Forgiveness of Self

Vain Imagination (Self-esteem)Premium Content

Vain Imagination

As a little girl, I had one of those pink girly hand mirrors.


Its back had a girl's face on it, a pretty one, naturally. She had blue eyes, blond hair and an upturned nose. It wasn't exactly diversity.

Years later, I think back to playing with (looking at) that mirror; which side was more harmful to what eventually became my bad self- image. Was it that girl's face- or was it my own face staring back at me?

Vanity's not really a great Christian character trait...

I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. Psalms 26:4

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Discovering Real LovePremium Content

Writing to those loved by God the Father, called and kept safe by Jesus Christ. Relax, everything's going to be all right; rest, everything's coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way!...But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God's love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life! Jude 1b-2, 20-21, The Message


We are always changed by our experiences of being loved by God. As we Practice His Presence we will be gently challenged as to what we believe about love. Our wounds associated with love will be "being healed" as we practice his presence.

The first front of healing in our journey as Son's and Daughter's; is to become empowered to more fully receive love from Father. "Be Loved!"

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How is Your Thinking?Premium Content

As a man thinks…

Recently, a young girl, struggling with eating disorders, posted a sentiment on Facebook, entitled, "Welcome to my head." Here were some of the things comprising it:

Worthless

Ugly

Fat

Weak

Stupid

Failure

Never good enough

It's sad and frustrating to see this yet again and still. It can be so naturally built into us, can't it?

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What is "Normal?"Premium Content

With so much emphasis on body image and attractiveness, there's often discussion about the word, "normal." Supposedly, everyone wants to be the embodiment of that word. But we tend to possess a distorted definition of it. Its actual definition reads as follows:

    1.usual: conforming to the usual standard, type, or custom
    2. healthy: physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy


It's that second definition. Don't we often get so caught up in the conforming and the "standard" that we bypass that healthy definition altogether?

I know I did.

Once I was heavily entrenched in my eating disorder behaviors, it became all about conforming to a standard. I wanted to be "normal," to look like "everyone else."

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Happy Candy Month! - Being at Peace with SweetsPremium Content

I recently found out June is candy month. Huh? I know. It started me thinking. Typically, the "candy holidays" are geared more toward autumn and winter: Christmas, Valentine's Day and, of course, Halloween. So, no one really thinks candy when they think the summer season, right?

I remember my college days when, of the many wacky disordered eating patterns and crash diets, I went on a "candy diet." Nothing but candy, day in, day out, for a period of time. I'm surprised every tooth in my head did not rot and fall out. Grace of God.

And then I hit a point in my life/recovery in which sugar was taboo. Keep that demonic white stuff away from me! To say I was paranoid was an understatement! I felt it would "do me in" if I had the tiniest trace of it.

Years later, I'm more at peace with the candy situation. It's not been an easy road, but scripture has helped me tremendously. It's the cliché moderation stuff. You know…

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Should We Strive for Perfection or Effectiveness? Premium Content

As a recovering eating disorder sufferer, I'm keenly aware of the perfectionistic component to the creation, maintenance and challenging treatment of the disease. It's often an uphill battle. Perfectionism, fueled by deep anxiety and pressure, can kill. According to statistics...

  • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness
  • A study by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reported that 5 – 10% of anorexics die within 10 years after contracting the disease; 18-20% of anorexics will be dead after 20 years and only 30 – 40% ever fully recover
  • The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL causes of death for females 15 – 24 years old.
  • 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems
    (From South Carolina Department of Mental Health: http://www.state.sc.us/dmh/anorexia/statistics)

So, the word "perfect" is not just a word; it can be a threat.

The perfectionistic person, in recovery or not, is therefore, left to grapple with its meaning for his/her life. How important is it?

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Pornography, Christianity and ControlPremium Content

When thinking of pornography and Christianity and the issue of control, things get quite interesting. Matthew 18:3 informs us:

    And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

On the other hand it seems intuitive that the repetitive use of pornography is proof that our "internal adolescent" has wrested away the controls in the command center of our brain and what is needed is a return of control to the superego. We long for simple joys, simple trust, unconditional love but there is no denying that we physically are no longer children and we can get into some very big trouble.

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Carrying the Burdens of Your Past?Premium Content

We're commanded in Hebrews 12:1 to "lay aside every weight" so we can "run with patience the race that is set before us." Consider that first command: lay aside every weight, every burden that slows us down in our race forward. If we're dwelling on the past, that means we've stopped running, picked up some weights we were commanded to drop, and are giving them (not God or His commandments and His service) all our attention. No wonder we stop running and even start walking backward. For good reason do race horses wear blinders that force them to look forward, blocking out distractions so they can focus on the race.

Even worse, Hebrews 12:1 continues on into the second verse, explaining what we should be looking at when we run the race "set before us" (set in front of us): "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher ofour faith." If we're looking at the past, we're violating this second command of God's: we're not only picking up weights and burdens we were told to lay aside, to drop to the ground and regard as worthless impediments, but we're not looking at Jesus but rather at those forbidden weights instead. We should be rejoicing that Christ tells us to drop all these weights. Satan's worst enemy is a Christian focused on the future and running his race well.

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Emotions in Recovery: AngerPremium Content

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

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

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:

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