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Negative body image, via merchandise and marketing, strikes again.
The Wry Baby, an apparel company, has sparked controversy for selling onesies which read "I Hate My Thighs."
Cue toxic body image before females even get out of diapers!
I know, I know, the intent was not to hurt or offend; it's about being funny, cute and whimsical.
What's the harm, right?
- 50% of girls between the ages of 11 and 13 see themselves as overweight.
- According to Time magazine, 80% of all children have been on a diet by the time they've reached fourth grade.
- 10% report onset at ten years or younger.
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he... Proverbs 23:7
It is difficult enough being female in a world which is largely hostile to the gender. Cultural and image expectations enforce many a harmful, unrealistic and rejecting message. Unless and until a female embodies a thin, aesthetically appealing and societally acceptable standard, she is deemed ugly, worthless, undesirable and irrelevant.
It is a challenge to become an active listener until you understand how years of denial, manipulating others, chemical use and other negative consequences have become the foundation of your distorted listening. You have become deaf to the reality of what you hear. Your addiction has become a filter that prevents you from hearing the truth. People talk about what you have become. You do not make sense when you talk so nobody listens to you.
Living in Minnesota right now, I am in mourning... and its color is purple.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard the news that singer, rock star and lightning rod of controversy, Prince had died. On April 21st, 2016, he was found dead in his Paisley Park home... in the elevator. He was 57.
It was an enormous shock to the world. Just imagine what the experience was for Minnesotans.
You might be wondering why I'm writing about Prince, of all people, in this Christian recovery forum. You, perhaps, may believe he was a creator of "the devil's music," encouraging all kinds of sin, debauchery and strange behavior.
I ask that you please stay with me for a few moments.
Something struck me within minutes of hearing the news of his discovery in the elevator. It was later confirmed by American record executive, musician, songwriter and record producer, L.A Reid. He revealed a private conversation he once had with the artist.
Prince asked him, concerning his lyrics to the song, "Let's Go Crazy,"
- "You know what the elevator is, don't ya? It's the devil."
Yes, these lyrics...
Do it yourself marriage counseling with God in the forefront is exceptional counsel because it really works! You just need to learn how to work it. Let me ask you a question. What are you now basing your marriage on? Where are you going now for the answers you may need to resolve your marital upheavals? The answer is most likely friends, family, pastors, books, ebooks, etc, or for very few of you, mainstream marriage counseling. Am I right?
We have to know WHO WE ARE before we can choose the right kind of counseling and marital guidance.
A friend of mine who is experiencing some painful family issues has repeatedly asked herself the "why" questions.
Why is this happening to me?
Why am I being treated like this?
Why is my loved one acting in such an ugly manner?
She has been blindsided by a situation and a relationship she never dreamed was possible, rife with betrayal, deception and slander. This was once a close, bonded relationship, one filled with unconditional love and trust.
So, the events over the last few years were a definite shock.
Are the influences of society too difficult to stay away from? Are you getting yourself pulled in by greed, lust, and pride? This is just a few of the ways the master of lies persuades Christians into his world. That's why as believers we have to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
Who are you serving? If you are serving Christ then you must be living in His spiritual Kingdom here on earth. If you say you are a Christian then you must be living for Christ, right? There is no other way, unless you are fooling yourself. Can someone say they are a Christian, and then live a different life than who they say they are? Could it be this is how the evil one deceives people – he is so cunning and wise that he will trick you into believing you are serving God when in effect you are only lip-serving. But that isn't enough for God -- He wants action-serving.
The Bible clearly points out how a Christ One is to live his or her life. There is no straddling the fence, you either are or you aren't. Which are you? Believers in Jesus Christ have to be smarter and wiser than satan if they want to be able to really do God's work.
Let's look at some subtle ways
There is a great contrast between love and lust. Lust is more of a sexual or greedy feeling, while love is more of a secure and content filled feeling we get from giving and receiving. Lust does not have to be something sexual, it can be a greedy desire for more money and power, etc. But for this article, I am using it in its sexual context.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 sums up the common traits and variances of love and lust.
LOVE is kind = considerate, caring, giving, thoughtful, understanding
Lust is envy = jealous, greed, spite, resentment,
LOVE is not proud = humble, submissive, meek, modest
I think most great marriages are based upon principled acts of love. What does that mean? Real love is a verb, which means to love others takes effort. Principled acts of love can actually grow deeper and richer with the age of the marriage, especially if the marriage has been led under the wisdom of God. A principled act of love is all about choosing to love the person you married and doing it with wisdom.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:9, 10 NIV
Some people have this preconceived idea that love is something that makes you feel all giddy and euphoric inside. In reality, how many couples after having been married five or ten years still share that euphoric feeling with each other? So in retrospect when that preconceived or learned idea gets squashed out in left field, which will happen, people tend to think they are not "in love" with their spouse anymore. And the next thing you know they are looking for a new partner. But if love is a choice, which I believe it is, and we choose to do those things that are loving it will make us feel more loving too.
What happens to couples in marriage who believe love should feel a certain way? Society has taught that
"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?"
I recently caught the 1960 Academy Award winning film, "The Miracle Worker." It portrays the relationship of Helen Keller and that of her groundbreaking teacher, Annie Sullivan.
Most of us know the basics to the story. Helen Keller was blind, deaf and mute and, before Sullivan's arrival, seemingly hopeless in her circumstances. If she could not see, hear or speak, how could she ever communicate, let alone, live in the world?
The situation looked bleak.
That was until Sullivan's arrival...
A large part of my recovery process involves using the word "no." Indeed, saying "yes" gotten me into more trouble and disease than standing in my own okay-ness with stating it simply, but firmly.
My eating disorder experiences were driven by an insatiable need for perfection, approval and to be pleasing at all cost. So, "no" became a dirty little word. After all, a girl, filled with sugar and spice, should be completely fulfilled with making other people happy.