New Life Live: January 1, 2016

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From the Archives of New Life Live, This Show Originally Aired January 1, 2004

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Topics: Borderline Personality Disorder, Depression, Eating Disorders, Separation, Divorce
Hosts: Steve Arterburn, Dr. John Townsend, Dr. Henry Cloud

Caller Questions:

  1. When I can’t get a grip on my mood swings at the end of the year, how can I tell if it is God?
  2. After my eating disorders in college, how do I teach my kids about eating choices?
  3. My husband doesn’t love me, but he won’t leave until I accept it; should I give up?
  4. My 28yo daughter had a second child out of wedlock; how do I get over my anger that she turned out this way?
  5. Am I being greedy by not wanting to give my husband 50 percent of our assets?

Suggested Resources:

Download the Tip Sheet – Six Steps to Leave Your Baggage in the Past
Clara’s Wisdom Travel Mug

You Can Do This   (option for God Will Make a Way)
Boundaries
Preparing Your Son for Every Man’s Battle

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App.

Facing Our Fears

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for  I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.Isaiah41:10

Facing Our Fears

We live in a world that is, at times, a frightening place. We live in a world that is, at times, a discouraging place. We live in a world where life-changing losses can be so painful and so profound that it seems we will never recover. But, with God’s help, and with the help of encouraging family members and friends, we can recover.

During the darker days of life, we are wise to remember the words of Jesus, who reassured His disciples, saying, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid” (Matthew 14:27 NIV). Then, with God’s comfort and His love in our hearts, we can offer encouragement to others. By helping them face their fears, we can, in turn, tackle our own problems with courage, determination, and faith.

God knows that the strength that comes from wrestling with our fear will give us wings to fly.”  ~ Paula Rinehart

His hand on me is a father’s hand, gently guiding and encouraging. His hand lets me know He is with me, so I am not afraid.” ~ Mary Morrison Suggs

Adversity is always unexpected and unwelcome. It is an intruder and a thief, and yet in the hands of God, adversity becomes the means through which His supernatural power is demonstrated.” ~ Charles Stanley

Facing our deepest fears means making peace with our seen self and with our unseen self.” ~ Sheila Walsh

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil because You are with me. Thank You, Lord, for Your perfect love, a love that casts out fear and gives me strength and courage to meet the challenges of this world. Amen

Breaking Up the Fear and Food Addictive Relationship: Part 1

denial

STEP ONE – Stopping the Denial
In this article, I will focus on Step One and stopping the denial. While we may have a bundle of good excuses tucked away in our memories to justify every aspect of our problems, we can’t get well until we stop kidding ourselves. Renewal begins when we allow the facts to be the facts. While you may not want to say the words out loud, you may actually be struggling with a love hunger. Take a look at the following story for insight into your own.

Marybelle lived through four years of an abusive marriage relationship. She anticipated a husband like her living father. Because of her great respect and admiration for her father, she never anticipated her husband deceiving and running around on her. When she discovered his adultery, the truth nearly destroyed her. The man had been critical, demanding, unemployed much of the time, and a real cad on top of it all! Obviously, Marybelle’s need for love and appreciation became enormous.

Then, a year after the divorce, Marybelle’s mother discovered she was dying of cancer. Marybelle’s childhood family had been the center of her life. Nothing was more fun than sitting at Sunday dinner around a table piled high with food. Through the years her mother remained the center of the family constellation with all the brothers and sisters circulating around her. During the two years of her mother’s illness, the center of the circle disintegrated. When her mother finally died, Marybelle’s life dropped into a black hole. She described her constant eating as an attempt ‘to fill up a bottomless pit at the center of her life.’ The demise of Marybelle’s marriage and death of her mother filled her with a fear of emptiness. This void, which was really a lack of love, drove her to eat compulsively.

*****Renewal begins when we allow the facts to be the facts.*****

What about you and your story? While admitting a need for love can be extremely difficult, it is the first step out of our addiction. We may have to probe and push to get in touch with the truth, but honesty is the way to start climbing out of the pit.

– Steve Arterburn

What is the first step toward healing? Please join us at our next Lose It For Life Workshop.

A Divine Appetite

Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord… Hosea 10:12

A Divine Appetite

Unlike physical hunger, our appetite for God is endless. Once you’ve satisfied your physical hunger you no longer want to eat. In fact, the sight, smell, or even the thought of food can almost make you sick after you’ve eaten your fill.

But the opposite is true of our appetite for God. The very act of satisfying your appetite for God intensifies it. That’s precisely why Scripture tells us to ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good.’ To come to His banquet table.

Experience for yourself that He satisfies completely. And when you do, something wonderful and life changing will happen: you’ll find yourself wanting more of Him, and less of what you’ve been using as a cheap substitute for Him.

It all starts with surrender . . . surrender to the fact that you’re not God, He is. And His ways aren’t our ways. And trust Him every day, that He knows what He’s doing.

Steve Arterburn

“Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion; it is like a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.” – Billy Graham (1918- )

Relinquishing Prejudice

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. – 1 Peter 3:8

Relinquishing Prejudice

Have you allowed your upbringing or experiences to prejudice you against a particular group of people? Women? Men? The poor? The rich? Asians? Jews? Black or White?

Prejudice leads to hatred and a lack of compassion toward others.  To the contrary, God’s people are to be known for their love and compassion. Surrendering your life to God means recognizing and relinquishing your prejudices.

Take a look at the Old Testament figure, Jonah. He hated the people of Nineveh for their cruelty toward his people, the Israelites. He would’ve loved to have gone to Nineveh and declare God’s judgment against them. But God told Jonah to go and warn them of destruction so they might avert God’s wrath. Jonah wanted no part in this mission of mercy. He tried to run away, but God placed him in difficult circumstances. When he reluctantly obeyed and preached to the Ninevites, they changed their ways. And not surprisingly, Jonah was upset at God’s mercy on the Ninevites.

God practically had to force Jonah to let go of his prejudice and hatred. This was necessary so he could share God’s mercy with the people he hated. Your spiritual transformation will be stunted until you let go of your prejudices toward any people group. Seeing your own prejudices doesn’t come easy. You need to ask God and those close to you to help you see areas of prejudice in your life. Once you see them, confess them and ask God to change your heart.

– Steve Arterburn

“We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders.” – Maya Angelo

“Prejudice is a product of ignorance that hides behind barriers of tradition.” – Jasper Fforde

Love-Hate Relationships

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. – Ephesians 4:1-3

Love-Hate Relationships

Almost every person has at least one—a person you love, but also deeply resent or hate.  It could be a parent, spouse, sibling, boss, a rebellious child, neighbor, friend or even God.

Living in a love-hate relationship isn’t easy.  It requires some very complicated and refined coping skills.  The problem, however, is that too many people go on, day after day, merely coping with the situation.  Either they’re unaware that they can do more than cope, or they are unwilling to do it.

Those resigned to merely cope with the situation are not happy people.  Whether they stay in the relationship or leave, they render themselves powerless to change. They lose faith in the power of God to change the situation.  They give up on prayer as a means to facilitate change.

But our challenge goes beyond prayer.  The beginning of a solution rests in your decisions—your decision to do something—to take action.  Set boundaries.  See a counselor.  Join a group.  Confront in love.

Remember, “no decision” is a decision.

– Steve Arterburn

“The man who rolls up his sleeves seldom loses his shirt.”Stephen Covey

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

James and John – Two Changed Men

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. – 1 Peter 1:22

James and John - Two Changed Men

What words would your friends or family use to describe you? Jesus referred to two brothers, James and John, as Sons of Thunder.  Why? We’re given a glimpse of their fiery personalities in the book of Luke. After the Samaritan people rejected them, James and John asked Jesus if they should call down fire from heaven to consume the village. Jesus rebuked them for their impulse to retaliate.

Yet that’s not the end of their story. Jesus worked in these brothers’ lives so that they became known not for anger and revenge, but for love and forgiveness. James was the first of the twelve disciples to give his life for his faith. He was killed in Jerusalem by the order of Herod Agrippa. John is referred to as the “disciple Jesus loved.” He went on to write powerful words on the importance of love and became an important leader of the church.

Though the two brothers had once been ambitious for their own personal gain, they ended up ambitiously sharing God’s love with others for their spiritual gain. The brothers discovered that when you understand and experience God’s love, you are free to live and grow. And as you grow and share with others, you will be used by God to touch the lives of many in need of God’s healing help.

Can you relate to the anger and selfish ambition of these men? If so, be encouraged by God’s work in their lives. He wants to do the same in you!

– Steve Arterburn

“We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.” – C.S. Lewis

The Greatest Love Story . . .

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8

The Greatest Love Story . . .

If you have seen the documentary, March of the Penguins, you’d probably agree that it was a riveting tale of survival. But as Morgan Freeman’s introductory narrative made clear, it was more a story of the struggle between life and death. He said, “This is a story about love. Like most love stories it begins with an act of utter foolishness.” What a great line!

When you love someone, you’ll go to great lengths to secure or res­cue the object of your love. You will—in the eyes of many—behave foolishly.

Just think about things you’ve done or seen done in the name of love. People risk embarrassment, they risk safety, they risk wealth, they risk all sorts of things for someone they love.

The greatest love story that I have ever heard is the one told many years ago on an old rugged cross. History is His Story—the story of how God the Father gave his Son to rescue us from a life of sorrow and void of hope.

Did you know that God is crazy in love with you? This love however is not an act of folly, it is the kind of love that is all redeeming and all encompassing . . . and He’s wanting you to fall in love with Him.

– Steve Arterburn

“The true measure of loving . . . is to love without measure.” – St. Bernard of Clairvaux

A Disconnected Life

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. – Hebrews 13:16

Disconnected Life

I don’t have any problems relating to people. Really. It’s true. I don’t ever get irritated or upset with anyone: as long as I’m alone. It’s amazing just how easy life is when I’m alone and isolated. The worst in me can lie dormant for years as long as there’s no one around to awaken the sleeping giants inside of me.

It may be true that a life of isolation is easier, but it’s also emptier.  When you don’t have to face who you really are, you grow comfortable and stop developing into what God wants for you.

Are you going to take your place alongside the millions of others who’ve decided to abandon life by disconnecting? You may think this is the way life’s meant to be. But it’s not. Life is about relationship, relationship with God and with one another.

– Steve Arterburn

Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing.“- Ben Franklin

“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community” – Dorothy Day

“Men are free when they belong to a living, organic, believing community, active in fulfilling some unfulfilled, perhaps unrealized purpose. Not when they are escaping to some wild west. The most unfree souls go west, and shout of freedom.”– D.H. Lawrence

Helping Others Grieve

Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. – Philemon 1:7

Helping Others Grieve

When someone you know is grieving, you want to express your love and concern. But, how do you know what to say? Sometimes there just aren’t words. But it’s important that you spend time with your friend or family member. What’s as important as anything is just showing up.

What do you say to someone who is suffering? Some people are gifted with words of wisdom. For such, one is profoundly grateful. But not all are gifted in that way. Some blurt out things that don’t really make sense. That’s okay too. Your words don’t have to be wise. The heart that speaks is heard more than the words spoken. And if you can’t think of anything to say, just say, “I can’t think of anything to say. But I want you to know that I am with you in your grief.

Or even just embrace. Not even the best of words can take away the pain. What words can do is testify that there is more than pain in our journey on earth to a new day. Of those things that are more, the greatest is love. Express your love. How appallingly grim must be the death of a child in the absence of love.

Sharing in someone’s grief is no time to worry about your own discomfort and uncertainty about what to show. Believe that God will give you the words, the touch, the hug that will comfort. And you’ll be glad you shared in the moment and gave strength to a hurting soul.

– Steve Arterburn

“Grief and sadness knits two hearts in closer bonds than happiness ever can; and common sufferings are far stronger than common joys.”  – Alphonse de Lamartine