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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love To Eat, Hate To Eat: Chapter 1

Welcome to the first chapter review of the book,
Love to Eat, Hate to Eat by Elyse Fitzpatrick.

From now until May, I'll be reviewing and posting chapter highlights every week. My life is pretty busy with 2 little ones running around, so I can't commit to a certain day of the week to post, but I can commit to post sometime during the week. You can check the google calendar on the righthand side to see corresponding dates for which chapter I'll be reading. Join along in your own copy of the book or simply enjoy the cliff notes!

Here we go...

Introduction: There is Hope for YOU

Once caught in the common battle of food and weight, Elyse shares her journey of change. Change doesn't come from reading a book or willing yourself to change. Change comes only from the power of God in our lives. We can have hope because God gives us His Holy Spirit to direct and guide us as we change. Scripture tells us that the word of God is living and active (Hebrews 4:12). We can have hope because God is faithful to his promises in Scripture (Isaiah 55:11). We can have hope because Jesus Christ paved a way for us to be free from sin through his death on the cross.

For years she was consumed by weight and food, but God began to change her heart to truly embrace the words in Luke 12:23 - "Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes." During her journey, she learned to eat and view her body in ways that glorify and reflect God to others. She also learned that while her weight can be a reflection of the heart, it is not the most important thing in life.

Chapter 1: From Heartache to A Sense of Purpose

Elyse shares her background with weight and food in this chapter. As a child, teenager, and adult she struggled with being overweight. She lived many years with humiliation and embarrassment of her weight struggles. She recalls many prayers to God asking to be thin and "normal." But slowly God began a work in her life. She began to understand that God had something better in mind for her than merely looking good on the outside. God was working in her life to use her struggles for good. He had a plan for her life. No longer was she living in self-indulgence, fear, worry and pride - but God was using her to produce fruit that encouraged and comforted others.

She refers to her struggles as living in tyranny of food and eating. Elyse defines tyranny as oppression and enslavement. Tyranny means that we're dominated by thoughts and habits that torment and overpower us. Minute after minute. Day after day. In our battle, we wonder "What we will eat next? How much do I weigh today? What will others think of me? Why can't I be free of this? Why can't I be normal?" We agonize over answers. We try and fail over and over again. We wonder where God is. "Why isn't He helping me?"

Think about it:
Are you are living in tyranny of food?
Do you spend your day thinking about what you've eaten?
What you will eat? Or how much you weigh?

In the following chapters of this book, Fitzpatrick states that she will address practical guidelines for growth in godliness in eating.

Growing in your relationship with God requires us to answer tough questions. Do you believe that God designed you on purpose and for a purpose? How do you answer these questions?...

What am I doing here?
What is the purpose of my life?

As a Christian, you can know that God DOES have a specific purpose for your life. Jeremiah 29:11 states, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Remember that God is faithful to His promises. In this Scripture He promises that He has plans for each of us... and that his plans are GOOD.

"Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31

The 2 primary purposes of everyones life is to 1) bring glory to God and 2) enjoy Him forever. Let's start with #1. Everything we do should bring glory to God. Our attitude in everything should cause others to see God in us. God can even use our eating habits to show Christ to others. When we allow God to change us, others will see Christ at work in our lives. Back to #2. God doesn't want us to view Him as a list of rules and regulations. Our God wants us to bask in the great wonder of His love and the magnificence of His Creation. His love covers over all of us so that your heart can be satisfied (Psalm 73).

Challenge yourself to Change:
Sit down. Kick your shoes off.
Say, "WHEW - GOD LOVES ME and with HIS power I CAN change."

Love to Eat, Hate to Eat
Elyse Fitzpatrick
Copyright 1999


Lynn Cowell said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog yesterday. It was so good to hear from so many who have a heart for teens. I hope you will continue to stop by. On Wednesday I have a post called "In the Know" where I cover issues that teens are facing daily and how we can come along side of them. You can click on the subscribe button to receive it right in your email box to make it even easier.