Celebration of Grace – Lesson 8 TW Class 2014

Celebration of Grace – Lesson 8 TW Class 2014

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
– 2 Peter 3:18
We have been saying for eight weeks that God’s grace is a constant pardon, provision, power and Presence on this journey. Jerry Bridges says:
As we grow in grace…we grow in our motivation to obey God out of a sense of gratitude and reverence to Him.  Our obedience will always be imperfect in performance in this life.  We will never perfectly obey Him until we are made perfect by Him…Begin to think daily about the implications of the grace of God in your life.

If you want to see greater obedience in your life, maybe it isn’t necessarily that you need to “buckle down.” Perhaps it is looking up! Maybe it is praising God for His grace that is really what is needed!

Video Questions:

1. Have you felt frustrated by falling far behind in the lesson material? What will you do about it? Pick one of the following: a.) beat yourself up about it b.) quit and join another group when you can do it “more perfectly” c.) pick up where we are now and just move forward extending yourself grace

2. At 01:00, I talk about tools, workbooks, webinars serving US, rather than the other way around. What does this mean? Have you been feeling burdened by slavery to your workbook? What will you do instead? What would exemplify grace in your life?

3. 01:35 What are three ways that you can extend grace to yourself?

4. 02:18 Do you Observe and Correct? Or Observe and Condemn? What is the difference, practically speaking? Why should we *never* condemn ourselves?

5. 03:26-03:49 What is the root of perfectionism? What do you think about this?

6. Look up Psalm 74:1. What is the significance that God has recorded statements like this one forever in His Word? How is the fact that this is a *song* sung in worship by the Israelites indicative of grace?

7. In what ways do you have the most difficulty (on this journey) extending grace to yourself? In light of the price Christ paid to be able to offer you grace, how do you feel about that?

8. At 05:58 the video shifts to looking at the Observation and Correction chart, beginning with a discussion of the Keys to Conscious Eating. Which keys are our primary boundary in Thin Within? Can you state them in your own words? Has God convicted you that this is a boundary for you to follow? How might a boundary actually be an expression of grace?

9. Consider the discussion of the Keys to Conscious Eating. Which of keys #2 through #7 are the most difficult for you to follow? Which might be the most helpful for you in sensing an approaching “5” on the hunger scale?

10. Prayerfully consider using the Observation and Correction Chart this week in the Temple Tool Kit. If you don’t have the TTK, you can download O & C charts here. (The Apple TW app also has the Observation and Correction chart in it.)

11. At the tail end of the video, I fade out making a comment about Daisy Dog. Had grace not stepped in to her life, her end would not have been so rosy. How are you and I similar?

Renewing the Mind – Pressing On

1. What is true about failure? How has your view of failure changed since beginning this journey?

2. Look up these verses and write new truth cards about failure:

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Philippians 3:12-15

Isaiah 43:18-19 I know I use it a lot, but have a good look at verse 18. Consider what that means. 🙂

Pick One (book or workbook):

Trade Book Assignment – To Be Completed by March 3rd

Here is the Thin Within Book Study Guide Week 8. Feel free to discuss it at our Facebook group.

Workbook Assignment – To Be Completed by March 3rd.

1. Read, highlight, mark 🙂 Lesson 8, Celebration of God’s Grace Part 2, on pages C44 – C49 or listen to it or download it from Sound Cloud.  Discuss it here in the comments section below this post or at our Class Facebook Group. We are having another drawing this week! If you comment this week at the blog and want to be entered to win one of Barb Raveling’s books, Taste for Truth or I Deserve a Donut and Other Lies That Make You Eat, post a relevant comment and indicate that you want to be entered in the drawing. 🙂 It’s that easy!

2. Complete the exercises for Lesson 8 on pages C50 – C56. Don’t worry if you are behind. Just do what you can of this week’s material. Next Monday before the webinar, respond to the Review questions on page C57 or even better–do so at our Facebook discussion group.

3. List 10 attributes of God that have ministered the most to your heart. Have a praise fest, saying back to Him these attributes and thanking him for how they have ministered to you. Share here at the blog how this impacts you.

4. Use the entries for Day 50 through Day 56 in the Temple Tool Kit. This week, the Observation and Correction chart is added. In the video, I mention how I have used the O & C chart. Prayerfully consider giving it a try. It is called Observation and Correction so that you can see where there are “holes” that you can correct. If you don’t see any marks (or few marks) in the “Paid Attention to my Food” row, then you might want to be more mindful of the eating experience if you continue to go past satisfied or “5.”

5. Memorize Philippians 1:6 this week. Personalize it and add it to your truth cards.

6. Join us on March 3rd for our live webinar at 4:30 Pacific Time.

How About You?

Is grace something that you don’t really grasp? How about responding to the encouragement in 2 Peter 3:18…be intentional to “grow in grace.” What does it mean and how can resting in and growing in grace apply to your life and bring relief rather than a burden?

Lesson 7’s webinar recording with Judy Halliday is available here.

I will post the Lesson 7 Discussion Questions here when they are available.

The Magic Moment – Guest Post

The Magic Moment – Guest Post

Image courtesy of Supertrooper / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Supertrooper / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It seems like I spend a lot of my life waiting on things to fall into place; waiting on that magic moment where I find perfection. Whether it’s in my job, my relationships, or in my actions, I feel like there should be a moment where things just “click” and start running smoothly. Or I used to think that way, anyway.

When I first started my Thin Within journey I fully expected to “someday” find that magic moment in eating 0-5. I hoped it would happen quickly, but figured it might take a while. I was ok with that, knowing it gave me something to work towards and look forward to.

I assumed as the weeks went on I would get better and better at eating within my boundaries, until eventually it would all fall into place and become natural. I would stop “messing up” and would get to my natural weight. I would no longer have a problem with food. Eating 0-5 would become second nature.

After weeks of two steps forward, one step back and experiencing victory only to turn around and find failure staring me in the face, I see things a little differently. I realize that it does get easier in some ways; I get better at it with practice, but it will always be a battle. Why? Because Satan hates me honoring God in my eating, he hates me finding victory, and he will never give up on the battle to win me over to fleshly living. If anything the battle will intensify.

It’s not really fun to think about those things. Nobody wants to suffer. But we have to count the cost. I have counted the cost and I realized that the suffering is worth it. It’s only my flesh suffering anyway, and when my flesh suffers my spirit soars! I’m finding that I’m actually thankful for the battle. I’m drawing near to God, and if this battle is what keeps me trusting in Him, it’s worth it. “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10b

I no longer desire that magic moment. In fact I hope it doesn’t come! That magic moment parades itself as victory, but is really pride. It’s the moment you think: “I’ve got this” and whether you realize it or not, at the same time your heart is saying “Thanks God, Your work here is done.” It’s the moment you stop clinging to God because you just can’t do it without Him.

On the one hand, it would be nice to not feel helpless. But at what cost? At the cost of abiding in Him? No thanks. This is just another of Satan’s tactics to win the battle. If He can get us to think we don’t need God, if he can fill our hearts with that lie, then we never find abundant living.

True victory is in the moments when I see God’s grace working in my life, the moments where I stay within 0-5, the moments where I choose God over food. Those moments don’t come because I’m strong enough or because I’ve got a handle on things. They come because of the strength God provides, because my eyes are fixed on Him. When we have those moments, recognize that they are because of Him, and praise Him for them, those are magic moments much better than moments with a false sense of security.

There are other magic moments too. When I have moments of failure I have to renew my mind with scriptures like Romans 8:1, remembering that there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” Also Titus 2:11-14, remembering God sees me as perfect and gives me His grace to live the Spirit-filled life. When those moments of failure become moments of observation and correction, when they become learning and growing experiences, those are also magic moments.

To live in faith (Hebrews 11:6) run the race (Hebrews 12:1-3) find transformation through the renewing of my mind (Romans 12:2) and press on to the end (Philippians 3:10-12) are more moments that are truly magical. All those things can only be done by the grace of God. His grace is truly miraculous, much more so than a wee little human thinking they can do things on their own. How thankful I am that God has taught me this BIG lesson (among many others) through Thin Within!

What about you?

Do you find yourself wishing for the magic moment where you no longer feel helpless, but feel like you’ve got your eating under control?

Why might that moment have a negative impact on your life?

What are some God-honoring magic moments you’ve experienced?

Would you rather suffer so your relationship with God can be protected? Is it worth it to you?

kelsaKelsa Turner lives in the Great Smoky Mountains with her husband Luke and her black lab Roscoe. She enjoys the freedom of being self-employed to be able to work, serve, and spend time studying Thin Within and growing in her relationship with God. [Editor Note: Kelsa has agreed to teach an online Thin Within class for us! Be sure to visit this page to see what classes we are offering.]

Drawing Winner!

Photo Courtesy of iStock Photo

Photo Courtesy of iStock Photo


Congratulations, Rosa! You won our drawing for Barb Raveling’s book, I Deserve a Donut and Other Lies That Make You Eat! WOOT! I have sent you an email to get your mailing address. YAY!

We will be having another drawing this week. If you post AT ALL on the blog this week, your name can go in the “hat” for the drawing for another book of Barb’s. Either Taste for Truth or I Deserve a Donut and Other Lies that Make You Eat.

Starting tomorrow. 🙂

It helps if you let me know you want to be included in the drawing when you post. 🙂



God as “Whisperer”–Lessons Learned Through His Provision

God as “Whisperer”–Lessons Learned Through His Provision

Cesar Milan's Show on Net Flix

Cesar Milan’s Show on Net Flix

God often uses my animals to teach me lessons about how he relates to me. I have joked for some time that the reason I have had so many animals (chinchillas, dogs, one cat, horses) is because I need so many living illustrations to learn what most people might absorb just from reading a bible verse or two! Slow on the uptake. That’s me. 🙂

I moved away from home when I was 19, some 33 years ago now. I wasted no time in getting the BIG dogs of my dreams. Never having had big dogs and always wanting some :-), a Golden Retriever named Joshua and a German Shepherd named Morgan became my roommates, constant companions, and parental replacements. (My parents replaced me with a Llasa Apso.)

Joshua’s nature was—of all things—to retrieve. 🙂 That is all there was to it. When he was eager to please, he seemed possessed by a force that drove him to do the unthinkable–ANYTHING to retrieve something for the human who was the object of his devotion—usually me. 🙂

If no ball or stick was readily found, dirty laundry, garbage, blankets pulled off the bed, small children, all were viable alternatives! He just HAD to bring something to show his version of doggie devotion and love. His demonstrations were far from “perfect” (and were quite irritating at times, to be honest), but as his “master,” I recognized the heart behind it. After cleaning up whatever mess he made on his way to retrieving whatever it was, I loved on him, knowing that it was his nature to retrieve. I felt compassion for him, and appreciated even his imperfect obedience.

I still remember when God showed me that He does likewise with me. My earnestness to please him, no matter how misguided or “imperfect,” brings a smile to his face. He, too, cleans up my messes and has compassion on my crude attempts to please him.

Recently, a friend of mine shared about an episode of “The Very Best of Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan” she watched on Net Flix.

If you want to see the episode, check out Collection 1: Episode 7, Power of the Pack, about 32:35 minutes into the episode.

In it, Cesar says:

“Food to me is part of affection.”

I wonder if this accurately captures how God feels about feeding us, His children? Does he, perhaps, love us with food? Many of us love others with food, but I wonder if God’s expression of his love and concern is demonstrated in part by his perfect provision of food for us, his children.

“The food also we have to give to the pack when the mind is calm, submissive, which means they have to be in a very patient state of mind for them to receive this food.”

Oh! I wonder how long my God would have to wait to feed me if he waited as Cesar does…for my mind to be calm, submissive, and patient. I wonder sometimes, if that is why I don’t land on a “0” as soon as I wish I would. Maybe God, in his divine sovereignty, is waiting for my mind to be calm, submissive, and patient.

“At the same time, when I’m preparing the food, I’m happy doing it.”

Have you (or I) considered that God is happy providing the next meal that I will have the joy of eating when I am physically hungry? What a wonderful thought!

“So, I am sharing my love preparing the food for my boys, who work already with me and I now am going to satisfy the appetite.”

If a fallible human man is moved to show love for his pets by satisfying their hunger, then I know that my God has an even better, more tender, more perfect heart of love for me—one that intends to satisfy my appetites—in the very way they need satisfying.

The next scene in this episode, challenged me a bit. Cesar had his hands in the canned dog food and was squishing it together with the dry kibble. (Can I just say “ewwwww….”???) As he was doing this, he said:

“I like to use my hand—just because I feel more close to them. You know, my scent is delivered in the food, so they get to smell me in the meal too…”

How tender a love this is! What does our God do just to feel more close to us, his children? I wonder if our God wants each meal to be an opportunity for us to experience His “scent” delivered to us as well…that we might “smell” him in His provision. Cesar is willing to have his hands made a mess of in order to do this. I love the reason he gives for this…

“I want to be very intimate with them. And I want to be part of every single thing that they do. I really want to be everything they have… “

Does God say this about us to the host of heaven?  That he wants to be very intimate with us? That he wants to be part of every single thing that we do? That he wants to be everything we have? The psalmist seems to think so as he responds to God’s overtures with the following:

Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
– Psalm 73:23-26 (ESV)

I think my God is a “Heidi Whisperer,” calming me, changing me, moving me from frenetic, undisciplined behavior, to being more calm, peaceful, settled in my own skin. I wish I wasn’t such a hard study. If Cesar can change a dog in just two weeks, well…oh yeah…I forgot. I am “slow on the uptake.” Verrrrrrry slow!

How About You?

Have you ever considered that God wants to use your struggle with food, hunger and satisfied signals, to be very intimate with you? How does it strike you to consider that he may want you to think of him as everything you have? Do you allow him to “deliver His scent” to you in the food He provides in the perfect time?

The Fight of Faith — Lesson 7 TW Class 2014

The Fight of Faith — Lesson 7 TW Class 2014

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sometimes, it becomes really really clear that this just won’t be easy. Simple, yes. Eat when you are hungry. Stop when you are not hungry. Go to God for all the other reasons that you may want to eat and let him walk with you through them. Simple. Yes. EASY? Most definitely not. What do we do when it is tough? We hang in there. We put on the full armor of God and take our stand. We fight the good fight of faith.

Video Questions:

1.) God sees what you are becoming and will yet become. List some characteristics of you that God sees based on the work He is doing in your life. It is fine for this to be hypothetical if you like or, you can refer to the Who I Am In Christ list for ideas. This is how HE sees you!

2.) In the video (0:54) I refer to God’s “Big T” truth as “trumping our little t truth.” What does this mean to you?

3.)  I use a number of bible verses in this video segment. Select two or three of these and create truth cards based on these, personalizing them so you can speak God’s Big T truth to your soul!

4.)  Several times I mention that this is not a “Battle of the Bulge.” Why is it important to understand this? (Visit 2:40 to see what I think!)

5.)  What are three lies that you tend to speak into your own life? What truths does God want you to trade the lies for?

6.)  What is an example of a specific battle that you have had where you could choose between believing a lie or believing truth? Can you foresee a possible situation in the next day or two when you might have a battle? What lies might be tempting to believe? What truth will you use to fight the lies?

7.)  What practical tools do you use to fight the fight of faith?

8.)  6:48 – I assert that we have time to invest in preparing our minds for battle. What can you do this week to invest even an additional ten minutes each day to prepare your mind for battle?

9.) 8:00 – How do you think the enemy feels when you make even a baby step of headway in God’s direction for you?

10.) Why might it be a strategy of the enemy to get us to focus on weight loss?

11.) BONUS QUESTION: 9:15 – Is my dog cute? 🙂

Renewing the Mind – Pressing On

1. If you haven’t yet created truth cards, do so today. Or truth “Post It Notes.” That works, too. Create some new cards or notes. What will your Post-It Notes or new truth cards say? How will you use them? What do you think of the idea of seeing it, saying it, and hearing it?

2.  Sometimes we get so focused on ourselves: our struggle, our fight, our eating, our mistakes. What can you do to focus on someone else or on the Lord as you fight the fight of faith this week?

Pick One (book or workbook):

Trade Book Assignment – To Be Completed by February 24th.

Here is the Thin Within Book Study Guide Week 7. Feel free to discuss it at our Facebook group.

Workbook Assignment – To Be Completed by February 24th.

1. Read, highlight, mark Lesson 7, The Fight of Faith, on pages C30 – C34 or listen to it on Sound Cloud.  Discuss it here in the comments section below this post or at our Class Facebook Group.

2. Complete the exercises for Lesson 7 on pages C36 – C-42. Don’t worry if you are behind. Just do what you can of this week’s material. Next Monday before the webinar, respond to the Review questions on page C43.

3. What have you added to your God List?

4. Use the entries for Day 43through Day 49 in the Temple Tool Kit.

5. For those who persevere :-), I will be doing a drawing on Monday, February 24, from all those who respond in the comments section here to any of the discussion questions or blog posts this week. The winner will get an I Deserve a Donut book from Barb Raveling. (Thanks, Barb, for donating a book to this!). If you already have that book, Arthur and Judy Halliday have donated a copy of Hunger Within. You can have that instead. All you need to do is post a reasonably relevant comment and include a notation “Please enter me in the drawing” or something like that.

6. Memorize Hebrews 11:6 this week. Personalize it and add it to your truth cards.

7. Join us on February 24th for our live webinar at 4:30 Pacific Time. We have special guest, Judy Halliday, who will share with us some of the challenges she has had to face over the years–especially more recently. She will share wisdom from the front lines Fighting the Fight of Faith!

How About You?

Have you given up? If so, it’s not too late to dive back in to the fray. Yes, it is tough. Yes we may get beaten up, but it is SO worth it!  Remember, those who are victorious over their struggles with overeating and overweight are those who understand that they may not “get it” perfectly. They know that this is a ride…and we may fall off the horse, but over time, we fall off the horse less frequently and stay on the ground less long before we get back on. How about if you get back on today?

The recording of our webinar wrapping up last week’s lesson, Lesson 6 on Counting the Cost, can be found here.

Here are the Lesson 7 Discussion Questions for use with the webinar.

Counting the Cost — Lesson 6 TW Class 2014

Counting the Cost — Lesson 6 TW Class 2014

Image courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This video is a bit different than the others…or at least I hope it is! Are you ready to hear me fuss, moan, groan, whine and wail about my day? Well…in it I confess about a situation that I was caught in right as I was trying to prepare to make the video about “Counting the Cost!” In fact, I had to stop recording, delete, talk to God about it all and start again! God wanted ME to count the cost! So I did and I share other thoughts with you about counting the cost as we launch into our study this week.

Video Questions:

1.) (02:26 – 03:12) I challenge you to settle the issue of if God is calling you to 0 to 5 eating or not. Have you done so? What have you concluded? If you have a conviction that 0 to 5 eating is a godly boundary that God wants you to have, have you written it down, dated and signed it? (It is likely to be important later!)

2.)  Why do you suppose I put such a premium on getting that issue (see #1 above) settled?

In the video, I refer to Barb Raveling’s I Deserve a Donut and Other Lies that Make You Eat book. The question set I refer to for much of the rest of the video is “I’ll Start Tomorrow Eating.” Basically, this is eating that is motivated today by the “promise” we tell ourselves that we will “get serious” about our boundaries tomorrow.

3.)  Have you been waiting for a good or easy time to start following your boundaries? Are you waiting until you are “in the mood?” Evaluate this attitude. What are boundaries for? Think about this… (It is sorta a trick question.)

4.)  Give some thought to the question poised at 05:12…”What sacrifices will you have to make to uphold your boundaries?” Consider this thoroughly…at any time you are tempted to eat outside of 0 and 5 you can consider this.

5.) If you put off following your boundaries (0 to 5) or “skip a day”…will you still have to make those sacrifices? Will procrastination make a difference in how “fun” or “easy” following your boundaries will be?

6.) What blessings will you experience if you follow your boundaries today?

7.) If you don’t follow hunger/satisfied eating boundaries, what will you do instead? If you don’t stick with this…or don’t return to this approach if you have been wandering far afield, what will you do instead? Are you ok with that?

8.) What do you want to experience 6 months from now? What will it take to get there?

9.)  Will it be worth it?

10.) Personalize Philippians 3:7-9. What do these verses mean to you?

Renewing the Mind – Pressing On

1. List 10 truths that God wants you to speak to your soul. For ideas about what to include, consider:

  • What is true about you?
  • What is true about God?
  • What is true about “failure?”

2. Speak the truths from #1 above to your soul…out loud! 🙂 (Yes, I mean it!)

3. Record yourself speaking them to your soul and then add them to your music player (iPod, iPhone, or mp3 player). Play it for yourself when you don’t feel like reviewing your truths.

Trade Book Assignment – To Be Completed by February 17th.

Please don’t try to do both the book and the workbook at the same time! 🙂 Here is Study Guide Week 6. Please feel free to discuss the material here or in the private Facebook group.

Workbook Assignment – To Be Completed by February 17th.

1. Read, highlight, mark Lesson 6, Counting the Cost, on pages C16-C20 or listen to the audio file of Lesson 6 at Sound Cloud.  Discuss it here in the comments section below this post or at our Class Facebook Group.

2. This week, the Hunger Graph is introduced. This is an OPTIONAL tool. You can use those provided in the Temple Tool Kit if you feel so led. You can also find the Hunger Graph tool in the Thin Within iTunes app for your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. Please do not feel like you have to use this tool. Just ask God if he would have you do so and follow His lead. 🙂

3. Complete the exercises for Lesson 6 on pages C22-C28. Next Monday before the webinar, respond to the Review questions on page C29.

4. Have you begun to notice how different foods affect you? Take some time to share here what insight you have had so far. In Thin Within, we call those foods that are yummy and that sustain us with *no* negative consequences “Whole Body Pleasers.” Which foods are “Whole Body Pleasers” for you? Foods that we like the taste of but that don’t sustain us very well and, in fact, may cause confusing hunger/satisfied signals are referred to as “Taste Bud Teasers.” Which foods are “Taste Bud Teasers” for you?

5. What have you added to your God List? Won’t you share with us here? (That means writing in the comments. lol!) Have you had a Praise Fest when you have been tempted? How has that helped redirect you away from food?

6. Use the entries for Day 36 through Day 42 in the Temple Tool Kit. Again, please don’t use any part of the Tool Kit that you aren’t confident God intends for you to use.

7. Memorize 1 Peter 4:1-2 this week. Personalize it and add it to your truth cards. How have you been called to suffer. In what ways might accepting the suffering that God calls you to enable you to overcome temptation to eat outside of your godly boundaries?

How About You?

So, what do you think? I know I came down pretty hard in the video. I just want to encourage you to really think through the decisions you make. Especially the decision not to press on. I believe that if you are here, it is no accident. There is a reason you have come this far and are reading this paragraph or have watched the video. I believe you know in your heart of hearts that the cost is worth it.

The recording of our webinar wrapping up last week’s lesson, Lesson 5 on Restoration, can be found here.

I will share the discussion questions for the webinar as soon as they are available.

Restoration – Lesson 5 TW Class 2014

Restoration – Lesson 5 TW Class 2014

Image courtesy of dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
but he will heal us;
he has injured us
but he will bind up our wounds.
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will restore us,
that we may live in his presence.
Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.

~ Hosea 6:1-3

Have you experienced what you feel is failure since being on this journey? If so, then you are perfectly poised to experience the loving, gracious, total restoration of our God!

Join me in this video as I talk a bit about one man who, after a mountain top victory, plunged deep and hard into depression–and the marvelous way our gracious God met him. (As you watch the video, you may want to open your bible to 1 Kings 18 and 19. Then you can follow along with the story.)

Video Questions:

Sometimes, failure comes after the greatest victory we have ever experienced. Elijah is a great example of this.

1. (01:25) Elijah challenges the people to choose between two options. Do you ever feel torn between what God offers you and another option, provided by the world? Is this ambivalence, perhaps, keeping you from clarity? What can you do about it?

2. Consider the part of the story where God consumes the sacrifice. In what way did God do something that was “unlikely” in the eyes of the world? What “unlikely” results are you looking for from God in this approach to eating and weight? What does the world keep saying about what needs to happen in order for you to lose weight? Are you confident that God can do the unlikely thing through unlikely means?

3. Have you ever had a victory that flooded you full of joy and confidence and then, immediately following, you felt depleted of anything and everything…even, depressed?

4. How did Elijah’s focus change during this account, from the time he looked to God to consume the sacrifice to the time he ran out into the desert? Have you struggled with this focus shift, too? What are some practical things you can do to eliminate this tendency from your life?

5. (04:54) In what tender ways did God meet Elijah when he was at his lowest point? What did Elijah need when he was at his lowest point?

6. Has God ever asked you “What are you doing here?” If he were to ask you that now, what could you say about where you are currently…and why you are where you are? What can you do to move further down the path that God has opened up before you?

7. (07:32) What might you need to do in order to experience the restoration that God offers to you?

8. (08:54) What other example does the video point out of an incident where God restores one of his people who had wandered far afield?

Renewing the Mind – Pressing On

Have you created any truth cards yet? Here are some things you can do with your truth cards:

1. Read some of them out loud daily. When we see them, say them, and hear ourselves say them, that is truth being spoken to our souls in three different modalities. It is more likely to sink in!

2. Add a new truth daily. Just the process of thinking of what is true that I want to speak to my soul can help set us on a better path. Doing it first thing in the morning can establish the tone for the day.

3. Record yourself saying all your truth cards and then listen to the recording like you would any song on your device. Most devices these days come with an ability to make an audio recording digitally. Use your device to record yourself. Then the file is typically saved in the same format as songs you would download from Amazon or iTunes (or whatever). Add it to a playlist that has songs that sing truth over you. Then, no matter what you are doing, play your playlist…as you drive, run errands, etc. You can even use your bluetooth with your smartphone to have truth washing over your mind all the time–and no one is the wiser…they will just think you are waiting for a phone call. 🙂

All kinds of photos of truth cards have been posted at the private group Facebook page. Come and have a look. 

If you need more ideas for renewing your mind, click on this search here at the Thin Within blog.

Trade Book Assignment – To Be Completed by February 10th.

Just to clarify: Our online class is primarily a workbook study group. But because many don’t have the workbook, I provide the study guides as a courtesy to those who have the Thin Within paperback. This is intended for people who choose this option instead of the workbook. Please don’t try to do both at the same time! 🙂 Here is Study Guide Week 5. Please feel free to discuss the material here or in the private Facebook group.

Workbook Assignment – To Be Completed by February 10th.

1. Read, highlight, mark Lesson 5, Restoration, on pages C3-C7 or listen to the audio file of Lesson 5 at Sound Cloud.  Discuss it here in the comments section below this post or at our Class Facebook Group.

2. If you don’t have it yet, you might want to download the iTunes app for your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. There are lots of great tools available in the app and all the videos and Sound Cloud files are accessible directly from the app.

3. Complete the exercises for Lesson 5 on pages C8-C14. Next Monday before the webinar, respond to the Review questions on page C15.

4. We are heading into Phase 2 of Thin Within. Begin to notice what foods sustain you, which foods make you feel cruddy or deplete your energy in some way (even when eaten 0 to 5) and which foods sort of “tease” your hunger a bit, rather than satisfy it.

5. Continue to add to your “God List.”  Try having a Praise Fest once this week when you are struggling with temptation. Share about it here or at the Facebook group.

6. Use the entries for Day 29 through Day 35 in the Temple Toolkit. What are some of the insights that you are recording in your Toolkit? Consider sharing “What God is Teaching Me Today” with us here or at the Facebook group.

7. Memorize Titus 2:11-12 this week. Personalize it and add it to your truth cards. What might living a self-controlled, upright, and godly life look like for you? Can you be specific?

How About You?

Do you need restoration? What do the Scriptures say about God’s desire to reach out to you and meet you in your need? Psalm 3:3; Psalm 27:1b, 5; Psalm 37:23-24; Psalm 147:2-3; Jeremiah 31:3-4; Philippians 1:6;

The recording of our webinar wrapping up Lesson 4 can be found here.

I will share the discussion questions for the webinar as soon as they are available.

The Porch of Idols ~ Guest Post by Cathy Maher

Image Courtesy of The Sacred Place

Image Courtesy of The Sacred Place

Recently I gained an important piece of understanding as to why I over eat at times. In our ThinWithin studies, we read about idols and sacrifices. I looked up some of the words in the verses and boy did I get an eye opener.

2 Chronicles 14 talks about the altar that was in the portico of the temple. The portico was a covered entryway outside the temple in front of the steps. Before one could go inside the temple, one would have to pass through the portico (where we get the word porch) and give a sacrifice upon the altar. It would either be to The Lord or to an idol. Those were, and still are, the only two choices.

The altar was always conspicuous and prominent, for all to see. It was a central place of celebration where others were privy to see one’s sacrifice. In fact, some even boasted for all to see the great sacrifice they made. Perhaps their idol was pride.

The portico is not the temple. It’s not where the Lord resides. It’s the gateway to the Lord, who is in the temple. He chose to save us and reside in our bodies and make his dwelling place within us. He knew how magnificent it would be. He chose to live in a manner that we might have intimate communion with Him at all times.

The altar is the place of sacrifice and celebration that stands erect to guard the entrance of our lives. The scriptures continue by instructing us to repair this altar. It is in disarray. How do we repair it? We start by mourning for our sin. We have worshipped idols in place of the true God. We turn from that practice and honestly admit our wrongs, asking for Gods help. This isn’t a one time event, but rather a daily occurance.

We begin to determine what it is that we have sacrificed so we can over eat? Was it our health, energy, body image, confidence, peace, joy, fellowship, intimacy, growth, trust or …

Here are my idols, Lord; comfort and fear, ease and shame, condemnation fear of rejection. All these I have bowed to and sacrificed to. Forgive me and cleanse me. I want to bow only to You and bring a worthy sacrifice to You, which is my own body.

It reads on to say that the next step is to tear down the idols, with courage. How does that work? How do we tear down comfort? We stop trusting in our own ways to find comfort. We stop looking to those ways to help us. We refuse to go back to our old ways and we turn to God. We bow only to Him from now on. When we falter, we begin again, returning to the altar to presesnt our body as a living sacrifice to God.

When we desire to go into our inner life, that secret place where God dwells with us, first we go into the portico and we make a sacrifice of our own ways, our own strength, our fears, shame and condemnation. We lay all of self on the altar. We celebrate and rejoice for all his mighty deeds and transformation. THEN we enter into the depths of our life in Christ. THEN we receive all God has for us. THEN He communes with us. Because all the idol worship and barriers have been torn down. Worship in spirit and truth has been rebuilt in its place. THEN we overcome. THEN we are changed by grace.

Each of us must go through our own portico to build an altar. It’s the way God made for us.

Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him and bless His name.”

Perhaps you don’t have the same idols I once did. Perhaps you bring your sacrifice of food to some inner pain, or unfilled dreams, depression, impatience, pride, rejection, hopelessness.. . I suppose the list is endless. Sacrificing food to our idols keeps us in bondage because we aren’t able to reach the Lord. He’s waiting for us just inside the Temple.

We are all learning so much from ThinWithin about communing with God and being transformed. He is available to each of us. But it is imperative that we tear down the idols and enter the secret place in the temple to begin our rebuilding journey with God. He has a perfect plan.

How about you?

Can you identify with any of the idols Cathy mentioned? If yes, did that surprise you? Are you ready and willing to present your body as a sacrifice to God? Have you been able to get beyond the front porch of your own life? Do you have a sincere desire to experience real victory from your disordered eating?

cathyprofileCathy lives in Lakemoor, IL, a suburb of Chicago, IL. She and her husband, Joe are empty nesters, not counting the three cats they adopted. They have a total of six children and nine grandchildren. She enjoys prayer walks and great fellowship. Reading and writing are still her favorite subjects.

How to Step Out of the Prison of Addictive Eating ~ Guest Post – Adriane


Image courtesy of Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Eating is the main issue in my life that I have to be very heavily reliant on God with because of the struggle I have had with food. I have to rely on God for strength to overcome these issues. The key is surrender and to keep renewing my mind.

I have to be honest and say that when I “want” to and when I “choose” to be out of control with my eating, I back off from my relationship with God. YIKES! That is scary. That causes serious issues with complacency in my walk with God.

Food is the issue that I need His help the most with, but when I am not willing to change, I try to keep it hidden from God which is completely crazy! My track record shows that to be the case though. It reminds me of Adam and Eve covering their nakedness from God when they had eaten the forbidden fruit.

Genesis 3: 10 (NIV) He answered,

“I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

YEP that’s me to a tee…hiding from God when I choose to be out of boundaries with my food. (Out of boundaries for me is out of control, eating what I want when I want it and you can’t tell me NO or I might just throw a grown up temper tantrum! And of course binge eating…yuck..sad but true).

Have you seen this paragraph from Thin Within Rebuilding God’s Temple Workbook Series, page B-4?

“Our God is unchanging. He has always dealt with His people with mercy and grace. Even in the garden when Adam and Eve were given only one directive, which they broke, God Himself provided the first ‘sacrifice’ by slaying the animals for the skins which their clothing would be made.”

So basically this tells me that I need to STOP! Go to God! He is not mean!!! (Note: Making a God List will really help you see God the way He should be seen.)

I am ready for a LIFELONG CHANGE!

This is what I want:

  • INTIMACY WITH GOD & Peace with Food and my body (His temple), and to be at my natural God-given intended size;
  • To see God for who He is (absolutely awesome!) and to see myself how He sees me. 

When I stay in 0 to 5, hunger to satisfaction, eating and spend/invest time in prayer and renewing my mind with the Word and various, reputable resources (i.e. Soundcloud, here at the blog, Thin Within materials, Barb Raveling’s “I Deserve a Donut” and “Taste for Truth”), I feel like a person who has been set free from prison or captivity.

I knew how to do this 0 to 5 thing. I knew exactly how to do it and had fantastic intentions for this past year, BUT I just couldn’t bring myself to follow through, to renew my mind or to stay between hunger and satisfaction. I even knew, based on my past experiences, that I had the key to remove the shackles, but I just could not/would not do it! Why? It reminds me of Romans 7:15 that states:

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

I really wanted change, but not badly enough to put any REAL, LASTING effort into it. I wasn’t ready to lay my lover of food down. Boy does that sound bad! It reminds me of Hosea.

When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him,

“Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her,

for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.”

Hosea 1:2

I was promiscuous with my idol of food and I didn’t really want to let it go even though I knew that I would feel better, look better, and ultimately have the peace and joy that comes from eating that way and drawing close to God. But look at this. God is my Redeemer!

The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” So I bought her for fifteen shekels[a] of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley.  Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.” Hosea 3:1-3

Thank God for being my Redeemer. I didn’t feel worth redeeming, but do you think Hosea’s wife was “worthy” of being redeemed or that she felt worthy? Maybe it is hard for us to understand, but God sees us so differently than we see ourselves.

Hosea 14: 4 says “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely,

for my anger has turned away from them.”

In the Thin Within Rebuilding God’s Temple Workbook Series, page B-5, it says:

“As we cease from running and respond to God’s outstretched arms, we experience the joy of His presence as we choose to say yes to His will for us. He brings the captive out of captivity and restores us to a “land” of hope and promise. We are transformed from within by the renewing of our mind according to the Word of God.”


Here it is.


It is so vital to renew your mind. Not only should 0 to 5 eating be our weight release/maintenance tool, but renewing of the mind should be our maintenance tool too.

Hosea 13:6 says “When I fed them, they were satisfied;

when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.”

God is satisfying me with 0 to 5, but I don’t want to get prideful or cocky about that. I have before! I stopped renewing my mind before and the end result was not a good one. BUT THERE IS HOPE! God is doing a new thing. I have laid the shackles down. I feel so free! I have over 100 lbs to get rid of, but I am not focused on that. I long for intimacy with God and to be restored to a healthy relationship with food and my body.

SURRENDER – that was my 1st step. Will you surrender today? Trust me…it’s worth it!

What About You?

Do you ever struggle with being willing to change? Are you ready to make a lifelong commitment to not only 0 to 5 eating, but also to renewing your mind? If not, what is stopping you? Have you surrendered to God instead of using your own strength? Let’s start today walking out a life of surrender to God, committing to eating 0 to 5, and renewing your mind. We can do this!

profileAdriane lives in NC with her husband, Shawn, and 3 kids, Marissa (10), Allie (8) and Judah (2). Adriane is involved in children’s ministry and also loves to co-lead worship with her husband.