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

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!