Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, God Speaks, Leadership, Parenthood, Patience, prayer

The Gift Within

I Timothy 4:14

Neglect not the gift that is in thee…..

Everyday I see people come in and out of my life.  My contacts may be from the Church we pastor or the Juice Bar that I own and operate.  What I do know in the many people who I see or talk to, is that they are people and people desire relationship with someone who is going to give them hope.  They also desire someone they can do life with, to share experiences and dreams with.  They want people to inspire them, encourage and pray for them.

Just this past week, I had a customer come thru the doors with tears streaming down her face, crying.  I gave her a glass of “happy berry juice” and also a smoothie as she waited patiently for me to finish.  Then upon leaving, I hugged her and prayed for her.  She gripped me tightly as she explained her grandmother was on her death-bed and that she knew it was a matter of time. This saddened me also.  Her hug was so deep and tight, she needed comfort, like a child with a mother.  This touched my heart deeply.  The ironic thing, this is not a one time experience for me.  It has happened several times.  Ministry…..

I experienced life of stress and parenting in my twenty’s and thirty’s.  In my forty’s I felt like I was searching for significance and career as well as my identity since I was no longer raising children in the home.  It has taken me over 54 years to discover this.  What I have inside me is a gift.  A gift to give to others.  There is no one like me and there is no one like you.  We all are created unique and we all have gifts to give to others.  I do not expect others to be like me nor act or think like me.  Sometimes I think I am a little hyper in my mind.

Although I involve myself in many outlets, I enjoy what I do.  I enjoy serving others.  How about you?  What is your gift?  What is your purpose?  How can I help you?

This is my link if you want to discover your hidden possibilities in what God has called you.  Let’s discuss!

Continue to use your gifts and let your light shine!  Someone out there needs you!

In His Service


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?


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.


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, Encouragement, faith, Love and Life of a Testimony

There is NOTHING

romans 8Sometimes when we show our own little pity party and listen to the lies of our enemy “God doesn’t love you  or He wouldn’t have let this happen to you”.  We believe God doesn’t love us.  I mean how could He love us when this or that has happened… we listen to the thoughts, however it is when we stand on the Word that results in overcoming faith and puts out the lies.  God actually let this happen to us to make us strong, to make us depend upon Him, to strengthen our walk with Him to help others.  It is all a part of His plan for our lives.  We don’t base our lives on powerful feelings or emotions in which we feel at any given time but trust God with His Word.

My thoughts are centered around the last part of Romans 8.  If God is on our side, who can ever be against us?  Since he did not spare even his own Son for us but gave him up for us all…Who then will condemn us?  Will Christ? No!  He is the one who died for us and came back to life again for us!…  Who can ever keep Christ’s love from us?  When we have troubles or trials, or when people turn against us, is it because he doesn’t love us anymore? No! If we are hungry or broke, in danger or threatened with death, has God deserted us?  No!  Victory is ours because through Christ who loved us enough to die for us.  Nothing can separate us from the love God has for us!  NOTHING! Death cannot, life cannot, angels can’t and all the power of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away.  Our fears for today, our worries for tomorrow, where we are at the moment, there is nothing that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us.

You see God loves!  He loves you, He loves me and nothing…. NOTHING…. will ever be able to separate His love from us.  He is not mad or angry at us, He loves us.  His love goes beyond what we can comprehend.  Regardless of what the enemy throws our way, we must filter it through the Spirit, look to the Word to determine truth and stand through the circumstance regardless of what we are feeling or hearing the enemy say.

When you are feeling down or trying to determine IF God truly loves you… remember His Word… there is NOTHING that can separate you from His love, now that is strong love.  That is the kind of love that cast out all fear.  That is the love that is pure.  That is the love that shows forgiveness.  That is the love we all should show, have and have overflowing in our lives. 🙂

forgiveness, Love and Life of a Testimony

The Needle

This week, Bryson had played us a song to a poem one of his friends wrote.  As he strummed the guitar and sang from his heart, the tears swelled up in my eyes for such a sad experience as I listened to the words.  We recently had a friend to pass away that spent the summer in our town and even spent a summer day here at our home for his birthday.  He had come in with a group of young people for internship we offer at the church.  He had been in Teen Challenge and seemed as though he had overcome the drug addiction that finally ended his life.  As we reflect upon his life the enemy took, let us remember to always be a friend to those who struggle with addiction.  Pray with them, for them and let them most of all know how much you love them and how they are valuable in life.  I don’t want this to happen to anyone else. 😦

Here is a couple of poems that one of his friends wrote.

Is this worth dying for?
Is this worth dying for?


When the needle is what you choose, you’re choosing a life of pain – take it from me, sadness, disaster and sorrow are all that you have to gain.  It will rob you of everything and destroy your every hope, it will grab you before you know it – the needle and the dope.  The needle is the only master when you stick it in your arm, its grip will only get stronger and cause you great harm.  Once you realize you have lost all control, it will be too late, the needle has claimed your mind and soul, you have chosen your own fate.  The needle can not be handled so please do not cry, it will dig your grave for you before it’s your time to die.  If you think that being a junkie is a pleasant way to live, think again.  The needle doesn’t forgive.


Grieving the death of a friend seems so lonely. Treasure the memories
Grieving the death of a friend seems so lonely. Treasure the memories

The last time we saw you, you were walking out our door, then we got the call saying, “…… isn’t with us anymore”.  This addiction was his battle even his strife, he couldn’t leave it alone and ultimately it took his life.  The needle has no pity, it has no remorse and it took our friend ….. when he chose that powder called “the white horse”.  He left us early, way too soon just to lose himself in the enemy of the needle and the spoon.  I guess he never thought of those of us he’d leave behind, what could have been so difficult that he’s want to get that numb, both in body and in mind.  Of all our sadness and tear after tear, but it’s too late now, Oh …., how we wish you were here.  How will we ever understand how someone so full of life had to die, sacrificing everything just to get high.  I guess it was finally your turn to fly.

Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Made you smile, Parenthood, Salvation, Soul Winning, Supernatural

You Make Me Come Alive

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

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

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

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

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

Abundant life, Emotional, Parenthood

My Sons Make Me Cry

I don’t know about you but as a mother my children can really bring tears to my eyes.  Sometimes it is just the little things in what they may say or do. As I reflect this morning on when I first became a mother it makes me smile.  As the nurses placed Lyle in my arms, he cried and so did I. It wasn’t the first time he and I cried together nor I believe it won’t be the last.   I remember the times of trophies or awards the boys earned and how proud I was of all of them to go above the average and how secretly I wiped the tears away as they marched up front to receive it.  Heck, I have even cried on seeing other children perform and thought how their momma feels and held back the tears.  Call me a cry baby, please. I remember having several melt downs when all four of them were under the age of 7 and how crazy I felt at times when they fought, they were sick, they fell and yet I kept pushing forward waiting for a better day.  At times how I felt guilty or not feeling adequate in being a good mom, how selfish at times or how I let anger get the best of me and took it out on them.

As they grew, we cried together over the death of friends and family members.  Lord knows how many times I have cried over them, prayed over them when they began their teen age life and started driving.  I have cried over their decisions yet stepped back to make sure they could get up again, their hurts, their wounds, their scars all make this mother cry.

A couple of days ago, Bryson was with Jeff and I in Nashville.  We were at a gas station and all of a sudden Bryson jumps out of the truck and starts walking over to a crippled man.  He had a prosthetic leg.  The man had gestured for Bryson to come over and had asked him if he could sell him some of his tools.  Bryson told him that he didn’t want his tools but instead opened up his billfold and gave him some money.  This entire scene unfolded before I even knew what was taking place because I was unaware the man had motioned Bryson to come to him.  All I seen was Bryson giving the guy money.  My first reaction was “Don’t give that guy money, he probably wants to use it to buy alcohol or drugs with it”.  But as I reflected on this action of kindness, I smiled and then I felt a tear flow down my cheek.  He was reflecting the actions of being raised as a child who gives, reflecting Jesus inside all of us.

This past weekend I attended my Lyle’s first conference in Nashville.  It was hard for this administrative mother to not get involved in the planning and want to try to help out in making sure everything was in place.  Even Jeff was on edge with excitement as we went as guest.  Standing there on stage, they had asked us to come and pray for Lyle.  Wow, what a moment as time stood still as we were honored.  You see, it seemed like only a few short years ago he had just gave his heart back to God and accept his calling of being a Pappa to thousands of children. That made me cry too, when we purchased the freedom of three slave children and the list goes on.  Now here we are standing in front of a crowd of young people, fired up to follow the commission of justice, love with a mission not only because of God calling them to such a time as this but because of my sons laying their life down for another.  I am crying……


Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, Love and Life of a Testimony

Crying Over Spilled Milk

Hey everyone it has been way to long since I have sat down long enough to write on my blog site.  Its not that I don’t sit down at my computer it is the fact that I socialize with FB, Twitter and my other computer editing photo shoots, knowing I must pick up the habit of writing once again for my sanctity.  So here it goes…..

I was pondering the other day about when the boys were little how upset and might I add, how ridiculous it was to get upset when the boys made a mess.  I mean, its just a mess, they are only little once.  Toys could be everywhere or out of their ‘spot’ of somewhat of an organization, something could have been spilled, or anything that just seemed to get me to explode on them.  I am being honest.  I had much patience but when my patience was wearing thin over a constantly, “stop that” , “be nice to your brother”, “don’t do that”, “please don’t hit your brother it makes him cry and hurts him” “If you don’t want to share then don’t ask him to share with you later” and the list goes on.  My how time flies…. I don’t have to say those things any longer for that season passed.  There should have been no crying over spilled milk but as a mother we are emotional at times.  Today, it is a new season and I cry over the dumbest little things.  I wrote out a list of things I get teary eyed over now.  I don’t know if my hormones continue to go wacko or that I am being sentimental.  I went to a see my friend Carmel the other day and I started getting teary eyed and blamed it on her that she was trying to make me cry.  She works at the tourist site in Central City and she showed me the 1950’s jukebox and played an old record by Dave Rich  for me.  She had already showed my mother and my mother had told her that she remembered how she had danced to that song when she was young.  What did I do? Almost cried and had to stop myself!  She then went on to show me a picture of the town Paradise.  If anyone knows the song, “Daddy won’t you take me back to Muhlenberg County, down by the river where Paradise lay”…. The picture was of this cute little town that was dozed over for the coal mines.  This made me get teary eyed. Of course I did tell her that history, even the Star Spangled Banner when sung makes me get teary eyed.  Don’t laugh its true.  Here are some other things I have got teary eyed over and still do….

Seeing the mother look at her newborn for the first time.

When you drop off your child for the first year of school.

When the Bride and Groom are gazing into each others eyes and repeating their vows.

When someone comes up for prayer because they have cancer.

When your children learn lessons the hard way, knowing they will walk from it scarred.

When I feel like I can’t be perfect enough for everyone around me.

When you see a children that has been rescued from slavery and prostitution.

When you see the poor begging, and earn an income of less that $500 a year.

Seeing a person repent of their sins or get baptized, knowing their life will change.

When someone hurts my feelings.

When someone tells me how appreciated they are because I matter to them and the Kingdom of God.

When someone tells me how I was instrumental in helping their marriage get back on track.

When someone tells me they subscribed to my blog.

When someone calls or texts me for prayer.

When people don’t support our leadership, our vision to see more souls won to the Kingdom….it makes me sad that trust or faith is an issue of our character.

When I think about my children getting married and having grandchildren one day.

When I see someone else cry.

A gift from my husband, a kind word or a romantic surprise.

Reminiscing over past memories.

A good movie.

A good blog or stories that stir your emotions.

A good photo.

What is it that you get teary eyed over?  Spilled milk?  Feel free to share with all my readers by writing your own…..

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.


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, Encouragement, marriage enrichment, Parenthood

Bitterness – Delete Button

Bitterness can play a very important part in your emotional, mental and physical health if you let things get to you.  Once you identify a stronghold in your life that is keeping you from moving forward in your relationships with other people and with God, it is important to push the delete button of bitterness.  Here are action steps that I have learned to take when I catch myself falling into a downhill spiral of hurt, rejection or unforgiving attitude.  It is important that we put the past behind us.  Our past doesn’t determine our future no more than our environment does, however it is how we respond to our past or how we respond to our environment that does.  We must take responsiblilty for who we are today, for our actions, attitude and behavior.  Only we can change ourselves, not others, nor can we change others only ourselves.  If you find you are stuck with the root of bitterness, learn to take control so tomorrow will be a better day and your future brighter!

The Results of Bitterness

  • Bitterness is antisocial. A bitter person is selfish, inconsiderate of others, withdrawn from society, indifferent or adverse to conformity with conventional standards of social behavior. Even strangers avoid bitter people, Prov. 14:10. No one is happy around bitter people.
  • Bitterness is a sign of the fragmented life, Jer. 2:19.
  • A bitter person rejects Bible teaching. James 3:14, “But if you have bitter jealousy and strife, stop being arrogant and lying against the truth.”
  • Bitterness shows total lack of grace orientation. A bitter person does not understand the Plan of God, let alone how it affects individuals. In Job. 9:17-18, Job’s complaint against God. “Why does God let this happen to me”, is a statement of bitterness.
  • Bitterness accompanies the sin unto death, Job. 21:25.
  • Bitterness motivates complaining, Job 7:11, 10:1. People who habitually complain are bitter people; they have no self esteem.
  • Bitterness motivates gossip, Psalm 64:3
  • Bitterness fragments other peoples lives. Heb 12:15, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by it many be defiled.
  • Bitterness is self induced misery, and it produces chain sinning. Bitterness is misery to others in the periphery. But two wrongs never make a right. You cannot build your happiness on someone else’s unhappiness.

Action Steps

  1. Acceptance
    • Make a list of the persons who have hurt you.
    • Next to each name, write what you needed from that person.
    • Next to that, write how it made you feel when that person did not meet your need.
    • In the last column write whether you think that person will ever be able to meet your need. Be honest.
    • Accept your loss and grieve it.
  2. Forgive
    • Ask God to help you forgive. Forgiveness is letting go of anger and your quest for revenge. Realize that you are powerless to forgive through your own strength, but God does not ask you to do something without giving you His strength and power to do it.
    • Ask God to help you feel compassion for your offender. Psalm 78:38 says that God is full of compassion.
  3. Break the Chain
    • Bitterness often runs through families: When a parent does not meet a child’s needs, that child can become bitter and is then unable to meet his or her own child’s needs. The chain can continue through several generations.
    • Ask God to help break the chain with generational issues.
    • Ask God to help you have pity for that person in your family who still suffers with bitterness.
  4. Look Elsewhere
    • God will provide people to meet your needs.
    • Be proactive and look for those God has provided to meet your needs.
    • Join a women’s or men’s group, or look for a prayer partner.
    • If your mother did not meet your need for love and acceptance, find an older woman in the church who would be willing to mentor you. She can give you the love and acceptance your mother never could. The same action is helpful in a father-son situation.
    • If your husband or wife will not meet your need for friendship and intimacy, remember God is the only one that can truly fulfill what you are needing.  As you give as Jesus did to your spouse as overflow, they will change to love you more.
    • Love is free from bitterness.

      o Joy pushes bitterness out.

      o Bitterness can not coexist with peace in the soul of the believer filled with the Holy spirit.

      o Longsuffering gives the ability to deal with bitterness and other troubles.

      o Gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance are fruits of righteousness, which is divine good. Divine good takes the place of bitterness.

God wants you to forgive so you can be free from the destructive power of bitterness, learn to hit the delete button.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for helping me when things seem to go wrong in my life and when I am feeling hurt or rejected.  Let me learn to forgive, have pity on the person who still holds bitterness in their life.  Open up our eyes when we tend to hold on and have grudges but let us find closure with your love.  In Jesus name.  Amen

Luke 6:37 New International Version (©1984)
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

Abundant life, forgiveness, Leadership, marriage enrichment, Patience, prayer, Soul Winning

Personal Boundaries of Conflict

No one plans to have conflict and many times it just happens and usually over something that has been brewing over a period of time or over something so little it is not worth fighting about.  What do you do when conflict arises?  Everyone must establish personal boundaries for times of conflict.  We must determine ahead of time things we won’t say and ways we won’t respond.  Once this personal code has been established, we can allow these guidelines, rather than our emotions to determine our behavior.  When couples come in for pre-marital counseling one of the first things I discuss with them is how they will respond upon the first argument after married.  None of us plan on getting into conflict, however if you plan and set your personal boundaries beforehand it will be a prettier picture and a happier ending.

What happens whether in married life or personal life if we don’t rely on the Word of God we will let our emotions rule our thinking instead of acting like a Christian we act out of selfish human carnal behavior.  Reading over a recent blog it states that self-centeredness leads to nothing good.  This type of behavior is bringing up the past or finding fault in the other person.  People like to rationalize or justify things because they may feel inferior to the ones that they are judging.  This type of behavior brings isolation because of the criticism fault-finding or nagging regardless of the intentions the result will be wedges in relationships.  After a while these types of relationships will result in being avoided because the same problem continues to cycle, along with attitude and emotional behavior.  There is no Godly change, no spiritual fruit and the conflict remains thus the relationship ends.   One of the top goals in forming or maintaining a relationship is to never bring up the past after the conflict has been resolved.

The first question to ask before engaging in conflict is, “What goals do I have for this confrontation?”  If we simply want to point out faults or lash out emotionally, then we don’t have a healthy motive for the confrontation.  However if the motive is healing, restoration or resolution of an issue, then the conflict could help make the relationship better.   I have learned to let little offences go because they are not worth holding on to which try to create strongholds in your mind. My husband often states, “Let it go”.  It is advice worth repeating.  Once you let strongholds consume you, that is all you think about, bringing with it resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness.  The goal in this type of conflict is to take vengeance out on the person who brought you pain or hurt.   I often heard my father-in-law say, is it worth fighting for being right or having peace.  We get to determine the action and deal with the consequences of the result it brings.

In our secrets class we are learning to continue to go deeper with our walk with God and get closer to our husband.  This takes self-evaluation including self-centered attitude.  We have only had three classes and several ladies have left in tears.   The next time you see yourself in conflict, ask God to show you any disrespectful attitudes, behaviors or words.  Repent and ask Him to help you grow more respectful toward others.  Here is a list of Biblical ways to help respond to conflict with your husband or with other relationships.  New Living Translation (©2007) Proverbs:

10:12  Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses.

10:19 Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.

10:21  The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.

11:2  Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

11:16  A gracious woman gains respect

12:16 A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted.

12:18 Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.

13:3 Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything.

15:1  A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.

18:13  Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.

20:22  Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.