12/19/13

"Hope and Healing from Eating Disorders" Published in Albania!

Dear readers,

While I realize many of you may not speak or read Albanian (I do not), I wanted to share with you my first published article in a foreign magazine. Earlier this week, "Ilira Reviste" ran my piece "Hope and Healing from Eating Disorders" in their magazine, which is the only Christian women's magazine in Albania. (Click link to read the original, English version). The magazine is only available in Tiranë, but the editor, Migena Ramaj, sent me a .pdf of the issue.

As far as I understand, anorexia and bulimia have become problematic among the young women of Eastern Europe and biblical counseling is in short supply. My hope in having this article published (and a similar one in an upcoming issue of "Списание Лия", a Bulgarian Christian magazine), is to bring attention to the Person and work of Jesus Christ to readers. Even believers often fail to make the connection between the hope found in the Gospel and life-dominating sins such as anorexia and bulimia. It is my prayer that someone will read these articles and feel a new sense of hope in "putting off" the old nature and "putting on" the new.  

11/13/13

Self-Esteem or Christ Esteem? Having a High View of God

Last month I had the opportunity to speak at two women's "Rejuvenate" conferences in New Hampshire. I was doing a new workshop, entitled "Self Esteem or Christ Esteem? Developing a High View of God, and a Biblical View of Self."

As this was the first time I had given this presentation, I was a little nervous about how it would be received. I spoke immediately before a woman who pastors a Congregationalist church and had penned a children's book about our special-ness. I emphasized the difference in who we are in our carnal, unregenerate state vs. who we are in Christ. The last portion of my talk drew heavily from 1 John about our position in Christ and what that means practically. (See chapter in my book "Your Position in Christ - a Slave to Sin No Longer").

The presentation was extremely well-received, and the feedback I received from the women present far exceeded my expectations. They are hungry - for biblical teaching. Women are tired of the fluff at conferences, telling them how great they are and how in love with them Jesus is....they want solid, biblical teaching that will direct them to the Word and help them overcome spiritual struggles. I hope in some small way I was able to do that. An excellent talk on the importance of gratitude was given by another speaker, as well.

10/14/13

Upcoming Article in Albanian Christian Magazine

"Ilira Reviste" - the only Christian Women's
Magazine in Albania
I am very pleased to share with you that I have been accepted as a contributing writer to Albania's first magazine for Christian women! Recently, I contacted the editor-in-chief of "Ilira Revista", which publishes 5 issues a year, and discussed some of the articles I have written for various Christian media. Since I am a regular contributor to The Biblical Coalition's blog, and have published "Redeemed from the Pit" with Calvary Press two years ago, Migena was most interested in my submitting an article on eating disorders.

Needless to say, I was very happy to write about hope and healing from anorexia and bulimia, which have become very wide-spread in Eastern Europe. (Two years ago, when I first went to Albania on a missions trip, I was shocked to learn from teenage girls that eating disorders were rampant in their country. As a kid growing up at the end of the Cold War, I remember when Albania was still a Third World country!)

"Ilira Reviste" will translate my 1,500 word article into Albanian, and when it is published I will feature it here (along with the English-language original, of course!) I am thrilled that the Lord has allowed me this opportunity, and that someone in Albania may be blessed or encouraged to turn away from her bulimia by something I write. Since I am in the process of trying to get "RFTP" translated and published in Albania, the editor's choice of subject matter is particularly timely.

This opportunity comes on the heels of a bigger event: biblical counseling is making headway in Albania. There are a couple of NANC-certified counselors who have ministered there for several years, Sue and Blair Alvidrez who, along with the pastor of Grace Church in Tirana, were instrumental in bringing NANC fellows Timothy Pasma and Brad Brandt to Albania. This team led a several-week-long biblical counseling conference in different cities in Albania, including Tirana, Korce, and Durres. They brought the training to a number of churches, as well as preaching. It is great to see local churches equipped with nouthetic principles. Having been there twice, and with so many dear friends in Albania, naturally I followed Pastor Tim's updates and details on the training with great interest, delight.....and a little envy! Thanks to the Alvidrezes, two Tirana pastors and missionaries from Grace Baptist,  the Biblical Counseling Coalition now has an Albanian branch - Koalicioni i Këshillimit Biblik Shqiptar.

Candid confession: I wish I were still there! I have dreams about Tepelena and Bunec at least three times a month. I miss my young friends there so much it brings me to tears sometimes, and my joy at seeing biblical counseling brought to my beloved Shqiperia was mingled with a deep desire to be somehow involved.

And thus, I write. And God opened a door. I cannot move my family to Albania; I cannot even afford to go there as often as I'd like. In fact, I cannot even speak Albanian! (Bulgarian, despite the two countries' geographic proximity, is a completely different language family.) But I can write. This is the gift God gave me, and He is gracious to open doors - even in Albania -  in order to use it for His glory.

And I am so thankful.

Zoti ju bekofte!! (God bless you!)


10/9/13

List of Biblical Counselors and Residential Facilities (from BCC)

Quite often, women who e-mail me from different parts of the country or world ask about biblical counselors in their area. Until now, I have only been aware of the NANC directory, which lists counselors certified with their organization. However, there are a number of great biblical counseling organizations and now Bob Kelleman of the Biblical Counseling Coalition has compiled a list of their individual directories. This is extremely helpful for anyone seeking help in a specific geographic area!

I am also asked regularly about Christian inpatient centers I would recommend, and thus far I have only been aware of Vision of Hope (affiliated with Faith Baptist Church in Indiana). Please note that the term "inpatient" is somewhat misleading, as none of these centers provide medical treatment. It is more accurate to call them "residential facilities" which offer biblical counseling. (Please see the original posting at the Biblical Counseling Coalition website, linked below).

Find a Biblical Counselor

Finding a biblical counselor who will minister God’s truth to you in Christ’s love is important.

The BCC does not currently maintain a list of biblical counselors. However, we encourage you to visit the following biblical counseling organizations:

ABC maintains a list of vetted biblical counselors that you can find at The Biblical Counseling Network.
CCEF is working on a list of vetted biblical counselors. To date you can contact their Intake Department to refer you to a counselor in your area: Intake@ccef.org.
IABC maintains a list of certified biblical counselors. Their list is searchable by states and includes 8 countries. You can visit it at Find a Counselor.
NANC maintains a list of NANC certified biblical counselors. Their list is searchable by zip code. You can visit it at Find a Counselor.
While the BCC knows that ABC, CCEF, IABC, and NANC work diligently to screen any ministry or individual in their list:

It is important for you to personally research the church, ministry, or individual listed.
If you search these recommended links and find a biblical counselor in your area, please exercise due diligence and contact them with pertinent questions.
The BCC’s Confessional Statement is a good starting place as you seek to find a qualified biblical counselor who is a good match for your convictions.
We also recommend the ABC’s document: Questions to Ask When Choosing a Counselor.
Biblical Counseling Residential/Inpatient Centers
Sometimes life’s struggles and our battle against besetting sins are so severe that finding an intensive residential/inpatient treatment center committed to biblical counseling is important.

While the BCC does not certify residential/inpatient centers, we have asked our BCC BOD and CB Members for a list of residential/inpatient centers that practice according to a biblical counseling philosophy.

Listed below are links to residential/inpatient treatment centers that self-identify as practicing according to a biblical counseling philosophy. The information is a self-description collated and summarized from their websites:

Christian Discipleship Center: The Christian Discipleship Center is a Bible-based recovery program for Native American Christians who want help and hope in overcoming addiction to alcohol and substance abuse. Their 90-day residential program offers sound spiritual principles for restoration, character rebuilding and life direction. Contact Information: Christian Discipleship Center, 24826 Road L, Cortez, CO 81321, 970-565-3290, cdc@fone.net.
Colony of Mercy: Colony of Mercy is a 120-day residential addiction recovery program for men. Men in the Colony of Mercy program participate in group and individual biblical counseling, Bible studies, work therapy, church-type services, and Scripture memory. Programs for the wives and children of the men in the Colony program are available as well. Contact Information: Colony of Mercy, 601 Route 530, Whiting, NJ 08759, 800-453-7942, victory@americaskeswick.org.
The Father’s Ranch Ministries: The Father’s Ranch Ministries is a nouthetic biblical counseling residential treatment center for women and teenage girls. It is a non-denominational, Christ-centered counseling ministry addressing issues related to sexual abuse, physical abuse, eating disorders, self-harm, drug and alcohol addiction, and unplanned pregnancies. Contact Information: The Father’s Ranch Ministries, PO Box 1352, Tonasket, WA 98855, 509-486-8888, info@thefathersranch.com.
His Steps Ministries: His Steps Ministries is a Christian discipleship program that reaches out to men who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. They believe that only through Christ can a permanent solution be found—one that restores the man’s heart, soul, and mind to allow him to love others and his family (Matthew 22:37-39). Contact Information: His Steps Ministries, 2011 Meadows Drive, Woodstock, GA 30188, 770-595-4294, timbrown@hisstepsministries.org.
The Mission House: The Mission House is a six-month residential program that believes that addiction is a worship disorder. They follow a Bible-based, Christ-centered transformation program designed to establish an intimate relationship with God through Christ. Contact Information: The Mission House, PMB 216, 3965 Bethel Rd., Ste. #1, Port Orchard, WA 98366, 360-871-4266. For email contact complete the contact form here: http://www.faithmissionhouse.org/contact-us.
Pure Life Ministries: Pure Life Ministries exists to serve Christian individuals and organizations dealing with sexual sin throughout the world by providing biblically-based counseling, teaching resources, and a public speaking ministry with the goal of leading Christians to victory over sexual sin through a deeper life in God. The 7-to-9-month Live-In Program in rural Kentucky immerses men in a Christ-centered environment with biblical counseling and mutual accountability designed to promote lasting heart change. Contact Information: Pure Life Ministries, 14 School Street, Dry Ridge, KY 41035, 859-824-4444. For email contact complete the contact form here: http://purelifeministries.org/contact.
Twelve Stones: Sometimes circumstances in life become too hard to handle alone, or even in weekly counseling sessions. In an effort to provide real answers, lasting wisdom, and spiritual encouragement, Twelve Stones provides three-day intensives in a retreat atmosphere that is Christ-centered and carefully tailored to each individual situation. Contact Information: Twelve Stones Ministries, PO Box 223, Helmsburg, IN 47435, 812-597-1212, tsoffice@twelvestones.org.
Vision of Hope: Vision of Hope recognizes the worth and sanctity of human life by ministering to young women, children, and families in a Christ-centered environment. They offer a faith-based residential treatment program for girls age 14-28 struggling with unplanned pregnancy, alcohol or drug abuse, eating disorders, or self-harm. Contact Information: Vision of Hope, 5652 Mercy Way, Lafayette, IN 47905, 765-447-5900, voh@vohlafayette.org.
As with our Find a Counselor listing, so also with these residential/inpatient centers:

It is important for you to personally research the centers listed above.
Please exercise due diligence and contact them with pertinent questions.
The BCC’s Confessional Statement is a good starting place as you seek to find a qualified biblical counseling residential/inpatient center that matches your convictions.
We also recommend the ABC’s document: Questions to Ask When Choosing a Counselor.

10/3/13

What's Behind Immodesty, and Why Do We Glorify It? (my post on BCC)

This article originally ran on the Biblical Counseling Coalition blog. I encourage you to check out their treasure trove of other articles and resources as well!

The Seductive Lie of Immodesty, and Re-Claiming Your Identity in Christ



















This is not another article on Matthew 5:28, hem lengths, or the horrors of uncovered shoulders. Today I’m writing more as the concerned mother of a teenage girl than as a biblical counselor. I want to take an unflinching look with young people of both sexes at the reality behind immodest dress; the desire to be desired; and where it can lead.

Sixteen-year-old “Vanya” was raised in a Christian family. A former AWANA protégé, she is a superb student and overall good-girl. When she started high school and began social networking, however, she noticed “sexier” girls wearing the fashions her parents forbid. She became dissatisfied with her own looks, associating beauty with short, tight, and low-cut.

On Facebook, pictures of teen girls with cleavage and entire legs showing would receive hundreds of “Likes” within hours. When Vanya posted pictures of herself fully-clothed, few people would “Like” them. She began to change her style….subtly at first; then more openly. Her makeup became heavier; her shirts more revealing; her jeans tighter…until her parents confronted her. Was this “love of fashion,” as she claimed, or a desire for male attention—at any cost?

Her “mature” look attracted the attention of 28-year old family friend George. Texts and phone calls turned romantic, all behind the backs of Vanya’s parents. She snuck out of the house to meet the man—for a long walk in the woods. When caught, she tearfully confessed, “He was the only guy who I could really talk to! He understood me and cared about me…we were going to wait until I was 18 and then get married!”

By the grace of God, Vanya’s parents discovered and stopped the situation before anything more serious happened, but Vanya was devastated. Vanya was seeking emotional intimacy and George seemed to provide it. (Whether George was seeking easy sex is open to speculation, but 28-year-old men do not seek emotional intimacy with 16-year-old girls.) Despite being raised in church by believing parents, Vanya was deceived by the lie that dressing and acting seductively will secure the kind of approval (and intimacy) she longed for.

Like all Christian mothers, I want my daughters to dress in a way that reflects love for Jesus. (This is a real challenge when current fashion involves wearing one’s underwear on the outside.) Wanting to avoid ‘legalism,’ I’ve often said that if we have the Holy Spirit within us, guiding us in purity, it is not necessary to carry a tape measure into the dressing room. Attempting to give some Christian liberty backfired in the name of “fashion” and “fitting in.” This battle for purity is one of the biggest reasons American evangelicals choose to homeschool, a choice I respect. However, my husband and I have decided to fight the battle by preparing our children to be on the front lines—living in this world, and ultimately responsible for their own choices.

As a woman who has counseled, parented, and evangelized teenage girls for years (on two continents), I can say with certainty that sensuality is the most common reason teenage girls who profess faith sometimes fall away. In simple terms, when they ‘count the cost’ of following Christ, they decide purity is too high. Of course, few would confess bluntly to such a decision, but the reality plays out in their lives. In school; with their friends; online—being seen as “sexy” becomes more important than being seen as a daughter of the King.

The natural, God-given desire to be beautiful and loved has been perverted, a cross-cultural phenomenon to which Christian girls are not immune. A British friend wrote, “There needs to be more teaching for the young people on honouring God in all areas of their life. There are some girls who are expressing faith, yet still wearing short dresses, striking provocative poses.”

Girls as young as 13 post pictures of themselves in dresses that cover no more than towels, sporting the infamous “duckface” pout (is that supposed to be sexy?). The social-media gamble for attention is a double-edged sword. Girls compete with one another to be the most “attractive” (equating sex appeal with beauty); guys pay attention and encourage. The same girls then jealously destroy each other’s reputations.

We cannot blame the media or ‘the world’ for the lure of immodesty, or for the lie that it promises love. The blame lies in our own sin-deceived hearts. While the world offers an evil and corrupt moral code, there is no getting around the fact that each one of us is responsible before God for our own sin (Ezekiel 18).

Young ladies, you were created to glorify God. You are made in His image. Your true beauty, which comes from your union with Him, is of great worth to your Heavenly Father (1 Peter 3:4). Stop objectifying yourselves and live out your position in Christ. Young men who truly love you will care far more about your holiness than the shape of your legs.

Young Christian men, 1 Timothy 5:2 applies to you whether you are involved in ministry or not. I am not going to lecture you on the dangers of lust; your pastors have already done that. Rather, I appeal to you as an older sister in Christ and a mother. Your Christian sisters are looking to you for approval, and they are just that—your sisters. Every time you hang a poster, wear a T-shirt, or “Like” a picture of an immodestly-dressed woman, you are celebrating impurity. You are also sending young women a dangerous message— their worth lies primarily in being physically attractive.

Stop it!

Tell them you value their friendship; appreciate their intelligence; admire their devotion to Christ. See the beauty in their smiles and the joy in their eyes; not the size of their chests or the daringly-short skirt.

Glorifying immodesty is a symptom of a deeper problem—the belief that sensuality attracts love; which will lead to lasting satisfaction. It reveals a heart that screams “Look at me!” rather than “Look to Jesus.” Ankle-length skirts and denim jumpers do not eliminate the heart issue of impurity, but embracing the “unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” is a good place to start.

9/24/13

Eating, Body Image, and The Gospel (from The Gospel Coalition)


Today at The Gospel Coalition:

Eating, Body Image, and the Gospel

by Amie Patrick

Two months into my freshmen year of college, I was forced to admit something had gone terribly wrong with the way I related to food. I'd gained 30 pounds in that short time, double the stereotypical "Freshman 15" some students gain over the course of an entire school year. Deep down I knew my weight gain wasn't only the result of unhealthy cafeteria food or insufficient exercise. I was eating constantly and compulsively for reasons I didn't understand—and I couldn't stop. I felt completely condemned and paralyzed with embarrassment, which I knew wasn't helpful or biblical, but I had no idea how to think otherwise. I was stuck.
I spent the next 20 years seeking to understand a biblical view of my body and of eating, as well as specifically examining how I'd ended up so trapped and confused. I struggled, prayed, immersed myself in Scripture, and repented. I sought out wise counselors, deep community, and biblical resources. I tried all kinds of practical strategies with varying degrees of success. I experienced seasons of freedom and moments of profound despair. I wondered if lasting freedom was even a realistic possibility.
Read the rest of the entry here.

9/17/13

"I had an eating disorder. Had. Had. HAD." (Guest Post from "Now Let Me Rejoice")

My young friend Liz ,a college freshman at Liberty University, writes candidly about her experience walking away from eating disordered behavior and thinking:

"I had an eating disorder. Had. Had. HAD. And I'm going to be open and honest; I choose that now. So listen."



I want to say that most people in my life know that I've struggled on and off with an eating disorder for a while now, but I also want to say that might not be the case anymore. I stopped caring a long time ago about people knowing, but real life has happened to me and I've met wonderful people from things not having anything to do with death and sometimes - most of the time - it just 
doesn't come up. I guess I'm...moving on? Or something like that.

It's been two and a half years since I got out of the hospital and made the decision - without much thought - to stop being annoying and "take a break" from killing myself slowly and painfully. It's been a long two and a half years. Certainly a progression, and I hope that if you've known me throughout it all, you see that.

During that time I did some fun and crazy things. I left the country three times, loved women as they (always triumphantly) pushed their babies out, chopped all my hair off and then let it grow back, wrote and performed a piano composition, made a ton of new friends because I started talking to people again, tried breast milk for the first time since I was a toddler (and no I'm not telling you whose it was), volunteered as a barista, ironically played a bulimic in a skit, played an obnoxious Jewish angel with pink hair in another skit, dissected a cat, saw Sara Groves live, had the most amazing night ever on my friend Lauren's front porch and Peace Valley Park, started this blog, smoked a few cigarettes (I mostly regret that), appeared on the local news, organized a benefit show and a community baby shower and a rally, started a business, became a hippie, had one of the most spectacular weeks of my life in Hippietown USA (also known as The Farm) where I learned a few cool things like how to measure a cervix without even seeing it and how to determine what position a baby is in at that particular moment by feeling his mom's belly, dropped the F-bomb loudly on a roller coaster (hint: that's uncharacteristic of me), got tattooed and pierced, started to dread my hair, began liking things like eggs and coconut and spinach (I previously refused to eat those), worshiped God in spirit and in truth, performed in two choirs and three plays, gave a public speech while sitting on a friend's birthing ball, started college, and pretty much became a completely different person. All the while assuring myself it was okay, I was allowed to enjoy life because the eating disorder was right there waiting for me whenever I decided I wanted to access it again. And I did access it a few times - incredibly briefly - before deciding that was enough of that, it wasn't fun or interesting like everything else I was doing. But eventually it would be, so I'd go back to it then.

And, well, that break never ended. And I'm starting to think it never will. And that maybe that's okay. Good, even.

Actually, it has really sucked in some ways. I didn't think it would take this long. On several occasions I've whined, "ohh the temptation, why can't it go away, ohh my life sucks waahh." At least half of the time, I didn't actually want the temptation to go away. But sometimes I really did. And it didn't. I prayed and read the Bible and talked to people and looked in the mirror, trying to convince myself I was pretty, and tried to pretend food has always been a normal thing to me. But it didn't go away. For two and a half long years, it festered.

It's not over. I don't know if it ever will be, if it ever can be. I wonder about that, especially since I don't really know what "over" means when we're talking about something like this. Am I going to forget? Never be tempted again? Always love my body? No, no, and no. But I'm okay with it never being "over." I'm just not okay with it silently festering inside of me, always, I'm not okay with waking up every morning and being greeted by a disease or sin or whatever you want to call it. And it won't and I won't.

There has been no revelation. Some tears, and a bit of common sense, but that's about it.

But this is the part I thought would never happen. When I eat breakfast sometimes. When I make water kefir for weeks before realizing that there's no possible way of knowing how many calories are in it. When I think maybe it's time to start thinking about a recovery tattoo. When going to the grocery store is a coping skill and before I needed to use a coping skill to go. When I can eat in front of people I just met and be okay. When singing "I surrender" in church might have nothing to do with my eating disorder. When I consistently say "I had an eating disorder" instead of sometimes saying "have" and sometimes saying "had" and other times just admitting I have no idea what verb form to use. When I wonder, from time to time, how a real food lifestyle is supposed to jive with an eating disorder and then I realize, oh, it's because surprisingly, an eating disorder is kind of unnatural and a little unhealthy. When my body doesn't attack me anymore. When I can look at myself in a mirror and not really like everything but still say, "My body is incredibly thrilling because if I really wanted to, I could grow, push out, and feed a human with it. And do a few other cool things too." When I think and talk about random things like vaccines, dementia, my opinions, and the Dominican Republic more than I do calories and puking and death.

When I let go.



8/12/13

What is a "Trigger"?

Just because temptation calls doesn't mean you have to answer.
"Warning: possible trigger." "This may trigger some." "Please remove this [link; picture; number], it is very triggering." "My mom bought all trigger foods."







These are just some of the statements I've seen by eating-disordered individuals online lately, usually in Facebook groups. Supposedly, in eating-disorder rhetoric, a "trigger" refers to something - either a food or weight-related reference - that is likely to worsen one's eating-disordered behavior. Quite honestly, some of the complaints I've seen about "triggers" border on the absurd - a family sitting down to a meal together; a recipe posted by a friend; a link about a woman who has undergone cosmetic surgery.

Part of me (the unsanctified part) wants to scream, "GET OVER IT. Stop looking outside yourself for excuses to blame your behavior on; this is the real world." The fact is, food is a normal part of life; the media will always have thin women sporting bikinis on magazines; mothers will always grocery shop and stock pantry shelves. However, as a biblical counselor, I'd like to stop and take this thinking a little bit deeper, to expose why living in fear of "triggers" is counter-productive (and unbiblical.)

First of all, a caveat - it is wise and necessary to remove yourself from situations where you may be overly-tempted to binge. This is especially true in the early stages of renewing your mind and renouncing the behavior. Just as Jesus commanded "radical amputation" of what leads you to sin in your life (see Matt. 5:29; Mark 9:43-48), I certainly recommend avoiding certain situations, environments and particular food types while God is transforming your heart. This goes as well for anorexics - avoid "thinspo" websites and other media or literature that is going to encourage wrong thinking. However, seeing every comment, food or picture as a potential "trigger" does nothing to help your own recovery.

Seeing potential danger or attempted sabotage in such mundane parts of life as another's food purchases, a co-worker eating lunch, or an article about cosmetic surgery further isolates the eating-disordered individual. Retreating into a bubble - where only "safe" foods, censored media, and extremely cautious individuals who are sensitive to one's emotional demands does not help a repentant addict to live in this world. Remember 1 Corinthians 10:13? "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." Does the Holy Spirit dwell within you? Then you needn't fear being "triggered". He who is within you is stronger that the world. You are NOT a slave to sin, or external stimuli. (1 John 4:4).

Additionally, thinking in terms of "triggers" sets an eating-disordered individual up to fail, because on some level she comes to see herself as at the mercy of others. There is no biblical precedent for blaming our own failings on another's behavior or choices. While we need to be careful about guarding our eyes, minds and hearts from what will cause us to sin, we are only responsible for our personal behavior. If you come to see your co-worker's burger as a "trigger", you have just provided yourself with a handy excuse to give in to temptation the next time it hits. Just because temptation calls (in any of its myriad forms) doesn't mean you have to answer.

The next time you hear the word "trigger" in connection with eating-disordered thoughts, remember what Scripture teaches. The great freedom available to you who are in Christ is that temptation doesn't "have to" overcome you! We each carry our own load (Galatians 6:5) and will answer before the Judgement Seat of Christ for our own choices (2 Corinthians 5:10). Ask the Lord to help you make the right ones today, and don't worry about what others are doing, eating, or posting!

6/3/13

Another 5-Star Review for "Redeemed from the Pit" on Amazon!

Last month, my book "Redeemed from the Pit" earned it's second 5-Star Review on Amazon.com:


Best book on overcoming eating disorders, May 3, 2013
By Courtney

This review is from: Redeemed From the Pit: Biblical Repentance And Restoration From The Bondage of Eating Disorders (Paperback)
This book gives practical steps on how to overcome eating disorders, but it's not like any other book. I have read a lot of books on overcoming eating disorders, but this one is different because she pretty much shows you how to repent from this sin. I have had a hard time repenting of this sin because but have been trying to repent and overcome for years. When I started reading this book, I saw my need to put to death the deeds of the flesh and not be a victim to them. I saw the need to repent, change, depend on The Lord, and he will meet me with the power to overcome. He sure has! I can honestly say with a pure heart and clean conscience that I am done with bulimia and Jesus has given me the grace to overcome and is still giving me the grace to continue to walk in victory over this sin.

I recommend this book to anyone struggling with an eating disorder and anyone who has a loved one struggling with it.

Thank you, Courtney!

5/28/13

Encouraging Letter from Reader

One of the most encouraging parts of being a Christian writer is the e-mails I receive from all over the world, telling me that something I've written or said has been helpful to someone. The following came last week from an American living in Spain, who struggles with an eating disorder


".....I hate my struggles, but know it is a necessary thing. Paul had his thorns in the flesh so that in his weakness The Lord would be glorified. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (II Corinthians 12:9 NKJV)

I just still am trying to get to the point of boasting in my infirmities and relying on Christ more. And I do see that the food is an idol in my life and that is the main problem, so I just have to put that idol where it belongs (in the trash) and draw near to The Lord. These things easier said than done.

You showed me the book and I bought it, already in Chapter three and loving it. It is such an insight and a help. I have been making sure that when I wake up, the first thing in my morning is 5 minutes with The Lord instead of 5 minutes with my food. And then when I struggle, I am taking your advice, walking away from the kitchen and talking with God, praying, reading and knowing that he has been through what I am going through and through Him I can overcome.

Of course, I am only a few days in, and the road isn't going to get any easier, but I thank you for your encouragement and your help. I will keep you posted on the progress (not because you necessarily want to know, but because I want you to know the impact that you are having on other's lives.)

Keep throwing and planting your seeds in the lives of others and working for His kingdom.
His beloved,
[Name removed]"

5/9/13

Review: Body Image Lies Women Believe...and the Truth of Christ that Sets them Free

Ladies, (I know I have male readers, but this great book is written with the ladies in mind!), do I have a find for you! "Body Image Lies Women Believe" by Shelley Hitz shares testimonies from many women and how they found their identity in Christ - not in this world's system of beauty.

Today and tomorrow on Amazon, this gem of a book is available FREE on Kindle. After tomorrow (5/10/13), the price goes back up to $2.99 (and the book is available in hardcover as well.)

I love to be able to recommend resources and devotionals that give real hope and solid biblical exhortation to the reader, who may indeed struggle with the lie that she is not beautiful. Whether you are dealing with an eating disorder, weight is an idol in your life, or just a woman who bases her worth on what she sees in the mirror (rather than Christ's work on the Cross), this book will be a blessing to you. Hitz cites Scripture and lays down a biblical principal at the end of every chapter, pulling the message from each woman's testimony together nicely. I am happy to recommend "Body Image Lies Women Believe - And the Truth of Christ that Sets them Free" as inspirational and encouraging reading.

4/30/13

Freedom from Eating Disorders (Laurie Glass)

Freedom from Eating Disorders
Dear readers,

I often refer you to God-honoring, biblical books or online resources to help you in your walk of repentance away from anorexia or bulimia, and today I would like to feature one such ministry. Laurie Glass, who I met online, is a sister in the Lord who also ministers to Christian women struggling to leave their disordered eating patterns behind. Laurie has an excellent website "Freedom from Eating Disorders" which has many links, articles, and helpful resources.

This morning's post (actually, I don't know when it was written but she shared the link on Facebook this morning) is an excellent exercise in renewing your mind and seeing this life-dominating sin for what it really is - an enemy. "Your Eating Disorder - Friend or Foe?" demonstrates Scripturally how when we choose to believe the lies that ensnare us in addictive behavior, the addiction to food and "weight-idolatry" takes center stage in our lives. Where is the Lover of our soul in the picture? Lie #6 rung especially true to me, as I remember my life a decade ago: "This enemy causes us to doubt God’s love for us. It makes us feel so ashamed before Him that we are too uncomfortable to even pray in regard to the eating disorder."

Oh yes, my sisters. Make no mistake about it: shame in a powerful weapon in Satan's arsenal.

Included on her site is Laurie's own testimony, as well as that of others; helpful Scriptures, and links to Christian counseling resources. I encourage you to check out some of the great articles she has posted, as well.

4/12/13

Book Review: What Do You Think of Me? Why Do I Care?: Answers to the Big Questions of Life

The Biblical Counseling Coalition published my review of Dr. Ed Welch's latest book a couple of weeks ago. I am sharing it here, as fear of man and insecurity is a common problem with which anorexics and bulimics grapple. Be sure to visit the BBC site and see the original review here




What Do You Think of Me? Why Do I Care?: Answers to the Big Questions of Life by Ed Welch

4/1/13

"Mending a Broken Heart"

This is a re-post of Lucy Ann Moll's review of "Mending a Broken Heart", Kc Hutter's memoir about her battle with alcoholism. As with my own bondage with alcohol and bulimia, Kc discovered that Jesus was not only "the answer", but that He had given His life to set her free and make her His own. I am re-posting it here as it is the most inspiring, truthful account I have read recently about overcoming life-dominating sin through the power of Christ's love.


Mending a Broken Heart: ADDICTION


When you hurt, you sometimes look for relief. . .in a bottle. This relief, this pleasure plays peek-a-boo. You see it then it’s gone, obliterated.

Kc Hutter, author of her memoir A Broken Heart, flirted with alcoholism. She began drinking during her first marriage while her husband traveled out of town week after week. She drank with friends. She drank when she wanted to feel better about herself. She writes, “I drank a lot of vodka and developed a ‘come here, go away’ personality. This made me feel safe.”

This is the sixth post in the “Mending a Broken Heart” blog series. You can read the other posts (on divorce, a child’s death, and other losses) here. You can learn more Kc’s book and buy it here.

Bondage Buster

An addiction is bondage of the heart and body to something that produces immediate pleasure and relief, but at a price. This bondage is to “feel good now.” Rather than submitting to Christ’s rule, an addict bows to the “feel-good” god that is her preferred object of achieving pleasure and relief, however fleeting.

Indulging in it becomes the addict’s greatest treasure, the one thing she’d choose over anything or anyone else.

Her body deteriorates over time. Her soul experiences pain with each indulgence.

By God’s grace, a self-described “booze-happy” woman — yes, Kc — who had become a Christian and read the Bible and prayed to Jesus finally hits bottom and turns to the ultimate Healer for help. Listen:

Holding a glass of vodka with a floating olive had always made me feel glamorous. Isn’t this what actors do on TV and in the movies? At a cocktail party, a happy hour, or visiting a friend, I often heard, ‘Do you want a drink?’

After years of drinking, my stomach would hurt and my head pounded every morning. My heart filled with anguish and sorrow. What words did I say last night? Did I lose control and embarrass myself? I wondered.

Many times I tried to quit drinking on my own. All of my attempts failed, even thought I knew the pain of having a loves one killed by a drunk driver.

Finally I prayed, ‘Lord, take the need of alcohol from me, make the taste repulsive.’ The Lord heard and answered by prayers.

Yes, even Bible-reading Christians succumb to addiction. Easy to break the chains of bondage? No. But God can and will pull you out of the pit when you submit to Christ’s rule.

Beyond Booze

You can become addicted to almost anything: food, sexual gratification, exercise, money, power, praise, shopping, pain pills, and so on. It’s idol worship. In the life of an addict, Christ is rejected and sin becomes master. People will be ruled by something. It’s our nature

The addiction cycle begins when a person wants to avoid pain or feel pleasure–or both. She medicates her distress and discomfort.

She indulges without concern for the consequences. Sometimes her conscience is pricked; a warning flag waves, a Holy Spirit correction. If ignored, and she indulges, she will get a momentary lift or numbness. Then reality sets in: Her indulgence failed to solve her problem; it only make it worse. Shame and regret, regret and shame.

What to do?

Seek pleasure? Avoid pain?

If she indulges again and again, the addiction cycle becomes entrenched. A sick pattern. Depending on the substance of addiction, she may develop a physiological dependence and experience symptoms of withdrawal without it.

The problem is deeper than physiology, however. It’s a spiritual disorder of disordered worship.

The Answer

In A Broken Heart, Kc outlines the “how” of breaking the bondage of addiction. You read it up top and I repeat parts here:

1. Kc recognized booze enslaved her, and she experienced healthy guilt leading to repentance: My heart filled with anguish and sorrow.

2. She realized the futility of her way of dealing with her addiction: Many times I tried to quit drinking on my own. All of my attempts failed.

3. She asked God for help, humbling herself while she worshiped God: Finally I prayed, ‘Lord, take the need of alcohol from me, make the taste repulsive.’

Please do not misunderstand me. Shaking an addiction is difficult. Kc tried many times, remember?

My mom was addicted to cigarettes and managed to quit a handful of times, only to light up. Again. She died on a frigid January night long ago. Heart disease by puff after puff after puff –this is what her cardiologist told me, in nicer terms. I wish I could have held her hand when she breathed her last. I love her so.

Me? I confess to people-pleasing. An addiction to what others think of me. I have repented of this ugliness and once in a while I return to this vomit like a dog, and repent again.

I rejoice with Kc that vodka never got a hold of her again. She asked God to make alcohol repulsive to her. He did. And she found healthy God-honoring ways to deal with her pain. You can too. Do you believe this?

About Kc and New Life

Kc was brought up in the church but did not have a personal relationship with Jesus until after her second divorce. She told the Lord in prayer, weeping and clutching her uncle’s Bible: “I’ve made such a mess of my life doing it my may. I forgot how much you love me. Forgive me.” God gave her the strength to pen a memoir and the hope to guide those who are hurting and without hope to the Mender of Broken Hearts.

Kc is married and lives in Washington State. She is the mother of two adult sons, one of whom died of cancer and is now with the Lord, and a grandmother.

A Few Questions

1. Have you or a loved one struggled with an addiction? A substance like alcohol or cigarettes? Or an addiction like people-pleasing?

2. How has addiction pulled you down? Financially? Relationally? Emotionally? Spiritually?

3. Are you willing to denounce your addiction and choose to put God first in your life?

Hope for You

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife?

Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises?

Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine,’

who go to sample bowls of mixed wins. . ..

In the end it bites like a snake

and poisons like a viper.

(Proverbs 23:29-30, 32, NIV)

3/14/13

David Tyler on a Biblical View of Addiction

HT: Glenn Chatfield

"We have psychologized the preaching of the cross in our day. The message of the cross today is laden with psychological euphemisms. Sin is called sickness and is denied implicitly or explicitly. Recovery has replaced repentance. A therapeutic cross is preached, where feelings, happiness, self-esteem and psychological healing are celebrated.

"In spite of the fact that evangelical churches have grown in numbers, size and ministries, there has nevertheless come a hollowing-out of conviction. The loss of the belief in the sufficiency of Scripture has led to an erosion of morals. While churches have grown larger in stature and in number, they have diminished in character and quality. Secularism’s intrusion in the evangelical church has caused it to lose its moral bearings. The Divine is replaced by the human (ungodliness) and righteousness by the therapeutic (unrighteousness). The old quest of godliness is replaced by a quest of psychological wholeness. Psychological wholeness is the substitute for godliness and is therefore ungodliness. It inevitably leads to more unrighteousness, bad feelings and the search for self-understanding continues. Who are we now that we have lost our understanding of the nature of man? One psychology tells us one thing, another psychology tells us another. Do we surrender ourselves to a biological fate and admit we are just the sum of our genes?"

Dr. David M. Tyler, "God’s Funeral," p.91, 120

The answer to that last question is, of course, “absolutely not.” We need to go back to the Bible and get rid of all traces of secular psychology. After all, the Bible does declare that God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

2/27/13

"Normalize" Bulimia? Heaven Forbid...


Dr. Ed Welch has an excellent post on the pervasiveness of bulimia and the nature of "control" its practitioners experience over at his blog. (Ed Welch, whose excellent study on repenting from addictions, "Crossroads" I reviewed here, is one of my favorite authors and biblical counselors. He is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Education Foundation, aka CCEF. I am currently working on a review of his new book, "What Do You Think of Me? Why Do I Care?").

Welch compassionately addresses the secretive nature of the bulimic behavior, and puts his finger right on the question a bulimic believer hates to ask herself:
First, if you have any interest in God, does the secretive essence of this behavior concern you? Secrets separate relationships. They separate friends and spouses, and become a private place in which you hide from God. 
 Second, has it improved your life? The answer to that is easy: no. But you say: “So what? It works for me.” Perhaps you feel as though nothing will improve your life so you might as well be thin while you go through the drudgery and misery.

Consider this from another angle. If you are a near-daily practitioner of purging, you are saying much more than “I want to be thin.” The word control is almost always a part of bulimic vocabulary. You have been controlled or dependent on the whims of people who treated you poorly, and you are sick of it. You live with incessant self-loathing and suicidal hopelessness and bulimia gives you some sense of control over this darkness. Its benefits, however, are ephemeral and fleeting.
 

So what is the answer? How are we to face a God, when we feel He must be "disgusted" with us? Oh, how I wish someone had shared the Good News of grace with me back in 1989! Go read the rest of the post here: http://www.ccef.org/blog/bulimia-new-normal

2/11/13

Want to Mud-Sling? Sorry...I'm Too Busy to Accomodate


Dear Readers:

Due to the unusually high number of abrasive and straw -man argumentative comments I have been receiving lately on this blog (most apparently from the same "anonymous" user,) I feel the time has come to clarify a few things in a post, since I have no intention of engaging the same red herrings over and over again in the meta.

First of all, anonymous comments are fine. When I set up the comment box for this blog, it was with the expectation in view that many eating-disordered young women would prefer to share their thoughts privately. Most who have chosen to communicate with me have done so through e-mail, and that is also welcome (in fact, I wrote my book "Redeemed from the Pit" after years of explaining the principles of overcoming eating disorders through e-mail - to countless women.)

"Some people want to believe lies & no factual info will persuade them. Only the Holy Spirit can transform the stubborn heart." - Dr. Mark E. Shaw
However, recently the comment box has been used more frequently by "anonymous" users who wish simply to argue with me and tear down the premise that the Bible does, in fact, address life-dominating sin. Axiomatically, such anonymous users invariably take issue with my (and other biblical counselors'....and increasing numbers of scientists') conviction that addictions are not organic in nature. Specifically, my (factually true) statement that EATING DISORDERS ARE NOT DISEASES. Often the vitrolic (and sarcastic) comments are accompanied by links to inconclusive "studies", showing that "it is thought" there "may" be genetic predisposition to bulimic and/or anorexic behavior.

A little over a year ago, Calvary Press published a 317-page book, thoroughly researched and written by me, which addresses this question (among many others). Rather than repeat everything I wrote there and cite all of the studies proving exactly the opposite, I'd encourage the skeptic to actually read my book. Better yet, specifically dealing with the "mental illness as disease" controversy, I'd like to point the reader to the following excellent resources:

The Christian Counselor's Medical Desk Reference, by Dr. Robert Smith, M.D.

This was the main text used in the course "Medical Issues in Biblical Counseling", one of many I took during my certification program as a biblical counselor.

Another excellent resource (which I cite several times in "Redeemed from the Pit") is Deceptive Diagnosis: When Sin Is Called Sickness, by David M. Tyler and Kurt P. Grady.

Ambitious to know more about the true nature of addiction? Let me recommend one more wonderful resource, by my friend Dr. Mark Shaw of NANC and His Truth in Love MinistriesThe Heart of Addiction: A Biblical Perspective

Now, once you have read all (or even some) of the informative books above, written by highly-educated and respected doctors and experts in the field of addiction, come back and we'll talk about your junk science links. But in the meantime, let me just quickly address some of the other red-herrings that have been thrown my way:

Accusation: "Who do [I] think [I] am anyway?"
Answer: A sinner saved by grace, who God has seen fit to use for His glory. A former pit-dweller whose  joy in freedom in Christ compels me to help others come to the Cross. A beggar telling other beggars where to find bread.

Accusation: "You're ignorant. You'll be flipping burgers. You have no education." (Various takes on this theme.)
Answer: I'm neither ignorant nor uneducated, not that my ability to share the Good News is impacted in any way by my degrees. For the record, I am college-educated (B.S., Syracuse University) and have a strong background in both biology and bio-psychology. (For what it's worth, I am also multi-lingual and am employed as a medical and courtroom interpreter). More importantly, I have been studying the Word of God for well over 20 years and completed the most demanding biblical counseling course of training in existence - Jay Adams' Institute for Nouthetic Studies. Before receiving my certificate, I completed difficult courses in biblical and systematic theology, medical issues in counseling, and a myriad of other topics (see complete syllabus here.) Copies of my 75-page theology and counseling NANC exam are available upon request.

I have been counseling Christian women with eating disorders (formally and informally) since 2005. A number of them have found complete freedom in Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit.

Accusation: "You seem to hate bulimics. You tell them their behavior is a sin!"
Answer: I was trapped in bulimia for 17 years myself, so please don't tell me who I "hate". The most loving thing we can do is help a fellow believer repent of his or her sin, in a spirit of gentleness (Galatians 6:1; Jude 1:23). Which is more cruel? Condemning a person to a life-long "disease", as the psych world does; or telling her about the freedom available to her in the Gospel? How is telling someone that Jesus died for their sin too "cruel" or "unloving"?

Accusation: "Everyone knows that eating disorders are diseases. You are ignorant and it's just your opinion that they're not."
Answer: You may have heard that eating disorders are caused by genetics or some sort of non-specific “chemical imbalance”. Low serotonin levels have been seen as the culprit for bulimia, despite the fact that no diagnostic tests or tissue samples have confirmed this hypothesis. Non-invasive “brain mapping” scans point to “hot spots”, but the problem with this form of test is that areas of the brain display differently according to the patient’s anxiety level or emotional state. The theory of “chemical imbalance” has prevailed for so long in the medical community that many accept it as iron-clad fact.

Actually, in over twenty years of research, no evidence has been discovered suggesting that eating disorders are organic, and both psychotropic drugs and SSRI  inhibitors (anti-depressants) have been ineffectual in “curing” anorexics and bulimics. Renowned psychiatrists are now admitting that the chemical imbalance theory was just that all along – a theory. Be careful of words like "is thought to be" or "may be caused" in studies - they point up the fact that these hypotheses are inconclusive. (See Chapter 2 of my book and The Christian Counselor's Medical Desk Reference for a more complete discussion of these "studies" and the effect of psychotropics on the brain.)

Accusation: "You probably think that people with autism/Asperger's/depression/ADD/bi-polar etc. etc. are going to hell." 
Answer: Anyone apart from Christ goes to hell. (John 14:6). See here for a more thorough explanation, and let's keep the straw men to a minimum, shall we?



Respectfully, I am far too busy serving God by loving His people to engage each and every silly and arrogant attack thrown at me in the meta. I hope that this explanation clarifies where I stand (firmly on the Word of God) and answers any questions you may have about my biblical worldview (and subsequent approach to matters of soul-care.) For more information about biblical counseling, I encourage you to visit the Biblical Counseling Coalition's website.

2/7/13

Replacing Lies You Believe with God's Truth - an Exercise

From "Redeemed from the Pit"
Chapter 8 "Tempted Beyond What You Can Bear?" 

Putting On and Putting Off

As a bulimic begins to practice taking her obsessive thoughts captive to Christ, gradually they will decrease in frequency and intensity. Her behavior will begin to change. True repentance always leads to a steady (if sometimes gradual) decline in sin and improved behavior. As we turn from the old thought patterns that led us into slavery in the first place, the Holy Spirit imparts both the will and the strength to change our behavior. Paul describes this process as “putting off the sinful nature” (NIV, Colossians 2:11) or “lay[ing] aside the deeds of darkness and put[ing] on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12). In Ephesians 4:22-24 he tells believers to “lay aside” (“put off” in other translations) the old self and “put on” the new self – which, he goes on to say, “in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth”. In the likeness of God? Sounds like a tall order! But remember, He has equipped us and will help us grow. A couple of chapters later, Paul twice exhorts Christians to “put on” the armor of God. Clearly, Paul originated what biblical counselors call the “put off/put on” principle. 

Likewise, avoiding old patterns of behavior (such as using food for emotional reasons) will not bring about true, inward change unless those old habits are replaced with new, godly ones. Nature abhors a vacuum. Allowing God to pull up the roots of our besetting, habitual sin is the first step – but the next is to fill in the hole that remains with Christ-like behavior and thoughts. Of course, developing these God-honoring practices does not happen overnight, but they are cultivated as the Holy Spirit changes our hearts. If you are persistent in seeking God, He will give you the strength and desire to obey Him. Our behavior changes, because God’s love has first transformed our hearts and altered our thinking.

Paul gives us concrete examples of how we must consciously discard old tendencies and deliberately replace them in Ephesians 4:25-32. Let’s look at a few of the sinful habits he tells us to stop doing, and what we are to start doing instead:


Now, let’s take this principle and apply it to eating disorders. Most of the warnings and exhortations the Bible gives us are general enough to apply to any sin, because all sin ultimately is a heart issue. While Paul did not specifically have gluttony or self-abuse in mind when he penned his epistles,  Romans 8:13 is a goal all repentant anorexics and bulimics can share: “…if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live”. 

What specific attitudes and thought patterns can you identify which need to be “put off”? What actions? I mention thoughts and attitudes first, as they determine your outward behavior (Luke 6:45). As you prayerfully identify areas of your thought-life that are contributing to your eating disorder, ask God to show you biblical attitudes to “put on” in their place. I have listed a few suggestions to get you started.

© Marie Notcheva, 2011.

2/1/13

"Redeemed from the Pit" Now Available on Kindle!

Dear Readers:

Fifteen months after its release by Calvary Press, my book "Redeemed from the Pit" is FINALLY available in Kindle Edition. You may now purchase it world-wide through Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B7DEPIW.  Weighing in at a healthy 95,000 words, it is a bargain at only $9.99. Tell all your friends.


Also, if you have read my book and found it helpful, please leave a comment in the "Review" section on Amazon (5 stars would be nice, too.) These positive reviews really do help potential readers get a "feel" for the book, and may boost sales.

I am really excited about the Kindle release for another reason, too: proceeds from Kindle sales will be going to support Albania Evangelical Mission (http://www.aemission.org/). This is the team under whom I served at a summer camp for teenagers the last couple summers, and they are a great group of people serving the Lord in Albania.

Please leave me a comment or send me an e-mail to let me know if you've purchased the Kindle edition, and what you think (be sure and mention any technical issues you might be having, so I can get them fixed.) You'll be glad to know the typographical and formatting issues in the print edition have been corrected in the e-book!

1/27/13

Video - "The Addiction Connection"

From Dr. Mark Shaw, NANC counselor, fellow and founder of "His Truth in Love" Ministries.

The following video is from Dr. Shaw's ministry website, "The Addiction Connection", and is a superb biblical overview to how biblical counseling approaches addictive behavior. Dr. Shaw is the author of many books, including "The Heart of Addiction". Much (if not all) of what he has written is extremely useful for Christians struggling to repent of eating disorders, as well as anyone interested in counseling those with food-related bondage.



Visit www.theaddictionconnection.org for more information on his counseling training program.

1/22/13

Get "Redeemed from the Pit" into Morningstar Christian Bookstore!!

Dear Readers:

You will have to excuse my pounding on the keyboard to get this post out. I have just returned from my local Christian bookstore (the only one in a 5-town radius), which I entered to buy a birthday card. Mind you, this is the store that told me a year ago that they did not have shelf-space to stock my book, "Redeemed from the Pit" a year ago when it was published. The manager did allow me to do a book-signing, which met with modest success, but did not offer to take any copies of my book - even on consignment.

So imaging my frustration when I walked in this morning, to be met at the entrance with a "Healthier 2013" display, toting copies of "The Daniel Fast" and "Made to Crave" (the latter of which is doctrinally questionable.) The opposite side of the table had copies of heretical teacher Joyce Meyer's "Beauty for Ashes", and a few other food-related books.

I spoke with the (new) manager, who agreed to "look over" a copy of "Redeemed from the Pit", and ask his higher-ups if they might take a few copies. Meanwhile, several women in my Massachusetts church have asked me why Morningstar does not carry my book -- as hard as it is to believe, not everyone buys books online. The manager, Chad, indicated that if people were requesting it, it might help my case.

PLEASE, friends, take just a moment to send the bookstore an e-mail, asking them to stock my book: morningstartc@yahoo.com. Please use subject line, "Please stock Redeemed from the Pit" and address it to Chad. OR, CALL TOLL FREE at:  (800) 767-5316 and ask for Chad, the Leominster store manager.     This has become as much a matter of principle to me as anything else -- I will never make much from royalties, but for a bookstore that stocks largely-aberrational literature to refuse shelf space is annoying.

Thank you in advance for your support!