SSMT 2017: Verse #3

Happy February! It’s time for a new verse! For more information, just check out Beth Moore’s post.

I’ve already posted my third passage over at Beth’s Blog and now I’m adding it here 🙂 My plan is to memorize Proverbs 3:13-18 between now and March 15th. So I’ll be working on 2 verses each two week cycle. This segment will be Proverbs 3:13-14.

I haven’t started decorating this one because I don’t have a purple highlighter but I will update this post with a completed photo in two weeks:

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RYM 12 Week Challenge: Week 3

We are already beginning week three of our “Renewing the Mind Intensive” Challenge. I want to encourage you to continue renewing your mind each day. The mirror exercise mentioned last week is difficult for some in the beginning, so press on, it will get easier.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. ~ Psalm 16:6-8 (NIV)

Choosing Food Boundaries

This week we are going to focus on our “body” and set some food boundaries. This is the place where I will probably lose some people. You’re thinking, “Wait, I thought this was a Bible study about weight loss, not a diet program!” Let me reassure you, this is NOT a diet program. I am not asking you to diet, I am asking you to consider setting some boundary lines which will benefit your body.

You guys know how much I love Barb Raveling’s books and website. She has a wonderful gift of being able to zero in on a lie like a heat seeking missile. Often in her books she talks about how we have boundaries in most areas of our lives, but seem to think it’s ridiculous to have boundaries in regard to food. Oops, guilty.

Let that sink in… how many areas of your life do you have boundaries? Certain words pop into my mind like: budgets, fidelity, manners, property lines, schedules, laws, oven mitts…etc. Yes, living within boundaries is something we already do and is absolutely good for us. However, but we don’t always feel this way when it comes to food. This is why it is so important to renew our minds about our boundaries. We must see them in the light of the truth.

The truth is, eating anything and everything we want, whenever and in whatever quantity we want, doesn’t feel great? Well, maybe temporarily, but go with me for a moment to the “morning after”. Think about all those times you’ve woken to that food hangover filled with regret. The bloating, the guilt, the frustration… etc., none of it is pleasant.

Give me a second… I’m really feeling this one… nope, not pleasant at all.

Boundaries benefit us because they prompt us to stop and assess the situation before we end up dishonoring God and our bodies. Choosing boundaries can be somewhat difficult because we often fear they will take the “fun” out of life. Come on people, is it really fun? Be honest.

Fortunately, our boundary lines can and will fall in pleasant places if we choose wisely and then renew our minds to stave off our fleshly desires to dance around outside them with reckless abandon.

One of my favorite resources for renewing my mind about my boundaries is Barb Raveling’s little book, I Deserve a Donut . If you’re joining me in this challenge, it is time to set some food boundaries (if you haven’t already). If you aren’t sure what boundaries to set, turn to the “Appendix: Boundaries” section of I Deserve a Donut. Barb has a list of questions and some other information about “Lifelong boundaries”. Or you can check out these links:

Choosing Your Boundaries…

Now it’s time to make some decisions. We’re going to choose a set of healthful food boundaries today, or at least by the end of week 3 (next Friday).

In deciding on my own boundaries, I’ve come up with some criteria that has helped me:

  • Simple – too many rules increases my risk of breaking them and can feel overwhelming to keep.
  • Clear – I know exactly where the lines are – no guessing. Saying, “Eat less sugar” is really vague and could be subject to interpretation… “Well, I ate less sugar today than yesterday” or “I ate less sugar than at lunch” or “I ate less sugar than my husband.” Where is the line? How do I know if I’ve avoided sugar enough to honestly say I’ve lived within my boundary line? I don’t. When my boundaries are unclear, they leave a gaping door for the enemy to convince me I’ve blown them when I haven’t… or I’ve kept them when I haven’t.
  • Good Fit – my boundaries are loose enough to allow for real life but tight enough to still support my goals (maintenance, weight loss, overcoming food worship, health). That line should say, “This is far enough, take it up with God.”
  • Yours – don’t choose a set of boundaries simply because someone else is doing it. We’ve all fallen for it. A friend shares how she’s dropped a ridiculous amount of weight doing such and such… so naturally, we think the diet must be the answer. This is not a “one size fits all” type of thing. Sometimes we have to swim against the current, and that’s ok. If I “own” my boundaries I’ll be less likely to be swayed by every mention of every diet out there.

 Start by writing out what you need from a set of boundaries and then find some plans that meet those requirements. Next, write your boundaries on a separate sheet of paper. Make sure they meet the list above.

On the same piece of paper, list all the reasons you love these boundaries. That’s right, I want you to love your boundaries… not the same way you love God or your family of course. That would be silly.

Now you’re ready to begin living and moving and “being” within these boundary lines.

Week 3 – we’re going to continue building the habit to renew our minds for at least 15 minutes per day beginning with confession of sins and the “who I am in Christ” mirror exercise. Finish up your 15 minutes with any method you wish focusing on renewing your mind about your body (boundaries). I’m going to suggest the chapter on “Overcoming Pride” from Beth Moore’s Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free From Spiritual Strongholds and the “Lies that Make You Eat” section of I Deserve a Donut by Barb Raveling (particularly the “I’ll Start Tomorrow” questions/verses).

For “day by day” suggestions, join the Taste For Truth Support Group and download the PDF.

_______________________________________________________________________
Weekly Challenge Check-in:
Renewed my mind for at least 15 minutes every day last week.
I’m up 1 the second week 🙂

_______________________________________________________________________

SSMT 2017: Verse #2

It’s already the 15th of January and that means it’s time for a new verse! If you aren’t sure what “SSMT” is, just check out Beth Moore’s post for more information.

I’ve already posted my second verse over at Beth’s Blog and now I’m adding it here 🙂 I’m choosing Hebrews 13:5 because one of my themes lately has been “learning contentment”. Since I have financial goals I hope to reach this year, I thought it seemed appropriate to choose a verse which marries money and contentment.

As I mentioned in my “verse #1 post“,  I plan to decorate each index card. Here’s the one for January 15th:

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RYM 12 Week Challenge: Week 2

It is time to move to week 2 of our “Renewing the Mind Intensive” Challenge. Those who are following along, I hope you’ve enjoyed renewing your mind for at least 15 minutes a day. I pray you’re also feeling lighter by getting those unconfessed sins out of your way.

This week we are going to focus on our “soul”. Beth Moore says “the soul represents the seat of our emotions and our personality.[1]”

If you’re an emotional eater, you know what that does to you. When our emotions drive us, we’re probably going to be in trouble. In the past, I’ve been one to eat no matter what emotion I’m experiencing. Also, I believed for a long time, this was out of my control.

You know the old Lays potato chip commercial with the tagline “no one can eat just one?” (WARNING, the link contains a potato chip commercial designed to make you want potato chips so don’t view it if you think it might trigger a potato chip binge) Well, I fell for this about a lot of things. I believed I couldn’t resist that temptation. Partly because my desire to eat those things was driven by an attempt to stuff down my emotions, and partly because I believed this was just “who I was”… my personality.

While my personality makes me “uniquely me” , what I believe about my personality plays a pivotal role in my eating habits too. If I believe myself to be a “chocoholic” or a “sugar addict” or the family “garbage disposal”… guess what I will act upon? That’s right.

Every personality trait has a positive and negative side side. Someone who is passionate can use that passion for good, or it can get them into a lot of trouble. Unfortunately, we often live out the negative aspects more than the positive. As we grow up, we are labeled along the way (whether intentional or not) based on our personality or how we process emotions (such as “You’re too sensitive” or “You were born old” or “you are totally out of control”). Perhaps we are still acting on those labels to this day.

When we believe these things about ourselves, our views become warped and, if we know Christ as Savior, we are acting on false information. Unfortunately, most believers keep these labels even after Christ has set them free.

It’s been said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. So, every morning this week we’re going to speak the truth about who we are in Christ, directly to our souls.

Below you’ll find a short list, but I encourage you to look up more verses about your true identity. A google search will return countless references. Next, write down the three “In Christ I am…” statements you struggle with believing the most. One look at your behavior with food/weight/body image should be a clue as to which ones you aren’t believing.

I realize you may have more than three (I certainly do), but we’re going to begin with just three for now. Place this list on your bathroom mirror (or nearby). Every morning, we’re going to say them in the mirror. That’s right, look yourself in the eye. It will probably feel very awkward at first. In fact, everything in you may scream, “this isn’t true!”

My friend, if God says this is who you are in Christ, it is most certainly true. You may not be living it out at this point, but it is the truth. So, let’s get started!

In Christ…

I am wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)
I am God’s child (John 1:12)
I am forgiven (Colossians 2:13)
I am loved (1 Peter 1:5)
I am not condemned (Romans 8:1-2)
I am set free (Romans 8:1-2)
I am light in the darkness (Matthew 5:14)
I am protected (1 John 5:18)
I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37)
I am a victor (1 John 5:4)
I am healed by his stripes (Isaiah 53:6)
I am God’s beloved (Romans 1:7 and 2 Thessalonians 2:13)
I am God’s temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:16)
I am able to do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13)
I am able to defeat the enemy (Revelations 12:11)
I am never separated from God’s love (Romans 8:35-39)
I am secure (John 10:28-29)

Week 2 – we’re going to continue building the habit to renew our minds for at least 15 minutes per day beginning with confession of sins and the “who I am in Christ” mirror exercise. Finish up your 15 minutes with any method you wish focusing on renewing your mind about your soul (emotions/personality). I’m going to suggest the chapter on “Overcoming Unbelief” from Beth Moore’s Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free From Spiritual Strongholds and the “Emotions” section of I Deserve a Donut by Barb Raveling.

For “day by day” suggestions, join the Taste For Truth Support Group and download the PDF.

_______________________________________________________________________
Weekly Challenge Check-in:
Renewed my mind for at least 15 minutes every day last week.
I’m Down 5 the first week 🙂

_______________________________________________________________________

[1] Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free From Spiritual Strongholds, Beth Moore, page 149

RYM 12 Week Challenge: Week 1

Today marks the start of the first week in a 12 week journey I am calling a “Renewing the Mind Intensive”. Members of the Taste For Truth Support Group have copies of the PDF version, but I do intend to share a bit out here for those wishing to follow along.

The first week, we are focusing on renewing our minds in regard to our spirits. So often we are ruled by our soul (emotions/personality) or our bodies (fleshly dwelling), but obviously this causes us a bit of trouble. If you’ve ever eaten for emotional reasons or been driven by physical cravings, you know what I mean.

As children of God, we don’t need to be ruled by those things, but rather have power through the Holy Spirit dwelling within us to behave differently. We will address this more and more in the coming weeks, but this first week, we are going to focus on:

  • Spending 15 minutes a day renewing our minds.

We want to build a habit one step at a time. Whether you already know about renewing your mind or not, I’m going to ask you to begin your daily appointment with a time of confessing any unconfessed sin. Confession of sin isn’t for God’s benefit, it is for our own. When we agree with God about the sin in our lives we are better able to let go of those behaviors.

So, I’m asking you to get alone with God and ask Him if there is any unconfessed sin in your life. When He brings things to mind, write them down. Remember, God’s voice will be one of loving correction so if a voice of condemnation floods your mind, you’ll need to filter that through God’s truth. The difference might be:

  • Loving Correction: Jules, the way you spoke to your husband last night was hateful.
  • Condemnation: There you go again, you are such a hateful person. I can’t believe your husband puts up with you.

If you are a child of God, there is no condemnation, so really think about which voice you’re listening to. As you write each sin, humbly ask God’s forgiveness and ask Him to help you avoid making that mistake in the future. This doesn’t mean you’ll never mess up again, but your heart will be one of humility and this will alter how you view God and even how you interact with others.

As we go through this journey, it would be a shame to trade in our overeater identity with one of self-righteous pride. We will not be perfect this side of heaven and it is necessary to continually remind ourselves just how much we need God.

When you’re finished with your list and talking it over with God, tear it up, shred it, burn it… destroy it in some way. It is finished and you are forgiven. The Bible says that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us and that He remembers them no more. By destroying the paper, you are agreeing to let go of those sins. You are symbolically forgiving yourself as well.

If the enemy… you know, that condemning voice… tries to beat you up with that sin again, stop, rebuke the enemy in Jesus’ name, and then turn that sin back over to God.

Use the rest of your 15 minutes to focus on who God is and what He can do. A great resource is Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore. I would suggest starting with the Chapter on “Overcoming Idolatry”. In the PDF, found only at the facebook group, you will find day by day suggestions for renewing your mind in regard to your spirit.

And that’s it for week 1…. 15 minutes renewing your mind beginning with confession of sins.

SSMT 2017: Verse #1

Sweet Fancy Moses! It’s a new year! I’m really looking forward to setting and achieving the goal of memorizing 24 verses/passages again in 2017! It’s not too late to join in, just head on over the Beth’s Blog for more information.

Today I’m posting the scripture I’ve chosen for January 1-14th. It is 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24. We’re also using this passage as the basis for a 12 week renewing the mind challenge at the Taste For Truth Support Group. When I was considering which verse(s) to memorize first, this just seemed like a natural choice.

As part of the memorization process, I plan to decorate each index card. I’ve already started on this one:

Coloring, drawing, or even exercising while I practice scripture seems to help me memorize it quicker. I really don’t know why, but I’m sure there has been some scientific study to explain it… or maybe I’m just weird, which is highly possible.

Speaking of goals, I’ve been making a list of personal achievements for 2017. I’m still not finished with it because I’m using a combination of Zig Ziglar and Dave Ramsey tips for goal setting. This is a tedious process, but I think it will help me focus in the coming months on what is truly important.

Obviously, one of those goals is to end the year with 24 newly memorized verses/passages. I’d also like to go to the end of year SSMT celebration (which is part of my financial goals).

May your 2017 be filled with all manner of blessings!

UPDATE: Finished card…

Siesta Scripture Memory Team 2017

It’s that time again! I am so excited to have the opportunity to participate in this wonderful challenge with Beth Moore, her gorgeous staff, and all my fellow “siestas”. It is such a blessing that LPM takes this on every other year. This will be my second year joining the team and I’m ready to go!20161221_071209-2

I tried to make my spiral last week when Beth’s blog post first came out, but my printer is behaving very badly…not a surprise. I was going to go ahead and use the image it spit out, but I just didn’t like it.

I considered ordering one from LPM, but I’m really trying to be more frugal these days. Part of me felt like I should just use the icky one to save the money. I mean, I already had the spiral (left-over from the 2-pack I bought in 2015). I would only be out one sheet of cardstock and a bit of ink. Plus, was it my pride keeping me from using it?

Ugh, so much grappling over something so silly! I finally decided I would use some of my personal “blow money” (thank you, Dave Ramsey) and have it printed at Staples.

I use them a lot for printing scripts and our Christmas cards because my printer usually flakes out during big jobs. I would end up losing my temper with the machine and screaming insults at it, so the husband forbade me from using it on large and/or important stuff (smart man).

Of course, now it is even choking on the small stuff. We can’t afford to replace it just yet (“living like no one else”… thanks again, Dave). Needless to say, I’m getting a lot of practice renewing my mind about things outside my control. Ha!

Anyway, I dropped by Staples while the kids were at their orthodontist appointment yesterday. I was going to use the self-serve printer but the guy behind the counter said it wouldn’t take card-stock. He offered to print it for me and I thought, “How much extra will I be charged for that?”

When it was all done, I pulled out my wallet to pay and he said, “It’s under a buck, don’t worry about it.”

“Are you serious?”

“Yep, have a nice day!”

I proceeded to thank him profusely and wished him a Merry Christmas!

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Every time I look at the cover of my spiral, I’ll be reminded of God’s provision. I got to keep my “blow money” and I got a pretty spiral. I feel so special.

Now, I’ve just got to decide what my first verse will be…

TFT Support Group Hosting 2017 Challenge!

Alrighty gorgeous people! I’m throwing out the big “C” word in the hopes someone will join me on a quest to building (or solidifying) a renewing of the mind habit. Not sure what “renewing the mind” is? That’s ok, check out this post.

Already got it? Great, let’s continue…

Three weeks from today, the Taste For Truth Support Group*  (on Facebook), will be hosting a twelve week long cHaLLeNgE to inspire us to renew our minds to the mind of Christ in the New Year. The focus will be tri-fold and will be based on this passage of scripture:

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NIV, view other versions)

We will renew our minds concerning the three parts of every human: spirit, soul, and body during the 84 days. The assignments will be geared toward pouring in God’s truth and will build as we go along.

Participants will need:

  • A Bible
  • I Deserve a Donut (book or app) by Barb Raveling
  • Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore
  • a Journal (any kind that suits your fancy)
  • loose-leaf paper or small spiral notebook
  • pens, pencils, highlighters (more on this later)
  • food boundaries (more information), if you don’t have this by the start date, don’t let that stop you from joining!
  • a scale (or access to one) if you plan to participate in the weekly weigh ins (optional)
  • access to a printer (for printing the worksheets)**

You can ride along (to some extent) just by following this blog, but if you want access to the PDF files once the challenge starts, you’ll need to join the TFTSG.

To add “community” and accountability to your challenge, pop on over to the TFTSG and/or comment regularly here at Brick by Brick.

So what is the official start date? January 6, 2017  That’s right, we’re kicking this off on a Friday. Why? Because our weekly weigh ins at the TFTSG will be on Fridays and to break us out of the whole, “Oh, I’ll start over on Monday” mentality. Of course, I’ll be posting more information here and on the support group before then.

If you are already a member of the TFTSG, do NOT use this upcoming challenge as an excuse to ignore renewing your mind and/or blow your boundaries for the next three weeks! Stay the course, my friends!

If you have come across this post after our start date, that is perfectly fine. Just begin as soon as you can.

* The TFT Support Group is named after Barb Raveling‘s book by the same name.
** Available only on the TFTSG.

 

Taste For Truth – Online Class Starting May 9th

The current group at “Taste For Truth Online Class” is nearing the end of the study and I’ve decided to continue. I am changing the name to “Taste for Truth Support Group” and will start back through the study again beginning May 9th.

This group (based on Barb Raveling‘s book) is a place where you can hold yourself and others accountable to building a habit of renewing our minds to the mind of Christ, taking our thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ, and living happily within our food boundaries.

51n8CMGHsmL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Building a renewing of the mind habit isn’t easy, but it is so worth it. No matter how your journey is going, we want to walk it with you. Here’s the information if you’d like to join in:

What: Taste For Truth Study
When: May 9th – June 30th
Where: https://www.facebook.com/groups/163532310695887/
Supplies: Taste for Truth; I Deserve a Donut (book or app); Praying God’s Word, a Journal (any kind)

 

 

renew your mind. transform your life.

I’ve been mulling over some ideas for a 2016 challenge. I want to focus on continuing to build the habit of renewing my mind to the mind of Christ about food/boundaries/weight…etc.

So, I decided to document proof that renewing the mind transforms the body… starting today.

Yes, I realize it’s November 30th… and that means we haven’t entered 2016 yet. Lord willing, 2016 will arrive right on time and I’ll already be a month into this venture.

The main focus of this challenge is to renew my mind daily in regard to my food boundaries, body image, weight, and other related topics as needed (ie. if I don’t want to exercise).

I can’t afford to “reward” myself the amount of money it would take to truly motivate me to stick to my boundaries, so I’m working on a method to visually display my progress. Besides, if The Biggest Loser has taught us anything, it’s that winning a bunch of money doesn’t keep the weight off. We’ve got to renew our minds.Butterfly_Beauty

For tracking purposes, I’ve broken the areas of attention into two categories: Spiritual and Physical.

Spiritual

Obviously this part directly pertains to renewing my mind to the mind of Christ. This will be daily (that’s the goal anyway) one on one time with God to deal with the lies and replace them with His Truth.

Now, although I intend to be proactive about this by having at least one block of time set aside each day, I may also need to renew my mind passively and reactively as well.

Passive could be through listening to music that edifies God and/or reminds me who I am in Christ while accomplishing other tasks.

Reactive could be writing out questions and answers from I Deserve a Donut when I break, or wanting to break, my boundaries. It could also be praying, reciting scripture, and truth journalling (see my series on this topic).

Physical

This part will have three sub-parts. The first will be keeping my food boundaries.

The second will be physical activity. No time or exertion requirements. If I feel it was “exercise” then it count.

And the third has to do with my physical home. I want to develop a habit of spending 15 minutes a day decluttering some area of my house. I plan to start with my office (files, drawers, shelves… everything).

Again, I’m still working on ideas for a visual demonstration of progress. I don’t want my sole progress indicator to be the scale (or even measurements). However I choose to chart the things I can do, will serve to show me that I am doing something even if it’s just renewing my mind that day. The results (like releasing weight) are God’s responsibility.

Posting Updates

Since this is a year long challenge, I will not be posting daily. Can you imagine how tedious that would be? I can. The most I will commit to is a monthly update which should post on the last day of each month.

Obviously I’ll share the details of how renewing my mind is working, but I’ll also reveal scale changes, my exercise log, and anything else I feel like sharing. I truly believe God when He tells us we are transformed by the renewing of our minds and I hope God proves it to you through this process.

No pressure, right? (Smile) Well, thankfully…

  • God is Who He says He is
  • God can do what He says He can do
  • I am who God says I am
  • I can do all things through Christ
  • God’s Word is alive and active in me (~Beth Moore)

Amen!