God's Emergency Phone Numbers

New Life Ministries

When in sorrow – Call John 14

When people let you down – Call Psalm 27

If you want to be effective – Call John 15

When you have sinned – Call Psalm 51

When you worry – Call Matthew 6:19-34

When you are in danger – Call Psalm 91

When God seems far away – Call Psalm 139

When your faith needs strength – Call Hebrews 11

When you are lonely – Call Psalm 23

When you grow bitter and critical – Call 1 Corinthians 13

The secret to happiness – Call Colossians 3:12-17

When you want peace and rest – Call Matthew 11:25-30

When you travel – Call Psalm 121

When your faith needs help – Call Psalm 66

When you want courage – Call Joshua 1

For harmony at church – Call Romans 12

If you are depressed – Call Psalm 27

If you are out of money – Call Psalm 37

If you feel angry – Call 1 Corinthians 13

If you need encouragement to read Scripture – Call Psalm 19

For dealing with fear – Call Psalm 34

For security – Call Psalm 121

For motivation – Call Mark 8:35

For wisdom – Call James 1:5

Also call on our daily devotionals New Life Every Day or New Life Bibles.

Five Fear Factors to Set You Free

Excerpted from the book Fear Less for Life by Steve Arterburn, Dr. Paul Meier & Dr. Robert Wise

Knowing the symptoms and some of the body’s reactions will help you become more realistic about your fears. In addition, you may need to take some important specific steps to subdue any fears of being out of control. When you recognize the icy fingers of fear digging into your shoulder, here are five practical strategies you can consider.

1. Face Your Fear
You need to open your locked closet and let the sunlight in. You can’t get well unless you confront the facts. The fear of your fear can sometimes be the biggest problem you face. Taking a peek into your dark attic can be one of your most important steps toward sound mental health.

2. Set Boundaries
Learn to say no! Drs. John Townsend and Henry Cloud wrote a book, Boundaries, that revolutionized practical Christianity. Their Boundaries series (Boundaries with Kids, Boundaries in Marriage) has helped millions of people both directly and indirectly. In the books the doctors make the point that everyone needs to set parameters. Creating limits keeps us out of the places where destructiveness happens. Learning to say no is one of the most important boundaries that will keep us out of harms way. Many people find this change to be a particularly difficult step because they have become conditioned to saying yes to every request. Refusing feels inconsiderate or impertinent. Consequently these victims go from problem to problem without realizing that they keep opening the door to their own difficulties. And the fear of disappointing someone controls them.

3. Consider Counseling
We must learn to face and resolve old losses and stresses. Often we need help in working through these unresolved issues. Don’t feel weak for needing help. Feel strong for asking for it. Scripture reminds us: Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed (Prov. 15:22 niv). Professional help can make all the difference in getting to the bottom of our fears.

4. Consider Medication
In the right combinations, medications work nearly 100 percent of the time. While most of the people who seek professional help are able to overcome their fears through counseling alone, many times panic-stricken patients need a physiological, chemical change that will enable them to resolve their fear-related issues. You must, however,see a good Christian counselor and not just expect a quick fix from taking a pill. People give many reasons for not considering medication. One of the central objections is that “I should be able to handle and resolve problems on my own.” Many fear-struck strugglers have gone to an early grave with that naive belief when in reality, God had a gift available for them. They only needed to humble themselves enough to take it.

5. Connect
We need to be connected to God and His people. Spending time with loving, grace-filled servants of God can soothe anyone’s fear. Unconditional love is healing and will help us maintain perspective. New hope and direction can come from establishing positive relationships with people to whom we can confess our fears. Sometimes we have missed the reasons why we feel so disconnected and alienated. Exploring the strained relationships of the past can cut these unhealthy ties. You may need to spend time looking at what destroyed your past relationships. Most important of all is to come into a new, intimate relationship with our heavenly Father. He’s the one who has the capacity and potential to restore our lives and is waiting to do so. A revived relationship with Jesus Christ can add the power and opportunity needed to reconnect with people and God – and to face fear. Remember that God’s gifts are power, love, and self-control. But you won’t experience them unless you work through all the reasons you have become disconnected from the Father. He is the ultimate, healing connection.

For more help see, Healing is a Choice.
Also please prayerfully consider joining our Fear and Anxiety group at our next New Life Weekend.

Super Sized Life!

Becky Brown

If you are beginning a weight loss program, or even beginning to notice
your changing waistline, you might notice how much food you are being
served as you go out to eat. This week a family restaurant began
advertising ‘Combo meals,’ consisting of two main entrees as part of
your dinner choice! Who really needs to eat that much food?

Some of us aren’t even aware of how very much we are ordering and then eating to be a part of the ‘clean plate club.” Do you know when to say ‘when’ at mealtimes? Do you recognize portions sizes, or is buffet just another option? A personal trainer said many people are not eating enough’of the right foods. You have heard it said ‘eat six small meals a day’ to maintain your metabolism. If you were to eat the amount of fruits and vegetables recommended on the food pyramid, you would feel full! What we do instead is fill up with empty calories and are not satisfied.

Then there is the issue of value. When you order a meal and it only costs a quarter more for the large portion, we figure we are getting more for our money. The reality is we are getting more, more calories, more food than we need, and more health issues! Is it really a value when we spend a quarter more for French fries over and over, then have to spend hundreds on health care needs?

As you begin to pay attention to portion sizes, how do you determine what is the ‘right’ size? In this age of super sizes, determining proper serving sizes and portion sizes can be challenging. Here are some useful tips to help simplify things:

  •   A 1 cup serving of carbohydrates, including fruit, vegetables, pasta or rice, is about the size of your fist
  •   One 3 ounce serving of protein, such as meat, fish or poultry, is equivalent to the size of a deck of playing cards or the palm or your hand.
  •   A 1 ounce serving of cheese is equal to the size of your thumb
  •   A 1 cup serving of milk, yogurt, or fresh greens is about the size of a tennis ball
  • Isn’t that amazing? Just becoming aware of the amount we are eating can change our approach to weight loss. It isn’t about deprivation as much as it is about paying attention to what is going into our bodies. When we say ‘super size,’ we need to remember that it includes our pant size! It doesn’t take long for the inches to increase as we increase our food intake.

    Some strategies to consider are; using smaller sized plates, splitting an entr’e (even if there is a minimal charge you save overall in price and calories!), don’t starve yourself only to overeat at mealtime, and try to maintain blood sugar levels. Practice maintaining a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates.

    Many times we fill ourselves with food because we feel emotionally empty. Food takes away the ‘empty’ feelings. Our life has been created by God to glorify him and to be in relationship with him. ‘Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well’ Matthew 6:33. We seek other things before God, including food, and we still come up ‘empty.’

     The truly ‘super sized life’ is one that God fills with His presence. We can practice better choice making when it comes to serving sizes, but we also can seek the One who truly fills our life with good things. Enjoy the super sized life of Christ in you! Fill your thoughts with his desires for your life. Serve Him in all your life and experience the satisfaction only He can give!

    For more help, please join our next Lose it For Life group at the New Life Weekend.

    Thoughts on Grief in Recovery

    Craig Boden

    ‘Thoughts on Grief in Recovery: grieving the relationship with sexual sin that was so familiar.’

    Perhaps you have grieved over the death of a family member or close friend. The time following a death is very painful and full of all sorts of emotions. Usually there is closure. There is a body’ people send flowers and bring food. Some may sit and talk with you as you reminisce the fond times you spent together. Some may laugh at the stories and some may cry with you. There is a funeral’ a gathering of loved ones who grieve their own relationship to the one who was lost. There is the burial, the cemetery, a stone marking the life span of the one who is now gone from your life. Born’died’ The recovery from your loss does not end at the cemetery. It continues for a long time.

    We all grieve in different ways. The depth and pain of our grief correlates with the level of attachment to the one we lost. The death of a neighbor down the street or someone at the office will not have the impact as the death of a parent, spouse or child. The extent of your grief over the loss of a pet is determined by the relationship you have with the pet. The closer you are to the one you lost, the greater the pain and work of the grief you bare.

    Have you considered the fact that someone does not have to die to initiate grief? We face loses daily. As I look into the mirror, I am reminded of the loss of my youth. The grey hair and wrinkles in my face are tell-tell signs that youth has passed. Not to mention the aches and pains that accompany the aging process. We may grieve the loss of health, the loss of a job, the loss of our home to fire. We may grieve the loss of friendships due to a move. There are ‘good’ losses that are grieved, like the loss of a child to college, to marriage or a job in another town or state. These are what we raised our children for and are to be celebrated but when the time comes, we grieve the fact that they won’t be coming home for dinner and they no longer live in our home. They now turn to their spouse for their encouragement, help, conversation, and affection instead of dad. 

    When we face such losses we expect to find empathy, support, understanding, encouragement, comfort, and hope. We expect people to understand or at least accept our emotional out-burst or anger which is our protest against what has been taken from us. But what support, understanding, comfort, and empathy do we receive from the loss of one of our closest companions? The one who has consoled us when we have been rejected? The one who understood when we were tired and just needed release from the pressures of life? The one who provided companionship when we were lonely? The one who filled our appetite when we were hungry? The one who would always calm our anger, no matter how obnoxiously we showed it to the world or how deeply we buried it inside? This is the friend that was most trusted and would be there for us to comfort and console. This friend always satisfied our burning desire. This friend, you know, the one who is written about in Proverbs 7: 15ff.

    ‘I have come out to meet you, to seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you. I have spread my couch with coverings, with colored linens of Egypt. I have sprinkled my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us drink our fill of love until morning; Let us delight ourselves with caresses” ‘With her many persuasions she entices him; with her flattering lips she seduces him.’

    Our ‘friend,’ the one we have turned to in times of need has been there to meet us, to comfort, seduce and entice us. But something has happened to the relationship with that ‘friend.’ This is the ‘friend’ that represents your sexual acting out. It is your illicit sexual partner, whether she is internet pornography, chat room, phone sex, prostitutes, massage parlors, one night stands, bar pick-ups, or a sexual relationship that has developed over time. And you have made a decision to end it. Whether it was you’re your choice or whether the choice was forced upon you by ‘getting caught.’ Hopefully you realized that the above passage from Scripture did not end there. There was more as we pick up in verse 23:

    Suddenly he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool, until an arrow pierces through his liver;
    As a bird hastens to the snare, so he does not know that it will cost him his life.’

    If you have ended the relationship that has been so much a part of your life, you will grieve the loss as you would a death. A major part of your life has been amputated and you grieve. It helps to understand the stages of grief in order to identify what you need to do to work through your grief.

    *Dr. H. Norman Wright lists the stages of grief as follows:

    Loss

    Shock

    Numbness

    Denial

    Emotional Outbursts

    Anger

    Fear

    Searching’s

    Disorganization

    Panic

    Guilt

    Loneliness

    Isolation

    Depression

    Re-Entry Troubles

    New Relationships

    New Strengths

    New Patterns
    Hope

    Affirmation

    Helping Others
    Loss
    ‘ Adjustment

    As you think about the stages in light of the loss of your sexual sin, your trusted companion through thick and thin could look like this:


    Shock
    ‘ sin exposed. Out of our shock and disbelief we want to minimize the loss. Lies are often employed to try to cover the shame of the exposure.


    Numbness
    ‘ A loss of feeling. Breathing has all but stopped and is very shallow.
    Denial ‘ This is only temporary. I can still maintain my secret life. This is not a permanent loss. Here we are leaving the door unlocked for future opportunities to act out.

    Emotional Outburst ‘ May come in arguments with spouse or others. These outburst are a flood of emotions from sorrow, anxiety, sadness, rage, vindictiveness, betrayal, helplessness, rejection, abandonment, envy, woe, depression, panic, dismay, apathy, anguish, resentment, inadequacy. As Dr. Wright explains these emotions are like a tangled ball of emotions.


    Anger
    ‘ A protest to the unfairness of the loss. This anger may come in arguments with your spouse or others. Or it could be internalized and suppressed in a form of resentment toward others, a seething within the heart.


    Fear
    ‘ How will I cope without my friend who satisfies my cravings for my lust?


    Searching’s
    ‘ Maybe there is a hidden magazine or perhaps I could just do some internet surfing and maybe something would pop up ‘unexpectedly.’
     Disorganization ‘ In the past life was well organized. It had to be to hide the secret life. Now it is exposed and life is in chaos.

    Panic ‘ How will I cope? What will the future bring? Will I loose my family? Friends? Job? More questions than answers.


    Guilt
    ‘ that says ‘I did something bad.’ To Shame that says ‘I am bad.’


    Loneliness
    ‘ The times you normally would have acted out sexually now you face the reality of feeling really alone. This is one of the triggers that leads to acting out.
     Isolation ‘ pulling away from relationships. Again isolation provides opportunity to relapse.

    Depression ‘ Inward focusing on the shame and guilt that underline your feelings of unworthiness.

    Re-Entry Troubles ‘ Learning about the true intimacy that you have been substituting with false intimacy for years. True intimacy is about knowing and being known without the secrecy and masks. It is about acceptance of self and others, as well as responsibility.


    New Relationships
    ‘ Learning to have accountability with guys who you can have an openness of heart. A heart that holds no secret compartments. Learning to laugh with other men and building true friendships.


    New Strengths
    ‘ Investing in new hobbies and activities with others.


    New Patterns
    ‘ May involve going to bed together with your spouse instead of staying up waiting for opportunities to indulge with the old ‘friend.’ New Patterns may involve deeper levels of communication. Family togetherness without TV.


    Hope
    ‘ Life can be good without the old ‘friend.’ The confirmation that you can live without this influence in my life.


    Affirmation
    ‘ A sense of wholeness. A sense that the addiction can be managed.


    Helping Others
    ‘ By being real and transparent with other men you will lead and have influence in the lives of other men as a role model.

    What makes the grief work most difficult in the loss of the sexual acting out is that most of the time, at least in the early stages, you may be grieving alone and without empathy from your family and friends. This grief work is necessary and the pain is reality. Ignoring these deep emotional needs will become a set up for relapse into the old patterns of life. By processing the stages of grief you will find peace and healing. Experiencing the true intimacy with your wife is far greater than the quick substitute of the false intimacy with the ‘old friendship’ you have chosen to let die.

    Meeting with a counselor to identify the losses and help process the grief and recovery is not only recommended but is essential.

    If you have not already attended Every Man\’s Battle we encourage you to do so.
    After you have attended Every Man\’s Battle we encourage you to attend our New Life Weekend with your spouse.

    Cortisol, Belly Fat and Stress Busters

    Brenda Allison

    The latest buzz is about the dietary supplements that purportedly
    suppress cortisol, a natural steroid hormone released in response to
    stress. It is believed this rise in cortisol causes us to gain weight.
    In effect stress is making us fat.

    Dr. James Felicetta, an endocrinologist and chief medical officer at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Phoenix, says, ‘Beware.’ Even though the market is flooded with over-the-counter cortisol blockers that supposedly control cortisol levels aiding weight loss and blocking belly fat, Dr. Felicetta cautions us. He says cortisol blockers are based on pseudo-science because no medical trials have been conducted on these supplements.

    But what about stress and fat? In my opinion the idea that you get fat because of stress does hold out physiologically, in one respect. Some people eat in response to stress. So if you are one of those people, not unlike myself, we need to find some stress busters. So what are they? According to Susan Felt, there are five bad habits that must be recognized to overcome the habitually stressed lifestyle. These are accompanied by red flags:
    1)
    Feeling Scattered, 2) Overreacting, 3) Paralysis, 4) Powerlessness, and 5) Numbness.

    Let’s look at what life coaches, psychologists and God [the supreme authority] have to say about the cause of these culprits and how one might break the habit behind them.

    #1 FEELING SCATTERED

    Ever felt this way? The cause is guess what? Stress. It’s about having too much to do. What do we normally do when we have too much to do? I know what I do; I go faster, work harder, and stress more. In effect when I feel scattered, I do more of what is causing me to feel this way. Pretty ineffective habit, isn’t it? This bad habit only leads to feeling more scattered, forgetful, and can lead to burnout. We know about ruminating about the past and fretting about the future. We know we need to stay in the present. So how does one break the habit? George Cappannelli, author of the book, Authenticity, says frequently, sitting still is the best antidote. ‘When we are lost in the woods, our first reaction is to go faster,’ Cappannelli writes. The idea of sitting still sounds a lot like what the Creator of the universe writes in the 14th chapter, 14th verse, of the book Exodus, ‘the LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Again in the 46th Psalm, David writes, ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ Hmmm? Maybe I should give it a try; what do you think?

    #2 OVERREACTING

    What is the cause of this little beauty? The cause is anger; feeling overwhelmed. Too true, huh? And how does one break the habit? Rant. Rant? Yes, schedule a rant and rave session says life coach, Silver Rose. With a friend or alone, but set an egg timer. The amount of time isn’t as important as setting a limit. Once the timer rings, the rant is over. Rose says, ‘get it out with the prior agreement that you’re done and you’re not going to talk about it anymore.’ Okay, sounds tough, but with a little practice, doable. What do you think? Even the Bible gives us permission to be angry, but I never realized it said to set a limit on the amount of time! Look at this verse. ‘Be angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath,’ Ephesians 4:26. Got to be done by sundown. Truly it would be my inner victim who wants to lament for days. Okay, I’m sold on this stress buster!

    #3 PARALYSIS

    Oooh, I hate this one, don’t you? The cause is fear or facing something you don’t want to do. Yikes. Dread with a capital D. Okay, so how do we break the habit of this major stress inducer. Rose tells of her childhood experience of school-night insomnia when she was 8. ‘I was terrified about what was going to happen to me the next day when my teacher found out I hadn’t done my homework,’ she says. To cope she would sneak into the bathroom and fret. ‘Never once did it occur to me to sneak into the bathroom and do my homework,’ Rose says. The best thing to do when you’re paralyzed is to do what’s in front of you, she says. ‘Action cancels fear every time.’ Even Ralph Waldo Emerson had this one figured out. He said, ‘Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.’ Have you ever experienced this? Doing the thing I dread turns out to be easier than the dread I’ve put myself through. The Bible tells us, ‘fear not’, about 175 times. I think God knows that’s a tough one for us. We just got to find a way to push through and do that thing we fear. As the Nike ad says, ‘Just Do It!’

    #4 POWERLESSNESS

    Okay, what is this one about? The cause is lack of self-trust, motivation, and self-confidence or [here's that word again] fear. This can be fear of failure, rejection, loss of job, status or approval. How do we break the habit? Life coach, Janet VanWinkle says call someone for perspective. You may feel powerless to say no to what others want you to do. Instead of saying, ‘No,’ try, ‘Not now.’ It puts you back in control of what you can control.

    #5 NUMBNESS

    The cause is loss of purpose, and [here's my least favorite emotion], feeling overwhelmed, over committed with no creative outlet. So if we are going to break the habit, we are going to have to find our purpose in life. If you’ve not already read it, I highly recommend getting a copy of Rick Warren’s book, and reading, ‘The Purpose Driven Life’. It’s a forty-day read. We need to realize that having meaning and purpose gives us a sense of dignity and pride, which renews the mind and heart. God has a plan and purpose for our lives; it’s up to us to find out what it is. Life is too rich and full to spend it being numb or worse yet numbing our feelings with food.

    So there you have it. Let’s you and I pick one of these stress busters and start out slow. We can stop being habitually stressed. It takes recognizing the red flags, understanding the cause and then breaking the habit. Cortisol, belly fat, stress, let the debate continue. When it’s all decided, you and I will have consumed less food because we’ll have less stress driving us to eat.


    Preparing Your Son for Every Man's Battle

    Kent Ernsting

    I was smitten from my first sight of him. The first time I held my newborn son in my hands the tears began to well up in my eyes. A deep sense of love enveloped me when I looked into his amazing eyes. I loved that little guy with everything within me. I thanked God for him and I pledged him back to God from that moment. I was struck with the tremendous stewardship responsibility that I now had, to raise him to become a godly young man. I knew that I could not complete that task without God’s help and the help of many others along the way.

    Now he’s 14 years old, stands 5’8′ tall, and he’s strong enough to fold me into a pretzel. He routinely aces me on the tennis court. He’s a fullback on his freshman soccer team and he feels responsible for every ball that an opponent gets past him and into the net. He’s smart and brave and he wants to show others that he has what it takes to be a man. I will probably not know if I have successfully completed my task of parenting him until he is in his thirties. The indicator will be whether or not he is living a God -honoring life and rearing godly children.

    I don’t know about you, but the challenge of shepherding my son through his young adult years with purity as the goal has been a daunting one for me. How can I talk to him about purity when my own sexuality has been complicated? I have had to deal with my own issues on the subject. We all know intuitively that we need to be the one talking to our kids about sex, but how do we do it?

    I am an imperfect parent, but I want to pass along some tips and strategies that I have learned from others and have used with my son.

    The first is the principle that RELATIONSHIPS COME FIRST. As long as I keep the relationship that I have with my son strong, then he will be willing to receive guidance and coaching from me. As Josh McDowell says, RULES WITHOUT RELATIONSHIP LEADS TO REBELLION.

    I look for ways to spend time with him. Relationship growth occurs when we do things together like going to his games, working together on projects, playing pool with him, and taking him camping with me. It helps me to relate to my son and for my son to relate to me. Relationships are what life is all about.

    I want him to know deeply and intimately how to connect with another person in a life-long committed relationship. I want him to experience it first in our father/son relationship. Eventually he will transfer that into a relationship with his wife.

    Sex education is really not so much a matter of providing information as it is a matter of deliberate character formation. The first messages are the most potent; it is far more powerful to form a child’s view of sexuality from scratch than it is to correct the distortions the child will pick up in the world. This is a concept that I picked up from a very helpful book by Stanton and Brenna Jones, entitled How & When to Tell Your Kids About Sex. In fact, it was their book that gave me what I needed to know and say to my son when we had our first ‘key talk’ in a local restaurant. After I finished my explanation he asked, ‘Dad, do you eat that green stuff?’ as he pointed to the parsley on my plate.

    I took my son camping for a weekend before he entered junior high school. Together we listened to the ‘Preparing for Adolescence’ tapes by James Dobson and we talked about the content of the tapes. Between disc golf and fishing we discussed what would be happening to him in the coming years.

    We spent a weekend at a sexual abstinence until marriage conference interacting with various speakers, presentations and youth events. We went to a Promise Keeper rally for youth where the message of purity was presented through music, worship, extreme sports, speakers, and multimedia.

    I take him to church regularly and help him plug in with youth groups and their events. Now he is attending Young Life where the message of purity will be reinforced. I want him to know about redemption when he stumbles and about the love of his creator sustaining him throughout his life.

    Look for opportunities that will challenge both you and your son such as rock climbing, rappelling, or canoeing. Bathe your son and his future wife in prayer. Let’s talk about how it turns out when our sons are in their thirties.

    Please see Preparing Your Son for Every Man\’s Battle.

    Sweat Can Be Perfect Medicine

    Brenda Allison


    “Millions of Americans suffer, to some extent, from a psychological disorder,” according to Kent Pegg, personal trainer and fitness center owner.  Ten to 25 percent of women and five to twelve perecnt of men suffer from, the most common mood disorder, depression. 

    Even though therapy from psychologists and psychiatrists and medications have been used to treat this disorder for years, today exercise is increasingly being included in the treatment plans. Why? Because numerous studies have been showing the benefits of exercise.

    Exercise improves mood, increases self-esteem and provides a general feeling of well being for everyone, BUT ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WITH PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS.

    Want to fix what ails you, along with improving your energy level? Consider making exercise a part of your life. It will increase your stamina, strength and endurance. Any exercise is good, so if you haven’t been working out regularly, start slowly. Walking and light gym workouts are a good place to start.

    Want to look and feel younger? Push back the calendar by investing 40 minutes a day in aerobic exercise. Personal coach, Dr. Aaron Hemsley defines aerobic exercise as any activity that gets your heart rate up to 120 beats per minute and keeps it there for at least 20 minutes. In other words, aerobic exercise is whatever makes you sweat.

    Would you rather have a quick fix? Here’s an interesting factoid. Did you know liposuction makes you skinnier, but not healthier? According to the latest study in the New England Journal of medicine, Mother Nature will not be tricked. In this study, obese women who dropped up to 23 pounds of belly fat by way of liposuction did not appear to lower their risk of diabetes or heart disease, both of which are fat related.

    ‘So, it’s not how much fat you remove BUT how you remove the fat that is really important,’ said the study’s leading author, Dr. Samuel Klein at Washington University in St. Louis. ‘We have to go back to the same old traditional recommendation to lose weight and be more physically active.’
    We need to link eating and exercise in our minds.

    The American Council on Exercise advises if we are going to eat today, we need to exercise.

    ‘The truth is everyone is looking for that magic answer’the perfect diet or the perfect pill,’ says Judi Sheppard Missett, the founder of dance-based fitness phenomenon, Jazzercise. ‘The magic answer is consistency. Music happens to be a great catalyst. Find something fun, and keep doing it on a regular basis.’

    Is your life too busy to exercise an hour everyday? Then break it up. Take a walk in the morning, climb the stairs in your office building during lunch, and play soccer or swim with your kids that night. When you start seeing results, you’ll miraculously find time.

    Is motivation keeping you from changing your lifestyle to include a better diet and regular exercise? It might be helpful to know people change for three reasons. They: 1) feel the heat, 2) see the light or 3) feel the strength of others. The three things that MAKE people change is when they:

    HURT enough they have to, 
    LEARN enough they need to, or
    RECEIVE enough they want to.

    It is our belief at Lose it for Life that if you’ve come to us it’s because you’ve already hurt enough. You know you need to change your lifestyle. You already feel the heat of too much weight gain.

    We want to be a support to you as you see the light of how change can be permanent through the many learning opportunities the LIFL website and conference.

    Our hope is you feel the strength of others through the online community, and receive the support you need through the LIFL counselors where you live, so that you want to permanently change your lifestyle to include a healthy diet and regular exercise. Join us for a live chat soon and let us know how you are doing. We’d love to hear from you.

    It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1


    For more help, please see our Lose it for Life resources and join us at our next New Life Weekend.


    Thoughts on Joy in Recovery

    Mark Verkler

    “Short is the joy that guilty pleasure brings.”
    ‘ Euripides (484 BC – 406 BC)

    “Joy is not a substitute for sex, sex is very often a substitute for joy.”
    ‘ C.S. Lewis (1898 – 1963)

    ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES!
    We find in Galations 5:22, that Joy is the second fruit of the spirit. It is high on the list of ‘fruit’ that clearly comes from heaven, through the Holy Spirit and to us.

    Let’s look at the definition of Joy:

    The passion or emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good; pleasurable feelings or emotions caused by success, good fortune, and the like, or by a rational prospect of possessing what we love or desire; gladness; exhilaration of spirits; delight.

    Joy is a delight of the mind, from the consideration of the present or assured approaching possession of a good.” ‘ John Locke (1632 – 1704)

    Look at a significant part of joy’meditation, consideration, and expectation of future good. This is at the heart of Joy. Not simply a delight that is happening now’though I may rejoice about the present’but, significantly, the prospect and expectation of future good. To overcome the temptation of today, and to enjoy today, I must focus on: the joy that will come tomorrow by saying no to that sin; the joy that will come from all the good that God has for me today and in the future.

    We find in Hebrews the power and need for joy for endurance and overcoming. Of Jesus we read ‘Who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame.’ Hebrews 12:2

    What are some of the good things that will ‘come tomorrow’ if I say no to sin today? Some things we find from scripture are: reward in heaven, good reputation, clear conscience, peace that comes from not having the fear of being caught.

    Another vital part of Joy in Recovery is about coming to the end of my own strength and coming to the beginning of God’s strength. As long as I focus only on what I can do, arrange or manipulate, I can have no lasting joy. When I come to the end of my strength I am at the beginning of God’s.

    In 1 Corinthians 12:9 the Lord told Paul that ‘My grace (God’s) is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore I (Paul) will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may overshadow me.’

    I think it seems strange on the surface to consider that I would ‘glory’ in my weakness. However, as I look closer at this I realize that the ‘glory’ is not about me, but about my absolute need for the Lord’s strength and power. As I embrace and acknowledge my weakness I naturally begin to look for strength and power from another source. As the power of Christ ‘overshadows’ me, I begin to find the joy that I could not find while looking to my own strength or my own prospects for the future.

    And in James 1:2 we find that James exhorts us to ‘count it joy’ when we fall into temptations. He tells us the trying of our faith works patience. This prospect of giving thanks or rejoicing with temptations seems difficult if not impossible. We must do this by faith and not according to our emotions. The joy seems to be about the good that it will bring to me as I overcome in the strength of the Lord and about the God who is sovereign over all my life and circumstances. I can count that joy.

    In Nehemiah 8:10 we find the exhortation that ‘the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ I pray that the Joy of the Lord will be your strength and my strength today and from this day on.

    “The joy of a spirit is the measure of its power.” ‘ Ninon de Lenclos (1620 – 1705)

    Diet gets Healthier as People Age

    The Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) –
    Contrary to popular opinion,
    adults do eat more healthily
    than they did as children.

    Newcastle University researchers looked at the diets of 200 children aged 11 and 12, then again 20 years later.

    They found as adults, they ate around twice the amount of fruit and vegetables and less fat and sugar as they had as children.

    But the study, in Appetite, found some saw barriers, such as a perceived lack of time, to healthy eating.

    This group often believed fruit and vegetables needed time for preparation and cooking and were more likely to have smaller intakes in fruit and vegetables.

    ‘Messages getting through’

    In addition to perceptions of the time available to prepare food, participants said parents, partners and children could affect their attitudes to their diet.

    So those who saw their parents’ influence as positive consumed more fruit and vegetables as adolescents.

    Whether partners were seen as positive or negative depended largely on gender.

    A third of people – mainly men – felt their partners had a positive influence on their diet, 10 percent – mainly women – said their partners’ influence was negative.

    Amelia Lake, a registered dietician and Newcastle University researcher, who led the research said the findings suggested that general healthy eating messages – such as the five a day message on fruit and vegetables – were getting through to most people.

    She added: “Work from this study has shown that children who were high fruit and vegetable consumers maintain this intake into their early thirties.

    “This reaffirms the importance of the National Fruit in Schools Scheme, where children are being encouraged to eat fruit.

    “We also need to examine the availability of healthy food in venues such the workplace and in shops. Despite all the healthy eating messages that abound, it’s still easier to go to a local shop and buy a chocolate bar rather than a piece of fruit.”

    But she said they also needed to be more carefully targeted to reach individuals who believe their lifestyle still prevents them from eating well.

    “A lot depends on people’s individual coping mechanisms and attitude to life.

    “A lack of time is not necessarily the reason for people not attempting to eat healthily.

    “Some working adults are inspired to make a healthy meal in the evenings, while somebody with the same amount of time on their hands would feel under pressure and be inclined to send out for a takeaway.”

    Ms Lake added: “These results suggest that the diet is really up to the individual and their personality, and that general health messages are not necessarily enough when a variety of factors are working to prevent people from eating healthily.”

    For more help on healthy living see Lose it For Life.

    Re-building the Bridge Called Trust

    Pastor Ed Grant

    The old covered walking bridge across the Delaware River had stood for as long as anyone could remember. It connected the town of Portland, Pennsylvania with Columbia, New Jersey. During the spring one year ice flows combined with a large amount of rain and the swollen river washed away part of the bridge and weakened what remained.

    Trust between people is like a bridge built from both sides of a river. When it is built with care and careful planning it will be durable, capable of weathering the storms of life. Occasionally it will need repair and certainly will require periodic maintenance, but individuals feel safe to put a great deal of emotional weight on the bridge: keeping one’s promises is expected; sensitive secrets divulged are carefully protected; personal flaws and weaknesses are accepted.

    Happy is the person who has one or two close relationships! Building the bridge called trust is costly, risky and requires a substantial time investment, but the rewards are truly fulfilling.

    What happens, though, when a large section of the trust-bridge has been washed away through betrayal, deception or a litany of broken promises? The ache and bitterness of soul can be almost unbearable. King David wrote about the agony caused by a friend’s betrayal: ‘If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God.‘ (Psalm 55:12-14).

    Is it possible to re-build the trust-bridge? How can we be sure that it won’t be washed out again?

    Because we are all fallen human beings the potential for getting hurt again is always a possibility. Only Jesus, the friend of sinners, Who loved us while we were still His enemies, is worthy of our complete emotional trust. His nail scarred hands continually reach out to us, inviting us into His loving embrace. Having said this, however, God does intend for us to take the risk to restore broken relationships and to establish new ones. The trust-bridge must be re-built from both sides. Whether it is a marriage, a parent child relationship, or a friendship, the following principles apply to re-building trust.

    For the wounded:

    1. Those wounded need to take an emotional inventory: what happened; what has resulted from the person’s action; in what ways can I still trust him/her and in what ways is it unwise to trust?

    2. The wounded desperately need God’s healing hand and His protection against the root of bitterness that frequently spring up from a wound. Healing may take a long time, depending on the damage done to the trust-bridge.

    3. Trust and forgiveness are not the same . Forgiveness may be given long before trust is re-established. Those who have breached trust must demonstrate their trustworthiness over a period of time.

    4. Talking with a close friend, a pastor or a counselor can provide insight and a different perspective. Don’t go through it by yourself!

    5. Ask God for wisdom and discernment to help you determine the sincerity of the person’s sorrow over the offense, the desire to make restitution, and the efforts to change.

    For those who have broken trust.

    Solomon wrote, ‘Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for.’ (Prov. 16:6a). Love is the consideration shown for the injured; faithfulness is demonstrated by consistent change of behavior . Fleshed out it looks like this:

    1. There are no quick fixes for the pain caused, nor are there any shortcuts to getting back to the way things were before. A great deal of patience and humility is needed to hear the other’s pain, often many times.

    2. Accept responsibility for your actions without blaming others or explaining them away. Attempts to explain minimize the offense and show the wounded loved one you ‘don’t get it.’

    3. Accept the consequences of your actions, including the emotional distance, and make restitution when possible.

    4. Be accountable for your actions without becoming defensive.

    5. Ask God to give you a view your sin from His perspective and to allow you to grasp the severity of the wound you caused.

    6. Pray regularly for God’s healing touch upon the person and for sensitivity to their needs.

    God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone.”

    The wonderful benefits that spring from trusting relationships is worth the risk of potential heartache. God can heal heartache, but He won’t fill the lonely void within when we refuse to build trust-bridges with others, especially with His people.

    Tour Israel with Steve Arterburn and New Life Ministries