Archive for February, 2016

Video: Gaining a Healthy Relationship with Food (Step Nine)

Below is a video from the presentation of “Gaining a Healthy Relationship with Food.” For the various counseling options available from this material visit www.summitrdu.com/counseling.

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at counseling@summitrdu.com (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

“Food Simply Fueling the Life God Intended”
STEWARD all of my life for God’s glory.

Ganing A Healthy Relationship With Food — Step 9 from The Sam James Institute on Vimeo.

Blog Post: 9 Questions to Help You Steward All of Your Life for God’s Glory

Memorize: James 3:16-18 (ESV), “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:

  • “Jealousy and selfish ambition” – Chances are emotions like these were what initially drove your disordered eating.
  • “Will be disorder” – When emotions like these motivate us they inevitably produce disorder in our lives.
  • “Wisdom” – Wisdom applied is what we’ve been seeking throughout this study. That is healthy.
  • “Harvest” – When we live according to wisdom, we do not have to look to the future with dread or fear.
  • “Sown in peace” – You should not be “sowing in peace” in the sense that you are content with your body.
  • Those who make peace” – We are salt and light in a body-obsessed culture by being body-content Christians.

Teaching Notes

“I finally am at the place where I can truly say I want a better life more than I want to lose weight (p. 150)… If you have an eating disorder you are, on some level, living a superficial life. We’re not saying your life lacks meaning, but rather, you’ve lost track of the true meaning of life (p. 221).” Carolyn Costin & Gwen Schubert Grabb in 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder

“I reached what I call fully recovered—a place of laughter, relationships, dreams, passions, fun, positive body image (in a perfectly imperfect body), and, of course, inevitable life challenges like overcoming perfectionism… I often say that I am fully recovered from my eating disorder but not from life (p. 198).” Jenni Schaeffer in Life Without Ed

“Protecting your health is the same thing as protecting the vehicle through which God wants to change the world (p. 45).” Gary Thomas in Every Body Matters: Strengthening Your Body to Strengthen Your Soul

“Food obsessions involve time and energy that take you away from other activities (p. 213).” Stephen Arterburn and Linda Mintle in Lose It for Life

“When food, weight, and body image consume your life, you have probably lost touch with what it means to enjoy life… Now that you’ve begun your journey toward health and wholeness, you can start to think about living—and enjoying life—again (p. 219).” Gregory Jantz in Hope, Help, & Healing for Eating Disorders

“We are seldom at a loss to describe what is wrong or bad in our lives or what it is like to be stuck. But we are often at a complete loss to describe what we want instead (p. 111).” Jenni Schaeffer in Life Without Ed

Prayer as Wrestling with a Friendly Father

Recently I was challenged to consider Colossians 4:12. This passage tells of Epaphras wrestling with God (another way to say “struggling on your behalf in prayer”) for the good of those he loves.

Colossians 4:12, “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.”

Initially, this terminology made me feel like I was trying to coerce something from God that He did not want to give to those I loved. But that doesn’t seem consistent with the tone of passages like:

Matthew 7:7-11, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”

Then I thought of wrestling with my boys. This was one of their favorite activities when they were little. If I was in the floor, they were on my back. It was great fun. As we did this, two things happened.

papa playingFirst, my boys grew stronger. Wrestling was a time when their muscles were hardened as they got the chance to muster all of the force they could for as long as they could last. Hearing them grunt and strain as they tried to pin me to the ground was a testimony to how hard they were working. No other exercise could have provided a comparable work out.

Second, we grew closer. Everything about it was delight. If I smiled and said, “Papa needs a break,” they beamed as if they had conquered me. And they had, but not with the force of their wrestling. I was conquered by my affection for them. There was nothing I enjoyed hearing more than hearing, “Papa, can we wrestle?” It meant our relationship was strong. It meant they enjoyed time with me. It allowed me to show them they had a form of access to me that no one else did.

This is not to say there is not a place for combat-imagery for prayer. But we should remember that the person we are aggressively wrestling is not God our Father. We petition our Father to fight these battles on our behalf (Ephesians 6:10-20).

Our role is to stand firm (the primary active verb of this passage; Ephesians 6:13). The spiritual strength to do this was created by our wrestling; as was the emotional strength to have confidence that our Father is greater than our present challenge, whatever it may be.

The time we’ve spent wrestling with him is meant to embolden our confidence that our Daddy is strong enough to conquer anyone or anything that would come against us. The sweet times of wrestling together is meant to solidify our trust that our Father will use his power for our good.

My encouragement is that you would often say to God, “Papa, can we wrestle?” As you do, envision his smile at your invitation and lay into Him with everything you’ve got. Know that you are wrestling “with” Him, not “against” Him. As you do, feel His power and His love. Grow confident that:

Romans 8:31-39, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I hope this post reminds you that the power of prayer is not in the eloquence of our request, but in the love and faithfulness of the One you address… as Father.

Tweets of the Week 2.24.16

There is great value in saying something in a memorable, concise manner. Twitter has caused us to make this a near spiritual discipline. For my own growth (as a generally verbose individual… that’s a long way of saying “wordy”) and for the benefit of others, I highlight tweets each week that deliver a big message in a few words.

 

Video: Gaining a Healthy Relationship with Food (Step Eight)

Below is a video from the presentation of “Gaining a Healthy Relationship with Food.” For the various counseling options available from this material visit www.summitrdu.com/counseling.

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at counseling@summitrdu.com (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

“Tasting the Joy of Eating to Live Rather than Living to Eat”
PERSEVERE in the new life and identity to which God has called me.

Ganing A Healthy Relationship With Food — Step 8 from The Sam James Institute on Vimeo.

Memorize: James 1:12-13 (ESV), “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.’” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:

  • “Blessed” – The place where we experience the fullness of God’s blessing is with God more than outside trials.
  • “Remains steadfast” – We do not have to “overcome” or “conquer.” We are merely called to remain faithful.
  • “Under trial” – The temptations that call us back to our old eating habits would be among these trials.
  • “Crown of life” – The “life” promised by the desires for thinness or comfort eating are offered to us in Christ.
  • “Let no one say” – If unhealthy food rules convince us to turn from God, they separates us from our source of hope.

Teaching Notes

“Negative body image is known to be the most difficult symptom to treat and the last to heal in recovery from eating disorder… Our goal is not that you stop caring altogether about your appearance, but that you come to accept what you can and can’t change without compromising your health or betraying your soul (p. 240-241).” Carolyn Costin & Gwen Schubert Grabb in 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder

“I’m at my goal weight and in the most dangerous place for a dieting success story. Hitting your goal weight is a blessing entangled with the curse. The curse being the assumption that freedom now means returning back to all those things we’ve given up for the past months (p. 177).” Lysa Terkeurst in Made to Crave

“I was hungry. I walked over to the food, and I ate a reasonable amount. I didn’t try to show Ed who was boss by eating a huge amount of food. And after I ate, I had a great time. The party became about the people, and the food became part of the background (p. 56).” Jenni Schaeffer in Life Without Ed

“Kathy is leaving a legacy for her children. She is breaking a family pattern in teaching her children to feel emotional pain and deal with it. What a gift to give to the next generation (p. 148)!… Giving up weight and food obsession involves moving into unfamiliar territory where wait no longer protects you from attention, intimacy, and vulnerability (p. 228).” Stephen Arterburn and Linda Mintle in Lose It for Life

“Most everyone who recovers goes through periods of feeling discouraged and hopeless. After all, a change which requires you to completely reevaluate your current lifestyle, overcome significant obstacles, step out of your familiar patterns, and proceed into an uncertain future, could not occur without some self-doubt, fear, and setbacks along the way (p. 27).” Carolyn Costin & Gwen Schubert Grabb in 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder

“I have learned I am stronger than I think and that strength isn’t in staying thin, but in getting healthy (p. 131).” Gregory Jantz in Hope, Help, & Healing for Eating Disorders

My Favorite Posts on Depression

The “My Favorite Posts” series on my blog is how I catalog posts I’ve written to help my readers find the material that is the best-fit for their interest or need. I hope this series creates a more user-friendly experience for my readers and allows this site to become a trusted resource hub for the church.

Seminar Resource:

On-Line Evaluation:

Blog Posts:

Recommended Books

Tweets of the Week 2.17.16

There is great value in saying something in a memorable, concise manner. Twitter has caused us to make this a near spiritual discipline. For my own growth (as a generally verbose individual… that’s a long way of saying “wordy”) and for the benefit of others, I highlight tweets each week that deliver a big message in a few words.

Video: Gaining a Healthy Relationship with Food (Step Seven)

Below is a video from the presentation of “Gaining a Healthy Relationship with Food.” For the various counseling options available from this material visit www.summitrdu.com/counseling.

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at counseling@summitrdu.com (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

“From a Balanced Diet to a Balanced Life”
IMPLEMENT the new structure pervasively with humility and flexibility.

Ganing A Healthy Relationship With Food — Step 7 from The Sam James Institute on Vimeo.

Resource: Implementation Evaluation Tool

Memorize: 2 Peter 2:22 (ESV), “What the true proverb says has happened to them: ‘The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.’” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:

  • “True proverb” – This verse does not claim to be pleasant; it is not. But it is true and it is a good warning.
  • “Has happened” – The pattern of this verse repeats itself often unless we take intentional steps to prevent it.
  • “Dog returns” – How many times have we been absolutely sick of our behaviors yet returned to them for comfort?
  • “Returns to wallow” – People, because of sin, have an innate tendency to seek comfort in things that make life worse.
  • “The mire” – Without self-loathing, we must remind ourselves that where we want comfort is actually “the mire.”

Teaching Notes

“Most people do experience anxiety when they stop using food to cope with stress because they have to learn new ways to cope. Change, even when desired and positive, can be stressful (p. 17).” Stephen Arterburn and Linda Mintle in Lose It for Life

“An over eating episode is preceded by a process—one that generally involves a predictable progression that gradually moves you farther and farther away from doing what you know worked in the first place until, ultimately, you lose control and you revert to the old patterns (p. 225-226).” Stephen Arterburn and Linda Mintle in Lose It for Life

“It is important to learn the difference between having an inner critic and healthy self-reflection. An inner critic is nasty and mean. An inner critic will cause you to doubt yourself and keep you unhappy, insecure, and stuck. Self-reflection can help keep you humble and help you continue to improve yourself and grow (p. 90).” Carolyn Costin & Gwen Schubert Grabb in 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder

“If we remember that humility is the chief virtue—if we look at fitness through the lens of humility and build community that embraces humility—then we can look at this issue through the lens of encouragement instead of judgment, inspiration instead of condemnation (p. 73).” Gary Thomas in Every Body Matters: Strengthening Your Body to Strengthen Your Soul

“Learn something from each relapse (p. 115)… A lapse in behaviors does not mean you are back at square one (p. 191)… That is why it is worth it to never give up—the ability to enjoy silence and not be tormented by what I have eaten today and by what remains in the refrigerator to be eaten (p. 181).” Jenni Schaeffer in Life Without Ed

“Becoming accountable for my own recovery was actually one of the main reasons for using the Ed metaphor. By the way, it is just a metaphor (p. 192)… I eventually stopped using the metaphor of Ed all together. It was just a tool– my training wheels… But eventually it became important for me to stop fighting against Ed so much (p. 193).” Jenni Schaeffer in Life Without Ed

My Favorite Posts on Counseling Theory

The “My Favorite Posts” series on my blog is how I catalog posts I’ve written to help my readers find the material that is the best-fit for their interest or need. I hope this series creates a more user-friendly experience for my readers and allows this site to become a trusted resource hub for the church.

Video Resources

Blog Posts

Book Recommendations

Tweets of the Week 2.10.16

There is great value in saying something in a memorable, concise manner. Twitter has caused us to make this a near spiritual discipline. For my own growth (as a generally verbose individual… that’s a long way of saying “wordy”) and for the benefit of others, I highlight tweets each week that deliver a big message in a few words.

Video: Gaining a Healthy Relationship with Food (Step Six)

Below is a video from the presentation of “Gaining a Healthy Relationship with Food.” For the various counseling options available from this material visit www.summitrdu.com/counseling.

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at counseling@summitrdu.com (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).

“I Want to Steward My Life; Not Wrestle a Scale”
RESTRUCTURE MY LIFE to rely on God’s grace and Word to transform my life.

Ganing A Healthy Relationship With Food — Step 6 from The Sam James Institute on Vimeo.

Resource: Healthy Food Thoughts Journaling Tool

Memorize: 1 Timothy 4:8 (ESV), “For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:

  • “Bodily training” – God likes your body and wants you to care for it as the good gift he intended it to be.
  • “Some value” – The effort you put into caring for your body is not wasted; God places value on those efforts.
  • “Godliness” – You character is what determines whether your physique is a blessing or bondage.
  • “In Every Way” – Godliness is what allows us to savor every blessing that God bestows without excess or neglect.
  • “Present life and.. life to come” – Character enrichment is not just heaven-preparation but also vital to a happy life.

Teaching Notes

“I sensed a stronger resistance to impatience, lust, and other sins. Confronting excessive, indulgent eating was almost like taking spiritual penicillin or antibiotics and that it seemed to cut the feet out from under other demands (p. 61)… Obesity is ‘socially contagious.’ Your social environment has a tremendous impact on your own journey of either gaining or losing weight (p. 92).” Gary Thomas in Every Body Matters: Strengthening Your Body to Strengthen Your Soul

“The enemy of our souls wants to discourage us from ever thinking we could have a supernatural self-control (p. 31)… Research tells us that people become more successful at long-term weight loss when their motivation is to become healthier, not thinner (p. 34).” Stephen Arterburn and Linda Mintle in Lose It for Life

“I used to carry my food plan home with me on a piece of paper. If I had not, I would never have remembered what I was supposed to eat. I even recorded what I ate every day in a food journal. The rigidity was necessary in the beginning in order to get me on the right track (p. 42)… A true test of my recovery has been feeling overweight and still eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner (p. 68).” Jenni Schaeffer in Life Without Ed

“In the past, when I’ve read the diet books, I frequently skipped right to the eating plan so I could get to the store and buy the food on the list and get going. I usually didn’t care why I should eat and ways the author said; I just wanted to get going on losing some weight (p. 97).” Elyse Fitzpatrick in Love to Eat, Hate to Eat

“The most valuable lesson I learned was how to listen to my own body (p. 122).” Sheryle Cruse in Thin Enough: My Spiritual Journey through the Living Death of an Eating Disorder

“Part of your recovery will be developing your own line or limits where you are no longer willing to betray yourself to ‘fix’ or change your body (p. 71).” Carolyn Costin & Gwen Schubert Grabb in 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder

“I used my cravings for food as a prompt to pray. It was my way of tearing down the tower of impossibility before me in building something new (p. 30)… We can step on the scale and accept the numbers for what they are—an indication of how much our body weights—and not an indication of our worth (p. 74).” Lysa Terkeurst in Made to Crave

“I have these boundaries in place not for restriction but to define the parameters of my freedom. My brokenness can’t handle more freedom than this right now. And I’m good with that (p. 153).” Lysa Terkeurst in Made to Crave