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.

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

  1. Susan J January 7, 2014 at 8:10 am #

    Heidi, thank you so much for all your work here. I know it takes HOURS to put together even the smallest of studies. You are so helpful and thorough. Thank you for your video…. love your kind spirit. Awesome how God is using you!

    • Heidi Bylsma January 7, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

      Thank you for your kindness, Susan. It is a pleasure. 🙂

  2. Carol Scott January 7, 2014 at 9:16 am #

    I have to totally agree with Susan! Thank you so much. God brought me to your blog last year when I was at such a low point. And He brought me back just a few weeks ago so I could jump into this incredible opportunity! I am already seeing glimpses of the old Carol who lost 60 lbs year ago eating this way. And I’m so excited about the new things God is doing! Thank you so much for being obedient to His call and for loving all of us enough to put forth this sacrifice of time and effort. Girl, you’ll have many crowns in your mansion in Heaven!!!!

    • Heidi Bylsma January 7, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

      Oh, Carol. That is WONDERFUL to hear! Thank you for your kind words.

  3. N January 7, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    Ditto! Thank you, Heidi. I think the response of 135 people is amazing. God is doing great work through you. It seems different and accountable to have a weekly class scheduled. I so happy to be able to join. Very inspirational; thank you! Look forward to diving into the work this week.

    • Heidi Bylsma January 7, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

      Hi, N. Yes, it is stunning to me. My jaw is still on the floor (safe from overeating. lol!). I am so glad you are with us. 🙂

  4. adrianesims January 7, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Love the video and looking forward to starting the assignment!!!

    • Heidi Bylsma January 7, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

      Don’t overload yourself! I know you are doing Barb’s Taste For Truth, too! 🙂 All that studying, who has time to eat! LOL! Love you, girl!

  5. Rosa Garcia January 7, 2014 at 10:27 am #

    Awesome awesome awesome. Thanks for this great gift of love, Heidi.

  6. Corrinne January 7, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    Thank you so much Heidi, for leading us on this exciting journey! My hope is renewed and I am eager to ‘perceive’ God’s transforming power as I learn to “renew” my mind.

    • Heidi Bylsma January 7, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

      So glad, Corrinne! God is doing a new thing! 😀

  7. Karen Childs January 7, 2014 at 11:21 am #

    I read this earlier today and meant to leave a comment — I love it! You are so gifted in how you put things that we all can identify with, and that we all need to hear: how much we are loved. Thanks for a wonderful kick-off!!

    • Heidi Bylsma January 7, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

      Aw…Karen. Thank you for the kind words. I am so glad you feel that way! Glory to God! 😀

  8. Kelli January 7, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    Yes…agreed! I so want God to have (and own and get the glory for!) the victory in relation to eating, food and change of my attitude and reaction toward both. I have children around me who are watching and learning by example. One is already out of the house. I’m praying all will come to understand what it would be like to live at our natural, God-given size. Thank you so much.

  9. Mary Anne Endeman January 7, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    All I can say Heidi, is that I am in awe of how God is using you to help all of us! I watched this video and had tears in my eyes as you went over and over about how precious we are to Him. Sometimes I do believe the lies of the enemy and feel that there is no hope for me. I am so excited to see how my attitude and my life in Christ is going to be enriched beyond anything I can imagine. Great is His faithfulness! Thanks so much and I will check out Barb’s , “I deserve a Donut” book!

    • Heidi Bylsma January 7, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

      Hi, Mary Anne. Thank you. That is so kind. I guess you have something you get to really renew your mind about. I would put it on truth cards and keep saying it again and again. It is truth you want to saturate your mind with! Yes, her book is PHENOMENAL! Thanks for your kind words. It means a lot.

  10. LaRessie Mason January 7, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    Heidi!! I feel your EXCITEMENT and LOVE for the Lord. It is infectious. I am SO excited to begin this journey. I do have hope and I am seeing God do MANY new things! I am floored at how He works, again and again. Thank you for being a willing servant. You are truly a worker and I am SO blessed to be part of this. Looking forward to the journey! PRAISE GOD!!!

    • Heidi Bylsma January 7, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

      Oh, LaRessie. Thank you so much for that. I am thrilled to hear that you have been infused with some excitement, too! God really IS doing a new thing!

  11. Beth January 7, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

    Excited to see so many on this path with me. I’m really feeling convicted to journal the lies that I so often tell myself but I wonder-do you sometimes jot down the lie and then fill in the truth later? I think that I put it off a lot because even though I hear the lie loud and clear I have to really sort out what that truth is and sometimes it takes a little bit of soul searching and prayer.

    • Heidi Bylsma January 7, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

      That is a great approach, Beth, if you need to do that. For me, I want to be sure I take care of nipping that lie in the bud as soon as possible. Some of the truths are general. Some of them are very specific. One of the best tools for me to recognize lies, but even more…to find truths to replace the lies…has been Barb’s I Deserve a Donut book and her app. I don’t think I ever would have realized just what I could be thinking *instead* had I not had those resources! Just follow the Lord’s leading on this! You can’t go wrong that way. 🙂

  12. Becky Brown January 7, 2014 at 5:41 pm #

    Heidi, thank you so much for allowing me to participate in this group. I feel I was led to this by my friend LaRessie at the exact time God needed me to learn some lessons. I am discovering, just in the last two days, that maybe I haven’t trusted God to the extent I thought I was. I feel God nudging me, telling me I need to spend more time in His word and prayer in order to totally abolish the lies that satan feeds me every minute of every day. Thank you so much for your example through your gentle, Christ-like spirit!

    • Heidi Bylsma January 7, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

      Aw, Becky! I am so glad you have joined us. Thank you for your encouraging comments. I am so glad God is meeting you here! 🙂

  13. Kate (Katherine) January 7, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

    thank you Heidi for doing this! I tried to do it by myself awhile ago, but fizzled due to lack of support, so this is great. It’s good to have hope! 🙂 You have encouraged me that God is actually doing a new thing in my life.

    • Heidi Bylsma January 7, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

      He is, indeed! So glad you are coming along with us. 😀

  14. Jessica Luttrell January 7, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

    I am so encouraged by the power of God’s Scriptures that flows through your words, especially in this video…using His words provides such a deep powerful spring of life for all who hear…God is giving me hope!! I am recording in the Temple Tool Kit phrases I hear God speaking through you and this study, here is some of today’s:
    *God is calling me to believe Him, His love, His character
    *We have diving power to demolish strongholds
    *Invite Him in…
    *I don’t have to wait to pull my act together before enjoying intimacy withe an amazing, loving, incredible God who is perfectly intimate with me
    *Wake up tomorrow and say to yourself (I did this :)!) God is doing a new thing in me today, help me know God is at work.
    God is so GOOD. To think of how far He has “dragged” this heart of mine since I first opened TW last February where I could barely believe He had Good intentions to now where He is wooing me to hold His hand and practically taking me step by step. Praise our Glorious Father :)!!
    Praying for you as you lead us to His feet :)!

  15. Beth January 8, 2014 at 6:39 am #

    Heidi, thanks for reminding me that I could start believing lies right now…especially starting at the beginning of the new year! The lie that I’m believing is that it would be so much easier just to follow….this plan or that plan….BUT the truth is: God loves me as I am, God is concerned about my body as well as my spirit and mind, God will help m release weight as I rely on Him, but even that will be in His timing.

  16. A Saint's Ramblings January 8, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

    I found your testimony over a year ago and happened upon this last night. I am excited to walk with all of you. I don’t know how much sharing I will do, but it sometimes is enough just knowing others are on the same journey. Blessings to all and thank you, Heidi, for this ministry

  17. Allison Mitchell January 10, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

    I am so thankful that God allows us to get back up even after we fall numerous times. I love the principles of Thin Within as I was reminded of them when listening to the above sound cloud file. (Incidentally, I hope I am commenting in the right place for that.) I have been successful with Thin Within in the past, but I stopped taking the journey at some point. Let me tell you, I could tell a difference in myself when that happened. Well, God lead me right back to this program because it is Biblically sound. Thank you, Heidi, for all your work and support to us all.

    • heidibylsma January 10, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

      Hi, Allison. I am so glad that you are here…and thank you for all you are doing to make it all happen, too! Helping to create the group questions for the webinar recordings is a HUGE help! Thank you for contributing. 🙂

  18. BeckiNeely January 12, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

    Thankful to begin this with you all. The timing of the weekly webcast does not work for me, but oh-so-glad the recording is on SoundCloud!

    Two things stand out for me this week:
    1. My hunger is a *regular* and timely, God-ordained reminder of my need for and dependency upon Him.
    2. God is, therefore, *jealous* (protective and on-guard) of any “hunger-hijacks” (eg counting calories/weighing and measuring/etc), as these counterfeits can lead me into bondage every bit as idolotrous as gluttony.

    And for good measure? Forget the former things-do not dwell on the past!. See, IAM doing a NewThing; now it springs up, do you not perceive it? IAM making a Way in the desert and Streams in the wasteland.


    • Heidi Bylsma January 13, 2014 at 6:24 am #

      Hi, Becki. I love the two points you shared with us. Thank you. I love that you caught the I AM reference in the verse. AWESOME! 😀

  19. Gill Klassen January 14, 2014 at 8:53 am #

    Hi Heidi
    I am a little late, but will catch up on week 2 by the end of the week. I am excited about how God will change me as I talk to him daily. I now have a reason to use the Temple tool kit. I have had trouble with connecting on soundcloud and listening to audio for lesson 1, as it says it cannot find that file. I have been encouraged from your video chat on youtube on lesson 1 and plan to listen on lesson 2 later on. I thank God for changing you as an encouragement to me and many others…I am reminded of Psalm40 :3

    “Many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.”

    This is my prayer that many will see what Jesus is doing in me and be amazed and turn to the Lord and put their trust in Him

    • Heidi Bylsma January 14, 2014 at 9:08 am #

      HI, Gill.You can go directly to the Sound Cloud website at and you will find a play list called WEBINARs. The two recordings are there. If you happen to have the TW app for Apple Devices, all the sound files are there, too. Hope this helps. 🙂 Thanks for your kind words. Truly. It means a lot. 🙂

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