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Tasting Truth

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”   Romans 12:1-2 (ESV)

I am reading Taste for Truth and it has been a very enlightening journey.   Instead of using a specific diet plan or digging into the reasons why people overeat, this study focuses on the boundaries we may need and the renewing of the mind in order to gain freedom from the control of food.

I started drinking at age 15.  By age 18, I was using alcohol daily to cope with my home life.  I liked the way alcohol made me feel and how it made me more outgoing.

I continued drinking in my early to mid-20’s, but quit a couple of years before I became a mom.  I didn’t enjoy hangovers and had started to take notice of coworkers, family and friends whose lives were out of control because of alcohol or drug abuse.  I am one of the fortunate rare people who could stop using alcohol without support and have had less than 10 beers over the last 30 years.

Sometime in my late-20’s, I replaced my alcohol usage with food.  Unlike alcohol or drugs, our bodies need food so overeating is the acceptable addiction in our society.  I ate when my stress level went up because I took on too many volunteer positions.  Like many people, I often ate too much at celebrations.  My overeating was the most out of control when I had to deal with stressful family situations.

One particular time was the last time I saw my father.  My siblings and I were were physically, mentally and verbally abused by this man, so visiting him was extremely nerve-racking for me.  I hadn’t seen him in over 20 years, but my sister and I had to visit him before cancer took his life so we could ensure that our grandmother was taken care of.  I had a strong urge to get a drink after leaving his house, but thankfully my sister was doing the driving and wouldn’t allow it (thanks, Little Sis  ❤ ).  Instead of alcohol,  we both self-medicated with pasta and cannoli.   I can look back on that event now and realize that using food wasn’t any different than using booze.

day-23-tft

We have an enemy who wants to use our weaknesses so we are ineffective for the Lord’s work.  Through this study, I realized that I have spent more time overeating than renewing my mind.  By renewing my mind, this was my very first Thanksgiving that I DID NOT overeat and I feel I finally have gained control over food!!  Thank you, Jesus!!! 

If your story is similar and would like to learn how to break free from the stronghold of overeating, I will be leading an online study of Taste for Truth  beginning on January 2nd – February 24, 2017.  There is a companion book, I Deserve a Donut that is available in paperback, a Kindle version, and even an iPhone or android app (I purchased the Kindle version of Taste for Truth and the iPhone app of I Deserve a Donut for under $10).  You can click on the links to the books to look inside them and/or read the reviews.  The online study will take place in a secret Facebook group where only the members will be able to read your posts.  Feel free to email me at plewing@hotmail.com if you have any questions or visit http://barbraveling.com/  for more information on the author and her books.

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NO grey areas

I’ve have been shocked by the number of Christian women who have read Fifty Shades of Grey or who will be watching the movie when it comes out next week.

The other day, a Christian fitness blogger posted how most Christian women would be upset if they found out that their husbands read or watched porn. He then asked why is it okay for women to read it?  While most women agreed with his post, I was surprised at how quite a few women tried to justify their reading this book, with several actually calling it a love story.  Some women were even getting upset that other Christians were judging them — one woman shared how her pastor had written on her Facebook page after she posted something about Fifty Shades of Grey, and how he was no longer her pastor.

This morning I read another post that started off on how one of the nation’s leading Christian publishers conducted a survey asking Christian women to name the most influential book they had read in the past year.  They found that a startling number of women said Fifty Shades of Grey was their favorite book of the year.    

I had never heard of this book until a two years ago.  A 10th grade student asked me, “What are you reading? Fifty Shades of Grey?”  I politely told him no, asked him if he really wanted to know what I was reading, and when he said “Yes”, I told him that I was reading the Bible on my Ipad.  Of course, when I got home I immediately Googled what this book was — I was floored that a student would even ask me this question!  We had a few subs who were reading it during our DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) time, and many in the student body were reading it, too, so I guess that’s why this student thought it was okay for him to ask me this.

This book is pornography. If we call ourselves Christians, we are to hold each other accountable.  This is where we get it wrong — we are not to judge those outside the church:

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:1-2 (ESV)

“I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people — not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 (ESV)

There’s many scriptures on sexual immorality, warning us to stay away from it.  I’ve actually stopped reading any fiction at all because when I started reading books the students were reading (Divergent is one), I was disgusted at how writers are adding in underage, premarital sex to their books.  I believe this is exactly why today’s teens are lacking modesty  — if you could hear the conversations I overhear at school, you would be embarrassed.  I feel that this is because of books/movies/music that have themes like Fifty Shades of Grey.  Parents need to be better role models for their kids by not reading it themselves, and by also taking the time to read what their children are reading.

Guarding Your Valuables


proverbs 423

 

We only guard things that are valuable to us.
Every believer knows that our hearts and our minds are our most precious assets.

The heart is where all our dreams, all our desires and all our passions live.  It’s who we truly are — and all our actions, our words and our thoughts overflow from our hearts.  

The mind is where ideas are inspired, where our memories are stored,
and our thoughts are processed.  The human mind is so very complex —
a wonderful work of engineering by our Magnificent Creator.

The heart and mind are also where our enemy will attack us first.  

In John 8:44, Jesus said that Satan is “a liar, and the father of all lies”.  He has many weapons in his arsenal to attack us with, but his greatest weapon is deception: 

Rehashing mistakes we have made;
Revisiting sinful events from our past;

Reliving painful memories from our past;
Thinking of ourselves first and not serving others;
Thinking more importantly of ourselves than we ought;
Over-indulging in pleasures because we think we “deserve it”.

  For these reasons, we NEED to stay in God’s Word.  In the book of James,
the author wrote about when  we face trials and temptations:

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.”
For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
but each person is tempted when they are dragged
away by their own evil desire and enticed.
Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin;
and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
James 1:13-15 (NIV)

Did you notice how James said “when” we will be tempted and not “if”?
We need to constantly be on guard because our enemy DOES seek to
devour us (1 Peter 5:8).  Be strong against the attacks of your mind by staying
in His Word so you can protect  your valuables from his schemes.