Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, Fear, marriage enrichment, prayer

There Is No Condemnation

Romans 8

There is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.  …. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit…. to the spiritually minded is life and peace.

This morning, I was thinking of a coaching session I had yesterday.  The barrier with my client wasn’t that she didn’t believe God wanted to do it for her or couldn’t do it for her, but that the enemy put up a wall to prevent her from reaching her goal she was trying to receive.  She reacted out of fear that God either didn’t want her to have her goal reached because she may have more responsibility after attaining the goal or too much freedom and act foolishly.

After digging deeper into the issue, I explained that our heavenly father WANTS her to have the freedom she is trying to attain.  He is not keeping it from her.  The issue was that the enemy had told her a lie.  A lie that was embedded out of condemnation and a works mentality.  We cast out the lie, her mind is renewed but the thinking will have to be re-directed for a time so her habits will change.  She no longer needs to be fearful of changing for the better.  God wants her better!

Condemnation gives you no hope.  Conviction from the Holy Spirit gives you hope.  She had no hope of reaching her goal because of the lie.

If you are struggling with something today, ask yourself the question “Am I hopeful or do I feel as though I cannot reach a state of peace about a subject.”  If it is the latter, then cast out the lie and re-direct your thinking.

Continue to walk in peace of His perfect love because it will cast down the fear.  Boost your faith by believing God not only wants you to have peace in every situation but He wants you blessed.  I want you to be blessed and find hope to live abundantly!

In His Presence be blessed!

Melissa

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faith, forgiveness, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, marriage enrichment, Parenthood, prayer, Salvation, Sermon Notes, Supernatural

What’s Love Got To Do With It

Valentine's Day Flowers is a great way to show you love someone

Last night I got the opportunity to speak at our church about the facets of Love.  Since Valentines day is tomorrow and everyone seems giddy about the event planning on flowers, chocolates and cards, I decided to teach about Love.  Here are my sermon notes and in a few days, I will upload the sermon link so you may also hear the message.

I John 4:16 –

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.  We love each other because he loved us first. If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.

This type of love that comes from God :

Daily Live in Love

There is love that is perfect love

Pursue it

Is forever love

Is Greatest love

Brings unity

Brings peace

Shows kindness

We have to receive it and put it on – abide in it

Sacrifices for sake of others

Love is a choice….

Greeks had terms of love:

  • Storge – affection that parents have with their children, (putting up with family members) Storge Lovers: life long friends
  • Philia – mental love of give and take – loyalty to others – general shoulder to shoulder friendship, Philia Lover: Philos love is a mutual, “give-and take” relationship,
  • Eros – Physical love – passionate love with sensual desire – love at first site – looks. It is based more on “self-benefit”.  Pure emotion without the balance of logic:

Erotic lover wants to know everything about the beloved from the first moment of their RELATIONSHIP, all of his or her experiences, joys and sorrows, who else he or she has loved in the past, how much and in what ways.  like to wear matching T-shirts, identical bracelets, matching colors, order the same foods when dining out, find out that their blood types are the same; they typically want to be identified with each other as totally as possible. Breakups are explosive and painful. Eros love can only succeed in the long-term if it progresses into a higher form of love. Otherwise, it will not last.

  • Agape – spiritual love – true unconditional love, expecting nothing in return –  no self benefit: Agape Lover: forgiving – “not a fall in love desire” but this love is always available for the opportunity to show that love.  They are patient, have the ability to wait indefinitely for the behavior of their love to change.

Other types of LOVERS:

  • MANIA (Possessiveness and Intense Dependency) (Eros and Game player )Mania is an obsessive love that, intimate  and intense, often includes jealousy, possessiveness and a lack of communication. Maniacal love can lead to domestic violence.   The constructed ideal of this type of lover is obsessed to where they are unable to sleep, eat, or even think logically around the loved one. The manic lover has peaks of excitement, but also depths of depression, with very few periods without a high or low, jealous – irrational.

A manic lover cannot tolerate loss of contact , even for short periods of time, and is distressed by a lack of the lover’s presence .

* crushed by real or fancied rejection, possibly to the point of suicidal ideation.

* manipulate the behaviors or feelings of the loved one,

* do not tolerate separation at all well.

The manic lover has a tendency to review past relationships and speculate about what when wrong – high level or anxiety,  have problems related to anxiety and associated with low self-esteem and a poor self concept.

  • Pragma (logical – sensible) a person who is unable to invest love in “unworthy” love objects. (You DESERVE ME) The pragmatic lover is keenly aware of the comparison level for alternatives that he or she has. Pragmatic lovers are inclined to look for a “deal – good bargin” A pragmatic lover typically assists the loved one to fulfill his or her potentials; for example, such a lover might make sure the love object finishes school, asks for deserved promotions, gets the attention or that he or she “deserves” from physicians, stockbrokers, or employers. And everything is planned – family
  • Ludus (game player) A ludic lover hates dependency, either in himself/herself or in others. This type shies away from commitment of any sort (does not like lovers to take him or her for granted). The ludic lover enjoys strategies, and may keep two or three or even four lovers “on the string” at one time. A ludic lover may even create a fictional lover to discourage a real one’s hopes for a permanent relationship. He or she avoids long-range plans. Self-centered and won’t listen

The Types of Love are explained.  The Agape is the highest form of love however culture continues to seek self gratification instead of selflessness.

1973 book The Colors of Love, John Lee compared styles of love to the color wheel.

Three primary styles:


1. Eros – Loving an ideal person

2. Ludos – Love as a game

3. Storge – Love as friendship

Three secondary styles:


1. Mania (Eros + Ludos) – Obsessive love

2. Pragma (Ludos + Storge) – Realistic and practical love

3. Agape (Eros + Storge) – Selfless love

The human brain supports falling in love, which is why we have such a strong physiological response when we are attracted to another.

Most people want love but believe self gratification is in there too.

  • make me ‘feel good’
  • Love  MUST nourish it. : feed it, to take care of it, to value it.

 True love is not about what you feel, it is about what you do.

*Euphoria Stage.  Emotion and feeling based but can be a long term with different value if love grows.

The more time you spend with a person the more you learn about their character and personality. The real test of love is being able to love someone when you know their flaws and short comings.

The ultimate goal is to love in Reality with some euphoric feelings and avoid the stage of ‘Offense’.

*Offense stage comes swiftly after the Reality stage because the relationship was built based on the feelings felt in Euphoria as opposed to a solid friendship.

The Offense stage is different from having hard times in a relationship.

The Offense stage: constant conflict and tension because of false expectations.

*Reality stage it’s not about how you feel, it’s about a choice.  The real test of love is being able to love someone when you know their flaws and short comings.

The ultimate goal is to love in Reality with some euphoric feelings and avoid the stage of ‘Offense’.

Humans have evolved three different brain systems to encourage mating: sex drive (lust), feelings of attachment (trust), and romance (being in love). Each of these systems plays a role in desire.

Lust. Sex drive is associated with a class of hormones called testosterone (even women have it) Playing competitive sports have been shown to trigger testosterone production; in fact, women get a bigger boost than men during a competition. Making love can also create the same effect. Studies have shown that sex raises testosterone levels, so the more sex you have, the more sex you desire.

touching someone brings more feelings of love because it releases a chemical in your brain to promote love

Trust. Feelings of trust and attachment are fostered by the chemical oxytocin. You can stimulate oxytocin naturally with touch. Hold hands while you watch TV, trade massages, or sleep in each other’s arms. Oxytocin, the love/hate hormone
.  Human and animal studies have shown that oxytocin plays a role in bonding;

While affecting positive behaviors of trust and bonding, it can also affect opposite behaviors like jealousy, envy, and suspicion. when the association is negative, the hormone increases negative sentiments”.

Love. The third chemical that drives relationships is dopamine, a key player in the brain’s reward regions that’s been found to promote romantic love. Research shows that —taking risks or trying something new—can trigger the release of dopamine in the brain.

 SONGS: MRI and PET scans reveal that when you listen to music that excites you, your brain releases dopamine during the most exciting moments of the song and even in anticipation of those moments.

Some things a person does can produce so much dopamine that over time, the dopamine response lessens, which means you can lose the ability to feel any kind of pleasure at all. The usual culprits of this dopamine dulling effect are things like cocaine and heroin, which is good news for the great majority of us who are not addicted to illicit substances. The bad news is that if you’re addicted to fatty foods, the same thing could potentially happen to you. If you let rats eat as much cheesecake, bacon, sausage, and other fatty foods as they want, not only will they become obese, but their dopamine responses will start to attenuate over time. So while a small slice of cheesecake once in a while may get your dopamine flowing, overdoing it may have negative consequences on your brain.

Feeling of intense romantic love lasts only about 18 months to—at best—three years.

Brains of these middle-aged men and women showed much the same activity as those of young lovers, individuals who had been intensely in love an average of only seven months. Indeed, there was just one important difference between the two groups: Among the older lovers, brain regions associated with anxiety were no longer active; instead, there was activity in the areas associated with calmness.

Sacrificing Love:  It is the foundation to every key relationship in life.

Revolutionizes marriage

Fortifies friendships

Business : we treat our colleagues, employees and customers

Communities : reach out to people and make their lives better

Love is sacrifice and has a lot more to do with being a servant than with being a hero. 

When you are concerned about the well being of others, you sacrifice.

  • Time
  • Energy
  • Money
  • Give up plans
  • Give up independence
  • Give up privacy
  • May have to part with whatever is most precious to you for the sake of someone else.

Hard because our Culture teaches exact opposite – Logic thinking doesn’t make sense or logic, it’s not fair.

True personal fulfillment never comes through self-gratification but opposite.

The right type of love never fails…. all other types of love will have you wanting but never satisfying.

 

Mark 8:34-35

Deny yourself

“Put aside your own pleasures and shoulder your cross and follow me closely.  If you insist on saving your life you will lose it.  Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live.”

Matthew 20:26  … whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,” (throughout the gospels: the one who rules is the one who serves)

Luke 22 :28  The one who stands beside me in trials.  (Through everything you love)

It is only when we give ourselves to God and joyfully serve his people in sacrificial love that we find fulfillment and satisfaction that the world will never know.

In marriage = a lot of sacrifice

  • A good marriage enhances the life of each spouse, making it fuller and more satisfying than it would be if the marriage did not exist.
  • Loving marriage help both spouses grow into their full potential rather than squelching either persons dreams
  • Loving spouses put the other persons needs above their own

The highest form of love…..do you agree?

In friendship = willing to make investment in someone’s life

Why is it so hard?  Commitment

Try it – keep giving and giving – good actions not a feeling…. Some do good but then what happens when people come to the point they are running on empty? They get angry at people: how do you know, people become problems. (hermit)

God tells us not only to live sacrificially but also steadfastly. (persistent, loyal, consistently)

“I am done!”  I am burnout….

How do we get refilled?

Spending time alone with God – He is source of love.  Jesus did this many times, leaving the crowd and go pray.

(can’t depend us getting love from another person) Hosea 12:6 But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.

Want peace? 2 Corth 13:11 :  Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

Satan. If he cannot destroy, he will try to disgrace or distress us If believers were left to themselves, they would fall; but they are kept by the power of God

Burn out 3 ways.

  1. Spiritually :  Love tank is low – daily time with God before the day starts. Listen to Christian music
  2. Emotionally: Feel uninterested in others – Life itself happens (bad days) . replenish yourself through relaxing or recreation
  3. Physically:  Won’t listen, no serving, no confront or encourage people, no energy, easily irritated, critical, short fused, defensive and negative.  It is hard to love others and equally hard for others to love them.

Act as Jesus would act and do in all 3 areas.….

I John 4:12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

I Corth. 13:1 : If I had knowledge, if I gave to the poor, moved mountains, but If didn’t love others, I would be nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.

Love does not always want nor boastful, is not conceited, or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

slow to anger when abused, not quick of resentment, nor hasty to revenge when affronted; but exercises forbearance, suffers long, and bears much, and is ready to forgive:
Agape love is the highest form of love.  Do you think you could reach it?

Love suffers long.


Love is kind.


Love does not envy.


Love does not parade itself.


Love is not puffed up.


Love does not behave rudely.


Love does not seek its own.


Love is not provoked.


Love thinks no evil.


Love does not rejoice in iniquity.


Love rejoices in the truth.


Love bears all things.


Love believes all things.


Love hopes all things.


Love endures all things.


Love never fails.

So what does Love Got to do with it… Everything… because without love you are nothing…

Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, Fear, forgiveness, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, marriage enrichment, Patience, Soul Winning, Weird Stuff

PooPoo Pie


Don't eat poop!  It causes stress, heartache and delusions!I had the best advice one time from a gal who may have not known how much wisdom she was spilling out to me.  I was struggling with lots of stress at the time because of the circumstances of transition and it all started with FaceBook.  Now keep in mind, I sometimes wear my feelings on my shoulders and grasp every perception that could be. I feel as though I am friendly to everyone and wouldn’t hurt a flea on purpose, so it just kills me if I think someone doesn’t like me.   My blood pressure was running high at the time and I was just sick of the so-called worry of what others think of us. I was talking about a post on FaceBook that I knew was about us but it didn’t mention our names.  She said to me, “Don’t own it”.  Those words forever changed my life and redirected my focus.

You see the enemy of our soul would love to continue to beat us down each day with negative remarks from gossip and lies.  People who I had loved for years were mouthing about our leadership, the church or whatever was told to them about us and not only did they believe it but some also continued with the remarks to others.  Sad to say, some still carry it with them.

Its time to "not own it" and throw out the poo poo pie!

 

God has a way to make us stronger as we continue to serve and depend on Him.  There was no unlawful or sin involved with us and in our eyes, we were doing the best of our ability to continue to move forward in what God wanted us to do, following after His steps.  As we continued our journey, we were pushed out of our many circles of people we loved dearly in who we had helped over the years.  It was a hard transition and I know that the past always tries to condemn and keep people from focusing on the future in winning lost souls.  With some is easier to point fingers rather than take responsibility sometimes.  I was taking responsibility with the words that was being said instead of ignoring them.

The “don’t own it” is what I call Poo Poo Pie.  You see when someone makes a remark about you or tries to control your thoughts or actions either through manipulation, control or gossip its like they are handing you a poo poo pie. Have you ever thought of it that way?  PooPoo Pie is nasty and although it may look good or not, you have the ability to receive it or not to.  If you take it, you own it.  You can put it on your shelf, on your counter top, in your bedroom next to your night stand or in your fridge.  Heck, in fact you can drive it around in your car, put it in your purse or take it on a date!  PooPoo Pie never runs out and every time you “own” the remarks or the gossip, bring it up in conversation or the hurt you are taking a big bite out of your pie!  You are in control of your emotions, thoughts and actions.  People may even throw the pie at you but you don’t have to own it!

Want a slice of poo pie?  This is not a recipe you want to share!  Don't own it!It’s time to throw out the pie, in fact, throw out the pie in the garbage and never look through the trash to own it again.  Move forward and don’t own it!  Poo Poo Pie causes high blood pressure, it causes stress, it causes you to have strongholds in your mind to distract you from what God is calling you to do.  It is deceiving.  It makes you sick and you share the poo pie with others and it makes them sick.  I say “stop passing the poo pie!”

Want a piece of POO POO PIE?

So here is my word of advice that I so wonderfully learned through the transition that I may pass to you…. “don’t own it” keep focused on what God has called you to do, because it is only HIM that you must deal with and He doesn’t eat poo poo pie, He has a buffet of life and life more abundantly, total goodness, health, peace and joy, most of all love.  I would rather eat from the buffet instead from the poo poo pie.

What do you think?  Had any pie lately?

New International Version
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

English Standard Version
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

English Standard Version
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ

2 Corinthians 10:4
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

 

Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Fear, forgiveness, Leadership, marriage enrichment, Parenthood, Salvation

Fire Out Of Control

resentment is the cocaine of emotions.....
Resentment is the cocaine of the emotions.  It causes our blood to pump and our energy level to rise.  Like cocaine, it demands increasingly large and more frequent dosages.

There is dangerous point at which anger ceases to be an emotion and becomes a driving force.  A person bent on revenge moves unknowingly further and further away from being able to forgive, for to be without the anger is to be without a source of energy.

Hatred is the rabid dog that turns on its owner.

 

Hatred is the rabid dog that turns on its owner.

Revenge is the raging fire that consumes the arsonist.

Revenge is the raging fire that consumes the arsonist.

 

bitterness is the trap that snares the hunterBitterness is the trap that snares the hunter.

Mercy is the choice that can set them all free.

From the “The Applause of Heaven”

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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.

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Be Dead

How easily people are swayed determines the wisdom and spirit that is within them.  I often question God about wisdom. I know I can read about it all through proverbs and gain in just asking God for it.  I pray for it.  I want it.  James 1:5 New Living Translation (©2007)
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

http://betterlifecoachingblog.com I love what Darren says in a post:

You don’t get wisdom by reading great books or blogs.  You don’t get wisdom by spending time with an amazing mentor. You don’t get wisdom by attending conferences with the best motivational speakers. You don’t get wisdom by going to university or night school. You don’t get wisdom by observing those who are the leaders in your field.  You get it as you apply all that you’ve learned from the above.  You get it by taking risks, making mistakes and learning from your experiences.  You get it by making decisions and assessing your progress so that you can change your direction along the way.  You get it by scraping your knees and getting dirt under your fingernails.  You get it by finding out what works in your own context and circumstances.  Jeff Foxworthy who said that, “Wisdom equals knowledge plus scars.”

Another  short story I received in an email is worth sharing too.  I am unsure where or who published it but holds true to all of us.

Once, there was a community of wise monks who lived in the desert. One day, a man arrived at the monastery, asking if he could stay and learn wisdom from the monks. The old abbot came out and greeted the traveler, then asked why he had come.

The man answered, “I want to be wise, but I only have the weekend.”

The abbot smiled, because many men hoped for the wisdom which had taken him a lifetime to accumulate. He replied, “To begin, go to the graveyard and spend the day cursing the dead. Tell them they lived useless lives, and the world is better off without them.”

The man thought this was strange, but he did as he was asked. The next day, the abbot asked the traveler, “So, what did the dead say?” The man replied, “Nothing, they’re all dead!”

The abbot told him, “Today, go to the graveyard and spend all day praising the dead! Shower them with blessings, exhort them, and speak of the many ways society has benefited from their life’s work.”

Now the man was thoroughly bewildered, but he did as he was asked. The next day, the abbot asked the traveler, “So, what did the dead say?”

The man replied, “Nothing! They’re all dead! And I have to leave today!” The wise old abbot looked at him and said,

“What wise men they must be, to not be swayed by either the empty blessings or angry curses of other people. They must know true happiness.”

New Living Translation (©2007) Ephesians 4:14 -15
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.

English Standard Version (©2001) 1 Corinthians 14:20
Brothers, do not be children in your thinking, infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.

New Living Translation (©2007) 1 Peter 2:1
So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech.

New Living Translation (©2007)  Romans 6:4
For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

So with that all said, wisdom comes when we make up our mind to be dead in the flesh and live in Christ Jesus.  Sometimes I need reminding of that when the joys of trial and persecution comes my way. 🙂

Abundant life, forgiveness, marriage enrichment, Salvation

What is Unconditional Love

I received a blog about love this morning.  At first I was apprehensive about what he was talking about, but after reading it I somewhat agreed.  I thought I would share this great revelation with my readers.

Bad Theology = Bad Marriage

by Mark Gungor on November 22nd, 2011

There is line of thinking that began in American culture during the hippy movement of the 1960s and has continued to grow in popularity until it proliferated even Christianity.  I’m referring to the concept of “unconditional love”.  Over and over we hear people talking about how we need to love others “unconditionally” and how others should love us “unconditionally”. It also has morphed into the idea that God’s love for us is “unconditional”.  What a bunch of horse manure! Nowhere in the bible does it say that love is to be without conditions…in fact, the phrase “unconditional love” isn’t even in the bible.  (Not to mention that the bible is clearly a list of conditions God has for his people.) Funny how Christians are so quick to make such unbiblical ideas and phrases in to pillars of the faith!

The other phrase that is repeated over and over again until it, too, has become accepted “doctrine” is “God loves you just the way you are.” Wrong!! God loves you in spite of the way you are!

He loves you when you are broken and in sin. He loves you when your life is a disaster, if you’ve committed adultery, are lost in addictions, or cheating and lying up a storm. It’s not that God doesn’t love you, he does… but he expects you to change.
We need to repent, to grow, to mature as Christians. But when people mistakenly say, “God loves you just the way you are”, what is either spoken or implied is the caveat that you don’t have to change.

Words have meaning and by using this oft-repeated phrase, we’ve created a generation of Christians who do nothing to please God, simply because they don’t think they have to. They think that God is there to please them.  Most think, “I said the prayer. I’m covered.” But they are still committing adultery, looking at porn, cheating, lying, and not going to church, or giving of their time or money.  After all, they believe, “It doesn’t matter what I do…God loves me unconditionally…just the way I am.”  It’s broken theology.

This maligned concept of Christianity is the very reason why so many marriages stink. Quite simply, people are taking their bad theology into their marriages, where they think there are no requirements, no consequences, and no conditions. They expect that the same “unconditional love” that they mistakenly believe God has for them applies in their marital relationship too.  The worst marriages on earth are those that one or both spouses buy into this broken thinking.

These are the marriages where women think they can have “boyfriends” and guys think they can have “girlfriends” that they hang out with, text message with, go to dinner with and they say, “No one can tell me who I can and can’t be friends with!”  The marriages where spouses will spend money, not pay their bills, not save for their kid’s college, because, “I want to buy a boat or spend it on a new wardrobe and nobody can tell me what I can and can’t do with my money.” These are the sort of people that stay out till all hours of the night and come home whenever they feel like it stating that, “No one is going to control me.” They demand that their spouse loves them without condition and are simply living out their broken theology in the home.

They reason that God loves them unconditionally, so the rest of the world must love them unconditionally, too. No matter how selfish and boorish they behave, there can be no conditions. Their spouse is to love them no matter what. They think they are passionate about God, they say they are growing in their faith when they are not. They are deceiving themselves.  All because they believe the lie that love is to be “unconditional”.

When we look at our marriages what we really see is a reflection of what our theology is and where our faith is. People think their marriage is a disaster despite their faith, but I argue it’s a disaster because of their faith.  Because their version of faith is “it’s all about me.” People like this think, “I want to be happy no matter what. God loves me no matter what. There are no conditions, I can do anything I want.”

Like the recent email I received about the guy who goes to church and praises God, but is mad his wife because she won’t let him have girlfriends. He was indignant that she would tell him who he could be friends with! How dare she do that! Why?  Because of his reasoning, “God loves me just the way I am.” Therefore, his wife should too.  Okay…you go with that, sir. Take that into eternity; see how that works for you. See if when you get up there God says, “I love you just the way you are, you don’t have to change.”

I’m afraid a lot of people are going to be in for a shock. Listen, I’m not being judgmental, I’m just telling you the truth. Your marriage reflects your theology and your faith. If you can’t live it at home, you can’t live it. If your relationship is suffering, if it stinks, check your thinking. It may be more about your bad theology than your bad marriage.

 

Abundant life, forgiveness, marriage enrichment

Angry Birds or Angry People

I recently got an iphone from my son who went and bought the new 4g so I got his old one.  I am very traditional when it comes to phones and I really enjoyed my little shine slider but however I knew it was time for an update.  One of the apps he had on the phone was called Angry Birds.  I always thought it was silly or for kids to put such games on your phone because phones are for communicating right?  Being old or set in my ways I refused to even open the app.  Recently while waiting for an apt I was bored and decided to give it a try. Although not very good, I can see where games can get quite addicting.  I loved the title “Angry” which made me think how I have used the term in the past and how I have counseled couples who deal with anger.

HOW TO DEAL WITH ANGER:

When you are angry, the first positive step is to admit to yourself that you are angry.  Say it aloud, “I’m feeling angry.”   We must realize anger is a choice in which I often reminded my children as they were growing up.  You choose to be angry over the situation not because someone ‘made’ you angry but because your feelings got stepped on and you are hurting or feeling rejected.  Therefore a bundle of emotions wants to be released so we lash out in anger, trying to hurt the other person because we hurt instead of communicating our real feelings.

The second step is to ask God to help you handle your anger in a positive way.  “Lord, help me to do what is right and good with my anger.  I understand if I choose to be angry I can also choose to love and forgive and act in a way that I want to be treated.”  If we do not communicate our real feelings, then resentment builds and we become bitter as our love for that person grows cold.  Dealing with anger this way becomes a time bomb.

The third step is to ask, “Did someone sin against me?”  If so, the biblical answer is to lovingly confront the person and seek reconciliation.  This is an important step because most of the time people might do things that upset us without even knowing it.   On the other hand if you are angry simply because something happened that irritates you, then ask, “What can I learn from this experience?”

If the other person habitually arrives late for your appointment, perhaps you can talk with them and negotiate change, thus the anger has served a positive purpose. Many times the things that irritate you are the things you do to other people and you are blind to it.  So the next time you get angry about something, check yourself and choose not to respond in a negative way and think if you yourself as this very issue in which you need to work on correcting.

God wants to teach you how to handle your anger in a godly way.  You can respond like this, “I’m feeling angry right now, but don’t worry, I’m not going to attack you.  But I do need your help. Is this a good time to talk?”    

It brings a little humor into the tenseness and reminds you of what you are not going to do.  It is also asking the other person to help you process your anger.  It’s an easy way to help family members learn to process anger in a positive way.

Prayer:  Lord help me to control myself when I feel hurt or rejected.  Help me to realize that the other person may feel the same way but reacting in a negative way instead of your way.  Help our marriage and family relationships communicate effectively your way.  In Jesus Name. Amen

New Living Translation (©2007) Ephesians 4:26
And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry,

  

Abundant life, Educational and Informative, Encouragement, marriage enrichment

Men Need To Know

I have been reading much about relationships lately because I have been giving tips daily on my twitter.  Recently I came across this little article for men in which I thought I would share.  To most, this seems elementary for a woman to agree but for some men they may never think twice about it.  The two most things proven that women have trouble with is their weight and being accepted.  Since this is true, men should not comment on any of these things to their girlfriend or to their wife.  Here is the list:

Wrinkles, gray hair, weight, cellulite, clothes or other attire, their talking/speech, moods, cooking, house cleaning methods, and I could make the list go on.

Now you are wondering why I say all this.  Women have a tendency to become one with their environment, so even though a man may complain about a messy house, the woman will not feel accepted or loved because her house in her eyes is part of her.  So when a man criticizes the house cleaning the woman takes it to heart and feels rejected.  A man will not understand this and think this may seem ridiculous to think such a thing however the complex difference between man and woman is one of God’s mysteries!  When you understand how God made man and woman so different, then you will understand that we don’t think like each other.  When I read this I understood why I felt irritated when my husband offered to get a housekeeper.  I was offended yet happy that he would make a suggestion because at times I get a little behind cleaning all the woodwork and windows. Instead of complaining if the husband would help out and clean, the woman feels as though she is appreciated and loved, in turn be more likely to step up and do things for her husband or even clean more.  Sometimes this takes time since the woman may have many insecurities about herself.

What about if the woman has negative traits?  Then men must find the positive side.  Here is a list of examples.  The first will list the “flaw” but the second will be the positive outlook instead of the negative.

Nosy – She may be social or alert.  Touchy – She may be very sensitive.  Manipulating – She may be resourceful with creative ideas.  Stingy – she may be thrifty.  Talkative – she may be expressive and dramatic.  Overbearing – she mad be confident.  Fussy – she may be organized and efficient.

You may consider writing down your own list of  “flaws” and then beside it try to come up with the positive.  This is something that everyone can do.  Then make a sincere comment on how thankful you are in what the positive is.  The more you love and feed your wife not only in words but helping out with her environment, the more she will give praise and love back to you.

These are only a few but I know you can find things to praise your wife.  Specific praise is better than general praise.  Instead of saying, “That was a great dinner”, be specific on how great it was, naming the food or what you particular liked about an item.  Start thanking her for cleaning, or doing everyday chores.  As her love grows though this process, she will become more confident to do more things and express her love for her man.

Through all this, we can find the positive aspects in the things we may consider flaws.  Learn to choose your words.  Words come from how you think, words become actions which become habits then bore into character and then on to destiny.  You can have an abundant life and marriage by learning about each other and how God has made you.  Start practicing today!

Genesis 1:27 New International Version (©1984) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Here is a site that might help if you are a man searching for creative helps:  http://www.guystuffcounseling.com/counseling-on-demand/

 

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