Welcome to WEEK ONE of our summer study on Renewing of the Mind! If you are on the Thin Within journey, this study will support and strengthen you. I am so excited because this summer will be the summer you realize your godly goals. If you do the work in the assignments shared here –many of which will refer you to Barb Raveling’s blog, you will experience the transformation by the renewing of your mind that God speaks of in Romans 12:1-2:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy,
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice,
holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—
his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Our transformation doesn’t happen merely by changing the outside of our bodies…how we appear. We all have done diets before and know how to lose weight. What we want, though, is permanent change, that isn’t dependent on an approach that causes us to be so obsessed! You know what I am talking about, I bet…where the scale, food, eating, clothing sizes has your mind in a flurry–ALL THE TIME! Don’t you just want food and size to be a *non*-issue? We are called to freedom! It’s possible! Let’s experience it. To do that, though, we have to be willing to train our minds. That’s all there is to it. Dieting is easier, to be honest. Training ourselves to think differently is tough work.
In this video, I give you my reasons for making this summer a time to study, learn and do this Renewing of the Mind. I mean, we just DID this study here at the blog, right? So why on *earth* am I revisiting it? Why should someone who hasn’t done this study do this one instead of something else? Why should Thin Within participants do this “non-Thin Within” study? (Barb Raveling’s material is awesome, but she is not a Thin Within participant and prefers another approach for maintaining her healthy size–in spite of my bantering with her about it! LOL!)
Have a look at this video:
We will begin to evaluate what our focus on thin is doing to us. (You can take a moment to journal about this, if you like.) Is it serving our godly goals? Is hopping on the scale so many times in a day something that draws us closer to God? Are we growing in trust and dependence on God when we have a death grip on food and scrutinize every single nutrition label? Are we condemning ourselves more than we are walking in the wonderful freedom that Christ paid for with his precious blood? Can we be free from our emotions and thoughts causing us to eat? What if we release our grip on the food? Will that just send us into clothes that are 4 sizes larger than what we are currently wearing? What do you believe? Journal about this.
This summer, we will evaluate thoughts we have that control our actions. What we think about (especially again and again) affects what we believe. What we believe affects our actions. What actions will result in the transformation we hope for? What actions are needed to experience the transformation GOD hopes for in our lives?
This is the heart of this study, but it will have some VERY practical applications. You will experience great breakthroughs!
In all my years of supporting people in the Thin Within program, I have never seen the large numbers of people having breakthroughs as I have since using Barb’s Renewing of the Mind material to supplement other Thin Within material. I hope you will give this the next three months and really give it a try and see.
To understand a bit about what this summer’s study will be about, please stop here and read this post at Barb’s blog. It is an easy read and explains what we are up to this summer.
In her post, Barb encourages us to look at Ephesians 4:17-24. I have linked it here for you. I would suggest you study this passage, answering a few questions, perhaps. You can do this in your new “Renewing of the Mind” journal if you like. Here is a bible study from this passage that you can use if you like:
1.) From your experience, what describes the way the “Gentiles” (unbelievers, world) live?
2.) What is “futile” about the way the world thinks?
3.) Have you struggled at all with thinking the way the world does–in futility? What examples can you think of relative to your journey with food, eating, size?
4.) As Christians, we don’t have to be concerned about being separated from the life of God since Christ paid the price for us to have access to God, but we can nevertheless remain in darkness in the way we think. We can do this habitually and harden our hearts to God’s voice. Have you struggled with this in your life at all? How so?
5.) In what ways have you experienced less sensitivity to the Lord and given yourself over at times to indulge in impurity with a constant lust for more? The obvious answer may have to do with overeating, but can a quest to be thin also be thought of in a similar light? How so?
6.) What are some practical things that you can do to “put off the former way of life” and the “old self?” (see verses 22)
7.) Do you see any ways that your former way of life was corrupted by deceitful desires? How so?
8.) Spend some time journaling about the promise of verses 23 and 24. How does it sound to you to experience the following:
- to be made new in the attitude of your mind?
- to put on your new self created to be like God in TRUE righteousness and holiness?
9.) Journal a prayer to God about your desire to no longer think like you have in the past, but to think differently during the course of our study this summer…to be trained for the rest of your life!
10.) Sit with your journal open for a few minutes. Ask God to impress HIS thoughts upon you…what is HE speaking over you right now? Jot it down. (Share it with us here if you like!)
Here is the recorded version of our online class that we held during the week this class originally ran:
These posts have been edited for those of you going through later than our 2013 class. So, you can go at your own pace. The way this was originally intended was for a posting each Monday. Then, the participants (you!) could spread doing the assignment out over the week or do it all in one sitting. Even if you are later in doing the study, you can still comment here at the blog. Some have subscribed to the comments and may respond if you have a question or need support.
1.) Write down what you believe about food, about yourself, about emotions, about your ability to be your natural, God-given size, and anything else that you might want to deal with. Skipping lines as you write in your journal will give you room for the rest of the activity.
2.) Interrogate what you wrote down with truth…use the Philippians 4:8 test… Is the thought TRUE, noble, good, pure, excellent, praiseworthy, etc?
3.) Prayerfully ask God to help you to recognize lies in what you have written down. Reject them. Simply, cross them out. Replace those lies with God’s view of the situation by writing the TRUTH down next to the crossed-out lies.
An example would be I will never be able to get this weight off.
I have to be thin in order to ever be happy.
The truth is, these are lies. I hope that thin will be put in it’s place–that we will begin to think God’s thoughts about thin and size and weight. What are GOD’s thoughts about these beliefs? We can do all things through Christ!
4.) Recognize little “t” truths that you magnify or give a lot of time and attention to. An example of a “little t” truth might be I have such a hard time losing weight and keeping it off. This may, in fact, be true. How much mental energy do you give this thought? Is it owning you? Are you condemning yourself for this? Is it a truth that has any right affecting your mood, your thoughts, your actions? How much are you “magnifying” it? Are you making it bigger than God? Would magnifying the Lord make a difference?
5.) Write down Truth – Big “T” Truth – from God’s Word to replace any of the lies that you are now choosing to reject or that trumps any of the little “t” truths. An example of a Big T truth that trumps the little t truth of I have a hard time keeping weight off might be:
God is doing a new thing
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
God has begun a good work in me and he will complete it.
Even better if we begin to realize: Being thin isn’t as important to God as I have made it out to be. Really…what are God’s thoughts about this?
For this summer’s study, you will want to have a journal, a translation of the bible you like, and a spiral bound set of index cards. You can purchase the cards this way. More on that during this week’s online class.
6.) If you can either join us for the class on Wednesday by registering here, or watch the recorded version of it–you need to sign up for that, too.
7.) If you don’t have an accountability partner yet, prayerfully consider getting one.
I hope you are taking captive any thoughts that say “I can’t do this much work!” or “This won’t work for me!” or “I don’t get it!” and submit these thoughts to Christ in obedience. Instead, ask God what HIS thoughts are about this study, this work, this hope for you for this summer. Replace the lies or “little ‘t’ truths” with HIS thoughts–his “BIG ‘T ‘Truths!”
Oh, Wow!. I am really ready to sink my teeth into this study. I loved Barb’s study when I went thru it the first time. It will be wonderful to read and study it again. I am really ready for further removal of my “grave clothes”. I was so powerfully impacted this chapter in the Thin Within book. I have shed many layers since I first read the TW book. I am ready to continue the process. I am tired of seeing myself thru my past. I want to see myself and love myself like Jesus. Here we go…………
Me too…looking forward to traveling with you, yes – here we go indeed 🙂
Oh Yes, Joyce. I hear you. The past may have an impact on me, but it can be a teacher, redeemed in God’s hands instead of a definer of who I am. Jesus alone defines who I am!
Amen Joyce! = )
When I go to Barb’s wesite, my Trend Micro blocks it and tells me its a dangerous page. I would like to do the study, but can’t access her site, so not sure if I need to sign up or just stick with the TW book
Hi, Debbie. Some browsers mistakenly think that about her website. If you don’t mind, please let me know which browser and which virus/internet protection software you have. I will shoot you an email with the text from her site today. This will be well worth persevering!
Heidi, I use Internet Explorer and it was Trend Micro Virus protection that keeps popping up. Thanks for sending the email text………..I surely need to persevere, I am in a battle of magnanimous proportions right now and I am sure the enemy is trying to block this information.
Also the video on this page says it is private so I cannot view it.
It’s fixed now. So sorry!
Good morning all. I’m stoked to be revisiting this material and continuing a plan of protection for the summer. Verse 22 & 23 is straight to the point of *what and how*…”put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds”. A great reminder that I have to do MY part by putting off my old self in order to be made new. I’m constantly amazed by how easily I lose focus and allow my *old ways* to slip by my new way of thinking and set up residence again! Oh God how I need you every minute of every day.
Looking forward to getting rid of more stinken thinken! = ) washing my mind with the word of God. Amen.
Is anyone other than me getting an error when you click PLAY for the video?
Just passing on that I registered using Firefox (I’m on a iMac) and it got done and also I did a check for making sure everything was compatible. Problem is that I Realized afterward that I’m at the Doctor that time but I will be able to watch it later, right?
Yes. I have to remember to press the record button, but yes. If I mess up, I will give everyone their money back. If anyone is attending who reads this, PLEASE REMIND ME TO RECORD THE SESSION! I would love to have one or two people who will help me remember this! LOL! Thanks, Mrs. Scribbles, for persevering!
I wanted to share that I have a stack of scripture notecards I punched a hole through at the top left corner with a hold punch and I have them on a ring. I also wrote down my “renewing of the mind goal” and other Truths I wanted to remember on the cards. I will add more cards as I go along this journey. It’s real handy to have. I read through them at least once a day.
Me, too, Christina. In fact, this is one of the things I will be mentioning tomorrow in our class…is practial ways of renewing our minds.
Hi Everybody I am in. I will not give up nor give in. I am looking forward to God’s transformation in my life. Renew my mind is exactly what I need. Thank you Heidi and everyone else for your continued determination.
So glad you have checked back in with us! Great to see you! WOOT!
Heidi, This posting is a lot of material. Whew. Will each weeks study be the same volume of material? Mind you I am not complaining 😉 I just want to have enough time put aside to accomplish each days assignment.
No Joyce, this isn’t going to be typical.
Thanks. Monday night, after a work day, my husband and I spend the evening with my 88 year old momma. We have dinner, do chores for her, read mail, play dominos, take her to the grocery store, what ever is needed. I was a little overwhelmed with the day last night. 🙂
What a precious time it sounds like you have with her, Joyce.
Hope you saw my note, Joyce. I don’t plan to post quite so much. I wanted to provide you all with enough to lay the foundation for the study, though.
Yes I did and thanks. 🙂
Really good time for me to be doing this study. Thanks for offering it, Heidi.
My pleasure, Lindsay. 🙂
This is going to be a great study. I believe the battle begins in the mind…the thoughts we dwell on. I am looking forward to doing battle with all of you. I am not an over eater, I am an over comer!!! Jesus is the truth..the Word made flesh and He will change our desires from food to Him…thanks for persevering…
So very true, Marie. If we can surround ourselves with truth, capture our thoughts, focus on Jesus we will be victorious. God will get all of the praise.
You have it right, Marie. Our minds are where we have to really deal with the important “stuff.”
Heidi… I signed up for Wednesday’s class and paid via PayPay so that I could get the recording later (I’m actually on the road all day that day… Menlo Park to Sacramento to Rio Vista then back home again… on one of my Sacramento trips I’m going to have to keep heading out your way for some afternoon tennis!) Will it be obvious after the fact how to access the recording? Sorry to miss you live!! Glad to see so much enthusiasm building, and keeping the momentum going after the HEAL study!
Mary, I am going to have to catch the study on video too. I look forward to all the comments posted after the class.
If it isn’t (this is all so experimental and I am terribly nervous about this first go with Any Meeting), I will send those who registered the link. We should be good! (I hope!)
And OH YES, Mary! Please DO let me know when you will be in Sacramento. We can meet down there to hit, if you want!
Mary and Heidi, keep me in the loop too ‘cuz we could all meet up afterwards for lunch at Chevy’s!!!
That would be fun!
I just completed some of the assignment questions. It was heart wrenching to think when I was a healthy weight as a child and a young woman I was placed on a diet. I did not meet the worlds standards for thin. As I view photos of me as a young woman I see a healthy woman. I think now I was thin. The lie was I was overweight. The Truth is:
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
I am mourning all of the years I spent thinking I was inadequate. Thank you God for putting the T in Truth.
Oh, Joyce! This means so much to me. It is so rewarding to hear you and others practically apply what we have studied (and things you already know) to your current situation so that you can change the thinking that feeds false beliefs…which, in turn, leads you to act in a way that is counter to your godly goals. Thanks for sharing this, Joyce.
I have just done my own study written here “for you.” I am undone. This is a true confession. I realized as I was journaling that I have been telling myself a lie. It is that “I can live here” … what I mean is, I know that God is calling me not to be mastered by food at the level I currently am. I have patted myself on the back and believed a lie because “It isn’t what it used to be. I am doing so much better than I used to.” But that is settling for less than God’s best. I still look to food to comfort me during this extremely painful emotional time. I keep it at a “manageable” level so I don’t get as large as in the past, but it is still a lie. I am to stop turning to food to numb my pain or to “make me happy.” I am to turn to the Lord to do that. I think some of what I struggle with is presenting an image to others…and it is a lie. I need to deal with the lie. I hope you all will forgive me. I want to be authentic. Not just sharing with you all things that I know are true because of past experience and victory, but because this is where I am NOW. God is peeling back the layers of the onion and it is a very painful “peeling.” I know he wants me to sit in this pain. Not just “remember when” about a former pain and former victory. It is time for me to “break camp” and move on from this place of living on former victories. It is time for me to take a stand NOW. Lord, hear my prayer. I want to go where you lead…even if it means more pain than I think I can bear. I know that you are with me and you have a reason…
Thanks for sharing and being so honest, Heidi. Just know you are not alone in this struggle. I am peeling off the painful layers just like you. In Christ there is healing, comfort and strength.
Heidi – your honesty and authenticity is so appreciated. It makes me thing of “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” – the line that comes before your scripture at the top of the page! Think, though, about all of these friends here who will be praying for you – that’s a lot of talking to God on your behalf!! Hugs to you.
I love your authenticity! Thank you! It’s not easy. Continuing Prayers during this difficult time. I’m catching up and haven’t done the study yet. I will not be able to join the classes, but plan to do the study and hope to catch up by purchasing some of the videos. So glad you are continuing to lead this community, and that so many wonderful people
Thanks, N. I appreciate your encouragement. We are SO blessed to have such a great community here. I LOVE YOU ALL!
Curious. You mention that Barb is not a Thin Within Participant. If you are at liberty to share, how does she manage her primary boundaries? Just curious.
Her boundary is 3 meals and a snack. She eats much more modest portions than many who might follow this approach. When my husband heard that this was Barb’s boundary, he said “I gained 40 pounds eating 3 meals and a snack.” LOL! He did, too! But his meals weren’t portion controlled.
Heidi, you have done it again! I was a bit concerned that, while I really wanted to revisit the renewing of the mind study, I would skim the material because it would feel old hat to me. I was wrong. The Lord revealed so much – from the Ephesians verse to the truth journaling.
I was quite struck by the little “t” concept. I’m sure you’ve talked about it before but I realized how much I magnify that things that don’t matter to God. When I truth journaled about my body and size, it was quite revealing.
I am praying that my focus would be on Him, His glory, furthering His kingdom and serving others. I am praying to renew my mind about being thin.
The definitions of “futile” are frivolous, serving no purpose, fruitless – my desire to look a certain way is certainly all of those things. I especially thought about the Fruits of the Spirit – I want to be fruitful, not fruitless!
The 2 scriptures that have been on my mind lately are
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. – I journaled today that I usually think of “things above” in general terms – get my mind off myself, my concerns, my worries, but today I saw that I want to see specific “things above” – His glory, love, grace, His kingdom and what he would have me do to further it, how He sees the world, etc
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
This says to me to guard our thoughts and, therefore, emotions from the lies – the lies we tell ourself (internal) and the lies from outside (the world, the enemy). We can guard our hearts with the Truth, with filling it with the Word.
Anyway, I have written about 5 pages in my journal, but I won’t go on and on. Til next time.
Well, one more thought :). I was in a bit of a swivet today over something minor, but it was weighing on my heart – completely not related to weight, etc. I finally did a truth journal “on the fly” and was able to see why I was feeling the way I was and then looked at the situation with the perspective of being God’s child – wow, the little earthly things just don’t matter much!
Carrie, I had a moment like that today too where it was something not food related and I truth journaled. God is so efficient! I love those scriptures you posted here. I may have to add them to my collection!
Heidi, I would like to sign up for the class. Do I have to attend or can I just listen later? I tried to sign up from my phone but its not letting me. I will try from my computer.
Me again. I just signed up for tomorrow’s class. It was better to sign up from my computer. Yay!
Trying to sort out little t truths from big T truths. Seems as though “t” are issues stemming from our experience and/or cultural mandates. “T” are those originating from God’s Word. TOTALLY TRUE & reliable based on the source.
I finished week 1 today. It helped me to focus on some things that I didn’t even realize I was thinking. I had written in my journal about being a failure. When I listened to the phone call, this jumped out at me. “Journaling without truth journaling is not enough. God wants to move into my situations and infuse them with His truth and redeem the failures. He doesn’t want my failures to dictate what I do next. He wants my failures to be a teacher. He can redeem it and it can become a victory as I go forward.” I needed to hear this so badly. Thank you for what you do. I’m in Japan and pretty much alone in this journey. I looked at week 2 and feel a little overwhelmed. I remember my pastor telling us one time that you eat an elephant one bite at a time! HA! That’s what I’m going to have to do with week 2. Don’t want to quit, but it will take me a while to work through all that is there.
Hi, Senkyoushi. I am so glad that it was helpful. I believe it is true. Take as much time as you need with the Lord to go through week 2. Remember that any work that God is doing in your life, the enemy wants to DERAIL and whisper defeat in your ear. He wants you to believe his lies. REJECT them! Take the time you need…even 5 minutes a day…to work through the material. I am convinced you will NOT regret it…even if it is hard. This life IS a fight!
I have been on week 1 for the past two weeks. 🙂 For the first time in my short life :0 I have hope. There is so much changing that I have to do and so many lies I have allowed to govern my life that I feel a little over whelmed. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could hook our brain up to a monitor and then just highlight and delete the junk and replace it with scripture and truth? We essentially are doing that, but it would be must quicker.
Oh yes! But you are right, Lisa…it IS work. A LOT of hard work, too. I am so glad that you are experiencing hope. That is huge! Our God is a God of hope! And it isn’t empty hope, either. It is based on the truth of his character and his promises!
Heidi, I have a question about the Thin Within Tip (page B-16) of the Thin Within Workbook – Discovering God’s master Plan. The tip is “you can plan your hunger”. My question is…isn’t this controling? If there is hunger, shouldn’t we obey & trust that God will orchestrate our day, appointments, group meals? Would you be willing to share your thoughts, insights? Thank you!
What a great question, Lisa. I think this might be an issue of conscience. So what one person has the freedom to do, another person might not feel that freedom. Even more…what one person may not feel the freedom to do right now…she may feel the freedom to do with the Lord’s full pleasure later. This is true along this journey. The most important thing on this journey I think is to foster a heart, mind, ear, that asks and hears from the Lord as to his leading. If, right now, you don’t sense that He would have you plan for hunger this way, it is important to follow HIS leadership. Be open to the fact that this may just a be for this season though. Some of us, with extreme dieting pasts, for instance, have to really let God have the reins and not do any “cooperative planning” with him at all for a season…in order to learn how not to take TOO much control! So the fact that you wonder about this might mean precisely…”RIGHT!” for you, for now. If, it is possible that you understood the tip differently than it was intended, however, consider it this way. Eat when you are hungry. Absolutely. Just plan when you will be hungry if you pray and feel that God has said YES. So if I know I want to eat breakfast in the morning…and to be hungry for breakfast in the morning…I will be sure that I stop eating in the evening a few hours before bedtime. That is just the way it works for me. This way, I know I will be hungry when I wake up… BUT…if I am NOT hungry when I wake up and I thought I would be, I will not eat…but wait until I am. So it isn’t ignoring the signals of hunger and satisfaction that we endorse…it is learning how to plan when to be hungry. Another example is if I know I am having an early lunch with a friend…or if I am a teacher and can ONLY eat lunch from 12:15-12:35 each day. I can learn how my body works…the previous hunger will allow me to eat certain types of foods in certain amounts so that I am more likely to get hungry by 12:15. I hope that makes sense and doesn’t make it sound more confusing!
Hi Heidi, your answer was perfect. Very true, God will lead each person differently and we must not look sideways, but focus up. The last “instruction” it seems that I received was “Give up food. Give up your rights [eating whatever I want], give up your will [eating as much as I want], give up your ways [eating whenever I want]. seek ME, Only Me”
I have not done very weel with these instructions. I have been acting loike a spider monkey.
Sometimes we need to just obey in baby steps…and celebrate even that, Lisa. I think our Father God is delights in all our “Godward” babysteps that we take, just like our little ones give us joy as they learn to walk. Sometimes those same two feet that they use to toddle our direction take them into trouble, but we still joy in those steps our way. I think God does as well.