When New Life Church in Pittsburg, PA wants to make a change, they go all in. And by all in we mean the WHOLE CHURCH. We love how this community made a transformation for the long haul and are reaping the benefits of sticking together. Here’s how Marlyn tells their story.
Fit For the Fight
Our journey with The Daniel Plan began in September 2012. It started when our Senior Pastor asked me to research what The Daniel Plan was and how it could be implemented in our church. He was planning a series of messages on how we have to be spiritually, mentally, physically, and financially fit to do the work God has called us to do.
We kicked off The Daniel Plan as a church in January of 2013. During the first year we planned several activities that included an exercise class and walking around the local mall as a group. With busy schedules and family responsibilities, we decided a Facebook group page would be a great forum to communicate with one another and to share encouragement and information. We also sent out a monthly email to share news, events, and links to free resources on The Daniel Plan website. As a church, we love to fellowship over food and focused on being more health conscious when we enjoyed meals together. Now we offer more fresh fruit and vegetables.
Reaping the Rewards
The seeds planted in that first year have reaped blessings for several members, including myself. Here are some highlights:
- Weight loss
- Positive doctor’s visits
- Regular exercise
- Transformed old eating habits into healthy eating habits
- Normalized immune system
- Heart issues relieved
- Improved blood work numbers
- Decrease in regular medications
- Normal blood pressure
- Improved blood sugar
- Increased focus at work
These are just a few examples of what God has been doing in our community! Praise the Lord!
Unstoppable. Unwavering. Uncompromising.
We are now in the second year with The Daniel Plan – the new book, the bible study, and new website full of free resources and information at our fingertips – what a blessing these have been to us. We are now finishing up the last two lessons of the bible study and looking forward to new adventures utilizing what we have learned with the Five Essentials. We tried the Recipe of the Week from Session 3 of the bible study and loved it. None of us had ever eaten brown rice pasta. The recipe was so easy and yummy! Everyone brought in an ingredient for the recipe and we prepared it as a group. What a fun time we had preparing and eating together!
We have all had to face challenges and even some setbacks since we began The Daniel Plan. But, it’s how we face those challenges and respond to the setbacks we’ve experienced that has made the difference. I am so glad that The Daniel Plan is a “guilt-free” program. That kind of freedom is simply priceless. If we slip off the plan, we don’t have to wallow in self-pity or guilt. We just get back up and keep pressing forward because we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13). If I mess up, it’s not the end of the world. The Daniel Plan is a lifestyle, not a diet. I didn’t get in this condition with my health and weight overnight, so learning to live a healthier lifestyle isn’t going to be overnight process either.
Taking Care and Honoring God
I can honestly say that we have been very supportive of one another through this process. Prayer, encouraging words, making changes that support and not derail our efforts individually and collectively has been key. And loving one another. We couldn’t do it without loving one another. No other diet or program highlights abundance, not deprivation. If we want to be everything that God has called for us to be and to give God our best, then we have to take care of the temple, because His Spirit dwells in us and we want to honor God with our lives and in all that we do! The Daniel Plan has given us the tools and resources we need to honor God in how we eat, drink and move.
Marlyn’s hopes for the future are bright. He is praying that New Life Church of God will continue this journey of learning and growing. They are single-minded in being good stewards of what God has given them as individuals and a community. What a great example they are for the Church worldwide.