Founder, Joyce Meyer Ministries, Fenton, MO
Enjoying Everyday Life TV and radio broadcasts heard
throughout the US & the world
Travels extensively conducting conferences
NY Times Best Selling author of over 70 books
Named one of Time magazine's top 25 evangelical leaders
TRAGEDY INTO TRIUMPH
Joyce Meyer’s testimony is turning tragedy into triumph. One of the ways that she tries to help people is through honestly sharing stories from her own life. In the beginning it was very difficult for her to confront her pain from the abuse she suffered as a child. Unfortunately, even in today’s society childhood abuse still happens and it is a cause of great shame and destruction. Joyce can remember the pain and emotions that she went through as a result of the abuse and she hopes that THE PENNY will touch a chord and bring restoration to those trying to overcome their past. Joyce wants to show them that there is hope and they can have freedom.
Although Joyce has written many books on a variety of topics, this is her first work of fiction. Working with best-selling fiction author Deborah Bedford was a new and rewarding experience. Neither one of them had ever co-authored a book. They are already working on their next project which will be released in 2009.
The storyline of THE PENNY is based on Joyce’s life but could also be the story of a million other people. It is the story of abuse and the damage it does. Two sisters are both being abused by an angry father, each responding in a different way. It is the story of a mother who is afraid to confront him and the additional pain her fear causes in her daughters’ lives. It’s also a story that depicts how God is always watching over us, even when we don't realize that He is. It is a story of hope, bravery, survival and victory. It is a story of forgiveness. Jenny, who is the main character, is a fourteen-year-old girl who shows great courage by doing what others are not willing to do and even what some would consider unpopular. The book is written in the 1950's when the struggle for integration was at its height. At the time, many people would not have approved of Jenny's best friend, Aurelia, who is a black girl. But it’s through this friendship with Aurelia that ultimately leads Jenny into a personal relationship with Jesus. This is what gives Jenny the strength to confront her father and break the pattern of abuse in her family.
Besides the book itself, Joyce is really excited that the book has been optioned for a movie. The rights have already been sold to Weinstein Company and she will even get a chance to participate in the casting of the actors. She’s glad to see that there have been a lot of recent movies about Bible stories, but she really hopes that this project will help people understand that God is available to everyone and works in our everyday life.
Joyce is also working on a project in Cambodia called “Hope Cambodia.” It was inspired by her 2006 “Hope Rwanda” project where for 100 days people from around the world came together to bring healing and hope to Rwanda. “Hope Cambodia” will be for 30 days and will take place from July 14 – August 12, 2007. Projects will include building homes, orphanages, and community centers; caring for widows, orphans, and prisoners; training; teaching, and praise and worship with Hillsong's Darlene Zschech.
LOOK GREAT, FEEL GREAT
It has been on Joyce's heart to write Look Great, Feel Great for a long time. She wrote the book because she got concerned that people don't take care of themselves.
The information she shares is a lifestyle change, not a diet. Joyce went through the yo-yo diet cycle unsuccessfully and realized she had to change her lifestyle. The keys she shares are doable for the average person.
Joyce is not knocking down other health books and methods, but she says that a lot of times many diets and health plans are extreme and most people can't do them. She thinks people should take their time with making a lifestyle change.
Joyce also says, "I am 63-years-old and I can truthfully say that I feel better physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually than I ever have in my life..."
She believes some of the reasons people haven't been taking care of themselves like they should are:
1) People have misunderstood what the apostle Paul said about focusing too much on outward appearances. Of course, the spirit is the most important thing, but it is not wrong to look good.
2) Lack of information, i.e. people don't know that getting five hours of sleep isn't enough and drinking water is important.
3) People don't like themselves and don't make an investment in themselves – people have to put themselves at the bottom of the list and they don't have to.
JOYCE'S HEALTH JOURNEY
Joyce recalls how she started with unhealthy habits. She didn't feel good about herself early in life. She was sexually abused and overweight in childhood. Her family would have starches and no vegetables in their diet.
By the time Joyce was 18-years old she had physical problems – colon problems due to stress. She would gain her worth and value through work, and she had migraines and problems with her monthly cycle. Even when she was starting in ministry, she was not taking care of herself properly.
Joyce says, "During this time, I didn't understand why God wasn't protecting my health...I was breaking God's laws of health and rest and He wasn't giving me a special pass that excused me from reaping what I was sowing."
Joyce also says, "The foundation of true health is a relationship with Jesus Christ...I believe good health for the whole person requires a solid faith in God through Jesus Christ. He helped me through the rough years and He restored me. God showed me what to do and led me to make positive changes. Sometimes it took me a long time to fully obey, but I can tell you from experience that God's ways work."
In her late 30s, she had breast cancer. One day, she read a nutrition book that helped her get on the path to health. It helped her lose weight. She started taking vitamins and made healthier choices.
12 KEYS TO A HEALTHY LIFE
Joyce has twelve keys she believes will help a person restore their lives to a healthy balance. They are:
1) Let God Do the Heavy Lifting
2) Learn to Love Your Body
3) Mastering Metabolism
5) Balanced Eating
6) Water Your Life [drink water]
7) Mindful Eating
8) Curb Your Spiritual Hunger
10) Right Vision
11) Make It Easy
12) Take Responsibilty.
Take Key 7, Mindful Eating. People don't realize what they put in their mouths. A few days ago Joyce was in a furniture store and there was a plate of cookies out for people. She is sure that as people took cookies, they did not realize what was in each cookie and how many calories they were consuming at one time. People don't have to eat everything set before them. It is valuable for people to be informed about what's in food, how to eat properly, and how to take care of their bodies. Many people overeat because they're spiritually hungry and try to fill what only God can fill or out of boredom.
Joyce says we need to model good habits for the next generation. She says her mother didn't have many vegetables in her family's diet growing up and that was Joyce's model for health. Parents need to make sure their children have a good diet, exercise and nurture their self-esteem.
Also, people need to get God involved. Joyce was struggling with losing 10 pounds. She tried everything from dieting to getting help from her doctor, but nothing seemed to work. She took this problem to God and He told her to eat the necessary food. She did what He said and lost the weight.
Joyce says people can start simply. They can read this book and others to be more informed about their bodies and how to take care of themselves. Joyce's sister-in-law just started drinking more water and she started losing weight. We need to exercise, just moving more – like taking the stairs instead of the elevator. People are too convenience oriented. Take care of yourself. Invest in yourself.
Joyce says people should do what they can do and God will do what they can't. Joyce says, "Eventually, you'll have twelve small lifestyle changes you've adopted...If you really internalize these twelve little habits, you'll have truly changed, top to bottom, inside and out."
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.