Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, forgiveness, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, marriage enrichment, Patience, prayer, Salvation

Nugget Soup

my nugget soup of LoveI like to walk away with nuggets when I go to a conference, listen to a sermon or hear a teaching series.  You can get nuggets from a good book too.  Lots of nuggets form a soup in which you can take and give to someone.  I recently came across something in which made me really think about how we may treat others due to the way we treat ourselves which made me think.

I also had a friend who told me how she watch me love on someone after they made a life mistake, instead of me turning my back on them, I showed love and encouragement, accepting them instead of shunning. It is a shame that Christians can take on the same format of the blame game or they get what they deserve the attitude.  Let me explain.  When we truly want to see the real person inside, and truly want to love as Jesus loved, we will look past the mistake, the unmet expectation and seek restoration in the relationship.

To punish others some people withdraw love, affection and encouragement when the very people they love don’t meet up to standards, accomplish what they want or do what they wanted even when sin is not even the culprit.  Why?  Because it is believed that those who fail to meet our expectations are unworthy of love and that result or failure from sin must be punished.  Sometimes we even put a date or time of how long they should be punished determined in our own minds or how much we feel hurt.  Making others feel bad about their decisions is a way of punishing, manipulating and controlling.  This is a performance or works righteousness behavior.  This seed is sown to produce a sense of when I am hurt, I will hurt until I feel better about what they did to me, therefore I will continue to put condemnation on them. It even goes to the point of sowing discord to everyone who knows them.

When we look at others and are quickly to point out their faults or expectations we have of them,  it produces a self-righteous within our own heart, therefore giving us the right to quickly punish the other person at any time they fail or don’t meet our expectation.  I have seen families torn apart because of this even when sin is not even involved.  Sad but true this also happens in churches.  People see old friends out in town and they won’t even speak to them.  They still hurt therefore they continue to hurt others in this way.

We should not feel good about the sin committed if there was one, because dishonoring God and bring harm to others produce sorrows.  When a sin is found out, repentance should take place and the parties involved need to work in forgiveness and in love in restoring peace.  If a person believes himself or herself to be the stronger Christian, the attitude should not be anger and condemnation, for if this is the attitude displayed, then the ones who have failed will try to avoid those who punish them.  This is why most people have been deceived about God’s character.  They fear God and run away from God because He is going to punish instead of love.  Discipline yes but rooted in love.

The goal in what I am trying to convey today is, that the goal of discipline is to restore, develop and perfect.  Punishment on the other hand is retaliation and used to impose a penalty which Christ has already paid the price.  God’s discipline can be severe but it is prompted by grief not anger.

So how do we know if we fall into these category of self-righteous religious works mentality?

Ask yourself:

When someone I love makes a mistake or doesn’t live up to my expectations, do I……

a.  withdraw love and affection from them as if it is a form of punishment

b. hurt them in ways of talk, action or just plain ignoring them

c.  point out other faults to make them feel bad

d. condemn or scorn them for their actions or decisions even when there is no sin involved

e.  impose a curse or threat upon them of future tense (example: If you do this, then you will be sorry you did it, you will suffer….etc…)

f. when you are around them, you still feel hurt, agitated or feel as though you need to be in control of their life in making their decisions

If we answer yes to any of these questions, even maybe due to opinion, what right do we have to call ourselves Christ like?  We should love, show  forgiveness and other fruit of the Spirit when hurt, when people don’t live up to our expectations and yes even when they sin.  Christ paid for it all, so lets stop condemning not only others but also ourselves and run to God whether if you are on the receiving end or the giving end.

Do you know we can also do this to ourselves?  We can condemn ourselves and feel as though we must be punished.  This is another soup I will save for another time.

That is my nugget soup for the day.

Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, India, Leadership, Patience, prayer, Salvation

Why God Why Me

Below is a link to hear the message and here are my notes to the teaching: http://sermon.net/melissaphillips/sermonid/1199973982

  • Why was I made?
  • Why did this happen to me?
  • Why do I feel the way I feel?
  • Why don’t you release me from pain?

Why?

If God answered the question would it change the past?

Would it change how you feel pain?

Would it still have the same effects of the tragedy?

The real questions is NOT “WHY” BUT we want to know  is “God are going to help me, take care of me,  be with me even if I don’t understand the “why” or know “why”

Why did that happen?  Why was I made this way?  Just because I don’t look like someone else doesn’t make us wrong.  As humans we compare ourselves to other people in looks, living, status… etc.

I HAVE HAD MY “WHY” MOMENTS… when Bryson was born prematurely – when things happened to my own children, my own family, my own life.

We can’t figure out God. BUT  we can we get to a point in our life to where we live by his promises and not demand explanations.  DOES IT DELIGHT THE DEVIL WHEN WE QUESTION GOD “WHY”

Heard it was a sin to ask God why… but to ask what can I learn from this.

Should we get to a time when we stop asking God ‘why’ AND be thankful the way God is with you and you have Him to lean upon.  The “whys” must become a map in our brain of trusting God.

We can prevent wasting days of confusion. Author of confusion is devil= waste time – reasoning strongholds – analytical thinking (lack of faith thinking)

Fact number one: When the brain changes the mind changes….

Fact number two:  What flows through the mind sculpts the brain….. road map

Fact number three:  You can use your mind to change your brain to change your mind for the better.

Researching:

Neuroplasticity occurs inside us everyday as we encounter new experiences. Picture is the circuitry in the brain. From the left – newborn, then a 3 month old, 15 month old, and 2-year-old. As the child ages, their brain’s wiring becomes more complex and interconnected.

Neuroplasticity is what allows us to take our experiences, then learn from them and form new memories. Huge changes are occurring in the brain during these early stages of cognitive development under 7yrs old, but the truth is that our neural networks continue to build on each other until the day we die.  (before they thought brain stopped at 7) By changing our experiences we can actively reshape our brains.

Left frontal cortex = more positive emotions – puts stop on negative emotions (stress- release cortisol that destroys the brain = can lose that part of the brain enable to form new memories

New synapses form.  Like trees with branches connect.  GET THICKER creates road maps throughout our brain.

  • Our thoughts can change the structure and function of our brains. The science is called neuroplasticity. It has the power to change its own structure.  Repetitive positive thought and positive activity can rewire your brain and strengthen brain areas that stimulate positive feelings.
  • stimulates the growth of nerve connections.
  • improves cognition by increasing mental productivity.
  • improves your ability to analyze and think.
  • affects your view of surroundings.
  • increases attentiveness.
  • leads to more happy thoughts.
  • Your thoughts form your character, how you operate in the world, how far you travel mentally, physically, and spiritually. You are what you think you are, and all of your actions proceed from thought. Your inner thoughts will always be reflected in your outer circumstances, because self-generated changes in your life are always preceded by changes in the way you think about something.
  • If we rest our attention on negative we actually destroy parts of our brain.  Habits usually play to our negative but disciplines and creativity create the positive. Even mental diseases/disorders such as bipolar, skizoph, phobias, ocd, can be changed.

Worry: anxious until corrected: If you act on the symptom or dwell on it creates a snowball effect, therefore we have to change our thoughts.  We can create rigid habits…. Snow on a hill…. Changeable.  Build up and thicker  – harder to change…..  do opposite of what you feel with your emotions to create the right thing to do…. Lose weight=get out of habits, educate yourself……  OR WHEN YOU GET INTO THE WHY GOD QUESTIONS….

Why questioning can make us doubt God – enemy doesn’t want you to TRUST GOD FOR YOUR LIFE.

GOD always doesn’t want US to know the Why, God just wants us to trust him… we must get to a place where we mentally just know God is going to take care of the situation even if we don’t understand.

To get a result we must ask the “why” question.

Why was humans made? – worship God!  Everything we do should always point or lead us in the direction to worship God – however the world and the enemy was us to focus on self.

The Why produces a result:

In Staff:  Volunteering – ask yourself the “why” to grasp the results…

We greet – why: makes people feel loved and welcome/safe

We do we come to church – consistency – why: fellowship and faith

We teach giving – why: keeps the church’s doors open, furthers the gospel and opens heavens for you

“Why stage” as a child

Then there are the “Why” questions we all ask ourselves – why does God let bad things happen to good people… “Why does a baby get cancer” Why does death come at such a hard time, why do people suffer, why are there child slaves…..  again asking the question why as a child coming to the Father is not wrong, it is a question children have done for years…. (Because I said so!)

There was a level of trust when you don’t know the ending in mind!

LIFE’S DIFFICULTIES: Why am I going through this?

In the Bible:  In Psalms, we find the psalmist raising this question from time-to-time when a difficult trial had come into their life.

Habakkuk 1

2How long, O LORD, must I call for help? But you do not listen! “Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save. 3Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence.I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight. 4The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts.

Psalm 10:1 Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide in times of trouble?

Psalm 22:1 My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?

Psalm 44:23 Awake! Why do You sleep, O Lord? … 24 Why do You hide Your face, And forget our affliction and our oppression?

Psalm 74:1 O God, why have You cast us off forever?  … 11 Why do You withdraw Your hand,

It WASN’T WRONG for us to ask God “why?” “Lord, why this affliction? Why this suffering? Why this tragedy?”…… It’s not wrong but get to a mental place where you trust Him it is for the betterment to come.

Hebrew people delivered from bondage

“Why moses did you bring us out here to die, why moses…”.  BUT AS WE SEE GOD HAD A PLAN – HIS PURPOSE WASN’T TO TRAP THEM BUT RELY ON HIM FOR DELIVERANCE

But there is a danger! The danger comes when we expect that God must give us an answer to all our why questions HIS ways…

we most of the time want to quickly get through the pain we are enduring.

Don’t learn trust God the first time, you usually repeat something else until you do….

We are created to worship HIM – rely on HIM – Trust HIM

WHY ME…. We feel like we are the only one going through our situation…. No one understands me!

Job said:

4Lying in bed, I think, ‘When will it be morning?’  But the night drags on, and I toss till dawn.

5My body is covered with maggots and scabs.  My skin breaks open, oozing with pus. 11“I cannot keep from speaking.  I must express my anguish.  My bitter soul must complain. 15I would rather be strangled—rather die than suffer like this. 16I hate my life and don’t want to go on living.  Oh, leave me alone for my few remaining days.

SOUNDS LIKE JOB WAS HAVING A WHY MOMENT – he had every right too!

JOB 42: 10When Job prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes. In fact, the LORD gave him twice as much as before! 11Then all his brothers, sisters, and former friends came and feasted with him in his home. And they consoled him and comforted him because of all the trials the LORD had allowed against him. And each of them brought him a gift of money and a gold ring.

12So the LORD blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning.

Does God suffer when we suffer? Isah 63 9In all their suffering he also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years.

Does God know what it is like to lose someone and grieve?  Yes – He voluntarily gave His son to die for us for the end result.

Will God help us? SLIDE Psalms 34 17 -19 The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.

18The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.19The righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each time.

1:6 In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened;

he saved me from all my troubles.

SAY: THE LORD WILL ALWAYS HELP ME DURING MY WHY MOMENTS….

PROVERBS 3 5Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.6Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

SAY:  I AM NOT GOING TO UNDERSTAND IT

New International Version (©1984)  I Corinthians 10:13-14

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

I Corinthians 10:13-14 (Living version)

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols.

Breaking the Scripture down: The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.

  • Temptation = circumstances, distractions (Anything that would cause you to get your mind off God that leads to idolatry or sin)
  • Taken you – Seized you, enemy grasps us and attempts to hold us fast.
  • Common:  human nature, anything we are subjected to including demonic realm; man has natural ability to resist and God is able to keep them from falling.

God is faithful

  • God was able to bring you through it all.
  • God is the only source of security, this has to be enough.
  • If you look only to yourselves you will fall. If you depend on the faithfulness of God, you are secure.
  • If you resist temptation, ask God for help and depended on his promises, then he would be faithful. It also implies avoiding the places of areas where temptation occurs.

He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.

  • A promise, just as applicable to all Christians as it was to the Corinthians. It implies:
  1. That all the circumstances, causes, and agents that lead to temptation are under the control of God. Every man that tempts another; demonic activity; every book, picture, place of amusement; every charm of music, and of song; every piece of indecent statuary; and every plan of business, of gain or ambition, are all under the control of God. He can check them; he can control them; he can paralyze their influence; he can destroy them;
  2. When people are tempted, it is because God permits it. He Himself does not tempt human beings James 1:13 (God doesn’t tempt); He does not infuse evil thoughts into the mind; nor does He create an object of temptation to place in our way, but He allows it to be placed there by others. When we are tempted, we are to remember it is because God allows or permits it; not because He does it. We are to remember there is some good reason why it is permitted; and that it will be turned in around for His glory, and to our advancement in virtue.
  3. There is a certain extent to which we are able to resist temptation. There is a limit to our power. There is a point beyond which we are not able to resist it. We do not have the strength of angels, that limit our will in all cases, be beyond the point of any circumstances.
  4.  If people fall into sin, under the power of temptation, people are to blame, not God. People have strength to resist all the temptations that attacks them.  In all instances, therefore, where people fall into sin; in all the yielding to passion, to allurement, and to vice, man is to blame, and must be responsible to God.
  5. He will, at the same time that He allows the trial or temptation to befall us, make a way of deliverance; He will save us from being entirely overcome by it.
  6. That we may be able to bear it or endure it. God knows what His people are able to endure, and as He has entire control of all that can affect them, He will adapt all trials to their strength, and will enable them to bear all that is appointed to them.
  7. flee from the worship of idols. – WHEN OUR FOCUS BECOMES ON US IN OUR WHY

James chapter 1: 2 – 4 shows us a completely different attitude that we should be adopting.

Living Translation: Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Message version:  “Consider it a sheer gift, friends when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.  You know that under pressure your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.  So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely.  Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

Attitude has to change.  ASKING WHY IS NOT A BAD THING – IT IS OUR ATTITUDE OF ASKING WHY…..

natural instinct is to think of difficulties as a curse to be avoided.

The phrase “Don’t try to get out of anything prematurely”  It has helped me understand that God wants me to use every difficulty I go through to develop my faith.

WE ALL WANT TO become more spiritually mature; but don’t know how to develop faith when going through difficulties.

Learning journey IS TRUSTING GOD in every situation….

Trust God even when life is not fair – bad things happen to good people….WHY?

Gen 3:1-5 Sin happened because the enemy tricked Eve into eating from the Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil to be like God… therefore sin entered into this world and FREE WILL to do as we please … sin fell upon ALL mankind from Adam, therefore sin is always present in this world.

Romans 5:12 New Living Translation (©2007)
When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.

Trust God even when you don’t understand:

Jeremiah 18:6 the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand. SAY:  I AM THE CLAY – GOD IS MAKING ME BEAUTIFUL!

Romans 8:17 17And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.  SAY:  I AM A CHILD OF JESUS AND I AM AN HEIR OF HIS PROMISES.

John 12:24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. SAY:  TO HELP OTHERS I MUST DIE TO SELF AND MY WILL

2 Corinthians 4:8-10,17 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. …For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! SAY:  THIS IS ONLY A SEASON OF MY LIFE AND I WILL GET THROUGH THIS

Trusting God’s Heart when you ask “How long is this pain going to be?”

I Peter 1:6-7 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. SAY: THIS IS MAKING MY FAITH GROW, MY RELATIONSHIP GROW AND REVEAL THE GLORY OF JESUS IN ME.

Trusting God’s purpose – why bad things happen

Romans 8:28  And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. SAY:  EVERYTHING I GO THROUGH IS FOR A PURPOSE

I peter , 4:12,19 12Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.  SAY:  ALTHOUGH I DON’T UNDERSTAND, I WILL CONTINUE TO TRUST GOD AND DO WHAT IS RIGHT

Why me? Trusting God when your heart is broken

Luke 10:38 Martha asked Jesus – don’t you care? (demanded things to change by God)

Psalm 89:8  God is mighty and he is faithful

2 corth 12:8-10

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Isaiah 43 listen to the LORD who created you. … the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.I have called you by name; you are mine.  SAY:  I AM NOT AFRAID BECAUSE I KNOW GOD IS WITH ME

2When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty,you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up;the flames will not consume you.  SAY:  NO MATTER HOW I FEEL OR WHAT I GO THROUGH I WILL MAKE IT BECAUSE GOD IS WITH ME.

3For I am the LORD, your God,the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.5“Do not be afraid, for I am with you.7Bring all who claim me as their God,for I have made them for my glory.It was I who created them.’”  SAY:  I KNOW GOD IS GOING TO WORK ALL MY SITUATIONS TO BRING HIM GLORY.

We must have faith and we must trust him…Hebrews 11:6And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

WHEN YOU GO THROUGH SOMETHING IT IS FOR PURPOSE TO HELP SOMEONE ELSE!  BRINGS encouragement FOR OTHERS GOING THROUGH IT TOO….. PAST HURTS HELP OTHERS WHEN YOU SHARE

Trusting God to set me free

Gal 5:1  So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.

Hebrews 12:1-2 let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.

Proverbs 2:8He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.

Psalm 37:23-24, The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.24Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.

The Secret Behind This Secret

The secret lives within you: the Holy Spirit. Not only will he convict you of the rightness of trusting in the Lord, he’ll help you do it. It’s just too tough to do on your own.

Trusting in the Lord—in little baby steps. He’ll catch you if you stumble. He’ll rejoice with you when you succeed.

Trusting in the Lord is a lifelong challenge. You never finally “arrive.” Each new crisis calls for re-commitment. The good news is that the more often you see God’s loving hand working in your life, the easier this trusting becomes.

When you trust in the Lord, you’ll feel as if the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders. The pressure’s off you now and on God, and he can handle it perfectly.

It takes more faith to go through something victoriously than to be delivered from it….

  1. We must have crystal clarity on the fact that suffering is not the worst evil — sin is. Yes, we would prefer not to suffer, and pray for the relief of suffering. Focus far more on not sinning than on not suffering. We should have a focus on getting ourselves and others to heaven. God allows us to grow spiritually and minister to others by circumstances of suffering .
  2. THINK in terms of eternity, not in terms of calendar years. Our goal is to get to heaven and take as many other people as possible.
  3. Daily prayer: focused on nothing but prayer, every day
  4. “Our first priority should be listening in patience and silence for the voice of God.”
  5. They submit their discernment to others People who have a long history of watching the way the Lord works in their lives notice that he often speaks through holy friends, family members and clergy. If they discern that God is calling them to something, especially if it’s something big, they ask trusted Christian confidantes to pray about the matter and see if they discern the same thing. And when others warn them not to follow a certain path — especially if it’s a spouse, confessor or spiritual director — they take those indicators very seriously.
  6. Obedience to God – “That’s the excitement in obedience,” he said. “Finding out later what God had in mind.”
  7. Actions would be to trust God and not try to figure out my future.

We must come to a place in God in our relationship where we have contentment.

And not understand the why questions even if it doesn’t seem right, feel right but trusting god enough to know he will work it out for our good.

  1. Find passages in the bible that help me trust God.
  2. Change the way you think that is consistent with Bible truth.
  3. Change actions that are consistent with new way of thinking.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart.  Never rely on what you think you know”.

Thinking how to change to be consistent with this verse.

When I think about my difficulties, I often think they are dreadful and I don’t understand why I should be going through them.  But this verse tells me not to rely on what I think I know. Don’t lean on own understanding.

There once was a farmer who had one son and they were working together to bring in the harvest.  One day the son fell off the tractor and broke his arm and couldn’t help any more.  The farmer thought this was very bad luck.  A week later an army recruitment officer came through and the farmers son was not taken away to fight because he had a broken arm.  The farmer thought this was very good luck.

So was it good or bad that the son’s arm was broken?  It depends partially on what happens in the future.

This simple story illustrates that often, like the farmer, we think we know whether something is good or bad, but our opinion might change with hindsight.  Only God knows what will happen in the future and he promises in Romans chapter 8 verse 28:

We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose.”

This is why we can trust in the Lord with all of our hearts.

“God knows what he is doing and his plans for me are good”.  I also think “I don’t understand why I am facing these difficult times but that is OK because I don’t have to understand.

Changing my actions.  The same God who knew you before the foundation of this world –is with you, then ask yourself who or WHAT can stand against you

Lazarus story…..  why lord didn’t you come… then unwrap and let go the past…..

Trust always requires always having unanswered questions in your life…  Continue to make the declarations of the Word in your life and renew your mind!

Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Patience, prayer, Salvation, Soul Winning, Supernatural

What’s Love Got To Do With It

the gift of sacrificial love What’s love got to do with it?  Everything….and when it is sacrificial love, it is the best.

When you are concerned about the well-being of others you usually have to sacrifice.  You may have to expand your time, your energy, or your money for them.  You may have to give up your plans your independence or your privacy.  To love as God loves, in other words, you may have to part with whatever is most precious to you for the sake of someone else.  I find this very difficult at times because the response you get from others during this journey or process is a pain that only subsides as time passes.  You find yourself going through emotions and wanting to give up, however through the process you know the end result is doing the will of God for the sake of touching others with His Love, teachings and ministry.

Sacrificial love is a difficult concept to grasp because our culture teaches the exact opposite.  We must grasp that true personal fulfillment never comes through self-gratification.  Only when we give ourself to God and joyfully serve his people in sacrificial love that we find fulfillment and satisfaction that the world will never know.

I know this is hard sometimes because many times people do not see your sacrifice, they only see what has been taken from them whether from lack of vision or walking in the flesh.  It is easy to turn and look inward instead of the prize that is ahead of us as Christians.  Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean trials of life never come for they are for the betterment of our faith but being a Christian is knowing the end result of eternal life with the One called Jesus who shared this kind of love.

Sacrificial love in marriage is when you enhance the life of each other making it fuller and more satisfying than it would be if the marriage didn’t exist.  Loving marriages help both spouses grow into their full potential rather than putting down the other.  It is loving the other putting their needs above your own.  The “I love you” means to commit to serve, to build you, to cheer you on despite the time, energy, money, and the misunderstandings of the journey of life.

Sacrificial love is the foundation of every key relationship in life and when people don’t practice sacrificial love, they find themselves wanting, wishing and in turmoil remembering only the past instead of looking toward the future.

Mark 8

John 3:16

Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, Love and Life of a Testimony, Patience, prayer, Salvation

A Bright Future

New Day starts today - no more pity parties!I love the promises of God!  If we truly set our vision on His Word and the plans He has for us, then we should never get in the pity party stage.  Pity party stages come and go and they are based on how we are feeling at that particular moment.  However when we look into the Word of God, it says….

Jeremiah 29:11  I know the plans I have for you. Says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.

Your age doesn’t matter.  Your circumstances don’t matter.  Your looks don’t matter.  For every individual, every life, God has a plan for the future. Don’t give up just yet on life and it’s possibilities because the promises of God are to give you a future with hope.  He doesn’t want anything or cause anything to harm you.  When your life is hid and grounded in the promises of His Word, your possibilities are endless.  Your future is bright and with the greatest abundant adventure you can ever imagine.  It is not a bed a roses all the time but when you stand on the Word you endure, you get stronger, your faith grows, you get tough skin, you learn to love deeply and most of all you trust in God.  What is so great in the end is that your destination is certain.  Heaven is our home, waiting for our arrival and there’s only rejoicing, not pity party going on there!

Prayer:  Jesus help me remind myself of this promise when I am under attack, when I feel down, when others pray against me, when things go wrong, when bad days happen…. well you know the things Lord.  I will stand and hold tight to your promises, for it is only YOU who gets me through!  I praise you for the awesome King you are!  Amen

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Learning From Romans

Learning from RomansAs I continue Romans 1: 6-18 today:  I loved the fact that wherever Paul went, he heard the church being talked about.  It’s funny to say, the city of Owensboro and surrounding area, PromiseLand Metro is being talked about.  I hope it is good and not just the gossip. Either way, it will be none effect to what God is going to do and is doing while we continue to share the gospel.   The good news is something to proclaim and I pray that Jeff and I will always be able to uphold the standards and withstand the pressures of the leadership you Lord have set before us.  Here are some things I learned from Paul as He wrote to his friends at Rome.

  1. Thanked God for people who told the good news
  2. He prayed for them.
  3. Prayed for the opportunity to be in fellowship with other believers
  4. Wanted to impart faith into believers to help the church grow strong
  5. Needed encouragement from other believers
  6. Be blessings to each other
  7. Wasn’t ashamed of the gospel
  8. Knows what true life and salvation is

What I can learn from RomeLord, I will always seek your direction and honor you for you Word, your guidance of your spirit.  You lead me to the part that we play in this world.  You have equipped us into your ministry.  I don’t want to always be about me, but others, so remind me to check myself on a regular basis, check my motives in what I do on a daily basis.  Do not let me slumber or drown out your voice with noises of busyness that I cannot hear your pulling or calling.  I thank you lord for giving and surrounding me with people who do you work for your Kingdom.  I pray strength and unity among the brothers and sisters and ways to fellowship to impart, to encourage and to be encouraged.  I thank you Lord you put others in my life in which I can minister to them and they to me.

It is funny how something that was written over 2000 years ago can impact a woman who sits here early in the morning, drinking her coffee and pondering on people of Rome.  I smile and know that God has everything under control. 🙂

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New Year New YOU

Reflection of 2012I set here thinking where did time go this last year.  Oh my, so much has transpired I hardly know where to start.  I believe I am just tired at times and need a break from life, the mood swings, the sorrows and the transitions. I need a week on the beach!  The first of the year started with my eating habits and weight loss, which I might add is still working.  I have found myself starting to straggle back again to the colas and put on a few extra pounds back in stress eating.  I think everyone this time of the year starts reflecting on the past year and wished they could have done some things different in actions, thoughts and spiritual walk, however we also must look at the celebrations and victories we have come through.

I still meet with several families in counseling from time to time adding new people and trying to help with their problems while facing situations of my own.  I think most people look at our leadership position and hold us at a higher level although we also struggle with daily thoughts, life’s circumstances and family issues too.  We are normal human beings with thoughts, feelings and situations of life just like anyone else.  I think what holds us up is the faith we put in Jesus Christ on a day-to-day basis.  No it is not easy, no it is not always glory or fun, no it is not always easy being transparent but it is life in Him that gives us peace and hope for the future.  I love helping people find the answers in Jesus.  I can’t fix anyone’s life or marriage but I can point them to the direction in whom they can find answers.  It all boils down to a choice and His word, finding those tools to help and searching for relationship in Him.

I love counseling helping point people toward JesusWhat does this year hold?  It would be dumb to wish for  it not to be better than last year for sure with the least amount of transitions and struggles.  It has not been unbearable with my blood pressure rising, the boys moving out of the house, the relationship break ups we all have endured, but the truth is that through all the suffering of the year, it has made us stronger.  I am thankful for being stronger.  I am thankful that God is making and pruning and refining us into what He wants us to be and to be more like Him.  It takes grace and mercy.  It takes trust and faith.  Most of all it takes His love and leaning on Him daily to find His heart to work for His Kingdom.

What do people think about you...I think the hardest part in this past year is just dealing with people who purposely judge us and want to cause us harm because of their disagreements or opinions.   We have tried our best to continue to show our vision in reaching the lost but there have been those who cannot or refuse to see it.  I don’t blame them or hold grudges against them.  I am sorrowed they want to hurt us for following God’s vision.  We have done nothing to deserve it or done nothing wrong in God’s eyes as far as sin, could we have done something different, maybe. I know God is refining them through their hurt feelings too.  With my temperament, I think the greatest disappointment is knowing people continue to make accusations against us without knowing or wanting to know all the details in our decisions.  It is a religious judgmental attitude that has been since the time of Jesus day and we all must work through it.  Sometimes I just see myself as tired of it all and ready for a change.  God has it all under control.  I am sorry for the hurt or for the misunderstandings people have had to deal with because of our leadership decisions.  I wish the best for all people and want the best for them.  Break ups are always hard to do but it doesn’t mean the friendships should end.planning 3013

What does 2013 hold?  We will never know until we walk through it.  I am sure there will be ups and down as well as successes. God has a plan, a plan to prosper us in all areas of our life.  I stand on the Word of God and His promises.  I pray for my enemies, I bless those who refuse to bless us, I will love those who think they are unloveable and I will continue to give to the Kingdom of God, do His work and produce fruit in showing in whom I belong to.   We may be the only Jesus people see.  I start with 2013 in being thankful for a year in Him who gives me strength in all areas of this life He has blessed me with!

What does the year hold for you?  Are you ready to make changes in your life?

Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, forgiveness, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Patience, Weird Stuff

The Kill of a Coyote

Last month my niece lost her little dog.  This is what she posted:

This had have been one of the most spoilt rotten dogs I have ever had. But I loved her with every fiber of my being. She was my baby girl and I loved her so much. I would brag about her all the time. She was mean and sometimes stupid and always hyper. I didn’t even have her for two years but I would never want to replace those days. She could cheer me up or just make me really angry. No one knows how heart-broken I am to find out that she will be gone forever. No other dog could take her place. I love my Zoey and I always will.
My brother had let Zoey out to potty and after fifteen minutes she never returned.  Thinking someone stopped and maybe picked her up we sent out messages and postings “missing dog.”  It wasn’t till a few days later when he approached home he could see the vultures circling overhead in a nearby field.  He walked out to the field and their lay her remains, slaughtered and ravaged.  This was the works of the coyotes that roam the area. I have often heard the howls and the yelp at dusk when I visit my parents.  They are even more cautious now to let their own little dog out after dark.

Coyotes are the size of a medium-size dog, but with longer, thicker fur.  Coyotes are opportunistic feeders, meaning they will feed on whatever is most readily available and easy to obtain. Their primary foods include fruit, berries, small rodents, rabbits, birds, snakes, frogs, and insects. They will scavenge on animal remains, including road-kills, as well as garbage and pet food left outdoors. In suburban areas they prey upon unprotected pets, including outdoor house cats and unsupervised domestic dogs. Because coyotes utilize so many different food sources, they have adapted to and live in a variety of habitats including urban and heavily populated areas. Coyotes are usually shy and elusive, but are frequently seen individually, in pairs, or in small groups where food is commonly found. A family group, more commonly known as a pack, consists of the parents, their pups, and, occasionally, the previous year’s pups.  Howling is the main way for coyotes to communicate with others. While some people find it unnerving, this howl serves many purposes.

Coyotes remind me of people at times or at least their behavior does.  The Bible speaks of wolves in sheep clothing, and I believe the coyote falls in that category too for like a wolf, their prey as only one result which is death. As Christians we are also to be aware of our surroundings for as sheep we are to be aware of the wolves in this world and the consequences of associating with one.

Luke 10New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary  10:1-16 Christ sent the seventy disciples, two and two, that they might strengthen and encourage one another. The ministry of the gospel calls men to receive Christ as a Prince and a Savior; and he will surely come in the power of his Spirit to all places whither he sends his faithful servants. But the doom of those who receive the grace of God in vain, will be very fearful Those who despise the faithful ministers of Christ, who think meanly of them, and look scornfully upon them, will be reckoned as despiser of God and Christ.

Ezekiel 22:27  GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
… like wolves that tear their prey into pieces. They murder and destroy people to make excessive profits.

Although this is a sad story of how my niece lost her little dog to prey, we must be careful not to fall into prey nor be the attacker under the disguise of  sheep.  People shall be known by their fruit.

New Living Translation (©2007) Romans 8:8, Luke 6:44-45,37
That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.New Living Translation (©2007)
A tree is identified by its fruit. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.New Living Translation (©2007)
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.

Wolves run in packs, joining together, uniting together looking for their victim.  Attacking, killing yet leaving behind the fruit of the kill for all to see to be eaten by vultures.  They walk away with self-satisfaction of instinct without respect of who or what they have hurt in the process.  Out of instinct of nature, the coyote killed, mutilated a small pet which belonged to my niece.  The pack took no thought in what they were doing and acted out to gain satisfaction for their belly.  How many times do we see people do the same thing?  So sad to see the blood of people on the mouth of sheep in wolves clothing.

New Living Translation (©2007) John 10:10
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

Romans 8:5 New Living Translation (©2007)
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.

Lord, I pray for those who try to gain revenge or try to take justice into their own hands because of judgmental attitudes or for wrongful thinking.  There is no gain for those who try to be God in the lives of others only the fruit of the kill.  People act out on what they believe to be known by their instinct nature instead of  letting the Spirit of God direct them and trust in the Lord to take care of what seemly seems injustice.  As I struggle to understand people, I also have learned to be aware of how the nature of man reacts from their heart.  I stand with God in forgiveness, holding on to the fruit of the Spirit with patience, long-suffering, temperance, love, joy, gentleness, self-control and peace.  However I learn to trust even when it hurts from the bite of a coyote, I will therefore not let it kill me.

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Placid

 

 

This is the word God gave me this morning.  Many decisions and directions we face everyday, trying to understand this life we live in or trying to make sense of it all is not a simple task, it is hard.  Knowing identity, seeking truth and promoting Kingdom with Divine will is not always easy for it requires strength and perseverance.  It is taking a big step of faith and truly relying on the promises God has given you.  Naysayers, evil doers, backbiters and trouble makers are always present but through Jesus Christ and His mercy we learn to ignore them seeing them simply as gnats that buzz around the fruit.  Annoying yes, but present always, however all working to the good.

It is a product of this nature, this world we live in.  The animal world has the scavengers too, yet they go on with their daily life, aware yet unhindered by brushing away what they can.  Annoyed, yet not changed in their daily life, unmoved with their feet planted on solid ground.  There will always be pests yet there is always peace even during the presence of pests.

Placid is the word God gave me this morning.  I didn’t even know what the term meant until I looked it up.  It means peace.  (of a person or animal) Not easily upset or excited.

So if you woke up this morning feeling uneasy with life or the circumstances going crazy or hectic, be rest assured a supernatural peace is being released right now upon your life.  I feel it and it is confirmed with the Word.

The apostle prays for the Thessalonians. And let us desire the same blessings for ourselves and our friends. Peace with God. This peace is desired for them always, or in every thing. Peace by all means; in every way; that, as they enjoyed the means of grace, they might use all methods to secure peace. We need nothing more to make us safe and happy, nor can we desire any thing better for ourselves and our friends, than to have God’s gracious presence with us and them. No matter where we are, if God be with us; nor who is absent, if God be present. It is through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that we hope to have peace with God, and to enjoy the presence of God. This grace is all in all to make us happy; though we wish ever so much to others, there remains enough for ourselves.

The Lord of peace – Jesus Christ, who is called our peace, Ephesians 2:14; and The Prince of peace, Isaiah 9:6. May he give you peace, for he is the Fountain and Dispenser of it.

Always – Both in your own consciences, and among yourselves. By all means, methods, occasions, instruments, and occurrences; peace or prosperity in every form and shape, in every way, in every place, May God grant you prosperity always, and everywhere.

The Lord be with you all – This is agreeable to the promise of our Lord: Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world; Matthew 28:20. May the Lord, who has promised to be always with his true disciples, be with you! Christians are the temple of God, and the temple of God has the Divine presence in it. May you ever continue to be his Church, that the Lord God may dwell among you!

2 Thessalonians 3:16

New International Version (©1984)
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
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Shadows of Dung, Dry, Death!

He will always lead us thru the dark places, either carries or prods us to move into a non comfort zone.  We should have no fear through transition, even when we have lack understanding of the process and at times question ourselves.

This dark place is where you feel rejected, wounded and hurt while all the while wonder how you will make it thru.  Your trust in man is depleted believing all mankind are liars, mean and cruel with their words of torment rewinding and replaying over and over in your head.  It affects your thoughts, your daily life, your will power.  You are coupled with a sense falling in a black hole desperately looking for God’s perfect will only hoping you are walking in it.  The darkness of all darkness swarm like flies ready to lay and deposit their seeds of maggots with unbelief and disunity.  All the while you trudge through the dung crying in a madness wishing it would all end, what is the use, what is the reason while the voices of horror cry out to give in and give up, that it really doesn’t matter!  Walking or being carried either way you strap on the burdens of others pretending you have it all together, a King who hasn’t really lost direction but the cries of desperation seem to be echoed in the darkness as we are looking for a ray of light at the end of the path.

As you walk through the valley, you however hold on to a tiny spark of hope that through this you will learn something.  You learn to trust more, love more and lean on the Shepherd.   This valley is to the advantage.  This valley is not death to the soul but death to the flesh giving life to the character of Jesus.  It is a way to learn how to love, live and lead.  The other side of the valley is the rainbow… the promise awaits… keep moving!

 

Psalm 23:4 Matthew Henry Commentary: The valley of the shadow of death may denote the most severe and terrible affliction, or dark dispensation of providence, that the psalmist ever could come under. Between the part of the flock on earth and that which is gone to heaven, death lies like a dark valley that must be passed in going from one to the other. But even in this there are words which lessen the terror. It is but the shadow of death: the shadow of a serpent will not sting, nor the shadow of a sword kill. It is a valley, deep indeed, and dark, and miry; but valleys are often fruitful, and so is death itself fruitful of comforts to God’s people. It is a walk through it: they shall not be lost in this valley, but get safe to the mountain on the other side.

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You Make Me Come Alive

This morning I wrote in my prayer journal, “Jesus you make me come alive!  This is what you do!”  This is the lyrics from a song Jordan sang Thursday night at church.  You know how a song gets in your head and you sing it all day?  It seems I was singing it all night, upon every waking moment.

In this chaotic world we live in, we need something to keep us alive and that is the kinda faith that only Jesus can give.  When we are weak, then we lean upon Jesus, He gives us strength to live and push forward.  When we are stressed or worried, He whispers, “It’s going to be OK”. This is what He does.  He makes us aware of what is going on around us when we get caught up in daily life, showing us the hearts that need mending, the hungry, the sad, the lonely, the fatherless, the widow, the children and how this life can get really messy.  We all fall but falling makes us stronger, falling lets us know how to help others when they fall.  It is Jesus that rescues, He makes us come alive!

Be encouraged today.  You may not “feel” good or like anything is happening in your life.  Maybe it is the same old thing and every morning you hit the repeat button, but try to remember Jesus wants you to live, be alive!  Notice things around you and be thankful.

One of the homework assignments I give to my couples in therapy, is to write down at least 5 things that you are thankful at the end of the day and share with each other.  It focuses on what God has given you and how He is a BIG part of your life in the midst of life’s chaotic world.

Watch this video below…. it will make you smile and realize God is in control.  You will live today!