Wednesday, July 31, 2013
We’re familiar with “knock, knock jokes.” “Knock, knock…” “Who’s there?” And then we insert whatever punch line to complete the joke; it’s usually pretty silly. Knocking: it seems to signify persistence. And, in this life game, persistence is necessary to obtain major goals and benchmarks. The challenge is to not give up. Simply stated, but not simply executed, huh? Scripture also addresses the knocking issue: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Luke 11:9-10 So, why aren’t we all a-knocking away? We’re finite, imperfect, flawed people…who get tired. And with that tired state, we often give up, in spite of the scripture telling us to do otherwise… “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9 It comes down to a fun word: patience. “In your patience possess ye your souls.” Luke 21:19 I know- groan here. There is a method to the patience madness, however. “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:” Romans 5:3-4 Yeah. Still more fun times ahead. “But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” Romans 8:25 None of this patience thing feels great. It feels like discipline, which, let’s be real, feels like punishment. “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening--it's painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” Hebrews 12:11 Yay. So much fun! Because, after all, we want what we want and we want it now, right? But patience still is required, like it or not. “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:36 And here’s where scripture comes in. “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4 No, we may not be in a celebratory mood about this entire thing. Nevertheless, there is a point to it. Again… “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:36 And that brings us back to Jesus. “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;” 1 Thessalonians 1:3 Remember Him? He had to go through it also.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
This is a doll from my childhood.
Monday, July 29, 2013
Distortion. That’s the name of the game when it comes to body image issues and disordered eating, isn’t it? For those of us who have come to believe only the most narrow of criteria constitutes actual beauty, a/k/a, “being thin,” distortion is, indeed, running amok in our bodies and lives. When I recently came across this image, I thought about the famous artist, Pablo Picasso. Most of his work challenges the “typical” representation of the human form. He always seemed to paint an ear where a nose or eye should be. I’m sure you’ve seen some of his stuff. It looks bizarre, unrealistic and even disturbing. But that was his artistic vision of things; he saw ears, eyes and mouths in some nonconventional spots. And that, once again, reminded me of this particular Jesus image here. Is it merely kooky artistic interpretation or is there something more to it? Image…We get so caught up in it, don’t we? And, how could we not? After all, image has been around since the beginning: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...” Genesis 1:26 However, this scripture is often lost on us. We’re so self-focused, we have difficulty seeing ourselves that way. Instead, we only see the “freak,” believing we’re deficient, subpar and ugly. We, therefore, pick apart, scrutinize and bemoan our “parts,” hating what we see in the mirror. And we judge it to be “bad” instead of “good,” let alone, “God created.” But that view is far more distorted and wrong than any Picasso- type painting in which an ear is painted in the middle of the face. God has intentionally created us as unique beings. “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13 No two of us are alike. God considers us to be that special. “Since you were precious in my sight… I have loved you…” Isaiah 43:4 We’re loved, valued and wonderful- ALREADY!!! “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” Psalm 139:14 But really, c’mon, how many of us are really doing that praising God stuff concerning our features? Yep, I thought so. All we tend to see are the flaws, right? But what if what we deem to be our “flaws” is really God’s “higher thinking?” After all… “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 Perhaps, then, we need to change a thought or two in our own heads, huh? What if every single feature and physical attribute has a larger, more magnificent and glorifying purpose? “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 We’re, by no means “finished.” That shouldn’t be discouraging; we should see it as good news. We’re changing for the better. And, regardless of where we are in the process, both our beauty and our victory are certainties! “…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 So, let’s be confident in God, not distorted in ourselves, in pop culture, media or society’s definitions of beauty. Let’s change the way we view ourselves and God; let’s see ourselves through the God Image! Copyright © 2013 by Sheryle Cruse
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Saturday, July 27, 2013
“An Independence Issue,” written by Cruse, focuses on how addictions, disorders and compulsions are exacerbated when a person chooses his/her chosen drug of choice and unhealthy mindsets over a submitted recovery process involving God. It’s featured in the August 2013 issue.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
The disease to please. Ever hear that expression? It’s especially epidemic for us as women. We’re taught as little girls to be pleasing and agreeable. And that can translate into eating disorders and addictions for a lot of us. We stuff, hide, deny our true feelings, fearing the displeasure if we should ever entertain saying “no,” while, perhaps, choosing a self-destructive vice to soothe ourselves and cope. One little word: no. But that little word contains a lot of power- and maybe even healing? I recently came across this assertiveness training chart. How many of us, indeed, were taught anything positive about asserting ourselves? (I hear crickets). God never calls us to be doormats, incapable of turning down other peoples’ requests. Most of us are already taxed emotionally, spiritually and financially. Plus, if we think about it, we’re the ones who are giving more thought- more power- to the often times imaginary negative consequences. By saying no, people may not be thrilled with that answer, but, most of the time, they will move on and ask someone else, end of story. No muss, no fuss. It is us, however, who seem to be doing a lot more fussing, all because why? We aren’t good little girls? We aren’t pleasing? We aren’t sacrificing our feelings for someone else’s wants? Again, most people move on from a “no,” whatever that “no” may be. And we’ve opened a space for ourselves to say “yes” to something we truly want. It’s not bad; it’s not selfish. It’s even a Godly principle. “Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16 We are being good stewards, choosing health and order over overwhelming chaos and stuffed emotions. “Let all things be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:40 Nothing everything is for us. It doesn’t make a request evil. It just may not be a good fit for our lives at that moment. “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” 1 Corinthians 10:23 “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” 1 Corinthians 6:12 But there’s no good in condemning ourselves for saying “no” when “yes” was the desired response. “Yes” will always be the desired response when someone wants something. There’s no mystery there. Choose to be empowered. God will help guide you if something is not right for your life. God won’t condemn you for saying “no.” Why not do likewise concerning yourself? Be a good steward; the “no” word is a part of that stewardship! Empower yourself by saying it as you need to! Copyright © 2013 by Sheryle Cruse
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
When I was a little girl, I remember getting this Miss America doll from a cereal book offer (I think it was Corn Flakes).
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Bravo to Lisa Kudrow, who speaks about not participating in any kind of “Friends” reunion. She joked about being “too old,” but the main argument against reprising her character role of Phoebe had to do with simple moving on. “Friends” is over, well, unless you count syndication. But that magic era is over; the pop culture landscape has changed. It’s a change in seasons. “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1 There’s powerful beauty in embracing your current season, of letting go of the past. We would all do well to live this lesson.
Monday, July 22, 2013
Friday, July 19, 2013
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
I recently watched the cult classic, “Valley of the Dolls,” the chick film based on Jacqueline Suzanne’s legendary book which took the 1960’s by storm for its dish-y look at starlets in Hollywood as they deal with fame, sex and drugs. And one of its lead characters, Neely O’Hara, played by Patty Duke, indeed, travels down a rocky, highly dramatic and addicted road of stardom and self-destruction. It’s drama queen chick film at its epic best! And, at the end of the wild ride, Neely suffers the damage done to her acting career, via her drug addiction. She is reduced to being in an alley, at night, screaming, “God-d-d-d-d!”
Monday, July 15, 2013
I love this sweet sentiment here:
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
I have mixed feelings about this image:
Monday, July 8, 2013
Recently, I watched the Disney animated version of the classic story, “Alice In Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll. The story has gotten many years of pop culture attention and references. The rock band, Jefferson Airplane notoriously captured the drug aspect of it in its song, “White Rabbit.” And, as I watched the film, yes, I was struck by the “drink me” and “eat me” scenes. Alice, bored with her current existence, encounters a utopia of Wonderland, but is faced with the obstacle of a locked door: And her “solution” was to partake of these substances to alter her size. She believed she could, indeed, be “just the right size” and obtain her perfect life of this magical world. So, she encounters the “drink me” bottle, does just that and shrinks.
Sunday, July 7, 2013
“No one understands.” Ever hear that? Feel that? SAY that? All of us have probably encountered it; it presents itself as this forgotten or forsaken reality of being hopelessly cut off. Those of us with addictions, disorders and compulsions especially live this out. And that’s part of the problem. Whether it’s an eating disorder, a substance abuse issue or a mental illness challenge, isolation becomes a driving force, only complicating the situation further. We say to anyone and everyone, “You don’t get it.” And we may even believe God doesn’t understand as well. We believe the lie we are alone and hopeless. But we aren’t. God IS there and He DOES get it. Whatever thoughts we possess, including the destructive “No one understands” theory, God knows it: So, yes, there’s hope and comfort in knowing God is aware of it all. “I know that thou canst do everything, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.” Job 42:2 “You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” Psalm 139:1-6 “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” Psalms 139:17-18 But we have a role in this situation. It comes down to our thoughts. What are they? We need to take responsibility for them. It sounds cliché; there’s probably eye rolling and groaning at that statement. Nevertheless, it is valid. We have free will. And we choose to think- or obsess upon- any given thought, be it positive or negative. And so, that requires both introspection and relationship with God about that reality, whatever it may be: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:” Psalms 139:23 And it requires addressing the reality check of our thoughts versus God’s thoughts. They may not actually be the same thing. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 And by accepting the Truth that God knows more than we do, we can face that thought in a better way. “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:5 We don’t determine our entire existence; God does. And God has tremendous plans regarding us: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 So do we reject that thought and embrace the “you don’t get it/I’m alone thought” instead? We are not hopeless; God is always there. Love, mercy, help, protection, provision- it’s God, in a multitude of ways. Do we see it? Let’s get THAT! Copyright © 2013 by Sheryle Cruse
Some grave statistics... • It is estimated that 8 million Americans have an eating disorder – seven million women and one million men • One in 200 American women suffers from anorexia • Two to three in 100 American women suffers from bulimia • Nearly half of all Americans personally know someone with an eating disorder (Note: One in five Americans suffers from mental illnesses.) • An estimated 10 – 15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are males MORTALITY RATES • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness • A study by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reported that 5 – 10% of anorexics die within 10 years after contracting the disease; 18-20% of anorexics will be dead after 20 years and only 30 – 40% ever fully recover • The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL causes of death for females 15 – 24 years old. • 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems
Saturday, July 6, 2013
Friday, July 5, 2013
I love Winston Churchill’s sentiment: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
When I saw this Elizabeth Arden ad, I wanted to scream.