Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, Fear, forgiveness, Love and Life of a Testimony, Patience, prayer, Salvation, Sermon Notes

I AM…..

The Ladies Summit we had at Owensboro Legacy a couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege to speak about Shattered Reflections.  Here are my sermon notes.

I AM….. you fill in the blank…. TWO of the most powerful words but it is what you put after them shapes your reality

If you are like me, it depends on what my mood is that day, what emotions I am feeling or my environment, the people I am around, if I read the Word or prayed…. But better yet what is going on in my mind.

Life – the reality of day to day living.  The up’s and down’s and the all in between.

Life’s experiences can prevent us from reaching our full potential of what God has for us unless we get free and stay free from the lies the enemy entangles us.

John 6:23 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all.

Galatians 5:16-18:  So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh or sinful nature craves.

The sinful nature wants to do what pleases us,  the opposite of what the Spirit wants.

These two forces are constantly fighting each other.

 

By walking in the spirit we can be victorious and have a life that reflects Christ.

 

FRUIT:  Vs 22-25: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

 

The Law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his Son in a body like us and died for our sins so the law was fulfilled and we no longer follow our sinful nature but instead can follow the Spirit.

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

GOD MADE A WAY

Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

2 Corthinians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

We must be LED by the spirit.  LED = a verb ACTION meaning to lead, guide or brought.

The difference between lead and follow:

Lead is a strong force.

Follow leaves it us to us on our own.

The Spirit is not a leader like the pace car in the “Daytona 500.” He is a leader like a locomotive on a train.

We do not follow in our strength. We are led by his power. So “walk by the Spirit” means stay hooked up to the divine source of power and go wherever he leads.

People who try to love without relying on God’s Spirit always wind up trying to fill their own emptiness rather than sharing their fullness. And so love ceases to be love.

Love won’t be easy for us because we are not being led and we don’t have the freedom we are looking for.  We become trapped in fear relying on our own strength, shattered reflections.

When Christian life looks too hard, we must remember that we are not called to live it by ourselves in our own strength nor are we called to stay in bondage to depression, anxiety, identity lies, shame and guilt, unforgiveness,  betrayal .”  IT IS FREEDOM

Lets talk about our topics:  these lies all give us Physical, behavioral changes and Emotional symptoms or signs of what we are experiencing.  They affect us physically, how we act/behave and what we are experiencing emotional.

If we are a triune being:  body, soul and spirit.

These affect our body; these affect our soul.

Anxiety and Depression – estimated that 45 percent of people with one mental health condition meet the criteria for two or more disorders.

Depression and anxiety disorders (mess, turmoil, unrest) are medical conditions (circumstance, situation, environment, surrounding).

Anxiety and depression are NOT a result of failure or weakness.

These are feelings from a result of underlying causes (motive or source) and triggers; it’s not the result of something you did or didn’t do.

Physical, behavioral and emotional symptoms occur.  (SOUL (HEART, WILL) AND BODY)

Anxiety, or fear and worry, can happen to anyone that usually leads to irrational thoughts and fears that interfere with your daily life.

Physical, behavioral changes and Emotional symptoms

Shame and Guilt –

Guilt: a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined.   It involves the awareness of having done something wrong; it arises from our actions (even if it might be one that occurs in fantasy). GUILT COMES FROM ACTIONS.  Guilt is a focus on behavior

Shame:

The painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another.

It’s a painful feeling about how we appear to others (and to ourselves) and doesn’t necessarily depend on our having done anything. Shame is a focus on self,

Shame is, “I am bad.” Guilt is, “I did something bad.” Guilt: I’m sorry. I made a mistake. Shame: I’m sorry. I am a mistake.

Shame is highly, highly correlated with addiction, depression, violence, aggression, bullying, suicide, and eating disorders.   (SHAME IS A PAINFUL FEELING THAT RESIDES IN THE MIND THAT AFFECTS THE BODY – FOCUSED ON SELF)

 

Unforgiveness – How do you know if someone deals with unforgiveness:

  • *Experiencing bursts of anger. (You’re likely bottling up your anger.) Oftentimes, the person who is the recipient of the inevitable outburst is not the person who caused the stress or pain
  • You’re desperate to make them understand how you feel, you can’t control the hurtful person, but you can control your environment. This can quickly become a negative spiral of compulsive activity. Maybe for you this means keeping your spaces spotless, checking social media repeatedly, or making unnecessary purchases. Maybe it involves comfort eating.
  • You’re unable to reframe your experiences
  • Find yourselfblamingthe person

“I hold you responsible not just for what you did to me, but how I reacted and responded to what you did. I hold you responsible for my unhappiness.”

  • Sickness in the body.

If you’re struggling with stress related illness such as anxiety, depression, or high blood pressure, it may be time to try some forgiveness therapy. (Affects body and soul)

You’re keeping a list of offenses

You hate yourself

  • If you’re stuck in unforgiveness, you are probably experiencing a toxic brew of guilt, shame, self-judgment, and self-sabotage.

You replay the scene over and over…and over

  • You gossip about them, it’s natural to want to return the hurt to those who have hurt us.

You’re self-righteous and entitled If you harbor the belief that you did everything right and they did everything wrong, you probably need to honestly reexamine your own behavior.

Betrayal – Betrayal is one of the one of the most painful human experiences.

When we see the word “betrayal” we may immediately think “affair.” But betrayal comes in many forms. Abandonment, vicious gossip, and spreading lies.

The damage is our sense of reality is undermined.  Trust crumbles. Innocence shattered. We’re left wondering: What happened? How could this happen? Who is this person?

Betrayal is an unavoidable human experience — the positive side of it may help us move toward deeper wisdom and maturity, understand of what love is and what love isn’t. And can also allow ourselves time to heal and understand ourselves — and others — more deeply.

What is important is not to let it destroy your trust in others when that happens.

Identity – enduring and continuous sense of who we are.  Who does God say you are?

 

Fleshly desires – For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.  Galatians 5:19-21 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

 

Belonging and acceptance – A feeling (soul issue) of acceptance and belonging is an important part of a high performance culture.

Individuals, who feel like they belong, gain security. This sense of security then nurtures self-esteem. Maslow, when writing about the Hierarchy of Needs, believed that most of society’s social problems stemmed from this basic need (for belonging) not being met.

You are here tonight because you want to rid yourself of something, you long for freedom, rest, peace, a quietness that only God can give you.

Growth and transformation rarely come without pain.

Your pain is actually an opportunity to make you Christ like.

 

God made us triune beings – Body, Soul, Spirit.

  • We must see ourselves as this whole being
  • Appreciate how God made us without elevating one part over the other.

When we are not healthy in our triune being, we not feeling our best and the people around us cannot experience us in our full capacity.  

Spirit 

  • Your spirit is the spiritual or supernatural side of you, not a battle ground like the soul
  • It is not material,
  • It is not visible,
  • It’s not of this world, but it’s from God and lives eternal
  • Able to interact with the spiritual world.
  • It is what allows you to hear from God
  • Allows you to have faith for miracles

Soul – An easy way to understand what happens in your soul is whatever happens in your brain – heart-will-personality.

  • It’s also invisible like your spirit
  • Contains your emotion, your will, your desires, sensory perception, conscious, and your reasoning or logic.
  • Solemn says EVERY ISSUE in Life flows out of it
  • Words you speak affects your soul to yourself or to others

Now, because of sin, our soul, emotions, will, mind, desires

  • Pointed inward – Looks earthward
  • Always consumed with the self unless it is willingly disciplines and kept in check.
  • Decides what you want to do and send the signal to your physical body in order to act out your decisions.
  • Social media is playground for the soul

When God feeds your spirit (you allow or reject), which feeds the soul, (you either believe or choose to not believe) your body will follow.

Remember soul (heart, mind, will, emotions) always wins over knowledge.  We know to do good yet we fight against ourselves to struggle to escape.  Spirit must be fed daily to win the battle.

Your actions EVERYTHING YOU DO IS controlled by either your soul (your heart, mind, will or emotions) or by the spirit of God = whichever you believe the most will win and then it tells the body what to do.

Soul (psyche) part of flesh but the governor of our heart and mind – patterns, conclusions (joined to the spirit but different) initiates movement based on what it is feeling and thinking. (Personality) Soul never rests and always busy. (Needs to be saved, restored, survive, confusion, worn itself out trying to find direction, needs rest) Psalm 23:3

Why does finding rest for your soul matter?

3 John 1:2:

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

The prosperity of your soul is linked to the prosperity of your body.

However, it’s easy to forget about taking care of our souls.

Too often, we try to hide our hurts behind busying ourselves with other people. We either don’t want to face God, or we hurt so badly that we are afraid of His work in our hearts. .

ASK:  DO YOU MAKE YOUR SCHEDULE WITH GOD OR WE WORK GOD IN OUR SCHEDULE?

When we refuse to embrace solitude even occasionally, we run from God. There is much healing to be found in getting alone with God.

How do we know we need rest for our soul?  These shattered lies….

Physical Fatigue

Physical and spiritual fatigue can be two different things, but when we’re tired in our souls, we’re mostly also tired in the physical as well. The body, soul and spirit are so intertwined that they actually affect each other.

  1. A Lost Hunger for God’s Word
  2. Feelings of Being Far From God

Have you ever felt so distant from God?

  1. No Desire to Serve Others

It’s hard to serve others when we feel like God hasn’t taken care of our own spiritual needs. Serving others always works best out of an overflow of a heart, mind and spirit fully rested and satisfied in Christ.

  1. Entitlement

Spiritual depravation can sometimes cause the spiritually exhausted to seek nothing else but our own satisfaction. This can cause people to become entitled because of a lack of in filling and rest in God’s presence.

  1. Feelings of Uncertainty

Hopelessness is not just the absence of hope, but also the absence of a good amount of rest for the soul. It’s hard to find hope when we’re tired. That’s why it’s very important to rest the soul if we want to continue trying to find hope in God.

You are seen and you are heard, He knows you by name

Everything he has brought you through, is because what seed he has put in you.

You see the enemy in the garden didn’t go after the woman first because she is weak; it is because she has influence

We receive seed in the natural and in the spiritual.

Abraham – we are a promise seed that is our identity.    Trust in the process and only He knows what environment that is going to bring forth the fruit.

Luke 10:27 – Love the Lord your God with all your

heart – emotions/feelings – we can take our thought patterns, walk away from

These are the battleground that the enemy comes after. 2 CORTH 10:5 – We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

Luke 1:37 Nothing is impossible with God!

When we leave here today, the enemy will come to you and try to make you feel …

Step back and look from a different perspective. God’s view.

Now I want you to finish your statement of I AM………

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

Melissa

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, 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?

THE NEEDLE

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.

…….WE WISH YOU WERE HERE

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.

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, 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.