God Promises to Rescue Us from Pit-iful Living!

By Julie Morris –

There’s nothing I wanted more than to lose weight… yet I struggled for 30 miserable years, humiliated by extra pounds, failed diets and vicious cycles of shame and bingeing. Finally I discovered the way out of that pitiful way of living and I lost my weight in 1982 and have kept it off. My secret isn’t a secret at all: I learned practical things I could do to rely on God’s power at work in me.

The Message Bible paraphrase explains exactly what happened to me, and what can happen to you too. It might sound too good to be true, but I can tell you from personal experience that it’s not. “God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating” (Colossians 1:13-14).

If you’re trying to quit overeating or turn from other destructive habits, let me ask you a few questions to help you understand the awesome promises and commands in this short passage. Take a few minutes right now and write out your answers:

1. What dead-end alley or dark dungeon are you trapped in?

2. What sins have you felt doomed to keep repeating?

3. What are you doing to allow God to rescue you? If you’re not doing anything, what can you do to reach out to Him?

4. Has Jesus ever helped you to get out of “pit-iful” living? How did He help you? If you haven’t experienced His help, do you know anyone who has? Call and ask them about it!

5. Do you believe that Jesus can set you free? Do you believe that He will? If not, ask Him to give you faith to believe that He keeps His promises.

6. Say this prayer out loud:

God, thank You for promising to rescue me from the dead-end alleys I have been wandering down. I’ve been struggling so hard, but getting nowhere. It feels like I keep going down the same road…over and over…until I hit a brick wall and there’s no place else to go, so I go back and do the same thing all over again.

I have often felt like I was living in a dark dungeon—depressed and ashamed. But, even though I don’t deserve it, You promise to set me up in the kingdom of Your Son. And You tell me something else amazing: Jesus has already gotten me out of the pit and my pit-iful way of living! And He has gotten rid of the sins I felt doomed to keep repeating! The prison door is open. My white linen suit is there waiting for me. All I have to do is to take His hand and let Him lead me out!

I am no longer a victim, but a Victor in Christ. I am no longer a creature of habit, but a New Creation in Christ. I am no longer a pitiful failure, but a Precious Child of God through Christ.

Help me, Lord, to live in the kingdom You have promised me. Show me practical things I can do to reach out to You so I can experience this new higher way of living—out of the pit…out of the shame. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Julie Morris is the founder of two weight-loss programs, Step Forward www.stepforwarddiet.com and Guided By Him www.guidedbyhim.com—a lighter and easier version of Step Forward. She is the author of 12 books and a dynamic motivational speaker. If you are experiencing pit-iful living, contact her at julie@guidedbyhim.com.

Are You Eating But Not Satisfied?

May 29, 2019 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Julie Morris –

Have you ever noticed how often the Bible says, “You will eat and be satisfied”? What a wonderful promise we can claim! But some people miss out on this blessing. Instead, they are like I was—continuing to search for something to satisfy their hunger—when God had already provided it.

Let me tell you about someone else who hungered needlessly:
A poor young man, named Antonio, lived in Italy in the early 1900s. He dreamed of coming to America, so he worked to save his money and his family took up a collection for him. Finally he had enough to book passage on a ship. His mother packed him a large basket of food and he was on his way.

He tried not to eat much, but a week into the voyage his food ran out. Desperate for something to eat, he searched the upper decks where the rich people stayed. He discovered that when they didn’t want to go to the beautiful dining room, they had food delivered to their rooms. When they finished eating, they’d put their trays in the hall for the steward to carry away. Sometimes, there was food they didn’t eat on those trays: stale bread, dried chicken bones and sour milk. Though they tasted terrible, Antonio devoured these left-overs.

Finally, on the last evening of the voyage, a steward spied Antonio as he searched through one of the trays sitting in the corridor. When Antonio told him what he was doing, the steward’s expression reflected his amazement. The steward asked Antonio sadly, “Didn’t you know that the meals are included with the price of a ticket?”

Let me ask you a question.

Are you living like Antonio—famished and constantly searching for something to satisfy your hunger when God has already paid the price so that you can eat and be satisfied?

In Psalm 103:5, God tells us that He satisfies the hungry with good things so our youth is renewed like the eagle’s. And in Psalm 63:5, He tells us that when we have a close personal relationship with Him—loving Him, praising Him, clinging to Him—our souls will be satisfied as with the richest of foods.

I know from experience that Psalm 103:5 is true. I lost my weight over 25 years ago—and my horrendous food cravings disappeared with my harmful extra pounds. I discovered that God really does satisfy the hungry with good things—things that are good for us. And I can tell you too that I feel better (and younger) now than I did all those years ago.

I also know that Psalm 63:5 is true. When I learned practical things I could do to draw closer to Jesus and be guided by Him, my soul became satisfied…as with the richest of foods.

Thankfully, I am no longer living like Antonio—eating but not satisfied. But if you are, don’t give up. There’s hope for you!

Adapted from Guided By Him…to a Thinner, Not So Stressed-Out You!

Julie Morris is the author of 12 books, a dynamic motivational speaker and founder of two Christian weight-loss programs: Step Forward (www.stepforwarddiet.com) and a lighter and easier version of Step Forward, Guided By Him (www.guidedbyhim.com).

The Day the Blackbirds Came

By Julie Morris –

The blackbirds descended suddenly on my backyard one quiet winter morning years ago. I could hardly believe my eyes as hundreds of them arrived squawking loudly to one another and perched themselves on every branch of every tree as far as my eyes could see, even in the woods behind my flowerbeds. It felt like a scene straight out of the old Hitchcock movie, The Birds.

When they arrived, I had been writing in my prayer journal. Only what I wrote wasn’t a prayer, but a gloomy list of all of the things I hated about myself: I ate too much, didn’t exercise enough, needed to pray more and watch TV less.… The list went on and on. I remember thinking at the time that this list reminded me of one I had made so many years earlier when I was a little girl. I took the list to my mother and she hugged me, and with tears in her eyes, she told me that I was precious to her just the way I was. Oh, how I longed for my mother. She had been deceased for so many years.

A quiet tug at my spirit brought me back to the present and seemed to be saying, “Pay attention to the blackbirds, because they will show you what is happening to you right now.”

Not knowing what that meant, I went back to my list and the thoughts that had been overwhelming me. I was thinking the all-too-familiar “I wasn’t good enough and never would be…” when a verse I had memorized years earlier floated into my mind. I couldn’t remember where it was or exactly what it said, but the words penetrated deep into my soul: “Who will free me from my slavery to sin? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord! He has set me free.”

“Wow!” I said to myself, “Jesus has already freed me!” Suddenly, the shame caused by all those things on my list lifted, and I looked up and saw hundreds of blackbirds, as if on cue, instantly fly away.

Ever since then, when the blackbirds descended on me and I have felt overwhelmed by my sins and weaknesses, I have thought about those words in Romans 7:21-25 (Living Bible), “So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free.”

Julie Morris is the author of 12 books, a dynamic motivational speaker and founder of two Christian weight-loss programs: Step Forward (www.stepforwarddiet.com) and a lighter and easier version of Step Forward, Guided By Him (www.guidedbyhim.com).

The 12 Steps—Life-Changing Baby Steps

By Julie Morris –

Last month I told you about how my version of the 12 Steps helped me to lose my harmful extra pounds in 1982 and keep them off. This month I want to tell you how I began taking each of the Steps—in hopes that you might want to join me on this exciting journey.

Short Form of 12 Steps and How I Began Taking Each Step

  • Step 1 I can’t! I began taking Step 1 by giving up on the idea that I could lose weight by dieting.
  • Step 2 God can! I began taking Step 2 by reminding myself of God’s awesome power and His promises to help me…if I’d let Him.
  • Step 3 I’ll let Him! Eating too much and thinking about food all the time were making me miserable so I made a decision to cooperate with God every day rather than complaining and overeating.
  • Step 4 What needs changing? I began taking Step 4 by listing my sins and the ineffective choices I had been making. Fortunately, in Step 4 I didn’t have to do anything but list these things. God would help me with them as I worked the rest of the steps.
  • Step 5 I confess! I began taking Step 5 by admitting to God, myself and somebody else the things on my fourth step list. I felt a wonderful sense of freedom after I confessed these things to a friend who was also working the steps.
  • Step 6 I’m ready to change! While taking Step 6, I thought about the harm the things on my list were doing to me. For example, overeating made my blood pressure soar; it caused me to feel ashamed of how I looked; and it caused me to beat myself up over being so weak.
  • Step 7 Change me, Lord! This step reassured me that I didn’t have to change myself; all I had to do was to be humble toward God—teachable, willing to do things His way, and stay close to Him–trusting Him to change me.
  • Step 8 Who have I harmed? Again, I didn’t have to fix anything while taking this step; I just had to make a list.
  • Step 9 I’m sorry! Originally, I thought this step just encouraged me to apologize to a few people, but I realized that it also encourages me to recognize and put a stop to ineffective ways I relate to people every day.
  • Step 10 How am I doing? (Steps 10-12 are the maintenance steps, and, though they come at the end, I started doing them as soon as I began working the steps.) While taking Step 10, I realized that I had been so busy doing, that I had little time to think about what I was doing! I started taking several minutes each morning to plan my day, evaluate how I had done the day before and confess my mistakes and ineffective choices to the Lord.
  • Step 11 I’m seeking you, God! While taking the 11th Step, I realized that I had been focusing most of my prayers on telling God what I wanted Him to do, rather than seeking what He wanted me to do and relying on Him to help me do it.
  • Step 12 I’m practicing and praising you, Lord! When I began to take Step 12, I thought about the word “practice” and how much Olympic skaters have to practice. I determined to practice 12-Step principles every day and to tell others about how God is helping me as a result.

Why don’t you join me today in the life-changing 12-Step journey!

Julie Morris is founder of Guided By Him, a 12-Step Christian weight-loss program you can do by yourself or in a group (www.guidedbyhim.com). She is the author of 12 books and an inspiring motivational speaker. Email her for questions about working the Guided By Him program Julie@guidedbyhim.com.

The 12 Steps–Miraculous Baby Steps To A New Life!

May 11, 2019 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Julie Morris –

There is nothing I wanted more than to lose weight. I had tried as long as I could remember to lose my extra pounds, but it felt like the harder I tried, the worse my eating became. I was completely powerless over it and I knew it would take a miracle for me to lose my weight and keep it off permanently. I had little hope of ever experiencing this. That is, until I was introduced to the 12 Steps.

For some reason, the first night I heard them almost 30 years ago I knew they were the answer! I knew that they would break down the surrender process for me so that I could quit playing tug-of-war with God over food. What I didn’t know was that they would become the structure I needed to help me surrender more and more of myself to Him every day, not just my food.

The 12 Steps have helped millions of people
The 12 Steps have helped millions of people all over the world for over 75 years. The steps I use are very similar to AA’s, but rather than referring to “God as we understand him,” our steps refer to Him by name–“God through Jesus Christ.”

Let’s take a peek at the short form of the first three steps:

Step 1 I can’t! (I give up the idea that I can lose weight on diets and willpower.)

Step 2 God can! (I know that God can help me to do the impossible and I will look to Him for help.)

Step 3 I’ll let Him! (I will cooperate with Him one day at a time.)

The Bible tells us many things that we can do to cooperate with God in the recovery process. Hebrews 12:13 explains this: “Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.” I realized that I was lame (I literally couldn’t walk away from the dessert table!) and I needed to make level paths for my feet if I wanted to be healed.

The most obvious things we can do to make level paths for our feet are being honest about our weaknesses, praying for help, reading the Bible and reaching out to other Christians for accountability and encouragement.

Working the steps is a life-long process

We don’t quickly work through the steps and then just quit. The 12 Steps provide a life-long process so that, one day at a time, we are able to take baby steps toward becoming the person we want to be.

Here are the most important 12 Step principles. Consider each and put a check next to the ones that you need to start working on:

¨  Recognize when you’ve made a mistake, confess it and learn from it.

¨  Draw close to God and rely on Him to give you the desire and ability to do His will.

¨  Don’t waste your days blaming others and denying your part in problems. Clean up your side of the street. Quit trying to change other people.

¨  Practice doing things God’s way one day at a time. Recognize that your circumstances provide opportunities to help you learn and make progress toward becoming the best you can be.

¨  Share what you’re learning with others with similar problems. When you do, your mistakes won’t be wasted. When you help another person to do better, you will help yourself.

If you’re stuck in a bad habit or addiction, why don’t you consider going to a 12 Step meeting? It might just change your life like it has mine!

Julie Morris is the founder of Guided By Him, a 12-Step Christian weight-loss program you can do by yourself or in a group (www.guidedbyhim.com). Author of 12 books and inspiring motivational speaker, she is offering a “mini-retreat” January 22, 2010 in Birmingham, AL for those who want to lose weight. Email her for questions about the program or registration for the “retreat.” Julie@guidedbyhim.com.

Next Page »