And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. John 8:32

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How to Stop Emotional Eating: 9 Questions That Will Help

Do you ever get so frustrated with life you just want to eat everything in sight? The next time that happens, try not to eat right away.  Instead, do an experiment.

Ask yourself the following questions (write out the answers if you can) and pray through the following Bible verses. 

9 times out of 10, when I do this, I no longer feel like eating. Why? Because God uses the truth to set me free from unholy desires (Ephesians 4:22-24). The truth actually changes my desires, setting me free from the tyranny of the lies that control me.

Note: These questions and Bible verses are from I Deserve a Donut (And Other Lies That Make You Eat). For a short online Bible study on emotional eating click here. For a full-length Bible study on emotional eating click here.  Also available: Taste for Truth: A 30 Day Weight Loss Bible Study.

Emotional Eating Questions and Bible Verses

1.     What’s going on in your life right now that’s making you want to eat?
2.     What emotion are you experiencing?
3.     Will eating make you feel better? If so, for how long?
4.     Will eating solve your problems?
5.     Will eating create any new problems? Explain.
6.     What do your boundaries protect you from?
7.     Do you need protection today?
8.     What do you think God wants to teach you through this trial?
9.     Is there anything you need to accept?

Note: If these questions and Bible verses don't change your desires, spend some time truth journaling through the situation that's creating your negative emotion. Often the best way to overcome emotional eating is to deal with the situation itself rather than just the eating behavior.

Bible Verses

Psalm 3:3 But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head.

Psalm 61:1-2 Hear my cry, O God; give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Jeremiah 32:27 Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?

Romans 5:3-4 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope.

Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Hebrews 12:11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

Note: If you don't have an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad (newer version), check my other blog as I'll be posting more questions over there. Here are the ones I currently have posted: click here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Coming Soon: Christian Weight Loss App

Note: This app is now available. Click here to see the app in the iTunes store.

Last year I was teaching a Bible study on habits and emotions to a group of teenagers when one of the boys in the class said, "Hey, you should put these questions on an iPhone app - call it iBarb!"

I laughed. iBarb. That would be fun - but of course I would never be capable of making an iPhone app.

Still, I thought, it was an interesting idea: an app that wouldn't just track behavior, but would help you renew your mind so you wouldn't even want to do your behavior.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spiritual Warfare Bible Study

Note: I'm currently writing about how to break free from strongholds at a new blog. The following Bible study goes along with a post on that blog. Here's the link:  Spiritual Warfare and Your Project.

Who is Satan?
How does he operate?
How will this affect your project?
John 8:44

1 Peter 5:8, Luke 4:13

Revelations 12:9-10

Genesis 3:1-6

Luke 4:1-13

Friday, March 23, 2012

Failure: A Bible Study

Note: This Bible study is the continuation of a post at my other blog. Click on this link to get the post that goes with the study: Is Failure Inevitable?

How many years have you been struggling with this sin or bad habit?

How many years (or weeks) have you been diligent about applying truth to the lies that are fueling your habit?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how diligent have you been?

When you think of how long you’ve been renewing your mind compared to how long you’ve had this problem, is it realistic to expect 100% victory at this point? Why or why not?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Gathering Your Tools

The first step in any home improvement project is to make a plan and gather your tools. It’s no different with a mind improvement project.

Here are the tools you’ll need: a Bible and a journal. This is the journal you’ll use to renew your mind in.

We’ll be going over several different ways to renew your mind on this blog, but one of the best ways is to find Scriptures that apply to your project and pray through those Scriptures on a daily basis.

If you want to get started on your project right away, make a commitment to find one new Scripture each day that will help you with your project and write out a Scripture prayer using that Scripture in your journal. Or just meditate on that Scripture once a day and think of how it would apply to your project.

After you’ve chosen your project and purchased your journal, answer the following questions to help you have an idea of what to expect in the months to come (you could put the answers to these questions in your new journal):

Getting Started

1.     What is your project?

2.    What is your goal?

3.    Why do you want to reach your goal?

4.    Do you think God wants you to reach your goal?

5.    If so, what would His reasons be? Are God’s reason’s different than your reasons? If so, why?

6.    Do you think Satan wants you to reach your goal? If not, why?

7.    What should you expect if you decide to take on this project? Read the following verses and list as much as you can from them:
a.     Romans 12:1

b.    Philippians 1:6

c.     Hebrews 12:10-11

d.    Galatians 6:9

e.     1 Peter 5:8-10

9.    Is this a project you’ll be able to accomplish in your own strength? If not, what will you need to do? (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:22-24)

10. How will the accomplishment of this goal help you love God and others better?

More to Come

My college kids are on break now so I won't be posting next week, but when their break is over we'll start talking about some other practical tools you can use to renew your mind. If you'd like some ideas before then, you could browse through a short-lived blog I wrote at I may repeat some of those ideas over here as I'm using this blog (and to try to write a curriculum that could be used in a Bible study. (Yes, I know, too many blogs!)

Friday, March 9, 2012

1 Corinthians 10:23

I was looking through my old "renewing of the mind project journal for eating" last night and this entry made me laugh:


Belief: I forgot to put whip cream on my first bowl of ice cream so it's okay to have a second bowl with whipped cream.

Truth: It may be permissible, but it does not edify!!!

All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 1 Corinthians 10:23

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Renewing of the Mind Project

Remember that rickety old house we talked about last time? If you were going to fix it up, how would you start? Would you tackle the wholehouse in a day, or would you start with just one room?

I’m hoping you said just one room because that’s what I’d like to do on this blog: work together with each other and with God to tackle the “rooms” in our lives that could use a little makeover.

If you’d like to be involved, the first step is to choose a “renewing of the mind” project. We’ll talk more about what that will look like in weeks to come but for now let’sjust explore some project possibilities.

Here are a few examples of projects you could take on:
  • A critical spirit
  • A habit of worry
  • Too much time on the internet
  • Your attitude toward work or school
  • A sin that controls you
  • A difficult relationship

If you’re having a hard time deciding what to work on, here's a worksheet that might help:

Choosing a Project

1. What areas of your life cause you the most stress?

2. Why do they stress you out?

3. Can you think of any good habits you’d like to develop?

4. Can you think of any bad habits you’d like to break free from?

5. Of the following negative emotions andattitudes, which one (s) have you been struggling with the most lately?
  • Worry, stress, anger, self-condemnation, people pleasing, insecurity in general, discontentment, envy, pride, judgment, and/ora critical spirit.

6. What are your most difficult relationships at this time? (You may want to just answer this one in your head rather than onpaper.)

7. Why are those relationships difficult?

8. Look over your answers to the preceding questions and list two or three possible projects.

9. For each project, answer the following questions:
a. On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard do you think itwould be to tackle this project?

b. How would your life change if you were to gain victory over this habit or emotion?

c. Would gaining victory over this habit or emotion help you love God and others better? Explain.

d. Can you do this project in your own strength? If not, what will you need to do if you want to be successful with this project?(Romans 12:1-2, Ephesians 4:22-24)

10. Do you feel like God is leading you toward a particular project?

Note: This post is part of a class I'm teaching on my other blog. Since I can't figure out how to format worksheets and Bible studies at Wordpress, I'm posting them over here until I can figure it out! (if it can be figured out)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Love Grown Cold: Bible Study

Sometimes God transforms us in an instant, either by giving us the gift of self-control or by taking away our taste for a particular sin. An example would be the alcoholic who commits his life to Christ and never has another drink.

More often than not, though, transformation is a step-by-step process, and God expects us to be involved in the project. Look up the following Bible verses and for each verse, try to find the role we play and the role God plays in the transformation process. I’ve done the first one for you.

Our Role
God’s Role
Romans 12:2
We renew our minds.
God transforms us.
John 8:31-32

John 14:26

John 15:4-5

John 17:17

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

In summary, what is our part in the transformation process?

What is God’s part?

Why do you think God asks us to be involved in our own transformation when He has the power to speak a word and change us in an instant?

If God were to change us in an instant at the moment of salvation, so that we never even felt like sinning again, would we still be living within the context of free will or would He be controlling our minds?

In Romans 12:2, the Greek word for transformed is metamorphoo. It describes a transformation that starts on the inside and works its way out. Here’s an example. Let’s say I have a problem with saying mean things to people. If I were focusing on outward transformation, I would try to control my tongue and only say nice things. If I were focusing on inward transformation, I would work on loving them rather than being critical and condemning of them.

Do you think God would rather have me learn to love that person or learn to control what I say to that person? Explain.

Would it be easier to control my words if I were also controlling my thoughts? Why or why not?

What does Paul tell me I need to do if I want to be transformed on the inside?

If I wanted to change the way I thought about a person, do you think it would help if I prayed 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 for that person on a regular basis? Why or why not?

Can you think of anything else you could do to change the way you think about that person?

How would it change your walk with God if you went to Him on a regular basis for help with your relationship difficulties?

Assignment: Try praying 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 a few times this week before you get together with a person who annoys you and see if it makes a difference.

Note: See Beyond the Sinners Prayer for the blog post that goes with this Bible study. I couldn't get my little chart to work on Wordpress so I posted the Bible study here. Also, you are welcome to print this Bible study if you want to use it with a group. I only ask that you include the website address and author information. Thanks!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Blog Address

Hi Everyone, I finally have the new blog set up - at least for the most part. Here's the link: Beyond the Sinner's Prayer.

I transferred one of my last posts over there just to experiment with posting, although I changed the picture on it. (The new picture is of my son taken on one of our backpacking trips.)

I'm planning to post twice a week, sometimes more, with a combination of regular posts, Bible study posts, practical application examples, and hopefully some contributions from all of you.

I'll start out with some foundational material on the renewing of the mind and then do short units (two or three weeks?) on different subjects: anger, insecurity, compulsive habits, etc.

I may come back here every once in awhile if I have time and post specifically on eating issues, so if you're interested in that, you can sign up to be on the e-mail list so you don't have to keep checking back.

I'll try to include examples on the new blog for both young people (older teens and early twenties) and older people - we'll see how that works! (They tell you not to do that at writer's conferences but since I have kids in college and teach high school kids as well, I kind of wanted to write for them too.)

Anyway, I hope to see you over there. I'm looking forward to it!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Any Ideas for the New Blog?

Hi Everyone, I've been thinking and praying about the format for the new blog, and thought it would be helpful to get your input. Is there anything special you'd like to see on the new blog? Anything in particular you found helpful on this blog that you'd like to see more of on the new blog? Any topics you'd like us to discuss?

Any ideas you can give me would be appreciated! You can either leave them as comments on the blog or e-mail me at Thanks for your help! Barb

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

More On the New Blog

For the last few weeks I’ve been thinking and praying about the possibility of teaching a class on my blog. In the beginning I was excited. I love to teach, and I was looking forward to getting to know some of you through your comments on the blog. So what’s not to like about teaching a class on my blog?

Well, it turns out there are a couple of things: writing and keeping a schedule—neither of which I’m very good at.

The closer it got to when I said I would start my class, the more I began to dread it. I can stand up and teach a one-hour class with a 3 X 5 index card of notes, but put me in front of a computer screen, and my mind goes blank.

What shall I write? I have no idea.

Here’s the interesting thing though: the whole purpose of this class is to learn how to work with God in getting rid of the sins, idols, weaknesses, and bad habits in our lives that keep us from loving God and others well.

We can’t do that in our own strength—just like I can’t write this blog in my own strength. In fact, just to write this post today, I had to spend an hour with God working through my fears.

I know—that sounds pathetic—but it’s the only way I can do it if I want to do it with God, and I’m not the type of person who can do it without Him.

If I were a person who loved to write, who checked off things right and left on her to-do list, and who didn’t mind having the world laugh at her if she said something dumb—then I could write this blog in my own strength.

But I’m not that type of person.

So as I teach and write, I’ll be doing the same thing I’ll be asking you to do: renewing my mind so I can break free of the things that bind me and keep me from loving God and others well.

I’ll be starting the new class, God willing, on February 27th. Here’s my idea: I’m thinking of starting with a few weeks of foundational material on transformation and the renewing of the mind, and then I’d like to use that material to work through various emotions and habits, a few weeks at a time.

Another thing I’d like to try, if I get enough volunteers, is to have Fridays be sharing day. This would be an opportunity for you guys to share something: it could be a truth journal entry, a Scripture prayer, or even a testimony of what God has done in your life through the renewing of your mind.

If you have anything you want to share, e-mail me at I’ll probably start a new blog for this since it will have a broader range of topics than emotional eating, so I’ll share that address with you when I have it.

Looking forward to visiting with you in a week and a half!


P.S. If anyone know an easy-to-use free blogging site, let me know. I'm not a techie!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Are Quiet Times the Answer To Getting Close to God?

If you ask any group, "How do you get close to God?" you usually get the same answer: spend time with Him.

It’s a good answer, but I don’t think it works.
At least not by itself.

Think of it this way: what if you were in a relationship, either married or dating, and you got bored with your partner?

You didn’t want to give him up—because you liked having a steady relationship—but you didn’t want a boring life either. What would you do?

Let’s say you decide to spice up your life a bit—nothing serious, just a little harmless fun.

So you go out dancing. You flirt with your co-workers. You have some good conversations.
Life is looking up.

But then one day the inevitable happens: you meet a guy you really like. He’s fun. He’s exciting, and he’s interested in you.

So you start a relationship with him.

As you become more and more enthralled with this new guy, you become less and less enamored of your husband or boyfriend.

But you’re still not ready to give him up.

So you ease your conscience. You schedule fifteen minutes a day with him to visit, usually right after breakfast. Yes, it’s a little boring. Yes, it’s a duty. But at least it keeps the relationship going.

So here’s the question: is fifteen minutes a day the answer to your lack of intimacy with your husband or boyfriend? Or is the problem deeper than that?

We can ask the same question of our relationship with God: is fifteen minutes a day the answer to our lack of intimacy with Him, or does the problem go deeper than that?

It’s easy to see in a real-life example that the girl is being unfair to her partner. It’s not so easy to see in our relationship with God because we’ve grown accustomed to the sins and idols in our lives that separate us from Him.

One of the beauties of our relationship with God, though, is that He’s willing to work with us in getting rid of those idols and sins.

And here’s the interesting thing: one of the best ways to get close to God is to work with Him in removing the sins and idols of our lives.

For those of you who have followed my blogs, you know my track record for posts is not great. I go full steam for a few weeks and then peter out when I start teaching local Bible studies and run out of time.

I’ve been thinking of an idea lately, though, that I’m hoping will work. I’d like to try teaching a class online when my current Bible studies are over which should be in a few weeks.

So if you’ve been reading these sporadic blogs and you’re interested in a class on how to work together with God to remove the sins and the idols in your life, keep checking back. I’d love to have you join the class.

Note: If you have this site saved as, I’m going to go back to for awhile so you may need to change that to be able to find the blog again.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Are You Comfortable?

Do you ever say you’ll do something for God and then have second thoughts when you find out how hard it is?

I’m guessing that’s how Peter felt when he found himself walking on the water in the midst of a raging storm. What have I gotten myself into?

His enthusiasm for Jesus was enough to get him out of the boat, but it wasn’t enough to sustain him once he got an eyeful of the waves.

What strikes me about this passage* is that Peter wouldn’t have been in such a pickle if he hadn’t loved Jesus so much. If he had just stayed in his nice, safe, comfortable boat, he wouldn’t have been in a position to panic.

It was when he loved Jesus enough to get out of the boat that all his troubles started.

I see this at work in my own life. I want life to be easy. I want it to be comfortable. But I also love God, and He keeps asking me to do things that are uncomfortable and difficult.

The worst thing I can do—and it’s often the thing I find myself doing—is to say yes to God, leap out of the boat, and then forget about Him while I look in dismay at all the waves lapping at my feet.

Especially when Jesus is standing there with His hand reaching out to take hold of me.

It’s the worst of both worlds. Not only do I miss out on the comfort of the boat, I also miss out on the comfort of His arms wrapped around me in the midst of the storm.

Not to mention the fact that I can’t walk on water without His help.

Like Peter, I need to be reminded to grab hold of His hand.

Today—thanks to His help in the middle of the night—I’m remembering.

And even though I’m uncomfortable . . . I’m comfortable.

* Matthew 14:23-33