BOOK REVIEW ~ Feeding Your Appetites: Take Control of What’s Controlling You!



Feeding Your Appetites: 
Take Control of What’s Controlling You! 
by @SteveArterburn
Thomas Nelson Publishers 2006
206 pp





If you’re not familiar with Stephen Arterburn — check him out. He has been an incredibly important influence on me from the early days of my recovery. In fact The Life Recovery Biblewhich he edited and produced with David Stoop, saved my life!


Stephen Arterburn is the founder and chairman of New Life Ministries and is the host of the nationally syndicated “New Life Live!” daily radio program. Steve’s also the founder of the Women of Faith conferences and has written over 60 books. This isn’t a Stephen Arterburn advertisement, but I want to put into perspective the value you will get from reading his book.


In Feeding Your Appetites Mr. Arterburn shows us in the beginning, at creation, all our appetites were intended for good. It was only after the fall of man that our natural appetites took on unhealthy purposes.


The career we choose…

  • the way we spend our money
  • how often we want sex and what kind we want
  • the types of friends we build relationships with
  • the amount of champagne we drink at a party  
  • how we prioritize our activities

…all reflect our distinctive appetites and desires. 

Our appetites motivate us to seek fulfillment, but they must be managed or they will lead us into a world of regret and tremendous emotional pain. When an appetite intended to help us survive is managed incorrectly, it may become a trap holding us in a deadly grip. Until we give ourselves and our appetites completely over to God, we will remain trapped. Stephen Arterburn

 

While reading Feeding Your Appetites we will recognize the influences that have led to our poor choices, we will pave new pathways and learn how to fill these natural voids in healthy ways. We will begin to cultivate godly appetites and ultimately live a surrendered life. To ensure our success Stephen has a simple Twelve Step process to help us evaluate our circumstances and map the areas where we’re struggling. Also included is a study guide for use with family or small groups.


If you struggle with appetites that have grown out of control consider reading Feeding Your Appetites by Stephen Arterburn.

An enjoyable read that can bring a better life. I highly recommend it!




Healing Hurts :: LONELINESS

In hopes of targeting topics to fit my reader’s needs, I recently took a poll of the hurts women struggle with. My poll listed: depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual addiction, loneliness, self-hatred, and inferiority. The survey results were interesting, but not surprising.
Loneliness overshadowed all the other struggles listed. 
Using the UCLA Loneliness Scale, AARP surveyed 3012 people over the age of 45 and found 35 percent are chronically lonely compared to 20 percent in a similar survey ten years earlier. 
According to the 2010 Census, 25 percent of American households are maintained by a single person, a dramatic increase from 7 percent in 1940. 
Over half of all Americans report having no close confidant or friends outside their immediate family; 25 percent of American have no meaningful social support at all, not a single person they can confide in!
All this means serious trouble for our health. Lonely people tend to have higher stress levels, exercise less, have more substance abuse, weaker immune systems, and the list goes on.
What is Loneliness? 
Loneliness is a state of sadness resulting from feeling separated from others.
Chronic loneliness is continually feeling disconnected from others; often leads to personal isolation, bitterness and destructive behavior.

Loneliness today seems to come with the job. Not only are more children growing up with single parents, but where there are two parents, often both parents are working with an average commute of 46 minutes. By the time everyone gets home, there’s no time to visit with the neighbor while the kids play outside. We wear busy as a badge while the value of community connection all but disappears.
Alone vs. Lonely  
Being alone refers to the physical state of being separated from others.
Being lonely refers to the emotional feeling of isolation or rejection.
Being alone can be a positive time of creativity or meditation with God.
Being lonely is always negative with feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. 
What about all my social-media friends and followers? Studies show rather than building community, social-networking sites give a false sense of connection that increases loneliness in people who already feel alone. A lonely woman may get on Facebook and see all the cool things her friends are doing with their exciting vacations, romantic dinners and happy families, she then begins to feel discontent with her own life.
Causes for Loneliness
Situational Loneliness: divorce, death of a loved one, empty nest, loss of job or home, physical disability, major move, illness, aging, abuse, new job, estrangement of family, etc…
Spiritual Loneliness: bad things happen and you feel God has abandoned you.

Social stigmas surround Loneliness. It’s seems acceptable to be on medication for depression, but being lonely often means unwanted, unlovable, unattractive, unintelligent. Loneliness is compounded not only with feeling alone but being alone in that feeling. It seems no one understands.
Some helpful solutions…
  • Ask God for guidance and He will help you!
  • Evaluate your loneliness. Take the UCLA Loneliness Test.
  • Take charge of your feelings; remove negative thoughts and self-talk.
  • Volunteer in your community.
  • Join and get plugged into a local Bible believing church.
  • Reduce work commute to free up time for friends, family and activities.
  • Don’t substitute electronic communication for face time.
  • Take an adult education class, start scrap-booking, knitting or quilting.
  •  Be determined not to isolate. Nurture personal relationships. 
  •  Meet your neighbors. Start a ladies lunch or dinner once a month.
  •  Get the resources listed below. 
  •  Read and memorize Scripture.
  •  Listen to praise and worship music. 


Personally, loneliness is high on my list of struggles. It’s gotten better as I’ve grown in the Lord but it still shows up when I least expect it. I’m not a doctor or a counselor and don’t pretend to have all the answers. The more I researched loneliness the more I discovered what a huge problem it is in our world today. I spent several weeks studying and found volumes of material on the subject. There was no way I could possibly cover all the areas needed so I’ve added a few resources below. 

If you suffer with chronic loneliness and have no one to talk to, please feel free to contact me here. 
The three best resources I found to help with loneliness: 
Worship music helps me most when I’m lonely. Here are some of my favorites. Rest in the Father’s Hands and receive His love for you…


Jesus Culture – All I Need is You http://youtu.be/MvL6evyRFgY


Misty Edwards – My Soul Longs for You http://youtu.be/mWC3J4Wz0wo


Michael W. Smith – More Love, More Power http://youtu.be/MhnmLNfyqY4

Photo Courtesy 123RF Stock Photo

BOOK REVIEW: Who Switched Off My Brain? by Dr Caroline Leaf

WHO SWITCHED OFF MY BRAIN? Controlling Toxic Thoughts and Emotions
by @DrCarolineLeaf
Published by Inprov, Ltd.
2009
175 pp

I’ve read countless books and have never gotten more excited. Not just about the book, but the topic, the science, and the implications this information can have on emotional and physical healing.

With creative schematics and easy to understand layman’s language, Dr. Caroline Leaf explains the fascinating brain science behind why and how our thoughts effect every area of our physical bodies down to the cellular level. She has an amazing talent for teaching both the scientific and spiritual aspects of the brain with incredible clarity.


Proving with science what Scripture has been saying for thousands of years. 

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. ~ Proverbs 23:7 AMP

Who among us doesn’t struggle with our thought life? 

Leading us out of distress, Dr. Leaf reveals The Dirty Dozen ~ 12 specific areas of toxic thinking in our lives:

  • Toxic Thoughts
  • Toxic Emotions
  • Toxic Words
  • Toxic Choices
  • Toxic Dreams
  • Toxic Seeds
  • Toxic Faith
  • Toxic Love
  • Toxic Touch
  • Toxic Seriousness
  • Toxic Health
  • Toxic Schedules

Having recognized our toxic thought patterns we learn how to sweep our brains, step by step detoxing each area of our thoughts. By gathering, reflecting, journaling, revisiting, and reaching, we reprogram our minds to build a secure foundation for the change, health and wholeness we desire.


“Who Switched Off My Brain?” is interesting, educational, enlightening, entertaining, spiritually relevant… a step by step process that leads to physical and emotional healing!

An honest to goodness page turner. I literally couldn’t put it down once I started!

I highly recommend Who Switched Off My Brain?” by Dr Caroline Leaf.

Here is a video of Joyce Meyer interviewing Dr. Caroline Leaf. 
Click here for another part of their interview.

BOOK REVIEW: Power Thoughts by Joyce Meyer



POWER THOUGHTS ~ 12 Strategies to Win the Battle of the Mind 
by @JoyceMeyer
FaithWords 2011
270pp

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a huge Joyce Meyer fan. Not because she’s a marvelous teacher, although she is. But through Joyce’s transparency, sharing her hurts and struggles, God has brought me healing and personal transformation. I’ve read most of her books, watched her television broadcast and listened to her CD’s, consistently for seven years. Without a doubt, Joyce Meyer’s ministry has had more impact on my life than any other. You can’t go wrong reading any of her books, but today let’s talk about Power Thoughts: 12 Strategies to Win the Battle of the Mind.

Power Thoughts isn’t a book just to be read. It’s a textbook that needs to be studied and used over and over again. Joyce frequently admits her own struggle in the area of her mind. And like a good teacher, she’s passing on tools she knows work, because they’ve helped her. In her traditional “Mama J” style, with review questions and Power Pack Scriptures placed throughout, Joyce gives us 12 Power Thoughts to help corral our mind. Here’s a sample…

Power Thought 1: I can do whatever I need to do in life through Christ.

This one’s a biggie for me. It’s easy to get into a pity party about doing housework, thinking I’m not making a difference in the world. Then God reminds me that whatever I need to do today, is what He wants me to do and I can do it through Christ’s strength if I will keep my mind on Him!

Joyce encourages us to focus on one Power Thought for a week, posting it on a 3×5 card in visible places around our home or office. Then throughout the day it’s available to review, thus keeping it top of mind. I’ve used this technique over the years with Scripture and affirmations with great success.

Often we don’t realize our problems start with a thought. If we’re depressed, we need to stop and have a “think session.” By reviewing what’s been running through our mind, we’ll find negative thoughts are the culprits. Once we get control of our thoughts, we’ll change our attitude and eventually our actions. Then we can enjoy the life Jesus died for us to have!

No matter what your struggle, thoughts are critical to overcoming any situation. I encourage you to get Power Thoughts: 12 Strategies to Win the Battle of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. Don’t just read it. Really do the work. It can and will change your life…

I offer you twelve “power thoughts” that can revolutionize your life if you will believe them, allow them to take root in your mind, and act on them in your everyday life. ~ Joyce Meyer

BOOK REVIEW: Think Differently Live Differently by Bob Hamp

Think Differently Live Differently ~ Keys to a Life of Freedom
by @BobHamp
Thinking Differently Press 2010
252 pp

I can’t think of a better way to start this new year than to review the book I’ve placed at the top of my recommended reading list! 

In 2008, my husband, Bill, and I were blessed with the opportunity to participate in Freedom Ministry at Gateway Church in Southlake,Texas. It was there I first encountered the incredible gift Bob Hamp has for communicating spiritual principles. Not unlike the parables in the Gospels, Bob’s stories tug at your heart strings while imparting truths you can easily understand and apply to daily life.

A culmination of life-long spiritual growth and years of counseling experience, Think Differently Live Differently lives up to its title. Through beautiful analogies and humor woven among the teaching, we are drawn into a story that completely changes the way we see original sin, our Creator and ultimately ourselves. With this new perspective comes revelation and suddenly we find freedom as never presented before.

There are few books I will push this strongly. It’s a must read for everyone! 

After all isn’t true freedom what we’re all looking for? 


Book Review: Real Sex ~The Naked Truth About Chastity

Real Sex ~ The Naked Truth About Chastity
by Lauren F. Winner
Published by Brazos Press 2006
183 pp

Wow! …Is the best place to start with Lauren Winner’s hard hitting book Real Sex ~ The Naked Truth About Chastity. I’ve taken a long break from reading, so it took me a bit to get into; but once in, I couldn’t put it down and plowed through it in one day.

Ms.Winner beautifully and intelligently takes on the subject of sex: sex in our culture and the community, sex before and after marriage, sex and single adults and most importantly sex and the church. Real Sex is conservative yet honest, direct and engaging, intellectual (keep a dictionary handy) and best of all–completely scriptural!

Real Sex is a must read for every Christian adult, single or married. Parents, read it and share what you learn with your teens and tweens. There are excellent discussion questions in the back of the book for small groups or family talks around the dinner table.

Ms.Winner teaches us valuable lessons about how our culture and the Christian church view sex and deal with chastity. She raises some great points that will leave your thinking about what we should do differently. We would all do well to step up to the challenges she humbly puts forth. This book would be an great resource for single and married adult ministries as well as youth ministries across America.

In the last 6 years I’ve read numerous books on sexuality, secular and Christian. But I have yet to find a more relative book that speaks directly to my testimony and the ministry to which I have been called. Blessings, gratitude and applause to Ms. Lauren Winner. I am now a huge fan!

I highly recommend Real Sex~The Naked Truth About Chastity and intend to use it regularly as a resource for my ministry…

Book Review: Dirty Girls Come Clean

May 2010 at a XXXChurch conference in Las Vegas I had the opportunity to meet Crystal Renaud. With her interviews just published in Christianity Today and The New York Times and an upcoming book, The Dirty Girls Ministry was taking off like a rocket. Anxiously I awaited the opportunity to read Crystal’s story.

In Dirty Girls Come Clean, Crystal Renaud breaks new ground by coming clean about her own pornography addiction, along with 6 other girls. With stories that are touching and transparent, these women are breaking a silence that is long over due in the recovery arena. A well rounded recovery book, Crystal provides the necessary steps and resources for women to find hope, forgiveness and healing.

Pornography addiction, like other addictions, knows no religious or age boundaries. There are millions of Christian women hiding in the shame of this addiction. If you, or a woman you know, struggle with a pornography addiction please get this book. Teen girls and parents this is a MUST READ!

Book Review: My Life So Far by Jane Fonda

My Life So Far by Jane Fonda
Random House 2006
What you remember about Jane Fonda may not be all that appealing or interesting. And honestly, this isn’t the type of book I normally browse, much less purchase. But after seeing Jane Fonda on a talk show recently I had to order it. At first glance My Life So Far didn’t seem to fit the theme of my ministry, but once I read her introduction I knew it was something I was supposed to read and write about.
Her story will help many women find healing! 
In My Life So Far Ms. Fonda is incredibly transparent about all aspects of her life and marriages. She talks openly about her battle with eating disorders, self image issues and sexuality. Considering she’s from my mother’s generation; I was amazed at how much my personal issues and emotional feelings mirrored hers. With her history of political controversy, who could imagine Jane Fonda had self-esteem problems?
She opens up about her deepest fears…

“I’m terrified of getting to that place right at the edge of life when there’s no time left, being filled with regrets and having no time to set things right.

I began thinking a great deal about [fears of mine] in my late fifties. I had begun to go through deep inner changes–changes that I didn’t fully understand until I began writing this book. I realized then that to avoid regrets, I would have to start, while I was still healthy and strong, to name what those might be and to do something about them. I needed to live consciously, and I knew it would mean facing things that frightened me — like intimacy.” 

One of my favorite things is her comparison of life to a play…

Act I    Birth to 29
Act II   30-59
Act III  60…

“The big difference between life and acting… in life there’s no rehearsal… this is it; better get it right before it’s over.”

Today, I’m challenged to finish my second act with a deeper understanding of myself, life and God. I want to go into Act III with great physical health, intent to have the best ending possible.

My Life So Far is full of wonderful stories of Jane’s family and movie making with great photos throughout. It’s quite a read to tackle with 600 pages, but definitely worth the time! Whether you’re a movie buff, interested in political history or a struggling with personal issues, you’ll get caught up in her story and won’t want to put it down. Having found a sister/friend… I miss hanging out with her. Her next book Prime Time: Creating a Great Third Act is scheduled to release in September. I’ve already pre-ordered it!

Are You Living Heart Healthy?


heart health

 

Generally, women don’t talk much about heart attacks. After all, it’s a man’s disease, right? Not any more!

According to the American Heart Association: 1 in 3 women have some form of heart disease and Cardiovascular Disease is the #1 killer of women!

 

 WE MUST PROTECT OURSELVES!

5 Simple Steps To Prevent Heart Disease:

  • QUIT SMOKING
  • EXERCISE 30 MINUTES MOST DAYS OF THE WEEK
  • EAT HEART HEALTHY: More Fish-n-Veggies; Less Meat-n-Dairy
  • WAIST MANAGEMENT: Women 32.5″ Men 35″
  • GET REGULAR HEALTH SCREENINGS

Significant symptoms prior to heart attack include:

  • Unusual fatigue
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Shortness of breath
  • Indigestion
  • Anxiety, feelings of impending doom or unusual nervousness

Significant symptoms during heart attack include:

  • Shortness of breath and/or inability to catch your breath when waking up
  • Weakness
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Cold sweat, clammy sweat
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Chest pain, could also include back pain and/or deep aching and throbbing in one or both arms
  • Fluttering or rapid heartbeats, palpitations
  • Feeling of heaviness, such as pressure-like chest pain between the breasts that may radiate to the left arm or shoulder
Let’s not allow poor health to sneak up.

What good is it to have a spiritually healthy heart if our physical heart is in poor health? We won’t be around to enjoy the abundant life Christ died to give us. It’s a sad witness to Christ, if we can’t take care of the body we’ve been given!

Let’s be proactive… together!

Some of you were my friends and/or trainees when I was a trainer at Curves in Katy, TX. Well, this week I’m going back to Curves because I know it works – I lost almost 30 lbs in 2006. So before that lost weight creeps back on, I’m getting back in the program as a trainee this time! I encourage you to find a friend and get started. It’s more fun that way!


Guard your heart above all else, 
for it determines the course of your life.
~ Proverbs 4:23 NLT

Book Review: Searching For God Knows What by Donald Miller

Searching For God Knows What
by Donald Miller
Thomas Nelson Publishers 2004/2010
$14.99
249pp

True to form, Donald Miller, in his unmistakable story-telling style, tackles important subjects like faith and theology. Seriously, yet humorously, shedding light on them so that you will never read the Bible the same way again.

As the title suggests, this is a personal journey of faith. Faith renounced then found; but not just found, rediscovered with a clearer understanding of God’s Word and what it means for mankind.

Having read only two of his books, I am a huge fan of Donald Miller’s writing. I especially like the way he includes the reader in his personal struggles with life, God and faith.

I highly recommend this book. It’s an easy, entertaining read, but at the same time will make you think long and hard about what you really believe about God and Scripture.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their www.BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”