Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Made you smile, Salvation, Soul Winning, Weird Stuff

Contagious Smiling

Smiling is contagiousLast week I got to experience the film Compelled By Love starring Roland and Heidi Baker’s story.  I was proud to say that my son, Lyle was featured in the film.  The emotions I felt, the awe of being totally sold out to Jesus is truly phenomenal.  At the beginning of the film is an artist who starts painting a picture and you will see this throughout the film the stages of the piece, then at the end you see the final work.  The final picture is of Jesus with a contagious smile!  It makes you feel as though Jesus is happy, that He loves you and He wants you to smile.  Not only for His sake does He want you to smile but for your sake and the sake of others.  It’s contagious! Annalise Roth Phillips my granddaughter loves to smile!  Her smiling makes me smile.

Annalise our granddaughter is only 4 months old.  There is such a love connection when she totally trusts you to take care of her.  She looks at you with those blue eyes and as you talk to her and smile, she crinkles up her nose and smiles so big with her gums showing.  She smiles with her eyes.  It makes anyone talking to her want to get her to smile.  It is a smile that is rewarding even if it only last for just a few seconds.  I am looking forward to hearing her laugh and giggle throughout the house.  A smile, the emotion of trust and total happiness.

As a leader/pastor I love smiling.  I love smiling at people as I pass by, taking time to look into their eyes as if it is Jesus smiling back at me.  What a difference we can make if we just stop for the one regardless of how we feel at the time and smile.  Sometimes its hard for me especially because I am so caught up in the task or in my own thoughts of what I must get done I forget to look at the person in my busy schedule, however it is never my intention to ignore and I am learning to slow down and take time to the most valuable source on the planet… people!

This experience has made me realize how important smiling is.  It is important for at least five reasons according to Michael Hyatt.

  1. It helps others relax. When you scowl or look too intense, it creates a primal reaction in others. Their defenses go up. They become protective and guarded.

    This is the exact opposite of what you want to happen if you are trying to influence them. A smile communicates that you are safe and can be trusted.

  2. It draws people to you. Have you ever noticed how you are attracted to people who smile and laugh a lot? The positive energy is contagious. You instinctively smile in response.

    The simple fact is that people naturally want to be around people who are happy. If you want others to follow you, you can start by smiling more.

  3. It enables you to connect. Smiling is one of the best, quickest ways to connect with anyone from any culture. Even if you don’t speak the same language, a smile is universally appreciated.

    It opens the door, welcomes people into your world, and communicates acceptance. Even if people are frustrated or angry, a smile can often turn them around. In that moment you forge a connection.

  4. It creates positive culture. If you want to change the culture of an organization, change the behavior of its leaders. People naturally play “follow the leader.” When leaders smile, everyone smiles.

    Smiles communicate that your organization is a happy place to work. And who doesn’t want to work where people are smiling and happy?

  5. Why is smiling important for you to do?  Find out here! It elevates your mood. This is one of the surprising benefits of smiling. I had no idea. It literally affects you at a biological level, releasing endorphins and serotonin.

    Smiling has numerous physical and psychological benefits, including relieving stress, lowering your blood pressure, and boosting your immune system. And it’s much cheaper and healthier than drugs.

Seriously, set a goal to smile more this year. Recruit an accountability partner. Set reminders. Whatever it takes. As a leader, it will help ensure you have a positive impact on the people you are leading.  Relieve stress from your daily life right now… smile!

John 10:10…. Jesus said, “My purpose is to give life in all its fullness”.

Jesus is smiling always…. so why can’t we?…be contagious!

Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Fear, Leadership, Patience, prayer, Sermon Notes

Freedom of Not Knowing Why God Why Moments

The freedom of not know the Why God momentsEveryone has their WHY GOD WHY moments.

In my last blog we learned: In the “Why” moments: The inability to understand God is NORMAL in the process of spiritual growth.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

  • Have rest and peace in the situation – it is a life long journey
  • Reach a point where you trust God about it instead of yourself or circumstances
  • OK to ask God why just don’t demand them – why stage is like the child why stage
  • Position to seek God’s presence, provision, guidance and promises
  • Don’t try to understand the ways of God because it is impossible
  • God suffers when we suffer and count it joy to suffer or when trials come
  • God will help us on His time – He sees the bigger picture : the ending that benefits others
  •  We all have been thru something – somewhere there is somebody going thru same thing
  • God has to be enough and He is faithful is at present OUTSIDE of our understanding
  • God allows things to happen to make us stronger – makes us able to handle it and sees us thru it
  • God doesn’t cause bad things to happen – sin does – Adam brought it into the world
  • Everything we go thru is to bring Him glory – remember we were created to worship Him
  • If you change your thoughts – you change your brain which changes thoughts – renew your mind
  • When you go thru something be obedient : do what is right cause God will lead you
  • There is true freedom when you overcome something, easier to face it again if you trust

We can all agree In Life:  our goal is usually temporal

  • Happiness
  • Security
  • Prosperity
  • Success
  • We don’t choose suffering as a goal but be glad we go through it when we reap the rewards

How is God’s goal different from our goal?

God’s goal is always eternal. And He will smash every one of our goals if they are in the way. He will use our obedience to bring us to our Calvary, and He will use our sin to bring us there as well. He will take our fear and worries and make us face them, and He will reduce us down to where we know that there is nothing we can do to help ourselves. God is seeking to adjust us for the eternal ages. And if we only understood this, we would be thankful that He is doing this.

  • ALTHOUGH GOD GAVE US A FREE WILL The bottom line is that our wants may not agree with God’s wants for us.
  • Trusting in the Lord can require that you abandon everything you’ve ever believed about what brings happiness and fulfillment.
  • Sometimes you do get what you want, only to discover that it doesn’t make you happy after all, just disillusioned. 

Many Christians repeat this cycle their entire life, wondering what they’re doing wrong.

Ask yourself: If God only worked WITHIN your present understanding, would it ever increase? No.

  1. God will bring you and I to the place where we CANNOT understand. Get that: We CANNOT.
  2. No secret formula
  3. Can’t pray enough to understand
  4. Can’t read the Word or study enough to understand
  5. Bring us to a place of “Do I believe”.
  6. View our adverse circumstances through the eyes of faith, not sense.

Our “why God” questions requires trust and not to understand – HOW DO WE GET THERE?

HOW DO WE GET TO THE PLACE WHERE WE STOP ASKING “WHY GOD” QUESTIONS?

To trust God, and not in our understanding of Him, requires a certain surrender to Him

  1. Relinquish control
    1. There really isn’t anyway to trust God in this way without dying a death to our self
    2. With death to self comes REAL understanding of GOD HIMSELF
    3. Death to self-will and self-life
    4. Lay aside our right to understand
    5. Surrender without understanding

If you trust God in surrender – the information you thought you wanted will become unnecessary. You will come into a REVELATION.

Trust brings you into surrender, which brings revelation – Revelation produces walking in spirit instead of flesh.  Trust is knowing the Word and promises of God.

Instead of letting our reactions, fears, worries, and inability to understand direct traffic, we allow faith to direct.

 His ways are past finding out… even if we knew God in a way just like Him, then he wouldn’t be our God would he?

God isn’t worried because we don’t understand. He wants our soul for eternity.  He wants us.

We shouldn’t be worried or try to seek the “why questions”.

Seek God. Obey Him. Believe Him. Worship Him. And walk by faith. God is God. Trust Him, and not our understanding of Him.

Trusting God when you don’t understand….  we must reach a place in your relationship with Him and have such a confidence in Him that you believe He is with you in adversity even though you don’t see any evidence of His presence and His power.

God is a friend, our buddy, close fellowship etc…. but He is also awesome, all-powerful, mighty, can do anything, is with us always, we can’t hide, knows all and the beginning and the end….

In order to trust God we must always view our adverse circumstances through the eyes of faith, not sense.  Comes through the Word of God alone.

The secret lies in putting this truth into practice, by making it such a powerful theme in your life that you view every event, every sorrow, every prayer with the unshakable conviction that God is totally, spotlessly trustworthy.

CONCLUSION:

Why God Moment (really questioning believing in God & if He is really going to be with you) – Know Word + reshape our thoughts + increase our faith + trusting in God = brings Revelation as we surrender = walking in His Spirit  = abundant life Jesus came to give us to make it = goal of eternal life which is His will for all of us.

Knowing this will bring us happiness, peace and joy while living here instead of questioning the why moments.

Why does God allow suffering?  Why does God let bad things happen to good people?  Why does children die?  Why does God let murders go free?  Why did this happen to me?  Why is there starving people?  The questions of why will continue on WHY?

Everyone is on different stages/relationship with God: Lack of knowledge of word , revelation to the faith it takes from His word to fully trust in Him.   It will continue on until we realize that God is in control and without Him we are nothing, however what He wants for us is to trust Him enough for eternity.  Eternity is God’s goal and that is where everything we do or questions we ask should start with the ending in mind.  In other words, everything that happens to you that causes why moments or questions you may ask, should have attached to it – the eternal value in all your answers and decisions.

I recently also commented on a status from a woman who was abused as a child who asked the question why she was abused.  Here is how I responded.

Sin entered into the world, there will always be sin. We cannot control sin of others only ourselves.

Since there is sin Jesus was sent into the world to get rid of sin in people’s lives and to heal.

When a little girl gets hurt, although God saw it, allowed it, He didn’t want it nor did he do it. Sin is a by-product of satan and the fall of man.

When God saw you then, he sees you now and he sees what you will become. He uses what the enemy meant for destruction, to bring Him glory. When we give our lives to God, He uses the pain from the past that the enemy tried to enslave us with sin, and use it to help others. If we have never been enslaved before by sin, whether as a little girl or as adult, we would never need to be cleansed or in need of God for our healing. God allows things to happen so we will depend upon Him. He then directs our paths with the ending in mind, and as a result we are healed and we help others find God on their journey that has went through the same thing.

We must reach a place in our relationship where we won’t know the answer but we must be happy with not knowing the “why” but trusting in God enough to know the ending is much better than if we had never went through it…. 

We must walk in faith, trust Him and look forward to the future God holds, we cannot change the past but we can change the future.

Abundant life, Educational and Informative, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, Fear, forgiveness, God Speaks, Love and Life of a Testimony, Patience, prayer, Salvation, Supernatural, Weird Stuff

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.

Abundant life, Educational and Informative, Encouragement, faith, forgiveness, Leadership, Soul Winning, Supernatural, Weird Stuff

Bit By A Viper – Poisonious Results

Last night when I came home Spencer and Eli was watching clips about snakes.  Eli hates snakes.  As McKenzie and I watched the snake eat baby squirrels, we expressed how disgusting it was.  Animals, reptiles, insects, and humans share more than we realize.

Image

We all try to survive in this world, share this world and learn to live daily.  Life, funny thing isn’t it? The difference between us and the other creations of this world is we have emotions and we can think and reason.  We have this wonderful ability to be so different and unique but yet so quick to turn on our own kind instead of protect and nurture as other species do.  Today, I write about the effects of the Viper.  Whether you realize it or not we all have been bit by poisonous snakes.  What is the remedy or quick action we can take before the poison sets in and leaves a scar for life?

Words and actions from people can be very poisonous and the effects from the venom can be quite disastrous.  When you look at the general symptoms of a snakebite, you will notice several things.  First of all lets compare the physical to the spiritual after being bit by a snake (spiritually speaking = a lie from the enemy of our soul).

The Central Nervous System is affected.  There is dizziness, increased thirst and headache in the physical sense.  From the Spiritual side point being dizzy means having no sense of balance with the potential to fall.  In other words, life will be going in circles without any relief from mind battles with no clear thoughts only nauseated worry.  An increased thirst is from the lack of the Holy Spirit’s guidance and leading, comfort and the ability to receive teaching.   A spiritual headache is comes from refusing guidance of authority with prideful selfish thinking.

In the Systemic, there is fever and severe pain.  Spiritual fever is the result of a wake up call to an infection that is foreign to your soul as a born again believer, resulting in unresolved pain and lack of thankfulness. High temperatures reach potential dangers of damaging the ability to think, act and reason.  A spiritual fever demands hitting the rewind button from the past, dwelling on the past, or living in the past.  Because of lack of prayer and lack of faith the spirit of fear sets in…. resulting in spiritual sickness.

Notice in the picture how vision is affected with blurriness.  When we look into the spiritual there will be no clear vision or direction to go.  Panic with a sense of urgency causes one to run for help usually in the wrong direction as he or she experiences pain, panic and fear.  Many times people run instead of allowing or receiving help from the ones who are capable of helping.

The condition of the heart in the physical or spiritual is not as noticeable to the natural eye.   Rapid pulse, blood pressure and shock usually comes upon the initial bite yet it continues to be experienced after the bite. Most of the time when we get bit spiritually, these things also play out in our body through stress resulting in fatigue, weight gain or loss, no energy, addictions and other sought out pleasures to escape this world.

The Muscular system is affected with convulsions, loss of coordination and weakness.  Spiritual convulsion is throwing your body into a tantrum of anger, bitterness and an unforgiving attitude. It is acting out through actions everyone will see and notice.   The loss of coordination is making wrong decisions during this time and weakness is just that, spiritually weak.

The Gastric and Intestinal system is affected with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  Spiritual sickness results in regurgitation and dispelling waste on everyone around through contact which stinks up the entire area.  Everyone is affected by this not just the bitten. It is seemingly having the right to spout off negativity, gossip, back biting all because of the infection of a viper bite (lies believed).

What do you do when you get bit by a viper?  Education and knowledge will prevent you from doing what you shouldn’t do.  Remember in the movies you would see people cut the wounded bite with a knife and suck out the poison?  Not a good idea.  (Spiritually speaking this would mean we TRY TO PUT THINGS INTO OUR OWN HANDS IN TRUSTING IN SELF INSTEAD OF GOD – doing the opposite of what God wants you to do.)

In the physical they say you should remain calm, wash the bite area, wrap the area to constrict blood flow and  have someone to carry you for treatment.  The less you move is the best.  Spiritually speaking:  the less you move is the best.  Wash the area with the Spirit and Word of God, constrict by not allowing the poison to affect other parts of your soul and allow Jesus to carry you through this difficult time with treatment of Love, forgiveness, mercy and grace. (In other words – wait on God!)

Better yet, do as Paul did.  Shake the snake off into the fire and continue to live, teach, breath, go, preach and walk as Jesus to a world of people who continue to get bit by vipers.  You now have the antidote!  Shake it off and you won’t have to worry about experiencing all these results in the spiritual sense.

As Christians, vipers, poisonous bites from talk or actions from people should have no affect on us.  Words, actions, expectations of others should only cause us to stand in the gap for those who are victims of this biggest trick of the enemy.  Yes I agree it is hard not to fall prey to a viper when they bite in the most unpredictable time and season of your life but I choose to be thankful under this pressure, count it joy while yet passing through this world to get to eternity.  I must remember not to let the venom affect me or those around me.  Lord help us all.

Matthew 12:34 New Living Translation (©2007)
You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.

Romans 3:13 New Living Translation (©2007)
“Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies.” “Snake venom drips from their lips.”

Mark 16: 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16“He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. 17“These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Acts 28:3-8 3As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand. 4The people of the island saw it hanging from his hand and said to each other, “A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live.” 5But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed. 6The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw that he wasn’t harmed, they changed their minds…..

Abundant life, Encouragement, Love and Life of a Testimony

New Seasons

I have to admit I am looking forward to the new season of Christmas and the Holidays.  It seems like it is a time to reflect on family time and the year and spend time with them.  It has been a weird year for everyone and 2011 marked the year of transition.  Yes, transition and going through much this last year with many changes.  It is hard sometimes to focus on the changes with a positive outlook verses not looking at the negative.  There have been a series of suicides in our area these last couple of months.  Although I know it is spiritual warfare, people seem to be agitated or focusing on the negative if they are not really focusing on God and living an abundant life in prayer and church involvement.  The enemy of our soul seems to want to isolate us and focus on ourselves to get us depressed.  It’s a mental thing and a thought process that isn’t always easy to control.  When I find myself extremely moody, I realize I haven’t spent time like I should with Jesus.  When I see that I am short, my feelings get hurt over minor things, or in need of a break from people, or hate myself, my wardrobe or get down on myself then I recognize it’s the enemy and not just my hormones.

As the new year approaches many people will make new year’s resolution and by the time March rolls around the list is usually still hanging on the fridge with only a few things worked on.  We must understand it all starts with a made up mind.  It starts with a renewing of the mind that comes only from Jesus and allowing His Spirit take control.  When we are trying to control things it only makes matters worse.  So with that said, I again am looking forward to getting this year behind us, but for now I am not going to get to stressed out and stay focused on the reason for the season with renewing my mind daily.  Let us not forget and be thankful.

Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony

Sticky Traps

Last night we were at the store and for some reason one of the workers there started talking about fly paper.  He started out complaining about the coke rack and made a remark about how it slanted.  Not a good idea for 2 liters.  He was insisting how ridiculous inventions can be.  He then told us about his fly paper experience.  He stated whoever invented this sticky strip of paper thought it would be a great way to attract and capture flies didn’t think about other outcomes.  He stated how dumb it was to hang the disgusting thing from up above or how bad it was to back up into one.  “Can’t get that glue out of your hair!” he laughed and so did we, cause he didn’t have much hair to begin with.  So, I twittered the tip: Don’t back into fly paper.

I came home and thought about how Satan loves to throw out those sticky traps for us.  As we continue to grow closer to God, most of the times we can see them dangling right in front of our eyes and walk away from them.  They are visible and they are gross.  It is when we lose our focus on paying attention to our surroundings or forget to put on our armor of God when we find ourselves backed up into a gooey mess.  A traps purpose is to capture with no possible way of escape.  Like an insect caught in the trap of a web, the slave rarely escapes.  Every mess we seem to get ourselves in, the enemy wants us to think there is no escape and there is no way for freedom, leaving with us guilt, hopelessness and despair.  He tricks us to give up and think death is the only rescue.

I have seen Jesus set people free from addictions, compulsions, depression, anxiety disorders, health problems and diseases.  There is no trap that can hold us when we call upon the One who has all power in heaven and in earth!  Our church is filled with people who have been in traps, my family included. We might have a gooey mess all over us when we come out, but there is nothing the Lord will not wash away.  If you have found yourself ensnared by the enemy and tangled in the web of despair, just hang on, call upon the Almighty cause freedom is coming your way!  Summer is coming, fly paper will be hanging so don’t back up but keep moving forward, spiritually speaking.

Prayer:  Lord, I don’t want to find myself into messes or traps, I hate that!  Keep the traps visible to my eyes, keep my focus on doing and working for you.  Keep my mind free from traps, renewing it daily to give me a fresh perspective to see as you see others.  Use my hands, my words to touch others and help them escape the traps of life, giving hope, showing love and know your freedom.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

Psalms 25:15  New Living Translation (©2007)
My eyes are always on the LORD, for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.

Psalms 119:60 I will hurry, without delay, to obey your commands. Evil people try to ensnare me into sin, but I am firmly anchored to your instructions.

Abundant life, Educational and Informative, Encouragement, Love and Life of a Testimony, Salvation

Shop Till You Drop

The last two days I have taken a few hours each day to just shop or look.  I haven’t really bought much because I have always had someone with me.  I find it very soothing just to go in and browse among the clothes, feel of the fabric and comment on the styles.  I don’t know why it is born in most women to enjoy this treat. I want to believe it is the part of being the Proverbs 31 woman in which God puts in us.  We have to find just the right thing that makes us feel good and is the right price.  You can laugh!  There have been times when I have been mad at Jeff or upset for some reason and just have to go to town and look around in the department stores.  It has a way of clearing my mind or taking my focus off of the now.  I may never buy anything or even try on anything but it is nice to window shop.  I usually run into people I know and make small talk too.  I think the escape of reality even if it is just a few hours helps us regain focus on the important things.  People who don’t like to shop seem to get their relaxing state in some other form or another.

Of course anyone can go overboard with shopping and buy in excess in which they really don’t need.  I remember in my twenties every time I got a paycheck, I felt like I had to go and spend it with just buying something.  I think back now, look at myself and wonder why I didn’t save and now I know.  I still see people who are my age or even older who continue to do the same thing yet never having anything but always broke.  I still hear couples say to each other, “Let’s go to Walmart and see what we can buy today to blow some money.”  This is a sad when you see parents trying to ‘give’ their children toys when in fact the children would be just as happy to go to the park and spend time with parents.

Those commercials on television, ads in magazines and on billboards entice us to spend don’t they?  Do you know people can have a shopping addiction?  Researchers believe that it releases a chemical in the brain in which makes a person feel in control and relaxed with pleasurable emotions.  Much like an addicted person with drugs or alcohol it is a rush, but to continue to get the high, shopping must increase more and more.  I also know people in which had numerous credit card debt, pray and work to get it back to a zero balance and then run it back up to the max again.  I wonder if they learned anything in the process.

How do you know if you are addicted to shopping? You might be able to tell by looking at your typical shopping trip.  It’s often driven by need to fill a void more than the need to socialize or replace the jeans that have mysteriously shrunk, and it’s usually out of control.  Other factors to consider are how your shopping is affecting your life and why you shop:

  • Do you have to buy something, anything, if you go shopping? Or can you leave a store empty-handed because you didn’t find what you needed?
  • Do you depend on shopping to make you feel better when you are down? Does shopping give you a “high” or give you a feeling of power and control?
  • Is your shopping adversely affecting your life? Are you in debt primarily due to shopping?
  • Do you hide your purchases?
  • Do you go shopping intending to buy only a few things and come home with bags and bags of purchases?
  • Do you buy multiples of items? Do you have purchases that have never been used or clothes that still have tags on them?
  • Buy things you want regardless of the financial sense it makes.
  • Running credit cards to the max.

Here is the answer to prevent shopping binges:

  • Pay for things by cash, not credit cards or check.
  • Make a shopping list of things you need not want.
  • Destroy all credit cards and have only one for emergency use.
  • Window shop after stores are closed and avoid “sale” signs.
  • Avoid TV shopping channels and catalog, internet sites.
  • Take a walk when feeling overwhelmed to fill the void or urge to shop

I hope that none of you fight this battle but if you do then maybe in some way I have helped you overcome.  If you battle with other compulsive or spontaneous decisions take time to sit down and write out your thoughts and get in touch with the real you in trying to find out why you do those things.  It might just boil down to the void you are trying to fill in your heart.

Because we are all born into a sinful world, and because of sin we are unattached to the Savior Jesus until we decide to turn all of our lives over to him.  Until we serve Him 100% and give him all, then people will continue to try to fill the void by shopping, drinking, drugs, sex, pleasure, vacations, sports, and many other things of this world.  However, if we take time to get caught up in His Spirit, pray and be released into the winds of His love, we can overcome all the world’s enticements and addictions.  When you get into a relationship with Jesus, it brings much more than just a feeling of a high but also a faith that will conquer anything.  It starts in a made up mind!

Romans 12:2 New International Version (©1984)
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Prayer:  Lord, I thank you for wisdom for the things we need to know the difference in why we do the things we do in every situation.  Help us better to understand the reason why we try to fill the void or try to cover up the pain with things other than you.  I thank you for exposing the wrong and giving us the right.  Thank you for putting us on the road to righteousness and faith.  Thank you for supplying all my needs for you alone are my provider and strength.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

Abundant life, Educational and Informative, Emotional, Encouragement, marriage enrichment

I Feel Like Crying

Do you ever feel like you should just cry?  Call it sadness, depression, happiness, exhaustion or PMS, many people experience the need to just have a good cry.  We sometimes hold it in and try to control our emotions when in fact we should just let it out.  God has made us very unique creatures with emotions to express.  I can cry very easy.  I cry when I see a sad movie, I cry over an emotional story or poem, I cry when I see babies being born, I cry at church when I am experiencing the hand of God move upon me, I cry at weddings, at funerals and when someone hurts my feelings.  I also cry when I am mad or when I hear music that touches my soul.  Believe it or not just take a look at my face during a ball game when someone sings the National Anthem.  It is not the beauty or sound of the music that brings tears, it is the words in which I reflect its meaning.  I cry when I see others cry, or when they hurt.  I cry when I see my children in India suffer or other children around the world suffering. I cry for the unborn, the lost, the sick, and the sadness life can inflict upon all of us.

So why should you cry?

It is a temporary release from internal and external conditions–a way to embrace the pain of change in doses that can be managed. More specifically, it is nature’s antidote for pain.  First and foremost, crying is coping so give yourself permission to cry.  It is a way that I cope with things going on in my life.  Shedding tears is coping because it is a method of facing the pain of loss. Facing pain, not running from it, is what eventually leads to healing through acceptance of what cannot be changed. Avoiding pain prolongs grief and suffering as it heightens tension and anxiety. Biochemist William Frey, who has studied tears and their function more than any other scientist, found that emotional tears actually remove toxins from the body. On the other hand, tears of joy or happiness have far fewer toxic biological byproducts. It is not at all a stretch to say that crying can keep you healthy. Stress on the body is lowered when you have a good cry. Thoughts and emotions are filtered through the cells and cause significant physiological alterations. Anger, guilt, or depressions–common responses when mourning–initiate alarm reactions in the body, and crying reduces the physical effects on the cardiovascular system.  Tears communicate, lubricate, elicit sympathy, change mood, reduce tension, and help us cope with a multitude of losses throughout life.

Let a good cry happen. In fact, never miss an opportunity to shed tears and allow the stress, confusion, and frustrations to come pouring out. And notice how laughter and tears go hand in hand, sometimes in the same breath. Together, they are twin resources to be given high priority in all types of healing and adapting to life changes.  For now, I will get a box of kleenex, pop some pop corn and watch a tear jerker with my hubby.  I am due for a good cleaning out of toxins!

Prayer:  Lord, thank you for all your emotions you give me, I smile and cry for expression of you!

John 11:35 New International Version (©1984)
Jesus wept.

Abundant life, Educational and Informative, Emotional, forgiveness, Love and Life of a Testimony, Parenthood

Define Life, Pregnancy, Abortion, Birth Control….

There has always been much debate on when life begins in a human being.  When does a person become a person?  Some say it is when a baby takes its first breath.  Some say it is when the embryo starts to develop and some say it is when the sperm unites with the egg.  Everyone has their own opinion when dealing with this issue.  Why am I writing about this?  Sanctity of Life is now being recognized all over the world and given a time to honor and respect life.  Every year an invitation is extended to come to our church to recognize, reflect and remember life of others.  From the unborn, handicapped and to the elderly we respect life.  

I also educate people about birth control and pregnancy.  Many women who are Christians respect the issue of life and most agree in Biblical sense that life begins upon conception. Pregnancy defined is the state of being pregnant; the period from conception to birth when a woman carries a developing fetus in her uterus.  Once conceived the fertilized egg will travel down the fallopian tubes and attach itself to the uterine wall.  Once there the cells will continue to multiply or divide until a zygote forms into looking like a small being.  It’s heart will start beating after 21 days in which this is the stage most women will think or know she could be pregnant. The baby will continue to grow until born.  Pregnancy can be prevented if sperm does not reach the egg.  This is the issue. Birth control should prevent fertilization. What happens to most women and consumers we are uneducated on how birth control devices really work.  Devices such as condoms prevent the uniting thus prevents conception and pregnancy.  However, if you carefully study out the rest of the world of birth control you will find out different.  I am not against birth control, I just think people should know the difference before choosing.

The most common is the Birth Control Pill. (also other forms of releasing hormones – patch, Dep. shot etc)  The ideal behind the pill created in the early 1960’s was to introduce hormones into a woman’s body to keep her from releasing an egg, therefore preventing pregnancy or conception.  Sounds easy doesn’t it.  What resulted in long-term, side effects was severe and dangerous so to continue making this great scientific method therefore they reduce the hormones.  The mucus results also in thickens in hopes the sperm cannot reach the egg if released.  What the pharmacy companies won’t tell you is that preventing the egg from releasing is only half of the story.  The egg in fact does sometimes release and fertilization does occur. The hormones in fact cause an unhealthy and hostile enviroment on the uterine walls making the united cells, (the early stage of conception,) from attaching to the walls of the uterus, thus preventing their terms pregnancy.  The studies if you want to research, state this happens at least twice a year for women who take the pill.  So does this mean millions of women believe the lie that conception has never taken place and therefore they are preventing pregnancy by killing the potential life the first couple of days after fertilization?  We should be told the facts before hand.  As Christians if we truly believe life or the term, “pregnancy” defined is upon sperm uniting with egg then we should educate ourselves on what these methods actually do.  Will God hold us accountable for destroying the early stages of life?

Let us look at the IUD.   The Intrauterine Uterine Device is a small T structure inserted and left inside the uterus.  The birth control method of stating it prevents sperm from getting to egg.  Although not always 100% accurate on the statement, what it can also do is it continues to float and removes, scrapes the uterine walls.  Can you guess what happens to a new conceived egg that has implanted into the wall and growing?  It is scraped off and discarded through menstruation, thus preventing life to continue to grow.  Pregnancy has already taken place yet the dividing cell of the early pregnancy stage never gets to grow.  Pregnancy is not prevented just discarded as an inconvenience or as a form of so called birth control.  The doctor’s never tell you all the facts but if you ask they will tell you that it could be a possibility.  Take a look at this photo… I think it is sad to know many women have no clue to what they are doing which makes me very sad.  We are taught to trust our Doctor or health provider.  Just take a look at some of the information you can find on the internet. What you may not know about an IUD birth control devise.

If we look at the term birth control it is defined: limiting the number of children born, A way for men and women to prevent pregnancy. Methods for women include birth control pills, condoms, vaginal spermicide, intrauterine devices (IUDs), and more.  The term itself makes us believe it prevents pregnancy but if the term pregnancy itself is defined from conception then terminating the conceived pregnancy would be an abortifacient.

An abortifacient is a substance that induces abortion and defined is the termination of a pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo, resulting in or caused by its death.  If an abortifacient is stated as above that would conclude any birth control device that terminates “pregnancy” would be considered as abortion.

It is sad and heartbreaking to know that women all over the world get really disturbed about abortions yet they themselves are unaware of their own possible abortifacients.

Abortions are legal and also show much controversy.  However the statistics show one out of five women have had an abortion by the time of forty-five years of age. I volunteered for a crisis pregnancy for over two years and informed pregnant women about abortion procedures and encouraged and prayed for her to make decisions that promoted life.   The deeply rooted and engrained turmoil from an abortion decision affects a woman who has went through this ordeal whether they agree, admit or know. I also tell women about PAS, Post Abortion Syndrome.  The long-term effects of an abortion in which a woman deals with even years later can be a time of depression and grief in which she has hidden.  I also teach a class on this, helping those who want to be healed from a past decision of abortion.  It can benefit a woman spiritually, emotionally and mentally by allowing her to grieve and uncover a hidden secret.  The sessions are completely confidential.  Women who are facing an unwanted pregnancy do not think about long-term effects but only a way to solve a problem or interruption of their lifestyle or in some cases of emergency conditions.

I hope in some way that readers who may stumble across this blog is enlightened and challenged.  We as Christians need to stand up for the loss of life and pray to end this disturbing news.  As people who respect the elderly, the handicapped and the unborn, we will continue to pray for God to have mercy and make awareness through educating and offering healing guidance in past decisions.

The question I ask you the reader is when do you think life begins?  Should we be allowed to terminate life out of ignorance?

Prayer:  Lord, I want people to know you in a greater sense of knowing you give life.  I never want to take the life you give us for granted or abuse it.  I thank you for life. Help me to help others heal from a decision of their past so they may know you in your healing virtue and peace.  In Jesus Name.  Amen

Job 10:10  You guided my conception and formed me in the womb.

Isaiah 44:2 This is what the LORD says–he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you:

 

Abundant life, Emotional, Patience, prayer

Living It Out

We wake this morning with a powdered snow across the ground and yes no school.  Our county was not prepared for snow today and the weather is telling us there is more coming in two days.  We Kentuckians act like we don’t know how to drive in snow even though we have it every winter season.  Everyone has the desire to go get milk, bread and just hang out in the grocery instead of staying home.  No one likes to get out of routine, but there are those who still have to work and go on through daily routine.  I awake feeling frustrated again and try to sort out this emotional roller coaster that I am in.  Mid life crisis, hormones or spiritual warfare just makes me want to scream.  I preach and teach that we don’t live by a feeling.  Feelings change, so we can’t base our salvation on a feeling but by the Word of God.  I must live out what I teach.

My husband bought me a BMW last friday and I finally ventured out in it yesterday.  It is not a brand new one but nice.  You would think that I would be happy.  It’s not really the car or material things that make people happy or in a good mood.  I am a words of affirmation gal, it is what makes me tick and be happy and fills my love tank.

Yesterday, out of support we go to support a young man in court.  Jeff and I had counseled with him several times because the court had told him to get domestic violence counseling.  Once in there, I felt like I was on trial.  The lawyer told the judge I wasn’t a real qualified counselor.  Although I knew it wasn’t a direct hit on me, I did take it personally.  He knows nothing about me or the two years I spent in correspondence school to learn nor the two years I spent counseling at the crisis center.  The judged was quite nice and inquisitive and wanted to know more about Biblical Counseling.  I went in the court room for support not to degrade me as a person.  Maybe I am just taking it the wrong way because I know my qualifications are not state mandated.  It still hurt my feelings, so I am I suppose dealing with that issue.  My face flushed, I sweat and I had the anxiety lump in the throat but left feeling confident to devise an action plan and 15 more counseling sessions in the next ninety days before another court date.  My husband said that I did fine and that it was good experience.  Why am I feeling tormented by this entire ordeal.  Emotions out of control!

Last night I worked for over two hours researching in my books for solutions to the ongoing phone calls of people needing advice or marriage conflict.  It’s not that I mind helping them because I do and I want to help but the joy of being pastor is not always fun.  I like fun not drama.  I bite my tongue and the thoughts of wanting to yell out “Duh, you reap what you sow”, or “Your sin will always be exposed”.  Patience, waiting on God, depend and trusting on God can be just words at times and we all must learn to live it out.

Prayer:  God I do not ask why I go through these times, and I know you allow it so that I can relate to others.  I don’t want to be a baby desiring words of affirmation just want to know I am appreciated sometime.  I need your direction and your spirit in helping me deal with my issues, my emotions and my inside hurts.  In Jesus name.  Amen

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 New International Version (©1984)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.