF I CAN DO IT…. SO CAN YOU! So get off the side lines and come join us, the pain is overcome by the joy and high you WILL recieve!’ Wow Congratulations Roy Fegley! You are Amazing!

So as you can see the Daniel Plan is going strong. It did wrap up a 4th Season and will be starting Season 5 very soon! Ask yourself am I ready to make a change and am I ready to accomplish something amazing! If you are then please stop by the Information Center and we would love to get you started on your journey to great health.

Remember you can do all things through Christ who will strengthen you! Welcome to The Daniel Plan!

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THE DANIEL PLAN IS BACK!

We are happy to announce The Daniel Plan is starting up again on Saturday, March 7th at 5:30 pm at The Place 4 Kids and facilitated by Craig Melfi and Roy Fegley. If you are interested in checking out The Daniel Plan please feel free to just stop in and see what it is all about at 881 W. America St. right next door to The Place Church.

The Daniel Plan has changed many lives in one way or another. It all depends on the individual and how they wish to apply the plan to their life. Some people make instantaneous change and some take baby steps, it all depends on them! This is a 6 week program geared up to get you started on a healthier you!

Here is what few of our Daniel Plan Alumni has to say:

“When I started the Daniel Plan one year ago I was skeptical as to whether this diet would work, as for I become disinterested in things quickly, until I read the book The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier You. Then I was hooked. It has great recipes, and basically easy to follow. If you’re hungry, you are not eating enough! I discovered this is not a diet, it is a plan, also it’s a walk with God. Making friends in the group I believe has helped my faith in a lot of things. I have lost 81 pounds to date and still am doing The Daniel Plan today! Join, Commit, and Succeed!” What an amazing testimony by James Loughry!

“I learned that it if you ask God for help with trying to be and get healthy he will show a strength you never know you had. Also that doing it with friends is easier than alone.” Thank you Craig Melfi!

Jayne Hellier says, “Knowing God is with us and sharing reasons for past struggles and how to stay focused is so helpful to success!”

Carroll Pulis has a great point here she says, “Having an accountability partner is really important to keep on track.”

I learned what God had to say about taking care of my body and by choosing a healthy lifestyle you actually honoring Him. Also that when you make healthy choices you feel better and can be more effective in every area of your life so you can be the person and live the life that God wants for you!” this is a fabulous testimony from Michal Combs!

There are many others that have lost weight, changed the way they look at food, and have taken up exercising. But the one thing they all have in common first and foremost is they found a closer relationship with God.

“Many diets and fitness plans use guilt as a motivation, but that never works in the long run. You can guilt yourself into doing anything short-term, but the change will last only as long as the guilt (or fear) does. In contrast, The Daniel Plan is built with love as the motivation: Experiencing God’s unconditional love for you, learning to love him back, learning to love whom God made you to be, and learning to give and receive love from others in a small group setting” from The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier You.

As you can see The Daniel Plan has and is impacting people in our community! Speaking of community The Daniel Plan is open to anyone interested outside of THE PLACE Church! So why not grab a friend and see how the Daniel Plan can effectively impact your life, we hope to see you there!

A Special Fathers Day Message from Moses!

I can still see their faces. They had that look of pity plastered on their faces like witnesses to a pending execution! The subject of their gaze was my family. It was at a Monday morning school assembly in my primary school back in Uganda. I was in 3rd grade and I, along with all the members of family, was publically beaten based on a false accusation trumped up by one of the teachers. He claimed we had vandalized the school because we lived the closest to the premises. We went home broken and humiliated for something we hadn’t done. Naturally, we told our dad. What happened next made me so proud of my dad. He marched into that school red-faced with anger and sought out the teacher who had made the accusation and had beaten us. The scared teacher had to run and lock himself in a classroom while my dad stood outside wanting to serve some justice. While I don’t advocate his methodology I applaud his courage in going to face with the one who would dare harm his family. My father did not take a passive stance when there was a threat to his family. He faced it head-on, taking his role as protector seriously. That, in my eyes, was a display of courage.

Courage is that quality that everyone and especially we men crave! The ability to face danger with seeming disregard for our safety because we are driven by a greater good! A damsel in distress, a nation or people or family that need saving! To do what needs to be done not because it is easy but because it is right. Every one of us has at some point asked the question, “Do I have what it takes? Am I courageous?” In today’s world we need courage more than ever to do the things God has called us to do! There are threats to our families all around. As the world drills into the minds of younger generations that the principles in the Word of God are antiquated and don’t apply today. When sin is not only accepted as normal but is celebrated and encouraged. It’s going to take courage to take God at his word and live as more than fans but disciples of Jesus. “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars…they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Revelations 21:8

The other day I was reading this very scripture. The cowardly will not inherit the kingdom of God! And so that led me to ask the question what does it mean to be courageous for the believer in Christ.

There are several examples in the Bible of courage! Peter, asked to stop preaching under penalty of death, replies, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.” Acts 5:29. Elijah, in the Old Testament, challenged the prophets of Baal to a showdown that would require some serious display of Gods power! I chose these two because of the inconsistencies in their “courage.”

Peter’s display of courage is in sharp contrast to his cowardice when he denies knowing Christ! Elijah became so scared for his life after his huge victory that he wanted God to take his life. What happens to cause these men to be bold one moment and chickens the next shows us that courage was a quality given from without and not conjured up from within! By themselves, these were ordinary men, but filled with the Spirit they were lions to be reckoned with! So for the believer:

Courage is a grace bestowed upon the believer through the in filling of the Holy Spirit for the purpose of fulfilling specific missions sanctioned by God!

What this means for me is I don’t have to muster up something from the recesses of my self. Though there may be some natural courage there for some, the source of courage is the Holy Spirit. I just need to depend completely on Christ! Joshua, the man who led the Israelites into the Promised Land epitomizes this in Exodus 33:11b. “Afterward Moses would return to the camp, but the young man who assisted him, Joshua son of Nun, would remain behind in the Tent of Meeting.” He stayed in the presence of God and this, I believe, was the source of His courage. If I am yielded to the voice of the Holy Spirit, I can join the psalmist in saying, “In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall.” Psalm 18:21

By
Moses Lugemye
http://www.lugemye.com

THE PLACE FORCE is getting ‘Daniel Strong’!

 

The Daniel Plan is alive and well at THE PLACE! A lot of people ask what is The Daniel Plan? Well The Daniel Plan is all about Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, and Friends. It is plan to grow healthier spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

See, God designed our bodies to be healthy, providing everything we need to thrive and live abundantly. And with the assistance from medical and fitness experts, Pastor Rick Warren and thousands of people from the congregation at Saddleback Church started a journey to transform their lives. The result: 15,000 people lost over 260,000 pounds in the first year. But the changes in the people’s lives went far beyond the pounds they lost.

The Daniel Plan is far more than a diet plan. It is an appetizing approach to achieving a healthy lifestyle where people are encouraged to get healthier together by optimizing the key five essentials of faith, food, fitness, focus, and friends.

This program encourages you to deepen your relationship with God and develop a community of supportive friends who will encourage you to make healthy choices each and every day. The result is gradual changes that transform your life inside and out.

Here at THE PLACE we started a Daniel Plan group called THE PLACE FORCE that meets on Saturdays at 7:30 am at The Place 4 Kids and YES there is a lot of transformation going on! This group is now wrapping up but but we are happy to let you know you have not missed out because we are planning another exciting group for this Fall starting on Saturday September 13th at 7:00 am. Sign up now at the Information Center at THE PLACE and we would love to tell you more about this wonderful and exciting plan! Let’s get healthy together at THE PLACE!

By Shellie Loughry

5 Keys to Common Sense Biblical Counseling

Now, I’m not talking about the kind of counseling where you need a plaque on the wall to do it. I’m talking about the “‘down and dirty’ representing Jesus to help someone” kind of counseling. As Christians, we are called to be available to help others throughout life.

Let me give you five quick keys to making sure that your Biblical Counseling time is fruitful:

Key #1: Keep Christ First and Last

If you are going to sit down and provide someone with counsel, make sure that you start and end the time in prayer. This is the moment where you can invite the Holy Spirit to be part of the conversation. Ask Him to lead the conversation and help you hear what needs to be heard. Too often we just dive right in without taking time to pray. Take a few minutes to focus on God… it will make all the difference in the world.

Key #2: Listen More Than You Talk

This simple key has revolutionized my ability to counsel. There is something about silence that makes us want to fill it. I get uncomfortable when no one is saying anything so I try to fill it with words. When counseling, you need to embrace the silence. Sometimes, the silence allows the opportunity for the person you are counseling to say what they normally avoid saying. Don’t be afraid to sit, be silent and let THEM fill the void.

Key #3: Don’t Excuse Behavior or Make Excuses for Them

In the past, I would find myself trying to defend or “make sense” of people’s situations. This is not my responsibility. Trust me… people can make enough excuses for themselves and they don’t need my help. I am not here to justify mistakes or actions that they have done, but simply hear them through. Bite your tongue next time and don’t let yourself make excuses.

Key #4: Delineate Between the Need for an Ear and the Need for Advice

Sometimes people just want someone to listen to them. In fact, I’ve found that some people can actually come up with great conclusions for their lives by simply hearing themselves speak. Others, however, need an action plan or steps to apply to their lives by you. As you are counseling them, try to keep an ear open to what their need is. This can happen by asking them near the end of your time, “What are you going to do with what we talked about?” If they don’t have an answer, this may the moment for your two cents.

Key #5: Don’t Tell Them What to Do, But Allow Them to Search Scripture and Pray to Make Decisions

In Biblical Counseling, I want to point people to the Bible and Prayer. God wants to speak to His children. He wants to lead them in their decisions. The more that I can get someone to focus their heart, mind and attention on God… the more wisdom they will be able to attain from Him. This will happen, sometimes, by opening up the Bible and pointing to verses that deal with the subject of the counseling time. It can also come from giving them portions of scripture to read, think about and commit to memory. Point them towards spiritual action and you allow them to develop strong, healthy habits.

There it is! A few keys to help you help others. Now, get out there and get busy helping people make great decisions and find wholeness in their hearts and lives.

– Pastor Greg

Accountability Questions, John Wesley and Honesty Among Friends

Accountability is an important thing in the Christian life. John Wesley took this seriously and encouraged Christians to spend time in small groups and answer some simple questions.

Here are the questions that would be asked in their small groups: 

1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
3. Do I confidentially pass onto another what was told me in confidence?
4. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work , or habits?
5. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
6. Did the Bible live in me today?
7. Do I give it time to speak to me everyday?
8. Am I enjoying prayer?
9. When did I last speak to someone about my faith?
10. Do I pray about the money I spend?
11. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
12. Do I disobey God in anything?
13. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
14. Am I defeated in any part of my life?
15. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful?
16. How do I spend my spare time?
17. Am I proud?
18. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisee who despised the publican?
19. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I going to do about it?
20. Do I grumble and complain constantly? 

21. Is Christ real to me?

Chuck Swindoll was so moved by these questions that he altered them and would ask a group of male Christian leaders that he would meet with on a regular basis these questions: 

1. Have you been with a woman anywhere this past week that might be seen as compromising?
2. Have any of your financial dealings lacked integrity?
3. Have you exposed yourself to any sexually explicit material?
4. Have you spent adequate time in Bible study and prayer?
5. Have you given priority time to your family?
6. Have you fulfilled the mandates of your calling?
7. Have you just lied to me?

These are all great questions. At the heart of it is this simple question… Do you have someone in your life that you can be honest with? If not, you are in dangerous waters. Find someone soon.

Which question was your favorite? Post below and tell us why. 

Modern Day Martyr part 3

Most of you know that we live stream our services every Sunday on USTREAM, which also keeps a copy of the videos for the last 3 months or so.  Well, we’ve started putting together a higher quality version, which will be featured on our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/theplaceaz.  Here for your viewing pleasure is our first uploaded sermon video.

Can You Love Jesus, but Hate Religion?

“What if I told you Jesus came to abolish religion?”  Those are the first words that are said on this video, and I think they’re spot on.  Dictionary.com defines religion as “a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects.”  That’s exactly what was going on when Jesus came, and exactly what he came to abolish.  He called the Pharisees whitewashed tombs, perfect on the outside but, on the inside, full of rotting corpses.  The thing is, that still goes on today.  We show up at church and pretend everything’s perfect, but on the inside we have things that we’re ashamed of, things we want to hide, things we can never let others see.   But Jesus died so we don’t have to hide, so we don’t have to be ashamed, so we can take off our facade and be real.  And that’s the challenge – will you trust in Jesus, will you take of your perfect mask and be real?

The Great Awakening

The first time I heard this song I marveled at the simplicity of the lyrics.

One man wakes, awakens another
Second one wakes his next door brother
Three awake can rouse a town
And turn the whole place upside down
Many awake will cause such a fuss
It finally awakes all of us
One man wakes with dawn in his eyes
Surely then it multiplies
Surely then it multiplies

It seems almost too simplistic, and yet I love the song!  Why?  I think it’s because, first of all, it makes me think of the change that Jesus made that spread from Him, to the disciples, and then to the world.  Second, I think it’s a great picture of what The Place is doing “in our neighborhood, city, country and beyond” every day.  Surely then we multiply!

A Bible App That's NOT 'Lame-oh' ~ Verse(d)

So, I’m sure you’ve experienced some “LAME-OH” Bible game apps in the Droid market. There are all kinds of apps out there, but I think I may have found one that is equally interesting and fun. It is called…

*** Verse(d) ***

And it’s purpose is easy… Memorize scripture through some fun games and fill ins. Through this process you will be enabled to better apply God’s word to your life. It’s a great combo for life transformation!

I have had it for a little over a week now and I really enjoy it. Check it out. It’s free, so if you think it’s LAME-OH, just delete. But if you like it like I do… it just may have the power to change your life forever!

Give it a shot!

GP