Saturday, February 27, 2016

How Important is Honesty to Deliverance from Addictions?

     This morning, our local Christian station played a song about honesty. The lyrics tell us honesty brings freedom and joy. Wow, is that ever true.

 
Honesty is imperative to follow Christ’s will in weight loss, or deliverance from any addiction, obsession, or hang up. A thorough, honest inventory exposes wounds and rips open scars where God’s touch can rub in salve.

 
 
And how can we be sure that we belong to him? By looking within ourselves; are we really trying to do what he wants us to?

Someone may say, "I am a Christian; I am on my way to heaven; I belong to Christ.” But if he doesn’t do what Christ tells him to, he is a liar.

                                      1 John 2:7,8


Ouch! A liar?


If you’re not honest about everything, it’s the same as not being honest about anything. There’s no such thing as being partially honest, anymore than there’s such a thing as being a little pregnant.


Sneaky sins creep into our life; a bit of resentment, a smattering of anger, a tad of envy, a small disobedience. We think it’s not big enough to worry about. We should keep going to church and confessing Christ, and deny bad thoughts.
 

My husband says, “I’d admit my faults if I had any.” He’s joking, of course, but many of us live our Christian life as if we were saying that to the world, all the time while we’re stuffing stinking thinking into our mouth with a plateful of goodies.
 

I can’t fix myself, but God can fix me. He died to save my sins. I’m perfect in Him. My part is surrender.

 

“The first time I shared my story with others, I died to myself. I felt like God needed me to tell it, and after I did, I was overwhelmed by the needs of those around me.”

                 Food for the Hungry Heart
                           By Cynthia Rowland McClure

 

I found that to be true. When I was honest with others, they no longer feared opening up about their own struggles. After we do a thorough inventory, we must bring it first to God, and then to at least one other person. In honesty comes healing. I recommend following the twelve steps of Overeaters Anonymous. (See my page to the right for all 12 steps).

 
Do you need to start today? Here’s the first four steps:

 
1.     Admit you are powerless over ________

2.     Admit that God can overcome your __________

3.     Turn your will and your problem over to God.

4.     Begin a thorough, honest inventory of your life.

 
No, I don’t like being called a liar, but I was. I hid anger, resentment, envy, and despair. I worried that if people knew what I was really like, they wouldn’t like me, anymore.

 
But, God already knew.
 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Best Tool for Writing & Exercising

     A writer, as well as other careers, plasters our bottoms in the chair and our hands on the keyboard. (BICHOK is a shortcut reminder for writers.) It's a lonely, sedentary existence, but how else might our words mount up on the page?

     Recently, I found that my most useful tool for time management while I write is a simple kitchen timer.


     Allow only thirty minutes to check social media before going to writing; set the timer to alert you.
     Promise an hour of writing before checking social media; set the timer for an hour and write away.


     The timer turned out to be my best tool for time management. I can get two pages finished by turning off the world, setting the timer for the half hour before my husband comes in for lunch, and write. I love it.
    



 
     If you're a frequent follower of Writing with God's Hope blog, you know I'm a recovering food addict. Twenty years ago, I lost a hundred pounds and have maintained it to this day. I teach classes and workshops on permanent weight loss, and post here about hints that help me, in the hope it helps others. Well, guess what?

     The same tool that increases my writing and manages my promotion time, also helps my weight maintenance. Keeping down our weight is a combination of eating less calories and expending more calories in our activities.

     My kitchen/writing timer above helps my activity level on a heavy writing day.

     1. Set the timer for fifteen minutes.
     2. Write with abandon. Keep your head in the story.
     3. When it goes off, get up and do eight jumping jacks.
     4. Set the timer for fifteen minutes.
     5. Write away. Think of nothing else but your story.
     6. When the timer dings, get up, do five frontward kicks, five backward kicks, and five sideways kicks on each leg.
     7. Set the timer for fifteen minutes.
     8. Plot, edit, whatever your writing needs.
     9. When you hear the ding, get up and do eight squats.
     10. Set the timer for fifteen minutes.
     11. Repeat the cycle again.

     You can't imagine how much activity and writing you will accomplish in a five hour afternoon.

     That's my newest tip. Do you have any for me?

 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Inspirational Quotes

Sunset over my grandson's first scrimmage for baseball, 2016
I post a quote that helps me at the top of this Writing with God’s Hope blog. Such thoughts can minister over and over.

Today, I decided to post several that influence my thinking over my overeating compulsion.

To heal emotionally and gain deliverance from food addiction, we must change the way we look at ourselves, our God, and our food. If I know the author, I give credit. I hope these speak to you.

 
    It is the life, not the lips, which truly praise God.

  

Death of self helps prayer life.

 

It’s not who runs your eating; it’s who you run to for your eating.              
                          -Janet K. Brown

 


The enemy of our souls wants to discourage us from ever thinking we could have a supernatural self-control.
                         Lose It for Life

 

Change your thoughts, and you change your world.
                            Norman Vincent Peale

 

Food is not the cure for your pain.

Freedom, not bondage is what we seek.

 

Losing weight is not the end in itself; it’s merely a by-product of other, more important, transformations.

 
You can’t change life, but you can change yourself.


God can’t give you anything new until you let go of the old.
 
One day at a time.
                - Overeaters Anonymous
                

 
Do you have a quote to share?


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Introduction to Our Australian Anthology & A Giveaway

Three of my short stories appear in the recently-released Australian anthology, Let the Sea Roar. How exciting!


Be sure to scroll to the bottom for instructions on how to receive this book for free.

The internet is a wonderful invention. Because of one woman in Australia reading my devotion book, Divine Dining, I "met" other Australian authors that were working on an anthology of short stories dealing with heartaches faced by women worldwide. They invited me to submit stories to be considered as part of the book.

Because of the perseverance of Madeleine Calcutt, this book became a reality. I asked her to tell us how this came to be. Take it away, my dear friend, Madeleine.



Rocks & gum tree of West Gippsland area near Madeleine's home
Having written some short stories several years ago that were just gathering dust on the shelf, I finally decided to do something with them. I contacted authors from various writing groups such as the American Christian Fiction Writers, Christian Writers Down Under and the Society of Women Writers of Victoria. I also put an advertisement in the Baptist Witness magazine and got an excellent response from each of these. I was inspired by the writers’ enthusiasm to contribute their stories to my project.

Australian banner on my sofa from my dear friend, Madeleine
      As the stories came in for me to read and edit, I was incredibly moved by them and impressed by the authors’ writing skills. They shared my vision, and we looked forward to the day when our anthology would be released, which was December 12th 2015. The book has emerged as a sensitively balanced mix of stories, some light hearted, some quite intense, full of pain followed by peace and joy. Make sure you have those tissues ready!

      With twenty-eight short stories by nine authors, Let the Sea Roar explores how women cope with turning points in their lives. It is a universal theme to which women readers will relate, covering issues such as homelessness; domestic violence; teenage pregnancy; family dysfunction; alcoholism; loneliness; divorce and the shattering of hopes and dreams. Many of these stories are loosely based on the authors’ experiences or those of people they know well. This added authenticity, but at times, there were awkward moments when I believed that realism should be sacrificed for literary perfection.

      With nine authors each having different viewpoints, there were some interesting confrontations. Sometimes compromise was the answer and this ended up improving the story instead of taking away from it. Six years it took, would you believe? We gave it a year to get ourselves published until one of our authors, Jenny O’Hagan, formed her own publishing company, ‘By the Light’, and published us, doing a magnificent job. It was an exciting time the day the anthology was officially released. I felt as if I were walking on air after all this time!

      Purchase Let the Sea Roar now at http://tinyurl.com/jt7wsao
Jeanette O Hagen, Madeleine Calcutt, and Glynis Dickens, 3 of our authors who met to celebrate the release of the book.
Back book cover shows all 9 of us
Giveaway opportunity
 
The first one to leave a comment will receive their own copy of Let the Sea Roar for free. All others who leave a comment will be entered into drawing for a chance to win a copy. Winners will have their choice of a copy on their kindle or, if they live in the USA, a print copy. Don't forget to leave your e-mail, so I can contact you if you win.
 
Deadline to leave a comment is midnight on Feb. 29.
 


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Hungry? 4 Things to Do

It's not my brother nor my sister, but it's me, oh, Lord, standing in the need of prayer.
 
That is a line from an old gospel song, reminding us to only judge ourselves, not others.

God says it best in Matthew 7:3

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

Overeaters need support groups. They encourage us, inspire us, and motivate us, but what happens in the afternoon when you're hungry enough to eat the strings off the floor? You promised God you wouldn't eat in between meals, but dinner is three hours away. You're on your own.

What do you do?

1. Plug into your power source.

   Spend quiet time with God. Read God's Word, pray, and meditate.
 
   I'm powerless over food.
   God can handle this, if I surrender to His will.
   My job is to ask, seek, and knock.
   His job is to answer, provide, and open doors.

2. It's not all about you.

Gratitude moves out pride.

Call someone. Write a card.
 Compose an e-mail. Visit a shut-in.




   If we're struggling with the desire to overeat, we're dwelling too much on ourselves. We may be angry, envious, or frustrated. When our attention is drawn to the needs of others, God provides our solution. 

3. Is not eating too drastic?

Are you really hungry? Maybe you need food because you haven't eaten enough earlier in the day, or maybe, you exercised more than usual.

As overeaters, we don't want to obsess over food, but neither should we obsess about not eating. Snacks aren't bad. Some lose better by snacking. Are you feeling faint? Is your tummy growling? Maybe you are really hungry? What healthy snack would energize you?

Have you missed out on sleep? Are you sick? Take time to rest or nap instead of grabbing a snack. What is your body telling you?

Don't be drastic or dogmatic to what you "think" you should do.

4. Write about it.

In the last few weeks, my weight has fluctuated 3-4 pounds, but it never goes all the way back down to my goal weight. Angst settled in. I teach how to maintain weight. Why can't I get back on track? I began to journal my food choices and activity level. The discipline opened my eyes. Through the months since I last did this, my appetite has grown. I didn't even realize it.

Do you need to list your foods again for awhile? It's helping me.



****Overeaters face hunger feelings by themselves. We can redirect that hunger. What is it you need to do today to get yourself back on track?
 
 
Give yourself a valentine. Lose three pounds before the end of February.


P. S. Watch out for those chocolate-covered strawberries. They're sneaky and dangerous.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

DEPRESSION

Our church has a prayer loop. I noticed this week three requests for someone suffering from depression. It's real. It's devastating. It's one of the devil's best tools, but God can and will heal it. Praise His Name.
 

The devil delights in causing depression for saints. He whispers lies in our ears. We repeat them over and over until our spirits are so defeated only a miracle can redeem us, but God is in the miracle business.

 

Depression isn’t new.

 

Look at the prophet, Elijah’s words.

 


“I’ve had enough,” he told the Lord. “Take away my life. I’ve got to die sometime, and it might as well be now.”

                      1 Kings 19:4 Life Recovery Bible

 

 
Jeremiah poured out his depression on the page.

 


He has filled me with bitterness and given me a cup of deepest sorrows to drink.

                 Lamentations 3:15 Life Recovery Bible

 

 

In that same chapter of Lamentations in verses twenty-one through twenty-three, Jeremiah tells us the answer to depression.
 
 
 
Yet there is one ray of hope: his compassion never ends. It is only the Lord’s mercies that have kept us from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness, his loving-kindness begins afresh each day. 

(That's one of my favorite verses.)
 

Our only hope.

 


God is strong enough to lift our burdens and loving enough to mend our broken heart.

              Life Recovery Bible, note on page 843

 

 
All forms of depression bring a wedge between us and God.


Like Jeremiah, the only remedy is soaking in the Word of God, allowing it to soothe and encourage, and reminding ourselves of His faithfulness in the past.

 

Depression is like an elephant sitting on you and you can't get up.
 

“If God never sleeps, why should both of us stay awake?”

                       The Freedom of Letting Go

                        by Donna Clark Goodrich

                 

"Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right."
                                                      ~ Henry Ford



Depression kept me down for years. I tried to eat myself into an early grave. I felt unworthy, unable to cope. Praise God for His healing. I still have days when I feel the effect on my thoughts, but His mercy is new every morning, so I know I must look up. I had one of those days Saturday. God is helping.

 Loss or betrayal can, at any time, throw us into a spiral of depression. Our only hope is through Jesus Christ. I pray today for all those battling with depression's effect.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

What Can You Do This Weekend to Help Your Weight?

A journey begins with the first step. So, does weight loss. It's not about "going cold turkey" with many drastic changes.

Looking to Christ to guide you, add one block to another until your entire lifestyle appears to be different. On the potter's wheel, God rubs off the pointed edges, making us a work unto Him.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 
                                    2 Corinthians 5:17

We overeaters established destructive, defeating habits over time, often through our teens, into our twenties, and some during thirties, or more. We defeat each bad habit with one good habit. The journey isn't a day trip. It's a prolonged excursion.

Think of this weekend as your first step. What three things might you do to begin your jaunt?


Drink more water?

3 days of walking?

Leave 3 bites on a plate of something you like?

Eat fish twice in three days?

Talk to the Lord about it three days in a row?

Read the Bible?

Have 2 vegetables each of the 3 days?

Read labels at the grocery store and choose the lower fat version?

3 days of leaving off after dinner snacks?



What can you do this weekend to help your weight?

Here's my 3 things:

I'm going to a banquet tonight and plan to only eat half my dessert.
I will add 15 minutes on my mini trampoline each of the 3 days.
I will have no after dinner snack all 3 days.

What's your 3 things?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Why Did Jesus Have to Die?

        If I was the only one alive, Jesus would've went to the cross for me. I can't fathom such love? I rushed head-on to an eternal death without Jesus' sacrifice.

   But, why did Jesus have to die?

He died in my place.

   My grandson's friend played basketball well, but he couldn't keep from griping. He mouthed off to his coach, and for that he was sentenced to ten laps around the gym. His punishment was clear. It was deserved. It was fair.

     After the first two laps, asthma all but closed his airways. He labored to breath, coughing and gasping. He paused to use his inhaler. A just punishment had been doled out, but the boy was unable to fulfill it.

     Another boy solved the problem. He ran the other eight laps, thus satisfying the punishment. All the boys understood that talking back to a teacher would not be tolerated without a price. Yet, the guilty party was given life, and time to heal because of his friend's substitution.

     God gave Adam and Eve a beautiful garden. Everything in it was for them except one tree.
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die (Genesis 2:17).
     Because Adam and Eve surrendered to sin, death was the punishment given to mankind. God wanted a relationship with his creation, but man hid from God, due to guilt. They knew the punishment, but they were unable to bear it.

     God promised a substitute to satisfy the punishment and provide eternal life for man. Jesus died on the cross to offer atonement for me.

     What does atonement mean?

     My thesaurus gives these synonyms: redemption, penance, amends, restitution, or compensation.

     The definition I like best is at-one-ment - at one with God.

A holy God wanted a relationship with sinful man so badly, that He sent the only one who could bear the punishment for us. In our weak state, we could not endure the penalty. Jesus, the sinless Son of God, died in our place, as our substitute.

     How does that make you feel?

     It makes me want to fall on my knees.