Want to Participate in an Online Thin Within Class? Now’s Your Chance! :-D

NOTE: I edited this to reflect a change in day of the week. We will be meeting in the chat room on Wednesdays instead of Thursdays. Hope you can make it!

I am leading an online Thin Within group this summer through the Thin Within workbook material. The first orientation meeting will be June 15th and we will meet at the chat room at the Thin Within website.We will meet for chatting together from 4:30-5:30 pm Pacific Daylight Time each Wednesday evening beginning June 15th continuing through the first week in September.

(If you are a visual person and prefer a video telling you about this material, below you will find one. It isn’t particularly exciting, but it does give the low-down about the workbook!)

Here are some details (which I have shared in the past) telling about the  Rebuilding God’s Temple Workbook Kit #1. If you have done this workbook before, you can still join the weekly chats starting June 15th and work through *any* of the Thin Within workbooks as they are all designed so that they all have the same lesson topics each week!

The first kit is the most comprehensive and comes with three pieces:  

  1. Workbook #1 
  2. The Temple Toolkit 
  3. The Memory Challenge Cards (click on the image to see a large version and click again to see it magnified further):

The contents of Kit #1

 First, the workbook itself, is a spiral bound volume that has material for 12 weeks of study. To download a sample of the material, visit this link. The download is an Adobe Reader (.pdf) file of Week One – “Hope.” After you download it,  print it and take a week to try it out! ๐Ÿ™‚

Each week consists of the following:

  • Lesson material – This is dense written material that you will read to glean the concepts that we are teaching or reviewing during the week. I usually recommend about an hour spent with this, highlighting, asterisking, and looking up the verses in my own bible. I may even write comments in the margin or, if I am leading a group, questions to be sure to ask participants.
    • Each of the reading portions of the lesson are divided into these segments:
      • Introduction – a brief overview of the week’s focus
      • Spiritual Information – the relationship this material has to the Scriptures
      • Physiological Information – the “mechanics” — what you can actually do to make additional changes in your eating to honor the Lord
      • Integration – How it all works together
  • Exercises – Don’t worry! These aren’t calisthenics! LOL! They are basically guided daily quiet times. ๐Ÿ™‚ Each week includes “exercises” for each day of the week. Days six and seven are optional and a bit “lighter.” Days one through five include the following sections:
    • Going Deeper – This relates some aspect of the lesson you have read to your life
    • Bible Study – This shows how Scripture illustrates or illuminates the principles taught in the lesson
    • Knowing God By Heart – One of the best parts, this is a study of the attributes of God. We have found that the way a participant views God impacts how she will view food, herself, her body, as well as her willingness (or not) to surrender this aspect of her life to the Lord for His purposes.
    • Getting Practical – These are suggestions for putting some of the mechanics of the program into practice
    • Memory Challenge – Hiding God’s Word in our hearts will enable us to be reminded of our commitment to him when we are weak! Memorizing scripture is extremely helpful for renewing our mind and changing our thinking!
  • Review of the Week – This provides a space where you can summarize what God has shown you or questions and thoughts you have had. This section is especially helpful when you meet with others in a group setting. ๐Ÿ™‚

In addition to these resources in the workbook, there is an extensive Introduction at the beginning and Appendices in the back, providing a great deal of material that will support you on your journey.

But wait! There’s more! ๐Ÿ™‚ (Couldn’t resist saying that!) Not only do you get the Workbook, but when you purchase the first kit, you also get the Temple Toolkit. This is a resource that offers a place for you to log your own journey throughout each day during the full twelve weeks. As you progress through the material, the pages change to match what you have learned in the workbook. Let me show you what I mean.

The first image below shows Days 25-28. Click on the image to see a larger version and then click again to see FULL size what these pages look like in the temple toolkit:

Days 25, 26, 27, 28 in the Temple Toolkit

As you progress through the workbook and new material is introduced, the Temple Toolkit changes, too:

Days 49, 50, 51, and 52 in Temple Toolkit

Again, click on the image above and then click again on the bigger image to see it full size. You will see new tools have been added.

Of course all of the tools are optional as you go through the 12-week workbook. If you have come out of a background of excessive charting and graphing, you may only want to use the journaling pages. Or, as time goes on, you may experience freedom with one tool and not another. The Lord will lead each of us individually. Some have freedom to use all the tools, charts and graphs.

By the time you are closer to the end of the first twelve weeks, you will have been introduced to all of the tools. Note how the material in the toolkit has evolved:

Days 77, 78, 79 and 80 in Temple Toolkit

Again, “Wait! There’s more!” ๐Ÿ™‚ When you order the first kit, you get not only the Workbook, the Temple Toolkit that changes as you go through the material, but you also get the Memory Challenge and Temptation Buster Cards:

Memory Challenge and Temptation Buster Cards

 Again, click on the image above and the larger image, to get a full size view of what these include. You cut them up and can carry them with you so that Thin Within isn’t just a bible study that you begin in the morning and leave behind the rest of the day. These resources are very supportive in helping you to keep the principles that God is leading you to embrace and apply with you throughout the day.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. 
Do what it says. 
Anyone who listens to the word 
but does not do what it says 
is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, 
after looking at himself, 
goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
~ James 1:22-24

We don’t want to just accumulate head knowledge, but then leave it behind for the rest of the day! We want to ACT on what we learn in our times of study and in God’s Word!

I realize that $45 is not a “bargain price” for a workbook alone, but I trust you will feel like it is worth it. This material includes three months of workbook material and exercises, as well as the Temple Toolkit which would probably cost $20 for something like that (if you could find such a thing!) separately. (It isn’t sold separately at Thin Within, so this is hypothetical!) Truthfully, with the money you save by eating less food :-), you will be able to afford a kit for yourself and a best friend, too! (Ok, so now I am taking my infomercial over the top…hope you are bearing with me! LOL! But it IS true!)

Thin Within isn’t a big company. No one has a salary. The proceeds from sales of the workbook go to cover the costs of producing these materials, keeping the Thin Within website functioning, other expenses (like the phone!), and small stipends for some of the Thin Within team members.  So while the cost of $45 may seem steep, it isn’t padding anyone’s pocket. I am sure you will be pleased with the quality of the materials you receive. (Boy, do I ever sound like an advertisement today. Sorry about that! I just really believe in this material and am eager for the word to spread!)

One additional piece of information that many are unaware of is that there are 3 additional workbooks, each covering 12 weeks. The material is designed so that people who have gone through workbook #1 before, can do workbook #2 or #3 or #4, even while most in the group use workbook #1. Each of the workbooks are presented in 12 weekly themes that parallel each other. These are the themes for all four of the workbooks:

  1. Hope
  2. My Body–God’s Temple
  3. Identity in Christ
  4. Celebration of God’s Grace, Part One
  5. Restoration
  6. Counting the Cost
  7. The Fight of Faith
  8. Celebration of God’s Grace, Part Two
  9. Building Godly Boundaries
  10. Forgiveness
  11. Prayer
  12. Celebration of God’s Grace, Part Three

When the group is on week five, everyone will be studying, reviewing, learning about the theme of Restoration. This helps prevent the material from becoming stale! It is a great system that allows people of all experience levels to enjoy a group together, studying and reviewing together.

    To order materials, call Thin Within 1-877-729-8932 (9:00am-5:00pm Eastern).

    The group I will be leading starting June 16th is an “open” group. You can join the chat at any time. There will be more details to come here and at the Thin Within website. Hope you can join us, even if you will be traveling a lot this summer! You can still join us at your convenience! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Romancing the Tenderness

     When it is tempting to get my eyes on people or circumstances, I am learning that I can either “go with the flow” (NOT a good idea) or “romance” a heart tender to the Lord–setting my sights on restoration, nurturing whatever it will take in my life to be at that place where I want the Lord…desperately, even if I don’t feel that way now.

    Practically, this means I don’t let just anything have access to my affections. I am more prone to wander so far from the Lord. Some who know me may think mistakenly that daily quiet times are my habit because I am “so godly.” Or that I set my timer on my watch to check in with God hourly (or more often) because I “love the Lord” so much. The truth is, I am so NOT godly. The truth is, I am so prone to love the things of this world that I have to do these things to survive without sinking into a horrific pit of sin and despair.

    Knowing that about myself causes me to guard myself…even to the point that movies, books, magazines, music, and the company I choose to keep during this time simply must contribute to a godly mindset.

    For example, while there may be nothing wrong with secular music for most people, *I* know where words bathing my mind can take me. Do I really want “Poor Poor Pitiful Me” (Linda Ronstadt in the 1970s) to be going through my head again and again, even during the night when my mind is idle? Or would I rather have something going through my head like what I woke up to this morning: “God has a perfect timing, God has a perfect plan, He’s asking you to trust him, even when you don’t understand. Our God is faithful, what he promises he will do, Our God is able, his truth will see us through…” (Thank you, Michele Wagner!)

    Which do I want washing over my mind as I sleep (or don’t), as I go through the day, as I interact with others, as I am faced with sadness or surprises or disappointments? It is clear that “Poor Poor Pitiful Me” is likely to resonate with me more, but what is TRUTH? I am a daughter of the King! I have an amazing inheritance kept for me in heaven! I am NOT poor or pitiful. God IS faithful!

    I have to choose truth right now, even if it feels like a reach for me.

    This is a time when even if I don’t FEEL the truth of a song, I make it a prayer: “Lord, I want to see Your faithfulness afresh today. Help me to see with new eyes.” Music is either an expression of praise for me or a prayer beseeching God to meet me and flood all my empty places. For me,  music that can’t be used this way is often detrimental to fixing my mind on truth–at least during a season like the one in which I currently find myself. This may not always be the case–and this is just a season right now, where I must be exceptionally cautious.

    Further, right now I need to guard my heart from people who, in an effort to be supportive  knowing my situation, will encourage an attitude of entitlement or “you have a *reason* to be mad!” I don’t need help digging in my heels, “donkey-legging” or being prideful.

    This is also a really good time for me to get to know God afresh. Who is He according to His Word? If I  allow my *feelings* to define my God, I am, in effect, creating God in my own image. This is a temptation right now more than ever. Instead, I want an accurate view of God. I have to approach the Word *assuming* that I have a warped view of Him and invite His Spirit to give me  fresh clarity–a view of what is *truth*.

    It is so clear to me that my mind is the battlefield and if I don’t guard it zealously and jealously, the enemy *will* invade it and/or my flesh will take command. So being paranoid, if anything, about what accesses my mind is vital to me. I would rather err on the side of caution than walk on in arrogance and in error.

    It has also been helping me to pray verses that God has used to encourage me, putting many on a spiral bound set of index cards.

    Even if God “disappoints me,” I have to nurture an awareness of His presence. I *have* to because it is my life line. If I don’t have Him to cling to, I may as well flush my life down the toilet. There, simply, is nothing I want to live for apart from God. No, not even my kids. They are human, too, and that means they can wound and disappoint. But when God is my all, when He is the only one that I pin my hope to, I have a better view of the things that people do that would otherwise disappoint or wound me. In other words, by fixing my eyes on God and allowing Him to orient my entire life, the rest is put in a better place, too.

    Oh, goodness! Do you see what I mean? I have to romance the tenderness. I have to DO the things that will cause me to WANT the Lord and not my own way.

    I have seen tangible benefits of doing this…enough so that it keeps me hanging in there. For instance, I have been surprisingly filled with gratitude for people in my life who God wants to use to refine me–the very same people who wound and disappoint! Apart from romancing the tender heart I *know* where I would go, instead–toward bitterness and resentment. If I let down my guard for even a moment, that is where I end up. Resentful. Filled with bitterness and maybe even hate. By romancing the tenderness, I have been able to see my own mistakes and foolishness and to ask others to forgive me for the things that have contributed to conflict. God is sanctifying…making holy through this process, but apart from romancing the tender heart, I would be in a very different place–defensive, much more arrogant, angry, totally depressed. Who wants to go there? I certainly don’t. That is a pit that is hard to get out of.

    This isn’t easy, certainly. But God’s Spirit enables. I personally would rather go the path of least resistance. But I refuse to stop fighting for what I know is truth. I refuse to give in. In fact, I am in all out rebellion against my flesh and my culture that says “If it feels good, do it.” This does NOT “feel good.” This is hard. But if I let go, if I allow the hardness to have its way with me, I will stop living–or I may as well.

    How about you? Do you need to romance a tender heart? What would help you to practically do this?

    Therefore we do not lose heart. 
    Though outwardly we are wasting away, 
    yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  
    For our light and momentary troubles 
    are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 
    So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, 
    but on what is unseen, 
    since what is seen is temporary, 
    but what is unseen is eternal. 
    – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

    Rebuilding God’s Temple Workbook #1 Details

    Hi, everyone.

    For those who couldn’t or didn’t want to watch my “infomercial” ๐Ÿ™‚ about the Thin Within workbook, I thought I would share with you here, some of the features of the resources that Thin Within offers, specifically highlighting the Rebuilding God’s Temple Workbook Kit #1.

    The first kit is the most comprehensive and comes with three pieces: ย 

    1. Workbook #1
    2. The Temple Toolkit
    3. The Memory Challenge Cards (click on the image to see a large version and click again to see it magnified further):
    The contents of Kit #1

    First, the workbook itself, is a spiral bound volume that has material for 12 weeks of study. To download a sample of the material, visit this link. The download is an Adobe Reader (.pdf) file of Week One – “Hope.” After you download it,ย  print it and take a week to try it out! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Each week consists of the following:

    • Lesson material – This is dense written material that you will read to glean the concepts that we are teaching or reviewing during the week. I usually recommend about an hour spent with this, highlighting, asterisking, and looking up the verses in my own bible. I may even write comments in the margin or, if I am leading a group, questions to be sure to ask participants.
      • Each of the reading portions of the lesson are divided into these segments:
        • Introduction – a brief overview of the week’s focus
        • Spiritual Information – the relationship this material has to the Scriptures
        • Physiological Information – the “mechanics” — what you can actually do to make additional changes in your eating to honor the Lord
        • Integration – How it all works together
    • Exercises – Don’t worry! These aren’t calisthenics! LOL! They are basically guided daily quiet times. ๐Ÿ™‚ Each week includes “exercises” for each day of the week. Days six and seven are optional and a bit “lighter.” Days one through five include the following sections:
      • Going Deeper – This relates some aspect of the lesson you have read to your life
      • Bible Study – This shows how Scripture illustrates or illuminates the principles taught in the lesson
      • Knowing God By Heart – One of the best parts, this is a study of the attributes of God. We have found that the way a participant views God impacts how she will view food, herself, her body, as well as her willingness (or not) to surrender this aspect of her life to the Lord for His purposes.
      • Getting Practical – These are suggestions for putting some of the mechanics of the program into practice
      • Memory Challenge – Hiding God’s Word in our hearts will enable us to be reminded of our commitment to him when we are weak! Memorizing scripture is extremely helpful for renewing our mind and changing our thinking!
    • Review of the Week – This provides a space where you can summarize what God has shown you or questions and thoughts you have had. This section is especially helpful when you meet with others in a group setting. ๐Ÿ™‚

    In addition to these resources in the workbook, there is an extensive Introduction at the beginning and Appendices in the back, providing a great deal of material that will support you on your journey.

    But wait! There’s more! ๐Ÿ™‚ (Couldn’t resist saying that!) Not only do you get the Workbook, but when you purchase the first kit, you also get the Temple Toolkit. This is a resource that offers a place for you to log your own journey throughout each day during the full twelve weeks. As you progress through the material, the pages change to match what you have learned in the workbook. Let me show you what I mean.

    The first image below shows Days 25-28. Click on the image to see a larger version and then click again to see FULL size what these pages look like in the temple toolkit:

    Days 25, 26, 27, 28 in the Temple Toolkit

    As you progress through the workbook and new material is introduced, the Temple Toolkit changes, too:

    Days 49, 50, 51, and 52 in Temple Toolkit

    Again, click on the image above and then click again on the bigger image to see it full size. You will see new tools have been added.

    Of course all of the tools are optional as you go through the 12-week workbook. If you have come out of a background of excessive charting and graphing, you may only want to use the journaling pages. Or, as time goes on, you may experience freedom with one tool and not another. The Lord will lead each person individually. Some have freedom to use all the tools, charts and graphs.

    By the time you are closer to the end of the first twelve weeks, you will have been introduced to all of the tools. Note how the material in the toolkit has evolved:

    Days 77, 78, 79 and 80 in Temple Toolkit

    Again, “Wait! There’s more!” ๐Ÿ™‚ When you order the first kit, you get not only the Workbook, the Temple Toolkit that changes as you go through the material, but you also get the Memory Challenge and Temptation Buster Cards:

    Memory Challenge and Temptation Buster Cards

    Again, click on the image above and the larger image, to get a full size view of what these include. You cut them up and can carry them with you so that Thin Within isn’t just a bible study that you begin in the morning and leave behind the rest of the day. These resources are very supportive in helping you to keep the principles that God is leading you to embrace and apply with you throughout the day.

    Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.ย 
    Do what it says.ย 
    Anyone who listens to the wordย 
    but does not do what it saysย 
    is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and,ย 
    after looking at himself,ย 
    goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
    ~ James 1:22-24

    We don’t want to just accumulate head knowledge, but then leave it behind for the rest of the day! We want to ACT on what we learn in our times of study and in God’s Word!

    I realize that $45 is not a “bargain price” for a workbook alone, but I trust you will feel like it is worth it. This material includes three months of workbook material and exercises, as well as the Temple Toolkit which would probably cost $20 for something like that (if you could find such a thing!) separately. (It isn’t sold separately at Thin Within, so this is hypothetical!) Truthfully, with the money you save by eating less food :-), you will be able to afford a kit for yourself and a best friend, too! (Ok, so now I am taking my infomercial over the top…hope you are bearing with me! LOL! But it IS true!)

    Thin Within isn’t a big company. No one pulls in a big salary. The proceeds from sales of the workbook go to cover the costs of producing these materials, keeping the Thin Within website functioning, other expenses (like the phone!), and small stipends for some of the Thin Within team members.ย  So while the cost of $45 may seem steep, it isn’t padding anyone’s pocket. I am sure you will be pleased with the quality of the materials you receive. (Boy, do I ever sound like an advertisement today. Sorry about that! I just really believe in this material and am eager for the word to spread!)

    If you decide that you want to lead a group we have resources available for you including video clips, leader resources, and a page at the Thin Within website that offers all kinds of ideas for running your orientation and weekly meetings. Not only that, but Judy Halliday and the Thin Within team are even now working on a printed leader manual that will be available (Lord willing!) in time for you to run your fall Thin Within groups through the workbook kit #1.

    One additional piece of information that many are unaware of is that there are 3 additional workbooks, each covering 12 weeks. The material is designed so that if you run a group and have people who have gone through workbook #1 before, they can do workbook #2 or #3 or #4, even while you lead through workbook #1. Each of the workbooks are presented in 12 weekly themes that parallel each other. These are the themes for all four of the workbooks:

    1. Hope
    2. My Body–God’s Temple
    3. Identity in Christ
    4. Celebration of God’s Grace, Part One
    5. Restoration
    6. Counting the Cost
    7. The Fight of Faith
    8. Celebration of God’s Grace, Part Two
    9. Building Godly Boundaries
    10. Forgiveness
    11. Prayer
    12. Celebration of God’s Grace, Part Three

    No matter if you have people in your group who have never before participated in Thin Within or, three time veterans, when your group is on week five, everyone will be studying, reviewing, learning about the theme of Restoration. This helps prevent the material from becoming stale! It is a great system that allows people of all experience levels to enjoy a group together, studying and reviewing together.

    This fall, I plan to lead a live group through this material as well. I would love to hear from you. Prayerfully consider it. Then, request permission from your pastor, elders or women’s ministry leadership if you need to do so for leading a live group. Then, by August 30th, 2010, check in here (or the Thin Within forums and let me know what you are planning to do! You don’t have to “register” your groups, but if you do when you call Joe and Pam Donaldson at Thin Within 1-877-729-8932 (9:00am-5:00pm Eastern) to make your order, I believe they will send you additional leader resources. Let them know that you are planning on participating with Heidi’s online leading of the class, but that you have a LIVE group that will be joining you. I will be explaining this more in August.

    For now, if you want to participate, here is what I recommend:

    1. Pray
    2. Get permission from anyone that you need to in order to have your class
    3. Publicize your class. There are resources available here.
    4. Check in here or at the TW forums to let us know that you have a live class that will be participating
    5. Order your materials!
    6. Keep praying! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I plan on having my first group session a week ahead of what I recommend for the rest of the folks. I will post here an informal video and written suggestions, giving you ideas about what you can do each week to lead your group. I got this idea from Beth Moore’s Living Proof Blog. A couple of summers ago, she did this with ladies going through a bible study written by another author.ย 


    Our study will be more intensive–most of us are ready for that once fall has arrived! I do recommend that you plan to meet each week, but if you can’t, then every other week is certainly better than nothing! You will have to adapt how you use the materials to suit your group the best.

    The suggested dates for you (but feel free to adjust and adapt as needed) are:ย 
    Orientation the week of September 12
    Week One the week of September 19
    We will continue through the holiday season, taking a week off here and there.


    We will have our grand finale just after the New Year, with a wrap up of all we have learned and “Where Do We Go From Here” session.


    Some of you may want to continue leading groups into Workbook #2 or do another #1 so that new folks who want to start the New Year with weight loss (like so many do) have a place to go.


    It isn’t too early to start thinking about this now!


    More to come in the days ahead!


    I Feel Like A Poser!

     2 The nations will see your righteousness,
           and all kings your glory;
           you will be called by a new name
           that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.
     3 You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD’s hand,
           a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
     4 No longer will they call you Deserted,
           or name your land Desolate.
           But you will be called Hephzibah, [a]
           and your land Beulah [b] ;
           for the LORD will take delight in you,
           and your land will be married. 
    – Isaiah 62: 2-4

    a. Hephzibah means my delight is in her .  
    b. Beulah means married .

      I feel like such a poser…a fake, a fraud! I am going to a writer’s conference at the end of the month–someone has blessed me by paying my way. (God has blessed me through her.) It is my first writer’s conference. I am excited, of course. So, I got advice about how to make the most of it and it included getting business cards and a website and yada yada.

      So when FedEx delivered the package of business cards the other day, I eagerly pulled out a sample and something just overwhelmed me… “Fraud! Poser! Fake!”

      Just so you know I am *not* nuts, this is the layout of the business card:

      Ok, do you see what I mean? “Author?” “Speaker?” “Worship Leader?” Good grief! Who am I trying to KID!

      I mean, yes, I DO those things, but do they reflect what I am? I hardly think so.

      I sensed the Spirit of God convicting my heart…. “Child if you struggle so much with embracing my calling on your life while you walk this earth, is it no small wonder that you struggle with embracing the ‘so much more’ that I have declared you to be: You are ‘My precious one,’ ‘My royal priesthood,’ ‘A new creation,’ ‘My Bride,’ ‘My holy, set apart one?'”

      He is right. Of course.

      Yes, God has called me to write and things I have written have been published. Yes, he has called me to speak and, yes, I do lead worship, but somehow, I felt like it was wrong to act like this wasn’t just a “fluke”–a mistake, not really happening. Like it is an accident that something I wrote got published or if people really knew me they would never invite me to speak to their group…or to lead worship.

      How much more do I consider it a “fluke” that God declares me holy and righteous in his sight and that, in love, he predestined me to be adopted as his precious daughter? (Ephesians 1)

      The bottom line is that I don’t believe God! Wow. This is huge. I have worked on this for years, yet here I am, still stuck in my disbelief. What I believe shapes my behavior…so if I believe that I am not the things that HE declares that I am, in a very real way, I also am not believing what He says about HIM. All of these things shape my behavior and shape my character, too!

      I read in advice to people going to writer’s conferences, “The best way to be an author is to act like one.” Hmm…I suppose this could be true, too… “The best way to be a freeman–a captive now set free–is to ACT like one!” Wow.

      Lord, please forgive me for not believing you. I am convicted. Thank you for the callings you have placed on my life here on earth, to speak, to write, to lead worship. I thrill when I have the chance to do that. Help me to reject the accusations of the enemy who wants me to curl up in shame and render me impotent…to never dare to stand to serve you again in any way shape or form. He wants me so inside myself that I never believe that you would flow through me into the lives of others. Lord, forgive me for believing lies and rejecting YOUR truth. Lord, I see that this has even affected my journey to live free from unworkable beliefs relative to obsessions with my body, food, dieting, exercising, etc. It is like I walk around saying, “I’m not really free…” and then I live proving it to myself. Maybe not in ways that are so obvious like they used to be…but nevertheless. I invite you to transform my belief system, Jesus. I want to believe YOU. Not just in you, but YOU and what YOU say and have said about yourself and about me. In your precious name, Amen.

      Chapter 6 – So…What IS Fat Machinery?

      Have you ever been doing your thing, going through your day, trying to cope with what comes your way and found yourself mid-way through a half-gallon of Oreo Nut Fudge ice cream–wondering “How did I get here?” It is possible that what you were dealing with was what is called “Fat Machinery” in chapter six of Thin Within.

      To illustrate this concept, I want to share a video with you. Actually two video clips edited into one.

      First video clip: In this clip, we meet two unique beings discussing food. The man on the left has never been human before. He is an alien who never felt hunger or tiredness, but is now being punished for naughty behavior by being made into a human with all a human’s failings and frailties. The man on the right is an android. He wants to be human, but isn’t. He has earnestly studied humans and human behavior so that he can emulate them in his quest to become “more human.” In this clip, the robot offers advice to the alien-turned-human. What he shares is his observation of fat machinery in action.

      Please watch the first part of the video clip below, then pause it and read the description of the second clip before viewing it.

      View the first part of the clip now. When you get to the girl dressed in pink, click on pause and return here. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Did you view it? ๐Ÿ™‚ Good…now answer these questions:

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      • What is the fat machinery in this clip? What unconscious behavior pushes the humans that the robot has studied to choose food?
      • What did the alien say was his reason for ordering TEN chocolate sundaes? Can you relate?

      • The truth is, we sometimes DO feel better when we eat when in a bad mood. But (and this is an important “but”)…the greater truth is we still have to cope with what made us unhappy or in a bad mood.

      Letโ€™s dismantle our fat machineryโ€ฆwe do this by acknowledging it and rejecting it! Ask yourself the question…WHY am I eating!?

      In the second video clip, we will see Princess Mia (dressed in pink). She is in line to inherit the throne of Genovia. She has been groomed by her Grandma for this job (played by the inimitable Julie Andrews). At a ball, Mia danced with the man who introduced himself, simply, as “Nicholas.” She accidentally stepped on his foot in the ball scene (not shown) and there had been much made over it. The evening had ended without her ever learning more about the “dashing, mysterious” Nicholas. Now, in the scene you are about to view, she is told someone is challenging her right to the throne of Genovia and he is coming to stay at the palace. In this scene, she greets the nasty person who wants the throne, only to discover it is the gentleman she had been so taken by at the ball…As we begin our clip, Mia is dismayed and disgusted by “Lord Devero’s” claim to the throne…and even more so when she sees who he is.

      Watch the rest of the video now. When you get to the end, return here. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Did you watch the rest of the video?

      After you watch the rest of the video clip, answer these questions:

      • What emotions did Mia have that she was trying to bury in the Haagen Daaz?
      • Can you identify with this at all?

      In the book, another example of fat machinery is discussed…It is the way we use, and our responses to, the bathroom scale. Last week I challenged you all to get rid of your bathroom scale. My accountability partner drove off with my scale and I am still THRILLED–but, honestly, it has taken me two and a half years to be willing to do that!

      Read the comments by the authors on page 59 about the bathroom scale. Please prayerfully consider the challenge to let go of relying on your bathroom scale–just for the summer if you can’t imagine a lifetime without it! Instead, wait on the Lord, focusing on HIM for what he will do inside your heart and on your body as you trust Him to lead and direct you!

      The more we abide by God’s hunger scale (hunger and satisfied cues in our body), the less we feel the need to rely on the bathroom scale. Remember it is about so much more than our size! After we release all our extra weight, God will continue to use the hunger scale to direct our eating.

      Here is a thought…so often jumping on the scale is something we do to see “Did I get away with it?” more than anything else! This isn’t a godly approach. Do we really want to endorse it in our lives? I have to give that up. It is HARD for me…I must admit. But I know this is one thing God wants me to work through.

      For your consideration:

      1.) If someone were to video a scene in your life, would they likely find you turning to food for comfort like the alien or Mia? I know they would me! Invite God to help you to wait on him in moments like those…and to allow HIS truth–that HE is sufficient–to be what you feast upon!

      2.) Can you develop a list (maybe on index cards) of bible verses that you can use to “feast upon” when flesh machinery has kicked into high gear for you? If you have a “scripture pantry” of sweet words to feast upon in moments like that, perhaps you can defeat a tendency to run to food outside of physical hunger. Feel free to share any verses with us that God may use to encoruage you in moments like that!

      3.) What other examples of fat machinery did you become aware of as you read the chapter? I remember in 2006 when I read this for the 10th (or so time), I became aware of a new one for me…it was weather! When it was storming outside I felt the need to bake! I am a weather weanie and used food to “comfort me” when I was worried about lightning striking a tall pine tree and smashing my house (I need a sanctified imagination! Can you tell?)

      4.) Continue to keep your list of God’s attributes and take a few moments to praise him for his character and how he relates to you. My list grows each time I read the book. Sometimes it grows more than other times…But by now I hope you have a pretty long list…Why not pick 5 things on it and spend some time praising God for what these attributes mean to you?

      I am heading out of town this evening for a couple of days…I may fall “behind” my tentative assignment for this week. I will actually be working with Judy Halliday on a new project (YAY!). I welcome your prayers for the Lord’s will in that.