News and Notes

Hey, everyone. The God Is Doing a New Thing website has been updated. The chat transcripts are there now. Sorry about the delay while my laptop was in the shop.

There is still time to be entered in the drawing to win the Rebuilding God’s Temple Workbook Kit #1 by responding to the Feast on The Meat of God’s Word post. I will be drawing a name from those who have entered before Noon Pacific Time today. I get home from church about 1pm and will do it then. You have about 2 hours or so! Hope you will participate. This is a $45 value! ๐Ÿ™‚ No obligation to lead a group if you win. ๐Ÿ™‚

I will post the announcement later today!

Week 10 – Assignment Thin Within Book

If you are having trouble keeping up with us, don’t pull out the club of condemnation! Instead, just keep pressing on.

Something that I am learning more and more in my life and thanks to a wonderfully wise new pastor at our church is that God looks at faithfulness. He doesn’t hold us responsible to be perfect. So often, we allow perfectionism to defeat us. That isn’t from God!

We assume that perfectionism is some sort of godly attribute. NO! God is perfect, but he knows we aren’t.

I think I will be blogging on this more later this week, as I really believe that our insistence on maintaining perfectionism gets in the way of walking that path that Jesus calls us to walk! We bail because we aren’t doing it perfectly! So we MISS being FAITHFUL!

This week, I will make this assignment simpler (I hope).

Chapters 21-30 move into “Mastery,” where we broaden our view somewhat to see that God is sanctifying not just our eating, not just our view of ourselves and our bodies, but also other aspects of our lives! This is an exciting part of the book, so even if you aren’t following along *now*, don’t worry. Keep hanging in.

Be Faithful!

1.) Continue to keep your gratitude list, attributes of God list and also keep writing forgiveness phrases. If you choose, respond here about how any of these things are affecting your life!

2.) Take time to carefully read and complete chapters 21, 22, and 23.

3.) In chapter 21, you have a chance to survey what God has been doing in your life. I urge you–no matter how you THINK you have been doing, generate a list of the things you have seen God do in your life. Complete the chart on page 226 and use it as a praise-fest time to God! Even if you have not released the weight you hoped to, God is doing a NEW thing! How many times have you lost weight only to “find” it again? You see, God is doing a deeper work. Don’t minimize the work of the Almighty in your life! ๐Ÿ™‚

4.) Chapters 22 and 23 may be time intensive. Not in the same way as chapters 19 and 20–which take a lot of time to hash over emotionally. But chapters 22 and 23 sort of walk you through some sample “quiet times.” Or at least that is how I think of them. If you need, take a couple of days to prayerfully work through each.

5.) On page 246, there is a chart. You may want to copy this on to another piece of paper in your journal and expand it. It is a great activity! You may need more space than the book offers.

6.) Respond here answering the question: How did God speak to you personally through the activities in these chapters? What “new thing” is He doing this week? ๐Ÿ™‚

7.) Join us for our chat this week. We will only be having one this week. It is Friday, from 5-6pm Pacific time! I hope you can make it. Visit to find out how to join us.

8.) Keep praying for yourself, for me, for others in our study.

Press on! Be faithful! ๐Ÿ™‚

Come Chat With Us This Morning – Saturday!

In a couple of hours, there will be a Thin Within chat. Even if you have never chatted with us before, I hope you will join us. I will try to take some time at the end to field questions. Chat time is 7-8am Pacific Time, 9-10am Central, 10-11am Eastern. Visit this link to find out how to join us. Come for all or part, just come! ๐Ÿ™‚

Don’t forget about the drawing for Workbook Kit #1. Just respond to Wednesday’s Blog Post! ๐Ÿ™‚

See you in the chat!

Feast on the Meat of the Word!

Today’s blog entry is a bit different. It is an assignment–with a prize drawing scheduled for Sunday at noon. To be entered in the drawing, all you have to do is do the assignment here and then post here about it. ๐Ÿ™‚ The drawing is for the Thin Within Rebuilding the Temple Workbook Kit #1. To learn about that prize, you can visit this link or this video link.

The assignment is to sit down with your journal, pen, and your bible, and to prayerfully feast on Psalm 145. As you do, generate a list of “What God is Like” just from this psalm alone.

To be included in the drawing Sunday at noon (Pacific Time), post here at least one of the characteristics of God that you list and briefly tell what it means to you.

For extra credit :-), after you have generated your personal list of “What God is like” from Psalm 145, journal the following:

  1. Do I believe–really believe–that this (attribute) is true?
  2. How might believing this is true affect my journey toward becoming more Christlike–especially in the area of food, eating, and body issues? You can do this for each of the attributes you have listed for a HUGE feast lasting a couple of days (or more!).
  3. Take some time in prayer and praise, lifting God up for the things on your list. Tell us here how this experience affected you.


Can Forgiveness Make Me Thin Part 2

We talk a lot about emotional eating–our tendency to eat when we are sad, lonely, bored, angry, etc., etc., but let’s go a step farther.

What about why do we get in an emotional state of such extremes so often? What is with the drama? There is something extreme about the emotions that resulted in my eating so frequently and so often. If I could get to the heart of that, it makes sense that I could dismantle it and break free.

I found that unless I dealt with the root pain and all the other times something similar (in feeling instead of circumstance, perhaps) had come up, I continued to feel pain disproportionate to what was going on in the present moment–and I continued to eat my way through it. In fact, for me, it got to the point that if one of my little children chose not to be obedient, even that could trigger the “I am being rejected” tapes of my past and I would eat to soothe myself. Is it any wonder I ate constantly and became 6 sizes larger than was healthy?
How to deal with it? Please don’t discount what I am going to say here…let me explain how this works.

Forgiveness changes me–a bunch. Inside AND out!
Bear with each other 
and forgive whatever grievances 
you may have against one another. 
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  
– Colossians 3:13

God led me to have a long look at my entire life and to journal my way through the heartaches I had faced from the earliest days I could remember to moments previous. As I walked through the Valley of the Shadow (it felt like Death), the Savior led me along the way. I prayerfully considered (and journaled) all of the instances over my life that I could think of where I felt wounded.  I “told on them”–each person– to God.

“God, did you know that in sixth grade that girl wrote me a hate letter and had the entire class sign it? That devastated and humiliated me! People I thought were my friends, signed that letter, God!” 

I wrote this with many tears, getting in touch with the deepness of the wound that this and other similar things inflicted. Nothing was too insignificant to deal with.

I wrote about my parents, the kids in the neighborhood, the mean lady that hurt my feelings…and also about the many things that I had done that I needed forgiveness for.

I know what you are saying…you are probably saying that the Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 3:13, 14 to forget what is behind and press on to what is ahead. You are right. But I couldn’t press on until I unloaded the baggage I carried with me. Otherwise, I was “pressing on” with the baggage weighing me down. I viewed everything now through my perceptions that were dramatically impacted by what happened in my past. ALL because I hadn’t allowed His blood to cover them. I hadn’t forgiven them.

This was what God led me to do in order to live out Hebrews 12:1:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 
et us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, 
and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 
– Hebrews 12:1
The key to being biblical in this is to choose to forgive each one, each person, each occurrence, each detail.
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I had to be very intentional. This wasn’t “sanctified denial.” This was deep stuff. And, truthfully, walking through that time was excruciating. But that was what the blood of Christ was intended to do. To forgive not just MY sin, but also the sin committed against me.

Jesus said:

If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
– John 8:31-32
He tells us to forgive in His Word. With the Lord, we have no need to fear the truth of our past–even the painful truth of our past. In fact, there is freedom in prayerfully acknowledging it and taking it to the cross, specifically, the details of it…and forgiving. Letting the blood of Christ drench and redeem every single solitary moment that came before.

Even if I “shouldn’t” have been offended. If I felt pain…I took all of that to him and chose to forgive.

And, yes, I even had to confess each time I felt God had wronged me. NO! God does no wrong! But I have felt wronged by Him at times. I have taken each of those things to him–the fact that he allowed my mom to abuse me about food, my dad to molest me…WHERE WAS GOD during those times? I had to take that feeling that he “should” have kept those things from happening…to Him…and release them. I had to say “You are God and I am not…I don’t understand, but I am ok with this.” I had to prayerfully beg him, first, to make those words true in my life. He was faithful to do that. But it was so painful. This was very much a real demonstration of dying to self for me….

(For those in our book study, this is why we have been keeping a list of the attributes of God…when we see him as he is, we can begin to trust him…and this stuff is deep…and requires a trustworthy, GOOD God…whom we DO serve! Hallelujah!)

I can’t communicate just how much doing this transformed my journey. I had no idea just how much my present challenges triggered past wounds. It was indiscernible, really, but once I chose to forgive, huge changes happened. This was when I began to be able to be in the present moment. I stopped being drawn to food so often.

In fact, a couple of years ago, when I began to struggle with my eating again after two years of not having such issues, God showed me that I needed to return to this practice–that pride had kept me from keeping short accounts! Forgiveness changes things!

You see, if I have learned to soothe myself with food and haven’t forgiven things in the past–pain that caused me to yearn for comfort and freedom from pain–then any time any pain is triggered by something in the present, I will eat over it…but I am not eating because of the pain of being cut off on the highway ten minutes ago like I may think. I am eating because something of the behavior of the driver triggered heartache of a thousand yesterdays. Once those yesterdays are forgiven, then I respond in the present to what goes on and things aren’t nearly so bad. I don’t feel lured to food nearly so much.

And I also can begin to see that the Lord wants to be my comfort instead of turning to food, which short-circuits the very thing God wants to do in my life by allowing heart ache anyhow!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
who comforts us in all our troubles, 
so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the 
comfort we ourselves have received from God.
For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, 
so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
– 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Recently, God used a situation to show me just how much he had grown me in this. Something similar to what I shared yesterday (not a women’s ministry thing, though) happened to me. I had the feelings of rejection, but God instantly led me to the foot of the cross and I went willingly. Where there was sin committed against me, because accounts were current and I had no past wounds lurking in some dark part of my heart, I could look at what really happened in the NOW, see what needed forgiving now, prayerfully choose to do so and also clearly see that God has sovereignly allowed this for His glory. This is His doing. He is sovereign, after all. My quarrel (if there is one), is not with other people. It would be with Him! Do I really want to “go there?”

Forgiveness Changes Things
No really. Forgiveness changes me–inside and out. It changes my journey to become my “natural, God-given size.”

How about you? Do you sense that something about what I have shared may be true for you? Are you willing to walk with Jesus through the Valley of the Shadow? Is He calling you to revisit some past pain so that he might redeem it through the power of His blood?

Can Forgiveness Make Me Thin? Part 1

Walk with me on a brief imaginary journey…

You relish having the privilege of serving in the women’s ministry at your church. Your latest brainstorm, a  “Spring Fling” mini-retreat event, is an exciting opportunity for women to gather, to worship, to fellowship, to deepen their understanding of life-changing truth with a gifted bible teacher who has the date you have suggested available. Your proposal for this event has now been presented to the Women’s Ministry Committee for their consideration. After discussion and questions, you are invited to leave while they decide whether to move forward with the event or not. At the conclusion of the meeting, they inform you that, because they have decided to host another activity led by another woman for the date two weeks prior, they chose to forgo your event at this time.

Suddenly, there are precious few thoughts about the sovereignty of God or that He chooses the instrument for His ministry for His purposes. 
There are precious few thoughts also about the faithful servant or the event that was chosen nor thoughts of thankful gratitude for her willingness to minister to others. 
There are precious few thoughts about praying for her and for the team of women that she will lead.
Instead, there is the sense of having been wounded. This experience triggers a series of thoughts of: 
“I was rejected.” 
“I am not good enough.” 
“They don’t like me.” 
As the lid is blown off of Pandora’s Box, the disproportionate response to what has just happened causes you to plunge headlong into a carton of ice cream, a bag of chips, popcorn…it doesn’t matter. It can even be the most nutritious and delicious salad! Food! Anything to munch on! Even the loaf of bread isn’t safe. What has happened here?

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For me, the wounds of the past used to be all rolled up in these kinds of situations. There can hardly be prayerful insight and wisdom because of all the voices, words, wounds of the past are bound up in the now!

When this happened, I tended to resort to the way of coping with pain I had depended on for years, seeking to anesthetize myself. Eating 0 to 5 was not on my radar screen. In fact, I would even be a bit mad at God for allowing whatever it was that seemed so horrible right now.
God began to show me about ten years ago, what was going on for me in situations like this. Why I could be “triggered” by my 4 year old’s defiance, for instance! It didn’t take much to send me flying to the pantry or fridge. The sense of needing to be comforted by food, of wanting the pain to stop…it all happened so easily and so often.

Years of experiences–little, big, long-drawn out, short bursts of “nothing much”–it doesn’t matter; if there was pain associated with them, gone unchecked, without surrendering them to the Lord, for me, it resulted in a well of pain deep down inside me just waiting for the right opportunity to be tapped. The way someone treated me in sixth grade, the word from my dad when I was fifteen, the rejection of a friend at 23. There were times–most times, of course–when it wasn’t at the surface, true. It was like it had all “scabbed over.” It didn’t take much for the scab to be scraped off and pus and blood to gush out, however.

In these times, the “wound” I felt was not relative to the present moment, but all of the wounds, in all of the situations, that all of the people caused that ever made me feel similarly–even on a “minor” scale.

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All the eating I did to anesthetize my pain…it began to STOP the day God led me into the Valley of the Shadow. It was a path of suffering, but a path of forgiveness.

More on that tomorrow…