Tag Archive | Christian excellence

Is the SBC’s Tent Big Enough for ALL Marginalized Christian Women?

What a powerful post linking the correlation between sound Christian doctrine and sound nutritional teaching. Michelle Lesley is a powerful Christian writer. I respect her for she stands courageously for Truth and so do I. I praise God for her strong testimony for the Lord.

As a Christian nutritional counselor I profess physiological truth when it comes to health. Sadly there are many more in this world who will follow what their “itching ears want to hear” than will follow Spiritual and physiological Truth.

Case in point: I’m not sure if you noticed the headline advertising “hot dog water” recently on the news lately? This hot dog water was being sold for $38 a tube – hopefully as a joke, but touted for weight loss. I’m not sure how many people actually bought it but in the mid 1990s, 41 signed up for Oprah’s fake hot dog and ice cream diet in two days! “itchy ears” again.

If I sold and promoted junk food as a weight loss program, I’d be rich by now. I continually battle false diet teachers who have a celebrity name or have a doctorate who profess unhealthy , unrealistic, quick weight loss, eliminating food groups and outright untruths to sell product. But professing the truth of Genesis 1:29, Genesis 9:3 and 1 Corinthains 10:23 as a legitimate health plan, doesn’t make one wealthy. I will continue to write and stand for mental, physical and spiritual interity, truth, praying you wil never become a sheep following blindly. Seek and hunger after the Word of God always, blessings,

Michelle Lesley

It started with Paige Patterson’s gobsmackingly horrible and unbiblical advice to an abused to wife to return to her husband. Then it was the lurid remarks he made about a teenage girl, with which he regaled a congregation during a sermon. Next came the allegations of his mishandling of two separate sexual assault cases at two different seminaries.

In response to all this turmoil, Beth Moore added to the conversation some vague stories of various unnamed men in Christian circles who had, in her perception, condescended to her or otherwise not treated her as an equal, leaving the impression that there is widespread, systemic misogyny within modern evangelicalism. Jen Wilkin, from a more biblical – yet, troublingly, similarly vague – perspective, joined the chorus, and has been afforded a wider audience for the “they can’t be pastors, natch, but we need more women in church leadership” platform she…

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Resolve: Strive For Excellence Rather Than Perfection

Beauty comes from within!

perfect peopleFinally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8





Interview with a Spiritual Champion

1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

How one approaches adversity states so much about one’s character. It’s a fact that a positive attitude, prayer and laughter can overcome illness.  My new friend, fellow blogger Connie, is a testament to this. She’s a remarkable woman who not Connie Doubt  tooonly faced cancer, but shook her fist in its face and refused to give in to despair.  Her genuine warmth and authentic, godly spirituality comes through her wonderful posts:  http://www.ibeatovca.wordpress.com – I urge you to discover for it yourselves.

Below is Part One of our interview regarding Faith.  I pray her words will be an inspiration when you face any trial in your own life.

Ellie: God has given you incredible strength in the face of adversity Connie, did you always exhibit those characteristics? 

 Connie: I was raised in a Christian family surrounded by many examples of strong Christians.  However, my mother and grandmother were the main women in my life who exhibited the traits I sought.  My mother was very strong.  I watched her live through many hard times.  She always got up, wiped away the tears and faced life head-on.  She encouraged me to be strong, but I never thought I had her strength until cancer knocked me down.  I learned then that I am my mother’s daughter.  I am a fighter.

A strong support system really makes a difference; knowing you’re not alone. Would you discuss in what ways that strengthened you?

When I came home from the hospital after cancer surgery, a quilt was waiting for me.  A friend and several ladies I didn’t even know had made it for me.  It is one of my most treasured possessions.  In the middle of the quilt it says:

“The light of God surrounds me

The love of God enfolds me

The power of God protects me

The presence of God watches over me

Whenever I am, God is.”

 The quilt came to symbolize my faith and served as a reminder that God was in control.

Your positive attitude has been an inspiration to so many.  So when times got rough, what self-talk did you give yourself to bolster your spirits?  

I had a few “pity parties” and I always invited my husband to attend.  It made both of us sad, and I decided they were useless.  Instead, I sat in my recliner and counted my blessings.  I wrote almost every day in my journal: how I was feeling physically and emotionally.  It was a great outlet of expression; an invaluable tool. In a tangible way, I saw that even on the worst days, my blessings far outweighed my woes. My family was amazing! One Christmas they all wore hats to support me. (So sorry, photo wouldn’t attach, please check it out on her blog though)

Can you share how your strong Christian faith sustained you?

It definitely helped to pray for others. I didn’t have to look very far when I went for treatment to see someone worse off than I was.  I focused on them and others who were struggling with pain or strife.  There were many Bible verses that sustained me, such as Psalm 91.

I also drew strength from Hebrews 13:6 “So say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.’” and Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength”,  2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” as well as Psalm 57:1, “Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge.  I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until this violent storm is past.”

The fact is, you’re never alone when God’s your anchor and you are surrounded by friends –  however, were there times when you simply felt like Job?

I never felt like Job and I never asked “why me.”  I knew God had a plan.  I didn’t like the plan at times, but I simply trusted Him.  No one deserted me.  In fact, just the opposite was true.  Friendships deepened, new ones blossomed and I benefited.  It was very humbling to see all the love that was poured out on my behalf.

God was my strength but I was gifted with so many wonderful prayer warriors.  Prayers were said for me all over the country.  I was lifted up by family, dear friends and complete strangers.  At times I was unable to voice a prayer, but at those times my warriors interceded.  God heard and answered prayers.

Amen!  I pray others find courage in Connie’s testimony. There’s a quiet peace knowing that God is always there in the midst of life’s storms. 

Stay tuned for Part Two when Connie discusses the lifestyle changes she makes as she conquers cancer.

Affirmations: beginning of a positive life

Accepting yourself for who you are is one of the first positive steps you must take in order to become focused on recovery! Don’t believe the negative, worldly hype that Satan sends out, whispering in your ear that you’re not worth it!  I can As a man thinkethassure you; God doesn’t make junk! He made you – so you’re not junk!

I once presented my dejected new patient, Inez, with a pad of paper. It contained two columns. I asked her to write all her good qualities down one side and those she thought needed improvement on the other.  She began writing diligently.  Then I noticed she abruptly stopped writing. Looking over, I asked her why had she stopped? She said, “I’m finished, I can’t think of anything else.”  I smiled and took the pad from her. One side was almost totally filled with negativity. The other column only stated, “I have good hair.”  She couldn’t think of anything else valuable in her personality or looks.

Why do we sometimes judge ourselves so adversely? Has life beaten us down so much, we believe we deserve nothing better? God states that He only wants what’s best for us!

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Who would you rather believe: Satan who wants to discourage us from positive actions, or God who wants us to abundantly thrive?  Well over time, I’m happy to say that Inez rediscovered her kindness, helpfulness, generosity toward others and her smile. She learned she was more than an outside shell attempting to become thinner. She developed a total mind, body, spirit view of health!

Below are  a ‘List of Affirmations‘. If you are one who feels beaten down by life, I ask you to copy some of the these and post them on your refrigerator, pantry, computer, car dashboard, pocketbook, closet, dresser or bathroom mirror.  Anywhere you’ll see them throughout the day.  For what a person believes about himself, he tends to live. 

  1. God does not make junk!
  2. Today I’m taking steps to improve my life!
  3. I am special because God created me. Psalm 139: 13,14
  4. Feeling good about myself is more important that ANY food!
  5. I’ll make someone laugh today, including myself!
  6. It’s not selfish to treat myself well.
  7. I forgive my mistakes because I realize I can’t be perfect.
  8. I desire to honor my body’s temple of the Holy Spirit.
  9. I am a kind person and others appreciate that!
  11. I’m developing more self-discipline each day!
  12. It’s okay to let others know the real me.
  13. I’m making the tough choices that must be made!
  14. I expect my body to be submissive to God’s Will, because He gives me willpower.
  15. I have friends who love me as I am, regardless of my size.
  16. I don’t have to be a size two in order to have worth!
  17. I am a loving person.
  18. I am strong, honest and helpful.
  19. Being outside in the fresh air makes me feel closer to God!
  20. I deserve to be treated with respect because God respects me.
  21. Any change always has drawbacks but I’ll overcome!
  22. I’ll pray as I walk today!
  23. Success is a continuous journey, not a one-time destination.
  24. I will prepare my mind for success because I KNOW I can do this!
  25. Happiness is a choice and I choose it!

Proverbs 23: 7 “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” 

Gratitude – a Liberating Force

I selected a 10 lb bag of Russet potatoes on sale at Fry’s for 88 cents and smiled at the man next to me, “Wow, what a great price!” He looked at me with a scowl  and replied, “Yeah, but by the time you peel ’em down there’s nothing left to ’em” and walked away.

As he left, I wondered what had happened in that man’s life to make him so negative? Did he gaze at a glorious magenta sunrise and complain that rain was coming to his drought laden fields?  I offered a short prayer that the man would find peace.

This Thanksgiving, I’m thanking God for all the small gifts in my life. For a little dog who nags me for a walk in the fresh air. For a husband who after 43 years loves me, faults and all, as I do him. For a home with adequate supplies and a beautiful view. His mercies this year amidst trials have abounded and I am so grateful.

This world is so expansive. I find myself absolutely amazed that God cares for each one of His creations no matter how much we grieve Him and push him away. What boundless love! If each one of us could emulate it, what a joyful world we would see.

I realize that it’s hard to show gratitude when one’s hurting and I am not immune to it.  I have been through some of the worst that life can dish out but you know what?  I’m still standing! Tribulations have made me stronger, taught me life lessons while God and His angels have kept me safe.

I have drawn strength from Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Joseph, betrayed by his brothers, enslaved in Egypt, was still able to forgive. I praise God for the trials in my life, because it taught me to understand, endure, encourage and strive to become a new creation in Christ. I have found world-wide friends through my writings.  I am so grateful for all of my readers!

I’m certainly no Pollyanna, it took time and a lot of prayer to forgive those who hurt me. But life’s too short to eat bad cheese! Now I see how everything fit into God’s greater plan. I worked for a non-profit Christian organization but left for a very lucrative non-Christian one. It was a fluff position with no glory for God in it. We are commanded in life to do all for the glory of God. I forgot that.

“And whatever you do, whether by speech or action, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him,” Colossians 3:17.

This holiday season I’m thankful for all I have, not what I haven’t. I urge you to find contentment in the little things in life; the smile on a child’s face, the shade beneath an oak tree, the gift of friendship, another day of freedom . . . don’t allow anyone to steal your joy. Happiness is fleeting but JOY should be anchored to your soul.

Some of my patients couldn’t find it in their hearts to forgive. It became acid that destroyed the very vessel which held it. Christ sacrificed  himself for us, sinful as we are, and even as he suffered, still found it in his heart to forgive those who crucified him. If He can, how can we not? I urge you to forgive and find a liberating peace within. As you sit around the Thanksgiving table this year, pray that others will discover true peace.

Philippians 4:7 “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

“Train Up a Child . . .”

A Franciscan monk once professed, “Show me the boy at seven, and I’ll show you the man he will become.”

A child lives what he learns. We might not think our children are listening to us, (especially as teenagers), but they are certainly observing how we react and what we do. If you’re like me, sometimes that’s a scary thought! “Do as I say, not as I do” was one of my mother’s favorite expressions.

Are you satisfied with your body or do you complain about every little bump and curve? I was browsing through some old photographs this past week. There were times during my life when I thought I was really ugly, (those awkward teenage years!) too fat, now too wrinkly. Looking back, I wonder what was I so dissatisfied with?  My waist was tiny, my lips were plumper and my hips were non-existent, so why did I complain so much?  What a slap in the face of God to say how dissatisfied I was in the way I was made! 

And what type of motherly example had I given my daughter to follow? Children look at parents through different eyes.  Parents should represent security, be heroes to our children.  If they admire us and we aren’t happy with our appearance, what does that convey to them? It probably makes them feel inadequate, never good enough either, setting the stage for self-esteem issues early on.

Worth is not conducive to what size a person is! And thinness doesn’t mean health! I think of a beautiful ballerina I counseled, who at 109 lbs, was instructed by her ballet troupe director that she must lose 10 lbs or lose her position.  She was literally starving herself, endangering her health for man’s praise and I doubted if her tiny, delicate frame could endure the weight loss.

So how do you react around food? Is food more precious than feelings? Is dinner time a battlefield? If one doesn’t eat everything on his plate, is he “a bad child”?  Do you see yourself after work, as an out of control person, running to potato chips, ice cream or alcohol to quell frustration?  Do your children see someone who tries every diet fad because they want to look like the latest celebrity? If your child’s not thin like you, do they believe they don’t measure up?  Is looking good in today’s stylish fashion world, more important than health?

Children mimic what they see.  That’s a given. What role model examples, good or bad, are you exhibiting? Start allowing dinners to become a time of happy socializing without being judgmental about grades or laziness issues. Involve your child with planning and preparing dinner.  Let them see how food looks, smells and tastes raw or cooked. Who says Saturday pancakes need to be round? Maybe they can be designed with a muppet look, topped with bananas as eyes and raisins as hair. Create cranberry nut muffins, cucumber boats, colorful salads and teach children what constitutes a healthy choice.

Resist being parents who will reward their children with food if they are “good” and withhold snacks if they are “bad”. Years later, as an adult, they will still identify that same behavior with internal value. Food should be neither good or bad, it is simply nourishment and they need to be educated to make the correct choices.  At the supermarket, allow your children to select their own apples, popcorn or other healthy snacks from a list of choices.

Next week, I will address the myriad of reasons people eat – which runs the gamut of emotions; happy, depressed, rebellious, procrastinating, peer pressured, controlling, self-destructive, unconscious eating and others.

In the meantime, start now to give your child the gift of a lifetime; a sensible, loving, godly role model.  Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

No More “Twigs and Sticks” Diets!

“Max” came into my office, sat down, placed his arms across his chest,  and glaringly announced, “I’m only here because my wife told me I had to. I’ll come for three weeks and that’s it, then I’m  done . . . outta here.”

I smiled and asked, “Sir, are you under the impression that you’re going to be eating twigs and sticks?  Well I can assure you that’s not the case. Anything’s fine in moderation, even sirloin steaks, potatoes and beer.” His body language conveyed immediate relief as I tried to convince him he wouldn’t be eating rice cakes and celery. “You see the secret to health is learning how to eat through the right choices, not simply enduring a diet to reach a goal.” We need diets for the real world.

Why do people think, incorrectly, that they must suffer in order for something to work?  I call that the “penance principle”.  I can’t have salvation unless I suffer for it and I really, really try! No, Christ offered us the free gift of salvation and there is nothing we must do to earn it, only believe and accept it. Ephesians 2:8 “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.”

In the same way, healthy living is believing and accepting a new way to live for a better you.God knew if we ate fruits, vegetables, herbs and whole grains, we would remain healthier. After the flood, He advised us to eat meat. We need to accept this basic truth. Everything consumed has a purpose. God said nothing about processed, chemically laden products, that was man’s doing.  1 Corinthians 6:12 states that ” . . . anything is acceptable but not everything is beneficial”.

So the choice is up to us. I Corinthians 3:16, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in you?” Choose health or a slow decline. The second law of thermodynamics states everything is slowing down, including our metabolism, but I intend to give mine a fighting chance.

I just presented several blogs about diet misconceptions; what diets don’t work. And now you understand that our body is created to work like a well-run machine. If everyone exercised daily we could probably eat anything we want and never gain weight, but would you still desire saturated fat and over 3,000 chemically laced additives?  We can’t avoid all chemicals in life, so it’s important to build up an immune system to withstand the attacks chemicals foster against our bodies.

I’m not necessarily saying go organic either. Some farms sit right next to those that spray and “organic” might depend on wind currents.  And let’s consider what was in the soil before the farmer bought the farm? As a farm girl, I played in dirt when I was a kid, building up a hearty immune system. Nowadays, children live in a more sanitized atmosphere, sitting in front of the computer playing video games and haven’t.

Humans also consume too many chemical-laden, hormone-injected meats and saturated fat through fast food. That kind of general diet raises the danger of illnesses such as cancers and heart disease! I suspect that’s why children are reaching puberty at younger and younger ages.

Cancer cells cannot live in an alkaline environment, so I urge you to consume a diet rich in 5x’s more colorful alkaline fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Then add lean meat proteins and good olive and canola oil. God never intended us to suffer for the sake of our diets! You’re not suffering when you eat an apple or even a slice of apple pie once in a while. It’s your choice!

Oh My Gosh, Were Our Mothers Right?!

When we were teens we didn’t think our parents knew what they were talking about. They even tried scare tactics to harass us, didn’t they? “If you don’t stop looking like that, your face is gonna to freeze that way!” “You know there are millions of children starving in China, so you better eat that!” Yeah, yeah, send it to them.

Then, as we got older, some things gradually began to make sense. I remember standing in front of the bathroom mirror, my mom over my shoulder, telling me, “Remember sweetie, you have my side of the family’s genes, so always moisturize your neck . . . because  . . . someday it’s going to be your face.” After that, I never missed a day.

And when she  told me to slow down, she wasn’t just talking about my driving! “Will you please slow down and chew your food, it’s not good to eat so fast!”  As I continued my studies in nutrition, I discovered how right she was. Who knew?

Chewing releases enzymes.  What the heck are enzymes, you’re probably asking, and why should I care?  Glad you asked!

Imagine your body is a house that’s ready to be moved into, with the boxes piled up on the front lawn.  A moving company is waiting to place those boxed items inside the house; plates, small appliances, furniture, boxes of clothes and antiques, etc.  Food is like the boxes sitting on the lawn and enzymes are like the workers who transport those items into the house.

In other words enzymes are like a “chemical moving company” packing proteins, fats and carbohydrates into boxes and placing them into the rooms they belong.  Even the most beautiful crystal glasses won’t be useful if they just sit there on the lawn. Something has to move them. So consider that your body is the building and enzymes are the movers.

Digestion can’t happen without enzymes No vitamin, mineral or hormone can work without enzymes. Nor can we breathe, eat or walk without enzymes, so when digestion is poor, even the best eating plan won’t work!

Chewing your food releases the enzymes found in saliva which digest food so they can be transported into the correct area of your body. Enzymes are also found in the stomach, intestines and mitochondria.

  • Protease breaks up proteins
  • Amalyse breaks up carbohydrates
  • Lipase breaks up fats
  • Cellulose digest soluble fiber
  • Disaccharidase digest sugars

Digestion begins in the mouth with saliva – the more we chew, the more enzymes we release. Digestion then stimulates the hypothalamus gland, the control center in the brain which regulates daily activities  such as appetite, nervous system, moods and the senses. Powerful, complicated stuff!

And some believe all this “complicated stuff” evolved from mud clumps!

Jer.32:27, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for me?”  Honestly now!! Imagine, a man and a woman evolving at the exact same time over the millions of years some believe our earth existed.  Sorry, it takes more faith to believe in that, then it does for me to believe that man was created by a Heavenly Father.

Psalm 139:13-15  “For you created my inmost being;  you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  your works are wonderful,  I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

Praise God that we are fearfully and wonderfully made! Now go forth and chew!

Sometimes a cookie isn’t “just a cookie”!

It’s actually raining out today!!!  And not like just a thunder storm moving through . . . it’s an actual steady, gentle rain.  Why is that so amazing?  Because this is Arizona!  You know the song, “It Never Rains In Southern California” should have been written about Arizona. It’s a nice break from 110 degree temps.  Rainy days bring back memories of baking cookies, creating homemade jam, icing a cake . . . one reason why when it rains, I love to bake, do you?

It’s great to reminisce, isn’t it? But let’s face it, sometimes a cookie isn’t just a cookie.  Sometimes cookies represents warm memories of childhood, a feeling of comfort, family closeness and fun –  all of which time has passed by. Today we live in a stressed out world where work pressures pursue us, children nag us, time constrains us and oh, how we long to be once again in that sweet innocent bubble called childhood. Unconsciously you reach for that gooey, soft peanut butter cookie and are magically transported back to an age of guiltless pleasure.

Really??? Is that true?!  As we age we tend to build on memory, making childhood recollections greater than they actually were. We forget the fights with our sisters, being bullied by the school terror or that awkward puberty growth spurt, right?  Sometimes stuffing painful memories deep into our subconscious is protection. Perhaps even today you find yourself turning to candy, ice cream or anything sweet to numb the pain, discouragement or fear inside you. You unconsciously eat.

Unconscious eating soothes the mood. It provides comfort and safety within our subconscious. It wraps completely around us and provides the same secure feelings as a mother’s arms, when we are too big to sit in her lap anymore. Food releases chemicals that quiets our anxiety when rumors abound that the plant might close. It’s a comfort during long weekends when your husband is away on yet another business trip. It numbs our fear while waiting for a teenager to return on an icy evening.

During moments like this, what do you find yourself craving?  Craving crunchy; potato chips, pretzels or nuts, indicates suppressed anger. Or are you lonely and craving chocolate which contains Phenylethylamine, the same chemical emitted when you’re in love?  Creamy foods such as ice cream or mac & cheese are comfort foods. 

 You need to understand that you control your feeling, feelings shouldn’t control you! Don’t apologize – they are after-all, your feelings and everyone should be entitled to feelings. If you suppress them, they will be released in other ways, anger, depression, revenge, etc.  Just recognize and overcome them. You have power!  1 John 4:4, “You dear children are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Analyze why you feel the way you do and then create strategies and practice positive reactions.

Ever go from cupboard to pantry to fridge, looking for something and not finding what you’re really hungry for? Don’t know, can’t decide? Most likely, you are craving water.  Your brain is saying it needs water, which is found in all foods. So before you give in to temptation, try drinking a glass of water first and waiting about fifteen minutes.  Usually the craving will pass.

Lonely?  Go to a public place like a library, antique mall, craft fair, dress shop or for a downtown walk. Exercise and fresh air release endorphins that provide a feeling of goodwill. If that doesn’t help, volunteer at a local hospital and count your blessings while cheering others.

Bored? Read a great mystery novel, watch an adventure or chick-flick, create a blog, take a walk, give yourself a facial, a bubble bath, go though old photo albums or start your memoirs.  

You can overcome this, you have company:  Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”


Break Free From Mental Chains!

A wise man once said, “He has not escaped, who drags his chains behind him”.

If we carry excess baggage, mental as well as physical, we will never break loose from the constraints that chain us to the past. It’s important to write a series on why people eat, because until we recognize the reasons we do certain things, we’ll never start getting better!

One of the hardest challenges we experience is to forgive others who have harmed us. Sometimes our minds just can’t forget and innately we find way to numb that pain. Usually by food. Food comforts us, it doesn’t talk back and releases chemicals that make us feel better.

I once counseled a woman who was brutally abused as a child. Even at 52 years of age, she still despised her mother and refused to forgive her for her cruelty. She was very vocal about how wronged she had been. She hated her father for not rescuing her and other family members for never coming to her aid. It was a very sad situation. She envied anyone who had a close family relationship. But it was even sadder that she failed to understand one important fact: She was hurting herself much more than she was hurting anyone else.  Apparently as her family went on with their lives, her hatred meanwhile, was like acid, destroying her from within. 

She self-destructed with food.  She had been denied treats as a child and this was one way she had control. She could now “eat as much as she wanted and no one could stop her!” She refused to forgive, and all the counseling in the world couldn’t help her because she had to want to get better more than I wanted it for her.  

Eventually I discovered another truth; she clung to her old way of life because it gave her power. “Come on”, you’re probably saying, “how does this give someone power?”

Power comes in all forms. Overheard one day in the waiting room, she talked about her childhood and the tragedies experienced. The woman beside her, consoled her, stroked her arm and sympathized over those terrible memories. My patient thrived on the attention. She had the mistaken belief that any attention was better than being forgotten or not worth saving.  So she capitalized on her abuse.

Is there anyone who wouldn’t want to go back and have a re-do over something they’ve done or said? Forgiving someone is never easy but forgiving yourself is sometimes even harder!   If you invited a guest into your home and they spilled a glass of iced tea, you would most likely say, “Oh it’s nothing, don’t worry about it.”  However, when we make a mistake, it’s the end of the world!!  “What a stupid thing to do.” “I’m an idiot!” “I can’t believe I said that!” Why are we so hard on ourselves? We aren’t perfect and God doesn’t expect perfection from us. 

Dedicate yourself to becoming a new creation. It’s not an easy process, but certainly worth the journey! Cling to Philippians 3:13, 14  which urges, “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Recognize that God and you alone, can forgive others and yourself.  If God can forgive us our sins and send his beloved Son to die for our sins, then literally, for heaven’s sake, we should forgive one another, including ourselves!

Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a pure heart, oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” With God’s help, He will restore your attitude; you just have to be a willing participant.