New Life Live: March 25, 2011

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Hosts:
Steve Arterburn, Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. Jill Hubbard

Discussion Topics:
Self worth and confidence, adult children, sexual integrity, forgiveness.

Caller Questions:
1. My sister and I push each other’s buttons.
2. How do you start living again when you want to die?
3. What can I do about my 21yo son turning on me?
4. How can I restore trust after my husband went to EMB?
5. Comment: Why do you gang up on callers?
6. How will I know when I have forgiven my pastor?

Suggested Resources:
Life Recovery Bible
Healing Is a Choice
Every Man’s Marriage
Necessary Endings

New Life Live: March 24, 2011

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Hosts:
Steve Arterburn, Dr. Sheri Denham, Milan Yerkovich

Discussion Topics:
Marriage, dating, self worth and confidence.

Caller Questions:
1. My husband is a controller and keeps secrets; how do I get to the truth?
2. How do I get my possessions back from my ex-boyfriend?
3. My unfaithful husband wants to reconcile, but I have concerns.

Suggested Resources:
Healing Is a Choice
Every Man’s Battle

New Life Live: March 10, 2011

Play

Hosts:
Steve Arterburn, Dr. Jill Hubbard, Milan Yerkovich

Discussion Topics:
Marriage, grief, self worth and confidence.

Caller Questions:
1. My ex wants to leave her new husband and reconcile; good idea?
2. Should I grieve the loss of never having kids?
3. My 16yo husband won’t stop talking about his previous girlfriends.
4. I lost desire for sexual intimacy with my husband.
5. Should I confront a friend of the family who is lying?

Suggested Resources:
How We Love
healing Is a Choice
Better Than Ever

A Person’s a Person

Excerpted from the book The God of Second Chances by Steve Arterburn.

In college I dated a woman for whom I really cared. She was a Christian—bright, gentle, beautiful, and energetic. I believed we had a lot in common. Because we loved each other, I had an easy time convincing her to sleep with me. I justified my sin—and hers—by believing that loved covered everything. Yet, I discovered it was less love for her and more love for myself that lead me to seek sexual gratification. How shameful that I didn’t see what I was doing until it was too late. She missed one period, and then another. She was pregnant.

Although I loved my girlfriend, I selfishly did not want to shatter my musical career. Never once did I consider any options. Never once did I drop down on my knees and seek God’s forgiveness and ask Him to show me a responsible way out of the problem. She had to have an abortion.

I was deeply immersed in the philosophy of the world. If something is inconvenient–say, a broken radio, a bad marriage, or a baby—just get rid of it. So there we were, my girlfriend and I and the baby growing in her womb. I carefully laid out my plan with all the details already put together: go here at such and such a time, they will do such and such to you, and then it will be over. We can go on with our lives. I’ll even pay half the cost of the procedure.

My heartless and unbending pragmatism overwhelmed her. I never really gave her an opportunity to respond. No unwanted baby was going to stand in the way of my career. So she went because I convinced her it was the best way out of a bad situation and because she thought I loved her.

The guilt, shame, and remorse had emotional, physical, and spiritual consequences that had such a devastating effect on me that I almost lost my life. I fell into a deep depression, went on antidepressants, and began to feel as old as a grandfather. Within six months of convincing my girlfriend to have an abortion, I was diagnosed with eighty-three ulcers. My doctor told me that I would have to make some serious life-style changes or have my intestines or my colon removed. Within a year I had dropped out of my music major and abandoned my dream. At the time I had no idea what was causing me such misery.

Fortunately I came to an end of myself. In my depression I was able to acknowledge that I had made a complete mess of my life and that I needed God’s forgiveness and strength. I turned back to the narrow path. I found God’s surprising grace there. We all have wounds that never seem to heal—from childhood, from our sinful behavior, from living in the world. But the answer is not to pretend that they don’t exist or believe the world’s lies that we can alleviate them with self-gratifying pleasures.

We must face our wounds honestly, repent before God, and let Him surprise us with His amazing and healing grace. It is only then that we can begin to experience what God has intended and desired for us all along.

If you have taken part in an abortion and have never healed from this pain, you are probably today living with frustration, sadness, or pain in your relationships. I hope you will find encouragement from someone like you:

After attending our New Life Weekend, Maryann wrote: This weekend has blessed me by helping me to explore some  painful hurts and feelings that have surfaced about post abortion that I never talked about. I discovered the anger and unforgiveness in me. I leave here surrendering this to God so I can live under his power now, and find a self worth to be free, to be me. Steve, you and your radio staff have been in my life for 12 years. You have given me laughter, tears, and hope. You gave me a message one day when I was listening. If anyone had ever had an abortion and doesn’t think that’s their ‘it’ it is. I’d like to thank  you for that, thank God for giving me ears to hear that, and thank the person who have the scholarship who thought I was worth it.

If you’ve had an abortion, that’s what I call your ‘it.’ And until you find healing, ‘it’ will keep you from the forgiveness and joy your heavenly Father wants you to receive. Join us at our next New Life Weekend. We’d be honored to help.

Nothing To Prove

Stephen Arterburn

Here’s a paradox for you, men. Those of you with a healthy sense of self are in the best position to exercise true humility. Why? Because the man with a healthy sense of self has nothing to prove. No agenda to push. No ego to shield. And no need to fret over what others think of him. When he encounters a problem that exceeds his knowledge, he admits without pretense that he doesn’t know the answer.

Sometimes we Christian men can really fool ourselves. We think that since God is all knowledgeable and wise, and since we have His Holy Spirit within us, we should be able to dispense pearls of wisdom like spiritual gumballs. The truth is, the more we come to know God, the more we realize what we don’t know, and that’s okay!

Remember Job. He was among the most prominent men of his day. But after God confronted him with the wonder and mystery of creation, all Job could do was stammer: ‘I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted’Surely I spoke of things I don’t understand, things too wonderful for me to know’My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you’ (Job 42:2,3,5).

Men, the more we experience God’s grandeur, and the more we understand our dignity as his sons, the lower we’ll bow before His throne’with nothing to prove and everything to gain.

Breaking Up the Fear and Food Addictive Relationship: Part 5

Steve Arterburn

The fear and food addictive relationship cycle spins in the following order:

‘ Denial

‘ Emotional Pain

‘ Food fuels the process

‘ The cost (weight gain and other costs)

‘ Self-loathing, followed by:

‘ More denial

‘ More pain

‘ More food (and the cycle repeats itself on and on)

Do these steps sound frighteningly familiar? Do you have a sense that this cycle is true for you, but you don’t want to think about it right now? That’s understandable, but it’s these tendencies that give the cycle energy. If you want to ever really stop or get off, you have to pay attention to the whole cycle. In the next few articles I will talk about five steps that will help you get off this addictive wheel.

STEP FIVE – Admit the Self-Loathing

As fear drives people from guilt to shame, it also affects the way they see themselves. In contrast to self-respect, overeaters develop self-hate. Although they may not be aware of the fact, they have started functioning in a highly self-destructive manner. Bulimic purging is one way to get rid of the fearful aspects of their lives. One bulimic patient kept vomiting throughout her marriage; she was symbolically trying to rid herself of her emotional feelings about her controlling, abusive husband. Once she finally divorced her unfaithful, physically and sexually abusive husband, the vomiting stopped.

Binges and purging are also ways that bulimics are destroying themselves. As bizarre as this repressed logic may be, millions of people do not face the self-hate that is causing their problems.

Of course, despising themselves enlarges the emotional emptiness they have been feeling for so long. Love hunger deepens, forcing the addictive cycle forward. These sufferers are helplessly entangled in a terrible process that can destroy their lives. Even though they make promises to adjust their eating behavior, nothing changes because they have failed to see the whole cycle for what it is ‘ a process!

What is the first step toward healing? Please join us at our next New Life Weekend.

Breaking Up the Fear and Food Addictive Relationship Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Breaking Up the Fear and Food Addictive Relationship: Part 2

Steve Arterburn

The fear and food addictive relationship cycle spins in the following order:

‘ Denial

‘ Emotional Pain

‘ Food fuels the process

‘ The cost (weight gain and other costs)
‘ Self-loathing, followed by:

‘ More denial

‘ More pain

‘ More food (and the cycle repeats itself on and on)

Do these steps sound frighteningly familiar? Do you have a sense that this cycle is true for you, but you don’t want to think about it right now? That’s understandable, but it’s these tendencies that give the cycle energy. If you want to ever really stop or get off, you have to pay attention to the whole cycle. In the next few articles I will talk about five steps that will help you get off this addictive wheel.

STEP TWO – Face the Emotional Pain

Being honest about the depth of our emotional pain is extremely difficult. No one wants to get in touch with the root of the pain system, since this renews the loss and deprivation that we’re trying desperately to avoid.

Generally our apprehension twists our opinion of ourselves, leaving us with low self-esteem. Even though our personal accomplishments may be of considerable scope, we tend to see ourselves in a diminished and insignificant position. The result is emotionally devastating.

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SELF-ESTEEM
is a gift
only we can
give ourselves!
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We must learn that self-esteem is a gift only we can give ourselves. Rather than a product of accomplishment, enduring self-esteem rests on a sense of self-worth intrinsically ours because we are children of God.
I John 3:1 says: ‘See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to be called his children, and we really are!’ We have value because the heavenly Father has placed us in this world as His special envoys. We must recognize and accept this fact as true.


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In God’s eyes
we have
supreme value!

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Whether the president of the United States or a dishwasher, we are of supreme value in God’s sight. Recognizing that fact is one of the most important steps we can take to break out of emotional pain. Experiencing unconditional love from good friends over a long period of time also reinforces our feelings of self-worth.

What is the first step toward healing? Please join us at our next New Life Weekend.

Breaking Up the Fear and Food Addictive Relationship
Part 1, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

The Love Killer of Being Self-centered

allaboutme

Many people think of selfish people as being difficult. But “self-centeredness” comes closer to the real description of what a truly selfish person is. What it means is that someone basically experiences life mostly in terms of him or herself. Someone has said, “To interpret any event only in terms of how it affects oneself is to live on the doorstep of Hell.” And that is true.|

When one is self-centered, one guarantees the failure of love, for love is an attachment between two people, and the self-centered person denies the reality of the “other.” This person sees others as extensions of himself. They exist to make him happy, serve his needs, regulate his feelings or drives in life. And when they fail to do that by having an existence of their own, he has some sort of negative reaction, such as anger, withdrawal of love, controlling behavior or rejection.This orientation to another person being more of an object for self-gratification than a person, makes a true attachment impossible. Love requires two people, not one person and an “object.”We could write about this dynamic for a long time, but one quick way to understand it is to look at it in terms of the quote above. “Only me” involves not ever adapting to the wishes or needs of someone else, or sacrificing something that I want for another person or a purpose or group larger than myself. Or, to say, ‘only me’, is to think of the significance of events or people only as I am benefited or denied.

Are you struggling to give or receive love? Are you in a relationship with a self-centered person? For help, we recommend attending our one of our Weekend Workshops. By God’s grace, you will be transformed!

More Precious Than Gold

Several years ago, I spoke with a young woman who was having trouble believing how valuable and precious she was. She, like so many had had, an abusive past, which affected how she saw herself. As I listened to her, an image came to me that I truly believe was from the Lord.

I asked her to imagine a pile of gold in front of us. Someone could come along and spit on the gold or call it ugly names or walk all over it, but nothing or no one could change the fact that in its essence it is pure gold.

In the same way, no matter what we’ve been called, what we’ve done, or what’s been done to us, the truth is that we are far more precious than gold; in fact, to God the Father we are worth the precious blood of His own Son. In Christ we are God’s Beloved.

These truths are probably not new to most of you. Intellectually, we may acknowledge these truths about ourselves, but how do we think of ourselves on a daily basis and what is our self-talk like? Do we beat ourselves up mentally when we blow it? Do we put ourselves down or call ourselves names?

The renewing of our mind or the realigning of our thoughts with God’s truth must be an ongoing and daily process in which we take an active role.

We need to examine our core beliefs about ourselves and our self-talk, making sure they are in line with what is true about us from God’s perspective. Instead of stopping there, however, we need to continually renew our minds with these truths until we believe them deep down to our core. Of course, it is also important to surround ourselves with people who seek to see others with the eyes of Christ and love others with the heart of Christ.

Do you have trouble believing you’re God’s beloved?  Join us at one of our Weekend Workshops.