God is Waiting

New Life Ministries

Each one of us has been manipulated by our sexual culture; each of us has made choices to sin. To varying degrees, each of us became ensnared by these choices, but we can overcome this affliction. Far too often, however, we ignore our own responsibility in this. We complain, ‘Well, of course I want to be free from impurity! I’ve been to the altar 433 times about it haven’t I? It just doesn’t seem to be God’s will to free me.’

Not God’s will? That’s an offense to the character of God. Don’t blame God.

God’s will is for you to have sexual purity, though you may not think so since this hasn’t been your constant experience. But He has made a provision for that purity. Listen to these scriptures:


Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that
you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body
to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves
to God, as those who have been brought from death to life;
and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of
righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you
are not under law, but under grace.
Romans 6:11-14

You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
Romans 6:18

God is waiting for you. But He is not waiting by the altar, hoping you’ll drop by and talk for a while. He is waiting for you to rise up and engage in the battle. We have power through the Lord to overcome every level of sexual immorality, but if we don’t utilize that power, we’ll never break free of the habit.

You see, sexual impurity isn’t like a tumor growing out of control inside us. We treat it that way when our prayers focus on deliverance, as we plead for someone to come remove it. Actually, sexual impurity is a series of bad decisions on our part ‘ a result of immature character ‘ and deliverance won’t deliver you into instant maturity. Character work needs to be done.

Holiness is not some nebulous thing. It’s a series of right choices. You needn’t wait for some holy cloud to form around you. You’ll be holy when you choose not to sin. You’re already free from the power of sexual immorality; you are not yet free from the habit of sexual immorality, until you choose to be ‘ until you say, ‘That’s enough! I’m choosing to live purely!’

What’s the first step? Attend Every Man\’s Battle.

About New Year's Resolutions

Susan Eppley

I’d like to share some statistics with you.

50 percent of adults make a New Year’s Resolution

70 percent of these resolutions are health related (primarily weight loss, increased exercise and smoking cessation)

55 percent keep their resolutions less than 1 week

40 percent keep their resolutions less than 1 month

19 percent keep their resolutions less than 2 years.

All of this is because someone decided that the new year was a good time for turning over a ‘new leaf.’ The Babylonians over 4000 years ago held a belief that what a person does on the first day of the new year (though theirs was in March when crops were planted) would have an effect throughout the year. The Roman god, Janus, for whom the month of January is named was the god of new beginnings. Thought was that a new beginning of thinking and behavior was appropriate at the start of that month.

The statistics above are not good enough for me, and I don’t think they are good enough for YOU! I would go so far as to say that making a New Year’s resolution is a BAD idea! Why set yourself up for possible failure and the subsequent feelings of guilt, shame, etc.? You’ve had enough of that already!

***********************************
Go BOLDLY
into the New Year
confident that with
God ALL things are POSSIBLE!

***********************************

We at Lose It For Life do not believe that weight loss should take a ‘Make- A- New- Year’s- Resolution- And- Hope’ approach. Our philosophy is to be both more realistic and gentle with ourselves. It involves a methodical commitment and loving support system. It isn’t just January 1 that is special. Each day is special!! Each day we ask God for the strength to go through the day and to honor our commitment to ourselves for that day. At the end of the day we give thanks for what we have been able to accomplish no matter how imperfect.

So this year as you watch the ball drop onto Times Square, celebrate with family and friends or party hardy, forget that resolution! Instead go boldly into the New Year confident that with God all things are possible.

Do make a commitment:

‘ A commitment to be gentle with yourself

‘ To connect with others

‘ To give yourself the gift of time
‘ To forgive your past and others
‘ To renew your faith and

‘ To speak the truth

Our very best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!!!

The New Life Weekend offers several groups to encourage and promote healing. We hope you’ll join us at our next weekend.

Making The Leap To Relationship

John Townsend

Over and over again, research in weight control has proven what the
Bible has taught about the necessity of having a community of support: ‘Two
are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If
one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!’
(Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

People who have sustaining, supportive relationships tend to lose more weight, and keep it off for longer periods, than those who don’t. We were not built or designed to be alone. This reality manifest itself particularly in weight control, as it involves discipline, deprivation, and changing habits, all at one time and all stressful. When we are in these straits, we need the comfort and encouragement of relationship to see us through.

*******************************
People who have
SUSTAINING, SUPPORTIVE RELATIONSHIPS
tend to lose more weight!

********************************

So ask your friends to support and encourage you as you seek God’s way for you in the area of weight control. Yet choose your friends well. What do you look for?

‘ Look for those who incorporate both emotional presence and honesty.

‘ Look for those who are safe.

‘ Look for those who are compassionate and loving.

‘ Look for those who will confront you when needed.

‘ Avoid people who are one extreme or the other.

Those who are loving but afraid to be truthful will keep you in comfort and won’t challenge you to grow in those areas where you need growth. Those who are not very warm but are honest will make you feel condemned or beat up, which may produce good initial results, but, as the law always does, will fail over time.

***********************************
The more KNOWN we are
The more HEALED we become!

***********************************

It’s essential that you bring more of your life into these relationships than just your weight. Be vulnerable, and confess your inadequacies to these safe people, that you might be healed (James 5:16). Bring in your weaknesses, sins, relationships, and fears. Be known. The more known we are, the more healed we become.

The New Life Weekend has groups to encourage and provide healing in your life. Join us at our next weekend!

Our Divided Hearts

Excerpted from “Every Man Ministries” by Kenny Luck

Walt Disney’s cast of animated characters is well known ‘ or, dare I say, burned into our childhood and adult psyches. The all-time favorite in our home (as well as Disney’s all-time box-office champion) is The Lion King. By proxy, I have watched this story of Simba, the little lion who would be king, at least a million times. But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I caught on to the powerful theme beating at the center of the story. It’s a theme that vividly illustrates my spiritual journey and battles, and perhaps yours as well.

Simba, born the son of a lion king named Mufasa, revels in his identity and the future possibilities of royalty. As the song goes, he ‘just can’t wait to be king!’ But when envious Uncle Scar engineers Mufasa’s death and blames it on Simba, the young lion is deceived into thinking that he must leave the kingdom and never return. In exile, lonely and ashamed, he is befriended by Pumba, a big-hearted warthog, and Timon, a manic meerkat.

Simba finds a new family, a new home, and a new way of thinking ‘ all of which help him disguise his past and his true identity.

We are more
than what
we have become!

But while Simba assembles the trappings of a new identity, his true self dogs him, prompting deep conflicts within his heart. In an awkward but telling moment, he denies this father, and in turning his back on his father, Simba denies his true identity. The charade eats away at him until this encounter with a wise, prophetlike baboon named Rafiki:

Simba: Stop following me. Who are you?

Rafiki:
The question is, Who are you?

Simba:
I thought I knew, but now I am not so sure.

Rafiki:
Well, I know who you are.

Simba:
I think you’re a little confused.

Rafiki:
Wrong! I am not the one who is confused. You don’t even know who you are.

Simba (walking away): Oh, and I suppose you do?
Rafiki: You’re Mufasa’s boy!

Simba’s jukebox has been unplugged. Eager yet afraid to reclaim his identity, Simba follows Rafiki through a dark jungle that leads to a water’s edge. Peering into the water, Rafiki helps Simba take a long, hard look. As the young but maturing lion stares at his own reflection, he sees the face of his father, Mufasa, overtake his image.

‘You see’he lives in you,’ says Rafiki with great wisdom.

We are caught between
divided loyalties and competing identities
which cause conflicting angst.

It’s at this pivotal moment that Simba’s father comes in a cloud and speaks into his son’s confusion (voiced by James Earl Jones at his deepest and best).

Mufasa: Simba!

Simba: Father?

Mufasa: Simba, you have forgotten me.

Simba:
No. How could I?

Mufasa:
You have forgotten who you are and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become.

Mufasa nails the general feeling that grings away at most Christian men. We are more than what we have become. We, too, are caught between divided loyalties and competing identities ‘ real ones and false ones ‘ which cause conflicting angst. Like Simba, our time for talking has passed because God is finished listening to the reasons why we can’t move forward. Our divided hearts must be confronted, or as Psalm 86:11 calls out, ‘Give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.’

Need help reclaiming your true identity? Join us at our next Every Man\’s Battle workshop.

Discovering the Steps to Overcome

Henry Cloud

“The Way Out!”, my last article. It’s a continuation of Jeri’s story, a woman who had been enslaved to binge eating for a long time. For Jeri, the way out was through connection to God and to a buddy; to talk things out rather than using food to make herself feel better.

As Jeri continued to work on things, she began to get in touch with other dynamics that were driving her eating. She had a lot of fear of getting close to men because of abuse that she had suffered. She had subconsciously gained a lot of weight as a way of keeping men safely at a distance. She gradually became aware of things that triggered her desire to eat, and she had to learn how to express that pain instead of ‘eating it away.’

Learn to express the pain Instead of “eating it away!”

In time she came to understand that she had some character flaws as well. She was not as honest as she thought she was. She was indirect with people and then held grudges and bitterness toward them instead of talking things out directly, offering forgiveness, and resolving conflict. She had always been a ‘nice’ person, but that niceness was covering a lot of anger and resentment, and her true feelings would come out as she would talk about people behind their backs. She had to learn to repent of that kind of indirect, hurtful behavior and to offer forgiveness and resolve conflict.

Jeri went back to school and started a new business, which became successful. She was soon hired as a consultant and was really thrilled that she was able to exercise her gifts and talents, overcoming a longstanding belief that she was ‘stupid’ and unable to do anything significant. Now ‘significant’ people were paying her to help them.

One more thing. Jeri lost half of her weight ‘ and I do not mean half of her goal weight or half of the weight that she was supposed to lose. No, I mean literally half of her body weight. She went from 300 to 150 pounds. This was not as a result of a ‘diet.’ She lost the weight as a result of getting reconnected to God and his life.

The following steps map the path that Jeri took and that God describes:

  • She got to the end of herself, the end of her own strength, admitting her powerlessness.
  • She found strength in reaching out to God.
  • She found strength in reaching out to God’s people.
  • She overcame the aloneness and isolation through learning how to be vulnerable and to connect with others ‘ this healed the pain that her eating was serving to medicate.
  • She grew in her character, learning how to be honest, to be responsible, and to set good boundaries with others instead of being so passive and powerless.
  • She grieved a lot of hurt.
  • She forgave a lot of people and gave up a lot of bitterness.
  • She developed her talents, reached out, took some risks, and grew a life of work and service.
  • She learned to pray at a more realistic, deeper, and more dependent level.
  • She began to study the Bible in a different way, not as religious obligation but as the place to find the wisdom that was healing her.
  • She learned new interpersonal skills for building better relationships.
  • She worked out conflicts with people, asked for forgiveness, and made amends.
  • She learned to reach out to people at the critical times when she needed help.
  • She lost the weight.
    Through spiritual growth, her addiction was overcome.

Do you need some life transforming help like Jeri? Join us at our next New Life Weekend.

The Greatest Gifts

Dave Boyle

Well, here we are at another Christmas season. On Thursday you’ll be watching as friends and family unwrap presents that you have purchased for them. If you could give any gift this year to your wife, your kids, your parents, or your friends, what would it be? Some of you may have thought about material goods, but I’m thinking more about non-materials things here. I’m thinking about lasting changes in me that will go on for eternity. What are the gifts you’ll be giving this Christmas season?

How about giving your wife the gift of emotional intimacy? This could look a lot of ways, but one way it looks is to sit down with her a couple times a week in the new year and read together. You may want to read out of God’s Word. You may want to read Every Woman’s Desire together, or the new book Every Woman’s Battle. Or, you may want to set aside a time where the two of you sit with each other and just share your feelings with each other. Gaining intimacy is as much about being known, as it is knowing. And it’s about letting other people affect you. These are just two ways of sharing emotional intimacy with your wives, there are many others. Giving your wife the gift of emotional intimacy will be a present that will last, throughout your marriage and throughout eternity.

Give a GIFT
that will last FOREVER
this Christmas!

How about giving your accountability partner the gift of honesty? Be there for him while he is sharing with you. Let him know that you are concerned for his needs and his sobriety. And be honest with him. Don’t hold back feedback that may be hurtful at the time, but will be good in the long run. Love him enough to tell him the truth. But how about if I don’t have an accountability partner? Get one! There are guys in your church, or guys in your area who have been to EMB, that need to be in relationship with you, and you with them. Call 1-800-NEW-LIFE to make a connection. You can’t win this battle alone.

How about giving your kids the gift of time? They would rather have that than any material gift you could give them. It may mean going to their ball game when you’d rather stay home and work on a project or watch something on TV. It may mean helping them with their homework when every part of you just wants to go to bed. But love is actually spelled T-I-M-E, and that is the best gift you could give your kids this Christmas season.

If they’re not already there, please add emotional intimacy, honesty and time to your Christmas list this year. It will heap huge rewards for you in coming years!

Have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

Road Trip to Fitness

Julie Davis

Imagine that you are about to embark on a long road trip across
country. Do you just jump in the car and take off? No! You plan your
trip and pack accordingly to make sure you arrive at your chosen
destinations timely and safely. First, you get out the map and travel
books and plan your trip, including stops for food, rest and fun.

Second, have realistic expectations about where you’re going and what you are doing. For example, if you are headed over the Colorado Rockies during the winter, you can expect to run into to heavy snow. Finally, based on what you can expect about your trip you pack accordingly to ensure comfort and safety. You bring a road repair kit, snow chains, appropriate clothing and entertainment.


***********************************

If you don’t map out your journey,
You will never reach your destination!!
***********************************

When you embark on a road trip to fitness, the same steps apply. First, plan your trip: map out realistic short term and long term goals and connect them with structured activities that help you reach your destinations. If you don’t map out your journey, you will never reach your destination! Next, have realistic expectations about yourself and the fitness trip you have embarked on. Do you procrastinate? Do you get bored? Do you get injured easily? Do you move easier in the mornings? Do you have medical considerations? Do you quit when the going gets tough? Know what you can expect about yourself based on what you know to be true from past experience. This is based on reality, not fantasy! Take a honest look at past fitness journeys: what went right, what went wrong. Finally, once you have mapped out your fitness journey and have realistic expectations, ‘pack your bags’ with whatever is necessary to ensure that you reach your destinations. Join a support group, get a personal trainer, add variety to your fitness routine, get medical advice, find a friend to join you on your fitness journey.


***********************************

If you have unrealistic expectations,
You will get stuck and frustrated!
***********************************

If you take off on a road trip without planning, you will never reach your destination! If you plan, but have unrealistic expectations and/or don’t pack appropriately, you will get stuck and frustrated. If you don’t have the tools to ensure a comfortable and safe journey, you will probably never reach your fitness goals. So, take the time to plan your journey, consider what you can expect, and prepare accordingly, and you will have a much better chance at arriving at your fitness goals in a safe and timely manner.

The Other Side of 'The Father Wound'

Joe Dallas

Much has been said, in recovery circles, about the ‘Father Wound’ ‘ that is, the effect a poor relationship with Dad can have on a man’s future. On the one hand, I can say without hesitation it’s all true. If there is one single element I’ve found in common among the men I’ve counseled, it’s the proverbial ‘Father Wound.’ And yet, now that I’m facing the challenges inherent in fathering a son, I’m painfully aware of the other side of the story.

It was so easy, sixteen years ago when I married my wife and inherited a stepson, to talk about what fathers should or shouldn’t be. I was new to the game, the proud step-father of a lovably energetic five year old boy. Huge mistakes, mostly mine, hadn’t yet been made. His adolescence was years off, so our days were playful and I was his hero, snatching him up after school for bowling, football games and junk food. No wonder it was so easy for me to look critically at older fathers. I was determined never to become one.

Since then, the boy I loved has become the man who’s forgiven me. We jumped into the power struggles and mutual rage every father/son relationship is doomed to, and I careened from rigid strictness to cold fury to indifference, depending on which battle we were fighting. We weathered some tough years, re-bonded, and today I couldn’t be prouder of him, or of us, when I see the outcome.

Dad is that enormous figure
assigned to us
who will probably, for better or worse,
affect us more profoundly
than anyone else in life!

But happy ending or not, I know there are things I said and did to him that were damaging, and can’t be undone. To some degree, they’ll affect him and the way he sees life and people. So like all sons, he could write his own book, delivering a rather mixed report card to the old man. I know, too, that what I didn’t say or do, and should have said or done, can’t be compensated for. In short, I understand more than ever how difficulties between fathers and sons come about.

And more than ever, while I stress the need to examine our wounds and deal with whatever anger we may have towards Dad, I also see and stress the need for a forgiving heart.

There’s a time for anger, and I’ll wager you’ve been reluctant to recognize, much less legitimize, yours. I remember too well the first time I admitted to myself how enraged I was with my own father, and how blasphemous and childish I felt. But it was a crucial beginning. Dad is that enormous figure assigned to us who will probably, for better or worse, affect us more profoundly than anyone else in life. So your relationship with him may well play into what you’re dealing with now, including your anger. ‘Be angry, and sin not’, Paul advised. (Ephesians 4:26) It’s allowed. If you were wronged, you were hurt; if you were hurt, your anger is justified. So let it come.


Then, in due time, let it go. Because as surely as you need to express and resolve your anger, there’ll be someone else, someday, who’ll need to do the same with his anger towards you. And you, like all of us, are subject to the laws of sowing and reaping.

Be sure to sow forgiveness while you can. You will, unquestionably, be grateful it’s there to reap when you need it.

For help with forgiveness and anger please join us at our next New Life Weekend.

The Night Before Christmas: A Dieter's Style

Twas the night before Christmas and all around my hips

Were Fannie May candies that sneaked past my lips

Fudge brownies were stored in the freezer with care

In hopes that my thighs would forget they were there

While Mama in her girdle and I in chin straps

Had just settled down to sugar-borne naps

When out in the pantry there arose such a clatter

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter

Away to the kitchen I flew like a flash

Tore open the icebox then threw up the sash

The marshmallow look of the new-fallen snow

Sent thoughts of a binge to my body below

When what to my wandering eyes should appear:

A marzipan Santa with eight chocolate reindeer!

That huge chunk of candy so luscious and slick

I knew in a second that I’d wind up sick

The sweet-coated Santa, those sugared reindeer

I closed my eyes tightly but still I could hear

On Pritikin, on Stillman, on weak one, on TOPS

A Weight Watcher dropout from sugar detox

From the top of the scales to the top of the hall

Now dash away pounds now dash away all

Dressed up in Lane Bryant from head to nightdress

My clothes were all bulging from too much excess

My droll little mouth and my round little belly

They shook when I laughed like a bowl full of jelly

I spoke not a word but went straight to my work

Ate all of the candy then turned with a jerk

And laying a finger beside my heartburn

I gave a quick nod toward the bedroom I turned

I eased into bed, to the heavens I cry

If temptation’s removed I’ll get thin by and by

And I mumbled again as I turned for the night
In the morning
I’ll starve”til I take that first bite!

10 Holiday Commandments

Debbie James

1. When I write the holiday newsletter and obligatory Christmas cards, I shall remember to do 3 sets of touch’ squeezes.
(The key is 3 sets of 20 per 1/2 hour of sitting). I shall remind
myself that the roasted chestnuts around an open fire are good for
ones’ health but shall only be consumed in small handful amounts. I
shall think practical when eating, and remember that 1 lb. of goodies = 1 lb. of body fat.

2. Yea, though I walk through the mall gathering trinkets and treasures for loved ones, I shall not ride any escalator or elevator. I shall use only stairs in the malls, office and at home. I shall remember that burning approximately 200 calories per hour of shopping = 2 moderate size cookies. I shall remember to do the math.

3. When I bake the holiday goodies, I shall treat myself to only the slightly burnt ones that I would be embarrassed to give others. I shall try to understand that I will probably gain a couple of extra pounds over the holidays. It is the way of all flesh. I shall remind myself to get over it!!!

4. When I deck the halls and trim the trees, I shall try an exercise while I am placing one strand of tinsel at a time. (The key is to put the bunch on the floor and force oneself to do a ‘squat’ each time I bend down). In addition, while I am trimming the tree, I shall put on some upbeat Christian music and commit to trim while listening to one song and then dance to one song. I shall remember that active tree trimming is good for waist trimming.

5. When I am attending any Holiday gathering I shall remind myself to eat a small, well balanced meal before I attend. I shall remember that this will make my eyes not so big to consume every thing in sight. I shall remember to be careful not to be on a ‘See-food’ diet during the month of December. I shall also remember that circulating at the gathering with lots of festive and wisdom-filled conversation burns calories more than sitting around does.

6. When my child’s school or church gears up for another bake or craft sale, I shall agree to bring a craft instead of goodies. If I must consider donuts, I shall remember to eat only the holes.

7. When I am sitting down to do my holiday gift wrapping this year, I shall remember to consider doing this task standing up at the kitchen table or counter. By placing the paper in a corner, tape in the other and bows in another, I shall force myself to rotate around the table and burn more calories by standing upright.

8. When I am participating in the neighborhood or church caroling group in this ‘winter wonderland’ season, I shall remember to deck myself in layers of clothes to force myself to sweat more. And I shall remember to not agree to any sleigh rides or other modes transportation from house to house.

9. I shall remember the importance of offering some of my time and talents to those who are less fortunate than I am. Whether I am serving food at a local shelter or church, chasing ‘tiny tots’ around in the church Christmas production or choosing to gather unwanted items to distribute to those in need, I shall remind myself that I may be burning the calories but the best blessing shall be to those who receive.

10. I shall remember to forgive myself for not completing the first nine commandments. I shall remember that the best exercise is to take both hands and push myself away from the table. I shall remember to be kind to myself and know only God knows if I’ve been truly naughty or nice this year.