Healing

Funhouse Mirrors: Distorted Body Images

When I was a little girl, I once went into one of those carnival funhouses with the mirrors. It was the one and only time I did so. I remember I didn't get very far. I took one look at my distorted series of reflected images and high-tailed it out of there so fast, you could probably see my streak marks hang in the air.

Festive.

Cut to about fourteen years later: I was nineteen or twenty years old when I was, once again, standing in front of multiple mirror images. Only this time, there was no carnival- and certainly, no fun. It was, instead, just me, choosing to stand and scrutinize myself in front of my three-way mirror, picking myself apart, via my disordered eating and body image behaviors.

How Do You Live?

Acts 17:28: For in him we live and move and have our being.

"Every woman on my dad's side of the family has died of breast cancer except me," a lady told me as I drove her to the airport.

I gulped before I answered. She was a miracle of God's grace and mercy. I wondered what work God has in store for her on earth.

I told her I'm also a miracle of God's grace and mercy. Twelve years ago I went through breast cancer treatment. Prior to my diagnosis, two cousins had died of breast cancer. My work on earth is not yet finished either.

My medical oncologist who oversaw my chemotherapy treatment had lymphoma, but she was fully alive and fully involved in the treatment of all of her patients.

Christians in Recovery Prayer #1

Dear Lord, I humbly come before you this day
to ask that you give me one more day of wholeness.
Free me of all cravings, addictive and dysfunctional behavior.
Show me how I can serve you this day
instead of serving false idols and obsessions.

Fill me with your strength, that I may have hope.
Guide me, that I may walk in your path and not mine.
Cast out all darkness within me and replace it with light,
that I may shine before others who need a helping hand.

In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.














Men Helping Female Partners Deal with Childhood Sexual Abuse

I clearly remember the day my wife, Liz, told me that she had been sexually abused as a child.

We were watching TV and I could tell she wasn't really interested in the show.

"What's wrong?" I asked her, unaware that her answer would turn my world upside down.

"My stepfather sexually abused me when I was a child," Liz said.

There was a long period of silence as I searched for something to say. Here I was, suddenly presented with a startling revelation. I was dumbfounded.

Liz stared at me, waiting for a reaction.

Questions began to flood my thoughts. I really didn't know what to think.

"What do you mean?" I asked. "Why would your stepfather do such a thing?"

The Hamster Wheel: Are You Doing the Same Thing Over and Over?

The famous phrase, "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting a different result" can probably best be depicted by the hamster on the hamster wheel.

Ever had a hamster as a pet? When I was eleven, I had one by the name of Mitsy. The concept of having a hamster didn't quite measure up to the actual reality. For one, I could never pick her up and cuddle her. One attempt at doing so, Mitsy whipped her head around and sunk those two long front teeth into my finger. Here's a helpful factoid: hamster bites HUR-R-R-R-T!!!

And then there was that hamster smell, emanating from her cage. I don't think I need to elaborate.

Emotions in Recovery: Anger

Beyond the emotionally tumultuous days of the first few weeks of sobriety, people in addiction recovery then move into a second phase of early recovery. As their mind and body begin to function on a more normal basis, a new crop of emotions begin to surface. Once of the first, and most important of these is anger.

A. Emotions are not moral

Giving Faith the Victory Over our Fears

A study on Life Controlling Fears

    8:35-37, NKJV
    Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed. Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.

The Breath of Life: How Do You Feel About Yourself?

Do you like yourself? How do you feel about yourself? How do you view yourself? In the eyes of those around you? Your peers? Your family members? Your employers and the other authority figures in your life? In the eyes of your Lord Jesus Christ?

Personally, for as long as I could remember, I had dwelt beneath a shadow of deep inner shame. Shame that whispered in my ear, tortuously accusing me with words such as, "You are dirty; you are worthless and deserving of punishment; you are unlovable and warrant no merit in this world."

Proverbs 23:7 teaches us that, For as he thinks in his heart, so is he [Amplified Bible]. Like the leper in Luke 5:12, I knew (or so I thought) that I was unclean. However, unlike the leper in Luke 5, I had no idea that Jesus could make me clean, and that He desired to do so. I was lost in a deep ocean of deceit with the waves of false belief tossing me against the sharp and slippery rocks created by the lies of the enemy - Satan - along with many falsehoods from my past without God. Furthermore, I was being dragged beneath the dark surface by the undertow of lack of knowledge:

I Am Grateful

Abba, You know our hearts. These past few days of reflecting upon where I am in my relationship with You has left me recognizing that I have SO, SO far to go!

I am very grateful that You are merciful in addition to being righteous.

I am grateful that You love us so much that You were willing to pay the price to keep us from being separated from You forever.

I am grateful that You are faithful to forgive us our sins when we ask with repentant hearts.

I am grateful that You give us the ability to turn from our sins.

I am grateful that You never allow us to be tempted without providing a way of escape.

Twelve Steps to Freedom

The Twelve Steps originated with Alcoholics Anonymous in the mid 1930's. Besides being used to help alcoholics and drug addicts, the Twelve Steps have been used in support groups for family members, over-eaters, compulsive gamblers, and even for those desiring to escape from sexual addiction. These Steps formed the basis of treatment and counseling activities at New Creation Center where I served as Executive Director for ten years in the 1980's.

In the past few years, a movement recognizing the power of the Twelve Steps has sprung up among evangelical Christians concerned with those struggling with various addictions. Some believers worry that they bring secular concepts to the Christian counseling field.

From where do these Twelve Steps derive their power? The answer is very simple; from the Bible! Although following the Steps does not always bring an alcoholic (or other sufferer) into a saving relationship with Christ, they do work in overcoming addictions. This is shown by the millions of people who have found sobriety since AA's beginning. In some ways, it is very much like the businessman who succeeds financially when he makes spiritual principles the basis of his business practices.

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