The True Source of Healing

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Image Source: iStockPhoto

Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.

– Jeremiah 17:14

In Mark chapter 5, Jesus is surrounded by a mob of people. In the midst of the crowd is a woman “who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years” (verse 25). She had tried just about everything and everyone.

In Mark 5:26 we see “She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.”

In her ailment, she had looked for healing everywhere that she could think of. She had spent all of her money and yet, ironically, she had suffered more and actually gotten worse.

Have you ever felt this way? The more you sought help and freedom from overweight and overeating, the more diets you experienced, and the more you knew, maybe even the more doctors you went to about this, the more found yourself actually in bondage to food, the thoughts of food, the lust for food and the inhaling of food when you weren’t hungry?

I have. After a year in the 1990s with a popular weight loss program, losing 100 pounds with a very strict diet and obsessive exercise, training for three marathons, studying to become a certified personal exercise trainer, I found myself with a worsened “heart condition.” Like the bleeding woman, I had looked to anyone and everything for healing *other* than the One who could truly offer it. My heart was attached to—obsessed with—food.

The incredible thing is, God can take these “failures” and our desperation and actually use it all. This bleeding woman had become so convinced that the only source for healing left for her was Jesus, that she knew that if she just *touched* his clothing, she could be healed! Now that is faith! Jesus sought her out. He wanted to see this woman face to face—not because he didn’t know who she was. He knew. He was God, after all. But he wanted to speak to her personally. In Mark 5:34, we are told what he says to this woman after she was healed: “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

What marvelous words. These words He longs to speak to us! This very healing he longs to impart to us. Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! – Isaiah 30:18

But who are we looking to for our healing from this tendency to eat more than we need to sustain our bodies? Are we looking to Him? Truly? Are we seeking His healing? Or are we seeking the healing through any number of other methods? Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. – Ps. 107:19-20

If He heals us, it isn’t at the expense of our souls. When the Lord saves us, we truly are saved. Let us turn to Him, focus on Him, praise Him with our lives. In that place we, too, will experience the rush of power into our lives that sets us free from our suffering!

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. – Hebrews 12:2

Lord, I choose to come to you today for the healing I need. I need to be healed of my tendency to turn to food to process my emotions. Conversely, I know sometimes I replace overeating with restricting and I turn to dieting to “save” me—as a functional Messiah of sorts. I choose to reject this tendency, Lord. Instead of either unhealthy approach, I want to view food as fuel and be set free from extra weight and over-eating. I want to be set free from needless restricting. I know you alone can work these changes in me. I come to you, Jesus. Amen.

Are you Worn and Tired? God knows…

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Image Source: iStock Photo

My tears have been my food day and night,

while they say to me all the day long,

“Where is your God?”

These things I remember, as I pour out my soul:

how I would go with the throng

and lead them in procession to the house of God

with glad shouts and songs of praise,

a multitude keeping festival.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,

and why are you in turmoil within me?

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,

my salvation

– Psalm 42:3-5

 I have found that so often what I focus on, what I magnify, will become all I see. It will fill my vision. So, if I focus on the dust mites, they will become larger and larger and eclipse my view of God. If I focus on God and HIS goodness, awesomeness, love and the joy that I know he intends for me to have in him, then I know the dust mites of life fade in significance. They are still there, but the power of my God puts everything in their proper perspective.

That said, sometimes it can minister to the deep places of the soul to know that we aren’t alone in our sadness.  I believe this is one reason why the Psalms include so many gut-wrenching, honest laments. And the book of Jeremiah, followed by the book of Lamentations, lets us know that God’s people may experience grief. It is ok to be sad and to bring it to him.

This video shares a song that does this very thing. In it, the songwriter brings his despair, sadness, tiredness to God. He points out that there is one thing that he knows…and that is he needs to lift his eyes. He is too tired to do even that. Have you felt that way?


I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this worldAnd I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have leftLet me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m wornI know I need to lift my eyes up
But I’m too weak
Life just won’t let up
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have leftLet me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

My prayers are wearing thin
Yeah, I’m worn
Even before the day begins
Yeah, I’m worn
I’ve lost my will to fight
I’m worn
So, heaven come and flood my eyes

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause all that’s dead inside will be reborn

Though I’m worn
Yeah I’m worn

This song is available here at iTunes or here at Amazon.

How About You?

What do you do when you are feeling worn? What does God invite you to do? Are you willing? He waits.

Where’s Your Focus?

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Image Source: iStock Photo

Do you ever wonder why you can’t beat this? Why you keep doing yet another study about food and weight? Why you can’t just SHAKE loose of this challenge, this relationship with food, this weight?

The answer may be as simple as focus.

Let me illustrate:

Right now, don’t think about green gorillas.

No, really. Don’t think about green gorillas.

You aren’t, right? 🙂

Sit there for 30 seconds without a single thought of a green gorillas.

You aren’t thinking about green gorillas, are you? 🙂


Ok, be honest…what are you thinking of?

If you are like most, if someone says “Don’t think about green gorillas,” that is precisely what you think about. When we try NOT to think about something—either a food that is off our “diet foods” list (when we were on diets), or a food we want to eat and are free to eat, but when we are not hungry—we can’t help but to think about it! Diets tell us what we can’t have and can’t think about. The more we try not to think about or not to want these things, the more we think about them and want them until we become overwhelmed and give in, sometimes after we have already eaten the dieter’s version of whatever it might be.

Read Colossians 2:20-23 in your Bible or below:

Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world,

why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules:

21“Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”?

22These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings.

23Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship,

their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body,

but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

Please take a moment and underline descriptive phrases in this passage in your bible that are used to describe the mentality that Paul is confronting. Two are done for you.

Now write down what you underlined in the passage above:

  1. _____Rules________________________________
  2. _____Destined to Perish with Use_____________
  3. _________________________________________
  4. _________________________________________
  5. _________________________________________
  6. _________________________________________
  7. _________________________________________
  8. _________________________________________

Which of the above descriptive words and phrases could also be used to describe a prescriptive way of managing weight or, which of the words above fit in describing “diets?” Circle any that apply.

What can’t diets do according to this passage?

Did you notice all those “do nots” in the passage? When told DO NOT, what do we do? Do you find it true that, often, you end up doing the very thing that you are told NOT to do! (Just like not thinking about green gorillas?)

Most often in worldly programs we are challenged to merely be “self controlled.” With these programs, we have often found ourselves eating foods that, while “good for us” don’t match up with what we really desire—they don’t satisfy. We have tried desperately to conform ourselves to an outward standard while resentment builds deep within. We are told not to eat this or that and, often, we give in to what we wanted in the first place.

God’s way of freedom from the chains that bind us, the coping mechanisms that constrict us, the addictions that hinder us, is for us to experience freedom from these outward restraints, to have our hearts and minds renewed and to transform us from the inside out! As our hearts are transformed, our choices will be as well. Moment by moment, our choices, when built one upon another, will radically alter externals—our appearance and behavior. We can walk in freedom!

This is why I have been crowing about renewing our minds for so long (and I will continue to do so!). We have to be willing to do the work it takes to change the way we think.

God has created us to experience joy in life—even in something as mundane as eating! We can praise HIM for his marvelous creativity in making mangos, asparagus, ice cream sundaes, and cheese enchiladas. Eating was never intended to torment us, but to bless us.

Dieting has caused us to be focused on ourselves, on our food, on our weight, on our size…on everything ME.  Some of us have “done” Thin Within the same way we have done dieting—with the focus all on ME, MYSELF, and I. The focus has been on the externals…on my appearance, my behavior, my food, my exercise…ME. In embracing these approaches, however, we have done nothing to change our hearts in a positive direction. In fact, often, we come out of our experiences with these programmatic ways of handling food with an even deeper fixation on food or our bodies.

This is forming and shaping our hearts…not just our bodies (if physical changes happen at all). Do we really feel that the way we are becoming more self-absorbed is God-honoring and worth it as long as we lose weight? I hope not!

Let’s be intentional…and choose to take a radically different approach. Let’s allow our King to have our heart, our focus, our desires. He is going to do something major in our lives so it stands to reason that we want to have our focus in the right place.

How About You?

Are you ready to “do” this differently than you have done diets or Thin Within in the past? Do you want this to really be the last time you have to “start over?” Are you ready to do the work that is involved? If so, I strongly encourage you to go to the Renewing of the Mind Bible Study page here and do these studies (again if you have done them already). Do that and/or do a search on the blog for “Truth Cards.” I believe you will be SO blessed as you work on the way you THINK and on where your focus is. When we stop thinking ME ME ME and start thinking GOD GOD GOD some amazing transformations begin to take place. Honest. 🙂

Taste of TRUE Goodness

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Image Source: iStock Photo
It is more likely for a lion to grow tired and hungry than it is that God will NOT supply me good things! WOW!

Taste and see that the LORD is good;

blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. 

Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.

The lions may grow weak and hungry,

but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

– Psalm 34:8-10   

God is so wonderfully good. I can hide myself in Him. When I fear Him (which just means to have an awesome reverence and respect for Him) I lack nothing I need. What am I really trying to satisfy when I eat when I am not hungry? The mini-powdered sugar donuts are yummy, how many of them do I really need in one sitting? What am I trying to fill up after I am not hungry any more? Is it truly something that mini-powdered sugar donuts can satisfy? I don’t think so and, according to this passage, it is a God sized hole that He alone will fill up.

In Psalm 34: 8, isn’t it interesting that the psalmist used the word, “taste?” At that point when I am looking for something by eating yet more ___(insert tasty morsel of your choosing)_____,  why not stop and taste of Him? I start the day with such good intentions and no wonder! I have been in His Word and His love for me and mine for Him are fresh on my heart and mind. Maybe I need to rekindle that throughout the day by prayer, quick meditation on one of my memory verses, a review of my truth cards, or by opening the bible for a moment. As easily as I can rip open a package of cookies, I can open the bible or breathe up a prayer. I can take refuge in Him.

If I truly revere Him and am in awe of Him, I will seek HIM. Whatever it is I am seeking to fill with food I will find more abundantly and truly with HIM.

Lions don’t often grow weak with hunger…they keep hunting and feasting, yet the psalmist indicates that they may grow weak and hungry…what is the “antidote” for weakness and hunger? Seeking the Lord. Not only will my belly be full and strength return, but I will lack no good thing!

Praise Him!

Lord, today I will taste of You and your goodness. I will take refuge in

You instead of in a bag of Reddenbudders popcorn. I will demonstrate my awe

and respect of you in calling on YOU when I struggle. I know what as I seek

you, I will lack nothing that I need. Thank you, Lord. Amen.

More Truths About 0 to 5 Eating

More Truths for Truth Cards

More Truths for Truth Cards

If you need more truths about 0 and 5 eating—or NOT eating 0 to 5—here are some more ideas. 🙂

Again…what do I DO with these cards? I review a few of them each day. Sometimes twice or more. That way, the truth is right there in my mind, ready to leap into my thoughts when I need it! If I know I struggle more at certain times of the day, then I will review my cards just before that time of the day. I PRE-EMPT the temptation!

1. When I eat 0 to 5 I have joy, peace, and delight.

2. When I don’t eat 0 to 5 I have guilt, frustration, and disappointment with myself.

3. Eating 0 to 5 I will land on a slender size that is right for me…not TOO thin and not too heavy. (Either is unhealthy!)

4. Not eating 0 to 5, I will always battle with my weight.

5. Eating 0 to 5 I never wonder what my size will do. It is predictable.

6. When I don’t eat 0 to 5, I wonder if I will “get away with it” forever.

7. When I don’t eat 0 to 5 I have a stuffed feeling after eating.

8. When I eat 0 to 5, I get to eat more frequently. Small meals, more frequently is a fun way to eat!

9. When I don’t eat 0 to 5, food doesn’t taste as good.

10. Eating 0 to 5 I get to enjoy LIFE!

11. Not eating 0 to 5, I am paranoid and self-conscious about how my clothes fit. I reach into the closet wondering how grave the damage will be.

How About You?

Are you adding truths to your deck of truth cards? How do you use these cards? How has using your truth cards helped you out? Share your story here and you may encourage another person!

Wind In Your Wings

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Image Source: iStock Photo

God is crazy about you!

Psalm 45:10-11 says:

Listen, O daughter, consider and give ear:
Forget your people and your father’s house. 

 The king is enthralled by your beauty;
honor him, for he is your lord. 

Do you feel like you enthrall the King of Kings with your beauty? He speaks this truth on the pages of His eternal Word—but do you, like many of us, have difficulty believing it?

Many of us have come to Thin Within or to this blog because of something external we want to change—our eating habits, our weight due to our eating habits, or something similar. We may not feel beautiful at all.

Some of us may be visiting this website because we have heard that Thin Within isn’t merely about externals–and that there is some new content and you want to experience the newness, freshness and freedom! You may even be fed up with focusing on externals and long for something that will encourage your *heart*.

Maybe you are just sick of the dieting treadmill!

Let me be frank. My goal at this blog and in my coaching ministry isn’t that you be a gorgeous, thin, creature that commands the attention and envy of every man and woman on the planet! It isn’t even that you be physically healthy, though that is a wonderful goal.

Frankly, my goal is to support you as you continue to grow in beauty from the inside out. I love seeing a life turned upside down with the power of praising our God and I KNOW that this has a direct impact on how we view food, our bodies and our eating!

No matter why you are here or what your expectations may be, you can rest assured that our God and King is a God of surprises—he can meet you and far exceed your hopes and dreams.  The story he desires to live out with you can be a glorious testimony of this fact.

You may have your sights set on something extremely concrete or a very tangible goal, “I must gain enough weight to be 110 pounds,” or “I simply have to weigh less than 200 pounds!” or “I need to fit into that size 7 dress by my 20 year high-school reunion!” We have all kinds of folks that visit this blog.

You may know that at the heart of your struggle is an addiction that has its coils wrapped around you like a snake constricting its prey prior to devouring it.  You may feel devoured…constricted, captured and snared. (Please know that a #1 truth is that Jesus has paid for our freedom. He HAS done it. He HAS won it. We get to walk it out!)

Regardless of your thoughts about where you currently find yourself, there is One who comes to rescue you from the dominion of darkness. He may lead you on a more circuitous route than what you have in mind. You can trust that He will only lead you where you need to go. Nothing will be wasted. His ways are beyond fathoming. He has in mind much discovery for you as you get to know Him better, get to know yourself better, and participate as the tale is penned, as the dance commences, as the journey unfolds.

You can rest assured this will be exactly what you need—no more, no less.

You may feel like you have been in this position before. If you have had enough of Mondays, “fresh starts,” new beginnings, and “this-time-it-will-be-different”s, then you are right where you need to be!

What About You?

Can you take an inventory? What do you DREAM of? What do you hope to become? Dare you write it on a page? Dare you bring it before the King of Kings, the Creator of the Universe, who gives birth to our dreams? While it is true that he sometimes allows a dream to die even as he ignites a new dream within us—HIS dream in us—we are safe with Him, sharing with Him what we long for.

Why not take some time today and write down what you long for? Hope for? Dream of?  No one needs to see it.

Once you do this, sit with the Lord with the page open before Him and offer it to him. Invite him to see your dreams. Welcome him to either make them come true or replace them with his wonderful desire for you so that you can dare to dream God-shaped dreams for your future.

If you would like, you can share with us here how you feel about this exercise.