Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Are You Blooming?

The last couple days, I've been struggling with low self esteem, again. During my days of binge-eating and compulsive emotional outbursts, my self-hate videos ran non-stop. After God healed me emotionally, I gradually lost ninety-five pounds, and my self confidence bounded into a new creature.

 
Blooming in the Cacti Patch


How discouraging at times when, after years since that healing, I slip back into a negative pattern. It begins with thoughts like, "How stupid can I be," and "Me and my big mouth messed up again, or "I can't do anything right."

Jesus is our example. He counteracted temptation with God's Word, so yesterday, I began quoting such things as:

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works.    Psalm 139:14 NKJV


 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here. 
                            2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

Blooming in the Valley

My hubby and I and good friends took our travel trailers to the Texas hill country this month. The bluebonnets were prettier than I'd seen them in many years. Because of this, I was reminded today of a quote I heard somewhere.


"Bloom wherever you're planted."

Blooming by the Roadside



Where are you planted at this moment?

By the roadside?
In the cacti patch?
In the valley?







A sweet online friend, Gail Kittleson, uses a tagline for her writing that I love.



               Dare to Bloom


Just as God planted these bluebonnets in unlikely places along a lonely road, God in us makes something beautiful.


Are you blooming where God has placed you right now? I'm working on it.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Chicken Again and a Giveaway

Does it seem as if you always eat chicken? But, you're trying to keep down your weight, you say.

So what? Are you doomed to days of chicken again and again? Did you ever feel like writing a book of 1000 ways to cook chicken?



A rooster at the Sauer-Beckham Living History Farm on LBJ Ranch in
Johnson City, TX.


 
Yes, eat some lean protein every day
 
 
if you're losing weight
 
 
if you want to build muscle
 
 
if you're over 50
 
 
 
Lean protein includes chicken but doesn't exclude other options, and there are many other ways to get in your lean protein. Here's my suggestions:
 


1.     pork tenderloin
                        
2.     lean ham
                          
                            3.     turkey
                        
                            4.     eggs
                            5.     tuna
                        
                            6.   shrimp
7.     round steak
  8.     sirloin steak
9.     rump roast
   10.   salmon cakes
              11. 93% fat free ground beef
    12. low fat cheese
 
                                13. ground turkey
            14. Jimmy Dean has a lighter pork sausage
                 15. Hillshire Farms has a light smoked sausage
                     16.     fat-free franks
 
                     17. pinto beans (also a carb)
 
                     18. eggbeaters
 
 
18 suggestions and none of them chicken.
 
Of course, you may count the ways to cook chicken.
 
Here's my top five:
 
 
Grilled on grill
Baked in oven with veggies in foil
Stewed in pan on top of stove and make dumplings
Mix in casserole such as chicken spaghetti
Stuffed in tortillas and cooked like enchiladas

 
 
Don't tell me lean protein while you're losing weight is boring. Don't complain to me that all you eat is chicken, chicken, chicken. Don't grumble over no variety.
 
Can you think of some other low fat options to get in your lean protein? I'm always looking for suggestions.


I will draw a name from all those who comment below with another option or a new way to cook chicken before April ends. The winner will receive their choice of a free book out of the 3 listed on the right side of this blog post. Be sure to sign in with your e-mail or leave your e-mail, so I can contact you if you're the winner.
 
 
 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

IMPOSSIBLE

Then, Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Again, I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

You can imagine the wide eyes of his disciples when Jesus said this. That's like Him saying that a person who has reached 300 pounds can never lose the weight.

IMPOSSIBLE

That's a word we don't want to discuss.

Many reach the point that something is impossible. To me, it was my compulsive overeating. To someone else, it could be debt, or drugs, or a runaway child.

IMPOSSIBLE.


Read on in that same chapter with me through verses 25 and 26.

When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, and asked, "Who then can be saved?"
Jesus looked at them, and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.


I am powerless. I hate that idea. Yet, that is the position I had to reach to receive God's emotional healing.



"Every great accomplishment was once thought impossible."   ~Thomas Edison.
 

I write God's message of hope.

For weight loss.

For emotional healing.

For the impossible.


 

     When we want to reset a computer, we turn it off and back on again. Everything reverts to its original settings. Our mind works the same way. We find it impossible to keep on our food plan when our spiritual condition deteriorates. Closeness to God reveals our dependencies and self-defeating habits. Without His light shining on those things, we revert to our years of programming wrong information. "You’re worthless. I can’t get my mind off food. I deserve a pick-me-up." 


     We can’t afford to bypass our quiet time with our Savior. When we enter His gates of praise and His tabernacle of thanksgiving, He shines His truth on incorrect thinking. We eat what we should. Our day is productive, our mind, content. His truth “sets us free.”

Excerpt from Divine Dining




God always masters the impossible.

With Him, there is always hope.

 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

H.A.L.T.

Sometimes, we just wake up hungry. We eat a healthy meal and walk away unsatisfied. A few minutes later, we peruse the refrigerator looking for something that sounds good.

 We follow advice from our support group and weight loss buddy and slice an apple. We eat slowly. An hour later, we're back looking through the pantry.

A handful of nuts is healthy. We dig in. Our handful becomes three handfuls. We decide to have one scoop of ice cream, but the half gallon container is soon empty.

What happened?

We, who are powerless over food, are also powerless over other areas of our lives. We need God.

Sit and soak in the Word of God. Ask Him to examine your heart and illuminate you as to what needs changing. This acronym below suggests some possibilities.

H - hunger - Are you getting too busy and not stopping to eat  before you're starved?
A - anger - Come on now. Don't tell me good Christians don't get angry. That idea tripped me up for years. If you don't admit it, how will God be allowed to heal it? 
L - lonely - Are you alone? Bored? Do you need to help someone? Be a friend to the friendless? 
T - tired - Are you getting enough rest? Are you sick? Did you change medicines?

This list highlights several problem areas. Ask God to open your eyes.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and It shall be given him.
                                James 1:5


Have you ever had the munchies?

Do you know why?



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My Secret Tool to Losing 95 Pounds

One of my biggest secrets to maintaining my weight loss this time has been my daily prayer and meditation that includes reading inspirational books or pamphlets that address my compulsive overeating.

I read the same 20-25 books over and over. Four years ago, God woke me in the night and dictated fourteen devotions to me. I wrote as fast as my fingers could move on the keyboard.

I’m thinking God felt it was time to add a new book to my library because He continued to give me devotions over a 4 year period. Some months, I only wrote 1 or 2. Some months, I wrote 20. I thought God was giving them to help me with my healing.

When I had written 300, I decided I was aiming for 365, so that other people could benefit. I proposed the idea of a 365 devotion book for overeaters to Duke Pennell of Pen-L Publishing. He asked me to finish it and send the full manuscript. I did, and he offered me a contract.

The book released December, 2013. I find it beneficial to have my own copy in my prayer corner. I, like others, read one devotion each day. They’re short and easy and, hopefully, inspirational.


Though I gave my heart to God at age seven and attended church regularly, compulsive overeating almost ruined my life. I teetered on the brink of suicide and divorce for several years. Praise God, He gave me an emotional and spiritual healing in time. I lost 95 pounds and have now kept it off 18 years.
 
Food is merely a symptom of a problem. When I have trouble wanting to eat, I:
1)Get more into the Word and draw closer to my Lord.
2)Pray for God to examine my heart and let me know why I'm so tempted.
 
Saturday, we'll delve into some of the reasons that push us to overeat. See you then.
 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Anxiety


How do we rid ourselves of anxiety? The devil uses it to best advantage. Anti-anxiety medicine anyone?


For the solution, let's go to Philippians 4: 6-8


First part of verse 6:  Don't be anxious about anything.

 

Many of you have a hang-up called worry. It steals your peace, stresses you beyond belief, and keeps you from serving God to your fullest.

 

An anonymous saying: Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.

 
I used to sing this song as a solo in church:

Many things about tomorrow;
I don't seem to understand:
But I know who holds tomorrow,
And I know who holds my hand.

What a wonderful reminder for us today.

 
 

2nd part of verse 6: Pray about everything. 

 

 One of the worst things we do is compartmentalize our lives. We divide it up such as God, family, hobbies, and careers. We keep those areas separate.

 

It's not even good enough to regard God as the biggest piece of the pie. If we see Him that way, we'll still leave Him out of the rest of our lives. The 'pie crust' of God's love, power, and truth is the foundation for everything we do.

              from Extravagant by Bryan Jarrett
    
 
We shouldn’t ask God to ride along in the front seat of our life. We should request that he drive while we sit in the passenger seat.

 
 
3rd part of verse 6 Be thankful and make your requests known to God.  

  

God has given us everything we have. How can we be puffed with pride?

 

****Here’s a quote from Tim Veal, a guest speaker, at my church in August of 09.
 
We can't go far enough away that God won't come after us.
We can't do anything so bad that He won't forgive us.
God never quits loving and never gives up.
 
How can we not be grateful for grace such as that!

 

Verse 7: The peace of God wilt guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.
 

Sometimes God calms the storm. Sometimes, He allows the storm to rage and calms His child.


Asking for help is the first step to a healthy Christian life. Ask for help from God and from others.

God loves giving to us that “peace that passes all understanding.”

 

It’s said that Clare Boothe Luce said, “Happiness consists of a solid faith, good health, and a bad memory.”

 

Verse 8: Meditate on, or think about good things.

 
Ask, seek, and knock. God will answer, be found, and open the door.

An attitude of gratitude is God’s best weapon against compulsions, hang-ups, or flaws.

 

Gratitude & self-condemnation can’t reside in the same mind. Jesus told us, we can’t serve Him & the devil both. Neither can we sincerely thank God for His bounty and faithfulness and be all wrapped up in how rough it is carrying our load.

 


Don’t base your action on how you feel. Base it on what you know. Give up your life, your will, your choices each day to God, and base your decisions for all areas of your life on His direction.
 
 
 
So, let's summarize the five ways to combat anxiety.
 
1.     Don’t be anxious. Give it to God
2.     Pray about everything. If you struggle with what seems like a small thing, remember, there’s no big or little things with God, only things you need to put in His hands.
3.     Be thankful & make your requests known to God.
             Ask, seek, knock
             Keep an attitude of gratitude
4.     Accept God’s peace. If you let go of the problem, God gives the peace
5.     Think about good things. Don’t dwell on the bad stuff
 
 
What helps you overcome anxiety?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Who is Your King?

O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in me is thine help.
I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath.
                                  Hosea 13:9 & 11

 

Destruction – a word we don’t like

 

 

     God speaks plainly to His people in Hosea.

 

 

They wanted a king besides God. He let them have their way, but he told them it would destroy them. If we place something or someone else as king of our lives, He might allow it in His anger knowing that it will destroy us.

 

     God created us to serve Him. Only He can fill that special place in our spirit created for communion with God. Any substitute is destructive. Anything else on the throne ruins us. Another king prevents God’s wonderful plans from coming to pass.
 
     America is a republic governed under democratic rules. The kingdom of God isn't like that. We don't get a vote. We can't change the ruler. We can only serve or not serve the one, true, Living God. He is sovereign. Humans are raised up or destroyed only if He wills it. It's time for us to raise our hands and surrender. Only then can we be assured that all things will work together for good (part of Romans 8:28)
 
     God wanted my life to work for good, but for years, I couldn't let go of a sack of Reese's peanut butter cups or cream-filled donuts to allow God to reign in my life. I had another king, and it was favored foods. I could give them up temporarily to lose weight, but then I added them back and regained the pounds.
 
    I talked yesterday with a friend that God had told her to remove the liquor from her refrigerator Forever. She was faced with a decision of Who or What was king of her life. 
 
 

What’s the solution for us?

 

How do we get rid of the battle the devil sends to plague our minds & defeat our witness?

 

 

I think the best solution comes from Philippians 4: 6-8

 
On Saturday, we'll go through those verses and see how, through them, we find peace.




Have you ever found yourself in this same situation where something or someone vied with God for top place in your life.