An Invitation to be Inspired

January 8, 2015 | By David Bush


As we begin the new year, I hope you’re able to look back with satisfaction at a year filled with gracious blessings, faith-building challenges, and spiritual and personal growth.

It’s possible that amidst the accomplishments of the past year, you also harbor feelings of angst or regret over unfulfilled goals or missed opportunities. Wherever you find yourself, each new year brings with it a certain optimism that we can change, grow, and experience significant improvement in our relationships, our vocational and spiritual pursuits, and our physical bodies.

As I’ve engaged with Beaverdale residents, I’ve found that issues involving health, fitness and nutrition attract a lot of your attention. Many recognize that we live in a culture that increasingly produces two opposing lifestyle alternatives: the extradorinary pursuit of all things health and fitness related…or the gravitational slide toward sedentary lives of consumption. God has entrusted each of us with a significant responsibility to maintain our bodies, as the purposes He has for each of us are only able to be accomplished when we are alive and healthy. Perhaps the new year will provoke you to take stock of your own physical situation and consider what changes might need to be made.

To help you in this endeavor, First Federated is planning several events to be held on January 16-17. INSPIRE2015 is a weekend of opportunities to learn, engage, experience and compete. At the Friday evening and Saturday morning conference you will have the opportunity to hear from double Olympian (and former neighborhood resident) Lolo Jones, NY Times bestselling fitness author and former Muscle and Fitness writer Jimmy Peña, and Des Moines University President Dr. Angela Franklin in addition to nearly 20 other health, fitness and nutrition experts. On Saturday, January 17, we will also be hosting a free health fair on our campus. For those who would like to compete in a holistic fitness challenge, we have partnered with the Wellmark Downtown YMCA and the Walnut Creek YMCA to host Elite and Novice fitness competitions the same day. For non-competitors, we will offer a health screening at the YMCA Healthy Living Center in Clive.

This inaugural INSPIRE2015 weekend will conclude at our morning services on Sunday, January 18, when several of the conference speakers will address the topic “Fit For Life” at our 3 morning services.

Your health has an oversized impact on your quality of life, your productivity, and your spiritual vitality. I hope that you can join us as we explore a balanced and biblically-informed approach to health and fitness at our INSPIRE2015 events. You can find out more about all the events and register at I can’t think of a more positive way to start the new year!