Celebration of God’s Grace Part I – Lesson 4 TW Class 2014

Celebration of God’s Grace Part I – Lesson 4 TW Class 2014


Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last week’s study of our Identity in Christ provided so much great material for our deck of truth cards. I hope you added some new cards to your deck and are reveling in the wonder of who GOD says you are! If you haven’t yet seen it, this Who I Am in Christ document is filled with wonderfully rich truth gleaned from the Scriptures!

The recording of our webinar where we wrapped up Lesson 3, Identity in Christ, can be found here. I will share the discussion questions for the webinar as soon as they are available. You will probably want Tina’s Power Point Slides in pdf format to have in front of you while you listen. 🙂

Now, we CELEBRATE that wonderful NEW thing that God is clearly doing! His grace is an ocean and we are ALL sinking! We are covered, saturated, and floating in an ocean of grace. So far removed from our sin, condemnation is something so foreign to our God’s way of relating to us, “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense” is free though it cost Jesus everything.

Here is this week’s video:

Video Questions:

1.  How is Thin Within different from dieting relative to this subject of “Grace?”

2. God’s intent is that I would _p___________ the __g_________ to myself every day. What are ways you can do that?

3. How can you identity with 2 Corinthians 12: 7-10?

4. Some people are delivered and never experience a struggle with food and eating again. (I don’t know  that I have ever met someone like this, but I am sure they exist.) What is the more likely type of healing that most of us will experience?

5. God’s grace is a pardon, provision, a constant _p_________, and the p____________ to say no to sin. (03:25)

6. Where does the sense of failure come from that I bring into Thin Within? (03:35)

7. God takes __f__________ and __r______________s it. (04:29)

8.  What does grace give us? (04:55)

9.  How is Observation and Correction a tool of grace?

10. (06:32-07:19) What are some strategies mentioned that you can employ when you struggle with obeying the Lord?

11. (07:50) What are two tools that I challenge you to dive into this week? How can you try to carve time out for this?

Renewing the Mind – Pressing On

Select one new way of renewing your mind this week. Will it be to journal through some of the questions in I Deserve a Donut? I have been at this imperfectly since 1999 and I still feel like I need to renew my mind at least once each day. Barb’s book is one of my favorite ways of doing this!

At our class’ private Facebook group page, some of the members have been posting pictures of their truth cards. They are absolutely wonderful! You could use some of the ideas there (or come up with your own) and add to your spiral bound deck of index cards. What do you do with the cards? Read through at least 5 of them each day…out loud. We can act differently, but we won’t sustain the behavior changes until we learn to think differently! Renewing our minds (Romans 12:2) is a great way of doing that.

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 3rd.

Here is Study Guide Week 4. I hope you are encouraged as you make your way through the material.

Workbook Assignment – To Be Completed by February 3rd.

1. Read, highlight, mark Lesson 4, Celebration of God’s Grace, Part One, on pages B48-B53 or listen to the audio file of Lesson 4 at Sound Cloud.  Discuss it here in the comments section below this post or at our Class Facebook Group.

2. Complete the exercises for Lesson 4 on pages B54-B60. Next Monday before the webinar, respond to the Review questions on page B-61.

3. Continue to add to your “God List.” Can you add 10 things this week? What is your favorite attribute of God that you have added to your list so far?

4. Have a Praise Fest this week when you are tempted to break your boundaries. Share with us how doing so affected you.

5. Use the entries for Day 16 through Day 28 in the Temple Toolkit. Continue to ask the Lord if you should use the Thin Within Food Log, remaining sensitive to HIS leading about this. You can also consider a modified use of it by just recording your hunger numbers. Again, this is optional.

6. Memorize Jeremiah 29:11 this week. Personalize it and add it to your truth cards. “God has plans for me. God plans to prosper me and not to harm me. He plans to give me a hope and a good future.”

7. If you haven’t already, you probably soon will experience a shift in how emotionally sensitive you are. If so, know that this is perfectly normal. We aren’t numbing ourselves with food any more. Emotions we didn’t even know we felt will surface. Ask the Lord to help you process them in a manner that honors him and demonstrates respect for your body, His temple!

How About You?

How is the journey going? What questions do you have? Is there any way that you can offer just a bit more of your heart to the Lord in this?

Inside Out ~ Guest Post

Inside Out ~ Guest Post

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When taking the Thin Within journey to release weight, God will begin working on the inside of us before we see results on the outside.  Does this mean that weight release can take time?  Absolutely! However, this should not be discouraging.  We should be encouraged because the change will be lasting, not temporary. 

Philippians 1:6 states the following: 

“Being confident of this very thing,

that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it

until the day of Jesus Christ.” 

The work WILL be complete.  If God started it, He will finish it.  That is not to say that we will not make mistakes along the way.  We will, but we know that God is still at work in us.

For years, I have tried numerous diet plans such as Weight Watchers, the low-carb plan, and even a tuna diet.  Yuck!  I lost lots of weight on Weight Watchers only to gain it back plus some.  I lasted one day on the low-carb plan which should tell you what kind of food I prefer.  The tuna diet was disgusting!  I love tuna, but not by itself.  It must have mayonnaise which was forbidden on the tuna diet.  Frustrated, I began to eat more and more.  Well, you know the rest.

The Holy Spirit began speaking to me about allowing the Lord to deal with the root of the problem.  The problem, which was emotional, was on the inside of me.  I still struggle with my emotions, and when I am not allowing God to work on the inside, my emotions rule.  As a result, I eat out of emotions rather than physical hunger.

I did the Thin Within program in 2009, and released 45 pounds.  When I returned to college in 2010, I slowly began yielding to my emotions, and I have gained 25 pounds.  I am so thankful the Lord has lead me back to Thin Within, and since the work is inside out, I feel the Lord would have me to avoid the scales so I can focus on the inside as I surrender my emotional eating to His delivering power.

Speaking to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:26, Jesus said, “Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish that the outside of them may be clean also.”  Now I am not calling any of us “Pharisees”, but it is human nature to want the outside to look good before taking care of the inside.  In my case, the inside is emotions that spin out of control.  For you, it may be something different.  Jesus wants to do the work on the inside.  It may take time before outward results become evident, but when the work is done on the inside, the results are lasting.  I want lasting change.  I have settled for temporary changes such as diets which I have noticed have a tendency to irritate the problem rather than solve it.

I am not a patient person by nature, but God is teaching me patience in this process as He begins the work on the inside.  The work He is beginning is the same work He promises to complete.  Let’s allow Him to begin that work and yield to the process even though it will take time.

How About You?

Do you find the process of waiting as God works on the inside frustrating?  What can you do to relieve the frustration?  How have diet plans added to any emotional issues or other issues? What do you sense God is leading you to do today?

allisonprofile~Allison Mitchell – Allison lives in Hanover, West Virginia with her husband, Lanny, and her two children, Aaron and Amber.  Lanny and Allison are pastors of Peaceful Valley Community Church.  Allison is beginning her final semester at Bluefield State College where she will have a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education and Middle School English.


Who Are You? – Identity in Christ – Lesson 3 TW Class 2014

Who Are You? – Identity in Christ – Lesson 3 TW Class 2014

Image Source: iStock Photo

Image Source: iStock Photo

Many people have shared in our class Facebook group that they are seeing evidence that God is doing a new thing. One way is through the Body Awareness (Mirror Mirror) Activity that we did last week on Day Three. Class participants shared that they had breakthroughs in how they feel about their bodies. If you haven’t yet done this activity, please don’t put it off. It IS hard, yes, but prayerfully invite God to help you through it. In fact, Lesson 2’s webinar, includes my walking us through it. I hope you find it helpful! The Hallidays have included it in nearly every book and workbook that Thin Within has created, so it is clear that they feel, after helping people since 1975…this is important!

[[In case you missed it, last night’s wrap up of Lesson 2 Webinar on is available as an audio file here. Here are the Webinar Group Discussion Questions Lesson 1]]

This week we turn our attention to a very vital area for renewing our minds with truth. I hope you have your spiral deck of index cards and pen ready. (Some of our class members are using colored pens and artwork to create compelling — and fun! — cards.)  We are going to look at our Identity in Christ. So often we get our sense of value, purpose, and identity from our performance at the various roles we have in life. We will see what God’s thoughts are on this subject this week. When we begin to think God’s thoughts after him about who we are most fundamentally, all kinds of things are possible!

Video Questions:

1. What will happen as we begin to think God’s thoughts after him (renew our minds with truth) about our identity?

2. From 02:29 to 03:28  I share a list of who you are in Christ. Which of these are most meaningful to you personally? Why? Do you believe that this is who you are? Why or why not? Make a truth card that tells you that you *are* that! This week, read your cards out loud. Here is the  Who I Am in Christ list that I read from on the video.

3. Failure is something that you ______. It is not something that you ______.

4. Failure does not need to be an __________________. Failure can be the best _____________ that we’ve got going.

5. How can the tool of Observation and Correction help you turn failure into victory?

6. I speak about “falling off the horse” and “getting back on again.” What does that look like, practically speaking, on this Thin Within journey?

7.  What makes you “worthy” of Heaven? How does this apply to our Thin Within journeys?

8. If you believed you were more than a conqueror, how might that affect how you live and the choices you would make?

9. What are you telling yourself about who you are? Are you telling yourself the truth?

10. Of the lies I mention at the end, which can you identify with the most?

Renewing the Mind – Pressing On

NOTE: Don’t be overwhelmed by the material in this part of the “assignment” each week. This section is here to give you ideas for renewing your mind. Maybe just pick ONE thing and try it out each week. Thinking differently about food, our bodies, our God, life is vital if we want changes that will last!

What are strategies you are currently using to renew your mind so that you believe the things we are studying? We don’t typically lack knowledge. We lack BELIEF! So speaking the truths from our lessons into our souls again and again will serve us well if we want to see our beliefs change. Remember, this progression?:

Beliefs –> Actions –> Patterns –> Fruit

If we don’t feel like there is fruit in our lives that concurs with our godly goals, then we want to back up. What patterns are in our lives? Back up a bit further to see what actions or choices are we making in the moment. Remembering that moment upon moment is what our lives (patterns) are based on, we see that choices are fueled by our beliefs. So, if we don’t like the fruit in our lives or are convicted that this isn’t honoring to God, we must go back to our beliefs and begin to work with our own minds, hearts, and souls to change what we believe. We can do this by telling ourselves the truth repeatedly. Here is a short list of ways to do that:

1. Music – Christian music does a great job of this. Secular music, not necessarily so much. “Poor Poor Pitiful Me” is not going to help you to live like “More than a Conqueror!” For ideas for a Renew Your Mind Play list visit this post or this set of posts.

2. Truth Cards – Make ’em, Read ’em, Recite ’em, Record ’em, LISTEN to ’em! Yes! You can use your computer (most laptops are equipped to make audio recordings) or your device to record yourself reading your truth cards. Then, you can listen to them with your earphones or your blue tooth. Even if you “aren’t in the mood” to read them, you can passively have them playing through your head throughout the day or while you vacuum, prepare a meal, go grocery shopping. It is a great way of having the truth saturate your thinking.

3. JOURNAL through a set of questions in Barb Raveling’s I Deserve a Donut and Other Lies that Make You Eat or the I Deserve a Donut appI do believe journaling these questions at least once makes all the difference in getting the material into your heart. After journaling a set, you can pull truths from them in statements to add to your truth cards. Then, in the future, when you know you are struggling with worry, insecurity, or annoyance (for instance) you will be more able to benefit from using the questions by thinking through them. Journaling won’t always be necessary, but I do suggest it at first. (I journal a set of her questions at least once a day even though I have been doing this a long time!)

4. Set your timer to check in with God and recite a truth that is meaningful to you from memory. Visit this page to see what I mean.

5. Download Sound Cloud files to listen to.

6. Watch YouTube videos.

7. Get and use the Thin Within app.

Trade Book Assignment – To Be Completed by January 27th

Here is Study Guide Week 3 of the yet-unpublished Thin Within Book Study Guide. I would love to get your feedback if you are using this material. Is it worth publishing? 🙂

Workbook Assignment – To Be Completed by January 27th

1. Read, highlight, mark Lesson 3, Identity in Christ, on pages B32 – B38 or listen to the audio file of Lesson 3 at  Sound Cloud. Discuss it here in the comments section below this post or at our Class Private Facebook Group Page.

2. Complete the exercises for Lesson 3 on pages B40-B44. Use your discretion about the optional exercises on pages B45-B46. Next Monday before the webinar, respond to the Review questions on page B47.

**Note** Did you know that I post a question each day at our Workbook Study Facebook Group? Come on over and discuss what you are discovering there. Feel free to post what God is doing in your life, physically, spiritually, and emotionally, too. Our class is releasing weight and strongholds!

3. Continue to add to your “God List.” Can you add 10 things this week? Or more? I would love to hear what you are adding!

4. Have one Praise Fest this week (or more!) and share about it with us here.

5. Use the entries for Day 15 through Day 21 in the Temple Toolkit. This week, the Thin Within Food Log is added to the choices of tools for you to use if you like. This is optional. Many of us do not have the freedom to use the Thin Within food log at this time. That is perfectly ok. Ask the Lord if he would have you use it or not. Do what He saysIf you do choose to use it, remember that it isn’t a weigh and measure sort of log. It is just for added accountability for your hunger numbers primarily. It can also be very helpful to write down how you felt while eating. I write really small when I use this tool since I generally eat more than four times each day. Don’t be limited by the lines! If you want a larger place to write, download this copy of the Thin Within Food_Log. Again, please do not feel like you have to use this tool. Some of us are so fresh out of dieting that to do this might throw us back into our old dieting ways. That is NOT what we want! If you have the Thin Within app, you can use the Food Log tool included in it, if you like. You can send it to your accountability partner, straight from the app!

6. Evaluate how it is going with eating at 0. Are you eating at 0 more often than not? Have you found 5? Many find it helpful at first to use the boundaries of “Hungry? or Not Hungry?” instead of 0 to 5 and all the in-between numbers. Do what works for you. Are you experiencing freedom with your selection of food choices or are you still categorizing foods into categories from your dieting days? (“Junk food,” “healthy food,”, etc.) Ask the Lord to help you experience freedom from your dieting past, if so–Renew Your Mind! 🙂 If you need convincing, list to 7 Reasons To Ditch Dieting Forever.

7. Interact here in the comments or at the Facebook group.

How About You?

How did the second week of our journey go for you? What is God impressing upon your heart?  What questions do you have at this point? How can we best serve and encourage you?

What are you anticipating as you go forward into this week? God IS DOING a new thing!


Believe! ~ Guest Post

Believe! ~ Guest Post

Image Source: LaRessie Mason

Image Source: LaRessie Mason

Random words on a page, are they important?
  Yes, they are words from God.
My thoughts are random and so many!
What do I put from my mind to this paper?
   The ones God wants.
How do I choose?  Which is what God wants?
  The ones that flow out of the pen.
My head feels full.  Full of useless things!
But so much that needs to be shared.
I want them to mean something to someone
other than me.  But, maybe they aren’t supposed to.
Believe –
   Believe God!  Believe His Word! Believe His Truths!
   Believe that HE is ENOUGH!
   Believe that He loves you!
   Believe that He is able to give you more than you can imagine!
   Believe that the last piece of chocolate pie is not going to taste
       as good as I think it will!
   Believe that TRUSTING GOD is what Matters!
   Believe GOD!
   Be still and listen so you can BELIEVE!
 Clothes, kids, husband, food, work, lockets, phone, Facebook,
 people, snow!
Those random but not so random words!  I must get back to life!
NO… this is life!  Believe GOD!
What about you?
  • Do you believe GOD and His TRUTHs?

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

  • Do you BELIEVE God is ENOUGH?

Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

  • Do you believe God is ABLE?

2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

LaRessie lives in Franklin, NC with her husband of 25yrs and three of her four daughters. They have homeschooled for the last fourteen years. When she isn’t homeschooling, taxiing her kids, bugging her daughter and son-in-law or busy with her home-based businesses, you might find her taking pictures, crocheting or dabbling in writing.
Music To Your Ears ~ Renewing Your Mind – Guest Post

Music To Your Ears ~ Renewing Your Mind – Guest Post

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last year, I joined a weekly Bible study at a local church. On the first day, I sat in the lecture hall and waited excitedly to receive my study book and instructions. I was (not pleasantly) surprised that the very first thing to happen was not an introduction of the leaders. Instead, the words to a song appeared on the screen in the front of the room and everyone stood to sing….without accompaniment. “Oh, this is not good”, I thought. See, I love music and I love to sing – in private! I have been self conscious of my singing voice since I was a child. And I really thought that I would not like this aspect of the Bible study – at all. In addition to my lack of confidence in singing, I also was not a huge fan of praise music. I enjoyed the music during Sunday worship, but I would choose almost any other kind of music or talk radio while driving.

Well, within a month, God had changed my heart so much about music that it is now one of my favorite things about my time in the Bible study. I started downloading the songs I liked and I began to listen to praise music in the car. The Bible study leader’s favorite song that year was “The Voice of Truth” by Casting Crowns. This song became my anthem as I participated in the Renewing of the Mind study with Heidi last March.

Per her recommendation, I created a Renewing of the Mind playlist on my phone/ipod that continues to grow. I have found that the melodies and words get stuck not only in my head, but in my heart as well.  I listen to my list as I prepare meals, exercise, drive, and sometimes as I get ready for the day.

Is it strange to think of music as a way to renew our minds? Here’s how I see it. Much of Christian music is based on scripture. When I am listening to the words or singing along:

1) I am praying God’s Word to Him. We are told “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)

2) My mind is hearing the Truth of God’s Word, learning about His character, and absorbing how He relates to His people.

3) The words of scripture, the Truth, are settling in my heart. I am marinating in and meditating on His Word. “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. “(Psalm 119:11)

4) I can use the Truths from music during a time of temptation. It is sometimes easier to call up the Truth in music than something I have memorized without music. Think about all of the things in school you learned set to a tune – the alphabet, continents song, my daughter learned about igneous rock set to the Addams family song!  In temptation, I use many tools – Truth cards, the Bible, prayer, getting on my knees, TW scripture cards, and music.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. “(2 Cor 10:1)

5) It is a form of worship. Think of singing songs about and to God as a “God List” set to music. Again, it reminds us of God’s character and His relationship with us.

How About You?

I’d love to see us share the songs that we enjoy and the ones that help us in our journey with the Lord.

Your favorites may include gospel, hymnals, Southern gospel, current praise, or even secular music that speaks to you of God.  I’ll start. ☺

  • Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns,
  • I Have a Song, Christ in Me, really anything by Shannon Wexelberg
  • Whom Shall I Fear, Our God, The Name of Jesus by Chris Tomlin
  • True Things, Your Hands, All I Need (many others) by JJ Heller (folksy)
  • In Christ Alone feat Kristian Stanfill
  • Born Again by Third Day
  • Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone, You are Holy by Michael Smith
  • Because You Are by Point of Grace
  • Lifeline by Mandisa
  • My Soul Sings by Meredith Andrews
  • Hello, My Name Is by Matthew West – fun song!
  • I’m adding our own Rebecca Bryan to the list!

There are many more, but these are some my favorites.

What are yours?

~ Carrie (Not South Africa)


The Exciting Truth! – My Body is God’s Temple – Lesson 2 TW Class 2014

The Exciting Truth! – My Body is God’s Temple – Lesson 2 TW Class 2014

Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

God is doing a new thing! Yesterday’s wrap-up webinar on Lesson 1 is here as a downloadable audio file. Group study questions to follow. 🙂

The Thin Within app is available in the iTunes store! If you like it, please write a review. If you don’t like it…well…it’s FREE. 🙂 Please be kind.

Has your sense of this truth  been cultivated this past week–as never before? I hope so!

Are you renewing your mind with the truths gleaned from the class Facebook page, the lessons, the Sound Cloud or YouTube files available for you? The blog has boatloads of information for you, too.

Onward we go to plunge deeply into one of the most amazing truths that is found on the pages of Scripture–that you are God’s chosen dwelling place on this planet.

I share a bit about that in this video:

Video Questions:

1. Can you identify with the lie that I mention is common (00:43)? How so?

2.  What was the price that God paid for you to be his dwelling place?

3. What are three truths about you from this video that you can renew your mind with this week?

4. How might really believing that your body is God’s temple now affect you?

5. What is the significance of the fact that my body is not my own? (5:30)

6. What is a fundamental belief (actually a lie) that we tend to hold? (6:39)

7. How can you, practically speaking, renew your mind?

8. Consider adding some of the truths in this video to your deck of truth cards as mentioned in 09:10. Which ones will you add to your deck?

9. How will you use your truth cards this week? (What times of day, how many cards, etc.)

10. What are the 5 truths that summarize (12:00) the video?

Renewing the Mind – Pressing On

Last week, we began the process of renewing our minds. Romans 12:2 tells us we are transformed not by gritting our teeth and eating between physical hunger and physical satisfaction. That is all well and good, but if that is all we do, we will revert to old behaviors when the first trial or stressful situation hits.

Instead, we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. I mentioned in Lesson 1’s video that we would be going through the workbook this time with a different focus. I hope you have been using Barb Raveling’s book, I Deserve A Donut and Other Lies That Make You Eat or the iTunes app by the same name.  These resources, though optional, are indispensable. If you don’t have it yet, please get the workbook kit, Rebuilding God’s Temple.

Trade Book Assignment – To Be Completed by January 20th

Again, from the deep dark recesses of my hard drive 🙂 , I bring to you this week’s Thin Within Book Study Guide (Lesson 2) for those unable to get a workbook.

Workbook Assignment – To Be Completed by January 20th

1. Read, highlight, mark Lesson 2 on pages B18 – B22 or listen to the audio file of Lesson 2 at  Sound CloudDiscuss it here in the comments section below this post or at our Class Private Facebook Group Page.

2. Complete the exercises for Lesson 2 on pages B24-B28. Use your discretion about the optional exercises on pages B29-B30.

3. Continue to add to your “God List.” Here is a sample beginning of a God List. Here is a video about it if you have some extra time (I did share the link last week here and on the FB page):

4.  Use your God List to have a “Praise Fest” or “Praise Feast.” Find out more about that here. You can find a playlist of PraiseFests here.

5.  Use the entries for Day 7 through Day 14 in the Temple Toolkit. You can use it to write your praise-fest down or to write down the attributes of God that you are aware of that day. Some people prefer to use their journals instead of the Temple Toolkit. That’s fine, too, of course!

6. Have a look at this file: Renew Mind – Class Affirmations These are a list of some of the things our class members have said…TRUTHS that they are using to replace lies they have been believing for far too long. You can write these and other things like them on your spiral bound set of index cards. (I hope you have gotten some index cards by now and are using them!)

7. Continue to eat when you are hungry. Select any food you desire. Some of you are ready to begin to discern which foods make you feel energized! That’s great! We consider those “Whole Body  Pleasers” and we will talk more about those later. If you know your body feels best when you eat beneficial foods, then enjoy!

8. This week, try to hone in on what a “5” is for you. If the entire hunger scale thing feels too complicated or difficult or confusing, please just use this simple test: Hungry? Not hungry? Eat when the answer to the first quest is yes and stop eating (or don’t start) when the answer to the second question is yes. This may simplify it enough to make it doable.

9. Interact here in the comments or at the Facebook group. I would love to hear what God is doing in your life. What new thing are you seeing in your life emotionally, spiritually, or physically? Won’t you give God glory and share it with us?

How About You?

How did the first week of our journey go for you? What is God impressing upon your heart?  What questions do you have at this point? How can we best serve and encourage you?

Hope in His Plan ~ Guest Post

Hope in His Plan ~ Guest Post

[Editor’s Note: Rebecca is one of the participants in our 2014 Thin Within Workbook Bible Study. When she posted these thoughts on Day 1, I couldn’t resist asking her if I could share it with you all.  I hope you are encouraged as I am. Oh…and for the record, Rebecca’s precious hubby gave his consent for this to be shared with the world. lol!]


“For I know the PLANS I have for YOU,” says the Lord,

“PLANS to prosper you, not to harm you, PLANS for a HOPE and a future.”

Jeremiah 20:11

I emphasized plans and hope for a reason. I love my husband dearly, but the man stinks at planning…anything. I am always so disappointed when I ask for a date night and, after eighteen years of knowing each other and almost fourteen years of marriage, he still doesn’t take the clue to actually plan something. Instead it always ends up with the whole, ‘I don’t know, what do you want to do’ conversation.

But God spoke to me this morning that He, God, does have a PLAN! That makes me giddy! I mean, if my husband said to me, “Come on, we’re going out, I’ve got a plan” I would swoon. If there is a plan, that means there has been thought, preparation and consideration all for me.

God has been thinking about me, about you, about what we like, what He’s gifted us with and for, and even what we don’t like. And in those thoughts, He’s made PLANS for us! Good plans! Great plans! I want HIS PLANS!

God has shown up for our ‘date’ if you will, our journey for the next 12 weeks and said, “Let’s go, I’ve got a plan.” All we have to do is get in the car and allow Him to take us where He will. And what an awesome hope that brings! Hope is the confident expectation of good. God’s not going to take you bowling when you really love the outdoors and would rather be at the beach. He knows us intimately and we can trust Him. We can trust His plans. We can place all our hope in Him.

rebeccabryanRebecca Bryan and her husband live in Grand Rapids, MI where they homeschool their 3 children and she is a worship leader at her church. Rebecca is also a singer/songwriter who just released her debut album, Bound by Love.

How About You?

How does it encourage you to know that God has purposed, considered, been intentional about the plans he has for you? Will you choose to believe him for it today? What thoughts are here that you can turn into truths in your deck of truth cards … to renew your mind with?

Market Madness No More! – Guest Post

Market Madness No More! – Guest Post

photo credit: Brother O'Mara via photopin cc

Image Courtesy of: Brother O’Mara via Photopin cc

January 2, 2014

What a joy it was to go to the grocery store this morning without a new diet plan guiding my shopping list! It’s been a long time since I approached a New Year without some crazy diet or workout plan.

FLASH BACK to…January 2013

I decided that I must have an issue with dairy so I planned to quit drinking coffee for a while and use almond milk. The problem is that I love crumbled cheeses on my salads and enjoy occasional yogurts. And my husband and I spend Saturday and Sunday mornings talking over a good cup of coffee. So, that plan lasted about two days. I also was going to drink a veggie smoothie for a meal at least once a day – kale, spinach, cauliflower, goji berries, expensive powdered vitamins and minerals would save me from this extra weight. The problem is that I hate cold drinks in the winter.

FLASH BACK to…January 1012

I decided I could only have special shakes and “natural foods.”

FLASH BACK to…January 2003-2011

You name it – Weight Watchers, Flat Belly Diet, nutritionist (eat specific foods every 2-3 hours), only homemade foods, “health” foods, Weight Watchers again….you get the picture.

And these diet plans usually involved a crazy workout plan. From working out an hour and a half daily to running half marathons to following a ninety day DVD program of intense exercise.

Well, praise God, I was freed from the diet mentality in 2013! It took a lot of work (renewing my mind, prayer, surrender to the Lord, giving up fear and control), but the rewards have been tremendous.

But back to my grocery trip last last week. I went with a list—not of diet foods for me and regular foods for my family, but a list for meals that my whole family would enjoy – homemade pizza, crockpot Puerto Rican pork and rice, grilled chicken on salad, chicken enchiladas and chicken quesadillas. It was such a relief to buy normal food, to be a good role model for my children who were with me, to pass by the kale without putting it in my cart, etc! I smiled as I passed by the kale, but I did buy spinach, mushroom and lettuce for the salad I enjoy. I felt more relief as I passed by the low cal/low fat granola bars (I remember when those were my “treats”). I considered buying gluten free cereal for my yogurts (I have to eat GF), but I wasn’t in the mood for it. I declined the cereal not because it was a “carb,” but because my body didn’t want it that day. I bought tortilla chips as well as chicken breasts. I left the store elated that I have freedom and choice and am not in bondage to some “expert” rules for my food (and exercise) choices. I felt badly for the people who are placing their hope in their new “expert” diet this January.

You may wonder if I have released weight since giving up dieting. The answer is yes. I do not weigh myself and I am close to my God given size as it is. But, my pants fit better, some are too big and I have gone down a size in new clothes. Some of my old clothes are fitting as well. Several months ago, I accidentally saw my weight at my doctor’s office – I was 4 lbs from my original “goal” weight. The nurse said “oh, this must be a mistake. You’ve lost 7 pounds since your last visit 3 months ago.” I told her it wasn’t a mistake and briefly described Thin Within.

For those of you new to TW or working with Heidi (i.e. allowing God to guide you), amazing freedom and peace await you. Yes, you will release weight, but you will also experience the freedom, peace, and joy that come from surrendering to the Lord as you grow in intimacy with Him.

By Carrie (Not South Africa :-))

How About You?

How has grocery shopping changed for you since beginning Thin Within? What changes would you still like to make? What questions do you have, if any? 🙂

Off and Running – HOPE Lights the Way – Lesson 1 TW Class 2014

Off and Running – HOPE Lights the Way – Lesson 1 TW Class 2014

Image Source: Morgue File

Image Source: Morgue File

And we are OFF! Let this year be LIT up with the HOPE that comes from letting Jesus do what he does so well…redeem, transform, and love. Let’s let him redeem us and the years the locusts have eaten. Let’s let him transform us from the inside out and let him love on us. We will open ourselves to the whole kitten-kaboodle! Let’s RUN the RACE!

Yesterday we had our first webinar. Find the recording for the webinar here. If you are a group leader,  here are the Orientation/Intro Webinar Group Questions. Thank you to Allison Mitchell for writing them for us this week!

Here are some thoughts I have about this upcoming study overall and the focus we will have. Also, I share some thoughts about this first lesson on HOPE:

Video Questions:

1. Do you have a desire for transformation like I mention in the video?

2. What are the three things that will saturate our study of  the workbook together?

3. What unique experiences, wisdom, and support do you have this time as you go through the workbook?

4. What “Little t” truths do you need to TRUMP with God’s “Big T” truths?

5. What would you like to see God call into being into your life?

6. Take a few moments to pray and ask God to show you what lies you might be believing that are standing in the way of you experiencing the hope that he intends for you to experience.

Introductory Thoughts About Renewing of the Mind

What we think/believe will drive our choices or actions. Our actions will establish a pattern. Our patterns will reap fruit. What fruit do we see in our lives that we might like changed? Let’s trade lies for truth, so we will begin to believe differently. The truth we believe will affect our choices and behavior. Our new choices and behaviors will establish new patterns in our lives. And the new fruit we long for will become evident over time!

You can select the level of involvement that you can manage. As time goes on, if you have to pick just ONE thing to do each day, I would recommend that you invest time in journaling through one set of questions in Barb Raveling’s I Deserve a Donut book or app each day. I believe that time invested doing this will reap HUGE rewards!

Trade Book Assignment – to be completed by January 13th

If you are using the Thin Within book (paperback or hardcover) published 2002 or 2005, I have pulled out from the deep dark recesses of my hard drive(s) a draft of a Thin Within Book Study Guide that, as yet, is unpublished. I provide it to you with a caveat…please be kind! lol! It isn’t publishable… Use it at your own risk ;-), but know that it was created with love. I provide the TW Study Guide Intro and TW Study Guide Week 1 documents, but please know they don’t match what we will do with the workbook study. I think it will be good, anyhow! It has you doing 5 chapters each week, so you will be done sooner than the workbook if you go at that pace, but hang out with us. 🙂 Also, you might still want to do the assignment below, #s 4, 6-10. You don’t have to have a workbook to do those.

Workbook Assignment – to be completed by January 13th [[Note: I know that many of us struggle with perfectionism and a condemning spirit. This is a chance to break out of that. I give you WAY more to do in any given week than is reasonable to do. So, do NOT expect to do it all! That would be impossible! Extend grace. Practice godliness by releasing perfectionism…Do what you can and be ok with that. PROMISE me! :-)) Consider all the possibilities like a “buffet.” Choose what looks best to you and let the rest go this time. There is always another day to try another tool!

1. Read through the introductory material in the Thin Within workbook, pp. A5-A11.

2.  Read, highlight, mark Lesson 1 on pages B3 – B8 or listen to the audio file of Lesson 1 at  Sound CloudDiscuss it here in the comments section below this post or at our Class Private Facebook Group Page.

3. Complete one section of “exercises” each day. For instance, today, Tuesday, you could complete Day One on page B9-B10. Tomorrow, Wednesday, you could complete Day Two on page B11. Thursday, complete B12…and so on. When you come to the optional exercises, use your discretion. You can catch up on one of the other days or do some of the other optional activities.

4. For extra power in this process…begin now to each day keep a running list of any of God’s attributes, his characteristics, how he relates to or treats people that you find in your reading of the workbook or Scriptures. I suggest keeping this running list in a section of your journal (or inside the cover of your workbook) as you will add to it over the course of weeks and months! It helps if you include the reference. Check out this post to learn more about what I call “The God List.” (If anyone comes up with a better name, please PLEASE tell me! LOL!) If you would rather have it electronically, I have found software like Evernote is a great place to keep my God List as it syncs between all my devices and I have it handy ANY time I want or need it. I suggest adding at least two or three (or more) to your God List each day. You will be glad you did as we get further on. The extra few minutes will be an investment. 🙂 Here is more information about the God List.

5.  This week, use Days 1-7 in the Temple Tool Kit. If you would rather, keep your notes in your journal. I like using a regular journal as there is more space to write.

6. Record any thoughts—LIES—that you discover pop into your head such as:

“Why bother doing this? It will never work.”

Or “You have done this before and you never keep the weight off.”

Or “This approach may work for everyone else, but it won’t for you.”

Or “I am SUCH a failure!”

And so on. When you discover a thought that contributes to thoughts of defeat, flush it out into the open and ask God to show you HIS thoughts about whatever it is. For instance, regarding the above:

“With the support and prayers of all the group members, with a new focus on this material, this WILL work!”

Or “God is doing a NEW thing and he will give me what I need to succeed AND to walk in victory.”

Or “God created my body reliably and he will show me that this way of releasing weight is effective for me, too. It is a God-sized work, true, but he is AT work doing it right now!”

Or “God will use this failure to teach me what doesn’t work and to give me strategies for victory!”

7. Make liberal use of the Sound Cloud files and You Tube videos. They are there for you to help you. Please enjoy. Download. Put them on your devices, carry them with you. God wants to saturate your thinking with the TRUTH about this journey!

8. Commit to relishing eating ANY food you desire once your stomach is empty…at a perfect “0.” Serve yourself less food. Start by halving your portions this week. If you sense physical satisfaction — a “5” coming before you are done eating, ask God to give you strength to stop eating. You get to eat again the very next time you are hungry! NO deprivation here!

9. Most of all…keep on praying! Pray that God will help you arrive at your natural God-given size, that you will break free from the stronghold that food has on you, that you will renew your mind so that you think differently about food, your body, eating, and the victory that God has won for you! Thinking differently will result in different actions resulting in different fruit! And maybe most of all…pray that you will have a wonderfully refreshing new intimacy with your Savior and Lord. 🙂

10. If you want to supercharge the transformation, renewing your mind will be paramount. I am personally making sure I do something twice each day to renew my mind. If you aren’t sure what that might look like, then journaling through a set of Barb’s questions in her I Deserve a Donut book or app is just the ticket. This is a great complement to our study of the Thin Within book!

How About You?

Check in! How are you feeling about beginning this journey? I would LOVE to hear from you here.

Note: If you have just stumbled upon this blog and this post and you like the idea of breaking free from dieting, fear-based exercise and the obsession that has so often been our practice to break free of extra weight, sign up for our Thin Within workbook study email list. It isn’t too late to dive on in! This page tells more about it.