Monday, July 28, 2008


Yesterday I went to (which I highly recommend) and searched all of the passages (in NKJV) that talk about tests. I believe that the Lord is using the temptations I am having with my eating issues as tests. I knew that they therefore were good, but looking at all of these scriptures has really helped me to appreciate the tests. It has also given me a new perspective on testing. I think we have a misconception of the purpose of tests from the Lord because of how we view tests from school. In school, it's all about the test... or the grade you get on the test. But for the Lord, the test is a tool that He uses to purify us. To make us clean and beautiful for His Son.

Another cool thing is that as I searched the scriptures yesterday, I had no idea that He was going to use them to prepare me for more trials to come last night. Something that would have normally have been really difficult to deal with was much easier because the value of tests and refinement were already on the forefront of my mind. So, although I have put my thoughts in parenthesis and they mainly apply to my eating struggles, they also apply to any kind of test He may be taking us through. Thank You, Lord!

I hope these scriptures are helpful for you as well.

The LORD tests the righteous,But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Psalm 11:5 (He tests me because He loves me.)

For You, O God, have tested us;You have refined us as silver is refined. Psalm 66:10

The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the LORD tests the hearts. Proverbs 17:3 (explains refine/purify me. To cleanse me. There is a purpose!!)

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it;
For how should My name be profaned?
And I will not give My glory to another. Isaiah 48:10-11 (Why? For His sake...that His name would not be profaned. That means it is all worth it!)

I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings. Jeremiah 17:10 (Another purpose is so that He can reward me according to what is truly in my heart. This will be revealed during the test.)

Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 1 Corinthians 3:12-14 (This testing can prepare me for the BIG test to the presence of the Lord.)

Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:20-22 (I am also to test all things.)

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son... Hebrews 11:17 (How do I pass the tests? By faith!)

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4 (God uses trials to test us. Testing produces patience. It is possible to leave the test incomplete...I need to persevere to "let patience have its perfect work, that I may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." I feel this is very significant for me right now. Sometimes I feel like giving up and being satisfied with a measure of freedom when God has told me to persevere until there is COMPLETE FREEDOM!)

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory... 1 Peter 1:6-8 (We go through trials because we need to--so that our faith can be refined to bring praise, honor and glory to Jesus whom we is all for love. And the end result? Joy inexpressible!)


What is gluttony? Duscuss!

To get us started, here is the Merriam-Webster definition from their CD-Rom. I am not sure if it differs at all from the book form:

1. excess in eating or drinking
2. greedy or excessive indulgence

(BTW, I have been thinking a lot lately about greed. Soon I plan to do a post about greed so stay tuned!)


Following is part of an e-mail that I just sent to my new prayer and accountability partner, Missy. I thought it would be good to post since it shows where I am right now...warts and all! :-)

I NEED accountability, Girl! It's like when I started this it was so easy. I think the feeling of bondage was still so fresh that I was motivated to be obedient. Now it has been hard. Especially with desserts. I am also praying through whether this is an emotional-eating issue, self-control-issue or physical issue. IE is my eating sugar again creating more intense cravings? Maybe it's a combination. But basically it looks like this: I think about food a lot and especially desserts. I can't wait until the evening to have a yummy dessert after the kids go down. Usually I have not saved room...sometimes I tell myself I have when I really haven't. Isn't that awful? I welcome your prayers.

I have not journaled this week except yesterday and today. Yes, I told you I have been a bad girl! But I am recommitted to journaling. It is a huge help for me. And I am recommitting to eating when sitting down. Exceptions are I'm cooking and I need to taste something or just eat a bite here or there. But if I don't have this "rule" in place, my nibbling gets out of control. It looks like this: I am fixing dinner and I am hungry. So I tell myself it's ok to eat this and that but by the time I have dinner made, I'm half-way full but I don't "feel" like I have eaten because I didn't sit down with food on a plate.

Weighing this morning was hard at first because I am up 2 pounds. But later I actually found myself thanking God that the scales reflected the truth. I was over-indulgent this week. The Lord asked, "would you feel better if the scales said you were the same? What if you were "good" and up 2 pounds? Would you feel like you had been bad?" Thankfully these lies are slowly but surely being replaced with the truth. It's kind of like grades. Would I feel better about getting an "A" in a super-easy class or about a "C" that I worked my rear off for?

Funny thing is the snack hour has been good! :-) Thanks for praying!

I realize that I tend more toward sharing my failures than my triumphs. I need to change that. I just tend to have that "if it's not broke, don't fix it" mentality. But for my sake and to give a true reflection to all of you faithful readers, I will attempt to share more of the whole picture of my journey to freedom. I hope to be able to share a "triumphant" post soon! :-)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

From "The Diet Alternative"

A person can be just as obsessed with food when he is on a diet as when he is overeating. He still thinks about food just as much.
There are some highly successful diet plans which allow you to eat a great deal of food, but only certain types...
It is like a heroin addict going on methadone--the addiction is still there, but you take methadone instead of the more destructive heroin.
pages 18-19

By the way, my intent here is not to condemn all diets. The Lord has used diets in my life in the past. I am simply pointing out that while diets can help us lose weight and adopt healthier eating habits, they do not address issues like gluttony, self-indulgence and idolatry that are frankly ... sin. When I reached my "goal weight" on South Beach, I found that I could eat a little more, but in order to stay at goal, I still had to continue to diet. I had learned how to "make the food behave" (to borrow a term from one author), but in order to walk in true freedom from gluttony and dieting, I know that it will take something different. I need to learn how to make myself behave which really means allowing Christ to transform me into His likeness.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Fear of the Lord leads to life,
And he who has it will abide in satisfaction;
He will not be visited with evil.

Proverbs 19:23

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I usually get hungry in the afternoons. Usually, sometime between 3 and 4 I am hungry...the kids are resting...I want a snack...something salty, then something sweet, then...I've pretty much eaten a full meal! Okay, that doesn't happen every time. Sometimes I just don't eat at all. Sometimes I am self-controlled enough to stop at a small snack. But lately it has been hard.

Technically there's nothing wrong with my eating to fullness in the afternoon except for the fact that I will not be hungry for dinner. Then I have to choose either to not eat dinner with the family or eat dinner when not hungry.

And there's the guilt.

For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. Romans 7:15

I want to be able to skip the snack altogether. Just eat 3 meals a day and maybe a bedtime snack if I have an early dinner. So, I re-commit again to doing that. But when the time comes, my thoughts go like this, "I am hungry. I can eat when I am hungry. I will just eat a little. Okay, just a little more..."

Please pray for me. I really do think I need to skip the snack. Mainly because it is just so hard for me to keep it small. Instead of a small snack satisfying me, I just want more.

So, to help myself stay accountable, I will check back tomorrow and let you know how it goes tomorrow afternoon. Because in case you can't tell, I blew it this afternoon. :-(

O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:24-25

Monday, July 21, 2008

Book Discussion Coming Up--Who Wants To Join Us?

I read "The Diet Alternative" by Diane Hampton about 2 months ago and it has been really helpful for me to see my eating issues as something that God wants to be Lord over just as He wants to be Lord over all of my life. As I read, I felt empowered, not condemned. It is a short book and chock-full of truth. I want to read it again. :-)

I already have at least two others who want to read it with me and participate in a weekly discussion (yeah!) I have stopped the discussions for Love To Eat/Hate To Eat because people (including myself) seemed to lose interest. Don't get me wrong, it is great book and I have read it before, but I digress...

A word about this book that can be applied to many books. I gleaned a LOT from this book ,but I did not follow all of her advice. For example, she suggests people who have a bondage to gluttony should fast a meal daily. I won't go into why, but I just wanted to say from the beginning that I don't do this because a. I am not trying to lose weight anymore b. I am hypoglycemic and it's very difficult for me to fast and c. God didn't lead me to. I don't see anything wrong with it and think it could be a really good thing for some people. Just wanted to point out that you don't have to do all that she suggests in order to benefit from the book.

If you are interested in learning more, click on the picture of the book, "The Diet Alternative" to the left and it will take you to where you can "see inside." You can almost read the entire first chapter. (Thanks, Honey for being my techie!) By the way, this is the original version. There is a newer version out that has a study guide. I have the original version and just plan to make up my own questions. :-)

If after prayerful consideration, you are prepared to buy the book and participate in a weekly discussion for 10-12 weeks, then let me know so in the comments. I'd love to have you join us. In order to participate in this book discussion, you will need to:

1. Buy the book.
2. Read weekly.
3. Participate weekly (I know there are occasionally times you will need to miss, but I would like a core group that will discuss every week.)

I am open to suggestions on the day we have discussion. I will post the question the night before or that morning. The discussion will actually take place on another page which will be password-protected so that only those of us participating in the discussion will be able to read the comments.

So, if you are interested in joining, let me know so in the comments. Also, let me know how soon you would be able to start. I am thinking of starting in 1-3 weeks, depending on the response I get.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

21 Days Are Up!

So, thus ends our second 21 Day Habit Challenge. Did anyone stick around to the bitter end? Give me your thoughts, people!

I was able to go to bed on time within 5 minutes of 10:00 every night except a handful...and most of those were unavoidable because of traveling. However, I don't know if it qualifies as a habit for me. Probably because I took weekends off. But I am really glad I did it and I do feel a bit more refreshed! :-)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Let's Not Forget About Verse 29!

(I got this little nugget from a Revive Our Hearts podcast as well!)

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Why does God work everything together for good? So we can be happy and avoid pain? Nope, so we can be conformed (you know, we die that He can live...we deny ourselves so we can walk by the Spirit...we change to line up with His standard...not always easy, fun stuff!) to the image of His son. Then the joy comes!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Look To Him!

I am reading a book by Nancy Leigh DeMoss titled "Holiness." It has made such an impact on my life, I really think everyone should read it!

In the chapter, "The Face of Holiness," she writes about the struggles against sin that we go through when we pursue holiness in our lives. She quotes Hudson Taylor:

Is there no rescue? Must it be thus to the end--constant conflict and, instead of victory, too often defeat?"

He later received a letter from a fellow missionary, John McCarthy, that would change his life. Part of it read,

Abiding, not striving nor struggling; looking off unto Him; trusting Him for present power; trusting Him to subdue all inward corruption; resting in the love of an almighty Savior;...this is not new, and yet 'tis new to me. I feel as though the first dawning of a glorious day has risen upon me.

His yoke is easy and his burden is light!

Nancy later quotes Charles Spurgeon:

Though you have struggled in vain against your evil habits, though you have wrestled with them sternly, and resolved, and re-resolved, only to be defeated by your giant sins and your terrible passions, there is One who can conquer all your sins for you. There is One who is stronger than Hercules, who can strangle the Hydra of your lust, kill the lion of your passions, and cleanse the Augean stable of your evil nature by turning the great rivers of blood and water of His atoning sacrifice right through your soul. He can make and keep you pure within. Oh, look to Him!

Looking unto Him, not striving, is the key to becoming more like Him:

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:18

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Habit Challengers Check In Here!

We are 14 days in to our second habit challenge. How's everyone doing?
Debbie--How's the time with God going?
Missy--Any more success with going to bed (and to sleep) earlier?
Cristina--Keeping to the snack time boundaries?
Bird--Going over your verses every day?

Me? This challenge has been challenging :-), but very good! I have made it to bed within 5 minutes of 10:00 each night except when we've been out of town or on a day when we had just driven back to town.

Keep persevering! If you've fallen off, get back on! 7 days to go!!!!
Suffering can be anything from traffic jams to taxes to tumors and everything in-between.

--Elisabeth Elliot

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


The world , our flesh and the devil say, "Avoid suffering at all costs!!" But God says,

"Therefore since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same mind. For he who suffers in the flesh has ceased from sin. That he may no longer live the rest of his days in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God." 1 Peter 4:1-2

Lord, help me to embrace suffering as a gift from Your hand. Suffering, when it comes from You, is good. If I enjoyed it, it wouldn't be suffering. Still, please give me the grace to endure suffering with thanksgiving and to not avoid it out of a desire to feel good. I ask that You would renew my mind so that your thoughts on suffering would become my own. Amen.

Monday, July 7, 2008

How Does Gluttony Begin?

From "The Diet Alternative" by Diane Hampton

To understand the solution, we need to have some understanding of how gluttony begins in a life, how it becomes a stronghold. We have a number of scriptural examples of Jesus feeding our physical bodies. There was always a consistent order. First, spirits were fed and then bodies were fed. First, He taught and ministered to the spirit, then He multiplied the loaves and fishes to feed the body... [see Matthew 14:17-20.]

Gluttony begins when this system gets out of order.
A person feels frustrated, bored, angry, or lonely, but rather than dealing with the spiritual problem, they eat. These are the "deceitful meats" spoken of in Proverbs 23:2. It is food eaten for the wrong reason--to avoid dealing with the deeper problem.

I am reading this book now for the second time. It is so good. Not at making me feel better (I often find myself saying "ouch!") but at helping me get better (getting free!)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Habit Challengers Check In Here!

It's been one week into our new 21 day challenge. How is everyone doing?

Me? I have had some challenges, being out of town and all, but have been in bed on time when possible and I think it's helping. I have not been so good at maintaining my previous challenge of sitting down to eat. I am changing that, however, because I don't want to form good habits just to lose them!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Walking By The Spirit

Lately I have been slipping. Little by little I have given ground to the enemy. I have "allowed" myself to do my own thing instead of seeking God's will in every day situations. I have given into the sins of impatience, self-indulgence, pride and worry; just to name a few.

In doing this, I have chosen to not walk in the Spirit and to gratify the desires of the flesh.

My little "pet sins" have grown (as they always do) and have gotten out of control. I have grown less and less sensitive to sin and it's a yucky place to be!

But I am so thankful that His mercy endures forever! That by the blood of Jesus Christ I can repent (which I've done) and re-commit myself to Him.

I recommit to be disciplined with...
* My time--I will follow my schedule unless I believe He is leading me otherwise.
* My eating--I will stick to the guidelines He has given me unless I believe He is leading me otherwise.
* My spiritual disciplines--I will be faithful in prayer, Bible reading and memorization and general abiding in Him.
* My emotions--I will trust, not fear. I will submit, not rebel. I will be patient, not angry. I will smile! :-) I will deny myself!!

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Please share any thoughts, insights and tips that you have relating to walking by the Spirit.