Book Review on The Gospel Coalition - "Loving Well"

Dear Readers:

This morning, a review I wrote of pastor and biblical counselor William P. Smith's "Loving Well (Even if You Haven't Been)" (New Growth Press, 2012) was published by The Gospel Coalition. Naturally, I am very pleased about this; but even more exciting to me is the actual message of Smith's book. While not related to eating disorders, I encourage all to get a copy of "Loving Well" and read it.

Have you ever doubted God's personal love for you?

Have you ever struggled to show the love of Christ to others?

Have you ever wanted to move towards a friend who is suffering, but not known just what to do?

Smith takes a warm, relational approach to Christ as we see Him in the Scriptures - relentlessly serving, comforting, pursuing. Understanding the many facets of God's personal love for you is crucial to being able to extend that same love to others -- regardless of who they are.

While this book is a great addition to any biblical counselor's library, I highly recommend it for ANY Christian who seeks to know and apply God's personal love for them in Christ.

Loving WellWilliam P. Smith | Review by: Marie Notcheva


William P. Smith. Loving Well (Even if You Haven’t Been). Greensboro, NC: New Growth Press, 2012. 288 pp. $15.99.

William Smith and I have a lot in common. We are both biblical counselors. We both write about God’s grace. And we both go bananas when our kids slam the doorknob into the drywall.

In Loving Well (Even if You Haven’t Been), Smith, director of counseling at Chelten Baptist Church in Dresher, Pennsylvania, explores the believer’s need to internalize God's love for us as individuals in order to build strong, edifying relationships with others. In this well-written and easy-to-identify-with book, Smith explores 15 aspects of divine love and how, through grasping them, we grow more intentional about extending grace.

The timing of this book coincided with a personal rediscovery of the God who, as he puts it, “moves toward me, inviting me to know him” (xxi). In a dry spiritual season, I admitted to a fellow Christian my struggle to believe God really loves me and my tendency to see the cross as an historical event with little bearing on my life. “Don’t you believe [the Word] has the power to change you?” my friend admonished. His advice was so simple as to be common sense: read the Gospels. Again. Double-read the parts about Jesus’ crucifixion, which he went through “willingly, because he loved you.”

My young friend was on to something: experiencing the love of God is foundational to transformation. Smith observes that how we perceive God will inevitably affect how we treat others; therefore, we need an accurate view of God. Seeing him as the initiating, pursuing God of all comfort (rather than a dictator or detached deity) enables us to reach out to others. Moving toward suffering friends, building others up to reach their full potential in Christ, and enjoying genuine fellowship are three categories Smith examines.

Part I deals with comforting love, confessing struggles, and forgiveness. Moving sympathetically toward those in pain is the model of how God approaches us. In his humanity, Jesus invited the presence of others in his own deepest trials (e.g., Gethsemane). The suggestion that we may actually help a hurting person by our mere presence is refreshing to those of us trained not to let a counselee “vent” or just talk about the problem. Is “just listening” beneficial? Doesn’t compassion move us to action? Yes, when appropriate. In later chapters, Smith explores the outworking of serving and giving, but when a friend suffers, often the most loving thing to do is simply be there.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

True intimacy demands letting friends see the depths of our hearts. Drawing on Christ’s transparency with his followers, Smith gives helpful ways to respond to a friend who opens up her life. However, two realities coexist: we sin, and we’re sinned against. Smith demonstrates that a truly forgiving friend must see the lengths to which God will go to forgive and restore relationships—beginning in Eden and culminating at Calvary. Smith asks the rhetorical question, “Did God set himself up to be sinned against?” (52) and explains that God allowing sin in no way undermines his sovereign plan to reveal his mercy and goodness. Relieved that Smith upholds a high view of God, I agreed that incidents of sin, unavoidable between friends, lead to opportunities to extend forgiveness and thus chances for others to behold the goodness of God through us (Rom. 6:1).

While Smith promotes reconciliation, a discussion of repentance was largely absent (though he later touches on the subject of gentle confrontation). Likewise, we read of Smith seeking forgiveness from his child after “losing it,” but how did he then deal with the child’s defiance that preceded the angry confrontation?

Love That Reaches Out

In Part II, Smith examines the importance of edification and service. Understanding we’re served by Jesus marks the difference between believing we’re “here to be served” and joyfully extending service to others. Drawing on Paul’s example with diverse individuals, Smith demonstrates true friendship is based far less on commonalities than on a mutual friendship with Christ. The “pursuing love” he unpacks depicts “lost sheep diligently pursuing each other” (101), since that’s what they’ve experienced themselves from the Good Shepherd. Accountability, then, is simply an element of transparent friendship.

Smith provides an apt metaphor for counseling: “Do you see God’s gracious attitude toward those who are in trouble? He wants shepherds who will give themselves to the work of building up and pursuing people who are damaged and lost . . . who actively pursue the hurting sheep in order to nurse them back to health” (105). Encouragement lies at the heart of “one-anothering” in healthy churches. God deals with straying children by pleading, warning, and instructing—expressions of his love, and the foundation upon which all counsel, exhortation, and edification must be based.

Love That Enjoys Heaven on Earth

Though “fellowship” is a somewhat overused term in evangelicalism, it is the true sense of Christian fellowship to which Smith devotes the final section of the book. The image of Christ emptying himself and the Father welcoming unfaithful sinners shapes how we greet and interact with one another. “Reshaping our world for the sake of someone else” grows out of reverence for Christ. Smith also discusses unbiblical submission by denouncing the error of domineering, one-sided relationships. Verbal and emotional abuse are too rarely addressed in biblical counseling literature, but Smith encourages change motivated by concern for both persons’  spiritual health.

All of God’s commands regarding love reveal his relational heart. The warmth Christ has for his “friends” (John 15:15) comes through the pages of Loving Well. Enjoying true friendship with a personal God doesn’t diminish his majesty; it enables his children to display his likeness in their own relationships. Tying Scripture to real-life situations, Smith takes a relational approach to the process of biblical change—change that cannot help but occur once we’ve tasted God’s goodness personally.

Marie Notcheva is a writer and biblical counselor who specializes in eating disorders. A graduate of Jay Adams’s Institute for Nouthetic Studies, Marie counsels at Heritage Bible Chapel in Princeton, Massachusetts. She and her husband are the parents of four children. Following a 17-year battle with anorexia and bulimia, Marie began studying biblical counseling and realized the principles she had learned during her own recovery could be used to help others. Redeemed from the Pit: Biblical Repentance and Restoration from the Bondage of Eating Disorders (Calvary Press, 2011) was the project that came out of that mission. Marie is passionate about pointing other women to Jesus Christ, the Healer of their souls.


Review of "Redeemed from the Pit" - The Sacred Pursuit

Amelia Arnold, a conference speaker and writer, has posted a review of my book, "Redeemed from the Pit" on her blog. It is very encouraging for an author to see positive reviews of her work in print!

Redeemed From the Pit: Biblical Repentance and Restoration From the Bondage of Eating Disorders by Marie Notcheva
Interior Publications, imprint of Calvary Press, 2011
Forward is written by Martha Peace

Marie is a certified Biblical Counselor under Jay Adams’ Biblical counseling program and is currently working on her NANC certification.

Marie’s Blog: http://redeemedfromthepit.blogspot.com/
Video testimony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPOHvay61Lc

Summary Review:
“Disordered eating” is something that many woman today struggle with. Insecurity in appearance, food addiction, obsession with being thin, the tendency to overeat, struggles with maintaining weight; even as far as abusing your body to stay thin… these things and more are very often symptoms of a deeper issue; a deeper issue that begins in the mind, more specifically, in one’s thoughts and worship (or lack thereof) of God.

In her book, Redeemed From the Pit, Marie gives her personal testimony of her obsession with being thin and struggle with bulimia and then how she found victory and freedom in Christ. She counsels her readers of what the real issue is: sin; and what the only real solution is: realizing what Christ has done for you, repenting of your sin, and trusting and believing that you are in Christ and that He has given us what we need to have freedom and victory over the desires of the flesh!
While this book is written most specifically for women dealing with bulimia, Marie gives some great insight and counsel for women struggling with disordered eating of any kind (anorexia, overeating, struggles with weight, etc.). It is a strong Biblical guide to what our attitude should be towards our body, towards food, and points the reader towards the only One who can satisfy, comfort and perfect us: Jesus Christ.

While she recognizes that outside causes can sometimes lead to eating disorders she clearly teaches that that is no excuse. We make our own choices and we’re responsible for them. She discusses root sins (like vanity, anger, bitterness or unforgiveness, jealousy, fear of man, pride, selfishness) that can lead to one’s disordered eating and that they need to be dealt with and repented of. She also discusses how this sin (like all sins) is rooted in idolatry – the worship of something besides God and teaches what true repentance is and how we should walk in repentance on a daily basis. There’s a chapter dedicated to seeking godly counsel (how to know who to go to, who to seek counsel from), and she discusses the role of the church in counseling and the sufficiency of Scripture to give us the answers. She talks about what the Gospel is and what it means practically for the Christian that we are “in Christ”. There’s a chapter on the importance of our thinking and what it means to put off sin (or wrong thinking), and put on righteousness (or right, Christ-centered thinking). There are two chapters on the importance of forgiveness (not holding on to bitterness), a chapter on the practical side of things (like health problems that can be the result of eating disorders), and another chapter on why it’s important to tell someone about the struggle you have.

To share a few quotes:

“I had to deliberately choose, over and over to lay my wrong thinking (preoccupation with food and weight) down on the altar and reprogram my mind with the truth of God’s Word.” (p. 52)
“ ’In Christ’ clearly refers to our justified position, and carries with it the implication of obedience and being conformed to the character of Christ – not seeking to find ‘meaning’ or personal fulfillment.” (p. 99)
“Take comfort in the fact that the same Lord Who was willing to heal the lepers of Judea is also ready, willing and more than able to cleanse you. In fact, as He works in your heart, you will conquer this sin because He has already conquered it.” (p. 153)
“Throughout His Word, God assures His Children that if they will change their thinking and attitudes toward sin, He will enable them to turn around and change their ways.” (p. 175)
“God wants us to change and to bear fruit for His glory (John 15:8). The Gospel, not ‘self-help’, is the key to change (Rom 6:11, Isa 55:1-2), and we, His redeemed children, are responsible to exert effort in our sanctification (Phil 2:12).” (p. 193)
“Effective counseling grows out of discipleship, the mentoring necessary for a new Christian to grow to maturity.” (p. 199-200)
“…the best-equipped, most doctrinally sound facility in the world will not be able to help someone who does not truly desire to forsake her sin.” (p. 204)
“Just as one sin very often leads to another, disciplined training in righteousness (learning to forgive, even though it goes against our wills) can likewise lead to changed behavior and ‘putting on’ of self-control in another (overcoming food addiction).” (p. 249-250)


Beautiful Testimony from a Co-Laborer for the Gospel

Last month, I spoke at two women's "Rejuvenate!" conferences in New Hampshire, at Monadnock Bible Conference Center. Following my workshop presentation, "God'S Solution to Eating Disorders: Total Transformation", I was available to speak to women who wished to share their experiences with me. I also sold a number of copies of "Redeemed from the Pit". Imagine my surprise last week, when I received the following e-mail from another one of the conference speakers!

"Dear Marie,

I finished reading your book about two weeks ago and I wanted to write to you and let you know how the Lord has used it in my life personally. The providence of God is truly amazing – the Lord knew I needed to hear you speak that first weekend of the women’s conferences at MBC and that I needed to read your book. You see, I have really been struggling with “disordered eating” for some time now. I haven’t been technically “bulimic”, but aside from throwing up, I was finding myself fasting or exercising a lot to make up for what I ate the day before (which I realized was just another way of “purging”).

I realized that weekend that I heard you speak that I really had a problem and just didn’t want to admit it. The Lord really convicted me of the idolatry in my heart and the battle with sin that this was. The past few weeks have been hard, the next few months will still be hard I know, the progress of transforming my mind seems so slow and I fail more than I’d like, but God has been so good, so gracious and I trust that He will continue to sanctify and change me. When I finished your book I discovered I had Elyse Fizpatrick’s Idols of the Heart on my “to read” bookshelf and thought – wow God knew I needed that next! But I LOVED your book. It was so solid Biblically, so clear on what the real issue is (sin!) and so powerful with the hope of the Gospel and our position in Christ! That is one of the biggest things He’s taught me over the past 2 years, my position in Christ, and it was so great to be encouraged by that more!

So anyway Marie, I just wanted to write and say thank you so much for sharing your story, for writing this book and for speaking, counseling and ministering to so many women! It has been helpful to me and I am sure God will use it to convict, counsel and direct other women towards Christ and freedom from these addictions.

Many blessings in Christ,"


A Testimonial: How Biblical Counseling Helped a Woman Struggling with Bulimia (Courtesy of the Biblical Counseling Coalition)


From the very beginning, my blog has served as a platform to share hope: specifically, hope that one can be fully and irrevocably free from eating disorders, through the Lord Jesus Christ. It was through His grace and power that I myself was set free from bulimia back in 2003, and my book, "Redeemed from the Pit", lays out the process of repentance. I have shared the testimonies of others before here on this blog, as well as posted articles about biblical counseling (and how it differs from psychology-based counseling). This summer, the BBC blog  published an anonymous testimony from a woman who had been greatly helped by biblical counseling and also overcame her bondage to bulimia. I find her story very inspiring, as well as informative. Women like her are the reason I pursued certification as a biblical counselor, and now have the privilege of opening the Scriptures to them in the counseling office.

If you are struggling with anorexia, bulimia, or any food-related bondage, please read her story prayerfully. Be encouraged that with God, all things are possible.....and Christ's words as recorded in Matthew, "I am willing. Be clean!" are as applicable to you and me as they were to that first century leper.

Here is her story....

An All-Consuming Desire

Sin takes you further than you want to go and keeps you longer than you want to stay. At the age of fourteen, my desire for approval and affirmation manifested itself in the beginning of an eight-and-a-half-year battle with bulimia. The desire to lose weight became the driving force of my life as I was willing to go to any lengths to get it.

My heart’s desires were evident in my behaviors. Binging and purging, counting calories, obsessing about my size and weight were all outward manifestations of a heart that was insecure, fearful of others, and longed for comfort from life’s circumstances. My security, confidence, and surety as a person waivered. When I was fearful of others’ opinions or desired to gain their approval by a “thinner” appearance, I would flee to binging and purging. When the circumstances of life brought pressure, heartache, and pain, binging and purging became my comfort.

Read the rest of her testimony here at the Biblical Counseling Coalition blog. To God be all the glory!


Testimony from a Russian Reader

It is e-mails like this one that made the years of study, writing and struggle to market my book all worthwhile. I corresponded with the following reader a few years ago, as she was unable to find biblical counseling resources in her homeland of Russia.

Hello Marie!
I don't know whether you remember me... about 2 years or even more ago i wrote you an email and you answered straight away.

My email was story about my struggles with bulimia and asked for helped and encouragement.
After that i sort of disappeared.. so a year ago i graduated and went back to my hometown to stay with my parents and to figure out and pray about my future.   
I still had bulimia and i definitely knew by that time that no one but God could free me from this bondage.. I shared with my mom. she helped me in many ways too... 
I was reading a lot of books, articles, blogs, served in church, worked and was praying that God will open doors for me, that He is willing to open. At the same time i started working on my applications for a Master's degree to several universities. My elder sister has been studying in America for 2 years and I decided to try too. I was accepted, God provided finances and after certain complications with the visa documents I came to California.  
Several days ago I was in the book store of my college and saw your book "redeemed from the pit". My heart was filled with joy and gratefulness to the Lord for what He has allowed in my life and for people that had been helping me. You were one of them!And the most exciting thing for me is that currently I am a student of the Masters of the Biblical counseling program in the Master's College (MacArthur College).
I wrote you to say thank you and to encourage you to continue your ministry! I would be happy to keep in touch! and to learn!
p.s. oh,i think i didn't mention, but i don't struggle with bulimia for half a year now)


The BCC Author Interview Q & A with Marie Notcheva

Read original post on the Biblical Counseling Coalition's website here

As part of our BCC vision, we want to help you to get to know gifted Christian authors and their books. This week we’re highlighting Marie Notcheva as she talks about her book Redeemed from the Pit.

BCC: “There are many books available about eating disorders, which impact up to 15% of American women. What sets your book, Redeemed from the Pit, apart?”

MN: “When I began looking at Christian books that discuss anorexia and bulimia, I noticed that most of them either fell into the ‘self-help’ or ‘pop-psychology’ genre. I saw a lot of talk about self-esteem and loving ourselves more, but very little Scripture. In order to be transformed from the destructive thinking that leads to eating disorders, it’s important to see anorexia and bulimia as life dominating sins. My book focuses on the importance of renewing one’s mind with the Word of God, while actively ‘putting off’ sinful eating patterns and ‘putting on’ God-honoring behavior.”

BCC: “What is your perspective on how to ‘classify’ eating disorders?”

MN: “Anorexia and bulimia are learned behaviors—which, by God’s grace, can be unlearned.  God offers forgiveness and cleansing from ‘addictions.’ This is GOOD news! God’s Word has already given us the answer: faith and repentance. Some of the harshest criticism I have received for calling them ‘sins’ has actually come from Christians. If we are in Christ, we do have the power by His Spirit to turn around and overcome any self-destructive behavior enslaving us. Helping people realize this is one of the most loving things we can do. Popular wisdom claims that someone with an eating disorder will ‘never be recovered; but always in recovery.’ Where’s the hope in that? Compare that with 1 Corinthians 6, which says the believer can leave behind their old way of life and be totally transformed.”

BCC: “Where does the title of your book, Redeemed from the Pit, come from?”

MN: “It is a reference to Psalm 40. David was stuck in a slimy, muddy pit of sin, and called out to the Lord to rescue him. God responded, and set his feet on a solid rock. That image stuck with me when God granted me repentance from eating disorders—He heard my cry, and patiently walked me out of the ‘pit.’”

BCC: “So, you personally struggled with an eating disorder. Is the book autobiographical?”

MN: “I battled both anorexia and bulimia from age 15 to 32. Chapters 1 and 14 include my testimony, but the book is not an autobiography. My purpose in writing it was to point other women towards the Great Physician, and share with them the same lessons God had taught me. Those were the hardest chapters to write, because an eating disorder is something so deeply personal. It was much easier to write about the theology of repentance, and how to ‘take every thought captive’ than about my own personal struggle.”

BCC: “What would you say are some of the things that cause a young woman to slide into an eating disorder? Where do anorexia and bulimia come from?”

MN: “Of course, everything starts in the mind—unbiblical thinking becomes a meditation, which ultimately determines how one behaves. Some of the underlying sins include fear of man; vanity; idolatry; seeking control of others; lack of self-control (gluttony); perfectionism, and prayerlessness. I unpack each of these throughout the book and counter them with the biblical alternative—the ‘put on.’ Of course, there are also external factors, such as media, parental pressure and the food-obsessed culture in which we live, but the main culprit is our own sin nature. It all goes back to pride and wanting to live independently of God.”

BCC: “Martha Peace wrote the foreword to Redeemed from the Pit. In what ways was Martha of assistance to you in your writing?”

MN: “Martha was very helpful. She went over each chapter with a fine-toothed comb, making sure that my language was unambiguously clear and biblical. For example, she suggested I avoid using the term “delivered” because it might suggest to some readers the exorcism ‘deliverance ministries.’ She also helped me clarify to the reader the importance of our ‘position in Christ’ to our sanctification, versus our ‘identity in Christ’ model. I think I re-wrote that chapter at least four times! Martha also brings decades of experience from the counseling room to her perspective, and that was extremely valuable.”

BCC: “You discuss the role of the local church in your book. Do you feel it is appropriate for someone who suffers from an eating disorder to seek help from her pastor?”

MN: “I absolutely think it is appropriate! Rather than looking outside of the church for a faith-based inpatient facility, a believer may be best helped at home by receiving the counseling and accountability she needs by someone who knows and cares about her. Of course, ideally a pastor would be able to provide another woman in the congregation to disciple the woman seeking help, and she should always be monitored by a doctor. But the biblical model of providing hope, help, and spiritual care for the hurting has always been through the local church. An eating disorder, at its root, is a spiritual battle. While medical care is indeed necessary, true hope and lasting change comes from knowing God’s Word  and being able to correctly apply it through a right relationship with Him. This is where the church can come alongside someone struggling, and help her live her life to glorify God.”

BCC: “Thank you, Marie, for introducing our readers to Redeemed from the Pit.”

BCC Staff

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BBC Interview with Shannon K. McCoy - Author of "Help! I'm a Slave to Food"

The Biblical Counseling Coalition ran the following Q & A with NANC counselor and author, Shannon K. McCoy. Shannon wrote a very helpful booklet to help believers and biblical counselors overcome life-dominating food issues, which I will review in the upcoming weeks. The booklet is available on Amazon, as well as through the BCC site. It is indeed a pleasure to find and recommend other soundly Scriptural resources that help Christians walk free from eating disorders!

The BCC Author Interview Q & A with Shannon Kay McCoy

As part of our BCC vision, we want to help you to get to know gifted Christian authors and their books. This week we’re highlighting Shannon Kay McCoy as she talks about her booklet Help! I’m a Slave to Food. Her booklet is part of the series Living in a Fallen World.

BCC: “Why did you write a booklet on overeating?”

SKM: “First, my interest in this topic is very personal. There have been times in my life when I felt I was a slave to food. I tried to use food as a balm for unwanted emotions and to distract me from undesirable responsibilities. It brought a false sense of pleasure and satisfaction, only to end in confusion and betrayal. Then I discovered God’s empowering grace and I am now walking victoriously in the words of Jesus that “life is more than food” (Luke 12:23) and “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Second, I am concerned about the effectiveness of the Christian church. Excessive overeating, which is called gluttony in the Bible, can no longer be considered a subtle, respectable, and silent sin. It is hindering the spiritual growth and effectiveness of many Christians.”

BCC: “Why did you choose to include the word ‘slave’ in the title?”

SKM: “The word ‘slave’ describes what an overeater really feels. A slave is a person held in servitude or bondage resulting in loss of freedom. A slave is completely subservient to a master. The master has ownership, authority, power, and control over the life of a slave. The overeater feels like food is her master, and that she is completely helpless to set herself free from its prison.”

BCC: “In your approach, how important do you think it is to identity overeating as a sin?”

SKM: “Identifying overeating as a sin means there is great hope because Jesus has overcome sin for us. By faith the overeater acknowledges her sin and seek God’s grace through Jesus Christ who then delivers the overeater from this sin.”

BCC: “Why did you not choose to use the term ‘addiction’ with overeating?”

SKM: “The danger in labeling overeating as an addiction is that it undermines the personal conviction of sin. If sin is not the problem, then you will be looking for solutions in a system of theories and not in the person of Jesus Christ.”

BCC: “How is your booklet different from other materials that address this subject?”

SKM: “This booklet is not a diet plan, but a compass directing the reader to the heart of the problem and to the only solution: Jesus, the One who can bring you out of slavery into freedom.”

BCC: “What are some of the practical helps that your booklet offers?”

SKM: “The booklet offers personal application projects that can be done individually or with a group.”

BCC: “Who should read your book?”

SKM: “Anyone who may be struggling with the sin of overeating or knows someone who struggles with this sin.”

BCC: “Thanks, Shannon, for helping our readers to ponder biblical principles for victory over the temptations we face in our daily Christian life—especially related to overeating.”


"Body Gossip" Clip

Motivational recovery short from British celebrities about walking away from an eating disorder and rejecting the lies the obsession causes one to believe.


Where to Buy "Redeemed from the Pit"

Dear Readers:

As many of you know, judging from the many e-mails I have received, Amazon.com has been out of stock of my book, "Redeemed from the Pit: Biblical Repentance and Restoration from the Bondage of Eating Disorders" for several months. I am a bit upset about this, as many people (including counselors) have been trying to get the book and cannot. I spoke with the publisher last week, and Calvary Press is out of stock, as well. It is due to go into a second print run, but I do not know when and I am a little frustrated at the way things are going. As in-demand as the book is, the supply is not keeping up with the demand.

Currently, I have 31 copies left in my own inventory, but with upcoming speaking engagements and several conferences this fall, I do not want to run out.

HOWEVER - I have found several vendors online which still have the book in stock (at a discount, no less!), including Vision of Hope's resources bookstore, Faith Baptist Resources.

You can purchase the book below, at several dollars off the publisher's retail price:

also available here, through Grace & Truth Books.

It is not yet available on Kindle, although I was told it would be soon. Please feel more than free to contact the publisher at calvrypres@aol.com with questions and comments, or to request a Kindle edition. I'm sure he would appreciate feedback on my book, and the demand for it.

As always, if you are OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES and are interested in the book, contact me directly at marie4thtimemom@yahoo.com.

Thank you for your support!


Conference Presentation - "God's Solution to Eating Disorders: Total Transformation"

Last weekend I spoke at the "Authentic Beauty" conference for teen girls at Monadnock Bible Conference in Jaffrey, NH. My workshop, which I gave twice, was entitled "God's Solution to Eating Disorders: Total Transformation" and was based upon Romans 12:1-2, the key passage on being transformed through the renewal of our minds.

It was a very successful and edifying time, well-received by the young ladies in attendance and enthusiastically recommended to their friends. What struck some of the girls the most was the truth that when a shameful secret such as bulimia is brought out into the light, it begins to lose its power to enslave. Also, the concept of no longer being slaves to sin (and therefore having the choice to repent of a life-dominating sin) was new to some of the girls. Several mentioned never having thought about eating disorders as something that could be overcome by "re-programming the mind" with God's thoughts.

All in all, it was a fruitful time of ministry, and the conference director asked me to come back to give the same presentation at conferences for adult women. If you are interested in purchasing and downloading my Power Point presentation and notes for use in your own church or ministry, (or my e-book, "Redeemed from the Pit",) please e-mail me at marie4thtimemom@yahoo.com. The presentation is a full hour and is available for $9.99.


More Medical Evidence Disproving the "Chemical Imbalance" Theory

Eating disorders are still not caused by "chemical imbalances", folks. Is there a chemical basis for "mental disorders"? Nope.

Peter Breggin, M.D. (1997), was formerly a teaching fellow at Harvard Medical School and full-time consultant with the National Institute of Mental Health. As author of Brain Disabling Treatments In Psychiatry, he declares that "there are no known biochemical imbalances in the brain of typical psychiatric patients" (p. 5). Breggin was also on the National Institute of Mental Health.

Dr. William Wirshing (1999), a researcher and professor of psychiatry at UCLA, stated to a room full of psychiatrists that “we have been lying to everyone for years concerning the chemical imbalance model.” No one in the audience challenged him.

In an article approved for continuing education by the American Psychiatric Association, the author states, “We don’t know how psychotropic medications really work” (Khan, 1999).

Dr. Ty Colbert, President of the Center for Psychological Alternatives to Biopsychiatry states: “Believe it or not, it is freely admitted even within the ranks of psychiatry that no conclusive evidence exists to show that any form of mental illness is biologically caused…

In contrast, there is considerable scientific evidence to show that psychotherapy can be more effective than psychiatric medication for disorders such as depression, mania, ADHD, anxiety, and even schizophrenia.”


The Center -- is it Really "A Place of Hope"?

Today, I received an inquiry from a reader in the Dominican Republic who is battling bulimia, and is looking into Christian inpatient treatment in the United States. She was wondering about "The Center", an addiction-treatment center in Washington state founded by Dr. Gregg Jantz. While I did not specifically mention "The Center" in my book, Redeemed from the Pit,  the program's integrationist worldview and "whole-person" treatment model predictably follow the pattern common to many counseling centers. While claiming to be "Christian", these facilities, sadly, do not subscribe to a biblical philosophy of man, God, sin, or the Word of God itself.

Following are the main points I mentioned to her about "The Center":

 My discernment alarms are going off. First off, what I notice from the website (in the 1st few minutes I'm there):

 - They "accept insurance". This is never a good sign. If they were truly Christ-centered, biblical counseling-oriented, they would NOT be licensed as "mental health" providers. That alone tells me they are more psych-based than Scripture-based.

 - I cannot find any Statement of Faith. That is another red flag, even if a counseling center claims to be founded by a Christian. - Dr. Gregg Jantz is very much in the "integrationist" camp -- one who believes that the Bible does not contain all the answers; but rather that psychology can be blended with the Bible. (It can't be, as any biblical counselor will tell you -- psychotherapy's view of man and the Bible's view of man are diametrically opposite.) His "whole person approach" is just that. He is not a biblical counselor, by any stretch of the imagination (although he may very well be a Christian.)

 After a few more minutes perusing their website, I come across The Center's program distinctives:

  - 2. We have assembled a comprehensive recovery team of psychologists, licensed counselors, a certified eating disorder specialist, medical personnel, board certified psychiatrist, dieticians, licensed social workers, depression experts, licensed marriage and family therapists, certified chemical dependency professionals, massage therapists, RN, fitness trainer and various specialists. Our team represents the very best in treatment – professionals who are called into the ministry of Hope and Healing. 

Okay....dieticians (nutritionists) and other medical personnel are always a good thing. "Board certified psychiatrists" and "depression experts" are not. They will tell the client that eating disorders (and depression) are "diseases", not their fault, and probably pump them full of psychotropic drugs to numb the feelings of guilt. No child of God should be deceived in this way.

 - On the Eating Disorder program page, I saw good and bad. Yes, I (obviously) agree that total transformation (I refuse to use the word recovery) is possible.....but this: "our programs for eating disorders incorporate advanced eating disorder treatment and technologies." is hogwash. They never mention REPENTANCE, which is how one changes. Of course, for them to talk about repentance, they'd have to admit that anorexia and bulimia are SINS, which they never do.

 - On the main page, where one would expect a comprehensive explanation of The Center's worldview (is it biblical? secular?), we read: "The Center for Counseling and Health Resources follows a model of whole person care – for both men and women – whereby our vision ensures we give appropriate attention to the medical, physical, psychological, emotional, nutritional, fitness and spiritual aspects of each person seeking help through one of our treatment programs. We believe in and value the worth of all individuals, and model this belief to all we serve – “inspired healthcare” for restoring balance to the body, mind and spirit."

 No mention there (or elsewhere) of the Bible as God's inspired, inerrant Word; or the fact that it is sufficient "for all matters pertaining to life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3). A Christian seeking inpatient treatment (or a long-term residential center) would do well to avoid "The Center".


Note from a Reader


Thanks so much for responding to my email. I reached out to you at a point when I was feeling very low -- finally, after so many years, I thought that my life of idolatry to food was over, then I had a relapse and was very dismayed. At that moment of temptation I failed to use the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word to fight my battle - and I failed! Kind of funny to think that I could depend upon my strength!

Please know that your book was a great blessing to me, I also read Banquet in the Grave and Made to Crave -- praise God, I know that I am healed and redeemed from this pit. God has truly changed me and I am so grateful to you for sharing your struggle with other women.

Amazing, now that the chains of addiction are broken, I truly feel that I can love the Lord and share his grace with others.
My path of destruction began when I was 18, and did not end until recently, age 51. This is probably a record!

Have a very blessed and Happy Easter. He is risen, we are forgiven!!!!

In Christ,


The Influence of Parental Pressure in Developing Eating Disorders

Confronting personal sin head-on is messy. Especially in the case of life-dominating sins, such as eating disorders and other addictive behaviors. We sin; we're sinned against...the two ways we are each, personally, affected by evil.

Biblical counselors (and indeed all Christians in the pursuit of holiness) know that to blame another person for one's own sin is a cop-out. And yet....if we are honest, and if we are to be compassionate counselors, we cannot dismiss the role of poor parental modeling (or outright abuse) in catalyzing unbiblical thinking....and setting a child up for an eating disorder. To refuse to acknowledge the damage done by parents (mothers, in particular, in the case of anorexia and bulimia) is unhelpful to counselees. A better approach is to pin-point what exactly was said, and counter it with Scripture. (For example, my mother's chronic threat, "You're never going to have a boyfriend if you don't slim down, because boys don't date fat girls" might have been challenged by the description of true beauty given in 1 Peter, or the description of an ideal woman given - by a queen to her son - in Proverbs 31).

The following article deals with just such a scenario. The mother in this story clearly has disordered eating habits and needs to renew her own mind; she is unwittingly setting her own daughter up for an eating disorder and, potentially, years of misery. Counselors, read it and take heed: it is very, VERY difficult to undo years of this kind of childhood conditioning...even with the Bible and the Holy Spirit on our side.

Vogue article by mom about 7-year-old daughter’s weight sparks heavy backlash

An article by a woman who is "fighting" her 7-year-old daughter's "childhood obesity" at home--published in the April issue of Vogue--is causing a big backlash online among readers critical of the magazine and its author.

Dara-Lynn Weiss, the author, wrote about her response to a pediatrician who suggested that her daughter, Bea, should be put on a diet because--at 4'4" and 93 pounds--she was clinically obese and could be at risk for high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.

It wasn't the diagnosis that readers railed against, but Weiss' management of Bea's subsequent year-long diet.

"Sometimes Bea's after-school snack was a slice of pizza or a gyro from the snack vendor," Weiss wrote. "Other days I forced her to choose a low fat vegetable soup or a single hard-boiled egg. Occasionally I'd give in to her pleas for a square of coffee cake, mainly because I wanted to eat half of it. When she was given access to cupcakes at a party, I alternated between saying, 'Let's not eat that, it's not good for you'; 'Okay, fine, go ahead, but just one'; and 'Bea, you have to stop eating crap like that, you're getting too heavy,' depending on my mood. Then I'd secretly eat two when she wasn't looking."

Weiss continued:

I once reproachfully deprived Bea of her dinner after learning that her observation of French Heritage Day at school involved nearly 800 calories of Brie, filet mignon, baguette, and chocolate. I stopped letting her enjoy Pizza Fridays when she admitted to adding a corn salad as a side dish one week. I dressed down a Starbucks barista when he professed ignorance of the nutrition content of the kids' hot chocolate whose calories are listed as "120-210" on the menu board: Well, which is it? When he couldn't provide an answer, I dramatically grabbed the drink out of my daughter's hands, poured it into the garbage, and stormed out.

After Bea lost 16 pounds--meeting her mom's weight-loss goal for her before a Vogue photoshoot--Weiss wrote about her daughter's reaction:

"That's still me," she says of her former self. "I'm not a different person just because I lost sixteen pounds." I protest that indeed she is different. At this moment, that fat girl is a thing of the past. A tear rolls down her beautiful cheek, past the glued-in feather. "Just because it's in the past," she says, "doesn't mean it didn't happen."

"I have not ingested any food, looked at a restaurant menu, or been sick to the point of vomiting without silently launching a complicated mental algorithm about how it will affect my weight," Weiss admitted. "Who was I to teach a little girl how to maintain a healthy weight and body image?"

"The socialites who write personal essays for Vogue aren't known for their kindness and humility," Katie Baker wrote on Jezebel.com. But Weiss "has to go down in history as the one of the most f---ed up, selfish women to ever grace the magazine's pages."

Weiss "comes across as obsessive and the fact that she made such an issue of her daughter's weight, both in public and in Vogue—seems wrong," Dhani Mau wrote on Fashionista.com.

An anonymous blogger for New York magazine added: "I'm pretty sure Weiss just handed her daughter the road map to all her future eating disorders."


"Self Esteem": The Enemy of Your Soul

The Gospel Coalition just published a superb, biblical critique of why the LAST thing we flawed human beings need is more "self esteem". Long identified as the culprit behind eating disorders, self esteem is actually the self-love and self-centered mindset the Bible cautions us against. Invariably, it will lead us into sin - including self-obsessed life-dominating sins such as anorexia and bulimia.

Ronnie Martin's article, "The Beauty of Low Self-Esteem", is here:

"I'm just going to say it: I love me. Go ahead and say it to yourself a few times. I love me. I don't know how it will make you feel, but I can guarantee that it won't make you a liar. Look in the mirror. Not bad, huh? No? Well, whether you love or hate what you see, chances are you'll keep on looking.

None of us has a problem with low self-esteem. Scripture tells us we were born with the opposite issue. We all think of ourselves as a little more pretty, a little more talented, a little more worthy, and a little more deserving of just about everything in this life. Far from having naturally broken hearts, our hearts are naturally bloated with the calories of self-consumption and filled with obscene levels of self-obsession. We've been taught that there's nothing more valuable than how much we value ourselves. Sometimes we like to doll it up with introspective words like self-realization or self-fulfillment, but it's all the same thing: egos the size of Kanye West performing with Jay Z on top of the Empire State Building. Yes, our esteem is that extreme.

Depths of Our Souls

The frightening thing about self esteem is the staggering lengths God goes to completely eradicate it from the depths of our souls, in order to produce depth in our souls. If the Lord loves a humble and contrite heart, it means that he equally abhors a prideful and defiant one. One of the prevailing themes of the Bible is how God makes nothing out of men by flipping the object of their esteem from themselves back to him. These stories play out like dark, epic, cinematic tragedies. We all hope our story doesn't.

In Moses we see a rich, short-tempered prep school kid who got embroiled in a racial murder scandal. Fleeing the scene into exile and obscurity, he gets a blue-collar gig tending sheep for 40 years. God eventually steps back into the picture and assigns him the CEO position of the world's largest relocation project. What he doesn't tell him is that the relocation's going to take another 40-plus years and that he's going to die right before the final move-in date. God spent a lot of years breaking down Moses. His whole life, actually.

Then there's Joseph, a spoiled, insensitive trust-fund baby, coddled by his Daddy until his brothers have finally had enough of his insufferable bragging and throw him in a hole while they discuss how to do away with him. They end up selling him into slavery instead, because you could do that back then. He lands a manager position for good behavior until he gets framed on rape charges. Dude ends up back in jail until a VP gig for the nation of Egypt opens up, and through some heartbreaking circumstances, he lands the job. God broke Joseph down during the prime years of his young adult life.

You see where I'm going here. God takes sometimes horrific, drastic measures to destroy our self-esteem. We're not told much about the personal pain Moses and Joseph experienced. We're not told of the sleepless nights spent in isolation, gripped by emotional despondency while grasping hopelessly in the dark, trying to fathom why God was doing this and whether he was even there. In hindsight, we tend to view these figures as emboldened, courageous, pillars of the faith, but it's foolishness to think that their responses were any less weak and human than ours would be. But we see a God that uses very human experiences to change the hearts of human vessels. And it hurts.

Call to Brokenness

The call to brokenness is a call to openness. It's an altered vision. It doesn't mean that our lives enter into a continuous state of disrepair so that God can use what "working" functions we have left for his glory. Brokenness is the gentrification of our hearts. It means that the heart we had was condemned and the only way for God to make it fit for use was to demolish it and rebuild it from the ground up. Same body, new heart. The reason it hurts so bad is that we all love our old hearts. We love the familiar pulse and well-worn rhythm that our old hearts provided for us. They filled us with adrenaline, pumping the blood of self-indulgence through our veins . . . until we remember that they didn't at all. We remember that they shut us into the cells of our own self-belief, closing us off from the liberation of godly self-denial.

The beauty of low self-esteem is that we finally have the hearts to highly esteem God. It's not that we all turn into Debbie Downers and drench ourselves in self-loathing and self-pity. No, there's no time for that when our eyes are fixed firmly on our Lord.

"You have said, 'Seek my face.' My heart says to you, 'Your face, Lord, do I seek' (Psalm 27:8).

Help us, O Lord, to see only you."

Ronnie Martin is a writer, speaker, recording artist, and worship leader at Ashland (OH) Grace Brethren Church. He also co-hosts The Reformatory, a radio talk show with Ted Kluck. He blogs here: http://ronniemartin.tumblr.com/


Article in My Local Paper About my Book and Biblical Counseling

Last week, I was interviewed by a local journalist about my book, "Redeemed from the Pit" and what we biblical counselors believe. I am happy to say that, with the minor exception of changing "life-dominating sin" to "life-dominating force" (3rd paragraph from bottom), the reporter did an excellent job overall at representing what we biblical counselors believe and relaying what I actually said. (Keep in mind this is a secular newspaper). The biographical information was taken largely from the 700 Club interview -- the important part of the article is the second half.

Currently my book is out of stock on Amazon as the publisher is switching warehouses, but if you wish to purchase "Redeemed from the Pit" please contact either myself directly at marie4thtimemom@yahoo.com, or contact the publisher at www.calvarypress.com.

The text of the article is as follows:

"Addiction is often spoken of as a lifelong battle, but for Marie Notcheva, it is a battle that she has already won. She has written about overcoming bulimia in her recently published book,
“Redeemed from the Pit: Biblical Repentance and Restoration from the Bondage of Eating Disorders,” published in December by Calvary Press Publishing.

Marie explains the title is a reference to Psalm 40, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit …”

Marie’s eating disorder had its roots early in her childhood. She now offers counseling so others can overcome the grasp anorexia and bulimia have on them. When Marie was just 4 years old, her mother began to tease her about her weight, pointing out the rounded belly that’s typical of small children. “That’s disgusting!” her mother said. It was an attitude that lasted throughout Marie’s school years. Her family continued to emphasize the importance of being slim over the need for a healthy diet.

A member of her high school gymnastics team, Marie carried 130 pounds on her 5-foot, 5-inch frame - not overweight according to any chart. Yet, her coach launched a weight loss competition between Marie and another team member. Even if her life looked full from the outside, one theme dominated Marie’s days. It was counting calories and thinking about food. Attempting to live on almost nothing, Marie slid into bulimia, where she would binge on food and then purge herself of the unwanted calories.

“I started using it as a way to control my weight when I was 15,” she says. “My weight became my idol.” It’s an apt description that anyone who anxiously steps on a scale several times a day will recognize. If Marie’s weight was her idol, bulimia was its ritual worship. “There was an endorphin rush, knowing I could eat and get rid of it. It was addictive. Once I got started, it was a safety latch that I could go back to,” she said.

Even in high school, Marie knew that the bulimia had to stop. She was suffering health effects on her teeth, and no longer had periods. By senior year, she weighed a scant 85 pounds. After high school, Marie enrolled a Syracuse University to study journalism. She managed to boost her weight to 110 pounds, “just enough to keep me out of the hospital,” she said.

She moved to Bulgaria after graduation, working as a writer for four years. She met Ivaylo Notchev. They have been married for 17 years and have four children. Today, in addition to being a wife, mom, and freelance journalist, Marie is a Biblical counselor at the non-denominational Heritage Bible Chapel in Princeton. She counsels women struggling with eating disorders, and other problems, using Bible study as a guide to healing.

Medical models claim that addiction is a disease, where recovery is an ongoing process, she says, but Biblical counselors take a different approach. “Eating disorders, like other addictions, are not organic diseases. Rather, they’re learned behaviors that by God’s grace can be unlearned,” she explains. “The addiction has become a life dominating force. We consult the Scripture to break the addict’s thought patterns, to renew their minds with God’s word, allowing the Holy Spirit to come in and change their heart.”

Bible-based counseling rejects the secular therapist’s view of man, she said. “The Bible addresses in principal any problem we have. It is not psychology, not psychotherapy, but the work of God that is sufficient,” she said.

Many women have written to Marie saying her book has helped them greatly. “It’s important to understand the grace and restoration aspect. That is what gives people hope and joy,” she said.
“Redeemed from the Pit of Bulimia” is available at Amazon.com."


Live outside the US? Interested in E-book Format?

I have noticed an increasing number of my blog readers are coming from the UK, Australia, and parts of Europe and Africa. Getting a copy of "Redeemed from the Pit" outside the United States can be difficult and expensive -- I noticed the price for the book on the Amazon.uk site was outrageous. As of today, it has not yet been released on Kindle - (but the publisher has said that it will be shortly).

Regardless, if you are interested in an electronic version of "Redeemed from the Pit", contact me at marie4thtimemom@yahoo.com and I will help you out.


"What Does the Bible Say About Eating Disorders?"

The following essay comes from an excellent apologetics site, Gotquestions.org. Although I didn't write it, it is a thoroughly biblical and easily understood look at anorexia and bulimia from a Scriptural perspective. See original page here.

Disclaimer: I do NOT recommend the "Recommended Resource" at the bottom of the page, as Rowland's "The Monster Within" is a very integrationist, heavily-psychologized memoir about her struggle with bulimia. Get my book instead.

Question: "What does the Bible say about eating disorders (i.e. anorexia, bulimia)?"

Answer: There are two major eating disorders: anorexia, in which people purposefully under eat, and bulimia, in which people binge on food and then purge. (Some people consider gluttony an eating disorder, but for the purposes of this article, we will not address it. Please see our article on gluttony.) Polls taken have reported differing numbers, but at least 1 out of every 10 women will have experienced an eating disorder at some time in their lives, and some polls suggest that as many as 1 out of 4 will. Eating disorders do not only affect women, either: approximately 10% of those with an eating disorder are men.

Eating disorders have many reported causes: stress, personality traits (obsessive compulsive, perfectionism), media, and unhealthy relationships. However, eating disorders have at the root an over-emphasis on self, usually in a very negative way. This kind of reverse self-esteem can be very destruction to the health and well-being of an individual, not only to the body but to the spirit as well. It also can have profound effects on the sufferer’s family.

For the Christian, anorexia and bulimia fly in the face of what God has revealed. First Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us "… don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (NLT). Add to this passage such passages as: Romans 14:7-8, "For we are not our own masters when we live or when we die. While we live, we live to please the Lord. And when we die, we go to be with the Lord. So in life and in death, we belong to the Lord" (NLT). If our bodies belong to the Lord, then He is the master of them and the way we treat them either honors or dishonors God. Eating disorders do not fall into line with Scripture, and it is incumbent upon a Christian suffering from one—and his/her family as well—to seek as much medical and spiritual help as necessary to treat the problem. [MY NOTE: Just be sure the "spiritual help" comes in the form of BIBLICAL counseling.]

Jesus Christ has the power to break the bondage of eating disorders, but it will often take biblical and dietary counseling for the person under such bondage to realize their predicament. Needless to say, this is a matter for much prayer. God is able to free us from all types of bondage through the power of His Holy Spirit. If we are His in Christ, He makes that power available to us.


5-Star REview on Amazon

My book's first review on Amazon was a glowing one:

5.0 out of 5 stars REAL hope for people struggling with eating disorders!, February 4, 2012

"I have read many, many books on the subject of eating disorders, and in my opinion, this is the best. It offers real hope for people struggling with eating disorders. I would highly recommend it to anyone struggling with an eating disorder or if you have a loved one with an eating disorder."

Glad to hear it's been a blessing. If YOU have read my book and benefited from it, please consider stopping by Amazon.com and leaving a review. Thanks!


Testimony from a Reader - to God Be the Glory

Dear Marie,

Your book is so great and God is using it in a mighty way in my life. Although it has been 25 years since I used/practiced/was trapped by bulemia, (I am 45 now) I have still never had freedom with food. For me, the battle of what to eat, what not to eat, how much to eat was swirling around in my head daily....all day. God started to show me several years ago how this is bondage and He intends freedom. This was no doubt blocking the freedom and also stifling fruit from mu life that could be glorifying Him.

Through this last summer (2011) this trouble with food and my self image reached an all time breaking point. I felt hopeless and frustrated - failures more and more frequent and more extreme, "success" in this area less and less frequent and less "successful". I have been using food as an emotional "security blanket" for as long as I can remember. As life goes on, I have used it more and more and can see this noose was getting tighter and tighter. I started attending and following the program of Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA) in September. I've learned a great deal about myself and my issues with food from these few months and even many logistical things about planning and volume, etc. about food. But, from the start several things about this approach that I could not feel settled with. I kept feeling like God was definitely with me and helping me, I continued to feel called to freedom with Him - not with a program.

So, in November I googled something like "freedom beyond Food Addiction" and up popped your book - I ordered it right away and have had it ether in hand or close by ever since. There are more words underlined than not, there are pages turned down and notes covering the back cover and blank last page and in many margins. Thank you for writing it....thank you for all the time and research you have done to share all of this. Today I'll be calling the dear woman who has been voluntarily sponsoring me in this program to let her know I feel called to face this daily, hourly, by minute with God and am not going to continue "in program".

I live in ______ . (zip code xxxxx). I wish you lived here - I would love to meet you and ask you a million questions about your life and story. It is amazing the fire God set ablaze in you to learn about Him and his word. Thank you for sharing so much. Through you, God has given me much hope and direction.


700 Club Interview up

The 700 Club has finished production on my testimony/interview, and has included the broadcast on their website (Eventually there should be a link to my book there, as well, once the text transcript is up):

Permalink to Broadcast

A few thoughts on the broadcast.

First, it's important that the viewer understand that this was a very brief, summarized paraphrase of both my testimony (see page on this blog), and the interview itself. I actually was interviewed for over an hour, and I understand the limitations of shaving it down into four minutes. However, besides a few errors in the "summarization" they made of my testimony (it was 17 years, not 10; the bulimia was at it's worst in high school not college; but these details don't really change the overall intent), I was less than thrilled with a few other things.

First, they completely left out my discussion of how I became a Christian, and eliminated all discussion of my relationship with Christ. It almost sounded as if I had been brought up in a Christian home; married a Christian right out of college; and continued (or immediately started) attending church. Nothing could be further from the truth. While they mis-pronounced my husband's name, a much more significant Name was omitted entirely -- that of Jesus Christ!! The whole POINT of a testimony is to glorify HIM, and I discussed the Person and work of Christ at length in this interview. Unfortunately, none of that made it in.

Nowhere was the Gospel presented, although we talked at length about justification and sanctification during the taping.

I specifically asked that the Healing Room Ministries (a doctrinally-aberrational group) not be used. They mentioned it anyway.

As a biblical counselor, I was extremely disappointed that my entire explanation of renewing the mind, repentance and how to overcome life-dominating sin was left out. Roughly three quarters of the piece focused on my childhood and youth, but little time was given to the answer to addiction. Also disappointing is the fact that NO MENTION was made of my book, "Redeemed from the Pit."

Well, you win some and you lose some; but I do pray that God somehow uses it anyway.