Hannibal author Stephanie Dean, a registered dietitian and seminary student, will be teaching a class at Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, TX, about her new book, Fit to Serve. Reporter Amy Van Vleck with the Rockwall County News wrote a fabulous article on Ms. Dean and her book:
Fitness. It is on everyone’s mind. Consistently reaching the top five in New Year’s Resolutions lists, health and fitness are popular goals this time of year. Health clubs and diet centers are teeming with those seeking to improve their health.
There is a special “fitness” class coming soon, as part of the Hot Topics series offered at Lake Pointe Church, that approaches health and fitness from an unusual perspective. While we are all familiar with fitness for cardiovascular health, fitness for rehabilitation, fitness for relaxation, and even fitness for recreation, what does it mean to be fit to serve?
Dietitian Stephanie Dean has written a book to be used in the class that combines the need for physical and spiritual health.
Fit to Serve, the class and the book, are based on the importance of staying both spiritually and physically fit. In the first week, Dean looks at one of the basic spiritual disciplines of studying God’s Word, the Bible. In the book, she explains why studying the Bible is important and how the Bible can help in everyday situations. Dean uses the example of her own struggle with determining a career path and the direction she received by studying God’s Word.
“Nutrition can be a ministry,” she said, as she described her journey into the healthcare profession. “There is a tendency to be consumed with looking a certain way,” she added. Giving in to this pressure leads to all sorts of physical, emotional, and spiritual derailments. “We tend to rely more on our crutch than we rely on God,” Dean said. “But once we remember that our identity is in Christ, we can really recognize who God is.
“We are all on a spiritual journey,” she added. “The physical side [of health] is a choice everyday; that’s why I focus on preventative medicine.
“But in the book of Deuteronomy and in Matthew 22, we learn that we are to love God, then love others. So, how can I move beyond myself— to a neighbor—if I am not healthy, if I am unable?
“That’s where serving is involved. For Christians, called to be good stewards, we must consider the gap between our physical and spiritual abilities.”
What a concept!
Designed for use in group meetings such as the Hot Topics class, the book contains five lessons each week for six weeks that combine spiritual disciplines, nutrition and exercise for a comprehensive wellness program. Dean coordinated with Don and Carol Mathus, fitness experts, and Julie Bender, a dietitian, to create a step-by-step plan to improve one’s well-being. The plan centers on the spiritual condition as the foundation for a healthy life.
Each daily lesson includes a spiritually focused topic and a Health Bite with tips and specific exercise guidelines. The spiritual portion is divided into six disciplines: Bible study, prayer, worship, service, solitudeand simplicity. Spiritual topics such as anxiety, forgiveness and faith are studied from a biblical perspective. The Health Bites include tips for staying motivated, exercising correctly, eating a balanced diet and setting goals – all with the over-arching theme that “health improvement is forever.”
The uniqueness of this class, connecting our ability to serve with fitness, leads one to wonder where it fits in the life committed to Christ. Dean says that service solidifies your relationship to the church.
“I needed my co-writers to do what they do best,” she said. “They are gifted in different ways. We are one body with many parts, and we are designed to work together.”
Fit to Serve is not only a six-week class and a book, it is a Bible study to be shared with other believers who want to shed some light on their struggles—within a Christian context—while shedding some pounds and releasing some tension. It is one of several “Hot Topics” classes being offered at Lake Pointe Church beginning the weekend of January 24/25. These one-hour classes take place during weekend services and childcare is provided.
The Fit to Serve class is offered at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays beginning January 25. To register, visit lakepointe.org.
View the original article here.