Audio Testimony 1
Warm greetings to you! My name is Mike Cleveland, and I'm the founder and president of Setting Captives Free. I want to welcome you to our ministry, and specifically to this course entitled "In His Image."
I'm saying hello to you just now, at the introduction of this course, to welcome you and to give you a message of hope and freedom. While the world can only "diagnose our condition" and provide pseudo-cures to our problems, Jesus Christ can make us free, wonderfully free, eternally free! His mission on earth was one of compassion and freedom as He sought to mend broken hearts and free trapped captives, and He is still doing the same thing today. His mission is summarized by the verse that we at Setting Captives Free have chosen for our theme verse, Isaiah 61:1:
We will speak more about this warm-hearted ministry of freedom to captives in the days ahead. Right now I want to introduce you to the co-author of this course, Kim Schmidt. Kim has first-hand experience with anorexia and bulimia, and has now found this wonderful freedom in Jesus Christ of which I spoke earlier. Listen as Kim shares a portion of her story with you here, and then we will invite you to click on the link at the bottom of the page, in order to proceed to lesson 1 of "In His Image."
After years of living as an overweight dieting expert, I entered a 10-year descent into what felt, at the time, like the pit of hell. I became enslaved not only to food, but also to binging and purging the food in whatever manner I could.
I would vomit up to 10 times a day, was involved in laxative abuse and exercise abuse (in excess of 3 hours daily), and so on. I was in and out of treatment centers, but only found temporary relief. Support groups, psychotherapy and anti-depressants, gave me some relief at best, but often made me worse!
During this time in my life, I was captive to many things: food, self, body-image, to name a few. I had bought into the world's message of beauty at any cost. But it was killing me, destroying my marriage, marring my role as a mother to two small babies, and hurting my relationships with my parents, family and friends.
I will share the rest of my story with you as we proceed along, a little bit here and there on each day of the course. But, to summarize, I have been completely free from all forms of binging and purging since 1990. God has also restored my marriage, mended my relationship with my parents, and healed all other areas of my life that were so devastated during that time in the dark pit.
I tell you of my descent into this very dark prison, and also my subsequent release from captivity for one very important reason; I want you to know that you, too, can find living hope and real freedom just as I have. No matter how low you have gone into starving, or binging/purging and no matter how long you have been there, I can assure you, as one who was there myself, there is real and lasting freedom in Jesus Christ, and you can learn how to find it. We are here to help you to do just that.
Life in Christ is an incredible journey of truth, love and grace, in which we are turning from what the world says we need to be, and turning, instead, to Christ, being transformed daily into HIS image. "...since you have taken off your old self with its practices, and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator" (Colossians 3:9-10). I invite you to come and join me in this wonderful journey.
We hope this course will be a blessing to you, not only in helping you gain control of wrong eating habits that may have been established over many years, but also to help you learn how to truly enjoy the Lord and "feed" on Him. Many others are finding freedom by God's grace, and you will read their stories as you proceed through the course.
So, let's get started. Here is how the course works. Each day, you will access Setting Captives Free and click on the In His Image login page. Please pray before beginning your lesson, study through the material and answer the study questions as you go. When you submit your answers, you will receive an automated response via email from Setting Captives Free. You may also expect to hear from your mentor at least once each week. This mentor has been successful, by God's grace, in gaining victory over bulimic and/or anorexic behaviors, and is volunteering his/her time to help you do the same. Please feel free to email your mentor with any questions or concerns you may have as you go through the course.
For those who are enslaved to anorexic behaviors, we strongly urge you to commit to eating nourishing foods daily in a disciplined manner, and turning from any temptation to skip meals. Whether your particular destructive behaviors fall under bulimia or anorexia, it is imperative that you have a thorough check up with your physician before beginning this course. It is essential that you honestly describe and confess the behaviors with which you struggle, and remain accountable daily to turn from these behaviors as you begin to embrace disciplined, God-honoring eating behaviors.
One of the major components of the In His Image program, in addition to the biblical teaching itself, is the requirement for accountability to biblical teaching. Please be honest on the accountability questions at the end of the day.
Join me now as we begin lesson 1 of the Setting Captives Free-In His Image course; the course designed with your eternal freedom in mind.
I grew up in church and accepted Christ into my heart at a very young age, but that didnt stop me from becoming slave to binging and purging, diet pills..I went down that road half my life and fell ...Read Full Testimony
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Setting Captives Free is an evangelical, non-denominational ministry operating under a board of directors. It is affiliated with several different churches, rather than one specific church or denomination. We believe ...Read Complete Answer